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Open mike 21/02/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, February 21st, 2020 - 73 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

73 comments on “Open mike 21/02/2020 ”

  1. Ad 1

    Great to see Roger Stone go down for 3.5 years.

    All that protested innocence, all those hit jobs from Nixon onwards.

    Should have been taken out by blunter means long ago.

  2. A 2

    Call to means test our unsustainable pension. I think it will happen eventually but probably when it is far too late to do any good.

    FYI we have disabled in this country desperate to reach retirement age because they cannot afford to pay basic costs, even if some of them can work part time. The core benefit is being linked to wages but there is a substantial difference between Super vs Supported Living Payment.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/119693594/pension-were-giving-too-much-to-people-who-dont-need-it-one-economist-says

    • Ad 2.1

      Where would you draw the line?

      • mpledger 2.1.1

        I think it should remain universal but that people who don't need it should be encouraged not to take apply for it.

    • Nic the NZer 2.2

      Pensions are 100% financially sustainable. There would be an issue if we lacked the means to feed, house, clothe etc… the retired on the backs of the remaining productive peoples efforts but the country is nowhere near this state rather obviously. Actually trying to cut back on social expenditure has a tendency to exacerbate that.

      • RedLogix 2.2.1

        Shamubeel Eaqub has been banging this drum for years. Yet despite the fact that we're halfway into the Boomer retirement bulge, the NZ economy is in the best shape since forever.

        Besides the reality is that NZ gets very good value from it's retired people, most contribute back to the community in all manner of ways. The other relevant fact is that people are living healthy lives for longer. Often people are now quite active well into their 80's, yet the modern workplace starts to discriminate against them when they reach 50.

        Nah … means testing is a shitty, simplistic idea that has known perverse outcomes.

        • dv 2.2.1.1

          Simplest? way is via tax action I Change the top rate so it claws back the risen

        • Jimmy 2.2.1.2

          Whatever Shamubeel Eaqub says I would take with a grain of salt. (in fact the opposite is probably true). Remember he told us how much better off you were renting a house in Auckland than buying one!

      • A 2.2.2

        …but we don't have the means to feed, clothe, house everybody!!

    • Sacha 2.3

      Keep it universal, tax wealth properly. Do same for all other groups too, not just seniors. UBI, etc.

    • McFlock 2.4

      Giving too much money to people who don't need it is an inefficiency, and economists hate that shit – but frequently ignore how much it costs to remove that inefficiency.

      Means testsing 700k or 1.8mil people, signing on and signing off according to changing needs… cost that before making a recommendation, I say.

  3. Cinny 3

    There was a public meeting in Tauranga last night about their gang problem…. where was simon?

    This is his electorate, he is talking it up on twitter and in the media, but doesn't even respect his local voters enough to attend a meeting to hear their concerns.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503343&objectid=12310309

    • RedLogix 3.1

      Gangs have been a carbunkle on NZ society for decades, but everything I've read says two things have changed recently, the '501's' being dumped on NZ by Australia, and the flooding of the Western world by meth precursors and product out of China.

      With National now largely a front for laundering CCP money I doubt very much if Bridges would want to be put in a compromising position over this.

    • Sacha 3.2

      Can't control the message in a real public meeting. Best stick to carefully staged party conferences and photo ops.

      • alwyn 3.2.1

        You'll be going along to the Tauranga Yacht Club next Thursday will you Sacha?

        Simon will apparently be holding a Public meeting there and will no doubt open it to questions from the audience. If you are so interested you will of course attend. Or not as the case may be.

        That is at 6.30 pm on February 27th.

        • Sacha 3.2.1.1

          Not my neck of the woods but do report back if you make it. Who is hosting and what’s the agenda about?

      • Cinny 3.2.2

        Nailed it Sacha.

    • veutoviper 3.3

      Totally hypocritical in view of the fact that Bridges has been screaming about gangs for months, including on Twitter and Facebook just a week ago re the gang problems in Tauranga.

      Back in Oct 2019 he was very vocal about opposing any talking with gangs, and proposing that they be denied benefits and other forms of assistance and civil rights.

      https://www.odt.co.nz/star-news/star-national/national-plans-block-gang-members-benefits

      He then fronted a major law and order policy paper presented to the 83rd Annual National Party Conference in late November 2019 which proposed a raft of measures to crack down on crime with a special focus on gangs including establishing a special/elite police unit similar to the Australian Strike Force Raptor Unit. This was covered widely across all media at the time.

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018724267/simon-bridges-defends-gang-proposals

      https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/11/29/925940/yesterdaze-tough-on-grease-strong-on-gangs

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12288967

      Just in the last week or so he has been vocal in the local Tauranga paper and other media and on Twitter and Facebook on the gang problems in his own electorate, eg

      If you don’t do that, then like a cancer, they will continue to grow.”

      Simon will be holding a public meeting in Tauranga to talk about gangs and the recent criminal activity that has been happening in the community.

      “On February 27, we are holding a public meeting at the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club at 6.30pm on gangs and what we should do.

      https://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/234472-gang-warfare-cancer-says-simon-bridges.html

      https://twitter.com/simonjbridges/status/1228494702942420992

      Then he doesn't even show at the meeting – and as just reported last night, a "blissfully unaware Simon Bridges" apparently signed a "nang" – a nitrous oxide cannister!

      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/02/nitrous-oxide-canister-signed-by-blissfully-unaware-simon-bridges-appears-online.html

      In view of the above, IMO Bridges' non-appearance at the meeting would not really seem to be a case of Bridges not wanting to be put in a compromising position as suggested in @3.1.

      • tc 3.3.1

        Wait and see how stage managed his boat club session is as it could be like their TPPA roadshow.

        They have to be careful as Soimon's a bit of a train wreck off the cuff.

      • Sacha 3.3.2

        It might depend who was organising the meeting and how close the agenda is to where his party are prepared to allow him to speak about it.

        • veutoviper 3.3.2.1

          On reflection having reread the Herald report of last night’s meeting, I can now see why Bridges probably did not attend, or was perhaps not actually welcome to attend (?).

          According to the link in Cinny's post @ 3, last night's meeting seems to have been organised or at least facilitated by Tauranga Mayor Terry Powell and Western Bay of Plenty Mayor Gary Webber – and the tone and objectives of the meeting appear to be somewhat at odds with the ‘no tolerance’ type approach that Bridges advocated last Oct and November in his law and order policy document:, ie:

          [NOTE – in my extracts below I have focused on the ‘’tone’’ of the comments reported from the meeting rather than on the big issue (meth) and how that needs to be dealt with. The article provides plenty on these aspects.]

          "This is about understanding, this is about empathy and this is fundamentally about your safety."

          Those of [sic] the words of Tauranga mayor Tenby Powell spoken at a public meeting called after a spike in gang violence in the Western Bay of Plenty.

          Roughly 250 people have gathered at a public meeting which is being facilitated by Powell and the Western Bay of Plenty mayor Garry Webber.

          Police Area Commander Inspector Clifford Paxton and the Bay of Plenty District Health Board's chief inspector of the health sector Simon Everett are also present.

          After opening with a prayer, Paxton said he "needed to walk a fine line" tonight.

          "We need to keep our focus wide and to the future, not just to the past," he said.

          Paxton also said the public needed to remember gang members were individuals, just as police officers were. …

          Powell said the big question was how to deal with it. [ie the meth issue ] "The point of a hui is that we are the community who live among all this and I think we also need to acknowledge that gangs come from our community. They are members of our community too.

          "This is about understanding, this is about empathy and this is fundamentally about your safety."

          … Paxton said gangs were fulfilling a "social need" and other ways to fill that need had to be found. "Tikanga needs to play a big part of that," he said.

          "They [gangs] are here for a reason."

          Paxton said police needed to create a relationship with gangs and to show respect in order to move forward.

          I suspect the above examples are rather far from what Bridges will advocate at next weeks meeting. It will be interesting to see what happens at that one!

          • Cinny 3.3.2.1.1

            Hi VV 🙂

            That makes sense, if those hosting the meeting are talking about empathy, then simon wouldn't be involved as it's something he lacks.

    • Enough is Enough 3.4

      Did you miss last nights meeting when he took on the Mob?

  4. Sanctuary 4

    The government introduces free school lunches.

    Middle class recoils in horror.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=12310400

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Actually I don't get the 'recoil in horror' bit.

    • Puckish Rogue 4.2

      'But, for a mere 60c more per head per day, prisoners are treated to a full roast dinner on Christmas Day complete with piping hot gravy, followed by apple pie with custard for dessert.'

      'Come December 25, inmates feast on a lunch made by fellow prisoners at on-site kitchens.'

      Yeah the journalist is just ever so slightly exaggerating the description of the meal, I mean the portions are for each prisoner so you only get seconds if theres food left over (which basically means the veges and potatoes, I've personally never seen any meat left over)

      Don't get me wrong its certainly better then what a lot of our elderly or most vulnerable get (and no prisoners are not our most vulnerable, they're not even close) but in terms of quality its lesser quality than what I got in the army back in the 2000s (and so it should be) and probably on a par with what the larger shelters provide today

      But hey prisoners are feasting and our children aren't I guess is the take home message

      • veutoviper 4.2.1

        IIRC (not from personal exerience behind bars!) the Christmas dinner is a bit of an exception to the usual menu . Is it still a weekly menu right across the prison system where "it is Wednesday, so its sausages tonight" – or whatever is the set meal for all Wednesdays?

      • Sacha 4.2.2

        Seriously doubt that a prison would serve 'piping hot' anything.

        • veutoviper 4.2.2.1

          Most have fairly state of the art big (stainless steel) commercial kitchens – after all they feed (often) hundreds of people three plus meals a day, 7 days a week.

          • joe90 4.2.2.1.1

            Piping hot is hot enough to scald.

            At best, it's lukewarm.

            • veutoviper 4.2.2.1.1.1

              I am not suggesting that prison meals are likely to be 'piping hot' as the Herald suggested re the Christmas gravy, but the kitchen faciities at larger prisons like Rimutaka are pretty good including in relation to food storage at different temperatures etc – including the equipment used to transport food from the kitchens to the cell blocks etc. Has to be to avoid health issues – just image the logistics of dealing with a major outbreak of campylobacter at a large prison!

              • Sacha

                Oh I'm sure they do a great job, but the notion of prisons handing inmates an obvious weapon like that struck me as ridiculous.

                • veutoviper

                  LOLOL – that aspect did not even occur to me. Well spotted!

                  Just as well I am well out of the days when I worked in the Justice sector!

    • AB 4.3

      Yep. The Herald has reproduced two very unflattering photos of the school lunch rolled out at Flaxmere School under the headings "Would your kids eat this?" and "Would crims eat this?" The article quoting Simon Gault is more balanced. Just shows you how much the Farro Fresh crowd (core Herald readership) hate and despise the working class and won't tolerate any attempt to make their lives better. The Herald is going to go into full-on loony territory this year.

      • tc 4.3.1

        as expected, it is national's herald after all.

      • Anne 4.3.2

        The Herald is going to go into full-on loony territory this year.

        Its already started. John Armstrong is in full sack em mode. Remember the hysterical piece about Cunliffe over a letter he signed some 12 years earlier (one of those proforma types from memory) and he screamed for Cunliffe to be sacked from parliament? Well he's started down that road already – this time with Winston of course.

        • Tiger Mountain 4.3.2.1

          Mr Armstrong ended up apologising to David Cunliffe, but, that may have been self pity over his health issues–who knows–but he has consistently been an NZ National hatchet man, that at least is demonstrable.

    • Herodotus 4.4

      "A full stomach makes all the difference to a child's learning, Jacinda Ardern said." So why place all the efforts into lunches Would not breakfast achieve greater results as these pupils will have a full stomach during a FULL school day not just the last 2 hours.

      A note to our PM you have not maximised the opportunity here with the opportunity cost being paid by these children.

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/409952/pm-jacinda-ardern-serves-up-first-of-many-free-school-lunches-in-hawke-s-bay

    • Cinny 4.5

      Am thrilled to bits about the free school lunches.

      Healthy food, healthy brains, those kids will do so much better in school and as a result it will lift them up tremendously.

      Those school lunches are a far cry from no lunches, or a bag of chips to last the whole day. Neither of which are the fault of those children.

  5. ianmac 5

    The post by Pat last night is very important I think. He links to an article on Pundit by Simon Connell. Every strategist in Government should read it and figure out how to disarm the negative effects of the Opposition's double dog whistle. Was Simon's call re 33cents in the dollar an error? No. We got it wrong.

    Apologies to Pat but:

    https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/seriously-but-not-literally-kiwi-edition-or-the-dark-art-of-the-double-secret-dog-whistle

  6. Ross 6

    Officials seem to be accusing the PM of lying or at least misleading about sewage leaking down walls at Middlemore hospital.

    Does Mickey have info about this? He made a request for info about this very issue a couple of years ago. Can he shed light on the matter?

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/local-democracy-reporting/119656710/middlemore-hospital-denies-prime-minister-jacinda-arderns-sewage-down-walls-claim

  7. Andre 7

    Ok, so Putin's favourite (former) Congressman Rohrabacher has confirmed he did indeed offer to get Assange a pardon if Assange coughed up something to prove the russians didn't hack the DNC emails. Surely there have to be some criminal and electoral law violations in there – offering to procure an official act in exchange for a purely personal political benefit.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/rohrabacher-assange-trump-pardon_n_5e4eb326c5b615cb7bdc0bf8

    It must be noted, though, that so far there is no allegation that Nixon-but-stupider-and-uglier was in on or even aware of this particular sideshow.

    • Brigid 7.1

      But never let the facts spoil a pathetic story

  8. A 8

    Oh ho. W.H.O is bitching about funding to contain COVID-19

    The World Health Organisation on Thursday chided the international community for not stepping up enough to finance the battle to contain the novel coronavirus that has shut down many parts of China and killed more than 2,000 people.

    The United Nations health agency issued a call earlier this month for US$675 million “to implement priority public health measures in support of countries to prepare for and respond to” the spread of the new coronavirus that causes the potentially deadly respiratory illness known as Covid-19.

    “Considering the urgency and considering that we’re fighting a very dangerous enemy, we’re surprised that the response is not really something that we would expect,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said in a press briefing on Thursday from Geneva.

    Why nobody should be giving W.H.O. any money – basically they could have nipped this in the bud early on, but didn’t want to disobey China’s orders. NZ needs to spend it’s money on protecting our own (+ little island nations we protect anyway) NOT giving money to a bunch of toadies.

  9. Puckish Rogue 9

    https://www.colmarbrunton.co.nz/what-we-do/1-news-poll/

    Its not looking good for Winnie or the Greens either for that matter

  10. McFlock 10

    It’s not about the bottle openers

    So this tweet got traction recently:

    Grabbed a beer at the airport. A lady’s pouring herself a wine, I wait cause the bottle opener’s front of her.
    Mid-pour, without even looking, she hands me the opener.
    I say thanks, crack my beer, look up.
    Turns out that lady was our whole ass Prime Minister.
    What a fuckin G

    It then followed the standard social media cycle for political tweets. After it hit thousands upon thousands of likes, shares, and smooches, the media reported it, tweeters complained the news reported it, and politicians on the other side started grabbing bottle openers like they were infinity stones.

    The trouble is that the power of this story, it’s connection with our culture, has nothing to do with bottle openers. In one of the few times in the duration of the universe I’d agree with him, Eric Crampton tweeted:

    There is nothing special about handing someone a bottle opener.

    There is something very very special about living in a place where you don’t even notice that it’s the PM sitting across from you until she hands you the bottle opener.

    That’s definitely part of it. Just as USians like to say of a newborn that “the kid can grow up to be president some day”, part of New zealand’s national myth is that our leaders are one of us, that we have the same daily lives. There are many stories around the country of chance encounters with senior politicians: a mate from the West Coast has a story about realising the short-wearing guy in front of him at the TAB queue was the then-PM Bill Rowling. Someone met a cabniet minister on the train. Bumped into someone else in the supermarket. Even our last emperor Robert Muldoon would mow his bach’s lawn (and drink-drive, because that was the style at the time). I know student politicians who drank with Winston Peters on a protest to Wellington (his rule was “no politics at the bar”). People would bump into Helen Clark on the Milford Track.

    This is a sense I think we’ve lost in recent years – I reckon some of it is due to the tories and their heated seats, but HC’s motorcade speeding episode also helped hurt it. But one reason the bottle-opener hit a chord was because it brings back this national myth.

    But there’s something else, too. Empathy is a big part of some styles of leadership. Especially the little touches that inspire trust and show caring. Not platitudes in a speech or inspiring words, the style of leadership where people think you genuinely care and know what their experiences are. Giving someone a hug, helping them out when they’re caught short in the supermarket, the extra nudge of a door as you go through so that it doesn’t slap the next person in the shoulder, recognising the desperate and yearning need of the person beside you to get their beer bottle open as soon as possible – these are all signs of a recognition of the other person’s humanity. One story handed down to me from the WW2 generation was of Montgomery (a well-known jerk to his colleagues) stopping a squaddie and straightening his pack for him – a small move that made that kid’s life a bit better. When Churchill went to the trenches after Gallipoli he instituted a “war on lice” in his unit – it helped them pass the time and also made life a tiny bit better in a way not obvious to an imperious leader.

    That’s what the nats can’t understand or copy. That’s why they wave bottle-openers like cargo-cult leaders, hoping that the power of the opener will make people love them as leaders. The power of the move was that it was uncalculated, just instinctive consideration for the person next to you. Judith Collins can wear a necklace of bottle openers, but her brand is built on toughness, crushing, and prison abuse jokes. A demonstration of empathy is not a force multiplier for her. Until they get their own leader with the “Nelson Touch”, national will never be the caring party.

    That doesn’t mean they are doomed (there are many leadership styles), it just means that the more they wave around their beer talismans, the more stupid they look.

    • Anne 10.1

      Wow. That should be a post McFlock.

      • McFlock 10.1.1

        I was considering formally submitting it, but work happened and I figured I might as well just flip it up as is before I forget about it.

    • Chris T 10.2

      Think it says more about how shit our media have turned actually.

      • McFlock 10.2.1

        Which is definitely one perspective, but I also have a certain amount of time for the idea that "news" includes moments deemed to be of public interest by the populace. In which case it's not much different to reporting 2,000 people welcoming sporting heroes home, or that sort of thing.

        It's not a nuclear weapons summit, but there is a certain amount of balancing between importance and local interest.

  11. Robert Guyton 11

    "Judith Collins can wear a necklace of bottle openers, but her brand is built on toughness, crushing, and prison abuse jokes. "

    Calling Puckish Rogue!

    • I Feel Love 11.1

      As a kid visiting my nan I used to see PM Muldoon swimming at Hatfields beach, them were the days huh?

    • Puckish Rogue 11.2

      That was from 2011 so I think we can now let it go (I'm still not convinced she wasn't misquoted) and all move on laugh

      • McFlock 11.2.1

        I dunno, that sort of sensitivity is timeless – and it's not even the only instance. When the likely repercussions of doubler-bunking were put to her when the policy was announced, she said something like that it might make criminals think twice before offending. Can't be bothered digging out the clip again. The 2011 one was just the first direct example.

        Given that the linked comment it was a direct quote, any misquote of that nature should have been complained about and retracted. It's pretty brutal.

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