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Open mike 21/08/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 21st, 2020 - 172 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

172 comments on “Open mike 21/08/2020 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Former White House political adviser & Trump campaign chief Steve Bannon is federally charged with defrauding a charity that raised money to build a wall along the border with Mexico: https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ny-trump-bannon-wall-showboating-20200820-qi2xm3pfkbb7dbno4optwzsmfe-story.html

    Trump claimed he never liked Bannon’s idea of soliciting donations to build a chunk of the wall alongside the government-built barrier that Trump infamously claimed Mexico would pay for. “I never liked that project. I thought it was being done for showboating reasons,” Trump said.

    Competitive showboating from the hired help was always gonna piss off the chief showboater, eh?

    Bannon, who served in the Navy and worked as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs before becoming a Hollywood producer, has been hosting a pro-Trump podcast called “War Room” that began during the president’s impeachment proceedings and has continued during the pandemic.

    Bannon led the conservative Breitbart News before being tapped to serve as chief executive officer of Trump’s campaign in its critical final months… After the election, he served as chief strategist during the turbulent early months of Trump’s administration.

    Trump tweeted in July that he “disagreed with doing this very small (tiny) section of wall, in a tricky area, by a private group which raised money by ads.” “It was only done to make me look bad, and perhaps it now doesn’t even work. Should have been built like rest of Wall, 500 plus miles,” he said.

    But hey, it's in the spirit of free enterprise! Why not crowd-source funding for lots of different teams of builders doing different sections? If you hire Mexicans to do that, you can even claim Mexico built the wall as predicted. The Don ain't thinking clearly.

  2. Tricledrown 2

    Seymour is making stuff up on RNZ about quarantine .

    • Treetop 2.1

      A big gap in breaking in, other guests being safe and the guest sticking to the strict rule of staying isolated is too big a risk.

      • mpledger 2.1.1

        Seymour's idea of isolating in BnBs is just stupid. His only method of control is that people have GPS on their phones and so they can be seen if they leave – ROTL – people can just leave their phones behind if they want to go out for a while.

        But the bigger problem is that people only get noticed after they break-out which is already too late. We need people to not break-out at all.

        • SPC

          It's about delivering tenants and profits to the Air BnB landlord class he cares more about than the rest of us.

          • greywarshark

            I've read that some country is using BNBs overseas. So of course – overseas! – we can do that too. That's where most right-wing policy comes from. They are too tight-fisted and narrow-minded to put money into funding our own people to be informed, professional about systems, and serve NZ's interests in a timely and effective way.

            • anker

              The air bnb idea is bonkers! Why do they think that we have bought the army into these facilities. How many very stupid people have attempted to break out now/????? How many people have attempted to break in???????

        • Sabine

          the biggest question of it all, who will do a deep clean of said BnB site if one has a positive test? The people running the Air BnB and will that be checked over by the government?
          edit: will they have to have a lisence, will they be checked up by the council staff like lisenced food premises? will they have to pay yearly registration fees, will they have to provide the same safeguards as hotels i.e. evac plan, house maintenance on site etc etc etc?

    • Stuart Munro 2.2

      Keep him talking – the more of this he spouts, the more votes he'll lose.

      • woodart 2.2.1

        agree stuart . media attention on act is a good thing. really shows there foolishness . looking forward to act having 5 or so m.p.s after election. seymour will spend most of his time putting out fires. his dancing prowess could really be a plus.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      And he gets away with it because its not illegal to lie. Immoral, yes. Illegal, no.

  3. Muttonbird 3

    Convicted credit card and share scam fraudster, Damien Grant, is having trouble passing a good character test. His application to operate as an insolvency practitioner has twice been rejected by his peers.

    There's no specific detail on what grounds. Is it the 30 month prison sentence he received in the 90s? Having run an insolvency business for 15 years now (without going to prison) this historic conviction would likely have little bearing on a good character test today, were he of good character today…

    So the new regulatory body, RITANZ, must see something else very wrong with Damien Grant. God knows, the rest of us do.

    A requirement of the new licensing regime is that an applicant is a “fit and proper” person.

    Could it just be that he's an arsehole?


    • Andre 3.1

      That's quite the image they've used where he's making a strong run at Nigel Farage for the title of "World's Most Punchable Face".

    • SPC 3.2

      He has done himself no favours with these comments

      An Auckland businessman says he claimed the Government's Covid-19 wage subsidy for his business despite believing it could survive without it, but he has no intention of paying it back.


      He had a fair chance of winning in court before that point. It's so I'll do what I want current behaviour character.

      A man won a case before the Supreme Court 3-2, of being accepted as a lawyer. – despite a historic drink driving conviction record


      • Rapunzel 3.2.1

        It's to be hoped it is that as it shows an intention to bend rules as he chooses that in cases of evasion & fraud don't fit with that role, there are basic rules of behaviour not dissimilar to those of law enforcement or Justice of the Peace

      • Muttonbird 3.2.2

        Yep. I don't buy the line from Susan Edmunds that his application was rejected twice because of his convictions.

        It seems clear he simply fails the good character test now.

        • Andre

          Well, I'm not one for much buying into big organisational conspiracy theories, but…

          Insolvency practitioners are the very definition of vulture capitalists. I doubt there's many people in that industry that most of us would consider "of good character".

          Licensing and professional bodies are quite often used as an underhanded means of restricting access to a trade or profession, and thereby keeping prices high for those services.

          So, adding A plus B, I find it plausible that this may be a case of other RITANZ members looking to feather their own nests by turfing out someone that's taking a chunk of their lunches.

          Or maybe he really is such an asshole that's he's unfit to work in the industry. (That's saying something!!!!)

          • Draco T Bastard

            Ah, the old Who watches the watchers problem.

          • Muttonbird

            Farrar watch: David subscribes to your theory, @Andre.


            • Andre

              That Farrar subscribes to an idea isn't proof that it's wrong, it's merely a strong indication. So it could still be valid.

              Or maybe Grant is a big enough asshole … come to think of it, both those things can be true at the same time.

              • Muttonbird

                Farrar reckons it's because Grant undercuts and the rest don't like it. I think that is bullshit, but undercutting in an industry is a good way for everyone to get a worse product so I'd not be surprised if they have an issue with it.

                One of Farrar's commenters made the important point that if you want to deal with other people's money you'd better not have been proven to have acted fraudulently with it in the past.

                SPC made another good point above that Grant's recent statements on the wage subsidy point towards unethical behaviour both from himself and from some of his 'clients'.

        • anker

          What I want to know is why the hell did someone like this get a to write columns for the Herald or wherever he was published????

        • Draco T Bastard

          It seems clear he simply fails the good character test now.

          And all indications are that he will always do so as he simply doesn't have good character:

          A person with good character chooses to do the right thing because he or she believes it is the morally right to do so.

          And, as SPC points out, he almost inevitably chooses to do the wrong thing.

    • RosieLee 3.3

      Regular Stuff columnist. Says it all really.

      [Fixed typo is user name]

    • woodart 3.4

      so he's on strike two of the act law that he obviously supports . be a damn shame if he got caught up in someone elses phuckup, and got that third strike…..

  4. Andre 4

    Was Pootee's poisoning team just a bit bored and wanted something to do? A training exercise to keep their hand in? A new poison they wanted to check out?


  5. Tricledrown 5

    Another Trump close aide heading to prison.

  6. Muttonbird 6

    Rydges Auckland is a weird place. It's a very cramped hotel. When you go in there you feel like you are very close to other people.

  7. Byd0nz 7

    On Putin Poison.

    What crap,. Mr 0.1 percent. No danger to Putin at all. Blown up by the West media as the main opposition leader, only in the immagination of the West. Navalny earlier announced that he would close his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) after a series of scandals around its activities and a criminal probe into the suspected laundering of around 1 billion roubles ($15.3 million), obtained by the foundation via criminal means. Hardly an opposition leader at all when the second most popular party is the Russian Communist Party, Navalny's wannabe party is the equivalent of ACT, FA chance of winning an election and no threat to any of the many political parties in Russia, so why bother trying to bump off a non starter like him (a Yale fellow), sounds more likely a CIA job in the vain hope of regime change and to point the finger. If any party could bring down the Totalitarian regime of Putin it would be the Communists.

    • Andre 7.1

      Ok, it's lockdown so a glimpse down the rabbit-hole might be some entertainment. So I'm curious what sources you use to come to those opinions. Mind linking?

      In a kleptothug totalitarian state, do you think there might still be some benefit in having an officially tolerated puppet opposition? Y'know, to create a facade for suckers to buy into?

      D'you reckon a totalitarian thug might still find some usefulness in having his apparatus hokey up charges to create a facade of due process, rather than just nakedly do whatever he wants? Y'know, for suckers to buy into?

    • If any party could bring down the Totalitarian regime of Putin it would be the Communists.

      Projection, much? Putin's running a kleptocracy, it's in no sense totalitarian. The Communists, however…

    • Gabby 7.3

      Pooters would never trump up charges against an enemy. Guy prolly poisoned himself just to make Pooters look bad.

  8. gsays 8

    This may have been posted already…

    Jonathon Pie, getting things off his chest.


    Issues that I struggle to convey, done with passion and conviction, acres of hyperbole too.

    • Andre 8.1

      Who's the Shirley he's ranting at?

      • greywarshark 8.1.1

        It takes acres of hyperbole to get through the shroud hanging over reasonable speech that can be used in discussion. I could put a big comment about 'woke' superior authoritarianism and control but there are more important things to discuss, and it will be the same going forward till the end of the century or as long as we are given by the planet to try to rise above our inertia.

        Jonathan Pie is great at expressing the feelings of progressives who can't because of blockades of some sort.

        • greywarshark

          I don't think he said Shirley. I think it was 'surely', slightly squeezed. But I found something about a Dame Shirley, what an amazing woman.

          ..Having experienced sexism in her workplace, "being fondled, being pushed against the wall", she wanted to create job opportunities for women with dependents, and predominantly employed women, with only three male programmers in the first 300 staff, until the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 made that practice illegal.

          She also adopted the name "Steve" to help her in the male-dominated business world, given that company letters signed using her real name were not responded to…


    • Robert Guyton 9.1

      What do Kiwiblog commenters think of National's border plan? Not a lot, on the whole. This character got to post this, unchallenged, which says a lot on a blog where anyone other than a Farrar sycophant routinely gets blanked-out or piled-upon.


      Are you serious? This is the dumbest plan I’ve seen, and that includes ACTs plans to stick everyone in AirBnBs!

      You wanna create a completely new agency, from scratch, fill it, and expect it to be the highest level of competence all in a matter of weeks if not days?
      Require people to provide a negative covid test that tells us almost nothing given that a) the place they’re most likely to catch it is during travel and b) they’ll only show up if symptomatic, AND c) NZ cant require jack at the other end of the airports we can only control who comes in.
      Thermal Imaging, again at other countries airports? Again how is that even remotely possible, and as for thermal imaging here, sure, but what does it accomplish that isolation and testing doesnt? Huge waste of time and resources
      Contact tracing for all staff all the time, is casting a net the size of a rugby pitch to catch a whitebait. Massive amount of effort and resorces (which are limited) with almost no chance of actually catching what you want.

      These ideas are just awful, and by defending them DPF I’m starting to wonder why. They’re pulling Trump moves and you’re one of those republicans nodding at every crazy thing they do and calling it gold!

      [Re-formatted and used block-quotes to make it easier to see quoted text – Incognito]

    • Just Is 9.2

      An excellent graphic indication of Nationals alternative border control.

      History shows their previous Civil Emergengy Response strategies were outright failures.

      Probably why they don't use them as examples of thier competency today.

  9. Sabine 10

    poor thing…..when the grift is good and you get so sloppy that you get indicted and even your bosses biggest cheerleaders might see the need to throw you quickly under a passing bus to save bossman


    and dad then throws the Jr. under the bus too, cause why not – its not as if he has any value to dear dad.


  10. SPC 11

    We should have immediately formed a “grand coalition” and bi-partisan approach to this threat to NZ


    Des Gorman Posted on May 18, 2020

    So you can see why he is a regular on Hosking Speak Radio.

    The right wing black swan event coup programme now supposedly has top academics calling for an independent group to take over governments pandemic response.

    It appears he is acting in concert with Murray Horn – former Treasury Secretary, former head of Business Roundtable, and Chair of a Chinese Bank's New Zealand subsidiary.

    Top academics are calling for an independent body to take over New Zealand's Covid-19 response amid a damning assessment of the Government's management. In a letter published by the New Zealand Medical Journal today, authors say a group led by health and economic experts, free from bureaucracy and political interference, needed to be established immediately in order to undo the Government's failings.


    If you want to know what Murray Horn's politics are

    He believes that for a government to realise anything in the long term, they need to make it institutional in such a way a future government cannot undo. He was in Treasury in the 1984-90 period and was Sec 1993-1998.

    Hood, C. (1998). Book Review: Murray Horn, The Political Economy of Public Administration: Institutional Choice in the Public Sector (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. ix, 263,


    • SPC 11.1

      Gorman said the Minister of Health needed to focus on fixing the crippled health system, which was in significant distress, even before the pandemic struck.


      Not much of a vote of confidence in Murray Horn then – who had a lot of involement in National's Health performance.

      The Health System Funding Review was led by Dr Murray Horn 2015


      Ministerial Review Group (MRG), chaired by Mr. Murray. Horn 2009

      Health Minister, Tony Ryall says the Government has appointed Dr Murray Horn as the establishment chair of the new NHB Advisory Board (NHB).

      Dr Horn led the Ministerial Review Group (MRG) on Health which reported mid-year on improving public health services.

      The Government last week announced an administrative shake up aimed at improving patient services and driving better value for money in health.

      The National Health Board is a unit within the Ministry of Health, and will provide a more focused national supervision of the $9.7 billion DHBs spend on hospital and primary health care.

      The NHB Advisory Board will advise the Minister and Director General on the NHB's performance and activities. "Dr Horn will bring a depth of experience to the role. As chair of the MRG he has built up strong links across the health sector, and a firm appreciation of the challenges and potential of the public health service."


    • I Feel Love 11.2

      Yeah nah fuck off, the current team is world class & prove that everyday.

    • greywarshark 11.3

      Very interesting SPC – 11. It helps to lift the mask and peer under to see who is that under there, and where his past experience has been that seemed right to get him/her to their present prominence.

      Transparency International always said we were honest and I thought good, but then I found out that they just asked people in the business and professional classes what they thought and if bribes were used. We have our own unique ways that only a place with a separation of three? can knit together! It is just a carousel and when you get on it, you can retreat from one place and pop up further along. It takes an eagle eye and a strong arm to pull the bigwig off the beltway.

    • anker 11.4

      FFS we have one of the best Covid responses in the world and Gorman and co want to change it?????? In the middle of the bloody pandemic?

      I am pretty certain that every health professional (or nearly every health professional) in NZ will think this letter in the NZ Medical Journal is utter shite. They will know that very few colleagues have contracted Covid and none have died from it, unlike the majority of countries in the world. They will know that mostly their colleagues don't go to work terrified of what they will face, even if they are not working in the front line.

      I hope health professionals find the time to respond to this disgraceful letter and show it the utter contempt it deserves. I really hope NZders can still see the incredibly great position we are in with the virus. Even if the border testing had of been rolled out the situation would not have been too much, if any different than what we have already. I.e nurse contracts covid at the border, one week shes tested and its picked up. It is already likely to have made it into the community…………..The latest cases were picked up extremely early. You can always tell whether its out there by hospital numbers. Approx one in 5 will need hospital treatment.

      I am sick to death of the hysterical commentary around the border testing…..it was being implemented. These are very complex systems that are being implemented on the fly as the situation is happening now.

      We are in extremely good hands with Labour, Bloomfield and many if not all of the nameless staff who everyday go to work in risky situations to keep us safe………

      And lastly if Gorman et al and other complainers don't like the response here, piss off to somewhere else please.

      • Gabby 11.4.1

        You can't expect Gormless not to make a play for all that lovely money the government is borrowing now can you.

      • greywarshark 11.4.2

        This from the Guardian April 2020.

        This from nz stuff Aug.19/20

        White had also bought his own personal protection equipment from a hardware store after receiving an email on Tuesday from WellSouth, the region’s primary health organisation. The email said he would have to source his own, rather than ordering through the district health board (DHB) stockpile.

        The email reads: “The current advice is that while we are in level 2, practices need to exhaust their commercial avenues of supply before accessing the DHB’s pandemic supplies”.

        In April, White had made his own improvised face shield from laminating pouches and cable ties because adequate PPE was unavailable.

        I don't like the sound of this. If anyone is out there with some agency can they improve on this toot sweet.

        I wonder if this matter is under the control of this experienced medical man. /sarc

        Practice Network Director: Paul Rowe leads our organisation’s practice support team and is responsible for managing our day to day relationship with general practices. This includes improving our performance against health targets and implementing projects such as Health Care Homes, National Enrollment Service, Patient Experience Survey and Foundation Standards.

        Paul was appointed Practice Network Director in August 2016 and has been at WellSouth in a variety of roles since 2013. Prior to working at WellSouth Paul worked at consultants Ernst & Young in Auckland and at Jones Lang LaSalle and Deutsche Bank in London.

        Paul holds a Bachelor of Business Studies in economics from Massey University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies and Maori Studies from the University of Auckland.


        The Senior Management Team has 8 personnel.
        Personnel on the Wellsouth Board and Te Hauora Matua –
        Wellsouth Board: 9 personnel
        Te Hauora Matua: 7 personnel (includes one on Wellsouth Board)

        That is a mighty weight of people meeting and sucking up finances, their is presumably meeting costs, transport etc even if not fees or salary. Yet this large entity with so much input from all points of the compass can't look after the GPs and others on the front line as a Primary Concern in the Primary Healthcare Industry Roundabout.

        No wonder there isn't enough money to adequately treat citizens. Now is the time for change and some sharp changes to a few permanent employees under direct control of the Finance Director at the DHB perhaps. I don't know but something needs to be done. Let private enterprise at government services and you get as topheavy with people as before, only being paid more probably, with better-designed offices that are fully ergonomic and fung shei'd perhaps?

      • Draco T Bastard 11.4.3

        FFS we have one of the best Covid responses in the world and Gorman and co want to change it?

        Yep. They're not making a profit from it so it obviously needs to be changed so that they can.

  11. Sabine 12

    and to those that still want to peddle the mis'truth about kids not getting covid, or getting ill from it, or dying from it. Well i guess we could call it a blatant mis'truth to add some gusto to the term.

    This little one was nine years old and according to the article it took her four month to die after her covid infection.


    I had someone tell me that the death rate is too small for them to care about Covid. I asked her what she thought about those that survived and chances are will live with severe health issues for the rest of their life. Personally i believe that that is actually the bigger issue of covid, not that it kills some of hte population quickly, but that one can be infected again and again and the illness will take a year or three to finish the job.

    But yes, dear Virginia, kids get it, and they die of it.

    • Treetop 12.1

      For the parents to need to raise money to off set medical bills for the care of the 9 year old this needs to change. This article touched my heart.

  12. Chess Player 13

    One of the more level-headed politicians we’ve had over the last while calls for a longer term perspective than just dealing with the virus.

    Hopefully with the extra time before the election we start to see analysis on what the various parties are proposing, and have that publicly debated, instead of just short term thinking of 1 or 2 years ahead.


    • Robert Guyton 13.1

      It's Peter Dunne (Chess Player's post should have carried a warning and it's interesting to note that he/she didn't name that politician).

    • SPC 13.2

      Dunne was never one for that in politics – having developed policy to advocate for would have got in the way of forming coalitions with National or Labour. Thus bland and middling muddled – bureaucrat speak cooomonsense jargon.

      It was always left to those to the left and to the right to debate policy stuff.

    • Tricledrown 13.3

      Politician are held to account by the people who put them there every 3 yrs.

      Govts who do a good job get longer but know they can't rest on their laurels!

    • anker 13.4

      FFS we have one of the best Covid responses in the world and Gorman and co want to change it?????? In the middle of the bloody pandemic?

      I am pretty certain that every health professional (or nearly every health professional) in NZ will think this letter in the NZ Medical Journal is utter shite. They will know that very few colleagues have contracted Covid and none have died from it, unlike the majority of countries in the world. They will know that mostly their colleagues don't go to work terrified of what they will face, even if they are not working in the front line.

      I hope health professionals find the time to respond to this disgraceful letter and show it the utter contempt it deserves. I really hope NZders can still see the incredibly great position we are in with the virus. Even if the border testing had of been rolled out the situation would not have been too much, if any different than what we have already. I.e nurse contracts covid at the border, one week shes tested and its picked up. It is already likely to have made it into the community…………..The latest cases were picked up extremely early. You can always tell whether its out there by hospital numbers. Approx one in 5 will need hospital treatment.

      I am sick to death of the hysterical commentary around the border testing…..it was being implemented. These are very complex systems that are being implemented on the fly as the situation is happening now.

      We are in extremely good hands with Labour, Bloomfield and many if not all of the nameless staff who everyday go to work in risky situations to keep us safe………

      And lastly if Gorman et al and other complainers don't like the response here, piss off to somewhere else please.

      • anker 13.4.1

        This comment is in reference to AB’s article on suicide rates coming down….oh gosh that is encouraging……….I do hope it is a trend, not just a blip………..Some 30 lives or so not lost.

        Bloody Seymour was scaremongering about suicides in Queenstown. The man is an arsehole

  13. xanthe 14

    So deconstructing Collins border policy. Her stance is that operational health decisions in the face of a fast moving dynamic pandemic should be made at general elections.

    What could possibly go wrong!

  14. Dennis Frank 15

    Global warming update: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/aug/20/greenland-ice-sheet-lost-a-record-1m-tonnes-of-ice-per-minute-in-2019

    Hard to imagine, this reality in which every minute of last year, on average a million tonnes of ice from the Greenland ice-cap melted and headed for the ocean.

    The Greenland ice sheet lost a record amount of ice in 2019, equivalent to a million tonnes per minute across the year, satellite data shows.

    The satellite data has been collected since 2003. The 2019 loss was double the annual average since then of 255bn tonnes.

    So hard to imagine, this reality, that Labour is campaigning on the basis of business as usual. Imagining a causal relation between the economy and climate change is too hard! Perhaps some kid like Greta Thunberg will have to explain it to them…

    • SPC 15.1

      I thought it was National that intended to go back on some of the stuff Labour had done so far, and interests associated with that party that lobbied hard against radical change in the short term.

      And some of the restraint on Labour came from requiring NZF to be in the coalition.

      • Dennis Frank 15.1.1

        What I'm not seeing is open, direct & forthright acknowledgment from any party other the Greens that business as usual is untenable.

        How many disasters have to hit the other-party dorks simultaneously to trigger it?? Many of us were exploring the progressive options onsite here last summer after the pandemic hit. I don't believe we're a different class of human – a class above politicians. I can't see why they feel unable to do likewise.

    • greywarshark 15.2

      Nelson City Council was thinking of getting out of it's present large and apparently strong building, and go further along at the same level, on what was formerly swamp land, and on a tidal river fairly close to the sea and build an expensive building there. But a report from a firm that is pretty reliable suggested that it would be good for many decades. Yes, but, we are caught by unprecedented climate changes so some reckons must come in, mustn't they?

      Well it seems that they did and the Council will stay where it is but be done up and gloomy prognostications abound as to that costing up to $32 million or something. I don't know all about it yet. To keep sane one has to not get too close to the maelstrom of ideas, warring countries and politicians, and bright young things seeing tech as the answer to all human and tech problems, provided you look at them with an old-fashioned Camera Obscura.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.3

      Imagining a causal relation between the economy and climate change is too hard!

      Climate change is proof that our economic system is uneconomic and, for the majority of people, that will be hard to swallow. For the economists and politicians its even harder as they've based their entire careers and life on it.

      As the saying goes: Its difficult to get a person to understand something when their job depends upon them not understanding it.

  15. SPC 16

    A drunk 16 year old, an Eilat hotel, 30 men and the pretty legal defence.

    One positive, coalition partners Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz agree on something – charge them all.


    The issue of sexual consent and not while and with those who are drunk


    • greywarshark 16.1

      I think it was Peter Sellers that had the answer to coping with sexual interplay of the young – separate them with a crowbar.

      • Sabine 16.1.1

        sexual interplay?

        intoxicated 16 year old on whom 30 men run a train?

        you have a funny idea about 'sexual interplay'.

        • greywarshark

          I was being ironic. I hadn't read the whole thing. But it isn't new, far too common. And I have just read Mr Pip. So am feeling a bit drained. That one builds up some ennui isn't surprising unless it's you Sabine and others, always with extra outrage for the latest disaster. It would bring me out in psoriasis or at least exczema? – I don't know how you keep so sharp.

  16. AB 17

    Suicide drops to a three-year low though it's not a particularly large drop and there's no evidence that it can be attributed to any particular single cause. So just some cautious observations.

    It appears that the predictions we heard back in March and April about the adverse mental health effects of lockdowns were not accurate and were deliberately exaggerated for political and economic purposes (i.e. an attempt to limit the severity of lockdowns).

    There are certain characteristics of the pandemic world that may have some positive effect on mental health:

    • Social bonds are important. The sense of having a relationship with everyone else, a duty of care for everyone else, and a common purpose rather than perpetual competition, is valuable
    • Working less and differently. People are happier if they are able to work less (as long as there is no loss of financial security), and have more autonomy over their work (e.g. working flexibly from home)

    It could be that our habit of tinkering with the structure of mental health service delivery is much less effective than changing deeper ideological and economic factors.

    • greywarshark 17.1

      AB Working from home produces mental stresses and further isolates 'screenies' – ie those whose eyes are fixed to devices. Separate them with a crowbar?

    • Draco T Bastard 17.2

      It could be that our habit of tinkering with the structure of mental health service delivery is much less effective than changing deeper ideological and economic factors.

      More than likely. Of course, then the right-wing will come out with the belittling term of social engineering. Which, of course, would be exactly what it would be but they would also be ignoring all their own social engineering that they do when in power. All the beneficiary bashing and their sale of state assets to the wealthy to make them wealthier increasing inequality and other socially disastrous policies.

      Their preference for opening the borders during a pandemic would also be social engineering as it would cause massive social displacement as the number of dead ramped up.

  17. Dv 18

    TRUMP again

    yesterday nz recorded a MASSIVE outbreak of 6

    we only had 46000 cases

    if we had the massive outbreak like nz we would have 360 new cases

    see how well we are doing

    • Andre 18.1

      To be fair to Dementia Donnie, the US only had 1260 deaths yesterday, which is only around four per million. He might not be very clear on why that's not better than having 6 cases in a population of 5 million.

      • Sabine 18.1.1

        to be fair they only counted 1260 death then they stopped.

        • Andre

          Someone else must have been counting. Tangerine Tantrump can't count past 1.

          • Sabine

            the hospitals are no longer reporting the death to the CDC but directly to some person at the white house. So no one has any idea what really happens and what not, other then there are a lot of refrigerated trucks stationed outside hospitals in Texas, Florida, Missoury, Georgia etc.

            So like russia and china i would take the information with a lot of salt thrown over the shoulder.






            it depends on who counts not on who votes or fills out the forms. I think Stalin said something to this extend.

            • Andre

              They were trying to juke the stats from long before they got as blatant as cutting the CDC out of the reporting chain.

              In the end, the best and most useful estimate is going to come from excess deaths data, because it will also include otherwise-preventable deaths that occurred due to the health system being overwhelmed. That's going to somewhat harder to spin.

              • SPC

                The excess deaths were 200,000 when the total was 160,000.

                Our deaths were lower than for the year before.

                • Andre

                  Including fewer suicides than usual. Which is what the RWNJ Nostradumbasses were saying were going to skyrocket in lockdown.

                  • Sabine

                    No that is something that i have said as well, not just right wing nuts, unless i know qualify as rightwing nut.

                    Depression is on the rise, goes hand in hand with job loss, loss of income, no sense of stability and the dawning realisation that we have no longer any control of our live until we have a. gotten rid of the virus, b. have a working vaccine for all the strains currently running rampant and any of the future ones.

                    We are now 5 month in in what can and probably will a pandemic for another 15 month at the very least (globally). I am not the only one that says that either. So i really would not consider today as the hallmark of the future.

                    The worst of this covid mess is yet to come, and i am neither a negative person, nor a pessimist, but i don't subscribe to hope that shit will get better soon as a future prediction. Reality and a proper risk assessment suits me better.

                • woodart

                  with our death rate falling, and 3000 kiwis per week coming home, it will be interesting to see the population figures. all of those returnees need a house and a car. maybe thats one of the reasons that the economy HASNT hit the skids like many experts predicted-hoped. anecdotal evidence , new and second hand car sales very strong, house sales and prices have continued to rise, and builders in my provincial area still very busy.

                  • RedBaronCV

                    We still have more outgoers than incomers. Even if they were on limited visa's they likely rented accommodation so the total number of people we are accommodating will be falling slowly

                    but yes incomers may be buying more than renting. ditto cars.

                    • woodart

                      disagree redbaron. more people flying into the country than flying out.many of the P.I. seasonal fruit pickers in nelson area have chosen to stay and send a few dollars back to their islands ,rather than go home to ?

          • logie97

            With this being the third rant by Trump about our situation in as many days, does he know something or expect something to happen here that we are unaware of. Surely he wouldn't know the source of the currently unidentifiable strain!

            • Andre

              He doesn't know anything. He truly is a literal know-nothing.

              He's just consumed by the idea that the only reason we might have had to achieve elimination was to make him look bad. So now we don't currently have elimination status, he's trying to puff it up so he doesn't look bad anymore, and to rub it in to us for making him look bad.

              He's going to be pissed when we achieve elimination again, which he thinks we're only trying to do to make him look bad again, of course. The idea of doing it for the well-being of our citizens simply doesn't enter his universe.

              • Treetop

                Is Trump rubbishing NZ because both the US and NZ are having an election?

                If so Trump might be saying no one can eliminate Covid so vote for me and he does not feel so insecure.

                • Andre

                  He says what he says because it's what makes him feel better in the moment.

                  In this case, he's trying to slam a put-down on something (our covid response) that has been widely cited as something that's been done much better than what he's done. He's trying to belittle us to feel better about himself. Any effect that might have on his re-election prospects is a secondary consideration, if it even enters his impulse of the moment at all.

                  I doubt he knows we've got an election coming up, and I'm very certain he doesn't care.

      • Psycho Milt 18.1.2

        To be fair to Dementia Donnie, the US only had 1260 deaths yesterday…

        For those like me who struggle with comparing US figures to NZ, that's the equivalent of 19 people of dying of Covid-19 in NZ yesterday.

    • Alice Tectonite 18.2

      Left wing fascism is a thing too (apparently).

    • anker 18.3

      I can't help but wonder if Trumps ridiculous references to NZ aren't helping Labour's chances right now. What he is saying is absurd in the extreme, but sometimes that helps people get perspective. Also helps feel a bit patriotic re NZs efforts. against the virus compared to US. BTW I regularly check the worldometer for covid stats and NZ case numbers continue to drop down c/p to others. I think currently was are 138.

  18. aj 19

    TRUMP again

    He literally makes my head hurt

    • Tricledrown 20.1

      Why did Bridges get rolled in the first place looks like his days numbered.

      Theirs and old saying about Tory MP's being the left overs incompetants who can't do well in the real world they become MP's become mouth piece's in parliament.

      When looking at the present line up including Silly Seymour most don't have a clue.

  19. Koff 21

    This (link below) is a damning evaluation of the effect of private enterprise on the Covid-19 response in Australia. It focuses on Victoria but could apply to many other places where neoliberalism has taken hold. Perhaps someone should point this article to David Seymour and his bonkers idea of using AirBnBs for quarantine.


    • Peter 22.1

      I wouldn't have said Sir Brian Roche took Hosking to task.

      Hosking: "Is there too much politics in this?"

      Next question: Hosking: "As a New Zealander, just step back from you job for a minute, as a voter what have you observed this week?"

      That's just an example of Hosking being unable to seperate politics from anything he wants to be political and he wants to use to political advantage. It's not Roche taking Hosking to task but Hosking taking on the task of making himself out to be pillock. And succeeding.

  20. Ad 23

    This one goes out to everyone who still has to travel in each day … where commuting is the only moment you have for daydreaming and processing, which is our vestigal time of utopian meanderings, the reconciliation of the pressure of home and relationships with the history that got you right there at that time …

    …Richter is good at meditative pacing that evokes reflective thinking…


  21. RedBaronCV 24

    I finally went and read the Nact policy document for the border.

    Basically it's a damp squib – they intend to set up an agency

    "to provide professional coordination and comprehensive management of the potential entry of COVID-19"

    so looks like everyone working there is going to get all tooled up and rush into an office to order other government agencies to comply with the policies it sets. "compliance focused". It's also a weird mix of high level policy and basic operational stuff about testing their workers weekly. Indeed it really doesn't specify how they will enforce compliance with their policy for the implementers.

    But there is also this – a money grab

    "The Agency will be responsible for managing co-payment for the costs of managed isolation"

    Now I may be too suspicious but once people are out of the airport I see nothing in the policy that would prevent the letting of privately managed isolation contracts.

    Has Judith actually denied that theywill use private contracts for isolation or is this something that is just being generally assumed by the media? Even if she does deny this should we believe the denial? The potential is certainly there to ramp that up.


  22. Robert Guyton 25

    Jacinda's response to questions about the trial in Christchurch were elegant and reflective of her real self.

  23. RedBaronCV 26

    Have the cops investigated running a covid convoy from Northland through Auckland to the south? Line them up every hour, photos of the licence plates and all passengers/ drivers and then with a cop car fore and aft , Lights and a run down the motorway.

    • greywarshark 26.1

      Sounds sensible for those needing to move, especially trucks, business. There would be a charge I think, as it is a special deal and the police need to boost their funds for car chasing at night.

  24. greywarshark 28

    Seeing we are all going tech! And gaming is so big – why don't we make our dear leaders fight their battles out on computers like some high tech chess game. After a battle is over and the horrific outcomes fade into world memories though not of those involved you think was it worth it? For what was achieved.

    My fish and chips suppliers are Vietnamese, small brown people with big smiles. I asked them if they were Thai and they replied, No Vietnamese. I said oh, that explains the hard cover book about the Vietnam War over with the magazines. They said Yes, we thought people might look at it and get to know about it. (It doesn't get mentioned much in NZ but sometimes here when one of the vets writes in, and tells how it seems forgotten.)

    So let's go high tech and let the aggressives make their moves, after explaining their reasons quite clearly. I've just partially read Mr Pip about a Bougainville violation and found it chilling and yet hopeful. A tale with a twist.

    • The Al1en 28.1

      why don't we make our dear leaders fight their battles out on computers

      Yeah, and if they don't agree, we should send the military in to make them.

  25. Ad 29

    Transmission Gully update.

    OMG another reason to remove the layer of MoT from enabling direct Ministerial scrutiny of major projects.

    The opening of Transmission Gully will be delayed until September 2021 after settlement negotiations concluded to the tune of $208.5 million.

    Don't forget NZTA have already got a $1b loan facility from government to make up for an income deficit from Covid 19. So there's 20% of that gone already.

    The 27-kilometre road was meant to be open by April 2020, then it was pushed back to before Christmas this year, and now it's another year away.

    It's currently about 85 per cent complete.

    NZTA announced the settlement money and new completion date this afternoon, which is solely related to the Covid-19 lockdown period.


    And of course: does not improve public transport, has no cycle lane or footpath, is not tolled, and pushes a great fat jam of congestion into the Hutt Valley.

    • Muttonbird 29.1

      I don't get what you mean about cycle lanes and footpaths, particularly footpaths, being associated with this project. It's 30km motorway. Who the fuck is walking that and why?

      Also not sure what you mean about congestion in the Hutt Valley. If TG has a bearing on Hutt Valley traffic then that is just another issue which needs to be solved regarding the complicated entry points into Wellington.

      Transmission Gully was necessary, if not entirely for the benefit of the country as a whole, at least for the region. This concept does not apply to an Otaki to Levin extension which is ridiculous right now.

      There will however be a lot of pain before it is operating as imagined with all the flaws fixed.

      • Ad 29.1.1

        NZTA should not be building any road highway without cycleways or public transport capacity. SH16 up Auckland's northwestern, and SH20 tunnel in the southwest, shows it can be done. The era of transport assets solely for the privilege of combustion engine use is well due for consigning to the dustbin of history. NZTA is the one remaining direct instrument this government has to direct us away from fossil fuel use, and motorway design is a massive part of what they do.

        All it takes is future-proofed multi-modal design – which is not that hard once you direct NZTA's Board, policy specification team, Capital Delivery, and Procurement staff the right way. Especially their Board.

        • Muttonbird

          So put it in later if everyone is e-biking from Paekakariki to Parliament twice a day. Somehow I doubt it.

          SH16 devices a huge and fast growing population in Auckland’s North-West. Lots of potential bike commuters.

          There is literally zero potential for bike traffic along TG.

          • Ad

            People thought the same about SH16, 20 years ago. No-one argues for later patch-ups now, not even the AA. The same old resisters within NZTA said the same thing as well.

            In 2010 similar people occupied Kiwirail, referring to commuters as 'self-loading freight'. Since then, Auckland rail use has surpassed that of Wellington. And Kiwirail and and NZTA are right now building cycleways along their corridor right into Wellington central. 30 years late, but it's happening.

            In Transmission Gully all NZTA have is a mess, and no certainty that even combustion vehicles will use it at an appropriate volume for what we are all now paying for it.

  26. greywarshark 30

    TINA is leading to nightmares in the UK. Neolib isn't working for them any more and they can't find their dummy and their teddy.

    Britain is about to be sucked into a catastrophic economic doom loop
    Huge state spending is set to trap the UK in a vicious circle of higher taxes and permanently lower growth


  27. McFlock 31

    Testing seems to be back down to 15k a day. Have any of the briefings looked at some of the factors around this? I would have thought they'd be pushing to test as many people in the geographic area as possible.

    Been almost ten days since we raised the levels, in the next few days we'll hopefully see a consistent decline in case numbers.

    • RedBaronCV 32.1

      It's been much the same for as long as I remember. I wondered if the earthquake might shake up their ultra conservative very insular pretensions but maybe not. Ti me to remove some one’s visa?

      Caught a TV programme some years back where the primary school history lesson showed the provincial history as starting with 6 ships arriving from England. Takes a while to move that sort of stuff along

      Plus it's always for some reason had the dodgiest of the sex crimes.

      • Muttonbird 32.1.1

        Unfortunately for the decent people of Christchurch, that city has had a terrible reputation for intolerance since its birth.

        • greywarshark

          But it looks so orderly, nice, wide straight streets, trees everywhere. Any crime is probably a reaction to all that toffy-nosed pureness.

  28. McFlock 33

    Fair call.

    • McFlock 33.1

      Hmm. Reply button doesn't seem to work in same window, but open link as new window goes ok.

      Firefox 79 on windows.

  29. Morrissey 34

    Twitter, the enemy of debate and suppressor of democracy

    • Muttonbird 34.1

      David Seymour should be all over this. Chavista's have the right to free speech too.

      We should defeat the Maduro regime not with censorship, but with AirBnBs and Charter Schools alone!

  30. greywarshark 35

    I've brought this over from the right to the centre – that is from the feed on the right-hand of the page. Ex Treasury view on government doings re Covid-19. I feel that it is possible that any observations made about government being remote etc could also apply to The Treasury.

    And on a quick reading with much being given the thumbs-down I wonder if these boffins divide the work they are responsible for, as much-criticised unions did eg jokes about 'I don't do the spanner work. That's for Fred from the Trade Tools and Waterwheels Union'. How come he can be employed at Treasury to supposedly make things efficient and effective and well-balanced and leave, still happily taking pot-shots at democracy and government in a patronising way. Sounds like a lot of narcissistic hoopla.

    Tony Burton has also been Economic Advisor to the UK Dept of Health.

    ...When I was part of the government machine I was struck by how little understanding even those receiving the eye-watering fees to teach “Masters in Public Policy” have of the way government operates. (If you want an example, look up “policy cycle” in a textbook on government where you will find a hamster wheel schematic and text describing how, apparently, government is run by hamster bureaucrats scuttling round it.)…

    This is a one-eyed interpretation:- At its most extreme, a former Chief Executive of MSD commanded “no problems without solutions” so only problems that had already been solved could be presented to senior managers…

    …Ministers very rarely talk to people at the front line. Their decisions are largely informed by meetings with people at the upper end of the hierarchy who are equally ignorant of what is happening where services are delivered.


    This article can be republished under a Creative Commons CC BY-ND 4.0 license. Attributions should include a link to the Democracy Project. With Bryce Edwards involvement.

  31. gsays 37


    A small step in the right direction.


    Meanwhile here is a captivating solution for freight on Railway Road.

    Restored film from 1902 in Gemany, a flying train.


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