Open mike 21/03/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, March 21st, 2020 - 224 comments
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224 comments on “Open mike 21/03/2020 ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    And exactly why did WHO's Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spend weeks telling there was no need to stop international travel, all the while praising China's response that primarily involved shutting tens of millions into their appartments and stopping all travel within China?

    When he knew that virus's don't know the difference between the borders of a city and a country?

    When he knew millions had evaded the initial Hubei lockdown?

    When he knew the silent transmission characteristic that made it certain the virus would get out of China?

    If the rest of the world had stopped all international travel out of China at the start of Feb, instead of now, we would not be facing this crisis. Instead China insisted that any such travel ban would be 'racist', while at the same time imposing the same measures domestically.

    These are not actions in good faith. Some hard questions need answers.

    • I Feel Love 1.1

      Maybe after things settle down?

    • Ad 1.2

      It's a pretty weird twist of global fate when the country and the government that essentially caused the outbreak in the first place is the country that is using that same moment to become the predominant power of the world.

      Rather than send Xi Jinping the bill for all of it, we are sending him exports and gratitude.

      • Sabine 1.2.1

        so you have proof that China is the source of this? care to share?

        • Blazer

          I think Wuhan is in China…Sabine.

          • Sabine

            yes, but as i said, at the same time you had cases already in the US.

            So, we know fuck all, all we know is that the first one to raise the issue was a chinese doctor, and that the first country to do something was China.

            As of now no one has any idea what it is that brought that virus forth (and no the food was not it) and we don't know who patient one is and where he/she could have potentially been exposed to it.

            For what its worth the last 'flu' season in the US was bad, very very bad, and a few of these dead could possibly counted towards the Virus. But as the US did not test, D. Trump the fuckwit refused testing for the longest time they now have a worse outbreak then China ever had.

            So really, please do not call it the 'chinese' virus, its bullshit, its racists and its just fucking dumb.

            • CrimzonGhost

              Sabine, I like you, but you're wrong here. It started in China same way SARS et al started due to sloppy OSH & their Gov not monitoring/ regulating/banning live wildlife 'wet' markets. So to state fact and say its' Wuhan or Chinese Flu is not in itself inherently racist albeit is true that racists will like to play up it's Chinese origin but that doesn't mean you have to go PC and doublespeak. A spade is a spade & a shovel is a shovel.

              KLW/CrimzonGhost, Libertarian Socialist.

        • Ad

          Wuhan was the source of the outbreak.

          Wuhan is in China.


          • Graeme

            There's a difference between source and caused.

            Would the current situation be much different if a similar virus had emerged in Saudi Arabia or Kentucky. Probably the only difference would be that it wouldn't be in China.

      • bwaghorn 1.2.2

        Couldnt possible be working exactly as planned. ??

        • Ad

          No but it is a real hinge of fate moment.

          We should all recall this year, as the Chinese do, the Year of the Rat.

          • Sabine

            Does this cheap racism make you feel better?

            • CrimzonGhost

              Look, if you see racism in laying out a fact (ie it started in Wuhan, China & Chinese actions/inactions helped it spread as they withheld info & misled) , you've got a problem. If everything is racist & fascist then ultimately nothing is …the terms become devalued & meaningless.

      • francesca 1.2.3

        I suggest the tardy response by governments other than the Chinese is more responsible for the spread of coronavirus outside China.

        "On December 31 last year, China alerted WHO to several cases of unusual pneumonia in Wuhan, a port city of 11 million people in the central Hubei province. The virus was unknown."

        Next you'll be calling it the "Chinese virus"

        • francesca

          And, from the editor of the Lancet

          "The Chinese scientists pulled no punches. “The number of deaths is rising quickly,” they wrote. The provision of personal protective equipment for health workers was strongly recommended. Testing for the virus should be done immediately a diagnosis was suspected. They concluded that the mortality rate was high. And they urged careful surveillance of this new virus in view of its “pandemic potential”.

          That was in January. Why did it take the UK government eight weeks to recognise the seriousness of what we now call Covid-19?"

          • Ad

            Fully agree that every country has to own their own fate after it got out of China.

            Some like South Korea figured out the early-and-hard path to success.

        • Ad

          When the Chinese notified the WHO is irrelevant.

          The key date is the time it took the Chinese government to lock down Wuhan and most of Hubei into quarantine.

          That was 23 January.

          Looking back 6 weeks after that, a series of further measures slowed the spread.

          But by 23 January it was well and truly out.

          China is trolling the world with alternative histories right now, but the Chinese government was responsible for not stopping the initial spread of the virus.

          • new view

            Fuck off with your irrelevant accusations Ad. No one new what this thing was then. It would have taken a number of weeks for the Chinese to wake up to what they were dealing with. We’re at the arsehole of the world and have had six weeks to get it right an start getting in testing supplies etc. we’re still fucking it up but looking good on TV. We’re always late yet we are in the world’s best place to stop it. Throwing stones at China and being slow pick up on what they learnt means we are useless not them.

        • alwyn

          Possibly the most effective response was that by Singapore.

          They started preparing immediately after the first warning at the end of December. Then they went in as a full scale operation in late January. I believe they ended up with 266 cases and no deaths.


          I remember advocating on 6 March that we should be getting our arses into gear rather than just ignoring things. At the time I suggested we should simply do precisely what Singapore was doing. Don't you wish now that we had done so?

          By the way. If you one of those who commented in reply to my opinion are you still happy with the views you then expressed about how self isolation and so on was just fine?

      • bill 1.2.4

        the government that essentially caused the outbreak

        ffs. Seriously?!

        Lemme help you out here Ad. The outbreak was (probably) essentially caused by a virus transmitting from one species to another (us).

        In addition – Chinese authorities were confronted by something novel coming at them from 'left field', whereas our government and others, well…

        • RedLogix

          The outbreak was (probably) essentially caused by a virus transmitting from one species to another

          When researchers based at the Wuhan biolab publish papers in Nature back in 2015 detailing how they had recombined a novel bat virus and the original SAR's virus, then yes you are technically correct.

          Incidentally my Chinese source tells me three interesting things. One is that the ethnic/language group in Hubei speak a quite different dialect from the dominant Manderin/Cantonese. They have long been regarded with disdain by the central authorities.

          Secondly, and I have no English language reference for this so it's in the very grey zone of 'maybe', Chinese social media sources are saying that the Wuhan lab has been recently demolished and no longer exists.

          Thirdly the CCP has just made a big dog and pony show of expelling all US journalists from China; journalists who spoke the language and knew their way around the system. Any remaining foreign journalists will be hugely intimidated by this, and given the way they closely monitor their activities, the chances of any independent proof of what actually happened in Wuhan is now close to zero.

          The other real consideration is the high probability of of an unintentional leak from the lab, either due to lax procedures or the well known animal trade from these labs that has documented instance of happening before.

          Absolutely I understand what I'm implying regarding intent. I’m pointing out the dots, it’s up to you how you decide to join them.

          And Ad very eloquently used the phrase "hinge of fate" …. this indeed is another possibility. But given the CCP's utterly vile human rights record right from … well their very beginnings … why are so many people in the West giving them any benefit of the doubt on this?

          • Stunned Mullet

            Dangerous information RL – if there is any confirmed (or sadly made up and widely distributed information) facts that this is a bioengineered virus that has been mistakenly released there'll be some potentially very nasty consequences over and above what we're experiencing at present.

            • RedLogix

              My best guess is that the initial Patient Zero was probably an accident. But sometime in early Jan the CCP decided to game it.

          • bill

            That's "twin towers" stuff right there Red and no less useful.

            • RedLogix

              Yeah I know, no such thing as bad intent. The CCP are living, walking angels who will save us all. /sarc

              Yet all but one of my points are public domain knowledge, together they form a number of possible patterns if you care to look. And given the impossibility of getting reliable evidence, then neither you nor I can insist we are right.

              But reflexively dismissing everything you think impossible as ‘tin foil hat’ territory is rather tired. Sometimes bad people really do bad shit, and given the CCP’s known track record of bad shit ….

              • McFlock

                It's not impossible.

                Just pointless, impossible to verify, based on reckons, and a casus belli for violent racists everywhere.

                Like bloody "cheese pizza" all over again.

                • RedLogix

                  Just pointless, impossible to verify, based on reckons, and a casus belli for violent racists everywhere.

                  Fair enough if you don't want to understand. I can get that. At the same time plenty of people here have no trouble leveling all manner of very direct attacks on Trump's administration, without anyone saying it's a "casus belli for violent racists everywhere".

                  • McFlock

                    🙄 Well, no. Because he's the one on the side of the racists. "Good people on both sides", remember that?

                    But if you can prove that covid-19 is a CCP bioweapon, put up or shut up. Otherwise you're just trying to make people more jumpy than they already are.

                    • RedLogix

                      I was careful not to claim that it was designed or intended to be a bioweapon. Research labs work with all sorts of nasties for perfectly legit reasons, many of which you really don't want to unintentionally leak out. There is plenty of precedent for this sort of thing happening, so it's not an unreasonable presupposition.

                      Or hell it could have just been a zoonotic leap between species due to their medieval food systems the CCP has signally failed to tackle, it doesn’t really matter, in this context.

                      But my sense is that what happened after that is where the mystery deepens. At the very least the CCP are gaming their self-inflicted disaster into a propaganda win. Not only are too many people buying into it (because racist), but it disheartens many ordinary Chinese who loath the CCP and want an end to their enslavement.

                    • Incognito []

                      COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic has a natural origin


                    • McFlock

                      Hey, how about you store your pointless senses somewhere productive for the duration, yeah?

                      You know, until actual reality stops being so terrifying to so many people. Speaking for myself, I've got a workplace set to do as much as possible from home, an elderly relative in self-iso, a sibling with a job fast-disappearing, and an immun-compromised friend off work in self-iso.

                      What, exactly, do your fucking spidey-senses do to improve the the emotional landscapes and personal threat assessments they and hundreds of thousands like them have to perform every fucking moment of the day?

                    • RedLogix


                      Good link thanks, which states critically:

                      But the scientists found that the SARS-CoV-2 backbone differed substantially from those of already known coronaviruses and mostly resembled related viruses found in bats and pangolins.

                      And that is the whole point of the 2015 paper in Nature, that they were using novel coronavirus's found in bats for research purposes. Back then they published one version that was the result of a recombination with the original SARs. Their US lab partner deemed the work too dangerous and destroyed everything at their end, and recommended the same in Wuhan.

                      But there was never any confirmation they did so, nor that they didn't carry on with the work on other novel bat virus's. So yes it's perfectly reasonable to think they may have been working with a virus that was completely unknown outside the Wuhan lab.

                      The existence of the 2015 paper is that it is incontrovertible proof they were working in this exact field at that time.


                      Everyone is dealing with a cascade of consequences right now. If you don't want to participate in this little thread right now I totally get it.

                    • Incognito []

                      I just noticed that Francesca @ also responded to you and linked to the same Nature article. The evidence that this is a bioengineered virus seems lacking. This doesn’t mean it didn’t escape from a lab, of course. The more scary implication, however, is that it jumped species (i.e. to human) in a completely natural way and that this can happen again in future.

                      Anyway, the answers to these and other interesting and pertinent questions won’t help us much with dealing with the present ‘aftermath’ of what happened, however it happened.

                    • McFlock

                      But I have a duty to, because pandemics don't just kill from the disease directly. They can also kill by the fear they create, and that fear is stoked and directed by people insisting on spreading rumours based on what they "sense".

                      Asians are already getting shit for this. I'm sure you focus on the middle "C" in "CCP" when talking about "self-inflicted", but not even you can be so tone-deaf to not notice how others might focus on the first "C"?

                    • RedLogix

                      I'm sure you focus on the middle "C" in "CCP" when talking about "self-inflicted", but not even you can be so tone-deaf to not notice how others might focus on the first "C"?

                      Yes you are absolutely correct on the first part of that. Still it's hard not to notice that the second is the same card the CCP play everytime they yell 'racist' when they want to shut down any thing they don't like.

                    • McFlock

                      And yet it can also be true.

                      Dolt45 knew which buttons he was pushing when he went for "Chinese" virus rather than "communist" virus. If you were unaware such buttons existed in many nations, well, now you know.

                      So kindly come up with proof, or keep your senses to your damned self.

                    • RedLogix

                      Do you want a long list of diseases that are named after places or countries. How about Lyme disease?

                      Lyme disease was first recognized in 1975 after researchers investigated why unusually large numbers of children were being diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in Lyme, Connecticut, and two neighboring towns.

                      And many other examples exist.

                      Trump started calling the "Chinese Virus" when various CCP mouthpieces repeatedly claimed that the virus was deliberated released into China by the USA to damage the Chinese economy. Pointed yes … racist only if you insist.

                      Then there was the State run media Xinhua hinting that China could use it's stranglehold on pharmaceutical supplies to "plunge the USA into the mighty sea of coronavirus" by withholding them.

                    • McFlock


                      I really don't understand how you could be, or why you would pretend to be, so oblivious to the cultural context in which you choose to make your statements.

                      So I will return to the question a few comments ago: how does your "sense" of how this pandemic started contribute to social stability in a globally-stressful time?

                    • RedLogix

                      German measles, Zika virus (region in Uganda), Japanese encephalitis, Spanish flu (and is still called this on the WHO website), MERS (Middle Eastern Respitory Syndrome), Marburg virus (Germany again), West Nile virus, Ebola virus (name of a river in the Congo), Legionnaires Disease (from a conference in Philadelphia), Lhassa Fever, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Nawalk virus (also known as norovirus).

                      Then there was Mad Cow disease named after my mother in law cheeky

                      So the idea that we must not name diseases after places, or groups of people for fear of offence or stigmatisation, really is 'snowflake pc gone mad'.

                      how does your "sense" of how this pandemic started contribute to social stability in a globally-stressful time?

                      Pretty much the same authoritarian reasoning that led the Wuhan administration and police to silence the first doctors who attempted to raise attention about the new disease they were seeing back in December.

                      This crisis is going to have political consequences sooner or later.

                    • McFlock

                      how does your "sense" of how this pandemic started contribute to social stability in a globally-stressful time?

                      Pretty much the same authoritarian reasoning that led the Wuhan administration and police to silence the first doctors who attempted to raise attention about the new disease they were seeing back in December.

                      That's not actually an answer to the question. What good is your "sensing" doing for anyone?

                      Someone recently wrote:

                      In the case of a global pandemic, the correct balance point is right at the authoritarian end of the scale. Just how it always has been.

                      According to that writer, "authoritarian" isn't even a criticism during a global pandemic.

                      This crisis is going to have political consequences sooner or later.


                      Try later then, when people aren't shitting themselves. Nothing compells you to spread rumours so "political consequences" happen sooner, rather than later.

                    • RedLogix

                      Another reductionist conflation.

                      The correct response to reports from doctors about a new disease is to investigate and take prompt action, not to use crude intimidation to silence them.

                      The correct action when you already have a global pandemic is to take control as firmly as possible, not to dither for weeks for fear of causing offence to the Chinese.

                      If you can't tell the difference, there isn't much point is discussing this further.

                      As for 'what good this is'? Do you imagine the Chinese people are all docile fools who haven't asked all the same questions and not come to similar conclusions? Because at every turn you seem to be giving the CCP a free pass and ensuring our compliance; while everything orange man bad.

                    • McFlock

                      So, still no answer then.

                      Carry on, fearmonger rumourmill.

          • francesca

            Here's another article from Nature, more recent than yours


            "Thus, the high-affinity binding of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to human ACE2 is most likely the result of natural selection on a human or human-like ACE2 that permits another optimal binding solution to arise. This is strong evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is not the product of purposeful manipulation."

            I was directed to this by a tweet from Dotcom

            And if we're heading into conspiracy territory, there's this:


            More links about the viruses they were studying soon

            Fort Detrick as you will know has been involved in bio weaponry for a very long time, LSD in the 50's


        • Stunned Mullet

          @bill – as has been happening in china for sometime and more often in recent times, when you shove that many people and other live species in close contact things have an increasing chance of shitting themselves.

          Perhaps we should follow Ed's advice and make the world go vegetarian – when was the last time anyone caught an infectious disease from a turnip ?

          • bill

            COVID 19 is new. It hasn't been "happening in China for some time".

            SARS and MERS are types of coronavirus that China and other places have a fair amount of experience with. But they don't have the characteristic whereby infectious individuals can be asymptomatic.

            If you were merely meaning to suggest that China is a prime location for the emergence of various viruses, then yes – I suspect there's no argument from anyone on that front.

            edit. Sorry. My bad. For whatever reason, I read the first word of your comment as “it”.

          • KJT

            Not turnips, but I seem to recall an issue with cabbages a while ago.

          • lprent

            … when was the last time anyone caught an infectious disease from a turnip ?

            It is simply less likely.

            Humans have been known to get sick from viruses that live in seawater and who normally attach to sea bacteria for their breeding (can't remember the reference right now – but it has happened).

            Viruses aren't that choosy and are opportunistic. Given the number of human targets and sufficient time you'll find that they will will test all pathways.

            • Stunned mullet

              It is simply less likely.

              Very very much less likely, there's little commonalties between homo sapiens and the humble turnip that would attract a virus who has chosen vegetables as their host of choice….although looking around the world at the moment i do note the Donald is turning oranger on a daily basis.

    • Anne 1.3

      Not deliberate imo Redlogix @ 1. Remember information was extremely fluid in those early days and no-one wanted to come across as scaremongering panic artists. Also at that point, anyone asking for all international travel to be stopped would have had their heads chopped off – metaphorically speaking.

      Look what happened to the Chinese doctor who tried to warn the country many months ago they were in for a pandemic. She was publicly reprimanded by their government which must have had awful consequences for her and later died of the disease herself.

      • RedLogix 1.3.1

        Intent scarcely matters anymore. Here is one thing I do know for certain, there is deep fury with CCP among the Chinese people themselves. And they in turn despair when they see the West swallow CCP 'alternative history' uncritically.

        • Anne

          Hell, that comes as no surprise whatsoever. Wouldn't trust Putin's Russia for the truth either.

          My comment was directed at the WHO and Dr Tedro etc.etc. – can't be bothered looking up the spelling.

      • CrimzonGhost 1.3.2

        Tinfoil hat territory but it's possible she didn't die from the disease but was knocked off for her whistleblowing by the CCP.

    • bill 1.4

      I've been asking much the same questions. When the initial news broke for me it was by way of banner headlines in The Guardian, and my immediate reaction was one of dismissal – the boy had cried wolf before.

      But when China locked down cities…yeah, that's not something done lightly.

      In my mind, and I this said around that time, NZ should have banned cruise ships and, if not entirely closed the borders, introduced strict measures at airports. (And not only for travellers arriving from China)

      But Red. We live in a word where financial considerations outweigh all others. So this government (in my mind – as others – one that's essentially comprised of dullards who have merely been cunning enough to get their uncertain hands on levers of power) did sweet fuck all that might have "unduly" upset markets.

      And so "here we are" in a shite state of affairs, and still the government is predicating responses on chrematistic factors .

      • RedLogix 1.4.1

        We live in a word where financial considerations outweigh all others.

        I understand that fully; after all crash stopping our economies is not a decision to be taken lightly, it will lead to loss and suffering. No govt should take that move lightly.

        But WHO's role in this gave them perfect cover to hesitate for a crucial month.

        • bill

          crash stopping our economies is not a decision to be taken lightly

          The irony being that the US is expecting a 14% contraction in the next quarter, which in context, is greater than what happened in post collapse Russia.

          I'm thinking the masters of capital would have been well served to have hit the pause button for a short spell, although…they can always fall back on disaster capitalism – if we allow them the space and opportunity to.

        • Poission

          But WHO's role in this gave them perfect cover to hesitate for a crucial month.

          The smoking pixels.🫁

    • If the rest of the world had stopped all international travel out of China at the start of Feb, instead of now, we would not be facing this crisis.

      The NZ government did bar entry to people travelling from or through China at the start of February, pretty sure Australia did also. Took some bollocks because it was strongly criticised by the Chinese government at the time. Poor response from the WHO is probably down to the same problem as with every other UN organisation: corruption and influence-peddling.

      • RedLogix 1.5.1

        True but when only Australia and NZ did this (and full credit to them) and most other countries did not, then our policy was rendered ineffective due to the obvious barn-sized backdoor.

    • KJT 1.6

      Changed your mind about being "authoritarian to ensure people's safety. Eh?

      • RedLogix 1.6.1

        Reductionist idiocy. If you had bothered to actually read any of what I was saying about gun control, instead of just reflexively projecting onto me, you would have noted me repeatedly acknowledging that the safety/liberty equation is a balance which varies according to context and circumstance.

        In the case of a global pandemic, the correct balance point is right at the authoritarian end of the scale. Just how it always has been.

  2. bwaghorn 2

    What if all the banks and loan agencies just decided to stop taking repayments for 6 months . ? No interest? They would lose no profit in the long run .

    • Blazer 2.1

      what about their bonus'…get your priorities right.

      • bwaghorn 2.1.1


        But seriously could it be done?

        • AB

          They'd try to make up any losses by robbing their depositors through haircuts

          • Ad

            Whereas little old Kiwibank has an even tighter relationship:

            Owned 49% by ACC and NZSuperfund, 51% by NZPost two large branches of corporate government are propping up another. When you look who is on those Boards and senior executives of them all, what you discover is a very tight clique of super-executive-bureaucrat hybrids who operate this country's major pools of public capital like one long uninterrupted secret conversation.

            And for a country in extremis like we are going into, that's actually not a bad thing. Something like the analogy for making sausages.

    • Ad 2.2

      What the banks will be taking most note of is which governments were the first to fold by essentially underwriting mortgage payments.

      They'll put that in the book for next time.

    • SPC 2.3

      The "quid pro quo" for bailing out the retail banks (no losses on their mortgage for property lending) is government financing their expenses with social credit rather than debt.

    • Sabine 2.4

      I have been asking for that for a few weeks now.

      But i was told that we should apply for a credit with the bank, can't interfere with making some profit via some disaster capitalism.

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    Am I right in thinking that the spread of this season's flu will be greatly reduced, even defeated, because of the social-dstancing/hand-washing etc, undertaken by New Zealanders in response to COVID 19?

    • Ad 3.1

      More likely everyone taking up the company 'flu shots like never before.

      • Robert Guyton 3.1.1

        Should they bother? If my suppose is correct, no one will need them – yes?

        • Ad

          OMG Robert go back to the garden.

          The reason we have 'flu shots is to stop the hospitals being overwhelmed even more than they are about to be.

          If there is a 'flu shot available to you, get it.

          • Robert Guyton

            I don't follow your argument, Ad. If flu doesn't spread, there will be no "overwhelming" of the hospitals. Surely, doctors have better things to do with their time, during an outbreak of COVID 19, than give flu jabs?

            • Ad

              Nurses give jabs for the 'flu Robert.

              There is no reason to assume the common 'flu will be any better or se than any other year, but every year hospital beds get filled up with people with the 'flu.

              Seriously don't to medical what-ifs at a time like this, and follow the advice.

              • Robert Guyton

                "There is no reason to assume the common 'flu will be any better or se than any other year"

                Isn't there?

                I was wondering if the considerable changes being made to reduce the spread of COVID 19 might also reduce the spread of the flu. Seems logical, but you don't think so? That's okay. Curious how you are so anxious about even floating such an idea.

                • Ad

                  Let me see, Robert.

                  You're curious how there's some anxiety about you proposing that people should not get the 'flu shot this year.

                  We are in very close to full martial law and you're wondering why people get a bit anxious.

                  Stop speculating Robert and – follow the advice.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    I haven't proposed that people should not get the flu shot this year, Ad.

                    I've wondered aloud whether the measures taken against COVID 19 might reduce or eliminate the incidence of flu in NZ.

                    • weka

                      True, but you did wonder if people should bother. I think those that are good with getting vaccinated should make the effort, because we don't know how things will play out, so it's an erring on the side of caution thing. We need lots of that.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Hmmmm…I'm loathe to niggle you, weka, but I wrote,

                      "Should they bother? If my suppose is correct…"

                      "If" is the qualifier. If the new practices brought about to counter the spread of COVID 19 don't work in the case of the flu, then I don't challenge the need for the flu jab. If they do mean there's no or minimal spread of the flu, then my proposal has validity, perhaps. But not to be discussed here on TS, it seems. Back to the garden for me. I'm harvesting oyster mushrooms that I grew on straw in the underground wine cellar I dug; it's damp and dark in there and the fungi love it!

                    • greywarshark

                      Robert I hope you have a look later on after the mushrooms, and can tell me about this – I have been putting some rinse water from the washing machine after I have used mild laundry detergent called woolwash, on my cherry plum tree. I know there are still traces of the detergent in the water as there is some bubbling from it. The tree has leaves that look a bit dull and droopy on the nearest side to the runoff of rinse water.

                      My question – could I be harming the old tree, some of which is dying off anyway, with this water? The other side is looking fine.

                    • weka

                      that's a bit black and white, I think you are missing the greys (we don't know, it will depend, there will still be some flu but we don't know how much).

                      It's seems clear that hygiene and distancing will have an impact on flu transmission.

                      It's not that it can't be discussed, it's that many people have a low tolerance at the moment for speculation about public health matters and this colours how they respond. Asking the question was good imo, because there will be others wondering the same thing. Ad's tetchiness probably didn't help that conversation go well, but people are managing their stress in lots of different ways.

                      You have a wine and fungi cellar! Did you do your own straw innoculation? I'm waiting for it to warm up a bit so I can plant out some seedlings.

                  • greywarshark

                    If commenters go deeper with a question, a wondering if, and not just reaction to a previous thought, there will be a depth to the blog that tends to shallow out at times.

            • weka

              I don't think NZ is up to speed enough yet with social distancing and hand washing for it to have such a big effect, but I'm sure it will have some. The principle that Ad states is still sound, maybe flu gets reduced 50% from our actions, that's still a lot for the health system to deal with.

              I expect some of that drop will be reversed by the high stress states people are in.

              People who get flu now may be more susceptible to covid later due to being run down.

              People who won't want a flu vaccine, that's fine imo but they need to take more care in not spreading that virus.

              Afaik, vaccines are being prioritised atm for people that really need them.

              • weka

                btw, for people like myself who are used to managing our health without vaccines currently, we need to prepare for having a covid vaccine when it becomes available. I'll talk to my GP about that when the time comes (there's some complications for me), and we have no idea what the situation will be globally or in NZ by the time a vaccine becomes available, but there's a shift in parts of the culture that need to happen here. For many the vaccine is to protect others.

                Hard core anti-vaxers are going to find their world view seriously challenged. Fortunately I've seen the anti-vaxer conspiracy theories around covid dropping off so maybe it won't be such an issue.

              • Robert Guyton

                "I don't think NZ is up to speed enough yet with social distancing and hand washing for it to have such a big effect"

                What does that mean, I wonder, for the spread of COVID 19 then? Doesn't sound very encouraging, weka.

                • weka

                  We don't yet have any community transmission, and we are in a process of learning new skills and getting better all the time. I think we're doing really well, and it's good to be aware of the things that aren't quite there yet.

                  The last week will have woken a lot of people up though.

                  I visited a friend last night and had a cup of tea and yarn. I washed my hands when I arrived, but didn't when I left (I did when I got home). We sat across the table from each other and I wasn't thinking about the tea cup I was drinking from. A lot of that will change once we have CV in the community locally. It takes time for people to learn how to do what in the right order, especially people in risk categories (both myself and my friend).

                  I'm getting better at not touching my face 🙂

                  • Kay

                    Me too weka 🙂 That face touching thing is quite a thing to unlearn, isn't it?!

                    • weka

                      It is! I'm finding that different kinds of clothing help eg a loose shirt yesterday made it easier to scratch an itch on my face in various ways. I assume once we have community covid, that approach will mean more clothing washing too, but dependent upon probably exposure. I'm tending to think if it gets bad where I am I'll have to stay home mostly as the logistics of all that extra cleaning beyond handwashing are probably not possible for me to manage well.

                    • patricia

                      Our son tells us spray the mail. Yes a great deal to think about.

                      Car door handles steering wheel and mirror. The list is never ending. Shoes off at the door and house slippers also makes sense when you see people spit.

                    • weka

                      Mail and boxes can be left at the door for 24 hours (seems to be the recommendation for cardboard anyway).

                  • bill

                    We don't yet have any community transmission

                    A few people have been saying this, and I'm genuinely puzzled by the assertion. "We don't have community transmission" is quite a step beyond "we haven't detected community transmission".

                    There are (I don't know how many) school kids who were meant to be in isolation in Dunedin – school kids who were spotted in the city centre. Then there are those cruise ship passengers who visited Dunedin and elsewhere who have been diagnosed as having COVID 19. Throw in however many asymptomatic people were coming through those airports until a few days ago…

                    We can state that community transmission hasn't been detected. Whether or not there actually is community transmission is a different kettle of fish. But I guess we'll be in a position to say one way or the other with some confidence in a wee while.

                • francesca

                  I read a week ago that the enthusiastic uptake of handwashing in Hong Kong has seen a marked reduction in all contagious diseases

                  Can't find the link though

            • Andre

              Everyone getting flu jabs is one very simple low-cost thing everyone can do to reduce the burden on the health system in anticipation of the likely massive load coming up. On top of extra hand-washing and maintaining extra physical distance from others.

              All of these actions have cumulative effects, each one reducing the burden on the health system a bit more.

              Hand washing and physical distancing will reduce flu a bit, not eliminate it. More people getting flu jabs will reduce the flu season still further, not eliminate it. But if fewer people take up flu jabs, incorrectly thinking that extra hand-washing and extra distancing will protect them, then we're likely to have an extra-bad flu season on top of the expected COVID-19 problem.

            • Anne

              If flu doesn't spread, there will be no "overwhelming" of the hospitals.

              The only way we can be sure the flu won't spread is to make sure the bulk of the population is vaccinated against it. Even then it is not a 100% guarantee, but at least those who succumb are likely to be mild cases only. That frees up the time, energy and space for those at the medical front line to be able to concentrate on the corona virus cases.

              • weka

                "The only way we can be sure the flu won't spread is to make sure the bulk of the population is vaccinated against it"

                Unfortunately the flu vaccine is not that effective. I think it's more a harm minimisation thing. Those that can get the vaccine and want to should. As with other vaccine issues, the small number of people that don't want to are less of an issue than those that do but don't access it for whatever reason (or don't care either way but will get vaccinated this time for all those reasons).

                • Anne

                  Unfortunately the flu vaccine is not that effective.

                  I agree, it doesn't seem to work that well with some people. However, since I started to have 'the jab' each year I have been free of flu.

                  When the Swine flu pandemic raged some years ago I caught it. However, according to my doctor, I didn't have to go to hospital because the general flu vaccine of the day had given me some protection from the severity of the symptoms.

                  It was a similar situation to the current virus although granted this one is even more serious.

                  • weka

                    Swine flu is an influenza virus. I don't think the flu vaccine will give protection of severity in covid. We're doing it for different reasons.

                • Robert Guyton

                  So, in summing-up, the processes being put in place will work for COVID 19 but won't work for the flu?

                  Where is the flu virus right now? Here in NZ? Overseas? Yet to be generated? If it's overseas still, how might it get here, given the travel restrictions? Will it wait till those are lifted?

                  • weka

                    "So, in summing-up, the processes being put in place will work for COVID 19 but won't work for the flu?"

                    Not sure how you go that Robert. Handwashing and social distancing and social isolation will have an impact on flu transmission, but we don't know to what extent and it can't be relied upon enough to change public health messaging that people should get a flu vaccine to limit strain on the health system if we get a widespread covid outbreak.

                    There's always flu in NZ. It gets worse in winter (because of the environment?). Yes, we will get less new strains because of no more tourists, but again, we don't know yet how this will play out, hence erring on the side of caution.

                    • lprent

                      It gets worse in winter (because of the environment?).

                      Because human immune responses get depressed when your core body temp is colder. Or where there are large changes in external environments.

                      Just about the first defense mechanism that is triggered against infections is that the fluid temps in the body are raised. Bacteria and viruses usually have limited working temp ranges that they can thrive in. It also makes the flow of anti-bodies and other defenses move faster and increases the rate of production of t-cells.

                      The faster the external environment is at tearing body heat away, the harder it is to activate immune systems. But often it seems like changes in environment cause issues. You get adapted to the climate (I really noticed that when in Singapore in 2018)

                    • weka

                      So being in a warm office with less clothes on and going out into a cold, damp day? (office worker)

                      Or being cold all the time (poor person)

                  • The measures being advised to reduce spread of covid-19 will probably also reduce the spread of flu, but it there's a vaccine for either you should get it. "Reduced" isn't the same as stopped, and if you end up catching one of them while sick with the other you could be in some serious shit.

                    • weka

                      I was wondering if that happens (getting two respiratory viruses at the same time). I've been assuming we don't because the immune system gets activated with the first one making a similar viral illness at the same time unlikely. But a bacterial infection might be more likely.

            • peterh

              You can get it at the chemist

      • francesca 3.1.2

        And increased hand washing will reduce other contagious diseases

      • lprent 3.1.3

        We all went to work from home this week. I'd have to go to work to get a company flu-shot… I have done it once when the usual checkup was too late into flu season.

        I'd have to go to the doctor for my usual flu-shot… And I have to go there every 3 months for a prescription.

        I'm not that happy about going anywhere where other people are at present.

        Is there any way that I can get a remote prescription for the heart meds and a virtual flu vaccine? 🙂

    • I Feel Love 3.2

      Health care workers are more worried about stress related illnesses and the people eating all their hoarded frozen pizzas…

    • AB 3.3

      Belt and braces I think.

      Some anecdata – since working more from home and getting a regular flu shot. I haven't had flu for 5-10 years. Colds – yes, but fewer. Both vaccines and distancing work in their way. A relative is a nurse and hates winter because of the load of flu cases. If we can take some of that additional burden off our healthcare workers we owe it to them to try.

    • Sabine 3.4


    • Adam Ash 3.5

      Gosh! If we all stay abed for long enough we may even halt excessive greenhouse gas emissions and thus eliminate risk of undesirable climate changes. Now that would be a useful unanticipated consequence!

  4. Fireblade 4

    The Prime Minister is to give a statement to the nation at midday today.

    The statement will be broadcast on RNZ and TVNZ.

    • weka 6.1

      haha. I do feel for apartment dwellers in places in lock down.

    • The Al1en 6.2

      Walk in closet 1 today, closet 2 tomorrow. Sorted.

    • Anne 6.3

      I plan to go for a little drive every day. Dunno where but will work it out on the day. Have a wee stroll somewhere keeping two metres away from other wandering mortals. Perhaps the East Coast greeting as we pass. Mind you, that's dependent upon petrol still being available.

      Oh dear, its a real worry.

      • Macro 6.3.1

        Now that I cannot take the dance classes, and I try to limit the number of times I mw the lawns; I've ben working in the garage/workshop "Tidying" up and finishing off working on my 1957 R50 BMW motorbike. (It has quite a history having been originally bought in Pretoria South Africa, ridden up through Africa, around the Continent, down through the Middle East – as you could in those days – to India. Shipped to Perth WA and across the Nullabour to Melbourne and then shipped to Wellington where the original owner had had enough, and sold it, and I bought it in the middle '60's and have owned it ever since.)

        But just these past few days I have been doing some baking each afternoon. Date loaf, scones, ginger nuts, tomorrow I plan Loch Katrine Cake.

        There should be no shortage of petrol over the coming months – I see the price has been dropping over the past week here. Down to around $1.95 after discount.

        Yes it is a worry. I do my shopping early morning or late evening if I can now and that avoids the mad rush. Here the shelves are starting to be replenished and they have extra stackers in during the day as well so the supply side is being addressed. If only the demand side would settle down to normal we would be ok.

        I don't normally use my credit card for shopping here, but they have pay wave so you avoid contacting the eftpos touch pad. I have now joined the younger set, and wave my way through the checkout. 🙂

      • lprent 6.3.2

        I've started longing for the daily bike after 4 days without the week-day commute. Mostly electricity and a bit of muscle.

  5. Karl Sinclair 7

    Examining logic

    The Govt says we should not close schools now as the old people looking after the children maybe at risk. Did the media ever ask the questions, how many families did it really involve. Here are some views

    All high school students and even intermediate students can be at home (whats that as percentage of total school children). If the have younger siblings they can look after them while their parents are at work. Other work arounds for the young ones can be achieved (are we not the number 8 wire gen).

    For those families where grandparents are the only caregivers, their children would be best off at home as they would more likely be contaminated at school.

    I'm shocked at the in ability of our media (to ask probing Qs) and Gov to not think outside the box. They have not acted quick enough or decisively enough. Please, we need more and better restrictions…..

    Social distancing is not happening at schools. We should also shut all pubs, clubs etc

    Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick…………..

    To the people who have already stated, we need to go fast and hard and use Korea models, well done.

    One of the best articles I have seen recommended by a top physicist:

    • Cinny 7.1

      karl, you do know there is a plan re schools….schools will probably end up closing as we go through the different stages of the plan.

      No school in the weekend, no school sports either and that's where we are at today, Saturday. We haven't got to Sunday yet and Monday is still two sleeps away.

      The Government is poised to provide home internet and laptop or tablet devices for about 70,000 schoolchildren in the event that schools have to close due to coronavirus.

      karl, do you have school aged children?

      • I Feel Love 7.1.1

        Yes Cinny, schools are indeed getting prepared to shut down, shit takes planning, and tomorrow there will be a new plan, and the next day a new plan etc … if people are that terrified of their kids being at school keep them home, my kids teachers are saying only half the kids are showing up anyway. Clean your hands, keep your distance, think for yourself.

      • Robert Guyton 7.1.2

        Why are we anxious about "children's education" in the face of a pandemic???

        Providing laptops and tablets – pleeeease!

        Spend some time with the trees.

        • Cinny


          Those not in the city be like…. stack the wood, dig over the garden, yes you can make dinner, come on kids let's clean the guttering, wipe out the cupboards, bike ride maybe?

          Already making a list, going to call it part of the pandemic plan….kids can't argue with that 🙂

          The tricky bit is, for some parents, if their kids have no school then the grandparents look after them. For some of those grandparents they are in the at risk category. And grandparents are usually ace when it comes to keeping kids off their devices 🙂

          • Robert Guyton

            I am grandparent. I am not at risk. Give me grandchildren. They will sit in wheelbarrow – I will leg it. We will swim in estuary, there will be ice blocks, the day will pass. We will sleep well.

    • bill 7.2

      Good link. Interesting time line.

      In 5 days, China went from detecting a couple of cases of unusual pneumonia to alerting WHO; closed food markets within a week and had shut down 15 cities within the month.

      And a week after all of that (Jan 30), WHO declared an international public health emergency.

      Was talking with my sister yesterday evening. She lives in Scotland. Schools are shut for all but the children of "front line workers" and teachers. Special provisions have been put in place for them so they can still attend classes. And "working from home" measures have been put in place for those who can (she can't).

      Meanwhile, all sporting venues and gyms have been shut, which I only mention because I thought it quite amusing that golf courses were included 🙂

      This morning's headlines from the UK were around closing pubs etc.

  6. Karl Sinclair 9

    Just watching the national address……..

    Did NZ Inc really go hard and fast????? Really, man I must be on another planet.

    I think we as a Nation are too chillaxed, the media are soooo average. From the outside looking in, the Gov and the media seem to form a little love bubble……

    Risk = Probability x Consequence

    We KNOW, that other countries are exploding at the moment (feed that into your probability above).

    If you really do a risk analysis, would you not shut down the country?

    What would YOU DO?

    Unknowns (effects probability…… there are tooooo many):

    1. Incubation period outliers (eg 24 days)

    2. The spread by people who have no visible symptoms

    3. The length of time the virus lives on various substrates

    4. The real effect on younger people health

    5. The number of people infected in NZ that we dont know about

    6. Potential terrorist or otherwise purposeful transmission

    7. The real social network spreading by schools and other gatherings

    One of the best articles I have seen recommended by a top physicist:

    • observer 9.1

      You talk about "unknowns", but don't seem to consider them.

      A shutdown effectively means martial law (how are you proposing to enforce it?). Your #2 includes the entire population.

      The number of casualties from shooting curfew-breakers would surpass Covid-19 in no time.

    • weka 9.2

      "If you really do a risk analysis, would you not shut down the country?"

      You could, but you'd have to balance that with the damage done by a hard crash. If we have a pandemic that was killing 50% of the population I think that would have happened. The big issue here is to flatten the curve. Much of the high death rate is (probably) related to how fast and hard the virus hit and that was in countries that had different strategies to NZ.

      edit, bearing in mind that this crisis will last a long time. This isn’t going to be over in a few months.

      • Karl Sinclair 9.2.1

        Fair point Weka, but would we not be better placed than everyone else if we get no spread.. We would be in a reallly good position economically etc

        Whats ya thoughts

        I really like this guy, he is on it: Michael Baker Prof of Public Health (hes on RNZ now),

        I would suggest Jacinder listen to him. He is well spoken, educated and is evidenced based and willing to speak out. Please NZ Inc listen to this guy

        • weka

          yeah, he was good. I suspect we will go to Level 3 soon, someone on RNZ said it's likely once we get confirmation of community transmission.

          I think alot of the debate is around whether NZ had the potential to have no community transmission ever. I'm not sure that that was ever possibly. If we had shut our borders absolutely, so not letting kiwis back in, and then locking up people with symptoms and people they'd been in contact with, that's probably beyond what we can cope with economically, logistically and socially. Maybe politically too.

        • observer

          "We would be in a really good position economically etc"

          Even if we had no cases of Covid-19, we would have no influence whatsoever on the global economy. And we'd hardly be saying "We are virus-free, come visit NZ!".

          So our position would be the same.

        • Incognito

          How do you know that the Government is not already receiving and considering this/his advice and integrating with all the other information it is receiving from all sorts of other sources and directions as well, not just medical? Absence of evidence (i.e. not doing exactly what you want and what Prof Baker is arguing) is not evidence of absence (i.e. the Government not taking on board everything but sticking its fingers in its ears).

        • Psycho Milt

          "Shut down the country" comes at a huge cost, and not just an economic one. There's also the social cost of forcing isolation on people, and there's the political cost of depriving your voters of their liberty, which you won't do without a really fucking good reason if you want them to vote for you again.

          So, what would have been gained from imposing martial law and depriving people of their liberty a few weeks ago? There isn't any keeping the virus out, there's only slowing it down so it doesn't overwhelm the health system, so it's not like we'd be spared the epidemic by such drastic measures. Where's the benefit?

          As to the cost, look at the economic damage that's going to be wreaked just by the restrictions that have already been imposed. If those restrictions had been imposed a month earlier, we'd already have trashed the economy by now, for the sake of having a lower number of cases than the 50-odd we have now. Any government that thought that was a good cost/benefit ratio would be unfit to govern. Which is why the government is advised by experts in public health and epidemiology, rather than reckons from people on the Internet.

  7. Rosemary McDonald 10

    Just asking…how long has Ardern had the photo of Savage smiling paternally down over her left shoulder?

    Since the monumental PR blunder of Back Then when they launched the dismal failure that was Kiwibuld and tried to pass off Kiwibuild as some modern day Savage inspired State Housing plan… you'd think they'd steer clear of having Our Leader channeling Savage.

    It's wrong. And it undermines the Government's credibility.

    Ardern and her government haven't earned the right yet.

    Perhaps more of us should listen to the interview found over on The Daily Blog between Bryan Bruce and Susan St John.


    • observer 10.1

      Yes, that's the big issue today. A photograph.

      • Rosemary McDonald 10.1.1

        It's all about the messaging observer, all about the messaging.

        • Peter

          The flag was there too. What's that about? I haven't seen any complaints about the colour of the clothes she was wearing and how she did her har. No doubt someone has complained. A headscarf would have been good for a laugh.

        • Anne

          The state of the Nation speech took place in the Prime Minister's office Rosemary.

          Jacinda Ardern is entitled to hang a picture of whoever she likes in her own office. The reason we have never seen it before is because it is very unusual for a PM to make a speech from the Office of the Prime Minister. It's normally off limits to members of the public and the media.

          But these are extraordinary times requiring extraordinary measures.

      • I Feel Love 10.1.2

        Observer, Ha!!! I reckon.

  8. Karl Sinclair 11

    The virus does not really care about the Govs alert levels and f*^&*ing Framework

    Risk = Probability X Consequence

    Use ya head….. Just the consequence alone is enough

  9. Karl Sinclair 13

    Michael Baker Prof of Public Health is wanting to get ahead of the game…

    Good on ya

    One of the best articles I have seen recommended by a top physicist:

    • Cinny 13.1

      From your link karl……

      Anyone can publish on Medium per our Policies, but we don’t fact-check every story. For more info about the coronavirus, see

      • Karl Sinclair 13.1.1

        Did you read it? Would love your opinion

        • Cinny

          The writer appears to have done much analysis of how other countries have/are handling the situation. Theres some interesting content there.

          No doubt said piece is doing the rounds as the writer is a creator of viral applications, has a billion dollar company and the topical material has all the key words search engines would index. $$$$$$$

          Anyways…. 🙂 This is how I see it… if communication is engaged then hopefully the virus won't get a grip here. Government, media, word of mouth, social media etc correctly informing people on what to do, keeping people updated and aware (rather than stressed and terrified – people can make bad choices when they are freaking out). Our government is doing a fantastic job making sure people are accurately informed.

          China used an enormous ammount of military muscle to ensure people were doing as they were told, personally I found it a bit disturbing, but that's how China rolls. How about those Chinese celeb's feel good video to tone down the aspect of military force re the virus? Wowzers!

          Am also rather skeptical of the numbers China has reported. Which makes me mindful of any virus anlaysis re Chinese data.

          I'm full of praise for our government, the website is brilliant.

          This particular link has allowed me to print out a stack of posters and plaster them all over our office window this morning. I encourage any one with a business or office with high foot traffic to do the same.

          • Cinny

            Here's the bizzare video, it's from over a month ago

            For a 2min clip with english subtitles, go to 22.50 on this link

            For the full video this link

          • lprent

            China used an enormous ammount of military muscle to ensure people were doing as they were told, personally I found it a bit disturbing, but that's how China rolls.

            When we go into phase 3, I suspect that we start using the police and the military to enforce as well.

            There are always dickheads who really couldn't give a rats arse about others and who will recklessly endanger others. Personally I'd favour judge making orders, a prompt island quarantine for them with an armed guard detachment and kill orders. They can appeal after the emergency has diminished.

            It is a far better choice than throwing them into an all-ready overcrowded prison system. I vaguely remember that all of that was all covered in the available civil emergency orders.

            Incidentally, they should be looking to start releasing low risk and remand prisoners (if they haven't already). Reducing crowding in the prison system is the only way that they will suppress potential outbreaks there.

    • weka 13.2

      I read a chunk of that the other day. I think he's missing some important parts, and I'd like to see some informed critique of his position. He's not an epidemiologist nor a pandemic management expert.

      I do agree that people need to be staying home now as much as possible. I've been more careful for the past fortnight.

  10. Karl Sinclair 14

    Michael Baker Prof of Public Health is on to it in terms of suggesting going harder than what the current Govt is doing. Just to support Michael:

    Take for example the Flights landed into NZ at the airport on 18th March. This is just the tip of the iceberg (and this is just a sample of one airport in NZ)

    If you take into consideration the list of unknowns I mentioned above (see post 9), like some people not having symptoms then factor it into the below……your ability to contact trace is shot to hell… Now include all the other international airports in NZ and the flights that came over the last few months……

    Risk = Probability X Consequence

    The flight information below is provided to Auckland Airport by the airlines,

    [Deleted long list of flights with numbers and arrival times and replaced with link: – Incognito]

    • Incognito 14.1

      Please provide a link to the flight information from which you got that abbreviated sample as it is too long and does not contain pertinent info. I will delete or drastically shorten the list shortly but I’m happy to put in a link if you can provide one.

      • Andre 14.1.1

        … not to mention the multiple repeats of the same flight, such as 6 repeats of QF153 and 4 of NZ124 …

        Meanwhile, since the airport is the biggest source of transport noise at my place, I’m definitely lovin’ the reduced number of flights over the past week or two.

        • Karl Sinclair

          Cheers Andre, there are errors due to the speed with which the list was edited.

          The point is to highlight….. there were soooooo many flights into NZ. The risk of infection is high with no way of tracing all social interations.

        • Karl Sinclair

          Andre, thanks….. example of too much coffee and not concentrating
          The data has much more flights than that

      • Karl Sinclair 14.1.2

        Hi Incognito

        Thanks, I see your point, was just trying to hit home the point there were a lot of flights into NZ and we wont be able to trace all the social interactions.

        The site is: (they wont show the 18th as its now past)

        • lprent

          It isn't that relevant as information unless you know the numbers of passengers and staff.

          From what I understand, they’re only really letting NZ passport holders and the immediate family in (and being excessively zealous at that according to one report this morning (that I can’t find)).

          Most of the aircraft are now coming in with limited passengers and, I suspect, mostly to pick up outgoing passengers from our tourists trapped here.

        • veutoviper

          Re the flights used by people in NZ who have now been confirmed or are suspected of having the virus, the flight information in this list is probably far more relevant than the lists of overall flights in and out of certain airports on certain dates. .

          The travel information in that list is just the base information being made public.

          The highly sophisticated flight information systems (for both international and domestic flights) available to/used by airlines are capable of providing information for many other uses/agencies, including those of Interpol for example. &nbsp

          I think that these systems are probably being used to identify flights, contact (transit, origin) points, dates, passenger lists etc relevant to persons who are confirmed or suspected of having coronavirus, not only in those in NZ but also those in other countries.

        • Incognito


          I will cut short your list (sorry) and replace with your link.

          Next time, please think of the readers of TS who have to scroll through all of that space with next to useless info, particularly when one simple link will suffice.

  11. Incognito 15

    Does anybody know if they will try installing public sanitising or hygiene stations in public, e.g. at the Entrances and Exits of supermarkets? The footwear cleaning hygiene stations in the Waitakere Ranges, for example, were only moderately successful because of compliance issues (i.e. people not using them or not using them correctly). However, these were not aimed at personal health and safety and there was control or close supervision.

    • Editractor 15.1

      All three supermarkets in my smallish Waikato town had stations dispensing hand wipes (alcohol based by the smell of it) as of a couple of days ago.

      No idea if it is just a local initiative or nationwide.

      • Incognito 15.1.1


        • JO

          Until yesterday the New World in my small Wairarapa town had a wipe dispenser at the door. It has been empty several times and was missing today. I asked a staff member who said people had been pulling out strings of them and they can't get any more. There's still a small sanitiser station at the main entrance, often hidden behind a raffle table and hard to spot as it's the same colour as the doorway.

          I feel sorry for the frontline staff having to watch their efforts to help abused like this, they have been unfailingly cheerful patient heroes since this upheaval began.

          • weka

            I've been amazed at staff being so patient and helpful in various stores I've been dealing with. It's actually makes me feel better about how we're going to manage.

            There are overseas distillers starting to make alcohol for hand sanitisers and making the sanitisers themselves. I've heard rumours of this in NZ too.

    • lprent 15.2

      Grey Lynn Countdown had them in this week (and possibly earlier).

      They need signposting.

  12. Janet 16

    Bay of Plenty iwi Te Whānau-ā-Apanui closing borders to outsiders

    Iwi leader Rawiri Waititi announced no one outside of the about 1000 residents would be allowed to enter the territory from midnight March 25 for two months.

    I applaud the BOP iwi Te Whanau-a- Apanui closing borders to outsiders.

    In early February, if our leaders had “vision “ they would have closed NZs island borders and we could have lived fairly normal lives – without tourism!

    But “In February it would have seemed unimaginable to close NZ borders to the world. “ according to our PM.

    It was totally imaginable to me at that time.

    [link added and quote tidied – weka]

    • bwaghorn 16.1

      Considering that most nz c19 cases are returning nz citizens shitting the boarders earlier wouldnt have much difference. Unless you're suggesting we dont let kiwis come home

      • Sabine 16.1.1

        we should have put them in isolation at the airport. Have the military set up camps, 14 days, two consecutive tests – and if these are negative you may be released into the larger public.

        Having these guys come home and may or may not self isolate was the dumbest fucking thing ever.

        but i have come to the conclusion that the more education people have the less they are able to think logically.

        • weka

          How many people have come into the country since the outbreak started in China? And all the people they had close contact with? I can't see how logistically it would have been possible to quarantine them all.

      • Incognito 16.1.2

        Those spelling mistakes were great 😀

    • weka 16.2

      Janet please provide a link when quoting, every time. Especially important right now with lots of information changing fast.

    • Sabine 16.3


      it was totally imaginable to us here in tourist land also, as no tourists arrived.

      The few stragglers that came to freedom camp and the few boats – we could have done without them.

      The saddest thing is, that there a people that desperatly want to stay home, take the kids out of school and just stay the fuck at home until this passes but they can't.

      Has Labour cancelled the 12 week standdown for people who can't cope anymore and want to stay home and thus risk being fired?


      • weka 16.3.1

        the stand down for getting the dole was removed across the board a few weeks ago. You can look at the WINZ site to see if there are conditions on that.

        • Sabine

          good, if that women comes back in for a coffee i will let her know that. Cause she wants to stay home, she wants to take her kids out of school and is afraid that we ill get fired if she does so, and if that happens that she will be stood down by Winz. The only announcment of that that i saw was a few weeks ago, and i linked to the article where the PM stated that 'She was in principe for it".

          And please Weka, can you link to your statement?

          • weka

            short version of what I posted below: mandatory stand down for all benefits is lifted until Nov. Stand down for leaving a job or getting fired is still in place, but I would expect there to be more leeway at the moment.

        • weka

          Stand-down if you apply for a benefit

          Most weekly benefits have a stand-down. This is a period of time where you can’t get any money from us. It’s usually 1 or 2 weeks after your application is approved.

          The Government has decided to remove stand-downs as part of its response to COVID-19. If you’re eligible for a benefit between 23 March 2020 and 23 November 2020, you won’t have a stand-down.

          You’ll start getting your payments the week after your application is approved. This is because we pay you for the week that’s just been. This is called arrears. We’ll let you know when this happens.

          We’ll also talk with you about ways we may be able to help until you get your first benefit payment.

          About 3/4 way down the page if you open all the thingies first.

          • weka

            Sorry, that doesn't answer your question. There's this,

            Left your job voluntarily or fired for misconduct

            If you’ve left your job without a good reason or have been fired for misconduct, you may need to wait up to 13 weeks before your payments start.

            If this happens, there are a number of ways we may still be able to help.

            Please contact us to talk about your situation.

            There's quite a bit of discussion on twitter amongst beneficiaries and advocates about how to interpret policy now. There are lots of good reasons for leaving a job now that wouldn't have applied before. Also hearing various reports about how well WINZ is treating people. If someone is in this situation I'd check the policy wording then the legislation. If they're giving 13 week stand downs to people there will be support to go hard out on that, but also there still needs to be a good reason.

            • Sabine

              there is no need for a discussion about what that means. It states quite clearly that if you cause your loss of job or you leave your job because you can't cope anymore, you get a stand down period of 13 weeks,.

              Good grief. Good fucking grief.

              • weka

                Sure, some people give up, others like to do the mahi of changing things. I have all respect for the people that force WINZ to change.

                • Sabine

                  you can discuss this until the end of the day and feel like you are changing things.

                  as of now, people who would like to take their kids out of kindy and stay at home however will have a stand down period of 13weeks if they quit their job, and that is not the fault of Winz, but the current government who had done nothing to change the nature of Winz. The drones at Winz don't make the rules, the follow the orders that come down form the Ministry of Social Welfare.

                  But yeah, chatting on twitter is gonna change things. Sure sure.

                  • weka

                    You literally have no idea what you are talking about Sabine. There's a long history of changes at WINZ because of the mahi that beneficiaries and advocates do. Not everyone can do that, but your personal beliefs about what is not achievable won't stop other people getting on with it.

                    • weka

                      13 week stand downs are shit. I remember when they came in, and they're absolutlely a tool of neoliberalism to force a low wage workforce to keep the economy going. They're also part of bludger meme culture. They should have been removed a long time ago.

                      Things is, removing them entirely and suddenly as a stand alone policy during the start of a global emergency where people are shit scared is a recipe for chaos. One thing that would happen is that businesses that are already under huge pressure would suddenly find themselves short of workers. I'm thinking about work that is essential to society continuing to function that upholds wellbeing personal and collective.

                      Changing the criteria around them makes sense, and looking at the policy and law would be a way to understand how to do that. But hey, why bother when one can sit on the internet moaning about pretty much everything. I really hope people don't ask you about this because telling people that Labour are shit and that people can't do anything about their situation strikes me as the opposite of what is needed right now.

                    • Sabine


                      i have as many and as much of an idea as to what to do with Winz then you do.

                      But, this thirteen week stand down period is government sanctioned, ordered, and implemented. And thus it is the current governments orders, aka the Labour/Green/NZfirst.

                      And this current government by emergency degree even could have abolished it so that people who can not cope anymore, who are afraid, who would like to stay at home with their children, could leave their jobs and do so.

                      In fact it would be the single smartest thing the Government could do now is to offer people unemployment benefits on demand if they only stay at home.

                      I don't know what type of news you get Weka, mine currently come from France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Holland and Belgium. All places where i have friends and family. I speak the languages, i can listen to their news, and you and this government have no fucking idea of the shit show that is gonna come. full stop.

                      You, I, Bill and all of us should stay at home, the borders should have been closed weeks ago, NZ residence should have been cited home weeks ago, our hospitals should have been put on Red fucking Alert weeks ago. And cruise ships should have been blocked from docking at least since January.

                      And we go to work, because this fucking useless government, this bullshit coalition of the most useless people i have ever come across in government is doing nothing to allow people to stay the fuck at home.

                      Its not only that the hospitals will be over run to the point that if you have a heart attack or a broken bone or a emergency cesarian you can't because there is no bed available, the nurses and doctors themselves are sick and dying – 14 doctors in Italy died alone. In the East of France nurses and doctors will die and the nurses and doctors know this.

                      This virus kills Weka. All ages. It kills.

                      So you can chat on twitter and so on and so forth in the hope of changing something some time, but this is different.

                      Bill is right when he said that all the Government has to do is send a weekly check to everyone for then next 12 odd weeks. It would allow many people to quit their jobs, take their kids out of school and stay the fuck at home.

                      this video under when you click on the link below is from italy for a Belgium TV, its in french, but i think you can understand it anyways.


                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Good employers are already telling their staff to stay home and allowing them to work from home or have special leave and so on. Shit employers are not.

                      I remember 9/11 and those workers who had previously left the building dying because they went back in as their shitty employers wouldn't pay them if they didn't.

                      Last thing we need right now is the coercive power of the state supporting those employers and people having to argue with WINZ that they had good cause to leave. People aren't stupid they still need money etc but there are many who have children with lung conditions or are vulnerable themselves and so on. They should have absolute freedom to choose. Have more faith in your fellow citizen – people won't just abandon their employment on a whim. FFS.

                    • weka

                      I'm not sure DoS. If the advice is 'leave your job if you want to and go on the dole', then there will be people who will do that because we are all afraid. Some won't be able to afford to but some will.

                      Obviously there will be people who need to and should be able to, hence my question about how WINZ are interpreting the policy atm.

                      I want my elderly parents' homehelp to stay in place. What's going to happen to them if their worker leaves her job this week? There will be a myriad of examples where conflicting needs and the public health good will clash. I'm more interested in looking at how that whole system works and needs to remain functional, rather than taking single parts of the system and hacking them out of panic.

                      (imo this is what the government is doing, looking at a range of intersecting systems and figuring out how to manage them all the best, understanding that none of them will be ideal).

                      If you can see a way to suddenly remove the 13 week stand down and keep working happening that is essential, I’d be interested. What you appear to be saying is we should rely solely on trusting people. I’m much more trust in god and tie up your camel.

                      It’s not a whim that will have more people leaving their jobs, it’s understandable fear, and some of that fear is not grounded in reality.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      I don't think the 13 week standown will stop anyone leaving their job through fear. It will just make it more difficult for them to manage after leaving.

                      Some people go to work despite their anxiety – from what I'm seeing they are already seeing their anxiety ramping up. State coercion isn't needed right now. Compassion and understanding is, support by the employers to reduce their anxiety, knowing that if it all gets too much they will be supported may be more helpful in the long run.

                      It shouldn't be a competition between anxieties – staying at work and getting sick vs finishing work and having no income for 13 weeks.

                      In my review removing that 13 week stand-down worry should be a help not a hindrance – one less thing to worry about. It is only an exertion of state power to support the employer class after all.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Let me put it another way.

                      In the 1918 pandemic there were doctors who worked at the frontline and died. Then there were doctors who stayed away and did not and had thriving businesses after the pandemic was over.

                      Already some doctors are busier than they should be because others have limited their services/hours, etc.

                      Will the coercive power of the state be applied to doctors who withdraw their services or chemists who may do so. Will they get 13 weeks of no state subsidies?

                      Is coerciveness to be only applied to the people who can least afford to have the choices to withdraw their labour that the well-off have. The fact that many of those caring are Maori and Polynesian and are at greatest risk means we should think about this a little more carefully.

  13. Karl Sinclair 17

    Hi, I totally respect peoples opinions about not going as hard as China, but would respectfully disagree.

    Being too kind can be cruel as well. It reminds me of the lyrics… the FUGEES

    Strumming my pain with his fingers
    Singing my life with his words
    Killing me softly with his song
    Killing me softly with his song
    Telling my whole life with his words
    Killing me softly with his song

    Remember the WHO advising that it was wrong to close boarders…..

    You can take down entire countries with the wrong kind of kindness mindset, tough love maybe is what is needed. I agree with the way China has gone after the problem to a degree (I didnt see mass shootings or riots….). What do you think people on the standard, what would you do.

    Check out whats happening in Europe and compare to China……. maybe NZ Inc is being too nice

    Many countries and regions took new measures on Friday, including:

    • UK: PM Boris Johnson said cafes, pubs and restaurants will be closed from Friday night
    • US: Borders with Mexico and Canada will be closed to most traffic; New York State ordered non-essential businesses to shut, a day after a similar move by California
    • Spain: The government warned that army patrols would detain people outside without good reason
    • Bavaria: Germany's second most populous state became the first state in impose a lockdown
    • France: Police said patrols at Paris railway stations had been reinforced to stop people going on trips for the weekend
    • Indonesia: A state of emergency will be in force in the capital Jakarta from Monday – bars, cinemas and many other businesses will be shut down.
    • observer 17.1

      The leadership in the USA and the UK has been seriously lacking. By any reasonable measure, they are significantly worse off.

      I do understand your concerns, we're all worried – but the comparisons you're making aren't very helpful.

      As for China, we simply don't know what has happened there because they have no free media. Of course we haven't seen trouble – who would be showing us? Western journos aren't wandering freely around Wuhan, any more than they can report the oppression of the Uyghurs.

      • Sabine 17.1.1

        there media in China is no more free nor less then ours.

        they have state controllers we have advertiser controllers.

        China has been excellent about this. The US however is shitshow that is created on purpose by the Shitter in Chief who would like to profit of a deadly crisis.

        • Barfly

          I doubt his brainrot would enable him to "coalesce" that thought

        • bill

          they have state controllers we have advertiser controllers.

          And vested interests ready to spoon feed compliant stenographers – the RussiaGate b/s (charges against the IRA dropped btw), the Uyghur myth, the nonsense about Venezuela, Syria, Nicaragua, Iran…the list extends.

  14. Sabine 18

    this might actually be good news.

    University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research director Professor David Paterson told today they have seen two drugs used to treat other conditions wipe out the virus in test tubes.

    not holding my breath, but who knows.

    • bill 18.1

      Apparently, developing 'a vaccine' isn't really difficult. Getting one that works in the human body, and doesn't cause unforeseen complications (including magnifying the effects of a virus in the event of infection) – not so easy.

  15. KJT 19

    "The increase in beneficiary payments makes economic sense for a number of reasons. First, those on low incomes are more likely to spend the increase, thus keeping consumption up. Second, in"

    Good piece of analysis from Newsroom.

  16. Grafton Gully 20

    Less traffic, nearby gym and sports field quiet and no smoke from the sports bar this winter, tramping tracks and huts uncluttered, people planting veges, an end to workplace dysfunction, almost no suburban truck traffic on my AK route this morning. Big loss of value from retirement savings. Sink more piss and the wife smiles. Work from home in the garage with door open onto the garden. More likely to be dead soon – "old man's friend" and hopefully no big event funeral. I savour it all the more now, but anguish for the young – bless and keep them !!!!

  17. A 21

    Awww, isn't that sweet?  Kaikoura residents unite to return confused baby birds to the sea

    Once they have crash-landed the birds are unable to walk on land, or move, and often get hit by vehicles, or eaten by roaming cats or dogs.

    “I go out half an hour after dark. Then I go out every hour until half past midnight, it takes them half an hour to get down from the mountains,” said Painting, who keeps animal boxes in her taxi to hold the chicks, which are fluffy, heavy and grey.

    “If there’s a lot of birds coming down I can go all night, if I have passengers they’ll help me too.”

    On an average night during fledgling season, which runs through March and April, between 10 and 20 birds will be found on local Kaikoura roads, especially those bordering the coast.

    Painting said on her busiest night more than 200 birds were rescued, with volunteers working through till dawn.

  18. A 22

    "Caremongering" trend started in Canada, where the idea is for caring to become contagious. People are so good.

  19. Stunned mullet 23

    Thanks for the memories Kenny

  20. Bazza64 24

    Reuben James & Ruby (don’t take your love to town) – two of Kenny’s best songs.
    He will be missed

    • I Feel Love 24.1

      I like his earlier psychedelic rock stuff, I just dropped in (to see what condition my condition was in), brilliant.

  21. Ad 25

    Goodbye and farewell, Kenny Rogers.

    The shadow on the wall tells me the sun is goin' down…

  22. Descendant Of Smith 26

    On another note we're getting some movies earlier than planned.

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    It’s been some time since I properly exercised my poetic muscles. Prose-writing has been where it’s at for me, these past few years. Well, to get back into practice, I thought I’d write the occasional bit of jocular fan poetry, based off Tolkien’s Silmarillion… with this post being a collection ...
    3 days ago
  • At a glance – The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is not causing global warming
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: What’s to blame for the public’s plummeting trust in the media?
    The media is in crisis, as New Zealand audiences flee from traditional sources of news and information. The latest survey results on the public’s attitude to the media shows plummeting trust. And New Zealand now leads the world in terms of those who want to “avoid the news”. But who ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Dead on target
    My targets for today are: 1 newsletter sent out by 4.30pm 800 words of copy delivered to a client by COB, as we say in the world of BAU1 dinner served by sunset GST returnSo far so good. Longer-term targets are: Get some website copy finished before I get on a plane on Saturday ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • The PM sets nine policy targets- and in case you missed the truancy one, Seymour has provided some...
    Buzz from the Beehive Targets and travel were a theme in the latest flow of ministerial announcements. The PM announced a raft of targets (“nine ambitious Government Targets to help improve the lives of New Zealanders”) along with plans to head for Singapore, Thailand, and Philippines. His Deputy and Foreign ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Unwelcome advice
    Yesterday He Pou a Rangi Climate Change Commission released two key pieces of advice, on the 2036-40 emissions budget and the 2050 target. Both are statutorily required as part of the Zero Carbon Act budgeting / planning process, and both have a round of public consultation before being finalised and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • In a structural deficit, the only real tax cut is a spending cut
    Eric Crampton writes –  This week’s column in the Stuff papers. A snippet: Tabarrok warned that America had two political parties – “the Tax and Spenders and the No-Tax and Spenders” – and neither was fiscally conservative. In the two decades after Tabarrok’s warning, the federal government ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • A Return to Kindness?
    New Zealanders are a pretty fair minded bunch. By and large we like to give people a go.Ian Foster, for example, had a terrible record as a head rugby coach. Like not even good, and did we let that bother us? Yeah, but also Nah. Because we went ahead and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Aukus or not, New Zealand’s foreign policy is being remade
    Geoffrey Miller writes –  This could be a watershed week for New Zealand’s international relations. Winston Peters, the foreign minister, is heading to Washington DC for a full week of meetings. The surprisingly lengthy trip just happens to coincide with a major trilateral summit of leaders from the United States, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Back to the future, with a 2032 deadline
    Aiming to look visionary and focused, Luxon has announced nine targets to improve measures for education, health, crime and climate emissions - but the reality is only one target is well above pre-Covid levels. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The six news items of note for me in Aotearoa-NZ’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Why Rod Carr is optimistic farmers can beat climate change
    The future of farming went on the line yesterday when the Climate Change Commission presented its first review of New Zealand’s target of net zero emissions by 2050. The Commission said New Zealand’s target was unlikely to be consistent with the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of holding temperature rise to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Grifters, Bigots & Booling With the Dawgs
    Hi,I hope you had a good weekend. I was mostly in bed with the worst flu of my life.Today I’m emerging on the other side — and looking forward to what I can catch of the total solar eclipse rippling across parts of America today.Whilst hacking through a cough, I’ve ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Goldsmith spots a cost-saver in his Justice domain – let’s further erode our right (under Magna ...
    Bob Edlin writes – Chapter 39 of the Magna Carta (from memory) includes the guarantee that no free man may suffer punishment without “the lawful judgment of his peers.” This was a measure which the barons forced on England’s King John to delegate part of his judicial authority ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Is Global Warming Speeding Up?
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Thanks to climate change, 2023 has shattered heat records, and 2024 is continuing where last year left off. With this devastating ...
    5 days ago
  • Brooke is on the TV, being a Minister!
    Brooke is on the TV, being a Minister! She is going to talk to Jack on the TV!It's hard to watch Jack on the TV without thinking to yourself:How can anyone be that good-looking,and also be even brainier than they are good-looking?Talk about lucky!But also, Jack works for the TV news. So ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • There’s gold – or rather, energy without carbon – in that rock, but Jones reminds us of the Tr...
    Buzz from the Beehive Oh, dear.  One News tells us an ownership spat is brewing between Māori and the Crown as New Zealand uses more renewable energy sources. No, not water or the shoreline.  Ownership of another resource has come into the reckoning. The One News report explained that 99% of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Bad faith from National
    One of the weird features of the Zero Carbon Act was its split-gas targets, which separated methane, produced overwhelmingly by farmers, from carbon dioxide produced by the rest of us. This lower target for methane was another effective subsidy to the dairy industry, and was the result of a compromise ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Israel’s murderous use of AI in Gaza
    This may seem like a dumb question– but how come Israel has managed to kill at least 33,000 Palestinian civilians in Gaza, including over 13,000 children? Of course, saturation aerial bombing and artillery shelling of densely populated civilian neighbourhoods will do that. So will the targeting of children by IDF ...
    Gordon CampbellBy ScoopEditor
    5 days ago
  • Total Eclipse of the Mind.
    All that you touch And all that you seeAll that you taste All you feelAnd all that you love And all that you hateAll you distrust All you saveEarly tomorrow morning as the sun is rising in Aotearoa many people across North America, from Mexico to Canada, will be losing ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • So why do that degree… here?
    A report – and discussion – from the university front line… Mike Grimshaw writes – I have been involved in numerous curriculum and degree reviews over the decades and in all of them the question always skirted around is: “If you had to leave now with ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • The hunt is on for an asterix for farm emissions
    The Government is setting up its own experts group to review the goalposts for farmers to reduce methane emissions. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The six news items of note for me in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy as of 9:06 am on Monday, April 8 are:The Government is setting up ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: Aukus or not, New Zealand’s foreign policy is being remade
    This could be a watershed week for New Zealand’s international relations. Winston Peters, the foreign minister, is heading to Washington DC for a full week of meetings. The surprisingly lengthy trip just happens to coincide with a major trilateral summit of leaders from the United States, Japan and the Philippines. ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    5 days ago
  • The Kaka’s diary for the week to April 15 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to April 15 include:PM Christopher Luxon is scheduled to hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4 pm today. The Climate Commission will publish advice to the Government this evening.Parliament is sitting from Question Time at 2pm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #14
    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, March 31, 2024 thru Sat, April 6, 2024. Story of the week Proxy measurement via Facebook "engagement" suggests a widely welcoming audience for Prof. Andrew Dessler's The Climate ...
    5 days ago
  • Their Money or Your Life.
    Brooke van Velden appeared this morning on Q&A, presumably paying homage to Margaret Thatcher. The robotic one had come in an 80s pink, shoulder-padded jacket, much favoured by the likes of Thatcher or Hosking. She also brought the spirit of Margaret, seemingly occupying her previously vacant soul compartment.Jack asked for ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Truth pulls its boots on
    It's a lot easier to pull off a lie if people don't know much about what you're lying about.Sometimes, watching Christopher Luxon, you get the impression he doesn't know all that much about it, either.​​ That's the charitable interpretation. The other is that he knows full well.He was on the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Those of a certain vintage in this country will recognise that as a paraphrasing of the much celebrated Paul Holmes sign-off from his nightly current affairs show, yes, he of the “cheekie darkie” comment infamy (that one aimed at then-UN Chief Kofi Annan, and if unfamiliar with what followed in ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Are You Missing Kindness Yet?
    In my last newsletter I asked how is Luxon this out of touch? Many of you, quite wisely, don’t do the Twitter thing so I thought I’d share a few of the comments from the cross section of humanity that you encounter there.The comment from Clandesdiner@boglyboohoo, not sure if that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • How NZ and Taiwan differ in disaster preparedness
    Peter Dunne writes –  Taiwan and New Zealand are two small island states with much in common. Both are vibrant, independent democracies, living in the shadow of an overbearing neighbour. (Admittedly, Taiwan’s overbearing neighbour has far more aggressive tendencies than our at-times overbearing neighbour!) There is a strong ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Why Shane Jones sunk the Kermadecs Marine Sanctuary
    Bryce Edwards writes – Did vested interests prevent New Zealand from establishing a world-leading environmental marine reserve? There are strong signs that in killing off the proposal for a Kermadec Islands Marine Sanctuary, Shane Jones has been doing the bidding of several industries and groups that he’s closely ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • Nearly a month of it
    Hello! There has not been an omnibus for about three weeks because covid and bereavement got in the way.Here’s what you may have missed if you’re not a daily reader.Life’s Little Victories - I think I’ve dodged COVIDTwo Bar Blues - I haven’t Relentlessly Negative - Things seem to be ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coastal court action flies under the radar
    Graham Adams says NZ’s coastline may end up under iwi control. Former Attorney-General and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Chris Finlayson is known for his forthright and sometimes combative language. In 2022, in discussing opposition to co-governance, he referred to “the sour right” and “the KKK brigade”. Last week, in ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    1 week ago
  • Does a Fiscal Debt Target Make Sense?
    Do we treat the government finances with the common sense that household’s manage theirs?It is a commonly held view that we should treat the government as if it is a prudent household. We don’t when it comes to its debt. Currently the government says it wants to constrain its net ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Why Shane Jones sunk the Kermadecs Marine Sanctuary
    Did vested interests prevent New Zealand from establishing a world-leading environmental marine reserve? There are strong signs that in killing off the proposal for a Kermadec Islands Marine Sanctuary, Shane Jones has been doing the bidding of several industries and groups that he’s closely connected with. As Oceans and Fisheries ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago

  • Huge interest in Government’s infrastructure plans
    Hundreds of people in little over a week have turned out in Northland to hear Regional Development Minister Shane Jones speak about plans for boosting the regional economy through infrastructure. About 200 people from the infrastructure and associated sectors attended an event headlined by Mr Jones in Whangarei today. Last ...
    15 hours ago
  • Health Minister thanks outgoing Health New Zealand Chair
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti has today thanked outgoing Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora Chair Dame Karen Poutasi for her service on the Board.   “Dame Karen tendered her resignation as Chair and as a member of the Board today,” says Dr Reti.  “I have asked her to ...
    16 hours ago
  • Roads of National Significance planning underway
    The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has signalled their proposed delivery approach for the Government’s 15 Roads of National Significance (RoNS), with the release of the State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP) today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to ...
    20 hours ago
  • Navigating an unstable global environment
    New Zealand is renewing its connections with a world facing urgent challenges by pursuing an active, energetic foreign policy, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Our country faces the most unstable global environment in decades,” Mr Peters says at the conclusion of two weeks of engagements in Egypt, Europe and the United States.    “We cannot afford to sit back in splendid ...
    20 hours ago
  • NZ welcomes Australian Governor-General
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Australian Governor-General, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley and his wife Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, will make a State visit to New Zealand from Tuesday 16 April to Thursday 18 April. The visit reciprocates the State visit of former Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy ...
    20 hours ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves for Winter
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour has announced that Medsafe has approved 11 cold and flu medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Pharmaceutical suppliers have indicated they may be able to supply the first products in June. “This is much earlier than the original expectation of medicines being available by 2025. The Government recognised ...
    22 hours ago
  • NZ and the US: an ever closer partnership
    New Zealand and the United States have recommitted to their strategic partnership in Washington DC today, pledging to work ever more closely together in support of shared values and interests, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “The strategic environment that New Zealand and the United States face is considerably more ...
    1 day ago
  • Joint US and NZ declaration
    April 11, 2024 Joint Declaration by United States Secretary of State the Honorable Antony J. Blinken and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs the Right Honourable Winston Peters We met today in Washington, D.C. to recommit to the historic partnership between our two countries and the principles that underpin it—rule ...
    1 day ago
  • NZ and US to undertake further practical Pacific cooperation
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further New Zealand cooperation with the United States in the Pacific Islands region through $16.4 million in funding for initiatives in digital connectivity and oceans and fisheries research.   “New Zealand can achieve more in the Pacific if we work together more urgently and ...
    1 day ago
  • Government redress for Te Korowai o Wainuiārua
    The Government is continuing the bipartisan effort to restore its relationship with iwi as the Te Korowai o Wainuiārua Claims Settlement Bill passed its first reading in Parliament today, says Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith. “Historical grievances of Te Korowai o Wainuiārua relate to 19th century warfare, land purchased or taken ...
    2 days ago
  • Focus on outstanding minerals permit applications
    New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals is working to resolve almost 150 outstanding minerals permit applications by the end of the financial year, enabling valuable mining activity and signalling to the sector that New Zealand is open for business, Resources Minister Shane Jones says.  “While there are no set timeframes for ...
    2 days ago
  • Applications open for NZ-Ireland Research Call
    The New Zealand and Irish governments have today announced that applications for the 2024 New Zealand-Ireland Joint Research Call on Agriculture and Climate Change are now open. This is the third research call in the three-year Joint Research Initiative pilot launched in 2022 by the Ministry for Primary Industries and Ireland’s ...
    2 days ago
  • Tenancy rules changes to improve rental market
    The coalition Government has today announced changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to encourage landlords back to the rental property market, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The previous Government waged a war on landlords. Many landlords told us this caused them to exit the rental market altogether. It caused worse ...
    2 days ago
  • Boosting NZ’s trade and agricultural relationship with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay will visit China next week, to strengthen relationships, support Kiwi exporters and promote New Zealand businesses on the world stage. “China is one of New Zealand’s most significant trade and economic relationships and remains an important destination for New Zealand’s products, accounting for nearly 22 per cent of our good and ...
    2 days ago
  • Freshwater farm plan systems to be improved
    The coalition Government intends to improve freshwater farm plans so that they are more cost-effective and practical for farmers, Associate Environment Minister Andrew Hoggard and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay have announced. “A fit-for-purpose freshwater farm plan system will enable farmers and growers to find the right solutions for their farm ...
    3 days ago
  • New Fast Track Projects advisory group named
    The coalition Government has today announced the expert advisory group who will provide independent recommendations to Ministers on projects to be included in the Fast Track Approvals Bill, say RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Regional Development Minister Shane Jones. “Our Fast Track Approval process will make it easier and ...
    3 days ago
  • Pacific and Gaza focus of UN talks
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters says his official talks with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York today focused on a shared commitment to partnering with the Pacific Islands region and a common concern about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.    “Small states in the Pacific rely on collective ...
    3 days ago
  • Government honours Taranaki Maunga deal
    The Government is honouring commitments made to Taranaki iwi with the Te Pire Whakatupua mō Te Kāhui Tupua/Taranaki Maunga Collective Redress Bill passing its first reading Parliament today, Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “This Bill addresses the commitment the Crown made to the eight iwi of Taranaki to negotiate ...
    4 days ago
  • Enhanced partnership to reduce agricultural emissions
    The Government and four further companies are together committing an additional $18 million towards AgriZeroNZ to boost New Zealand’s efforts to reduce agricultural emissions. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the strength of the New Zealand economy relies on us getting effective and affordable emission reduction solutions for New Zealand. “The ...
    4 days ago
  • 110km/h limit proposed for Kāpiti Expressway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) will begin consultation this month on raising speed limits for the Kāpiti Expressway to 110km/h. “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and this proposal supports that outcome ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Awards – Winners announced
    Two New Zealanders who’ve used their unique skills to help fight the exotic caulerpa seaweed are this year’s Biosecurity Awards Supreme Winners, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard. “Strong biosecurity is vital and underpins the whole New Zealand economy and our native flora and fauna. These awards celebrate all those in ...
    4 days ago
  • Attendance action plan to lift student attendance rates
    The Government is taking action to address the truancy crisis and raise attendance by delivering the attendance action plan, Associate Education Minister David Seymour announced today.   New Zealand attendance rates are low by national and international standards. Regular attendance, defined as being in school over 90 per cent of the ...
    4 days ago
  • World must act to halt Gaza catastrophe – Peters
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York today that an immediate ceasefire is needed in Gaza to halt the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.    “Palestinian civilians continue to bear the brunt of Israel’s military actions,” Mr Peters said in his speech to a ...
    4 days ago
  • Speech to United Nations General Assembly: 66th plenary meeting, 78th session
    Mr President,   The situation in Gaza is an utter catastrophe.   New Zealand condemns Hamas for its heinous terrorist attacks on 7 October and since, including its barbaric violations of women and children. All of us here must demand that Hamas release all remaining hostages immediately.   At the ...
    4 days ago
  • Government woolshed roadshow kicks off
    Today the Government Agriculture Ministers started their national woolshed roadshow, kicking off in the Wairarapa. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said it has been a tough time for farmers over the past few years. The sector has faced high domestic inflation rates, high interest rates, adverse weather events, and increasing farm ...
    5 days ago
  • PM heads to Singapore, Thailand, and Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines this week (April 14-20), along with a senior business delegation, signalling the Government’s commitment to deepen New Zealand’s international engagement, especially our relationships in South East Asia. “South East Asia is a region that is more crucial than ever to ...
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister launches Government Targets
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced further steps to get New Zealand back on track, launching nine ambitious Government Targets to help improve the lives of New Zealanders. “Our Government has a plan that is focused on three key promises we made to New Zealanders – to rebuild the economy, ...
    5 days ago
  • Natural hydrogen resource should be free of Treaty claims entanglement
    Natural hydrogen could be a game-changing new source of energy for New Zealand but it is essential it is treated as a critical development that benefits all New Zealanders, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones is seeking to give regulatory certainty for those keen to develop natural, or geological, ...
    6 days ago
  • Government responds to unsustainable net migration
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand on stage at global Space Symposium
    Space Minister Judith Collins will speak at the Space Symposium in the United States next week, promoting New Zealand’s rapidly growing place in the sector as we work to rebuild the economy. “As one of the largest global space events, attended by more than 10,000 business and government representatives from ...
    6 days ago
  • $4.9m project completed with marae reopening
    A significant marae has reopened in the heart of Rotorua marking the end of renovations for the Ruatāhuna Marae Renovation Cluster, a project that provided much-needed jobs and regional economic stimulus, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones was at the official reopening of Mātaatua ki Rotorua Marae today. ...
    7 days ago
  • Pure Tūroa Limited to operate Tūroa ski field
    Ko Tahuarangi te waka – Tahuarangi is the ancestral vessel Ko Rangitukutuku te aho – Rangitukutuku is the fishing line Ko Pikimairawea te matau – Pikimairawea is the hook Ko Hāhā te Whenua te ika kei rō-wai – Hāhā te whenua is the fish (of Māui) whilst under the ocean ...
    7 days ago
  • Methane targets to be independently reviewed
    Rebuilding New Zealand’s economy will rely on the valuable agricultural sector working sustainably towards our climate change goals.  Today, the Climate Change and Agriculture Ministers announced that an independent panel of experts will review agricultural biogenic methane science and targets for consistency with no additional warming. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ and Nordics: likeminded partners
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has highlighted the strong ties that bind New Zealand and the Nordic countries of Northern Europe during a trip to Sweden today.    “There are few countries in the world more likeminded with New Zealand than our friends in Northern Europe,” Mr Peters says.    “We ...
    1 week ago
  • First New Zealand C-130J Hercules takes flight
    The first New Zealand C-130J Hercules to come off the production line in the United States has successfully completed its first test flights, Defence Minister Judith Collins announced today. “These successful flights are a significant milestone for the New Zealand Defence Force, bringing this once-in-a-generation renewal of a critical airlift ...
    1 week ago
  • Government to rephase NCEA Change Programme
      The coalition Government is making significant changes to the NCEA Change Programme, delaying the implementation by two years, Minister of Education Erica Stanford announced today. “Ensuring New Zealand’s curriculum is world leading is a vital part of the Government’s plan to deliver better public services and ensure all students ...
    1 week ago
  • New Ngāpuhi investment fund Chair appointed
    Ben Dalton has been appointed the new board Chair of Tupu Tonu, the Ngāpuhi Investment Fund, says Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith and Associate Finance Minister Shane Jones. “Ben brings a wealth of experience in governance and economic development to the position. He will have a strong focus on ensuring ...
    1 week ago
  • Education should be prioritised ahead of protesting
    Students should be in school and learning instead of protesting during school hours, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “If students feel strongly about sending a message, they could have marched on Tuesday when there was a nationwide teacher only day, or during the upcoming school holidays. It has become ...
    1 week ago
  • Delivering on Local Water Done Well
    Cabinet has agreed on key steps to implement Local Water Done Well, the Coalition Government’s plan for financially sustainable locally delivered water infrastructure and services, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says.  "Councils and voters resoundingly rejected Labour’s expensive and bureaucratic Three Waters regime, and earlier this year the Coalition Government ...
    1 week ago
  • Peters to visit New York, Washington D.C.
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will engage with high-level United States Government and United Nations officials in the United States next week (6-12 April).    The visit, with programmes in New York and Washington D.C., will focus on major global and regional security challenges and includes meetings with US Secretary of ...
    1 week ago

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