Open mike 21/01/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 21st, 2022 - 103 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 …

103 comments on “Open mike 21/01/2022 ”

  1. This is a ‘congratulatory’ post: in an incredibly short period of time, humans have managed to ‘develop’ to the point where scientists are talking of the 6th mass extinction. Well done us!

    About 50,000 years ago, plus or minus 20,000 years, there occurred among homo sapiens what is known as the cognitive revolution.

    Among other developments in the brain, humans of the time stopped seeing themselves as a part of Nature, and began believing they were above Nature, a chosen species. That Nature was ‘created’ by ‘a God or Gods’ to serve them, and them alone.

    50,000 or so years later, we’re on the point of exterminating ourselves.

    The dinosaurs had much smaller brains, but they lasted for millions of years; homo sapiens for the blink of an eyelid in geological age.

    Whether you accept we have a very few years left, or that human life will go on in some form forever, all need to realise we’ve made a colossal f*ck-up of it all in an incredibly short period of time, as evidenced by this graph.

    Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. In 2021, it fell on July 29.”

    (Can't place the graph in post – but check the link)

    The obvious trend is towards complete depletion of the Earth’s resources at some time in the not too distant future. Infinite growth on a finite planet anyone?

    There has been much scientific talk about ‘tipping points,’ events which trigger an exponential change leading to probable extinction of our species.

    One such crucial tipping point is ice loss in the Arctic (and the Antarctic for that matter).

    If/when we lose all ice in the Arctic, (possibly about September next year) all hell will break loose in the world’s climate.

    It’s patently obvious that NZ, being such a small player in world terms, can do little to persuade the major polluters to mend their ways, (Cop-out 26 proved that) except by radical example, which this government has been largely reluctant to provide.

    What we can and should do is recognise the crisis, and prepare to at least weather (pun intended) the worst that climate change can inflict on us.

    Yes, I’m talking about ‘a hermit kingdom,’ or perhaps, to rile up the right wing misogynists, that should be ‘a hermit queendom.’

    So, here’s the problem: do we bury our heads in the sand by maintaining either a) that climate change is a myth, or is beneficial because we might be able to grow bananas in Invercargill, or b) initiate immediate steps to mitigate its worst effects on New Zealand?

    • Ross 1.1

      initiate immediate steps to mitigate its worst effects on New Zealand?

      What would such steps look like, how much would it cost and what would be the anticipated outcome?

      Sometimes doing nothing, or at least doing something whose benefits outweigh the costs, is the best option. That’s because doing something might produce few if any benefits and take away resources from areas where they could be used more productively.

      Bjorn Lomborg has made a similar point. If we can prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths by providing poor countries with clean drinking water, we should seriously think about doing so. (If we can prevent children from being run over and killed in their own driveway, we should consider doing so, especially if there is an easy fix, which there is.)

      I’d be interested in your response to how much it’s going to cost to take these steps, what steps exactly are you referring to, and the likely benefits of taking such action.

      • kejo 1.1.1

        Ross. What would it cost? !!!!!! It would cost everything. Nothing more. Nothing less. How much were YOU thinking?

    • Blade 1.2

      I blame the Archon and Demiurge for giving us a subconscious mind and the ability to self reflect.. otherwise it would just be another day in paradise before the inevitable happens.

      Tony, take a deep breath and relax. No amount of angst will stop the planet doing what the planet has always done.

      I'm more worried about a pole shift. The Schumann Resonance 7.83 Hz ( the earths heartbeat, and according to some, what all living things rely on ) has apparently become weaker of the years.

      • Do not go gentle into that good night,
        Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
        Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

        Dylan Thomas

        • Blade

          Sage advice… if the light is dying?

        • Foreign waka

          Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
          Because their words had forked no lightning they
          Do not go gentle into that good night.

          Everything is governed by time, we just think ours is of more importance than anyone's or anything else.

      • Dennis Frank 1.2.2

        I studied that stuff long ago, have Hapgood's book on it that Einstein wrote the foreword for. The magnetic poles seem to have a random walk sometimes:

        the North Pole did wander across North America, right out towards New York, actually, and then back again across to Oregon," says Alan Cooper, an evolutionary biologist with Blue Sky Genetics and the South Australian Museum.

        He explains that it "then zoomed down through the Pacific really fast to Antarctica and hung out there for about 400 years and then shot back up through the Indian Ocean to the North Pole again."

        He and colleague Chris Turney, an earth scientist at the University of New South Wales, found a new way to study the exact timing of all this, using unusual trees in New Zealand.

    • Stephen Doyle 1.3

      This always gives me hope for the planet.

  2. GreenBus 2

    From Luke Malpass

    This looks like a handy guide for what to do if you get covid including traffic light details. I've saved this link for future reference.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    It isn't easy for mainstreamers to admit that democracy is anti-democratic, but we're getting a few signs that they're starting to wake up to it:

    The modest alterations Democrats proposed to the United States’ ailing democracy finally died in the Senate late Wednesday night, when one of the nation’s most anti-democratic institutions failed to alter an anti-democratic rule… Hours later, Democrats tried to reform Senate filibuster rules in a way that would allow them to pass the bill with a simple majority. But that vote failed too, when Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) joined all 50 Republicans against the rule change.

    But the real problem is existential. The uniquely anti-democratic structures of the American political system have historically thwarted any effort to make the United States a more representative nation, especially for its Black, Latino, Native American and other marginalized populations… The chief culprit, however, is not the filibuster but the Senate, a legislative body that is biased in favor of rural, whiter, low-population states at the expense of more populated, Blacker and browner areas of the country.

    The filibuster, an arcane Senate rule that places an arbitrary 60-vote threshold on nearly all forms of legislation, further intensifies the Senate’s minoritarian structure: The 52 senators who voted to maintain the rule Wednesday night, in fact, represent 34 million fewer Americans than the 48 who voted to change it. And a total lack of representation for the District of Columbia, whose 700,000 mostly Black and brown residents do not enjoy the benefits of statehood, skews the body even more.

    America's left remains split down the middle. Liberals seeking to defend the status quo vs progressive changemakers:

    In calls with civil and voting rights groups, White House aides reportedly expressed that the groups could simply “out-organize” the new GOP voter suppression laws without passing new voting rights legislation.

    Those groups went public with their complaint about the White House’s inaction on July 13, when 150 civil and voting rights groups published a letter to the White House excoriating Biden for failing to use his position to help pass the legislation despite stating that the new voter suppression laws constituted “the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War.”

  4. Puckish Rogue 4

    Can confirm this works well:

  5. Blade 5

    I heard a Kmart merchandise manager on talkback yesterday. What a bleak picture he painted. The main points of his korero:

    1- Kmart(NZ) has 30 containers sitting on the wharf in Australia that are yet to be loaded. They were due in NZ during December. Estimated time of arrival 3-6 months. I reckon longer, if at all, given Kmart Australia has its own sourcing issues. The reason for the delay is lack of crane and forklift operators.

    2-Kmarts NZ warehouse is at present only 25% full.

    3- He claims shelves are empty, and customers are turning on staff. Customers want product; they expect product…and when they can't buy what they want, staff cop it. I wonder if the government will, too? I can vouch for the empty shelves. My local KM has next to no sporting goods left.

    The supposed caller then said something I thought was suss. He claimed ScoMo wants to lower the age ( under18) for gaining crane and forklift licences so vacancies can be filled. Having driven forklifts, I know they are dangerous machines under certain circumstances. But it would seem I was wrong – desperate times call for desperate measures. I believe ScoMo has since reconsidered that option.sad

    • Foreign waka 5.1

      It is my thinking that firstly, freight and shipping companies see NZ as an annex of Australia and we are completely dependent on AUS to get any goods, and I mean any. Secondly, by squeezing supply, pricing is thus artificially gauged and I honestly believe that we will see inflation close to double digits in the next 2 years . Our wages will not be able to keep pace and the young ones will jump the ditch. Now, planning and trade negotiations go only so far, what about delivery Management?

  6. Jimmy 7

    Wow look at the way this lady is driving. Lowering the speed limits on some roads is not going to make any difference to the road toll while people drive like this. Peoples driving attitudes need to change.

    Watch: Speeding Auckland driver's frightening crash caught on camera – NZ Herald

    • mac1 7.1

      While stupid driving is always dangerous, don't dismiss the effect of mandated speed reduction.

      The road toll on SH6 has been greatly reduced since speeds were reduced from 100 to 80/90 km/h.

      There was quite some opposition at the time from the Kaikoura MP down, citing time lost and the time cost to road freighters.

      To contradict this view, the time difference is about 15 minutes for a 110 km journey, and an industry spokesman said that trucks save considerably (50 litres less on a 500 km journey) on fuel usage for every 10 km/h slower.

      There have been no fatalities since introduction of these measures on SH6 designed to reduce the road toll.

      • Jimmy 7.1.1

        That is a good result SH6 Mac. What concerns me is too many drivers like this lady that simply ignore all speed limits whether they be 80km/hr or 100km/hr and drive erratically.

    • Foreign waka 7.2

      How about getting a proper driver licence. It is truly frightening if you think about it. There are more than 40 000 people on the road without ever having learned to use a vehicle safely, road user codes, signs, restrictions etc. Any one of them can risk your life. You don't need lower limits, you need properly trained drivers.

      The fatalities cannot be blamed on foreigners now as there are basically no tourists. You will look at bit closer to get to the truth. Lost control, too fast and alcohol would eliminate 95.7% of accidents. That is a lot. None has to do with speed limits but all with lack of skill and alcohol. It would be interesting to know the age group causing these crashes. But alas it is a data jungle and you find US data easier than any in NZ.

      Causes of road accidents in New Zealand

      • Lost control. 33.7%
      • Too fast for conditions. 32%
      • Alcohol or drugs. 30.2%
      • Failed to keep left. 22.3%
      • Inattention or attention diverted. 15.1%
      • Driver tired or fell asleep. 14.8%
      • Road factors. 11.3%
      • Did not see other party. 11%

      • Stephen Doyle 7.2.1

        So, driver error then.

        • Foreign waka

          No, overestimating skill levels and alcohol is and 40 000 plus unqualified drivers. Driver error would indicate that someone reading texts whilst driving, overtaking to impress mates, showing off what the car "can do" whilst they are incapable of controlling the vehicle, completely unaware that they endanger the rest of the road users. I am not in favor of political correctness cop out excuses. If a driver is to immature to handle a car than they should have to use public transport and go and get more training. End of story.

  7. Adrian 8

    K-Mart ( and the Warehouse et al ) not being filled up with plastic shit with a limited lifespan and even more hardly-to-be-worn badly made clothes to add to the 115 BILLION garments produced each year would be a win in my book.

    • Blade 8.1

      For the record, my Chinese socks sourced from Mitre10, used to last two weeks before disintegrating. Now I can get six weeks wear before they get holes. That's progress and proof capitalism is the way to go!

  8. Koff 9

    WA has gone its own way by keeping its hard border with the rest of Australia shut to all except a few who apply for exemptions. McGowan reckons its better to wait for the booster rate to be up at about the 80-90% level (currently at about 25%) and millions of RAT tests to be available for use plus other planning for the inevitable Omicron sweep. Not sure if the state can keep Omicron out, as like NZ it's knocking hard at the border, but no doubt casting an eye on all other parts of the country from within WA, the scene hardly looks enticing.

    • Koff:

      I do think that, like McGowan in WA, Jacinda should be retaining the option of keeping the borders closed after the end of February (the current proposed end to MIQ border opening date) until NZ is 90% boosted, assuming Omicron doesn't get in by accident of course.

      At present Labour seems fixated on sticking to this date. Are they in thrall to the business lobby?

      • arkie 9.1.1

        Are they in thrall to the business lobby?

        How much more evidence of this do we need? We have decades-worth already. Where’s action on climate change, the housing crisis, inequality and infrastructure investment? They can sound tough in opposition but once they had complete control over cabinet very little has happened. Labour need to change their name, they abdicated actually fighting for workers a long time ago.

        • mac1

          The problem with blanket assertions like "very little has happened" is that a moment's research can find a different set of facts which rather spoils the strength of other assertions.

          The NZLP claims this-


          We believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. That’s why since 2017, we’ve boosted the minimum wage by $4.25 – bringing it to $20 per hour. We’ve passed the Equal Pay Amendment Bill to ensure people who perform work of the same value are paid the same and started addressing pay inequities in our education and health systems. We’re also implementing Fair Pay Agreements, to improve wages and conditions and support our economic recovery.


          We’re making sure workers get a fair deal by strengthening employment law. We’ve brought back meal and rest breaks, strengthened collective bargaining, restored protections for vulnerable workers, and limited 90-day trials to businesses with fewer than 20 employees. We’re committed to improving the Holidays Act to provide more certainty for employers and employees, and we’ve made changes to better protect migrants from exploitation.


          We’re keeping workers safe and supporting them to balance their work with other demands. We’ve extended paid parental leave from 18 to 26 weeks, and we’ve doubled the minimum sick leave entitlement to 10 days to make sure no one feels pressured to go to work when they’re unwell. We increased funding to modernise WorkSafe, and launched a new Navigation Service offering free, independent advice and advocacy for people making ACC claims. We’ve also committed to keeping the retirement age at 65.


          Our strong COVID response has kept Kiwis safe while protecting jobs, allowing us to look ahead. Our wage subsidies have supported around 1.8 million jobs through alert level changes, and we created specific programmes to protect jobs in vulnerable sectors like sports, tourism, and the arts. To help protect those who do experience job loss through no fault of their own, we’re working on the design of a Social Unemployment Insurance scheme that would support workers to retain about 80 percent of their income for a period after they lose their jobs."

          If you don't like that as a source try this one from an employer, the Clubs of NZ.

          "5 November 2020

          At New Zealand’s October general election, the Labour Party won a majority of Parliament’s seats and is likely to govern alone. Some of the workplace policies Labour campaigned on included:

          • Increasing minimum sick leave entitlement to 10 days per year. Labour will seek to increase this entitlement within the first 100 days of the new Government;
          • Reforming the Holidays Act 2003 to simplify leave calculations and allow annual and sick leave to accrue over time (rather than leave entitlements arising in blocks);
          • Increasing the minimum wage to $20 per hour in 2021. Labour has promised to take a ‘balanced approach’ to increases beyond 2021.

          New protections for contractors"

          • arkie

            Yes, like I said, very little has happened in regard to the climate crisis, the housing crisis, increasing inequality and infrastructure investment.

            • mac1

              I was addressing your issue with "fighting for workers". Climate crisis, the housing crisis, increasing inequality and infrastructure investment are issues wider than workers' rights solely, save the inequality issue addressed in part by a $4.50 increase in the hourly minimum wage, doubled sick leave entitlement, workplace conditions improvements, fair pay agreements, pay equality, 90 day contracts etc.

              You just can't say that very little has happened. You can argue for more, but argument based on scant regard for reality is not convincing. National do it with their current 'shambles' buzz word. It means less than nothing and is a sign of lack of proper argument.

              • arkie

                Have you considered that workers are those most affected by all of those issues? I wasn't talking about 'rights', I'm talking material conditions.

                A minimum wage increase is good for those on minimum wage however the majority of workers aren't on minimum wage and haven't seen their wages increase at the same rate.

                “Seventy-three per cent of Kiwis received a pay increase of less than inflation last year according to the Labour Cost Index. Annual hourly earnings growth is the same as it was in 2019 pre-Covid and is less than it was in December 2021 according to the Quarterly Economic Survey.

                “Increases in wages seems to be coming from New Zealanders working longer hours, with overtime hours up 22.8 per cent.

                “We are seeing more activity but we are not yet seeing that translate into what you might expect right now in terms of wage inflation.”


                • mac1

                  A good article and one which spells out with facts and figures where we're at from the TU perspective. It does acknowledge some improvements and also that more is needed.

                  It does not however address the issue of "Labour need to change their name, they abdicated actually fighting for workers a long time ago."

                  Nothing in that article about what the Labour government needs to do. Most employers are private, not public. What do we need to see done, to address these issues, as a government?

                  What do I as a member tell my LEC and my nearest Labour MP 110 km away to get on with?

                  I do btw acknowledge that wider issues also impact on workers. But your statement was about "abdication of fighting for workers" and the discussion needs to go beyond that to the actuals of where we'r at, who can do what, and also what is beyond the power of government.

                  • arkie

                    What do I as a member tell my LEC and my nearest Labour MP 110 km away to get on with?

                    That’s up to you, but I do remember our PM talking about the failure of neo-liberalism, so something that undermines that status quo rather than just hoping for change would be what I expected them to get on with.

                    I don’t accept that action on any of these issues is beyond the power of government, actually fighting for workers involves a redefining what is possible.

      • Koff 9.1.2

        The evidence from Australia seems to be that business hasn't done well as the Omicron outbreak has meant staff shortages, hesitancy on the part of ordinary people to go out and risk being infected. The same businesses that were hard hit during lockdowns have been almost as badly hit with the high infection rate. Think the pressure on McGowan is from separated families more than WA business which is doing just fine. Queensland and other states and territories that had kept Delta out made a mistake in mid December opening up just as Omicron turned up. Once the borders were opened up, it was impossible to go into reverse. Guess it was hard at that point to know how bad things were going to get, but there is no excuse for NZ (like WA) to not learn the mistakes others have made and plan as fast as possible while doing whatever can be done to slow down Omicron's eventual arrival. Can't see businesses in NZ being happy once Omicron arrives tbh, whatever NZ Labour thinks.

      • alwyn 9.1.3

        No they aren't. They just have much more important things to worry about and they don't have any time to pay any attention to Covid 19.

        Covid 19 is yesterday's story. This is 2022.

        Is it going to be broadcast on all the TV networks simultaneously? Which woman's magazine has arranged rights to publish the photos. What dress will Lorde wear and what will she sing?

        • Gezza

          Who cares? The Herald has been unable to find out anything so is reduced to a publishing a pointless lifestyle puff piece with pics of some wedding dress styles that Ardern might (or might not) wear.

          It's being kept a closely-guarded secret. I'm happy to not know any details until the deed is done, the show is over, and the answers to your questions are revealed.

          If any more was being announced about it, every detail would constantly be front page news when there are more important things to most of us that are real news.

  9. Sanctuary 10

    Chris Luxon claiming the traffic light system is confusing and offering utterly simplistic solutions to complex problems two years into a pandemic is really just a neolib prosperity Christian desperately wanting to retreat into magical thinking that pretending COVID doesn't exist – that somehow by refusing to engage with understanding the tools to manage COVID and pleading for magical silver bullets will make COVID go away.

    The recurring meta in National's covid response is the way it's strategy has been shaped by the clash between the Evangelical determinism and neoliberal ideology that is it's caucus's foundation beliefs and empirical requirements of a pandemic response. The party exhibits all the psychological stress one would expect of a political movement exposed to extreme and prolonged cognitive dissonance.

    Luxon is merely yet another intellectual featherweight on the right, retreating into irrelevant and plaintive complaining rather than grasping and confronting the truth that the the ideas – and the actions that would flow from those ideas – that underpin his world view are not psychologically consistent with current reality.

    • Well said Sanc. Luxon blathered and complained endlessly today on RNZ's Morning Report, but when asked a simple question-"should RAT tests be free"-he had no answer saying that could be decided later.

      • Johnr 10.1.1

        So, is the garden gnome thick. Or just being devious??

      • aom 10.1.2

        With Luxon's becoming the leader, one assumed that the level of IQ of the opposition had improved. No such luck. Luxon's ranting about the lack of RAT's was so pathetic when those of the meanest of intellect know there is an international shortage. Did he expect the appropriate Ministers or the PM could magic them from their backsides? He has been raving about the government not rapidly producing sufficient ICU beds to handle a massive increase in demand – presumably in support of pandering to the demands of the hospitality industry. It seems he forgot that each bed requires 4-5 advance trained nursing staff. No magic wand would solve that problem, especially when a pandemic, once unleashed, would cause the NZ health system to immediately lose existing staff to infection, burn-out and resignations for self-preservation. He has also demonstrated that he should pull his head out of his rear end so that he can put an ear to the ground. If he did, he would discover what most people are aware of. There has been a great deal of planning, some of it of necessity being tentative. This has been going on at all levels of the health system since before omicron was a thing. How long would it take to get a chauffeur driven limo to take him perhaps 200m or more to the nearest medical practice to ask what preparations have been made?

    • Patricia Bremner 10.2

      devil Those were my thoughts Sanctuary. Luxon's undermining the forward planning with negativity is just a continuation of Bridges without the belligerence.

      So according to Nationals play book. "We have done nothing to prepare" "We are late with these non existent actions" and "We have had a month on holiday", and the pearl, "We are confused by the confusing traffic light system" surprise

      As for "Pre orders of RAT tests, we have 5000 000 odd, with orders coming in batches through to June. He couldn’t say if they should be free.

      Competing with a billion ordered by the USA puts us way down the list, as currently we don't need them.

      When asked what he would do Luxon talked all round the question and had no concrete suggestions. He is allowing Bishop to bark at every situation. Situation familiar imo.

      • fender 10.2.1

        Was funny to hear him remind everyone that he'd "run an airline"!

        Yes, that makes all the difference. Confidence should rein, he ran an airline!!!

        John Keys' latest apprentice is a drip.

        • Bearded Git

          I noticed that too fender. His logic is that he can run an airline (in a semi monopolistic situation) so I can run a country.

          He is not coming over well so far.

  10. Puckish Rogue 11

    For anyone interested in the new Fresh Prince remake:

    • Blade 11.1

      I loved it when they took Trump off…I love this even better. I needed that laugh after receiving another credit card charge back from a business that cannot now supply what I purchased.

  11. Stephen D 12

    From Stuff.

    "More than a third of Covid-19 cases caught at New Zealand’s border over the space of one week were unvaccinated or ineligible due to their age, a snapshot of data shows."

    "While non-New Zealand citizens are required to be vaccinated to enter the country, there is no requirement for citizens to be vaccinated."

    Shouldn't they be??

    • alwyn 12.1

      I would think you would run afoul of the New Zealand Immigration Act 2009, and in particular section 13.

      Basically it says that if you are only a New Zealand citizen you can't be kept out and you can't be deported. I don't see how you could change this without making people stateless.

      Besides it isn't a crime for New Zealand citizens not to be vaccinated. Why should it be for a New Zealand citizen wanting to enter the country?

    • McFlock 12.2

      Interesting. Obviously one of those moments where the stars align and I agree with Alwyn.

      Don't get me wrong, almost all of them should be vaccinated. But making that a requirement for returning citizens gets dicey.

      Now, whether airlines should require it for everyone who sets foot on their plane, that's another issue.

  12. Blade 13

    The good bishop’s supporters make a bid for relevance and support. Will they succeed? Stay tuned, possums.

    • Gezza 13.1

      Interesting development. The police & prison management seem to have treated this protest with kid gloves. One wonders whether that will embolden Tamaki's supporters to do more of this kind of thing when their leader isn't happy inside and complains to them.

      I think most sensible people are wary of going too far in supporting Apostle Tamaki because they know a cult when they see one.

      • Blade 13.1.1

        Yes, looking forward to the news tonight so we can get some moving pictures.

      • Puckish Rogue 13.1.2

        ' The police & prison management seem to have treated this protest with kid gloves'

        Should see what we do when a prisoner gets on a roof…basically nothing, negotiate untill they get bored and climb down

        • alwyn

          Do you hope for a really bad spell of weather with sleet and gale force winds?

          Would it make any difference to how long they stayed there?

          • Puckish Rogue

            They generally don't go up in bad weather and we're not allowed to use fire hoses (not even just to make them wet)

            Well sure, it holds up everything especially at lock up, once lock up happens you have less people on so while theres an idiot on the roof no ones going home, theres plenty of damage that can be done up there (windows etc, can get other places they shouldn't etc)

    • Blade 14.1

      You have to look after your voter base, FB. Asians kind of get what National stands for. But, apart from a few outliers, Asians don't have a clue what Labour and the Greens are about. It's too wishy washy for them. They just want to make money, look after their families and get on with life. That's a great attitude.

    • Gezza 14.2

      If you're just pointing out the apparently contradictory messaging from National's leader and their mental health spokesperson…

      Luxon says:

      The first thing I'd say is that we believe we are bigger than our individual identities. We are first and foremost New Zealanders and we believe we are one country. But we fundamentally believe that we should target on the basis of need, not on the basis of ethnicity.

      And so, we have real challenges. We've got a responsibility to help people in need. There is an overlap between ethnicity and need. But that should very much be the focus and starting point for that.

      Luxon is saying in the first article that National believe in targeting by need, not ethnicity, but Doocey is saying:

      We need to increase the access for the Asian population to access mental health services.

      Without a specific mental health workforce strategy there is no way we are going to increase that level of service.

      I don't think there's a contradiction in real terms because Luxon acknowledges there's often an overlap of ethnicity with need.

      It seems like typical politician double-talk. Some people will hear the "need, not ethnicity" message & others will realise that he gives himself wriggle room in the event he ever finds himself in the position of, for example, having to decide whether to disband the Maori Health Authority. (He probably wouldn't dare do that.)

      Luxon's trying to find points of policy difference with Labour but I get the impression he's still floundering.

      • observer 14.2.1

        Luxon's announcements/promises add up to one thing: spend more money.

        It's not usually expressed like that, but that's what "invest" really means. He did this on day one of his leadership: invest more in education, climate change, etc. Sounds good!

        In Hawke's Bay he called for more spending on health and as an aside, more aid for Tonga. I agree with both, but then I also agree with Grant Robertson borrowing the money to make this possible … while Luxon and Bridges say he should borrow less.

        They are for all kinds of spending, and against saying where it comes from. It’s a cruel trick to play on (e.g.) nurses, who will be expecting National to demand higher pay for them, based on Luxon’s comments here:–luxon

        • Gezza

          Yep. It will be interesting to see when the new round of Q+A & Newshub Nation shows begin whether the interviewers will press him on where the money’s going to come from for his policy promises.

          From what we’ve seen & heard from him so far he’ll probably just continue to be vague & maybe talk about reprioritising…. Others have already pointed out the practical problems with his suggestions that the government should be getting in tons more RATs & boosting the numbers of ICU beds. Such criticisms are easy to make but much harder to implement without the necessary resources being immediately available.

          He’s a practiced smooth talker & therefore he may not put his foot in it as often as his predecessors Bridges & Collins. But otherwise he seems to basically be following the same non-plan. He’s far too vague & all over the place for me to consider him potential Prime Ministerial material yet.

  13. Sabine 15

    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has said there's enough money in the Covid Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF) for the costs of the Omicron outbreak – including the purchasing of rapid antigen tests – but warned more money might be needed if the country required a fourth round of vaccinations.


    "Vaccine purchasing – obviously that's in a reasonable shape in terms of the allocated money for that – if we were to look at a fourth dose and so forth then we would need to find more money for that," Robertson said.

    He added that the Government would find the money for an additional round of vaccinations, if they were required.

    oh well, surely they would find the money, as the other option would be to bury the 'vaccine mandate' in a dust pile of history, unless they are happy to keep the mandate up and require people to pay for hte vaccines in the future. Which i don't think would go down well.

    • weka 15.1

      he's clearly saying two things:

      1. current set funding won't cover a fourth vax, they'll have to find that from elsewhere in the budget
      2. they will find the money to pay for the fourth round
      • Sabine 15.1.1

        1+ 2. where will he find the money? – or better from which fund will he take the money.

    • Dennis Frank 16.1

      Don't live in a bubble then. Actually it's margin of error stuff apart from this bit:

      Te Paati Māori fell 2.5 points to 0.5.

      I wonder if the pollsters couldn't find many Maori to ask?? Everyone at the marae that day perhaps…

      • Dennis Frank 16.1.1

        Actually, it's possible that mM worked a miracle for Labour – 1.7% shift from MP. Sorta like a vote of confidence in the scheme, eh?

        • weka


          • Dennis Frank

            It's the code I started using a couple of weeks ago for Labour's big bold bright & shiny new Maori policy – apparent evidence of the collective heft now being exercised by their Maori MPs.

            • weka

              what new Māori policy? Why mM?

              • Dennis Frank

                Abbreviation of the name of the report. Okay, it's true they haven't formalised it as policy yet – I'm anticipating most of it will be. They won't want to incentivise their Maori MPs to jump ship to the MP.

                So I expect that – because it was a design produced by a high-level consensus of Maori leaders, and pan-tribal consensus is usually a rarity – there's a strong likelihood of implementation.

                Less so if there had been disagreement about it in the media but the discussion I saw merely featured a few complaints about the concept of co-governance. As if the principles of Te Tiriti ought not to be read as a racial partnership. No sign Asian kiwis are seeking to become the third part of any such partnership!

                I just checked online & suspect I may have inadvertently conflated two reports – sorry, if so…

                • alwyn

                  If that polling is anywhere accurate there isn't a chance in hell that any of the Labour Party Maori MPs would defect. It's very cold out there if you lose your place at the taxpayer supplied trough and they aren't going to risk it. They aren't like Tariana Turia who quit on a question of principle.

      • Blade 16.1.2

        ''Actually it's margin of error stuff apart from this bit:''

        Oh, crikey, that's made me feel better, Dennis. And the ''bit'' part makes me feel even better still.

        • Dennis Frank

          Well I wouldn't get too excited. Often the holiday break gets folk re-centered & a shift of mood can become evident in the crowd. This time, they're feeling the same as before the break – which will reassure Labour.

          Angst around Three Waters? Not enough to shift anything. Losing faith in pandemic strategy? No sign of that either. Best gloss possible – shit can happen fast with omicron, and there's an outside chance it could end up on Labour faces.

    • McFlock 16.2

      Luxon surge? lol

      • observer 16.2.1

        There was a Not-Collins surge. That was always going to happen, and would have happened if they'd picked Mark Richardson or a funny-shaped potato.

        Then Luxon started talking …

        • McFlock

          lol The ECG started beeping faintly when Dr Collins left, that doesn't mean the patient is spritely

        • Dennis Frank

          Luxon started talking …

          Without saying anything interesting or noteworthy. Honeymoon over already. Folks with a question-mark in their heads now shaking them sadly.

          As if the guy never heard of the saying hit the ground running. I'm wondering if he's wondering what he ought to say. Preaching to the converted has a snowball's chance in hell of working. Centrists go huh?

    • Gezza 17.1

      You’re late. Covered already by Blade at 12.47pm:

      • Shanreagh 17.1.1

        Being completely nosey I now want to know what the hygiene items are:

        tweezers to keep his eyebrows looking freshly tweezed

        special face cream or shaving cream

        extra soft toilet paper

        any exotic items of self care – special oils and unguents


        would it be more banal such as haemorrhoid cream, snake oil ……..


        No matter what it is it is clearly worthy of having a fuss made.

        • fender

          He wants holy water and deodorant as the other inmates are treating him like someone who stinks.

          He'd also like his botox as the eyebrows are wilting, and he nearly swollowed one.

        • Peter

          Someone suggested yesterday it'd be condoms. Someone else, tampons.

        • McFlock

          Hair dye and grease.

        • Patricia Bremner

          Oh Shangreagh,… Best laugh of the day.devil "Snake oil"

        • Puckish Rogue

          Soap, razors, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrush and toilet paper is the usual stuff we give out and women get extra sanitary items

          All very boring sorry

        • Puckish Rogue

          Soap, razors, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrush and toilet paper is the usual stuff we give out and women get extra sanitary items

          All very boring sorry

  14. Fender and Peter and McFlock you are all very 'naughty boys'…….almost as bad as this very naughty girl.

  15. zee 19

    well written keep it up

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