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Open mike 20/04/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 20th, 2021 - 60 comments
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60 comments on “Open mike 20/04/2021 ”

  1. Muttonbird 1

    Mr. Break-It, Steven Joyce, leaves his legacy on Transmission Gully:

    A review into Wellington’s much-delayed and heavily over budget Transmission Gully has found multiple problems with the way the road project was established nearly a decade ago.

    The review is scathing in parts, noting that the Government tendered the private contract out at an unrealistically low price by essentially “double counting” cost-savings the private sector could bring to the project

    Accounting errors seem to be his thing.


    • gsays 1.1

      Yet another failure of the 'market' driven political ideology.

      Do we need a child, a la Greta Thunberg, to point out this emperor wears no clothes?

      Bring back a Ministry of Works.

      • Adrian 1.1.1

        I'd like to see that too but the old MOW worked under completely different circumstances to the present with little heed paid to the health, safety, environment, climate change, water quality and the hundreds of other considerations required today. It probably wouldn't do much better. We are the problem, we demanded these things.

        • gsays

          I am not suggesting bring back the old MOW.

          A contemporary MOW would heed CC, safety, environment, water etc. As opposed to the current state of affairs that pays lip service to these things but serves the shareholders.

          As to we demanded these things, I am not sure what you mean.

    • Tricledrown 1.2

      Also the Sky City convention building John Key did the deal.Tax payers foot the bills for these poor business deals by the National party which claims it can run the govt like a business because it is the party of business.

    • tc 1.3

      An easy piece for a reasonably competent journo to write up on a project clark/cullen's era turned down numerous times IIRC.

      Mr fix it and his trail of destruction.

    • Pat 1.4

      "Equally concerning is the fact the review couldn’t actually work out who was at fault for setting the AT so low, with different arms of the government pointing the finger at one another.

      It appears we’ll never know the truth, with reviewers concluding that “[n]o Crown-related interviewees could recall/identify which specific project governance forum was responsible for the decision to set the AT based on a P75 value”.


      "However, the review stopped short of saying the Public-Private Partnership model used for Transmission Gully is intrinsically flawed."

      Thats not surprising because this administration is set on continuing the model despite the wealth of evidence that it fails to deliver any advantage, indeed it is almost always a greater cost.

  2. Sabine 2

    the government gives the government takes and all with the same hand, but hey be grateful you unwashed masses that you got something, lest you get used to that comfortable living on the benefit.

    Humpage said while the $25 increase to benefits was welcomed, it had a “negligible effect”.

    “Supplementary assistance like temporary additional support gets clawed back if you essentially earn more income,” she said.

    A year on from the government's $25 increase to benefits, some solo parents and people with disabilities or chronic illnesses say it has made very little difference to their budgets.

    “For some people, they were actually only getting about $3 more than they had previously, so understandably, they were frustrated by that because costs had gone up during particularly the lockdown period, far more than $3 a week.”

    For those in public housing, with income-related rent, the benefit increase meant their rent went up as well, Humpage said.

    One woman on sole parent support, interviewed as part of Humpage's research, said the increase meant her daughter could have “a labelled packet of biscuits instead of budget”.

    A man on the supported living payment, who is caring for his wife and bringing up two children, described the $25 increase as like “being in an abusive relationship where your partner cheats on you consistently and then buys you a box of chocolate from time to time to make up for it”.

    Another man on the supported living payment said the increase did not make “an iota of difference”.

    “They need to add $100 to make it feasible,” he said.

    That man was living in his car so he could afford his medication. When he was living in a house, he said he would fall short about $100 every week.

    “The compromise I've made to be able to afford the health expenses I have and all that, is I've compromised on having a home,” he said.


    Imagine the good that could be done if the government could actually conceive to help the people that need it rather then say travel up and down the country to tell people that need help that they need to pivot to something else why it spends millions of dollars a night to warehouse the neglected and unhoused.
    Will Carmel Sepuloni again show her face again to talk about the need to keep benefit levels at starvation levels lest people lose the knowledge that is the value of work.

    • Tiger Mountain 2.1

      • Implement the full WEAG (Welfare Experts Advisory Group) Report now!


      • Pay COVID related amounts directly to workers via IRD rather than filtering through employers.

      • Move towards a Basic Income for all administered directly by IRD

      • Sabine 2.1.1

        Point two of your list i have argued for since the beginning of this sorry covid mess. Honestly as someone who applied for the wage subsidy for a worker, i would seriously appreciate to not be made the governments handmaid to do their own support payments while at the same time being vilified by various others cause 'businessness rort the workers'.

        Point One : The government has no fucks to give, see Rotorua and other places were people are literally dumped in rundown motels without any help from social workers, mental health care workers, without any chance of job training, without any chance of ever moving out of these places of misery.

        Point Three: we have currently a government that has no issues with Starship Hospital to crowdfund ICU beds, we have a government that like all others before it has underfunded all health care sectors (never mind Covid), we currently have a government that has toddlers in preschool arrive without food in their bellies and shoes on their feet, but we have uncapped millions of give a way to those that are rich and connected.

        the worst thing the left did this last election was to be told to be afraid of J.C, so afraid even that they even not voted or third parties to force these useless eaters into a coalition. Now we have a majority government that only gets hot n bothered when it involves Americas Cup, TV stars and Jeff Bezos.

        So all of these three points will never happen because this current government has not fucks to give about those it can't use to advance itself into a nice position after government. Yes, i am that cynical, and that over this current government. Almost 4 years, and the only thing they can pat themselves on the back is to lock the country down into a stasis in more then one way.

        When you are poor in NZ there is no difference between the N or L. And i would like to point out that John Key also increased the benefits by 25 NZD and he did not even need a global pandemic to do so.

        • cricklewood

          Don’t worry Sabine everything is fine cause 'kindness'

          • cricklewood

            “Labour understands the housing crisis and we have a comprehensive plan to end homelessness and build thousands of affordable houses, which is more than the current Government can say after nine years of inaction,” – Carmel Sepuloni

            Four years on how would you score progress out of 10?

            • Incognito


              • cricklewood

                I was thinking somewhere around 4

                • Incognito

                  That leaves more room for improvement; I like your thinking wink

                • Incognito

                  You’re quite right and based on the Grafton Gully fiasco, I reserve the right to downgrade my score to 6. After all, this is not a score of what you asked for but a composite score of all Government-related decisions and actions over the last decades. Actually, because of Roger Douglas, I’m going down to 5. See what I did there?

                • bwaghorn

                  Even that's generous when you consider they were told that the method of stimulus to counteract a covid depression would over heat housing and that helicopter cash was a better way .

              • Jimmy

                How can you justify a score of 6.5 after the Kiwibuild failure to date?

                I would score them about a 3 and I think that's generous.

            • Sabine

              you are asking the wrong people.

              the ones to ask are those that have lost their jobs due to covid with no aid then starvation level benefits that you don't receive if you still have a partner, cause discrimination and taxation without representation is a thing if you are married or partnerned.

              the ones to ask are the ones that have no houses and are currently housed in gang ran slum motels

              the ones to ask are the ones that don't eat dinner at night so the kids can have some cereals without milk and sugar

              but then if these guys were to be honestly asked maybe the government wold just for a second experience shame.

              • cricklewood

                Always interesting to see what other people think, if you were to score it off metrics like housing affordability, the size of the wait list etc, number of people in emergency housing on any given night you could probably score Labour a zero.

                But there has been some, albeit slow progress with state house builds etc hence my scoring a 4.

            • Poission

              Under the new housing minister,the waiting list had doubled,and we cannot see the houses for the Woods.


          • Tiger Mountain

            The kindness where 50% of NZers own just 2% of the wealth!

            Generations can be a clumsy stereotype to aim at people–I am a ‘boomer’–but opposed Rogernomics and Ruthanasia all the way in my union, and the union movement. Have always supported environmental action. Heh, it wasn’t me personally, but it was my cohort enmasse.

            Will the replacement gens under the hammer of student loans, precarious employment and exploitative “scumlords” rise up in the next couple of elections and ongoing Climate Strikes?–lets bloody hope so.

        • Herodotus

          You forgot to mention that we have a Labour Party who’s sole purpose is to protect the image of our PM, as long as ther PR team is successful many labour people are relavent. Pity that the country does not progress and people’s lives today are better than what they were yesterday.

          there are many around who believe the hype of the government and are not able or willing to see what is happening for many day to day.

    • woodart 2.2

      for me, that$25 was approx a 10% increase. not to be clawed back. so, for me, it made quite a difference. but, satisfied benes dont make for good headlines. much better cluck bait to get the bad budgeters, and the benes with multiple add-ons to their benefits(which often have a claw-back)to front this article. the person mentioned, who had to sleep in his car to be able to pay for medication , puzzled me. after 30 prescriptions, they are all free. .would like to know what he needs $100 per week for. not saying that its impossible, but very unusual.

      • greywarshark 2.2.1

        Had a thought – welfare has settled into a mean mess in NZ. It relies on talking down bennies and picturing the younger ones as shiftless, listless, aimless – 'less' is the theme. We used to have a picture of how we wanted NZ to be, thriving with happy DIY's working on their houses, laying concrete paths to the clothesline and the drive with their mates in the weekend with lovely cold beers and fish and chips to finish. Not satisfactory to the upwardly mobile with an itch for wealth and flaunting it though.

        How about we flip-flop and regard all these young NZers, even middle aged, as not finding their way in life. Anyone unemployed gets sent off to special courses with practical outcomes, learn to cook and what keeps them healthy, then set a goal for weight and fitness and get a monetary reward for achievement. Learn to use tools, build a bedside table with drawers, and give it a good finish – varnish, french polished, distressed, modern art effect, or historic look with those curved legs and fancy handles – with a monetary reward again. They would go into a scheme where they have a supportive life coach, who would encourage and help them to keep on track.

        Then get them to try for a job again, and keep paying them as much as they earn net, and see if they can find good accommodation, with help if the bond and first month’s rent is too much for them to afford. Drop the extra payments after a few months when they have been able to better themselves, to lock it in. They might have to go on a give up drugs program where they have a look at their problems and build personal controls.

        Later, when between jobs, send them on a course on how to look after your living area, how to look after a home, unblock drains, regular cleaning of shower, open windows when home to air etc. They are being trained for the life they can have when they can get a steady job, and have a sense of capability and pride.

        It would be investing in the nation's raw gold, that is how young people should be viewed. Give them reading skills, discussion groups that are social but with no alcohol present and which start off with a nice simple meal, and then discussion and snacks and tea, coffee etc. That would give them a different paradigm for mingling with others.

        What about it eh! Go on give it a go someone connected to welfare in government, but not have anyone directly from the Welfare section. Their negativity, patronising and prejudice against their own clients would be a sure way to curdle the milk!

      • weka 2.2.2

        The people with the add on of TAS get TAS because of financial hardship. It should have been a headline last year that many of the people in hardship didn’t get the full $25. This reporting is long over due.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Chance of a more independent NZ foreign policy indicated by Nanaia Mahuta?

    This will likely have turned some innards to water in various Embassies, Ministries and Security Agency offices! It is refreshing to be able to enthusiastically congratulate a Govt. Minister.

    • Ad 3.1

      Too hard to discern from the crowded metaphors.

      At minimum putting some pushback on Five Eyes is a good thing.

    • Rosemary McDonald 3.2

      On Natrad this morning also…https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018792264/foreign-minister-outlines-plan-for-china

      Mahuta speaks with confidence and insight, and while in no way in Winston's league, demanded the interviewer stfu and let her finish her korero.

      I hope all those naysayers step forward and acknowledge now that Mahuta was an appropriate and somewhat inspired choice for Foreign Affairs.

      • Tiger Mountain 3.2.1

        Agree that she was a great choice.

        It will be interesting to see if Nanaia continues on this path and has the backing of the Labour Caucus, because the inhabitants of several Ministries will not like her approach one little bit. Carmel Sepuloni could watch and learn.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Carmel Sepuloni could watch and learn.

          She could. But she won't.

          • Sabine

            well she could learn the value of working…..lol, which right now she does not need to know.

            Money for nothing and perks for free.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              Its the way she has continued the Great Tradition of Ministers of Social Development and Disability Issues in New Zealand in maintaining the ideology the Work will Conquer All that has impressed me.

              All that is required is to get the most vulnerable of the vulnerable into paid Work.

              Those who simply cannot work don't count.

              • Sabine

                never mind there are no jobs, not for the able bodied, not for the healthy and certainly not for anyone else.

                Ghost Jobs under N and L are just that Ghost Jobs.

        • Anne

          Good on Nanaia Mahuta. She's living up to my expectations of her. NZ once again shows independence of thought and deed. A poke in the eye for the psychopaths who run those allied institutions and who expect 'subordinates' to file meekly in behind them without questioning their motives.

          Lets hope it lasts.

  4. Treetop 4

    Until the government treats emergency housing like a disaster, homes will not get built as quickly as they need to be built.

    I live on a street where a motel has 20 units occupied for emergency accommodation. I see the atmosphere and how the guests cope with living there. The government needs to provide a welfare package to those stuck in motels and this needs to include enjoyment to give a respite from harsh reality. Activities most people do in their stable housing cannot be done in a motel due to the restriction of living in a motel.

  5. WeTheBleeple 5

    Not trying to throw a cat among the pigeons here, just think you lot are a more mature crowd than other social media, and this is bugging me.

    As the fight over identity politics wages on…

    We need to leave children out of this. It's OK to not know yourself. It's OK to be confused. It's OK to be absolutely convinced of a thing and then change your mind.

    It's not OK for adults to tell people who they are; to force them into boxes; to give them labels; to assign their 'type'. It's not OK for family and friends to do the same. We've never had all the answers – never, not even close!

    Clearly we have victimised certain groups – and their need to be recognised, and bloody well respected, will not be denied. Hatred of others has given rise to backlash. But it all seems to be getting a bit mad. Are we simply observing the pendulum at it's zenith, and the extremities will level out as a new normal embeds? That's my big question for TS.

    When the pendulum swings
    It breaks off a few things
    Pushes out to extremes
    And then back.

    The race of another is irrelevant to children, and I hope one day as adults race and gender type will also be irrelevant. Seems it's the adults making a big song and dance of it all, on both 'sides'.

    It's divisive, all these labels.

    • Cricklewood 6.1

      Ironically my wife got a text and an email inviting her to book for her first vaccine shot last week. Shes nowhere near MIQ or anything covid related we thought it was a scam…

  6. greywarshark 7

    Nicky Hager is a rock to rely on. He has been studying a cult that has the potential to undermine this country insidiously not with obvious terrorism. The EBs are reverting to the old name of Plymouth Brethren apparently.

    They despise people in general, admit new people into the group who must be compliant and agree or get similar to the Dalek treatment. They are savvy with technology. And interested in advancing themselves and getting wealthy using others skills outside their group. And have the basics for an internal army. Think Brownshirts. And are prepared to put their resources to helping other go-getters in politics, eg have helped National.


    • WeTheBleeple 7.1

      Do you follow the work of David Farrier greywarshark? He documents various fringe phenomena/types & I reckon you'd enjoy his work. An honest journo with a penchant for quirky. Tickled is one of his more famous docos, he also plays the reporter in Rhys Darby's series, Short Poppies.

  7. greywarshark 9

    How come there is a problem with drugs for assisting death? Vets have used effective ones on animals for yonks. Such as – pentobarbital

    The euthanasia medication most vets use is pentobarbital, a seizure medication. In large doses, it quickly renders the pet unconscious. It shuts down their heart and brain functions usually within one or two minutes. https://pets.webmd.com/what-happens-put-pet-to-sleep#1


    People who chose to swallow or ingest the fatal medicines, rather than taking them intravenously, would be given drugs that were compounded (mixed up) by a pharmacist and provided to the patient without being approved by regulator Medsafe.

    The Ministry of Health said those who opted for an injection would be given drugs which had been approved by Medsafe but for a different purpose – so the medicines will be provided for an unapproved, or "off label", use…

    Among the documents is an email from Dr Bryan Betty, medical director at the Royal New Zealand College of GPs, warning that mixing concoctions of drugs had led to traumatic deaths.

    Dr Betty's warning to the Ministry of Health used the example of American states not being able to access death penalty drugs due to cost and availability.

    "So they made up their own concoctions initially, with examples of prolonged processes until fine-tuned. Belgium had a standard process but (this was) not used by many doctors for some years, also resulting in prolonged, distressing deaths."…

    • Craig Hall 9.1

      The most commonly used drug in American executions by lethal injection is pentobarbital mixed by compound pharmacies (most common as in most executions, not necessarily the drug of choice in most states) because that's the Texan method and they are the most prolific state for executions by a wide margin (apart from last year when it was the Federal Gov't, same method and drug though). Opinions on whether it is a sufficiently humane lethal injection option are sharply divided although the division is usually along abolitionist/retentionist lines.

  8. Gosman 10

    The governments sheen is wearing off. This is a bit embarrassing. It looks like the purchase of the land at Ihumatao was unlawful…


    • Stuart Munro 10.1

      The question for the public is whether it is technical, or material. I doubt many will be seriously exercised about it.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1.1


        "In 2015/16, there were 12 reported cases of unauthorised expenditure, compared with 19 in 2014/15. The total amount of unauthorised expenditure reported in the Government's financial statements for 2015/16 was $72.5 million (2014/15: $55.8 million). Unauthorised expenditure reported in 2015/16 was 0.08% of the total appropriations for all Votes authorised through the Budget 2015 process (2014/15: 0.07%).

        and the year after


        In 2016/17, the amount of unappropriated expenditure was $124 million (2015/16: $78 million), which is less than 0.14% of the Government's total appropriations for all Votes authorised through the Budget 2016 process (2015/16: less than 0.10%).

        The total amount of expenditure incurred without prior Cabinet authority, as reported in the Government's financial statements for 2016/17, was $90 million (2015/16: $73 million). This was 0.10% of the Government's budgeted expenditure for 2016/17 (2015/16: 0.08%).


  9. greywarshark 11

    Tree planting and ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme). https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covering-climate-now-is-nz-getting-forestry-right/5J2IA4YVDQO2K4YEEIFKHBCQIQ/

    First, we tend to overlook the role that more strategic tree planting could play in enhancing the resilience of landscapes and catchments.
    Second, we're at risk of planting forests that are vulnerable to climate change.

    The Emissions Trading Scheme is calibrated to discover the least-cost emissions reductions; it's indifferent to other issues like adaptation and biodiversity.
    By monetising carbon sequestration, it creates a financial incentive for forests that are cheap to plant and quick to grow.

    Pinus radiata is hard to beat on this front – which is why it'll continue to play an important role in forestry.
    But from a climate adaptation perspective, it isn't a good idea to have a national forest estate that's all in one species.

    Our best defence is to diversify our forests, to spread our risks, and also to introduce greater biodiversity into the forests themselves, in terms of diverse tree species, age class, and silvicultural systems.

    Yet if the ETS incentivises a lot of densely planted, even-aged pine monocultures, then we're setting ourselves up for catastrophic forest loss because these forests are vulnerable to the same shocks.

    • WeTheBleeple 11.1

      Vital stuff. The word resilience needs to be understood and implemented into plans by the folks making these decisions, not just pumped out for PR.

      Our natives sequester more than pine. they hook up with the soil food web and pump carbon below ground as well as above. Building topsoil, while pines strip it.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 12.1


      'Research published by Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University shows a 75 percent chance of the Alpine Fault rupturing before 2068, up from around 30 percent"

      Still very vague numbers and the earth doesnt read geology studies

  10. Eco Maori 13


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