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Open mike 20/08/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 20th, 2020 - 212 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

212 comments on “Open mike 20/08/2020 ”

  1. Tricledrown 1

    Chris Bishop's father opinion piece on stuff is full of factual inaccuracies.

    Saying Muldoon loaded next generations with huge debt's raising the top tax rate.

    Yet Muldoon left office leaving $1 billion in debt over 9 years.

    Roger Douglas gave us tax cuts and $16 billion in debt over 6 yrs.

    Scaremongering false narratives.

    • Nic the NZer 1.1

      You should not judge *any* of our leaders on their public debt records. Its completely beside the point.

      https://larspsyll.wordpress.com/2020/08/16/rethinking-public-debt-2/

      • Tricledrown 1.1.1

        As Brian Easton pointed out years ago debt is not as bad as everyone makes out it's the ability to pay .

        Then it's better to go to improving productivity also going to mainstreet ie wage subsidies benefit top ups.

        The govt gets at least 15% back in GST plus taxes on the economic activity it creates.

        The Thatcher BS that economies should be run like a home budget is pure BS.

        If that was so most of the big economies would have fallen over years ago.

        • Nic the NZer 1.1.1.1

          Such views, even moderate ones like those of Brian Easton, are part of the problem. Its now pretty well understood that debts in a currency a government issues are never an issue. This is for two related reasons,

          1) the same government issueing the debt issues (and issued) every single unit of the currency the debt is repaid in. If it wants to repay the debt it can always issue more and transfer payment to the lender.

          2) In the same way it can make a payment to a lender it can also pay somebody it brought goods and services from. This means it doesn't need to issue further debt to make further payments. (Though in countries where this occurs including New Zealand its done to facilitate how monetary policy is implemented).

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        The real issue … is not whether it is possible to shift a burden (either in the present or in the future) from some people to other people, but whether it is possible by internal borrowing to shift a real burden from the present generation, in the sense of the present economy as a whole, onto a future generation, in the sense of the future economy as a whole … The latter is impossible because a project that uses up resources needs the resources at the time that it uses them up, and not before or after.

        Yep, its physically impossible to pay for things later as the resources need to be provided now.

        And the government already owns all of the nation's resources which is why they can create money as needed and there be no debt. The problem of debt only applies when the private banks create the money or the government, on the nation's behalf, borrows from another country.

        • Nic the NZer 1.1.2.1

          The country obviously does not already own all the resources. For example you are not compelled to work for the government nor even is any public sector employee.

          For the most part even the USSR didn't have conscripted labour (with some notable well known exceptions).

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.1.1

            Obviously, I didn't include people in 'resources'.

            Still, the money that the government can pay will, generally speaking, get people who can do the job required to make the nations resources available.

  2. Dennis Frank 3

    Two months after the horse bolted, the govt has slammed the stable door:

    the Government announced a new team to oversee issues at the border. Helen Clark’s former chief of staff Heather Simpson and NZTA board chair Brian Roche have been brought in to oversee the changes. The Government has also boosted the number of Defence staff involved in the Covid-19 response.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300085944/coronavirus-ashley-bloomfield-must-front-parliament-on-border-issues-national-urges

    Better late than never. Nat health spokesperson wants an explanation for the late reaction – to discern why the cover-up succeeded for so long, I presume.

    Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield needs to answer questions about lacklustre border testing before Parliament’s health select committee, says National’s health spokesman Shane Reti.

    Reti wants Parliament's health select committee to reconvene to question Bloomfield about the lack of testing at the border. “I have sent a letter to chair of the committee Louisa Wall, asking for the committee to reconvene and review the Covid-19 response, and requesting that Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield appears before the committee for questioning,” Reti said.

    I trust Bloomfield will be honest, if this happens. "Yes, I appointed managers for each relevant operational sphere involved, and issued them instructions on how to set up the procedures. No, I can't explain why some failed – you'll have to ask them. No, I can't explain why they didn't tell me they failed. Yes, I may have been given false assurances by some of them."

    He may even go on to explain that the public service proceeds via a random walk: some serve, some screw up, some don't feel like doing anything much at all, but they are all part of the privilege system of governance, so they can always hide from the public…

    • Just Is 3.1

      Whats the relationship between the supposed failed testing regime and the current outbreak, thus far their is no link to any border failure.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        Red herring. The govt gave the public service the job of protecting the public from further infestation, hence cabinet's directive weeks ago, and their irritation that the appropriate measures were not instituted.

        The part of the situation that you aren't recognising is public confidence in govt operations – and the undermining of that by performance failures. Do you need to have Labour drop below 50 and National leap above 40 in the next poll to get the message? Could happen. Paranoia strikes deep…

        • Just Is 3.1.1.1

          The part of the situation you're not realising is that NZ is STILL THE SAFEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD TODAY wth regard to the Virus.

          Every other country wishes they could've achieved the results we have, but they didn't want to do the hard yards.

          The whole "Failure" meme is a politicization of a very dangerous pandemic that NZ just happens to be at the forefront of controlling, we have global recognition for our efforts, those who wish to berate the Govt for achieving the results thus far should go and climb back under the rock they've hiding under for the last 5 months.

          Realativity is important.

          As yet THERE IS NO LINK BETWEEN THE CURRENT OUTBREAK and the border controls

          • ScottGN 3.1.1.1.1

            We get all that. Shouting it every single time isn’t really progressing the discussion.
            No one is arguing about the country’s marvellous success and brilliant leadership to date.

            But Dennis and I have been interested to consider the POLITICAL implications of the information that has been revealed about the situation at the borders. An election still has to be fought with hearts and minds won or at least held. To that end the missteps (perceived or otherwise) of the last week will have most likely made that endeavour more difficult for the government.

            • Anne 3.1.1.1.1.1

              … the missteps (perceived or otherwise) of the last week will have most likely made that endeavour more difficult for the government.

              I doubt it will have a meaningful outcome for Labour's election chances provided of course they manage to contain the latest outbreak.

              Having said that I agree the apparent 'missteps' need to be publicly debated and when the time is right… a review into all aspects of the pandemic response so that any mistakes and missteps are unlikely to happen again.

              It is more about the future than the here and now.

              • ScottGN

                I agree Anne. The last week probably won’t derail the government’s election chances at all. But my worry is that the Nats have been given a golden opportunity to prosecute their narrative that the government is good at the talk but not so good at the walk. I’d prefer them not to have those opportunities.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  I'm not as worried as you and Dennis appear to be – the opposition National party is all talk (their 'walk' has always been self-serving), and everytime Collins raises an eyebrow, or Brownlee goes off half-cocked on one of his crazy conspiracy jags, or Woodhouse trips over another homeless man, it's just one more reminder not to trust them.

                  Trust (not trusts) is the main issue for me this election.

            • AB 3.1.1.1.1.2

              I'm hoping most voters are mature enough to realise that their own workplaces are simply and inevitably a sequence of missteps masquerading as planning. And that this is general across all human organisations. Knowing this, they may focus on intent – that it's actually not entirely about the delivery, important though that is. What matters instead is Labour's courageous (and correct) choice of a hard elimination policy – a decision National would have been ideologically unable to make.

          • Dennis Frank 3.1.1.1.2

            Realativity is important.

            Yes, and I know it's a good idea to acknowledge the upside of our situation. A balanced view of the ups & downs is always best.

            The thing about waiting for science to establish links is that the public mood gets shifted by paranoia way more than by science.

            The failure meme occurred at press conferences when the PM & DG separately acknowledged it as fact. Do you really want to accuse them of berating the govt??

            • McFlock 3.1.1.1.2.1

              The thing about waiting for science to establish links is that the public mood gets shifted by paranoia way more than by science.

              Your efforts in that regard are unceasing.

          • Shanreagh 3.1.1.1.3

            Agree Just Is, to conflate what has been happening re testing on the border with the current set of cases in Auckland which have not been linked to the border is definitely not a red herring.

            At the moment they are two different sets of issues.

            What is noticeable to me, and I mentioned this yesterday after seeing Digby Webb stating that there had been 60% declines to be tested, is that 60% declines is skewed. I asked if there was a cultural issue that I was not picking up on. It appears that these border people were offered vouchers, aah bless such a right wing answer to the issue, to get tested at Community testing sites, presumably in their own time.

            I had thought this testing would have been done on site, with records kept of the declines and why. If more than one decline then a suggestion to the employer that the person be shifted somewhere else.

            To me, now, this is a case of a slack private enterprise who were in charge of the guards at hotels etc and I am glad they are now being replaced. It appears that the employers of these guards do not have a tight control of them and it is wise to replace them with public service people who are used to the sort of command and control regime that is needed.

            Surely the DG of Health can be excused having a misplaced trust in these private sector employers, especially if they are constantly reassuring him 'yes, yes they are being tested when all that was happening was that vouchers were being handed out.

            Hopefully Roche & Simpson will be looking at this. In some cases it seems we cannot trust private enterprise and this may be/is one of them.

            Agree though with ScottGN the implications this has for the election can not be overstated. This plus the over-extension of the election date (2 weeks would have been ample) has given me an uneasy feeling that we have just given the Nats a bounty, that hopefully Lab is not about to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

          • Bearded Git 3.1.1.1.4

            Agreed Just Is.

            As usual Dennis is, rather pathetically, buying into the media hype that calls the border controls a "fiasco" today when they are nothing of the sort.

            • Just Is 3.1.1.1.4.1

              Thankyou

              The hype is a distraction from reality.

            • Dennis Frank 3.1.1.1.4.2

              Try to trandscend your inner binary, huh? I quoted Ben Thomas yesterday from his Spinoff analysis that criticised the Nats' inept attempt to exploit the failure. If a known rightist can transcend the binary, why can't you?

              My critique has not resembled the Nats' bullshit in the slightest. Their leader called it a total shambles. I acknowledged yesterday that it was merely partial.

              Since I was proceeding on the basis of the admissions from the PM and DG, my critique is valid. I don't get why any leftists see political advantage in retreating in denial. Labour aren't. Learn from them!

              • Ed1

                I agree that we should learn from facts as they appear. The admission from Ardern and Bloomfield were that testing had not been at the level the government had asked for. That is quite a different issue from accusations of a breach of the border. It now appears that the infection of the maintenance worker was from the surface in a lift – possibly inadequate 'deep cleaning' of the lift, but also possibly an indication that the depth of cleaning and possibility of infection from surfaces has not been well understood – it may be that we should all be wearing gloves. That remains a possibility also for the larger Auckland cluster, which may have resulted from the surface of imported goods. If so again that may mean that changes to practices will be needed for a risk that has previously been discounted as being very low.

                Certainly we seem to have got that cluster tracked very well; so nothing really wrong with our border procedures in terms of the known risks until these two cases – do you agree, Dennis?

              • Just Is

                Dennis, the Govt stated it was "disappointed" that the testing regime wasn't as they expected, but reality is, there are no consequences of the lower than expected testing regime, the testing was a backstop for all the measures currently in place which appear to be operating as expected.

                Too much emphasis has been placed on the lower than expected rate of testing rather than reiterating the primary defences that prevent/catch the infections. which have been 100% successful so far.

                No ones retreating, just reinstating what is factual and what is hyperbole pursued by a few in the media with an axe to grind.

                Each day at 1, 2 reporters with the loudest voices keep reiterating the "failure" meme, the "gothcha" girls, Tova and Mackay, each day they are proveded with the same info, which they duely ignore and persist with the failure meme.

                Sure testing wasn't upto the expected levels, but there has been no negative outcomes as a result of this, which means it "cannot be defined as a failure"

        • Incognito 3.1.1.2

          One person’s red herring is another person’s red flag.

        • Gabby 3.1.1.3

          Imperfection isn't failure. You should know that, of all people.

          • Just Is 3.1.1.3.1

            Exactly.

            There is a learning curve for all of us, we all learn best from our mistakes, it also makes us more conscious of preventing any further errors.

    • Gabby 3.2

      He'll probably feel obliged not to expose the gnatsy leaning MOH saboteurs and empire builders, and private sector profiteers unfortunately.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      Can you just fuck off with your conspiracy theories? You're starting to sound like Gerry Brownlee.

      Oh, and the answer is this:

  3. Andre 4

    💋 💋 💋

    Needy Amin has been crushing hard on Poots for a long long time. The Senate Intelligence Committee got some of his old billets-doux and published them in their report on Russia-Drumpf cmpaign jiggery-pokery.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/trump-putin-fan-mail_n_5f3c91aec5b6835236037b4c

    Seriously, is this what has to be done to get ahead in high-level international business?

    🤢 🤮

  4. Observer Tokoroa 5

    Twisted Reti

    You came out with this miserable low line: "I trust Bloomfield will be honest",

    In doing that, you gave us the measure of your low ability.

    Quite simply, you have become yet another National bully.

    New Zealanders will not be happy with your abuse towards Dr bloomfield.

    • Chess Player 5.1

      New Zealanders simply want what has been promised, to actually happen.

      Am amazed that the politicians still don't seem to understand that concept.

      It's all about the follow through, and the delivery.

      Trust takes a long time to build up, but can be lost very very quickly.

      People remember, which is why Labour were not trusted for such a long time after the Rogernomics period.

      • anker 5.1.1

        Chess player off course we want what has been promised and follow through. So did Ardern, Hipkins, and cabinet. They are in the same position as we are. They were told that testing border staff has been rolled out…………and it was being rolled out, but the roll out was too slow.

        • new view 5.1.1.1

          FFS. Anker. How hard would it have been for the Government to audit what was happening at these Hotels. Do they trust us to pay our taxes. No they check that we are. Saying that they told us it was being done, so we didn’t know, is infantile bollocks.

      • Tricledrown 5.1.2

        Because the Cloth cap Labour Party had been highjacked by the Business elite.

        Every govt is having similar problems we are relying on human's to beat this virus.

        Humans make mistakes just looking across the ditch private security contractors are having similar problems..

        Taiwan is the only country which has had a nearly perfect response.

        One of the reasons is that authorities have access to everyone's cell phone records for contact tracing.

        Chess player how would that go check it out mate don't just be a pawn running interference.Your move.

    • Just Is 5.2

      Reti might want to remind everyone that NZ has only had 22 deaths ascociated with Coronavirus, that's an indisputable fact.

      There is still no link to a failure at the border and the current outbreak.

      Can you imagine how things would be going right now if Reti were minister of Health, history indicates we would be down the same path as every other country.

      • Pataua4life 5.2.1

        What has Dr Reti done in the past that shows us we would be down this path.

        Please link.

        • Just Is 5.2.1.1

          Reti hasn't achieved anything at all, all those yrs under Key and the constituency he covers saw reduced public sevices, a hospital that needed replacing a decade ago and run into the ground.

          Claims his party had funded and planned the 4 lane highway to Whangarei are just outright lies.

          National do NOT have a reputation for looking after the needs of NZers, they do however have a reputation for looking after themselves.

          • Tricledrown 5.2.1.1.1

            Cutting DHB funding cutting mental health funding in Canterbury in the aftermath of the earthquakes

          • Kay 5.2.1.1.2

            This is by no means an endorsement of Reti (he's still a Nat) but he was extremely good in his HSC role tearing shreds out of Pharmac, Medsafe and the MoH over the ongoing lamotrigine scandal. His medical background was actually useful and he did his job. And he was also the ONLY MP who ever directly responded to our emails.

            • Just Is 5.2.1.1.2.1

              Thats great to hear Kay.

              I was of the understanding that Pharmac had been severely underfunded by the then Govt, which led to a lot misery for people waiting on medications.

        • anker 5.2.1.2

          Reti may or may not be good. But his leader appears to not understand some pretty basic things e.g contract tracing and the Covid app and how it works, as per her interview on Radio NZ yesterday. She seemed to be pinning Nationals ability to manage Covid all on Reti, who has only recently been made shadow health minister. She sounded quite ignorant in my opinion.

          Gerry's performance has been alarming. Their strong team slogan surely must be meant ironically

    • greywarshark 5.3

      Chris T has done a post on Reti over at The Daily Blog OT. I haven't read it yet but will. I thought you could be interested in his opinion of the man, I hadn't had good vibes about him in the past.

  5. Uncle Scrim 6

    Have the Herald released the actual results of their latest Kantar poll? I only saw the bit about who Labour should govern with. Based on that and Claire Trevett’s latest story, clearly the poll put Labour over 50% again, as have the last 9 (?) polls – even though in part at least it would have covered the latest lockdown period.

  6. Robert Guyton 8

    Collins' promotion and praising of Dr. Reti might be strategic – perhaps he's being groomed for the top Nat role, sometime down the track.

  7. ScottGN 9

    5,000 seventeen year olds will turn eighteen in the extra month provided by the delayed election date and will be eligible to vote.

    About 2,800 people will die in the same month, presumably mostly older people.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/122471241/about-5000-young-people-now-eligible-to-vote-after-delay-to-2020-election

    • Blackcap 9.1

      However in that time the rest will all get older and potentially change their political views?

    • Adrian 9.2

      A report ( Stuff ? ) yesterday stated that there were 1600 less deaths in NZ in the months since lockdown than the average for the same period of the last 10 years, with accompanying graphs explaining why.

      Incredible, absolutely incredible ! The only country in the world to do such an amazing thing so it is about time that all the whining "FAILURE " fanboys just shut the fuck up.

    • ScottGN 9.3

      I fully support lowering the voting age to 16 but I think it’s drawing a long bow to suggest that the 5k newly eligible teenagers would have been disenfranchised by the original Election Day as suggested in the article. Obviously a voting day has to be chosen and obviously anyone whose birthday falls just after that is going to miss out until the next election. 18 or 16 it doesn’t really matter.

      • Just Is 9.3.1

        Scott

        Young people of today are way better informed than previous generations, social media and the like are part of everyday life.

        The young people of today are our future of tomorrow.

        • ScottGN 9.3.1.1

          I work with a lot of that twenty something cohort. And, yes, if you push them their thinking generally aligns with what we would call a centre-left perspective (though it’s always surprising just how many think like their grandparents). The problem is most of them feel disenfranchised. I’m not sure how many of my lot will actually bother to vote but it won’t be very many.

      • Herodotus 9.3.2

        So you would allow 16 year olds all the "rights" of 17 and18 year olds and the consequences that go with these ?

        http://youthlaw.co.nz/rights/legal-ages/#:~:text=18%20Years,once%20you've%20turned%2018.

        And from your comment below "The problem is most of them feel disenfranchised." Many other than this group feel this way.

  8. ianmac 10

    All the talk of failure is in denial of what the experts think. Susie for example:

    "I would give the response an A+. Or how do they do it nowadays? Excellence," Siouxsie Wiles, a microbiologist and infectious diseases expert at the University of Auckland, said.

    "It's been incredible. Absolutely incredible. The ramping up of testing and the amount of contact tracing that's going on is absolutely phenomenal."

    For once Marc gives a fairer report.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/covid-19-one-week-on-how-are-we-doing?utm_source=Friends+of+the+Newsroom&utm_campaign=96e4c1d5ea-Daily+Briefing+20.8.20&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_71de5c4b35-96e4c1d5ea-95522477

    • greywarshark 10.1

      I love Souxie, she's a bright spot literally in grey times and tells it like it is, a presenter to take notice of.

    • McFlock 10.2

      That's the thing – all this wanking on about "shambles" this and "failure" that leaves nothing to describe the response in many other parts of the developed world.

  9. Just Is 11

    ianmac

    Its Great to have a Reality Check.

    Negative politicization of this one in a hundred yr Global Pandemic in NZ is simple bullshit, not a single critic can produce a remedy that is an improvement on what has been achieved thus far.

    Anyone arguing they'd do a better job is full of it, this whole excersise has been developed as we go, the whole world is in a learning phase, we just happen to be near the top of the list for our methods and respones.

  10. Dv 12

    Yes i see ACT are planning to save money by having a brand new govt dept for covid

  11. esoteric pineapples 13

    An excellent article for anyone wanting to dig deeper into the Beirut explosion:

    "Ammonium nitrate is quite stable, making it one of the safest explosives used in mining. Fire normally won’t set it off. It becomes highly explosive only if contaminated – for instance by oil – or heated to a point where it undergoes chemical changes that produce a sort of impermeable cocoon around it in which oxygen can build up to a dangerous level where an ignition can cause an explosion.

    Why, after sleeping in Hangar 12 for seven years, did this pile suddenly feel an itch to explode?"

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/escobar-who-profits-beirut-blast?fbclid=IwAR1JG0K3InJFvfngKPTMjeVme9upCyaw7F1kVSsU_TGF2rNGI6lSAzqJLP4

    • greywarshark 13.1

      Gosh I didn't know that it was stable normally. A few conspiracy theories starting to float around that I noticed.

    • joe90 13.2

      An excellent article for anyone wanting to dig deeper into the Beirut explosion:

      tl;dr

      It wuz the Juice!

      /

      • Morrissey 13.2.1

        The outlaw Israeli regime is not "the Juice", as you so coyly, and unamusingly, term them.

    • Gabby 13.3

      The middle east is quite warm.

    • McFlock 13.4

      For one thing, there are so many recordings of it because the warehouse was on fire before the main explosion. Who knows what else was stored at the warehouse? Gas cylinders, mining explosives, confiscated weapons, chemicals that make each other angry?

      We do know the fertiliser was stored inappropriately. By definition, almost. So maybe there was additional contamination from being stored inappropriately? How hot did the warehouse get inside? Demonstrate there was something more than a freight handling accident elsewhere in the warehouse before speculating about motive.

    • gsays 13.5

      Good read, cheers EP.

  12. Mika 14

    One very commendable announcement yesterday was the move to reduce the employment of security staff at the MIQ facilities by private security contractors. This particular change was a little bit lost in the attention given to the increase in defence force staffing at the sites.

    Ardern announced that these staff would be brought into employment by MBIE, allowing security of employment, a living wage, training in infection control and prevention practices. It also means that these staff will not be rotating around multiple workplaces.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/423911/managed-isolation-and-quarantine-facilities-to-get-boost-in-defence-force-support

    The Victorian outbreak originated with breaches in infection practices at their isolation hotels, with low paid, casualised, untrained privatised security staff who socialised with the returnees.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12345261

    I see this as a really good example of how the gig economy, privatisation, casualisation of the workforce and a race to the bottom in employment practices can have a devastating impact on public health.

    • Just Is 14.1

      Private businesses are run for profit, and, for no other reason.

      "I see this as a really good example of how the gig economy, privatisation, casualisation of the workforce and a race to the bottom in employment practices can have a devastating impact on public health."

      Not only public health, but the Health of the economy and the Health of Indivduals working under those conditions.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 14.1.1

        And I expect the cost of paying the living wage will be negligible, because they are at the same time dropping the payment of a profit margin to the private owners of the security firms.

    • Rosemary McDonald 14.2

      Ardern announced that these staff would be brought into employment by MBIE,

      I missed that bit…it will be almost like performing a miracle. The contracting out to private companies of core Government work has to stop. The Ministry of Health did this with almost the entirety of Disability Support Services work….from assessments to delivery of care and support. A bountiful trough that literally hundreds fed at. And as 'costs' increased and 'operating surpluses' are viciously protected and providers team up to negotiate valuable contracts with the Ministry the services provided to disabled people often fail to meet the standard required. People die.

      This is touted as 'efficiency'.

    • gsays 14.3

      Well said.

  13. Just Is 15

    It appears NSW has had several infections that have No origin, heres the story from the Sydney Morning Herald.

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/more-mystery-cases-of-covid-19-confirmed-in-nsw-as-the-state-records-seven-cases-20200819-p55nb5.html

    So, all this berating by the opposition and Media, it appears we are not alone over the mystery cases, maybe the media could keep Kiwis better informed, maybe.

  14. AB 16

    An irony.

    Ardern's exceptional response to the pandemic is doing a good job of protecting and enabling the continuance of a BAU that works very well for the National Party's members donors and supporters.

    Whereas if National had been in power, their prioritisation of 'the economy' would have let the virus in, and given us worse health AND economic outcomes. Most likely, the resulting misery would have led to a hostile public mood more willing to entertain the sort of radical economic change that might disadvantage those same National Party members, donors and supporters.

    There will be a few more thoughtful theorists on the right who are delighted and amused by the fact that they get to attack her for saving them.

  15. mac1 17

    "…..these staff would be brought into employment…. allowing security of employment, a living wage, training……."

    What a pity that the nation's farmers, orchardists and viticulturists can't do the same for tractor drivers, milkers, workers in general, using NZ citizens.

    Where's the plan for those industries to solve their hiring problems with decent wages, training, housing, tenure and prospects?

    I worked willingly as a farm worker back in the Seventies, got trained on the job which was permanent, paid OK and had a house, firewood, free meat and power thrown in.

  16. Good god, watching Judith Collins press conference – the continual smirks and rolled eyes at questions is just pathetic. The woman has no filter for presenting her true self – that being an utter cow.

  17. greywarshark 19

    TS commenters might like to add to the pot that Scoop is providing for juicy ideas for NZ.

    https://thedig.nz/transitional-democracy/what-do-we-mean-by-transitional-democracy/

    • Dennis Frank 19.1

      Excellent link, thanks! 👍

      Just as turkeys will not vote for Christmas, politicians on most points on the ideological spectrum appear to be loath to hand over any real power to citizens. This means that if we want to upgrade our democracy in New Zealand, it is up to us all to drive this change both from within and outside of the established political system.

  18. ScottGN 20

    Did Judith say if any law change would be required in order for the government to be able to deny NZ citizens and PRs entry to the country if they returned a positive test?

    • George 20.1

      Frankly a completely pointless and useless idea.

      • ScottGN 20.1.1

        Of course. But as an idea it’s bound to be popular. So I’m trying to get an idea of how the government can pull it apart. If a law change is necessary then that means that nothing will change until at least xmas probably later. And just how much it infringes on NZers right to enter the country?

    • Treetop 20.2

      So would a person need to wait for a result before boarding and isolate until they depart if negative?

      Would a person get a refund or be able to rebook if positive?

  19. observer 21

    The debate on the Right between authoritarian and libertarian has been refereed by Judith Collins – authoritarians win by a knockout.

    Now wait for the mental gymnastics as people who attack "dictator Jacinda" suddenly decide a heavy dose of compulsion and punishment is exactly what they want.

    • ScottGN 21.1

      Judith has never shied away from showing her authoritarian side though.

    • Draco T Bastard 21.2

      Scratch a libertarian and you'll find an authoritarian beneath.

    • Macro 21.3

      She Pulls No Punches.

      Just what the country needs in a PM.

      /sarc

      There are a few aggressive individuals who might see this as an admirable quality, but frankly over the past few years, what this country has needed has been a PM who has empathy and compassion, and the ability to get alongside people, and lead them in the right direction, (qualities that JC does not have). Fortunately we have a PM who displays these qualities on a daily basis.

  20. greywarshark 22

    Many are hoping that humanity and legality will get together and result in Julian Assange getting out while he is still alive!!

    https://www.pressgazette.co.uk/some-169-lawyers-and-legal-groups-join-calls-for-julian-assange-extradition-to-halt/

    Aug.17

    “We call on you to act in accordance with national and international
    law, human rights and the rule of law by bringing an end to the ongoing
    extradition proceedings and granting Mr Assange his long overdue
    freedom,” the letter, signed Lawyers for Assange, reads.

    The signatories include barrister Lord John Hendy QC and groups
    including the UK’s Arab Lawyers Association as well as the European
    Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights.

    The letter said the political nature of Assange’s alleged offences
    prohibits his extradition under the US-UK extradition treaty and that UK
    judges in his case have been subject to conflicts of interest
    .

  21. weka 23

    Just in case it wasn't obvious enough what National's kaupapa is,

    • weka 23.1

      that, and they possibly have an inept social media/PR team.

    • Editractor 23.2

      It's unbelievable that they think a bullet-proof vest will stop someone from being infected with SARS-CoV-2.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 23.3

      Border Force Raptor for the WIN! Hopefully with life sentences for littering in an airport (at least on the third offence) and bundling of protesters into blacked-out vans by anonymous "security contractors"

      Tuff on the Crims! Vote National and join Trump's USA. Anyone keen on a spot of torture?

    • Tricledrown 23.4

      Looking at Siouxsie Wiles post further down she has provided a graph comparing Victoria's response to their outbreak to ours going hard and early is way better.

      Maybe someone can provide a link.

  22. Pat 24

    A sidestep Beauden would be proud of…

    "National’s border policy doesn’t address international students. National’s former deputy leader, Nikki Kaye, had campaigned on allowing universities to take care of isolating students on arrival, rather than the Government.

    National Party Leader Judith Collins didn’t say she wanted to keep the virus out of New Zealand. Rather she said she wanted to “keep the virus at bay and allow our economy to thrive”.

    https://www.interest.co.nz/news/106640/nationals-border-policy-testing-entering-nz-compulsory-contact-tracing-arrivals-and

  23. aj 25

    Midweek Media Watch with Hayden Donnell last night was interesting (as was the prior interview with Dr Denis Muller, the senior research fellow at the Centre for Advancing Journalism in Melbourne.

    Is the NZ media taking control of the 'accountability narrative' for Covid-19?

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=2018760261

    Hayden Donnell runs cover for journalists, and especially for Michael Morrah of Newshub. (He who asked Bloomfield at a presser recently if he would resign over 'failures')

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=2018760262

    What little sympathy I have for journalism in this country evaporated when a clip was played of Morrah being supported in an interview with Sean Plunkett (about 9 minutes in)

    Karyn Hay's long silences during this segment were telling.

    • Thanks aj….I caught the end of Mediawatch last night and thought it was a bit odd…so the Right has taken over Mediawatch now. Will give the full programme a listen.

      Hayden will be quoting Tova next week.

  24. Just Is 27

    Here's quite a good story on Swedens efforts to fight Coronavirus from the ABC.

    Herd amunity has not occured in the younger education sector.

    It will be years before there is an outcome to their strategy

    Death rates as a proportion of the population is nearly the highest in the world

    https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-20/swedens-herd-immunity-strategy-for-coronavirus-covid-19/12570918

  25. joe90 28

    But her emails..

    /

    https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/betsy-devos-title-ix-mens-rights/

  26. Dv 29

    See trump is withering on about how Nz has a surge and how well he is doing.

    if the USA had the same infection rates as nz the would have 360 cases a day not 40000

    man trump can’t count

  27. joe90 30

    Why wingnuts should never get the media oxygen they crave.

    • observer 31.1

      One value might be …

      "Thanks to the virus, and the delayed election date, I have picked up an extra month's pay for doing nothing, which I will donate to local agencies helping those hit by the economic fallout."

      Show us your values, Hamish.

  28. aj 32

    "I live by certain values"

    Honesty is not one of those values. Tell us who gave him the advice. He should never be in a place where he has access to personal data ever again.

  29. PaddyOT 33

    [deleted]

    [see my note below in replies – weka]

    • Rosemary McDonald 33.1

      Bogus? Harmful?

      I suggest you petition to have Dr Sandhya Ramanathan struck off.

      Seriously…you clearly didn't watch the entire clip, did you?

      And you quote commentors without providing the links?

      • PaddyOT 33.1.1

        I did watch both videos full length and went to the sources of 'studies' underlying them.

    • weka 33.2

      I started editing your comment for formatting reasons, to make it clear what were quote and what weren't. Unfortunately none of the things you had in quotation marks were showing up in a google search, so I can't check them.

      You are welcome to post your comment again, but I'm going to ask that you do a few things:

      1. link to the TS conversation you are referring to as well as the two videos.

      2. if you are not doing a cut and paste, then please don't use quotation marks. Use some other way of signalling what you are trying to communicate (italics would probably work).

      3. link to your sources in line with the quote or example, or use numbers, or something so it's clear what is what.

      4. put a line break between your points so the text is easier to read.

      You probably have some important points to bring to the debate, but I don't want to have to spend so much time just making sense of the formatting and references before I even get to think about the content.

      I still have copy of your comment if you don't. If you want to redo it, I can email it to you.

      • weka 33.2.1

        there's a further problem. You use quotes around some statements and appear to imply they are from TS, but I can't find those quotes anywhere on TS.

      • PaddyOT 33.2.2

        1. link to the TS conversation you are referring to.

        This was not the point. Over time have been a number of commentators.
        The comments were examples of masses of commentary on social media platforms endorsing hypothesis floating out there.

        The further leap in comments to stating that named supplements were treatments for Moari and Polynesian people is dangerous.
        My post was to highlight harmful interpretations planted in very publically read spaces; an example is of how the chain of information of President Trump's disinfectant theory went viral and posed real harm.

        The " bogus" is WHO's and other expert Authority's calls on myths. Not mine. The direct links posted. That at such a time of a disease rampaging across the globe, unscrutinised myths of treatments were the reason for WHO'S publication as one of many Authority's directives calling for scrutiny of myths around Covid19.

        2. if you are not doing a cut and paste, then please don't use quotation marks. Use some other way of signalling what you are trying to communicate (italics would probably work).

        Once pasted my post loses bold or italics. The formatting tools in TS reply box then allowed on both mobile and desktop versions only single word by word highlight to enable formatting. Hence, the standard, correct quotation marks are there.

        Direct quotes from the research cited WERE cut and paste and " " quotation marks were put around them correctly.

        3. link to your sources in line with the quote or example, or use numbers, or something so it's clear what is what.

        I have done before. But I followed the standard of many commentators by putting links at the bottom.

        4. put a line break between your points so the text is easier to read.

        My post was constructed on "word" then , all was pasted.
        Once in the reply box I did carefully check and fix formatting. And checked or corrected line breaks.

        Line breaks were there and once posted in entirety were still there.

        There is then left a clear choice on yourself to eliminate correct information from a much read sphere because of formatting and punctuation; of which, when I viewed after posting was correct.

        • weka 33.2.2.1

          a few further suggestions

          1. make it clear that you are referring to social media generally if that's what you are referencing.

          2. once you have clicked Submit Comment, check it on the site and then use the edit button. I think it's set to 10 mins at the moment.

          3. cut and pasting from applications into the comments is fraught. I'd suggest writing your comment in plain text and adding any formatting once you are in the comment box

          4. I'll check the quotes on your next comment like this, but as I said, a google search for the quotes either brought nothing, or it brought up obscure sites that weren't being referenced in the comment.

          Once pasted my post loses bold or italics. The formatting tools in TS reply box then allowed on both mobile and desktop versions only single word by word highlight to enable formatting. Hence, the standard, correct quotation marks are there.

          5. I'll check that and talk to Lynn. Using " " is fine, but you *have to make it clearer than you did eg not running one quote into the other. Please only use double quotes for actual quotes/cut and pastes.

          • PaddyOT 33.2.2.1.1

            1. Commentator links referred to were a sampling of how information changes on a grapevine and becomes endorsed more widely.

            The persons were not to be singled out that was NOT the purpose of the message needed to be made.

            Points were scrutinised of specific substances posed as combatting Covid19 were named clearly in the now deleted post. A direct analysis of the many specific 'substances' promoted I followed up on to see the validity. This included a namebrand product promotion of one source only of iodine for an audience to buy into. That audience – the public.

            The efficacy of the advice of videos posted, the 'truth' assumed and interpreted when discussed, the lack of scientific context leading to questions of safety and hence harm for the public were correctly under a spotlight of " bogus" misinformation for many, many months now that Health Authorities have been continually working hard at to stop the myths.

            Incognito today rightly identified one source of applying an authorative source to Covid19 myths still circulating widely after months of being debunked.
            Bringing untested promotions of 'medicines' was my investigation.

            I viewed these posted videos, and like you did and posted commendation on I initially thought 'that's good' and where you then posted a caveat on same first video, I started out of curiosity looking at where the source of findings came from. This was also prompted because it was stated, as if a fact, that Maori and Polynesians need to do this. I then posted the link to different ethnic countries studies behind these promotions, result deleted by you.

            I had also read some weeks back of the foolish Japanese Governor falsely promoting one of the same so called false cures and the negative fallout this created. This I posted but now deleted.
            I asked my daughter ( medical field) who pointed to authorative sources and the unfounded claims. How I take seriously Covid19 information, I then researched over hours many works to post those conclusions. They were NOT my findings.

            2. I check my post when composing on whichever platform before pasting into Reply box. eg. Often use samsung note as now.
            Then even before pushing Publish button, as explained, I check format and correct.
            Once clicked to Publish , yes it is 10 minutes, you will see that the majority of my posting are again edited by me once more in that time slot.

            3. I do. (see 2. above).

            4. I have the link to the samples and others but check reason at 1.above.
            The videos still exist despite many notices issued by Health authorities dispelling them. You deleted these for each analysis of all the substances discussed or promoted and so the ' bogus' scientifically unsubstantiated information still stands.

            5. I did "only use double quotes for actual quotes/cut and pastes". You removed them. Even in indented italics all work by other authors should still have commentators using "-" or it is plagiarism was my understanding over years.

  30. greywarshark 34

    What about a knighthood for Dr Ashley Bloomfield at the end of this, er sometime? The Man from the Ministry has done good.

    • Just Is 34.1

      Sadly Greywarshark, a Knighthood no longer has the same level of respect it once had attached to it.

      Not naming any names or anything.

      NZ should have its own awards system, with real, measurable criteria.

      • woodart 34.1.1

        thought we did? order of New Zealand? agree, knighthoods have had there luster well spoiled, soiled,sold?

      • gsays 34.1.2

        “NZ should have its own awards system, with real, measurable criteria.”

        Call the highest one The Bloomfield.

    • Stuart Munro 34.2

      He should at least get to say to the assembled press vermin:

      "Alright you primitive screwheads, I'm Dr Ash, and this is my Bloomschtick"

  31. Pat 35

    "Up until March, the number of people in the country on work visas had been growing steadily and had more than doubled over the last six years, hitting an all time high of 221,166 in March this year.

    But the number of work visa holders in the country has declined in every month since, dropping to 205,416 in July, down by 15,333 (-8.1%) compared to the March peak.

    However that reduction may be nothing more than a normal seasonal fluctuation, rather than anything to do with lockdown restrictions."

    https://www.interest.co.nz/property/106637/covid-19-lockdown-appears-have-had-only-minor-impact-overseas-student-numbers-so-far

    When numbers dont match the narrative

  32. PaddyOT 36

    Into the mix of so much information out there I would add some alternative views.

    We did not identify any evidence for the use of zinc as prophylaxis for COVID-19, nor as a standalone treatment. The results of clinical trials including zinc in the intervention regimens should provide definitive evidence of the effectiveness and safety of this treatment in the context of COVID-19.

    https://wellcomeopenresearch.org/articles/5-188

    The letter states the research did not involve giving ivermectin to people or animals, and that it only stopped replication of SARS-CoV-2 in a petri dish

    In vitro promise leads to clinical failure in the vast majority of cases, and in the volatile environment of the current pandemic, it is critical that we are sensitive to the implications of our communication and apply our resources to compounds most likely to succeed,

    Associate Professor Steven Tong is an infectious diseases clinician at Royal Melbourne Hospital, the principal investigator for the AustralaSian COVID-19 Trial (ASCOT) and a co-lead of clinical research at the Doherty Institute.

    He has not seen any clinical evidence to support Professor Borody’s claims.

    [deleted]

    https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/clinical/insufficient-evidence-to-currently-support-ivermec

    https://theconversation.com/ivermectin-is-still-not-a-miracle-cure-for-covid-19-despite-what-you-may-have-read-144569

    [the deleted bit was out of order from your previous quote. I’ve tidied up some of your formatting so it makes sense, but there are limits on my time – weka]

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

    • weka 36.1

      mod note for you Paddy.

      In addition to the points I made in OM.

      1. It's convention here to put the supporting link immediately after the quotation

      2. Please put new, separate quotes in a new line separate by a line space.

      3. I strongly suggest you learn how to use the quotation tags, it will make your comments way easier to understand and much less likely to be modded. Let me know if you want me to talk you through that.

    • PaddyOT 36.2

      You have taken away the correct use of quotation marks that were put around direct excerpts, the " " marks bind and represent the entire and exact language (either spoken or written) that has come from somebody else.

      Your reformatted post then makes these statements falsely as mine and my understanding is that your taking away of quotation marks is then plagiarism.

      For each direct quote I followed your instructions and put the direct source as you asked next to them.

      You then took those sources away disconnecting them and placed them at the bottom.

      You then selected and deleted direct quotes to make the post fit your picture.

      I resign.

      Make sure weka that you do the same consistently to all post commentators if the intent is other than eliminating true information.

      [as a moderator I have to be able to read comments and make sense of them. When someone writes comments that are hard to read, I usually try and help them sort that out for future comments. I’ve spent a fair amount of time today trying to show you what the problem was and how to change it going forward. As far as I can tell you’re not interested. That’s up to you. But you know where the boundaries are now. – weka]

  33. mpledger 37

    I see National want people to have a negative test before boarding a plane.

    I have thought about that but I don't see it as being particularly helpful for a number of reasons –

    a) you have to 100% trust the medical system in the country of origin – that they don't have screw-ups, are using a good testing regime, the results come out on time, the test results are impervious to forgery or tampering.

    b) the riskiest part of coming back to NZ is actually the travelling – getting to the airport, being in the airport, queuing etc – so having a test done at least 3-4 days before doing the travelling isn't that helpful.

    c) the cost of travelling is so expensive ($20k for a family)/travel options are so limited that not being able to get on a flight is really costly (time/money) which will make people try and cheat the system – not do the test and used forged test results.

    d) I don't think NZ has any authority over people in a foreign airport to make them force people off planes (aside from the rules under international negotiated treaties). Counter staff are going to be reluctant to police testing results (look out for forgeries) if it's just going to end up in an angry confrontation between people that just makes boarding planes even more inefficient.

    The practical realities of trying to do a test pre-boarding just seems too problematic … unless they get a quick spit test at the airport … but even that seems time consuming for a plane load of people.

    • observer 37.1

      All that really matters is that the clock starts at zero, when they arrive in NZ, and enter isolation.

      Any attempt to reduce that time is a risk that is not worth taking. And if it doesn't reduce that time, if they are all entering isolation for 2 weeks anyway, then it is a whole minefield of trouble – for no gain.

      Example: "Sir, I see your negative test has come from a doctor in India that does not meet our standards. You cannot board."

      Result: diplomatic row. Probable result: NZ accepts tests from Country A (worth X billion in trade) but not from Country B (worth peanuts).

      Of course it's not meant to be implemented, it's just a headline. Like Bridges' bonfire of regulations, and Muller's call for international students, it will be in the shredder by next month.

      • ScottGN 37.1.1

        Yes. National are still advocating quarantine for 14 days and tests at day 3 and day 12 and all the other health checks. It’s just a headline grabber to hang the policy on. Ain’t ever going to happen.

    • Gabby 37.2

      I wouldn't put it past them to auction the right to issue negative test certificates (comes with free 3 months work visa).

    • ianmac 37.3

      Imagine trying to time the test and its answer coinciding with the booked ticket. Delay with answer? Just book again for a new costly ticket. What's a few thousand more and do you mind getting the test done in the timeframe- again? No?

  34. John G 38

    I see AB has been nominated for kiwi of the year. Stiff competition, Gower has been nominated as well. I presume he nominated himself. (Gower I mean)

  35. Stuart Munro 39

    Vincente Fox – maybe the best counter-Trump commenter of all.

  36. Pat 40

    Street and/or suburb lockdowns….WTF?

    Is their understanding of this virus really that flawed?

    Judith Collins , One News 6 pm tonight

  37. anker 41

    Melbourne did the street/suburb lockdown and look how well that worked out

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    Highlighted article: Carbon pricing and planetary boundaries  Engström et al take what might be called a systems approach to evaluating carbon pricing, taking into a account various economic sectors affected by and affecting paying for emissions. The conclusions are overall a rare pleasant surprise— a feature predicated on cooperation.  Abstract: ...
    4 days ago
  • Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes
    Nathan Mietkiewicz, National Ecological Observatory Network and Jennifer Balch, University of Colorado Boulder CC BY-ND Summer and fall are wildfire season across the western U.S. In recent years, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and exposed tens of millions to harmful ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: China steps up
    China has increased its climate change ambition, and set a target to be carbon-neutral by 2060: China will reach carbon neutrality before 2060 and ensure its greenhouse gas emissions peak in the next decade, Xi Jinping has told the UN general assembly. “China will scale up its intended nationally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Humans have dealt with plenty of climate variability
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much climate variability have humans dealt with since we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Indigenous perspectives on unrestricted access to genomic data
    By Genomics Aotearoa researcher Maui Hudson, University of Waikato It is vital that genomics research respects genomic data and genetic heritage from indigenous communities. Genomics research is a rapidly growing field of study, and there is a strong push to make the huge amount of data being produced open ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    4 days ago
  • Terrible luck: lockdowns on learning and youth job prospects
    What is bad luck? Bad luck is spilling spaghetti sauce down your shirt right before an important meeting. When the person in front of you gets the last seat on the bus, that’s bad luck. Bad luck is when it’s sunny outside, so you leave the house without a coat, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Does private healthcare threaten public healthcare in New Zealand?
    Is the private health system impacting negatively on the public health system? Health commentator Ian Powell evaluates a recent NZ Herald article by Natalie Akoorie (“Public v private healthcare: Moonlighting, skimming, duplication – should NZ do better”), and looks at how the dual system works, and concludes that the answer ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • A rabbit-hole election debate: So do you want more avocado orchards?
    We live in strange and unusual times. It’s been a century since we’ve endured a global pandemic like this, more than half a century since we’ve had economic woes like this. So maybe we got an opening election debate for the times - because that was a strange and unusual ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • LIVE: Jacinda Ardern vs. Judith Collins, First Debate
    Tonight, The Civilian will be live-blogging the first of too many debates between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Judith Collins, and also the last fifteen minutes of the news. Be sure to tune in from 6:45pm for regular updates, which can be accessed by refreshing this page ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Hundreds of Aucklanders arrested after illegal mass gathering on Harbour Bridge
    An enormous drive-in party, shown here, was held this morning on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, where police were forced to intervene. Hundreds of Aucklanders were arrested this morning on public health grounds, after an apparent illegal mass gathering on the city’s Harbour Bridge. Police say hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in their ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • The Looming Fight.
    Social Distancing Be Damned - It's Jacinda! Shortly after ascending to Labour’s leadership, Jacinda described herself as a “pragmatic idealist”. It was an inspired oxymoron – packing into just two words the essence of the social-democrat’s dilemma. It was good to know that she knew what lay ahead of her. ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Moving faster
    Back in 2017, the UK announced that it would ban the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2040. Its a basic climate change measure, aimed at reducing emissions by shifting the vehicle fleet to cleaner technologies. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, they're planning to bring it forward ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
    For the past decade, Australia has had a racist, anti-refugee policy. Those claiming refugee status are imprisoned without trial and left to rot in the hope they would "voluntarily" return to be tortured and murdered. When the courts have granted them visas, the government has immediately revoked them on racial ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    5 days ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    5 days ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
    Becky Casale Elon Musk reckons his Neuralink brain implant is much more than a medical device–that one day it will drive a symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence. “Good morning! I’m Dr Benedict Egg and I’ll be supervising your Neuralink insertion today. Do you have any questions?” “Yes, Doc. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
    Many New Zealanders take a strong interest in US politics, with the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg being the latest example. Liam Hehir wonders if it very wise for New Zealanders to get so worked about it.   Many politically engaged New Zealanders are now furiously ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
    After stamping the Coronavirus out via strict lockdown between March and May, New Zealand went through a good three months without any community cases. Then a local outbreak in Auckland rather buggered things up last month. Auckland’s been in level 3 and level 2.5 for the past six weeks. ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
    Who's causing our skyrocketing emissions? As with most of our other problems, It's the rich: The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    6 days ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
    Crusher Collins - National Party leaderWe all know that the National Party is desperate to gain some traction during this election campaign and have been throwing pretty much everything at the Labour Party in order to try and undermine Jacinda Ardern and what the Coalition Government has achieved. But unfortunately ...
    7 days ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh goloing@gmail.com (19/09/2020) Che Guevara said that a true revolutionary is motivated by love i.e. love of the oppressed, the poor, the children dying from preventable illnesses. This phrase of his is true but has been used by reformists and their more hippy wing have taken advantage ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
    With the National Party this week announcing a new policy of tax cuts to spice up the election campagin. MyThinks went along to the launch and afterwards we spoke to the party’s finance spokesperson Paul “Golden Touch” Goldsmith. MT: Thanks for speaking to us Mr Goldsmith. PG: No. Thank you. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    1 week ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
    Barbados is planning to remove the queen as head of state and become a republic in time for the 55th anniversary of its independence in 2021: Barbados has announced its intention to remove the Queen as its head of state and become a republic by November 2021. [...] Reading ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz What is the impact of temperature increases in the tropics? ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Hokitika Landmark earmarked for $22m restoration
    Seddon House in Hokitika, once a hub for government on the West Coast, has been earmarked for government use once again. “Today we’re announcing a $22 million investment from the Government’s $3 billion infrastructure fund for shovel ready projects for the purchase and restoration of Seddon House in the heart of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes two diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced two new diplomatic appointments: •         Michael Appleton as New Zealand’s first resident High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. •        Tredene Dobson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Viet Nam.  Sri Lanka “New Zealand is opening a post in Colombo in 2021 because we are ready ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins
    The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to the 2020 winner Graeme Atkins while in Gisborne/Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa. “Graeme Atkins of Ngāti Porou is a Department of Conservation ranger whose contribution to conservation goes well above and beyond his employment,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Parliament to install solar and cut carbon
    Parliament is leading by example by taking action to cut its carbon footprint by installing solar and improving energy efficiency, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today. The Minister confirmed that Parliamentary Services will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to install solar PV and LED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tuvalu Language Week theme promotes community resilience in the face of COVID-19
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the 2020 Tuvalu Language Week theme of “Fakatili Te Kiloga Fou” which means “Navigating the changing environment” is a call on all Pacific peoples to be strong and resilient in the face of COVID-19. “This theme is a reminder to us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • International sport back up and running in New Zealand
    The Government is welcoming today’s announcement that the West Indies and Pakistan cricket teams will tour New Zealand this summer.  “A lot of hard work has been undertaken by sports officials including New Zealand Cricket, Netball New Zealand and government officials to ensure that international sport can return safely to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 1BT funds for Northland forest taonga
    Northland’s indigenous tree canopy is set to grow for the benefit of mana whenua and the wider community thanks to nearly $2 million in One Billion Trees funding, Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Komanga Marae Trust has received more than $1.54 million to restore and enhance the native ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better health care for West Coasters as Te Nikau Hospital officially opened
    The Government has delivered a new hospital for Greymouth and is starting work on a much needed new health centre in Westport, ensuring local communities will benefit from better access to high quality integrated health services. Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare officially open Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government backing local with PGF loan
    A West Coast distillery will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment that will enable it to expand its operations and create jobs in the town of Reefton, Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Reefton Distilling Co will receive a $928,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Primary sector exports and jobs up again
    Primary sector exports and jobs are up again, demonstrating the sector’s underlying strength amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and US-China trade war, and supporting New Zealand’s economic recovery. Stats NZ today reported New Zealand’s merchandise exports in August were up 8.6% on a year ago, driven by an increase in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clean energy future for more schools
    Schools across Aotearoa New Zealand will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The Minister has allocated $50 million from the Clean Powered Public Service Fund to replace, or convert, coal boilers in schools with clean ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Building business strength with digital tools
    New training and tools for digital commerce will give small businesses, especially in the tourism sector, the support they need to adapt and innovate in a COVID world. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced details of how $20 million digital capability funding set aside ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New pest lures to protect nature
    The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveillance towards a predator-free Aotearoa, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, announced in Christchurch today. The proposal is to develop long-life lures attractive to a range of predators—rats, mustelids ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
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