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Open mike 21/10/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 21st, 2020 - 83 comments
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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 …

83 comments on “Open mike 21/10/2020 ”

  1. Pat 1

    Who is going to do the work?

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Those who are paid sufficiently?

    • Pat 2.1

      how is that determined?

      • gsays 2.1.1

        Living wage with an annual COLA. Cost of living adjustment.

        While we are at it, have the living wage be at level that a family can be raised on one income at 30 hours a week.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      But that's not how it works.

      Its mostly about people being forced to work for others through poverty so that those others don't have to work at all.

      That is the heart of capitalism.

  3. left for dead 3

    Good morning folks,

    Can somebody school me with regards to informal votes from the weekend, are those numbers high and/or is it a result of monkey wrenching.

    • Cinny 3.1

      Do you mean the special votes Left for dead? I think they were around 500,000 which is in my opinion, on the high side.

    • Craig H 3.2

      From Section 174 of the Electoral Act:

      For the purposes of subsection (2), the following votes must be set aside as informal:

      (a) any party votes that do not clearly indicate the party for which the voter desired to vote:

      (b) any electorate votes that do not clearly indicate the candidate for whom the voter desired to vote.

      For those who remember the 2000 US presidential election and "hanging chads", NZ law gives the Returning Officer some leeway in ascertaining the voter's intention.

      • left for dead 3.2.1

        Cheers folks, as I thought,a shame though that the people can't get it right their are a few there.

  4. lprent 4

    Rewrote the election authorisation footer and shoved into the theme functions. Something that I have to dust off every three years. I really need to make that into a plugin – it seems to come around ever faster these days. In this case I was late putting it up and slow to remember to take it down.

    I guess it is just that I seem to be ever more busy. I really just need to put in the date of the election. Then the notice can go up on the site automatically at the appropriate number of weeks before, the comments can lock down automatically on the day, and everything can turn off at the correct time.

    The site has been running since August 2007 – more than 13 years ago. This was its 5th election.

    Oh well – time to shower and get ready for doing a days work, get on the e-bike, avoid the homicidal drivers of cars, and then try to bring some order to code.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      then try to bring some order to code.

      Hah … a whimsical fantasy to fill your days with.

      • lprent 4.1.1

        Indeed. Especially since today's particular bit of code started life in the 1990s and is on its 4th major iteration. I'm slowly removing some of its inherent 1990s assumptions.

  5. RedBaronCV 5

    Lots of credit to the three firms in the article. Joined three lots of seasonal work around vineyards into year long permanent job – instead of moaning


  6. ianmac 6

    Peter Davis has some clear valuable ideas on sorting out the Health system. His final point has merit:

    Finally, your support partner. The Green Party has proposed an extension of ACC into the area of illness.

    The year 2023 will be the 50th anniversary of ACC, and yet, after half a century, it remains unmodified and fixated on injury. Extending levies beyond injury to other illness-causing commercial activities in the areas of tobacco, alcohol, sugar, saturated fats and other harmful consumption products would not only extend health cover for New Zealanders beyond injury, but also reduce harmful consumption and improve health outcomes such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, particularly for our most vulnerable populations.


    • Anne 6.1

      I'm glad to see the media are using [Professor] Peter Davis more often. I think he may be retired now but his knowledge and experience in both the health and social policy areas are enormous. He is also a well rounded, down to earth individual – qualities that are lacking in some of our noisier media commentators.

    • anker 6.2

      I heard Grant R mention the ACC/insurance idea for people with illness during the campaign.

    • tc 6.3

      ACC required an overhaul after 3 terms of national as far too many people get ejected with 'pre-existing' conditions, many from DHB ineptitude in initial diagnosis.

      Like missing broken bones in feet because only 1 x-ray was deemed required, (hope you got a good radiographer !) then months later, hey presto it's 'pre-existing' so not claimable under ACC.

      Many fall between these cracks national opened up which started with their BS scaremongering about the fund back in 2008 being in 'crisis' etc etc

    • Craig H 6.4

      There is mention in the Labour manifesto of investigating inequities in ACC vs health/welfare systems:

      As part of the welfare overhaul, Labour will examine
      inequities between support through ACC and the
      welfare and health system for disabled people and
      people with health conditions.

      The policy platform also has expanding ACC to include illness. Although that didn't make it into the manifesto this election, it might still be picked up by a new minister.

      Side note – both of those items were my policy remits in 2018 which successfully made it into the policy platform, so it's gratifying to see one of the two has made it into the manifesto for further work.

  7. Janet 7

    Pat asked above "Who is going to do the work?"

    Well it seems Russians … if it is fishing . Funny that, I thought Sealords was half owned by Maori now , who were delighted with that because it would bring work to their people. Should I be confused ?

    • Kay 7.1

      @Janet I can't find the link but there was a Morning Report interview asking this exact question. The gist of the reply was it takes an awful lot of training to get the qualifications these guys have and will take a very long time to train up NZers.

      But yes, we should be confused, given just how long Sealords has been in said ownership.

      • Kay 7.1.1

        Actually, I think it may have been on Checkpoint last night. I'll have to look for the link later.

      • greywarshark 7.1.2

        Sealords are part owned by another company – Japanese. I should think they are managed to the same business practices that other leading fishing companies in NZ are. One Maori fishing company in the early days of quota failed. Sealord Maori business interests would not want this happening to them.

        Additionally when there was a program to train Maori to be fisher-people, Sanford management threatened to take them to court for racism or something. No wonder Janet is confused. People don't realise how hard it is for Maori to make their way in the harsh neolib environment.

        Established in 1961, in Nelson, Sealord is half owned by the Maori people of New Zealand, through Moana New Zealand (Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd), and half owned by global seafood company Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd (Nissui).

        Our Business – Sealord International

      • Cinny 7.1.3

        Yes it does take some time to train to be an officer on a fishing vessel, a person has to have enough sea time clocked up as well as having the relevant qualifications.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Yes, but it doesn't take decades to so.

          • Cinny

            You're right about that Draco, it sure doesn't take decades.

            When I was in the industry, we would regularly contact the fishing school for cadets to come and do a trip. Then if they liked it and the skipper was happy we would offer them a job at the end of their course.

            If any employee who worked on our trawlers, wanted to get a ticket, we would bond them for 2 years and pay for the required courses. And when they were studying they would still get their retainer. Sometimes we would even co-ordinate vessel survey or major repair/up grade work to coincide with relevant ticket exams and courses.

            It is always valuable to have extra ticket holders onboard a vessel should a crew member need to be airlifted off due to injury v's a massive cost to cease fishing, head to port and pick up another crew member with the correct ticket.

            With unticketed crew, like factory crew etc, those were the ones who would do two trips on one trip off,for them it wouldn't take long before they would clock up the necessary sea time to upskill and gain a ticket.

            Sealord has been using foreign crew for years decades, rather than up-skilling kiwi's for the same roles.

            In the end it's absolutely all about the money for Sealord.

        • Macro

          As a past Director of Training for the RNZN I can confirm that it does take a year or two to train up for a Bridge Watchkeeping Ticket, but it is not decades, and most of these new arrivals will not be watchkeeping they are the filleters and gutters engineers cooks and deckhands etc. It doesn't take 200+ watchkeepers to drive a ship. This wholesale importation of labour is an absolute disgrace when we have able bodied unemployed who could easily adapt to the task with a little on-job-training.

          The same goes for the bleating I heard this morning WRT the forthcoming harvesting season. Farmers are bleating that there is no one available to drive the headers! FFS! I worked on headers during my university hols for my bro-in-law in what was then (and still is) one of the largest agri contracting businesses in the southern hemisphere. Admittedly, the headers then were not as sophisticated as they are now – but now the task is more about monitoring the on board computers than actual driving. Any reasonably competent person could manage that, with a little guidance and tuition.

          The NZ business sector have never wanted to accept the responsibility for training the people they employ, and this lack of investment in personnel is coming back to bite them big time. Its always been far cheaper to hire someone – even from overseas – and not take the time and effort to invest in training – which is why we have such an back log of unemployed. It's about time they were made to face up to their responsibilities in this regard and stop the free loading off others.

      • Stuart Munro 7.1.4

        It's not just the training – you have to get past the racist poms in MSA. I spent half my working life trying to get tickets that folk in Hong Kong could get without hassles by the age of 19.

        That NZ doesn't fully staff its fishing fleet with locals is down to corporate and government dysfunction – plenty of keen young kiwis out there, but the companies don't want them, and periodically go broke through incompetence.

        NZ has no aquaculture comparable with Australian silver & yellow perch or barramundi either – it's like we're not even trying.

        They will never want NZ crew while they have cheaper foreigners on tap. I worked all those 116 hour weeks for nothing – successive governments pissed away my career, and plenty of my former colleagues, having nothing to fall back on, topped themselves.

        Corrupt ministers like Fafoi and Nash before him, who rubber stamp the work permits for these slave fishermen, live in infamy.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      No. It's all about profit after all:

      “It shows that we are serious about the fair treatment of fishing crews, the safety of vessels and New Zealand’s international reputation for ethical and sustainable fishing practices.”

      The new law will give government agencies full jurisdiction over areas including employment and labour conditions on fishing vessels.

      “It will help ensure fair standards for all fishing crews working in our waters,” Guy said.

      The bill was partially opposed by the Maori Party and several iwi, who use FCVs to fish their Treaty of Waitangi quotas.

      • Stuart Munro 7.2.1

        This was just a PR exercise – the boats are registered in NZ, and, as any lawyer can tell you, thereby subject to NZ law in its entirety. Never enforced of course.

        • Draco T Bastard

          More than likely but the laws are there and we have, supposedly, a government that has some concern for the workers and so they should be looking to enforce it better – especially now that the handbrake has left the building.

    • Cinny 7.3

      We've had a few positions for the boats advertised locally in Nelson/Tasman, but bugger all compared to the volume of crew being flown in. Wonder if they even asked the fishing school if they knew of any potential crew?

      I was under the understanding that if vessel is foreign owned (half of Sealord is) and crew is foreign, then NZ employment law does not apply. Would have to double check to be certain.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1

        The last National government changed the law so that all ships operating in NZ waters are operating under NZ law. Many iwi were upset about it.

  8. Morrissey 8

    Israeli Defence Forces were stopped from demolishing a Palestinian home. Now they want to pour cement into his room instead.

    When is Jacinda Ardern going to speak about this illegal and brutal occupation?


    • Wensleydale 8.1

      As 'punishments' go, that's both infantile and vindictive. So, business as usual for the IDF then. Between burning olive groves and running interference for rampaging settlers, they're really busy these days.

    • Tiger Mountain 8.2

      How does never sound Morrissey?

      Palestinians are invisible to most centrist Politicians.

  9. greywarshark 9


    GCSB – Great Concern Spy Brouhaha?

    An 80-year-old retired humanitarian worker and a presbyterian minister have had their homes raided by police over a donation used to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) in North Korea.


    The GCSB provides world-class intelligence, information assurance, and cyber security services to the New Zealand Government.

    We employ New Zealand's top talent and many of our people are recognised as world leaders in their field of expertise. Our team is intelligent, curious and tech-savvy. We find ways to do things better, faster and smarter, and we have fun along the way. We have a strong team spirit, a sense of unity towards a common goal, and huge pride to know we work for a world-class organisation at the heart of national security.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      The DPRK Friendship Society are obviously a bunch of idiots. The DPRK are obviously going to be capable of making their own PPE gear and so don't need donations for them.

    • McFlock 10.1

      Not sure we'd want to cut the vacancy rate. They're still at ~60% occupancy, which isn't too bad. Gives wriggle room if they want to standardise business/labour immigration (the russian sailor counter-example notwithstanding).

      • greywarshark 10.1.1

        Yes, we need capacity available and to keep good isolation and low no fraternisation!

  10. greywarshark 11

    This is the sort of woman that old-time feminists praised and honoured.


    1 day ago — Hawa Abdi, who has died aged 73, was a pioneering Somali doctor whose one-room clinic grew into a 400-bed hospital; she provided sanctuary to 90,000 …

  11. greywarshark 12

    This is so dry from Gordon Campbell – Werewolf at Scoop – that it would curl the lips of hardened Gnats as they sucked in the content.


    As it licks its wounds, let’s hope the National Party can still find time to look back with some pride at what it has achieved in Epsom. The Act Party’s nationwide success on Saturday night has been a tribute to National’s foresight, and to its ability to pick winners. Others would have looked at the dying remnants of the old Act Party and written it off. Yet National needed an MMP partner and it saw the potential where no-one else did. And so it re-grew the Act Party in a petri dish in Epsom, and carefully nurtured it back to life…

  12. mpledger 13

    Among a lot of things that annoy me about importing Russian sailors is that the health conditions for the sailors coming here were obviously not met.

    All the sailors that tested positive for covid-19 should be sent home at the end of their quarantine period – there have to be consequences for not following the health protocols or else what's the point.

    If not, then all that will happen is that more and more of them will try to get around the rules and that puts all of us at risk.

    • McFlock 13.1

      But is it their fault? Or their recruiting agency?

      Seems to me it's the basic flaw in the system that ISTR the nat's wanted for everyone: test before leaving country of origin. 5% positive rate in this batch suggests pre-departure testing is of little value to NZ immigration.

    • greywarshark 13.2

      I think the urgency for getting these guys, and the large number of them to be transported quickly and effectively meant that the tourist and returning protocols were too difficult to meet. We can't be dogmatic about this, but the fishing company/s should be paying a large part of the costs involved.

      • McFlock 13.2.1

        Yes, the isolation is paid for by the company.

        But given the arseholery of international maritime labour, that probably just means the workers are in heavy debt to a Russian intermediary.

        As for the protocols, everything seems to have been followed okay at this end. One queries the testing in Russia, though.

        • greywarshark

          'But given the arseholery of international maritime labour'… you name it.

          BAU then. It's the story of our time – we have reached our potential level on the Peter's Principle rule.

      • Pat 13.2.2

        We can't be dogmatic about this, but the fishing company/s should be paying ALL of the costs involved.

        • greywarshark

          Uh huh. But the government passed the regulations, and in neolib land the gummint mainly serves business interests, and the country pays for the privilege.

  13. tc 14

    Granny, as usual, has shonky John pimping it up on behalf of the banks who are soooo hard done by wanting capital requirements delayed….diddums.

  14. greywarshark 15

    Last night (Tuesday,Oct.20/20) about 10 pm – part moon, starry sky, and then from a westerly direction, a line of lights at regular spaces, might have been 20. I ran inside for family and came straight out again but gone. Seemed to be going east-south-east.

    Explanation? Eion Musk or whom or what?

    • PaddyOT 15.2

      You saw one of the Starlink chains.There's more than 800 individual Starlink satellites in orbit now with thousands to come.

      They are released in batches. A batch of 60 odd were launched 3 days ago, the 18th launch of 2020. Once released in space they are then unpredictable in where their orbits may eventuate but can be tracked.

      SpaceX has permission to launch as many as 12,000 satellites so far but the company has indicated it will see approval to launch as many as 30,000.

      This site below tracks the potential path of the visible chains that you saw. So eg. starlink ( chain) 12 has been in a visible orbit this week in parts of NZ.

      They're amazing to watch but this Space X tracker site is a bit like a schmoozing, buy-in for the public to make Musk's unregulated space takeover acceptable. He estimates they will bring him $30 billion a year once all operational.

      Can you see that starving kid under a night sky grateful for Musk's internet to remote regions ?


  15. greywarshark 16

    Oh noooos.


    Co-author of the study, Professor John Boland, at Trinity College in Ireland, told Morning Report the team were surprised by the large quantities found while preparing new bottles of formula using WHO guidelines.

    "What we found is you have at least a million microplastics and in fact many trillion nano-plastics actually."

    Particle shedding accelerated at higher temperatures, and shaking bottles also increased their release, he said

    "But even if you reduce the temperature of the water down to room temperature, it turns out you get at least a hundred thousand or several hundred thousand microplastics."

  16. greywarshark 17

    Different oh nooos.


    The return of the Napier-Wairoa line was promised as a saviour for Hawke's Bay and the forestry industry.
    Now KiwiRail is keeping quiet about when exactly it will restart again.

    Following a $6.2 million investment from the provincial growth fund, the line was reopened by the then regional economic development minister Shane Jones in June last year.
    But logging trains only began running on 26 January 2020.

    A week later, and after just six return trips, the trains were brought to a halt.
    KiwiRail said it shut because of Covid-19's impact on the forestry industry.

    Federated Farmers Wairoa branch chairman Allan Newton said some in rural communities were concerned at the taxpayer spending.
    "When they work out that their hard-earned tax dollars have gone into such a project that has achieved so little at this stage, they are concerned," he said.

    One wonders if those farmers even went to primary school. What is spent out of taxation is for the benefit of the country, or should be. This is strategic spending, not gifts to the country from generous farmers. And do they take out insurance? When they don't ever claim, do they ask for their money back? It goes into a pool for the use of others if you don't have a call on it yourself. The rail line is appropriate expenditure for now, and there will be logs to put on it even if there aren't any farmers in that area. That's how things are these days, you have to think in the round, to the future, not in straight lines to your personal pocket now.

    I think we have to give signals by raising money from road users, all of us. And the heavy trucks will have a special price on what shows up on their odometers. The payments should be checked against their trips every now and then to prevent the habit of understating which if it starts with one bad apple will be adopted by them all.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      "When they work out that their hard-earned tax dollars have gone into such a project that has achieved so little at this stage, they are concerned," he said.

      Their hard earned tax dollars had nothing to do with it. Taxes simply don't work that way.

      And $6.2 million is nothing.

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