Open mike 20/12/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 20th, 2021 - 111 comments
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111 comments on “Open mike 20/12/2021 ”

  1. Jenny how to get there 1

    An Auckland Pacifica politician and a Maori health researcher say the Childhood vaccine roll-out, must prioritise South Auckland

    Covid-19: Boy's death brings call for south Auckland children to get vaccine first

    Lucy Xia 17:44, Dec 18 2021

    A councillor says children in south Auckland should be prioritised when the Covid-19 vaccine is rolled out for 5 to 11-year-olds.

    Manukau Ward councillor Efeso Collin’s call follows the death of a child who tested positive for Covid-19 – a Māori boy under the age of 10 – in his ward area….

    …South Auckland has the largest Pasifika population in New Zealand and a significant Māori population, both known to be at higher risk of hospitalisation for Covid-19.

    Collins is calling for an “immediate roll-out for children in south Auckland, Māori and Pasifika children”, as soon as the paediatric formulation becomes available.

    “It’s what we failed to do in the general [Covid] vaccine roll-out,” he said.

    Collins repeatedly called for South Auckland to be first in the vaccine queue for the general roll-out.

    ….Collins’ views are shared by health researcher Dr Rawiri Taonui.

    Taonui said: “It is absolute priority that Māori and Pasifika is front and centre” of the paediatric Covid vaccine roll-out.

    “Starting in Manukau and everywhere else as well.”….

    …Documents released under the Official Information Act show Cabinet chose not to prioritise vaccination for all South Aucklanders, despite the advice of health experts.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/127324726/covid19-boys-death-brings-call-for-south-auckland-children-to-get-vaccine-first

    A lot is resting on this tragic case of a Maori child's death in South Auckland. In my opinion, the government would be terribly remiss if it didn't take seriously councillor Efeso Collins' and health researcher Dr Rawiri Taonui' call for the government to prioritise the children of South Auckland for the childhood vaccine roll out.

    Jenny how to get there…

    18 December 2021 at 10:00 am

    A lot is hanging on the results surrounding this terribly sad death.

    Every death of child is tragic, especially if it is determined it was preventable.

    The outcome of the final determination of this child's cause of death may impact government health policy.
    If the child's cause of death was by covid. The question is how many Maori* children's deaths are acceptable.

    I would say that one, is one is too many.

    *Maori being identified as particularly vulnerable to death and illness due to covid-19.

    • Nic the NZer 1.1

      Not convinced this is a good idea. The vaccine rollout will depend on the uptake for this age group. Thats already likely to be lower than 90% of older age groups due to parental hesitancy. But if the govt has wrong preconceptions about where the uptake will be then this can only result in vaccines being available where they are not being used. Uptake should actually be driving how many doses are delivered and where.

      It would also seem to be a loss politically if the government is needing to prioritise vaccines to some places over others.

      • Chris 1.1.1

        I would've thought prioritising South Auckland would save lives. But I guess if the political loss is too great…

        • Nic the NZer 1.1.1.1

          Hows it expected to save lives? Are we expecting to have a shortfall of pedeatric vaccines? Or will South Auckland be particularly keen for their young ones to be vaccinated.

          Older prioratisation concept was about slightly younger categories for Maori, which could have made sense, but 5 to 11 is the age category left.

          And I'm leaving out the tricky bit, the pedeatric vaccination program may be about public health more than direct benefits to children. This is similar to the MMR vaccine in NZ. AFAIK the studies show only slight benefit for childhood vaccination at best.

      • Jenny how to get there 1.1.2

        Waitangi Tribunal rules that vaccine roll out inequitable. ("breached equity")

        Nic the NZer

        20 December 2021 at 1:26 pm

        ….It would also seem to be a loss politically if the government is needing to prioritise vaccines to some places over others.

        After hearing the testimony of Maori health professionals, data experts and health providers, the Waitangi Tribunal has ruled that by not prioritising vulnerable communities, the vaccine roll-out violated the principals of the Treaty for “political convenience”. The Tribunal also ruled that the government needed to publicly defend this position against any ‘backlash’.

        Will the government heed the findings of the Waitangi Tribunal?

        NZer, Should "a loss politically for the government to prioritise vaccines to some places over others" be balanced against preventing uneccesary illness and possibly deaths, in vulnerable communities?

        Or, NZer, do you think the government should prioritise avoiding 'political loss/public backlash'?

        The Tribunal ruled that the government had an ethical and moral duty to defend these choices against unreasonable public backlash. (political loss).

        NZer, do you disagree with the Tribunal that, that would be the couragous moral and ethical thing for the government to do?

        Government breached treaty principles in Covid-19 response, Waitangi Tribunal finds

        Maxine Jacobs05:00, Dec 21 2021

        The Government breached Te Tiriti o Waitangi for “political convenience” in its response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Waitangi Tribunal has found.

        On Tuesday, the Tribunal released Haumaru: the Covid-19 Priority Report, finding the Government’s Covid-19 response had breached Treaty principals such as active protection, equity, partnership and tino rangatiratanga…..

        …..Under Te Tiriti, the Crown has a duty to adopt rational, scientific and equitable policy choices for Māori, the Tribunal said, and a moral and ethical duty to defend those choices against unreasonable public backlash.

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/pou-tiaki/300482666/government-breached-treaty-principles-in-covid19-response-waitangi-tribunal-finds

        • joe90 1.1.2.1

          The Whanganui DHB prioritised Māori health providers. They were the first to offer vaccines to the group 2 cohort outside of the workplace – at risk Māori, older Māori being cared for by whānau, and anyone over 12 in their household. Outreach services vaccinated in remote and rural Māori communities. When group 3 vaccinations began Māori and PI folk over 50 and anyone 12 and older in their household were included.

          This twit knew this.

          https://twitter.com/whaeadeb/status/1469597110815182849

        • Nic the NZer 1.1.2.2

          So when the vaccines are delivered they need to be administered to 5 to 11 year olds, with parental permission. How (other than where appointments indicate) should these be made available?

          So obviously the Waitangi tribunal has some opinions that prioritising differently (by slightly younger maori categories?) could have been better than the existing policy of accepting whole families, rather than sticking to age categories.

          But there is apparently an obvious way to improve outcomes here with some alternative prioratisation of pediatric vaccination, and its going to save lives, and some of us don't know what that life saving prioratisation looks like. Do share, don't keep us in the dark.

  2. Jester 2

    Kāinga Ora need to kick these people out. Losing their state house is the only consequence they will understand. You can issue them as many warnings as you like but they are not going to change.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/ex-skinhead-white-supremacist-in-state-house-terrorising-christchurch-neighbours/YHFAOCMQSF3FVT5A4EZKVEDRDE/

  3. dv 3

    There is an interactive tool in the linked article allowing you to enter age, and it shows deaths per 100k of vaccinated and un vaccinated. (You need to scroll down away)

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/explained/127300075/covid19-nz-the-prochoice-argument-against-vaccines-explained

    eg

    Per 100k

    Age Unvac Vac

    20-24,
    Unvac 10
    Vac .6

    50-54
    unvac 290
    vac 17.4

    70-74
    Unv 4000
    vac 240

    Sorry abt the layout.

    and I cant find a link to the table.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    The public service had a historical problem of promoting the wrong people to management, according to Victoria University School of Management senior lecturer Geoff Plimmer​. Do we have credible evidence that this behaviour has ceased? I thought not.

    David Lillis​ has used the Official Information Act (OIA) to reveal 34 non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) over a decade from Treasury amounting to more than $813,000 and a single payment by the Public Service Commission of $268,000. Dr Lillis, a statistician and retired public servant, in remission despite an earlier terminal cancer diagnosis, sampled just some government agencies to see how rife the issue was.

    The Ministry of Education had 62 agreements since 2016, resulting in payments in excess of $500,000. However, it denied its agreements were NDAs despite earlier interpreting the request for NDA details as records of settlement.

    Well obviously the ministry would seek to have it both ways. Public service thought.

    There was no way of knowing the backstory of each payment but he was driven by bullying that he said he saw first hand during his time at multiple public and private workplaces, then heard more than 50 similar tales since becoming an advocate.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wellington/127298776/nondisclosure-exit-payouts-rife-in-public-service-researcher-finds

    Guerilla warfare between whistleblowers & managers seems to have become endemic. I presume that's due to the sense of entitlement bred into management ethos. Persistence of neo-colonialist attitudes breeds toxicity into the stew.

    “Media shaming” got the public service to take action but, Plimmer warned, “the battle isn’t over yet”.

    Performance management could be poor in public organisations meaning that, instead of dismissing underperforming staff, they “throw them out by breaking their spirit”.

  5. observer 5

    Over the past couple of weeks there have been dire predictions from opposition leaders (Luxon, Seymour) about chaos on the roads in Northland. Supported by several crystal ball gazers commenting on here: we were in for hours of delays if we're lucky, race riots if we're not.

    Reality update … sorry to disappoint. Not happening. Not even close.

    Sensible people in behaving sensibly shock!

    Police also thanked the Te Tai Tokerau Border Control for their assistance in running the checkpoints. “The support of our partners has been extremely helpful in helping to keep our communities safe and we are grateful for their ongoing support.”

    Spoilsports!

    • Tony Veitch (not etc.) 5.1

      Once again, the doom prophets of the right have been proved wrong.

      When will we stop giving them air/print/blog time?

      Rhetorical question. While we have a Murdock type media.

    • Puckish Rogue 5.2

      This probably helped:

      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2021/12/upset-hone-harawira-claims-police-vetted-iwi-led-checkpoint-group-members.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

      Harawira said, however, “we’ve had to stand down about half of our people” from helping to provide that protection following the vetting process.

      “That’s really killed us,” he told Morning Report on Wednesday.

      “Our people, over the last 18-20 months, have included bus drivers, gang members, doctors, lawyers, mothers, teachers – all sorts of people. Now, all of a sudden at the last minute, it got dropped on us that everyone had to be vetted.”

    • lebleaux 5.3

      I am one of the people who certainly predicted chaos. That is because the iwi had stated categorically that every car would be stopped and it seemed that it was iwi, not the police who were calling the shots. As it transpired, a decision by the police to vet the iwi volunteers reduced the volunteer group by a significant percentage, leaving the police totally in control. I drove through the checkpoint on Thursday and was waved through by the police, as were the vast majority of cars heading North, and so there was no backlog. So … well done to the police for the application of common sense.

      • bwaghorn 5.3.1

        Yip and every one is happy, except pucky ,Jimmy, and of course national themed prefer chaos so they can score petty points.

        • Gezza 5.3.1.1

          Hone Harawira’s not happy – see below.

        • Puckish Rogue 5.3.1.2

          Well I'm happy that the unvetted were kicked out, that gang members weren't taking number plates and finding out where people were going and when they'll be back, that there won't be long delays, that groups can't suddenly decide to take over core government responsibilites

          So yeah pretty happy

          • Robert Guyton 5.3.1.2.1

            Were gang members "kicked out", Pucky?

            You'll have some factual information to share with us, surely?

            • Puckish Rogue 5.3.1.2.1.1

              Do you enjoy being obtuse for the sake of it?

              Harawira said, however, “we’ve had to stand down about half of our people” from helping to provide that protection following the vetting process.

              “That’s really killed us,” he told Morning Report on Wednesday.

              “Our people, over the last 18-20 months, have included bus drivers, gang members, doctors, lawyers, mothers, teachers – all sorts of people. Now, all of a sudden at the last minute, it got dropped on us that everyone had to be vetted.”

              Yes I'm going to out on a limb and suggest that some of the people stood down may have been gang members

              • Robert Guyton

                Some may have, been, yes.

                Your gang-member fears are somewhat inflated, but nevertheless, it's good that you're pretty happy.

                Hone isn't. He cries "racism" and I don't doubt he's right.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  If what he says is true then near half his people failed (or wouldn't pass) the police vetting, doesn't that bother you in the slightest?

                  'Hone isn't. He cries "racism" and I don't doubt he's right.'

                  I doubt it very much.

                  Whenever an activist cries racism then theres a pretty good chance it isn't racism.

                  Crying racism is, fortunately, starting to lose its power because it isn't being used to point out racism but instead its used for other reasons

      • Hetzer 5.3.2

        Same experience, i guess once the criminals , ex criminals , and the racist harawira were weeded out, things went smoothly, same on my return trip

    • Gezza 5.4

      Activist and former Māori Party MP Hone Harawira has lashed out at New Zealand Police over the handling of Northland Covid-19 checkpoints, characterising law enforcement's decision to vet volunteers as "racist to the core".

      Iwi-led Tai Tokerau Border Control has been working alongside police since Wednesday, when Auckland's border opened after nearly four months of lockdown to travellers with proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a recent negative test.

      Police have characterised co-operation with the volunteers as positive and "extremely helpful". Speaking to NewstalkZB today, Tai Tokerau Border Control regional co-ordinator Reuben Taipari seemed to agree, describing the endeavour over the past week as successful.

      But in a blistering statement released to media Monday afternoon, Harawira focussed on what he said was a decision by police to "blindspot" the Northland volunteers at the last minute.

      Harawira said that while police and iwi seem to have made strides working together over the past 20 months of the pandemic, it was "gutting" to realise with about 20 minutes notice before the checkpoint opened that the majority of volunteers had been rejected by police because they had not passed a vetting process.

      Responding to the critique, Northland District Commander Superintendent Tony Hill noted that there was a short timeframe to establish a vetting process but that it was vital to the endeavour. "The Covid-19 Public Health Response Act required all of those working on the checkpoint line alongside police to be vetted," he said. "Those who did not pass vetting were able to work as TBC volunteers in other support roles and were not interacting with the public."

      Police have declined to comment on the vetting process further, citing privacy concerns.

      But

      Reuben Taipari, the Tai Tokerau Border Control regional co-ordinator, also spoke positively today about what the partnership achieved.

      "I'm satisfied. We surpassed our expectations," he told Newstalk ZB. "We conducted a checkpoint that was safe, and 99 per cent of our community and all of the visitors that travelled through our checkpoint were very positive."

      More…

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covid-19-delta-variant-northland-checkpoint-advocate-hone-harawira-lashes-out-at-nz-police/44AHRGX6URSB3TM3MD2RQOOZAQ/

      Well, it's Hone isn't it? Pretty typical for him to complain loudly to the media and keep his public profile high.

      • Dennis Frank 5.4.1

        I bet the police hierarchy blindsided him! It would have been elementary courtesy to inform him of the vetting in advance. Instead he got informed "with about 20 minutes notice before the checkpoint opened that the majority of volunteers had been rejected by police because they had not passed a vetting process."

        Important for the cops to send the message to the heartland that they retain power & control over the restless natives. Otherwise folks would get the silly idea that there's some kind of racial partnership going on… 🙄

        • Robert Guyton 5.4.1.1

          "folks would get the silly idea that there's some kind of racial partnership going on"

          Elegantly-put, Dennis.

        • DukeEll 5.4.1.2

          Ah yes, just anyone can man checkpoints with the power to stop the public and check their private data.

          Would have thought that it was elementary of hone with all his work in community groups to understand the law and the expectations around volunteers

          • Robert Guyton 5.4.1.2.1

            I agree. Vetting is basic practice now. That said, there is likely to be bias in the practice and differing views of what is fair and appropriate. Hone will be more sensitive to the details of that than most of us here are. If Hone hadn't considered the requirement, or the police hadn't made their needs known in a timely manner, anguish would have resulted.

            Never-the-less, it all seems to be working well.

            • DukeEll 5.4.1.2.1.1

              The removal of fixed checkpoints altogether is working very well from what I hear

            • Gezza 5.4.1.2.1.2

              Responding to the critique, Northland District Commander Superintendent Tony Hill noted that there was a short timeframe to establish a vetting process but that it was vital to the endeavour.

              The Covid-19 Public Health Response Act required all of those working on the checkpoint line alongside police to be vetted,” he said. “Those who did not pass vetting were able to work as TBC volunteers in other support roles and were not interacting with the public.”

        • Nic the NZer 5.4.1.3

          Police commander seems to have assumed Hone was familiar with the act, and didn't bother explaining the requirements to him.

          • Robert Guyton 5.4.1.3.1

            Yeah, because, it's extremely unlikely there's be any sort of miscommunication between the police and Maori over an issue like this…

            …so there was no need to take extra care… right?

          • Gezza 5.4.1.3.2

            Hone’s familiar enuf with the rules & regs to know he can accuse the police of racism for any who failed the vetting process because they are not allowed to disclose the reasons any were. Although I think it would behove the fuzz to give a summary of reasons why some people were declined authorisation without identifying individuals. If Hone & Reuben & other iwi members were staffing the checkpoints that indicates racism wasn’t the problem.

            I have it on good authority from a Māori friend up North that Hone quietly does a lot of sterling community work for his community up there – both Māori & Pākehā – and I have no reason to doubt that. But he also gives me the impression that he’s always too ready to play the race card, which he knows the media will breathlessly rush to report, merely as a way to keep his profile high, especially among Māori.

            • Robert Guyton 5.4.1.3.2.1

              Hone calls out racism confidently, because he knows exactly what it is and recognises it immediately he sees it.

              Those of us less exposed to racism, and less aware of it's qualities, often can't see it very well.

              • Gezza

                Even his fellow Ngāpuhi activist David Rankin once said Harawira was “playing the race card every time he wants to ‘create a smoke screen for other issues'”.

                He’s fired off plenty of ill-tempered racial slurs against Pākehā in his time He’s even famously accepted that he’s prejudiced. When he so quickly accuses others of racism, I think Hone’s often just projecting, or he’s just peed off at not getting his own way.

                • Robert Guyton

                  "Prejudiced" and "racist" are not the same thing.

                  Hone owns to being prejudiced, but cannot be racist 🙂

                  In any case, I accept his views on these issues, given his long, detailed and intense involvement in them.

                  • Gezza

                    Uh huh.

                    I’ll go with David Rankin, who has much experience of Hone, & with Reuben Taipari, who hasn’t reported any “racism” by police.

                    The wind has been ramping up in North Welly all day & there’s now a howling Norwesterly gale blowing & rattling the windows & doors. I’ll be interested to see what the damage is & what the highest velocity recorded was tomorrow. Because of its topography, Wellington city will be getting even harder hit than we are, from past experience.

                    Time for me to make snack – a freshly-baked cheese roll with canola/butter blend, sliced roast pork, fresh coleslaw, sliced tomato & a cheese slice.

                    Toodles 👋🏼

          • DukeEll 5.4.1.3.3

            Just for my own edification, what is the point where hone needs to take responsibility for his workforce and the laws around their operation?

            • Nic the NZer 5.4.1.3.3.1

              Actually your buying into media fiction. Hone said the police only completed vetting about 20 minutes in advance, but the vetting info would have been handed over to police days to a week prior to that.

              • DukeEll

                Humour me please.

                at what point is hone responsible for his workforce?

                • Nic the NZer

                  Well with most organisations that would be when he instructs them to do something illegal. So far this seems to be working very legally however.

                  I don't think I understand the question because my impression is these checkpoints have been well run, but not every volunteer was allowed to help, not that they have done anything dodgy.

                  • DukeEll

                    Instructs them to do something illegal…..

                    that’s not really how employer culpability works, even for volunteer and not for profit orgs.

                    as for the checkpoints working well? Well for 5 days until the 24hr annoyance kicked in

                    • Nic the NZer

                      You think Hone should be held responsible for them not doing anything illegal?

                    • DukeEll []

                      As the bird bot pointed out above, it’s illegal to not be vetted and working on the checkpoint, according to the law passed by majority labour government

                    • Nic the NZer

                      Didn't they follow that? I thought that was why they all needed to be vetted?

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    It is a question of when, not if, the New Zealand Government mandates a ‘booster’ shot for My Vaccine Pass holders. The rollout will need to be accelerated. If history predicts future behaviour, this won’t happen until Omicron has seeded itself in the community.

    The gist so far seems to be that omicron spreads faster than delta but consequent illness isn't so much of a threat. So from a public health perspective, authorities will need to focus on the percentage likely to end up in hospital – most of whom due to aggravation or compounding of effects from existing medical conditions, I suspect.

    Ardern told Associated Press last year: “I remember my chief science adviser bringing me a graph that showed me what flattening the curve would look like for New Zealand. And where our hospital and health capacity was. And the curve wasn’t sitting under that line. So, we knew that flattening the curve wasn’t sufficient for us.”

    According to the Government’s epidemiological modelling, the mitigation strategy would have resulted in a peak of nearly half-a-million symptomatic cases. It was projected that 27,000 would die in this scenario. That was unconscionable to Ardern and most New Zealanders. Anything that could be done, would be done. That was the genesis of our ‘world-leading’ response to COVID-19.

    https://democracyproject.nz/2021/12/20/josh-van-veen-omicron-could-topple-jacinda-ardern/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=josh-van-veen-omicron-could-topple-jacinda-ardern

    Josh Van Veen has a Masters in Politics from the University of Auckland & is a refugee from NZFirst.

    After the strange death of elimination, we turned to another chimera. If it wasn’t possible to eradicate the virus, then New Zealand was going to be the most vaccinated country in the world. An ambitious 90 percent double-dose target was set for the eligible population under each of the 20 District Health Boards (DHBs). But the goal was really to convince every single New Zealander of their moral obligation to be vaccinated.

    However, science failed to persuade a significant minority. Having backed itself into a corner, the Government had no choice but to use hard power. Vaccines were mandated for a large proportion of the workforce (“no jab, no job”). It was assumed that ‘anti-vaxxers’ would make a rational calculation to get vaccinated rather than lose their incomes. That was a heroic assumption. For those who distrust the system, the mandates were confirmation of a hidden agenda.

    Divide & rule is traditional, inherited from empire. Can't really blame Labour for defaulting to it – but he's having a go.

    Ardern is hopelessly conflicted between our demands for security and freedom. Sooner or later, pressure to reopen the border will become insurmountable… Ardern will find it increasingly difficult to rationalise her belief that New Zealand ‘leads the world’. Yet the Prime Minister’s self-image depends on this fragile myth. For peace of mind, she may choose to leave office rather than confront the bleak reality.

    Or she may view the divide between security & freedom as a path that may be walked with balance & poise. Like the one along a high-wire. A challenge to be finessed. Still, he makes a valid point. Things could get too difficult for her & resignation to prioritise motherhood could open up less onerous career options for the future for her as well.

    • observer 6.1

      Somebody totally irrelevant speculates pointlessly.

      Promulgating the "Ardern will quit" myth is a popular parlour game among those who have misunderstood Ardern for 4 years, contrary to all evidence.

    • Sanctuary 6.2

      The neoliberal right wing pundit class reminds me of the parable of the tribe which had an idol sitting high on an altar. They had been taught, and come to believe, that the idol was permanent, immovable and they had to worship it, because the idol was the embodiment of all immutable truth. Then one day there was a loud rumbling, and the permanent and immovable idol fell of it's altar and hit the ground with a gigantic crack. There was a terrible silence. The tribe shuffled their feet and looked at one another and didn't know what to think. Eventually, some members of the tribe, embarrased and baffled, picked up the cracked idol and put it back on the altar, and they all went back to worshipping it because they couldn't think what else to do.

      The idol is of course the heartless class war of right wing neoliberal managerialism as represented by John Key's National. The loud rumbling covid. 2020 was the period of silence, as the Labour government managed covid adroitly and in the interests of everyone in the country. 2021 was the year the right wing pundits put the cracked idol back up on the altar, because they didn't know what else to do when their particular set of class, race and economic assumptions which they had elevated to fundametal principles of reality turned out to be merely a description of the way the economy and society had been run for a number of years.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 6.2.1

        I like the story!! Human nature in a nutshell.

      • woodart 6.2.2

        good one sanctuary. you and observer are voices of reason amongst the static.

      • JO 6.2.3

        A great analogy, especially after hearing just two minutes of Chris's half-hour ramble with Kerre through the sunny uplands of focus and success going forward. Seeing made it even more challenging, he speaks as fast with similar patterns as his script prompt person.

        If it's hard for an individual to change their mind and admit failure, it's almost impossible for a group to do this without falling apart.

        https://nav.al/failure

        I was on the board of a foundation that was charged with giving out money for a cause, and I found it very disillusioning because what I learned was that no matter what the foundation did, they would declare victory. Every project was victorious. Every project was a success. There was a lot of back slapping. There were a lot of high-sounding mission statements and vision statements, a lot of congratulations, a lot of nice dinners—but nothing ever got done.

        • Gypsy 6.2.3.1

          Sounds like the government.

          • Patricia Bremner 6.2.3.1.1

            Show me one back slapping incident Gypsy… just one.

            • Gypsy 6.2.3.1.1.1

              This was the part my comment related to:

              There were a lot of high-sounding mission statements and vision statements, a lot of congratulations, a lot of nice dinners—but nothing ever got done.

              I can give you plenty of examples if you like. The greatest disappointment about this government is what it could have achieved and hasn't.

    • weka 6.3

      The gist so far seems to be that omicron spreads faster than delta but consequent illness isn't so much of a threat. So from a public health perspective, authorities will need to focus on the percentage likely to end up in hospital – most of whom due to aggravation or compounding of effects from existing medical conditions, I suspect.

      If omicron turns out to be less lethal and disabling, there is still the issue of how fast it spreads. Fast spread means more cases, means more pressure on the health system and potentially more deaths if we reach over flow.

      • RedLogix 6.3.1

        Fast spread means more cases, means more pressure on the health system and potentially more deaths if we reach over flow.

        Yes that was the same reason for the original 'flatten the curve' logic that justified the first lockdowns in 2020. It was a valid reasoning then, and would seem to apply to Omicron now.

        But leaping from this to 'eliminating Omicron' is not so reasonable. Given COVID in one form or another is now endemic globally, and NZ is about as vaccinated as it's ever going to get (booster shots aside) – the only reason for continued control measures now is to buy time to gain a more certain understanding of Omicron and for Delta to be eliminated everywhere else.

        Then we will have reached another decision point that will be an interesting political test.

        • weka 6.3.1.1

          is anyone talking about eliminating omicron?

          • Puckish Rogue 6.3.1.1.1

            I'd rather eliminate the Necronomicon if we can

          • RedLogix 6.3.1.1.2

            Make what you will of this from Bloomfield:

            This case didn't mean that Omicron would get into the community, he said.

            "It's by no means inevitable and we'll continue to do everything we can to make sure we keep Omicron either out of the country or at the border if it does come on a flight."

            High vaccination rates, testing, contract tracing and isolation on top of other measures New Zealand had in place would continue to serve us well, he said.

            • Pat 6.3.1.1.2.1

              The Director General of Health could hardly be expected to express any other opinion….and no one really expects him to.

              Indeed he would be widely castigated should he say anything other.

  7. Stephen D 7

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/300482084/hundreds-face-christmas-in-quarantine-in-south-australia-after-teen-with-covid19-parties-at-club

    "Christmas is supposed to be a time to celebrate with family and loved ones, however, because of the actions of one selfish person, that won’t be the case for many," Loverboy said in a statement.

    "We have to close our doors for the busiest week of the year and 'will be opening presents in isolation' …

    "We will be seeking justice."

    It'll be interesting to follow this story. Exactly what do they mean by "justice?"

    I suspect what they can do is…absolutely nothing.

    • Jimmy 8.1

      Well I hope for the kids sake they do not get in to serious difficulties, as I assume they will be hesitant to launch helicopters and search parties.

      Is the father the "full quid" as they say?

    • Sabine 8.2

      Untreated mental illness maybe?

    • Tricledrown 8.3

      Looks like mental health issues,pressures of life.

      Last time everyone came out good.

      We just need a bad weather event which have been happening to make it a disaster.

      • Puckish Rogue 8.3.1

        This is no good for anyone, what powers do the authorities have to step in situations like this?

  8. Stephen D 9

    Not often I totally agree with Chris Trotter.

    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2021/12/the-longest-year.html

  9. Bill 10

    "…but obviously unvaccinated people are more likely to get covid in the first place, so have an increased risk of long covid."

    What!? Bar a short window measured in some weeks, and as borne out in the scientific literature, vaccinated people are as likely to contract and transmit Covid as the next person. They're probability of getting severely ill or dying is reduced, but of course, contracting the virus is a pre-requisite for that protection kicking in. If protection against infection is the claim, then any potential to suffer less severe symptoms is a moot point..

    Ask yourself – why would vaccinated people be urged to get booster shots if vaccinated people were less likely to contract Covid? And why is the interval for receiving those boosters being dropped from six months to three months?

    Also, why are people who have not submitted to an m-RNA injection being excluded from society if vaccination confers immunity?

    Anyway. My brother in law was double vaccinated and contracted long covid. It's taken him some months to shake off constant tiredness. My sister, who was also double vaccinated got infected too, but for her it was a straight forward matter of letting the infection run its course. My nephew landed somewhere inbetween those two scenarios – ie, he took longer to shake it than his mum did.

    Point being that Covid is endemic and everyone is going to catch it just like everyone catches the more common coronaviruses.

    If nastier future variants are the concern, then we really, really shouldn't be administering a leaky vaccine on a universal basis. As per Marek's virus, the vaccinated environment is one that pushes the evolution of the virus in different (and potentially very dangerous) ways compared to if the general environment isn't ramped up.

    Anyway. Our future freedom is about to down the tubes regardless (or “unless” as the Lorax might say), not because of what Covid does, but because governments are using it as an excuse to lock us into a surveillance state that doles out and takes away access to society via systems of social credit ( ie – the vaccine passport being but step one) driven by widespread and intrusive surveillance sitting on everyday electronic gizmos like personal cell phones.

    [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 10.1

      I'm not willing to let my post on a very serious topic be derailed by another set of round and round, 'choose your own scientist' arguments.

      I'm also not willing for people to use my posts to run their own off-topic arguments. There are lots of other places to have those debates.

      To give one example,

      Ask yourself – why would vaccinated people be urged to get booster shots if vaccinated people were less likely to contract Covid?

      Booster shots are recommended because vaccine protection wanes over time. Someone doubled vaxxed two weeks ago has less chance of contracting covid than someone who is unvaxxed. This is not rocket science to understand.

      I will edit my post with a reference for the claim about protection, but it's still not an invitation to go off on tangents. I will also post that there.

      You are welcome to comment again under my post on the topic of long covid and the precautionary principle. I will expect claims of fact to be referenced with a quote that explains the claims and a link.

      • Bill 10.1.1

        Okay Weka. You agreed with all of the points I made insofar they were pertinent to obviously (if unintentionally) misleading claims you made in your post – so much so that you've corrected your post. And yet …

        Ah well.

        • weka 10.1.1.1

          don't actually know what you are saying there, and tbh I can't be bothered with that kind of convoluted way of debating.

          I believe that covid vaccines lessen one's chance of getting covid. I will find a link supporting that when I have the time.

          You apparently don't believe that, and instead believe that vaccines provide no protection against contracting covid. You can believe whatever you like, but you can't come into my post, assert that with no reference, and then use that as a starting point to run whatever lines you were trying to run. That's part of why I moved the comment.

          • weka 10.1.1.1.1

            In comparison with fully vaccinated people, the CDC reported that unvaccinated people were 5 times more likely to be infected

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_vaccine_clinical_research#Effectiveness

            One of Wikipedia's references shows declining effectiveness against infection from delta, not that there is protection

            https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7037e1.htm?s_cid=mm7037e1_w

          • Nic the NZer 10.1.1.1.2

            This seems to be where the 'state of the art' is in denying vaccine protection. Basically people who become infected with covid and people who fight it off can test positive on a PCR test (these are sensitive, not diagnostic). As a result studies identify the symptomatic subjects and PCR test those to measure effectiveness. But this means the studies can't identify the rate of subjects expecting PCR test failures in the wild, which is called no evidence of protection by some.

            • weka 10.1.1.1.2.1

              Not following that.

              People with symptomless covid aren’t included in vaccine trials? And?

              • Nic the NZer

                People with unsymptomatic covid are often not measured by the trials. This is reasonable as these are not the statistics of interest to the trials. But it does give a way for simplistic arguments to be made of the form 'vaccines provide no protection', and yes some further studies refute that as well.

                As a side narrative there is the one about PCR test false positives, where the argument is made that PCR tests are not 'diagnostic' so can't tell if someone is infected if they test positive. Of course diagnostic here mean a PCR test can't tell if somebody is (or may get) sick from covid, because unsymptomatic people will have a positive PCR. I no longer consider this 'state of the art' however as it doesn't seem to have convinced many that the positive test numbers are a fiction.

                • weka

                  But it does give a way for simplistic arguments to be made of the form 'vaccines provide no protection'

                  this is the bit I don't get. Can you explain the gap, what's the reasoning that connects asymptomatic aren't in trials and vaccines don't provide protection?

                  • Nic the NZer

                    Theres not much to get. What your likely not observing is that the argument doesn't make sense. This does not however mean some won't fall for it.

                    A more sophisticated way it can be presented is that vaccine trials don't measure how much a subject will be protected from positive PCR tests, and (sometimes unsaid) this is because it offers no protection.

                    I've heard the similar argument against masks. So apparently because mask use is not as effective, as say a biohazard suit could be, they don't even reduce transmission.

                    I wonder if there are any other things where people need full perfect categorisation or the categories are considered meaningless.

                    • weka

                      I've heard the similar argument against masks. So apparently because mask use is not as effective, as say a biohazard suit could be, they don't even reduce transmission.

                      oh yeah, I've heard that one with vaccines a fair bit too. Reducing risk rather than absolute prevention is somehow now useful.

                      I picked that it didn't make sense, lol, but just wasn't sure if I was missing something.

                      A more sophisticated way it can be presented is that vaccine trials don't measure how much a subject will be protected from positive PCR tests, and (sometimes unsaid) this is because it offers no protection.

                      As an aside, will the vaccine theoretically protect people from asymptomatic covid? I'm not quite sure what the threshold is for 'infection'. Is it by definition the presence of symptoms, or does it include anyone who has covid antibodies or the virus on their nasal cavity?

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      Some studies in your covid wiki link above support reduced asymptomatic infection also. The standard there is a failed regular PCR test which means some virus in the nasal cavity. This could still happen with the subject having an immediate immune response and beating back the virus. I believe covid antibodies indicate more infected again and symptoms more again so the PCR is the most sensitive test.

                      Most of the vaccine studies only consider symptoms followed by a positive PCR test as covid positive.

              • Craig H

                People misrepresent that as meaning a vaccine does nothing useful.

          • Bill 10.1.1.1.3

            You apparently don't believe that, and instead believe that vaccines provide no protection against contracting covid.

            Nope. I haven't ever said that, and beneath your post (in that same comment you shifted) I wrote "Bar a short window measured in some weeks, and as borne out in the scientific literature, vaccinated people are as likely to…" (And I've linked peer reviewed studies illustrating that point for you before. I guess you don't bother to read links people provide?).

            • weka 10.1.1.1.3.1

              I don't read all your comments, that's right. How would I know what you've linked to before.

              I still don't know what you are on about and you seem unwilling to clarify, so another good reason to have shifted the conversation here. I'm sure you think you are making sense, but I don't understand what you are meaning if you are not saying that apart from a few weeks the vaccine doesn't lessen the risk contracting covid.

              My view is that it does provide more protection than not being vaccinated and I posted links above.

  10. RedLogix 11

    Oh look:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4727614/

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5990512/

    [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 11.1

      Two things Red. One is I'm reluctant to let people use links in lieu of explanations. People can get away with that more on OM, but I put a lot of effort into that post, it's a long read and I'm not into sound bite responses that require readers to do even more work. If you have a point please make it in the clear.

      Two, I can't see the relevance of your links to either the post or Dennis' comment. I'm not willing for that post to become a free ranging covid debate.

      • RedLogix 11.1.1

        The obvious relevance is that there is solid evidence that Vitamin D is highly connected to both COVID and MS. I scarcely thought it necessary to insult our readers intelligence by spelling this out.

        And given the remarkable crossover between MS symptoms and Long COVID I’m claiming this is entirely relevant to your post.

        • weka 11.1.1.1

          seems kind of abstract tbh. If you have some evidence of the role of Vit D in long covid, please post it there. But the point of the post is that there is so much we just don't know yet and we should be using the precautionary principle because of that (not for instance assuming that herd immunity will protect us from long covid, or that vit D will).

          • RedLogix 11.1.1.1.1

            Dennis Frank quoted WHO with:

            "The World Health Organisation has actually come out now with a clinical case definition for long Covid and it's virtually identical for what is accepted for ME/CFS."

            I added two formal references that pointed to the Vitamin D signal that both COVID and MS appear to share in common. I'm frankly surprised you find this potential connection 'too abstract'.

            • weka 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Dennis: doctor in this link says case definitions of LC and ME are almost identical

              Red: here are some links saying something about covid and a fourth illness (MS) both having something to do with vit D

              Still don’t get it sorry.

    • Dennis Frank 11.2

      Couldn't detect relevance of the first, but did so for the second – the question then becomes how much measurable improvement of immune system function correlates with levels of supplementary Vit D intake. Seems a worthy task for public health scientists to investigate…

  11. Blazer 12

    Left win the so called-'Communism vs Fascism' election in Chile.

    'We did it!' Chile's Boric seals leftist revival with election win (shorenewsnetwork.com)

    • Dennis Frank 12.1

      With over 99% of ballots counted, Boric, 35, who leads a broad leftist coalition, had 55.86% of the vote, compared with 44.14% for far-right rival Jose Antonio Kast, who conceded defeat. “I just spoke to @gabrielboric and congratulated him on his great success,” Kast said on Twitter. “From today he is the elected President of Chile and he deserves all our respect and constructive collaboration. Chile is always first.”

      Excellent role model for right wing political leaders! Kast had been framed as a Pinochet clone. Clearly more to the guy than that. Real fascists never concede common ground – because they are incapable of discerning it.

    • Ad 12.2

      Yes agree this is a great win.

      I hope Mr Boric is paying attention to Peru, where the President elected with a similar Marxist-Leninist Party platform walked most of it back pretty quickly.

      They are both promising to regulate massive oil and gas companies, both promising massive social reform.

      The cute line from Mr Boric in his campaign was: “Chile was the birthplace of neoliberalism in South America and it will be its grave.”

      At 35 it reminded me a lot of the reformist promise of Jacinda Ardern in 2017.

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  • All good, still
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  • Minister celebrates students’ space success
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    7 hours ago
  • New WorkSafe board appointments to address a history of poor financial management
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    8 hours ago
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  • Government introduces Three Strikes Bill
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    11 hours ago
  • New support for agricultural emissions reduction
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    12 hours ago
  • Government actions strengthening Māori success
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    15 hours ago
  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
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    1 day ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
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  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
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  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
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  • School attendance increases
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    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
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    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
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    6 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
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    6 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
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    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
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    6 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
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    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
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    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
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    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
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    1 week ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
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  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
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    1 week ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
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  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
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  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
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    1 week ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
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    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
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    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
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  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
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    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
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    2 weeks ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
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  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
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