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.

    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."

    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… 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.

  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.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 14, 2024 thru Sat, July 20, 2024. Story of the week As reflected by preponderance of coverage, our Story of the Week is Project 2025. Until now traveling ...
    2 hours ago
  • I'd like to share what I did this weekend

    This weekend, a friend pointed out someone who said they’d like to read my posts, but didn’t want to pay. And my first reaction was sympathy.I’ve already told folks that if they can’t comfortably subscribe, and would like to read, I’d be happy to offer free subscriptions. I don’t want ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    10 hours ago
  • For the children – Why mere sentiment can be a misleading force in our lives, and lead to unex...

    National: The Party of ‘Law and Order’ IntroductionThis weekend, the Government formally kicked off one of their flagship policy programs: a military style boot camp that New Zealand has experimented with over the past 50 years. Cartoon credit: Guy BodyIt’s very popular with the National Party’s Law and Order image, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    12 hours ago
  • A friend in uncertain times

    Day one of the solo leg of my long journey home begins with my favourite sound: footfalls in an empty street. 5.00 am and it’s already light and already too warm, almost.If I can make the train that leaves Budapest later this hour I could be in Belgrade by nightfall; ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    16 hours ago
  • The Chaotic World of Male Diet Influencers

    Hi,We’ll get to the horrific world of male diet influencers (AKA Beefy Boys) shortly, but first you will be glad to know that since I sent out the Webworm explaining why the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was not a false flag operation, I’ve heard from a load of people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    16 hours ago
  • It's Starting To Look A Lot Like… Y2K

    Do you remember Y2K, the threat that hung over humanity in the closing days of the twentieth century? Horror scenarios of planes falling from the sky, electronic payments failing and ATMs refusing to dispense cash. As for your VCR following instructions and recording your favourite show - forget about it.All ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    3 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    3 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    3 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    3 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket. to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    4 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    5 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    5 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    6 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1

    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor

    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15

    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15

    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?

    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    7 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution

    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky

    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15

    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond

    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?

    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ

    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28

    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    1 week ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response

    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment

    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President

    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Questions from God

    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The politics of money and influence

    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity

    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago

  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    1 day ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    1 day ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    2 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    2 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    2 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    2 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    2 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    3 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    3 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    3 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    4 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    4 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    4 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    4 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    4 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    5 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    5 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    6 days ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    6 days ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    7 days ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    7 days ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    1 week ago
  • District Court judges appointed

    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    1 week ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins

    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    1 week ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended

    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    1 week ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance

    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones

    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    1 week ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress

    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    1 week ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    1 week ago
  • Government creates MAG for retail crime victims

    The coalition Government is establishing a Ministerial Advisory Group for the victims of retail crime, as part of its plan to restore law and order, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee says.  “New Zealand has seen an exponential growth in retail crime over the past five ...
    1 week ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    1 week ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban

    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    1 week ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    1 week ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state

    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    1 week ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-07-21T10:23:40+00:00