Open mike 23/06/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 23rd, 2021 - 110 comments
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110 comments on “Open mike 23/06/2021 ”

  1. Jester 1

    This is a good news story to start the day! There are good people out there.

    From sleeping in a bus shelter to 'walking into a new light' after finding a place to call home |

    • Patricia Bremner 1.1

      Yes Jester, my first read of the day. Her smile said it all.

    • Sabine 1.2

      We should give the budget for the care and housing of homeless to the Salvation Army, they seem to be better suited to help our homeless whanau.

  2. Forget now 2

    Bloomfield says health authorities are meeting now to produce a list of places of interest which will be released "very shortly", possibly within the hour…He confirmed that the person visited a number of tourist sites in the capital.

    Health officials says it is the first time an Australian traveller has brought Covid-19 to New Zealand and then gone home.

    That's a way to wake up for the day! Wellington initiated infection webs have had since the 19th (to 21st) to spread undetected. Any change to Pandemic Alert Levels won't be until midnight, and it is unlikely that many Wellingtonians will bubble-up again without that.

    Can't think of a pithy summation for this.

    • Jenny how to get there 2.1

      I would expect all domestic flights in and out of wellington to be suspended as a precautionary measure.

      • Incognito 2.1.1

        VUW just had her mid-tem break starting, which means that loads of students are leaving the capital. Not good timing, if there’s ever a good time for an outbreak.

        Let’s see if scanning and testing numbers show a spike in the Wellington area.

        Aotearoa-Tai Wan?

        • alwyn

          "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future."

          One of the many comments by the great Danish physicist Niels Bohr. I am sure Incognito will reflect on this when he, with no doubt considerable humility, reconsiders the prediction he made last Friday evening. When responding to my complaints about the terrible slowness of New Zealand's vaccination program he assured us that we weren't going to have cases in the community for a least 100 days.

          " I’ll take 11 days off my earlier offer, so it’ll be 100 days, at least cheeky"

          In fact there was a case in the community about 8 hours later. I am assuming of course that the visitor from Sydney was infectious throughout his time in Wellington. From the DOH comments this morning that would seem to be the case.

          Now, are you going to tell us again that everything is wonderful and we have nothing to be concerned about. Or will you agree that until they get us a decent vaccination schedule and implement it we are all at risk from a major outbreak?

          • David

            Now imagine if we really were at the front of that queue.

            Bit like $1.9bn for five beds.

            Spin is easy. Action, meh.

            • alwyn

              Somebody should bring this to Hipkin's attention. For some peculiar reason he and Bloomfield seems to think they have to put Wellington into level 2!

              I see it doesn't apply till 6 pm though. I shall await with interest the massive exodus of the Crown Limo's to the airport as soon as Question time is over.

              The planes would all have headed out by 6 pm so that they can spread any possible infection they may have caught to the rest of the country. Why should we in Wellington be the only lucky ones?

              • Incognito

                The advice is that it is not a lockdown and that traveling is ok, but travellers should take the alert level with them, as always. Somebody should tell people (how) to breathe through their nose and not through any other orifice.

                Did you see the dates in that link, Alwyn? Even Niels Bohr saw it, and he’s long dead.

                • alwyn

                  Of course I saw the dates in the link. Obviously they aren't keeping it as up to date as they should be though.

                  Bloomfield, and I think Hipkins, said on Morning Report today (23rd) that they had been told on the previous evening ( the 22nd) about the Covid 19 positive person who had been in Wellington over the weekend.

                  Why is that not a case that occurred in the previous 24 hours as either "in the community" or "other"? They certainly didn't pick it up "at the border" did they?

                  Are you suggesting that they simply cease to exist if they leave the country?

                  • Incognito

                    Your reading comprehension is failing, again.

                    First, you badly misrepresented by comment from OM 18/06/2021. You may wish to read it again; it was quite short and simple.

                    Second, you fail to understand the info on the pivotal MoH information site.

                    Third, you ask (or is it suggest?) if I’m suggesting something. Clearly, I’m pointing you to facts and information, for your perusal and convenience.

                    I cannot do the thinking for you.


                    • alwyn

                      Well I have read it again and it says exactly the same thing as last time.

                      Perhaps you would care to explain in what way you claim that I have misrepresented you? Just claiming "I was misrepresented" really doesn't cut it.

                    • Incognito []

                      Sure. In OM 18/06/2021 I wrote this:

                      How long would you give it before we have another outbreak?

                      Another 111 days, at least.

                      In the follow-up comment, I took 11 days off.

                      This is just the first point. Have we dealt with this and can we tick it off now?

                    • alwyn

                      Your entire comment was

                      "You’re a tough negotiator. I’ll take 11 days off my earlier offer, so it’ll be 100 days, at least cheeky

                      Jacinda will (have to) save us again from our lack of compliance and vigilance wink".

                      I have highlighted the piece I quoted. Now how does quoting the exact words you used and missing out the bits just before and just after them somehow lead you to think that you are being misrepresented?

                      I was using the quote to justify my statement that "he assured us that we weren't going to have cases in the community for a least 100 days." What, after all, is an "outbreak" if not "cases in the community"?

                    • Incognito []

                      What, after all, is an “outbreak” if not “cases in the community”?

                      So close and yet so far.

              • Andre

                alwyn, I'm guessing you're spewing filthy irate about the way Judith has been regularly calling for travel bubbles?

                Or not?

                • McFlock

                  they're too busy masturbating about the prospect of an outbreak to notice.

                • alwyn

                  I have no idea what you are talking about.

                  My own opinion is that I am very unhappy about having these bubbles, when there are active cases in the other country in the bubble, until every person in New Zealand for whom a vaccine is suitable has had the chance to be vaccinated. When we have the appalling low numbers of people vaccinated that we have at the moment we should certainly not have a bubble with Australia.

                  We were promised that we were at the front of the queue for getting vaccines and we certainly aren't. Well get on and vaccinate people and then you can have a bubble.

                  Otherwise stop lying to us and tell us the truth. Don't keep talking about how well we are supposed to be doing when we are far behind all the comparable countries for vaccinations being performed.

                  If we can't get the vaccine doses say so. Waffling about how we are going to lead in vaccinating teenagers when we can't even vaccinate the people who are most susceptible is not an acceptable activity.

                  Now, what are you talking about when you mention Judith? What has the current Government's failures got to do with her?

                  • Andre

                    Link needed for your repeated assertion that "we were promised we were at the front of the queue".

                    The relevance of Judith is that how well the government has performed cannot reasonably be completely assessed in complete isolation; what the one-and-only plausible alternative government would likely have done is also highly relevant to assessing the government's performance.

                    While I think allowing travel bubbles with Australia was way premature, and the handling of potential transmissions from travel bubblers has not been good, those really are small blemishes on what has been overall a very good job of handling the task of keeping our population safe and healthy. Particularly by comparison to what the opposition would likely have done judging by their frequent statements around easing restrictions for the purpose of trying to create more economic activity.

                    When it comes to getting vaccine doses delivered here and into local shoulders, the government really has been quite communicative about the likely schedule of shipments and vaccinations. What has actually happened has in fact tracked remarkably closely to what was mapped out very early this year, when all the factors were very uncertain and any plans made could only reasonably regarded as very tentative given the unknowns around production ramp-ups, disease progression in other countries and multitudes of other factors.

                    Of course, you may have missed all that if your entire focus is just finding things to whine about.

                    • alwyn


                      Hipkins told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning New Zealand was "very well placed" to get its hands on successful vaccines for the virus, which has so far killed more than 1.3 million people worldwide.

                      "Without going into detail I think we're in a very good place to ensure that as vaccines start to come to market New Zealand will be at the front of the queue to be getting vaccines," he said.


                      November 17 last year.

                    • Andre

                      Well, alwyn, if that one single statement in the midst of a very fluid situation a long time ago has got you all exercised, I really can't imagine how you function at all in the midst of being so consumed by ancient petty grievances.

                      I guess you can console yourself with getting your vaccination ahead ahead of roughly 3/4 of the world's population. Who have been living with the serious threat of actually getting covid, while you have had the luxury of only being at infinitesimal risk of getting covid. Which has evidently left you plenty of time to search for the tiniest things you could blow up into something to whine about.

                      edit: I kinda wonder what I would find if I pored over your past statements with the same level of detail? Say, by doing a search on alwyn thornley for instance?

                    • alwyn

                      You sound a bit upset that I produced so quickly Hipkins saying what I claimed he had said.

                      On the other hand you really don't make any sense at all with your last paragraph. Are you really claiming that I am someone called 'alwyn thornley'. I can assure you you are being about as rational with that as someone would be if they assumed you were Andre Agassi.

                      Who is this thornley person anyway? Someone who said you were an idiot or something and has been in your black book ever since?

                    • Incognito []

                      Alwyn, don’t play dumb with us please or do you have selective amnesia just as John Key had?

                    • In Vino

                      Revealing, alwyn. You choose to ignore the middle paragraph, which I think a valid criticism of most of your recent contributions. Poor diddums thinks he hasn't got his jab quickly enough in a country where the disease is not raging country-wide…

                      Any examples of countries like NZ where there is almost no Covid, and the majority of the population has already been vaccinated?

                      And the 'idiot' implication in your final sentence reflects more poorly upon the writer than the target. Innocence is fine, but innocence with venom smacks of predatory intent.

    • MindPilot 2.2


    • satty 2.3

      So the first location of interest after the infected person's arrival and hotel stay over night is a pharmacy… would be interesting to know why the person decided to go there first on a holiday.

      Could it be that some people don't behave responsibly in a pandemic?

      Isn't a complete lockdown of Wellington more expensive than the gain of some Australian tourists here?

      • Jenny how to get there 2.3.1

        It seems from the report of the places visited, that the infected person was not in Wellington for any particular reason, other than visiting Te Papa and going to a bar.

        I mean really?

        It all seems a bit of a frivolous reason to cram into to a passenger jet with dozens of strangers during an outbreak of covid-19 for an idle weekend jaunt across the Tasman.

        Couldn't they get their Museum and pub fix in Sydney?

        And if a visit to Te Papa was really on their bucket list, couldn't they wait just a few months

        In the midst of a pandemic shouldn't people at least have some semi-serious reason to cross borders?

      • greywarshark 2.3.2

        Excellent question satty. We're all glad you asked that. I hope some in the Min. of Health is expanding their watchful and precautionary efforts, and will graduate from their test as the Ministry of Health.

      • Sabine 2.3.3

        i don't know, have you got relatives that work at Te Papa, The Ryders hotel, the Pharmacy, the Pub etc?

        Ask them if the cost of locking down Wellington for the next two weeks is to high?

        And if you blame someone who comes here legally and with the blessing of the Government, then you also need to blame the Government for not closing down flights from Sidney to NZ after their outbreak that started at early last week. Cause if they would, the guy would have not come here late on Friday night? or is that an inconvenient truth?

    • JO 2.4

      A Surreal situation suddenly seems so real?

    • JO 2.5

      A Surreal situation suddenly seems so real

      • Jenny how to get there 2.5.1

        I get it.

        They came to see the Surrealist Exhibition, which is only in Wellington for a limited time.

        My point still stands.

        Couldn't they wait til that exhibition was brought to Sydney?

        The purpose of bringing an exhibition half way around the world is so that people from this part of the world don't have to travel to see it.

        Sorta defeats the purpose.

        World famous collection of Surrealism coming to Te Papa

        Thu 25 Mar 2021

        Surrealist Art: Masterpieces from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen | He Toi Pohewa: He Toi Marupō o Muhiama o Boijmans Van Beuningen opens Saturday 12 June and runs until 31 October 2021 in Te Papa’s gallery, Toi Art.

        The 180 fascinating pieces include major works by artists such as Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Leonora Carrington, René Magritte, and Marcel Duchamp.

        Te Papa is the only venue in the Asia Pacific region to host the exhibition.

        I can understand someone getting excited about this.

        Especially if they are an art afficionado with a special appreciation of surrealism.

        It's just a shame that their local museum or art gallery didn't have the wit to organise something like this.

        Surreal alright.

        • Sacha

          We have not been told why they visited – seems just as likely to be to see friends or family.

    • Jenny how to get there 2.6

      As the saying goes, luck favours the bold.

      The fortunes of this government rises and falls on their response to the pandemic.

      Which so far has been bold and world beating, with a little bit of luck thrown in.

      Let us all pray that the government can be bold and lucky again.

      To take whatever measures the experts reccomend and keep their fingers crossed.

      Contact tracing is good.
      To her credit it seems the visitor was using the QR code.
      All close contacts are self isolating.
      We may well nip this one in the bud.
      Let's hope so.
      Let us also, as we have from all past slip ups, learn from this.

      • Incognito 2.6.1

        She was a he, apparently.

        He had received one shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

        Why has nobody mentioned that this case was vaccinated?

        A: because it doesn’t suit the narrative.

        • Sabine

          Because to be fully vaccinated with the Astra Zeneca you need two shots.

          And even with both shots its not said you can or can't distribute the virus. All that is said now with certainty is that you will not die if you are vaccinated and you still get infected with Covid. And yeah, the scientists are not gonna state one thing or another until they have had more tests.

          Fact is that the bubble with NSW should have been closed down for a few weeks.

          But maybe that too does not serve the narrative of some.

          • Incognito

            One shot is better than none, as it gives some protection. Do you know the facts (or do you prefer data?) about how much protection? Didn’t think so.

            Where do you get your info from? Please provide a link that shows the death rate of fully vaccinated people is zero, thanks.

            Fact is that your factoids are mostly your opinions and your narrative shows it.

    • McFlock 2.7

      First flag will be to see how many passengers on the same flights have been infected.

      On a lighter note, with a bit of perspective:

      Alert level 2 is basically alert level 1 except now you have to actually do the stuff you’re supposed to do at alert level 1 because we are now in alert level 2

  3. mpledger 3

    I wish the government would stop pandering to the airlines and close down routes as soon as an outbreak is detected in an Australian city. They were slow to act on Melbourne outbreak and we got lucky, they didn't act on the Sydney outbreak and now we are all worried about the potential cost of lockdowns and the harm to people with chronic illnesses. The airlines don't pay the cost when something like this happens, everyone else does.

    I'm pissed off because passengers from the airport catch the bus service I use and on Monday I pulled down my mask to try and calm down a situation that was looking to become very heated (voices don't travel well through masks). It was wet and the bus was jam-packed (the previous bus had been cancelled) so it was a recipe for a super-spreader event.

    • Sabine 3.1

      The government can pander to the air company or others that want open borders for business, or it can continue to shovel money to these businesses.

      It choose to open the borders. Now lets hope just again that we get lucky.

  4. Anne 4

    Thank God for Siouxsie Wiles, Michael Baker and others. They have always been accurate with their predictions. Baker warned us 36 hours ago that the Delta variant would certainly get to NZ. We don't know yet but the case is most likely the Delta variant.

    • Sabine 4.1

      Some here have been arguing that for the last several month now. Anyone who is not fooling themselves know that we had so much luck since August last year, it ain't funny anymore.

      But then i guess 'we' are negative, when trying to tell people that we are sitting ducks.

      Heck i would not want to be a min wage worker at Te Papa or at a Pub in the age group of 'maybe end of year there will be a vaccination' for you.

      • Foreign Waka 4.1.1

        Just imagine all the cleaners at the airport. I am sure the execs isolate already.

        • Sabine

          Yep, the staff at the Pub, the toilet cleaners at Te Papa/Airport, the Pharmacy workers, etc etc etc, and chances are not a single one has recieved a vaccine, cause they are not in a "risk" group.

          Anyways, i send the resident bloke to go shopping preparing for a potential lockdown.

          I know, i am being negative and pessimistic. 🙂

    • greywarshark 4.2

      The newspaper report said that someone catching C19 had been within a metre from the infected person. I have read a suggestion that we should keep our distance from each other for ever, a chilling idea.

    • Jimmy 4.3

      "Baker warned us 36 hours ago that the Delta variant would certainly get to NZ."

      That's pretty much stating the obvious. I think anyone could have told us we are not immune down here (but isolated) so it just takes longer to arrive, but eventually we were bound to get it.

  5. Pete 5

    A paywalled story in the Herald today is headlined "National MP, Parliamentary Service silent on allegations of misuse of taxpayers' money."

    "A National Party MP faced allegations of inappropriate spending of taxpayer money – allegations the MP is refusing to front on and which Parliamentary Service refuses to discuss under the cone of silence that protects MPs.

    Sources inside the National Party have told NZME that a staff member of the MP flagged a concern in the last term of Parliament, alleging items of furniture were bought out of the MP's taxpayer funds but did not appear in the office.

    The items of furniture are understood to include a television."

    If it had been a Labour MP this would be the big story of the day on Kiwiblog. The boot would be well and truly put in. Names would have been be suggested and hinted at, the more the merrier, to tear the whole lot.

    Funnily enough, the keen righteous eyes on there haven't mentioned it yet. There's no comment from the good knights of the Taxpayers' Union either.

    • Sabine 5.1

      Is that a service run by National?

      which Parliamentary Service refuses to discuss under the cone of silence that protects MPs.

  6. Foreign Waka 6

    I just hope this government is not contemplation to pay another few billions to corporates.

    It would be the last straw in my book. I would vote 100% certain for David Seymour. Just to make sure that I contribute to the pendulum swinging back .

    • Sabine 6.1

      The best that can happen is that neither Labour nor National will receive enough votes to go it 'their' way, but that they are both forced to go into a coaltion agreement. And i hope that the Greens of NZ have a look at the Greens in Germany and realise that they need to be able to form with any party a government if they want to be in government and not just a water carrier for labour. Time to grow up for MMP in NZ.

    • Anne 6.2

      I would vote 100% certain for David Seymour.

      That would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      Be rest assured, if ACT became the government they would be wholly owned by the big corporates and the rest of us would become their vassals… dependent upon their non existent largesse.

      There would be no state run services for education, health, transport and other essential services. They would be owned and run by corporates purely for corporate profit.

      God Help us.

      • Sabine 6.2.1

        Considering the awesome choice that we have in regards to our beige suits in parliament we truly need a God to help us. But then maybe God is just bored and this is just a unpleasant God having a bit of fun with us?

      • Foreign waka 6.2.2

        Are we not already sold out in a different form? I mean look at all the indicators, whether hospitals or education, poverty or housing (1 million to hoteliers per day!). Transport ??? What transport ? Transport is already private as it is contracted out and the news is that services are reduced to practically nothing. Meanwhile, the infrastructure is falling apart and the 1 billion allocated will take years to get where it should be and on that way the money being whittled down by inflation and "fees" for the endless reviews. We need a different approach, less dishonesty and trickery and more performance.

        Not sure what is better but I doubt that ACT would become the government. It sure would put the pressure on to perform and not feed us political correctness at ad nauseam. So strategic voting is a must in this environment.

    • greywarshark 6.3

      Give your vote to Winnie FW – he is not so toxic.

  7. greywarshark 7

    This is a great story and shows what prisoners could do if they were encouraged to think of an idea that would be good and practical, and work out plans and get materials and do it. Goal and vision-centred habilitation not hours of boredom and attempts to break their spirit.

    Note the recurring phrase – ‘I can do this’. The can-do spirit will save NZ;s living people (who haven’t turned into zombie money-blotting paper).

  8. Historian Pete 8

    [Text deleted.

    None of your quotes could be found through a search. Your reference is obscure too. You have not provided a decent link, as requested.

    You’re wasting Moderator time and are heading for a permanent ban – Incognito]

    • Incognito 8.1

      See my Moderation note @ 11:22 am.

    • Cricklewood 8.2

      Censoring Open Mike?

      Or was it a comment that put the site at risk…

      [If you cannot tell the difference between censoring and moderating then I’m happy to show you – Incognito]

      • Cricklewood 8.2.1

        I can't tell when the offending post is deleted… do get it when its under an authors post not so much open mike…

        • Incognito

          I put the offender in Pre-Moderation yesterday. They chose to ignore it and be stupid about it too. They’re still in Pre-Moderation, where they belong, for now, obviously.

          Are they a friend of yours? Or just bored today? In any case, you don’t need to concern yourself with it 😊

          • Cricklewood

            Just curious dont remember the last time I saw a whole comment sctrached… usually it stands with a scathing piece of moderation under it

            • Incognito

              Too much curiosity can be dangerous 😉 For your convenience:

              Whole comments are deleted, occasionally, for various reasons. We currently have one commenter who failed to respond to moderation and who has recently been moved from Pre-Moderation to the Black list and IIRC, some of their comments were deleted to catch their attention, to no avail. Much happens in the back-end, out of your sight.

              An important lesson: don’t waste Moderator time and pay heed to their notes.

  9. greywarshark 9

    The I can do it spirit was here in our early colonial days. I'm just looking at a book of pen portraits of parts of Dunedin with bits of their history. It was done by Shona McFarlane, talented artist, journalist and broadcaster and vivacious wife of an MP finer than most others today, particularly in the National Party.

    McFarlane was married to National Arts Minister Allan Highet from 1976

    In her book 'Dunedin – Portrait of a City' she has a vignette on the Woodhaugh Paper Mill which illustrates the pattern of NZ development from go to whoa at present. (In the Nelson Mail of 21 June a tech business CE Alex Fala talks about our need for exports to bring growth – remember hearing this for decades already)!

    Shona wrote in 1970: Brown paper was made from grass at the Woodhaugh Paper Mill in 1877. It was taken over by New Zealand Paper Mills in 1905 and paper was manufactured here until the plant was shifted to Mataura in 1935. The mill building now belongs to the Argent Packaging Company.

    Wikipedia says about Mataura Paper Mills: In late 1904 as a means of ending an unprofitable price war between Mataura Falls Paper Mill, Otago Paper Mills at Woodhaugh near Dunedin and Riverhead Paper Mills at Auckland these companies amalgamated into a new company called the New Zealand Paper Mills. ..

    In 1960 Fletchers Ltd bought an interest in the company. As a result of their injection of new capital the mill was completely modernised.

    In 1964 NZ Forest Products took a 30% share in the company with Fletchers having 30%. On 8 July 1970 NZ Forest Products took complete ownership of New Zealand Paper Mills.[26] In 1976 the mill celebrated its centennial year….

    Between 1984 and 1991, due to upgrades and efficiency gains, productively had increased by 25% with 216 staff…

    By 1990 the mill, owned by NZ Forest Products, had become a division of Elder Resources, until it was taken over by Carter Holt Harvey in 1991

    By the late 20th century the mill was coming under intense pressure from Asian competitors which had depressed the world price for paper, and as a result the mill was losing NZ$1 million a year. Faced with these losses and forecasts that they would continue, and with the mill contributing only 3% of Carter Harvey Holt [sic] output by volume, the company closed the mill on 18 August 2000 with 155 staff being made redundant.

    So there goes a good working mill producing adequately, and able to supply NZ but with free market open-borders Asian competitors could white-ant the country, and 155 staff, and probably at least 100 homes lost their income.

    Now the same thing is happening at Kawerau.* Can some of the vestiges of intelligent and practical people in NZ plot their way to obtaining the plant at knock-down prices and keep local business going, and some export where possible. But f..k the export-first and put NZ people first. Growth is no longer the magic word, you blind dupes out there in business land. We hardly make anything for ourselves. We are forced to import because that sector has killed our small businesses and the large underclass under middle class fancies, cannot afford to pay for NZ made on the low wages received.

    The economy is out of kilter, and it's killing us and our attempt at civilisation here in post-Eden. Let's try for balance, look after what's left of Eden, and keep strong commitment to practicality not style-first, not fashion, not appearance before durability. and enable those companies concentrating on the domestic market to continue profitably with effectiveness as well as efficiency, perhaps with special tax rates based on number of employees. Keep NZ alive.

    • The Tasman Mill site is a pulp and paper mill located on Fletcher Avenue just outside the town of Kawerau in New Zealand. The Tasman Mill site is the largest single employer in the Eastern Bay of Plenty region. Wikipedia
    • Ad 9.1

      No point subsidizing low quality paper since no one wants it.

      Fast going the way of coarse wool sheep for carpet: uneconomic and near dead.

      • Sacha 9.1.1

        Agreed. If they can repurpose the mill to make furniture or something, it may have a future.

      • greywarshark 9.1.2

        News print – I thought that papers were looking for supplies. I would suggest that the glossy inserts be printed on it also. And that glossy magazines also change over, they are fashion icons, costly, very heavy, and a great lot of ink and extra processing to get that finish.

        Coarse wool carpet – with oil getting more expensive it should be back in demand. It is lower fire risk and also insulates and quietens the house – wood floors as at present being used often come with heating underneath which unless it arises from static heat-soakers means energy required. Get sheep station owners to pay into a fund with government topping up – can be done if they wanted to have a real economy that provides a base for people who want basic lives with money saved for special treats. That would be heaven to many.

        The thumbs down on everything because there isn't an immediate market is poor thinking. The items can be sold with an environmental message – the thinking you give sounds 20th century type.

        • Ad

          They have been trying with wool carpets to get them more popular for 20 years. We used to have a whole marketing board for that kind of thing, and is still around. Just hasn't worked. Almost all the mills are gone from NZ. You want to find value-add you have to look at tiny batches of cottage dyers and weavers who do it for a hobby.

          Kawerau is being shut down as a paper mill for the same reason. Newspapers are in freefall, printed stationery is dead, packaging is its last stand.

          We don't need to be a mass producer of bulk, high-mass, heavy, low-value products that the world just doesn't want.

          So nor do we need to keep the factories open that make them.

          • gsays

            On the subject of marketing wool, the awareness of microplastics appearing in fish, our diet and in water should make that job a lot easier.

            Sometimes I think the same folk are moonlighting at NZNO.

          • RedBaronCv

            I can see us using a lot more wool for insulation with plastics (which is what a lot of it is ) on the way out.

            As to kawerau – if we factored in the green cost of transport etc and maybe had a border levy to cover the lower health and OSh standards that are in places offshore – this mill might look a whole lot better – plus used the local multiplier effects similar to those we should use when letting contracts.
            Plus remember this is a lesser profit entity than others for the owners. Doesn’t mean that it is totally unprofitable and maybe with some automation upgrades it would help our national resilience, There are huge risks in everything being done overseas and if it is all in one or two countries there is an overall strategic risk

            • Andre

              With sheep burping 1kg of methane for every kg of wool they produce, that insulation is going to be needed against heat, not cold.

              • RedBaronCv

                smile! but sheep do eat wilding pines seedlings.

              • Adrian

                Are these the same sheep that have been burping and farting for millennia?.

                • Andre


                  In New Zealand,there weren't any sheep (or sheep-like creatures) at all until 150-ish years ago.

                  Over the rest of the world, we humans have vastly increased the numbers of burping sheep (and other ruminants) over the last couple hundred years compared to the small numbers that used to exist before then.

                  This huge increase in burping ruminants is a significant part of why methane concentrations in the atmosphere are now around 1900ppb compared to around 800ppb two or three hundred years ago. That extra 1100ppb is responsible for somewhere around 1/4 to 1/3 of the warming we have experienced.

                  • Maurice

                    … and just how many burping Buffalo were wandering the American Plains – before they were wiped out in the 19th Century?

                    50,000,000 to 60,000,000 are the most common numbers cited as total buffalo population in the early 1800s.

                    • Pat

                      from memory about half the number of cattle currently farmed in the US

                    • Maurice

                      The United States is home to approximately 94.4 million cattle and calves as of 2020, a decrease from 94.8 million cattle and calves in 2019. There are over three times more beef cows than milk cows living in the United States.

  10. Sacha 10

    Record bank profits on back of housing bubble.

    KPMG found bank profits had also been swelled as they scaled back projections for losses on loans as the expected Covid-19 economic crisis has proved less grim than originally expected, with unemployment remaining low.

    Sixty​ per cent of new lending was to people who already owned homes.

    Six​ of the largest nine​ retail banks had increased the amount they earned from every dollar lent (after their borrowing costs were deducted) in the year to March 30, KPMG found.

    • AB 10.1

      Good business model they have – create new money, lend it at interest, then vaporise the principal when the loan is paid back. Rinse and repeat. A magic money tree.

      • Brigid 10.1.1

        Well buggar me why doesn't the gummint set up a few banks around the place and do the same?

        Someone tell Robertson. I bet he doesn't know banks do this.

    • Sabine 10.2

      That was to be expected tho? Seriously the idea that the banks will lend to closed businesses during a global pandemic during lockdowns? Who really did believe that.

      So the money went were the banks like it, to people that already have money, or at least equity. Bingo! Why, it almost seems as if some people will make great bank out of this pandemic.

    • RedBaronCv 10.3

      And rabobank has stopped having transaction only customers. Issuing a banking licence should come with a lot of conditions of service to the public and the Reserve Bank needs to get onto this before it is too late. If banks only want to take customers who have loans or use the internet then where does it leave the rest of the community. And I strongly suspect that is end game for most of the banks not that they would say so.

  11. Jenny how to get there 11

    Aussie goverment tells UNESCO, bugger off cobber. It's ours we can do what we like with it.

    Blames China.

    It was China wot did it

    United Nations recommends Great Barrier Reef be added to World Heritage list, angering Australia

    46 minutes ago

    ….Speaking on condition of anonymity, a government official told Reuters that China had been responsible for the committee's stance.

    "We will appeal, but China is in control," the source said.

    China rejected the assertion that it was behind the move, however.

    "What you mentioned is a groundless smear against China," foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, told a daily briefing in Beijing, adding that the accusation was similar to others made against China, regarding its "ulterior political motives"…

    ….Environmental groups gave short shrift to the notion that politics played a part in the adverse recommendation, saying it was clear Australia was not doing enough to protect the reef.

    “There is no avenue for any government to have any input. This recommendation is reached by world renowned scientists,” said Richard Leck, Head of Oceans for the World Wide Fund for Nature, Australia.

    • Jenny how to get there 11.1

      50% of the Great Barrier Reef is dead

      According to the Australian government it's China's fault for bringing this to the world's attention.

      Yeah right. Like we wouldn't notice this by ourselves.

      The Great Barrier Reef Has Now Lost 50% of its Coral

      A new study published has found a loss accross all coral populations. We now known that since 1995, coral populations in the Great Barrier Reef has declined by at least 50 percent. Sadly, this applies to every coral species within the reef, no matter the size, depth or species of the coral. It is a horrible, but very real testament to the power and impact of climate change.

    • greywarshark 11.2

      Australia is enhancing the name it got for itself in the 60's-70's as being common, uncultured, posturing.

  12. Sabine 12

    Well at least they are now 'tightening' the restrictions. Thanks a bunch, you should have done that last week.

    NSW has banned non-essential travel outside of Sydney and made mask-wearing mandatory everywhere after the state today recorded 16 new locally acquired Covid cases.

  13. Pete 13

    Did I see and hear that right? David Seymour in the House trying to pin blame on the Government, Chris Hipkins, that people weren't using the Covid tracing app?

    The party which has individual responsibility and being left alone to do the right thing as its core belief, blaming the Government when people don't make the 'right' decision?

    • I Feel Love 13.1

      Self proclaimed"Libertarians" don't get irony.

    • Sabine 13.2

      Not sure why the Hologram would ask about that particular thing, when the questions should have simply be : Why did the government not shut down quarantine free travel with Sidney once their outbreak started last week.

      This is from 5 days ago, and surely our government had the same information. Since then, new cases emerged daily, and it is only today that the NSW Gov banned 'non essential' travel out of Sidney. (as per my earlier post above)

      But then, once a hologram, always a hologram.

      • Pete 13.2.1

        Didn't ask that question because the answer was obvious?

        • Sabine

          What is so obvious about it? Mind elaborating on that?

          As for the scanning in, in the same sense as you can't make people get a vaccine, you can't force them to scan in.

          Now why did they not shut down border, and even only out of an overabundance of caution?

          • I Feel Love

            Yes, but Seymour, the "libertarian" is hardly going to call for more Govt control, unless he's a hypocrite? Surely not.

          • Pete

            Because of the likely reaction which would have been hysterical (again) about the an "over-reaction." Because of the over-the-top reaction about how the government was intent on destroying businesses?

            Of course you wouldn't have been on those sorts of wagons would you?

            One man's "overabundance of caution" is another's "Nazi dictatorship." That's the movie we've been experiencing since February/March last year.

            • Sabine

              there would have been no more calls then the other time we closed the border to Indians, or with Melbourne.

              the government openeth the bubble, the government closeth the bubble. Unless the opposition is now so fearsome that the government is somewhere hiding under desks doing what Judith Collins is demanding them to do. In that case we need a new government.

              • Incognito

                In that case we need a new government.

                In this case, we need better commenters.

    • Anne 13.3

      He was on TV1 this evening complaining about the fact that the government learnt last night about the circumstances surrounding the latest Covid case but didn't tell us until this morning.

      The health experts worked their pants off until midnight collating the information but we weren’t told… wa wa wa! The fact 90% of us were tucked up our beds by then (no doubt including himself) seems to have escaped the little turd.

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