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Open mike 23/02/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 23rd, 2023 - 39 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

39 comments on “Open mike 23/02/2023 ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    I hear Luke Malpass is so economically dry Treasury are planning to keep him in their umbrella stand as a dessicant.

  2. arkie 2

    Reports that Auckland Council wants to take the razor to environmental spending in the upcoming budget. Chlöe Swarbrick has a petition to send a message to Wayne Brown:

    Our hearts go out to everyone in Aotearoa who has been affected by recent flooding in Tāmaki Makaurau, Northland, Waikato and Cyclone Gabrielle all around the North Island.

    This is climate change.

    But right now, there are reports that Auckland’s Mayor, Wayne Brown, is considering cutting two-thirds of the funding sources for essential environmental programmes that are crucial to protecting everyone from severe weather.

    Essential work is at risk, like improving stormwater management and restoring wetlands to reduce the impact of floods.

    We’ve heard that Mayor Brown is also proposing cutting funding for buses – when we know that better public transport is a crucial part of reducing our climate pollution and delivering a more liveable, sustainable city.

    And we've even heard that the Natural Environment Targeted Rate looks to be 'paused', in addition to a significant reduction of the climate change team's work programme.

    Just as communities have united to help with the immediate response and recovery, we need to show our political leaders that we’re united in our support for:

    • Protecting and restoring wetlands, rivers, and streams to keep floodwaters away from homes and communities.
    • Improving our green spaces, through planting trees and maintaining our parks, so that our urban environment is more resilient in the face of extreme weather.
    • Making buses and trains more frequent and more reliable, so people aren’t forced into car dependency to get around their city.
    • Making streets better for people, so tamariki can walk and bike to school safely.

    As we continue to recover from the devastation, we need urgent action to build climate-friendly, resilient communities where everyone has what they need to thrive in Tāmaki Makaurau and nationwide. A better future is possible.

    Take a minute and sign the petition here: https://action.greens.org.nz/protect_our_climate_safe_future

  3. Joe90 3

    Tl;dr. Believing conspiracy theories isn't neccessarily a sign of stupidity. It may be a mark of narcissism. Grandiose narcissists – I know something you don't. Vulnerable narcissists – I'm special and they're out to get me.


    The present cross-sectional study (NParticipants = 397; NInformants = 460) examined the association of both grandiose narcissism and vulnerable narcissism with conspiracy beliefs in the context of four theoretically-relevant mediators. Participants who were higher in grandiose narcissism and vulnerable narcissism were more likely to believe in conspiracy theories, seemingly because they were more likely to hold unusual beliefs. There was, likewise, some evidence to suggest that those high in vulnerable narcissism believe in conspiracy theories because they suffer from paranoia, whereas those high in grandiose narcissism believe in conspiracy theories because of a desire to be unique. Together, these results suggest that the conspiracist ideation seen among those high in grandiose narcissism and vulnerable narcissism is a consequence of features that are shared between and unique to each of the traits.


    • Sanctuary 3.1

      One thing that has astonished me is how a lot of clearly fake social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter were able to generate an entire orchestra of seditious disinformation and misinformation on crime in Hawkes Bay, and that was laundered via ACT and National into a fake news "law and order" issue.

      The whole thing was completely made up, but somehow it made it to the debating chamber of parliament and it saw the leader of the opposition more less accusing the police commissioner of lying on the basis of largely made up posts on social media. Just wild stuff.

      For many in the National party – and in particular it's fascist adjacent evangelical Taliban ten as well as the far right like ACT – these sort of reactionary shitstorms driven by fake news offer real excitement, an orgiastic opportunity to oscillate between moral panic over social breakdown and a clear taste for fascistic restoration (army on the streets! Shoot looters on sight!). I guess that is what fuels the constant organic hunger on the right for syncretic millenarianism – a toxic brew of evangelical end of times, intolerance, racism, authoritarianism and vulgar political opportunism that amounts to crypto-fascism.

    • SPC 3.2

      It would appear they are profiling the dissident public as either having delusions of grandeur, or paranoia.

      And that is not a conspiracy theory.

      It's in the – they would say that, wouldn't they, category. Classic gaslighting of the public.

      They say there is concern about CT leading to prejudicial beliefs, political apathy and distrust of vaccines …

  4. Muttonbird 4

    Digital activists sunset_flowers have had their popular https://whatdoesmylandlordown.org search tool attacked by DOS and landlord groups via the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

    The team behind the website, who call themselves sunset_flowers, announced on Saturday that changes had been made to the way ownership results were displayed.

    Property owners with fewer than 20 titles would now have their names redacted in search results, so it would be possible to see what else they owned but their names would not be accessible, a website update said.

    “This is not because 19 is an ‘acceptable’ number of properties to own. In fact, we believe that owning *any* amount of land is a privileged position in society that should be scrutinised, particularly in a country where land is cut up and sold through colonial violence.


    Critic Te Ārohi snagged an interview with one of the websites’ developers, Jordan*. Jordan said that the motivation for making the website came from the common experience of feeling hopeless in the Aotearoa housing market, where he and his mates “foresee no way of home ownership [themselves]”.

    According to the website, the tool provides an “understanding of the wealth divide and pathways for collective responses.” A bit like knowing the rules before you break them, the website states that “in order to hold power to account, we must first understand this power.


    Textbook activism there, love it!

  5. pat 5

    "Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr could not have been more clear. If the Government includes raising taxes in its plans to pay for the Cyclone Gabrielle rebuild, then that will take pressure off him to raise interest rates. Twice in his Monetary Policy press conference yesterday, he carefully stated that position."

    Continue reading at https://www.politik.co.nz/orr-raise-taxes-or-i-will-raise-interest-rates/ | Politik

    What will Hipkins/Robertson conclude….who can they tax and still retain an opportunity for re election?…or will they gamble and seek to borrow?

    • arkie 5.1

      A good option:

      • bwaghorn 5.1.1

        Dumb question of the day!!

        Do the profits from oil companies and banks get paid out as dividends to there share holders, who would then pay income tax on said dividends???

        • weka

          no-one is saying take all their profit (apart from maybe the communists).

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          The windfall proposal would effectively increase the amount going to tax from these profits.

          Of course the capital gains that accrue when the share price is driven up by said profits – and which can dwarf the dividends – remains entirely tax free for some odd reason.

      • tsmithfield 5.1.2

        A Spinoff article here on Windfall Taxes. Quite a good article actually, pointing to both the benefits and the drawbacks of such a tax.

        From the article:

        A windfall tax is more likely to be successful if it is actually taxing a windfall. But this is not a tax that would be simple to implement. Determining the excess profit is likely to be complex. A time frame for the tax would also need to be determined – a windfall tax should not be permanent.

        Finally, there is a general reluctance in New Zealand to use the tax system in an ad hoc way. There is a specific process intended to ensure effective tax policy development. Even if the usual consultation process is bypassed, change is unlikely to be fast.

        And here is a thorny question for those who propose a Windfall Tax: Should businesses deemed to be targets of windfall taxes also be able to claim for unexpectadly large losses?

        Afterall, that is the quid-pro-quo that goes with most taxes. Even the proposed CGT design I think had a provision to claim capital losses against future capital gains.

      • Binders full of Women 5.1.3

        Or why don't we cancel the folly that is the Auckland toy train, spend it on the rebuild? boom, and we'd get change/ reduce emissions/ and have more resilient connected communities.

    • Nic the NZer 5.2

      Why is that the question for Hipkins/Robertson?

      I mean if the current inflation is coming from the supply side then these OCR hikes could well be adding to business costs (of doing finance) rather than sequestering demand (apparently due to cheap credit). This then means the RBNZ continued OCR hikes are pushing up inflation, rather than pushing down inflation. In fact there is at least weak evidence that you don't need to impact actual business costs much before many will use it as an excuse to put prices up, pocketing the extra in excess profits, especially before passing that on to wage increases.

      This is all supported by the data, which demonstrates declining real wages, CPI prices moving first and ahead of business cost shifts and high profit rates in many industries. Maybe the finance minister should tell the governor to pull his head in instead of introducing political difficulties to the government.

      • pat 5.2.1

        In the absence of the gov and RBNZs ability to impact supply the RBNZ has determined they will reduce demand (we can debate the need for this till the cows come home, however that is their determination)…demand is currently being maintained and if the Gov decides to provide the required funds needed for the reconstruction of the effected areas without removing a comparable amount of spending capacity via tax/levies the RBNZ has signalled it will feel compelled to further reduce discretionary spending via the OCR…that spending capacity obviously does not reside in the lower income and wealth quintiles and hasnt even prior to the 'inflationary' spike.

        The question wasnt whether the RBNZs actions are correct or effective, it was what course will the Gov adopt?

        • Nic the NZer

          "that spending capacity obviously does not reside in the lower income and wealth quintiles and hasnt even prior to the 'inflationary' spike."

          This is just incorrect. The OCR (if it works) works be reducing demand and generating unemployment. That's also how the RBNZ says it works, even if the notion that they are intentionally causing unemployment is not their favourite thing to say. And it still works that way even if Robertson doesn't like to say he backs the RBNZ trying for around 70K unemployed, and would like it if that could be avoided.

          That pretty clearly does effect the lower income and wealth quintiles very directly.

          "The question wasnt whether the RBNZs actions are correct or effective, it was what course will the Gov adopt?"

          Quiet word from the Treasurer to the Governor, along the lines of stay out of our lane, thanks. Its an option. If that doesn't work (it will) then reword that into the next RBNZ policy letter.

          • pat

            You appear confused…."This is just incorrect. The OCR (if it works) works be reducing demand and generating unemployment. "

            Who do you think the lower quintiles of wealth and income are?

            • Nic the NZer

              The distribution of access to credit is clearly beside the point here. When your policy is to generate unemployment (among those least responsible for inflation) you need a bloody strong case for why your doing that, and that those goals are being achieved.

              • pat

                Yep. definitely confused…..the source of the demand is not and hasnt been the lower quintiles who largely live pay cheque to pay cheque and have little to no savings….they are also unlikely to be approved for a mortgage irrespective of interest rate.

                The beneficiaries of 'the wealth effect' however.

                The fact you dont like RBNZ policy is irrelevant to the question of how the Gov will respond to that policy implication as the election approaches.

  6. Ed1 6

    Huntly to burn wood:


    That they are still using Huntly is a huge indictment on the structure of the electricity generation industry.

    I doubt that there will be any attempt to buy back shares in the generating companies, but I would be interested in whether the owners of Huntly are paying the full cost of emissions (whether they burn coal or wood) – that may give an incentive to encourage other electricity generation. The other decision that may be worth considering is legislating to give anyone feeding electricity back into the grid the same price that they would have been paying for the same flow in the other direction – that would encourage people to look to solar or other generation, and stop the industry profiting from other generation.

    • tsmithfield 6.1

      The government needs to incentivise people to put solar on their roofs if they are serious about being green.

      Or, as a guy from Harrisons who was present solar power to us said, it would be better from a grid perspective if the government subsidised battery storage for solar.

      Either way, this seems low hanging fruit to me. Far quicker and less environmentally harmful than building new dams or whatever.

      • Graeme 6.1.1

        Government actually need to do both, solar and battery on every roof, and something like Onslow.

        They work at very different timescales, the solar and battery is storage for tonight or tomorrow, Onslow is storage for next year or the year after. Onslow can also provide something for tomorrow, but within ramping limits of the downstream catchment, distributed batteries don't have this constraint.

        Harissons et al are pushing this from a bit of self interest, but they do have a very good point. Probably the best option would be interest free loans like was given for LPG conversions in 70's – 80's.

        • weka

          how long are the Clutha and Waitaki dams supposed to last?

          There are all sort of problems with household batteries at scale (GHG emissions from mining, production, shipping, and the pollution problems cradle to grave). We're at the limits of growth.

          • Graeme

            The dams will last a very long time, the planting them gets replaced 20 – 50 years and the copper and steel get recycled.

            With house scale batteries and EV batteries both using lithium chemistry recycling is coming on stream, good explanation in this link https://www.leafscore.com/tesla/is-it-possible-to-recycle-a-tesla-battery/

            For batteries at a grid or community level there's other chemistries coming through that could be much more resource efficient, iron air looks interesting. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/rusty-batteries-could-greatly-improve-grid-energy-storage/?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1673519626

            • weka

              you think NZ is going to ship tesla batteries back to the factory? What's the GHG footprint of that?


              • Lithium is one of the key components in electric vehicle (EV) batteries, but global supplies are under strain because of rising EV demand.
              • The world could face lithium shortages by 2025, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says, while Credit Suisse thinks demand could treble between 2020 and 2025, meaning “supply would be stretched”.
              • About 2 billion EVs need to be on the road by 2050 for the world to hit net zero, the IEA says, but sales stood at just 6.6 million last year, and some carmakers are already selling out of EVs.
              • Lithium supply faces challenges not only from surging demand, but because resources are concentrated in a few places and over half of today’s production is in areas with high water stress.
              • Future developments with batteries or manufacturing methods could eventually alleviate some lithium shortages.


              I'll keep saying it, it's the limits of growth. We could choose to work within those limits, prioritising lithium for essentials and making sure we work with cradle to grave processes. But that's not BAU.

    • Mac1 6.2

      In the article on Huntly burning wood it says, "Genesis isn’t considering further imports of wood. Instead, it wanted to develop a local source of pellets or “biomass”, said interim chief executive Tracey Hickman​.

      “It’s worth some focus by government and business to see if a sustainable local supply chain can be developed. Compared to some other decarbonisation solutions, biomass conversion could be implemented much sooner to the benefit of the country,” she said in a statement.

      My sense of irony suggests that the errant timber companies producing all that destructive slash should as part of making amends produce biomass pellets from the slash for burning at Huntly, to be trucked there by rail and vehicle using non-fossil fuels such as home-grown diesel, electricity and even steam powered by burning the same biomass.

      Oh the beauty of it!

      • pat 6.2.1

        Is irony the right word?

        "My sense of irony suggests that the errant timber companies producing all that destructive slash should as part of making amends produce biomass pellets from the slash for burning at Huntly, to be trucked there by rail and vehicle using non-fossil fuels such as home-grown diesel, electricity and even steam powered by burning the same biomass."

        "But more than a decade of research has shown that wood pellets cause more carbon pollution than coal per unit of energy produced. And while it’s true that over the long term, regrowing trees may be able to sequester the same amount of carbon that is released producing and burning wood pellets, in the short-term, forest biomass is masquerading as a zero-emission energy source — allowing power plant smokestacks to pump out greenhouse gas emissions today and into the future, quickening the pace of global warming."


        • Mac1

          "Irony- a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often wryly amusing as a result."

          My irony is that the forestry companies would never even consider amends. and yours is that a solution makes it all worse.

          Is it ironic that you should think I knew what irony meant.

  7. Shanreagh 7

    There has been an announcement of a Ministerial enquiry into forestry practice and slash


    Hon Hekia Parata

    alongside former regional council chief executive Bill Bayfield​ and forestry engineer Matthew McCloy​.

    We'll see.

    • Johnr 7.1

      I fail to see the need for an inquiry.

      As my mother instilled in me 70 something years ago. "You make the mess, you clean it up". All it needs is for the govt to define the parameters regarding "you clean it up".

      We guys are just far to soft with big business. We see a tie and go weak at the knees

      • Shanreagh 7.1.1

        I think this is done through Regional Councils.

        But Timber Coys operate with 'impunity' or should that be 'immunity'.

        My view is that they are extracting timber from areas where timber was planted as part of a soilcon project and that you cannot possibly use, and expect the same extractive process to work, as you would from a timber planted on lower country.

    • RosieLee 7.2

      Why do we need a Ministerial enquiry? That will involve a couple of years of meetings and committees, a lot of lawyers and consultants and squillions of dollars.

      Why can't the current minister say that no milled logs may be removed from a forestry site until a forestry inspector has signed off that the shit has been cleared up?

      Simple – and no expensive and time wasting bureaucracy needed.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 7.3

      Hi Shanreagh. Have you seen this?

      The consequences of short-term thinking


      Well we (most..or some of us?) can see this in all its terrible consequence now. How hard can it be, to get moving on Change?

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