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Open mike 21/09/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 21st, 2020 - 219 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 …

219 comments on “Open mike 21/09/2020 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    So there "was a "basic error" that National's finance spokesman Paul Goldsmith quickly admitted to." https://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=12366421

    National had used the Treasury's budget update to calculate that the party would "save" $19.1 billion by scrapping contributions to the NZ Super Fund. But, National should have been using the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update (Prefu) – which showed that the "saving" would have been $15 billion over 10 years.

    Irritating, he said. Like accidentally wearing his underpants outside his suit when he showed up at work, rather than on the inside. Such small irritations can happen to anyone anytime. If he'd done that instead of using the wrong facts to do his numbers, Judith would have also said it was

    "a little error," "entirely inconsequential" and something "not many people are worried about".

    But it would have given the Nat launch more pizzazz, eh? Fashion reporters would have been able to grab timeslots on the tv news to praise his innovative style.

    As it was, Goldsmith fronted the tv cameras like an angry dormouse, whiskers intensely quivering, gimlet eyes staring down the slavering pack of journos: "You'll never get me! Scum!"

    What a bugger though, when you're born to rule. Technical glitches in cerebral process. He could've done a Trump: "No, no, never happened. Fake news." "Look over there!" Well, over there is Michael Reddell:

    the way that all societies look to be materially poorer than they would have thought just a few months ago, it is difficult to be very optimistic about the likely pace of sustained economic rebounds anywhere. https://croakingcassandra.com/

    So Goldsmith can toke away on his growth spliff until he goes cross-eyed, but his promises will be as ephemeral as the smoke haze…

    • Barfly 1.1

      "So Goldsmith can toke away on his growth spliff until he goes cross-eyed"

      Hey no need to denigrate the mighty weed or it's users by associating it and them with the incompetent and malevolent National Party! devil

      • greywarshark 1.1.1

        DF Why didn't you put this on Micky Savage's site already up, so the comments were all together? It would have assisted wide discussion I think.

        • Dennis Frank

          I thought about doing so. I just felt a different perspective on a new day was appropriate. Coming here as a radical centrist (albeit somewhat of a leftist fellow-traveller) I tend to find the sectarian polemic bandwagon-jumping effect more than just a little moronic, so felt the other had a `been there, done that' feel to it – plus being a little like a polluted stream.

          If that doesn't make sense to you, it'll be due to a mix of innate sensitivity and too many nuances on my part, so I don't blame you!

          My natural tendency is to find the right more worthy of criticism most of the time but I can't exhibit that here due to too many others doing it. So this morning seemed a good opportunity to take a fresh look at the situation. I found the Nat positioning on it deserving of severe criticism due to being both inept and an insult to the public, so I wrote on their behalf.

          • greywarshark

            Thanks for explanation DF. I like your approach which brings another perspective. It fits with my recurring thought that everything we have been doing in the past has been only partly successful or a complete failure. Old cold potatoes on the gravy train is not a viable dish now.

    • Dennis Frank 1.2

      Sam Sachdeva, Newsroom's political editor, was underwhelmed: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/politics/nationals-fiscal-stumble-blunts-campaign-launch

      On a day when the party was meant to be revving up the troops at its Covid-disrupted campaign launch, Goldsmith was instead explaining how he and his team had overlooked a $4 billion gap in the calculations for its fiscal plan.

      There will be high-profile tests of the party’s popularity this week, with at least one television network expected to release a poll and the first leaders’ debate between Ardern and Collins taking place on Tuesday evening, via TVNZ.

      • Robert Guyton 1.2.1

        Astonishingly, David Farrar hasn't caught up with the news! Blissfully unaware (it seems) he's not posted on Goldsmith's "irritation".

        • Peter

          He'll be going through his 'pre-poll' phase busily outlining what he's going to say on the next announcement.

          The investment of time more recently has been well spent. Ending in him not saying anything and given his followers exercise in writing 'rouge.'

    • SPC 1.3

      The idea that there is any achievement in a lower debt level if it is realised by less money in the NZSF is absurd. A smaller NZSF means greater fiscal pressure on future government budgets.

    • Nic the NZer 1.4

      As one would expect the actual stakes in this contentious political issue are extremely low. Ultimately we are just asking where in the govt budget pension expenditure will come from.

      Labour argue more for, fund it now, launder it through the govt investment side for a bit (so it doesn't look as much like govt funding when spent), we have a huge budget deficit going already which the public are not challenging. National argue instead for fund it from the budget at the time and lower the deficit now and probably to try to get to surplus sooner.

      But govts ability to fund pensions rests only on the countries ability to produce sufficient physical goods for pensioners (without them contributing to production themselves). The govt can always pay sufficient income to purchase those goods one way or another at that point.

      • SPC 1.4.1

        Pre funding it while the numbers on super are lower has appeal.

        And while doing it when in deficit is not ideal, there is value to doing so while debt is really cheap and asset values are rising.

        • Pat

          And 85% is invested offshore with the associated benefits

        • Nic the NZer

          The govt doesn't face a financial constraint, it faces an inflation constraint. The inflation constraint means the govt should balance its spending (and taxation) with the total economic activity level to avoid instigating more activity than there is capacity to undertake (as doing so may be inflationary). That always means balancing your govt deficit/surplus level against the present economic state regardless of its investment levels or during which time frame the expenditure was added to the govt forecast (e.g the budget). So the minutae of how this happens or even the state of the govt books is pretty much irrelevant.

          • SPC

            Worker numbers to those on super is an important factor in its affordability.

            And low cost of debt and investment return on money allocated is about realising wealth creation (net gain to all Kiwis).

            For the rest, the issue is not so much inflation capacity – but whether debt should even accrue to government for printing money during a pandemic.

            • Nic the NZer

              As you said "Worker numbers to those on super is an important factor in its affordability." Or, there need to be enough goods to distribute.

              I don't think either party is proposing OMF at this stage, not that that regime performs any differently.

              As I said its a very low stakes debate point being worked over here.

              I think inflation/capacity constraints are both visible and important to the public. Most recently impacting the Kiwibuild policy when it was discovered the cost of new builds (shortage of builders) would be impacted by the govts house building program (at which point they very rapidly backed off their election promises).

              • SPC

                Well that leads to the likelihood that National in not prefunding Super is preparing the way to change super settings in the future (as soon as baby boomer numbers start to die off/as electoral demographics change).

                With KiwiBuild, land was the cost issue and pitching new build housing as affordable homes for first home buyers was a rookie mistake (mismatch with available buyers – who required 20% deposits). If it was a cost of building or market supply constraint they would not have ramped up state house construction as quickly as they did to compensate.

                If KiwiBuild was set up properly they would have soon got migrant workers in – as they did in Christchurch for the post earthquake rebuild.

          • UncookedSelachimorpha

            The govt doesn't face a financial constraint, it faces an inflation constraint. The inflation constraint means the govt should balance its spending (and taxation) with the total economic activity level to avoid instigating more activity than there is capacity to undertake (as doing so may be inflationary).

            Refreshing to see some actual facts, instead of the usual "government budget is like a household budget" nonsense that both Labour and National parrot.

            • Pat

              the government dosnt face a financial constraint 'in its issued currency.'…unfortunately much of that needed isnt provided in that currency.

              • Draco T Bastard

                unfortunately much of that needed isnt provided in that currency.

                Which doesn't matter. The government can still purchase those things using its own currency and the people accepting the NZ$ can then buy what they want from NZ. Or they can just sell it on to those that want to buy from NZ.

            • SPC

              Note that allowing migration places inflationary pressure on existing housing supply – both in rent cost and land values (time lag to new housing supply), but the labour supply reduces wages immediately.

              And do we measure land cost in inflation statistics …

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Stuff's photos of both major party leaders breaking the social distance rule reveal a bipartisan consensus. Seymour, predictably, only accused one of them. Guess which?


    Stuff''s reporter sensibly refrained from claiming the rule had actually been broken by either. In postmodernia, nobody is meant to know if rules are real, so if they get broken that may just be the random perception of the random observer, not a fact.

  3. Jester 3

    Pretty funny boasting that you are the party that are good with numbers and can manage the economy better, and then finding you have an irritating $4bn error in your numbers!

    • Peter 4.1

      Provincial growth is good. Pushing that is great. Helping put Northland on the map is excellent.

      Being a smart arse is just being a smart arse. If, as is most likely, he and his party are stuffed after the election, will the political eulogies mention that there are a lot of country folk, who don't like smart arses? Or come across like that. In an electorate like Northland especially.

      The hard yards here are won in the hearts not on the edges of logorrhoea and misplaced perceptions of the power of mellifluousness.

    • weka 4.2

      how does that help NZF? If they get under 5%, the Greens being in parliament or not won't have anything to do with it. Any Green vote will go to Labour. I would have thought the Greens polling above 5% would mean some shift from Labour to NZF to stop Labour going leftwards next term.

      • Pat 4.2.1

        or a shift from National to NZF to prevent the Greens from being the only option in the event Labour dont have a majority alone

      • Robert Guyton 4.2.2

        Ummm….pure spite? Out-of-control envy? The just-released Green policy on oceans has stirred his cod-pot!

        • swordfish

          Probably believes it'll go down well with NZF's target audience.

          As various iterations of the NZ Election Study have highlighted, the Party's current & recent voters sit at the opposite end of the Cultural-Moral spectrum from Green Party supporters … (while, at the same time, positioned reasonably close to each other on the traditional Left-Right Economic spectrum … although the 2017 Election does seem to have tilted NZF’s constituency in a somewhat Bluer direction than previously).

          So critiquing the Greens & the Woke to push Culture Wars onto the campaign agenda (squeezing it in between the massive COVID-19 Elephant doing plops all over the place), & advertising their credentials as the key 'conservative' force in that battle … in the hope of winning back as many previous supporters as poss, while concurrently looking attractive to segments of National’s & Labour’s voting bases.

          • swordfish


            Least ways, that's how I sees it, says I.

            • greywarshark

              Logorrhea? 'a tendency to extreme loquacity.' Shane J won't understand that, probably would think it about his forestry policy.

              It also is reminiscent of diarrhoea. It certainly is an apt and protean word!

          • Dennis Frank

            Shane thinks he is, Winston thinks he is, but Jon Johansen knows he is. Try to never be the smartest person in the room. And, if you are, I suggest you invite smarter people… or find a different room. https://michaelsseaver.com/leadership/its-okay-to-be-the-smartest-person-in-the-room/

            Dell in 2003. I bet Jon sussed that he was in the wrong room months ago. "Goddam contract blues. Okay, gotta ride this one out. Can't retreat to academia until it's all over, rover. So when surrounding by primadonnas in the land of the wrong off-white crowd, think again, huh?"

        • Gabby

          What SurpyDurpy Tally Doesn't want, the Pompous Prince of the Provinces doesn't want.

      • Sacha 4.2.3

        He's a petty, incompetent creature. Whanau must be embarrassed at how he has turned out after all that investment in him.

        • greywarshark

          Unfortunately many people couldn't see through him or past him. He had to be put in a place where he could demonstrate all his talents to people's heart's content. Now he has had his turn in the spotlight can we replace him with someone capable of deeper thought advancing the well-thought-out practical policies in an effective manner, going forward?

    • Rosemary McDonald 4.3

      A charming fellow who has an axe, so to speak, to grind over those pesky conservationist types.

      There's history….


      Furrell is also furious that most of those found responsible for wetland destruction have received little more than a slap on the wrist. In one example in 2012, relatives of former Cabinet minister Shane Jones were caught digging for swamp kauri in an indigenous wetland on their Far North property. The regional council did stop work at the site, and the logs were left on the side of State Highway 1.


      Green Party primary industries spokesperson Eugenie Sage said Mr Guy had been forced to backtrack on his earlier assertions that there were no major problems with how exports of swamp kauri were policed.


      "We want the minister, Shane Jones, to answer this … does he consider it's okay for his officials to thumb their noses at a Supreme Court ruling? Because that is what they are doing," Ms Furrell said.

      Both the MPI and Shane Jones have been approached for comment.

      …and here, way Up North, Uncle Shane is a bit of a joke. He may have purchased support with the bucketloads of putea that has been thrown at local projects but he is going to have to work a bit harder. Spread some charm. Heh.

      Two leading contenders at the moment seem to be the Green Party candidate Darlene Tana Hoff-Nielsen and newboy Billy Te Kahika.

    • veutoviper 4.4

      Robert, you must have missed the related article also on Newshub in the last 24 hours re the Taranaki Green School, ie


      It seems that the Green School's application for $1m from the Provincial Growth Fund ro market the school as a tourist attraction had been turned down prior to them then applying for $11.7m (grant or loan) from the Covid Recovery Fund – granted by Shaw.

      Oh dear, this issue just doesn't go away. The change.org petition to reduce this latter grant now stands at over 14,100 signatures


    • Jester 4.5

      Would you expect anything less from Shane Jones?

  4. SPC 5

    Why is electoral debate centred around the long term level of government debt, and not on the amount of debt the government now has that is not owed to anyone at all?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Because the politicians and business people don't want the people to realise that we don't need capitalists to fund things. We can do it all on our own through our democratic administration.

      The reason why they don't want us to realise that is because then it would eliminate the bludging that is the sole purpose of capitalism.

    • bwaghorn 5.2

      Whys it called debt if it's not owed to anyone?

      • SPC 5.2.1

        So they will not be seen as challenging the neo-liberal capitalist order.

      • Brigid 5.2.2

        It is. It's owed to us. It's paid back to us by providing us with what ever it was the funds were issued for, e.g. State housing, thousands of acres of pine trees, excellent health care, schools, railway network etc etc

        We being New Zealand.

  5. ScottGN 6

    National’s troops online have resorted to outright lies about the missing $4 billion. They are claiming that Robertson has pretty much nicked it out of the Super Fund without telling anybody. This bullshit is getting peddled about by sitting MPs. They have lost the plot.

    • Peter 6.1

      Wrong. They didn't have a plot – past working out who the next leader is to be.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      The right-wing lying about things because they didn't go their way is par for the course.

      The right-wing have to lie because reality never conforms to their beliefs.

  6. Barfly 7

    The Key Governments discontinuing of payments to the Cullen fund was financial stupidity – right in the same league as selling off 49% of SOE electricity generators -ideologically driven financial vandalism. National are economic incompetents.

    • Sabine 7.1

      its only stupid if you don't profit off it.

      that is the other side of the coin, one creates a surplus (which is essentially only tax revenue not spend on the people) and then the other wins and creates a tax cuts for those that are in the correct income group (like the ones that created the surplus 🙂 ). Then everyone screams that the bank is empty and the people will have to sell their very few belongings to pay the bills.

      Rinse repeat, rinse repeat. The ones with money are good with it as they can buy up the countrys silver cutlery, and the ones without money move to a ditch nearby.

      • Barfly 7.1.1

        Yes Sabine my bad what I regarded as stupidity may simply simply be greed, malevolence and dishonesty – after all it is the National Party we are talking about

        • tc

          yup they knew exactly what they're doing. Calling it 'best practice' at the time had an ironic twist from a taxpayer/consumer perspective.

  7. ScottGN 8

    Judith is on Morning Report claiming that Goldsmith couldn’t understand the PREFU docs because Treasury had written them so badly. We’re entering the Twilight Zone now.

  8. ScottGN 9

    And she’s now banging on about Labour’s so-called $11 billion hole at the last election. She’s digging a HUGE hole!

    • Robert Guyton 9.1

      Did you hear the up-beat, irrepressible, we're going to win this by a country-mile, "post-campaign-launch" verve and bounce in Judith's voice?

      Me neither.

      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        How National dares to open its mouth about finance stumps me. Many will have seen this but seeing things are so fast-moving it pays to check back for ‘holes’ in the argument. This from a few days ago:


        Sep,18/20 National plans to raise those brackets, so every dollar you earn up to $20k would be taxed at 10.5 percent, and $20k to $64k at 17.5 percent. The 30 percent bracket would include every dollar between $64k to $90k, and every dollar above $90k would be taxed at 33 percent.

        …National says that's because it wants to target middle-income earners who may be more likely to spend-up.

        (Me: What!! Middles, 'may be more likely to spend up'. Anyone with economic nous knows that the poor spend 100%+ of their income, just to meet basic costs. Pay them more and they will still need to spend it all also borrow, as their income is so far behind what is needed! Those near $20,000 are at break-even point, far from the $64,000 level, and will be returning tax to the government of about 32.50% of their meagre income in taxes of 17.5% for income and 15% GST. I have forgotten if the gummint charges GST on rent, which would reduce the GST paid by that amount. About a third from basic needs, is different than from a wealthier person's discretionary income.)

        If you're on $30k a year, National's policy would put $560 in your back pocket over the 16-month period for which it's proposed. But if you're on $90k a year, you'd pocket $4026 over that same period.
        National's policy explains: "Middle-income earners receive the largest benefit as a proportion of their income. As a proportion of income, the largest benefit is for someone on the average income of $64,000. There are no further tax savings for incomes over $90,000."

        The policy is expected to cost $4.7 billion over the 16-month period and National plans to pay for it by reducing Government debt by suspending Super Fund contributions, and axing policies like KiwiBuild and the first year of free university.

        Government contributions to the Super Fund were suspended by the previous National-led Government between 2009 and 2017, but they were resumed under the current Government at a cost of $7.7 billion over five years.

        Seems that Gnats have many people so confused that they don't know whether Peter or Paul are being robbed or not, and who is paying. Maybe the manner in which they intone the words 'tax cuts' arouses visions of heavenly dispensation in the heads of spiritual believers and non-beis, alike.

  9. Koff 10

    A good article explaining why more tax of the right type (not tax on lower incomes or GST, though) is a good thing, rather than less tax / tax cuts.


    Perhaps Laura O'Connell Rapira (the author of the piece) should be the next fnance minister? She can't do worse than Paora Goldsmith, anyway!

    • SPC 10.1

      There is also the case for a windfall tax on companies which made a profit after receiving the wage subsidy.

      • Sabine 10.1.1

        Unless the company refused to pay that wage subsidy out to its staff i don't see how they could make a 'windfall'.

        And i would like to point out that for the last two extentions you actually have to proof that you have a loss of revenue of 40% to the year prior (not 39% or less but 40%) to even be able to apply for it.

        Can you link to anything that would support your point, just for interest sake.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      Here in Aotearoa, we might look to what helped us out of the Great Depression. From 1935 to 1940, Michael Joseph Savage introduced welfare, free health care and universal superannuation. The Reserve Bank was brought under government control and the money printer went brrr. Income tax was 42.9% and 57% for unearned income such as rent, interest or dividends. Savage used those funds to start construction on thousands of state homes which created more jobs and places for people to live.

      She doesn't, quite, get it.

      The money printer went brrr as she says and thus the taxes weren't needed for the funds.

      So, why the high taxes on large incomes? A couple of reasons:

      • To contain inflation by keeping the money in circulation low
      • To keep incomes down – no point in having high incomes if most of it is just going to go to the government
      • To discourage bad behaviour such as speculation and rent seeking

      It's a pity that we lost that wisdom.

      • Brigid 10.2.1

        "She doesn't, quite, get it."

        Explain it to her. @laura_oc_rapira

        With a bit more knowledge she might make a half decent journalist.

  10. ScottGN 11

    @Robert Guyton 9.1

    Jane Clifton said yesterday that it was like somebody had taken out her batteries. You can hear the dull sound of defeat in her every word now.

  11. Paapapakaratua 12

    Why don't Aucklanders put a tunnel through their underwater harbour lava field?

    [Why have you changed your user name and e-mail address yet again? That’s one particularly annoying habit of yours and I’ve already permanently banned one of your other aliases. Please give me a good reason why I should not permanently ban this one too – Incognito]

  12. Pat 13

    Auckland needs an additional harbour crossing we are told (among so many other things)

    "The central idea of catabolic collapse is that human societies pretty consistently tend to produce more stuff than they can afford to maintain."


    • Robert Guyton 13.1

      Again, I support your position on this, Pat.

    • SPC 13.2

      Imagine if the current bridge already had biking lanes added on to it.

      Bike sales would be up.

      Or if people decided to use broadband at home during peak road congestion periods and then take a bus to work.

      • Sabine 13.2.1

        Imagine bosses paying the space, the electricity, the broadband, the heating and all that is involved with working for home, for a start. Is there any legislation in the works that would actually assure that or is that the price of work that needs to be paid by the worker in order to be considered for the job?

        Imagine if public transport were free to the users – we could potentially not even meet demand. Is there any legislation that would promote this, or is that too much of a hassle and besides on the rich can have free shit, the poor need to pay for it?

        Imagine if in this country all areas had the same good broadband that some areas currently enjoy. Imagine, not only could you use your mobile from home rather then go out on the open street, but your kids could learn from home and you could work from home. Is there any legislation in the works that would assure that broadband will go to the very rural areas that are currently underserved?

        Imagine all the shit that all the previous governments of all stripes have ignored for so long, and then just continue to imagine how our future and current government will do exactly the same.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Imagine if public transport were free to the users – we could potentially not even meet demand.

          I'm pretty sure that one of the reasons why we ended up with personal cars is because it creates more jobs than public transport. A couple of hundred mechanics maintaining a fleet of buses or thousands of mechanics maintaining a fleet of personal vehicles. Then the fleet of personal vehicles also needs gas stations and their attendants and more tanker drivers and more fuel and more…

          You get the idea. More consumption producing more jobs.

          Looks good at the start because more jobs but is completely uneconomic.

          And now, of course, everyone has their personal vehicles and doesn't want to give them up despite all the evidence that we need to.

    • AB 13.3

      Or just make use of the Northern Busway free for 6 weeks? Sure, you might overload it, or overload the carparks round the bus stations – but it may have some short-term ameliorating effect, as well as change some long-term habits. See how it goes – and if it works, make it permanent and gradually extend to all PT.

      • Sabine 13.3.1


        free public transport, or at the very least so cheap that the car is no longer a viable option. Like a dollar per ride.

      • SPC 13.3.2

        The constraint is number of buses available – they would need to hire extra buses and run a peak time level of frequency of service for a longer time period.

        • Sabine

          and that would literally not be a problem considering that many bus tour businesses that previously catered to tourists are now not working.

          We have busses, we have the drivers and chances are they would all jump at the opportunity of staying in business and keeping these jobs alive.

          We have the resources, it appears we don't have the will.

          • SPC

            The Auckland Mayor would rather have gridlock than find the money …

            • Sabine

              that is a different issue then the lack of resources.

              As i said, we have the resources, now we just need "the Will" and that could actually come from government, you know the current lot who runs the world. And they could excuse their 'interference into local government' as one of these job creating shovel ready programs, they could provide funds to make it palatable to the former Minister of Transport and Labour MP, and above all they could make it attractive to Aucklanders who could pressure their council into going along with it.

              Ahh, will – the want to change – is the only thing needed and that is what is not there, in government local and national.

              • SPC

                Sure it is more likely to be funded by central government – and possibly sold as a way to get Auckland back moving at Level 2.

            • Dennis Frank

              Could be a tipping point looming when the population of road cones in Ak passes the population of Aucks. I'm waiting for an evangelical to point out to parishioners that this divine retribution is due to Aucks voting for left/right govts that persisted in jamming the city with immigrants and not building infrastructure to match the increase.

              Could be a decent contagion effect out of that as the gnosis spreads. Too bad road cones are still unable to vote. A growing minority group, but lacking political heft. Discriminated against.

    • Pat 13.4

      "As infrastructure increases in scale and complexity, the costs of maintenance rise to equal and exceed the available economic surplus; the period of prosperity ends in political and economic failure, and infrastructure falls into ruin as its maintenance costs are no longer paid."

      'Money' is not the issue, merely a measure.

      Consider the recent calls for billions to be spent on maintaining roads that have suffered from deferred maintenance for years past, the failing 3 waters, the lack of public transport etc…all these have (and are) occurred BECAUSE we as a society cannot resource the required maintenance of the existing, let alone any additional…..it may not be recognised but catabolic collapse isnt something to worry about in the future, it is all around us.

      • Draco T Bastard 13.4.1

        occurred BECAUSE we as a society cannot resource the required maintenance of the existing

        But we could if we had a more economical model than what we use now.

        I've calculated before that if we only produced enough food for ourselves we'd free up ~150,000 workers. How many workers do we need to maintain our infrastructure? I don't know but I'm pretty sure that it would be less than 150,000. We'd probably have enough people still spare afterwards that we could have more doctors and other health workers to maintain us, more telecommunications techs, more researchers, etcetera.

        The problem we have is that our economic model, one that's been in use for thousands of years, is uneconomic.

        • Pat

          So which is it?

          "Yeah, he's wrong."


          "The problem we have is that our economic model, one that's been in use for thousands of years, is uneconomic."

          • Draco T Bastard


            We can maintain things – we just don't due to a failed economic model.

            • Pat

              lol…as Greer says the model is inherently unsustainable both statements cannot be correct.

              So you 'calculate' we can successfully maintain our infrastructure with 150,000 individuals….what will they use?

              • Draco T Bastard

                No, I calculated that we could free up 150,000 people if we dropped the amount of farming down to only feeding NZ. Those 150,000 could then be put to other uses to support and develop our society.

                They would use our resources to make what was needed such as using our iron to build tractors, and ships, and the machinery to build and maintain bridges etcetera.

                Those extra 150,000 people in farming are a waste of resources.

                And, yes, both statements can be, and are, correct.

                Due to money, people have lost sight of the economy.

                • Pat

                  and how many do you 'calculate' would be required to develop industries to produce sufficient of those items to enable that maintenance?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The same way any business prepares a quote?

                    See, you're problem is that you've just been told that it can't be done and you're believing that despite all the evidence that we actually do have the resources and people to maintain what we build. If we didn't we wouldn't have been able to build it in the first place.

                    The problem is the failed economic system that says that if we grow lots of cows then we can just buy the maintenance from other countries. This results in the over allocation of people into farming and then, when we do need the maintenance, we find that we can't buy it. That we need to provide more than just money like housing etcetera and we find that we can't do it, that we can no longer afford to maintain our infrastructure.

                    But if we hadn't over allocated our resources and people into farming then we could, quite easily, maintain our infrastructure and much else as well.

                    • Pat

                      cant 'calculate' the number huh…your problem is you have an ideology that dosnt fit the facts…we dont do those things because it is beyond our resources (uneconomic if you like)….the '150,000' farm workers' (many of whom we currently import) are not able or sufficient to create the production you attribute to them

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      cant 'calculate' the number huh…

                      It's not a question of me calculating it precisely – but showing how it could be done which I have.

                      You and the idiot Arch Druid (Really, he's on record of saying that work before industrialisation didn't leave any time for having a break) have specified that we can't.

                      we dont do those things because it is beyond our resources (uneconomic if you like)

                      That's just it – its not beyond our resources. The problem is our socio-economic system that has massively miss-allocated the resources that we do have.

                      the '150,000' farm workers' (many of whom we currently import) are not able or sufficient to create the production you attribute to them

                      Yes they are – even without the imported seasonal workers which I'm pretty sure my source didn't include – although they'll probably need to have their education ramped up. Modern production is so efficient it really doesn't use that many people:

                      Vehicle assembly ceased at the plant in 2002, but it continues as a major production site with capacity to assemble 1.4 million engines a year.

                      Following the change to only building engines it now employs around 2,000 people.

                      I don't think we need a million engines per year so maybe only hire 200.

                      We already produce over half a million tonnes of steel to build stuff from.

                    • PaddyOT []

                      When everything including creating jobs is linked to something else but until it's in your own backyard…

                      Interesting meters ticking over :-

                      Environmental impacts of Steel production.

                      " Steel production is one of the most energy-consuming and CO2 emitting industrial activities in the world.

                      The mining of iron ore ( to produce steel) is highly energy intensive and causes air pollution – and water pollution.

                      The making of steel from the mined iron ore is also highly energy demanding. Production of steel is the most energy-consuming and CO2 emitting industrial activity in the world. "


                      More of those interesting meters .. of " catabolic collapse "

                      " If you compare Earth's history to a calendar year then we (humans) have only have existed for about 37 minutes – and we have used 33% of Earth's entire natural resources in the last 0.2 seconds! "

                      79 years until rainforests are gone.

                      27 years until seafood runs out.

                      At the time of this posting over 290 million tons of hazardous waste has been discarded this year so far.


                    • Draco T Bastard

                      We don't mine iron ore in NZ and the power is mostly renewable meaning that Glenbrook's production of it has far less Co2 incorporated into it than that of other nations.

                      And, yes, the over use of resources by capitalism is thousands of years old as well.

                      We can do something about that to but only by getting rid of capitalism.

                    • Pat

                      the calculation is simple…rule of 70

                      With a maintenance rate of 3% in a little over 23 years maintenance exceeds construction…..you can apply it at any level you like, individual or societal and in any form, monetary or time.

                      something has to give.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.5

      Yeah, he's wrong.

      Its not that we produce more than we can maintain but that the rich don't want to pay to maintain it and, as their the ones in control, things don't get maintained and thus we get collapse.

    • Gabby 13.6

      Oh goody, another party invite from Gfoffloffle pending.

  13. SPC 14

    Alcohol causes more harm than marijuana, not even those voting no in the drug referendum deny that.

    The only argument put forward is that young people (teens) adversely impacted by its use, would still be adversely impacted by it should there be legal sales to adults (those over 20).

    One such admits that the only thing wrong with legalising sales to those not harmed by use of the drug is that this normalises it when teens would still be harmed by its use.

    But makes no case whatsover that normalising use by adults would have any impact on teen use.


    • Robert Guyton 14.1

      Countered by the opening up of the data and facts to scrutiny, the injection of funds into tagged health responses to "teen use", the removal of much of the secrecy and associated dishonesty and paranoia that goes with illegality – the scales will be tipped heavily in favour of a safer, healthier society.

  14. Dennis Frank 15

    Permaculture co-founder on facets of societal re-think: https://www.resilience.org/stories/2020-09-15/can-changing-habits-for-self-reliance-and-resilience-help-society-avoid-the-worst-of-unfortunate-futures/

    It is still true that most ideas to change society get a good working over in academia and policy think tanks before they surface in the mainstream media. For example, mainstream media discussion of the concept of “degrowth” is recent and introductory, even if the academic discourse and activism in this field has been intense for nearly twenty years.

    Retrosuburbia provides the patterns and models that need to be replicated across our residential heartlands to achieve a scale of impact. By replacing a fair slab of the current household consumption activity (currently about 55% of GDP in Australia) with downsized and much more efficient ways to provide basic needs in the household and community non-monetary economies, society could radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions beyond the 8% reductions resulting from the pandemic.

  15. Sabine 16

    so i had an interesting experience with the council.

    Thanks to covid the inspections of lisenced food premises now is 'remote'. Which involved in taking pictures of every delivery docket, every temperature sheet, every dairy sheet, any training documents, etc , which then needed to be downloaded, named and safed and then emailed to the 'inspector', plus a set up for a zoom meeting.

    The inspector was quite unhappy that i was the only one going along with it – and that the others put up a bit of a stink and wanting to wait for level 1 to have a physical inspection.

    Now frankly, after having spend the better part of three days, photographing hundreds of bits of papers, downloading them, saving them, attaching them to several tens of emails, i can understand. That is a loss of time, extra work no one needs.

    But i guess its the future. It all went well, no recommendations, in fact she will propose some of my Covid rules and promote these to some of the businesses that have a similar set up. She really did like my plague door. Thanks, but heck that was a lot of extra work that i could have done without.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.1

      That is a loss of time, extra work no one needs.

      For now, yes, but how would you set up to this in a permanent way?

      Think of all the things you did and what needs to change if/when it becomes the way:

      • Set up cameras in a permanent way
      • Your receipts/delivery dockets be automatically digitally saved
      • Temperatures straight to computer


      Then think about how you could use that data to make your business better.

      This, after all, is what IT is for.

  16. Sabine 17

    this is bullshit. like seriously why the fuck why?


    The rapid rise in online shopping has prompted NZ Post to lease a $100 million-plus yet-to-be-built premises the size of three rugby fields in south Auckland.

    The state-owned enterprise said the 3.3ha planned new building would be in addition to its planned new Wellington "super depot".

    why not more local depots to serve a region rather then 'super depots' that will have to be closed down because someone comes down with covid LOL and nothing happens, like literally the last lockdown 3 in AKL let to delays of weeks in some cases if not outright 'lost', and rather create a few smaller depots that could serve the regions. IF i want to send something for a customer to Taupo via post it goes to AKL first. Cause sure it does. It is actually easier for us to just drive to taupo and deliver it ourself, at least we know it will arrive.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      Local depots cost more to maintain than a large, single depot.

      That said, there should be a computer algorithm being used to determine the best places to put the depots in relation to transportation routes and minimising transportation use.

  17. Sabine 18

    and then this.


    Chief medical officer Sue Nightingale said it has severely reduced their ability to provide specialist assessments and follow up appointments.

    "Currently all new appointment requests, and appointments for patients already in the system, have been reprioritised… to ensure those in the greatest need are seen soonest."

    This process will continue for the next few weeks, and 275 appointments are likely to be affected.

    Cancer survivor Tracey Stevenson was due to see an oncologist on October 2, but her appointment at Christchurch Hospital has been cancelled.

    She had a stage-3 tumour removed in June.

    "I had a scan a few weeks ago and the radiologist told me there was a lymph node that was of concern to him, and that I'd need to be seen a little bit sooner.

    "The cancer nurse tried to get me an earlier appointment, but that wasn't able to be done."

    Stevenson was told to wait until October, but last week she got a call informing her of the cancellation.

    "They couldn't give me any indication of when I'd get a new appointment."

    The situation is particularly frightening for her, because if her cancer comes back it will most likely kill her.

    "It's very scary knowing there's potentially some cancer growing in you that's not being dealt with.

  18. Sabine 19

    and this


    can we please increase the benefits of people, can we please provide lunches for all kids, can we please stop the bullshit?

    As a nation you’re measured by how you look after your children, how you look after your elderly and how you look after your most vulnerable,” Swann said. “And if we’re not doing a good job of that, then as a nation we’re failing ourselves.”

    Those hungry mouths are not going away with more than 100 schools and early childhood centres on the waiting list, said Kidscan chief executive Julie Chapman.

    The organisation is making a push to raise money to feed those going hungry.

    “There were plenty of families struggling before the effects of Covid-19 set in, and this has only been exacerbated with incomes being reduced and some parents losing jobs altogether,” Chapman said.

    and above all can we please stop with the added insult of 'teaching the value of work' to beneficiaries who often times have jobs? Or desperatly apply for anything that comes up just to no avail, and above all

    Can we please start acknowledging that the last crisis and this current crisis has hit women the hardest? It is women who loose their jobs, and it is women who get very little to next to nothing from this current kinder and gentler government. Or is that too upsetting for the dears? Because the dears in their expensive suits n shoes are failing us.

    • Ad 19.1

      The Free School Lunches programme is under Labour being expanded to 200,000 Students.

      Announced last week.

      • Sabine 19.1.1

        well that took them three years and many articles like the one i posted today about.

        So essentially three years and many shamings late.

        Because in February 2020 they said this https://www.labour.org.nz/lunchesinschools

        Child poverty is a complex issue that's going to take time to fix, but one thing we can do straight away is to make sure kids get at least one decent meal a day.

        We have already rolled out our programme to 31 schools, delivering free and healthy lunches to 7,000 children. We’ve deliberately targeted areas that will help inform how to work differently in different contexts – from big urban primary schools to small rural area schools.

        By 2021, it’ll be rolled out to 120 schools and 20,000 students.

        now they are saying this:


        The free school lunch programme would be extended to 200,000 children by mid-2021, as announced in the Budget in May, at a cost of $220 million.

        So are we to understand that Covid cost 180.000 kids to fall into poverty, or were they simply not enough poor enough in February 2020 to be included in the budget?

        Excuse me but that just feel very cynical. An election lolly on the backs of the poorest. Say it ain't so.

        And what about the kids that will have to wait till mid 2021 – about a year to be precise – to be included. They will just have to tighten their belts or hope kids can and a teacher might drop some lunch.?

        Considering that we had this issues for the many years under National i guess we can say thanks to a global pandemic that the kids of this country – the very wretched poor ones – finally get one feed a day that they can count on. When of course the program is rolled out in their schools. YEI Covid!

      • SPC 19.1.2

        The amounts beneficiaries can earn before abatement at 70 cents in the dollar have gone up a lot. For a single person it goes from $90 to up to $160 a week and for a person with others (children) it goes up to $250 a week.

        The Training Incentive Allowance is being restored. It’s set at $113 per week.

        • Ad

          All true under Labour.

          Susan StJohn still makes good points in this area.

          • SPC

            National really dropped the ball 2008-2017 (and since), keeping the amount before abatement at $80 and $120 prevented beneficiaries getting ahead through work.

            And now more are on benefits, this extra income sans abatement is going to be vital.

            There is still a lot to do.

            1. Allowing partners to claim support for up to one year (allows people to intern or retrain).

            2. Allowing those under 25 to have UI if not in FT study or FT work. This supports the gig/casual/part-timers (reduces WINZ paperwork)

            3. Government support for divorced couples to maintain housing for children after a separation

            4. End the repayment of grants out of benefits, taking it out of paid work income as for tertiary loans. And expand this to include re-finance of debt incurred while employed.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.2

      can we please provide lunches for all kids

      And how are we going to do that when the capacity to do it doesn't exist and will take time to build?

      This is the major problem with people. They see a good idea and immediately think that it should be done now and think nothing of the physical apparatus that needs to be in place to achieve it. This results in things like this:

      The organisation is making a push to raise money to feed those going hungry.

      That's not likely to happen no matter how much money is raised because the infrastructure isn't there to do it.

      Due to money, people have lost sight of the economy.

      • Kay 19.2.1

        I think the question should be how did we even get to the point in New Zealand where we have to argue about how to feed hungry children????

        • Draco T Bastard

          We've always been at that point. Very few seem to have asked how we could feed everyone and even fewer have tried to do so. The most notable was the 1st Labour government but it only lasted a couple of decades before the stresses began to show and then only another couple before complete collapse in the 1980s.

  19. Scud, formerly known as Exkiwiforces 20

    Over the last 72hrs I’ve been trying to write a post to be submitted to The Standard, but all I can get out of my head at what happened to me at 0200Hrs some 21yrs ago with this.

    At 0200 21yrs ago, this humble working class lad from Hornby CHCH ran off back of a RAAF C130 at Dili Airport East Timor as a part of the INTERFET a Chap 7 Peacekeeping Mission. Which would turn my life upside down for ever as I wandered aimlessly around the RAAF for 18yrs before my med discharge after a horror trip back to the Sandpit.

    I’m still seeking answers at why humanity & politics of both left & right could allow this to happen? Ever today most people couldn’t give a rats ass about West Papua including those on left who supported the founding father of Modern day Indonesia annexation of West Papua from the Dutch & in NZ the current state of the NZDF if had to mount similar Chap7 Mission to West Papua or the NZ Timor-Leste Veterans especially my mate’s who were in both NZ Batt1 &2 Battle Group who are still struggling today.

    Both the NZ Greens and NZ Labour refuse to discuss the NZDF lessons learnt from Timor-Leste even when Ron Mark drags them into reality but they still scream about the cost at equipping & the rising, training and more importantly sustaining the NZDF for UN Peacekeeping Missions or the long term reality of CC trends and finally the ongoing effects of NZ Veterans expose to the Peacekeeping Missions or in the Gan?

    i was hoping to add some pictures of before during and after of me so everyone could see the psychological & psychical changes to me from the NZ Army days through to the RAAF Ground Defence days and to my current situation post discharge.

    • SPC 20.1

      Is there much talk in Oz of any UN Peacekeeping move into West Papua?

      • Scud 20.1.1

        Unfortunately it’s unlikely to happen anytime soon and probably not in my or your lifetime due the Australian- Indonesian Lombok Treaty. Also Australia is chasing a FTA with Indonesian as well. So the sods in West Papua are going to be hung out to dry if Indonesian can achieve it. Unfortunately there will be little that NZ can do either via Diplomatic or by Military means apart from waffle, fluff & BS at various international meetings or at a local.

        • SPC

          Not surprising from those in Oz – these are the first world nation people who block East Timor access to mineral rights to resources in their economic zone.

          For others a backgrounder.


          • Scud

            What really gives me the shits about West Papua from my left wing POV is people like Marie who supported the Indonesia annexation of Dutch West Papua in the 60's when the founding Father of Indonesia was a socialist/communist and who also booted out the Dutch post WW2.

            There is a enough evidence to suggest that the Dutch were planning to return West Papua to PNG when Australia under a Labour Government would grant PNG its independence which did happen in 75. But the Dutch hand was forced under the then POTUS JKF as a means of stopping Indonesia from coming a Communist/ Socialist Country in SEA. While at the same time forcing the Brits, Oz, NZ and the Dutch to stay out of it, needless to say against all advice from it Allies who hand a better understanding at what was happening on the ground especially during the Confrontation.

    • Dennis Frank 20.2

      Dunno, but I do empathise, so I'll guess. Both the NZ Greens and NZ Labour refuse to discuss the NZDF lessons learnt from Timor-Leste due to having higher priorities.

      PTSD? If so, does it get diagnosed by the military nowadays? I would agree to taxpayer-funded treatment – does that already happen to suffering soldiers?

      Peacekeeping is trad leftist idealism. I know that because I had to operate as peacemaker in civil society somewhat when young due to fighting being the norm, then make love not war came along & got traction, but the quakers had been standing for peace amongst the mainstream long previously (until Nixon destroyed them from within), and mustn't forget Archie Baxter & the torture of conscientious objectors to war in WWI. So leftist politicos are big on peace as a basis of civilisation, but could be they are insufficiently practical re managing the consequences, eh?

      • Scud 20.2.1

        The problem i have with the NZ Greens & Labour is that they still fail to recognise or understand just how close we came to an all out shooting war with the TNI and the INTERFET Mission was the biggest NZDF Deployment probably since J Force or WW2. Where the NZ Army did an over the Beach Landing at Suai since the 3rd NZ Div in the Solly's during WW2. This over the beach landing by NZBATT1 went tits up, while at the same time the RNZN Type 12 Frigate the Canterbury was actively pursuing a TNI Sub inside Timor- Leste's water near Suai. NZ was very lucky that the TNI didn't decide to make a point against NZ and sooner or later the law of military averages will come home to roost with NZ.

        Because NZ's politicians are all talk, but no actions when it comes to Peacekeeping or providing the necessary capital adequately equip the NZDF to Raise, Train and Sustain a Peacekeeping Force like the one that the NZ Deployed to Timor- Leste unlike the Australian Government who heavily invested in the ADF and the Lessons Learnt by the ADF which a massive investment in Airlift, Sealift capabilities, two extra Infantry Battalion Groups and investment in the Army's Rotay Wing units including Gunship attack Helicopters since the NZG decided to disband its Maritime Strike/ Close Air Support Wing.

        Mental Health of Veterans is the biggest cost to the Government be it PTSD, Moral Trauma from Peacekeeping or HADR Missions and sometimes members do not get diagnosed until they have the forces or in some cases booted out for discipline reasons. Before we even start talking about other injuries that have happen during Peacetime Training or on Operations. Most Veterans don't trust their Government to look after them because the Politicians are all talk no action and will do anything to avoid or cut cost to Veterans welfare just they do to the NZDF with equipment upgrades, cuts to Capabilities also with poor pay & conditions etc.

        Yes there is a big disconnect from the left and our so-called leftest politicians IRT the theoretical side of Peacekeeping and the what actually happens on the ground. This is not entirely new either as we have seen in Bosnia, Rwanda and even as far back as the Congo in the 60's. And yet you would think by now politicians and the public of all stripes and colours would understand this by now, but us poor sods in the Military are constantly having to re-learnt lessons learnt because our stupid politicians and public refuse to fund an adequate NZDF to Raise, Train & Sustain Peacekeeping which also flows onto the Veterans health/ Welfare cost needs into the future.

        • Dennis Frank

          Okay, I get the picture. Thanks for that description. My diagnosis: you're right, almost certainly, but what we lack is politicos with your field experience. Particularly those who, like you, can deduce general principles from particular situations. Situation won't change unless such folk enter politics, eh?

          • Scud

            Well NZ Labour won't have me back as i'm too working class for them aka too left wing for social, economic issues and too right wing on defence issues including the use of Lethal Force to enforce the Southern Ocean and enforcing NZ EEZ IRT to overseas fishing boats conduction illegal fishing.

            I probably won't last 5mins in the Greens because of the Locke Family and their fellow travellers. I should vote Green, but because of the Locke's and their Defence Policy i don't. For the record and disclosure reasons i've voted Labour & NZF in that order.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.3

      Greens Defence Policy:

      Veterans should receive adequate, fair, and appropriate support. This includes income support, and treatment and compensation for injuries, psychological and emotional health problems, and occupational diseases.

      Full document.

      The Greens defence policy is a hell of a lot better than it used to be. Not perfect, still got too many ideologues getting the way, but a hell of a lot better and seems to be based upon actual facts and the world situation (except the bit (3.1) about not searching for submarines, I mean, really, WTF?).

      • Scud 20.3.1

        But Gorlz did SFA in pushing NZ Greens Veterans policies through this term with Ronnie! Heck even Ronnie does like almost of the NZ Greens Veterans Policy. So what the F*** was Gorlz doing FFS, well she was bitching about the P3 replacement, the C130 replacement, the Dive Ship replacement. Then banging on about the future cost of the two landing ships and the future Southern Ocean Patrol Vessel without realising that Ronnie is trying to future proof the NZDF IRT to CC and CC related events including possible wars/ conflicts if plan A fails or plan B fails. All this is also on top of the NZDF current NZG madated tasks that has to fulfil atm as CC adds another layer of complexity because politicians at or levels of govenment including other issue motivated groups and sections of the public refuse to believe in the science of CC.

        The Anti Sub Warfare of the NZGreens is just dumb and stupid. Considering NZ had Jap and German Subs operate in its waters during WW2, NZ economy aka its exports and imports are heavily reliant of international shipping routes aka freedom of navigation on the open seas (FONOS) for its economic wealth and finally the TNI Submarine activities during INTERFET which was under a Chap7 UN Peacekeeping Mandate.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I did say it was better, not perfect. That was not their policy going in last term which was pretty much three paragraphs on how they were going to gut the defence forces completely.

          I think the Green Caucus has learned a lot about what our defence forces need but they still answer to the party membership and there's too many members who believe that we don't need a defence force at all. And, yes, it is better that caucus answers to the members but we need caucus to now inform the members as to why we need a capable defence force that we look after and then have a discussion about it.

          Politics, unfortunately, takes time.

          As for 3.2 and the policy against installing sub-hunting gear in our aircraft, IMO, that looks like someone's pet peeve that's been installed into the policy without anyone really understanding it as, in 2.5, the policy says this:

          Ensure that Aotearoa New Zealand has sufficient maritime surveillance capabilities, including airplanes, to properly monitor the waters around New Zealand, and to assist South Pacific island states.

          Which 3.2 completely contradicts. To properly monitor the seas around NZ requires the anti-submarine capability.

          • Scud


            My apologies for my reply yesterday even after 21 odd yrs, the events of East Timor and Lenny's death 20 odd yrs ago are still raw and its like it happen only yesterday. Trying to write up a post for The Standard is bloody hard for me because i find it to keep my emotions under control which effect my ability to keep a fair and balance post.

            It one of the reasons why avoid social policy issues, because of what happen to our family in the 90's under the National Government.

            Anyway back to tropic, i also see the NZ Greens have drop their opposition to purpose design Amphibious Landing Ship. Obvious someone or persons have read the Coles Report into the L421 Canterbury and the issues with the 2 OPV's which are no long fit for purpose in the South Ocean.

            It will be interesting to see what happens after this election as the next 3-4 major capital equipment items that need to brought are going to be:-

            The New Southern Ocean Patrol Vessel a cost of anywhere from $300m-$600m

            The first of the 2 Landing Ships with a docking well a cost of anywhere from $300m- $600m

            New Ship borne Helicopters these won't come cheap either probably nudging the $1B plus mark

            Long Range Aerial UAV's again these are not cheap either because of the intial start up costs involved like the start ups with the P8's.

    • Treetop 20.4

      You are not responsible for political decisions when on a deployment. You followed orders due to your youth and being in the defence force trying to make a difference.

      It is always differcult when the desired outcome of a peace keeping mission or combat is not met. From time to time I think of the young men who fought in Vietnam because of the politicians who sent them there.

      Those in the NZDF need to be looked after better than they are when on deployment and when no longer in service.

      • greywarshark 20.4.1

        If Scud is trying to get a post together on the subject for The Standard could any of you knowledgeable people here assist if there are technical aspects needing advice? Could someone offer in case that is holding him up?

        • Scud

          Sorry Grey,

          It's more to with my Mental Health as even after 21 odd yrs, the events of East Timor and Lenny's death 20 odd yrs ago are still raw and its like it happen only yesterday. Trying to write up a post for The Standard is bloody hard for me because i find it to keep my emotions under control which effect my ability to keep a fair and balance post.

          I've a got of ideals for two posts, one the Next 4yrs NZMoD/ NZDF policy advice which has some interesting bits from CC, Covid19 and Hybrid warfare/ Non State Actors etc.

          The other is a Book probably the best read this yr and no its not to with Defence and it also explains why i got miss diagnosed with a funky tropical vector borne diseased that i picked up in East Timor during INTERFET which wasn't probably diagnosed in late 07-08

      • Scud 20.4.2

        Yes and that's how my mate got killed in action 20 odd yrs ago in East Timorhttps://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-24-07-2020/#comment-1733871 because the stupid c***s in the Labour/ Alliance Government change the NZBATT2 ROE and OFOF against the wishes of the NZDF HQ, BATT2 CO, ANZAC Brigade HQ in the Border Region, NZ's Senior Officer and UN Military HQ in Timor Leste. All Because the of stupidity and arrogance of their political ideology of what Peacekeeping should be as they believe the ROE's and OFOF was too Gung Ho for their liking.

        After Lenny was KIA the NZBATT2's ROE and OFOF was changed back to the original set. Also the deep cuts to the NZDF during the 90's also played a part as well as those of us who were a part 3 Land Force Group the Sth Is would know our training budget was to cut by 80-90% in order to keep the RF in 2LFG at some sort of readiness.

        Even the 8mths of training for NZBATT2 couldn't make up for the lost yrs of the 90's for both the RF units/personal or the South Is TF units/personal who deployed to ET in 2000. Alot of old hands have said it was probably the most poor trained formed body of troops leave NZ Shores since WW2 and we all point the fingers at the NZ Politicians Post Cold War aka 1991 onwards and their various travellers from either side of the political spectrum who want cuts to the NZDF.

        • Treetop

          Where there is organisational failure this needs to be addressed.

          The Abuse into Care Royal Commission of Inquiry is at its most important phase.

          The Limitations Act is not fit for purpose when it comes to an historical abuse case. The now adults who were then the abused children are being silenced again due to the Limitations Act time having run out for action to be taken against those who are responsible for covering up the offending.

          I want to see everyone affected by trauma to be able to be processed with fit for purpose legislation. This would enable people to be processed without unnecessary delays and a verbal fight which just drains a person who is already drained.

          I no longer waste my energy having anger for the thick bastards who should know better. I try to stay strong one day at a time. I have my numb days and I go for long walks.

          • Scud

            Thank you for the sound advice Treetop, even after 21 odd yrs, the events of East Timor and Lenny's death 20 odd yrs ago are still raw and its like it happen only yesterday. Trying to write up a post for The Standard is bloody hard for me because i find it to keep my emotions under control which effect my ability to keep a fair and balance post.

            I usual try and spend time outside working, but our Nth'ern Wet Season rains and the resulting humidity have come two mths early than normal (this time last yr we had 3 massive running bush fires where i was involved with one of those fires) bloody CC.

            I usually head off and spend time building my 1/700 model ships in my man cave while listening to ABC Classical Radio until the my Cricket of Cricket starts on ABC Sport Grandstand which sort've keeps me grounded.

            Like you from the sounds of it, we both hate the today's modern political class who will not resigned from office unless they are pushed if they did something or acted against advice of their Portfolio Advisors and later to be find in the wrong when it all goes to shit.

            • greywarshark

              Have you looked into the aboriginal way of burning off to protect against bush fires? It sounds just odd enough to be the right thing to do, because it is so different to whatever the norm is. And there were people with standing buildings not affected by the fires who swear by it.

        • greywarshark

          Sounds like you were between a rock and a hard place. The pollies making noises for the benefit of sensitive voters, but also placating our so-called allies; not easy, but you deserved to be readied and backed with effective resources.

          That reminds me I have a copy of Peter Winter's book on NZ in Crete and what he thought about taking part in the defence of it against superior German offensive. Very critical of our Forces leaders and was too hot to publish for a while. He thought that if the general involved and leaders had been better in touch with the troops, they could have been more effective with fewer casualties. They were not well-led. So good luck with your book and recollections. The advice from people who have had trauma is that as you write, the emotion connected is felt again but then lessened, and sort of goes into the words on the page and out of your mind. So a little bit at a time, and perhaps some tears on the way, will ease the weight of the memories when you have set it all down.

          I have bought some interesting books lately about past wars, and they make compelling reading. So I hope you can keep up with yours, we get more out of the ones from individuals and researchers, than the recitations in the official histories.

  20. On the RNZ politics discussion just now Trish Sherson made the observation that Jacinda can never claim that Labour is a transformational government after its timid, safety-first policy announcements to date in the campaign.

    To her credit (because she speaks from the Right) Sherson praised the Greens for a series of green and anti-poverty policies that much better fit the transformational label. She mentioned the Ocean policy just released.

    Agree 100%. Well worth a listen (RNZ at 11.05 today).

    • Gabby 21.1

      She'll be disappointed that Labour haven't driven a chunk of voters into the cold embrace of the right, by announcing dancing cossack policies.

    • Ad 21.2

      Labour are eating the National, Green, and NZFirst vote.

      Plus the right is splintering.

      Trish can stick it in her ear.

      National can try again in 2026… if its convincing

      • mac1 21.2.1

        "Flowers of Scotland" comes to mind for me when I think of what the coming election result might well mean for National.

        "And sent them homeward
        Tae think again."

        That is what National needs. To think again. To develop and encourage a moral and ethically based set of political belief, policies and candidates.

        Power for its own sake attracts the wrong sort, as we have seen them select time and again.

        • Draco T Bastard

          That is what National needs. To think again. To develop and encourage a moral and ethically based set of political belief, policies and candidates.

          Can't happen as National is immoral and ethically deficient. They are the embodiment of power for its own sake.

        • karol121

          "encourage a moral and ethically based set of political belief(s), policies and candidates"

          Moral and ethical and (or versus) the National Party of New Zealand

          You what? Get away with y', my laddy.

          They need that like a hole in the head!

          But all the same, I have found no reference which affirmatively states that the National Party of NZ are vehemently opposed to morals and ethics in politics, it is just that they don’t really wish to make mention of them too often.

          I would think that they might be used sparingly by National, but only if and when absolutely necessary.

          After all, they wouldn't wish to be seen as attempting to drastically alter their core identity.

          I guest they've still got some chance of insinuating that that have a few morals and ethics to throw here and there from time to time, but they need to be very careful. Using such tools as ethics could be very dangerous for them, especially if incorrectly applied.

          Like any addict, they've got to really want to change their behavior pattern so as to adopt political morality and ethics, but where would be the incentive for the National Party of New Zealand to want to change?

          It gets a lot of support from many shit bags.

          Hell, I'd even vote for them if I believed that it would be lucrative enough for me to make it worth my while.

          This probably reflects how many of their supporters feel.

  21. Stephen D 22

    Major tax increases or new taxes appear to be off the table. The government still needs to reduce inequality.

    So they are raising the minimum wage and will implement Fair Pay agreements. If you can't take it from the top, add it onto the bottom!

  22. RedBaronCV 23

    My least favourite whingers. "Our yachts need to escape French Polynesia's pretty much non existent cyclones."

    Radio NZ is not really providing balanced news here. Why are they not pushing back on the one sided aspect of this? They should be asking( apart from the cyclones)

    – Is someone paying this bloke?

    – are only members of his club to be allowed in?

    – If there is a more general exemption what is to stop masses of yachts from say Hawaii California and other states from setting sail to NZ and how on earth would we control that.

    -if they are really rich or very large why do they not sail for home/put their yacht on a container ship to take it home.

    Really this is starting to feel very close to fake news.


    • Draco T Bastard 23.1

      It's the ZOMG, the rich have been inconvenienced, please save them which is par for the course in the MSM.

    • Ad 23.2

      Hundreds of workers in marine refits needed those boats here.

      It was the uplift in business they desperately needed.

      • SPC 23.2.1

        There are boats coming here for a refit. They make a business case.

        • Ad

          You have no idea what you are talking about.

          You probably don't even know the names of the agencies they need to deal with.

          You're just part of the moronic left that sees whole employment sectors destroyed through the pandemic and celebrates it.

          • greywarshark

            What abart the workers then. How many workers? And are you suggesting that we go on selling off bits of NZ at a cost to us all? It isn't moronic to note that there is likely to be a hole in the dyke, as we let in some comfortably off, setting a precedent for others. Letting in more and more wealthy who will cause costs to our health services and our disease control over the country, introducing arrogant, self-centred people who don't give a stuff for us apart from some public gesture to appear concerned.

          • SPC

            Ad knows everything and all about everyone. All hail Ad.

            Personal ad hominem from someone in position of power is an abuse of power.

    • Gabby 23.3

      Are they some kind of travelling boat party?

    • RedLogix 23.4

      Sorry but you really have the wrong end of the stick on this. The large majority of people in these yachts are ordinary middle class folk who have swapped a life onshore for one on the sea. Their boat is their home. It may look like an expensive toy to you, but in reality it's small complex machine that provides it's own shelter, transport, power, utilities for a family. But overall it's price is not dissimilar to the home they might have if they lived on land. Often cheaper.

      All the communal services you take for granted by living onshore, these people provide for themselves in their own independent home. They have some good times, but there is a lot of hard work involved as well. It's a different life to the one most of us are accustomed to, but on the whole it's neither more or less privileged than most others in the developed world.

      The really wealthy types on superyachts are able to pay to solve any COVID related problems so they aren't the concern here. But yachties are a very diverse community, and most only just balance their budget each year.

      There has only been one documented death among the entire global sailing community I'm aware of, and that was in South Africa. By and large these people are responsible, risk averse, generally healthy people who will follow the rules wherever possible. They generally get plenty of sunshine and Vit D. After a 7 – 10 day passage on a small vessel with only 2 -8 people on board, either everyone has caught COVID or none at all. It's a trivial matter to require them to quarantine once they arrive in Opua on board for another week and undergo a couple of tests.

      And while FP may not have a lot of cyclones at the moment, marine insurance policies usually require the boat to outside of the tropical zones during the season. This is a pretty big deal for most boat owners.

      Someone in the Ministry is being stupidly political on this one.

      • greywarshark 23.4.1

        Correction – Someone in the Ministry is being stupidly wisely political on this one.

      • RedBaronCV 23.4.2

        FP rarely has cyclones and parts of the islands are never hit.A quick google will explain. It's a 21 day passage now which has a number of dangers as they can't island hop – because islands are closed. And would you want to develop covid en route? And we get cyclones here and in Australia sometimes too.

        But my point remains – these people are in no particular danger now or in the next six months( insurance isn't really our issue or coverage could be extended by extra premiums-use that and anyone paying health insurance could make a case for coming here) so they have no need to make the passage. And the MSM can stop beating it up

        And how would we control this? Only members of the club that can be joined for 50 pounds? How would we know that an influx would not come from WCNA or Hawaii or somewhere to take advantage of this – just staging through FP.

        And if the issue is visa expiry in FP them maybe the problem is Boris dropping out of the EU or something else – but we should not have to make up that gap.

        • RedLogix

          I have to wonder at the motivation behind your objection here. This is a relatively small group of people, who can be easily managed with a booking and quarantine system, and who have compelling reasons to get to NZ. They represent a miniscule risk on any objective scale, and they traditionally bring a steady flow of good business to the local industry.

          Yet because they're perceived to be 'rich pricks' the reflexive left wing response is to fuck them over if at all possible. Pathetic.

          • Poission

            and who have compelling reasons to get to NZ.

            What reasons ?

            Safety is not one of them as the risk of cyclones decrease in FP in a La nina phase


            • RedLogix

              You aren't out there with your home and family at risk.

              • RedBaronCV

                Nor are they

                • RedLogix

                  You really have no clue on this. Sailing people all over the world have been treated appallingly by many countries during this crisis, and you seem determined to add NZ to that list of shame.

                  Again this is a limited group of people who represent a very low risk. The only possible motivation to keep the out of NZ at this time is based in a certain mean spirited resentment of people you perceive as rich pricks. I’m quite certain of this, there really is no other obvious explanation.

                • RedLogix

                  And are you absolutely guaranteeing there will be no cyclones in FP this year? Because any small boats caught in a bad one will stand no chance.

                  • RedBaronCV

                    Long term weather data shows that the bottom half of FP does not get hit with cyclones. There are 5 island groups. NZ also gets hit with cyclones and hurricanes. Do you want to guarantee that will not happen here? Thought not. But hey these are weather facts readily available.

                    My point is the MSM should stop promoting an essentially fake narrative – that NZ is going to let people be at the mercy of killer cyclones – when statistically it may be a lot riskier for them to undertake a 21 day blue water passage and we should not encourage such irresponsibility. Imagine going down with covid en route. A severe bout on land would be close to a death sentence at sea.

                    Plus the articles I have read do not say it is a small group. And I see a lot of potential for this group to be increased by loophole seekers.

                    At this point I'll agree to differ. The facts available don't support the MSM narrative. NZ is correct to not see this as compelling reasons to take people from FP.

                    As to the rich pricks comment see below- that seems to exist only with you. This is about having a compelling need to come here.

                    • RedLogix

                      when statistically it may be a lot riskier for them to undertake a 21 day blue water passage and we should not encourage such irresponsibility.

                      They've already done a passage of similar length to get to FP from say the Galapagos any how. It's what they're set up to do.

                      As for coming down with COVID enroute, that's exceedingly unlikely. They're probably as a age group more at risk from heart attacks and stroke. This is a risk they assume and manage voluntarily every time they go to sea.

                      And managing 'loopholers' is trivial, just implement a booking and permit system. Anyone who arrives without permission would face substantial penalties. I really don't see this as a problem; they are a bone fide group of people who are all well known to each other, anyone trying to free ride the exemption would be called out real fast.

                      As for your insistence that FP is some kind of hurricane free zone; I’ve checked in the past hour with a more experienced friend … he just laughed.

          • RedBaronCV

            I'm actually not saying they are rich pricks – as Poisson says they don't have compelling safety reasons and the length of passage from FP has its own downsides. So the MSM could report that accurately which is my main beef.

            But this small (?) group would have the potential to be an exploitable loophole whereby FP suddenly acquires a boatload of people coming from all over the place then on to NZ.

            The rich pricks seem to be holed up in Fiji's blue lanes initiatives. But I don't doubt that if exemptions were given they would be down here in a heartbeat.

          • greywarshark

            I think your thinking tends to be linear Red Logix. They are rich enough to have a boat and please themselves. I know that the wealthy can always find people with more money than themselves to compare with, so they can say we're not rich. But the broad mass of people in NZ have limited funds, and everyone at the top has to start expecting the world on a plate.

            There is a shrinking of what is there to go round, and a continual expanding of old people wanting their share and a bit of others' as well. Plus the natural increase even in countries with diminishing population rates. So we all have to grow a little to match the lessening of our opportunities.

            • RedLogix

              They are rich enough to have a boat and please themselves.

              There … the stinking resentment of anyone doing better than yourself.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                RL, genuinely don't envy any of them myself – no "stinking resentment" here.

                And if you got "stinking resentment" from greywarshark's quoted comment, then your threshold of detection for "stinking resentment" is set too low, IMHO – but whatever floats your boat wink

                • RedLogix

                  I've been around here long enough to see people swearing blind they don't 'envy the rich', yet over and over it's the only rational explanation for their behaviour.

                  Again yachties are a very mixed bunch, and only a small handful would qualify as the 'super rich'. Most are ordinary people who have just swapped a life on land for one on water with pretty similar budgets. The cost of the boat is usually less than the cost of the house they no longer live in. It looks like an expensive toy to the lefties here, it isn't, it's their home.

                  But it was a way of life that was predicated on relatively easy movement between nations, and that has been understandably curtailed for a period. But hurricane season is another force of nature that doesn't wait around either and small chance or not, getting caught in one is catastrophic for them.

                  NZ cannot seal itself off from the world forever, the lockdowns and travel bans were temporary measures to buy us time to organise other defenses in depth. Nine months later we're much better at tracking and treating COVID now, and managing a few hundred yachties who represent a trivial risk, is well within our capacity.

                  As pointed out above, it's a three week passage from FP (which is well within their capacity) and this alone ensures quarantine on a small boat. And while the risk of cyclones in FP is not high, it's not damn zero either.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    "I've been around here long enough to see people swearing blind they don't 'envy the rich', yet over and over it's the only rational explanation for their behaviour."

                    RL, hope that doesn’t include me, although if you are then it would be interesting to know what behaviour(s) gave me away smiley

                    We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are

                    Regarding the yatchies, if they’re NZ citizens or permanent residents then personally I would have a problem with them making arrangements to come home, as long as they’re happy to go through managed isolation on arrival, just like everyone else.

                    • RedLogix

                      What I'm seeing here is people looking at all the yachts in marinas and thinking 'rich pricks', and then lazily generalises this to anyone who has a boat.

                      For a typical sailing family on a monohull the boat will be worth around NZ$200-400k, double that for a catamaran. This is probably less than a house they might live in. Their costs are going to be in the NZ$30-80k pa range. Many work very hard in all sorts of ways to make it work. Again these are fairly middle class numbers, nothing all that startling.

                      What baffles me is that the left doesn't seem to know what it wants. On one had we claim to advocate for the poor and vulnerable and argue that poverty is a bad thing. Yet when people DO escape poverty and make it into the middle class, we treat them as entitled rich pricks to be sneered at and fucked over whenever possible.

                      Sure we can reduce inequality by making everyone equally poor, but that's a trivial solution. Anyone with a destructive bent can achieve that. I've always held that it's far more interesting to see just how prosperous and flourishing we could make everyone, and each according to their unique temperament, interests and capacity.

                      A month back I met a couple who had been caught at sea in the worst of the SE Asian lockdowns at the beginning of the COVID crisis. They got bounced from place to place around SE Asia with diminishing resources until they finally made it to Darwin after 73 days at sea with literally no water or food left on board. Crazy story. NZ doesn't need to be on the same shameful list of countries whose bureaucrats found it easier to say 'no' than to apply some basic common sense.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      "What I'm seeing here…" – and why do you think you're seeing that?

                      "Yet when people DO escape poverty and make it into the middle class, we treat them as entitled rich pricks to be sneered at and fucked over whenever possible."

                      "Fucked over"? Maybe you've discovered 'Entitled Rich Pricks Delusion Syndrome' – come one (NZ citizen or resident), come all, poor or rich; just don't expect preferential treatment.

                      Must be especially tough to be “a rich prick” in a global pandemic.

                    • RedLogix

                      @gw 10:18am

                      There are so many bad assumptions embedded in that comment I really don't know where to begin.

                      Up until February this year many people lived perfectly legitimate lives based on the perfectly reasonable presumption that they could travel between countries. For the past nine months this has been disrupted and everyone understands why. Yet it comes at a real cost for the many people whose lives were arranged around that freedom of travel. People who have commitments in multiple countries are being affected in all sorts of ways, and for the most part we're just putting up with it and hoping for the best.

                      For example, I'm in the awkward position of needing to be in NZ to apply for NZ Super, but if I do I cannot get back to my life here in Australia. So I'm just having to forgo it for the time being. You probably think of me as some kind of middle class rich prick, but yesterday I worked 20 hours as a deckhand doing a very unglam job in a marine setting. It's what I'm doing to get through.

                      But the COVID restrictions are not going to be permanent and sooner or later we are going to start unwinding them in a controlled fashion. These yachties are caught in a problem not of their own making and I really can see no good reason to keep making it worse for them.

                      Other than 'lets just fuck them over because they're rich pricks and COVID gives us a bit of moral authority to do so'.

                    • RedLogix


                      Must be especially tough to be “a rich prick” in a global pandemic.

                      So I'm still not getting the motives here. Why the insistence that these people must be kept out?

                      It's not the risk of COVID, that's tiny and completely manageable. It's almost certainly less than the risk of ordinary returnees arriving by plane.

                      So what is it?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      @ RL – already said I wouldn't have a problem (apart from the typo – that's my problem) with citizens and permanent residents returning home to NZ, subject to managed isolation/quarantine capacity constraints. They can fly, sail, canoe or swim for all I care, and I wish them all well – just go through the standard processing on entry into NZ in these unusual and uncertain times.

                      If they're not NZ citizens or permanent residents, then they should also go through the usual channels, no? I'm not understanding why they should be treated any differently because of their (perfectly valid) lifestyle choices. We've already had a few too many 'visitor exceptions' IMHO. I’d prefer not to make exceptions, even for ‘poors‘.

                      Brisbane’s (~2800 km) not much further from Fiji than Auckland (~2100 km), so that’s always an option too.

                    • RedLogix

                      I'm not understanding why they should be treated any differently because of their (perfectly valid) lifestyle choices.

                      Probably because you don't understand living at sea much.

                      All they are asking is to be allowed to arrive in NZ as they committed to do a year ago, and undergo all the required entry procedures as necessary. It’s not hard, it’s not risky, and I still cannot see the motivation to say no.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Hm, what's the "motivation" for denying entry into NZ now? Good question. What's the Aussie government's own position on the issue?

                      I don’t understand living at sea at all – my personal puzzlement is likely due to being susceptible to very unpleasant bouts of sea-sickness. Still cannot understand why 'yachties' should be entitled to priority entry over other non-residents simply because of their lifestyle choices/plans. If they're currently suffering significant hardship and/or risk (as opposed to inconvenience), then that's another matter and certainly deserves consideration on a case-by-case basis. But open slather? No way, IMHO. Still, money talks – watch this space.

                      I think it is absolutely necessary for all of these islands to open up to yachties. Most of us to have money to spend, we have boat projects to do and we bring some revenue to the economy that otherwise in a time of COVID-19 you're not getting.

                    • SPC

                      People who have commitments in multiple countries are being affected in all sorts of ways, and for the most part we're just putting up with it and hoping for the best.

                      For example, I'm in the awkward position of needing to be in NZ to apply for NZ Super, but if I do I cannot get back to my life here in Australia. So I'm just having to forgo it for the time being.

                      I presume this covers your circumstance.


                      You should write to an MP/Minister, and ask for some exemption from return from Oz to claim (for the duration of the MI regime).

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Oops – that should read "wouldn't have a problem"; my bad.

                    • greywarshark

                      Caring and reciprocity are words that should be in our NZ template for what we want and expect of 'citizens'. RL wants us to be caring about people who aren't citizens. We also don't expect reciprocity from them except the laws of the sea when they are at sea.

                      A pleasant life for them, but freedom comes with a cost. No-one has forced them out of their country have they? They aren't boat people. Let them offer enough money for a haven in Australia which is primarily interested in that, and they can have their RandR there, instead of us being told by you RL to include them in what needs to be a nation under the aegis of CandR. You have a yacht RL, have friends with that lifestyle?

                  • SPC

                    Look at it from the other way, they would be one of the very few groups who would not be adversely impacted if we did let them in.

                    Consider the refugees who are not getting any settlement any time soon, for example.

                    I get the middle class people suffering hardship empathy, even Collins has it for farmers, those with jobs and rental properties.

                    Garner taking their side did them no good, he earlier wanted borders closed to those returning or people paying for their managed isolation – and they were fellow citizens/residents. Why the empathy for this group?

                    • SPC

                      At the moment, our approach is locals first and the business case in relation to others.

                      For yachties – its this.


                    • RedLogix

                      The ground has shifted. Six months ago it made sense to keep the borders as tight as possible; now we know a lot more about treating and managing this disease. We know how to run quarantine (originally a marine idea of course) effectively.

                      There is no special virtue in keeping the world out indefinitely, we have to start opening up in a controlled and gradual fashion.

                      they would be one of the very few groups who would not be adversely impacted if we did let them in.

                      As for this group … well as has been said over and again … the seasons are not going to wait. It’s a bad assumption on your part to think they are not being adversely affected.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      @ RL – despite now knowing "a lot more about treating and managing this disease", globally the number of active Covid-19 infections (currently ~7.5 million, i.e. 1 in every 1,000) continues to rise.

                      I have no opinion on whether there is a "special virtue in keeping the world out indefinitely", but the idea that "we have to start opening up in a controlled and gradual fashion" is not a new one. Personally I would prefer that the global number of active Covid-19 cases was at least stable before NZ opened up, so it's too soon to open up, IMHO.

                    • RedLogix


                      Well most yachties who arrive here from the Pacific spend a reasonable amount with the local marine industry. It's not massive overall, but it's important to those businesses that depend on it for continutity.

                      NZ does have an innovative and thriving marine industry, there is a good business case to help it wherever it's reasonable to do so. Ad made this point more forcefully earlier.

                      What I see happening here is some on the left exploiting COVID as a reason to impose their own agenda in ways that I see as mean spirited and ungenerous. There is nothing virtuous about the lockdowns and travel bans except that they bought us some time to learn how to live with this virus long term.

                    • RedLogix


                      Personally I would prefer that the global number of active Covid-19 cases was at least stable before NZ opened up, so it's too soon to open up, IMHO.

                      At the same time the case fatality rate is dropping. John Campbell has been reporting this for weeks; it's quite a remarkable turnaround.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      @ RL – the Covid-19 case fatality rate may be decreasing, but because the global number of active cases is increasing the daily tally of Covid-19 deaths remains stubbornly stable, and really quite high somewhere north of 5,000 per day (7-day moving average).

                      It's purely arbitrary, but I'd prefer that daily Covid-19 deaths dropped below 50% of the April 18 peak (7,063 deaths per day, 7-day moving average) before NZ made the call to ‘open up‘, and that would probably still be too soon tbh.


                    • RedLogix

                      Well that is kind of my point, overall this pandemic is not racing out of control and I believe we are now closer to the end of it than the beginning.

                      And just to put this into perspective, some 150,000 people die each day from all causes in all countries.

                      I'm not minimising this. Six months ago we really had no idea how COVID was going to play out as a pandemic. And with so many gross fumbles and mistakes being made it looked bad. Well the good news is that collectively humanity seems to have muddled it's way through to some sort of stable place where, while COVID remains a real problem, it isn't going to sycthe through hundreds of millions of people as the initial data suggested it could.

                      NZ has certainly done remarkably well in keeping it bay, but now we face a new challenge in how to manage in a world where COVID is going to be endemic for some time to come. Locking the borders forever is not the solution.

                    • SPC

                      they would be one of the very few groups who would not be adversely impacted if we did let them in.

                      As for this group … well as has been said over and again … the seasons are not going to wait. It’s a bad assumption on your part to think they are not being adversely affected.

                      What assumption? I said, if we let them in they would be one of the few groups in the world not adversely affected.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      "I believe we are now closer to the end of it than the beginning."

                      Your belief is not infectious, and is a poor response to a global pandemic. IMHO we will not be "closer to the end than the beginning" of this pandemic until the global number of active cases begins to decline.

                      We might be close to that turn around, and then again we might not – after all, officially only ~0.4% of the global population have been infected so far, compared to an estimated one-third of the world’s population being infected by the 1918 ‘Spanish’ flu pandemic.

                    • SPC

                      As to the business case for letting them in. We are balancing the economic return with the risk.

                      There are some yachts being allowed in now – based on the economic return. There are the 10% places in MI allocated for skilled workers.

                      The political problem here is possibly this is the case most like the alternative private arrangements (arrival without government organised MI) sought by some businesses (tourist lodges/universities/horticultural companies and for profit tourism Air N B etc) – they would be staying on yacht and yet associate with supply delivery onshore contact etc. There would be nationwide ports of entry and bio security issues (30 days thing) as well.

                    • RedLogix

                      they would be staying on yacht and yet associate with supply delivery onshore contact etc.

                      We are talking about a very low risk outdoor settings where COVID hardly ever transmits. Ideally they would be at anchor, but even in a marina it's still easy to isolate. They've already quarantined for at least a week, if not three, and arranging for a test on a dock on arrival, then say another at six days, should be more than sufficient to ensure effective management.

                      Delivering a food and water without contact is trivial. A small craft take the supplies out, puts them in the yacht tender and leaves. Safer than anything done on land. You'd only have to do this once or twice per boat.

                      None of them would have urgent family reasons to try and break quarantine. As a group they are very accustomed to much more complex procedures around arriving and departing countries than you’d imagine. (Typically there is a stack of paperwork involved and it can take some days work to organise entry to many places.)

                      My judgement call is that yachties overall present a risk profile an order of magnitude lower than people arriving by plane.

                    • RedLogix

                      officially only ~0.4% of the global population have been infected so far, compared to an estimated one-third of the world’s population being infected by the 1918 ‘Spanish’ flu pandemic.

                      Yes, but this is a different virus and it isn't 1918 either. Martenson has made the case that while it's a novel virus it may well be the case that large fractions of the population are either already generically immune, or partially so, to COVID. This is suggested by the interesting observation that in many countries the shape of the case rate curve is similar, despite wildly differing responses by these countries.

                      Absolutely it remains worthwhile to flatten the curve as much as possible, but supposing that if we did nothing it would result in an out of control spiral into hundreds of millions of deaths doesn't seem justified either. We still have some way to go to properly understand the epidemiology of this virus.

                      Plus of course we are now treating it far more effectively than back in April. And there is good reason to expect we will only get better at it. After all in 1918 we barely understood what virus's were, and we had no idea how they interacted with RNA and DNA.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      RL, I really hope that you're proven correct in your stated belief that we are closer to the end of the Covid-19 pandemic (whatever 'the end' might look like) than the beginning, but don't share your belief.


                      Scientific advances nowithstanding (in 1918 scientists didn't know what DNA or RNA was), I think we're nowhere near the halfway point in the timeline of this particular pandemic.

                      “<We still have some way to go to properly understand the epidemiology of this virus.

                      Amen to that!

                    • SPC

                      While that is plausible, there is still this

                      it is getting more infectious, and that will impact in the north – Sept-Feb (autumn winter indoors) as they go through flu season while trying to resume education. I do not envy them that, is it flu or coronavirus health management problem.

                      Remember what happened in Sept-Dec 1918 (the more vulnerable younger population being active got hid hard – this time they will be the ones spreading to those who would be hit hard)

                      On immunity – the bmj did a recent look at a few reports indicating there might be historic immunity in the population (not from infection with this coronavirus) and this might make a 50% effective vaccine still useful.

                      (2009 Swine flu – those born pre 1949 seemed to have immunity).


              • Robert Guyton

                "doing better"?

  23. greywarshark 24

    Orstrylia. Where orstriches come from. Head in sand as usual.

    Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we….

    Scott Morrison suggested a potential bubble could work between regions that have no known outbreaks, with travellers from the South Island landing in Australia without having to be quarantined.

    An extra 2000 people will be allowed to enter Australia from next Friday, which could help more Australians return home from New Zealand. Caps were made on the number of arrivals to limit the amount of people headed to quarantine facilities.

    Because Oz doesn't give a f… about Kiwis deep in their hearts, it would be unwise for us to rely on them making sure that those coming here had been thoroughly screened as if they had not come from a low Covid state.

    But we could try for a 1 for 1 flight from NZ with returning Australians having first option, and the same in Australia, which would include no doubt Kiwis they are chucking out – and those people would have to go into 14 day managed isolation, with the new post isolation checks now being recommended.

    And tourism lobby be damned, let's have visas between our two friendly nations, the Ossies wanted visas citing the reason that so many furriners got in through the NZ back door which dates back to when we were all for better relations. I think we now have had all the advantage of that arrangement, and are past the tipping-point for change. Special visas will no doubt be given to special business people as with the Chinese; we must not be unfair and show preference in this matter.

    And the tourist industry here can run down their drive-yourself business to poor tourists. And we can do what other nations do and that is ensure that people have a return ticket paid for, and a letter from the bank stating the person has sufficient funds to support themselves while in the country. We now have to reduce numbers here, to people who spend more per day, and are not so hard on the countryside and public facilities. In the 1970s there were guidebooks on managing travel on $10 a day, and amazingly this is not all in the past. There are good hints for that low budget traveller which we have to be wary of.

    I suggest that we support Woofers (Willing workers on organic farms) which is a way for genuine travellers to get to know people though being low budget through also working with farmers who provide accommodation in this system.

    Travel advice examples:
    A modern guide: https://medium.com/nomadicwandering/10-ways-to-travel-on-10-a-day-2dc767c1f199

    About Frommer and the guide books beloved by we early world travellers after WW2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Frommer


  24. greywarshark 25


    I feel extremely sorry for people sailing from Africa trying to get to Greece. It is so hard for them, and hard for Greece too. Probably they are forced to flee after years of chaos caused by western political interference and competition to get resources there which causing friction and fighting. Those in flight drown in quite big numbers and then it is hard to live when they do get to land and a more peaceful situation. There are millions? of people on the move in the world having to run away to save their lives.

    These yachties choose to be at sea, go round sampling countries and lifestyles away from their origin, avoiding a deep commitment to land for much of the year. It is their lifestyle, they don't have to live on their boats as do many poorer people. Now it suits the yachties to make demands on us citing their safety. We also have safety concerns, and must look after our own. The yacht owners should have made practical arrangements at their home ports. They seem to have made themselves virtual stateless persons which is not now convenient for them.

  25. Dennis Frank 26

    Rightist lawyer Liam Hehir speculates on this possible future:

    If Trump tried to assassinate Joe Biden


    Get real, lad! That's not how things are done in NYC! Daddy taught him to just put the word out on the street. Those with the expertise normally call to discuss the contract. Is he too young to have seen/read The Godfather?? Does he not watch crime shows on tv?

    Probably get so many takers there'd be a queue around the Trump Tower block, at which point he'd have a bright idea. Use a recruiting agency to do the interviews, and inform each contestant as they left that they may be starring in an upcoming reality tv show. Local gangs would think that ever so cool. Pros, of course, wouldn't show up in the queue, but would be pissed off at so much competition. Gang war in NYC ensuing could be a useful distraction to the media, allowing the Don a smoother campaign.

  26. Red 27

    From the Nats and kiwi blog but facts never the less Why so much faith in labour is beyond me, if past is a good indicator of the future

    [Why so much faith in anything that comes from PDF/KB is beyond me. If the past is a good indicator of the future then it was just a matter of time before you did something as stupid as a cross-posting of PDF’s misleading BS asserting they are “facts never the less” [sic]. I can easily spot one lie: the Government never promised to actually fund the planting of one billion trees. In addition, 258,475,000 trees have been planted as of 7 September 2020, not a measly 36,822,000 directly funded by the One Billion Trees Fund as implied by PDF and you.

    As other commenters have already pointed out many of those promises are long-term goals and projects going as far as 2050, which means at least 10 election cycles away. If PDF and you think that you can predict that far out and declare failure today then you are not only disturbingly dishonest but also stupendously stupid.

    I can’t say I haven’t warned you. PDF’s post has attracted 86 comments so far so you’ll be banned for 86 days for spreading lies and misleading BS – Incognito]

    • Andre 27.1

      Even if I were to make the mistake of taking all that at face value, I would still prefer the bumbling good intentions shown there over the competent malignance which is the best that is ever on offer from the Nats. But at the moment all the Nats are offering is malignant incompetence.

    • Byd0nz 27.2

      F F f ffffffuck off with your facts. Most that are listed have yet to reach the year stated. Stick to that sicko blog. The fact is the Nats are a stinking sinking ship overburdened by lies and misleading narratives.

      • Red 27.2.1

        Numbers and targets like these you tend to look at the trends towards target and on any measure or political persuasion ( if your intellectually honest) they are poor No point going into denial, it is what it is not a great score card

        • McFlock

          I'd also like to point out that the new Dunedin Public Hospital has indeed had "0 bricks laid".

          Firstly, I suspect it will be mostly of poured concrete and steel, rather than brick construction. It's a hospital, not a house for a little piggy.

          Secondly, prior to this government the hospital project was stuck in a Wakari/Central City committee limbo. Fuckall was happening. Since the change in government, the project has:

          • selected the site
          • negotiated and completed the purchase of the required land
          • done geologic surveys of the property
          • put together the master plan for phased construction
          • Demolished large chunks of a city block
          • In Vino

            Thanks McFlock for info that people way up in the North Island may not know.

            I suspect that 'Red' is concealing the second half of his pseudonym, which would be '-neck.'

    • observer 27.3

      So to sum up:

      National in government: "There is NO housing crisis".

      National in opposition: "Why haven't you solved the housing crisis?".

      Rinse and repeat for a range of policies from health to climate change.

      Or to put it another way …

      If you promise your partner that you will do 10 household chores and you do only 5, are you better or worse than the lazy slob who doesn't offer to do anything?

      "Avoid failing by not trying" – National's new slogan.

      • Red 27.3.1

        The point is about labour’s performance and promises, not the Nats, they had their chance and on your count failed The above indicates labour at their bumbling best are not much scratch either They set these goals and targets not national, so not sure why they are then projected on to national, labour needs to own them

    • SPC 27.4

      Yeah KiwiBuild – hard to bring in builders to build them via local companies when there are not enough first home buyers who can afford them. If they do not allow young couples who own flats or apartments to buy them when starting families or boomers trading down from their 1/4 acre section home to buy, this is going to fail.

      A growing waiting list for state houses is not evidence people are homeless, it’s that private sector rents are going up (see above) and more people are being helped via motels. But sure, if they are not going to sort out KiwiBuild they will need to build 10,000 state houses a year, not the 3 or 4,000 they currently do.

      Shane Jones could not even get the PGF money allocated and spent, so achieving a trees target was way beyond his munificence.

      National promised the Dunedin hospital rebuild three elections in a row, and Labour not getting the building going until the second term is cited? I hope those in Napier are not holding their breath for either a National win or any delivery (not this decade under National).

      Labour has moved the target of 100% renewable forward to 2030.

      15% more in tertiary, if there was free fees first year – based on Treasury modelling? But it’s no ones fault if jobs are so much easier to come by on leaving school when Labour is in office.

      Which also explains the bleating by employers about needing more migrant labour. The economy going too good for this promise to be kept is not something National should be publicising. Own goal.

      Peters preferred rail not light rail. Coalitions huh.

      Not achieving immediate progress towards reaching longer term goals is not as important as delivering pathways – which Labour did on emissions.

      Child poverty is an interesting one, moves to improve rental quality and food in schools will make a difference, as will allowing sole parents to keep more money earned from part-time work.

      Then there have been the higher higher MW – over a dolllar increases 2020 (and again 2021). expansion of the living wage and prospect of industry awards this coming term.

      • SPC 27.4.1

        Impact of Government policy changes on Child Poverty

        The Government introduced its Families Package in July 2018 (changes to the Accommodation Supplement came into force earlier). The 2018/19 HES was conducted over 12 months from July 2018 to June 2019 and collected annual income for the 12 months prior to the interview.

        This means that the incomes of households interviewed in 2018 include some income from 2017, and only the very last households interviewed include income from the entire 2018/19 year.

        As such, it will take at least one more survey before these income-related policy changes will have close to their full effect on the reported annual income of all households interviewed.


      • Red 27.4.2

        Agree some reasonable mitigating ( I would have even have accepted Twyford as an overarching Reasonable excuse ) but not exoneration for a pretty poor effort on delivery

      • SPC 27.4.3

        if they are not going to sort out KiwiBuild they will need to build 10,000 state houses a year, not the 3 or 4,000 they currently do.

        It's more depressing than I outlined, they're building 3000-4000 over a three year term – getting to 10,000 over a three year term may be the hoped for level …

      • Chris T 27.4.4

        "Yeah KiwiBuild – hard to bring in builders to build them via local companies when there are not enough first home buyers who can afford them. If they do not allow young couples who own flats or apartments to buy them when starting families or boomers trading down from their 1/4 acre section home to buy, this is going to fail."

        I accept some of your other arguments, but you have to admit Kiwibuild was a bit of a downer.

        Even Megan Woods has admitted 100,000 was "overly ambitious"

        "Housing Minister Megan Woods said the 100,000 target was overly ambitious and had led to "contracts being signed in places where there was little first-home buyer demand"."


        • SPC

          Basically they are still unable to admit that trying to build a lot of new homes while restricting sales to first home buyers, and while the RBG was requiring a 20% deposit, was so so wrong. Thus it will now never get going and the number of state house builds being so low will result in what it already has, waiting lists that grow and grow.

    • Fireblade 27.5

      100 reasons to vote Labour.


      • Ad 27.5.1

        Anyone feeling adventurous could put some of those side by side with the National critique. It would be a useful post.

    • Incognito 27.6

      See my Moderation note @ 3:55 PM.

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