Open mike 22/08/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 22nd, 2022 - 146 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

146 comments on “Open mike 22/08/2022 ”

  1. PsyclingLeft.Always 1

    Doctors have gone to court to block surgeons from owning medical imaging services, saying it is "dangerous" for them to be able to refer patients for scans to practices they have a stake in, when that referral would benefit them financially.

    Their action at the High Court, Commerce Commission and Medical Council aims to get the new radiology businesses barred and broken up.

    Demand for x-ray, CT and ultrasound scans, and most especially MRI, is soaring.

    Payouts by ACC, the largest single funder of private radiologists to do scans of trauma injuries, have doubled in a decade to $177m last year.

    Well..this all seems interesting. Conflict of Interest? Private Health NZ ? Good questions are being asked..esp ACC payouts to same

    • Sabine 1.1

      Interesting, as in Europe many medical clinics / doctor offices have some machinery as it allows them to get results faster, or are affiliated with praxises that would provide these images/blood tests. Simply because it actually saves money.

      The only time i have ever been send to an of site blood test is in NZ. Anywhere else i have lived, D, FR, NL it was done onsite by the doctors nurse and send away. Ditto with X-rays.

    • Treetop 1.2

      The doubling of the cost of imaging has probably occurred due to ACC arguing the cause of impairment. I suppose it is cheaper for ACC to pay for the imaging, medical reports and staff hours arguing entitlement than covering a no fault injury.

    • Belladonna 1.3

      It seems to me to be the standard argument about public/private medical practice, re-appearing in a different costume.

      It is virtually impossible to get a scan, ordered by your GP, in any reasonable time-frame within the public hospital system.
      I've just had a discussion over this – when it was disclosed to me that the scan the doctor would like to have, in order to double-check (and hopefully exclude) a potentially serious medical condition, would take approx 4-6 months through the public hospital system (and no guarantee that it wouldn't be longer), or I could pay privately, and have it next week.

      The explosion in private radiography services – is primarily driven by the failure of the public service. Why the public provision has failed, is an entirely different question.

      Scans of various kinds are a routine tool for doctors – and especially surgeons (no one wants someone cutting them open and finding that there isn't a problem).

      If there is any evidence that doctors are unnecessarily referring patients for scans they don't need – then this should be produced. But, quite frankly, I don't believe it for one minute.

      Any doctor who has worked with ACC in the past, knows that having a scan is absolutely critical in providing a benchmark for the immediate post-injury situation. Given ACCs propensity for contesting claims (especially those ones with long-term health outcomes), a doctor would probably be negligent, if they didn't benchmark the injury.

      This looks to me like a tanty by the newly formed institutional body for 'independent' radiographers – at someone else horning in on their highly profitable market.

      And, I can absolutely guarantee that any medical insurance provider (the people actually paying for the majority of the private scans) will be keenly interested in any price differentials from the different scanning providers. If the 'doctor-invested' ones are dearer – then the insurance companies won't cover them.

  2. Blazer 2

    Good news.Now the Govt needs to supercharge Kiwi Bank to compete against foreign owned banks that think fines for misfeasance /malfeasance are normal costs of…

    Government to take full ownership of Kiwibank |

    • arkie 2.1

      This is good news. Perhaps now they will fund it sufficiently to take the Government accounts from Westpac.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 2.1.1

        Snap : )

        (oh, on other I read your comment re Comandanta Ramona. Great stuff ! )

      • Ed1 2.1.2

        The Government accounts being with Westpac is largely an accounting exercise. Think about a customer that has a current account that they keep only enough money in to cover payments out – they pay off their credit card every month so never pay penalty interest for that card, and keep their savings an investments in other places. Compare the profit a bank makes from that customer compared with a client that has a mortgage with them, and who is not well enough organised to always pay off their credit card each month, but also who sometimes holds quite a bit of money in their current account. With Westpac, the government will manage its daily balance with Westpac always finish each day with a very small balance (positive or negative) for the overnight balance. In the meantime, Westpac will process thousands and thousands of payments from government departments – some regular for various payrolls; most of it triggered by electronic files authorising large numbers of payments to specific accounts. The money goes in and out the same day; Westpac systems will have been set up to handle the volumes of payments, and there will be separately payments from government to cover Westpac costs under their contract. Not mcuh profit there, but probably Westpac has paid money for special systems to ensure that it works smoothly with minimal cost – there have probably been tenders from government for the work, but no other bank has wanted to do the work to get them the contract . . .

        So no I hope they do not try and take the money transfer work from Westpac – it would do little to increase competition for normal banking from the big four.

        • Nic the NZer

          This is my understanding of the contract implementation as well. And whoever is the provider the govt account is strictly separate to the banks accounts. Westpac doesn't get to treat govt funds as its own capital.

    • Ad 2.2

      They have bought it now that ACC and NZSuper have sucked out the remaining cash since the sold off its Kiwisaver to Fisher Funds.

      It's been going for 20 years and only has 4% market share.

      This government takeover looks more like an admission of failure.

      • Gabby 2.2.1

        It wasn't set up to be a roaring success was it.

        • Ad

          Remind me then what the government is getting out of buying a bank that it sold half of.

          This government is spending $2.1 billion that could have been spent on doctors and nurses, for no particular policy outcome I can see.

          Exactly what value are we all getting out of this? Anyone?

          It looks like Robertson propping up ACC to prepare to run his Income Insurance scheme.

          • arkie

            It looks like Robertson propping up ACC to prepare to run his Income Insurance scheme.

            This is a very good point.

            • Belladonna

              The same Income Insurance scheme proposal which is massively unpopular with all of the lower and middle wage earners where I work.

              I'm not quite sure who it is intended to appeal to.

              Especially, right now, when anyone can walk out of a job, and right into a better paying one the next day.

              • arkie

                Yep, it doesn't make sense as a second-tier welfare scheme but I think the appeal is for traders, providing another massive fund.

              • KJT

                All to do with framing, eh?

                Ask the people around you about extending ACC to illness and unemployment, which is what the scheme does.

                You will find it massively "popular".

                • If it's been poorly framed, then that sheets directly home to the Government. It's their legislation, it's up to them to convince ordinary Kiwis that it's a good thing.

                  They're looking at an additional 'tax' coming out of their pay packets – and not seeing that they will get any gain. And, people – especially on lower incomes – are really feeling the economic pinch.

                  Unemployment insurance in a time of full employment is a pretty hard sell.

                  If you think that this scheme extends ACC to illness – then you'd better go back to the drawing board, and actually read what's being proposed.

                  • KJT

                    Ham fisted framing, or falling into the trap of right wing framing, is something that Labour does way to often.

                    Makes you wonder how many people in Parliamentary Labour, and their advisers, PR people, truly have their heart in any progressive initiatives.

                    The "proposals" are for social insurance funded by a levy on wages, for illness or unemployment. Exactly what ACC does for accidents.

                    Polls on the subject, show that removing the differing treatment for accidents and illness, by allowing the same ACC provisions for both, is hugely popular.

                    Why they didn't propose just extending ACC, to illness in the First instance, which would have only been opposed by right wing tragics, rather than re-inventing the wheel, and a whole new organisation, is puzzling.

                    Seems like someone, behind the scene, doesn’t want it to work.

      • Ed1 2.2.2

        Yes, a failure by successive governments to fund it at similar rates to the capital raising by the other trading banks. National never regarded funding the Bank as more desirable than almost anything else – but they knew they could not afford to be seen to sell it off. Labour have done some things to keep it going, but it has never been as urgent a need for capital as providing money to correct the reductions that National always make to wages, benefits, health, education; all to fund tax cuts that together reduced our level of government capital. One of the reasons for setting it up was to provide some competition to the Aussie trading banks – it is clear that at its current market share that is not happening – the level of bank profits has risen significantly both during and after the period of a National Government. Hopefully Labour will be able to find the money to again use Kiwibank to slow down the high profits that mortgage holders are giving to other banks . . .

        • Nic the NZer

          Competing with the Oz banks, not even a question of Capital (though it will look like one after the event). If Kiwibank was willing to skirt closer to the margins on lending then it would be more competitive. In terms of competition its only going to get those higher percentage of NZ mortgages when it will lend and Westpac, BNZ, ANZ will not for some reason.

          Kiwibank probably has more hurdles and reasons to say no to a potential borrower in place, and are probably into taking fewer risks with govt Capital. This seems fair enough, not unreasonable use of govt Capital, but your not going to have it both ways.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 2.3

      Far out that is Good News ! For the longest time I have wanted this to happen. As in, why the fuck is Westpac the NZ govt bank?

      Also be a fuck off to the Australian owned BNZ and other Aus "NZ" banks.


      • Treetop 2.3.1

        Well said.

      • Nic the NZer 2.3.2

        What are the supposed benefits of this switch? AFAIK the main function is that government departments and public servants get good seem-less access to business credit cards and accounts as needed facilitated via this contract.

        My understanding is that Kiwibank was initially not that well integrated into the NZ banking network, and had other integration issues to solve before being so prepared. Maybe they are now as capable but otherwise whats the benefit of this switch?

        I'm mostly asking as I have seen people project almost mystical economic benefits onto the switch of contract provider here and I don't think such tangible benefits eventuate from the change.

      • Ed1 2.3.3

        The real Bank for the NZ Government is the Reserve Bank – all Westpac does is link to the system for making payments to all the entities that government departments pay each day – and make sure that this is done at the lowest cost to the government.

        • Ad

          Since Kiwibank will shortly answer directly to government Ministers, and Roberston has used governance instruments to interfere with the Reserve Bank, Robertson must show the market and its account holders how it is going to manage actual or perceived regulatory conflicts of interest.

          Unprecedented attack on Reserve Bank independence | Newsroom

          Closer you get to power, the stronger the spotlight.

          The last thing account holders need is a politicised retail bank.

          If there is a whiff of this, people will close their accounts quickly.

          • Richard

            Drive all privately owned banks out of business by taxing banking at 100%. All profits from banking should go into the public purse. People will have to move their accounts from the other banks to KB, if the others are no longer there. Banking is political whether we like it or not.

          • Blazer

            The reality is National hate KB,Kiwisaver and the Cullen fund with a passion.

            They view them as a threat to private equities insatiable appetite for profit.Competition from Govt's with deep pockets is not welcomed.

            The champion of trying to sideline them was present ANZ Chairman…John Key.

            The Anglo/American banks have criminal, rap sheets that make the Mafia look like beginners .

            If the Govt took their contract off WPac and gave it to KB….the screams of communism would be deafening.

            Anyone know why National P.M John Key was awarded Australia's highest honour-the Order of Australia!!

        • PsyclingLeft.Always

          In November 2019, it was revealed that Westpac was alleged to have violated anti-money laundering, child exploitation and counter-terror finance laws. Westpac's CEO, Brian Hartzer, resigned in the wake of the scandal. According to Australian regulators, Westpac had 23 million anti-money laundering law violations, which is Australia's biggest ever anti-money laundering scandal to date.

          On 24 September 2020, Westpac and AUSTRAC agreed to a AUD$1.3 billion penalty over Westpac's breaches of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006. This is the largest fine ever issued in Australian corporate history.

          Yeah…seems to me…that our own NZ Bank ,would be a much better fit for NZ.

    • Treetop 2.4

      Would it be asking too much when there is a National government to not flog off Kiwibank?

  3. Sanctuary 3

    A hear tell Dr. Gaurav Sharma has some links to local BJP types in NZ.

    My piece of wild (but devastatingly shrewd and marginally informed, even if I do say so myself) speculation for the day is once he is kicked out of Labour he is going to form an Indian NZ party and try and tap into the not inconsiderable resentment in the local expat Indian community, a group that contains many with at least as big Brahmin Prince syndrome as Dr. Sharma and feels (possibly with some justification) that street crime impacting Indians is out of control and it has got the smelly end of the immigration stick from the Labour government/Labour Maori caucus under the cover of covid.

      • lprent 3.1.1

        The main Hindu party in India, currently in government. Most notable because of its promotion of religous and ethnic suppression of non hindu, non-mainstream religions, and campaigns against ethnic minorities.

        The most extreme and obvious one being their current political, military, and economic campaign in Kashmir.

        I figure that they are about a decade away from igniting another full blown religious pogrom in India. Plus their efforts in Kashmir look like they will be heading to concentration camps similar to Chinese model on the Uighers.

        Pretty much all done for electoral and caste advantage

        • RosieLee

          And let's nor forget their attitudes towards women. Maybe that's why Sharma had trouble working with colleagues?

          • Herodotus

            Where is your EVIDENCE in this,"Maybe that's why Sharma had trouble working with colleagues" ????

            No accusations levelled at Dr Sharma have been proven as far as I can find. Yet many here have accepted this to be fact, and at the same time accepting that Dr Sharma's comments to be false.

            Maybe Dr Sharma is correct in his comments and that the Labour government has been so contained within its bubble that behaviour that they find acceptable is now no longer such by societies standards ??

            • Peter

              You mean like many have accepted what Dr Sharma said was true and what they extrapolated from that was also true?

              • Herodotus

                I questioned regardingRosieLee was making, that could be read that his ethnicity has issues with woman !!

                Or can we all make sweeping generalisations and apply them to attack an individual and belittle them ???

                • RosieLee

                  It's well known – and observed throughout my 70+ years life time – so it's not a sweeping generalisation. And, as a teacher I have seen too many girls cowed and lacking in confidence because of this male dominated status. As a female I have been forced to step aside in doorways and on pathways by groups of these young males who think they are entitled to the right of way. As a senior, doing exercise in a local pool, I have seen Indian women "accompanied" by their husbands so thy can't just do their thing with a bunch of other senior women.

                  • Going to make a whole lot of cultural stereotype allegations about Pacific Islanders, or Maori, or Chinese, too?

                    Yes. You did make a sweeping generalization.

                    Yes. It is racist.

                    No. You can't assume that behaviour that you've observed exhibited by some people in an ethnic/national group is shared by all people within that group.

                    Really. This is sounding like a right-wing-nationalist group, rather than a leftie blog.

          • lprent

            If you have the other attributes, you can pretty well much just add that one in as a given.

          • swordfish


            And let’s nor forget their (BJP’s) attitudes towards women. Maybe that’s why Sharma had trouble working with colleagues?

            They need to keep you the hell away from Jury Service.

            Wild unsubstantiated rumour followed by wildly speculative smearing.

            • Nic the NZer

              I completely agree.

              Also, Bombers giving you the call up, you've now made the line up for team Woke. You will be coming off the bench when the National party affiliated squad members (running all the 'Labour does it too' plays) need a break.

              • swordfish

                Ahh that's a real shame … I understand you were 6 years, 3 months & 21 days sober … until tonight.

        • Bearded Git

          Among other nationalist and pro-Hindu/anti-muslim acts the BJP supports building Hindu temples on mosque sites where the mosque was ripped down by Hindu's.

    • Visubversa 3.2

      He won't be the only one. There has been a lot of organisation of Kiwi/Indian small busines owners by one "Sunny" Kaushall who was connected to Labour in Mt Roskill for some time, but who "wakajumped" off to National when he did not get the recognition/reward he thought he deserved. The Nats don't seem to have to have been that responsive to his transactional style of political expectations either. Mr Kaushall pops up on the TV every time there is a ram raid on a dairy. And many MP's Facebook pages are bombarded with demands for entry from the Indian sub-continent for visa holders and their relatives.

      • lprent 3.2.1

        Just before the NZLP party list was put forward in early 2017 – that was what I remember…

        Ummm, Yep – interesting that his official reason was bullying as well. I guess it played well as a line at least enough to be reused.

        It is pretty damn hard to stay on the list over multiple elections because there are always other people trying to get on to it, and you can't just coast from election to election in the same place (or higher). Without obvious results, you will get less support at any level.

        People in the party tend to throw a very sceptical eye over how well someone is doing at bringing votes to the party – especially for the party vote. I know that I do.

        This is the reason that you find sitting electorate MPs sliding down the list if they aren't in a crucial ministerial position (ie working too damn hard to run a local campaign). You can’t coast in politics any more. No-one tolerates it. And no-one works for people who do.

        Politics is always a grind. Personally I have never had any interest in doing politics, and I usually just walk over people who ever try it on me. I’ve only been willing to pick people I’m willing to support and to lend a hand on the basis that it is a task for the common good to get competent people who are silly enough to want to do the job into doing it (and keeping out the idiots who just want the ego boost out of it).

        Helen Clark just ran a superb local organisation for decades. She could leave them to do a lot of the work when she was deputy and then leader and eventually PM. That was becasue peope, were willing to work fro her even when she was a lowly candidate and back bencher. Jacinda has been rebuilding that in Mt Albert.

        Same when Goff was in Roskill and Woods has kept that up. You see the same thing in a lot of electorates, and increasingly in politicians in list positions.

        Politics is about what you bring to it, and probably the most important part is in how you build a group of helpers and even people that you have employed (via PS) who are willing to give up time to make sure that the support a politician needs is there for a long term career. If they can't get that from people they work with – well then they don't have don't have a future in politics. Just talking rather than doing isn't enough.

        So far to me, it looks like Sharma didn't value the people doing any work for him. Staff, volunteers, whips, or PS.

    • Treetop 3.4

      I did think about Labour losing the support of voters aligned to Sharma.

    • Evidence of these links? Or is this just some gossip from a bloke in the pub?

      • Anne 3.5.1

        My piece of wild (but devastatingly shrewd and marginally informed, even if I do say so myself) speculation for the day is once he is kicked out of Labour …

        Is one not allowed to speculate and do so with a touch of self-deprecating humour.

        • Belladonna

          "A hear tell Dr. Gaurav Sharma has some links to local BJP types in NZ."

          So some evidence that this is something other than a commentator interviewing his keyboard, would be nice. Whether with humor or otherwise.

          'Speculation' when not allied to any basis of fact, is indistinguishable from conspiracy-theory madness – and we all know what lies down that pathway…..

          Quite frankly, without any evidence, this comes across as a profoundly racist comment (nasty Indians with foreign political ideas) – and I expect better of TS.

          • Anne

            … this comes across as a profoundly racist comment (nasty Indians with foreign political ideas) – and I expect better of TS


            Sanctuary – indeed most of us here – do not indulge in racist language. A comment directed at a person or persons within a certain ethnic group who may be aligned to a far right organisation of that ethnicity does not constitute racism.

            If your expectations of this site do not meet your very high standards frown then maybe this is not the right forum for you.

            • Belladonna

              Totally racist. Sanctuary made (and you supported) a racist allegation about Sharma, with zero evidence.

              You're hitting a new low, even for you, Anne.

              Blind support of a political party is clearly taking you into some very troubled waters, indeed.

              • Herodotus

                Perhaps the problem is that many here are so insulted that they do not understand what a racist comment is or how it takes toll of those who have received these comments, and as such have no basis to call anyone out when such comments are made (Unless they are Nationals or Act supporters), as someone who has had the N word thrown at them, I can speak from experience. But then many within Labour have NO IDEA as they live in their university educated fairyland lifestyle, and their sycophants just blindly agree. So anyone who calls out racists behaviour should be applauded.

                • I agree. Many commenters here appear to be unaware when they slide over the boundary from disapproving of an individual's behaviour (for what are no doubt valid reasons), to making generic racist slurs about the ethnic/national group to which that individual belongs.

                  Making up (apparently out of whole cloth) an allegation that Sharma has links to a political movement in another country – simply because of his ethnicity – is absolutely racist.

                • PS I hope you are OK. It can be really triggering standing up for what you believe, after the horrible experience it sounds as though you've had in the past.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                "profoundly racist" "Totally racist."

                I see racists. How often do you see them? All the time. They're everywhere.

                I can see who's the racist here…

                Seems Aotearoa NZ (still) has a big (and possibly growing) racism problem.

                What will you give to racism?


              • Anne

                You and Gaurav Sharma ought to get together. Two of a kind. 🙄

              • joe90

                Sanctuary made (and you supported) a racist allegation about Sharma, with zero evidence.

                Smoke, lots of smoke.


                Language is deeply political and constituted in terrains of power. The politics of language is evident in the struggles for Te Reo Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand.

                When I witnessed Labour MP Dr Gaurav Sharma, of Indian origin, take his oath in Te Reo, I was joyful to see the possibilities of solidarity with the struggles of tangata whenua articulated in the gesture.

                The MP then proceeded to take his oath in Sanskrit.

                While the MP’s use of Sanskrit to take the oath may be seen as another triumph for multiculturalism in New Zealand politics, the gesture raises vital questions to ponder upon, particularly in the context of the hegemony of the majoritarian politics of hate in contemporary India.

                This politics of hate that underlies the governing structure of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India is built on the revitalisation of Sanskrit, the turn to Hindu knowledge claims, the erasure of diverse cultural claims, and the active attacks on India’s oppressed caste and minority communities.

                Sanskrit is largely a scriptural language that is used by caste Brahmins in India, reflective of and imbricated in India’s caste structure. Used historically by Brahmins to perform sacred rituals, Sanskrit was held up by a politics of caste-based gatekeeping.

                Since its ascendance to power, the BJP has deployed Sanskrit as an instrument of marginalisation. Sanskritisation has served as a vital resource in the saffronisation (right-wing policies which impose a Hindu nationalist agenda) of the nation.

                The caste politics of Sanskrit is particularly salient in the backdrop of the ongoing violence on outcaste (dalit) communities under the BJP regime.

                The Indian origin activist Dr Sapna Samant voiced on Facebook how the act of oath-taking in Sanskrit by a Labor MP lends credence to the Hindutva forces in India.

                In response to the post, Dr Sharma untagged himself and unfriended her.


                • I agree that language can be a tool of imperialism (after all, I'm writing in English, the pre-eminent example!).

                  Clearly reading the oath in Sanscrit wasn't seen (by Labour or almost anyone else) as an issue at the time. It, presumably, was a personal affirmation in his first language.

                  Even this commenter notes that Sharma has previously expressed dissatisfaction with Hindu supremacists.

                  Many other MPs have also read the oath (after the mandatory English or Maori version) in their birth or heritage language – some of which are equally as divisive or problematic (e.g. Naisi Chen, reading in Mandarin – which is the language the Chinese government imposes on ethnic minorities; or Golriz Ghahraman speaking in Farsi – which is the state language of Iran, imposed on other ethnic groups).

                  This might indeed be smoke (or equally as well, mirrors) – but has nothing to do with the specific allegation, that was made.

                  "A hear tell Dr. Gaurav Sharma has some links to local BJP types in NZ."

                  • joe90

                    the specific allegation, that you made.

                    I made no such allegation.

                    But Dr Sapna Samant does allege Gaurav Sharma has links to local Hindutva types in NZ


                    • my quote "that was made"

                      Your twitter link doesn't say anything about Sharma's links to the BJP – the specific allegation that was made by Sanctuary.

                      And, again, this clearly wasn't enough to raise an eyebrow in Labour Party HQ, either at selection time, or subsequently.

                      I'm quite sure that every MP in the house would have twitter commentary saying that they 'don't deserve to be there' – for one reason or another. Some a good deal more bitter than this (some of the Green Party twitter haters are simply frothing mad – yes, that's a generalization, and I don't have a psych degree to actually diagnose them)

                    • joe90

                      I cited word for word. Where's my fucking apology?

                    • Incognito []

                      Please calm down! The comment was edited within the 10-min editing time and you saw it before the change was made and you reacted too quickly. I have been caught out doing the exact same thing – I’ve learned to count to 10 😉

          • Kiwijoker

            Stopped walking behind your husband yet Bella?

            [Looks to me like you’re attacking the person rather than addressing the substance & content of their comment(s). If this is the extent of your contributions here then you won’t be missed at all. This is your warning – Incognito]

    • Descendant Of Smith 3.6

      Sometimes different people can have the same name.

    • swordfish 3.7


      A (sic) hear tell Dr. Gaurav Sharma has some links to local BJP types in NZ … he is going to form an Indian NZ party and try and tap into the not inconsiderable resentment in the local expat Indian community, a group that contains many with at least as big Brahmin Prince syndrome as Dr. Sharma

      Demonize the Heretic … and denigrate his ethnic community just for good measure … for do we, the Partisan Righteous, not possess unusually refined moral sensibilities ?

  4. Ad 4

    Sure hope Germany has its energy use and energy storage modelling right.

    Germany rules out delay to nuclear phaseout | News | DW | 21.08.2022

    • Sabine 4.1

      some news in German, Google translates is good enough for this.

      ” Quote : "The most important * The Halle-Saalekreis district trade association in Saxony-Anhalt has written an open letter to Chancellor Olaf Scholz. * In it, they call for an end to all sanctions against Russia and to start negotiations to end the war against Ukraine. The letter is available to the editorial network Germany and has 16 signatories from all guilds.

      "We would like to begin by emphasizing that Russia's attack on Ukraine is a clear violation of Article 2 of the UN Charter and is viewed and criticized by us as a serious crime," the letter said. However, this war did not start on February 24, 2022. In addition, the district craftsmen's association is "justifiably concerned. Concerns about the future of our children and grandchildren, worries about the continued existence of our businesses, worries about our country.”

      "We know that the vast majority is not willing to sacrifice their hard-earned standard of living for Ukraine"

      It goes on to say: “We as craftsmen know from many discussions with our customers that the vast majority is not willing to sacrifice their hard-earned standard of living for Ukraine. It's not our war either!"

      According to a publication by Transparency International Deutschland eV, Ukraine will be 122nd in terms of corruption in 2021. "No other European country does worse here," say the signatories. And under no circumstances can one speak of a flawless democratic state in the case of Ukraine. The signatories therefore ask: "And you want to put Germany at risk for this?"

      “Do you want to be the chancellor who ruined Germany”
      It's rumoring in the country. Prices rose at such a rate that "average earners" would soon no longer be able to make a living. Then even normal, necessary manual work would become unaffordable, which would lead to layoffs and the closure of companies.

      "Do you want to be the chancellor who ruined Germany?" It reads. "Do you really want to sacrifice your country for Ukraine?"

      Craftsmen make three demands on Scholz
      The district craftsmen's association therefore raises three demands: "1. Immediately stop all sanctions against Russia. 2. Immediately begin diplomatic negotiations to end the war. 3. All political decisions are to be checked for the benefits for the German people – as you have sworn."

      At the end of the letter it says: "We are not talking about 1 or 2 degrees less room temperature or whether swimming pools have to lower their water temperature. We're talking about Germany's death here! Many people in our country recognize that, why don't you?" And: "Change your course. In the interests of our homeland.”" ” Quote end

      The empty suits currently running Germany will have a decision to make, find a solution, or get put out in the cold to freeze – symbolically speaking – to a political death.

      Also, England is gonna be fun to watch. If you thought that a few people dying in a heatwave because they are too poor to pay for cooling is/ was an issue, imagine how bad it will get when many many more die because they are too poor or suddenly to poor to pay for heating.

      • Sanctuary 4.1.1

        England is on the verge of a Dickensian humanitarian crisis where thousands of people will literally freeze and starve to death this winter. All the Conservatives have to offer is a particularly malevolent and stupid new leader who wants to cosplay Margaret Thatcher and double down on rigid monetarist cruelty, and the British state in general is a now a withered, decrepit exercise that looks incapable of reacting to the looming crisis in a timely or meaningful way.

        I expect the outbreak of widespread social violence in the UK this winter, on a par with the poll tax rebellion. Compared to the era of the poll tax riots however the British state, withered and decrepit and and as incapable reform as it is, is now an institution far more reliant on punitive and oppressive laws to enforce order so the potential for crazy violence is very real.

        • Belladonna

          Why do you think that?

          The UK seems to be relatively independent from Russia in terms of gas (it's mostly North Sea for them).

          It's on the cards that Britain would stop supplying the EU if there were domestic supply issues. Which is bad news for Europe, but not domestically for the UK.

          • Macro

            Why do you think that?

            UK energy bills ‘could hit more than £3,300 a year this winter’


            • Belladonna

              So, no shortage – just price increases.

              Contributing to the general cost-of-living crisis.

              Surely all the people believing that any pain is worth it, if we just use less energy – should be delighted.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                yes What will you give to climate change?

                A little 'pain' now will make bugger all difference – burn, baby, burn!

                And finally… burn, baby, burn
                Stuart Kirk, global head of responsible investing at HSBC Asset Management, told a Financial Times event: “Who cares if Miami is six metres under water in 100 years?

                The night we lost the war on climate change
                The real problem, he [President Carter] told America about its unrestrained fuel consumption, was “our failure to plan for the future, or to take energy conservation seriously.

                Some of these efforts will also require dedication, perhaps even some sacrifice from you,” Carter told Americans in February 1977 about efficient use of resources. He stressed “cooperation and mutual effort.

                Technocratic climate denialism
                Future generations, enduring the brunt of increasingly intolerable summers and extreme weather, seeing Oregon’s forests and natural beauty decimated by climate change will look back to the decisions ODOT is making now and ask how it could simply ignore this problem, ignore the demonstrated science about its causes, and then commit literally billions of dollars to make it worse, dollars that future generations will be forced to repay.

                This may seem like a simple, routine technical matter. It’s not. Its an irrevocable commitment to burn our state, to cower in ignorance in the face of an existential challenge, and an effort to cling to an outdated ideology that created this problem.

              • Macro


                Shifting goal posts.

                The question was why would Sanct think that:

                England is on the verge of a Dickensian humanitarian crisis where thousands of people will literally freeze and starve to death this winter.

                BTW I have been active for the past 30 years campaigning on reducing GHG emissions, submitting to Parliament, carrying out and supporting action to reduce GHG emissions. Our household is totally committed to the reduction of carbon emissions in our everyday life. My daughter has not only been an active member of Gen Zero, she has been a regional co-chair for the Green Party, and a local govt community board chair. I think our commitment to action on reducing the effects of AGW such as climate change is unquestioned.

                • Macro

                  So, no shortage – just price increases.

                  From the link I gave above:

                  “Energy consumers are facing the prospect of a very expensive winter,” Craig Lowery, a principal consultant at Cornwall Insight, said. “As the energy market continues to grapple with global political and economic uncertainty, the corresponding high wholesale prices, and the UK’s continued reliance on energy imports has once again seen predictions for the domestic consumer default tariff cap to rise to what are even more unaffordable levels.”

                  My Bold to help your comprehension skills.

                  BTW if you haven't already realized there is a shortage of energy especially in Europe, exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, That has caused a huge rise in the price of energy world wide, from which the energy companies are making massive profits. The UK govt is making no effort to control the usury antics by the Energy companies.

                  • Thanks for your bold –
                    I certainly realized that there is a shortage of Energy in Europe – especially in Germany, and other countries predominantly reliant on Russian gas.
                    The point I was making is that Britain is not one of them – they do not get gas from Russia, it's predominantly local North Sea gas. Yes, they import other energy sources (no oil in Britain – they get it from the oil-rich states, just like the rest of us). They are experiencing price inflation (as we are here in NZ), not shortages. (Well, maybe supply shortages, with the post-covid logistical nightmare)

                    But, apparently, all they need to do is follow your household's recipe for reduction – and they'll all be sweet. No need for Dickensian freezing. /sarc/

                  • Poission

                    The UK not being self sufficient in Energy (gas,fluids electricity,wood) is reliant in imported energy,

                    The cost of imported electricity ( Norwegian hydro) is now (6.22 gmt) 596.73 euro a megawatt ( Local norwegian price 5 euro)

                    All the meteorological predicates suggest a repeat of the 1976 conditions ( with the same economic parameters ) a colder then average winter following a summer with significant drought conditions,La Nina and the enhanced forcing from the Hunga-Tonga eruption,fat tails have unhappy endings.


                • And, actually, yes, I've lived through a couple of English winters. Though in relatively modern high-rise apartments in London.

                  Not appreciably colder than Otago.

                  If you want to live in a 17th century listed English village stone building, then you're going to have to find the money for heating (or go back to log burning). Note, most working-class people certainly couldn't afford to even buy one, let alone live in it.

        • Sabine

          Yes. England has me worried. They are truly between a rock and a hard place.

      • Jenny how to get there 4.1.2

        Quisling is not a German word, but nobody needs google translate to get the meaning.

        ” Quote : "The most important * The Halle-Saalekreis district trade association in Saxony-Anhalt has written an open letter to Chancellor Olaf Scholz. * In it, they call for an end to all sanctions against Russia and to start negotiations to end the war against Ukraine. ….

        …."We know that the vast majority is not willing to sacrifice their hard-earned standard of living for Ukraine"

        Really? How could these cynical self serving mercenary barstards possibly know that?

        We hear these same repeated arguments from those who say that we should do nothing about climate change. ie we can't save the planet because it will ruin the economy.

        Blah, blah, blah.

        But History tells us that often times when people are called upon they are prepared to forgo their hard earned standard of living for a noble cause beyond their personal comfort.

        On the rise of another blood thirsty expansionist imperial power, British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, took office promising the British people blood, sweat, toil and tears. And promptly set about on delivering on his promise.

        And in the spirit of self sacrifice the British people rose to the occasion and the many onerous demands made of them.

        Despite delivering blood sweat toil and tears to the British people Churchill has won hands down every poll taken in Britain on the most favourite British leader of all time.

        The German people are no different. We can all see what is going on in Ukraine. If they have to cut down on food or warm their hands around an oil fire drum.
        If called to, they will do it. After all the German people have made even bigger sacrifices in the past for much less worthy causes.

        • Belladonna

          Try googling Churchill's political fate once the crisis was over…..

          And the long-term economic result for the people of Great Britain in the latter part of the 20th century: hint, it was a lot better to be a West German and benefit from the Marshall Plan, than it was to be a notional 'ally' and be re-paying war debt for decades.

          I note that people who call for sacrifice, seldom appear in the front row of those preparing to sacrifice their current and future wellbeing.

          In any period of economic turmoil, it is the poor who are worst off. No one believes that the Kardashians will cease using private jets, or living a lifestyle of conspicuous consumption – regardless of how much it costs. But those struggling to pay the power (and food, and heating, and fuel) bills – will be sacrificing their quality of life.

          • Jenny how to get there


            22 August 2022 at 3:23 pm

            Try googling Churchill's political fate once the crisis was over…..

            The power and influence of the British Empire was much dented by the end of the war. As Empire's fortunes went down so did Churchill's. And a good job too.

            Churchill may have been the man of the hour. But as Clement Atlee famously said "I know Churchill is a monster. But he is our monster."

            I would go further and say that both Churchill and the British Empire were monstrous. I am glad their time has past. (as is probably most of humanity).

            • Belladonna

              So, on the one hand, you're celebrating him as the greatest leader, and on the other you're calling him an outdated monster.

              It's not exactly a ringing endorsement for leadership in a time of crisis.

              You might equally well laud Stalin for his tenacity during WW2 – while ignoring his appalling record of torture, assassination and legalized murder against his own citizens.

              Hitler, also called for, and received, unprecedented levels of self-sacrifice from the German people prior to and during WW2.

              As noted above, the leaders rarely participate in this self-sacrifice, not do the intellectuals (and there always are some) justifying it.

              • Jenny how to get there

                I don't celebrate Churchill, his faults are well known.

                Imperialist, racist, strike breaker, privileged ruling class elitist, antisemetic

                But that is not to say that there is nothing we can learn from him.

                One of Churchill's greatest strengths, he was non-sectarian.

                To get things done, would work with whoever he could, – hated the British Labour Party, but made Labour Party leader Clement Atlee Deputy Prime Minister, brought union leader Ernest Bevin into his cabinet despite his hatred of unions.

                Most famously of course formed an alliance with Stalin despite being a lifelong opponent of communism.

                In my opinion, the love/hate relationship between the left wing anti-imperialist New Zealand cartoonist David Low, and between Churchill, best sums up how the Left should view Britain's war time leader.

                New Zealander David Low worked mostly for left-wing periodicals like the Star and the New Statesman…..

                Churchill on Low

                ..When he was growing to years of discretion, the best way of getting a laugh was to gibe at the established order of things, and especially at the British Empire…
                To jeer at its fatted soul was the delight of the green-eyed young Antipodean radical.

                Low on Churchill

                “An upholder of Democracy,” he described Churchill—“yes, when he was leading it.” Impatient with it when he was not…

                His definition of democracy, I felt, would be something like “government of the people, for the people, by benevolent and paternal ruling-class chaps like me.” Remembering him as one of the most energetic mis-educators of public opinion in the early 1920s, when his dislike of political onrushes took him within hail of fascism, when the rabbits of the Trades Union Council were held up as Russian bears and the idea of a Labour Government was alleged to mean the enthronement of Bolshevism at Westminster….


                The only thing both men could agree on was their mutual hatred of fascism.

                Of course Churchill was to come later to this hatred than Low, when the fascists threatened the interests of the British Empire.

    • Poission 4.2

      The Germans are still awaiting a report (third one) on the risks and requirements for retaining Nuclear.

      Inter politic with finance minister saying it is important and Harbeck (the green leader) using his skills as an author of childrens fiction books to say there are safety concerns.

      Even with 100% storage for gas,they will only have capacity for 66% of normal use.Then there is the problem with electricity supply with Norway/Sweden wanting limits on exports to low countries ( Norway now subsidizing own consumers to pre problem levels)

      The increase in gas prices in the US has started raising concerns with some politicians in asking for an investigation into german environmental groups and their connections and prior funding from Russia.The German current account surplus is now falling sharply and debt will start to accrue,fuelling interest rate demand in the ECB arena.

  5. Roy Cartland 5

    Apparently this is happening today, I never knew:

    Parliament protest: Barricades erected, public urged to plan ahead

    • Nic the NZer 5.2

      So far in the FARC (e.g Tamaki) vs the rest stakes, Tamaki is clearly winning. He stated quite clearly they have no intention of occupying parliament.

      Despite elements of the non-FARC crew insisting that it was only the Tamaki supporters who were ever the violent extremists. Also that FARC were the Nazis involved. Also that their protest was peaceful. Also that Tamaki was never a reasonable political leader and needed to be removed.

      But since his group have organised multiple protests which didn't wind people up for a full month they seem to be the reasonable faction. If the idea is to politically take control of the whole disaffected movement I expect Tamaki to be more successful than the other factions. That even though Tamaki has merely announced the other groups need to pool up politically and integrate into his coalition thanks.

  6. Jenny how to get there 6

    "We need the whole world to move" [on climate change] Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. 22 August 2022

    While visiting the flood damaged Nelson, the Prime Minister makes a lame excuse for her administration's climate inaction.

    The Prime Minister echoes John Key's excuse for New Zealand's climate in-action that New Zealand would be a fast follower on climate action.

    "We need the whole world to move"

    With this statement the Prime Minister has signaled that she has given up on New Zealand's leadership on climate change.

    Sure the whole world has to move, but that will never happen without leadership.

    That's not how change happens. Someone has to make the first move, someone has to give a lead, if not us who?

    If we everyone is waiting for everyone else to move, no one will move.

    If the world is ever going to take the necessary steps to combat climate change, leadership is the key.

    "Give me a fulcrum and I can move the world" Archimedes

    Churchill never waited for the world to move before he declared war on Germany.

    We shall fight them on the beaches….

    … outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone.

    Churchill did not say we shall fight them when everyone else does.

    The Prime Minister said that climate change is this generations nuclear free moment.

    What if David Lange had said the whole world has to move on nuclear weapons, before he made New Zealand nuclear weapons free.

    Churchill and Lange did not act when everyone else did. They acted before everyone else did. They gave a lead they challenged the rest of the world to follow.

    We need to do the same.

    • roy cartland 6.1

      Great point. I think of Greta, who inspired a global movement. NZ could be the first domino, and ignite rapid, vociferous following. The populations of the big-emitting countries could be too loud for the leaders to ignore.

      • Jenny how to get there 6.1.1

        Instead of an insipid call on the world to move, Prime Minister Ardern could have taken the "devastation" in Nelson as an opportunity to deliver a rallying cry to the nation to move on climate change.

        Dunkirk was a "colossal military disaster" for Britain.

        Churchill took this "colossal disaster" as an opportunity to deliver a rallying cry to the British people.

        Churchill could have said, "We need the whole world to move" and sued for a separate peace with Germany.

        Suddenly the scene has cleared, the crash and thunder has for the moment — but only for the moment — died away….

        ….. the navy, using nearly one thousand ships of all kinds, carried over 335,000 men, French and British, out of the jaws of death and shame, to their native land and to the tasks which lie immediately ahead. We must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations….

        ….We have perhaps lost one third of the men we lost in the opening days of the battle of March 21, 1918, but we have lost nearly as many guns — nearly one thousand — and all our transport, all the armored vehicles that were with the army in the north….

        ….They had the first fruits of all that our industry had to give, and that is gone. And now here is this further delay. How long it will be, how long it will last, depends upon the exertions which we make in this island. An effort the like of which has never been seen in our records is now being made. Work is proceeding everywhere, night and day, Sundays and weekdays. Capital and labor have cast aside their interests, rights, and customs and put them into the common stock. Already the flow of munitions has leaped forward. There is no reason why we should not in a few months overtake the sudden and serious loss that has come upon us…..

        …..Nevertheless, our thankfulness at the escape of our army and so many men, whose loved ones have passed through an agonizing week, must not blind us to the fact that what has happened in France and Belgium is a colossal military disaster….

        …..I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do…..

        "The Miracle of Dunkirk"
        June 4, 1940
        Winston Churchill


        To combat the menace of climate change could Prime Minister Ardern have delivered such a rallying cry to the team of 5 million?

        She may have missed her chance this time.

        But maybe next time a climate disaster hits us, our PM will rise to the occasion.

        Let's hope so.

        • Ad

          Ardern "leading" like that would rightly be decried as grisly ambulance chasing, and in very poor taste.

          Not even the Greens are that dumb.

          • Jenny how to get there


            22 August 2022 at 3:44 pm

            Ardern "leading" like that would rightly be decried as grisly ambulance chasing, and in very poor taste…..

            Aussie tories are on the same page.

            Greens using ‘personal tragedy’ of bushfires to push climate agenda

            September 10, 2019 – 9:49PM

            Social Services Minister Anne Ruston says she is unsurprised the Greens are seeking to “sensationalise personal tragedy” to push their climate agenda.

            “They’ve done it forever and they’ll probably keep on doing it,” she said.

            “We need to deal with the issue in relation to the changing climate; the climate always changed and it probably will always change.

            “It’s reprehensible that the Greens would seek to make political mileage out of what is an ongoing tragedy.”


            According to Right Wingers politicians shouldn't call for taking action on climate change during climate change disasters.

            So when according to you, ad should politicians talk about taking action on climate change?

            When it is not in the headlines?

            When the weather is moderate and and the public might be forgiven for thinking it is not a problem?

            What next?

            Don't call to stop the war when the war is on?

            Don't call for solutions to poverty or homelessness in the midst of cost of living crisis?

    • Belladonna 6.2

      Churchill did not say we shall fight them when everyone else does.

      Well, no, that would have been more than a little redundant at the time of the 'fight them on the beaches' speech. This was during the period when all other continental allies had fallen or were about to fall, and Great Britain and the Empire (or those parts of it fighting) were standing alone against the juggernaut that was Nazi Germany.

      Lange had a virtually cost-free opportunity to do his piece of virtue-signalling. NZ had zero nuclear infrastructure, and withdrawal from the ANZUS treaties, was a benefit so far as he was concerned. It also had (and still has) almost zero impact on nuclear proliferation throughout the world. He might have been leading, but no one was following.

      Ardern, on the other hand, would be sacrificing the standard of living of the country, in order to assume a position of leadership on climate change.

      • Robert Guyton 6.2.1

        In doing so, she'd be the true leader on climate change.

        We will all experience a reduction in our standard of living; through political management or the effects of climate change. Best to choose that path, manage it with the advantage of being early-adapters, rather than take it as the climate serves it up to us.

        • Belladonna

          She'd also be dumped at the election quicker than you could blink an eye – and the policies reversed immediately by the incoming National/Act government.

          Implementing any such 'world leading' policies would involve a lot of pain for all Kiwis (rich and poor – and we all know the poor would be worst off, as they always are in times of economic turmoil). And economic pain for the electorate is a death-knell for the government-in-charge.

          It might be a better long term solution, but we'd never have the chance to find out.

          • Robert Guyton

            "It might be a better long term solution…"

            But hey, let's plump for short-term "comfort"!

            What could go wrong?

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            It might be a better long term solution, but we'd never have the chance to find out.

            It's been the only real (if not realistic) solution on offer for the last 50 years, imo, and you're on the money re chances that this iteration of civilisation will adopt it.

            Those 'on top' have never had it so good – BAU ho! sad

            Climate Endgame: Exploring catastrophic climate change scenarios
            [1 August 2022]
            There is ample evidence that climate change could become catastrophic. We could enter such “endgames” at even modest levels of warming. Understanding extreme risks is important for robust decision-making, from preparation to consideration of emergency responses. This requires exploring not just higher temperature scenarios but also the potential for climate change impacts to contribute to systemic risk and other cascades. We suggest that it is time to seriously scrutinize the best way to expand our research horizons to cover this field. The proposed “Climate Endgame” research agenda provides one way to navigate this under-studied area. Facing a future of accelerating climate change while blind to worst-case scenarios is naive risk management at best and fatally foolish at worst.


  7. Reality 7

    It would not have been appropriate today for the PM to personalise devastated people, so soon after their homes have been wrecked, using them to highlight climate change. They need to be given some space for a while and not have media harassing them.

  8. Instead of the hugely expensive and litigious sideshow which is cycling across the Auckland Harbour bridge – local government (and potentially government – since it affects a motorway) – need to sort out public transport out to the west.

    While it was the Key government who didn't invest in properly supporting the bus lane infrastructure alongside the motorway (what's going in now, is better than nothing, but still nowhere close to what's needed) – this government doesn't get a free pass either.

    Where is the heavy investment into the existing rail infrastructure to ensure that PT is both frequent and affordable?

    And the Council seem to have dropped the ball badly in terms of infrastructure planning to encourage PT use. While developments are planned to be 'car-less' (i.e. no on site parking) there is no realistic alternative to travelling by car – so all of the roads are jammed with residents parking there.

    "To get to her bus stop, she needs to walk 25 minutes along the side of busy Fred Taylor Drive where footpaths are few and far between and cars whizz by at 80km/h. The bus journey takes about another hour on top."

    • lprent 8.1

      I'm moving out west this year because with two of us working remotely, that is the best location to currently do it.

      Not because of the public transport (which is better from the North Shore). But mostly because both myself and my partner have been working remotely for out of town and international jobs for a quite a while now, and we need more office space.

      The cycle way down the north western is there if I need to head towards into town, and it is faster than the bus. Probably faster than the train as well.

      The couriers know how to find most places out there. The fibre is there. We have efficient cars to use on the motorways out of commuting hours – bypassing the city on SH18 and SH20. Plus the house prices are cheaper.

      Personally, I have pretty much given up on public transport for anything except the shortest trips. It simply takes too long, and getting caught in a train or bus with people coughing on me feels somewhat dangerous.

      • Belladonna 8.1.1

        Personally, I have pretty much given up on public transport for anything except the shortest trips. It simply takes too long, and getting caught in a train or bus with people coughing on me feels somewhat dangerous.

        And this is the sad, but real, indictment of PT in Auckland.

        • lprent

          The first part is.

          However you have to consider it against NZTA's abject failure in Auckland to deal with roading as well. I also don't commute using the motorways because they are parking lots for much of the day.

          In 1990 I was commuting from Auckland Central to Manakau City for work daily. It took 15-25 minutes each way in rush hours reliably except for friday night.

          Now it takes about 30-40 minutes every day around commuting times.

          Going the other way is way worse. Typically 45-70 minutes. Generally the train is faster. The bus/train is as fast (just). It is almost as fast to cycle there (and would be if there was a decent cycle way).

          Same thing from Auckland Central to Albany where I worked in 2007/8. The time taken to and from there has jumped by at least 50%.

          Consequently I don't commute to work any more unless it is within a easy cycle range for about 5km. Who in the hell wants to waste their life sitting in a car listening to morons on radio stations. At least on public transport I could read.

          Of course I work in an industry where I can do that. But one of the major reasons for getting into this industry was because it meant that I had options about how I worked.

          Similarly where and how I live (ie centrally) was originally because I could use the central motorway systems and public transport hubs to efficiently get to work. Now they are essentially useless because instead of chewing a maximum of an hour out of my day to commute, they chew 2 or 3 hours out if I commute.

          That is a real indictment of our transport system. That the transport systems and especially NZTA get in the way of an efficient use of our skills. That same applies to the transport of goods around the city.

          The PT is just another symptom. You should point your criticism directly at NZTA because they have proved to be useless at doing their primary job in Auckland.

          Auckland is a isthmus. There is virtually no more room for new roads. And if they put them in, then they will fill as fast as SH20 did.

          The fastest way to improve commutes in Auckland would be to move cars and trucks off the existing arterial systems (ie stae highways) by taxing them as hard as Singapore does, and doing what Singapore did and rapidly pushing the PT.

          Instead NZTA dither and build sparsely populated motorways in the Waikato for tourists because it is easier than doing some real hard work.

    • Jenny how to get there 8.2


      22 August 2022 at 2:26 pm

      Instead of the hugely expensive and litigious sideshow which is cycling across the Auckland Harbour bridge – local government (and potentially government – since it affects a motorway) – need to sort out public transport out to the west…..

      And to the North Shore as well.

      The Northern Busway has proved a runaway success. But it strikes a bottleneck when it it hits the Harbour Bridge and the busses have to merge in with the general traffic.

      What is needed to get the full potential out of the Northern Busway is to bring the Busway across the Bridge and into the CBD, (and further afield).

      The beauty of this scheme is that at times when the traffic flow is light, (for instance on Sundays), the buses could be directed back into the car lanes and the bus lane given over to cyclists and walkers just for the day once a week.

      The other beautiful thing about this plan is that by taking one lane away from cars would restrict the amount of traffic coming into the inner city. To somewhat soothe the hard done by car drivers, the busway be made fare free with free parking at park and ride depos. Commute to bridge in your car. Get on a free bus into the city. And not have to pay for parking. Sounds good to me. And if I want to take my kids on a sightseeing trip over the Bridge I just have to wait till Sunday.

      And at a fraction of the $785 million cost for the unloved and unlovely Bike Bridge.

      A proposed $785 million cycling and walking bridge across Auckland's Waitemata harbour was canned by the Government in October, four months after it was announced.,in%20October%2C%20four%20months%20after%20it%20was%20announced.

      Good for our green house emissions cuts as well.

      What’s not to like?

      • Belladonna 8.2.1

        What’s not to like?

        The fact that the majority of the traffic going over the bridge *isn't* going to the inner city. It's heading right on by, south or west.

        There is also zero chance that NZTA will ever allow cyclists to use bus lanes – huge health and safety risk. And, does nothing about the major issue over which NZTA have already canned the cycle trial – the danger to cyclists/walkers of a single lane, with no protection, and cars, buses, etc., zooming past at 80kph.

        It also pre-supposes a reduction of 2 lanes (one in each direction) for the buses. And would make installation of any safety barriers impossible (buses couldn't get through – those outside bridge lanes are pretty darn narrow)

        Park and ride depots (already mostly free) are totally chocka-block by 7am – people illegally parking on berms and in the surrounding streets – and AT have made it totally clear that they won't increase the number of car parks. So no realistic sweetener for those people who have to drive (no options, PT doesn't go where they need to go, or get them there when they need to be there)

        Also, this is a solution looking for a problem. By the time the dedicated bus lane ends – at the Onewa Rd on ramp – there *is* no serious congestion – the traffic is free-flowing (unless there is an accident – in which case all bets are off). Because all of the on-ramps are traffic-light controlled – the congestion occurs in getting on to the bridge, not once you're there.

        Given that all approaches to the harbour bridge on the North Shore (out, at least to Albany) are locked solid with traffic in rush hour already – I don't see how it would be possible to 'commute to the bridge in your car'.
        Where do you envisage you'd park it – once you're there (I assure you, Northcote Point does not have vast areas of land just waiting to be turned into a commuter carpark – and neither does St Mary's Bay in the other direction!)

        The 'fraction of a cost' solution – is to put a cycle transit system in place. Motor vehicle with a cycle trailer (it could even be an EV). Running from the plaza outside the old Bridge authority offices, on a loop across the bridge to Shelly Beach Rd & drop off/pick up at Curran St. Run it every 10 minutes in rush hour (or more frequently, if the demand is there) and every 30 minutes off peak. Different roster on weekends – to accommodate the recreational cyclist demand.

        It's a smell-of-an-oily-rag solution – heck you could run it free for at least the first 2 years on what they've already spent on this cycle-bridge drama.

        AND, it would give actual usage figures, to factor into whatever harbour crossing solution is going to be put in place.

        • Jenny how to get there

          Good to hear from someone who knows what they are talking about. You haven't provided any proofs or links but I expect that you are speaking from a place of knowledge. And most of your objections seem valid. Personally speaking I think at least some of them could be overcome. High rise parking buildings on both sides of the bridge for instance, taking the bus lanes the full length of the Southern, making all PT completely free. bike racks on all busses

          These are my suggestions but I admit I don't really know.

          But what I do know is that if we are to lessen climate change, air pollution, traffic congestion and road accidents and make our city more liveable, we have to get the commuting public out of their private cars

          any suggestions on how we could do this are welcome

  9. Stuart Munro 9

    Labour not wasting the Sharma crisis by taking the opportunity to sell NZ workers down the river yet again.

    Government says immigration tweaks will help relieve workforce pressures |

    • I'm on the side of not flooding NZ with cheap workers (just getting that on the table, up front).

      But this is really not a good look for Labour, it seems to me that they have either:

      A. Stuffed up the legislation that they brought in less than a year ago. So incompetent legislators.


      B. Bowed to pressure from business lobby groups, and therefore shafted the NZ workers which they (Labour, remember) are supposed to support.

      The three sectors highlighted as gaining expemptions from the median wage requirements are: tourism, aged care and construction.

      I can see no (as in zero) justification for the tourism sector to be able to opt out of paying standard wages. If prices have to go up for tourists – that is a sacrifice I can easily live with 😉

      Construction workers should absolutely be being paid standard wages. We've seen too many fly-by-night operators exploiting overseas workers. And, this is an area where we should be building our capacity – and businesses should have incentives to grow the Kiwi trade workforce, rather than employ short-term overseas 'contractors'. How much of this is driven by Chinese entrepreneurs wanting to employ Chinese workers under Chinese employment conditions?

      Aged care is more problematic. While I believe that wages should indeed go up to the median level – this is constrained by the Government's willingness to pay for the aged care sector.
      This is one area, I think that the government should put its money where its mouth is – and fund adequately to cover the required salaries. Rather than contracting out by turning a blind eye to low-wage immigrant workers.

      • Stuart Munro 9.1.1

        I think Labour misses the healthy skeptical input of the Labour movement.

        Next time they contemplate some starry-eyed employer fantasy, maybe they should get their head in the game by listening to some worker input like this.

  10. Peter 10

    "Labour MP Gaurav Sharma has shared what he claims is a text message from a Government minister to the party's caucus – urging members not to share written correspondence before speaking to senior members first."

    I was disappointed when I read that. Not because of what was in the text but because of the things that weren't said in it.

    Apparently Kiri Allan texted, "it is "less than desirable" when written correspondence is shared without discussing issues first. "Hey team – reminder to have a chat with your ministerial colleague before sending correspondence."

    She should have clarified it by saying: "This is because there are some dumb buggers who'll say something stupid, or say something which can be twisted any which way by some malicious journalist trying to justify their existence. Their headlines will be believed by people who are so they think the Government beamed out radiation making them sick at the Wellington protest and tinfoil hats was the best."

    That might be thought to be demeaning to her colleagues, a slur and showing an appalling lack of respect for them, but convincing the world there aren't dumb buggers there given Sharma's antics?

    • Leighton 10.1

      If this is the juiciest stuff Sharma has got from almost two years in government then Labour is running a pretty tight ship. Discouraging junior MPs from leaping into print unnecessarily without speaking to a senior colleague first seems like pretty sensible risk management to me.

      • Belladonna 10.1.1

        Agree about managing communication. When I worked in a potentially public interest role (that is, most of the time we were happily uninteresting and therefore invisible, but there was always the possibility that the custard would hit the fan) – we were taught to look at everything that we wrote officially through the lens of "would you be happy to see this on the front page of the Herald"

        But, this doesn't read to me as an instruction about MPs launching into print (as in communicating outside government), but rather an instruction about not lobbying in writing inside government.

        Quote with my emphasis

        "…have a chat with your ministerial colleagues before sending correspondence. All correspondence is OIA'able, and if we're being lobbied on issues by colleagues, especially where we haven't had a yarn, things unfolding through OIA process less than desirable."

        But, in either case, using OIA as a reason for not putting issues in writing is skating on the edge of acceptability.

        Now, this may just be a less-than-well-formed piece of communication (tweets are often off the cuff) – although, as a piece of communication, they are also potentially discoverable through the OIA process. But, it looks like weaselling around OIA requirements (which all politicians do, and none will admit to)

      • observer 10.1.2

        John Key, Judith Collins and Cam Slater must be pissing themselves with laughter at this "Shock! Horror!" revelation. Is that all? Labour are amateurs! Where are the threats, the nasty abuse, the raw hatred?

        Coming soon: the follow-up to "Dirty Politics", in which a Labour party member texts "Um, I don't know if I completely agree with this policy" to a Labour MP. A scorching best-seller we just can't wait to read.

    • Belladonna 10.2

      Oh, and Ardern is also treating this as an instruction about internal lobbying (from your link – down towards the bottom)

      Ardern said Allan could not be seen as if she was being influenced by lobbying from an MP: "There's nothing inappropriate about reminding MPs" about that.

      Ardern said the Allan message was not aimed at evading the OIA by holding verbal conversations rather than writing letters – but to give a minister the chance to tell an MP if the lobbying they were planning would compromise the minister's decision-making ability.

      This one is really dancing on a pin-head. It's about being 'seen to be influenced'. How, would Allen be able to tell the MP that their lobbying would compromise her decision-making ability, without knowing what they were lobbying about?
      She would be just as influenced by a verbal presentation as a written one – but only the written one is discoverable under OIA.

  11. aom 11

    Good news from Auckland educators who visited:

    Kids have asserted their sense of self-worth and dignity by giving the big FU to KidsCan and their labeled charity. Better to be cold, wet – whatever than satisfy do-gooder arseholes who need ego feeding!

  12. Grey Area 12

    Bit obscure.

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