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Open mike 22/06/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 22nd, 2022 - 133 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 …

133 comments on “Open mike 22/06/2022 ”

    • Incognito 1.1

      How so?

      • gsays 1.1.1

        From where I sit, whenever he chooses to speak about the recent wage negotiations or the current state of hospitals/staffing, he further alienates and severely pisses off the nursing workforce.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          The trend in the annual number of work stoppages from the beginning of the fifth Nat govt through to 2020 puzzles me. Does anyone have some plausible reasons why workers were apparently being relatively content from 2008 – 2017?


          • Sacha

            Gee, perhaps they knew the pro-employer government of that period would ignore or ban industrial pressure while suppressing pay and conditions? Pent-up until a more reasonable government came into power..

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              Thanks Sacha – yep, ‘Little’ chance of a fair shake for workers under the Nats.

          • Ad

            The 2017 spike is pent-up demand from the remaining unions making sure Labour paid them back for their unstinting support.

            Which was rewarded.

            Whereas National as ever didn't give a fuck and the nurses and doctors and teachers just left overseas or retired.

        • Incognito

          I thought someone was holding the Minister responsible for the flu season.

  1. Jester 2

    Hipkins is on to it and hopefully something will now get done.

    New Police Minister hints at gang crackdown, doesn't know if truce has been called between Auckland gangs (msn.com)

    Labour need more ministers like Hipkins.

  2. Blade 3

    One wonders if Labour is a cohesive government, or if it's compartmentalised?

    Did Immigration think to ask Education about their ability to teach a influx of immigrant children given our education system is already riven with problems?

    If you want to know why the hapless Tories will be the government next year, look no further.


    ”There’s currently 1000 job vacancies across the education sector and Newshub can reveal the shortage could soon get even worse.”


    • Ad 3.1

      Staff shortages are everywhere, across industry in New Zealand, whether you are in the public or private sectors.

      We remain hovering around 3% headline unemployed and far less than that for anyone with a degree.

      So no, it's not specific to this government.

      • Blade 3.1.1

        I'm really beginning to wonder about your comprehension, Ad. I'm serious. You are either wilfully ignoring the core of my post…or you are not understanding?

        ''One wonders if Labour is a cohesive government, or if it's compartmentalised? Did Immigration think to ask Education about their ability to teach a influx of immigrant children given our education system is already riven with problems?''

        My comment had little to do with staff shortages. That was a peripheral issue. My comment was about ''communication.''

        Communication is generally the most import factor within given situations. The only reason you and I are posting on this blog is because someone wanted a decentralised communication network in case of war.

        • Ad

          Look in the mirror Blade.

          Your quote was about staff shortages. Your link was about staff shortages.

          The word "communication" was missing in any part of your post.

          So one might expect comment about staff shortages.

          If you really want to see how Immigration allocate their skills criteria from Departmental and other feedback, it's published regularly. Go look it up.

        • Sacha

          One wonders if Labour is a cohesive government

          What is your understanding of how long it takes for a change of elected Ministers to affect government agencies communicating well day-to-day?

          • BladE

            Well, that depends on when the scheme ( or lack of was implemented). Before or after a change of ministers. The reality is it doesn't matter.

  3. PsyclingLeft.Always 4

    Roberto David Castillo, the former president of Honduran power company Desarrollos Energeticos (DESA), was sentenced to 22 years and six months after being found guilty last year for being a co-collaborator in Caceres' murder.

    Caceres, a teacher who won the prestigious Goldman Prize in 2015 for her environmental activism, had spoken out about the death threats against her and her family before she was killed.

    The sentencing comes days after police in Brazil arrested more suspects involved in the murders of indigenous expert Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips.


    These people…incredibly Brave ! A terrible and long list … dying to protect their…and OUR Earth. From scum and their greed

  4. Jimmy 5

    Labour apologises for getting something wrong!!!!!

    "I have subsequently been made aware that these comments were not accurate."

    'These comments were not accurate': Hipkins apologises over stoush with pregnant Kiwi journalist (msn.com)

    Perhaps it's time for Jacinda to apologise to the KFC worker she shamed publicly.

    • Robert Guyton 5.1

      Following Luxon's fine example where he apologised, gushingly and profusely, to those New Zealanders he called, "bottom-feeders"?

    • Nic the NZer 5.2

      Sorry, I tried but couldn't find the story there. It appears to have been buried under a mountain of click ads.

      Shame on you for spaming ad links across the site.

    • Ad 5.3

      He has nothing to apologise for. When you weaponise the media you get what you ask for.

      • Belladonna 5.3.1

        Just to clarify, you think that Hipkins has nothing to apologize for, when he's been found telling lies – or, at the very least, information which was subsequently (and very quickly) proved to be untrue?

        I have to say, I do expect (though am often disappointed) a higher level of accuracy from those elected to represent us.

        • Anne

          That "higher level of accuracy" still has to be based on the information supplied by the head honcho of the Public Service agency in question. If it eventually transpires the information given – and then passed on to the Minister – is not correct then yes… the minister has to carry the can. My recollection is that the information was not quickly found to be untrue. Inquiries of that nature are usually quite long-winded.

          I can understand how distressed the woman at the centre of the bungle must have been, but there were better ways to have the problem sorted than rushing headlong to the media with her story. She must have known it would be used for political purposes and indeed it was. It turned out she was already in line for a new place in the queue – which also fitted in with her preferred time to return – so as far as I can see nothing in practical terms was gained.

          • Populuxe1

            That and rushing to Afghanistan to give the Taliban a thorough whitewashing despite the multitude of other options her New Zealand passport provided her.

          • JO

            The ways in which the machinery of government supplies that 'higher level of accuracy' to ministers always seem invisible to busy fault-finders. Sometimes it's worth lifting a corner of the rug to see if something has quietly been brushed under it, who knows why…


            It’s understood Hipkins’ public apology was a request of Bellis’ lawyers. After Hipkins admitted fault privately to Bellis in March, her lawyers sought an apology instead of pursuing a legal settlement for defamation and a privacy breach.

            On Wednesday morning, Hipkins issued a statement saying he had apologised to Bellis in a March 15 letter for “the errors in my comments, and the inclusion of personal information in the statement and for the subsequent distress it caused her”.

            “I have subsequently been made aware that these comments were not accurate,” he said.

          • Belladonna

            As commented below – Hipkins deliberately breached Bellis' privacy – despite the advice from MFAT being labelled not for public release.

            There is no excuse for him over that part.


            Bellis immediately challenged both the breach of privacy and the specific inaccurate information. I do not believe that it takes a great deal of time to double-check the embassy and or ministry logs, and confirm whether or not a request, offer of a place, or a conversation occurred. It's not rocket science.

      • Jimmy 5.3.2

        So if in your opinion he has nothing to apologise for, why is he apologising? He obviously thinks he does.

    • Belladonna 5.4

      Perhaps also an apology from all of the TS commentators who uncritically accepted Hipkins 'word' and trashed Bellis on this forum

      • Muttonbird 5.4.1


      • Anne 5.4.2

        Inaccurate comment Belladonna.

        She was strongly criticised by most for the way she went about it!

        • Belladonna

          Try looking at your own commenting history, here, Anne

          Open mike 28/04/2022

          “Ms Charlotte Bellis, who I understand was party to this court case, lost all credibility in my eyes when she mischievously attempted to malign the Covid minister, Chris Hipkins by claiming he had smeared her and violated her privacy in one of his press statements. It was a blatant lie and all too obvious to anyone who took the trouble to read the statement in question. Imo, anyone who goes to such lengths at a time of a raging pandemic is never to be trusted at any time.”

          This is the minister who has now publicly apologised for A) not telling the truth about Bellis and B) invading her privacy.

          You weren't alone – but were one of the loudest voices.

          Hipkins has admitted he was wrong. Will you?

          • Anne

            Yes. I guessed you would delve back into the files and dig up something I said. Preferably the most damaging one you could find – at least on the surface. 🙂

            I resile from nothing! In the press statement referred to he did not say anything that resembled anything like a "smear". What does appear to have happened is: he reiterated a response he had received from someone in the ministry which he later learnt was incorrect. She took it at the time as a smear so he did the right thing and apologised back in March.

            Yes, Populuxe @ has reminded me of her questionable conduct in response to her predicament. It was widely commented on but my response was only in respect of the press statement.

            • Belladonna

              Oh, I could find a lot more damaging that that… it was just the most recent of a long line of anti-Bellis commentary from you — echoing and amplifying the 'de jour' statements from the Labour politicians and/or commentariat.

              This is not an error from the Ministry. The advice was released to the Minister under the 'no surprises' policy specifically "marked not for public release"

              There is no excuse for Hipkins. He stuffed up massively in releasing this information. And, if he apologised for this is March, why were you still defending him for violating her privacy in April?

              Now to the 'smear' business. Hipkins made incorrect (untrue) statements about Bellis being offered consular assistance, etc.

              "Hipkins' incorrect comments included that Bellis had been offered consular assistance which she had not taken up – comments that were turned against Bellis and her partner and used to abuse them online."


              Those statements were smears. And were used by commentators (yourself among them) to denigrate Bellis and her situation.

              I don't know what your definition of a smear is – but it pretty clearly fits the definition that the rest of NZ uses (not to mention the Courts, which is clearly the only reason that Hipkins has released this public statement)

              It's good to know that reality (even admission of error from your Labour heroes) has no power to change your entrenched belief.

        • Populuxe1

          Please. I think the lion's share of the criticism was directed at her peculiar choice to head to Afghanistan as a strongarm tactic. There's political misstatement and then there's providing a propaganda opportunity for one of the more unsavory regimes on the planet.

    • Adrian 5.5

      Reply to Jimmy @5, Theres something wrong in that statement , substitute "journalist " for " self deluded attention seeker ". There, fixed it for you.

    • Anne 5.6

      Some junior bureaucrat told his/her superior a 'mistruth' to cover a mistake. The superior told his/her superior what the junior had said. The superior's superior told his/her superior and so it went up the chain to the head superior who told the Minister. The Minister – who had no reason to suspect it wasn't correct – released the information to the media.

      Lucky it wasn't a National Minister in charge because he/she would be the one apologising for the 'mistruth eh?

      • Herodotus 5.6.1

        This story on ABC 2 Feb 22 It takes 5 months for Hipkins to be made away and react ? Hipkins had his information questioned by Bellis immediately at the time. Would for someone with an eye to detail not go back on his information to verify when questioned ?? But for some conscious mis information is acceptable🤫

        “the minister had no reason” … are you for real


      • Belladonna 5.6.2

        No one believes your imagined chain of events. MFAT gave the info to the Minister under the 'no surprises' rule – with a specific note saying it was not for public comment

        "COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins released personal details of journalist Charlotte Bellis' MIQ case despite receiving Government advice saying it was "not for public comment"."


        You know, you can be a Labour supporter without blindly defending them against all possible negative coverage. In fact, you gain more credibility by admitting when your heroes have feet of clay, and celebrating the good, while regretting the bad.

        • Anne

          Some junior bureaucrat told his/her superior a 'mistruth' to cover a mistake. The superior told his/her superior what the junior had said. The superior's superior told his/her superior and so it went up the chain to the head superior who told the Minister…

          My comment was tongue-in-cheek. In other words the imagined chain of events was not meant to be anything else. I have not yet found a 'tongue in cheek' emoji, but assumed most would recognise the intent. 🙄

          • Belladonna

            Well, it looks a lot more like an attempt to blame an 'emotional junior staffer'

            It doesn't look any better when a left-wing commenter does it.

            And, in any case, the chain of error (if it existed) should have stopped short at Hipkins.

            • Anne

              "Emotional junior staffer"? Good grief. Wasn't it a Nat who introduced that silly meme? Your interpretations are as vulnerable to inaccuracy as the rest of us.

              Btw, It did stop short at Hipkins. The minister always carries the can… including mistakes from within their ministry. I said so @ It happens now and then. Tough luck for the minister don't you think?

              • Belladonna

                Yes, it was, a National statement. I was pointing out that it's no better when a Labour commenter makes that implication (blame it on a junior staffer) – which is exactly what you did.

                Some junior bureaucrat told his/her superior a 'mistruth' to cover a mistake

                If you can't see the parallel, then I suggest a bit of introspection.

                And, no the point, which you seem incapable of grasping, is that it did not stop with Hipkins. He shared information from the briefing with the media, trying to spin what was rapidly turning into a PR disaster.

                He should have made no comment whatsoever, to the media, based on the briefing he was given. Zip. Nada. None.

                It was privileged information, which he was specifically told, was not for public release.

                Instead, he shot from the lip, both smearing Bellis (with what turned out to be untrue information from the Ministry briefing), AND breaching her privacy (for which he is solely responsible).

                Nothing 'tough luck' about that.

                • Muttonbird

                  What's a "Labour commenter"?

                  If it’s what I think it is, that makes you a “National commenter”.

                  Glad we have that cleared up.

                  • Belladonna

                    Do I blindly defend the National party under all circumstances? No.

                    So, not a National commentator.

                    Unlike Anne, who has never (AFAICS) made or supported an even mildly critical comment about a Labour politician or the Party. Tribal Labour to the core.

                    As I've said before, I'm a centrist voter.

                    Though, clearly to those of you of the far-left persuasion, that looks like a "National voter" – to those who are actually tribal National, I'm a lefty flake.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Righto. :roll:

                      You took the time to label someone from your frame of reference using entirely your reckons.

                      I did the same and you squealed, "but I'm a centrist!"

                    • Belladonna, as I've commented before, is a 'concern troll.'

                      I’ve yet to see her commenting on any right wing blog!

                    • Incognito []

                      This Mod doesn’t see it the same way.

                      If you want to level accusations at another commenter of being a ‘concern troll’ you’ll have to explain in no uncertain terms what you mean by that, i.e., what is your definition and yardstick, because there are a few variants about, and how does it apply to the other commenter. If Mods agree with you they may take action. If not, they may ask you to drop your case.

                      Looking at your history here I note that you’ve made the same accusation before and also about the same commenter. Please don’t do it again unless you can make it stick (see above).

                    • Anne

                      Unlike Anne, who has never (AFAICS) made or supported an even mildly critical comment about a Labour politician or the Party. Tribal Labour to the core.

                      Anne is on record criticisng Labour plenty of times. I did so only a few days ago. You haven't been around this site for very long. Perhaps you should have the humility to recognise you don't know everything.

                      Anne also doesn't mind having a bit of a laugh at herself which was evident in my 'tongue in cheek' comment you have been making such a grand fuss about. The way it was worded should have given the game away, but of course the prima-donna knows best.

                      Okay, okay I apologise, But you've been asking for it.devil

                  • Belladonna

                    Provided evidence.

                    Yet to see you do the same…..


                    Anne has repeatedly made the point that she is a Labour supporter on TS.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 5.7

      Perhaps it's time for Jacinda to apologise to the KFC worker she shamed publicly.



      With their bene bashing ways, and self-serving hit jobs on inconvenient public servants:


      the Nats are masters of the political dark arts – you'd have to be blind not to see it.

      At least Boag managed an apology. It's particularly disappointing that no National party MP (past or present) has ever publically repudiated the political obscenity that was Dirty Politics. Maybe Luxon can jog the Nats out of their preferred pattern of behaviour, but I have such doubts.

      Dirty Politics: How attack politics is poisoning New Zealand’s political environment

  5. Joe90 6

    Charming stuff from Poots' brain.

  6. Anker 7
  7. Anker 8
    • Sorry to hear you have burn out Muttonbird (or are you really Andrew Little? Ie someone who is burnt out and failing to realize what a health system actually is) Are you contemplating a move to Australia to get better pay and work conditions. Cause I can guarantee many nurses, Drs, radiologists etc will be..
    • This Drs burn out is to do with seeing 60 patients a day. Do you imagine that is a safe number for a GP to see in a day?

    Been to ED lately? I have, it was like a war zone and I wasn’t in Middlemore.

    Are you aware that there is a large number of GPS who are due to retire and we don’t have enough to replace them.

    • Muttonbird 8.1

      Australia is one of the most racist countries in the world. I will never move there.

      I find it odd that some people, led by The Herald, are actively campaigning for our nurses to head across the ditch. NZME has become a recruitment arm for the Australian government. I wonder if they are being paid as such.


      • Anker 8.1.1

        I think the people actively campaigning for our nurses to head to Australia are health recruitment companies in a Australia. The Herald is meerely reporting what our Drs and nurses are experiencing.

        You seem to be minimizing or denying the situation our health systerm is in (Ie the real health system the Dr and nurses who do the work). Feel free to keep going with that and join Andrew Little on the deck of the Titanic rearranging the deck chairs.

        And just hope like hell you don't get sick and need medical care.

        • Sacha

          We need more nurses especially, but health systems do not work without managers. It's a convenient fiction that the Nats capitalise on.

          • Anker

            I have never said that the Health System doesn't need managers. Nor have I every heard it said that there is a shortage of health system managers. If there is they are keeping quiet about it.

            I think the re-structure is a waste of time and money. The DHBs did o.k. during the health crisis.

            • Sacha

              I think the re-structure is a waste of time and money.

              Compared with what? No idea where you get the idea that DHBs 'did ok'. System held together only by the goodwill of its people.

            • Sacha

              Ah, I was reading your #7 above:

              Can someone tell Captain Little that the shiny new NZ Health will make f…all difference and that our health system is on the brink, not because we don’t have the right health structure and we need to change around the bureaucrats, actually we need health professionals. You [know,] Drs and nurses……

        • Patricia Bremner

          Our son in QLD has needed surgery for gallstones for 4 years He keeps getting pushed off the list His Dr is in despair. So their problems mirror ours 3 Covid years and costs sky rocketting, but of course It is Andrew Little not covid …silly us. sarc

          • Anker

            Andrew Little is our Minister of Health and so he is responsible for the Heath System. I believe he is wasting time and money with the re-structure. The most urgent thing he needs to attends to is staffing.

            David. Clark before him chose to waste time and money on on the Commission of Inquiry into Mental Health. Its simple really increase staffing who are
            skilled in evidence based mental health treatments

            Ian Powell pointing out in 2017 to David Clark the most pressinng need was the workforce

            Re Queensland, yes everywhere thire is a health workforce shortage. Watch NZ's get worse if there isn't urgent atttention paid to it.

      • alwyn 8.1.2

        "Australia is one of the most racist countries in the world. I will never move there".

        Have you ever been there, and I mean for a bit more than a fleeting moment?

        • Populuxe1

          Just because it's diversely multicultural and its government does a bit of lip service to its indigenous peoples once in a while does not make it not an incredibly racist place, especially outside of the big cities.

          • Belladonna

            Not defending Australia, but to claim that it's one of the most racist countries in the world is drawing the longbow quite a bit: try being Korean in Japan, Uyghur in China, Chechen in Russia, or someone with 'dark' coloured skin in swathes of the US.

            • DB Brown

              Some of the racists I met in Australia were the worst I've come across. Casually cruel and they think it's hilarious. Casually violent and they think they have a right.

            • Populuxe1

              Try being an indigenous Australian…

    • gsays 8.2

      It isn't just Middlemore, our local ED, a 23 bed unit, had more than 70 patients at 7am…

      It's ok. The minister hasn't seen any evidence.

    • joe90 8.3

      Been to ED lately?

      Yup. Four times in the past 16 months, three admissions, two to CC, with minimal delays.

      The problem in my burg is people timing their arrival at the ED after the onsite walk-up GP clinic has closed.

      • Anker 8.3.1

        Joe 90 are you denying that there is a serious workforce shortage in the health sector and preditions are that it will get worse?

        • joe90

          I said my considerable interactions with health services in the last wee while have been timely and thorough.

          What did you want me to say?

          • Anker

            You are free to say whatever you want.

            Its up to you whether you answer my question about the crisis in the health work force

            • joe90

              Of course there are staffing and resource issues but then, when wasn't staffing and resourcing an issue in health. In my recent experience the ED was functioning, the in-patient care I received was exemplary and out-patient appointments were on time. Gee, in my burg you can even enroll with a PHO as a new patient.

              But if it makes you feel better, do catastrophise away.

              • McFlock

                Good luck with finding a new GP in mine. Hell, my GP has difficulty finding locums.

                The health system is under extreme stress, and not just from covid. Nurses to primary healthcare to building maintenance to specialists. Some areas have it worse than others, but basically we pay too low and are too understaffed to make "lifestyle" a substitute for pay.

                And the ones we train here, we saddle with massive debt as a handy "fuck off please". Then we wonder why people turn up to ED rather than going to a GP (whom they either can't afford or already owe hundreds of dollars).

                Labour aren't solely, even mostly, to blame, but that's the cesspit they have inherited. and it'll take longer than a few years to sort out.

                Especially GPs. We seem to be losing a lot of mid-career GPs, rural GPs are declining in number, and burnout is increasing significantly. Some of that will be due to covid (survey regulary done, but that version conducted sept 2020), but not all.

                • joe90

                  we pay too low

                  Yup. My sister is an IC nurse manager who could name her price in UK/AU and a mate who's recently chucked in a full-time job at a surgical unit reckons he’s making ends meet with two shifts at a private hospital.

                  Lots of medicos bring their kids here to attend Collegiate, though.

  8. logie97 9

    We get what we pay for. While our captains of industry, major banks, and their shareholders, multinationals, reap the benefits of others' labour, our "parlous" state will continue.

    So nurses, doctors, teachers are all shouting that they are underpaid and not coping with their workloads. (We are in the middle of a pandemic aren't we). As if, in the short term, more money is going to make one bit of difference to their workloads.

    Perhaps it needs a nation that has the will to revolutionise the tax system – so it can build more hospitals, recruit more professional staff, reduce patient/student ratios and raise Joe Blow's living standards.

    Just imagine if a massive natural disaster was to hit NZ, knocking out all essential services. The media pundits (if they could be heard) would still be reporting that there is a shortage of doctors, nurses, teachers and looking to blame the system.

    • Anker 9.1

      No more money won't make a difference to their workloads logie97. It needs to be a two pronged approach. Much Better pay to stop people leaving and more staff.

      Who else do we blame for the catastrophic state of our health workforce (including the mental health workforce) but the Govt of 5 and a half years and the Minister?

      Frnkly they have been reckless with health money (and I am not talking about the Covid response here).

      A Commission of Enquiry into Mental Health. Waste of time and meney. Just employ more trained professionals in the community and at secondary care level.

      Cancer Agency. IMO not good use of money. We know what to do about cancer already i.e. how to treat it and what helps prevent it.

      Restructure of DHB in NZ Health Authority a shameless waste of money which will do little to solve the problems in the health system: hint have adequate staffing levels. new medical school; pay health professionals better as there will be a better chance of retaining them in a competitive international market.

      Oh yeah and try to explain why Ms Mahutas husband was given $29,000 for suicide prevention, when he has no background in mental health?

      • logie97 9.1.1

        Just the last 5 years. Do me a favour. Doctors, nurses, teachers, firemen, police et al have been crying paucity of salaries for decades. There is only so much of a public purse to spread around, while the monied in our society salt it all away overseas. Actually, could be nailed down to the relaxation of exchange controls in 1984.

        • In Vino

          logie97 – you seem to forget that since those reforms of 1980s etc, certain elements of society have become grossly overpaid by previous, fairer standards.

          And health, education etc workers are NOT among those over-privileged elements.

          • logie97

            I agree entirely – I have not forgotten the scourge of Douglas and the neo-liberals at all. (Read Richardson and ACT)

            As a former teacher I used to get frustrated at the constant focus of NZEI, in its negotiations with the ministry, on more pay. There was always a quid pro quo – teachers had to yield something. Negotiations were always confrontational because MOE, the state, argued limited money available. And the workloads just got bigger.

            Instant pay rises would do nothing for workloads and stress, because the nature of employers attitudes would be "You've got the money now work harder!" You could pay all state service employees double their monies and it would not change the immediate work load or stresses.

            And don't get started on the B/S paperwork that the various ministries have set up as job requirements. Key performance indicators/portfolios of work/ performance management??? They would have appeared to have contributed nothing to better outcomes in the professions. (Another product of the neo-libs I believe!!!)

            What is required is for the employer (state) to accept during negotiations, that there is a problem with workload and there is a ministry commitment to halve the problem in the next few years. By all means increase the salary considerably, understand the issue, and commit to doubling the work force however that can be done.

            Unfortunately, state pay rises are all about linking to cost of living.

            More taxes and a nations will to accept the problem would seem to be the only way through this.

            • In Vino

              I agree entirely: I was in secondary teaching, and active in PPTA.

              My disappointment was that too many teachers always voted for more money, demanding that as our best aim.

              But when unions were weakened, we could barely fight for anything. Most teachers were unwilling to do anything more than a one-day strike or a bit of token rolling strikes action. The govt threw their hands up in utter horror for the public, casting us as anti-social villains, and the media complied..

              We won decent settlements only when govt realised that Boards of Trustees were likely to rebel and come out on our side.

              The problem is that our neo-liberal-driven govts care only about enlarging profits for their masters, and care very little for health and education workers.

              Society? What on earth is that? Worthy of weasel words only.

      • Sacha 9.1.2

        they have been reckless with health money

        Compared with what? Easy to say when you do not understand how health systems work.

        • Anker

          How do you know I don't know how health systems work. FYI I have worked in the health system on two occassions

          I think I gave a pretty thorough list of where I think Labour has wasted health money.

          Mental health commission of enquiry, Cancer authority, shiney new NZHealth. Oh and money for suicide prevention for Ms Mahutas husband who no one seems to know what if was for.

          • Sacha

            How do you know I don’t know how health systems work. FYI I have worked in the health system on two occassions

            You have worked in national health policy or strategy rather than frontline services?

            I'm not hearing any sign of it.

            • Anker

              Sacha you are correct I haven't worked in strategy for the health system.

              I have worked in a head office for another Govt Dept.

              I don't pretend to know about strategy and health. I am glad there is a strategy division, because the strategy needs to be around increasing the health workforce.

              But honestly if you want to tell me what you know about strategy and the Ministry of Health, I am really open to hearing. Geniunely curious

    • Anker 9.2

      Logie you denying that there is a serious workforce shortage in the health sector and preditions are that it will get worse?

      By the way I am not saying there weren’t problems in the health workforce before 5 years ago. I am saying Labour has had over five years to fix them.

      • logie97 9.2.1

        Anker. Not sure how you can draw a conclusion that I am denying any serious workforce shortages in health or any of the state sector professions.

        I do not believe it is a recent issue however – it has been going on for years. Bargaining has never had a bottom line of telling the ruling parties – "No deal until commitment is in place for workplace staffing to be at least doubled".

        I remember teachers being promised 1:20 ratios but by slight of hand governments and school boards of trustees (through their principals) were able to load the senior classes to that the ratios in the junior area were 1:20.

        The last National government even (mis)quoted Prof. Hattie as saying that small class numbers are not material in educational outcomes and therefore not a priority.

        And believe it or not the membership just rolled over once again. And of course the younger teachers have since gone on their right of passage O.E whilst the experienced maturer teachers have bailed out.

        I cannot speak to health workers but I am sure that there has been a consistent cry for increased workforce. They have at times negotiated a better pay deal but there have been tradeoffs and whatever those pay deals were, they were clearly not enough to immediately increase recruitment numbers. It seems also that nursing compliance is a factor for their leaving the profession.

        • In Vino

          logie: Absolutely correct about the last National Govt and that traitrous Hattie person.

          Remember, they weakened the Health Workers' unions by splitting them up into different regions with local contracts at different times, making it pretty well illegal for one union to strike in support of another, unless they were negotiating at the same time?

          Our current situation where any teachers or nurses with any brains would not immediately move overseas is a direct consequence of previous govts trying to cut costs but not tax immense income going to a minority.

          They think NZ's beauties will keep us here?

          No, they are also busily destroyng NZ's beauties. No more swimmable rivers, etc etc.

  9. Muttonbird 10

    RMT's Mick Lynch, enjoy:

    Note to Kay Burley. Only one person in your interview was flustered, and it wasn’t Mick Lynch.

  10. joe90 11

    These people were terrorised by the President of the United States and his lackeys.

    ATLANTA, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Weeks after the 2020 election, a Chicago publicist for hip-hop artist Kanye West traveled to the suburban home of Ruby Freeman, a frightened Georgia election worker who was facing death threats after being falsely accused by former President Donald Trump of manipulating votes. The publicist knocked on the door and offered to help.

    The visitor, Trevian Kutti, gave her name but didn’t say she worked for West, a longtime billionaire friend of Trump. She said she was sent by a “high-profile individual,” whom she didn’t identify, to give Freeman an urgent message: confess to Trump’s voter-fraud allegations, or people would come to her home in 48 hours, and she’d go to jail.


  11. Sanctuary 12

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm – The Government says it cannot rule out the return of lockdowns

    and more hmmmmmmmmm Omicron sub-variants ‘evolving to target the lungs and overcome immunity’

    "…According to preliminary data from Kei Sato at the University of Tokyo and colleagues, BA.4, BA.5 and BA.2.12.1 may have evolved to refavour infection of lung cells, rather than upper respiratory tract tissue – making them more similar to earlier variants, such as Alpha or Delta…"

    Are these two things linked?

    • Graeme 12.1

      Highly coincidental at the least, I’d be picking quite closely related.

      Probably not that smart to be heading overseas and wanting to be able to come home at will for a while. Expect to see a real tightening of medical clauses with travel insurance shortly

      • joe90 12.1.1


  12. Adrian 13

    The few publicly complaining health workers , docs and nurses, are doing their cause no favours at all in describing the 'hellish, insane, terrible terrible" working conditions in hospitals etc. FFS shut up, any young person considering becoming a health worker is going "Fuck that for a joke, I'm off to be a barista or HR person or any of those other myriad useless do nothing jobs". FYI a lot more health workers per 100,000 people than there were in any previous decade and its because health becomes so much more complicated and labour intensive every decade and we have run out of that percentage of the population that actually gives a fuck about caring for their fellow humans. sort that out and the staffing problem is halfway cured.

    It is immoral and indefensible to strip poorer countries of their best and brightest to wipe our sorry entitled arses.

    • Belladonna 13.1

      Do you have a link to support your statement

      " FYI a lot more health workers per 100,000 people than there were in any previous decade "

      It would surprise me if it's true – but I'm always open to being surprised!

      • Adrian 13.1.1

        I did the sums a few months ago Belladonna, but its complicated and takes more time than I have at the moment, but remember a whole lot of health categories and interventions never existed until recently and they need trained health professionals to use them properly. Who ever heard of anything flasher than a old fuzzy ex-ray machine now we have ultra sound, thermal imaging etc etc, not to mention the huge expansion of physiotherapy and other practices, and so many diseases that can now be cured or mitigated considerably. The best info was the number of nurses in the early 50s compared to now and my best recall is about 15% more nurses per 100,000 today than earlier decades and that came from the official NZ Yearbooks

        • Belladonna

          Ok. So you're talking about more the 1950s or 1970s, than the 2010s. I can certainly see that.
          However, I don't think that our health professional workforce has anything like kept pace with our population increase over the last 20 years – or even the last 10.

    • In Vino 13.2

      Adrian: You say, "It is immoral and indefensible to strip poorer countries of their best and brightest to wipe our sorry entitled arses."

      But that is exactly what richer countries like Australia are doing to us.

      We have to fight the system of profiteering.

      I well remember the advocates of Rogernomics repetitively saying: "Profit isn't a dirty word, you know."

      Then the profit-gougers flourished, and healthy societies have been declining and languishing ever since. International stats on wealth gaps show this, along with health stats.

      So, as you say, how do we sort out the problem that only a minority of today's society actually give a fuck about caring for our fellow human beings?

      (I think that we should be teaching about the evils of profit-gouging in our schools, because most students, I would think, currently mistake ‘entrepreneurism’ for profit-gouging.)

      • Incognito 13.2.1

        Comments deleted, as you requested, because of a 'technical glitch', but please note that Mods don't usually delete comments and this was an exception.

      • Adrian 13.2.2

        I would have thought that just because Australia does it to us is hardly justification for us to do it to countries that definitley need their medical staff more than we do.

        Yes, people go where they can mostly gain the best pay, but there are a few quirks in the system with nurses for instance coming here from countries of huge income diversity, the ones who come here from India and other such countries for instance are generally from wealthy families, the poor can not afford education and cannot get the opportunity to advance themselves. A large number of offshore nurses who do come here go on to work in rest homes not hospitals as the language requirements are pretty high to work in a hospital in NZ and understandably so as no doubt you would realise why. I was being flippant about the giving a fuck about caregiving but health already absorbs a large percentage of our workforce and not everybody wants to work in it like not that many people want to do other demanding jobs. I know I couldn't do it, I, 60 years ago thought I might be a surgeon because they relieve suffering and help others but the thought of cutting someone up even to help them is beyond me. I would bet that the complainers raging against the lack of health staff have hardly ever encouraged their own offspring to join the health force.

  13. aom 14

    This is very disturbing. It appears that NZ is not a sovereign nation and that its justice system has sold out to the US. Is Kim Dotcom our Julian Assange?

    • RedLogix 14.1

      I can understand the 'guilty and get it over with' plea. As unsatisfactory as this is in principle I am not going to blame these guys for taking the pragmatic way out of what must have been a drawn-out, stressful matter.

      Just in case anyone wonders – having an unresolved legal matter like this hanging over you for years is bloody awful. Corrosive and stressful to an extent anyone who hasn't been through it probably does not fully appreciate.

      As for the the US angle, yes it is another Assange all over again. I spent the best part of a decade here defending him (and Dotcom to a lesser extent) against all-comers. There were only a handful of us willing to stand in his corner for a very long time. Our last hope really is that Albanese will step up and make a direct plea to Biden.

      Across the entire world justice systems are prone to this kind of capture, and when they make mistakes are very, very bad at correcting them. Everyone in the system covers arse like mad, and justice gets ditched. A very real problem that deserves way more than one small comment.

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