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Open mike 21/09/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 21st, 2021 - 175 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step up to the mike …

175 comments on “Open mike 21/09/2021 ”

  1. Gezza 1

    Al Jazeera English tv is reporting that:

    “Paul Rusesabagina – the one-time hotel manager portrayed as a hero in a Hollywood film “Hotel Rwanda” – was found guilty of being part of a group responsible for “terrorist” attacks and has been sentenced to 25 years in prison by a Rwandan court.

    Rusesabagina boycotted Monday’s verdict after declaring he did not expect justice in a trial he called a “sham”.

    The case has had a high profile since Rusesabagina, 67, was arrested in August 2020 after what he described as a kidnapping from Dubai by Rwandan authorities.”


  2. Gezza 2


    • Tiger Mountain 2.1

      If the Afghanis want this assistance provide it. Saving lives and preventing injury often goes down better than drone attacks.

      Saw a meme yesterday…
      “If you think you are ineffective…
      the US took twenty years, trillions of dollars,
      thousands killed, hundreds of thousands injured,
      to replace the Taliban with the Taliban…”

    • Stuart Munro 2.2

      This is a job for the Hero Rats.

      • Gezza 2.2.1


        I live right next to a large stream (in some countries it would be called a river).

        I spend some time observing & occasionally videoing the wildlife that frequents & inhabits te wai & the surrounding stream banks. Mainly birds, waterbirds, Pukekos, ducks, a Little Black Shag, & 2 varieties of eel – some of which I’ve fed & named.

        One of my favourite stream-dwellers is a female water-rat. I’ve named her Sarah. She’s actually quite cute. Not that I’m encouraging her to visit my property, but one day she came in under the fence palings & curled up & had a wee snooze on my back lawn. So she got added to my wildlife video collection.

        • Gezza

          Bluey & Sweety Pook, with solo pooklet

          View post on imgur.com

          They had four pooklets, one season. Once the kidz sprouted wings & learned to fly they'd all come into my back yard and trim the grass. My lawn moas.

          • Whispering Kate

            Hi Robert. Lovely to see Spring has sprung in your garden. Don't know if you remember our blackbird called Pegleg. Well bless his heart he is still in our garden and has to be at least 8 seasons old now. We went to the US three years ago for a month and we had him in our garden for quite a few years prior to that. His gammy leg doesn't seem to have impeded his many breeding seasons. He is still glossy and cocky as a cock blackbird usually is. I wonder what spring will bring us this time as a female blackbird is wrecking our hanging baskets digging the straw lining to pieces and flying off with enormous bundles of straw in her beak. Oh the wonders of a garden.

      • gsays 2.2.2

        I saw these rats in Cambodia. Fantastic to watch them work, with a very high success rate, virtually no false positives.

        The human stories related to these 'spent' munitions are heartbreaking.

    • Jenny how to get there 2.3


      "Spray and Walk Away!"


      It's what we do.

      Audio file;

      [audio src="https://podcast.radionz.co.nz/thedetail/thedetail-20191118-0500-the_tragic_results_of_nzdfs_failure_to_clean_up_after_bamyan-02.ogg" /]

    • Jenny how to get there 2.4

      Hat tip to Sandra Coney for sharing this powerful poem.

      Sandra: “Got this fabulous poem today from Human Rights Network. Wish he'd said more about women and girls but agree with his sentiment. Sorry gaps between stanzas have been lost.”

      Before I Start This Poem

      by Emmanuel Ortiz written in 2004

      [Deleted 199 double spaced lines; click on the link if you want to read the poem]

      Emmanuel Ortiz works with the Minnesota Alliance for the Indigenous Zapatistas (MAIZ)

  3. Tricledrown 3

    Collins has to go after bagging others for not wearing masks outdoors .Collins and 2 other National MP's not wearing masks in Queenstown takeaway icecream parler.

    • Gezza 3.1

      Collins is toast. National MPs & the party hierarchy cannot fail to see that she’s a massive fracking liability. She’s an idiot.

      All she does these days, when she even opens her mouth, & for anybody who has however reluctantly been starting to wonder if she’s a fool, is instantly remove all doubt !

    • bwaghorn 3.2

      Probably needed a cooling icecream after a heavy session of pleading her case to the illuminati that control national from their powerbase in a cave in queenstown,

    • Gezza 3.3

      Collins got given a hard time by One News at 6 over this.

      Her attempt to say she wasn’t being hypocritical because of her criticism of Siouxsie Wiles “Not really, we’re in Level 2” was so lame it was tragic.

      Item ended with Ben Thomas telling viewers she’s gone as leader soon.

  4. Sacha 4

    Judge decided, against Corrections advice, to release Black Power member on bail to Whakatīwai where Covid spread https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300411598/corrections-deemed-black-power-member-who-caught-covid19-unsuitable-for-bail

    • alwyn 4.1

      I wonder how many people there are whose application for bail is supported by the Corrections Department? I suspect that for most people who are charged for anything except a few white column crimes there is an instinctive "We oppose bail" response.

    • weka 4.2

      Would be nice to know why Corrections are so sure transmission didn't happen at Mt Eden.

  5. Ad 5

    The US is heading for 675,000 deaths which will be its worst public health event – bigger than the 1918 Spanish flu.

    Differences are that in 1918 the U.S. population was less than a third of today’s with an estimated 103 million people living in America just before the roaring 1920s. Today it's about 330 million people living in the U.S. That means the 1918 flu killed about 1 in every 150 Americans, compared with 1 in 500 who have died from Covid so far.

    But still a long, long way to go there.

  6. Jenny how to get there 6

    The Breadheads win

    What the medical experts are all saying:


    "Calculated risk"

    New Zealand government takes a calculated risk to relax Auckland’s lockdown while new cases continue to appear

    The decision to move Auckland to alert level 3 from midnight on Tuesday is a calculated risk by the government. New daily cases in Auckland have stayed stubbornly high over the past week, a period when many of us had hoped to see them fall to single digits.


    What if the calculated risk fails?

    What if the gamble is lost?

    What if the virus keeps spreading?

    What if our hospitals start to become overwhelmed?

    Will the Level 4 lockdown be re-imposed?

    Does the government still have the courage to face down the breadheads?

    Or was that the last Lockdown ever?

    To placate the business and banking lobby, will the government surrender our country to the virus, to keep the markets happy?

    Have the neo-liberal money men achieved total victory over our democracy?

    Let us all play that this gamble succeeds?

    • Gezza 6.1

      Baz Soper has burst into print:

      “It’s official. The Government’s impossible Covid elimination strategy has been scrapped, although don’t expect it to admit to that. Just like it would never accept the alert level 4 lockdown in Auckland hasn’t been anything but a raging success.

      The spin is that if it had waited just one more week before turning the key on lockdown, there would be at least 5000 cases by now.

      That of course we will never know, although under level 3, if you listen to the Beehive’s puppet master Ashley Bloomfield, the numbers will now “rumble along”. That in epidemiological-speak presumably means expect more numbers.


      • Sacha 6.1.1

        Silly old men give old men a bad name.

        • Gezza


          In my younger daze I used to sometimes feel sorry for Grumpy Old Men.

          Until I realised recently that I somehow seem to have become one. I thought about it for a few days, & then, with a grin, decided that actually it wasn’t anywhere near as bad being one as I thought.

          The trick, I’ve concluded, is to make sure you keep your sense of humour, continue to be able to hear yourself when you’re being one – and to just stop & laugh at yourself.

          • woodart

            the trick is to be self-aware and realise you are turning into a grumpy old man. I am in the stale pale male group, and find myself occasionally slipping into the grumpy old man group. but knowing that, and deliberatley stopping, and having a couple of calming breaths is good, and,as you correctly point out , being able to stand back and laugh at yourself is a great leveller.

            • Gezza

              👍🏼 The first hint I had that I might be slipping in to GOM territory was some years back, when I was listening to some really discordant (to my ears) hip hop song, and the words formed in my mind:

              “You call THAT music !?” 😡 😀

              Me dear ol departed da instantly popped into my mind, grinning, & saying, “See what I meant?”

              • woodart

                music and the ability to enjoy it is one of the big factors in keeping dementia-altzheimers at bay. I try and dose myself with rock music every day.

                • Gezza@yahoo.co.nz

                  👍🏼 The Blues still does it most for me. 🎸

                  • weka

                    please fix user name on next comment.

                    • Gezza

                      Sorry weka.

                      I only spotted that screw up too late when it went into moderation.

                      I thought about emailing the site but didn’t think anyone would read it in time to delete the extra characters. Already corrected the name in any following comments.

                    • weka []

                      all good. I drop a note so people pick it up the next time (some people don’t realise and I won’t necessarily have seen their next comments).

                      Emailing TS is probably the lease efficient way of communicating 🙂

        • Anne

          And here's another silly old man – a gross understatement imo:


          And what kind of a shit treats a senior public servant like Bloomfield as if he's a politician.

        • vto

          i think it is incumbent on the entire populace to remove ageism and sexism from their everyday discourse

          silly brown girl

          grumpy old man

          bloody maori

          bloody honky

          silly old chook

          big fat hypocrite

          just dump the lot ok. this seems quite hard for many around here – a centre for calling out abuse – which is hard to fathom

          • roblogic

            no. free speech includes offensive remarks.

          • Sacha

            Language does not happen in a social or power vacuum. Quite a big contextual difference in those examples you're written.

            • vto

              I think that context qualification you refer to fails the left massively. Nobody, except people like-minded to those around here, buys that.

              Further, the assumptions around your qualification also fail. Try telling that to the poor old white man struggling in his Council flat.

              Or alternatively, keep making excuses for using your own abusive terms and see it continue to be bounced straight back at you.

              Or, to make it personal, if people refer to my own 'race', age, gender, religion, etc, they can go f&%k themselves. You know, just to keep it as real as it is in the streets…


              edit: why do you feel the need to refer to a persons age, race, religion and gender?

              • Sacha

                white lives matter

              • roblogic

                Thing is, when powerful public figures do it, they deserve to be bailed up and face criticism. When someone from an historically oppressed group criticise their oppressors it's a different story.

                But I agree with the sentiment that public discourse would probably be more constructive if we decided not to include certain insults in our arsenal.

                • vto

                  "When someone from an historically oppressed group criticise their oppressors it's a different story"

                  Sure, in many ways true.

                  But the point still stands I think that there is no need, and no purpose served, in referring to oppressor's age, religion, gender, or race in a derogatory way.

                  Said young brown girl speaking to, say, Don Brash, "hey you old white honky, blah, blah…"..

                  yeah nah, it is just abuse.

                  and yeah, we should exclude certain insults… doesn't advance the cause one iota methink

      • Jenny how to get there 6.1.2

        The government surrender, has finally given the National Party opposition something to talk about and run with.

        Chris Bishop was able to speak extensively this morning on TVNZ breakfast about 'government failure'. Not about eliminating the virus or lifting the lockdown early.

        Chris Bishop attack line, ran like this;

        If the pandemic spins out of control, if "this calculated risk fails", it is the government's fault that everyone is not vaccinated.

        If the government's gamble does fail, expect a big resurgence of National in the polls.

        • Gezza

          "If the government's gamble does fail, expect a big resurgence of National in the polls."

          Possibly, Jenny. Might depend on who's their leader? How many voters in NZ really think that the muddlesome, erratic, gaffe-prone Collins under the same pressure from all the various affected sectors of society would have done anything different, or any better?

          If it fails, Ardern's best bet would be to front up, admit it (conceding no errors could potentially be politically fatal) & then tell the whole country what she is going to do about it.

          Think Ardern has what it takes to do that?

          • alwyn

            A very simple answer Gezza. No she doesn't.

            I think she is completely incapable of admitting that she has ever made an error and she is simply going to go on and on and on trying to do the impossible and open up our country without letting Covid in. Still the majority of the late middle-aged women of my acquaintance continue to think she is wonderful so I doubt she will change.

            I am cheered up by the way that the public seem to have decided that the America's Cup is a farce though. Team New Zealand, as they so grandiosely call themselves have been polling on whether the New Zealand public want to give them more money. I suspect they are having great difficulty getting any other country interested so they are hoping to be able to get more out of the New Zealand Government.

            The public have spoken. Only 26% are willing to throw more taxpayer dosh into the black hole. Fifty percent say they should go overseas and the taxpayer shouldn't give them anything. Yippee, says I.

            With any luck the Public will come to the same conclusion about the shambles that is our current Government and decide that the mad money printing of Grant Robertson will destroy us.

            To those who say "Who will you choose to kill off?" I would ask in return "How many are you willing to kill from cancer, heart disease, suicide etc, etc, etc by devoting all your attention to Covid 19 now that vaccines have reduced its impact?" and "How many children's live will you ruin by preventing them getting an education?".


            • woodart

              interesting alwyn. coming from someone who seems unable to admit his own numerous errors, an accusation that jacinda suffers from your problem is laughable. she seems perfectly capable of laughing at herself. you?

            • Gezza

              Ardern has already made it clear that if she can’t continue as PM, she’s off, alwyn. Presumably to a lucrative stint offshore at the UN or some other well-paid role for which her international reputation is thought by overseas fans to qualify her.

              Ae. Were it not for the crises of the Mosque shootings, the Lynnmall stabbings, & of course, the biggie, Covid, voters’ attention may well be a lot more focussed on Ardern’s Ministers in several key areas showing a disturbing lack of apparent competence & cohesive policies to improve some very bad stats in poverty, child poverty, crime rates, gang growth, housing, emergency housing, health, mental health etc.

              However, equally disturbing is the prospect of the rump of the National opposition going into government, with their several untested comparative newbies, and some experienced – but not previously particularly impressive – former Ministers. And if Collins was still leader they’d probably be shite.

              ACT have the luxury of being able to take pot shots & wax eloquent about what they’d do, but they’re an untested crew too.

              Unnerving times. May not be the best move to change the government horses.

              Bye, Team NZ. Happy to watch you sail on TV with all the cool CGI, don’t like to see you lose, but you ain’t earning enuf for the country to justify more tax-spend. That money’s desperately needed elsewhere.

            • joe90

              suicide etc, etc

              ..another lie with it's boots on..

            • Gabby

              We're running negative excess deaths wal, bad news for undertakers I'll concede.

              • alwyn


                The Our World in Data dataset appears to show that we had negative excess deaths in 2020 but positive values in 2021. My suspicion would be that this was due to there shutdown last year meant there were negligible flu deaths but I'm not really up in this subject.

                I have no idea on what is causing the positive numbers this year except to say that they appear to be happening.

        • Pete

          You have to feel sorry for Bishop. He and his colleagues and Kiwibloggers are on their paths raving about the government 'ruling by Covid fear.

          They rant about lockdowns, those needing to come off and how people in Auckland are all imprisoned and the Auckland economy being destroyed.

          The latest decisions are made so it's into negative mode and pandering to a fear narrative, focussing on "calculated risk."

          Feel sorry for Bishop? He must want things to go wrong. He loves the fear factor. He no doubt wants an outbreak so he can say, "I told you so." The desperate, die-hard, still National supporters will be hoping for the same and I would suggest are not averse to deaths as long as it's not them or their family and friends.

          • Gezza

            It's pretty rich that Bishop is National's spokesperson on Covid-19 response.

            C-19's an aggressive respiratory/lung disease.

            And in his former guise, Bishop was the PR man for NZ's Big Tobacco!

        • bwaghorn

          Hopefully the more intelligent kiwis will understand that covid is a barstard , and while Ardern and co haven't always nailed it they've given this country the best shot at getting through with the least harm possible.

        • Sacha

          'Surrender'? We should all know by now that "elimination" in pandemic response language does not mean zero cases, yet media and scared folk on Facecloth wilfully confuse the public. Why do you think the PM and DG are always talking about uncontrolled public spread?

          • Enough is Enough

            Its not a surrender, and we have eliminated under level 3 before, so I am hopeful we can do so again.

            But I am still unlcear on why or how the health advice has changed in the space of a week, when the case numbers (including numbers of unlinked cases) are essentially the same as they were a week ago.

            Why was it unsafe a week ago to move to level 3, but it is now safe to do so? From evryhting we have been told in the past by the Prime Minister, I would have preferred that we delayed the move in levels.

      • AB 6.1.4

        Baz says Ashley is the "puppet master" while Prof Des says going to L3 is a "political decision". I guess grumpy old right-wing blokes are allowed to contradict each other (and even themselves) with impunity. Because in essence, impunity is what they're all about.

        • Gabby

          They like to cover all the bases, knowing their more rabid followers will happily parrot contradictory nonsense unquestioningly.

    • tc 6.2

      NSW reopening is driven by the real managers of strayla…..business.

    • Gabby 6.3

      Gfoffloffle takes full responsibility.

  7. Ghostwhowalksnz 7

    The German Federal election this week is showing the SPD still as the biggest party which it has been like that for the last month.

    AS we know from our MMP biggest party doesnt mean you get to lead a new coalition government but the as both major parties are in an existing Grand Coalition the largest party will take the leading role.

    Roughly the SPD is at around 26%, The Union Faction( CDU + CSU) at 21%, Greens at 16%, FDP at 7%, AfD at 11% and Der Linke at 6%.

    However those are nationwide polls and unlike us , the German MMP allocation is done by federal state. The parties can vary widely in strength in various states which can boost the list allocation when all rolled up nationally. The Scottish MMP is similar and thats how SNP can end up with more seats than its nationwide vote would suggest.

    The German overhangs and their 'leveling seats' for leading parties' can also be considerable number ( last election was just over 100 extra seats in Bundestag of 598)

    • Der Linke are Left so the Greens, SPD and Der Linke are at 48% which, if it holds, should see them home assuming, as in NZ, that there is some wasted vote.

    • satty 7.2

      Your graph unfortunately ends at Apr 2020, so it doesn't show the developments since then with significant movements for all parties. It will be interesting to see the final outcome at election day.

      One thing that makes the German language interesting (and annoying) is the gender. In this case the gender of the word "Partei" is female. So it's "Die Linke (Partei)" not "Der Linke".

      • Ghostwhowalksnz 7.2.1

        Sorry but inserting images can be tricky doesnt show the full picture width wise

        The full graphics and numbers are here. I should have put it with the comment


      • Sabine 7.2.2

        Der while always being masculine (and i still don't know why a table or a chair would be masculine 🙂 ) does not mean that Die is always 'feminine'. Die is plural also.

        So a man would be Der Mann, but die Maenner means The men. 🙂 So any Partei will always be a Die, Die SPD, Die Gruenen, Die CDU, Die CSU etc, as Partei implies an assembly of more then one.

        • satty

          Good point. Wouldn't that be "Die Linken" instead of "Die Linke" if we stick to plural?

          • Sabine

            That my dear is the idiosyncrasy of the german language that makes no sense and drives many a german study mad.

            It should, but 'die Linke' is the name of the party, And in that for some reason, die linke or die rechte (see what i do there) is both ' feminine', but 'die rechten and die linken are plural.

            My thinking is that 'die linke' implies the word Partei but without explicit naming it, as it literally was and still is a coalition of the left that was not and is not included into german politics.

            The Left (German: Die Linke (proper spelling: DIE LINKE[18]), stylised in its logo as DIE LiNKE.), also commonly referred to as the Left Party (German: die Linkspartei [diː ˈlɪŋkspaʁˌtaɪ] (About this soundlisten)), is a democratic socialist[2][3] political party in Germany. The party was founded in 2007 as the result of the merger of the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) and Labour and Social Justice – The Electoral Alternative (WASG). Through PDS, the party is the direct descendant of the Marxist-Leninist ruling party of the former East Germany (GDR), the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED).[19]


            one thing that i found easy learning english is the word THE – while hard to prnonounce for some of us germans, it is so easy to use.

            Mind look at the french, il and elle, he and her. have a group of women they are 'elles', add one bloke to that group of 'elles' and they become 'ils'. 🙂

    • Sanctuary 8.1

      The "lease" will end up being the purchase. The Australians are incapable of building nuclear boats and this whole deal will turn to be a chimera to placate South Australian MPs worried about jobs in their electorates.

      • woodart 8.1.1

        aus can find or train qualified submariners for its diesel subs.one of the main reasons most of them are tied up at the dock. how are they going to find sailors for nuke subs ?(far more difficult to run). may have to get a few chinese submariners in to staff them!lol

  8. tc 9

    Ocker watch: scumo is off to the states so Barnaby Joyce is acting PM.

    Captain redneck can’t even control his own team.

  9. Ronald 10

    With Auckland moving to L3 tomorrow and we still have a similar number of daily cases I have to ask what the last 5 weeks lockdown was all about?

    • Andre 10.1

      It has certainly achieved preventing an explosion of cases that would break the health system and gave us the breathing room to get vaccination numbers up.

      It has also kept elimination as a real possibility – whether that actually happens will be seen over the next few weeks. But even if elimination is no longer a realistic possibility, vaccination numbers are now high enough that an overwhelmed broken health system is much less likely. (but still enough of a possibility that anything we can do to continue lifting vaccination rates is worthwhile).

      • AB 10.1.1

        Quite – if we cannot ultimately push cases down to zero, at least we have given ourselves the opportunity of a semi-controlled exit from the strategy, rather than a total car-crash. But why bother trying to give nuanced answers to (most likely) bad faith questions – it's like being interviewed by Mike Hosking.

        • Andre

          It's not usually for those that ask the questions, their minds are usually already made up.

          It's for the off chance that someone else reading might go hmmm …

    • Red Blooded One 10.2

      Do you really have to ask? try looking across the ditch, if you can't see the benefit of the hard and fast 5 week lockdown, you purposely have your eyes closed.

      Moving to L3 is a balancing act that I hope works out. Not being in Auckland it would be easy for me to say keep them in lockdown longer but the reality is, you have to keep the majority on side unless you are going to bring in the Army so if letting people get their Takeaways etc keeps them on side, then it's exactly the right thing to do.

      • Andre 10.2.1

        Level 3 is still lockdown by any reasonable definition of lockdown, even if the government and some others don't want to call it lockdown.

        Going from level 4 to level 3 is like going from solitary confinement to general prison. We still can't go hang with our mates (if I had any mates, that is), we still can't go out of Auckland even to say last goodbyes to family, we're still restricted in what we can do for exercise, we're still not supposed to go anywhere or do anything besides home, work, and essentials (which now includes takeaway KFC and coffee).

        In other words, our Bill of Rights freedoms of movement and association and peaceful assembly and religion are still heavily curtailed.

        • Barfly

          Ah but the right to not die from a fucking horrible disease is still protected

          • Andre

            Not dying from a fucking horrible disease is not actually a right that I can find written down anywhere. Arguably it should be, particularly when it's mostly very cheaply and safely preventable by vaccination.

            But the importance we as a society place on not dying from preventable fucking horrible disease can be seen in Section 70 of the health act giving health officials draconian powers to override actual rights to achieve that protection from dying from a fucking horrible disease.

          • Gypsy

            The worlds population is around 7675billion.

            The number of covid deaths is around 4.55million.

            That is a death rate of 0.06%. US data suggests that nearly 80% of those are 65+.

            So your chances of dying from this "fucking horrible disease" are remarkably small. And even smaller if you're vaccinated.

            • Bearded Git

              The Economist has an article this week that says the true death number is 18 million not 4.5 million. Sorry it is paywalled.

              • joe90


                Rather than trying to distinguish between types of deaths, The Economist’s approach is to count all of them. The standard method of tracking changes in total mortality is “excess deaths”. This number is the gap between how many people died in a given region during a given time period, regardless of cause, and how many deaths would have been expected if a particular circumstance (such as a natural disaster or disease outbreak) had not occurred. Although the official number of deaths caused by covid-19 is now 4.7m, our single best estimate is that the actual toll is 15.5m people. We find that there is a 95% chance that the true value lies between 9.6m and 18.1m additional deaths.


              • Gypsy

                Yes they're referring to potential under-reporting, mainly in the third world. They also say "just one in 20 people infected globally thus far had entered official statistics. " While I agree the data is 'ropey', if just one in 20 infected have been reported, but their estimated death rate is 4x the official numbers, then the death rate to infections is even lower than the 2% widely published.

          • Ronald

            "the right to not die from a fucking horrible disease" is a rather dramatic statement. In 2021 one person has died in New Zealand with Covid-19 and that was a 90 year old women who had a number of underlying health conditions. In that same 9 month period 220 people have died on our roads, approx 6,000 from cancer and a total of approx 25,000 deaths from all causes. The reason that I have listed these figures is that I think we need perspective around the risks in our lives. We seem to have lost that at the moment.

        • Red Blooded One

          Absolutely, it is not easy and people saying what is the point in moving to L3 or having L4 negates the seriousness of this bloody thing. I think it is the right thing to move slowly down the Levels. Do you not think any Government at times may need to curtail peoples rights for the betterment of the greater good. (Car seatbelts, Smoking in buildings etc, spring to mind)

          I am very grateful of the effort and hardship that the majority of Aucklanders have endured.

          • Andre

            Absolutely the role of government includes balancing various competing rights. All rights are subject to some limitations, exclusions, and responsibilities depending on the situation of the moment. The requirements of the situation of the moment can be very fluid and change quickly.

            I happen to think the government made a good call a week ago to keep Auckland in level 4, and it's a good call to move Auckland to level 3 tonight. Even though infection numbers don't look better now than a week ago. To me, the difference is the vaccination numbers do look a lot better now. Hopefully those vaccination numbers will keep getting better.

            I just get incredibly frustrated with some that focus on just one right, such as the right to refuse medical treatment, and appear to think that one right extends to justifying trampling wholesale over all others (not accusing you of this, RBO). It's always a balancing act that needs to be very mindful of what actual rights are actually being currently unusually curtailed.

      • Gypsy 10.3.1

        Yes, that's the whole point of a lockdown – to stop the exponential growth of cases. Ashley Bloomfield's comments seem to indicate they are prepared for more cases, but are relying on other measures to keep the ongoing community spread reduced.

    • Jester 10.4

      I think we could have been at level 3 at least a week ago and the South Island could be at level 1 now.

      • Red Blooded One 10.4.1

        Oh well, that's that then, We don't need a team of health professionals driving our Covid response, we can just hand it over to The Jester to save us all, I feel so much safer. /sarc

        • bwaghorn

          I'll have you know jesters navel is a very reliable source of ideas.

        • Jester

          I must admit, I'm no "expert" like Shaun Hendy who predicted up to 80,000 deaths even though Sweden has twice our population and basically 'let it rip'. Mind you he did predict this outbreak could be as high as 100-120! I guess that's a bit more accurate.

          • McFlock

            No, he said that when the first positive case was found in the community there were an estimated 50-120 other covid-positive people undetected at that time.

            Keep pushing the 80k line as well. Pretend that it wasn't the absolute worst-case possible scenario with a virulent disease, no controls, no lockdowns, no change in personal behaviour (mandated or not) and business as usual. Helps remind people you're just a bad-faith actor who for some reason wants to see thousands of NZers dead. Sure, let's get Sweden's death rate. It's be good for small business owners (funeral directors in particular).

            • Jester

              We would not get anywhere near 80k deaths in NZ unless we all went around licking toilet seats or something.

              • McFlock

                The behaviour requirements that led to an estimate of up to 80k dead were quite clearly outlined and published over a year ago.

                And if you match the prediction for the criteria describing the measures we actually implemented, it's pretty accurate: 0.0004% of 5 million is 20 dead. We're currently at 27.

                BTW, the accuracy of that prediction is the difference between science and economics. If treasury or RBNZ could predict GDP or unemployment 18months down the line to within 0.00005%, they'd be in heaven.

            • Ghostwhowalksnz

              Yes. And the very best case scenario with lockdowns and other public health measures the death toll could be …..20.

      • mac1 10.4.2

        Why do I always see a man with a striped short sleeved jersey, shorts and a handkerchief on his head when I read a statement beginning "I think……"?

    • Ghostwhowalksnz 10.5

      The peak was around 80 cases per day at end of August

    • Gabby 10.6

      It was about getting to a point where it was safe to drop to level 3. Duh.

  10. Stephen D 11

    I’ve a lot of faith in Michael Wood, but he better get this one right.

    • Gypsy 11.1

      So a government lobby group for light rail announces that "they think light rail is the best solution for the City Centre to Mangere corridor" and that's news?

      • Cricklewood 11.1.1

        They had a big presence at the Balmoral flea market right before lockdown.. about 10 staff handing out info lobbying etc…

        From what I heard very little thought put into how they might hope to preserve the little restaurants & character of Dominion road during the build. Best I got was but they'll all do so well when its finished… I'll bet theyll be gone long before its done.

        I can see it being an absolute disaster full of unintended consequences shunting traffic onto Mt Eden and Sandringham roads being one of them

        • Gypsy

          Auckland Council and it's offshoots have developed a ''talking points" approach to selling projects. This involves a large amount of spin and bullshit, and very little actual listening. AT are among the worst, but are by no means alone. When I looked at the Board of ALR and saw some of the 'usual suspects' (the CEO of AC, the CEO of AT, Chris Darby) I can only hope that this project is stopped in it's tracks.

  11. Sacha 12

    Politicking by media (click on tweet to see full cartoon, damn cropping).

  12. Sanctuary 13

    US Navy plans to expand to a fleet size last seen under Reagan, going from 296 ships to 512 in their latest plan –


    An increased emphasis in littoral surface combat against peer opponents is noticeable. Lots of missile carrying destroyers and frigates, with a big increase in submarines and amphibious warfare capability & the ability to support expeditionary forces in extended operations. Many of the ships are planned to be un-manned.

    Combined with significant investment in missile defense systems and previously neglected advanced anti-ship missiles and it is obvious the US is in a huge and rapid build up for a peer conflict in east Asia. Wonder with who that might be?

    • Gezza 13.1

      If it happens, like in all wars, it will likely be far easier to start than to finish, will not go exactly to plan for either side, & may well see some completely unexpected war-winning tactic or capability completely unforeseen used by one side to deliver a final victory.

      I’m wondering how many technologically advanced military assets of China, Russia, USA are critically dependent on “secure” internet or satellite comms, but actually have an achilles heel that the other side has – or will have – the ability to exploit?

  13. Gezza 14

    Dreadful anywhere it happens. I usually expect these to occur in the USA.

    "At least six people were killed as a student opened fire at a university in the Russian city of Perm, the second mass shooting this year in a country where such incidents are usually rare.

    The suspect was detained shortly after launching the attack on Monday morning at Perm State University, which is about 1,300km (800 miles) east of the capital, Moscow.

    Russia’s Investigative Committee said the attacker had been identified as a student at the university. It has opened a murder probe into the incident.

    The death toll had previously been stated as eight, but was later revised to six. More than 20 people were injured, several with bullet wounds. The severity of the injuries was not immediately clear."


  14. Joe90 15

    Zuckerberg reportedly agreed with Kushner that FB wouldn't fact-check during the 2020 election and the tRump administration would avoid regulating FB. And Thiel's a thoroughly unlikable character.


  15. Jester 16

    In my opinion the judge needs to be held to account after letting this gang member out on bail to travel out of Auckland. Who would have thought, a gang member would stop four times on the way there and not follow the rules.

    Covid-19 Delta outbreak: Infected inmate – PM wants answers over bail breach and family transmission – NZ Herald

  16. "It will take everyone doing their bit" resonates more with me than "playing a role" reminds me of what a relative said when I asked why they joined up in WW2. I was beginning to think she was getting into a reality TV state of mind and was losing confidence. A truly great Prime Minister.


    • dv 18.1

      Well worth the read.

    • roblogic 18.2

      Seconded. Great piece. Summarises how NZME and the gNats have attempted to sabotage a public health crisis response. And how NZME is taking a nosedive into Fox News territory.

      Yet, as with previous outbreaks, the clamour from critics of the government started almost immediately, a chorus of whinge.

      Business special interests laundered their messaging through an uncritical media …

      Writing in Britain’s Daily Telegraph, one commentator called the outbreak “poetic justice” and claimed a “once-welcoming nation is turning into an isolated dystopia, where liberties are taken away in a heartbeat and outsiders are shunned”.

      The economy must reign supreme, after all.

      [Barry Soper] issued a remarkable dog-whistle to New Zealand’s far-right, the kind of people who believe Ardern – a fairly mild political centrist – is turning the country into a communist dictatorship.

      “If you have ever wondered what it must have been like to live in a totalitarian state, then perhaps wonder no more.”

      This nonsense went on and on.

      This speaks to how the media has fundamentally misunderstood what the briefings are: public service announcements.

  17. Sacha 19

    Some people have been working on this for a long time (90 second clip).

  18. No context tweet

  19. Reality 21

    Thanks John G for posting the excellent article by Glen Johnson of Aljazeera. I do wish we had a more intelligent and balanced local media here.

    Not having listened, but read about it, Mike Hosking was his usual rude obnoxious self with Dr Bloomfield this morning. It seems to me Hosking and his ilk would like nothing more than NZ to have an outbreak like NSW and Victoria solely to be able to accuse the PM of being a failure. Nasty, cynical people.

    The PM is absolutely remarkable how she maintains her dignity and commendable qualities in the face of these onslaughts.

    • Ah, yes, Hoskings. The plonker who said this recently:

      "Berejiklian is Australia's most successful premier. Her state is the best economic performer, she is popular, and she has led far and away Australia's most successful COVID response."

      Does any sane person, a) listen to Hoskings or b) take any notice of what he says?

  20. Reality 22

    Anyone else getting tired of overseas based New Zealanders constant whining about not being able to get back.

    Obviously it is very frustrating and upsetting for them. But, many have chosen to live overseas for many years seeking a "better" and more lucrative and interesting life out of New Zealand. They have not paid taxes here or contributed to life here. But things got bad elsewhere so want to come back and seem to think NZ should take over every empty hotel, provide security and healthcare and cleaners and meals. We are a very small country with a small population. To build a dedicated quarantine would take two or three years to do, given material and staff shortages.

    I do sound grumpy! But with close family myself who have been away 14 years, the situation affects me also. Have had three trips to visit them cancelled in the last 18 months.

    • roblogic 22.1

      They have had over a year to come home, and chose to leave it to the last minute. Unfortunate but necessary border controls have saved NZ from a disaster that has traumatised the rest of the world

    • Ghostwhowalksnz 22.2

      Seems that the queue for MIQ spots is longer because there seems to be plenty in NZ who want to do trip overseas and come back.

      Sometimes for family reasons other times its because they can.

      When they get back in the country they will be 'surprised' at getting a bill for the MIQ stay. But it seems many have the 'family illness' theme all lined up

    • KJT 22.3

      Not just trippers though.

      People doing essential work, such as seafarers, who are residents and tax payers in NZ, who are stuck overseas for months after their normal leave is due.

      Most of them had to find jobs overseas, when the NZ Government in the 90's destroyed NZ shipping.

      I know several. Including those who have had to resign from jobs because of the uncertainty in getting back.

      No system with 3000 spaces and 20000 applications, will please everyone, but I still find who gets priority puzzling.

  21. Scud 23

    Holy smoke if this is true, it doesn’t bow well for NZ Foreign or NZ Defence Policies mandated by the NZG!

    A well known NZ Aviation Forum has mentioned that the RNZAF is now down 2 C130’s 04 &05 with 02 is retired at RNZAF Woodbourne to provide spares for 04 & 05? If this the case then it doesn’t bow well for the summer, the Sth Pacific Cyclone Season, the Antarctic Research Summer or any hort Notice Taskings in the short term 1-3yrs.

    But there is no mention the status of 01 or 03 either atm.

    I had heard from my Uncle, the RNZAF had said to the last Government & the previous National Government that they are running out of hrs for the Engines, critical Airframe components & other System related components. As Lockheed won’t support once these components or systems when they reach their end life design hrs as Lockheed couldn’t guarantee what would happen once those Systems & Components reach the end of their respective design hrs.

  22. UncookedSelachimorpha 24

    I'm OK with fines for Covid-19 rule-breaking increasing, but another clueless neoliberal move from a government that is blind to inequality. In more enlightened countries they recognise that a $1000 fine means completely different things depending on your income, and base fines on your income or wealth.

    Here in NZ the maximum $12,000 fine is completely beyond the means of people on the minimum wage, while our richest citizen could pay this fine every single day for the next 2,671 years or so…

    One law for the wealthy, another for everyone else.

  23. Stuart Munro 25

    Modern slavery: Time for NZ legislation (msn.com)

    Odd that a Labour government has to be dragged kicked and screaming to address this issue – but then it took them 40 years to acknowledge not all was sweetness and light on the slave ships. One of many acts, together with residency wage theft scams, that need to be cleaned up. MBIE might even be given the "please explain" over how they let things get this bad.

  24. Gezza 26

    I forgot that today is a Parliament sitting day.

    I switched on the tv & caught a bit of Question Time. Need to go find the video & have a proper look when it’s posted on the Parliament website.

    Whatever Covid-related Question it was, Bishop & Hipkins were absolutely hammering each other. Both sounded really insulting & bitter.

    • mac1 26.1

      It can be how people get when they're misquoted, misrepresented, and questioners are less than factual. Funny that……


      • Gezza 26.1.1

        Yes, no doubt. The venom was mostly spat by Hipkins, I see now.

        For those that like to witness the actual drama in The House.

        At least it didn't descend into argy bargy with the Speaker, & a "flouncing out" ejection.

        • Nordy

          Yes, if like me and most NZers you are keen on the truth about the reality of a pandemic like COVID & our Govt's response, then we (like Hipkins) can be forgiven for getting pissed-off at politicians (like Bishop) who don't see anything wrong with blatant, calculated lies, and misinformation.

        • mac1

          Venom, Gezza? This? " What I do agree with is that the member should stop spreading misinformation. That is not what any Minister in this Government has said. I would say to any New Zealander listening to him that they should think twice about any of the statements he makes, because most of them don't stack up." Rebuttal etc said forcefully but does 'venom' overstate it a bit? I watched it, by the way, at the time.

          • Gezza

            Telling off accepted. Sorry mac. “Venom” definitely does overstate it. I wasn’t watching the telly directly when I heard the raised voices towards the end. Was preoccupied in my dining room.

            • mac1

              No telling off, Gezza; I've too much respect for what you write here, but I have a grumpiness about over-exaggeration- like people who talk of a 'shambles' all the time.

              But Hipkins can give a telling off in parliamentary terms, and there was cause for that. He might look as young as a schoolboy but some responsibility and I suspect some good mentoring along the way has seen him grow impressively into the job.

              I hope I'm not over-exaggerating…….

              • Gezza

                No, you’re not.

                Hipkins is a real blinken Peter Pan, isn’t he? He seems to have discovered the fountain of youth. Never seems to age a day. He’s one of Ardern’s better Ministers. Very hardworking & competent, imo.

                Thank you for that remark about respecting my comments. Nice thing to say.

  25. Whispering Kate 27


  26. Ella 28

    Seems James and his menagerie missed out on MIQ places. Off to the boss lady to get an emergency place. It’s not what you know …

  27. Pete 29

    I watched the video. I must come from a volatile background as I didn't think they were "absolutely hammering" each other.

    Venom being spat? Hipkins sounded peed off with Bishop for putting out what he says is misinformation. It seems he thinks Bishop is undermining with negativity.

    Bishop was on RNZ this morning. I didn't listen to hear how he would have had the MIQ system organised from the beginning and his ideas right now to have 25,000 expeditiously and fairly brought back into the country. * He has been loud in criticism but I haven't heard him say what specifically should be done and that he'd passed his considered views on to the relevant ministers.

    Maybe the Bishop parody has pertinent observations about his attitude.


    * Accepting that had his party been in government there probably wouldn't have been a need for any MIQ, we wouldn't have had lockdowns and everyone, 100%, would have been vaccinated fully many months back.

    • Gezza 29.1

      I’ll repeat my response to mac, above:

      Telling off accepted, Pete. “Venom” definitely does overstate it. I wasn’t watching the telly directly when I heard the raised voices towards the end. Was preoccupied in my dining room. And the video certainly doesn’t amount to “hammering each other”.

      More like Bishop getting a deserved metaphorical rap on the knuckles with a ruler.

      Will try to be more careful to avoid hyperbole & wait until I see on Vimeo what actually really happened in future.

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  • Climate Change: Real action requires government
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Not doing our bit
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    7 days ago
  • Delta’s Week Of Doom.
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    7 days ago
  • Urgent measures needed to allow the safe re-opening of Auckland schools
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    1 week ago
  • Children live online more than ever – we need better definitions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ scree...
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    1 week ago
  • Putting Aotearoa on the map: New Zealand has changed its name before, why not again?
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  • Speaker: Yes, of course festival organisers will follow the law on vaccination
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    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 11 October 2021
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    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
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    1 week ago
  • The Night of Parmenides: accepted
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  • The Virus, the Politician, and the gang member
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  • Bollocks
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    1 week ago
  • World-leading?
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    1 week ago
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  • The Need for an Updated Strategic Approach to Covid-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
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  • Mairon: The Actual Source for the Blasted Name
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    1 week ago
  • Repeal this unjust law
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Preparing for the flood
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, Not The Government
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    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 8 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Bill Ralston, Media consultant and columnist: “NZ Politics Daily provides an invaluable service for journalists, politicians, businesspeople, decision makers and the public at large by providing an easily accessible, exhaustive, link to every significant political story in the country’s media that day. It’s a gem of a service ...
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    1 week ago
  • Open letter to Michael Barnett, Julie White, et al
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  • Introducing Mr Stick.
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    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #40, 2021
    "Old" research There's little point in trying to best this excellent article describing the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics by Ars Technica authors Jennifer Ouelette and John Timmer, each having a gift for concisely on-target, accessible science journalism. Here at New Research we'll punt and quote the The Royal Swedish Academy of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Standing on one leg is a sign of good health – and practising is good for you too
    Dawn Skelton, Glasgow Caledonian University Research shows that people’s ability to stand on one leg is an indicator of health and that getting better at standing on one leg can add to fitness and potentially lifespan. Being able to stand on one leg is linked to increased levels of physical ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: More dishonesty over the CCR
    Last month the Emissions Trading Scheme turned into a farce, when the government flooded the market with credits in a failed and wasteful attempt to Keep Carbon Prices Low. When I asked about the background of this policy Climate Change Minister James Shaw sent me one of the most egregious ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Schrödinger’s Wraith: The Status of the Witch-King of Angmar, 15th-25th March, T.A. 3019.
    My recent re-read of The Lord of the Rings reminded me of one of the vaguer head-scratchers in Tolkien. The status of the Witch-King of Angmar between his death at the Battle of Pelennor Fields and the Destruction of the One Ring ten days later… was he, in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How rainbow colour maps can distort data and be misleading
    Philip Heron, University of Toronto; Fabio Crameri, University of Oslo, and Grace Shephard, University of Oslo   The choice of colour to represent information in scientific images is a fundamental part of communicating findings. However, a number of colour palettes that are widely used to display critical scientific results are ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Korea’s march to global cultural domination, plus a K-pop playlist
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    2 weeks ago
  • In a lockdown, where does work end and parenting begin? Welcome to the brave new world of ‘zigzag...
    Candice Harris, Auckland University of Technology and Jarrod Haar, Auckland University of Technology   All parents work. The difference lies in the breakdown between their paid and unpaid workloads. That equation is influenced by many things, including education, qualifications, age, ethnicity, financial status, number and age of dependants, gendered and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Using Rapid Antigen Tests to Improve COVID-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
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    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand increases climate aid contribution
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  • Super Māori turnout for Super Saturday
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    17 hours ago
  • Language assists Tagata Niue to thrive
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Caroline Bilkey as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to France and the OECD. “Aotearoa New Zealand and France have a shared history, and enjoy a strong, collaborative partnership. This includes a strong trade and economic relationship, a shared commitment to support ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
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    3 days ago
  • Judge of the High Court appointed
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    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on plan to reduce waste
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    3 days ago
  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
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    4 days ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
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    4 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
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    4 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
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    4 days ago
  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
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  • Government lays foundations as Māori Language Petition commemorations take shape for 2022
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  • Major contract awarded to power NZ Battery investigation
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    4 days ago
  • Additional Funding for Foodbanks and Social Agencies
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    5 days ago
  • Generating a new generation of guardians
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    5 days ago
  • Parts of Waikato, Northland staying at Alert Level 3
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    5 days ago
  • New courthouses for Tauranga and Whanganui
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    5 days ago
  • Speech on the launch of the consultation on the development of the Emissions Reduction Plan
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    5 days ago
  • Opportunity to shape NZ’s first Emissions Reduction Plan
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    5 days ago
  • Convention on Biological Diversity COP 15, Virtual High-Level Segment
    Kia ora koutou katoa. I want to thank China for hosting this critically important Conference of the Parties. We are all here for the same reason. Biodiversity loss, and the ongoing degradation of nature, are accelerating at an unprecedented rate. These losses are causing irreparable harm to our planet’s ability ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government books show resilient and strong economy
    The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast, even as recently as the Budget in May. It ...
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    6 days ago
  • ​​​​​​​Health system is ready for assisted-dying law
    The health system is ready for the implementation of the End of Life Choice Act when it takes effect next month, making assisted dying legal in New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. The law received 65.1 per cent support in a public referendum held alongside last year’s general ...
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    6 days ago
  • Taking a lead in threat to curious kea
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    6 days ago
  • Government provides certainty to working holiday and seasonal visa holders and employers for summer
    The Government will extend Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas for six months to provide more certainty to employers and visa holders over the coming summer period, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. “This offers employers and visa holders the certainty they’ve been asking for going ...
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    6 days ago
  • Lower card fees good for businesses, consumers
    The Bill to help lower the cost of the fees retailers get charged for offering contactless and debit payment options is another step closer to becoming law, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark said today. “COVID-19 has changed the way we spend our money, with online and contactless ...
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    7 days ago
  • Mandatory vaccination for two workforces
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    7 days ago
  • Fund allows more Pacific community led vaccinations
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    7 days ago
  • Small business at heart of economic recovery across APEC region
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    1 week ago
  • Restrictions on abortion medication lifted for health practitioners
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  • Record day for Māori vaccinations
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  • Statement on Joint Cooperation in Agriculture between Ireland and New Zealand
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    1 week ago
  • Northland to move to Alert Level 3 tonight
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  • Prime Minister's Christmas Card Competition
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  • Speech : Pacific Public Sector Fono – Friday 8th October 2021
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  • Pacific Public Sector Fono – Friday 8th October 2021
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    1 week ago
  • Ruapehu social housing pilot, providing value for generations to come
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  • New Children’s Commissioner Appointed
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    1 week ago
  • More support for business available from today
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    1 week ago
  • Compelling case made for modernising local government
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    1 week ago