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Open mike 23/05/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 23rd, 2020 - 145 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 …

145 comments on “Open mike 23/05/2020 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    "It says something very healthy about the state of our democracy, I think, that about a third of the population are persuadable to switch allegiance to another party" opines Danyl. https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/23-05-2020/national-voters-were-ready-to-fall-in-love-but-they-couldnt-love-simon-bridges/

    Translation: centrists are non-aligned. Having to often make this point since I first started commenting here I'll just observe that all those captured in the binary political frame still find it hard to look outside and notice that a third of the electorate have escaped.

    "“The purpose of the National Party is to govern the country,” a National MP explained to me recently, “and that’s hard to do well, as those muppets-” he jerked his head at the Beehive, “are finding out”. During her first term Ardern has spent a lot of her time and communications expertise delicately explaining why she wasn’t going to stand down another incompetent minister, or why her government had abandoned yet another campaign promise, or why some new jaw-dropping ethical scandal in her cabinet was none of her business."

    That's Labour normalcy, right there. The pandemic-induced poll results will mask the reality for a while, and commentators here with starry eyes will believe their own misread and promote the notion that Labour shifted out of their normalcy into a new age. Then Labour MPs will return to normal. They can't help it.

    "I like to think New Zealand voters will continue to support Ardern for as long as she continues to do her job well (and some of this success seems to involve keeping most of her cabinet in a sub-basement of the Beehive “to guard the bee”, as the Simpsons gag went, a joke currently popular in Wellington political circles)."

    Protect the PM by confining the Labour mediocrities to the basement seems sensible, but could prove impractical. I'd allow them out on controlled walks, at least. Even better would be to give them this work schedule: track down the missing million and convert them into Labour voters. Of course the consequences would be negligible, but it would be a valuable learning experience for them.

    • Ad 1.1

      I look across this Cabinet and really miss Cullen, Maharey, Cunliffe, Anderton. Even little energisers like Harre and Fitzsimmons. They achieved more than survival.

      We're going into an election with results saying 'well, we survived'.

      • anker 1.1.1

        Ad we have more than survived. This Govt have eradicated the virus…This is the most significant thing that can happen in terms of getting the economy going again.

        I note on a previous post you were emphasising Muller's experience in business, govt university etc, etc…..

        This is how I see it. This Govt has done a amazing job in the most challenging situation our country has faced for decades. It wasn't just Jacinda. Each and everyone of those ministers had stuff to get done, and get down they did. Whether it was housing all homeless people very quickly, setting up a site for people to report price gauging, getting Kiwi's stranded back from overseas, setting up quarantine, organising schools for learning from home, setting up a job subsidy, small business loan, setting up employment agencies across NZ, getting shovel ready jobs across the line as soon as possible, getting environmental jobs up and running, the huge amount of work to support the health system cope with the crisis, getting a trade agreement with Singapore in Covid times (thanks Parker), ensuring supply routes via airlines to make sure vital medical supplies etc were protected. ………..

    • Sacha 1.2

      Having to often make this point since I first started commenting here

      Do you believe people disagree with your view because it has not been heard enough?

      • Drowsy M. Kram 1.2.1

        The comment @1 seemed patronising – methinks he "can't help it."

        • Incognito

          Sounding patronising or hypocritical is only a small price to pay for being right.

          • McFlock

            If vonly he were (in any sense of the word).

            Imagining trinary voting blocs instead of binary does a disservice to pretty much everyone who thinks the whole "floating voter" concept is bullshit (and his link article isn't too much better). It's a democracy, there are a gazillion reasons why people change their vote or don't vote. Attraciting them isn't as simple as appealing to one voting bloc – there isn't a clearly "centrist" policy line to support or oppose (like asset sales or environmental issues).

            Reducing government to a couple of ministerial cockups is likewise bullshit.

            • Incognito

              Well said.

              Many but not all voters are too lazy and apathetic, simply stick with tribal BAU, and vote accordingly. People are complex beings and to reduce their behaviour to simple binary or trinary choices is simplistic.

              Please note that my comment was deliberately ambiguous and neutral in intention 😉

              I was not saying DF was right but rather that the labels, and labels in general, are irrelevant and unhelpful in addressing the question of being right or wrong or the actual issue itself.

              • Dennis Frank

                The problem with blog format is that it operates like a broadcast, so a commenter addresses an audience (largely anonymous) while responding to another commenter. So the conversation stream is group discourse as much as dialogue. Nuances work well with those who are on your wavelength but are lost on most participants, so we end up painting with a broad brush more often than not.

                The antique binary frame is the traditional default. My attempt to reframe as triadic is the simplest possible improvement. The real world is way more complex, but people do group in relation to other groups, and voters have established the three-way split in all western countries (more than 30 years ago) so there's a realistic basis for triangulating.

                • McFlock

                  If you don't like this medium, there are others. Do a fecking podcast.

                  As for "traditional defaults", when power structures tend towards two or three blocs (be they electoral or sociopolitical or hereditary) bi/trinary are fine for describing the competing groups, but not the motivations of the members of those groups. To use it to describe the latter is shallow, pseudointellectual punditry.

                  What makes me, specifically, yawn is that you use enough words to make more sophisticated points but only present trivial observations that a two-bit assistant political reporter could present in a one-minute piece to camera.

                  There are lots of models to use when one can't identify specific policy points that have obvious core sector support. My personal favourite is a rough-Weberian approach: three gauges showing the traditional, charismatic, and bureaucratic support for a leadership candidate or group. But there are others that have similar usability and much more sophisticated analyses than just adding another group to a binary model. Seriously, the net improvement to the resolution of analyses between a binary and trinary system is negligible. Why do you think media love "the floating voter" as a concept? It looks deep but adds little to their workload.

                  You want a demo? Muller's not going to significantly improve the lot of the National party. Why?

                  • His parliamentary and professional esperience revolves around primary industry and trade. Ardern, for example, had diverse policy roles before the leadership. Muller has come out of nowhere. He hasn't obviously demonstrated competence, therefore his bureaucratic merits for leadership seem to be lacking. Additionally, National has spent two years shitting on the government without presenting any viable, or even specific, alternatives to government approaches. When govt says "L3", nats say "L4 now!". When govt says "L4", nats say "L2 as soon as possible, you're playing it too safe!".
                  • Charisma: Todd Who-ller? Prior to Leadership, people knew who Ardern was. Similarly, the rest of the nats are largely "who" or "ew" for many voters ("ew" is often referred to as "polarising", means nats will vote for them but thousands wouldn't).
                  • Traditional support: well, the nats are down to their dyed in the wool supporters. They need a good policy platform and some charisma to get back into contention, and in mmp they're doing it without mates. The leadership change might be enough for NZ1 to go with them, but even then it's a big ask.

                  Now lets look at a trinary analysis:

                  • um, they need to take some floating voters of Labour somehow. Then they will win. Otherwise they might lose.
                  • Dennis Frank

                    I haven't allocated a common motivation to centrists because there has never been one evident. The subgroup that operate as swing-voters does share a motivation: to change the govt. However the recent polls suggest a centrist shift 4 or 5 times that size. You can only read their common motivation as disgust with National's leader & endorsement of Labour's – but likely to be ephemeral.

                    Re trivial observations, any communicator has to pitch to the average grasp of the audience. If I pointed out that there is substantial metaphysical basis for seeing a triadic structure to be fundamental to both nature and the psyche I'd lose them real fast.

                    Re Muller's prospects as a leader, I've made my prediction. If time proves me right, will you remember to give me credit for it? People usually don't. If I can be bothered pointing it out to them they fall back on the Reagan defense ("I can't remember"). However, I will quite happily acknowledge it if time proves you right.

                    Lack of charisma may limit his prospects. He could be the kind of person who flourishes in a leadership role however, so could remedy that lack eventually.

                    Your policy point seems merely partisan. I'm likewise unimpressed but I don't discount the tribal affiliations that empower their policies. If he tweaks the mix to appeal to centrists as well as Nats he will pull more of them back across the line – but his team will have to pull together fast & efficiently to make that happen before the election, and I don't rate their collective abilities any higher than Labour's. I don't expect him to win the election at this stage but reckon pulling National back into the 40s is likely.

                    • McFlock

                      jesus christ this is a political blogsite, the "average grasp of the audience" is significantly greater than year 8 social studies.

                      Don't recall what your prediction was re: muller, but I tend to fall asleep before you get to the point.

                    • Sacha

                      You can only read their common motivation as disgust with National's leader & endorsement of Labour's

                      Simple minds reduce things to individuals.

                • sumsuch

                  Dennis, there is only reality. Do you disagree, regarding climate change, there is only 10 years to do anything to save the species? But the party political reality is down to the next 3 years, and all about mortgages. And no one accepts the real reality. We here on the NZ Left blogs exact the fluff from our tummy buttons. And, may I say, from extensive stomachs, as the most damning evidence.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    My grasp of climate science in historical context suggests the species isn't under immediate threat like you imply. I see a seriously-worsening future, but over a much longer timeframe.

                    Gaia will keep experimenting with different culling mechanisms, and some may cull more extensively than others. The four horsemen of the apocalypse seem to canter toward us in a fairly leisurely manner, often pausing awhile to allow their horses to crop the grass. But I've been watching carefully since Hansen first sounded the alarm long ago so I feel no need to persuade anyone. Sheeple see no wolf. Crying wolf keeps failing to work. Duh!!

                    • sumsuch

                      Longer timeframe to the past, sees poverty. It's not a 'laid-on' sort of feast, our days. Mind-bending, anti-rationalists on Left blogs. And everyone picking points rather than addressing what matters most.

                • Incognito

                  I agree with your comment, more or less.

                  Binary and trinary framing have their use but are crude models and have many limitations. This can and does lead to all sorts of problems in analysis and discourse. It is as useful or useless as GDP or CPI as a measure of how well off I am. People don’t group in relation to other groups, politically. That’s just lazy bollocks. People have many different views on many different things. Then some clever cookies device a questionnaire and plot your aggregate answer on a 2-dimnesional graph, which they overlay with half a dozen parties. Next they suggest that you most align with (x,y) and thus with party P3. Next thing is that you believe that you group or are grouped with like-minded people who all align with Party P3’s policies and values. This is a form of unintentional (?) conditioning based on a mathematical projection onto a plane. Psychology is full of this Factor Analysis, etc. Doesn’t help you much when you see a psychologist for therapy.

                  Anyway, this is not the most interesting part of your comment.

                  This is a political blog site and I can’t quite remember the stats but IIRC many readers are returning and (semi-)regular readers. You can give them some credit for being able to understand most comments here as long as the English language hasn’t been mangled too much (it happens).

                  Secondly, it is very hard but it is possible to explain even the most complex things in plain simple language so that most interested people can follow and understand it. In science there is now a sub-field called science communication. If you simplify things too much you’ll start to omit/lose important information and you might end up with banal trivia and painting with a broad brush. People love to learn, some more than others, and be challenged (not too much in one go) as long as they are not made to feel like ignorant imbeciles. It takes effort but it’s worth it. It helps if you know your audience or the audience you want to reach – one size does not fit all.

                  Thirdly, some threads here go far and deep and are well outside my comfort range of understanding. Indeed, they’re often dialogues between two commenters who generally both know what they’re talking about or one who does and one who is called Dunning-Kruger.

                  Lastly, there is a general complaint that MSM have dumbed down its readership/audience and the public, for that matter. This is a fair point but many blogs are what the commentariats make of them. The medium has limitations, for sure, but that’s no excuse for throwing your hands up in the air 😉

                  • Dennis Frank

                    People don’t group in relation to other groups, politically.

                    I'm puzzled that you believe this. It's so obviously untrue! The entire rationale of identity politics seems to be based on the fact that they do group together on the basis of shared identity, and usually this gets defined in relation to some group they oppose.

                    To your earlier point, re triadic framing being simplistic like binary framing, my usage is utilitarian in practice while emerging from a metaphysical basis. Remember that Aristotle said the latter lies beyond physics – in the sense of being deeper terrain. Just because our society is superficial & trivia-obsessed, doesn't mean we can disregard our mental foundations. Archetypes remain fundamental.

                    How does the triadic frame operate in the binary structure of parliament? Uneasily! The third of the electorate who are neither left nor right currently use NZF to control the binary primitives, and that has worked reasonably well. But they lack formal representation as such due to the antique frame deriving from the French revolutionaries' `people vs rulers'.

                    Nowadays the people think more diversely than that. A class-based parliament would be genuinely triadic – if it instituted working class, middle-class and upper class via separately-elected representations. Middle-class hegemony would result, of course. Not much different to the current de facto reality…

                    • Sacha

                      this gets defined in relation to some group they oppose.

                      You seem to be ignoring power in those relationships between groups. Crucial in which social groups get 'opposed'. Does not go both ways.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Power does play a fundamental role in the structural relations, true. Particularly for marginalised groups. My point was more general, applying to the generic situation.

                      The small quote I recycled from BFD commentary the other day captured it by dismissing the new Nat leadership team as `nothing but bluegreen socialists'.

                    • Sacha

                      The small quote I recycled from BFD commentary the other day

                      I would never regard Slater and his fellow knuckle-draggers as founts of wisdom.

  2. bwaghorn 2


    Sounds tough but kiwis citizens must come first for jobs and welfare, time to go home for unemployed Visa holders

    • ScottGN 2.1

      It’s not that easy for them to get home. Are we so screwed we can’t extend a bit of a helping hand to people in this sort of need? After all we encouraged them to come.

      • bwaghorn 2.1.1

        We should keep them feed and housed and help them go home.

        • OnceWasTim

          And of course there's always the question of where they now consider 'home'.

          Especially those people brought here under false pretences and who've now spent a big part of their adult life here.

          Now that the shit is hitting the fan and there is money that needs to be spent on supporting them, there's a lot of cudda shudda wuddas to be considered. Might just be easier to pull out a Hilary Clinton type reset button, acknowledge we stuffed up and make changes from this point on if Ao/NZ wants to at least pretend we're a more caring/sharing little nation that punches above its weight than others.

          • James Thrace

            I have little sympathy.

            Short term visa holders make a declaration that they have enough funds to support themselves in NZ, unaided, when they apply for the visa.

            How is it NZ's responsibility that those visa holders then come here, spend that money on travelling around NZ using those very funds that are supposed to assist them, unaided, and then cry poverty?

            It doesn't sit right with me. I'm all for the NZ Government assisting them on an outward journey back home (even though the visa declaration says they have enough money to pay for a return ticket)

            The long term upside I suppose, is that the median wage should rise over time, as employers now no longer have the ability to import large numbers of migrants and pay them the minimum wage. New Zealanders know what things cost, so minimum wage offers for many jobs will be forced to increase their hourly rates. This is likely moreso to happen in the farming, horticulture and what remains of the tourism sector, when they end up having to hire New Zealanders to do the jobs that minimum wage slaves used to be imported for. An additional upside is that money paid to NZers will end up staying in NZ. Many migrants send NZ $ back to their families overseas which ends up worsening the Balance of Payments.

            Paying higher wages to New Zealanders means more PAYE given to the government and more money spent in the local communities by New Zealanders as they will be able to afford doing so.

            • OnceWasTim

              "I have little sympathy"

              I bet!

              "Short term visa holders make a declaration that they have enough funds to support themselves in NZ, unaided, when they apply for the visa."

              Not unlike all those Kiwis dotted around the world in remote places now pleading poverty and asking for rescue.

              And then of course there's all those promises of work and sometimes shitty tertiary courses that the NZ gummint did NOTHING to counter over the past decade – just as long as they could keep up the churn.

              But I guess that’s different eh?

              • James Thrace

                Except that when a New Zealander goes to a NZ Embassy, we actually provide them with emergency funds to tide them over. However many run to the media first rather than the embassy.

                It's a shame that other countries on't see fit to help their foreign nationals stuck in NZ in the same way.

                • That would explain why there are quite a few moans then I guess about the lack of support they've been shown.

                  I seem to remember we've been here before James ( a while back )

                  It's just as well the failings of INZ and associated agencies are a matter of record and there are still a number of things that they don't/haven't been able to adequately explain.

                  And then of course there's all that stuff like 'demographic profiling' and T&C surveillance, and James Cassons and his ilk that remain in place.

                  I understand some of them, in their "wisdom" have left the NZ gummint a little bit exposed. We might also be grovelling for a FTA or two for a while longer – with negotiations little more than talk fests.

                  We don't identify whose bright idea it was to commission a lot of it, but some of them are still there – thankfully they've not been forgotten and just as there are people such as yourself who have "no sympathy" (End of Story!!!!!!!!!), there are others that've got your number.

                  Generally …….. people don't really like being treated like shit, but then there'll always be people such as yourself that don't mind being the ones imposing the shit on others

    • Time for the people who employed migrant workers because they're cheaper and more compliant than NZers to take responsibility for their own actions, surely? If that bankrupts them, NZ has a social welfare system.

    • Graeme 2.3

      This was announced yesterday, hopefully to soak up some of the recently un-employed from tourism.


      The package would "help address the shortfall of workers in the primary sector nationally by reskilling workers and attracting new workers by building career pathways", the ministers said.

      Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult welcomed the announcement and expected it to assist the council’s initiative, "loosely entitled In The Wild", intended to retrain unemployed people in "nature-based" jobs such as clearing wilding pines, gorse and broom, reducing pest numbers and creating and maintaining cycle and walking trails.

      "A large number of the people who will be without a job are actually used to working in the outdoors, particularly a lot of the outdoor tourism folk.

      There's also a lot of "shovel ready" projects coming through in the district. I know of one developer who put forward 12 projects, some in partnership with others, and he's saying that 11 are moving forward. Some of them are rather large, the total for the 12 was north of $100 mill, with some conservation / community recreation component in there as well. That's just one organisation, there's lots of others with similar vision.

      The wilding conifer removal and re-forestation around the district would keep everyone employed for 20 years if it's funded.

      It's quite possible with the programs in train, and a possible re-opening of the border to Australia later in the year (think ski season will be domestic only) that Central Otago could be well employed, maybe over employed in 6 months time.

      Does anyone know when the approved "shovel ready" projects will be announced, I had late last week in my mind, but events may have overtaken that.

    • RedBaronCV 2.4

      I went & looked at the immigration website (some parts are less confusing than others)

      Looks like the work visa's have a couple of broad categorues

      -temp ones

      the young peoples 1 year work & explore

      working while studying and the post study one year if the course is high grade. If we get students back I think we should limit this category harshly to post grad study only at recognised institutions

      These people will either need help from NZ or embassies or a push to go home when they can but in the meantime maybe some sort of basic food supply/accommodation with repayment where appropriate? We have a high level of unemployed young NEETs so in the near future will this category need to exist or be promoted. Nor do I think we need those useless private courses that were essentially selling a part time work visa.

      working visas

      – employer sponsored – well the employers can pay for the return trip on those plus costs in the meantime, if there are no jobs now. I see some of these are people working in hotels in Q'town which are likely to be largely chains. In future maybe these types of visa need to pay a large bond to immigration. I don't see that unhitching these visa's will do anything other than flood the local market.

      -skills shortages open visas. We need to chop this occupation list back promptly.It was used under Nact as a cheap labour source for employers not reflecting real shortages. Labour was steadily tightening the rules. A few categories may need to taper till local employers get used to paying better wages .

      Where do people call home? Remitting money back suggests it is not here. I am also surprised at the number of people who seem to have been here for around 5 years on some mixed bag of student & precarious work visas. Maybe an upper time limit is needed in total in the future? I don't think that we need to convert all visa's to something longer term and less onerous- we have an oversupplied labour market for the next while.

      Then there is also the shadow of permanent residence visas where people have not been here for years as they have moved elsewhere and are likely to turn up for welfare purposes only. Maybe just expire anyone who hasn't been tax residence for 5 years and in future make it 10 to 15 years to become a citizen.

      • James Thrace 2.4.1

        According to INZ, NZ imported 65,000 workers in the "tourism sector" in 2019.

        Therefore, the talk of "100,000 NZers in the tourism sector will lose their jobs" is fairly chicken little stuff. It's more like 30,000 NZers that will be directly affected. I daresay many of them will be able to find jobs elsewhere, or will be retained by the employer.

        It'll be the short term visa holders that will be let go. Again, very little sympathy. The tourism sector has priced out NZers for years from participating in activities, and now want the support.

        Yeah, nah.

        • RedBaronCV

          I am concerned about the young NEETS too where unemployment is high. They need those starter jobs and a lot of the work visa's have just been crack cocaine for employers in the race to the bottom and meaning they don't wantt to train.

          There doesn't seem to be much real analysis in the media just interviews.

    • PLEEEEEEESE! Someone put that man Thrace in a uniform – preferably one that's the most ostentatious with lots of medals. Give him the fanciest job title you can dream up as well.

      No need to measure the size of it's dick – rest assured it goes without saying it's WELL above average.

      If you do that – he'll do us proud even if he hasn't yet come to realise the difference between public service and the policies of an elected government's agenda, versus those of his own. If you do that – we can dress James' up as being impartial and apolitical in the service of the erectorate

      • James Thrace 2.5.1

        Not really clear why you refer to me as 1) a man and then 2) "it's"

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Bomber bombs out: "I think under Simon, National could have at least held onto the low 30s, under this shadow of a nobody, it could free fall into the 20s." https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/05/22/simon-bridges-loses-national-leadership-a-loaf-of-white-bread-wins/

    National will very likely be led by Muller into the 40s, come the election. Bomber seems out of touch with kiwis, big-time. City-slicker syndrome? The chances that the Nats will sink further under Muller & Kaye are infinitesimally small. On the contrary, a rebound is inevitable. The new team will be an effective combo for National. Enough to win? Unlikely at present.

    • swordfish 3.1

      National will very likely be led by Muller into the 40s, come the election … The chances that the Nats will sink further under Muller & Kaye are infinitesimally small. On the contrary, a rebound is inevitable.

      That's what the Media consensus said when National's rising star, Bill English, toppled Jenny Shipley in October 2001. Bill was, they implied, young, firm buttocked & dashing. A roarer, a rogerer & a puker. Every Woodford House debutante's dream. His vigorous leadership apparently guaranteed to usher in a new electorally competitive era for the Nats with the very real prospect of victory.

      The result:

      Last Colmar Brunton before English toppled Shipley:

      Sep 2001 CB: Nat 40.0% … 2002 Election Result 20.9% (down 19.1)

      Sep 2001 CB: Nat + ACT 43.0% … … 2002 Election Result 28.0% (down 15.0)

      By early 2002, more astute National voters saw the writing on the wall, the re-election of the Clark Labour Govt looked inevitable … so the Right vote significantly fragments as large numbers of 1999 Nat supporters sought to provide a counterweight to any Leftward thrust in the new incoming Govt, in the process, if possible, keeping the Greens away from power.

      I wouldn’t entirely rule out at least a vague echo of that freefall happening again.

      • Sacha 3.1.1

        Including a boost for Winston First, yes.

        • swordfish

          Absolutely … might just prove to be the Winstonistas' salvation.


          2002 CB Poll (4 Months before Election) 2.0% … 2002 Election Result 10.4% (up 8.4)

          2020 CB Poll (4 Months before Election) 2.9%

          In some key senses, a different context, 10.4% is remarkably unlikely … but still, watch this space …

          • Adrian

            There was another reason I think Swordfish, I as usual helped out on the Labour team in Kaikoura electorate ( which is everything north of Chch except Nelson ) and also being a farmer I know a lot of Nats and they were pissed off, English lost them in a big way being deaf to the usual 20 year cycle of droughts of which the '99-2002 one was a biggie, he and the rest of the Take The Cockies For Granted Party advocated tough love, stand on your own 2 feet stuff.

            It wasn't popular, during Meet the Minister meetings an old school mates job was to make sure that the back door of the country halls was jambed open and the crown limo idling for the fast getaway that they needed a fair few times.

            The farming community stayed home on election day and the wives if they voted went for the woman ( Helen ) or Green, one small valley booth put the Nats in third. Unheard of.

            This in an electorate that generally a dead dog with a blue ribbon is a shoe-in.

            • swordfish

              Big swings into non-voting from both National and Labour voters in 2002 (according to the New Zealand Election Study).

              Sounds (from your eyewitness account) like Farmers may have been a core component of the former (although, bear in mind the farming community comprises a pretty small % of voters in general … & even a relatively minor % of National voters … but if their anger spilled over into erstwhile Nats voting in small rural towns & smaller regional centres then it could have had quite an impact)..

              Labour certainly won the Party Vote in Kaikoura in 2002 (that was also the case in every one except 3 Rural seats (possibly re-inforcing your point) … but it's easily forgotten that the Party won a whole swathe of Rural seats in the previous Election as well)

              Was that one small valley booth French Pass ?

              Incidentally, Helen Clark would’ve been intersted in you … IIRR she did her MA seeking to explain why a small minority of Farmers broke ranks & persisently voted Labour.

          • roblogic

            It's time to drop the MMP threshold to 3 or 4%, it really sucks watching NZF and Greens hovering around 5%, that means a huge slice of the electorate will potentially lose their votes to a larger party

            STV would be even better

            • James Thrace

              Or do away with the party vote entirely and just have 120 or 130 electorates with STV voting. At least that way MPs are directly accountable to voters, and there might actually be opportunities for actual independents to get in Parliament. Once voting is complete, it'll be the largest grouping of aligned parties + independents that form the government.

              • Incognito

                I think party politics has a lot to answer for but I’d rather do away with the electorate vote. Local and regional politics should be covered more than adequately (or not) by local and regional politicians. Central politics is a completely different kettle of fish where the interests of the whole nation and all people have to be balanced against those of individual electorates.

                • James Thrace

                  I would envisage that people standing in electorates for central government would be aligned with the policies of the parties they are standing for.

                  Independents may not necessarily have the overarching 'policy' rationale, but if enough people in the electorate believed they had something to offer in the big house, they'd still be able to have an influence on overall policies for the country.

                  I'm not sure that party vote alone would be ideal. In that case, how would people be able to contact representatives? Who would decide what areas/regions MPs would serve?

    • mosa 3.2

      " On the contrary, a rebound is inevitable "

      Yes Nationals medis friends have started with total blanket coverage that has replaced COVID 19.

      Looking at the tv networks last night you could feel their desperation in making sure in their new catch cry " New Zealand's biggest political party " that Muller was the new National saviour.

      Its the economy and profits stupid.


      • Dennis Frank 3.2.1

        Bryan: "let me remind you “business as usual” – the pre pandemic economy- benefitted the few not the many and THAT is what they want us to return to. Well I for one don’t want that. How about you?"

        Me too. Shame he isn't honest enough to point out that Labour leaders never campaign to change that system, huh? I see that lack of honesty as typical of leftists. Some commentators here get irritated by such generalisations from me, and I empathise since those folk are on the side of the angels, but to me it is a necessary realism in political commentary. Truth hurts sometimes…

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          "I see that lack of honesty as typical of leftists." Certainly no-one could accuse you of promoting the "all as bad as each other" meme.

          • Dennis Frank

            They do anyway. 🙄 I sometimes include the proviso (exceptions to every rule) but it gets tedious so often don't bother. Anyway, I can confidently predict that Jacinda, even with her ratings in the stratosphere, will never campaign to change the system. She will prove my point instead.

            • Incognito

              I can confidently predict that Jacinda, even with her ratings in the stratosphere, will never campaign to change the system.

              Have you been asleep for the last three years?

              Either you cannot see it because you’re looking in the wrong places or you cannot see it because you don’t want to.

              • weka

                She's making changes to the existing system, not changing it to another system.

                • Incognito

                  That sounds good but is it accurate?

                  I started thinking about it and even thought there might be a Post in it but then realised I have not yet read the other Post today, which may actually cover much of the same; there is no such thing as coincidence when it comes to ideas.

                  • weka

                    is it accurate that she's making changes to the existing system? Or that she's not changing it to another system?

                    • Incognito

                      I’ll try to articulate clearly my muddled thinking.

                      I think the premise of your question is fair enough and aligns with common sense/perception but is not necessarily realistic.

                      If one makes changes to a system other than tinkering and cosmetic changes, it is real change to another system. This is not just playing with words.

                      I believe much change comes from within a system. This is often called different names such as transformation, paradigm shift, or evolution – in biology there is another process that involves radical differentiation and sudden radical change in bodily structure, appearance (morphology), and function called metamorphosis.

                      Revolutionary change involves the destruction or dissolution of large parts of the system and then replacing these with new different parts or rearranging existing parts to give them new functions and responsibilities (and new names, of course – re-branding is vitally important in revolution).

                      As with a virus jumping to a new species, this only works when it is able to survive in the new host. It has to have accumulated the appropriate mutations (read: changes) to be ready to make the jump. Of course, the opportunity needs to present itself. Before the jump, nothing seems ‘unusual’ (read: BAU), but after the jump a completely new world (environment) opens up for the virus. The changes come from within; the jump could be equated to a paradigm shift.

                      After the jump, the virus needs to adapt to survive and propagate optimally in the new environment.

                      The virus is an analogy for a system. Small intrinsic changes can ready it for big changes ahead that could secure its future and survival. The virus is changed yet the same.

                      I believe this Government led by the PM is making real changes to the system that too many may seem BAU and trivial. The pandemic has created a unique opportunity for major changes ahead, a paradigm shift is possible (a jump). One that might also help increase the chances of survival through adaptation to/under CC. Will it happen? Will it succeed? There’s only one way to find out …

                      I did warn you that my thinking is muddled – too much COVID-19 on the mind 😉

                • Dennis Frank

                  Yeah, incremental. On a good day, you tell yourself every little bit helps since it's in the right general direction. On a bad day it's Labour asleep at the wheel as usual.

                  Times like now, a political paradigm shift is required. Best fudge to be expected from Labour: a plan makeshift enough to seem semi-plausible to mainstreamers.

                  I doubt they are even thinking that far forward. If the new National team actually does produce a plan to campaign on, watch Labour go into headless-chook mode.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Are you hoping to achieve something with these rebukes @4:01 pm?

                    "Labour asleep at the wheel as usual."
                    "Best fudge to be expected from Labour: a plan makeshift enough to seem semi-plausible…"
                    "Labour go into headless-chook mode."

                    You certainly crammed your 'point' home. Anyone else seeing more than one "headless chook" here?

                    • weka

                      I get you don't like his comments, but is there a point to pointing that out instead of addressing what he raises? He's not the only one that is disappointed by Labour.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Sorry, it's that damned old kiwi male thing, from upbringing; calling a spade a spade. Just can't seem to help it! 😎

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Weka, I'm disappointed with much of what the current Government has done or failed to achieve in its first term: installing the TPPA; Kiwibuild; inequality and climate change incrementalism; no CGT; inadequate Pharmac funding.

                      And I'm glad, and more that little relieved that we have this Government, rather than three more years of the only realistic alternative which (IMHO) would have been a disaster for many NZers. As bad as things are now (quite bad and probably going in the wrong direction thanks to the pandemic, among other things), they could be a lot worse. Does Dennis think about that while dissing the Labour party (again and again, and again) here?

                      I for one have taken Dennis’ views of Labour on board, and wonder if there is a point to his pointing out how awful he thinks Labour is? That's what I'm asking. I'm assuming he party-votes Green; in the absence of any functional alternative that's what I'm doing.

                    • weka

                      Fair enough DMK. There have definitely been times when Labour-bashing has been a sport on TS and it does get tiresome. I guess what interests me is if criticising Labour takes us anywhere useful. In a climate of St Jacinda (who most of us acknowledge is good at what she does and is a really good thing for NZ at this time), and lots of people still intending to vote Labour instead of Green, I think that pointing to Labour's shortcomings makes sense.

                      I am hoping we can get to something more constructive, and I agree with Dennis that many left wing men have been raised to talk politics like this, it's a hard pattern to shift.

                  • weka

                    I'd be happy with a L/G govt this year with more Green MPs. The Greens will go as far as NZ lets them, but it's hard to see Robertson for instance being open to the change that is needed. He might surprise me, who knows what Labour would do if the Overton Window shifted.

                    Yeah, I wish lefties would stop assuming that because of Ardern the election is a done deal. Makes me nervous, even if just for 2023.

                    • weka

                      We will be fortunate indeed to get a straight run to 2023 without any more major challenges.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Only fair to give them another chance. If they hadn't done so well so far I'd be more critical. And DMK more irritated…

                    • weka

                      and tbf, Ardern is very good at what she does, we're lucky in that.

                    • sumsuch

                      Sorry to upset you Weka. SHE made a big thing about helping the poorest and did nothing much re the poverty group's recommendations. Unless she's an innocent ignor-ant she took that evil deep into herself and consciously put her face against it. And chatted away.

                      I don't think that makes her a devil, just self-betrayed. Shallowness, like Key.

                      Who thinks our country is undermined by not looking after the least? It strikes at the Left idea of NZ. It draws us into the American hollow.

                      The main problem is the elite are all having a great time under ROGE-RULE. They think they all have meritocratically got there. And it's the best of all worlds. Why both Corbyn and Sanders are great people. If there is money you're serving the rich rather than the people. Why there was one in Britain and one in America.

                    • weka

                      you're not upsetting me sumsuch, I largely agree. Thing is, we have Ardern as PM not Shaw/Davidson (who would do something about poverty) because NZ voters want Ardern. If Ardern went boldly left, would the voters follow her? I'm not convinced they would, which is why the GP are polling on 5% despite having the best left wing policies in parliament.

                      Yes, there is much fuckery from the elites in both Sanders and Corbyn's situations, like there was with Turei, but again, people still vote for someone else because most people want what we have now.

                      I don't think this is hopeless. I think NZ has a real chance at shifting the Overton Window because of covid, and if we got a L/G govt with more Green MPs. That would mean by 2023 the general public (voters) would be more onboard with left wing values and policies.

                      By real chance I don't mean a good chance necessarily. The left is still largely centred in macho politics, and tearing things down, and isn't very good at building things up at the moment. I hope this will change. One of the reasons Ardern is good at what she does is because she knows the value of making people feel good. Not everyone, but that sense of togetherness can take us further down the path to something good and leaves an opening for the edge to effect change.

        • Molly

          I read Bryan Bruce quite regularly, and think you are being disingenuous about his failure to " point out that Labour leaders never campaign to change that system ".

          He is critical of policy that does not meet his idea of progressive delivery, irrespective of who promotes it. And he has been critical of Labour policies and projects over the last three years.

          The dishonesty you point out seems to be closer to home.

          • Dennis Frank

            Huh?? He failed to point it out. They don't campaign to change the system. They never do! Telling the truth about that is honesty. So I did. So he ought to do it too! Not sure what part of that logic you don't get.

    • Gabby 3.3

      Look, neocon Den, it'll depend on whether Todd Munter has an actual plan, one that he's willing to share with the electorate. Look, his plan could be to sell everything but look, he probably wouln't know the little punters to know that. Look, his plan might be to Make Newzillin Great Again.

  4. Barfly 4

    I see that NZH readers will "know" Muller shortly as he is the beneficiary of endless fluff pieces – one would think it was the second coming of Christ the way they bang on.

    Surprising to see someone so furiously boosting Muller here and at the same time bagging the shit out of the Labour Party ……well DF I have duly noted your fawning sycophancy and will remember your comments for the future. Your credibility to me has been extinguished.

    • Robert Guyton 4.1

      Will he wear his MAGA hat for the photo-shoot?

      • mac1 4.1.1

        That MAGA "Make America Great Again" baseball cap in Todd Muller's trophy cabinet is a concern. I saw the photo of Muller standing alongside these shelves and I looked at what was in my 'office' personal space. What was there was what was important to me.

        For Muller, having a symbol of a right wing nationalist American president and another of the US itself is important enough to have pride of place in his office where visitors see them.

        In a New Zealand politician's trophy shelf?

        The paraphernalia is there for a message. It says "This is what is important to me". It's also a message for those who see it. It's a public statement.

        And that worries me. It is a signal to right wing nationalists that the values of the Trump campaign and administration are his- a visual dogwhistle, if you like.

        And I don't.

        MAGA? With its gun laws, racism, mass shootings, border walls, neglect of the poor, exultation of the rich, extreme nationalism, war-mongering, Empire-building, selfish individualism, obesity, inward-looking smugness, poor education and poor knowledge of the rest of the world.

        I bet it's not there to celebrate bluegrass, jazz, blues, American writers, painters, thinkers, artists, and all its diverse cultures………….

        • Robert Guyton

          And also on the shelf; expensive Chinese liquor.

          • Peter Chch

            The Chinese liquor worries me more than anything else. Another politician ready to sell our country for a few inflated directorships (read 'bribes') from the dragon?

            • mac1

              Maybe, Peter ChCh. Being the original fulminator I need to say that the MAGA hat may have a more innocent explanation. It'll be interesting to see whether it appears in the new office.

              The Chinese liquor may be as innocent as the bottle of Japanese sake on my shelf- a memento of a trip and a possible talking point, a tribute to a part of Chinese culture.

              Or, as you say, a symbol of more than cultural affinity, like the Irish and Scottish whisky/ey also on my shelf.

              But MAGA? That's an overt political message. Of what? I like Trump? I met Trump and he gave me a hat? I avow MAGA type politics and agenda? I am a magamaniac?

              I read today that Trump spoke approvingly of the "bloodlines" of Henry Ford, an avowed Anti-Semite, in an aside to his prepared speech (which points towards expression of personal opinions). That was a dogwhistle to the racist Right.


              In his first speech as Leader of the Opposition, Muller descended into the abyss of stereotyping people by even jokingly referring to red-haired people as being prone to disagreement. If a man has such an atonal dearness to the wrongness of that, what else is there in his MAGAzine?

        • Wayne

          You misunderstand the MAGA hat. National is always invited by the Republican Party to send a few up and comers to observe the Presidential election. Just as the Democrats do with Labour.

          Having the hat on display signifies that Todd was one of the MP's invited. It says to his colleagues that the Republicans had picked him out as a rising star. It is not, and is not meant to be, a signifier that he endorses Trumps policies. Trying to say it does will fail.

          It is much more sensible to measure Todd by what he has done and said here. In politics, the most notable being the principal advocate within the Caucus to back the Zero Carbon Bill and negotiating with James Shaw. This showed his colleagues three things.

          First, that he would do what was right, even though he knew it would displease a fair chunk of National. Two, that he was forward looking and could see that NZ needed to the right thing on climate change. Three, that he has the temperament and skill to negotiate across the Aisle on the things that matter.

          And those who saw his speech immediately after the leadership change, and have any sense of objectivity at all, will know that Labour will now have to watch out.

          • RedBaronCV

            Thanks Wayne for confirming that actually we do understand only too well. Todd and MAGA inclinations are a huge threat.

            If the repugs ( and even before Trump there was the tea party gang) see Todd as some body they may want to do business with in the near future then we should all be very very concerned.

            There is also the stunning lack of judgement in 2016 in even accepting such an invitation. Care to tell us who else has been on these repug jaunts since say 2000.

            There was one of those stuff fun polls in 2016 – but 70% voted for Bernie Saunders. Stop trying to use James Shaw as a now grossly undersized fig leaf.

          • Brigid

            " he was forward looking and could see that NZ needed to the right thing on climate change"

            Not so much Wayne.

            Remember when he " railed against an exhibit at Te Papa laying out several options for getting New Zealand's emissions down, calling it "biased and not science-based"."

      • Incognito 4.1.2

        It is just a hat for the occasion; John Key had and wore many hats, a different one for each occasion. His Make Amnesia Great Again hat was so well camouflaged that you could never tell he was wearing it and Key himself forgot about it too at times. It was pretty harmless, all in all.

    • Chris T 4.2

      TBF, it is making a bit of slight relief from the endless fluff pieces on Ardern.

      But agree it is noticeable.

    • Incognito 4.3

      Talking of fluff pieces, Steve Elers puts the boot into our Tova because the gal had the gall to state that Jacinda Ardern is the most popular PM in a century. Elers has quite a few axes to grind, purely out of academic interest, of course, and indeed, Tova failed to show the evidence.


      Unfortunately, Dr Elers doesn’t seem to know that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

      Also unfortunate is that Dr Elers then apparently supports the ‘analysis’ by the NZ Herald, which compared its Digipolls with the Newshub/Reid-Research poll of 1000 people. Any academic worth his ‘credentials’ would have pointed out the difference between these polls and their relative self-selection biases. However, this didn’t suit the narrative of the learned doctor and his proud denouncement of Tova’s “fake news”.

      That’s fake news, folks. Why? Because it isn’t true.


      Well, Dr Elers, you are spreading fake news too, you know, because you don’t know that it isn’t true. Now, be a man of integrity and go tell your students.

    • patricia 4.4

      agreed Barfly.

  5. Barfly 5

    "“The purpose of the National Party is to govern the country,” a National MP explained to me recently, “and that’s hard to do well, as those muppets-” he jerked his head at the Beehive, “are finding out”.

    Yeah right the old National born to rule gobshite quoted and unchallenged sigh.

  6. Anker 6

    I have been wondering how Christopher Luxtons doing right now…..”but that was my job, boo hoo”.

    another white male who has wanted to be PM since he was a boy…..aw shucks I have heard that one before.

    i think Jacinda should go hard and early with him….. Mr Muller states he has a plan..and I think he been so focussed on his plan that he has failed to see we have a plan and it is working and every one of my 20 cabinet ministers have made that happen (throw in a few eg such as David Parker securing trade agreement singapore, wood/Faifoi houses all homeless people, job agency set up by Carmel S, shovel ready projects past the first stage and ready to go in weeks, school lunch programme which will absorb some of the casualties of hospo. But it seems like Mr Muller was so busy working on his plan (to roll bridges), that he missed our plan and is stuck in the past firing off about kiwibuild.

    I think we all need to be afraid of Muller. His support of trump is deeply worryingly….his maiden speech about how he was Vice President of the United States and then the president died and I got the job forever, and his statement in his speech yesterday “I will be PM” are very real personality markers.

    Nikki Kaye somewhat feebly saying muller is one of the best people I know……and to that I say “time to get out more Niki

  7. aj 7

    Part of my lock-down viewing was catching up on a range of documentary films I had bookmarked for watching over the last year. 'Union Maids' was one of these, a compelling look back to a different era. (51mins)

    "Union Maids" is very much about trade-unionism but it's even more about three extraordinary women, Kate Hyndman, Stella Nowicki and Sylvia Woods who, in the course of three separate interviews, which are intercut with each other and with period newsreel footage, recall their lives as women laborers and union organizers in Chicago in the late 20's and 30's" (link)

    Sylvia Wood's hopeful comments right at the end would haunt her today.

    "I don't think american working people are going to let down this country, and I don't think any fascist bastards are going to take over either'

  8. What's going on with Matthew Hooton? He's quit Twitter, rumour is to join Muller's staff. He's been running a dirty politics campaign for his pal Todd and the media lapped it up

    • RedBaronCV 8.1

      There was the article below in the NZ Herald 18 May by Mathew saying that Winston should be sacked for his China comments. (Paywalled).I stumbled across a large reddit thread – don't know how to get back to it – that was wondering (!) why it was so favourable to China with a strong sub theme of concern about the NZherald – chinese edition – CCP influence.

      Other than that MH seems a risky choice as a news commentator now.


      • roblogic 8.1.1

        Yep I think it's pretty certain now that Hooton has signed up to the Muller camp, he's even deleted the Exceltium website. Interesting times, I hope this doesn't mean a return to Whaleoil-style gutter politics.

        • RedBaronCV

          I think the gutter politics is just sneaking round in the dark at the moment. Maybe he will be in charge of the non local donors.

          I find the NZ herald situation a bit worrying though. With a lack of money are they likely to be vulnerable to soft power money?

  9. joe90 9

    In the middle of a pandemic with tens of millions of "Muricans staring down the barrel at unprecedented levels of unemployment and years of economic misery, Needy Amin wags the dog.

  10. Incognito 10

    A very good and timely opinion piece on Māori and Pacific Island representation in NZ Medical Schools, which easily could be applied to all other areas of our society where (collective) needs of the community outweigh that of (privileged) individuals or groups of individuals.


    • ianmac 10.1

      When this blew up years ago I think the explanation was that while a student with lower grades gained initial entry, they had by the end of the first year of study to have pass grades at the same high level as all the other students.

      This allowed for racial differences and those students who had been at say ordinary small colleges without the automatic boosts that more privileged kids had had, were given a chance but still had to be top students.

      • Incognito 10.1.1

        Correct, it is only the entry level criteria that are slightly different.

      • RedBaronCV 10.1.2

        So they are meant to claw it all back in one year? I'd have thought maybe 2/3rds then the alst third the 2nd year.

        • ianmac

          Years ago they said that all candidates who had been accepted had to "pass" the end of year final exam. Any one regardless of their origins, had to pass and those who didn't had to look for another career. (Going on memory because I had to defend against the belief that those low level Maori get a free pass to be 2nd rate doctors. Not so of course.)

  11. ianmac 11

    Brian Easton writes a compelling column on the way forward. (I didn't understand the bulk of it but the last paragraphs make sense to me. And Todd Muller may be opting to repeat the Key English strategy?)


    The public debt ratio is expected to increase from about 19 percent today to about 54 … That’s a big lift; the fiscal response to the milder GFC lifted the ratio from about 7 percent of GDP in 2008 to 26 percent in 2013. … Now a debt-to-GDP of 54 percent is not bad by current international standards, …

    It would be prudent to get the ratio down but observe that the Key-English Government took five years to get it from 26 percent to 19 percent, nowhere near the level they started with. They did so by squeezing expenditure on public services to the point where the incoming Ardern-Peters Government found itself struggling to do the things we wanted them to do.

    Will we repeat that public sector squeeze? Or perhaps raise taxes? Or continue to maintain a high public debt ratio and fail to cope during the next great crisis? …

    See what has happened? In my view the government was right to borrow to get us through the Covid Crisis and reduce its economic damage. That means that while people will suffer economically (and thus far we have avoided the health suffering that some other countries are going through), we have done so by shifting part of the burden of the adjustment into the future.

    • RedBaronCV 11.1

      Nact will go for the squeeze every bit of expenditure (austerity on wheels) and chop working rights (think annual leave and sick leave) and benefits (like food parcels not money) as hard as they can.

      Otherwise the alternative is to redistribute by raising taxes on the wealthy. This is actually what we should do. IIRC the Nact high end tax cuts plus the GST switch took about $4 billion out of the public purse and dumped it into high earner hands per annum. The reverse moves plus some wealth taxes ( that catch in particular – overseas ownership by high net worth individuals of land etc here) plus some tech company taxes should get the lot paid back in about 5 years so it doesn't become a burden hanging over a whole generation.

      • Barfly 11.1.1

        Don't forget they would sell everything in sight.

      • ianmac 11.1.2

        My point is will Muller announce a plan of austerity and tax cuts in order to show that National is the Party to manage the revival? If so how would the Electorate react to that? (Remember the Health failures and the night school closures and the attacks on bludging beneficiaries?)

        • Barfly

          No he won't (my prediction)he will lie and spin and avoid any real plan but at the same time bang on and on about how National is better than Labour

          • RedBaronCV

            In the words of Rodney Hide I think? We'd never get elected if they knew our real agenda.

        • Incognito

          I’d welcome a plan from National that encapsulates more than five bullet points on a PowerPoint slide. I’d require independent analysis of its fiscal implications because we know how bad the Nats (cue: Joyce) are with numbers, big numbers, especially when it is somebody else’s money such as the Taxpayers’. The Green did this at the last election and set a good example.


          The Green Party also suggested the formation of a Policy Costings Unit (PCU), which has not (yet) been taken up, AFAIK.


          In other words, if you want us to trust you with our money, show us the money.

    • sumsuch 11.2

      Easton would be the finance minister in my govt of all the social-democratic talents. Of course that'd exclude … Labour.

      They are compromises. When they are straightforward again we'll vote for them straightforwardly. Or, the neediest will vote for their interests.

  12. joe90 12

    Regugs are generally touched but folk in the UK approaching bat boy abducted by lizard aliens levels of insanity is something else.

    According to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll, 44 percent of Republicans believe that Bill Gates is plotting to use a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign as a pretext to implant microchips in billions of people and monitor their movements — a widely debunked conspiracy theory with no basis in fact.

    The survey, which was conducted May 20 and 21, found that only 26 percent of Republicans correctly identify the story as false.

    In contrast, just 19 percent of Democrats believe the same spurious narrative about the Microsoft founder and public-health philanthropist. A majority of Democrats recognize that it’s not true.


    About 1 in 5 adults in England believe the coronavirus is to some extent a hoax, according to research on conspiracy theories by the University of Oxford.

    In addition, researchers found nearly 3 out of 5 adults in England believe the government is misleading them to some extent about the cause of the virus, and nearly 1 in 10 strongly agree that China developed the coronavirus to destroy the West — which is utterly false.


    • joe90 12.1

      Hoo boy…

      • McFlock 12.1.1

        Political rallies would be more fun if they believed AIDS was a hoax, too.

      • Andre 12.1.2

        I take a Darwinian view of whatever people like that end up visiting upon themselves. But the sad fact is there will inevitably be spillover onto people that have taken it seriously and taken reasonable precautions for self-protection but end up suffering and maybe even dying for other people's stupids.

      • Anne 12.1.3

        Didn't sound to me like there were too many people there. A handful of claps. No cheers and ra ras American style.

  13. NZJester 13

    What is up with the "Replies Tab" today? It was showing me replies sent to Byd0nz's comments. I refreshed and was showing me replies sent to Dennis Frank's comments. Every time I refresh the replies tab shows me replies sent to another user and not me. It seams to be linked somehow to the last person who posted a comment on the site and randomly picks them or the person they commented to when it picks who it thinks I am in the replies tab.

    • NZJester 13.1

      A short while after I posted my comment and a 3 refreshes later and it now is displaying me comments sent as replies to me.

    • NZJester 13.2

      Refreshed again and now it thinks I'm someone else again. First Andre and now joe90.

      Who will the reply tab think I am next?

      I'm using the 76.0.1 64bit Firefox browser.

      • RedBaronCV 13.2.1

        He he you are missing out jester. I get the replies to everyone not just selected posters. Our wonderful Lprent will fix this. I'm using firefox with the add on that doesn't let the isp see where I am

      • roblogic 13.2.2

        I'm using the new MS Edge (it's actually good) and get the same thing.

    • lprent 13.3

      It is a issue with the performance plugin update. Looks like it flicked over the object cache again. I need to fix that properly.

  14. Fireblade 14

    Can someone please tell me which one of these pale stale males is the new Nats leader?


  15. Andre 15

    The Master of the Looniverse getting his jollies wrecking things he doesn't understand:

    First the Intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty. Then the Iran nuclear agreement. Then the open skies treaty. Now he's talking about doing new nuclear weapons tests.


  16. Grafton Gully 16

    Get the money moving "rich pricks" – holiday in flash NZ hotels and get the wife to have dresses made by local dressmakers and milliners like the wonderful, inspirational and learned scholar and NZLP politician M Bassett's mum and suits for themselves made onshore by local tailors. Spend money locally on locally made items. Trend start fashionable NZ items, only so many can be made by each artisan so be in the know and "who is your tailor". Buy PAINTINGS. Wind down the offshore spend, spend it at home.

  17. Bazza64 17

    Good to see Shane Jones calling out Northland iwi for barring access to Cape Reinga as they claim it had to be spiritually cleansed to let the dying spirits depart. We need more straight talkers like Shane telling it like it is, not holding the rest of NZ to ransom with deluded beliefs & the usual nonsense.

  18. Bazza64 18

    @ I feel love, I have the same thoughts about all beliefs that there is no evidence for, which means all of them. Each to their own as long as they don’t try to push it on other people.

  19. lprent 19

    This is useful..

    T cells found in coronavirus patients ‘bode well’ for long-term immunity

    This a different immune system to the antibody mechanism. Could explain why people can get covid-19 without showing antibodies, and why the antibody tests have been somewhat 'variable' (apart from the huckster problem). Also the range of symptomatic responses to the disease.

    T cells are among the immune system's most powerful weapons, but their importance for battling SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been unclear. Now, two studies show infected people harbor T cells that target the virus—and may help them recover. Both studies also found that some people never infected with SARS-CoV-2 have these cellular defenses, most likely because they were previously infected with other coronaviruses that cause the common cold.

    Both T helpers and T killers.

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