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Open mike 22/05/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 22nd, 2021 - 53 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

53 comments on “Open mike 22/05/2021 ”

  1. "From the Cradle To the Grave"

    Social Welfare for Landlords

    Too Big To Fail?

    Accommodation supplement propping up rental market by $30m a week

    Susan Edmunds 05:00, May 22 2021

    The amount of money spent on accommodation supplements to help struggling tenants pay rent has doubled in recent years but there are warnings there is no easy way to redesign the system…..

    • Sacha 1.1

      Can you include a link please.

    • Pat 1.2

      “The accommodation supplement is not a long-term fix, it’s very expensive, it doesn’t increase housing supply. But it will tide us over until we find a more long-term solution. It’s very hard to increase housing supply quickly.”


      "In 1991 the National government introduced one of the most radical reforms in the history of state housing: the removal of income-related rents and the establishment of a government accommodation supplement. "


      Now I dont know about Zollner but my idea of "tiding over" dosnt run for 30 years….it was a deliberate policy to facilitate credit (debt) growth in a low wage economy,,,,and in that respect it has been successful….shame about the side effects.

    • KSaysHi 1.3

      It was originally introduced so that low income earners would have a choice between market rentals vs HNZ. Now market rents are nearly impossible it's doing virtually nothing for tenants stuck outside social housing apart from keeping a transitional roof over their heads. Painful stuff.

      – change the defintion of “market rate” so that rather than peg rent increases to other properties in the area it is pegged to what someone working 60 hours (one and a half parents) could afford without subsidy.
      – pay the deposit for disabled who are unable to find suitable rentals that won’t harm their condition
      – penalize all those who own more that two properties and don’t rent the others out

      • Pat 1.3.1

        If you read the link it was bought in to enable the introduction of market rents in HNZ tenancies…..to level the playing field between state and private rentals as the Gov considered those in state housing were receiving additional support.

        A flow on effect was the ability to then sell off state housing to the private sector….and create additional mortgages for the private banks.

        • Graeme

          It also increased the book value of the HNZ stock, "to bring them in line with privately held properties"

          Cunning little play by the then Nat finance minister, ifrc did quite a lot for the budget that year….

          And as you say, paved the way for the future sale of much of the HNZ stock.

          • Pat

            The origins of the current mess…and implemented shortly after the BNZ bailout and before the subsequent sale.

            Never let a good crisis go to waste.

        • Patricia Bremner

          100% correct Pat.

        • KSaysHi

          That’s how they sold it, I recall

    • gsays 1.4

      Redesign the rort sysyem by saying as of next year the supplement will half, followed by halving the next year and be gone the following year.

      Job done.

      • I suggest a small tweak to the accomodation benefit legislation.

        Any landlord who has had their rental income "propped up" by the benefit can not by law evict a tenant without first paying the subsidy back to the government.

        Same for the banks. Any bank which has benefitted by having their mortgage income 'propped up' by the accomodation benefit. Can not force a morgagee sale without first paying back the subsidy to the government.

        Sound fair?

        Landlords and banks would be a lot less keen on evictions and mortgagee sales.

        Such a tweak would act also to cool the housing investor market, helping first home buyers trying to compete with investors.
        Benefitting the people who actually want to buy a house to live in. Instead of investors thinking of buying a house for a rental income.

        The taxpayers union would approve, surely?

        Unless that is they are vile hypcrites

  2. After 4 failed UN resolutions and 11 days of refusing to agree to call for a ceasefire, Joe Biden, under pressure from the left of his party, picks up the phone to Netanyahu, and what-d'-ya-know.

  3. weka 3

    Will be interesting to see now that gay men are being told they can’t state sexual preference if anything changes. Lesbians have had years of being ostracised and told they transphobic for saying they will only date biological women. And this largely being ignored or actively sanctioned by liberals.

    • Rosemary McDonald 3.1

      I don't do Twitter or Faceache, but will follow a thread if recommended by a sensible person.

      From your link, I wandered down and found this…. that really resonates.

      • weka 3.1.1

        That’s a worry. Whatever issues I have with the politics of trans activism at least I understand it it. NB worries me because some of it appears to be based in the idea that we can opt out of sexed bodies and that has implications far beyond personal choice .

        then there is this, which makes me understand the NB position more:

      • gsays 3.1.2

        I have an acquaintance who's oldest son (19) has announced he wants to be a girl. The new name has been chosen by which they wish to be known, henceforth.

        There seems to be some unresolved grief from the youngster as Dad left the family unit 2 years ago and the oldest spent a bit of time living with Dad but that didn't go well.

        Mum, (the acquaintance)now primary caregiver with 2 other younger children, seems stoked. They went along to a Trans Support Group meeting but that was disrupted by some local feminists protesting.

        I give thanks for my simple life.

  4. The pandemic and lockdown lifted the scab off exposing to view the cruelty and greed, and yes, racism, that underlies our migrant worker system.

    …the Government doesn’t want to suddenly deprive capacity-constrained businesses of a huge number of workers, but it also doesn’t want those workers to stay.


    Seems that migrant workers are essential, yet disposable, good enough to slave away for us in our orchards and aged care facilities, but not good enough to live with us.

    • Pat 4.1

      The reason is obvious….once they are residents or citizens the ability to be exploited disappears (or at least diminishes considerably)…..to keep the scheme running requires an ever changing cohort of vulnerable hopefuls.

  5. Muttonbird 5

    Interesting article here on the supposed victimisation of the privileged and the myth of modern day cancel culture:

    To those accustomed to privilege, equality can feel like oppression.

    National pollster David Farrar touted cancel culture as a vote winner at a meeting with National Party faithful, although he had, first, to ask his Twitter followers to dig up examples of this rampant scourge. “To save me looking up all the worst examples, can people share them here?” he tweeted on the day of his speech.

    “There’s no suggestion,” wrote Ben Thomas later in The Spinoff, apparently with a straight face, “that [Farrar’s idea] was backed up by polling, or research”.

    Denunications of cancel culture undermine fair protest, lack empathy, and miss the point. They are also routinely made, without irony, by those who rail against the press. Donald Trump is a good example.


  6. Incognito 6

    Martin van Beynen has written an excellent goodbye piece covering his views on life, Left vs. Right, character [flaws] forming opinion, and being privileged as an opinion writer, among other things. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if it resonates with at least few Standardistas. Highly recommended.


    Opinion writing requires an element of certainty, authority, expertise and conviction. I am becoming more aware of my shortcomings, an affliction which doesn’t seem to affect many other opinion writers.

    • Sacha 6.1

      Just found that parting piece of self-servingness myself.

      I don't like being told I'm to blame. I don't like zealots and young know-nothings telling me what to do. I don't like wokeness or virtue signalling or cancelling people for some trivial perceived infringement of current sensibilities. I don't like being told I'm privileged or that I had it too good because of being pale and male. I don't like tailoring my views to suit a new zeitgeist.

      And yet I realise that society moves on and a new generation taking over will always seem naive and dogmatic to old-timers like me.

      The right wing is usually closer to the views of the silent majority.

      Yes, it's those young lefties who are dogmatic, Martin..

      Agree it is worth reading though, for a glimpse at the mindset.

  7. greywarshark 7

    Thank goodness for this Bill Going Down! We don't need more punitive measures in coping with social problems – that is the autocratic and inhuman way of doing things.


    …National Party MP Mark Mitchell was in charge of the bill after picking it up from former New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball…

    The Oranga Tamariki (Youth Justice Demerits Points) Amendment Bill sought to reduce repeat reoffending through a demerit points system.
    Points would have been assigned based on the gravity of an offence, and there would have been different consequences for varying levels of demerits.
    High level offending, which was 100 points or more, would have seen charges filed in the District Court, rather than the Youth Court.

    Judge Andrew Becroft said it would have criminalised more children and young people, particularly impacting those who are Māori, care experienced or disabled.

    We need understanding, intelligent, firm approaches with building of goals, empathy, and self-respect and good outcomes enabled for the young people. If in a cycle of bad behaviour and outcomes, punitive measures are just more of the same. What were they thinking? Silly question, they weren't thinking – just reacting with disdain and irritation.

  8. Incognito 8

    Two articles on Covid in NZ. When the scientific data have come in and been analysed, some interesting conclusions can be drawn.

    New Zealand was the only country in the OECD to have fewer deaths than expected in pandemic-hit 2020, a new analysis has found.



  9. Muttonbird 9

    Another white supremacist held to account:

    Dairy company Synlait investigates employee over extreme views.

    Dairy company Synlait has launched an investigation into one of its employees after allegations of white supremacist statements.

    Worker Lee Williams, who is based in Canterbury, indecision, runs a YouTube channel that posts far right content.

    Does Christchurch get a bad rap, unfairly? I don’t think so.

    The move comes after an online petition was launched earlier this week calling on Synlait to stop employing Williams.

    The petition labels Williams as a "white supremacist" and reads that the undersigned "are deeply concerned" that he is employed by Synlait.

    "Lee has been responsible for disseminating extreme white supremacist material, and has consistently been reported for creating objectionable and racist media for his channel," the petition said.

    "More recently he has taken to directly attacking Māori MPs, Rawiri Waititi and Hon. Willie Jackson, using blatantly racist rhetoric and is actively and deliberately stoking public fear in response to the He Puapua report."

    In response to today's events, Williams posted a video on his YouTube channel this afternoon, saying he had been suspended from his job.

    He said he would go back to the country of his origin, the United Kingdom, indecisionindecision on a holiday to visit his father.

    How about fudge off and don't come back, arsehole.

    Williams claims he is a victim of "cancel culture".

    "Well done to the proud antifa warriors and I have no doubt the very prominent Māori for coming for my job."

    Of course Lee Williams is the victim here!


    • Robert Guyton 9.1

      "More recently he has taken to directly attacking Māori MPs, Rawiri Waititi and Hon. Willie Jackson, using blatantly racist rhetoric and is actively and deliberately stoking public fear in response to the He Puapua report."

      I thought this was about Judith Collins!

    • joe90 9.2

      Real einsteins.

  10. Incognito 10

    Personally, I think the title of this Editorial is inaccurate and misleading but who am I to comment here about this?


  11. Incognito 11

    The Stuff headline writers must need a holiday. Anyway, here ‘s an opinion piece on the complex faces of cancel culture, with podcast interview with Peter Singer at the top (for good measure?). I found it oddly written but the topic is important enough to read it even though there’s no shortage of opinions and what have you on and about cancel culture.


  12. greywarshark 13

    As the man says – This shouldn't happen. Start listening to suggestions for small pilots and fund them when they are practical and ready, while you wait for the magic bullet Labour.


  13. joe90 14

    A super-spreader event in the making.

    TOKYO (AP) — As she struggled to breathe, Shizue Akita had to wait more than six hours while paramedics searched for a hospital in Osaka that would treat her worsening COVID-19.

    When she finally got to one that wasn’t overwhelmed with other patients, doctors diagnosed severe pneumonia and organ failure and sedated her. Akita, 87, was dead two weeks later.

    “Osaka’s medical systems have collapsed,” said her son, Kazuyuki Akita. He has watched from his home north of Tokyo as three other family members in Osaka have dealt with the virus, and with inadequate health care. “It’s like hell.”

    Hospitals in Osaka, Japan’s third-biggest city and only 2 1/2 hours by bullet train from Summer Olympics host Tokyo, are overflowing with coronavirus patients. About 35,000 people nationwide — twice the number of those in hospitals — must stay at home with the disease, often becoming seriously ill and sometimes dying before they can get medical care.


    • Sacha 14.1

      Just watch the silly old men in charge insist their sportsing business is more important.

    • What price for our sport infotainment industry?

      If the Olmpics does become a super-spreader event.

      This will be an Olympics that is measured by lives lost, not by gold medals won.

  14. greywarshark 15

    I've been reading a bit of the book In Defence of Lost Causes by Slavoj Zizek. He discusses why it is hard to pass an honest criticism in a society that wants to appear to be perfect. In Stalin's time the Soviet Media were not permitted any 'down' reports – on crime, prostitution, workers' or other public protests. His comes up with some interesting thoughts and observations on the present.

    He says there is a 'prohibition of prohibitions' in today's permissive capitalism. A "postmodern" boss insists that he is not a master but just a coordinator of our joint creative efforts, the first among equals… For instance, the boss is so friendly there should be no 'formalities', you use his 'nickname', he shares a dirty joke with us…but during all this, he remains our master.

    …relations of domination function through their denial….We are not only obliged to obey our masters, we are also obliged to act as if we were free and equal…which of course makes the situation even more humiliating. Paradoxically, in such a situation, the first act of liberation is to demand from the master that he act like one: ..insist that he treat us with cold distance,.

    (The same goes for patriarchal domination over women in modern societies, this domination is no longer admitted as such – which is why one of the subversive tactics of feminine resistance is mockingly to act as if subordinated . . .)

  15. Ovid 16

    There is a coup underway in Samoa. Their head of state has proclaimed that parliament won’t open on Monday, even though their constitution requires it meet within 45 days of the election – and Monday is 45 days after their 9 April election.

    Samoa Observer


    Section 52 of the Samoan Constitution

  16. Sacha 17

    Filthy old men.

  17. Sacha 18

    Wrap up.

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