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Open mike 21/02/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 21st, 2022 - 125 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 …

125 comments on “Open mike 21/02/2022 ”

  1. weka 1

    Please put all Convoy Protest comments under one of the protest posts, so we can keep Open Mike for other discussions.

  2. Why is this on the OM page? Is it possible to move it to the protest page please? It improves readalbilty if posts on the same topic are placed together and frees up the OM for other matters ie provides a ‘space’ that posters also need. I went to OM first today determined to engage with something that was not about the protest.

    Protest page was opened up at 6.05am and this comment was loaded at 7.12am

  3. Blade 3

    The world has gone mad. Avocados have become as valuable to drug cartels as the drugs they supply.


    In fact the production of avocados across South America is causing water supply problems for small communities as huge corporate avocado growers plant orchards that stretch for miles.

    I have watched with fascination as this fruit that was once relegated to a couple of boxes at the supermarket, now is prominently displayed.

    First the middleclass commandeered avocados. What self respecting middleclass latte drinking, iPhone hugging, important talking, cafe bug, would want to be seen without an avo on the plate in front of them?

    But lately I have been seeing the underclass with a avocado or two at the supermarket checkout. That's cool.

    I remember a couple of decades back dieticians telling us we need to be careful with avocados because they are filled with oil.surprise

    • vto 3.1

      there aint a lot of original thought going on inside that head of yours is there

    • Molly 3.2

      If you are interested in learning more about the cartels, Blade, Netflix series 'Rotten' devotes S02E01 to that issue.

    • Patricia Bremner 3.3

      Blade I am surprised to find I agree. Cartels and farming in the wrong areas deplete water supplies and force up prices.

      Avacado are water greedy, and like cows use huge amounts of water if farmed in the wrong areas. Although avocado became painted as a fashionable product, they are a healthy option in a balanced diet.

      The cartels’ behaviour is about water in the final analysis. In California water was piped away and whole orange groves were bowled as owners lost their water licences.

      • Visubversa 3.3.1

        And that is before you account for the vast amount of water that is needed to grow those almonds and process them for your almond milk latte!

      • Tiger Mountain 3.3.2

        There is a likely Avocado disaster happening in the Far North too on Aupouri Peninsula–basically the narrowest part of the country–head North from Awanui towards Cape Reinga and you will see acre upon acre of Avo plantings and infrastructure. You see there is a giant aquifer under that land which is why growers wanted it. Initiated by a chap from California who got in the crap with water wars there according to local anecdotes…

        The authorities green lit initially (jobs, growth, etc.) but there were appeals and now even DOC and NRC are having second thoughts at the prospect of the aquifer being depleted and then subject to seawater inundation.

        Used to love avocados back in the day when you could more easily tell when they were ripe and ready, gone off ’em since they started tasting watery, and that year when they were up to $5 each because of shortages due to the exports.

        • Blade

          ''Used to love avocados back in the day when you could more easily tell when they were ripe and ready.''

          And not bruised. angry

  4. Ad 4

    If Russia doesn't invade Ukraine this week Biden's advisors who had promised they would are going to look like dumb dorks.

    Biden claiming that he know Putin had "made up his mind to invade" will also look like a dumb dork.

    • alwyn 4.1

      I would think that the chances that Russia will invade the Ukraine this week have risen dramatically. The Winter Olympics have finished. Putin is, at least in my opinion, heavily dependent on China to not oppose his actions. If Putin had invaded while the Olympics were on it would probably have caused their collapse as athletes left the country. That was not going to be tolerated by Xi and I'm sure it was made clear to Russia.

      Now that the games are over I think Xi will be quite happy to have Putin creating mischief and to distract the US focus on anything taking place in Hong Kong and even trouble with Taiwan.

    • Tiger Mountain 4.2

      USA, UK, Russia, China are all imperialist powers, and the time worn technique as adopted in WWI, is to get the masses of each country to support and identify with “their” ruling class position on other imperialist nations

      So in NZ because of Anglospheric 5 Eyes, popular opinion will likely be expected to support the US version of events on Ukraine, NATO and Russia.

      As one of the international socialist groups has said…
      “No war over Ukraine!
      Both Russian and NATO forces pull back!
      Don’t expand NATO – dissolve it!
      Demilitarize Europe!
      End the arms races eating up resources we need to fight poverty and climate change!”

      • Scud 4.2.1

        Before anyone starts of gobbling off about NATO or the EU!

        Everyone needs to understand the two founding documents in Ukraine’s Defence, Foreign & Economic Policies that are the lurch pin for Ukraine’s Independence from Russia when the Cold War ended & why they the Ukraine gave up its Nukes. In return for Russia’s guarantees:

        That Russia would guarantee Ukraine’s Sovereignty, its borders, Ukraine to pursue it’s own Defence & Economic Sovereignty according to the wishes of Ukraine Public.

        That if Russia revoked any of the Lisbon Protocols and later the Budapest Memorandum, that the US & UK would guarantee Ukraine’s Sovereignty & Security.

        Please read these links, on why we are here discussing Ukraine.




        • Tiger Mountain

          You are taking a side here Scud–that of British and American Imperialism.

          The collapse of the Soviet Union was a right dogs breakfast, even one Roger Douglas was engaged to advise on how best to shaft the locals!

          My take is clear, working class people do not benefit from Imperialist wars or preparations.

    • Subliminal 4.3

      Well, I guess Biden is going to look like a dork then. Russia has spent a lot of time and effort emphasising a multilateral UN centred international law based system. They are not going to just throw this approach under the bus just because Biden wants a reason to be tough on Russia. Civiluans are now being evacuated out of the separatist regions precisely so that reasons for Russia to intervene in a R2P role wrt Russian citizens is reduced. 150 000 Russian soldiers on the border is no where near enough to invade. Pressure is being applied to Europe to come to their senses and reject being servants of the US which as we know via Victoria Nulands remarks in 2014 has no concern for the welfare of the EU except that they only trade where directed by the US. Russia has already won the diplomatic war. The US is offering to talk about arms limitation topics that have been thoroughly rejected only months ago and EU leaders are flocking to Moscow. It's idiotic to think they would choose to invade the Ukraine without a huge provocation.

      • Sanctuary 4.3.1

        it is hard to ever know if the counter-factual – that the rapid arming of the Ukrainian military with modern weapons has caused the Russians to hesitate – has been the case though.

        • Subliminal

          Except that Russia has always said it has no intention to invade. And has laid out from the beginning it's position on what security means as well as it's full support for the implementation of the Minsk agreements which of course have been unanimously adopted by the UN security council resolution 2202. I've linked to an archived copy because the UN site is presently down for maintenance. Of course, arming the Ukraine with high tech hardware is a breach of the accords and the lack of direction by France and Germay in bringing the Ukraine regime to talks with the separist regions has only encouraged preparations by them for war. Seven years they have let this witches brew simmer.

          • McFlock

            Yeah, Russia's said that while walking casually along the border whistling the old music hall tune "gosh isn't it all peaceful and normal here, guv, Just me and my many artillery divisions".

            Who the fuck knows what anyone's original goals were.

            • Subliminal

              Russia invading the Ukraine would be a dream come true for the US. They would be able to irrevocably cut the EU from any ties to Russian energy and make them fully dependent on the US for all their energy needs for the foreseeable. 120 odd thousand troops with hardware is enough to make the Ukraine aware that Russia is prepared to act decisively to protect the Donbass but nothing more. Russian security means no war in the Ukraine. Invasion makes the Ukraine a failed state with Russia a target for the Ukraine version of pissed off jihadis. Part of the problem of refusing to read any Russian media is that you dont get to weigh up the history of both sides positions.

              • McFlock

                The EU needs Russian gas. All the fracking in the contiguous US won't pipe it across the Atlantic, and Russia supplies Europe with an amount roughly similar to a third of total US gas production. Those ties won't be cut any time soon, and the US can't replace them if they could.

                Sure, most outcomes in the Russian scenarios would not involve war with Ukraine. Foreign policy wonks are going to do the dance all the same. Few people actually want a war. But it's basic standover tactics, from all sides. And if one side doesn't step up, then it just gets a better outcome for the other party.

                Part of Russia's foreign policy goals would be to see if the US is rebuilding its global role after the abrupt withdrawal by the previous incumbent. Also testing Europe's cohesion. US goals include showing a commitment to NATO allies and prospective allies. Increasing political separation between EU and Russia would also be there.

                But Russia has these things called "trains". If Ukraine turned out to be all alone diplomatically, that 120k troops could be just the start.

                Also, Belarus is nowhere near Donbas? But much closer to Kiev? Just a gentle foreign policy hint of some mighty decisive protection.

                • Subliminal

                  Russia put enough pressure on the two Ukraine factions to force the Minsk agreement in 2015. At the time, Ukraine fighters were caught in a cauldron. Their pants had been seriously lowered and there was a lot exposed. But Russia insisted on a negotiated ceasefire. They have continued to state that there can be no military solution. They have continued to demand talks between Ukraine and separatists. It is probably true that they have seen a moment of western weakness and even a chance to break Nato but it is also true that it is the expansion of Nato and proliferation of missiles closer and closer to Russia that has been the motor driving an inevitable confrontation

                  • McFlock

                    OR they forced their proxy to back off a bit after MH17 got shot down.

                    Sure, Nato is expansionist, particularly the US. So is Russia. There's no single motor for confrontation, everyone has their goals and pathways to try to get there.

                    • Blazer

                      Pray tell how is Russia 'expansionist'…since the breakup of the USSR,Russia has gradually restored itself as a respected and stable country.

                      Since Brexit and the rise of China as an economic force ,the influence of the U.S in Europe is waning.

                      Europe is a huge market,and the U.S is becoming increasingly irrelevant.

                      Europe trades more with China than the U.S and Russian gas/energy is now a vital component in their everyday life.

                      The U.S influence since WW2 -more than 70 years ago is not the future for Europe.

                      Trump told them..'look after yourselves'=don't rely on Uncle Sam!

                      They are happy to do that but the U.S have had a change of heart.

                    • McFlock

                      Which country had Donbas as its territory 15 years ago?

                      Still got bases in Syria?

                      How's Chechnya doing these days?

                      Sure, US sucks too, so does China. Don't pretend any large power has noble motives, and smaller powers generally just want to try to remain relatively independant.

                    • Subliminal []

                      Well at any rate, we will get forewarned if Russia decides that there is no hope for a peaceful settlement in the Ukraine. The Duma has already passed a resolution to recognise the LDNR separatist region as an independent entity. Assent to this resolution by Putin would mean the end of the Minsk accords and the movement of Russian peacekeepers into the Donbass at the request of their leaders. At that point all hope for detente will cease.

              • francesca


                The Organisation for Security and cooperation in Europe is tasked with recording ceasefire violations in Eastern Ukraine.The vast majority are coming from the Ukrainian army side of the line of contact and impacting on Donbas

    • Craig H 4.4

      They'll probably claim the invasion was averted by publicising it. They might even be right.

    • Puckish Rogue 4.5

      Is there anyone still out there that doesn't think Biden has alzheimers is a dumb dork?

      C'mon man

      • Dennis Frank 4.5.1

        Aw, don't be mean to the ole duffer. He has to do what the deep state tells him, right? It's not as if any pres has any other option.

        Okay, Trump did seem to get away with his loose-cannon ploy for a while. Having his own Secretary of State describe him publicly as a moron was a notable achievement, that's true. But he was an exception to the rule.

        What I'm not clear on is whether the CFR really believes the shit they're pushing onto Biden – or is it just another covert agenda on behalf of residual yank imperialism.

    • Scud 4.6

      I’ve got Russia from 20 Feb to +14 days if Vlad wants to cross his Rubicon, atm most of his Fighting Echelons & his A1 Echelons (Combat Supply/ Support Units) are in their respective LD’s (Line of Departure ie once you cross your LD, there is no going back; Point of No Return) & or their FUP’s (Form Up Points, which usually close to your LD or sometimes they can be your LD).

      Of Note so far, the Russian & Belarus Units have applied their respective IFF Markers on their wagons/ mobile wpn platforms etc & all appeared to be bombed up ready to go should diplomacy failed.

      My gut feeling is Vlad is going for broke & will cross his Rubicon within the next 14 Days & if he doesn’t this mth? Then we will be discussing this subject again on this same bat channel this time next yr.

      I’m over in Twitter, discussing this, my usual NZDF & ADF Defence issues, the usual Left Wing Policies/ Politics, to NZ Railways, my model ship building & shortly Bushfires in 2-3 mths time.

  5. Adrian 5

    Blade, I think Avocado Mania is the only thing I have ever agreed with you on.

  6. Adrian 6

    I wouldn"t be surprised if these protests around the world are all part of Putins game, and I'd bet thats where the money is coming from, apparently there is a tent at the Wgtn protest where the "organisers "pay the parking fines.

  7. Gypsy 7

    And while the country is distracted by covid and protests, our government continues to spend our money on useless shit.


    • The Al1en 7.1

      Petrol at $3+ a litre before we even get to climate change crunch legislation makes it money well spent in preparation for less cars being on the road.

      • Gypsy 7.1.1

        Ah, no.

        "The Waikato Chamber of Commerce is concerned the Hamilton to Auckland train service is financially and environmentally worse than driving.

        A report for the chamber shows per trip driving costs $48 compared to $294 on Te Huia which includes the $12 fare and a $282 subsidy.

        Based on the assumption of one person per vehicle, carbon emissions are 20kg per person driving and 31.5kg per person on the train."

        Te Huia is just another stupid idea, like light rail along Dominion Rd.

  8. observer 8

    Christopher Luxon (a National party leader, according to Wikipedia) is giving his big "State of the Nation" speech today.

    It's a tricky one for him. The smart thing is to say nothing very much beyond the usual vague spiel from an opposition leader ("something must be done"). He can't influence current events at all. So his speech would be ignored, but that doesn't matter much, it's a long time to the 2023 election.

    The stupid thing is to be so desperate for a headline that his speech is not ignored. Orewa was the classic example. The more controversial the speech, the bigger the headlines.

    Let's hope he doesn't take that path.

    • Blade 8.1

      Economy, Economy, Economy.

      There's only one line of washing powder left on the shelf at my local supermarket.

      And the huge roadside stall that sells a rare plum I love , has lost four permanent staff. Staff I have dealt with for over four years.

      Our local trucking company has the firm ute driving around town adorned with placards asking for drivers.

    • Muttonbird 8.2

      'I used to run an airline, and that has taught me the time for mandates is over.'

      • observer 8.2.1

        "I used to run an airline, and that airline has vaccination mandates, and so please ask me about something else".

      • Puckish Rogue 8.2.2

        Yeah yeah

        "I used to work in a fish and chip shop"

        We can all play that game if you like

        • Muttonbird

          I don't recall the PM bringing up that particular work experience as qualification for the top job, a least in a serious way.

          Lovely to see you so triggered by my comment though.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Yeah theres a good reason why she doesn't bring that up as a qualification for the PMs job

            I'll let you work it out for yourself

            • Muttonbird

              The PM has a huge amount of experience in public service, something fairly useful in being a public servant and PM.

              Luxon by contrast is a beginner, and it is showing.

        • observer

          It's not where they worked. It's what they say.

          Luxon had 3 qualifications for the leader's job: 1) he's not Judith 2) he's not Simon, and 3) the one he mentions in every interview.

          He's mocked because he can't stop.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Or hes trying to make a point of difference between himself, CEO of a successful airline and Ardern, a former fish and chip worker and Tony Blair staffer

            • observer

              Maybe he is. If so, it's a stupid tactic.

              Politicians do things in government, build up a CV, so to speak.

              People might dislike Ardern for many things she's said or done since 2017. That's what they consider when approving/disapproving, and deciding their vote.

              If Luxon thinks people make their decision by thinking about "fish and chips" and that will win him the election, then he needs to sack his advisers, pronto.

              • Puckish Rogue

                'If Luxon thinks people make their decision by thinking about "fish and chips" and that will win him the election, then he needs to sack his advisers, pronto.'

                Maybe or maybe hes just hoping people will think that since he was the CEO of a successful airline he might also be able to run a country

                • observer

                  Since he was CEO of an airline he will be able to tell us if they should have vaccine mandates (which they do) and when they shouldn't (which he wants).

                  "Luxon to Air NZ: you're wrong". Now that's a headline.

              • alwyn

                Has Luxon ever mentioned the fact that Ardern worked in a Fish and Chip shop?

                I don't remember him having done so. Can you produce some evidence of your claim or is it just a fantasy?

  9. First international hat-trick for New Zealand defender Meikayla Moore v the usa in the 'SheBelieves cup'.

    And a true hat-trick at that – Left foot, right foot and header. And all in the 40 first half minutes before being substituted.


  10. Chris 10

    Luxon's on at 2.30 today, for anyone interested in hearing his drivel.


  11. Molly 11

    Great, a week after receiving a request to sign a petition to create a Rainbow Ministry, the Green Party publishes the data on why:

    • Anker 11.1

      I can think of a millon things I would prioritise for funding, one of them being the hospice in South Auckland that is running out of money because donations are down

      • Molly 11.1.1

        The instagram conflates historical injustices with current ideological demands. It also then uses the excuse that the democratic process is too slow for justice, so here's the answer. An unimpressive explanation of why a Rainbow Ministry is required, belatedly offered.

  12. Ad 12

    What exactly at this point is the Prime Minister in control of?

    We are heading straight for 5,000 cases a day, she has chosen to have zero influence over a protest occupation of Parliament grounds, none of her key policy initiatives are completed, and there's clearly worse to come this year.

    Her promise of 'darkness before the dawn' this morning is just wishful thinking.

    Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: PM promises 'light' as cases skyrocket – NZ Herald

    • Dennis Frank 12.1

      What exactly at this point is the Prime Minister in control of?

      The govt & the Labour caucus. That's all that matters. Doing a bit of positive spin on her behalf, I could point to the 6-week lag between the Oz omicron escalation & ours. Her public health strategy bought that time to up the boosted numbers…

      • Ad 12.1.1

        She is in charge of every single government department and Ministry across the government.

        Ardern has lost control of the narrative so badly now there's no spin to recover it. When you've gone from 20 cases a day to 2,500 in two weeks you have lost control.

        A spin line of 'it could have been worse' never, ever works.

        There are complaints on RNZ this morning that the waiting time inside A&E is now averaging over four hours, and increasing with staff shortages every week.

        I'm no longer convinced the May budget will get them back into narrative control, let alone delivery control.

        • observer

          When you've gone from 20 cases a day to 2,500 in two weeks you have lost control.

          You have somehow missed weeks of news. Omicron taking off was absolutely predicted, and prepared for, and outlined on numerous occasions.

          This IS the expected narrative.

          If Ardern had said "don't worry, Omicron won't affect many" she would be rightly attacked now. But she said the opposite, even if you didn't pay attention.


          • Ad

            There were so many case models brought out between November and February that one of them was going to be approximately right, like the likelihood that a clock will hit the number 12 at some point.

            Ardern gave another rambling interview today in which she repeated more and more that there is little they can do, it's up to individuals to help themselves, and the hospitals now just have to suck it up.

            Faster Ardern is replaced by Robertson the better.

            • McFlock

              There were so many case models brought out between November and February that one of them was going to be approximately right, like the likelihood that a clock will hit the number 12 at some point.

              Well, yeah, if the assumptions of those models were also correct to a reasonable degree. If they say "zero mask, no vaccination" and predict what we're getting with >90% vaccination and a high level of masking, the models are still wrong.

            • Patricia Bremner

              Have a cup of tea and put sugar in it.

            • alwyn

              "Robertson the better".

              That seems rather optimistic to me. I would go along with

              Faster Ardern is replaced by Robertson the less damage we will have to suffer.

              I suppose that you may know him a bit better than I do though.

          • Herodotus

            That is why we have been waiting 5 days to receive test results, why get tested then ?? . In that 5 day period the one who was tested stays isolated whilst those in their household and close contacts go about their daily routines be that attending school, teacher, nurse, Elderly care etc. Yet we were told that our testing capabilities 58,000 yet we cannot cope as a result 5 DAYS wait !!! As you said this was predicted then why has testing failed ?? Our leadership has been asleep at the wheel or caught out not been capable. FFS our minister of Health did not even know that those who perform the tests were voting on strike action. That is a sign of preparedness ??
            Perhaps those that have not gone thru the process or experienced Covid should shut up and let those who have endured this cockup make their valid points.




    • Muttonbird 12.2

      Perhaps you'd prefer a Boris Johnson figure? One who is actively agitating for war with Russia?

      • Ad 12.2.1

        I prefer government that engages honestly with all New Zealanders – not just the majority – and delivers.

        Caucus is so silent that mood must be in freefall.

        • Muttonbird

          Michael Wood did engage honestly. He called the drivers of this shit-show a river of slime. What more do you want?

          • Dennis Frank

            Good to see a young feller showing a bit of gumption but dunno if assuming the wackos are running the show is wise. The thing has cohered too well recently for that to be true. Just makes him seem unobservant really.

            • Robert Guyton

              Perhaps Wood had access to information you've not been party to, Dennis?

              Is that possible? Are Government ministers shown intelligence that the general public can't readily see?

              Such perplexing questions!

              • Dennis Frank

                Unlikely. We know that Labour is big on the principle of transparent governance. Therefore anything in the way of intelligence would immediately get passed on to the public, right?

                However you may wish to argue that Labour minister's aren't likely to discern intelligence for what it is when shown it, therefore it won't necessarily get passed on. Fair point.

          • higherstandard

            Well if there's someone who's an expert on slime it's certainly Michael Wood.

        • Peter

          Caucus is so silent that mood must be in freefall?

          Oh good it's conjecture time. It's make up a story time?

          Caucus is so silent because they're planning to dump Ardern.

          Caucus is so silent because every time they meet Robertson gives them boxes of chocolates to eat.

          Caucus is so silent because all members are working or what part of their local area will be taken over by the freedom people seeking to take freedom from the inhabitants.

          Caucus is so silent because they've been confronted by reality of lunatics wanting to take over the country emboldened by numerous fruitcakes and the demented.

          • Robert Guyton

            Caucus is silent…because Ad can't hear them?

          • Dennis Frank

            Caucus is silent except for Wood calling the protestors slimeballs or something similar. Obviously felt the need to hone up his image in the public mind. Present as sophisticated instead of young must have been his thinking.

            Oh, and the Grant was on the media today reframing Luxon's framing. Important to mask bipartisan solidarity with the pretence of competition whenever possible to ensure that the electorate doesn't see through the democracy sham. All good.

            The important thing is that the police minister continues to remain silent. The One News political editor pointed out tonight that she was "missing in action". What action? I wondered. I doubt if she has really gone missing – just hiding from the public and media.

            • Patricia Bremner

              You do interpret everything to suit your window!!devil

              • Dennis Frank

                And the marvellous thing is that whichever window I happen to be viewing a situation thro has a frame. To keep commentary lively one must become adept at reframing – so discovering that simply shifting to a new window makes the effort of finding or creating a new frame unnecessary does make life as a social media commentator much easier. Even oldies can get good at incorporating novelty into their lifestyle…

    • Molly 12.3

      Given the rationale for vaccine passports and mandates is to flatten the curve, sending kids to school at the beginning of a very contagious variant outbreak seems counter to that narrative.

      A signal that they are still managing to prioritise contact tracing for the Delta variant would be welcome. Or can the system only cope with treating both variants the same? With limited resources, and systems already failing to cope at the beginning of an outbreak, priorities should be identified and clearly communicated. People will understand Omicron contacts being delayed, if Delta positives and contacts take priority.

      • SPC 12.3.1

        The greater the spread amongst those at lowest risk before winter the better …

        The government has timed it well – autumn – post the summer vitamin D uptake and before winter (when there is risk of convergence with flu and the impact of winter cold on the old).

        • Molly

          The government has timed it well – autumn – post the summer vitamin D uptake and before winter (when there is risk of convergence with flu and the impact of winter cold on the old).

          The government is responding to a virus in the community, with two main variants. They may hope for a managed outbreak, but some of their tools are already failing.

          My initial point about schools was in response to an article about schools losing their teachers, once again, at the beginning of an outbreak. I thought it was the article Ad linked to in the original comment, but I must have browsed away from it.

          There's one here. Students isolating doesn't necessarily affect the running of the school, but teachers and staff isolating will reach a point where the school is unable to function. What support systems are in place by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Social Development for when this occurs?

          Also, the demographic of unvaccinated seems across the board. I'm sure they have students in those households, once again making the retention of vaccine passports while students attend school (mixing with hundreds of others each day) is worth questioning.

          • Belladonna

            Re schools closing.
            Students isolating doesn't affect the running of the school. But school closures seriously impact on the ability of parents who are essential workers to both do their (essential) jobs and look after their children.

            It became very, very, evident in the Red lockdowns (especially in the multiple Auckland ones), that school-as-childcare is actually a critical piece of our infrastructure puzzle.

            Note: not talking here about Mr & Mrs middle-class work-from-home. They may (and many do) find remote schooling makes working all but impossible. But our society (in the short term at least) can do without a percentage of insurance adjusters, lawyers and bureaucrats. What we can't do without (especially in a pandemic) are nurses, supermarket workers, cleaners and lab techs. And, if those people don't have supervised childcare then many won't be working.

            Even people whose jobs technically aren't essential – are surprisingly important cogs in the state mechanism (truck drivers, couriers, automotive technicians, cleaners, etc.).

            Which is why the government is requiring ECE and primary schools to be open.

            There are no vaccine passports for students required at schools (parents may voluntarily tell the school their child is vaccinated – but there's no requirement).

            My pick (based on acquaintances) is that those people who were vaccinated under protest – have not chosen to get their children vaccinated.

            • Molly

              My partner is an essential worker, and 15% of the workforce is now isolating because of their children's exposure at school to Covid.

              This will continue, on and off, while the workers are themselves not positive cases.

              Households with children at school does have an impact, over and above childcare, which sometimes be worked out with other parents.

              • Belladonna

                Which is probably saying that the isolation requirements because of child-exposure are now non-fuctional.

                Two points:

                All the science shows that children are less likely to catch Covid, more likely to have an asymptomatic (or very mild) case, and less likely to transmit it. Restricting households because of a child's exposure at school – is probably an over-reaction ATM (it was justifiable under the elimination strategy, not so much now).

                Essential workers need daily RATs administered either at home or in the workplace, rather than trying to use isolation as a substitute for testing.

                • Molly

                  Which is probably saying that the isolation requirements because of child-exposure are now non-fuctional.


                  The RAT access adds to a full day's work, and is already under strain at the testing stations. Whether that is an initial implement hiccup, or indicative of a system already not coping at the beginning of the outbreak, I wouldn't know.

                  There needs to be some isolation and testing changes to keep up with the impact of the rapid spread of Covid.

      • KJT 12.3.2

        Much as Teachers hate the thought, schools are as much essential child minding services as education centres.

        Without schools open many of the workers needed to keep the place functional won't be turning up at work.

        Shutting schools, has to be balanced against still getting the groceries delivered.

        • Molly

          There's always a trade off, KJT.

          As mentioned above, my partner (an essential worker) now has 15% of the workforce off due to their children's exposure at school. This will no doubt continue off and on until exposure and isolation rules change because of the high incidence and mixing at schools.

  13. Puckish Rogue 13

    Cricket, cricket, cricket!

    Time to pick over the carcass of the outstanding team victory over South Africa.

    Starting with Will Young.

    Will Young should be batting number 5 at the moment but unfortunately for him NZ cricket has and has always had a big issue with opening batting


    (Article from 2016 so add in Jeet Ravel, Tom Blundell and Devon Conway)

    *New Zealand's test openers in the last 20 years: Justin Vaughan, Bryan Young, Blair Pocock, Craig Spearman, Nathan Astle, Matt Horne, Matthew Bell, Roger Twose, Gary Stead, Mark Richardson, Mathew Sinclair, Adam Parore, Lou Vincent, Stephen Fleming, Brendon McCullum, Michael Papps, Craig Cumming, James Marshall, Jamie How, Hamish Marshall, Peter Fulton, Aaron Redmond, Tim McIntosh, Martin Guptill, Daniel Flynn, BJ Watling, Rob Nicol, Hamish Rutherford, Tom Latham.

    Basically its not easy being a NZ opener, of all those openers listed virtually all of them average 33 or lower.

    Even Bruce Edgar had an average of 31 when opening, for context John Wright averaged 38

    The standouts being Richardson at 45, McCullum at 40 (no really) and Latham at 43

    Will Young has drawn the short straw (vs Conway and Blundell opening) and averages 34, not great but has the potential to score more and in the context of NZ its not too shabby at all

    • Dennis Frank 13.1

      Depends if the SA team is unusually weak or they just didn't have their act together. I'm not really up with current play but perhaps they failed to read the wicket?

      Anyway in recent years for the first time ever we seem to have openers that are competitive internationally on a fairly consistent basis so it doesn't really matter to me who they choose next match. I have faith in the selectors currently.

      Will the weather affect team selection you reckon? Prospect of rain producing slower outfields, slowing run rates, etc..

      • Puckish Rogue 13.1.1

        I just find it interesting that we can consistently produce very good middle order batters yet finding two good opening batters at the same time seems beyond NZ

        Maybe Ravindra or Allen will become openers but its just a shame that Young will have to settle, probably, for a sub 40 average as an opener rather than a 40 + middle order batter

    • Craig H 13.2

      Wright's average slightly belies how good he was later in his career e.g. as captain it was 48 which was outstanding for a test opener of the time, but really, we've struggled to put two good openers out there on a consistent basis since Edgar paired with Wright (I give them some credit for how hard opening/batting was in the 80s). As a statistical oddity, Wright and Trevor Franklin had the best average of any of our pairings with at least 1,000 runs, but Franklin's average wasn't great, again showing how hard it was.

      • Puckish Rogue 13.2.1

        Indeed, so even if Young manages 'only' a 35 opening average which I'm convinced he'll be able to, he'll still be ahead of most other openers

  14. Anke 14
  15. observer 15

    Not sure where to comment on Luxon's speech, Open Mike or Covid posts? He hasn't said anything, so it could go anywhere.

    His message on mandates (quote):

    "We should get rid of mandates progressively and carefully once we are through the peak of Omicron."

    So, he's in favour of doing what everyone knows will happen. Cool.

  16. Robert Guyton 16

    "A shallow M5.6 earthquake near Blenheim caused a decent shake just now, mostly felt by people in the upper South Island and lower North Island. The shaking was strong in intensity, and we have received more than 15,000 felt reports."


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