Open mike 23/06/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 23rd, 2022 - 269 comments
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269 comments on “Open mike 23/06/2022 ”

  1. Mike the Lefty 1

    I have seen several pieces written recently warning of the dangers of commercialising the new Matariki public holiday.

    On one hand, I can agree with the sentiments, but on the other hand you have to ask why Matariki should be protected from commercialisation whilst our other holidays are openly exploited – Christmas being a prime example. Did you ever see a religious festival more corrupted by commercial interests than Christmas?

    And then there is Anzac Day. Like a real public holiday until 1 pm and then it is back to business as usual.

    Now Babycity is the latest outfit obliged to apologise because it wanted to promote a Matariki holiday sale.

    I wish non-Maoris had as much power to reclaim our public holidays from commercial exploitation.

    • Molly 1.1

      Most Maori don't have that power. Nor Pakeha.

      Baby city – by apologising – is catering to the demands of a small, but vocal group of people – background unknown – who have been given social authority and political power to admonish individuals, organisations and businesses without providing evidence of harm.

      A business should be able to have a sale named after the holiday on which it falls.

      That's true equality – treating all holidays the same.

    • Sacha 1.2

      A new public holiday enters the current cultural context. This is our first one for ages. Let's see where it settles in. The sky is not falling.

    • Gosman 1.3

      What is wrong exactly with commercialising public holidays

      • Robert Guyton 1.3.1

        All businesses should be free to operate anywhere, anytime, anyhow they wish, right, Gosman?

    • weka 1.4

      I wish non-Maoris had as much power to reclaim our public holidays from commercial exploitation.

      I do too. Perhaps we should support Māori because they will show how it is done and it will then be easier for non-Māori to organise and make gains.

      • Gosman 1.4.1

        Or perhaps you will see how difficult it will be for Maori to stop the commercialisation of the Matariki public holiday and realise the futility of doing the same with other ones.

    • I Feel Love 1.5

      "I wish non-Maoris had as much power to reclaim our public holidays from commercial exploitation." – there's nothing stopping you.

    • Belladonna 1.6

      On a slightly side note, I was interested to listen this morning to Nat Rad interviewing various iwi representatives basically saying 'Matariki? Not our festival'

      Many iwi, including some of the largest, celebrate Puanga (rising of the brightest star in Orion) as their mid-winter solstice celebration. Different time, different stars/constellation, different stories.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    Mike the Lefty: "…Did you ever see a religious festival more corrupted by commercial interests than Christmas..?"

    Easter: "Hold my beer"

    • Jimmy 2.1

      Cadburys and Whittakers favourite time of the year….Easter!

    • Belladonna 2.2

      Absolutely agree. From a Christian religious perspective, the blatant and exploitative commercialization of the most holy of their festivals is utterly abhorrent.

      You don't have to be a believer to understand why they think that way.

  3. Jenny how to get there 3

    In the wake of the deadly earthquake in Afghanistan, will the estimated $9 billion looted from the Afghanistan government accounts be released to help the humanitarian disaster relief effort?

    • Jenny how to get there 3.1

      American imperialism; avaricious, usurious arrogant and domineering when expansive. Is nasty, cruel, and vindictive, in defeat.

      After ten years of bombing poisoning and killing in Vietnam, the US never honoured their agreement with the communist Hanoi government, to pay reparations for US aggression in Vietnam.

      The Forgotten Debt to Vietnam

      • Nov. 18, 2000

      ….Vietnam prevailed in the war, but it was Vietnam, and not the United States, that saw its land devastated, and it is the United States that has the power now to heal the lasting damage both to Vietnam and to the relationship of our two countries. We should give the Vietnamese the kind of substantial aid we once gave to Germany and Japan. It is time to forgive them for winning.

      Things haven't changed,

      After Horrific Earthquake, US Pushed to Return Billions It 'Stole Like Crooks' From Afghans

      Afghans for a Better Tomorrow said President Joe Biden "should move quickly and decisively at this critical moment; time is of the essence."


      June 23, 2022

      …..Clare Daly, a socialist member of the European Parliament, demanded Wednesday that Biden administration officials "give back the billions they stole like crooks from the Afghan people."

      Those funds, Daly wrote on Twitter, are "needed now more than ever to address the devastation."

      ….In a letter to the editor of the Washington Post earlier this week, Kelly Campbell of 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows—a group that opposes the Biden administration's seizure of Afghan assets—wrote that "just because we don't like the Taliban doesn't make our collective punishment of Afghan women, children, and the entire population of ordinary Afghans an acceptable policy."

      "In addition to withholding aid funds, the administration froze billions of dollars in Afghan central bank funds, crippling the country's economy," Campbell added. "If we care about Afghan people, including Afghan women, the United States must release Afghan central bank funds to get the economy on its feet and ensure that aid money is flowing to prevent immediate disaster and, ultimately, a failed state."

    • Populuxe1 4.1

      That kind of rules out National and ACT as well though

    • Robert Guyton 4.2

      Do you mean, Gosman, that the Government should act without first investigating the issue?

      No meeting with the parties concerned.

      No consultation. No taking expert advice.

      There's a name for the sort of Government that does that.

      • Gosman 4.2.1

        We know what the problem is. There is not enough competition in the market because of heavy regulation. The solution is also simple. Allow greater competition by opening up for people to import similar products from nations that have similar building standards.

        • Robert Guyton

          So, you condone unilateral action from the Government, Gosman?
          Fan of 3-Waters then?

          • Gosman

            We don't have an immediate crisis in our water supplies at the moment. Also the government consulted on that and essentially ignored anyone they disagreed with so what was the point?

            • Adrian

              Bullshit Gosman, have you checked lately just how many rural areas have a Boil Water notice currently issued, in Marlborough papers today both Seddon and Ward have current notices, Havelock has recurring ones. the incompetent MDC is also one of those objecting to 3Waters, it may well be because they do not like the prospect of the spotlight being shown on their ongoing long running uselessness.

              • Gosman

                So that is three places with a boil notice. In your head that makes a crisis does it?

                • Populuxe1

                  Well, for sane people, yes, that does make a crisis.

                • McFlock

                  four more here

                  Two more here

                  another two here

                  another one here

                  that's a dozen so far. How many do you want before the govt decides it's a nationwide, and therefore central govt, problem?

                  • Mac1

                    To support McFlock here, the population of Hurunui is 12000 plus people in an area of 8640 sq km, Kaikoura has 2200 people in 2048 sq kms, and Marlborough has 50,000 people in 12484 sq km. In total, some 65,000 people in a land area of 23,172 sq kms. That means one twelfth of New Zealand occupied by one eightieth of its population.

                    These three local authorities struggle just because of these statistics, let alone their rural distance, primary produce dependence and hill and mountain terrain.

                    These three areas are all featured in the water problems outlined by Adrian and McFlock.

                    I am sure that the other two areas mentioned by McFlock, Featherstone and Tararua have similar stats and hence their problems.

                    I would bet, and here I deviate from fact-based observations, that the local authorities are run by small, conservative, primary industry focussed councils, in areas of lower Māori populations with even fewer Māori councillors.

                • swordfish

                  Herald journalist John Roughan on boil notices:

                  When Nanaia Mahuta says too many New Zealanders are living under boil-water notices, some will know that is not the whole truth. The policy on notices changed a couple of years ago. They are no longer withdrawn once an occasional contaminant is flushed through the system, they are being left in place as a ‘precaution’. The timing of that policy change, about the time the Three Waters reform was starting, makes it hard to resist the suspicion the notices are being left in place to make a case for change.

                  John Roughan: Three Waters advocates plough on despite groundswell of opposition – NZ Herald (Paywall)


                  Meanwhile, Ministry of Health's annual reports found excellent results on drinking water quality:

                  Annual Report on Drinking Water Quality 2019-2020 (

          • Ed1

            Setting up that Committee does not indicate that nothing has happened – some products from overseas have been submitted for approval and gone thro9ugh the testing process for that approval – with supplies arriving this week or last week. Also, the issue of trade protection has been raised with Fletchers being asked not to take legal action on some issues for a year. The underlying issue of Covid and factory changes slowing production at Fletchers has apparently also been resolved; they believe they will be able to supply all requirements later this year. The other large underlying cause was the huge increase in demand arising from the large building programme initiated by government, enabled by the apprenticeship training programme introduced by Labour, and the demand for new houses. I'm not sure where to get that data, as consents do ot give the whole story, and we seemed to have stopped recording completions under a previous government . . .

            The big issue now is the linger term issue of adequate competition – that is largely what the committee is for . . .

            • Robert Guyton

              That's a comprehensive response, Ed1 – thanks for that!

            • Gosman

              You just listed a whole buch of causes that were a direct result of government policies.

              • Ed1

                Indeed they were Gosman. The first was the deliberate run down of building capacity by Government by leaving apprenticeships to building companies – and then encouraging developers to rely on sub-contractors with little job security to keep costs down; leaving very few builders prepared to take on an apprentice – especially if they had been shafted by a company going under owing them a lot of money. The second was government policy to rely on immigrants for low paid workers to keep wage rates down – but increasing the demand for housing – and of course that very same government also adopted a policy of selling off state houses, leaving large numbers of people sleeping in vehicles, or in a friends garage etc. Then there was policy regarding ensuring we have adequate competition in the market. You will remember what happened following the Christchurch earthquake. Sadly the days of having Ministry of Works had long gone – but National, represented by Brownlee, found the whole disaster quite daunting, so they went for the obvious solution – Find a Friend! – and that friend just happened to be Fletchers. Yes of course Flechers did use other contractors, but it became well know that the timing of projects being started was geared around the Fletcher supply chain. Yes it took longer, but the profits were good, and they were friends, so no problem – Right?. So fragmenting the industry, promoting industry dominance, selling off social housing, leaving all building to the private sector, running down hospital and school building programmes – they are all part of the National Party policy machine – you cant have tax cuts without cutting spending – Right, Gosman?

                Now since 2017 when National so comprehensively lost, we have had Covid – not a government policy. but it did slow down both the need and the supply of building materials – overall they did not balance out, but in part that was because our Covid response was better than many other countries our building industry lost relatively less time being productive.

                So well done Gosman, did I miss anything of the major government policies that led to current problems?

        • Sacha

          The last time NZ's building material standards were 'freed up', we ended up with $20b of leaky buildings. Hence the 'heavy regulation'. Market not competent to manage on its own.

          • Adrian

            Has it been lost on anyone that the irony of Luxon, Bishop, Willis et al, that vanguard of leave it to business, has been excoriating of the Labour Govt for not interfering in Fletchers market manipulation rort.

            • Gosman

              It is a badly designed rort then if they are not able to make super profits out of it.

              • Ed1

                Not super profits perhaps but certainly very good – an extra $5 or so per sheet over the cost of buying overseas and getting it shipped here? Perhaps not as good the Christchurch Quake work, but still fairly good. Still it seems to be coming to an end for Fletchers however. You seem to quite like rorts, Gosman.

          • Adrian

            Leaky buildings is exactly the same problem, leaving the manufacturer to write the specifications for the Building Code that essentially only allows, in that case Winstones , to be almost the sole supplier. Don't believe me? Ask any architect that's older than 50.
            BTW, Winstones is owned by Fletchers and they’ve been doing this shit all day Ref!.
            P.s, check out how much Fletchers and Winstones donated to National in the last 10 years,.

            • alwyn

              "check out how much"

              Why don't you tell us. I'm sure that you will be able to provide evidence in the material provided to the Electoral Commission.

              • Sacha

                Dunno, what is 20 x $14,995? mail

                • alwyn

                  I don't believe that Fletcher Building give anything at all to political parties. They used to but they gave up doing so years ago.

                  In their 2020 Annual Report (page 45) they say "The policy notes that political donations are not permitted without approval of the Board. No requests for such approval were made in FY21. All Fletcher Building personnel must adhere strictly to the requirements of this policy. There were no reported breaches of this policy in FY21".

                  When they did donate it was given in a totally impartial manner. In 2011 for example they gave exactly the same amount to National, Labour, ACT, The Maori Party and the Green Party. They each got $20,000.


                  Nowadays they don't give anything.

                  And what is your next unsubstantiated claim about them?

                  • Blade

                    Your facts brought light onto the way some on this blog throw accusations around with gay abandon.

                  • Incognito

                    Your belief is quaint but seems misplaced. For some strange reason you also seem to have misinterpreted the statement in the FBU Annual Report 2020 as FBU has not and does not make political donations at all; it did not in FY21.

                    Nowadays they don't give anything.

                    Incorrect. In 2016 and 2019 FBU did disclose political donations.


                    Blade can eat his humble pie too, without the cherry on top, of course.

                    • alwyn

                      I suggest that you reread the publication you linked to. I will illustrate in detail where you went wrong regarding the 2016 report. As an after-class exercise you can do the same for 2019

                      It does not say that they made a donation in 2016. It says "Companies that disclosed a statement on political donations" They did make a statement about donations in their 2016 report. The statement was, on page 43 of their 2016 Annual Report

                      "Political donations can only be made with the authority of the board. No political donations were made in the year ended 30 June 2016."

                      The same was true in 2019. The don't nowadays give political donations.

                      By the way, if you look at the top of page 8 in the document you linked to it says all “political” donations were zero. That is because there weren’t any.

                      You really should consider getting new spectacles.

                    • Incognito []

                      Yes, you’re correct about the FBU Annual Report 2016 and although I cannot find the same statement in the 2019 report I assume they didn’t make political donations in that FY either. Indeed, the last time they donated seems to be 2011 as you said.

                    • alwyn

                      Thank you.

                      I remember, vaguely, that the rules on donations were altered in the review after the 2011 election. Fletchers had routinely given donations to political parties. Like the 2011 donations they were basically given to any significant party without consideration to the party political views.

                      In about 2012 they took the opportunity to stop giving any donations at all. The said, and again I am saying this from a very distant memory, that they had only done it previously as a contribution to democracy and not because they were trying to buy influence. They generally caught flak rather than applause though.

                      Anyone who gave the same amount to ACT and the Green parties would seem to be pretty close to apolitical.

                      Anyway they stopped giving anything at all as a political donation at about that time. It had simply become more bother than it was worth.

                    • Incognito []

                      Jointly, we got to the bottom of this, which is a good thing.

                      For (my own) future reference here are links to FB Annual Reports and the annual list of declared donations and loans to political parties:



          • I Feel Love

            In todays ODT, had an anti govt piece on the lines of Gosman regarding the gib thing, 'cut red tape' & a few pages over the Queenstown Council having to raise rates because of 'leaky homes'.

    • Molly 4.3

      IIRC, there is already an alternative manufactured (?) in NZ – elephant board.

      There are two issues:

      The Building Standards are a set of pre-approved materials etc that have been accepted as meeting Building Code requirements. Anyone that deviates from those standards has to provide (and have accepted) evidence that their materials meet the Building Code. This costs both money and time, even if materials are equivalent or superior to those in the Building Standards.

      1. To ease consent processes drawings are provided with recognised brands, or Gib.

      To change that specification after consent is issued requires time, money and evidence of meeting codes.

      2. In NZ, it is very rarely that the plasterboard plays a structural role, it is usually a finishing element.

      What can be done?

      Quickly test locally manufactured, and some proposed imported plasterboards to see if they meet the Building Code requirements for the finishing function. If they do, add them to the Building Standards. Then allow them to be installed in that capacity without a need to change existing consents.

      • Gosman 4.3.1

        What can be done? Easy – Change the regulations to make it easier to use alternatives.

        • Molly

          Gosman, that's pretty much what I've written.

          • Ed1

            And some of that was done, with some urgency, when samples of imported material were submitted for approval, and went through the testing and approval process. There may be more international suppliers (I gather there are at least three in Australia, and also from Canada, the USA and Asia) whose products may need approval as well, and has been pointed out that is not a simple process if we want to avoid another leaky homes saga. There are of course quite a number of different uses with specialist wall boards; different coverings, different thicknesses etc. Well done to MBIE for making sure the various agencies worked together to make things happen.

        • Bearded Git

          No government is going to change regulations at the drop of a hat after the leaky buildings saga.

          Imagine what would happen if a key component like Gib (which in this country is not only used as a liner but also for structural reasons) was substituted with a sub-standard product that had to be replaced in the future-mayhem, complete mayhem.

          • Gosman

            Other countries use similar products without any issue. Allow people to import those without checks that have already been done in other nations.

            • Ed1

              Other countries have similar approval processes, based on local use, and products normally used. Requirements for nailing Gib Board changed here due to longer term problems being identified; fire requirements led to different types of board on some walls. As was said above we use plaster board in a different way than some other countries. It is our local Councils who can be liable if there is a major failure (as happened with leaky homes) – they cannot claim from an overseas government if our standards were not met. If you have a real example of another developed country not requiring building product standards give an example . . .

        • Scotty

          So National always knew there was a problem but couldn't be arsed remedying the situation – now calling for urgency – what a surprise.

          • Gosman

            National hasn't been in power for the best part of 5 years. Have you forgotten?

            • Bearded Git

              But National would have known about Fletcher's Gib monopoly when it was in government-it seems to be the worst kept secret ever in the building industry.

              And of course National did nothing. I wonder how much Fletchers secretly donated to National. Oh but wait, to find that out would have a "chilling effect" on democracy. Yeah, right.

              • Gosman

                Why are you advising me of National's inaction on allowing greater competition in the building supplies market? I'm well aware of their inaction. Hence why I don't support National.

                • Bearded Git

                  Fair comment-I will remember that.

                  Assume you are an ACT voter? Or maybe you are leaning towards the new “Freedom” lot?

            • Stuart Munro

              But in their time they wrecked things that will take decades, or longer, to fix.

              Solid Energy for example, is gone forever – a victim of the gross incompetence of Bill English.

          • Mike the Lefty

            National's solution is to deregulate and let the market decide. That's how we ended up with the leaky homes fiasco of the 1990s.

      • Adrian 4.3.2

        Giboard is a bracing element, if it wasn't for Gib, extra plywood would be needed under the Gib to fulfil that role. A very experienced architect told me this week that the bracing element calcs for Gib may well have been bullshitted by Winstones as evidence from Chch and Kaikoura earthquakes have shown deficiencies.

    • lprent 4.4

      Perhaps you'd better link to the 'heavy regulations' before I'd believe that they actually exist outside of your imagination.

      As far as I am aware the only regulations are those of physics (heavy product with a lot of transport from overseas), and some regulations stating the required physical parameters.

      The latter is there to ensure that arsehole importers and builder don't produce sub-standard housing. The last time that the idiots from Act and National deregulated building standards back in the early 1990s we wound up with a pile of sub-standard housing that leaked and fell apart. In my case that involved a re-clad of my apartment paid for by the ratepayers of Auckland City because the developers shut their company and opened up a new one.

      Personally I'd support deregulation, provided that the importers, builders, financiers and inspectors are all personally liable, and we re-institute a criminal debtors prison with lengthy sentences if they can't fufill their legal obligations. At least that would remove some of teh bad actors out of the local market (and reduce the insurance and litigation costs to ratepayers). Not to mention the pain of getting caught up having to litigate the unscrupulous building industry actors enabled by Act/Nats.

      There are already other importers and manufacturers for things like gibboard. The basic problem is that longer term they aren't sustainable – the cost of transport will make it unprofitable.

      • Gosman 4.4.1

        "Personally I'd support deregulation, provided that the importers, builders, financiers and inspectors are all personally liable, and we re-institute a criminal debtors prison with lengthy sentences if they can't fufill their legal obligations."

        That's great. You'd be supportive of ACT proposal then in this area where Builders would be required to take out insurance to cover the costs of any long term impact of shoddy building practices. This would alos mean the Insurance companies would be incentivised to ensure those they were insuring were meeting standards and you could get them to carry out building inspections rather than just relyingon Coucils.

        • lprent

          You’d be supportive of ACT proposal then in this area where Builders would be required to take out insurance to cover the costs of any long term impact of shoddy building practices.

          Provided that they were required to purchase a minimum of 20 years of insurance in advance with a requirement for a complete rebuild at the time of a required rebuild – in other words a complete cover.

          The reasons..

          1. In every case that I know of for shoddy building practices, the insurance ceases when the premiums stop. The insurance companies are not required to deposit funds to cover all of their reinsurance in advance for the same period. To provide a guarantee – that would have to be regulated
            • This prevents builders, developers and insurance companies from escaping via folding or bankruptcy.
            • Otherwise this Act policy (implemented by National) will wind up exactly like the last failed Act policy that required insurance of the private inspectors after deregulation got implemented back in the 1990s.
            • In the 1990s and early 2000s – none of the inspectors carried enough insurance. When their companies ceased trading, their insurance cover ceased as well. Virtually no money from the leaky building saga was collected from inspector companies or their insurers during the leaky building saga from that failed deregulation.
            • The 20 year minimum coverage is to ensure that hidden defects have time to show up. If you read through the judgements for leaky building issues, you’ll find that it often takes than 10-15 years for building defects to become apparent at a engineering level.
          2. The Master Builders 5 or 10 year guarantee is a case in point about insurance schemes. If you hunt around you’ll find numerous cases like this one or this one. We’d need a really strong regulatory body to hold the insurance – and building should nor proceed unless the insurance is paid up to regulatory standards and in force. This will prevent developers and builders stating it is in place and then not providing it.
          3. That the councils remain as the ultimate inspectorate of local building practices as that is their legislated responsibility and their sign off is required by legislation. However change the current legal practice to the council being required to make settlement to the plaintiff (rather than the current ‘last person standing’), and the council can then proceed to sue the insurers and other parties for restitution. This will continue to make the council respectful of their duties, and will really make the insurers aware of the risks. It is one thing for insurers to string along under-funded plaintiffs with legal costs while they are also trying to stop their abode from leaking. Quite another to try do so with a well-funded legal team seeking restitution for sunk costs.

          Basically bearing in mind the lessons learnt from the last failure of deregulation. In my opinion insurance doesn’t work without major safeguards. It is essentially a scam by developers and the building industry to allow them to develop, sell, and then provide inadequate cover that ceases

          I’d note that I was in a leaky apartment building built in 1997/8 under Act’s last failed policy. The building of 60 apartments that required 6 million dollars to repair and to bring back up to code. We detected a possible problem 8 years after the build. It took a couple of years to get the sampling engineering work done sufficiently to start the rebuild plan. We detected additional problems during the rebuild itself. It took about 13 years after we’d moved into the property to get the restitution. In the meantime each of the 60 owners had directly forked out about 60% of the original purchase price to do the rebuild. That was a rapid result, many of the leaky building owners are still seeking restitution through the courts 20 years after the build.

          This was directly the result of two bits of a shoddy work during the build (note that is was neither the materials nor the design), probably by a sub-contractor. None of the building companies, including the developer and sub contractors involved or their insurers paid a cent as far as I am aware.

          Fortunately we were inspected by the council and they wound up paying only because they were the last person standing. Of course it took nearly 5 years to bring them to the high court, and the council insurers settled the week before the high court hearing. We’d already paid for the rebuild through levies that pushed many of the households to near bankruptcy.

          But hopefully Act will be highly supportive of these few small changes to enhance their policy to make sure that their suggestions don’t disadvantage the building industries end-customers. I’d assume that you’re completely in favour of them yourself.


          So to say that I am sceptical about Act’s ability towards ‘policy’ would be an understatement. It usually looks like a deliberate scam to favour developers rather than a move to provide surety to purchasers. A ineffectual figleaf like The Master Builders ‘Guarantee’.

          • Gosman

            I don't understand why you want councils to continue to remain as the ultimate inspectorate of building standards simply because they are required to under legislation. The solution to that is simple. Change the legislation to allow others to do the job as well.

            As for long term cover that outlives the live of the building company that takes it out, that is indeed the policy.

            Also ACT was responsible for no policy until it formed part of the 2005 Key National government so I don’t know what you are trying to link the party with what happened prior to 1998.

            • lprent

              Change the legislation to allow others to do the job as well.

              Perhaps you have forgotten the history of the last time that was done?

              That lack of responsible inspection policy directly caused several decades of leaky buildings from building defects. It wasn't the use of untreated timber or any of the other 'systematic faults' that caused the problem. If the building was correctly built and inspected, then maintained then the building would have remained water tight. The problem was invariably the failure of the progressive building inspection.

              It was that lack of effective building inspection that ensured that buildings would fail with water tightness issues. It was the poor or often non-existent inspections by a deregulated inspectorate divorced from the local body and ultimately backed by what turned out to a lack of insurance by the inspection companies – because the level an maintenance of insurance cover was not regulated.

              I doubt that the insurance companies have the required skill or even the interest to provide inspect buildings properly. All of the NZ experience by claimants in building claims that that insurance companies always prefer employing lawyers to avoid paying out instead – by outlasting litigants. The most common method to deny responsibility and to avoid a early settlement is to claim that others were responsible for the problem – usually architects, building inspectors, sub-contractors, material supplier, or councils.

              From what I can see of the Act policy, there is absolutely nothing that prevents that from happening (yet again). In fact there seems to be a high probability that it will instead provide a even high incentive for insurers to increase that trait.

              Perhaps if the developers insurers were required to make fully make good the defects against the courts building inspection before they were allowed to go to court against insurers or other parties – that would constrain that problem.

              I don't understand why you want councils to continue to remain as the ultimate inspectorate of building standards simply because they are required to under legislation.

              Personally I don't care if is the local bodies responsibility or the direct responsibility of the crown. In NZ and elsewhere, the developers, builders and insurers have shown themselves to be completely incapable of dealing with the responsibility of enforcing building standards responsibly and dealing with flaws in a timely manner. They show about as much responsibility as Act does for its ideas – and pretty much for the same reasons – they view themselves as only being responsible to their investors and donors.

              However the state is ultimately responsible setting the building standards in NZ for everything from the setting of earthquake risks to impacts of housing on water and ground stability. This is done via legislation. It is also an authority that may not be delegated to the crown to anything apart from a responsible bodies the crown is ultimately responsible for the disbursement of that authority. It cannot abrogate it.

              Insurance companies are not legally responsible bodies for the state to delegate authority to as they have a primary responsibility to their shareholders

              If you ever look at the constitutional basis of authority in NZ law, you'll find that this is the basis of our legal structure. So the Act policy doesn't make any sense at a legal level. The crown is always responsible – the legislation just says which part of it is responsible.

              Also ACT was responsible for no policy until it formed part of the 2005 Key National government so I don’t know what you are trying to link the party with what happened prior to 1998.

              Wasn't that the 1993 Act policy that got implemented by National for deregulating the building inspectors in then 1990s? Act might not be 'responsible' for it. However they are directly responsible to for the promulgating the idea into our national politics.

              The policy was articulated by Act when it was in its original formation as influencers of National (and Labour) before the 93 election before National grabbed it as policy.

              I'd be happy to look it up for you – provided you agree to abasing yourself for a grovelling apology in advance (basically you are as untrustworthy as an insurer when it comes to admitting fault).

              • Gosman

                Please look it up and provide evidence that it was an idea that ACT promulgated in 1993. If you can provide the evidence that it did so you will get your apology.

                • lprent

                  Weekend task. 1993 wasn't a year that has a large presence on the net archives according to my first look.

                  I don't have a large screen at home at present (dying graphic card), and no time to do it at the workspace due to work. Hate researching on laptops…….

                  Plus I may have to actually get this in hard copy in the form of a book at my friendly second hand book dump or the UoA library if it doesn't show up at NatLib.

                  But you have provided a large and very rare incentive!

  4. Blade 5

    Mikey does a Incognito and cuts through the bs.

    Meanwhile, I'm sure someone will be losing their job at News Hub. How this made primetime is beyond me. This person must have paid scant regard to controversy around Police Ten 7 and Coast Watch…two programmes that were a little too reality based for liberals and Maori.

    The disconnect between the the beautiful ads promoting Matariki and reality as shown in the link is jarring. In fact its claimed Matariki knowledge was nearly lost. I personally never saw Matariki celebrated in the wider Maori community when I was growing up. Now everyone is a expert…telling great tales about how important this celebration is.

    I personally don't mind the celebration. It's a day off. But spare a thought for the growing numbers of racists who want the holiday, but don't want to acknowledge anything Maoriindecision. Ah, the angst.

    The grandkids came home from school yesterday – at 12.30pm. Why? Because the teachers were having a meeting regarding Matariki. The kids have been practicing all week for the celebration. They now know about Tawhirimatea, but little about the treasures western culture has bestowed on us.

    Most say we are moving forward as a nation. I say crap. We are more backwards on all fronts.

    • Populuxe1 5.1

      They now know about Tawhirimatea, but little about the treasures western culture has bestowed on us.

      Why? Are they illiterate? No internet access? It's not like not awash with it – that's kind of the point.

    • Robert Guyton 5.2

      "I say crap."

      Revelatory quote of the day!

    • Ad 5.3

      Form a Guardians of White Culture group.

      Find your happy place.

    • Patricia Bremner 5.4

      So knowledge should be put through a Western sieve of approval?

      Oh, you mean like censorship?
      Surely all cultures enrich our narrow lives?

      I remember the repressed one size fits all 1950's that some look back on fondly.

      I notice your bitter tendency to call us all backward. Perhaps we should not tolerate your rubbish?

      No doubt you told your grandchildren they were wasting their time, and saw the light of enthusiasm die. You are still in control of their thinking, for now.

      What happens when they realise what a sour kill joy, which IMO you are? What then?

      • Blade 5.4.1

        No, no, no and no. When you have someone in an ideological bubble such as you and most others replying to me, you have to argue your basic points…and not provide a more balanced view. For example:

        1- I accept Maori history has not been taught enough in our schools.

        2- ''I remember the repressed one size fits all 1950's that some look back on fondly.''

        I agree. I call it the three veg and mince epoch of our history. A horrid time for self expression. Rugby, beer and sheilas was the name of the game for men. Poofs got the bash for good measure.

        3- I notice your bitter tendency to call us all backward. Perhaps we should not tolerate your rubbish?

        The problem is we are replacing your ''1950s with a one size fits all'' with a new Maori one size fits all. And as you can see, if you disagree you will get the bash, be cancelled or ostracised.

        'No doubt you told your grandchildren they were wasting their time, and saw the light of enthusiasm die. You are still in control of their thinking, for now.''

        I tell my grandkids nothing. Their life will be their life. They are well schooled in Maoritanga and fit in well with the modern world. They don't need my baggage or yours at such a young age. Neither do they need to be reading books with the title of '' Timmy has two Dads.''

        My nephew related to me the other day that he has been told he has anger issues by a school councillor. He said twice a week he and other kids with these supposed anger problems meet to fill out their mana diaries and how they are feeling. Then some women come in to give them all a massage. They finish with a kai. I couldn't help myself. I told him his only problem was he's a little prick. He said that's abusive talk and he's gonna tell his muvva. Not doubt I will be cancelled.

        3- ''So knowledge should be put through a Western sieve of approval?'

        No, but practical knowledge should be the first priority. And most of that belongs to western ways mostly. You know…what’s used to debate on this blog.

        • pat

          "My nephew related to me the other day that he has been told he has anger issues by a school councillor. He said twice a week he and other kids with these supposed anger problems meet to fill out their mana diaries and how they are feeling. Then some women come in to give them all a massage. They finish with a kai. I couldn't help myself. I told him his only problem was he's a little prick. He said that's abusive talk and he's gonna tell his muvva. Not doubt I will be cancelled."

          A couple of questions…

          How old?

          And is he a 'little prick' or just a typical boisterous boy who acts without thinking?

          and thanks for the laugh

          • Blade

            10 years old.

            ''And is he a 'little prick' or just a typical boisterous boy who acts without thinking?''

            That's a good question. To be honest, most would say he's just a typical boisterous boy. I called him a little so and so because he is never a problem at home. But the minute he goes to schools or goes out, he turns into a little monster. A bit like the ''ugly American'' syndrome.

            And I also thought he was lying about women coming in to give them a massage. In these politically correct times I didn't believe that was possible.

            So I said to him'' So these women bring mattresses into the classroom and you lie on them for a massage. Is that correct?'' He replied, ''no, they come in carrying a wooden suitcase. They then open the suitcase, and it becomes a table.'' I asked him it was just a flat table. He said yes except at one end there was hole you put your face into.

            That is a description of a portable massage table. I still find it hard to believe. But there you have it.

            • Descendant Of Smith

              Could be much much worse. They could be teaching him god is real and that if he doesn't behave he will burn forever in hell.

              Teaching him he has anger issues and giving him a nice massage compared to that option seems quite benign.

              • pat

                seems odd to me…he's 10 years old FFS

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  What does being 10 years old have to do with it?

                  Do you object to Sports NZ promoting massage for children as being beneficial? Do you object to it being a method of therapy for children with intellectual disabilities? Do you object to all those cultures who practise massage from birth to death as being beneficial?

                  Is your problem maybe that you associate massage with seediness and sex?

                  Or maybe with hippies and ley lines and crystal powers?

                  While massage isn't part of my pretty much white Anglo-Saxon culture I get that it is elsewhere and that it is pretty normal for lots of people, different cultures and has its benefits.

                  I don't agree with lots of the bullshit mumbo jumbo that surrounds it at times but there is pretty good science around the health benefits and calming effects.

                  Like religion and hypnosis there is science that shows these things all provides some benefits – different people get their fixes in different ways.

                  • pat

                    A lot of assumptions going on there…including the one that the 10 year old needs or wants 'massage therapy'.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      I've made no assumptions because there isn't enough context to do so. Hence I have neither objected nor supported.

                      What I did ask was why you thought it was odd as you have no more or less context than I do? I couldn't see anything in Blade's comments that suggested it might be odd apart from the issue of risk averse political correctness.

                      It isn't me making assumptions.

                    • pat

                      Of course its not you…..and does the 10 year get to decide if he needs or wants ‘massage therapy’?

            • Sabine

              do only the ones with anger issues get the massages?

              • Blade

                Seems that way. I love a massage. I was thinking about having a muscle spasm just as I was about to check his class out.

                If you ask me the school is sailing dangerously close to the wind by allowing children to be massaged at school. I would love to know if this happens in other schools. Here’s something from overseas.

                Massage in Schools

                ”The Massage in Schools (MIS) program facilitates massage for 4-12 year olds in dozens of countries, including Australia, the UK, the US, France, China, India, Israel, and Venezuela. The students stay fully clothed while receiving massage on the head, back, forearms, arms, and hands. It is important to note that leading adults do not touch children in the program; instead, the children deliver massage to their peers. ”


                • Sabine

                  Gosh, i would have been naughty every day just for hte massage as a kid. I love a good massage.

                  Seems weird though to provide something nice to someone who is naughty whilst the nice kids get nought.

            • pat

              "To be honest, most would say he's just a typical boisterous boy. I called him a little so and so because he is never a problem at home. But the minute he goes to schools or goes out, he turns into a little monster"


              There is a growing tendency (imo) to place labels on kids as early as possible, sadly my own children do it despite my best efforts…everyone is bi polar, or autistic , has 'anger management ' issues etc, instead of recognising that (most) children learn to adapt their behaviours to suit their personalities/ world view…by placing labels early and unnecessarily we preordain the problems we seek to avoid.

              • swordfish

                "Autism" used to mean a very specific condition … one far more severe than the broad range of relatively commonplace behaviour described by the massively expanded definition of the last 2 or so decades.

                • pat

                  Indeed….we appear determined to modify the natural distribution curve till the point where we are largely thick tails.

  5. Adrian 6

    It’s probably because they are related to Blade.

  6. Sacha 7

    New Zealand author publishing book about her experience of womanhood today.

    • Temp ORary 7.1

      Hopefully Barnett has gifted a copy of Notes on Womenhood to the Dunedin public library. She does have a nice turn of phrase (eg preceding the too brief twitter quote):

      I have only seen my father, Nikki, in a suit twice in my life, once at my sister’s wedding and once at my own. It’s strange to see her wear it – my father came out as transgender in her 60s…

      Nikki and I last argued about womanhood when she proudly showed me an airbrushed photo of herself. We were in my parents’ study in their house in Ōtautahi, which is also the house I grew up in. I’d flown down for work and was staying the night with my parents. She handed me a colour printout of the photo and the blonde ingénue staring back at me looked to be in her early twenties. She had smooth skin and strawberry lips, her face cheeky and inviting. I was marking my students’ creative writing assignments at the time, my hair dragged back in a ponytail, wearing a baggy t-shirt and track pants. "Stop buying into this beauty bullshit," I said, suddenly angry. I pointed to my greasy-haired, no-makeup appearance. "Am I less of a woman?" I asked. Dad looked crestfallen. "But you’re always beautiful," she said.

      And especially this bit at the end of the piece:

      a few weeks after surgery, I finally understood that my uterus was gone… That afternoon I send an email to update my father on my recovery. The subject line: "Today we are both women without a uterus"…

      My failure to meet society’s ideal womanhood has brought me here. Since entering my forties I have become fatter, dimplier and more wrinkled. I have greying hair and thicker arms. My face has relaxed; time has shaped my features. I can no longer reproduce because I have no uterus. I would also like to think that I am better at being myself. This natural and normal ageing process has made me increasingly invisible and irrelevant in societal terms, and I expect that to continue. But entering middle age has given me a clearer understanding of gender norms. It let me see how much of my self-worth and identity were wedded to being that hungry and quiet young woman. Failure was my salvation, because it made me work to see the mechanics of my womanhood. In seeing, choice became possible.

      • Visubversa 7.1.1

        The word she is looking for is "autogynephilia". And many of us have been walking away from those "gender norms" for decades. They are called "sexist stereotypes". Words matter.

        • Temp ORary

          Where is Barnett supposedly lost in search of Blanchard's dubious term; "autogynephilia", Visubversa? Her writing seems to be more about her own experience with aging in Aotearoa as a cis woman, than her trans parent anyway. Though I admittedly haven't read the full book yet.

          Unfortunately the text of this article is paywalled, but the abstract and references aren't if you wish to educate yourself on the term:

          In contradiction to this standard model, the theory of autogynephilia posits that transgender women’s female gender identities and transitions are merely a by-product of their sexual orientations. While subsequent research has yielded numerous lines of evidence that, taken together, disprove the theory, autogynephilia is still often touted by anti-transgender groups

          Another term you might care to investigate with regard to Blanchard's credibility; "Fucksaw".

          • Anker


            Anyone who might be interested in Autogynephilia might want to read this article. Blanchard

            "I introduced the word and the concerpt of autogynephilia – the tendancy of certain males to become sexually aroused by the thought or image of themselves as females -in 1989……..two individuals decided to promtoe the idea more widely, one online (Anne Lawrence) and one in a book (J Michael Bailey). These efforts enraged three influential trans women -two of them senior academics who attempted to get Bailey fired from his teaching position."

            "The denial of autopunephilia became a canon of modern trans activism, trans activism became a sub-department of the Social Justice Movement, and the Social Justic Movement bcame the primary combatant in the ongoing pervasive culture wars."

            "For mild or intermittant gender dysphoria counselling or CBT maybe sufficent to help the patient through flare ups….For sustained and severe gender dysphoria hormonal treatments and se reassignment surgery may offer the best chance of bringing the patient peace of mind and an improved quality of life"

            • SPC

              Androphilia and gynephilia are terms used in behavioral science to describe sexual orientation, as an alternative to a gender binary homosexual and heterosexual conceptualization. Androphilia describes sexual attraction to men or masculinity; gynephilia describes the sexual attraction to women or femininity.

              The word used used by Blanchard refers to an individuals – auto identification.

              Autosexuality means people are more attracted to themselves than to others and may prefer masturbation to sex with a partner.

              Thus the term auto would refer to the individuals identification with masculine or feminine sexuality (which is either in accord with their biological sex or not).

              Blanchard's claim to have invented the term and determined its meaning is dubious.

              • Anker

                where's your quote from SPC?

                Blanchford claims the term. More important is what he is describing. He worked with men who crossed dressed and from this he began to realize what was happening for them. They were attracted to themselves as being a women (images, clothing etc). I think this makes sense as a way of understanding why men cross dress. There were enormous prohibitions against doing so (probaby not so much now) and often these men would begin cross dressing at 8 – 10 years old. Sometimes this would involve steling/borrowing their mums or sisters clothing/underwear.

                So I think it would be fair to say there is some big motivating force behind doing this as it certainly wasn't openly modelled.. It would have been ssecretive behaviour.

                BTW I don't judge people for doing this. I do think there are secondary victims here though, like the females who find out their husbands have been dressing in their clothes to get aroused.

                • SPC

                  Google search supplied both – as the meaning for each term (details a click away, google search result links are bit longggg).

                  Would not the early interest in wearing female clothing suggest they feel more feminine than their biological sex (its coming before their puberty/sexual awakening …).

                  • Anker

                    Ok, have re read Blancford article. You are right about puberty. Here's what Blanchford says:

                    "many autogynephilic trans people report a period in their lives, usuallyduring puberty, when they put on women's undergarments,(often "borrowed" from their mothers and sisters) and masturbatedto orgasm"

                    Blanchford is a clinician. He doesn't have a political agenda.


                    • SPC

                      and often these men would begin cross dressing at 8 – 10 years old

                      8-10 is not puberty, but looking at the link it does not mention any ages at all.

                    • SPC

                      Blanchford is a clinician. He doesn't have a political agenda.

                      Nor did the profession that proscribed homosexuality as abnormal and provided treatment for the condition.

                      I introduced the word and the concept of autogynephilia—the tendency of certain males to become sexually aroused by the thought or image of themselves as females—in 1989 as an extension of the concept of transvestic fetishism. The DSM diagnosis, Transvestic Fetishism, was defined in psychiatry at that time as sexual urges and fantasies involving cross-dressing in heterosexual males.

                      Blanchard limits autogynephia to being an extension of the condition called Transvestic fetishism. It's like calling lesbian women butch, or gay men effeminate, it's an absurd simplification.

                    • Anker

                      I think when homosexuallity was part of DSM it was from a "morality" point of view. Thank goodness times have changed!

                      I think if you read the Blanchford interview you will see he isn't politically motivated. He happened to find himself working with transexuals and transvestites he was trying to make sense of why these guys were presenting with their symptoms. Listening carefully to his patients he began to realize these men had sexual fantasies about being women which they found arousing.

  7. SPC 9

    The impact on a city of the bi-partisan (Labour and National) let them build three storey high wherever policy–welcome-to-shady-city

    A decade of urban planning to build in areas closer to public transport spines out the window. The resulting urban road congestion impact is not known (developers decide) and cannot be planned for (nor the impact on sewage and wastewater).

    This will be as big a nightmare as leaky homes for councils.

  8. SPC 10

    Meanwhile on the public housing front – Labour has chosen to sell a lot of land in Auckland to private developers (and National would continue this retched policy also). This is land future Labour governments will not be able to build state houses (or Kiwibuild homes) on.

    There are 25,000 on the state house waiting list and an aging workforce still renting yet to retire (and the impact of long covid and the many in middle age with diabetes has yet to kick in). We had 60,000 state houses when the population was 3M. the equivalent is 100,000 when there are 5M (an aging and ailing population might mean even this is not sufficient).

    • Visubversa 10.1

      There are good reasons for selling quite a lot of that land. One bit I know of involves a chunk at the back of Hendon Ave in Owairaka which borders onto the motorway.

      Whatever is built there is going to require considerable noise and particulate attenuation – expensive double or triple glazing and well filtered air conditioning. It is not the sort of environment you want want for people who want to spend a lot of time outdoors, or a lot of time indoors at home.

      Like many of the major arterial road apartment developments it is best suited for a market who are at work for a lot of their day time, and out and about (or glued to a screen indoors) for leisure. This is much better suited to a private sector development with the $$$$ going to provide more suitable accommodation for Kainga Ora tenants.

      • SPC 10.1.1

        If only it is that well thought out … time will tell.

      • weka 10.1.2

        sounds like it shouldn't be used for housing at all. In a housing crisis people will go to the available houses, including people that spend a lot of time at home eg unwell people

      • Belladonna 10.1.3

        I would buy this as an argument, if there were evidence that KO were either doing landswaps with developers or investing the money on suitable re-development opportunities – in the same, or close-by suburbs.

        One of the big issues with retirement housing, is that it should be in the same surburb where people already live, and in close proximity to bus services, community hubs (libraries, etc.) and shops.

        Certainly in Auckland, the intensification planning is all predicated on being close to bus routes, train stations and local shops – which is pretty much the definition of a high-traffic noise environment.

      • Sabine 10.1.4

        Sounds like a perfect spot for low income housing provided by a private for profit corp/trust/hedge fund. Something that the government could not build cause people would be upset if govt were to build substandard housing there, but something that is quite ok if private business will do. s/

        • Belladonna

          I agree, Sabine. I can't see many top quality developments being sited next to a motorway. It'll be low-quality shoebox apartments with zero amenities.

        • Molly

          Looking ahead, with the eventual replacement of internal combustion engines, with silent, non-polluting emissions, these areas will lose the main two factors that make them unappealing.

          They will, however, retain the one constant benefit – being close to a main arterial road, with all the convenience that affords.

          State housing – planned with the future in mind – ie. free public transport design that takes advantage of that convenience, and community spaces and facilities would be a good project.

          • weka

            that's a really good point. Which begs the question of who is doing that kind of integrated forward thinking and planning.

            • Molly

              Although, I haven't been following the planning within NZ as much as in the past, I'm guessing the answer is the same as it was around five years ago – no one.

    • Ad 10.2

      The Greens' criticism of this sale is bang on.

      Kainga Ora is a commercial business pushed by Treasury to 'wash its' own face' ie recycle its own capital rather than draw on fresh capital from the Crown ie the taxpayer.

      There is really no excuse for it.

      Kainga Ora has managed to masterplan most of Hobsonville next to a motorway, with pretty high spec medium density and high density and full masterplanning for amenity.

      I can still go to Savage Close in Palmerston North which was a model neighbourhood, and still functions as a model neighbourhood 80 years later. No such nonsense Crown land sales required then.

      I thoroughly object to the sale of Crown land, particularly for this purpose.

      • SPC 10.2.1

        I also see the choice as indicative of conformity to Treasury advice not to borrow to do the development. To that I would say, why not – the state houses are assets that earn rent and the others (Kiwibuild) are on sold. So it's a backtrack on the Kiwbuild programme and a lack of ambition for any significant increase the number of state houses.

        Myself I would buy 25,000 houses on the private market (and house the 25,000 on the waiting list) – live up to our signature on the UN Declaration of Human Rights 1948. And that would require significant investment in health capability as well. And make these issues of Enzed politics in 2023 and onward.

      • Bearded Git 10.2.2

        Thanks for that Ad-it seems to me that every month an issue come along that reminds me why I Party Vote Green.

  9. Ad 11

    After multiple incidents of racism and now fire bombing of a gay support centre, let's see what the tough-on-crime new MP for Tauranga can do for hate crime.

    'Ignorance is breeding hate': Why Tauranga’s queer community feels under siege |

    "Tauranga MP Sam Uffindell, from the National Party, said while he condemned all forms of discrimination, “I think it’s unfair to generalise about Tauranga in that way.” "

    Professor Peter Lineham is particularly useful getting to the root of the hate within Tauranga Christian fundamentalism.

    • Temp ORary 11.1

      It does seem to be a particular variety of "Christianity" that is often the wellspring of the exclusionary doctrine which provides the sociocultural springboard for hatred:

      Throughout the 80s and 90s, evangelicals and other born-again type congregations had also begun to grow. By the 2000s, as religious adherence waned in the rest of the country, these more “modern” churches with their charismatic pastors and younger congregations continued to thrive in Tauranga, now comprising around 10% of population, which Lineham says is “significant”.

      “You have churches with a strong emphasis on adherence to the Bible … who believe the mainstream world is dangerous to children and dangerous to their spiritual beliefs,”

      Which ties in with the Bethlehem College criticism that preceded the (alleged) arson at the Rainbow Youth center, and is still ongoing:

      Bethlehem College has just sent out a statement to parents and caregivers indicating they won’t be changing a Goddamn thing.

      The email was sent from principal Larne Edmeades…

      The statement all boils down to one line, really:

      “We believe we are adhering to all relevant legislation.”

      So, I guess nothing is changing in regards to Bethlehem College’s active distain for the LGBTQI+ community — despite what the Ministry of Education has told them:

      The Ministry of Education has confirmed that this statement was not included in the College’s Integration Agreement entered into with the Minister of Education in 1999. It has ordered the Principal, Board of Trustees and Deputy chair of the Christian Education Trust to remove point 13.

      …{Farrier} has reached out to the Teachers Council and Ministry of Education about Bethlehem College essentially extending them the middle finger.

      • SPC 11.1.1

        I remember reading something on kiwiblog about what happens when 4% of the population become fundamentalists of a foreign culture and religion (in this case American) … .

        It’s not a worry nationwide, unless one of them comes into a position of leadership … and fails to practice the wisdom of JFK (as to being POTUS for all).

        • SPC

          In the case of JFK he was informed by Catholic experience in the North (WASP GOP dominated), so supported the civil rights of the blacks in the south (appointing his brother AG). However since then there has been the Moral Majority reaction, their alliance with the Catholic middle class now has control of SCOTUS and now the Supreme Court is enabling the return to states rights (pre civil liberties era Jim Crow laws to suppress the vote etc – the good old boy day era that Alito is so fond of).

      • Anker 11.1.2

        As I posted earlier, I utterly condemed arson, and I condemn attacks against any poticial group like this.

        Has the fire service confirmed that the fire was arson?

        Have the police found the perpertrators and found that the attack was politically motivated rather than a random arson?

        While i think it was likely it was arson and possibly politically motivated, if the answer to both these questions is no, then Stuff is developing a narrative that promotes fear and division.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Stuff is developing a narrative that promotes fear and division.

          Stuff was reporting on several events in Tauranga.

          Any 'narrative' in that Stuff report seems timely – forewarned is forearmed.

          The irony implicit in the righteousness of some believers is troubling.

          These are fantastic illustrations of the insanity that results when we deny that it’s God who gets to define reality and not us.

          • Sacha

            And how does reporting on targeted attacks somehow 'create' division?

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              It is indeed a mystery – just hope this Stuff report is the sort of sunlight that will encourage the perpetrators to reflect on their thoughts and deeds.

            • Anker

              where's your quote from SPC?

              Blanchford claims the term. More important is what he is describing. He worked with men who crossed dressed and from this he began to realize what was happening for them. They were attracted to themselves as being a women (images, clothing etc). I think this makes sense as a way of understanding why men cross dress. There were enormous prohibitions against doing so (probaby not so much now) and often these men would begin cross dressing at 8 – 10 years old. Sometimes this would involve steling/borrowing their mums or sisters clothing/underwear.

              So I think it would be fair to say there is some big motivating force behind doing this as it certainly wasn't openly modelled.. It would have been ssecretive behaviour.

              BTW I don't judge people for doing this. I do think there are secondary victims here though, like the females who find out their husbands have been dressing in their clothes to get aroused.

              • Sacha

                Not heard anyone else doubting it is a motivated attack. There are a few dozen other buildings at that site if random arson was the intent.

                The division already existed in the minds of the people who torched that particular building and fear was already experienced by the groups of people targeted. Media reporting does not create them.

                Edit: OK you seem to have completely changed the comment I was replying to. Will paste next time.

                • Anker

                  I said "while I think it is likey an arson and possibly politically motivated"

                  I think it is best we establish the facts first. Don't you?

                  If a group thinks they are being targeted in the case of this fire and it turns out they are not, then that will be causing a lot of fear that might need to be dialled back a bit.

                • Belladonna

                  All of the initial coverage referred to a 'suspicious' fire – which seems to be code, for 'we think it's arson, but haven't yet done the forensic work to prove it'

                  Even if (when) it is proved to be arson, that's not to say that it's motivated by anything other than a desire to destroy. There are loads of examples of arson attacks at schools and other public buildings, which are apparently motive-less. And, no reason, at this stage, to think this one is any different.

                  In support of this perspective, the people from the Centre are quoted:

                  They were yet to receive any confirmation regarding the nature of the fire but said they had not been subject to hate crimes in Tauranga before.


                  If there were a significant hate-crime issue with the Rainbow Centre in the community, you would expect to have a pattern of escalation (e.g. tagging, minor property damage, glued door locks, broken windows, etc.) – before a full-blown arson attack.

                  Not to say that it's impossible. But I don't see any evidence at this stage for a hate-motivated arson attack.

                  It appears that many people are conflating the Bethlehem College stoush with the arson at the Rainbow Centre – and finding a pattern. Correlation is not causation. Two things can happen at the same time, and not actually have any connection.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          …then Stuff is developing a narrative that promotes fear and division.

          I emailed a Stuff 'journalist' making such a criticism of an article published a couple of months ago, and even provided links to scientific papers that showed some statements made in the piece were wrong.

          I told this 'journalist' that I had a great deal of respect for much of their earlier work and had expected better from them.

          I was told that what I wrote was abuse.

          Sadly, this is now the way of the Left. Any criticism, mild disapproval or heavens forbid censure, is abuse. Or hate speech. Or actual violence.

          • Anker

            Our media are hopelessly compromised now.

            I want to say Rosemary, that I think its been great that you have spoken up on this platform about the parliament protests and the vaccines. I don't always agree with your point of view, but I have appreciated your perspective, especially on the protest that many wanted to spin as "a river of filth"

            • Rosemary McDonald

              River of filth. Indeed. And the the lapdogs over at Stuff earn their pay again in this wee steaming pile published yesterday.

              Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern welcomed protesters back to Parliament, opening the grounds to the public again more than four months after anti-vaccine, anti-mandate crowds rioted and set up a makeshift camp on the lawn.

              So. We "rioted" did we, and then "set up a makeshift camp"?

              My memory of it is that we held protests and marches and tried to get a hearing from MPs and the (paid) media about the harms from lockdowns and school closures and why there was no official public health messaging about early home treatments and immune supportive measures.

              We were asking why on earth all our hopes were being put into the vaccine basket when there never has been vaccine for colds…and the vaccines for that other seasonal respiratory virus, the flu, has never been that effective and even hospital staff have had to be coerced to have it. (Strange how seldom we see journalists actually ask healthworker vaccine refuseniks why they decline the magic shot.)

              Anyway. I digress. So. We protested and we wrote letters and we had 'stands' and we posted on line about how the Pfizer shot was clearly not 'safe and effective' (based on overseas data) and expressed our concerns how rapidly early roll outs of the Magic Shots went from folks trampling over each other to 'get theirs' out of media induced FOMO to bribes and eventually no jab no job mandates. Why was that? And again our fearless journalists failed to ask that question.

              We're simply not allowed to speak about the the adverse effects of the Pfizer product. No siree. That's anti vaxxer talk. Fuckwit media (again) failed to note that those complaining about adverse effects were obviously not anti vaxxers because they had had the fucking shot. The few articles that have got through the filter have always featured "I'm pro- vaccine even though it nearly killed me and I don't want to put anyone off from having it." messaging. A bit weird. Don't you think?

              So. Our attempts at trying to get a hearing for our concerns failed and The Convoy was born. Yes, along the lines of the Canada Truckers protest, but ours was 100% Kiwi in its deployment. The shittiest Waitangi weekend weather ever and tens of thousands of us headed to Welly or lined the roadsides to cheer the travelers on. (Tens of thousands, Jacinda.) We sent $$$ and food and tents and gazebos and raincoats and portaloos and rubbish bags and trailers to take the rubbish away. We set up plumbed- in toilets and showers and kitchens cooking donated food. There were medical tents run by mandated nurses and doctors and paramedics.

              There was a tent dedicated to the seriously vaccine injured, and crosses were hung across Parliament forecourt in memory of those who died very shortly after taking the Pfizer shot. Yes. I understand that correlation does not mean causality… but the total dismissal of any possibility that this new and very novel pharmaceutical might not be as safe as claimed only served to make many of us less inclined to trust it and those demanding that we all take it.

              Even Stuff had to report (buried away from the obligatory scary headline and opening paragraphs) that NZ Intelligence agencies found that…

              “The vast majority of those opposed to [Covid-19] mitigation programmes are overwhelmingly peaceful and are driven by a diverse set of ideological frameworks and personal grievances,”

              The Parliament anti mandate protest was peaceful and organised despite the lack of any one particular "leader"….and I personally believe this is what unsettled our Charismatic Figurehead- dependent government more than anything. (How on earth can so many people be united behind a set of very real concerns rather than behind, say, an Ardern-like Leader???)

              The "riot". The official footage, filmed from the safety of the media balcony did not dwell on the body- armoured tear gas and pepper- spraying riot squad forcing peaceful protestors away from the tents and out of the grounds as the common cops followed behind rendering what had been for weeks clean and tidy and organised into piles of 'rubbish'. (There are hours of footage taken by non-MSM videographers if anyone is brave enough to watch the unapproved versions.)

              And of course some reacted with rage and violence at the actions of the police thugs that day. (Some of these have had their photos in our MSM in the past week…police wanting help to identify the main perpetrators. Clearly a line-up of Far Right anti -Semite Islamaphobic Fascist extremists.)

              So. Ardern is happy to welcome 'approved' protestors to the rejuvenated Parliament grounds…but chose to demonize those of us that failed to obey her demand that we only listen to the single source of truth.

              And the white crosses?

              Torn down and cast into the pile of garbage created by the cop thugs and that friendly Parliamentary Security team.

              Message received loud and clear. #Notmygovernment #Notmy parliamentgrounds

              • Molly

                Thanks, Rosemary. I know that many attempts were made to bring attention to the concerns of many NZers, and they were not only ignored but those involved were derided, and worse, identified as acceptable abuse targets. No-one would be pulled up for any vitriol send their way.

                This was played out on TS, time and time again, and continues to this day.

                I only participated in such conversations, when I had patience to do so. I valued/value many of your links and have admiration for both your persistence on this matter, and your wider perspective of harm.

                From conversations IRL, there is a tremendous amount of what I think of as avoidable resentment against the mandates. I think this will play out in the next elections, while the population is still dealing with the individual impacts of Covid, even if media attention and political priorities have moved on.

              • Incognito

                (Strange how seldom we see journalists actually ask healthworker vaccine refuseniks why they decline the magic shot.)

                That’s a good question and there are (local) data on this, e.g.,

                I’m sure I could find more general and more recent reports on attitudes of healthcare workers in NZ.

                They seem to be lagging this year:

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  Thank you for providing the links…I had seen them so I know the question has been asked. But not by our all-powerful MSM. A shame.

                  The Minister unlucky enough to be in charge of the Misery of Health during this difficult time was being interviewed by Corin Dann the other morning. (about 1.30 mins)

                  Dann, of course, was leaning towards Little making a statement about a possible mandate for the flu shot for healthworkers. (Just try it Andy…you won't know what hit you.)

                  Little mumbled and flopped out the term "vaccination fatigue" and waffled on about the time it takes out of the healthworkers' busy day and the fact that they have to wait around for 20 minutes after the shot.

                  All very interesting…and oh the irony of health authorities again offering bribes to get the doctors and nurses to take a 'proven safe and effective' vaccine.

              • Anker

                Thanks Rosemary. Initially I'll be honest, I did not support the protesters. But Mallards antics and the refussal of the Govt to do their duty and meet with their citizens made me think again.

                And I concluded that the mandates were problematic and that the protesters should have been listened to and treated with respect.

                I also found the left wings pompous attitude to the protesters hypocritical

                • gsays

                  "I also found the left wings pompous attitude to the protesters hypocritical"

                  I agree and have been left mulling over what does it mean to be 'left'?

                  There used to be solidarity around workers and jobs. With the mandates rolled out, there was barely a whimper around these parts, very few if any expressed feeling compromised or uncomfortable about the unprecedented move, despite being in favour of getting pfizer's experimental drug themselves. In fact there was borderline muted celebration that some of these 'low value jobs' were disappearing.

                  The left used to be fairly inclusive but the tensions arising from gender identity have turned into large divisions.

                  Now there isn't Trump to universally despise the left seems to be floundering.

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    …but the tensions arising from gender identity….

                    That, and the Covid response…especially in western nations. On both issues, science (as it is supposed to function) has been converted into some weird cult like dogma that demands total agreement and cancels and exiles those who question.

                    Human beings are not clown fish and cannot change sex. It is impossible for a human to be born into the wrong body, and sex is not "assigned" at birth it.. is observed and noted…usually by a trained medical professional. Women are adult human females and only females of our species can get pregnant and give birth. There. I wrote it down. Cancel me.

                    Respiratory viruses have been around forever and SarsCoV 2 was new and scary (and most likely lab made) and no one knew what impact it was going to have. Rightfully we were cautious. But very, very early on it was clear that the old and sick and those those already knocking on heaven's door were most at risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and death. The median age of those dying with Covid in the UK was 83. The benefits of Lockdowns…a relative novel way of handling such outbreaks… are coming under increasing scrutiny as more nations realize that the negative impacts on society have not outweighed the benefits. The mRNA shots were never going to save us…a fact that is finally getting some MSM coverage.

                    Some scientists (and this includes doctors) were speaking out about these issues right from early on and were suggesting different approaches. They were systematically censured and censored. It is hard to believe that despite history being liberally littered with examples of the dangers of censorship and unchallenged government backed propaganda the majority of the western world quite happily complied and accepted that this is what was needed to beat the Scary Virus.

                    On a purely visceral level…the trans/gender ideology thing and the Covid response thing have me reacting similarly. Neither has real science as its foundation and both demand that we unquestioningly accept the flawed science.

                    • Incognito

                      As usual, you have some things right and some others wrong.

                      For example:

                      The mRNA shots were never going to save us…a fact that is finally getting some MSM coverage.

                      Try get your head around the difference between “never” and “no longer”.

                      You also don’t seem to understand the nature of science; it is not ‘flawed’, absolute (and neither omniscient), perfect (or pure), permanent or any of those silly labels that get thrown around a lot, but it is a snapshot of our best knowledge and understanding of our physical world. Science is neither a ‘cult’ nor a religion and to allege that we “demand that we unquestioningly accept” is a strawman of the first order, which also goes against the exact nature of science and the scientific process. Same is true for your absurd notion that “science (as it is supposed to function) has been converted into some weird cult like dogma that demands total agreement and cancels and exiles those who question”; people such as you make those allegations because it suits their narrative. These people would scream murder if authorities and Government would make decisions and set policy that were not evidence-based but also scream murder if evidence guides and underpins decisions with which they disagree and to which they vehemently object. You have chosen a rigid position and created an enemy that supposedly holds the same but opposite position, which is called projection. People cannot reach you because you don’t want to be reached and you don’t want to bridge the divide and yet, in a tragic irony, you accuse them of being divisive with all the negative attack labels you can find and with all the acerbic language you can muster. And on and on it goes.

                    • Just Saying

                      Hi Rosemary,

                      I don't agree with your exact position on transgender issues, but a while ago, because the issue was so salient and intense I took a deep dive to try and understand the strength of feeling. Because I really didn't get it.

                      I read a ton of material on the issue from the contra point of view, but didn't feel any less confused. I finally felt a sense of understanding when I watched a discussion about transgender between Mary Harrington and Paul Kingsnorth in which the issue was framed in relation to a current cultural compulsion/zeitgeist to transcend the limits of the natural world. As if we were not a part of nature.

                      In this context I feel like I feel like I understand, not necessarily according to the different threads themselves, but as their being a part of a holism that makes sense to me.

                      What I disagree with is the transgender issue being posited as 'across the board' on either side because I can't get my head around objecting to individuals who feel separated from their own body and from society being forced to conform to an identity that radically diverges from their inner selves, ie forced into an agonising inner-outer split.

                      It is troubling because we do, in a sense, oppose nature with modern medicine, and I doubt many would want a carte-blanche turning back of the clock. Yet there is certainly a line between medicine and a kind of technocratic extremism and denialism, that is nowhere near adequately discussed. And an apparent censorship of concern and dissent within a zealously enforced medico-scientific 'consensus'.

                      And I think it is this wider picture that you are drawing in linking the issue to the vaccine mandate.

                      I'm interested to know if this is correct.

              • mauī

                Thanks Rosemary. I'm beginning to think what we witnessed was a significant moment in NZ civil rights history, something that hasn't been seen in many generations. This was reinforced to me when I viewed footage of the thousands of personal messages written in permanent marker on many of the vehicles at the beehive.

                Now who would oppose, ignore and ridicule decent kiwis, with heartfelt messages holding a mixture of good christian, conservative, indigenous, green and working class values? Probably a comfortable, brainwashed, lefty elite…

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  I'm beginning to think what we witnessed was a significant moment in NZ civil rights history, something that hasn't been seen in many generations.

                  Stuart Munro commented on the Matariki thread yesterday that

                  …Waitangi had ceased to be the day that brought NZ together.

                  I fired off a reply…then deleted and cancelled it. But here's the gist…

                  Waitangi Day 2022 will go down in our (unofficial) history as the one that did truly unite a broad swathe of Kiwis under a common banner.

                  Anyone who participated or even peripherally followed the convoy and the first couple of weeks of the Freedom Village will have seen that it was Maori and Pakeha in just about equal measures who more than happily shared the stages with respect and love. Soppy- sounding, but that is how it has been described. There's hours of footage that shows this.

                  The fact that these united people were protesting against a tyrannical government that has relentlessly promoted itself (through their lapdog media) as being kind and transformative and all about the Wellbeing will have scared the shit out of those occupying the House. Both sides of the house.

                  Regardless of their hue…the bastard politicians thrive on division and disharmony like vampires thrive on blood.

                  Yep, yep, it is what it is.

                  Left? Right? Makes no difference anymore.

                  It would not surprise me one little bit if Waitangi Day is gradually phased out…lest some of us celebrate it with renewed commitment in memory of that one year that we actually, as a nation, made it mean something.

          • Molly

            "I was told that what I wrote was abuse."

            Given your restraint on here, I would greatly doubt that your message was abusive.

            It's a strange attitude for a 'journalist' to take. They should be comfortable enough with words to accept your message, while maintaining their disagreement with your contribution without resorting to accusations of abuse.

      • Belladonna 11.1.3

        I think this anti-LGBTQI rhetoric isn't unique to Christian fundamentalists, but is common to most (if not all) fundamentalist branches of organized religion.

        Not all Muslims regard homosexuality as abhorrent, but the conservative and fundamentalist wings of the religion certainly do.

        TBH, given the well-known conservative Christian educational environment offered at Bethlehem College – I don't know why anyone with a gender non-confirming teen would even contemplate sending them there.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          I don't know why anyone with a gender non-confirming teen would even contemplate sending them there.

          Perhaps in the hope such a school would 'straighten out' such a child?

          • Belladonna

            I agree that's a possibility. In which case, the home situation is likely to be of much more significance than what's going on (or not) at school.

            • Temp ORary

              The parents may not be even aware that their children are LGBTQ+ at the time they enroll them at the school. Farrier quotes Ro Bright:

              There has always been queer and gender-diverse kids at Bethlehem College. I know this as I was a non-binary/trans kid there in the late 90s…

              I did not feel as a student a “strong sense of wellbeing and belonging”. I felt the opposite. And for those who say “well you can send your kid to another school” — not all kids are out. Some mask. Some do not feel safe to show their true gender expression. I didn’t feel safe until I was in my 30s.

              It breaks my heart to think of these beautiful queer kids reading BC’s statement now, who are at this moment internalising self-hate. Self-hate that will turn into depression and suicidal ideation.

              I know, because I have been there.

              Discrimination against LGBTQIA+ kids is so insidious because when you’re young you don’t have the language, or the means to process what’s going on. All you take from it, is this devastating sense that there must be something wrong with you.


              But yes, it is not solely Christian fundamentalists who are anti-LGBTQ+ people, but almost certainly the most relevant in Tauranga and wider Aotearoa. The vandalism of Gloria (the Pink Church) earlier this month included specific biblical references, slogans and symbols.


        • Blade

          I think you would be hard pressed to find a Muslim who would be accepting of gays and gender non-conformers in their lives. Maybe Ahmadiyya Muslims, but they aren't considered real Muslims by MS Muslim communities.

          While some Western Muslims may be more accepting, The Doco ''What Muslims Really Think,'' paints a grim picture of attitudes towards gays in Britain.

          While we love to poke fun at nutty fundamentalists… look where nutty liberalism has lead us.

          How would you ask for someone if you rung this college?

          '' Could I speak to Anthony.. I have an appointment with he/they.''

          [I gave a mod warning yesterday about your behaviour here In today’s comment you are again slagging of liberals (nutty) with no explanation. To avoid another ban, you can now explain your thinking fully. You also need to stop using routine pejoratives and give actual political arguments – weka]

          • weka

            mod note.

          • Blade

            ''In today’s comment you are again slagging of liberals (nutty) with no explanation.''

            The explanation was in the link, Weka. In fact the link is worth a thousand word explanation. I have also called fundamentalists nutty but thought no explanation was necessary because the topic has been well covered from the liberal perspective. I was just adding a counter argument. It's simple madness, similar to fundamentalists saying you can't be gay or LGBTQ because God doesn't make mistakes.

            In fact most of my larger posts are well argued ( I believe) in simplistic terms with backup links. They go straight to the main points of the issue without excessive commentary that skirts and confuses issues, in my opinion. Hence the visceral reaction to my posts. Without a word buffer the posts hit the bias of many posters on this blog. I don't have that problem because I consider the right as nutty as the left. So I don't become emotional and nasty unless pushed. You will notice I'm respectful to commentators who engage me in a respectful manner.

            Looking at recent posts, I collected a number of similar comments that I consider in a like vain to my post above, but decided not to use them because generally you are right about political debate and the use of pejoratives. Most comments followed that pattern you have outlined. But there are others that don't, and that's where the problems start. And its confusing:


            That had nothing to do with the Left. I didn't start it. I accept I was moderated for reacting. But the guy who called me a piece of shit walks? Shouldn't he have been moderated as well?

            Now today this:

            Robert Guyton18.1.1.1

            25 June 2022 at 5:42 pm

            ''No one cares what you think.''

            Of course he's right, but that's not the point.

            I will be commenting less( if still allowed) as I'm too busy now, and, as I promised Stuey Munroe, I will be leaving this blog for good after the next election. That election MAY be sooner rather than later. Fingers crossed for us all.

            [you’ve definitely upped your game around explanations and linking, that’s been good to see, lots of people can’t or won’t learn that. However the issue now is the continual poking at the left. This is a left wing blog and the poking is so continuous that we now consider it trolling.

            It’s not enough to point at a link. You have to be able to explain your own thinking. I’m not understanding what the problem is from reading your comment, but as a mod I’m now more concerned with you ignoring moderation and arguing about it. I also don’t care who started what, I care about the disruption to the community and the problems that is now causing for the site and moderation.

            If you don’t understand what is going on, all you have to do is follow the mod requests. Two day ban for ignoring moderation and arguing about it – weka]

            • weka

              mod note.

            • weka

              if someone calls you a shit you have some choices. You can ignore them and go talk to someone else. Or you can react and insult them back. The latter will cop you a ban, the former won't.

              What other people do is for the moderators to sort out or not depending on our time and work load. What most people fail to understand here when getting moderated is that while we try to be fair, the main priority is keeping the commentariat on track and reducing our workload. We're not running an egalitarian collective.

              You can clearly see that I asked Robert to stop. The advantage that you have currently is that you are under the spotlight so any over the top, sustained harassment of you will be seen by the mods. Ad hoc insults aren't the priority, patterns of behaviour are.

            • Incognito

              I must say that it is a weird thing to repeatedly state that you won’t be around on this blog after the next election because: 1) we don’t know when the GE 2023 will be held; 2) you have been around on this blog for many years; 3) there’s no obvious reason for you to leave this blog for good after the election.

      • Molly 11.1.4

        A couple of questions come to mind, when I read your comment.

        Is your concern with the beliefs of Christian faith, or just with the holding of those beliefs by this particular school?

        If it is with the Christian faith, then focusing on this one particular school is selective targeting of an entity as an adherent, rather than dealing with the concerns of the faith itself. It also strides uncomfortably close to discrimination on the basis of a protected characteristic of the Human Right's Act (1993) – religious belief.

        If it is this particular school – working outside the parameters of the faith – then it needs to be shown that it is doing so.

        If it is that this school is being funded by the state – once again, there are a couple of questions:

        1. Do you believe any religious affiliated schools should be funded?

        2. If yes, do you think this particular school – once again – is operating outside it's integration agreement? (I don't, because they reference their adherence to their Scripture in the statement, but maybe you can explain why you believe otherwise.)

        If it is that students going to the school are 'harmed' by such beliefs then that's another whole conversation, and worth unpicking.

        (Also, worth unpicking, is the details behind the protest held at this Christian school by students. What materials were distributed, what actions were taken, who was targeted, how they dealt with responses, questions etc. If it was purely secular in tone and perspective, and deliberately intended to criticise Christian beliefs in a school filled with Christian students – then I don't doubt that teenagers would push back in some way. There needs to be more details, before any assumptions can be made.)

        • Temp ORary

          It's been a week or so since I was onsite with events overseas, but I thought I had made it clear that I was referencing: a particular variety of "Christianity". The quotation marks indicating that some might regard it as Christianity in name only, more a preacher-cult with its:

          “modern” churches with their charismatic pastors and younger congregations continued to thrive in Tauranga, now comprising around 10% of population, which Lineham says is “significant”.

          “You have churches with a strong emphasis on adherence to the Bible … who believe the mainstream world is dangerous to children and dangerous to their spiritual beliefs,”

          Once a religious school becomes state-funded, then it reasonably becomes subject to investigation to see if it is abiding by government criteria. Even places like Gloriavale can't legally just ignore the laws of the country, though they can keep their misdeeds quieter for longer. Also; not just Bethlehem College, though it is a most egregious example in the altering of its agreed position a decade after signing up:

          Three more state-funded Christian schools have been identified as having anti-queer policies, prompting advocates to call for a full-scale education inquiry into discrimination against the LGTBQI community…

          Each school’s position on LGBTQI issues was outlined in its “Statement of Belief”, part of their integration agreement with the Ministry of Education. That agreement allows schools to maintain a religious special character, while receiving government funding.

          After Bethlehem’s belief statement was made public, the Ministry of Education asked it to remove a clause about marriage, which it had inserted into its document 10 years after signing its integration agreement…

          When asked about the other schools, Sean Teddy, Leader Operations and Integration at the ministry, said the board of a state-integrated school was required to be inclusive of, and cater for, students with differing needs.

          Under the Education Act, state-integrated schools were legally entitled to have a religious special character but how those beliefs were operationalised should reflect the integration agreement and the requirements of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and Human Rights Act 1993, he said…

          Human rights law expert professor Claire Breen, from Waikato University, said the case was a “balancing act” between the right to religious freedom and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex.

          The schools were entitled to their beliefs, she said, but once they started taking public money, their agreement with the ministry put a limit on those beliefs.

          • Molly

            Thanks for your reply.

            To me the repetitive nature of the Stuff articles, very light on detail, indicate an orchestrated strategy.

            "Also; not just Bethlehem College, though it is a most egregious example in the altering of its agreed position a decade after signing up:"

            Except I don't read it that way, even though others seem to.

            Link to the integration agreement and all subsequent addendems, with Statement of Beliefs.

            I'm not Christian. I have never supported state funding of religious schools, because I believe in the necessity for separation of church and state.

            But that is not what is being discussed in relation to Bethlehem Collage – it is their religious beliefs.

            I also believe in the tolerance for religious beliefs that is a protected characteristic of the Human Rights Act 1993.

            So, that is a necessary part of the conversation here.

  10. how many out there in the provinces read their daily rags and get assaulted by a full page of right wing whinge dsguised as editorial. the local rag here has endless splurts from prebble, duplessis allen, even hoaxing and they sometimes reprint the same piece during the same week. it is time to take these people to task and either write to them or out them on FB or better still a personal blog. That realy hurts them when they are exposed.

    • Rosemary McDonald 13.1

      Can someone copy and paste the full text?

      For you Anne? Fill your boots.

      New Zealand soaked up Covid-19 disinformation seeded by Russia in the months leading up to the protest at Parliament, a major new report from Microsoft has found.

      Microsoft charted the increase through what it called the Russian Propaganda Index using tools that showed consumption of false news was 30 per cent above Australia and the United States.

      It revealed that sophisticated artificial intelligence and other tools had tracked a surge in Russian propaganda consumption from December onwards. The growth continued through to the protest at Parliament in February.

      The report said it was too early for a concrete conclusion but "this spike in Russian propaganda consumption in New Zealand preceded an increase in public protests in early 2022" in Wellington.

      The other country highlighted for its growth in false news consumption was Canada which had its own protest opposing measures intended to guard against Covid-19. The New Zealand "convoy" to Wellington was inspired by the Canadian movement.

      The global giant's president and vice-chairman Brad Smith revealed the focus on New Zealand in a report which studied the growth in Russian cyber operations.

      The Microsoft report said the current Russian cyber operation "builds on recent sophisticated efforts to spread false Covid-19 narratives in multiple Western countries".

      "These included state-sponsored cyber influence operations in 2021 that sought to discourage vaccine adoption through English-language internet reports while simultaneously encouraging vaccine usage through Russian-language sites.

      "During the last six months, similar Russian cyber influence operations sought to help inflame public opposition to Covid-19 policies in New Zealand and Canada."

      The Microsoft report found the false news "driving Russian propaganda consumption in New Zealand" late last year was focused on Covid-19 issues.

      Those included false stories that "drove narratives that questioned the efficacy of vaccines and suggested that they had life-threatening side effects".

      Microsoft was able to identify the five top false news stories it identified as Russian propaganda which all contained themes aimed at undermining confidence in New Zealand's Covid-19 response.

      Three of the five false news articles were specifically targeting the Pfizer vaccine which New Zealand had relied on to vaccinate the entire population.

      It included false claims that Pfizer used aborted foetuses in the vaccine and untrue claims about death and injuries from the vaccine. Other themes aimed to play down the value of Covid-19 vaccines.

      The Microsoft report said democratic nations faced a struggle between freedom of expression and a response to foreign cyber influence operations.

      "This freedom inherently impacts and even limits the role of democratic governments in addressing any issue associated with content on the internet."

      "The freedom of expression is of distinct importance in developing a strategic response to foreign cyber influence operations. This freedom inherently impacts and even limits the role of democratic governments in addressing any issue associated with content on the internet."

      The Microsoft report described a multi-layered approach to fighting cyber influence operations which was based on greater links between those affected and an openness about the risks posed.

      It said there was cooperation needed to detect when foreign influence operations were under way and to track the impact it was having.

      It also said there was a need to "reinvigorate traditional journalism" as a defence against cyber influence operations, along with strong civic education to "educate the public about how to be a sophisticated information consumer".

      It could also be disrupted through transparency – alerting the public when new cyber influence operations began – and targeting the advertising revenue that earned money for sites known to carry false information. Strengthening international networks also provided protection.

      The company set out its own expectations and standards, showing it would take an active role in attacking disinformation but also preparing defences for users.

      "Of course, no single company or organization can hope to make progress in any of these areas by itself. New and broader collaboration across the tech sector will be important."

      Research into the disinformation community in New Zealand found 12 sites produced almost three-quarters of the false information circulated.

      Those sites pushed false Covid-19 narratives and three months ago began reflecting Russian government positions over the invasion of Ukraine.

      NZ Herald monitoring of the sites has seen an acceptance of information presented as news which reflects Russian propaganda on Ukraine without question. Among those is at least one purported news site which takes its material straight from Russian government controlled websites.

      • Anne 13.1.1

        Thank you for that Rosemary McDonald. I should have said provide a link to the full text. My interest lay in just how far they have penetrated the local social media scene.

        It is of course part of the global attempt to divide and rule western countries by seeding falsehoods, discontent, division and riots. It's sinister and dangerous and now we know what is going on, we need to pull together to fight this battle.

        • weston

          Yep we need to use all of our old copies of 'Womens Weekly ' and all those stacks of old 'Herald's barricade the windows and doors of our house 's and pass the word to the neighbours !! Watch out !! the Russians are coming !! lol

        • gsays

          Thanks for the chuckle Anne, "…we need to pull together to fight this battle."

          From one who was happy to throw metaphorical rocks at those who questioned the Covid narrative. Content to 'other' away, but now we need to unite?

          Excellent thigh slapping stuff.

        • gsays

          Thanks for the chuckle Anne, "…we need to pull together to fight this battle."

          From one who was happy to throw metaphorical rocks at those who questioned the Covid narrative. Content to 'other' away, but now we need to unite?

          Excellent thigh slapping stuff.

          • Anne

            Your sarcasm is noted.

            Indeed there were falsehoods, discontent, division and riots on a scale we have not seen in NZ before. It was sad to see people falling for the disinformation and it needed to be called out. Now that we know where some of it was coming from (not to mention the Trumpist derailing attempts) western nations need to pull together and fight back.

            I give credit to Rosemary for supplying the data because despite my differing views (which were not as strong as some others) , I also acknowledge her ability to argue cogently from her corner.

            • gsays

              Hey, I agree with yr last paragraph.

              The question remains, what can be done to reunite, to undo the damage, to heal the division that was knowingly caused by the state's reaction to the virus?

              • Anne

                …what can be done to reunite, to undo the damage, to heal the division that was knowingly caused by the state's reaction to the virus?

                And that is where we disagree. To my mind, the damage was caused by false theories and conspiracies we know were seeded by both Russian – and American – activists whose aim is to create division and rioting among the populace of democratic societies. It is no coincidence that Putin and Trump have a bf arrangement that still likely exists behind the scenes.

                That imo is what we have to fight against tooth and nail. Regardless of what we might think of some democracies, we can only overcome the evil by working together on destroying their fascist programme – and hopefully avoiding WW3.

  11. roy cartland 14

    An interesting discussion between Owen Jones (The Guardian) and Yanis Varoufakis on various topics.
    Towards the end is some talk around one of the things that pops up here a bit, that of the civil war among those of the 'left'. How it makes us sitting ducks for the 'right' and the consequences of.

    • weka 14.1

      I haven't watched that, so don't know what was said about the split in the left, but Jones is one of the main protagonists in the UK in the sex/gender wars who routinely attacks and undermines left wing women talking about women's rights to safety, women's culture and spaces.

    • Ad 14.2

      They complain too much.

      We've had 2 terms of left coalition. Works fine. One of the most progressive democracies in the world.

      And they need to discover South America.

  12. Anker 15

    Roy Cartland,havent managed to see what you have posted, but yes the left is very split now.

    I use to consider myself a leftie once. Not now, but neither do I endorse much of what the right propose. I have no political home and tend to judge things issue by issue.

    • weka 15.1

      Just been reading this,

      Organising on the Left

      We know failure to recognise the concerns of women, as well as active mistreatment of women on and by the parts of the political left has led to many becoming estranged, or ostracised, from the socialist and labour movement. Our values remain of the left and progressive, and we still believe that equality, justice and solidarity are worth fighting for.

      Feminists built and have sustained the left. Many of the rights that women have today were won by working women’s struggles to organise themselves and others. We refuse to relinquish active engagement in a movement we helped to build, and which has the potential to improve the daily lives of millions of women, men and children.

      We will continue to encourage women to self-organise and to build grassroots women’s groups which are welcoming and accessible to all women. We have created a range of resources to help with that and we will be producing more.

      We believe that women have a right to self-organise – and that this includes the right to decide whom we organise with.

      We believe in freedom of expression – and that this includes the right to criticise and to challenge viewpoints we disagree with.

    • swordfish 15.2

      At the very great risk of appearing presumptuous, I'd say you are genuine Left, Anker … as opposed to our dear old autocratic Woke chums, profoundly shaped by their deeply distorted Critical Theory religious beliefs. In so many ways the antithesis of traditional Social Democracy.

      • Anker 15.2.1

        Thanks Swordfish. I no longer feel left as now I associate it with the ideologically driven woke.

        I try to think about it from a values point of view. Accept people as you find them, but don't give in and go along with the entitled brats who want to tell me how to think and what pro nouns I must use.

        Lucky to grow up in the 1960's when things were decent (not perfect) then. People knew about doing their best to be honest and contribute and not piss your neighbours off

  13. satty 16

    One can only hope the MoH here is taking vaping at least as serious as smoking. Saw this one on the Guardian (12.11). Advice from the Australian "National Health and Medical Research Council":

    The advice states the vapour from e-cigarette devices can be harmful and there is limited evidence that e-cigarettes are effective at helping smokers quit.

    All e-cigarette users are exposed to chemicals and toxins that have the potential to cause harm. In addition to nicotine, more than 200 chemicals have been associated with e-liquids.

    E-cigarettes containing nicotine are addictive and people who have never smoked are more likely to take up tobacco smoking.

    – E-cigarettes are not proven safe and effective smoking cessation aids. Many people end up using both cigarettes and e-cigarettes. There are other proven safe and effective options to help smokers quit.

    I guess it's time to close all those vaping shops.

    • joe90 16.1

      If 'Murica can do it.

      June 22 (Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is preparing to order Juul Labs Inc to take its e-cigarettes off the market in the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

      Shares in tobacco giant Altria Group (MO.N), which owns a 35% stake in the vaping products maker, fell 8.5% following the report. The decision could come as early as Wednesday, the report said.

      Juul has faced heightened scrutiny from regulators, lawmakers and state attorneys general over the appeal of its nicotine products to teenagers. Under pressure, the company in late 2019 had halted U.S. sales of several flavors

  14. Adrian 17

    Upsetting news on Stuff and NZH from Auckland about 5 people attacked on Murrays Bay beach and stabbed with a knife. It could have been worse as a construction worker interceded with a nail gun. Mark Mitchell obliquely blames Labour.

    Hard to believe any of this is true, but Despicable Mitchell running true to form.

    Best wishes to the victims.

    • Anne 17.1

      Mark Mitchell is a total shit. It shows by his response that he's not really caring about the victims or those who witnessed the incident. He sees it as another opportunity to screw the knife into Labour.

      It is this attitude that turned me so against the National Party 40 years ago when Muldoon was in the hot seat.

    • Belladonna 17.2

      Indeed, very upsetting. I have friends living in that area, who are definitely feeling the 'too close to home' vibe.

      Reading between the lines, it looks like a mental health case (no reason for the attack, random selection of victims).
      Which doesn't make it any less frightening for the people involved or witnessing it.

      Another 'statistic' in our failure to find effective treatment environments for mental health patients. Dumping them, unsupported, into the community, is just not safe for anyone concerned.

      • Robert Guyton 17.2.1

        What leads you to conclude, Belladonna, that this person actually represents "Another 'statistic' in our failure to find effective treatment environments for mental health patients. Dumping them, unsupported, into the community, is just not safe for anyone concerned."

        Was he dumped, as you claim?

        Why are you so confident of your claim?

        • Belladonna

          Suggest you read both my comment, Robert, and the linked piece.

          I said "Reading between the lines….."
          Quote from the piece (and from the police)

          "This was a random attack and there was no indication it was a hate crime, Hassan said."

          So, what are we left with.?

          The implication that this is a mental health issue. Random, motive-less assaults have a high-probability of being due to some form of mental health issue.

          Or do you have a different interpretation? Do you think this is a fully-well person who has just decided that their life would be brighter if they slashed up a whole lot of people with a knife?

          And, we who live in Auckland know that mental health care is massively deficient – at least in our city (perhaps it's world-class where you live). People who are seriously mentally unwell are 'dumped' (and I can't use a kinder word, because there isn't one) into the community. Discharged from a mental health facility, with nowhere else to go, with no support in place, and with massively underfunded community care and support services. Unable to get emergency treatment or mental health care placements, unless they've actually assaulted someone (and then, they're more likely to end up in jail than in care).

          I have friends and family on both sides of the situation: psych staff trying to deal with the tsunami of cases; and families of mentally unwell people desperate to find a way to help their loved one.

          It is, of course, entirely possible that he’s never been able to even get assessed by the mental health system. It can take years to even get a referral to the psych team – and that’s assuming that you have a GP who’s prepared to push for assessement. Would that make him less of a ‘statistic’ in your eyes?

          If you have a different interpretation, please share.

          • Robert Guyton

            You've read between the lines, Belladonna, which everyone is free to do but to expect readers to support your conclusion is a bit optimistic, imo.

            • Belladonna

              Yes, it's an opinion. I've shared the facts (quotes and accepted data) which support it.

              What's your opinion?

              If you don't have one, then scroll on by…..

              • Robert Guyton

                I do have an opinion, Belladonna and that is I don't know enough yet to form a useful view on what happened and what the circumstances leading up to the attacks were. That's more a fact, I suppose, but it informs my opinion that I can't make a sound judgement yet.

                • Belladonna

                  Gosh you'll be busy then, challenging most of the comments here. I doubt much of the debate on TS reaches your lofty standards 🙂

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Oh, no, quite the opposite. I value opinions very much but don't take them as gospel.

    • Belladonna 17.3

      Could you quote and link to the Mitchell comments?

      The only quote I can find from him about this on either the Stuff or NZ Herald coverage is:

      "National police spokesman and MP Mark Mitchell said what had unfolded near a usually peaceful beach was "tragic"."

  15. justg got home from the library where th edompost and the wsairarapa times age are free. The dompost had an editorial by one luke malpass forecasting the doom of the NZLP and ditto for the wairarapa times age by one prebble. these articles are partisan and scabby. there i snever any facts just partisan opinion. Its all very well arguing the finer points of thi sor that government policy buyt in the meantime the rabid rightwingers are goin gflat out to win the hearts and minds of the electorate. There will be no third term labour government if the tories keep pushing these line with. no opposition. The only recourse as far as I can see is to name the publisher and the authors of these scabby articles pn facebook or ones onwn blog. It mightr seemlike one is preachng to the wind but make no mistake the search engines pick out allnames and people like prebble hate that and so do the publishers who like to see themselves as above the rest of us and have fits when they are shamed in public for being partisan and biased

    • Anne 18.1

      The Douglas/Prebble faction and their mates lost control of the Labour Party in the late 1980s. Lange set the scene when he stepped down as prime minister… citing them as the reason. One by one they all left the party in a fit of sulks. A few of them including Prebble have been fighting a vengeful battle against Labour ever since.

  16. Blade 19

    Vigilante action.

    If the police have any sense, they will just thank the public for helping. If they are idiots, they will say the public shouldn't take matters into their own hands. Let's see if there's a new broom sweeping through the Police Force. Or whether it's business as usual.?

    • DB Brown 19.1

      Let's let the wounds get stitched up before you turn it into a political item you piece of shit.

      • Blade 19.1.1

        What are you on about now. DB Bitter?. News Hub asked a similar question tonight. It's not a political item I'm trying to post…It's hoping the first thing out of the cops mouth isn't threatening someone who has acted in self defence for themselves or others with possible prosecution if an offender is injured ( as happened in this case)

        Now piss off you prick.

        [take the next 24 hours off. I have zero interest in having to stop a flame war – weka]

        [mod update. When you come off this ban you will be in premod. This means each comment you make will have to be released manually by a moderator.

        One issue that’s come up is the degree to which you insult people, especially when you politicise this. The constant sniping at the left is also tedious. This is a labour movement aligned blog. Criticism of the left is welcomed, constant slagging off isn’t.

        This is a behavioural issue and is affecting the community negatively as well as sucking up too much moderator time.

        My suggestion is to stick to the politics, explaining your thinking and providing links etc as needed. I will be moderating for the insults, giving short, sharp bans that will double in length each time until I get sick of it and give you a longer ban. You are welcome to ask questions for clarification. Please don’t argue about moderation or waste my time. – weka]

        • weka

          you're the one sucking moderation time, and choosing to react to up the ante. So many people don't realise how big a part of moderation is simply trying to limit how much time we spend on people who should know better.

        • weka

          mod note, updated above.

    • Robert Guyton 19.2

      Seems the police thanked the public and seems DB Brown was correct.

    • Mac1 19.3

      "Vigilante- a member of a self-appointed group of citizens who undertake law enforcement in their community without legal authority, typically because the legal agencies are thought to be inadequate."

      Blade, I do not believe that your use of vigilante is correct. Instead, it rather points to either you had no understanding of what took place and shot your mouth off, or you don't know what a vigilante actually is or does, or you are finding the situation as one to make a poorly made, unjustified and political point about our police.

      Or all three.

  17. channel 31. bignouth todd mclay going on about the government doing this or not doing that but my question is to him if the nationals party is the party of busness then how many businesses have the nationals party or their members sonsored lately?

  18. Sabine 21

    There are some that believe that Gender above all will be beneficial to gestational carriers / non males.

    Nek Minit a Gender Best Performing Country – Malta, is also the absolute worst for gestational carriers/non males who need reproductive care i.e. an emergency abortion because lots of shit that can happen during a pregnancy happened to this one. But oh noes, no abortion for the uterus havers, no medical care for the birthing bodies, that would be icky? or morally repugnant? or to feminisity? maybe it would encourage sluttiness, or reckless sex having by people who are not male or not rainbow colored? Who really knows.

    Mind, I truly hope she gets an infection soon, cause if she don't she will die long before the doctors state that her dead rotting in her body fetuses heart has finally stopped beating.

    Prudente, 38, was on holiday with her partner, Jay Weeldreyer, 45, on the island of Gozo on 12 June when she began bleeding heavily in the night.

    Doctors in Gozo prescribed her a drug to protect against miscarriage, but two days later when they were back on Malta, the main island, Prudente’s waters broke and she was admitted to St Thomas hospital, where she was told that her placenta had become partially detached.

    A follow-up ultrasound 48 hours later found there was no amniotic fluid left in her womb, and the couple were told the baby could not survive. They were also told that because of Malta’s abortion law, there was nothing doctors could do to end the pregnancy as long as the foetus had a heartbeat.

    Prudente was transferred to Mater Dei hospital, where she was additionally diagnosed with a ruptured membrane and an umbilical cord that was protruding from her cervix, putting her at even greater risk of haemorrhage and infection. She also tested positive for Covid-19. She is being kept in Covid isolation and receiving antibiotics to ward off infection.

    Weeldreyer said medical staff came to check for a foetal heartbeat every day.

    “It’s an inconceivable form of emotional and psychological torture,” he said. “Part of me still celebrates hearing the heartbeat … and at the same time, I don’t want that heartbeat there because this is just leading to more suffering for this woman that I love.”

    Lara Dimitrijevic, founder of Malta’s Women’s Rights Foundation and the lawyer representing Prudente, said the hospital only provided medical records after she intervened, which has delayed a transfer to the UK.

    “It took a day for Andrea to receive her file and we are dealing with an emergency situation,” she said. “Every minute could lend itself to putting Andrea’s life in danger.”

    Mater Dei hospital confirmed that it had given Prudente access to her file, but did not comment further on the case.

    Prudente said the current advice from Maltese medical staff was for her to leave the hospital and wait at the couple’s hotel for the foetus’s heartbeat to stop or for Prudente to develop an infection, after which they could intervene.

    I do like the understated headline from the Guardian though, 'being traumatised', no Guardian, she is not being 'traumatised' she is being actively killed by medical staff who have seemingly no issues watching a gestational body die by sepsis rather then provide medical care. Ditto the Politicos that make laws that would lock someone up for misgendering but have no issue looking at birthing bodies and considering them nothing more then gestational carriers without any rights to dignity, respect, safety and above all medical life saving care.

    2022, are gestational carriers even human.

    • joe90 21.1

      2022, are gestational carriers even human

      Apparently not.

      A Brazilian judge has refused to let an 11-year-old rape victim have an abortion — and ordered the girl to stay in a shelter to prevent her from trying to get one.

      The girl, who hasn’t been named, was taken to a hospital in Brazil’s Santa Catarina state last month after her mother discovered the child had fallen pregnant after being raped in the family’s home, the Intercept reported Monday.

      Doctors refused to perform an abortion on the girl because she was already 22 weeks and two days pregnant. Under the hospital’s rules, the procedure can only be carried out until the 20-week mark.

      When the case was brought before Judge Joana Ribeiro Zimmer, the magistrate sided with the doctors and ruled the girl couldn’t have the abortion because she was already too far along.


      Elsewhere in the hearing, the judge discussed giving the infant up for adoption, telling the girl there were “30,000 couples who wanted the baby.”

      She also asked if the girl wanted to “choose the baby’s name” and if the man who raped her would agree with putting the child up for adoption.

    • Molly 21.2

      Apparently, not the type of human that deserves human rights.

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