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Open mike 19/12/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 19th, 2021 - 327 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 …

327 comments on “Open mike 19/12/2021 ”

  1. Gezza 1

    Is this a good look for our PM?

    A billionaire’s rural luxury estate awaits Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford on their wedding day.

    And global chart-topper and Grammy Award-winner Lorde is also understood to be on hand to entertain the couple’s loved ones and friends.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/jacinda-ardern-and-clarke-gayford-wedding-billionaires-homestead-venue-lorde-to-sing/XO7UULPBUQTNWQOH54VDD5ET7M/

    I don’t think it is. But what about others?

    • vto 1.1

      its perfect man

      • Gezza 1.1.1

        I would've thought, a stable, with a manger? surprise

        Reception to be held in a food bank, tarted up for the day?

        • Vto 1.1.1.1

          the people will be joyous to see their fairytale princess marrying her prince in a castle.. no doubt..

        • Patricia Bremner 1.1.1.2

          That would look contrived. She is admired around the world, and has friends in many places. I would think they wanted a venue close to home for family in these times. The fact it is a private venue means no covid worries.

          They are there for a fairly brief time. It is not their property.

          Would you comment on the value of the venue and or the owners of it, for any other wedding Gezza?

          That is beneath you really.

          • observer 1.1.1.2.1

            If Luxon has 7 properties, any criticism is – of course – dismissed as "tall poppy syndrome".

            But if Ardern has 1 day in a nice house … let's grab our scythes and cut her down!

            And of course it's all totally not sexist, no sir, don't even suggest it, some of our best friends are ladies, love them all, flowers in the boardroom, adds a nice touch …

          • joe90 1.1.1.2.2

            The woman could wrap herself in coffee sacks, trot off to the city mission with the Rt Revd Justin Duckworth officiating and one mob would piss and moan about how the fucking sacks reeked of expensive coffee, another that the sacks had once contained Cuban coffee, another that her choice of venue was virtue signaling and yet another that the Rt Rev's dreads were proof of her commitment to CRT.

            Dog only knows what the assorted misery-guts and curtain twitching wowsers would have to say about the chateau de cardboard, Flame, smallies, savouries and asparagus rolls dished up at the after-match.

            //

    • Puckish Rogue 1.2

      It's good.

      It's got that "woman of the people", down to earth feel about it.

      The every day vibe we can all relate to.

      • fender 1.2.1

        No it's got that "our wedding day is a special occasion, let's make it as memorable as possible " vibe about it.

        Most couples make it as memorable as they choose, some jump out of planes, some have a beach ceremony without clothing, and no doubt some weirdos wear camouflage while clutching their firearms .

        • Gezza 1.2.1.1

          Well, at least they're not doing it Balkans style…

        • Anne 1.2.1.2

          My guess is, the American owners of the property offered their beautiful setting after hearing about the unfortunate verbal stoush involving their previous venue.

          Gosh, if that had been a much younger me I would have jumped at the chance. And I bet their wedding guests will be excited about it too.

          • Gezza 1.2.1.2.1

            The guest list would be intriguing. Wonder if Stephen Colbert is on it?

            (As a comedian, that guy’s about as funny as rabies.)

      • woodart 1.2.2

        since its not open to the public, its got the "none of your business" feel about it. and its none of our business how two people choose to conduct there wedding .

    • Treetop 1.3

      The wedding arrangements are a private matter and politics is a public matter. It is about having control over your personal space on your wedding day when you are the bride and the groom.

      Politicians are entitled to draw the line between their private and public life.

      • Gezza 1.3.1

        Uh huh.

        Do you think the national and international media won't be covering this event, and the lead up to it?

        I imagine this will receive lots of media attention, with Ardern’s & her media minders’ blessing.

        • Puckish Rogue 1.3.1.1

          Don't be cynical, it's a private matter.

          There'll be no stories in the media, no photoshoots, no interviews

          Away with you and your negativity

        • Treetop 1.3.1.2

          Most people have a wedding photographer so they can have a visual memory of their big day.

          I think that any media need to be restrained unless authorised to release private information.

        • Patricia Bremner 1.3.1.3

          What a mean attitude. You are acting like she has done nothing about foodbanks and should be in sack cloth and ashes. Don't be so sour.

          Yes, this will be presented to all with some formal photos of the day. Why not? Our PM has worked extremely long hours for two covid years and deserves her privacy for her function with their invited guests. Anything else would be surprising.

          • Treetop 1.3.1.3.1

            My intention about the food bank comment was that the money would do the greatest good at this time of year at a food bank.

            My comment @1.4.2 was agreeing with Peter @1.4 Some would have it that Ardern as a Labour MP should be in sack cloth, …

          • Gezza 1.3.1.3.2

            I’m just having a wee leg pull. If I really felt she should be getting married in sackcloth & ashes, I’d be posting on Kiwiblog, not here. Though I must admit I’m a bit surprised she’s gone for such a high end venue.

            • woodart 1.3.1.3.2.1

              Im sure jacinda is a bit surprised that its any of your business, but no doubt she is thinking of you.

              • Gezza

                Hmm. Somehow I doubt that. I don't imagine she pays any attention to the chattering classes on blogs. indecision

            • Shanreagh 1.3.1.3.2.2

              With such high end venues goes the ability to have high end security. With the anti vaxx & other nutters around including Trumpists, who have been making their presence felt at vaccination and testing centres, the Auckland Domain and at Parliament you cannot be too careful.

              Hopefully she will be able to take up Peter Gordon on his offer to do the food, something the previous venue thought their 33 years as caterers could match, yeah right.

    • Peter 1.4

      If it were the daughter of an ex-PM, it was a ritzy venue with an array of the rich and famous and a big time entertainer? Criticism would have been met with calls of "jealousy" and "tall poppy syndrome."

      Some would have it that Ardern as a Labour MP should be in sackcloth, the do should be in a local RSA and the after match tucker should be sausage rolls.

      The most fascinating thing will be to see the level of the "We're pissed of we were thrashed in the last election" sadsacks on the blogsites they gather on.

      Oh, and the incidental stunts David Seymour comes up with to counter the attention.

      • Puckish Rogue 1.4.1

        I agree.

        If an American billionaire hedge fund manager had a venue for me to use I'd be in on that

        I mean who wants to deal with the hoi-polloi on their special day and it's not like theirs any kiwi owned venues out there

        Not sure about using Lorde but each to their own

        • Alan 1.4.1.1

          aye to that Pucky, let then eat cake

          • Puckish Rogue 1.4.1.1.1

            It won't be Arderns wedding, it'll be NZs wedding.

            An experience we can all be part of and I'm very excited about it

            • Sabine 1.4.1.1.1.1

              you are such glitterari. 🙂

            • Anne 1.4.1.1.1.2

              Imo, it will be the opposite PR 🙂

              A private wedding at a very private venue riddled with security guards courtesy of the owners. All we will get to see are a few chosen photographs after the event and maybe a brief video.

              • Puckish Rogue

                I want to see someone chunder because they had too much too quickly, a speech that goes wrong because they had too much too quickly and someone sitting off to the side crying and being consoled because (you guessed it) they had too much too quickly

                But then I've always been a fan of the classics

      • Treetop 1.4.2

        The second paragraph was funny. I would chuck in a live stream of the nuptials to make sure the traffic light system was not being breached.

      • Sabine 1.4.3

        I wonder if they finally paid that dude in Gisborne the 5 grand cancellation fees, after all the man had receipts. lol.

        But yeah, totally a good look, look World, this is what you can buy in NZ and call it a 'billionaires homestead'. So nice and cozy.

        But then the show must go on, and the television crews will lap it up, and womans weekly will spend a hefty sum for some pictures of a women in a bridal gown, and we can pretend that this is our royal couple. BlaBlaBla

        • Treetop 1.4.3.1

          that dude in Gisborne, and the media might be interested in knowing what the menu is and who did the catering.

          Were money to be paid for wedding photos I would donate the money to a foodbank in Gisborne.

        • joe90 1.4.3.2

          cancellation fees

          That's what deposits are for.

          btw, the advent of Delta has left my brother's catering business dead in the water. The Scots business jimmy in him made the decision to return deposits but most clients are saying keep it, and pay out your staff.

        • observer 1.4.3.3

          and the television crews will lap it up

          This is where it helps to have a basic media awareness. It's pretty depressing how many media-consumers seem to lack it.

          There are 2 kinds of TV coverage – arranged, and not. (Or "wanted, and not").

          I hope nobody thinks the PM should be in charge of censoring the press. They publish garbage about celebs every day, she can't stop them. It's what they do.

          So the only issue here is the coverage that Ardern (her office) arranges. Repeat: she doesn't control the other stuff.

          OK, then … what family photo-ops does Ardern put on? How much TV coverage have you seen of Neve? When has she ever been paraded in front of the cameras? She is the least photographed "celeb" child. How often do you see coverage of Ardern & Gayford strolling hand in hand, compared to other politicians?

          You don't. Apologies for introducing facts to the fake narrative, but there it is.

        • observer 1.4.3.4

          Oh, and this:

          Womans weekly will spend a hefty sum for some pictures of a women in a bridal gown

          Unless there is a special charity deal, this obviously will not happen.

          It would be good if you could apologise when it doesn't. You may not like the PM much, but do you really think she is avaricious, and/or politically stupid?

        • Patricia Bremner 1.4.3.5

          No there was no firm booking made.. What receipts? No funds changed hands, and he would not agree to their requests for the day so negotiations fell over.

        • woodart 1.4.3.6

          apparentley they were going to offer chocolates from a rotovegas choc shop, but couldnt choose between nastiness, sarcasm or bitterness as flavours.

    • Pat 1.5

      Im guessing the decision was made with full consideration….

    • Sabine 1.6

      Totally and utterly a perfect look. Nothing else would do.

    • Robert Guyton 1.7

      I was looking for The Standard, but landed here on The New Zealand Woman's Weekly page!

      • Gezza 1.7.1

        No worries. Easy enuf mistake to make during the msm Silly Season. 🌺 🍰 🍷
        I have the same feeling when I watch 1ewes at 6.

        • Robert Guyton 1.7.1.1

          You do what?

          Why, in God's name?

          • Gezza 1.7.1.1.1

            Habit, I reckon.

            My sister got a shock when she & hubby returned from a seven-year overseas work stint, first in Oz & then in Brunei & she was looking foward to seeing decent tv news broadcasts. She calls 1ewes at 6 Woman’s Weekly News.

          • lprent 1.7.1.1.2

            At home I watched broadcast TV once since late 2012 – that was in 2019 (I think). I even brought a free to air box to do it. This was because my partner wanted to see the ads for professional reasons. She watched and afternoon and an evening, and then we never turned it on again.

            I eventually pout it into the cupboard where maybe possibly useful in the future electronics goes.

      • Treetop 1.7.2

        Why pay for a copy when you do not need to.

        Are you any good at drawing wedding couples?

        I see Gezza has had a go at flowers, cake and wine.

    • observer 1.8

      The funny part will be all the obsessive Ardern-haters with bulging veins on their foreheads, desperately searching for coverage of the wedding in the media, just so that they can complain there's coverage of the wedding in the media.

      For those who need it explaining slowly … if it's a live TV event with hosts from the Project and exclusive deals on cake sponsorship, that's tacky and Trumpy.

      If it's a private wedding and the media aren't invited, then it isn't.

    • mac1 1.9

      How about a hotel venue owned by corporations and billionaires, or a church owned by billionaire clerical corporations?

      What's the problem, Gezza? I got married 45 years and 1 day ago in a church valued at millions and had a reception in a probably similar costing private venue.

      The church fell down in the ChCh earthquake, the reception venue is gone but our marriage continues. No-one commented on the appropriateness or otherwise of the venue.; except it was an Anglican church and I was raised. like you, a Catholic…..

      So why are we climbing into the PM? None of our business.

      • Puckish Rogue 1.9.1

        Damn strait it's no one's business when you do a deal with an American billionaire hedge fund manager

        I absolutely refute any suggestion the billionaire will ask a favour sometime down the line 😉

        • Robert Guyton 1.9.1.1

          Disingenuous and dishonest implication, Pucky.

          Suppose you're just fomenting happy mischief though, so, whatever…Mac1 has pinged Gezza for his churlishness, quite rightly.

        • mac1 1.9.1.2

          Watch out for that strait, PR, it might be deeper than you think….

          As for the billionaires, they can defend themselves.

          • Puckish Rogue 1.9.1.2.1

            I thought it might be a nice wedding dance song:

            • Shanreagh 1.9.1.2.1.1

              What happened to Ten Guitars, really! NZ party classic with the 'gat and this, for all the venue and catering and security, will be a NZ party……least-ways I hope it will be fun for all. smiley

      • Gezza 1.9.2

        @ Mac1

        So why are we climbing into the PM?

        What do mean you mean "we"? And I'm not really. I can see two points of view about this choice of venue, given that:

        1. Ardern has pledged to end child povidy and that food banks have never been busier than under her administration, and
        2. Ardern is engaged, has planned a wedding in a very upmarket location that one assumes will be quite easy to secure and ensure that unwanted folk are kept away from disrupting the nuptials, all very practical really.

        I chose to express the viewpoint I thought would generate the most fun comments.

        None of our business.

        Wrong. It's going to be everybody's business. If it wasn't our business the nuptials would've been organised in secret. This is going to generate a LOT of good, free PR for the PM, and will be a big hit with female voters. No reason not to milk it for all it's worth, which will no doubt be done.

        • Gezza 1.9.2.1

          I just moseyed on over to Kiwiblog and had a quick scroll thru a few entries down the page on today’s General Debate.

          Man, are some of them getting absolutely poisonous about it – as expected! laugh

        • Dennis Frank 1.9.2.2

          Particularly the women's weakly – readers will be salivating already. And be devastated if the weakly fail to get their paparazzi thro the door.

        • observer 1.9.2.3

          If it wasn't our business the nuptials would've been organised in secret.

          How would that happen?

          Media: "PM, can you confirm that there are wedding plans under way?"

          PM: "I am not at liberty to say".

          Media: "But we have heard reports of work being done on the East Coast, locals saw a delivery van coming and going".

          PM: "That is classified".

          Media: "So will you rule out a wedding next year?"

          PM: "I will not take any more questions on that."

          (headline, half an hour later, all media … "PM refuses to rule out wedding rumours, shuts down media questions)

          (Open Mike, an hour later … "What is she hiding? Where is the transparency?")

          Come on. It isn't a secret because it can't be. Simple as that.

        • mac1 1.9.2.4

          You write, "And I'm not really."

          Oh yes you are. Your first comment said, "Is this a good look for our PM? ……….I don’t think it is." So, how can you deny you said it, really?

          You then asked for other's opinions. You got mine.

          You then hide behind the old passive aggressive stand-by. "It was just a joke!""I was just stirring the pot for humour's sake".

          When are you going to tell me to lighten up, and get a life?
          PS you’re right about the ‘we”. It was just you. I was being wrongfully inclusive.

          • Gezza 1.9.2.4.1

            You then asked for other's opinions. You got mine.

            Exactly.

            Because I'm not invested politically I often view politicians and political issues from the different viewpoints of the various partisans.

            When I do that, I can go either way when I express an opinion. I could go on to argue the case further why this is not a good look for our PM, but I am persuaded more by the arguments advanced in favour of Ardern choosing this venue that it's not now worth my doing that.

            I often view issues like this with a humorous aspect; if some people take umbrage and are humourless about it, it's not my problem. One of the advantages of not being politically tribal. More things are funny.

            • mac1 1.9.2.4.1.1

              Gezza, you are denying that you started off this whole Open Mike with an opinion that was not humorous.

              You are now blaming me because I take your statement seriously?

              You have a problem- owning up to bullshit.

              BTW, if you are not 'invested politically', what are you doing on a political blog, making political statements about politicians? More bullshit.

              • Gezza

                No, it was a serious question, I added humour to the mix a little further down. It must've gone over your head. You probably thought I was being serious.

                BTW, if you are not 'invested politically', what are you doing on a political blog, making political statements about politicians? More bullshit

                I should clarify: by that I meant I'm not politically tribal. I've mostly voted Labour but it's not a guaranteed vote. I vote. So I take an interest in political & social & societal matters and that means I get to make political statements about politicians. It's not bullshit. It's just how it is.

                That you don't get that isn't my problem.

              • if you are not 'invested politically', what are you doing on a political blog, making political statements about politicians?

                Concern trolling!

            • Robert Guyton 1.9.2.4.1.2

              "Gezza said, "Because I'm not invested politically I often view politicians and political issues from the different viewpoints of the various partisans.

              When I do that, I can go either way when I express an opinion"

              Fence-sitter.

              Never wrong, because you didn't invest in a position.

              So reminiscent of Pete George, the greyest fence-sitter in creation!

              Make a stand, Gezza!

              Put your stake in the ground!

              Stand up for something!!

              • Gezza

                When I do that, I can go either way when I express an opinion" Fence-sitter. Never wrong, because you didn't invest in a position.

                Never right either. So what? How really big & important an issue is where the PM has her wedding, in the overall scheme of things – you know, life the universe, the state of the country, and everything?

                So reminiscent of Pete George, the greyest fence-sitter in creation!

                I did used to chide him gently for coming over here and stirring up the hornets. Pete ran a non-partisan blog. Partisans like you can't cope with other political viewpoints or balancing out political pros and cons at all well. But that’s what many voters do.

                Make a stand, Gezza! Put your stake in the ground! Stand up for something!!

                I do. Often. When the issue’s important to me and/or others. You just don't notice.

                • Hetzer

                  Well, in all fairness Gezza, theres a lot of Labour Party turd polishers here so you will always run into flack at times.

                • Robert Guyton

                  "How really big & important an issue is where the PM has her wedding, in the overall scheme of things – you know, life the universe, the state of the country, and everything?"

                  You

                  brought

                  it

                  up.

                  • Gezza

                    I brought up whether the Labour leader's choice of venue was a good look or not.

                    It's generated quite a few comments with some good points made.

                    But in terms of me "putting a stake in the ground on something" this isn't something that's so important it requires an absolute position from me.

                    Stop sniping at me and go back to sleep, Robert.

                    View post on imgur.com

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Sure, Pete Gezza.

                    • Gezza

                      Pfft. No wonder Bill told you to stop trolling him the other day.

                    • mac1

                      Stop sniping at me" The next stage of passive -aggressive response is – after blaming and avoiding issues- to play the victim.

                      Gezza, you're the sniper, in deep cover, and claiming not to even be on the battlefield.

                      I too have pukeko on my river far edge. They squabble all the time. I'm beginning to feel familial. I'll return to being the visiting harrier, observing and comparing, or the scaup diving for food. The noisy spur-winged plover has gone with his boisterous and bullying ways and the black swans have gone to the lagoon.

                    • Gezza

                      @ Mac1

                      Stop sniping at me” The next stage of passive -aggressive response is – after blaming and avoiding issues – to play the victim.

                      Nothing passive about me, dude – or dudette? You have an ill-considered or unwarranted go at me, I’m quite happy to smack you back. I haven’t avoided any issues.

                      Gezza, you’re the sniper, in deep cover, and claiming not to even be on the battlefield.

                      You appear to have a way over-active imagination. The fact that I don’t need to feel the emotional security of having the same opinion or viewpoint as the rest of the crowd, like you and Robert, doesn’t put me under cover, does it? I’m out in the open. And this isn’t a battlefield. It’s just a blog.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Nothing passive about me, dude – or dudette?

                      Sounding increasingly desperate, imho.
                      Down with this sort of (transparent) thing.

                      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/christopher-and-amanda-luxon-on-life-as-leader-what-lies-ahead-and-luxons-bad-habits/C76445J3SIME7FDV5RWE7RIM4Q/

                    • mac1

                      Sorry, Gezza, when you mentioned 'sniping at me', I, silly dude, took the military meaning.

                      You, of course, had this in mind.

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snipe

                    • Gezza

                      @ Drowsy

                      No idea who Chris T is. Or was. I don’t post on blogs under multiple usernames. Been using Gezza solely for several years now.

                      Dude or dudette just meant I have no idea what sex (or gender?) Mac1 is.

                    • Gezza

                      @ mac1

                      in deep cover, and claiming not to even be on the battlefield.

                      Delusional.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      I don’t post on blogs under multiple usernames. Been using Gezza solely for several years now.

                      You've never posted "on blogs under multiple usernames", or just "for several years now"?

                      Dude or dudette just meant I have no idea what sex (or gender?) Mac1 is.

                      Why you might feel the urge to declare your ignorance of mac1's sex (or gender) in this way, and quite why chris T ["…dude? …. or dudette?"] was similarly curious about my sex (or gender) are mysteries, but nothing to fret about – everyone needs a 'hobby'.

                      As you can see, chris T's ( or Chris t's) hobby here was too 'critique' the government, with a special focus on PM Ardern. He was a particularly boorish bore, imho, either thick as two short planks or giving a fair performance of same, but your guess is as good as mine.

                    • mac1

                      Delusional? Allusional, rather.

                    • Gezza

                      @ Drowsy

                      You’ve never posted “on blogs under multiple usernames”, or you haven’t “for several years now”?

                      Sigh. You are fixating on small stuff. I used a different username many years ago for maybe a year or so. I wasn’t all that happy with it. I changed to Gezza several years back & have stuck with that everywhere I’ve posted ever since.

                    • mac1

                      Gezza, "I haven’t avoided any issues, " you say.

                      Your #1. “Is this a good look for our PM? A billionaire’s rural luxury estate awaits Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford on their wedding day……… I don’t think it is."

                      Then later, having been challenged you write it off as humour, when at 1.3.1.3.2 you say "I’m just having a wee leg pull."

                      Then, it becomes unimportant. You say "How really big & important an issue is where the PM has her wedding, in the overall scheme of things – you know, life the universe, the state of the country, and everything?"

                      Not avoiding the issue? As soon as you're challenged, you change your ground.

                      BTW, was your other username on The Standard and if so who were you?

                    • Gezza

                      I’m not responsible for your seeming inability to follow the discussion in that thread, mac1 & thus wrongly conflate several separate issues. But, hey, carry on if your obsession to continue ranting at me is too strong to resist.

                      Nite mac1 👋🏼

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Gezza, you're 'concerned' about whether this is "a good look for our PM", and very exercised about disparaging remarks directed at our latest leader of the opposition [anyone sensing a pattern – male pattern baldness perhaps?], but I'm fixating on the small stuff?

                      From that first comment at 6:28 am, imho your 'contributions' here today constitute a blight – quite predictable, as mac1 observed. Nite

                    • weka

                      My suggestion is you all give it a rest. It's been several hours in this subthread since the politics were discussed, might be good to go back to that rather than taking potshots at each other

        • Patricia Bremner 1.9.2.5

          As both the Prime Minister Hipkins and other guests have been subject to threats by some very anti people, I don't blame them choosing a venue that is away from drones buses 'planes or helicopter "fly overs/ drive bys'.

          As for some comments here which pretend to be jokes… they say more about the person than Jacinda Ardern. I have only once heard her slip into "names" when she almost called Judith Collins "Karen" As JC's own were calling her worse names it quickly lost impact.

          It is a lack of grace that simply wishing her well would choke some people. She has had to change her date because of covid, had to find a time where people could attend, so I hope it all goes well for her and Clarke and Neve.

          • Gezza 1.9.2.5.1

            That Herald article has been considerably updated since I first read it early this morning. There's more info and pics now that weren't in the first report I saw.

            You make some good points there Patricia. And it's not as if they'll be hobnobbing with the billionaire class for long – it's just the venue for their actual wedding. (Well, who knows, maybe for a honeymoon too?)

            One wonders what earlier Labour leaders – supposed champions of the poor & the working class – would have done? But then, Ardern worked for Tony Blair and he hobnobbed with the upper classes & the wealthy quite a lot.

            I hope their wedding goes off well. Nobody decent wants to see anybody's wedding ruined. I imagine it's going to be a very closely controlled event. It will be interesting to see what publicity is given to it on the day, and post-event.

            There will I expect be some capitalisation on it for PR purposes. I'll be interested to see how much – it will appeal to women voters particularly, so I expect some magazine spreads and controlled tv coverage.

            • Patricia Bremner 1.9.2.5.1.1

              So let me get this …." hobnobbing' "Tony Blair" "publicity" "PR purposes"

              Oh, you don't think she is just getting married? You think it is political?surprise

              • Gezza

                I think I’ve covered everything by now. The Labour Party of today isn’t the Party it was in terms of how revolutionary & focussed on the poor & working class that it once was.

                I can see why some pundits claim there’s not really much difference between the centre left & the centre right. I think neoliberalism, kicked off by the Lange/Douglas administration, has changed our society so much that now a Labour leader doesn’t go for a plain simple wedding at some simple venue.

                And probably a lot of voters won’t care. Labour, imo, is still probably more likely to WANT to do more for the poor & working class than National will be. I was just curious to see what comments from Labour supporters came out of that original post of mine.

        • Puckish Rogue 1.9.2.6

          I don't work for free

          • Gezza 1.9.2.6.1

            Too far up for me to want to scroll.

            • Puckish Rogue 1.9.2.6.1.1

              'This is going to generate a LOT of good, free PR for the PM, and will be a big hit with female voters.'

              I don't work for free.

              Cash, Gas, Grass or Ass everybody pays for PR.

    • Corey Humm 1.10

      I mean it's her wedding she can do what she likes but the banquet hall or the old upper house room in parliament are regularly used for weddings and would make a gorgeous venue.

      There's also government house .. it's a pretty damn nice building for a wedding.

      These buildings are regularly used by foreign dignitaries, monarchs and heads of state as well as for weddings of parliament staff. I would have gone with that …

      Reading it's a hedge fund managers property made me roll my eyes for a second.

      But honestly, who cares.

      It's their wedding have it wherever, and if it's private then it's none of our business and not political but if they sell women's day and the media pics of them basking in opulence as if they are some celebrity couple, it becomes political and it won't be the good pr story, they want and it is tacky when public servants are treated like stars.

      I hope they have fun, but I expect them to be tacky and sell the pics to national and international tabloids because this is the same couple where the nations first man hosts a show about moving house while the prime ministers administration has utterly failed spectacularly on housing affordability, stability and supply, and anyone outside of the bubble would have said "na mate don't do a show on housing, it'll make ya partner look bad" and it became a meme for every millennial,gen z, working class , beneficiary etc struggling to get a rental they can afford or stay in, move out of their parents, get out of a motel, put together a loan etc because it's such an out of touch move during a housing apocalypse from the first man it deserved all the memes, mockery and insults and selling pictures of her in a billionaires mansion getting married will be met with the same mocking, insulting, memeing derision from the people labour is supposed to represent.

      So I hope they have fun, congratulations, but don't sell those pictures to the tabloids if you don't want it to become political and a meme and don't do a second season of that damned moving house show!

      • observer 1.10.2

        I expect them to be tacky and sell the pics to national and international tabloids

        They won't. Seriously, do you not see how easy it is to be captured by this irrational mindset? You lose touch with reality when you buy into that nonsense.

        Whatever anyone thinks of her gov't policies, Ardern is not a fool. She is perfectly capable of weighing up the political risks and rewards. If we can, she certainly can.

        As I commented elsewhere, the only possible deal would be for some charity. She is not going to seek personal financial gain. Why on earth would she throw away her support (= her job), and what, in her political career so far, would give anyone grounds to think she would?

    • Drowsy M. Kram 1.11

      The wedding – meh. But the bile ir's eliciting from Ardern naysayers – priceless smiley

      • Shanreagh 1.11.1

        Yes someone's bound to be along soon here or holding up a sign outside saying 'pretty little communist in a wedding dress' or some such idiocy.

    • Nic181 1.12

      Since it is absolutely none of your business, who cares what you think!

      • Gezza 1.12.1

        You appear to.

        But that was yesterday. Today’s a new day.

        I’ve been reflecting on my comments yesterday & I now realise that my reference to a stable & a manger & holding the reception in a food bank, while meant as humorous & tongue-in-cheek, were in poor taste (both to the PM & the people forced to visit them), so the negative reaction they caused I should have expected on a left-leaning, government-supporting blog like TS.

        So I apologise for that unnecessarily provocative, poor taste remark.

        I tend to be somewhat cynical about all politicians these days & thus probably too critical without acknowledging their successes often enuf.

        Regarding Ardern, as PM I acknowledge that she has done a superb job to date of managing Kiwiland’s response to Covid & the relevant stats speak tellingly to how successful the govt has been.

        There have been various shortfalls & screw ups, which have never been conceded by the govt as such, but in Ministers like Hipkins (& most recently, Little, re health workers being blocked from getting MIQ slots by MBIE staff cockups) have generally addressed them speedily & with much better outcomes than many other countries.

        Ardern has had to face an unprecedented challenge with Covid & has met that challenge & is to be congratulated for not shrinking from making tuff decisions that make her liable to criticisms from opposition parties & affected sectors.

        As regards her private life, the comparison between the Woman’s Weekly articles in her & Luxon seems quite stark to me. Ardern was being accused in advance by Rightie critics of being likely to “wheel Neve out for cutesy stories” at difficult times politically. She has never done that. Nor do I think she ever will. She has managed to successfully keep her private family life private – except for what glimpses people might get on Facebook, which is what one expects on Facebook.

        I had to lol when the topic of her wedding being secret or public came up yesteday. Because, from what I can see, it IS being kept secret. The Herald article even notes that the couple wishes to keep it private for their families, & is based on 3rd party hearsay sources. All we know is that it is expected to occur “sometime in late January”.

        I’ll be interested to see what publicity & photos are published after the event. Looking at how her family life has been managed to date, I realise today that it is most probably going to be quite low-key.

        I’m human. That means I make mistakes. And I’m a bloke, so when I get attacked, I hit back. Yesterday I made a mistake. But it’s a new day today, so I’ve learned from it & am not going to repeat it.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 1.12.1.1

          Good on you Gezza – fwiw, chris T's comments often begin with "Sorry".

          [RL: I will need to see the reasoning that led to this remark about ‘Chris T’. As far as I’m aware you are addressing a commenter called ‘Gezza’ and introducing other pseudonyms skates on thin ice, unless you can show fair cause.]

          • RedLogix 1.12.1.1.1

            Mod note for you

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.12.1.1.1.1

              Apologies for my over-active pattern recognition facility. Yesterday I observed a curious (to me) similarity between the way Gezza chose to pointlessly express his ignorance of mac1's sex (or gender):

              Nothing passive about me, dude – or dudette?

              and chris T's style of wondering about my sex (or gender):

              Whats with the fixation with my posts and copy and paste out of context shit about dude? …. or dudette?

              I also observed here that there’s a similarity between chris T's tedious 'critiques' of our government, PM Ardern in particular, and Gezza's choice of comment @1.

              I don't resile from my observations, but happy to admit that they are not proof of collusion between Gezza and any other identity on The Standard.

              Re: chris T's comments often begin with "Sorry" – they really do (can't link to the many more examples without tripping the 'too many links' filter):

              Sorry Sorry Sorry

              and that's no biggie – many have had occasion to apologise, e.g. Gezza, and me just now.

              As an aside, it was once suggested here that I was sockpuppet for Morrissey – you know, another Professor Longhair. But it got sorted out amicably thanks to some deft moderating.

          • weka 1.12.1.1.2

            I also take a really dim view of commenters trying to break someone's pseudonym. If you have serious concerns that someone is using a sock puppet or breaking a ban, please quietly let a mod know and they will look at it. But don't start speculating on who people really are. We protect pseudonyms here for really good reasons.

  2. Joe90 2

    A Russian court published details about a corruption trial involving catering to Russian forces in Ukraine's Donbas region.

    Unpossible, said Poots spokesperson, there are no Russian forces the in the region.

    https://www.interfax.ru/russia/809774

    google translation

  3. Gezza 4

    Property investors supposedly spend their days buying huge numbers of properties through using tax advantages, outbidding homeowners and driving up house prices. What’s not to dislike about them?

    The problem is that this is a common misconception, often repeated as fact.

    Something for Blazer to chew over…

    Small-scale rental providers are highly efficient and cost-effective. Higher standards have also made these homes healthier, which is a good thing. Housing low-income families in private rentals is considerably cheaper for the taxpayer than community or institutional housing.

    We have a crisis-level shortage of rental property. Ask the tenants.

    Rather than demonising the people who provide rental homes, we should be making it easier for them. At the very least, remove the hand brakes that have been applied over the last few years. Tenants and taxpayers would both be better off if we did.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/300481161/instead-of-demonising-property-investors-we-should-be-making-it-easier-for-them

    • Pat 4.1

      "Andrew King is president of the New Zealand Property Investors Federation, a nationwide lobby group."

      No vested interest to see here….lol

      • Gezza 4.1.1

        Shhh … Blazer mightn't notice… wink

        • Blazer 4.1.1.1

          I notice these altruistic landlords invariably buy existing housing stock…not new builds.

          I also notice these efficient rental providers receive over $2000,000,000 in Govt accomodation subsidies.

          Andrew King is a master shill-always appears to sound reasonable and empathetic to renters.

    • vto 4.2

      so much bullshit in that

      • RedLogix 4.2.1

        I realise the article triggers cognitive dissonance in the minds of every good leftie – whose visceral instinct is to line all the bastard leaching landlords up against a wall at dawn – but I've read the article and I'm curious to know exactly what bullshit?

        • Molly 4.2.1.1

          Demonising landlords has to be a conscious strategy to redirect attention away from the failure to effectively address the housing crisis.

          Part of that failure includes allowing an environment to flourish where explotative and irresponsible landlords are some tenants only choice. That does not mean that all landlords fit that role.

          • RedLogix 4.2.1.1.1

            Totally agree with all of this. The shortage of rentals forces people into accepting poor choices all round.

    • Ad 4.3

      The first thing the writer should have done is admit to the increasing power that landlords hold in society.

      Mega Landlords: Over 22,100 homes owned by small group of very large investors | Stuff.co.nz

      Since 2010, house price increases averaged 8.2 percent annually, but average hourly earnings growth only averaged 2.9 per cent.

      That average hourly earnings was swallowed up immediately by rents, which increased 3 per cent annually.

      There are 487,000 people in New Zealand who own 1-5 rental properties: that's most of them. But let's not confuse the "mum and dads" with being amateurs. Most carefully watch their margins.

      This government has made more progress regulating for quality rentals and on taxing rental property than any government I've yet seen. And I say that as a landlord who's been through a major upgrade this year.

      But we will need a couple of years to see whether that major group have sold down enough to make a difference in the real estate market.

      Until then I would treat apologists like the column's author with a pinch of salt.

      • RedLogix 4.3.1

        The point is Ad that despite constant series of move against landlords, the main outcome is both property prices and rents have increased and there is now a real shortage of rentals.

        That's the facts on the ground – but you want us to wait a few more years to see if things get better. Good luck with that.

        • Patricia Bremner 4.3.1.1

          Australia and UK are experiencing flight of capital to housing as well. Their prices are surging. Interest rates and inflation caused by the covid money. Our government has begun to wind down the pressure. smileyLook at the latest auction figures Only 30% sold. Tide is turning.

          • Blazer 4.3.1.1.1

            believe it ..or not!

            'Treasury's latest economic and fiscal update, known as HYEFU, shows house prices are forecast to increase 10.4 percent next year, meaning the median house price – currently $925,000 – will rise to more than $1 million. '

  4. Treetop 5

    I would like to have more details when it comes to the daily stats for NZ Covid infections. Separate figures for first dose, second dose, booster dose, unvaccinated, previous Covid infection, close contact, household contact and unknown.

    I realise this would be problematic everyday so at least once a week covering the last 7 days.

    I would include the Delta and Omicron strains in the above figures. Huge lab resources would be required.

    • weka 5.1

      Huge lab resources are already being used.

    • Peter 5.2

      And when you have all the details what would you do with them?

      • Treetop 5.2.1

        And when you have all the details what would you do with them?

        The Covid trend in NZ would then be known. I would expect the government to control the NZ border and prioritise who they allow in for the good of the country.

        2022 is shaping up for Covid to become a bigger problem than it has ever been.

        How to help the countries which are struggling comes down to money and health workers. A Covid international fund run by a new organisation is required.

        • Pete 5.2.1.1

          I didn't mean the backroom boffins having more details when it comes to the daily stats for NZ Covid infections. I meant you. You said, "I would like to have more details…"

          The officials would seek the details they need to suit their purposes and no doubt collect what they need for their purposes.

          • Foreign waka 5.2.1.1.1

            If not published and made available for the general public to get a better picture outside their immediate circumstance, its called repressing information. This is largely done in communist and dictatorial states. The question is: what is there to be afraid of? Admittingly, for some 30% of people this would be like the hieroglyphs of the ancient Egyptians but this is no reason to withheld information. There are enough NZ landers that are well educated to make up their own mind without having to rely on the "official" drip feed version. But then again, it might be expedient for those on the leaver of that information to have the dissemination "controlled" and with it the means of manipulating public reactions. Possible?

          • Treetop 5.2.1.1.2

            The stats would influence my decision making. Stay close to home, who I allow into my home. How often I go out. Do I have a medical procedure I can reschedule.

      • alwyn 5.3.1

        The most depressing statistics are in the Economist. This shows the figures for selected countries of the number of people who are protected against the Delta and Omicron variants of Covid 19.

        For Delta they estimate we are at about the 40th percentile with about 70% of the population protected. For Omicron we would be at the 10th percentile with about 2% of the population protected. The graph is here.

        https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2021/12/15/which-countries-are-best-protected-against-omicron

        Our low ranking is mostly due to the fact that we have had very few cases and have little yet in the way of booster doses.

        Having had very cases seems to me to be something to cheer, except it seems ever more likely that we will get it in the future. It is like the laws of thermodynamics. The first law says you can't win. The second law says you can't even break even.

        We can't even break even with our protection. It isn't fair!

        Well I have had the belief from a long way back that sooner or later we are all going to get Covid 19. I am just glad that the vaccines seem to greatly reduce your chance of a severe dose and you are much more likely to survive the experience.

  5. weka 6

    • Sabine 6.1

      but it lets them pretend that they are 'green'.

    • weka 6.2

      • Foreign waka 6.2.1

        The question is how many can utilize alternatives, such as using a bike or heating by different means. Or do those poor, old and sick become collateral damage?

        Windmills require substantial concrete blocks on the grounds that basically cover large stretches of ground and create an issue with oxygen and water exchange and thus the ground "dies". There is strong resistance in Europe as windmill farms are now encroaching on arable land, basically coving the same with concrete, reducing food production.

        A large portion of older, sick and frail people will not be able to get their basic needs covered if only electric cars would be allowed and no public transport is available. Not everybody is living next to a supermarket in walking distance. Who can afford a 30K car on $ 340 a week? Also, has anybody read up on the enormous environmental issue with those batteries? Similar with those phones that are now throw away products. Look at the need for these due to the download of the covid scan. And it cannot be any phone.

        To just throw the first idea around as it would be the philosophers stone and to ride a trendy wave is simply not good enough. Effort: D, Implementation and consideration of other factors involved : D. Research of consequences D.

        Population growth is an issue. And to say that the poorer nations have to pay the price as the rich ones have "contracted" their cheap and nasty manufacturing to those nations is no solution either. And another "D".

        Reducing consumption is a good concept and applaudable. However, if you would mathematically calculate renewable resources, speed of replacement or food harvest, increase of population and distribution; how many people would still die of hunger? Climate change based on deforestation and the seas fished up, used as dumping ground for chemicals, plastics etc.. Any answers? No, none. Another "D".

        We pay politicians handsomely and the captain of industry bosses obscenely well only to come up with more of the same with another set of serious issues that these people do not think about or simply don's want to know. But this time, it will be their own grand kids that will have to cope with their laissez-faire approach to the resources of this planet.

        There is desperation in the air but surely we don't need to cut the nose despite the face.

        • weka 6.2.1.1

          Not sure what you are trying to say there. TINA? That's bleak. We know runaway climate change will kill a very large number of people, as well as mass extinctions. Why would you advocate for that? It's an utter failure of imagination to assume that actions that prevent that would also kill many people.

          We can do many things: upscale public transport, relocalise economies (yes, we can have banks, grocers, hairdressers, etc in our neighbourhoods again), grow food locally, stop flying so much, stop consuming so much, stop wasting food, resources, time, energy. On and on. We have all the solutions at our finger tips. The problem isn't that it's not possible, it's that people don't/won't act.

        • Ad 6.2.1.2

          In under 24 months we've just had our entire ability to work, get around a city, communicate, respond to public policy, get groceries, and engage as a society utterly transformed.

          We've had two massive areas of our export economy nearly killed off dead.

          We've gone into more public debt than ever before, and on all counts are the most successfully managed developed economy in the entire world.

          We can respond to climate change if we are given the political leadership to do so.

  6. Dennis Frank 7

    A million expected to attend omicron party in NYC:

    “Times Square New Year’s Eve is moving forward with its plans for an outdoor celebration with fully vaccinated revelers,” a representative for the Times Square Alliance told Rolling Stone in an email on Friday. “We continue to work in close coordination with city officials and will make adjustments if necessary.”

    Representatives for Mayor Bill de Blasio, who, per tradition, will be one of the guests of honor at the Times Square party, echoed the Times Square Alliance’s sentiment, directing Rolling Stone to comments the outgoing mayor made on CNN Thursday night.

    The mayor went on to insist that event personnel will “literally” check each individual attendee’s vaccination status. “A million people?” CNN’s Michael Smerconish asked, incredulously. “Sure,” de Blasio said.

    The event, which draws one million in-person spectators in a typical year, was canceled in 2020, and Times Square was closed to the public.

    https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/omicron-times-square-nye-1273495/

    National's back-to-normal spokesperson will be watching closely to see how to copy.

    • Treetop 7.1

      I hope that this planned super spreader event does not hatch a Delta/Omicron strain.

      When it comes to having no capacity in the health system will those who attend scream about their human rights to health care, vaccinated or not vaccinated?

  7. joe90 8

    icymi

    A study by Oregon researchers finds that people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 who have a breakthrough infection end up with what the authors call "super immunity."

    They caution the vaccinated should not seek COVID-19 infection, but the "hybrid immunity" offers some solace for those who catch one despite having been vaccinated.

    "The bottom line of the study is that vaccine provides you with foundational immunity for whatever comes next," said Fikadu Tafesse, a professor of molecular microbiology and immunology in the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine in Portland, Oregon.

    […]

    Getting a booster is still safer than getting COVID-19, said Dr. Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, particularly for those at risk for severe disease, including those over 70, people with diabetes and those with weakened immune systems.

    "Best is getting three doses of an mRNA vaccine and never getting infected. Complications, including long COVID and transmission to others, represent a risk even in that scenario," Poland said.

    He offered a hierarchy of safety:

    • Best scenario: Fully vaccinated and boosted, no infection upon exposure
    • Next best: Fully vaccinated, boosted and asymptomatic or mild disease upon exposure/infection
    • Next best: Fully vaccinated, boosted, moderate disease and attendant complication risks upon infection
    • Worse: not fully vaccinated or boosted and risk severe disease/death and its risks upon infection

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/full-vaccination-against-covid-19-and-a-breakthrough-infection-builds-super-immunity-study-finds/ar-AARUvHA

    • Treetop 8.1

      It is still early days when it comes to applying vaccination to the Omicron strain. I do not think that the actual R value of Omicron is yet known.

      The study gives some reassurance to the earlier strains including the Delta strain. What matters, is avoiding serious illness.

    • Treetop 8.2

      I listened to Eric Topol an American cardiologist on the bottom line on Aljazeera TV at 2.30 pm NZ time on the management of Covid.

      Clued up and wise.

  8. weka 9

    • RedLogix 9.1

      There is an entire emerging field of engineering called biomimicry.

      • weka 9.1.1

        I know what biomimicry is, it’s very cool. Reductionists using biomimicry to sustain BAU is not going to get us out of this mess. Whole systems thinking and humility might.

    • Robert Guyton 9.2

      If you and Nature were enjoying dialogue, She'd use language you could understand.

      When you see faces in the clouds, are you projecting, or receiving?

      • weka 9.2.1

        Enjoyment is a currently underrated aspect of communication.

        If nature and I were in dialogue I’d learn our mother tongue.

        • Robert Guyton 9.2.1.1

          Yes, joy and gratitude are the Mother tongue.

          • weka 9.2.1.1.1

            Makes me think of Lawton's saying, you can solve all the world's problems in a garden (or forest). Most on the left would dismiss that as silly and superficial, but I think he is in part pointing to how humans are changed by immersion in gardening, the joy and gratitude that comes from that and how that then fractals out.

  9. joe90 10

    Long thread on a barking book about Peterson.

    Hooboy…

  10. weka 11

    Serious level fucked up

    • Treetop 11.1

      I like your definition of Serious level…

      • weka 11.1.1

        There’s a significant difference between choosing not to be vaccinated and actively campaigning to prevent access to healthcare that people will die or become disabled without.

        That leaflet isn’t rabbit holing it’s ethical sink holes.

        • joe90 11.1.1.1

          I reckon it's well past time to label Covid disinfo and attempts to disrupt Covid mitigation measures as attacks on the nation's citizen's physical, mental and socioeconomic well being.

        • Treetop 11.1.1.2

          Deliberately causing damage through misinformation by invading a letter box needs it's own legislation. There are laws against false advertising.

          • Anne 11.1.1.2.1

            There is already legislation preventing certain materials being distributed in letter-boxes provided the appropriate message is on the letter box.

            Somebody could make a small fortune producing a sticky backed message banning Voice of Freedom literature in letter boxes. I've been bombarded with them in recent weeks and have had enough of it.

          • weka 11.1.1.2.2

            not sure what you are meaning Treetop, are you being sarcastic?

        • mauī 11.1.1.3

          How are they preventing anything?? It's a leaflet with an alternate point of view.

          In another time, it might be a called a healthy sign of a functioning democracy?

          • weka 11.1.1.3.1

            They're advocating against the vaccination programme. They want people's healthcare removed. I have no problem with people choosing to not vaccinate. But politically trying to remove that option for other people is fucked up.

            They're also misleading and outright lying in that pamphlet, straight out of the right wing play book. This smells like dirty politics.

            Healthy democracy would be helping people to make informed consent choices, not lying to them with propaganda.

            • mauī 11.1.1.3.1.1

              The flyer is satire, and much like a good greek satire play reflects the absurdity of where we're at.

              The irony of your last comment is that if you wanted better informed consent you would be supporting groups like theirs that provide something akin to a second opinion, not attacking them.

              • weka

                the problem with trying to be satire, is that it's also misleading the public. I can't see any way in which lying about vaccine efficacy is necessary for the goal of satire in that piece.

                I do actually support informed consent and dissent from mainstream medical narratives. I have my whole adult life and I have a background in patient rights. This is not the way to go about it. They are either politically naive, or do in fact have the intention of fucking with the vaccination programme. I can't tell which, although looking at their website, taking it at face value, I'd guess the former. They may be getting bad advice. But this attempt at satire demonstrates poor judgement.

                You can't be definition give informed consent when you are being lied to. They are not health practitioners, but if they're going to quote the HDC code then they themselves need to stop lying about medical treatments. It just doesn't work and completely undermines their objectives and integrity.

                https://voicesforfreedom.co.nz/informed-consent

          • Shanreagh 11.1.1.3.2

            Not sure though that other manifestations of 'democracy' by the virulent anti vaxx such as picketing testing centres to such an extent, and so threateningly, that the workers feel threatened and have to shut up shop is the sign of anything now apart from anarchy, terror and bullying.

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/127290738/covid19-testing-station-closed-after-threats-to-staff-escalate

            • weka 11.1.1.3.2.1

              tbf, the group that put out the pamphlet might not have anything to do with the those protestors. They should of course distance themselves. I suspect they are on a similar learning curve re politics as Groundswell.

              • UncookedSelachimorpha

                Don't know for certain in relation to the Richmond Covid19 station, but the Voices For Freedom clowns have been prominent (and their signs / teeshirts) at every protest in Nelson / Marlborough lately.

                • weka

                  are they organising or attending?

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    In addition to organising anti-lockdown protests, Voices for Freedom does seem to be opposed to some Covid-19 vaccines.

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_anti-lockdown_protests_in_New_Zealand#Voices_for_Freedom

                    Don't know if they contributed to organising protests in Nelson /Marlborough, but at best VFF should be considered misguided, imho.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    opposed in what way?

                    I’d rather not speak for them, but it seems clear to me that VFF is disseminating disinformation designed to discourage Kiwis from getting vaccinated against Covid-19. Have a look at some of the flyers available on their website and decide for yourself.

                    Rather not become a human pin cushion?
                    You've come to the right place!

                    • weka

                      thanks DMK. I did look last night and hadn't seen that bit about the pin cushion, just them saying they're not anti-vax.

                      That level of dishonesty is going to harm them politically. Again the political inexperience is obvious. As is the inability to discern truth and be willing to misrepresent. I'm willing to give people some leeway, but so much of this is just stupid (and unnecessary).

    • dv 11.2

      Have they got a return address?

    • Gabby 11.3

      Funded by CIA drug sales are they?

  11. Dennis Frank 12

    Sociopathy having captured American culture in recent years, the spectre of political disintegration looms sufficiently to engage thinkers:

    The country is not going to split into two hostile sections and fight a war of secession. No dictator will send his secret police to round up dissidents in the dead of night. Analogies like these bring the comfort of at least being familiar. Nothing has aided Donald Trump more than Americans’ failure of imagination. It’s essential to picture an unprecedented future so that what may seem impossible doesn’t become inevitable.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/01/imagine-death-american-democracy-trump-insurrection/620841/

    If the end comes, it will come through democracy itself. Here’s one way I imagine it could happen: In 2024, disputed election results in several states lead to tangled proceedings in courtrooms and legislatures. The Republican Party’s long campaign of undermining faith in elections leaves voters on both sides deeply skeptical of any outcome they don’t like. When the next president is finally chosen by the Supreme Court or Congress, half the country explodes in rage.

    Protests soon turn violent, and the crowds are met with lethal force by the state, while instigators firebomb government buildings. Neighborhoods organize self-defense groups, and law-enforcement officers take sides or go home. Predominantly red or blue counties turn on political minorities… The new president takes power in a state of siege.

    Seems feasible. Almost everyone's still in denial re democracy failure but this writer gets the message.

    Michael Anton, a former Trump White House adviser, recently wrote:

    If the Lone Star way of life is to survive, Texans must fight for it. Then we shall see whether California’s long experiment with postmodern deracination and anti-masculinity can stand up to Texas’s more robust embrace of the old virtues. I’m not a betting man, but were that conflict to erupt, my money would be on Texas.

    Texas invading California would be a compelling reality tv show. However this scenario would likely be stymied by the politics of having to negotiate transit through New Mexico & Arizona.

    Another, likelier scenario is widespread cynicism. Following the election crisis, protests burn out. Americans lapse into acquiescence, believing that all leaders lie, all voting is rigged, all media are bought, corruption is normal, and any appeal to higher values such as freedom and equality is either fraudulent or naive. The loss of democracy turns out not to matter all that much. The hollowed core of civic life brings a kind of relief.

    Citizens indulge themselves in self-care and the metaverse, where politics turns into a private game and algorithms drive Americans into ever more extreme views that have little relation to reality or relevance to those in power. There’s enough wealth to keep the population content. America’s transformation into Russia is complete.

    Perhaps they could hire Putin as consultant for the transition? Russiagate as more than mere mental portal…

    • Treetop 12.1

      Less Republicans than Democrats are vaccinated in the US. I heard this on Aljazeera TV yesterday. I dunno about new Covid strains affecting voting numbers.

      As a side issue Boris Johnson's party lost a seat (which was held for 200 years) through a by election; also heard on Aljazeera TV yesterday.

  12. Anker 13

    Today in International Coming out Day for Gender Critical People. It’s two years to the day that JK Rowling first tweeted her support for Maya Forstator who lost her job for saying on her FB page that biological sex is real and there are only two sexes.

    since supporting Maya and tweeting on this issue, JK Rowling has received death threats, rape threats, nail bomb threat and was recently doxed by trans activists.

    • Molly 13.1

      Thanks, Anker.

      Biological sex is real and is binary.

      Recognition of this fact in legislation, services, research, medical treatment, policy and other arenas of life matters.

      Saying so, does not harm anyone unless 'harm' includes confronting reality.

    • Molly 13.2

      Thoughtful article written on Substack by Cataleptic Onion:

      GC 'Coming out . . .'

      …Indeed I myself only first became aware of the issue in 2020 when JK Rowling wrote a piece about why she was concerned about the Scottish government’s plans to introduce self identification as the primary vehicle to a legally sanctioned sex 'change' for social purposes rather than as previously via ratification from a gender clinic or specialised therapist and a contractual period under supervision living as one's desired gender, before attaining one’s gender recognition certificate. The piece was mild and empathic towards the struggles of people with gender dysphoria, in no way expressing hatred of anyone on account of their gender identity, but instead raising genuine concerns of the possible negative consequences of such legislation for women as individuals and as a political class in society.

      Only now I see in retrospect what JKR obviously long before had calculated to be necessary. If the issues ever were to reach mainstream attention it would require someone of her stature and fame to stand up in opposition to what was happening, knowing full well the violently abusive reaction it would provoke, not because of her opinions and certainly not because she is in the least transphobic, but because she is famous and listened to by many, and it would therefore be necessary for the activists to attempt to silence her to prevent her setting an example other women might be tempted to follow if it seemed she could do so with impunity…

      • Sabine 13.2.1

        Burn the witch,

        and the people screamed in delight as the witch burned for they feared the witch,

        The people did however not fear the people that ordered the burning of the women – a daughter, a mother, a wife, a grandmother, they feared the witch.

        Never mind, no witch was ever burned.

        Go figure.

  13. aj 14

    I can see the results of this cropping up in the long conversations on The Standard.

  14. aj 15

    And I could not resist this. Only in America? probably not…..

  15. Herodotus 16

    I would recommend this to anyone who cares about the environment and what can be achieved. Hopefully someone connected to the Green party will view this and see what an under achiever they have been in this field, especially James Shaw and what his trip to Glasgow was unable to achieve. Don't worry James we can always buy carbon credits offshore to compensate for our inaction.

    https://hdclump.com/restoring-the-earth-the-age-of-nature-episode-1/

    • Molly 16.1

      One of my go-to websites for gardening videos and UK content, herodotus.

      Will check out programme tonight.

    • weka 16.2

      This betrays a large misunderstanding of green politics, the NZ Green Party and their policy, and how parliament and government works. Probably misunderstanding of Shaw as well.

      What’s more likely?

      1. the Greens are secretly centrists who don’t understand how ecology works and really believe that current government actions are sufficient
      2. the Greens have the most progressive green political agenda of any party in NZ and are severely restricted in what they can do because NZ voters won’t give them the political power in government to enact their policies.

      it’s not the Greens holding NZ back, that would be Labour and previously NZF. Best way to retain that situation is to slag the Greens off so more people don’t vote for them.

      • Herodotus 16.2.1

        From reading David Attenborough "A life on Our Planet" I came across the term of "Shifting Baseline Syndrome" . And find it totally fitting regarding our response to the climate and the demise of wildlife. Remember this "This is my generation's nuclear-free moment, and I am determined that we will tackle it head on." NO leadership just empty rhetoric. And covid could kill a few and look at the worlds response? Demise of our planet, I wonder what the cost will be ?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shifting_baseline

        • weka 16.2.1.1

          Yeah, that was Ardern that said that, nothing to do with the Greens.

          The Greens said climate change is the biggest challenge of our time, and developed an actual plan for how to respond to it. A plan that Labour, NZF and leftie voters have opposed. That is why we are in the situation we are in.

          Compare the Green Party policies and Labour's and then please stop slagging off the Greens, they are one of the few ways forward if we would only give them enough power to act. We can't have them lead if we silo them under 10%

          • Herodotus 16.2.1.1.1

            Perhaps some actions seen from the Greens warrant comment ? Well, from Shaw

            the country will also boost its emissions reductions through buying overseas carbon credits.

            Kevin Hague said it perfectly "Forest and Bird’s chief executive

            Kevin Hague said the government was relying too heavily on other countries to do the work.

            Mr Shaw, that is really taking responsibility, another rat to swallow for the price of power and the $$'s that come with it ?

            https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/01/new-zealand-plan-to-halve-greenhouse-gases-criticised-as-an-accounting-trick

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/127308971/public-sectors-carbon-footprint-remains-a-mystery-despite-2025-target

            • weka 16.2.1.1.1.1

              tell me how you think the Greens and Shaw specifically could get GP policy through government at this time. I'm all ears.

              • Ad

                Do your own work.

                • weka

                  I am. This is a political debate. If someone says the Greens should do it differently but can't explain how in real terms, it's just a load of hot air and blather.

              • Herodotus

                The Greens are the party for the environment as we are told, that is how they have positioned the party. It is for THEM to sell us their story and how they are to achieve that. Currently from my perspective they are not doing that.

                "I just got sick of trying to explain to people who don't understand green politics, how it works." Perhaps either TG need to better sell green politics or perhaps change their methodology/strategy. I could read your comments a few ways: 1 would be its everyone else's fault as to why the GP are not achieving.

                • weka

                  So, you have no ideas on how the Green Party could change things in parliament, but you are happy to slag them off as not being good enough. This translates into less people voting for them, which means we get left with Labour and National, and we know what their policies are like. In what way is this useful?

                  If you don't like the GP 'story', then at least come up with something better.

                  "I just got sick of trying to explain to people who don't understand green politics, how it works." Perhaps either TG need to better sell green politics or perhaps change their methodology/strategy. I could read your comments a few ways: 1 would be its everyone else's fault as to why the GP are not achieving.

                  Yes, yes, it's all their fault that people don't want action on climate, if only they had a magic wand and could make Labour adopt better policies.

                  I'm not saying it's everyone else's fault. I'm pointing to the fact that lots of NZers say they want better action on climate but won't actually do something as simple as voting Green once every three years.

                  I don't believe most people do want action. I think they want BAU and, ooops, fuck the planet and later generations, sorry but we had our lives to live.

                  You on the other hand are saying that you want action, but won't support the party that has the policies to make that happen. You also don't have any alternatives in mind. How is this going to work out do you think?

                  • Herodotus

                    If you have not already, take a few minutes to view the program from my link above (and I hope others do as well), as it may then incite some to expect more and question what is being done, and put into context the "Shifting Baseline Syndrome". If parts of China can make a radical change to the landscape what about 100% pure, that trades on the image.

                    • arkie

                      The one party in control of government in China is obviously more intent on action than the one party in control of government here.

                      Must be James Shaw and the Greens fault though /s

                    • weka

                      Mate, I've been deep green most of my adult life and have a really good understanding of ecology and the solutions available to us for the environmental crises.I'm also pretty good at whole systems thinking.

                      We're not short on ideas, we're short on the political and social will to enact them.

                      The problem here is that you are slagging off the Greens, who are one of the ways to getting change, including via our 100% pure image. Business people aren't going to shift that, nor are Labour MPs. So how do you see those political changes happening without a party that understands the issues and has policy to deal with them?

                      I'll also point out that the Green Party has people in it that understand all that too. Why are you undermining them? This isn't partisan politics on my part, I'm just really not getting why you would want things to change for the better and harm the ways that that might happen..

                    • weka

                      that's spot on arkie, and so succinct, lol, could have saved my dozen comments.

                    • Herodotus

                      "The one party in control of government in China is obviously more intent on action than the one party in control of government here." ok then how about the portion that relates to Northern Norway. From my understanding Norway is not under the same political system as China, and they were able to close down entire fishing grounds. BUT then Norway is different from NZ …. for some other reason that is not applicable for the reason for inaction here !!!

          • Ad 16.2.1.1.2

            The Green Party have two key portfolios, which they negotiated for.

            They are polling about the same as in 2011, a decade ago.

            Why aren't you holding them to account for achieving more than they are? They appear complacent next to Act who have this term consistently out performed them.

            Apparently their two portfolio areas are the most pressing issues of our time.

            It's up to you people inside the Green Party to stop being so foolish as to tell us about your values, and start holding your party for what they have and haven't actually achieved. From each election result:

            1999: 5%

            2002: 7%

            2008: 6.7%

            2011: 11%

            2014.11%

            2017: 6.3%

            2020: 7.9%

            Why, when the climate change story has been building for over a decade, are you static or worse when it comes to the crucial thing of changing how people vote?

            If you don't do better than Act in 2024 you should just fold your tent up.

            • weka 16.2.1.1.2.1

              Why aren't you holding them to account for achieving more than they are?

              Why aren't you? All I see from you is slagging them off and blaming them for things that are in Labour's control.

              Besides,

              They appear complacent next to Act who have this term consistently out performed them.

              I just got sick of trying to explain to people who don't understand green politics, how it works. If you don't want to understand, that's on you.

              Apparently their two portfolio areas are the most pressing issues of our time.

              It's up to you people inside the Green Party to stop being so foolish as to tell us about your values, and start holding your party for what they have and haven't actually achieved. From each election result:

              Fuck off, I'm not inside the Green Party. It's not rocket science to understand both why the GP poll the way they do, and why they can't change the things you blame them for this term. You’re not stupid so it’s hard not to assume you are good with undermining the Greens.

              Macho politics is killing the planet, but apparently you and many other left voters want that. So why don't you tell me why the party who is governing alone isn't doing more on climate? Why are they not letting the Shaw do what is needed? What is stopping Labour from growing pair and doing something instead of resting on Ardern's nuclear free moment rhetoric?

              • Ad

                The Greens failure to communicate their politics is on them.

                The Greens failure to persuade Labour – when obviously NZFirst could – is on them.

                The Greens failure to come up with the Carbon plan they were legislated to come up with this year is on them.

                The Greens leadership failure to not deliver more on their portfolios is on them.

                If people like you aren't going to hold them to account, they aren't going to improve.

                Here in the Labour Party we have no problem holding our Ministers and MPs to account.

                It's time you did.

                • weka

                  The Greens failure to communicate their politics is on them.

                  Agree.

                  The Greens failure to persuade Labour – when obviously NZFirst could – is on them.

                  Bullshit. You've been saying this a long time and you've not once explained how this could work in real world terms. You also know damn well that NZF had more negotiating power because they're centrist.

                  The Greens failure to come up with the Carbon plan they were legislated to come up with this year is on them.

                  Whatever issues they are or aren't having with working with the shitty hand of cards they've got, that's a different issue on being able to implement actually useful policy. Maybe now I will assume you think the policy is good and it's just the Greens that have fucked it up. Actually that would make more sense of your position, you don't actually want the real action.

                  The Greens leadership failure to not deliver more on their portfolios is on them.

                  Hot air. Blah, blah, useless Greens, beat them with a stick until they get better at the jobs.

                  If people like you aren't going to hold them to account, they aren't going to improve.

                  There are plenty of people within and outside the party holding them to account in useful ways. The problem here is people who just slag them off with no real alternatives or solutions. 'Do Better' is such a lame meme now.

                  Here in the Labour Party we have no problem holding our Ministers and MPs to account.

                  Oh good, please explain why NZ is doing so badly on climate. Are you saying they've left it all up to Shaw? Any evidence for that?

                  • Ad

                    NZF got more because they were superior to the Greens at one of the central tasks of politics: negotiation.

                    James Shaw set up the Climate Commission, James Shaw set up the reporting timetable, James Shaw is accountable as Minister for implementing it.

                    We have a poor climate plan because the Green Minister who holds the portfolio hasn't done a good job. It's central to the existence of the Green Party so they have to account for that themselves.

                    You should hold the Greens to account.

                    Why is it that the Greens on 10% support did so much worse than Act when they started 2020 on the same degree of public support?

                    Time Greens forced their MPs to perform. Labour regularly fires its leaders over less.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "NZF got more because they were superior to the Greens at one of the central tasks of politics: negotiation."

                      So?

                      Do you expect that The Greens would be better at negotiation/levering/bullying/standing-over, than Winston?

                      Really??

            • weka 16.2.1.1.2.2

              If you don't do better than Act in 2024 you should just fold your tent up.

              Macho politics is killing the planet exhibit A.

              Despite the Greens spending a long time dragging NZ and Labour greenwards and towards doing somethign useful on climate, it's better that they should quit because they're not the fucking world saving Heroes that the trad left say they want but won't actually make happen.

              • Ad

                Have they really dragged anything anywhere?

                The Greens have had all the climate change media they could possibly want for years on end, all the Ministerial perks and policy command they could desire, and the two key portfolios, and yet Weka all you do is concentrate on what you impute is something about gender … where the Greens have offended you the most.

                The reason you can't hold your own party to account for failing to deliver is your own and not anyone else's.

                • weka

                  Lol, how terrible, a feminist writing about feminism. I'd point to the obvious connections between the gender/sex wars and climate, but your own ideologies make that a waste of time.

                  I notice that you still cannot say how the Greens could change Labour policies in this term. It's like you want them to fail. As I've just said above, most NZers don't want the action on climate change that the Greens represent, they want the action that Labour does. That's a death sentence, and it's on Labour voters.

                  • weka

                    Fucksake, everyone knows the current climate settings are a nonsense, including you. And here you are pretending that this is Shaw's fault, when Labour are governing alone, and Shaw sits outside of Caucus. This isn’t GP policy, it’s the bastard child of Labour policy that Shaw is trying to do his best with.

                    • Ad

                      Adding the word fuck to your sentences doesn't make your argument any stronger. Just makes you sound macho, triggered and incoherent at the same time.

                      Shaw is the Minister. He gets the salary, has the staff, holds the portfolio, has all the MfE support he could want, and a smart and bright set of supporting Ministers with Parker and Mahuta.

                      The next ones are in the RMA replacements coming up.

                      Shaw clearly also has the freedom to say anything as strongly as he likes in the media … but James Shaw doesn't because he is simply a corporatised coward.

                      A really simple way that the Greens can change policy in a term is through the budget process. Their own Carbon plan is going through Budget 2022 at the moment. Hopefully you Greens have the courage to call him on that result in May 2022.

                      Another really simple thing they can do is work on Labour with legislation. They've done that several times this term. Hopefully even you know what those bills are. Some of them have even worked.

                      There is no tragedy of influence here other than the courage and skill of the Green Party MPs themselves.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Trying to solve the problem of global climate crisis with democracy is quite like trying to hammer a nail with a spanner.

                      You maybe haven't ever done so, but I can tell you from experience that gains are incremental and depend on how you wield the tool, and progress is always slow regardless.

                      Blaming the person wielding the tool can seem satisfactory – if one believes it is the right tool. So we get the slow incremental progress we expect from a personal relationship that goes back twenty years between two liberal mainstream party leaders…

                    • weka []

                      I agree. The point of parliamentary politics is to advance the centrist progressive gains and hold back the regressive aspects, while the real change is being done from the edge. This is why the Greens have been so successful despite the slow incremental nature of the visible, ‘in government’ stuff. As Idiot Savant says, the Greens want change not power and most of the left still fail to understand that even while not having much institutional power there are other ways of effecting change.

                      They are not alone in that of course, the NZ peace movement in the 80s would be an example of Labour’s influence outside of parliament. But we still need MPs to enact the changes being drive or pulled from the edge, and 20 Green MPs would obviously have more influence than ten.

                      Are you familiar with Joanna Macy’s model of change? She posits three important things that need to happen. Holding patterns (lots of protest movements, progressive politics), creating new structures (in climate terms – regenag, transition towns, relocalising food and economies, doughnut economics), and shifting consciousness (ultimately we need a different set of values and I would say an ability to imagine a good future that isn’t BAU).

                      The Greens do all three, most people only see bits of that.

            • Bearded Git 16.2.1.1.2.3

              Ad-how dare you compare the Greens to the dangerous populist right wing rabble that is ACT?

              Shaw's style is different to that of nasty bit of work Seymour, and long may it be so.

              The Greens have little power in government at the moment-importantly this means that any failure to advance green policies is squarely at the feet of the Labour Party.

              I am hoping for a result Labour 41 Greens 10 at the next election. This will force Labour to make genuine concessions to the Greens in coalition negotiations.

              You don't seem to understand MMP Ad. The need to rely on another party to govern was the reason that Winston was able to to get some NZF policies enacted.

              • Sabine

                How dare he compare? he did only compare the fact that one part is rising in support (deserved or not is not the point) while the other party is stagnant.

                I put it down to the people currently in the Green Party, whom i personally (again personally) find less then inspiring and useless. That does not mean that i would put my support behind Act. It just means that I will not vote for the Green Party. The 'Self identification' Bill and the resulting horrors are just one reason. Marama Davidson is on her own a reason why i will not vote for her, Mme KereKere is the next reason, Mr. Shaw another reason, Chloe is nice, but so beige it beggars believe. And the rest of the Green Party and its members are shit scared to say a thing, cause 'no debate'. Go figure. Why on earth would anyone other then hard core supporters who reflexively vote Green support this party. Because some rich people get a good discount on electric cars, and the poor people get fuck all?

                So people like me who would either support Labour or the Greens end up voting for a different third Party – because we don't have to vote for Groups of People who have become so far removed from the problems that people on the ground face, we have choices. Now you might not approve of these choices, but this is MMP.

                So how dare he? Well he dares, because a. he can, and b. it is still his right to have an opinion and voice it, unless we are now only allowed affirmative think/speak, as prescribed by the Green Party and the Labour Party. And please remember that the they need each other to actually survive and be able to form a coalition, and i for one do not believe that Labour will win an outright majority again.

                How dare he.

                How dare you to questions anyones right to their own opinion in the first place.

                • Nobody "ends up voting for a third party". They make a rational choice based on the policies and personnel on offer. You seem to be obsessed with personnel rather than policy.

                  If you are going to for Luxon's mob that is a choice you are making Sabine-don't blame Labour and the Greens for this.

                  • Sabine

                    Lol, if you are so scared of Luxon, that you will blame people not voting for him as being the reason that he won, you must be a supporter of a really useless and bad party.

                    We have third Parties, MMP is the game in town, and we can vote for whom we want. And I will vote for a Party that best reflects me and the issues that are dear to me, and it seems that not one of the Parties cares about the issues that I care.

                    When the Green Party discovers biological reality, and hte material reality of life as NON MALES ( saying women when talking about NON MALES is bigoted or so it seems, and will give men who 'identify' as women a sad) then I might consider them again.

                    But any women who votes for any of the Parties that let that travesti through Parliament is voting for a place in the kitchen, with her children, and church for a bit of comfort. She need not apply to sports, wanting single sex spaces, awards for NON MALES or even just to occupy a space in the Olympics that they right fully gained but that was given to a middle aged failing old sports dude who fancies himself a woman.

                    Go think about that.

                    You are scared of Luxon? ask the Party that you prefer to do better, cause at the moment they are as useless as tits on a bull.

      • Blazer 16.2.2

        Shaws funding for the 'green' School….made some people a bit skeptical about their real…values.

  16. Gezza 17

    Just heard on RNZ:

    The police say the remains of up to three so far unidentified men have been found in the far western end of the mine, by a camera sent down a recently drilled borehole.

    Pathologists said they could see two sets of “probable human remains” and and one set of “possible” remains.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/458226/remains-of-up-to-three-more-men-have-been-located-within-pike-river-mine-police-say

  17. weka 18

    This seems to be a consistent way to reply comment from the desktop version of TS on my iPhone.

    1. make sure wind is blowing in the right direction
    2. Refresh the TS page that has the comment you want to reply to
    3. click on the date/time stamp of the comment
    4. click into the comment box. it should enlarge, if it doesn’t, click again.
    5. tap once to place cursor in comment box if it’s not there already
    6. if cursor doesn’t appear, refresh page and repeat steps.
  18. Reality 19

    I can understand Jacinda and Clarke's choice of venue for their wedding. It is privately owned so it would be more likely access can be secure from nosy media. They are able to have all the arrangements just as they want and why not for goodness sake. She deserves nothing less.

    My guess is she will choose a NZ designer for her dress and will look gorgeous and little Neve will be the cutest flower girl. Clarke will look very dashing in a smart suit. Looking forward to a few photos in the women's mags at the end of January.

    As for the whinging venue owner missing out on the wedding being held at his establishment, seems he is not a very pleasant business owner to deal with.

  19. weka 20

    Not surprising but still weird, nearly two years into the pandemic how little discussion there is of long covid. As of death is the only negative outcome of contracting covid

    • Pete 20.1

      How little discussion there is of long covid?

      Hell, when so such attention has needed to be spent on Jeanette's breakfast arriving late in MIQ, Frederick going on holiday to the Bahamas not being able to get a spot in MIQ, and Mita, Charlene and family who left here because NZ was a write-off they provided no future for anyone they escaped but now they want to return to a safe haven but can't?

      When ABC vaccine is no good and XYZ was the one NZ should have chosen, and whatever vaccine has microchips in it, and we don't need vaccines anyway because none of them work? Or if they do work, it is only as far as disabling or killing recipients? And a consideration of long covid when short covid is nothing to be of significant concern, that it's a nothing?

      Besides there are important issues to occupy our minds and discussion, I'm assured by the likes of Brian Tamaki and cretins driving vehicles in loops in cities at 50kph that there is stuff other than long covid to discuss. Freedom apparently.

      Mind you I'm easily confused. I'm still trying to work out the angles of deliberating blocking traffic on a busy day on state highway 1 at Te Hana in a cretinous protest professing freedom and choice, and then complaining about vehicle checks on the same highway for the purposes of public health.

    • weka 20.2

      NHS doctor

      • Rosemary McDonald 20.2.1

        Two things popped up my Covid radar over the past 24 hours…in between frantically trying to tick "replace window and restore aesthetic order in the sleepout" off my To Do list.

        1. Homegrown member of the WHO SAGE panel Prof. Peter McIntyre had a wee chat with Kim Hill yesterday morning.

        "The important question now is where do we want to get to, he says.

        Covid-19 is a severe illness that hits elderly people and those with health problems particularly hard.

        "Our focus going forward needs to continue to be on those severe cases. If we over time end up with Covid circulating widely and causing, as the current coronaviruses [do], …they cause colds, about 20 percent of colds, it's just that we weren't testing for them…They've always been there, but they were mild and we didn't worry about them too much.

        "So what our objective has to be is to tame Covid with vaccines into something that we are OK about because we know it's not going to send you to hospital or kill you."

        It will take time for the country to move away from the pre-vaccine era where every case identified is treated as "a disaster".

        There is still "an incredible intensity of testing" which has meant people going to hospital for other reasons have ending up being counted as Covid-19 positive cases.

        "There is a need for a kind of shift. It's going to take a little while because people are understandably very nervous… But I think we do have to have a shift over time from focusing on every infection to saying: OK infection is here, we have to deal with it but what we really care about is ensuring we're protecting with anti-virals, boosters, with whatever we have got at our disposal, protecting people vulnerable still to severe illness."

        And I'm pretty sure that towards the end of the interview (it was late last night and I'd done a few rounds with a recalcitrant roman blind) I heard him say that Long Covid has not turned out to be as prevalent as first feared.

        2. There are some 25,000 sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in New Zealand and some of them desperately need an exemption from having to be fully vaccinated. Surprisingly Stuff has given them space...

        Sounds like life has become pretty shit for the featured sufferer as she was severely impacted by the first Pfizer shot.
        …since getting the Covid jab, her CFS had become severe, with extreme mental and physical fatigue, migraines, nausea, and tremors. The first month after the jab, she could not get of bed for more than three hours a day or stand for more than five minutes at a time. She could not cook, do laundry, wash her face or walk up the stairs in her home.

        Her limbs were so painful and heavy she could barely hold her hand up long enough to brush her teeth. She became confused, lost immediate memory and taste. She had vertigo to the point of having to hold onto the walls to walk. Her heartbeat became irregular, with palpitations and pain. Her brain felt like it was buzzing.

        Her GP reported her adverse reaction and advised her not to get the second shot. When she applied for an exemption she was told she needed to see a specialist.

        An exemption will not be given unless she meets one of the strict criteria.

        Another sufferer spent a year in bed after having a severe reaction to a half dose flu jab in 2016.

        "It’s unethical to expect ME/CFS people with previous vaccine worsening to risk a medical experiment on themselves,” Robinson said.

        “We are not against the vaccine. It’s our immune system that’s the problem. Anti-vaxxers actually make it worse for us.”

        Robinson lives in fear of catching Covid-19. He is living in his caravan to be isolated from boarders in his house, and avoids going out. He wants the Government to prioritise CFS patients for access to Covid-19 treatment."

        Prof. Warren Tate, an expert in CFS/ME, says up to a quarter of sufferers could have a severe reaction to the shots.

        A Health Ministry spokesperson said CFS patients concerned about getting the vaccine should talk to their doctor. The Covid-19 Vaccination Technical Advisory Group would consider this matter, he said.

        Those who did not meet the current criteria would not be granted an exemption, he said.

        The criteria clearly state that CFS sufferers who had a reaction to the first shot should wait until symptoms have resolved before having the second. Beggars belief that they should have to even consider risking another serious setback in their condition to satisfy some petty MOH bureaucrat with a '% fully vaxxed' quota fetish.

  20. Molly 21

    "Won't somebody think of the children?" is not just an internet meme, it is a basic responsibility of all. Most fundamentally those who care, or have authority or supervision over children. When we make this phrase only a derogratory smear, we are throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    As everyone here will not doubt be aware the passing of the BDMMR bill allows for the guardian of a child under the age of 16 to register a change in their nominated sex Clause 22(c).

    As I posted earlier, perhaps many readers are unaware we here in NZ are already prescribing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. This treatment protocol is currently under review at the GIDs clinic in the UK – the Tavistock. Despite what some might think, the overturn of the verdict in the Keira Bell vs Tavistock case related to jurisdiction limitations not primarily the validity of the original verdict.

    Conclusions

    91. We allow Tavistock’s appeal and set aside the declaration. In addition, we hold that it was inappropriate for the Divisional Court to provide the guidance. The Divisional Court concluded that Tavistock’s policies and practices (as expressed in the service specification and the SOP) were not unlawful and rejected the legal criticism of its materials. In those circumstances, the claim for judicial review is dismissed.

    The Dutch protocol which has been used, (and apparently still is here in NZ) didn't require practitioners to follow up on patients long-term or have any form of assessment for adverse side effects. The Karolinski service in Sweden has removed this as a therapeutic protocol since May 2021 and other countries are reviewing their approach. There is still considerable pushback, even though these medications long-term effects are unknown and detrimental expected effects are known.

    Here is a NZ FTMTF detransitioner talking about her experience, and another in a 2017 Herald article. (H/T Rosemary).

    Scotland's Education department has issued guidance on how to socially transition children as young as four years old at school, without the need to notify parents.

    How is this approach beneficial to the child?

    In the US, the basic principles of child safeguarding are being ignored as inclusion practices are promoted without oversight and due diligence.

    Here is a thread from a conservative twitter account. (Conservative because they apparently only the only ones documenting this trend, but included because of the many links to other sources throughout). The thread starts off with a specific case of a school transitioning a 12 year old girl without the parent's knowledge, but looks into the wider culture where this is considered best practice. The parents of the girl are understandably emotive, but there is a good point made by one of the parents further down the thread about safeguarding.

    • Pete 21.1

      Things to wonder about on a Sunday:

      1. How many in NZ in 2021 have been prescribed puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones? For what reason? By whom?

      2. Have parents of any school district in the US changed the names and pronouns for teachers in a school, coached their children into that and not informed the schools?

      • Molly 21.1.1

        Great, put in an OIA request for 1.

        2? I didn't understand your question.

        • Pete 21.1.1.1

          If teachers can 'redesignate' the children of parents surely the parents can redesignate teachers.

          • Molly 21.1.1.1.1

            If the system itself is facilitating, supporting and encouraging teachers in such a way , the problem is not solved by simply dealing with individuals.

            The complete thread contains links and articles, and includes Californian state issued materials and information shared and disseminated at teacher conferences. That's not to say those teachers are not acting badly, but they are within existing guidelines.

    • Anker 21.2

      This is more than sobering.

      I am not sure how many children in NZ are being prescribed puberty blockers. There was a Listener article in late June with some case studies and reports of a young women who was prescribed them at 14, then a double masectomy at 16 and then a hysterectomy at 18. At 23 she regreted it and has irreversible changes. Facial and body hair, adams apple and male sounding voice.

      • Molly 21.2.1

        " …then a double masectomy at 16…"

        Women diagnosed with breast cancer that requires a breast mastectomy do not get offered a double mastectomy with no clinical reason. They have two years to persuade the breast surgeon that further surgery would be beneficial.

        • Sabine 21.2.1.1

          Try getting a hysterectomy if you are still of "breeding" age and only want the three kids you have, or worse even you have no children. lol.

          I watched an account of a young women with health issues who could not get a hysterectomy – cause her future husband might 'expect' children from her. She talked to a friend of hers who said, go pretend to be 'alienated' from your body, in essence pretend to be trans, he got her hysterectomy.

          • Molly 21.2.1.1.1

            "I watched an account of a young women with health issues who could not get a hysterectomy – cause her future husband might 'expect' children from her. "

            I've heard accounts of that too.

            Been beside my friend for over a decade as her pain from mesh implants was dismissed by medical practitioners. After battling ACC for years, they accepted the claim on Friday afternoon, when the court case was scheduled for Monday morning. She would have been the first mesh case against ACC to make it to court. That was taken off the table as soon as they accepted the claim – as they well know. They are more comfortable paying consultants and lawyers than providing treatment.

            Women also have to insist to go flat after a mastectomy. The protected default is leaving a flap for implants even if you don't want any.

            Woman's troubles…

            • weka 21.2.1.1.1.1

              the history of misogyny and sexism in medicine is long and wide. It's inconceiveble to me that this isn't part of the picture in trans surgery and hormones on young women.

              This is highlighted by the double standard in which women get which surgery. At base there are strong commercial pressures at play, but that's in addition to the frankly weird attitudes towards women.

              • Sabine

                Sterilizing Non Males who are 'mentally ill' is a very old tactic and has been done for a long time now.

                Not sterilizing healthy Non Males who dare not want children, or Non Males who have had enough children, or Non Males who are ill is also an age old tacticts. Dear Non Males are you sure you ain't gonna catch baby fever again?

    • Anker 21.3

      This is a near enough transcript of the de-transitioner……….

      "I started seeing a counsellor, when I was 13 and told her I was bi (sexual) and then she asked me do you think you were born in the wrong body…..I had heard of trans people back then….when my therapist asked me that, I said no……so when she said that to me, I thought maybe I could be"………"she was a trainee and she taped the session for her university and they shouldn't have put me in this position"

      This is heartbreaking. This is was keeps me in this fight.

    • Ad 21.4

      It's set in how the BDSM and Conversion Therapy Acts work together.

      The Detail: How the proposed conversion therapy ban will work | Stuff.co.nz

      • Anker 21.4.1

        Thanks Ad. Listened to that a while back.

        Conversion practice is poorly defined in this law. NZAC counsellors won't be covered by it. Activists quote something like 17% of trans people believe a health practitioner has used a converstion practice with them. From complaints to H and D and Human rights there has only be one complaint in the last 10 15 years. It was an infomal complaint. i.e. it meant no investigation.

        Strongly believe that gender activist would see not using someone correct pro nouns as a conversion practice. IMO in a climate of cancel culture, expect lots of complaints to the police. But who knows, maybe I will be wrong.

        bTW seriously challenge you to watch the video Molly posted of the young de-transitioner. Maybe gender ideology won’t seem so progressive now

      • Molly 21.4.2

        BDSM? laugh

        Article (like the proposed legislation) conflates sexual orientation with gender identity.

        What is the prevalence of gay conversion therapy in NZ?

        What is the prevalence of gender identity conversion therapy in NZ? How is this distinguished from appropriate exploratory therapy?

        However, in a 2019 survey of 1178 trans and non-binary people, 17 per cent of respondents said a health professional had tried to change their gender identity.

        Self-assessed diagnosis under non-automatic affirmative approach could be assessed in such a way by survey respondents.

        In the case of children, any practice would be illegal; but when directed at adults, it would have to be established that the practice caused serious harm.

        OK. Any practice? I can foresee problems here, – you can't?

        Could it be that transparency and open discussion is avoided by this conflation of sexual orientation and gender identity? (After all, constant conflation of biological sex and gender identity did much to derail discussions regarding self-id)

        Thanks, Thomas Reuters Foundation for providing the playbook, for a game none of us signed up to play:

        'Only adults? Good practices in legal gender recognition for youth'.

        7. Tie your campaign to more popular reform

        In Ireland, Denmark and Norway, changes to the law on legal gender recognition were put through at the same time as other more popular reforms such as marriage equality legislation. This provided a veil of protection, particularly in Ireland, where marriage equality was strongly supported, but gender identity remained a more difficult issue to win public support for.

        The rest of the document advice is similar, and familiar to those following the activism and institutional capture here.

        Spectator article on the document:

        The document that reveals the remarkable tactics of trans lobbyists

        People posting on TS on this topic are searching deeper than some lightweight article on Stuff that reads like a press release.

  21. swordfish 22

    .

    Parents 90 & 91 yo, both with comorbidities … refused booster before early next year because they're only at the 5 ½ mark since 2nd jab. Their 60-something neighbours across the road just got their booster.

    Given the 4-year Nightmare situation with their violent anti-social neighbour … & my mother waiting 2 years for a cataract operation while her sight continued to significantly deteriorate, only to now be told that the sight's unrecoverable … I have to say that this is no Country for Elderly people existing solely on a pension.

    My mother was in hospital last year during the Election … she was suffering all the symptoms you’d expect from prolonged extreme stress & sleep deprivation at the hands of the violent out-of-control prick next door … she almost died the day after the Election … & yet on Election Day, despite her worsening condition, she was emphatic about me casting her vote for a Labour Govt who’s tacit No Eviction policy put her there … a Party her family (like my father’s family in Australia) had been active in for much of their lives.

    My Parents haven’t realised that Labour’s been transformed into a Vanity Project by an affluent bloated self-interested Professional Middle Class … determined to scapegoat the lower/low-middle income & make them do all the sacrificing & suffering.

    The betrayal is jaw-dropping.

    • Molly 22.1

      swordfish, I sympathise with your family situation and agree:

      this is no Country for Elderly people existing solely on a pension.

      One aspect that makes the situation able to be ignored, is the inconsistency of access and service. As you mention, your parents' neighbours got boosters.

      Different personal experiences allow some to say 'I've had that, and it was great', and thus subtly rebuke those going through the same where the service was abysmal.

      I hope there is some progress soon for your parents.

    • Swordfish-you have to be basically blind before you can get cataract surgery in NZ. My understanding, from friends, is that this is not the case in the UK. I was gobsmacked when my GP said that my sub-standard vision didn't qualify for an operation so immediately funded it myself privately for $5,200.

      Dentistry is one (of many) other health issues badly underfunded by the government.

  22. Anker 23

    "that Labour's been transformed into a Vanity Project by an affluent bloated self-interested Professional Middle Class"

    I think you are bang on there Sword Fish……..

  23. Molly 24

    For those unaware Speak Up for Women claimed some victory in the passing of the BDMRR bill by the inclusion of Clause 80 which protects single-sex spaces and services.

    The Births, Deaths and Marriages bill (sex self-ID) passed unanimously in the House today.

    Our goal has always been the protection of women’s rights in law.

    Although this new law represents an erosion to those rights, we’re glad that our advocacy led to the inclusion of clause 80 which allows that – regardless of what is stated on a BC – service providers can still offer single sex spaces and services on the basis of biological sex. Regardless of what parliament decides to record on birth certificates, biological sex will go on exisiting and mattering.

    If you can discern the explicit nature of that protection in this clause, you are a better policy wonk than I am:

    80 Certificates as evidence

    (1) A certificate issued under this Act is admissible as evidence in any legal proceedings and is presumed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to be an accurate record of the information recorded in the registry as at the date of issue.

    (2) Any individual, private sector agency, or public sector agency authorised or required to ascertain an individual’s sex or gender for a particular purpose may take into account either or both of the following:

    (a) the information contained in a certificate issued under this Act:

    (b) any other relevant information.

  24. Pete 25

    I'm not on twitter so cannot join the party there responding to an American politician.

    She's telling us about the crap leadership in NZ. She's probably euphoric that through her leadership Arizona has cracked the 56% vaccination rate. And restricting covid deaths in her state will be a source of huge pride for her. They've had only 23,500 deaths and the average for the last week is only 78 deaths a day. Granted they have a massive population – well 7.2 million.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/republican-arizona-senator-wendy-rogers-trolled-after-saying-kiwis-are-emailing-her-about-jacinda-ardern-and-covid-camps/ZAWEIFMIAME5LDZUZ52FT73SUY/

    • Molly 25.1

      It makes me wonder what outcome those NZers are expecting from a US Senator.

      Or is it just venting without intent? Or are 'they' really a singular or non-existent event?

      The twitter responses are one of the main reasons I try to avoid it.

      • observer 25.1.1

        They're taking the piss, and having fun. What else does such ignorant nonsense deserve?

        • Molly 25.1.1.1

          It's not a universal philosophy, just a personal choice based on my own brand of humour.

          Apologies if it came across as patronising.

          • observer 25.1.1.1.1

            It didn't, no need to apologise.

            Twitter can be awful at times, which is why I'm not on it. But sometimes there are fun threads to read, among the rubbish.

    • Brilliant Twitter thread.

      Our commie PM just got NZ 90.6% fully vaxxed 94.5% have had first jab.

      10 DHB's are over 90% double jabbed now; the other 10 are well over 80%.

  25. joe90 26

    Artists/creatives – it may not stop people stealing it but do watermark your stuff.

  26. joe90 27

    “I did my own research”

    /

    Necklaces and accessories claiming to "protect" people from 5G mobile networks have been found to be radioactive.

    The Dutch authority for nuclear safety and radiation protection (ANVS) issued a warning about ten products it found gave off harmful ionising radiation.

    It urged people not to use the products, which could cause harm with long-term wear.

    […]

    The products identified included an “Energy Armor” sleeping mask, bracelet and necklace.

    A bracelet for children, branded Magnetix Wellness, was also found to be emitting radiation.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-59703523

  27. Stuart Munro 28

    Big ups to the Stuff writer who has found a truth in advertising name for the party soon to be formerly known as National. Once Luxon has added 'former leader of the opposition' to his CV and returned to the strawberry fields of CEOness, the party will be known as Simon Bridges' Terrifying Cupcakes.

    • Blazer 28.1

      TBH…Bridges is the only 'contestant' that I have heard of.

      The big mystery is, where is the ACT stuntman See more David!

  28. Sabine 29

    Well done Invercargill council, well done. I am sure the Gentleman is delighted.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/mans-90000-left-to-council-will-fund-bike-park-in-invercargill/XHAHB4BXDEUWANK4LURR4ZEGFQ/

    The legacy of an Invercargill man is expected to bring laughter, laps and a few scrapes with a new pump track installed in his former suburb.

    Otatara man Derek Gostelow left $90,000 to the Invercargill City Council in his will, to help fund community projects.

    After consultation, an asphalt pump track, park benches and informal play area were mooted for the site on the corner of Oreti Rd and Dunns Rd in Otatara.

    The track and park were officially opened on Friday with a blessing, and local school children and the Southland Mountain Bike Club breaking it in.

    The council voted to name the reserve land Gostelow Park in the donor's honour.

  29. Pat 30

    Mark Blyth wise with hindsight……Michal Kalecki prescient

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    A new Business Growth Fund to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow Fully funding the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund to unleash regional economic development opportunities Tourism Innovation Programme to promote sustainable recovery Eight Industry Transformation Plans progressed to work with industries, workers and iwi to transition ...
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  • Securing the wellbeing of Pacific communities
    Budget 2022 further strengthens the economic foundations and wellbeing outcomes for Pacific peoples in Aotearoa, as the recovery from COVID-19 continues. “The priorities we set for Budget 2022 will support the continued delivery of our commitments for Pacific peoples through the Pacific Wellbeing Strategy, a 2020 manifesto commitment for Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government delivers timely support for whānau
    Boost for Māori economic and employment initiatives. More funding for Māori health and wellbeing initiatives Further support towards growing language, culture and identity initiatives to deliver on our commitment to Te Reo Māori in Education  Funding for natural environment and climate change initiatives to help farmers, growers and whenua ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government delivers critical infrastructure
    New hospital funding for Whangārei, Nelson and Hillmorton 280 more classrooms over 40 schools, and money for new kura $349 million for more rolling stock and rail network investment The completion of feasibility studies for a Northland dry dock and a new port in the Manukau Harbour Increased infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago