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Open mike 21/11/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 21st, 2020 - 114 comments
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114 comments on “Open mike 21/11/2020 ”

  1. Reality 1

    Tom O'Connor's article in todays's Dominion Post is worth a read. After all the defence of freedom campers (those who leave their mess behind) on this website it was good to read another point of view. Namely, amongst other comments, why should small councils with a small ratepayer base be put under huge financial strain paying for tourism infrastructure. As he says, let the tourism industry pay for what it needs. And by being more selective, we can avoid holiday destinations being inundated with more people than is manageable.

    I have not forgotten being in Oxford, England, many years ago and hearing from the local townspeople that they hated the tourist season there. A smallish town where the locals avoided the town centre during that time as it was completely overwhelmed with visitors.

    • bwaghorn 1.1

      Its probably more to do with the fact Nash made the comments, the real lefties here hate him with a passion . In the past there have been plenty here decry the cheap tourists shitting their way around nz.

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        and for the last 8 month its been kiwis that have been shitting their way around NZ.


        and as someone said yesterday, quite a few Kiwis – the homeless ones live in cars and vans absent of anything better.

        But i guess its easier to blame tourists that used to spend up to 10 grand here during their 3 month stay. Cause Kiwis would never shit in the woods when they can't find a public toilet, no siree, they would never, they shit in a bucket and wait till they get home to empty it in the potty there.

        • bwaghorn

          Can you show me where Nash lumped homeless in with tourists, ?

          That's not to say I'm ok with homelessness.

          They should all go camp on parliament grounds so kind caring Ardern has to actually look at them .

          • Graeme

            The insidious link here is that by allowing backpackers to live out of vans for their 12 month stay in New Zealand we have normalised living out of vans and cars. Someone camped on the side of the road isn't seen as a vagrant or homeless anymore, rather a positive contribution to the economy.

            Nice little spot of social engineering there.

            • Phillip ure

              Nice view/take on the homeless there..eh..?

              • RosieLee

                No, it's not a take on the homeless specifically. It's a take on what we have allowed our tourism/economy/values to become.

                • Phillip ure

                  Oh come on..!…this is what nz'ers do all over the world ..travel on the cheap..get a grip..!..eh..?.. What is the actual problem..?..(save for the need to build a lot more public toilets…with a shower option..could be outside/cold water..)..lack of infrastructure is the problem..end of story…this scapegoating is both tiresome and xenophobic..

          • Phillip ure

            He didn't..and that was a stellar example of his ignorance on that issue..rental vans are the middle of the market..as others have pointed out most long-term young visitors buy a vehicle on arrival and sell it when they go…in the main they don't rent over-priced vans..so nash is way off the mark..hence the ridicule heaped on him..and yes..a lot of those freedom camping/living in camp grounds/moving around are homeless new zealanders..and yes..it may well be time for some political direct action on that front…and a homeless camp on the grounds of parliament..or some other high profile public space could well be an idea/option whose time is nigh….let's see how that would play in the international media..

            • bwaghorn

              Now is the time for direct action because you know Arden wont have them dragged out buy te heals like the nats would

              • Phillip ure

                I think quite a bit hinges on what is said on the 25th in the speech from the throne..if that shows they are going to do s.f.a. about what they promised to do..I reckon it will be all on…there really is no other option…and I will go and stand with them..

              • RosieLee

                Like the Nats would? You think? lol

    • Pat 1.2

      I understand the locals of not so small Barcelona feel the same….dont imagine theres many 'freedom campers' there.

      • Tricledrown 1.2.1

        Pat accommodation is very reasonably priced in Barcelona a night in a cheap hotel with clean sheets only NZ$25 but homelessness is a problem their to.

    • Bearded Git 1.3

      Central government should give local councils that deal with high numbers of tourists a grant towards infrastructure….with some of this earmarked for much better public toilet facilities at potential freedom camping locations.

      • RedBaronCV 1.3.1

        I've been out and about lately and there is a distinct downturn in camper vans. But why should we socialise the cost of overseas tourists where a lot of the money is simply YOYo money. Comes in rents a vehicle profits go overseas, wages to limited term visa holders etc. Is it an industry worth having?

        But I wonder if Nash's high end comments are based on those tourist operators being the only ones still complaining. For just standard type accommodation in the North Island it really pays to book ahead because the bulk of them are pretty busy. I struck one provincial town with a reasonable amount of accommodation with the house full sign out on a weekday night in August. No events on.

    • aj 1.4

      A smallish town where the locals avoided the town centre during that time as it was completely overwhelmed with visitors.

      …which is why a number of Southland and Otago residents avoid Queenstown like the plaque.

      • Graeme 1.4.1

        Which is a tad bizzare because they are just as much visitors as someone from Auckland, Sydney or Los Angeles.

        No 'tourists' in town but it took 2 hours to get through Frankton last night because of the marathon crowd blocking up all the roundabouts.

    • mac1 1.5

      Tom O'Connor wrote in the article cited above, "……a bucket of cold reality to many in the tourism industry.

      The minister is the first in a long time to heed the many calls from throughout the country for the industry to be reeled in and reset to be less harmful to the New Zealand environment and less costly to taxpayers and ratepayers.

      The minister made it very clear that he was looking at innovative ways to ensure taxpayers and ratepayers will not continue to pay for tourism’s impact on infrastructure and the environment. He was also clear that he was not closing New Zealand to those tourists who were not wealthy, but they will not be the target market and that every tourist that comes to New Zealand will pay for the New Zealand experience."

      O'Connor's third paragraph is one that needs to be read by people involved in this debate.

      Firstly, who pays for the litter, the damage to the environment, the increased need for infrastructure? Taxpayer, rates payer or the industry? By extension, should the trucking industry pay only part of the damage caused by its usage of our roads?

      Is all this all another example of 'privatise the profits an socialise the costs'?

      Secondly, Nash did not argue to exclude 'back-packing' tourists, the non-wealthy.

      O'Connor is a former journalist, historian and author and an elected District Councillor. His views would be a better starter for discussions than points of view which misrepresent what Nash said, for example.

      • woodart 1.5.1

        too many instant experts here made fools of themselves by attacking the messenger . just because it was said by someone the experts hate, they go off on tangents.

        • mac1

          Thanks, woodart. You have simplified the issue. It is one of dislike of a politician clouding the arguments.

          John Key said something about staying in government in his speech to the National Party AGM. The comments were about taking and holding the centre. He was good at that- and held power for nine years.


          The fear amongst some commentators showing on this blog is that Labour will abandon the left to keep the centre. Therefore anything resembling centrist policies will be reviled by some; and centrist Labour politicians will be attacked.

          The thing is that Labour's policies and actions are different from Key's centralism, though I'm sure that will be hotly contested.

          For politics is the art of the possible. Some of our political commentariat have to understand basic rules of politics. Advocates for change don't obtain that by faulty reasoning, blame and personality attacks.

          It's one thing to keep one's ideology pure and not be able to apply it by never getting into power. It's better to be more aware of where the electorate sits on issues and by showing it that change can be managed acceptably by the use of political power in government, keep the centre and thereby the power to make changes.

          Key also had another reason to keep the centre happy. National party politics is about keeping power, especially keeping it away from the hands of reformers and the socially minded. For Key , and National, it's about that- exercise power for the advantage of 'their people'.

          John Key telegraphed his fear. That Labour by holding the centre would hold power for several elections. This why he never went as far right as some wished to push him. He understands that hope for change is not a strategy. He understands loyalty and solidarity, focus and discipline.

          After him, National lost that and like the All Blacks under pressure, the weak and the under-prepared, the glory boys and the unsuitable, cracked and lost.

          We may celebrate with popping corks that fact that Goodfellow has been re-elected to National's presidency, that they seem not to have learnt the lessons of electoral defeat- but eventually they'll get it.

          "Trust me," said Key during that speech. Trust is what got Labour there- trust in Ardern and good ministers, trust in wise decisions and actions, trust in Labour's basic good will.

    • McFlock 1.6

      I live near a local tourist attraction. Can't see the appeal in it myself, but there are fools wandering around the street every day. It took the council years of complaints to put in a public toilet.

      During all that time the attraction featured in all the tourism advertising the same council released to attract those visitors.

      I'd have more sympathy for the "taxpayers and ratepayers" if they spent zero money causing the problem they don't want to clean up. Seriously, even for smaller councils how difficult is it to identify "brown spots" and bung in a portaloo?

  2. Patricia Bremner 2

    Nash has a habit of being divisive, playing one group against another. He could give Police high tech gadgets to track people, but not put cameras on boats to monitor bycatch. Go figure.

    • mac1 2.1

      "Go figure", you say. I can't.

      I think you might have to explain as to how your second sentence supports your contention that Nash is divisive- which group is being played against which group in your example?

    • woodart 2.2

      no, think you are being divisive. what the hell has cameras got to do with cheap tourists shitting in the waterways?grow up and stop attacking the messenger, read and THINK about the message

  3. joe90 3

    tick tock…

    • WeTheBleeple 3.1

      Let's take another moment to enjoy the deliciousness of Rudy's freakout flop sweat as he looks down the barrel of treason and sedition.

      And another moment to enjoy the power of the Trumps disintegrating before our eyes.

      There's only one way America's ever going to save face from all this, throw them all in jail for a long long time.

      • joe90 3.1.1

        If they don’t prosecute tRump he'll travel the country holding divisive rallies to disrupt Biden’s presidency. His base will stick with him and he'll undermine incumbent Republicans who don’t actively spike Biden’s agenda.

        Lock him up!

      • Matiri 3.1.2

        Rudy's son was also at that press conference and he has just been diagnosed with Covid – was "Rudy's freakout flop sweat" also because he was ill with Covid?

      • Andre 3.1.3

        Speaking of disintegration;

      • Gyrogearloose 3.1.4

        Might need to slow down you plans….things just went a little off track in Pennsylvania.

        "…..On the heels of Gov. Tom Wolf unilaterally decertifying every voting machine in the Commonwealth, "

        • Andre

          When did this decertification happen?

          Was it this one back in April 2018?


          If it was more recent than this, how about a linky with more information than just a statement from a Repug politician that has every incentive to be as deceptive as possible in order to sucker gullible idiots?

          • Gyrogearloose

            Don't Know. Article did not state.

            Funny, just looked at the link on my laptop and there is a lot less text than when I looked at it on my phone…. I had first seen this on ZeroHedge, but given the low regard it seems to be held in here I did a quick search and linked to a main stream media article (ABC)

            Another article with more text that from memory is basically the same as I saw on the ABC27 article

            Basics. Dominion had agreed to turn up to a meeting on Friday 20 Nov , to explain how their voting software was good, but pulled out at the last minute…

            [You have made the same assertion twice under different Posts (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-21-11-2020/#comment-1767486 and https://thestandard.org.nz/trumps-chances-of-winning-the-presidential-election-through-legal-action/#comment-1767434) and both times you were asked for evidence in the form of a link. If you are too lazy to verify the ‘facts’ that you’re spreading here or elsewhere, you run the risk of becoming a super spreader of mis- and/or dis-information, wittingly or unwittingly. However, ignorance is no excuse.

            Did you ever ponder/wonder why ZeroHedge.com and readers of ZH are generally held in low regard here? Could it be that they are too lazy to do critical research, analysis, and thinking and they are all too happy to confirm their bias?

            If you want to continue commenting here, I strongly suggest you lift your game. This is your warning – Incognito]

            • Andre

              Looking for more info I googled dominion voting software hearing pennsylvania. The hits that came back are mostly from frankly nutso sites like The Epoch Times, Just The News, Rush Limbaugh and so on.

              Just the appearance of the page your link goes to should raise big red flags, and sure 'nuff, USSA News is rated as another nutso source.



              Meanwhile, a more-or-less rational look at the situation says:

              A group of Republican lawmakers on Friday amplified a baseless conspiracy theory alleging a Venezuelan-backed effort to undermine the 2020 election by manipulating the software in one company’s voting machines to take votes from President Donald Trump.

              Interim House State Government Committee Chairman Seth Grove called a press conference in the Ryan Office Building to chastise election system manufacturer Dominion Voting Systems for backing out of a public hearing scheduled for Friday.

              Grove framed the company’s decision not to appear as an attempt to hide something, though the answers to many of the questions the Republicans claimed they needed from Dominion are already available on the Department of State’s website or are the purview of county elections officials.


              So reading between the lines, it looks like Dominion worked out that this hearing wasn't going to be about factual information, but was a set-up for a nutso publicity stunt for rabid MAGAmorons to do something akin to an Oozy Giuliani performance.

              • WeTheBleeple

                He's a poor faith troll pretending to be someone he's not. Should be booted for deliberately spreading nonsense.

                P.S. Pennsylvania now at that 80K lead I called early. But can't get an accurate figure of votes yet to count to see if it'll climb much. A friend had 100K. We got a six pack of cider riding on it, serious business indeed.

                • Andre


                  But he's a good example of how disinformation gets spread. So there's some merit in delving into the weeds and showing what kind of disinformation it really is. For lurkers that might be influenced, that is. Someone actually posting crap like that is likely too far gone to be turned around.

                  • Gyrogearloose

                    I assumed ABC was mainstream, between my memory and the tone of their other articles… my bad trusting ABC

                    It happens. sort of like the photos of the kids Trump was keeping in cages, that tuned out to be taken while Obama was president..

                    • Andre

                      You just can't help yourself, can you? You just gotta be a misinformation spreader.

                      The uproar was about the Donnie Dotard maladministration's deliberate cruelty of family separations. Taking kids from their parents and not really much caring about keeping track of them. So the point of the kids in cages was that those kids had been forcibly separated from their families, in a policy of deliberate abusive cruelty.

                      The situation for the Obama administration was somewhat different. At that time, there were large numbers of unaccompanied kids turning up at the border.

                      Of the families that turned up, in a small number of cases it was assessed that kids were at risk of harm from their families and were separated for safety reasons, or because their parents were being prosecuted for serious crimes such as trafficking, with careful tracking to enable prompt reunification when it was safe to do so.

                      So some of the cages were indeed built by the Obama administration, for quite different reasons than the Spraytan Stalin put them to use for. Thereby creating the small nugget of truth that the best disinformation is built from.


            • Incognito

              See my Moderation note @ 5:59 PM.

              • Gyrogearloose

                Sorry about that. What i had in mind was the NZherald article

                • Incognito

                  Different assertion, different link (required). Please keep up.

                  You changed the topic to cages. I hope this wasn’t a diversion attempt because it certainly gives off that vibe and comes across as doubling-down 🙁

  4. Koff 4

    Americans celebrate Thanksgiving in 5 days time. I wonder who Americans think they are supposed to be thanking and what they are thanking him, her, or they for? Perhaps this year, they can just take their pick and just find anything or anybody in their lives to thank and ignore the rest of reality.

    • joe90 4.1

      I wonder who Americans think they are supposed to be thanking and what they are thanking him, her, or they for?

      Murder, mayhem, cruelty, genocide, and 400 years of white supremacy?

      In 1637 near present day Groton, Connecticut, over 700 men, women and children of the Pequot Tribe had gathered for their annual Green Corn Festival which is our Thanksgiving celebration. In the predawn hours the sleeping Indians were surrounded by English and Dutch mercenaries who ordered them to come outside. Those who came out were shot or clubbed to death while the terrified women and children who huddled inside the longhouse were burned alive. The next day the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared “A Day Of Thanksgiving” because 700 unarmed men, women and children had been murdered.

      Cheered by their “victory”, the brave colonists and their Indian allies attacked village after village. Women and children over 14 were sold into slavery while the rest were murdered. Boats loaded with a many as 500 slaves regularly left the ports of New England. Bounties were paid for Indian scalps to encourage as many deaths as possible.

      Following an especially successful raid against the Pequot in what is now Stamford, Connecticut, the churches announced a second day of “thanksgiving” to celebrate victory over the heathen savages. During the feasting, the hacked off heads of Natives were kicked through the streets like soccer balls. Even the friendly Wampanoag did not escape the madness. Their chief was beheaded, and his head impaled on a pole in Plymouth, Massachusetts — where it remained on display for 24 years.


    • Macro 4.2

      What if trump asks the Turkey for a pardon?

      And will the Turkey give it?

    • Treetop 4.3

      Thankful that Trump lost the election.

  5. Koff 5

    Hmmm. I suppose we can all be thankful that institutionalised barbarism in the U.S. is not as bad today as it was four hundred years ago.

  6. newsense 6

    Was it ever figured out who leaked to Nicky Hager for the Hollow men?

    Also Sir John doesn't like leaking.

  7. joe90 7

    Sadly Covid 19 has tested positive for Don Jr.

    Best wishes and a speedy recovery to C19

    • Andre 7.1

      Covid19 will be just fine when Don Jr becomes aware C19 is a similar category of parasitic organism as itself. I believe the lawyers call it 'professional courtesy'.

      In related news, at latest count there are seven Repug senators hosting Covid19, while only five have so far given any indication of acknowledging Biden won.

    • Andre 7.2

      The paternal reaction seems a little heartless …

  8. Janet 8

    I am confused, sorry but I am confused. We have farmers and horticuturists calling out for the government to let seasonal workers from off-shore in to help them with the primary production work in NZ . We have people losing their jobs all over New Zealand because of the tourist market collapse and whatever. We have had visa’s being extended for people on visitor visas and 1 yr working holiday visas since covid hit and now we have this : “ Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has announced migrant workers will be eligible for emergency benefits under strict conditions.

    If they were really looking for work they would have come and helped me on my little farm. As many small farms and blocks like mine I advertise for short term helpers on The Backpackerboard.com and typically young backpackers travelling NZ drop in and help for 2 – 6 weeks depending on their program and mine. It’s been near impossible to find helpers this year – the first time so in 25 yrs . I guess because they have mostly found longer term employment.

    No, no benefit for non – New Zealanders. These people are not people willing to work. Spend the money instead on a chartered flight to wherever they have come from. Send them home. It will be cheaper in the long run.

    • Phillip ure 8.1

      @ Janet..how much an hour do you pay those who 'help' you..?..or are you working the woofr-vein..and getting that help largely for free..?..if the latter..cry me a river..eh..?

    • Brigid 8.2


      aka slavery

      Aren't you just another entitled 'small' farmer? Why the fuck should they help you? What do you give them? Other than a few meals and a bed. How magnanimous.

      Who do you 'help'?

      • Janet 8.2.1

        They work in exchange for full free board, in a comfortable house. Their work is calculated at the going minimum wage rate per hr rate – The woofer association asks for 28 hrs a week in exchange and I ask for 25hrs. It is a win win situation, not as you both above suggest, some kind of rip-off, and my visitor’s book is a 100% testimony to that. They get the opportunity to engage 24/7 with real kiwis at home and on the land and learn and experience a lot as well as having a place to rest a while from the tedium of continuous travelling. I get to enjoy a less insular life and they help me get through the work of the moment. With covid the annual influx has not arrived and those who were allowed to stay longer have got more permanent jobs by now.

        • Phillip ure

          So..@$20 per hr ..they do $500 worth of work…but you take that $500 p.w. as food and board…there are 'win win'ers and 'win win'ers ..eh..?..the whole woofing thing is exploitation writ large..of travellers trying to stretch their dollar…in a very expensive country…

          • Janet

            My visitors book tells a totally different story – its not about $,s and exploitation at all. Its about sharing and caring . Its about incredulous marvel , nurturing, patiently teaching and listening…… its about tears on leaving and staying in touch.

            • WeTheBleeple

              Well cry me a river. Lazy so and so's refuse to work for nothing aye. Need some gullible types who get to see the wonders of nature for the minimal fee of 25 hours labor.

              You sound terribly hard done by.

              • Chris T

                So 20 dollars an hour is nothing now?


                • WeTheBleeple

                  Chris, it's plain you can't follow a thread but you could at least try to keep up.

                  “for full free board in a comfortable house.” In case your eyes, as I have long suspected, skip inconvenient bits.

                  • Chris T

                    I take it you are being stupid to just start an argument, but work out what "free board" means.

                    And get it doesn't mean they have to pay for it out of their wages.

                  • Chris T

                    Let me put it in english.

                    Someone gets free board, in exchange for the opportunity of working in a job that pays this much.

                    This seriously can't be that hard to get.

                    • McFlock


                      12 given without consideration of a return or reward

                      Was this meaning of the word unknown to you?

                    • weka

                      Woofing is a work exchange situation, there are no wages involved. People work on organic farms in exchange for board and being taught skills.

                      It's a good scheme when it's done well, but it's not supposed to be comparable to waged work. It also operates with a degree of good will, so it's astounding to see a woofing host saying that non-residents should be sent home given woofing traditionally has been full of international travellers.

                      If farms depend on labour, then they should pay a decent rate to get employees who commit to work (woofing labour doesn't have this kind of commitment). If farms want to keep woofing as well, then they can make their situation attractive to Kiwis under covid border closures. I like the idea of farmers banding together to provide enough of a living for local workers, or those willing to travel for seasonal work.

                    • weka

                      Re the Kiwi thing, woofing is supposed to be skills training, so there is actually quite a good opportunity there for both sides at this time.

                    • KJT


                      Yet another way for entitled people to avoid paying workers.

                    • McFlock

                      WOOFing seems to be of some interest to the Department of Labour.

                      In the farming sector the term WWOOFer has been generically used to describe a person who does work
                      in exchange for accommodation or board. However, legally these people are likely employees and must
                      be provided the protections afforded by New Zealand employment law.
                      This means these workers must be provided their minimum employment entitlements, such as at least
                      the minimum wage, holiday pay, payment of their wages in money and a written contract.
                      Under New Zealand employment law it is not the name of the scheme which is important, but the nature
                      of the relationship.


                      Can you pay a person with accommodation?
                      You cannot directly pay a person in accommodation only. Payment for work done must be in money.
                      The employer and employee are free to enter an accommodation arrangement and deduct from wages
                      the reasonable cost of the accommodation. Such agreements need to be in writing.


                      If they are doing this out of their own free will, why aren’t these people volunteers?
                      As ‘a person of any age employed by an employer to do any work for hire or reward under a contract
                      of service’, they fit the definition of an employee under the Employment Relations Act 2000.
                      The Labour Inspectorate believes that it is highly unlikely that any person working in an
                      accommodation facility and being rewarded with accommodation could be regarded as a genuine

                      In addition, of course, to international backpackers usually not being on work visas, IRD would be wanting PAYE, and ACC would be after their cut, as well.

                      Janet, whatever your visitor book says, I hope you're checking visas.

                    • weka

                      yeah, IRD have had a look too from memory. Thing is, woofing isn't supposed to be merely a work for board scheme. It's supposed to be a learning exchange, where people can work on organic properties and learn skills specific to organic farming/gardening. Obviously there are farmers who abuse that and simply use it as a form of cheap labour, but I think the original intent is sound. If the govt shut down the scheme I guess growers could charge for training people and then offset that with accommodation and food. I'd prefer if the sector sorted its shit out and the govt gave support for the original intent. Covid seems an ideal opportunity for both.

                    • weka

                      "The Labour Inspectorate believes that it is highly unlikely that any person working in an accommodation facility and being rewarded with accommodation could be regarded as a genuine

                      That's backpacker businesses straight up using international visitors as cheap labour. Sometimes not even woofing, it's pretty common for tourism to use work for board arrangements. I'd be happy for the govt to intervene in that.

                    • weka

                      "Labour Inspectorate has since communicated these findings to the industry, and expects accommodation providers who have been engaging in this practice to now meet their obligations as employers"

                      Curious now how this has been followed up given that was in 2018.

                      And whether they've looked at the large scale hiring of international vistitors in tourism/hospo (and I would guess hort) of people without employment agreements and where low wages and poor work conditions are normal because the workers are essentially on holiday and happy to work whatever hours in between doing their holiday things.

                      That shit means large numbers of jobs are simply not available for locals who need steady income and decent conditions to work around things like kids, school, paying rent/utilities and so on. My understanding is that the labour dept haven't been looking at that terribly closely (who wants to have a pop at tourism?) but I'd love to know.

                    • McFlock

                      It's an issue that crosses a lot of boundaries. The big one is immigration – a holiday or student visa essentially rules out any "learning exchange". I used to work with a lot of international students, ISTR the maximum hours they could work was 20/wk.

                      But a longer term apprenticeship scheme might work, but then that would have to be the declared reason someone enters the country.

                      Immigration periodically pings workplaces for hiring people without work visas, but that's difficult to detect if they're being paid under the table unless you actually raid the place in person and see who is on site.

                      My impression is that there are already avenues for farmers to do this legitimately. Apprenticeships, short term employment, whatevs.

                      The WWOOF website Janet linked to seems to directly contradict the government view about whether the "volunteers" are actually employees. Any website doing something like that tingles my spidey-sense that something not entirely kosher is going on. That's beside the entire "work without actual pay" thing. Janet's actual outgoings for 25hrs a week labour are the food the "volunteer" eats and some tv/internet time. No tax, no ACC, no other compliance costs that other farmers with employees pay.

            • McFlock

              The departments of inland revenue, labour, and immigration might be interested in participants in that deal.

              But beside that, your "helpers"/employees are essentially people who do not need money. You pay them in kind. Migrant workers aren't here for the joy of traipsing around NZ on the cheap – they want money. Often to send back home to people in need.

              If you only need 25hr/wk, maybe join up with some other small farmers to turn it full time? And knock a bit off the fee for room & board? At least these workers will have work visas, unlike many backpackers.

            • Duncan

              I used to see these woofers dropped off at the intercity bus every day.

              There was a hug, and then the owner walked away and you could see the cold steely glint in their eye as they anticipated the next sucker coming along to do slave labour for next to nothing.

              Sure it is an experience for a 21 year old German on their OE, it is not an option for a kiwi trying to survive in this country.

              And many of those so called organic farms are dairy farms with a small (maybe) organic patch of veges and the workers are out there milking totally non-organic cows.

            • Brigid

              But this 'sharing and caring … incredulous marvel , nurturing, patiently teaching and listening' and 'tears on leaving and staying in touch.' becomes 'No, no benefit for non – New Zealanders. These people are not people willing to work.'.

              Why is that?

          • Chris T

            Can you post a link to where their pay is taken away in food and board please.

            We wouldn't want people to think you are just talking shit and that?


    • Incognito 8.3

      I think this is an ideal opportunity for younger folk and school leavers from the big smoke to experience their own backyard in a risk-free way. If I were younger, I’d want to do it myself! I assume to work at your little farm you have to be 18 years of age. I’m going to check out wwoof NZ; thank you for the link.

      • Janet 8.3.1

        Yes , they have all left school and many are doing a "gap" year between leaving school and university. Most are under 30 and are travelling on NZ working holiday Visas. I do not take people with out visas. This year my grand-daughter took a gap year to travel to Europe to spend some time with her maternal family, but Covid struck. Instead she went woofing in NZ. Next year she starts university.

        • Chris T

          While you are back Janet

          Do you mind answering a question?

          Is what you pay workers on top of free board, or in exchange for free board and they in essence don't get paid?


          • Janet

            Yes she did. She got to experience the SI for the first time in her life , and learnt to navigate her way around NZ alone.

          • Janet

            As per the woofer site I posted.

            • Chris T

              Had honestly never heard of woofering till today and this thread.

              Looking at your link I can understand why people wouldn't mind doing that for a week or so, provided it is legit, and they are actually learning about nature.

              Personally wouldn't as grew up just hanging out in the bush in the south island.

              Would imagine there are some dodgy people offering it though. (Not you. As you seem to be honest)


              • In Vino

                Chris T

                You are bloody annoying. Let me put it in English for you, as McFlock has already done. Free means Free, given unconditionally. Your nonsense of 'free board given in exchange for labour' means that the board is NOT free if labour has to be given it exchange for it. Do you understand the English language?

                'Woofering' would seem to me a good term for the semi-literate bullshit you have spouted.

              • RedLogix

                The word 'free' has at least 42 different usages. Insisting that only one of them applies is a peculiar attempt at point scoring to say the least.

                Most people enjoy woofing as part of the whole travel experience; they get to live and work in one place for a short period, which is often a lot more satisfying than just superficially travelling from place to place never really engaging with the local people.

                They get to experience something they'd otherwise probably not access otherwise, and the farmer gets some labour in exchange. Woofing has been going on for yonks, although the internet has made it more popular and efficient in recent times. And there now are many variants of it in existence that have extended the concept much wider than just organic farming.

                That some people here are keen to characterise it as rank exploitation is pretty typical of their sour view on life in general. They're the same people who rarely have a good word to say about anything much.

                • McFlock

                  Well, look at the context of the conversation. I'm pretty sure the nautical terms don't apply to organic farming. Some of the political ones are also out – "not in slavery" seems to be a low bar. Similarly, I don't know what goes on at Janet's farm but any "licentious behaviour" would seem to be beside the point. So have a go at whittling those 42 down like a human who can parse everyday language.

                  Under-the-table transactions have been going on since Sumerian times. Many of them are fair enough between the parties concerned. But moaning that migrant workers stuck here shouldn't get the dole because they could work for "free" (sorry, "room and board") like backpackers is a joke.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  That some people here are keen to characterise it as rank exploitation is pretty typical of their sour view on life in general. They're the same people who rarely have a good word to say about anything much.

                  Nice one RL. It's a rare person who never has a sour view, don't you think? Are those "some people here" by any chance the same people who "rarely have a good word to say about" your views on the value(s) of Capitalism and Marxism, the Black Lives Matter movement, whether the Covid-19 pandemic is "over", and the feasibility of certain hypothetical solutions to poverty, global warming, and ecological collapse?

                  For example, we disagree about the value of Dr Helen Caldicott's activism. You don't have a good word to say about her many (IMHO) positive contributions; indeed yours seems to be a rather sour view.

                  We do, however, agree on some things, e.g. that the way Assange is being treated is a perversion of justice. Sweet & sour sauce smiley

                • In Vino


                  The basic meaning of 'free' is an absolute, like 'unique'. Something is either free (or unique) or it is not. There is no corrupting 'rather free ' or 'quite free'.

                  Your 42 different usages are valid if they mean using the word as a verb (to liberate) for example, but Chris T was clearly using it in the sense of 'cost-free', and that is a straight absolute. I suspect that most of your so-called 42 usages are solecisms and barbarisms taken from some less than authoritative source.

                  This is basically an abuse of the English language by employers who call it ‘free’ board to make it sound better than it is. It is not free. The pay for their labour is simply ‘board plus money’.

        • Incognito

          Does your grand-daughter enjoy it?

  9. Phillip ure 9

    Still doubting it's an upside down world…?..ardern announces a new river of corporate/housing welfare/money..nat spokesperson suggest some restrictions on that money to stop it further fuelling the housing bubble…and in the m.s.m. this morning all the usually tory pimps from industry etc come out against tory spokesperson…and fully in support of j.ardern and her promised river of corporate/housing welfare/money…(and if you pinch yourself…no you aren't dreaming/having a nightmare…this is the labour party ..in it's second term..doing this..)

    • Chris T 9.1

      this is the labour party ..in it's second term..doing this..)

      What did they do for the first one?

      Forgive me if I don't hold my breath, given they are good at words and crap at action,

      • woodart 9.1.1

        why would someone bother to answer you. you can even understand the woofer setup , so expecting you to understand anything slightly complicated is foolish.

  10. Treetop 10

    Could someone put up a link about the story at Newshub about the engineer who was on The Nation this morning about the concrete poured into a shaft at the Pike River Mine in 2011.

    What was the purpose of doing that?

  11. Chris T 11

    Meanwhile Key says the bleed'in obvious


    Former Prime Minister John Key has told National it needed to face facts and acknowledge the party’s own failings lost last month’s general election.

    Speaking to a packed crowd at the Party’s annual meeting, in Wellington, he said: “We have to be honest enough to admit that our own failings played a part in our defeat.”

    “I know it sounds hard, but it's true. If we don’t acknowledge that, if we don’t take responsibility for it, then we won’t learn from it,” Key said.

    He urged the party to be more disciplined, and to stop leaking.

    “If you can’t quit your leaking, here’s a clue, quit the party,” Key said.

    Key was the special guest speaker at the meeting, and spoke alongside party president Peter Goodfellow and leader Judith Collins.

    Goodfellow’s speech touched on the party’s failings – but focused heavily on some of the barriers he thought National faced from Labour and the media.

    “Daily broadcasts became evangelistic – a form of gospel to the masses,” Goodfellow said, of the Government’s Covid-19 response.

    “It was suddenly a crime for us to ask legitimate questions,” he said.

    • observer 12.1


      Even now, the blue bubble remains sealed off from reality. Incredible.

    • Sacha 12.2

      Priorities – the board chooses its chair after members vote for new/returning board members:

      Carter received the most support in the ranked election, while Goodfellow received the least of the three successful candidates.

      Many members hoped this would be seen as a signal by the board that there was appetite for Goodfellow to step away from the role of president.

      But the board ultimately preferred him to stay on. Goodfellow brings with him an impressive record of fundraising.

      • Duncan 12.2.1

        Well at least we will know what the agenda is, fish out all marine stocks completely (Goodfellow has been selling down his Sanford shares for years as he knows the time is near when they are all gone), and convert to dairy subsidised by a National government.

        But yes, he seems to have lost the plot, so good for the left.

    • Incognito 12.3

      Paraphrasing the Party Guru with a strong message for the Party faithful:

      “If you don’t like Dirty Politics, here’s a clue, quit the Dirty Party,” Key said.

      Wise words and insights from the insider par excellence.

      Stop the leaking, do as I did, have a Leader almost as popular as I was, a few tax cuts and BAU and you can beat Jacinda Ardern in 2023.

    • Jester 12.4

      They are pretty stupid re-electing Goodfellow and have learned nothing! Act and Labour will do well next time.

  12. observer 13

    National have re-elected Goodfellow as party president. So the lesson they have learned from electoral disaster is … nothing.

    Champagne corks are popping at Labour HQ.

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