Open mike 23/03/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 23rd, 2023 - 77 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step up to the mike …

77 comments on “Open mike 23/03/2023 ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    The Russians are pulling T-54/55 series tanks from storage in a desperate attempt to make up losses in the Ukraine.

    It is almost impossible to over-emphasise how much these largely unmodernised and ancient tanks will be death traps to their crews. The prototype T-54 was built in 1946 and it leans heavily on the T-44 for it's armour protection, layout and hull shape. The T-44 is tank designed in 1943. The production run started in earnest in 1948-49 and the last T-55 rolled off Soviet production lines 61 years ago in 1962!

    It just boggles the imagination you'd put a trained crew in these tanks, so these are literally funeral pyres for anyone half trained dummy unlucky enough to be sent into action in one, not that Putin and his henchmen give a shit about the lives of their soldiers while they act out their little Soviet cosplay fantasy.

    • Bearded Git 1.1

      What makes you think they will put a trained crew in them.

      The demise of the Russian attack on Ukraine has been predicted numerous times but they seem to keep going.

      • Sanctuary 1.1.1

        Not by me it hasn't. The fascist clique running Russia have (so far) experienced no public blowback to the horrendous casualties the Russian army is taking in the positional attrition battles over the winter. I can't see this lasting forever – Russia's manpower pool is actually limited, they had a birthrate collapse post-USSR and it hasn't recovered so with poor general health and ongoing very low fertility their ability for continual force generation from the available manpower pool of 18-55 year olds without impacting on the de-politicised urban middle classes is open to question.

        The breaking out of these ancient tanks though indicate to me the Kremlin basically plans to continue this war forever. The Russians can only refurbish/manufacture about 7-10 tanks a month. Cranking up the refurbishment of a few hundred T-54/55 tanks is probably aimed at upping the number of tanks available to Russia forces for the upcoming summer battles. I just hope the dude in charge of the 100mm ammo reserves actually looked after them and didn't pocket the maintenance cash. Putin clearly still thinks he has time on his side.

        No one outside of each army HQ knows the state of each army coming out of the winter. Has the Ukraine been able to constitute a well trained strategic reserve of mechanised forces suitable for an offensive? What state are the Russian reserves? If a Ukrainian offensive fails, could the Russians launch a summer offensive of their own? What would the failure of both sides to make much ground in summer fighting mean? Most likely the war carrying on into a third year.

        That in turn means we need to remind ourselves this war has no clear end point. And that means the West needs to stop mucking around and start supplying Ukraine with the weapons that will give them the ability to carry the war to Russia and impose a political cost on Russia's ruling clique of waging an unending war in the sure knowledge the Onion domes of Red Square are safe from enemy missiles. St. Basil's Cathedral ablaze and destroyed by Ukrainian strikes would really hurt psychologically. So that means jets to gain air superiority – Mirage 2000 and F-16s – and longer range weapons to strike Russian infrastructure to impose a political cost on the Russian leadership. I hope in that case Churchill’s quote on weapons – in the first year nothing, in the second year a trickle, in the third all you could ever need – would apply to the supply of weapons to the Ukraine from the West’s newly built or re-opened arsenals.

        This war is by no means over, and the more the Europeans prevaricate the more likely a slow slide into a more general confrontation between the authoritarian glee club of Putin and Xi and the liberal democracies becomes. And I am strongly of the view that a Russian victory in the Ukraine would actually make that showdown inevitable.

        • Sanctuary

          The Russians can only refurbish/manufacture about 7-10 tanks a month.

          Should actually be a week.

        • Bearded Git

          I bow to your superior factual knowledge Sanc, but worry about the major escalation of the war you are proposing. I think this is a war Putin can't afford to lose.

          My guess is that rather than the west spending the trillion dollars you are supporting there will instead be peace talks in 12 months time where the west and Putin will agree on the current boundaries where the largely Russian speaking parts of Ukraine stay in Russian hands.

          • aj

            A Pentagon spokesman says he's against ceasefire in Ukraine. What's matter with these people? the US military complex is evil. There's no other way to put it. How can any moral human be against a ceasefire.

            All power to China, or any other country that can broker a peaceful solution to this slaughter. Blessed are the peacemakers.

            • joe90

              How can any moral human be against a ceasefire.

              Why would any human with half a clue give the criminals and washing machine thieves the opportunity to consolidate gains, rest, regroup, and re-arm so that they can violate any agreement at the time of their choosing?

    • weston 1.2

      Soviet cosplay [whatever that is ] fantasy etc

      Im mystified as to why the Russians would need tanks of any sort ?? obviously now that they are almost out of ammo for the umpteenth time any tank is obsolete anyway isnt it ?Prob they havnt any ammo for their rifles either which is why theyve had to rely so heavily on human wave attacks with shovels !!Gosh i reckon NATO forces will prob have to investigate using shovels also after this its bound to have loads of positive outcomes for the environment i feel quite excited perhaps we are being given another chance to address climate change !!!!

    • Scud 1.4

      I'm just waiting for the T34's & SU's (the WW2 era Artillery Assault Guns) to rock up now & when they do!

      Then you know Tsar Poot's is in the shit big time, but in saying that he started this War with close to 14,000- 15,000 MBT's (Main Battle Tanks) and he's lost close to 4k atm to various means.

      And thats before we even start talking about basic crew maintenance (that's if they are even doing them btw) to major servicing like barrel changes which is a complete bitch/ C*** with post WW2 Soviet/ Russian MBT's to power pack (engine) replacements & again not actually user friendly compared to Western MBT's.

      • Sanctuary 1.4.1

        You see a lot of people saying a T-54/55 is a win win for Russia, if it gets to be useful then wonderful, and even if it is quickly destroyed nothing has been lost since it is a 60-70 year old tank and the expensive missile that destroyed it is probably worth more money.

        But that doesn''t account for the fact these tanks will need stripping, rebuilding and refurbishing, adding some sort of basic fire control, possibly reactive armour, filling with fuel and ammunition, and putting some trained humans inside who know something about a tank. That makes it more expensive than an ATGW.

        Anyway, good luck getting large amounts of spare parts for these museum pieces. They will be mostly broken down somewhere in six weeks.

        • Scud

          Also given most if not all of these Tanks, have stored outside with the absolute bare minimum of maintenance for starters.

          Going to be fun times being these back up to some sort of operational status, feel sorry for the grease monkeys working on those rust buckets.

          The Ukrainian's won't be needing DU Rounds, if the Russians deploy the 55's & 54's as the prac rds will to do the job anyway from the contract reports from the last Gulf war I've read.

          One British Tank fired a Prac Rd at 55 or 54 front on & they found the power pack a 1km away from the Tank!

    • Jenny are we there yet 1.5

      Probably still quite effective against unarmed civilian anti-occupation protesters in the Donbas. (Or even, if it comes to that, anti-war protesters in Russia).

  2. Corey 2

    Today around the country Te Whatu Ora is having "consultation" meetings with staff, consultation apparently according to central management means redundancy.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, the biggest mistake this government has made has been centralization of the health system in the middle a pandemic.

    Even the health minister says it'll take ten years to get it right so why do it at the height of a health crisis? Why add more pressure and uncertainty on the system?

    Health planners , health support team, health it teams around the country today are freaking out about losing their jobs, IT staff are being told their jobs may be off-shored, that their sick leave will change and now only accumulate to 20 days instead of what their previous contracts said,

    The amount of anonymous questions in our meetings is too hard to keep up.

    Why would labour spend billions on a health restructure that adds no new support staff or health capacity and just empowers a bunch of management.

    Instead of money to train or hire new anathestists so we can have more surgeries, more nurses and doctors, more gps, billions got spent on mergers and management.

    Currently noone outside of Auckland and Wellington is getting a look in and a lot of staff are being threatened with their jobs being off-shored.

    The pressure these reforms have put on staff that have endured a pandemic for three years is fucking disgusting.

    NZ is going to lose a lot of good staff due to cost cutting.

    When health workers from it to support staff to planners to nurses to doctors are screaming "shame on you" at the new management you've got a problem.

    It's disgraceful.

    All the cheerleaders who have cheered on these major reforms in the midst of an ongoing pandemic must have private healthcare because if they were using public they'd be waiting six weeks for a gp appointment and years for a surgery.

    The shamelessness of adding the pressure of job insecurity on workers who have spent three years in the insane pressure cooker that has been the health system during covid.

    I hate neoliberalism but Ronald Reagan was right, the most terrifying words in the English language is "I'm from the government and I'm here to help"

    Only politicians would be stupid enough to inflict this on health workers in a health crisis.

    • Belladonna 2.1

      Agree 100%.
      Am hearing from my nursing friends just how upsetting and disruptive this process is.
      They're not worried about their jobs – hey, we can't even fill the nursing rosters we have; but they are concerned about conditions, and about the massive disruption to the support systems which enable them to do their jobs.

      And, pointing out that management is so inward-focused on the organizational change, that they are losing focus on the sharp end (actual bodies in the hospitals to do the work).

    • Anker 2.2

      100% agree Corey.

      Did you know positions reasonably high in Health NZ include a wayfinder and a storyteller……seriously.

      Will find the link if requested.

  3. arkie 4

    It is often stated that we live in a meritocracy and that education provides the step up to higher renumeration, Stuff has an couple of articles that have found 10 careers, classified as 'skilled' that barely exceed the minimum wage:

    1. Early childhood education

      Early childhood education (ECE) teachers covered by the NZEI pay agreement were on a starting salary of $51,358 this year.

    2. Vet nurses

      Veterinary nurses with up to five years’ experience still only earn about the minimum wage, according to Careers NZ.

    3. Tertiary teaching assistants and library assistants

      Their pay rates start at $41,000 a year for the role, which is usually in term time.

    4. Hairdressers

      Although most hairdressers and barbers need a certificate in hairdressing or commercial barbering, as well as some on-the-job training, most start near minimum wage. Apprentices get the training wage, which is less than minimum. Data shows the average salary for the industry is only about $55,000

    5. Ambulance officers

      Ambulance officers start on $48,720 for a 42-hour working week.

    6. Dental assistants

      According to Careers NZ, dental assistants were previously getting between minimum wage and $46,000 a year when they started out.

    7. Chef

      Careers said apprentice chefs would usually be on minimum wage but sous chefs could be on $25 an hour.

    8. Pharmacy technicians

      Most pharmacy technicians start on the minimum wage or just above.

    9. IT service desk

      Careers NZ said IT service desk jobs would start on $45,000.

    10. Security officers

      Careers NZ said security [officers] would usually earn between minimum wage and $25 an hour when they were starting, and could go up to $30 with experience.

    It is long past time that we relieved ourself of the belief that our society rewards 'merit' or hard work.

    • Shanreagh 4.1

      I was very surprised, for a short while, then recalled reading years ago that NZ was a low wage economy. That was all very well in a sort of way when wages/costs were in stasis. At the moment we are low wage/salaries in a high rate inflation mode. I realise much of the inflation is imported but can't help feeling that some govt intervention of some sort is needed in:


      petrol (possibly)


      To break down monopolies

      Here's hoping for the budget.

      I can't help feeling that with the National lite mode we seem to be in plus not 'frightening the horses' that these aspects may not be addressed in the Budget.

      • RosieLee 4.1.1

        You forgot rent. That's the bottom line.

        [typo fixed in user name]

      • tWiggle 4.1.2

        Remember that the employer must cover ACC levies, a month's leave plus statutory hols, and employer Kiwisaver contribution. Having a government accident and liability insurance system is incredibly valuable, but we don't see it in our pay packets.

    • Anker 4.2

      Low waged jobs are all the people who do the real work for our society and most of it useful…….

    • tWiggle 4.3

      St John ambulance staff have been at odds with their management for years around pay, shift work rates and understaffing. Another organisation, like the Volunteer fire service, with a moribund administration that is not prepared to listen to its people.

  4. Anne 5

    "I am nothing and nobody" she says. "All I want to do is get on with my gardening".

    Then she courts public attention by spreading wild conspiracy theories and defaming/slandering high placed individuals who did nothing to her except ignore her crackpot claims:

    • Shanreagh 5.1

      Liz Gunn & gardening is about as believable as Winston Peters saying he is happy to be the MP for Tauranga, when he had his political ambitions tucked safely away in his pocket, for the moment.

  5. Reality 6

    Seem to recall Nicola Willis saying recently, when the increased minimum wage was announced, that National preferred "modest" minimum wage increases. As did Bill English some years ago when he boasted about NZ being a low wage country. That of course never included the wealthy National backers that Paula Bennett befriends, just those doing all the many essential jobs in the community. Likewise Adrian Orr a while ago opining NZ needed 50,000 to lose their jobs to help inflation. Having no understanding of economics or what should or shouldn't be done to curb inflation, it still seems a very callous thing to say.

    • I remember it differently. Orr said he "would be forced to cause a shallow recession, which could cost up to 50000 jobs unless we curbed our spending." He sounded sad to me. surprise This is part of the "throw away generations who must have new phones and fast fashion, plus larger homes and a car each."

      Sadly IT is undergoing "re-organisation" that the Public Service suffered under National. I think that was why Robertson wanted the "insurance Scheme", as after the study on the Future of Work, he saw a huge impact coming, caused by AI.

      These people are not callous, more caught in a converging tide of World and Weather events.imo

  6. Anker 7

    The heading speaks for itself. but interesting to know children is motel and sleeping in cars arent counted in the stats.

    owever, how the sharpened cost of living has hit the nation’s poorest families has yet to be measured, nor are the effects on children living in emergency housing or in cars, who are not interviewed as part of the household survey.

  7. Peter 8

    There is so much to unpick in Christopher Luxon's education announcement today.

    In an overall sense the most stunning (and overlooked) aspect, is that a party so recently in power, for nine whole years, considers there needs to be a major rewrite of the country's education curriculum.

    In any normal sense in the development and evolution of a nation's school curriculum, by now we should be in the full throes, into the guts of the churning of the success of their nine years. Instead? Lamentation about the limitations of our kids.

    The Year 13s who left school last year, apparently not equipped for the world, had the first eight years of their schooling under the John Key and Bill English ministries.

    "Evidence shows children’s abilities are often underestimated," says Luxon. Evidence shows the abilities of the public are often overestimated too. Those are the fertile fields Luxon is ploughing.

    • "Five hours a week on major curriculum areas?" It should be eight hours on language related areas, five on mathematics and from memory four? hours on Science and Social studies. Then we have Health and Safety, Physical Education, Music and singing, Arts and Assemblies etc. Just to name a few other areas.

      Their "Back to Basics" did not work, and he has no understanding of an integrated curriculum, and if he thinks a parcel of teaching points will overcome a move from written comprehension to visual learning, he is truly out of his depth.

      It sounds rather like a "teach to the test" method to me.

      Further, National ignore the effects of covid… it is never mentioned.

      Will he bore the ten year old with a fourteen year reading ability, and destroy the growing confidence of a struggling twelve year old with the reading ability of nine years with this 'Test"?

      Children are not little mugs waiting for the big jug.

      Simple people offer simplistic solutions to complex problems, often through lack of acumen in that area. imo

      • tsmithfield 8.1.1

        You would have an argument if the current system was doing wonderfully well. But that is obviously completely broken given our slide down the world education rankings, and the fact our universities are complaining about lthe iteracy standards of incoming students.

        Perhaps it would help if principals stopped complaining about it being racist to expect good literacy in students.

        Given all that, how could National’s plan be worse than what we are currently achieving in terms of educational outcomes?

        • Liberty Belle


          "Perhaps it would help if principals stopped complaining about it being racist to expect good literacy in students."

          Here's another similar response. In 2020, Briar Lipson produced a study that blamed the 'child led' teaching approach in NZ for falling educational standards. I'm not taking sides in that debate, other than to highlight one of the responses, which was "…prescriptive "Eurocentric" teaching practices risk ignoring the needs of indigenous communities."

        • AB

          "Completely broken" is hyperbole. At best, there are a couple of obvious truisms highlighted by Luxon's prattling about education:

          • effort should not be diluted away from high-priority things to lower-priority things – the occasional sanity check is called for
          • teaching (primary school especially) is prone to capture by fads and fashions dressed up as "pedagogies". Fads and fashions tend to dilute effort

          Beyond that – meh. There are many external influences that teachers can't control – like the fact that the most important groundwork on literacy and numeracy occurs before kids get to school. The most significant advances may therefore lie in ending poverty and giving parents more time with kids. Then there's the decline of a reading culture through electronic media – but that's a long story that dates back to the arrival of tv in the 1960's. When we examine the comparator countries to determine the source of their superiority, we should look just as keenly at what happens in the social and economic spaces as we do at what happens inside the classroom.

        • "The current system", has been wracked by covid. Like all National you ignore those 3 years of disruption.sad

        • ianmac

          "You would have an argument if the current system was doing wonderfully well." TSmith. If simplifying the syllabus was an answer then most teachers can do that now by selecting from a range of options in the Syllabus.

          Some silly people think that teaching is a simple task of having a list of teaching objectives and teach each day from that list. The USA is notorious for their textbook teaching. Each day is pre set. And it is so boring for the kids.

    • Craig H 8.2

      The Year 13s who left school last year, apparently not equipped for the world, had the first eight years of their schooling under the John Key and Bill English ministries.

      Absolutely! 3 Rs for 3 hours a day doesn't strike me as the way forward, but hey, let's go back to the old methods…

    • Liberty Belle 8.3

      Yep. The basics have been neglected for decades in the interests of a variety of failed experiments, driven by educational ideologues. Get back to basics, and our system will recover.

      • Barfly 8.3.1

        You share one thing with your namesake – you are both cracked.devil

      • Descendant Of Smith 8.3.2

        lol I haven't written a document in the workplace in twenty years and encouraged both my sons to learn to type at school which has held them in very good stead.

        Have no idea what use handwriting is in a modern world? That "R" which doesn't even start with R is pretty fucked.

        Standards (milestones) were well used to assess kids in the 50's and 60's – it's how you ended up with slow classes and things like Taranaki maths and kids who couldn't read the alphabet or tie their shoelaces when they started school put into Lake Alice – never mind that they couldn't read the alphabet cause their parents were illiterate or tie their shoelaces cause the pair they managed to scrounge up for the first day of school was the first pair they had ever owned. Labelling kids a failure at an early age just keeps them there.

        Anyone who has sat on a BOT in a low decile school knows the kids they are getting from poverty stricken areas don't have the same knowledge and skills as those from well off areas and that you have to play catch-up. Measure school performance from improvement at entry to leaving and you can see a whole different measure of success. Bring back needed classes such as wood-work and metal-work into schools for those who are kinaesthetic rather than academic – hardly any schools teach these subjects any more. It is left to polytechs to teach these skills at a later age.

        Even when the private sector get involved it is still hard work.

        I know that I am not the only one who has thought about the possibilities of getting secondary school students using some of these timbers. Perhaps what others have not done is take it the next step and try to promote the use of these timbers with a school wood working competition. Well, we have in Middle Districts, and it has been both a rewarding and also a very frustrating process.

        • Liberty Belle

          "I haven't written a document in the workplace in twenty years and encouraged both my sons to learn to type at school which has held them in very good stead."

          I have a severely dyslexic child, who was failed by the school system, and who has prospered only through our ability to afford private tuition. He would agree wholeheartedly with you…his handwriting is illegible, but he learned to use a key board, and the tuition got his spelling to a point where spell checkers could do their job.

          "Bring back needed classes such as wood-work and metal-work into schools for those who are kinaesthetic rather than academic – hardly any schools teach these subjects any more. "

          And these 'trades' offer career opportunities and far higher earning capacity than when I was young.

          • Descendant Of Smith

            Noting that schools have long failed dyslexic children. My brother-in-law who is dyslexic could not read and write when he left school. My sister patiently taught him 40 years ago.

            Standards and milestones taught him he was a failure. These days there are kids with AFS, many more with English as a second language, electricity poverty meaning they can't do homework in winter with no lighting, a lack of stability due to insufficient state housing meaning they are moving from house to house and school to school continuously through the year.

            Even things National did last time like cutting community education classes meant that schools lost budget money, $70,000 in our schools case, and many adults lost the chance for second chance education.

            No money to help needy students but plenty to bail out a private school.

            According to Wanganui Collegiate's annual report for the year ending March 31, 2013, the college had more than $3 million in freehold land and, in addition, the college grounds were valued at $1.7m.

            The school's foundation owns three commercial properties in Wanganui, two of which have rateable values of just under $1m, while the third property, a car park on the corner of Victoria Ave and Glasgow St had a rateable value of $4.75m.


            • Liberty Belle

              Dealing with a dyslexic child is challenging. For us things have worked out, and we have a creative, hardworking child. Others are often not so fortunate.

  8. arkie 9

    Auckland Council deems itself uniquely exceptional:

    Auckland Council has voted to leave Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ).

    The votes were tied at 10-all before Mayor Wayne Brown used his casting vote in favour of leaving.

    LGNZ is a representative group for local government across Aotearoa and provides advocacy and support for local councils.

    All the more reason Auckland needs it’s electorate MPs to step up:

    Swarbrick said Auckland-based or electorate MPs spent a lot of time working with the council in their electorates and should be encouraging constituents to make submissions on the budget proposal.

    “Part of this slash-and-burn is the intention to hand these costs back to central government,” she said, “and that, again, is precisely the reason that we need to see Auckland or Tāmaki Makaurau-based MPs, not necessarily wading in themselves, but ensuring that communities are well aware of what’s at stake here.”

    The scale of cut-backs proposed in the council’s budget would make it “easily the most significant local government budget in living memory”, she said.

    “What we’re looking at is hugely detrimental impacts on communities across Tāmaki Makaurau, in the environmental space, in the climate space, in the transport space, in the education space – across the board.”

    It seemed “next to insane that we have the proposal to cancel more than a thousand buses a day whilst also increasing fares, in the midst of what appears to be cross-Parliamentary consensus that what we’re facing – or what we have faced – is a climate change-charged storm”, Swarbrick said.

    The job of Auckland-based MPs was to represent Aucklanders, she added.

    • Mac1 9.1

      My admittedly imperfect understanding is that a casting vote should be cast for the status quo, so therefore Mayor Brown should have voted to retain membership of LGNZ.

      Can anyone enlighten on this as voting for the status quo would have allowed further debate and a further vote that might have produced a majority decision, one way or the other.

      • RosieLee3 9.1.1


      • Barfly 9.1.2

        "My admittedly imperfect understanding is that a casting vote should be cast for the status quo"

        That is the protocol but Brown obviously considers himself to be above that.

      • Liberty Belle 9.1.3

        My understanding is that a casting vote being cast for the status quo is 'protocol', but no more. In this case Brown has been openly supporting AC leaving LGNZ, so it would have been very unusual for him to have voted otherwise.

        • Mac1

          I'd like to see more informed comment on the status of protocol in general; and then, as to how the principles outlined in Wikipedia on casting votes applies in the Auckland Council's case.

          • Liberty Belle

            If Brown was not able to legitimately exercise his vote in this way, he would not have been allowed to. I was at the Governing Body meeting for part of yesterday, and they have people who site alongside the mayor and who arbitrate on those things.

            • Mac1

              I have not said he was being illegitimate. But we now learn he has made false allegations, basing his flouting of strong protocols on false premises.


              • Liberty Belle

                The only thing that article shows is that LGNZ don't like what he said. I've known plenty of people who have attended LGNZ conferences and attest to them being piss ups. AC is better off without them.

                • Mac1

                  The reporter made the comment detailing where LGNZ conferences were held. The Bay of Islands was not one of them. How can that have anything to do with LGNZ likes or dislikes.

                  The question is whether Mayor Brown was wrong about the venue. The reporter says he was. Quote- "The LGNZ annual conference and excellence awards were held in Hamilton in 2013, followed by Nelson in 2014, then Rotorua, Dunedin, Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington. It was postponed in 2020 but picked up again the following year in Blenheim, and then Palmerston North."​​​​​​​

                  • Liberty Belle

                    The journalist has repeated LGNZ spin. As I said, these conferences are well known as being junkets. LGNZ sold out councils by cosying up to the government on 3 Waters. I watched two of them on Thursday try to justify their existence at the GB. They can take their gravy train somewhere else.

                    • Mac1

                      Are you able to give evidence that the reporter has it wrong? That the LGNZ chair statement that there has been no conference in the Bay of islands since last century is wrong? Have you noticed that there has been no confirmation of Mayor Brown's claim?

                      I have two sources, one of which is a journalist. You have just your allegations of LGNZ spin and jounalistic connivance.

                  • Liberty Belle

                    "Are you able to give evidence that the reporter has it wrong? "

                    None whatsoever. I'm really not interested in whether Brown got the venue right or wrong. The events are junkets, and LGNZ is a farce.

                  • Liberty Belle

                    Hi Mac1. To clarify (because actually truth does matter and my last comment was far too flippant), if Brown got the facts right but the venue wrong, I really don't care. If he made shit up, then I do care, because it makes him no better than those journo's constantly trying to run a hit on him.

                    • Mac1

                      Thanks. We agree that truth matters. I hope that the truth will become evident.

                      When I stood for politics, decades ago now, the best advice I learnt from a media guru was "Never lie. You will be found out."

                  • Liberty Belle

                    "Never lie. You will be found out."

                    I think my mother told me something similar.smiley

                    • Mac1

                      The same essence of morality applies be it in our personal lives or in our public lives. My fear is that we keep pushing forward people into public life who have no care for that morality and the world as a consequence descends into that chaos that Yeats spoke of a hundred years ago in "The Second Coming".

                      My sense of history tells me that every generation had its challenges but these current challenges seem harder to overcome- but we shall, some day, won’t we?

                  • Liberty Belle

                    "but we shall, some day, won’t we?"

                    I hope so, I really do.

              • Liberty Belle

                "Mayor Brown is not coming out well from all this and typifying his critics as you do does not address the facts of the case."

                From what I'm hearing from Aucklanders, Mayor Brown is coming out very well on this.

    • newsense 9.2

      Don’t worry fam- Bad boy Brown and Mike Lee got you! Auckland’s finest at the wheel.

    • Liberty Belle 9.3

      AC isn't the first council to quite LGNZ and it won't be the last. LGNZ sold local councils out over 3Waters. As an Aucklander, I say good riddance.

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    The first major public housing development in Whangārei for decades has reached completion, with 37 new homes opened in the suburb of Maunu today. The project on Tapatahi Crescent and Puriri Park Road, consists of 15 one-bedroom, 4 two-bedroom, 7 three-bedroom, 8 four-bedroom and 3 five-bedroom homes, as well as ...
    1 day ago
  • Trade Minister to represent New Zealand trade interests abroad
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damen O’Connor will depart tomorrow for London to represent New Zealand at the Commonwealth Trade Ministers’ Meeting and then to Paris to vice-chair the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting. “My travel to the United Kingdom is well-timed, with the United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (UK FTA) ...
    1 day ago
  • Bill to boost national fuel resiliency introduced
    The Fuel Industry (Improving Fuel Resilience) Amendment Bill would: boost New Zealand’s fuel supply resilience and economic security enable the minimum stockholding obligation regulations to be adapted as the energy and transport environment evolves. “Last November, I announced a six-point plan to improve the resiliency of our fuel supply from ...
    2 days ago
  • Faster ACC payment top-ups and fairer system
    The Government is making sure those on low incomes will no longer have to wait five weeks to get the minimum weekly rate of ACC, and improving the data collected to make the system fairer, Minister for ACC Peeni Henare said today.  The Accident Compensation (Access Reporting and Other Matters) ...
    2 days ago
  • Compulsory code of conduct for school boards introduced
    A compulsory code of conduct will ensure school board members are crystal clear on their responsibilities and expected standard of behaviour, Minister of Education Jan Tinetti said. It’s the first time a compulsory code of conduct has been published for state and state-integrated school boards and comes into effect on ...
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fishermen annual conference.
    Tena koutou katoa and thank you, Mayor Nadine Taylor, for your welcome to Marlborough. Thanks also Doug Saunders-Loder and all of you for inviting me to your annual conference. As you might know, I’m quite new to this job – and I’m particularly pleased that the first organisation I’m giving a ...
    2 days ago
  • Govt to support councils with buyout and better protection of cyclone and flood affected properties
    The Government will enter into a funding arrangement with councils in cyclone and flood affected regions to support them to offer a voluntary buyout for owners of Category 3 designated residential properties. It will also co-fund work needed to protect Category 2 designated properties. “From the beginning of this process ...
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers changes to reduce pokies harm
    The Government has announced changes to strengthen requirements in venues with pokie (gambling) machines will come into effect from 15 June. “Pokies are one of the most harmful forms of gambling. They can have a detrimental impact on individuals, their friends, whānau and communities,” Internal Affairs Minister Barbara Edmonds said. ...
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers 1800 additional frontline Police
    The total Police workforce is now the largest it has ever been. Police constabulary stands at 10,700 officers – an increase of 21% since 2017 Māori officers have increased 40%, Pasifika 83%, Asian 157%, Women 61% Every district has got more Police under this Government The Government has delivered on ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister Mahuta talks Pacific ambitions at the first Korea-Pacific Leaders’ summit
    Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Nanaia Mahuta met with Korea President Yoon, as well as Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Henry Puna, during her recent visit to Korea.  “It was an honour to represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the first Korea – Pacific Leaders’ Summit. We discussed Pacific ambitions under the ...
    2 days ago
  • Government drives $2 billion of business research and development
    The Government’s Research and Development Tax Incentive has supported more than $2 billion of New Zealand business innovation – an increase of around $1 billion in less than nine months. "Research and innovation are essential in helping us meet the biggest challenges and seize opportunities facing New Zealand. It’s fantastic ...
    3 days ago
  • Achieving lift off: National Space Policy launched
    The next ‘giant leap’ in New Zealand’s space journey has been taken today with the launch of the National Space Policy, Economic Development Minister Barbara Edmonds announced. “Our space sector is growing rapidly. Each year New Zealand is becoming a more and more attractive place for launches, manufacturing space-related technology ...
    3 days ago
  • New science and creative technologies wharekura announced
    A new Year 7-13 designated character wharekura will be built in Pāpāmoa, Associate Minister of Education Kelvin Davis has announced. The wharekura will focus on science, mathematics and creative technologies while connecting ākonga to the whakapapa of the area. The decision follows an application by the Ngā Pōtiki ā Tamapahore ...
    3 days ago
  • Freedom Camping changes a win for the environment
    Protecting the environment by establishing a stronger, more consistent system for freedom camping Supporting councils to better manage freedom camping in their region and reduce the financial and social impacts on communities Ensuring that self-contained vehicle owners have time to prepare for the new system   The Self-Contained Motor Vehicle ...
    3 days ago
  • Speeding up the family court, reducing stress on families
    A new law passed last night could see up to 25 percent of Family Court judges’ workload freed up in order to reduce delays, Minister of Justice Kiri Allan said. The Family Court (Family Court Associates) Legislation Bill will establish a new role known as the Family Court Associate. The ...
    3 days ago
  • UK FTA delivers benefits from today
    New Zealand businesses will begin reaping the rewards of our gold-standard free trade agreement with the United Kingdom (UK FTA) from today.  “The New Zealand UK FTA enters into force from today, and is one of the seven new or upgraded Free Trade Agreements negotiated by Labour to date,” Prime ...
    3 days ago
  • Next steps to reform outdated surrogacy law
    The Government will reform outdated surrogacy laws to improve the experiences of children, surrogates, and the growing number of families formed through surrogacy, by adopting Labour MP Tāmati Coffey’s Member’s Bill as a Government Bill, Minister Kiri Allan has announced. “Surrogacy has become an established method of forming a family ...
    4 days ago
  • Defence Minister to attend Shangri-La Dialogue
    Defence Minister Andrew Little departs for Singapore tomorrow to attend the 20th annual Shangri-La Dialogue for Defence Ministers from the Indo-Pacific region. “Shangri-La brings together many countries to speak frankly and express views about defence issues that could affect us all,” Andrew Little said. “New Zealand is a long-standing participant ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand–China science relationship affirmed
    Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall and the Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang met in Wellington today and affirmed the two countries’ long-standing science relationship. Minister Wang was in New Zealand for the 6th New Zealand-China Joint Commission Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation. Following ...
    4 days ago
  • Supporting a strong future for screen sector
    5 percent uplift clearer and simpler to navigate  Domestic productions can access more funding sources 20 percent rebate confirmed for post-production, digital and visual effects Qualifying expenditure for post-production, digital and visual effects rebate dropped to $250,000 to encourage more smaller productions The Government is making it easier for the ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister Sepuloni to attend 61st Anniversary of Samoa’s Independence
    Deputy Prime Minister and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs (Pacific Region) Carmel Sepuloni will represent New Zealand at Samoa’s 61st Anniversary of Independence commemorations in Apia. “Aotearoa New Zealand is pleased to share in this significant occasion, alongside other invited Pacific leaders, and congratulates Samoa on the milestone of 61 ...
    5 days ago
  • Govt backs retailers with expansion of fog cannon programme
    The Government is continuing to support retailers with additional funding for the highly popular Fog Cannon Subsidy Scheme, Police and Small Business Minister Ginny Andersen announced today.  “The Government is committed to improving retailers’ safety,” Ginny Andersen said.  “I’ve seen first-hand the difference fog cannons are making. Not only do ...
    5 days ago
  • Government will consider recommendations of Intelligence and Security Act review
    The Government has received the first independent review of the Intelligence and Security Act 2017, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins says. The review, considered by the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee, was presented to the House of Representatives today.  “Ensuring the safety and security of New Zealanders is of the utmost ...
    5 days ago
  • Govt expresses condolences on the passing of HRH Princess Sui’ilikutapu
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has expressed condolences on behalf of New Zealand to the Kingdom of Tonga following the death of Her Royal Highness Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu Kalaniuvalu Fotofili. “New Zealand sends it’s heartfelt condolences to the people of Tonga, and to His Majesty King Tupou VI at this time ...
    5 days ago
  • Govt expresses condolences on the passing of HRH Princess Siu’ilikutapu
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has expressed condolences on behalf of New Zealand to the Kingdom of Tonga following the death of Her Royal Highness Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu Kalaniuvalu Fotofili. “New Zealand sends it’s heartfelt condolences to the people of Tonga, and to His Majesty King Tupou VI at this time ...
    5 days ago
  • Security support to Solomon Islands extended
    Defence Minister Andrew Little and Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta have today announced the extension of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) deployment to Solomon Islands, as part of the regionally-led Solomon Islands International Assistance Force (SIAF). “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long history of working alongside the Royal Solomon ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister Mahuta to attend the first Korea-Pacific Leaders’ Summit
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta will travel to the Republic of Korea today to attend the Korea–Pacific Leaders’ Summit in Seoul and Busan. “Korea is an important partner for Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific region. I am eager for the opportunity to meet and discuss issues that matter to our ...
    6 days ago
  • Agreement between Indo-Pacific partners for supply chain resilience
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor joined ministerial representatives at a meeting in Detroit, USA today to announce substantial conclusion of negotiations of a new regional supply chains agreement among 14 Indo-Pacific countries. The Supply Chains agreement is one of four pillars being negotiated within the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework ...
    6 days ago
  • Celebrating Samoa Language Week 2023
    Our most spoken Pacific language is taking centre stage this week with Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa – Samoa Language Week kicking off around the country. “Understanding and using the Samoan language across our nation is vital to its survival,” Barbara Edmonds said. “The Samoan population in New Zealand are ...
    6 days ago
  • Nationwide test of Emergency Mobile Alert system
    Over 90 per cent of New Zealanders are expected to receive this year’s nationwide test of the Emergency Mobile Alert system tonight between 6-7pm. “Emergency Mobile Alert is a tool that can alert people when their life, health, or property, is in danger,” Kieran McAnulty said. “The annual nationwide test ...
    6 days ago
  • Whakatōhea and the Crown sign Deed of Settlement
    ENGLISH: Whakatōhea and the Crown sign Deed of Settlement A Deed of Settlement has been signed between Whakatōhea and the Crown, 183 years to the day since Whakatōhea rangatira signed the Treaty of Waitangi, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little has announced. Whakatōhea is an iwi based in ...
    7 days ago
  • New Chair appointed to New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO
    Elizabeth Longworth has been appointed as the Chair of the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, Associate Minister of Education Jo Luxton announced today. UNESCO is the United Nations agency responsible for promoting cooperative action among member states in the areas of education, science, culture, social science (including peace and ...
    1 week ago
  • Tourism transformation starts with people
    Tourism and hospitality employer accreditation scheme to recognise quality employers Better education and career opportunities in tourism Cultural competency to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces Innovation and technology acceleration to drive satisfying, skilled jobs Strengthening our tourism workers and supporting them into good career pathways, pay and working conditions ...
    1 week ago
  • Tourism transformation starts with people
    Tourism and hospitality employer accreditation scheme to recognise quality employers Better education and career opportunities in tourism Cultural competency to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces Innovation and technology acceleration to drive satisfying, skilled jobs Strengthening our tourism workers and supporting them into good career pathways, pay and working conditions ...
    1 week ago
  • Te ao Māori health services cheaper and more accessible for whānau
      Greater access to primary care, including 193 more front line clinical staff More hauora services and increased mental health support Boost for maternity and early years programmes Funding for cancers, HIV and longer term conditions    Greater access to primary care, improved maternity care and mental health support  are ...
    1 week ago
  • Te ao Māori health services more accessible for whānau
      Greater access to primary care, including 193 more front line clinical staff More hauora services and increased mental health support Boost for maternity and early years programmes Funding for cancers, HIV and longer term conditions    Greater access to primary care, improved maternity care and mental health support  are ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s work for survivors of abuse in care continues
    The Government continues progress on the survivor-led independent redress system for historic abuse in care, with the announcement of the design and advisory group members today. “The main recommendation of the Royal Commission of Inquiry’s Abuse in Care interim redress report was for a survivor-led independent redress system, and the ...
    1 week ago

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