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Open mike 22/07/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 22nd, 2021 - 150 comments
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Open mike is your post.

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Step up to the mike …

150 comments on “Open mike 22/07/2021 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Sorry if I was mean to him yesterday – I obviously wasn't up to speed on the guy: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/07/20/media/van-jones-bezos-100-million/index.html

    Anyone who gives a dangerous radical $100,000,000 can't be all bad! The Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News is hopping mad: "Buying off the far-left won’t save Amazon in the long run. When entrepreneurship is choked by the twin forces of statism and monopoly, when a new generation is raised to hate the country, the left will eventually come for Amazon and Bezos." https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/07/21/pollak-bezos-100-million-to-van-jones-is-billionaire-elite-trying-to-buy-protection-from-radical-left/#

    “Jones won’t let up on socialist policies. Nor will he stop pushing corporations like Amazon to adopt a “woke” corporate agenda, complete with employee indoctrination sessions in white privilege and the proper use of gendered pronouns.”

    He shows commendable restraint in not hallucinating the appearance of uniformed government pronoun enforcers accompanied by goon squads in newsrooms…

    "Jones is a hard-core radical activist who has gone mainstream. Forced to resign as “green jobs” czar in the Obama White House for his alleged link to 9/11 Trutherism, and after calling Republicans “assholes,” Jones continued his unique brand of activism, moving into the mainstream of American politics. He found a regular perch at CNN, and became one of its more thoughtful voices…"


    "The money, Bezos said, was tied to a "surprise" philanthropic initiative he wanted to announce called the Courage and Civility Award. The award aims to honor those who have "demonstrated courage" and tried to be a unifier in a divisive world, Bezos added. "We need unifiers and not vilifiers," Bezos said. "We need people who argue hard and act hard for what they believe. But they do that always with civility and never ad hominem attacks. Unfortunately, we live in a world where this is too often not the case. But we do have role models."


    "Bezos has previously been criticized for not contributing more to philanthropy, but has donated billions of dollars in recent years to causes including climate change and food banks. Critics have said that the world's richest people should work to improve the conditions for people here on Earth, instead of flying off into space. Bezos and supporters of the space programs, however, have countered that both are possible."

    "Well, I say they're largely right. We have to do both," he said in an interview with CNN Monday. "You know, we have lots of problems here and now on Earth and we need to work on those, and we always need to look to the future. We've always done that as a species, as a civilization. We have to do both."

  2. Jester 2

    Seems like Poto Williams has become the new "Twyford" after her comments regarding police and now state housing getting worse and worse.

    Public housing waitlist hits 24,000, half waiting more than 200 days for a home | Stuff.co.nz

    • David 2.1

      Oh dear. And this on the back of her train wreck interview yesterday where as police Minister the Christchurch MP claimed to only represent the Pacific and Maori community in south Auckland.

      [mod warning, don’t use this site to run National Party talking points. If you want to make a claim of fact about an MP, you have to back it up. I’ve not see Williams say she only represents Pacific and Māori communities in South Auckland, that’s a nonsense thing to claim. If you have an argument about her performance as minister, it’s on *you to make that argument and back it up, not just drop FB style reckons – weka

      • peter 2.1.1

        Williams claimed to "only" represent some groups? Because she didn't mention all groups she represents?

        Are we to expect some preface from all politicians on every occasion stating that should they refer to any particular group, it should not be taken that that group is exclusive in how they see whon they represent?

        Do you feel she should have said she represented you?

        • Sabine

          Maybe she should have said New Zealand communities, rather then the 'communities I represent'.

          There are a whole lot of people all over the country who would not be too happy with cops carrying weapons.

          • Pete

            A word which has appeared and gained currency in recent years is "snowflake."

            Sometimes big, bold people (as they see themselves) label as snowflakes those whom they see having wimpy views, "snowflakes."

            "Maybe she should have said New Zealand communities, rather than the 'communities I represent'?" Maybe people need to grow up, look past seeking childish responses to ordinary comments. Stop acting maybe like the labels they pin on others.

            Of course there are a whole lot of people all over the country who would not be too happy with cops carrying weapons. Let's get each and every one of them pissed off shall we because Williams didn't mention them personally yesterday or their sub group, their electorate, whatever.

            • Sabine

              The thing is, that as an MP she represents her communities that have voted for her. She also represents all of NZ in her role as Police Minister.

              So she needs to bend her mind around the concept of 'inclusivity' rather then' exclusion'.

              As i posted below there was a distinction in her comment by pointing out that people of color have a different policing experience then say white people in nice well to do areas of NZ, but her comment of 'communities I represent' was and is a pretty silly thing to say.

              She works for all of NZ, all of NZ pays her wages, and thus in regards to policing she needs to look a bit further then her own nose, and her need to be re-elected lest she lose her job next election round.

              So yeah, the PR people of Labour need to start training Labour people in 'inclusive' speech.

        • Jimmy

          As I said yesterday, IMO she should represent New Zealanders, so yes she should represent me and you as well.

          • Pete

            How is she not representing you? How is she not representing New Zealanders? How, as the Minister of Police, is she not representing all New Zealanders?

            It just occurred to me, she even represents gang members! Now there's something for Judith Collins, David Seymour and other mindless ones to get their teeth into.

            • woodart

              very good point. statistically speaking, act represents gang members, so therefore, act takes money from gangs.

      • weka 2.1.2

        mod note above for you David.

        • Sabine

          his comment might refer to this in the NZ Herald.


          Police Minister Poto Williams will not be backing down on her strong stance not to support the general arming of police because the Māori and Pacific Island communities she represents do not want it.

          This was because she had listened to overwhelming feedback from the Māori, Pacific Island and South Auckland communities who didn't want it.

          but also this:

          Williams said statistics showed Māori and Pacific populations were stopped more, charged more, arrested more and for those communities having permanently armed police was a "real difficulty for them".

          Williams also acknowledged the Māori and Pacific communities' interactions with police over the years "had not been that great".

          Might have not been the smartest thing to say currently, but she is correct in stating that people of color in NZ will have a different interaction that white people. However, she also represents the rest of NZ, and could have worded that a bit better. Maybe some of the PR people employed by Labour need to give her a bit of training in sounding more 'inclusive of the rest of NZ' in her statements.

          For the record, i am for an armed offenders squad but would not want All cops armed.

          • weka

            Yes, I'm aware of what she has said. Strong support for Māori/Pasifika communities and listening to them =/= only representing M/PI communities.

            • Sabine

              No that also is a bit easy. The community I represent, is exactly what she said. It is not anyones fault but her own if this can now be bend into brezel shape. Labour has a lot of communications people that work for them, and maybe they need to teach the Ministers how to be inclusive of all – as there are many who are not Maori or Pacifica that also don't want cops to be armed.

              As the minister of Police, she represents a. the Police, b. the Country, and thus should have been a bit more careful with her statement.

              And it also has nothing to do with National. Or lets imagine J.C. would state exactly the same, but talk about a nice white suburb. It would be just as tone deaf.

              • weka

                Except nice white suburbanite aren't at the same risk of being shot as M/PI communities.

                Amplifying the voices of marginalised communities who want a particular kind of police culture seems to fit with the Ministerial position. Yes, Labour can provide some after-PR and Williams isn't the slickest spinmeister, but her point was valid.

                All that aside, my point to David is that when I see the same RW lines being run as talking points in TW, I'm going to intervene and say up your game. They can run the argument, but they have to actually make the argument not just drop mini hits into the convo that misrepresent what is going on (no-one believes that Williams said she only represents M/PI).

              • David

                100% Sabine.

                • weka

                  I'm still waiting for you to a) make the actual argument and b) back it up. Soon I'll be thinking about premod.

              • Sacha

                She was talking about her geographical community, apparently.

                • Craig H

                  As someone in her electorate of Christchurch East and on her electorate committee and campaign committees in 2017 and 2020, there are major socioeconomic and policing issues here that she is acutely aware of.

                  • Sacha

                    I can imagine. South Auckland is not the only place with those harsh lessons. Can I ask how she is speaking in public as opposed to on the telly?

                    • Craig Hall

                      She usually has more time and it's usually some sort of speech/discussion/Q&A from the floor, so it's not quite the same format as the telly, and also a bit less likely to be publicly reported as much, but that's commentary on the format rather than her personally.

          • greywarshark

            Williams pointing out the facts that some of us are not as well treated as some others of us, and definitely need an advocate is not too bad a thing is it? We know there are layers in society and the ones at the bottom have to put up with more than those further up, who are far away from the major problems that continue year after year. I guess that is what is illustrated by the folk tale of the delicate princess being bruised by the pea under her mattress, poor wee thing.

            I think we should concentrate on the big, broad issues and leave the pea-picking to ACT and their tacky ilk.

      • David 2.1.3

        It’s on multiple media sources. Here’s one. I’d refer you specifically to the third paragraph or the recording of the interview to hear it directly from the minister herself.


        • Pete

          I can't find the bit where she says she "only represents Māori and Pacific communities'? Where exactly is that bit?

        • weka

          I've already listened to the interview. The third parapgraph says "In another incident a Hamilton officer was injured by a firearm during a routine traffic check earlier this month."

        • Sacha

          We may need to dig out the original Yardley interview to hear what she actually said. The write-up attached to the Hosking one seems to have made an interesting decision for itself what she meant (my bold):

          Williams told Newstalk ZB's Mike Yardley this morning that she supported police officers being armed when they needed to be, but did not think it should extend to the permanent arming of the force.

          This was because she had listened to overwhelming feedback from the Māori, Pacific Island and South Auckland communities who didn't want it.

          The communities she represented – Māori and Pacific – who were telling her "loud and clear" that the general arming of police and the Armed Response Teams (ARTs) were a real concern to them and had been distressed to learn armed police were routinely patrolling their streets, she said.

    • Craig H 2.2

      What was wrong with her comments? They state facts, and MSD are indeed recording all meet the criteria for a state house, not just those who are likely to get a house. The only thing that might be added is that the surge in unemployed due to Covid may also have flowed through to the waiting list, but that's just reckons on my part, not something I've seen figures on.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Pete McKenzie is a Wellington-based journalist focused on politics, foreign affairs and legal issues. He's having a go at decoding our geopolitical signals in the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2021/jul/20/even-as-ardern-signals-alignment-with-us-new-zealand-still-seeks-to-maintain-distance

    "Ardern’s first move came in a speech last week to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, a prominent foreign policy thinktank. “The novelty of the speech was Ardern’s fulsome embrace of the phrase ‘Indo-Pacific’,” said Van Jackson, an international relations academic at Victoria University of Wellington. The use of that term is important, said Jackson, because the “Indo-Pacific” is a geopolitical framing that “arose explicitly to counter China” by rhetorically rebalancing Asia towards India."

    "In the sensitive world of diplomacy, words matter. Ardern’s use of the “Indo-Pacific” framing signals that New Zealand is on America’s side and eager for assistance. That signalling was gratefully reciprocated." So far, so good, but then he loses the plot.

    "While she embraced the “Indo-Pacific” framing, Ardern simultaneously emphasised that, “Often language and geographic ‘frames’ are used as subtext, or a tool to exclude some nations … Our success will depend on working with the widest possible set of partners.” Instead of adopting the Indo-Pacific’s exclusionary implications, Ardern attempted to redefine the term. Even as they signal alignment with America, Ardern and Mahuta are holding on to some degree of separation. It’s an approach with roots in the post-cold war era. While New Zealand has long maintained a security relationship with America, in a unipolar world it could still plausibly claim independence just by signalling some distance from its partner. But we now live in a bipolar world where China and America are playing a zero-sum game. Distance from America might alienate it; alignment with America might anger China."

    Actually, the Cold War was bipolar: USSR vs USA. Now the world is multi-polar. Russia & Europe provide sufficient leverage in geopolitics to make it so. Perhaps he's fronting as a typical kiwi male (inability to juggle more than two mental balls simultaneously being proof of multitasking inadequacy) but his essay is likely to get a rating below 5 out of 10 by failing to get the basic facts right.

    • gsays 3.1

      I've learnt something today.

      I always thought Indo-Pacific referred to Indonesia.

    • Ad 3.2

      "Indo-Pacific" is a term invented by Australia. Pete McKenzie needs to catch up with events from May 31.

      On that date Ardern and Morrison met, and she agreed to embrace the term "Indo-Pacific' within their joint statement:


      To me this text signals the power that Hon. Dame Annette King as New Zealand Ambassador to Australia still wields over Ardern. IMHO King aligns tight with the hard right inside MFAT. Ardern's adoption of the term Indo Pacific is simply ceding 'independent' foreign affairs policy to Australia even as she feigns independence in last weeks' speech.

      The term 'Indo-Pacific' has been a term that unsettles various existing bilateral and multilateral geopolitical equations within the Indian Ocean region, well away from Obama's 'tilt to Asia' or whatever. In particular, that there is an alternative to the US-China polarity even as it remans powerful.

      But the subtext is clear: in the major shifts in foreign affairs, we are a client state of Australia.

      • Dennis Frank 3.2.1

        Okay, thanks for that. Makes sense to me. I do believe we can differentiate from Oz if/when necessary. Currently the mutual-interest western realignment makes the common-ground focus the priority I guess.

        • Ad

          I heard Professor Patman on RNZ last night making noises about New Zealand's historical moment as both an effective state against COVID and an empathic leader after the Christchurch massacre.

          This was the day after we had managed to align with the security intelligence apparatus of the entire developed world against Australia. Rich.

          We 'lead' with some minor nuances particularly with Mahuta, but not in the heavy lifting.

      • SPC 3.2.2

        The pressure to align with the Quad team would come from Five Eyes partners, GCSB/SIS/Defence and their influence (and that of academics, past officials and politicians) on those of MFAT and Cabinet/PM's office.

    • SPC 3.3

      Indo-Pacific refers to two different things (read up on Sir Kurt Campbell).

      Security – containment of China.

      At first it was India, Oz, Japan and USA – Quad.

      With the UK (sending two naval ships out here long term) and Canada on-board – it's now non EU NATO + Oz/Japan/India.

      It's in support of ASEAN nations on 200 mile economic zones, open sea lanes and deterring any invasion of Taiwan (an important chip manufacturer).

      PS 1. There appears little interest in formally ending the Korean War

      PS 2. Our interest is in keeping this "contest" of will out of the Pacific. Working with others cooperatively in Pacific development.

      Trade/economy – ASEAN + China + India + Oz/Enzed, Japan and South Korea (and with APEC including the USA and Russia).

  4. Graeme 4

    bwaghorn was asking about SNAs the other day and I answered off the top of my head. Now the Spinoff has done a piece on them outlining their history in the earliest days of the RMA and their rather patchy implementation around the country.


    • vto 4.1

      imo there will be a time, in the not too distant future if not partly already here, when land with sna's and such other biodiverse features will be more highly valued than fully developed industrial-like farm land

      • Robert Guyton 4.1.1

        Valued monetarily, or for their own sake?

        • vto


          one leads to the other.

          this is the way our society is going

          consumerism and even capitalism are weakening

          as their consequences are becoming apparent

    • ianmac 4.2

      Thanks for the link Graeme. Sheds light on the Farmers protest that they claim to be punished by this "rushed" plan. Dates back to1991 and again in 2010 and recently 2016. They knew it was coming decades ago. Ironic isn't it that National floated it. But left the current government to carry the can.

    • Patricia Bremner 4.3

      Thanks Graeme, very interesting.

  5. left for dead 5

    Good morning folks,

    Can someone tell me if it's my linix system or this site,why I haven't got spellcheck.For me it's been a while.

    thanks in advance,Al

  6. KSaysHi 6

    Major food shortages just around the corner (wheat – the bellweather for famine, soy which affects animals leading to meat shortages, and if you watch the video you will note lots of other supply chain disruptions including technology used in farming).

    If you haven't stocked up please do so even if it's one small thing added to the shopping each week, but that in itself is not enough so do your best to grow a garden.

    I'd like to see NZ make food production a priority, but that would mean allowing migrant workers in and generally getting out of the way of farming asap but this is looking less likely by the day.

    Some global endgame stuff which I tend to block out since I can't do anything about it, and it's speculation.

    • weka 6.1

      Thanks for the reminder.

      I'd like to see NZ make food production a priority, but that would mean allowing migrant workers in and generally getting out of the way of farming asap but this is looking less likely by the day.

      What do you mean there? We can grow food here with our existing population. I'm ok with immigration to support low income Pacific neighbours, and refugee quotes. I don't see the value in bringing in cheap imported workers to prop up unsustainable and non-resilient business models.

      • RosieLee 6.1.1


      • KSaysHi 6.1.2

        I was thinking of kiwifruit and how people who live here don't want to pick it.

        • weka

          They don't? Or the pay and job conditions don't work for the locals?

          • greywarshark

            We need to remember when making remarks, negative, about local workers' reluctance to do this or that, that they are not having as easy a life as oneself. NZ is acknowledged by overseas tourists as an expensive country. (I put up a link some quotes about this a few days ago). So even if we are used to it, it hits visitors, tourists, so believe it.

            A majority of people (excluding those on age benefits) here are living on the edge of normal life, unable to get the security of a home, a good living wage, happy family life etc. They may bnot be able to afford to leave their accommodation to work out of their area picking if the transport is too costly or when they can be left with no wage if it's raining. They may be sick and not able to get medical help, or afford medicine. The transport may leave before they can get the kids to school. Whatever.

            The better off and the PMC are above all that sort of thing, and get irritable that others aren't able to claw their way beyond it, and just despise those complaining about difficulties. The response should be to listen, support and actively encourage, but that is not the leitmotif of this country. Give the poor a kind thought regularly every day, and also give them some support to have either a good life or even a good moment and some food, that is if you want to consider yourself a truly decent person. Most are just floating a little above the ground on wings of gold, or some precious material, followers of Ayn Rand's various ideas of total selfishness.

    • WeTheBleeple 6.2

      Yes the writing's been on the wall for some time. We've had minor shortages here of various items due to supply chain breakdown: Taro and Bananas spring to mind – both growing happily in my garden. Coffee and tea are both being hammered by climate change and various microbes. Both also in my garden, and can be grown here with a tea plantation in the Waikato and coffee in Northland.

      Leaving food supply to the industrialists saw various regions noted as good for this or that product, and that was it. Whole countries relegated to the role of supplying middle men with basic commodities.

      A local model aimed at providing a wide variety of produce is required. Having an extensive garden I can supply most of my dietary requirements here, and our market gardeners could do similar for the rest of us, but there are gaps. Some we might fill with local producers moving into the space, some we can import, but not nearly so much as you'd think we need. Food that takes a world tour when we might grow it ourselves – this seems ridiculous in the current climate.

      When I go to the supermarket I try only buy things I can't grow easily in a home garden, or replace easily with a substitute. Flour – we need to make our own. Various herbs and spices it makes sense to import. Meat and dairy are not a home garden thing, and I for one would sorely miss them in my diet. Fats/oils. Some of these we might produce e.g. butter. But coconut oil, olive oil… worth bringing in. I do have olives growing but they're for the table. If a few households grew them collectively oil production starts to look viable….

      It is time to take all this very seriously. Wherever we can replace an import with a local product we should.

      • Sabine 6.2.1

        so what do you suggest the young ones that we expect to live in places without gardens or outdoor space can do to make up for the shortfall of food and / or rising food costs?

        Maybe grow some micro greens in that 2 sqm kitchen?

        We totally need to rethink food, but at the moment we seem to only take the bash to those that currently grow food without any distinction betweem famer and indusrial Mega Farmer. Btw, in the US family farms are on the way out, and we are losing coffee to soy beans.

        As for coffee, grow dandylions in your garden. Dig up the root, roast it, grind it, voila Coffee Ersatz. And that is something we can grow easily everywhere. Olive oil we can make here too. Olive Oil mills in Europe were always a shared resource as are grain mills, community ovens etc. But again, can we grow enough of that to feed the towners? I doubt.

        • WeTheBleeple

          We need to expand what we grow, and then the cities might be ok. But also all the useless landscaped sections in the cities is land enough to easily grow a majority of what we need.

          How we grow is often patently ridiculous. The amount of times I see paddocks ploughed with furrows pointed downhill – so amateur and assholish it's f'n infuriating. Throwing topsoil into our tides.

          Decentralisation, localisation and permaculture, every chance we get.

          • Sabine

            The cities are currently building crappy McMansions on prime fertile land.


            then we take grazing land and grow pines.


            and then we take huge swath of land in SNA – in Northland, West Coast South Island. .


            you are right, we should, but we don't. So either we import food, or we grow industrial on the last bits of land that are not housed over or pined over or 'sna's. Mind, Soylent Green is of course also an option in the future. Because one things is for sure, the rich and well connected will have access to food.

            • weka

              rather than that TINA pov, I'll point to the other options. Like Bleeple, I see so many people growing for themselves and their rohe, this is happening without a lot of state support. If the state put a bit more effort in, the culture would shift and we'd stop growing on prime land. Even the mainstream understands how stupid that is.

              • Sabine


                i grow food, i turned my garden from a rubbish dump to something that starts resembling something 'organic'. I could not survive of my garden.

                That is all i want to point out. And expecting the State to put more effort in when we build houses on prime land crop growing land in Auckland seems to be hopeful, but also not gonna happen. The 'state' or hte people that run the 'state' expects to survive thanks to money and connectedness, and if half of us die that is the price to pay.

                It is not that my glass is half empty, or half full, its that the water in it is the last we have.

                • weka

                  TINA = there is no alternative

                  No-one is saying anyone has to survive out of their garden. Quite the opposite in fact, the solutions are community and rohe, not individual self sufficiency.

                  The government can be persuaded on many things, and has been.

        • greywarshark

          Sabine – you have lots of ideas which is great. So when you carry on from someone else's ideas can you acknowledge their ideas that you find good, instead of sort of being dismissive about them or ignoring them. Build up a group of supportive and knowledgeable people, discussing, passing ideas to each other. That is what is needed, the tall poppy thing is more about not acknowledging other people's gifts just bringing them down by finding fault with something.

          NZ is full of fallen poppies; I don't think we have ever receovered fully from WW1. We certainly seem to be fixated on it and the red Flanders poppies that went with it. For the 21st century we need to get together with other good-hearted, encouraging and practical people. So please do this, we are so vulnerable on our own to the enormous forces that mass against us, so large that we can't envision them.

      • WeTheBleeple 6.2.2

        The guy in the video is a fruitloop btw, he does make some interesting points though.

    • Sacha 6.3

      NZ already exports most of the food we produce. Not running out here any time soon, unless it's a repeat of Ireland's potato famine.

      • Sabine 6.3.1

        Or its 8 dollar cauliflower or 5 dollar brocoli in winter.

        We don't have to run out for shortages to appear, we can have a shortage of 'affordable' food. Which is what is happening. So if you have enough money you will not go hungry.

        • Sacha

          When local prices are set to match export ones, food is always unaffordable.

          • Sabine

            You would be surprised just how cheap NZ food is overseas, as there it has to compete with goods say Kiwis from Israel and Lamb from France.

            And the 8 dollar cauliflower have been happening in the years before Covid. The prices here have nothing to do with the sales price of NZ goods in a Aldi in Germany for example, but more of the fact that in NZ what is left over for the local market can be sold for gold if need be, because YOU and I and anyone else for that matter don't have much other choice, unless we are good at growing stuff and have the land to do that. And the sales price here in NZ also does not reflect the pittance the growers get.

      • mac1 6.3.2

        We of the Irish extraction know that during the Famine much food was exported from Ireland.

        Christy Moore has a concert item listing the exports from Cork in this period. "On a single day".

        • Brigid


          We do.

        • Peter 1

          Listened to half of that did not understand what was being said/sung

          • mac1

            The first bit was in Gaelic.

            Thereafter, this. On a Single Day.

            “A list of exports from Cork Harbour
            The fourteenth of September, 1847 ran as follows:
            147 barrels of pork,
            986 casks of ham,
            27 sacks of bacon,
            528 boxes of eggs,
            1, 397 firkins of butter,
            477 sacks of oats,
            720 sacks of flour,
            380 sacks of barley,
            187 head of cattle,
            296 head of sheep, and
            4, 338 barrels of miscellaneous provisions,
            On a single day, The ships sailed out from Cork Harbour
            With their bellies in the water.
            On a single day in County Galway,
            The great majority of the poor located there were in a state of starvation, many hourly expecting death to relieve their suffering.

            On a single day,
            The Lady Mayoress held a ball at the Mansion House in Dublin in the presence of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
            Dancing continued until the early hours, and refreshments of the most varied and sumptuous
            Nature were supplied with inexhaustible profusion.
            On a single day. On a single day.

            It's about time this little country of ours had a bit
            Of peace.”

            The Famine was partly due to poor infrastructure whereby food could not be shifted internally easily. That's the reason that partly let the government of the day off the hook.

            Partly due to a law that said that you could not apply for poor relief if you had quite minimal assets. For example, most owners sold their boats as they knew fishing/food gathering was limited by the weather and therefore unreliable. That deals with the accusations that the famine sufferers ignored the sea as a food source. The Irish still refer to mussels etc as 'famine food" and spurn it.

            Partly with the fact that the poor only got to farm the higher lands and the rich still got to grow grains on the more productive plains.

            Partly because when food relief came, it came in the form of Indian corn that needed grinding in order to be edible. That capacity was indeed limited.

            Meanwhile food was still exported.

            The potato blight still affected other countries such as France and Belgium but they had multiple food sources available like grain that the potato blight Phytophthora Infestans did not affect.

            I hope that helps.

      • KSaysHi 6.3.3

        Might well make life difficult if export prices skyrocket.

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    Stephen Parker is a former political editor for TV3. He's reporting from the inside of the govt broadcasting restructure process: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/closed-door-sessions-shape-public-charter-for-rnz-and-tvnz

    "Steps to shape the future direction of public broadcasting are being taken in a series of closed door meetings currently underway. More than 45 organisations have been invited by Ministry of Culture and Heritage consultants to “engagement sessions” designed to collect feedback, primarily on a charter document for TVNZ and Radio NZ when they are revamped into a new public media entity. During the last two weeks commercial media outlets and other industry stakeholders have been attending sessions facilitated by KPMG, attended by MCH Public Media Project team staff, along with Governance Group members who were appointed to oversee the project."

    "Separate engagement workshops for Maori media outlets and organisations are being held over coming weeks. In documents circulated in advance, government officials say the engagement sessions are designed to help shape a Charter which will be foundational for the future of TVNZ and RNZ, and shape advice given to Broadcasting and Media Minister Kris Faafoi. The reading material says the Charter would define the purpose, objectives, and operating principles of the new public media entity, and also be part of a “social contract with New Zealanders. While no draft Charter document is provided, the government officials and consultants say they need stakeholder feedback before “detailed work on drafting the charter document starts.”"

    Workshopping the thing is a step towards co-design, which is good to see. Casting the net at so many organisations likewise. "A business case for a new public media structure for TVNZ and RNZ is due to be presented to Cabinet in October, with legislation scheduled for 2022… And that’s when the wider public will have its first say on the new public media “social contract” charter already being written."

    The first thing to observe about any social contract is that, to be effective, it needs to be inclusive. Framing carefully is therefore essential. It must transcend the bicameral parliamentary divide that the 19th century still shackles us with (and likewise for the other bicameral structure that Te Tiriti ensures).

    • Pete 7.1

      Oh no! Closed door meetings are happening!

      Wait till Judith, Chris Bishop and Simeon Brown get hold of that. "Transparency, secret, communism, stealth"… the fuel of tractor rallies no less.

      • Dennis Frank 7.1.1

        smiley Perhaps they ought to have inserted a wedge to keep the door a couple of inches open? But at least those rooms aren't "smoke-filled" as tradition required…

        • greywarshark

          Organised by KPMG. Business to the fore, conservative conformism with what the pundits are doing from a 'best practice' viewpoint. What about what the thinking citizens want Mr Faafoi, or are we too far away from your high tower to listen to us. Do those who value our public broadcasting and want to retain it so its serves our needs appear like Don Quixotes hitting the ramparts and barricades with rolled up newspapers!

          If we get the celebrity chit-chat presenting the important facts that we need to know about we will be completely lost. Television us a world of fantasy and posing, even when it tries to present reality and the 'reality' tv shows indicate how we can be manipulated, how malleable we are, and now how open to altered images and their affect on our understanding.

          Then there are the ramifications of the 'hate speech' controls – we will go further along the path of being guided missiles to be whipped up to any cause that the top people can dream up. So Brave New World, but who registers this likeness?

    • Gabby 7.2

      What do you mean by 'bicameral'?

      • Dennis Frank 7.2.1

        Having googled it to do a reality check, that's an appropriate question! Could be I was using it idiosyncratically. This site refers to "two distinct groups responsible for setting rules and developing policies": https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/bicameral

        Pretty much what I had in mind, but I'll get more specific. First, the English system we've inherited creates the polarity of govt vs opposition, a bicameral structure since the opposition does develop policies when not in govt and even can design rules then for later use.

        Second, Te Tiriti recognised traditional tribal governance for the Maori (which I always call local sovereignty- it's a principle) along with national sovereignty for the British monarch. Since both used rules, and Maori are nowadays keener than ever to develop their own policies, that structure is likewise bicameral.

        • Gabby

          In praxis it means two chambers of government eh.

          • Dennis Frank

            In postmodernism it means whatever the interpreter says. But a conservative would probably agree with you. Found any here?

          • Sacha

            Like the UK House of Lords, Australia’s federal Senate, or NZ's equivalent upper body until it was abolished, yes. But let's just use it to smear biculturalism, eh Dennis.

            • Dennis Frank

              frown Actually , just pointing to the binary structures that bind us. Basis of our politics. In the same sense, I would point out that our brains are bicameral due to the binary hemispherical structure built in. Metaphor, analogy, whatever.

              • Sacha

                You seeing Treaty relations as a binary rather than a partnership comes as no surprise.

                • Dennis Frank

                  I wonder why. I presume you've forgotten that I told readers here about being the only member of the Green Party at an Alliance meeting who stood and spoke in support of his proposal when Mat Rata announced Mana Motuhake's separate justice system for Maori? I've never resiled from that stand since. It was due to having bought a copy of Claudia Orange's book on the Treaty as soon as it appeared (late '80s, from memory) and identifying the natural justice of the situation. Not many early adopters of the principle back then…

  8. Sabine 8

    in the meantime South Auckland….more shots fired.


    "At around 4.20am, shots were reportedly fired at an address in Palmers Rd by offenders who left the scene in a vehicle."

    People were inside the house at the time, a spokesman said.

    "Fortunately, no one was injured," police said.

  9. Stephen D 9

    There are rumours in Auckland about next year’s mayoral elections. Gossip has it that Phil’s off to Washington.

    Mark Mitchell’s name is being bandied about as a possible candidate, as is a Steven Joyce/Paula Bennett ticket.

    As yet nothing from the left.

    Anybody out there with more accurate tea leaf reading ability?

    The thought of a right wing mayor makes my blood run cold.

    • Sacha 9.1

      Right-wing councillors are more the problem. Even in Auckland the mayor on their own cannot do much.

      • Stephen D 9.1.1

        True, but the thought of right wing councillors allied to a rightwing mayor, and my blood run cold.

        More roads, fuck pedestrians and cyclists. Who needs social housing anyway? And lets sell of Watercare!

  10. KSaysHi 10

    I found this slightly depressing, mostly because it doens't deal with the causes. Dubai is having drones release an electrical charge in clouds to release rain.

    Such method, known as cloud-seeding, prompts the clouds to clump together and form precipitation.

    Spectacular footage released by the NCM shows the monsoon-like downpours battering cars as they drive through highways in scenes that would only really be seen in South East Asian countries – but definitely not the UAE.

    And the drones seem to have been so effective that a yellow weather warnings have been issued in other parts of the country where the technology has also been piloted.

    They should be warning the rest of the world that they are taking their water.


    • bwaghorn 10.1

      Sounds good, shit if we could reliable water the worlds deserts imagine how much carbon we could lock up.

    • Anne 10.2

      To form rain, water vapour needs what's called a condensation nucleus, which can be tiny particles of dust, or pollen, swept up high into the atmosphere. When the condensing droplets that form the cloud get large and heavy enough to overcome the upward pressure of convection, they begin to fall.

      All Dubai scientists are doing is establishing a suitable climate for sufficient condensation nuclei to be present in the atmosphere and that rain clouds will be created and provide much needed rain water to a parched landscape. Its a technique being used in other countries but is still in need of refinement.

      It is neither fake rain nor is it water being stolen from elsewhere.

      Without having read the full link, the British Mirror is showing its ignorance – or it is looking for a sensation/gotcha story which brings science technology into disrepute. The British tabloids are very good at that sort of thing.

  11. Gosman 11

    The other myth is that we as a society are somehow using up resources. This again is not correct. The resources might be temporarily being used or in a form that is difficult to use but they are still there and are still plentiful. The only restrictions on using them is technological.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • Robert Guyton 11.1

      Coal? Re-forming as we speak, is it, Gosman?

      • Gosman 11.1.1

        Yes. What happened to the Carbon that has been released as part of the burning of all the coal? Has it all disappeared?

        • RedLogix

          In the very long run you are right, on the scale of hundreds of millions of years some large fraction of that carbon might well wind up as coal again. But for the purposes of this debate that's an entirely mute point.

          On the timescales that matter to us, extracting and burning fossil carbon has unbalanced the natural carbon cycle, with the excess winding up in the atmosphere.

          In one sense I understand where you're coming from. Fossil carbon has served humanity well, it's dragged most of us from brute poverty and social backwardness to the modern world. I'm certainly very grateful for this and I've spoken many times against those who seem to argue (or at least fail to understand) that unwinding this progress would be catastrophic in it's own right.

          But this does not mean modernity is perfect, or anything like an ideal. It's just a phase, a stage of development we must move on from. BAU and the continued burning of fossil carbon (and many other considerations) is not possible either. We cannot stand still. The carbon wolf will catch us.

          Like it or not we have collectively little choice but to turn down the ideological squabbling and get cracking transitioning off fossil carbon and onto a suite of non-carbon based energy sources. There is plenty of opportunity for adaptation and new phases of human development – and while I expressed my own particular preferences – I'm relatively agnostic on which technology will eventually succeed.

      • McFlock 11.1.2

        90% of coal was formed in a 2% period of geologic history.

        But according to Gossie, all the coal ever mined still exists because we might be able to extract the component atoms and stick it back together somehow.

        A weird spin on the "my great-grandfather's axe" paradox.

    • weka 11.2

      Go on Gosman, tell us how burning coal is using up a a resource temporarily.

      • Adrian 11.2.1

        Nothing disappears, it is all energy that when the atoms are released they take another form. Shapeshifters if you like, we Nobel Laureates call it the Judith Pivot.

  12. WeTheBleeple 12

    Still trotting out this tired old shit. Technology will not save us, it has damned us.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • Gosman 12.1

      Not really. We live much fuller lives today that we did 200 years ago thanks mainly to technology.

    • RedLogix 12.2

      WTB. In that case I invite you to live up to your words.

      If you truly believe technology has 'damned us' then in order to have any intellectual integrity at all you have no choice but to eliminate all technology from your life. I suggest you revert to the exact lifestyle of your ancestors circa 1800. That safely pre-dates the Industrial Revolution you have so loudly denounced.

      Now I realise this presents some practical difficulties, so I'm happy to concede that you should still be allowed to shop for food in a supermarket. But everything else – gone. No electricity, no appliances, no mechanised transport, hand tools only, no medical or dental treatments, no contraception, no education, no public utilities or safe paved roads – and certainly no internet to type out your unhappiness on.

      My bet is that you wouldn't last until lunchtime.

      • WeTheBleeple 12.2.1

        God you're a bore.

        • weka

          If you two want to hash out old troubles, please don't use my posts to do that. If you want to trade insults, know that there's a limit, and WTB, I'll still intercede in OM where the comments are only insults with no political point.

          • WeTheBleeple

            Right… racism you'll make excuses for. Calling someone a bore is somehow too much though.

            I used to think you lot have something to say.

            Now I see you just have to say something.

            I live without a lot of technology/trinkets people are convinced they need. It's no biggie. Everyone knows we're not calling for a return to the dark ages, but RL just loves that hyperbole.

            Every. Time.

            A total bore.

            • weka

              See, that’s how you do it. You can call someone a bore if you make a political point. Political points give people something to respond to. Stand alone insults become flame wars.

            • RedLogix

              You think you're not calling for a 'return to the dark ages' yet you fail to specify exactly what you are calling for.

              For certain we could all make do with somewhat less. Personally we have one 15yr old car between us, two rather ordinary android phones, a laptop that's now 8yrs old, a Chromebook and a few monitors. The newest trinket we just bought is a paddle board and an ebike. Any problems so far?

              But my personal preferences are neither here nor there – my partner and I are competitive skinflints when it comes to personal possessions, but we don't imagine the rest of the world has to be like us.

              The big picture is this – you could reduce the developed world's consumption by 50% if you wanted – but in the long run that would be a drop in the total bucket of global demand.

              Then there is the other problem you have – you claim that quote "technology had damned us" but fail to specify exactly what technology has done the damning. Is it just some of it or all of it? And what do you want to keep and what to discard?

              Because if the last year should have taught us anything, supply chains are very complex ecosystems in their own right, push and prod in one place and all sorts of unexpected reactions happen elsewhere. Technologies and industries have a bewilderingly complex linkages and dependencies that shift and evolve all the time. Claiming that you have a list of 'damnable tech' that you want to ban, and you can decree this with nothing but sunny outcomes is preposterously foolish.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                You think you're not calling for a 'return to the dark ages' yet you fail to specify exactly what you are calling for.

                The big picture is this – you could reduce the developed world's consumption by 50% if you wanted –

                So it's agree – let's call for that. What have 'we' got to lose?

                Or 'we' could carry on consuming and polluting like there's no tomorrow – we're good at that. And those Carry On movies are good fun; silly, but fun.

                Such a pity 'Carry On Spaceman' never got off the ground.

                • RedLogix

                  Or 'we' could carry on consuming and polluting like there's no tomorrow – we're good at that.

                  I've repeatedly conceded that the developed world could lose a bit of fat – no question that each one of us could come up with a list of vanities we'd be happy to do without.

                  But none of us would come up with the same list. How to negotiate that is one obvious hurdle.

                  And still despite the politically herculean task of implementing this – nothing much important would change. Fully 27% of the world's CO2 is from China alone and growing – more than the combined developed world. While by and large that developed world already has a stable population and consumption profile.

                  Put simply the developed world, the so-called golden one billion, could go entirely horse-hair shirt if you want – but on the numbers any such gain would be soon swamped by the growth from the rest of humanity.

                  You need a more effective plan. In the series I did earlier this year I outlined the essential requirement for any such plan to succeed – abundant, cheap, zer-carbon energy.

        • Jimmy

          You would miss making comments on here too much.

        • RedLogix

          So I can take that as a 'no' then? The Industrial Revolution and all it's associated tech has damned us, but you will not choose to live without it.

          Quite the little pickle you've gotten yourself into eh?

      • Robert Guyton 12.2.2

        "If you truly believe technology has 'damned us' then in order to have any intellectual integrity at all you have no choice but to eliminate all technology from your life."

        I smell a non sequitur!

        • RedLogix

          I really cannot see how anyone can have it both ways.

          People like to think they could change the world so that they could selectively keep the tech they like and approve of, and somehow turn off all the rest. It just doesn't work that way.

          For a start everyone would have their own list and much of them contradicting each other. For a second tech development is a highly complex, inter-dependent process where a multitude of parts are linked to many others. Eradicating one piece would have unintended consequences in places you wanted to keep.

          Again I'm not claiming the status quo as any kind of ideal. You should know me well enough by now that I'm very allergic to utopian thinking and people who compare what we have with unexamined, unfalsifiable perfection. We just have to stop bickering over our ideological suspicions and crack on with the job. I've linked to this before:

          The Cult of Done Manifesto

          1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
          2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
          3. There is no editing stage.
          4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
          5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
          6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
          7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
          8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
          9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
          10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
          11. Destruction is a variant of done.
          12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
          13. Done is the engine of more.
          • Robert Guyton

            He could comfortably believe that "technology has damned us", but recognise that he is inextricably reliant upon it now. No contradiction at all, in my view. In fact, there's a growing number of people who find themselves regretful but reliant in just that way. What to do, what to do? It's pretty straight-forward really; Step 1: start with the low-hanging fruit we all know about – shed the dross, the detritus you don't need and refrain from replacing it if possible. The remaining 10 000 steps are well known or easy to discover. Good luck, everyone!

            • RedLogix

              Not understanding the contradiction is not the same as it not existing. I think I made my case clearly enough above and I should leave it there.

      • francesca 12.2.3

        But RL you present all these advances as somehow inevitable, linear progressions

        Yes, we have developed all that stuff which we are now so dependent on , and now cause so many problems as well , overpopulation and resource scarcity being among them

        Is it not possible to imagine we could have embarked on some different road, a more evolved consciousness maybe , a respectful carefulness.We have used our consciousness to further our animal appetites and to vainly attempt to cheat or delay death, and dominate all other species.And now we have such huge expectations of what the earth must provide us

        Maybe we could have been more like lilies of the field, and learnt better lessons about our place in the world.

        I know thats a bit wafty, just pointing out there are umpteen roads we could have gone down.Maybe the road we went down was an accident, a wrong turning and we've never found our way since

        All very wafty I know, and you're a realist, always with an interesting and challenging point of view

        I do appreciate it

  13. mac1 13

    Gosman takes the long view.

    “Limestone's origins are from tens to hundreds of millions of years ago.

    “Coal is formed by the heat and pressure of deep burial of plants over millions of years”.

    Yep, before humans over millions of years, and after humans I'd wager too over millions of years, CO2 will convert to limestone and coal. So burn it now because we all part of the Great Recycling Plan…….

  14. Jimmy 14

    What the heck do you do with a tenant like this?

    Controversial tenant drives neighbours out of community housing complex | Stuff.co.nz

    Pretty unfair on the other tenants but what do you do with her?

    • weka 14.1

      An issue for the Trust to sort out. Pretty hard to know what's going on there from that article.

      • RedLogix 14.1.1

        Having dealt with a very similar case ourselves, I can only report just how hard it is to get to the bottom of these matters. Everyone paints their own picture of what's going on, and the landlord's hands are almost completely tied in attempting to resolve it. Or in this case the "trust". Recent law changes simply made it more complex.

        Result – mucho mistrust and unhappiness all round.

      • Jimmy 14.1.2

        When the lady has 439 dishonesty convictions already, and between 2004 and 2007 was living in Wellington and the same allegations about her arose, and under another identity "appeared in the Westport District Court in 2019 on charges of theft and obtaining by deception, arising from what the court described as a crime spree in the North and South Islands."

        I would have said that pretty much gives a good idea what's going on there!

      • Sacha 14.1.3

        There have been previous articles. Pretty clear.

  15. Ad 15

    In the meantime, Cabinet is about to shut all access to Australia.

    • RedLogix 15.1

      Sighs. It's not much better between the states. My partner and I have been separated five months now on different sides of the continent and there's slim prospect of this changing before the end of the year.

      Millions of people being impacted like this. Thank God for zero cost WhatsApp.

      • Ad 15.1.1

        Very sorry to hear that Red. That's longer than I was apart last year.

      • Janet 15.1.2

        Thank god for some of that technology – I use skype – to travel around half the world every night – separated now for a year by regulations.

    • bwaghorn 15.2

      Bugger my sister is coming back from the northern territory in 3 days hope she beats it.

    • Muttonbird 15.3

      Good! Should make it permanent.

    • Treetop 15.4

      The way the RSV virus is clogging up hospital beds were there to be a Covid – 19 outbreak most DHBs would not cope.

      The trans – Tasman bubble only works if both NZ and Australia have no Covid – 19 cases.

      The Covid Olympics may grind to a halt.

  16. McFlock 16

    Thornley is throwing lawyer letters at Wiles and the Spinoff, now.

    Baker seems safe, though. Interesting thoughts on Twitter about why that might be.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 16.1

      Thornley's under some self-imposed pressure; no excuse for dishonourable conduct.

    • Forget now 16.2

      This seems a bit of a desperate gasp for political oxygen from Thornley – these legal threats are getting headlines when made, probably not when they are dropped. It is telling that they are targeting a Wiles piece that specifically advocates; not wasting your time debunking vaccine falsehoods, as that gave them more attention than they were worth.

      But the pattern of targeting Wiles for individual harassment does suggest some coordination of efforts. Though being a prominent woman in NZ probably has an unhealthy amount to do with it too.

      A number of other individuals have targeted Wiles given her high profile in the New Zealand Covid response. “There seem to be a lot of people who don’t want me to communicate about the pandemic. Thornley’s legal threat comes on top of an Official Information Act request by a guy in Dunedin who thinks I’m lying about my PhD, the person who lodged a complaint with my employer about what they see as my ‘unethical conduct’, and the many nasty and abusive emails, phone calls, texts and social media messages. It’s exhausting and depressing.”…

      Michael Baker, an epidemiologist from the University of Otago, has strongly criticised Thornley’s ideas. He has not received any legal letters, and nor has Stuff, which published Baker’s remarks as part of an extended feature on Thornley and his critics.

      “I have not heard of any academic debates in NZ resulting in legal action for defamation,” Baker said. “Such actions, if common, could have a chilling effect on public debate that would be very undesirable.”

      • McFlock 16.2.1

        Lots of people have called him on his bullshit. As far as I've seen, Wiles hasn't even been one to coin the worst descriptions of his comments, or argue that his motives behind his arguments might be less than scientific. And as the spinoff article points out, Baker has been similarly critical of Thornley.

        But she does seem to be the highest-profile woman to take him to task. Hmm.

        • greywarshark

          Someone I know, apparently intelligent, is anti-vacx and he scoffs at Wiles – that pink hair. I just have to shake my head and walk away when that starts. The thoughts are like a virus themselves.

          • McFlock

            heh – there are occasional efforts to model the propagation of nutbar theories using network tools similar to infectious disease spread.

            I'm not usually all that impressed by them – whether someone adopts a position is a bit more complex than whether they get sick from e.coli. But there's usually enough of a kernel of similarity in there to make the attempt, and that sort of "humans as predictable mechanisms" attitude appeals to some flavours of tech bro.

            • greywarshark

              McFlock Tech would like us to be alike while they praise our individuality. Hollywood shows how we can be encouraged to be alike. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG7x8HWbDzU

              And Foreign Waka I noted that too, I thought we were okay to be grouped in our differences; are Pacific Islanders really PIs or just a bunch of squabbling entities. We are Pacific Islanders too, and should be encouraged to remember that we're all at sea together. The angry academic I think, was objecting to be classified as from the Pacific Islands and not just listed as Samoan when travelling. Sesame Street explains it better. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcTx3j_rbyM

              • McFlock

                With a toe in two worlds at work, it is quite funny on occasion to watch programmers subconsciously expect social constructs to be equally as logical, while more qualitative sides of the fence tend to have meetings upon meetings with no clearly delineated outcome and yet still seem satisfied.

  17. Foreign waka 17

    Well, if that is not a pot calling the kettle…


    “We did not name ourselves Pacific Islanders, we did not name ourselves Polynesian. These are terms that were constructed by palagi within a colonial context.”

    I hope the same goes for the differentiation of all Chinese, Japanese, Malayan etc. or Norwegian, German, Swiss, Polish, Ukraine etc…. because Palangi throws all and sundry into one pot.
    Otherwise, if Palangi as in translation “foreigner” than surely that term can also be used for all peoples having immigrated to NZ, including from Samoa.

  18. greywarshark 18

    This is an important point. Can people emotionally coerce others to slave for them, take them back to colonial days? They are dressed very similarly to the Amish in USA. What state or local controls are applied to protect standards there? We don't want ours to fall further. And remember these people are free to be in business and can then undercut what I regard as legitimate businesses.

    Some info on Amish https://www.thetravel.com/10-of-the-strangest-things-about-the-amish-community-in-the-usa-and-10-in-canada/

  19. greywarshark 19

    On life in NZ for Pasifika just when we thought we were civilised. And we can get uncivilised very quickly it seems so watch out ordinary citizens of whatever colour; first we are denied decent wages, then decent homes, then are we to be portrayed as rats? Perhaps the government was just practising with the lockdown of Tuhoe?

    NZGeographic / Evicted from Aotearoa

    …“Our cousin Feti and his wife and children were living with us, and he was working out in Penrose,” says Fonoti. “One day, he never came home.”

    Feti had been caught up in a programme of deportations that would soon become known as the dawn raids. Police would surround people’s homes in the early hours of the morning, entering properties with tracking dogs to drag overstayers from inside their wardrobes and from underneath beds. The raids traumatised families, with second-generation children—New Zealand citizens—woken from their sleep by the shouting of police…

    Many migrants had arrived on visitor visas and never left, even as their visas expired, but very few fanau thought that would be a problem. New Zealand had all the raw materials for a brand-new life. Wages far exceeded those available at home. Working overtime, a Pasifika factory worker might make up to $200 per week—equivalent to around $3000 today. One worker could support an entire family back in the Pacific, with enough to spare.

    But in 1973, Britain joined the European Economic Community, terminating all bilateral trade agreements with New Zealand, and subsequently dropped to fourth place in the ranks of this country’s export partners. In the Middle East, the Yom Kippur War between Israel and a coalition of Arab states jacked oil prices to astronomical levels—as much as a sixfold increase virtually overnight—while simultaneously reducing the supply for small markets such as New Zealand. The boom was over. An economy that had sustained unprecedented Polynesian migration began to stutter. Unemployment returned in a way not seen since the Great Depression, jumping from 1.4 per cent in 1971 to 7.4 per cent by 1986.

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  • Christchurch Learning Community Hubs supporting ethnic families
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