Open mike 24/01/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 24th, 2022 - 250 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

250 comments on “Open mike 24/01/2022 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Morgan Godfery (Te Pahipoto, Sāmoa) is a senior lecturer at the University of Otago. He reckons the Greens ought to be opposing the govt:

    He seems to think grandstanding is the best type of politics. I believe getting consensus decisions implemented works better. That's what the Greens are doing. I do agree that they could be representing the Green movement more effectively though. The Green caucus could do that by operating a different line of advocacy. Caucus being somewhat independent of the govt would help the dissidents to feel better about prospects.

    Instead of suggesting this obvious strategy, Morgan merely recycles tired old tropes from the past that position the Greens as perpetual opponents. I suggest leftist Greenies demonstrate the courage of their convictions instead of trying to kneecap their co-leaders. They ought to resign & form the Constantly Radical Anarchist Party.

    The sight of them marching in glorious unified solidarity in the streets chanting "We Need More CRAP" would stir the hearts of old radicals everywhere. Obvious banner slogans to carry would be Not Enough CRAP in Govt, CRAP on Centrism. Christian leftists could do Holy CRAP! Best option is probably Total CRAP Now!

    No need to hunt for a leader since the obvious contender is right here:

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      Morgan Godfery a Senior lecturer ?

      I looked this up recently to see his research interests and instead found he was not academic staff but a research partnership manager role , which seemed to be more writing 'research grants' applications

      Last year I checked academics reserach interests a lot to see if their expertise aligned with their claimed public comments.
      The Medical Professor who was an expert on brain injuries who made public comments on infectious diseases and epidemiology. Or the woman research assistant in non medical xrays writing/twittering about transitioned sports women .

    • kejo 1.2

      Unkind Dennis. I,ll go with Morgan. Cheers Keith

      • Dennis Frank 1.2.1

        Okay, but just keep in mind that feeling similarly inclined tends to have little political effect. Leftists who write complaints about the politics of other leftists don't seem to realise that they exhibit impotence.

        Which is why I suggested a pathway to independent political action for them. Helpful, not unkind. Do they really want to spend the rest of their lives complaining? Perhaps it would be better to grow up.

        Then there's the ethics of stabbing your leader in the back to consider. They probably don't see themselves as doing that, right? Yet it does not seem to occur to them that plenty of others will see their behaviour as that. Sends an extremely distasteful signal out into the body politic!

    • Gristle 1.3

      My thoughts are that much of the capability of GP is lost in a fog of competing identity politics agendas.

      It appears that environmental issues and social justice issues are either replaced or lensed through identity politics. I'm not saying that identity politics is bad or should be ignored.

      And then there are a few individuals who display the naked grab for political power that would be at home in the National Party.

      As to the agreement with Labour, I think that both parties would be better off if this arrangement was restruck to permit the GP to deliver more criticism and opposition. Next elections the GP need to be robust and identifiable as party not as a tack on to the LP.

      • weka 1.3.1

        It appears that environmental issues and social justice issues are either replaced or lensed through identity politics. I'm not saying that identity politics is bad or should be ignored.

        That's a really good way of putting it.

        Which MPs do you think are doing a power grab? Personally or for the party?

        As to the agreement with Labour, I think that both parties would be better off if this arrangement was restruck to permit the GP to deliver more criticism and opposition. Next elections the GP need to be robust and identifiable as party not as a tack on to the LP.

        this seems the least that should happen. I think something needs to change before then as well.

        • Gristle

          Of the MP's the one who I see as being more nakedly ambitious for power is Ricardo March.

          I think that he sees himself as the male coleader in waiting.

          • Molly

            Interesting that you should say that. I know someone who campaigned for the Green Party last election and had numerous contact with March, and feels the same way.

            Also, considers him to be less than his self-opinion puts him at.

      • Dennis Frank 1.3.2

        Ball's now in the co-leaders' court so I'll be watching to see how they respond and if they attempt a reframe. If they disregard the challenge, it'll be a show of complacency & contempt for the leftist dissidents within – as if calling their bluff.

      • kejo 1.3.3

        Thanks Gristle.

    • weka 1.4

      He seems to think grandstanding is the best type of politics. I believe getting consensus decisions implemented works better.

      Why do you see public policy advocacy as grandstanding? My dictionary defines grandstanding as,

      behave in a showy or ostentatious manner in an attempt to attract favourable attention from spectators or the media

      Are you saying that this is the primary goal. Rather than say, speaking out on urgent and important social and environmental issues that are core to GP principles. See the difference.

      Also, why can't both be done? Why can the Greens not be strong publicly on policy and build and maintain the good relationships necessary for the more subtle politics?

      Needless to say, the Greens will work consensus, but Labour don't.

      I do agree that they could be representing the Green movement more effectively though. The Green caucus could do that by operating a different line of advocacy. Caucus being somewhat independent of the govt would help the dissidents to feel better about prospects.

      How? Please be specific, how this could be done, in the context of the current agreement and arrangement.

      It's not simply about helping dissidents feel better, it's about whether the GP is more or less effective with each strategy.

      • Dennis Frank 1.4.1

        why can't both be done?

        They can – depends who does it & why. The structure & process of democracy require coalition-building to achieve policy goals at times, and we're in one of those times. So we got a center-left hybrid govt making incremental progress.

        Grandstanding in the media when it comes across as a critique of a political party can be done for a range of personal reasons. I'm not personally acquainted with the young feller so am loath to guess his. Perhaps he's positioning himself as an alternative leader of a progressive Green political vehicle?

        Dame Anne Salmond has a more substantial critique here:

        I decided not to comment on it this morning but feel it is authentic as a leadership stance in the environmental movement.

        How? Please be specific, how this could be done, in the context of the current agreement and arrangement.

        Too important to confine an answer like that! Caucus ought to thrash it out and produce their own solution. From a bystander position various options come to mind:

        1. co-leaders agree to declare party unhappiness with progress provided this is quantified on particular policies

        2. caucus decide they will individually speak publicly on issues where the interests of the broader Green movement diverge significantly from govt

        3. co-leaders decide to authorise the party to create a designated spokesperson for the broader Green movement

        Other permutations can be conceived but the above triad ought to serve for now…

    • Stuart Munro 1.5

      Well, there is nothing concrete in terms of housing policy to reverse the disastrous trend over the last three decades of market dysfunction impoverishing NZers.

      Neither the state of the rivers nor carbon emissions are being addressed in any serious way.

      Nor are there plausible futurist endeavours toward a better, less extractive, less anomic, less hollowed-out society.

      I'd've thought a Green perspective would have a few problems with BAU under those circumstances – but apparently we just want more 'centrists' kicking the can down the road and waving identity politics to stifle criticism.

      • weka 1.5.1

        that's not quite true. More likely is that the GP are taking a pragmatic approach based on the number of MPs and the amount of vote they get. I doubt very much that the state of policy from the government is what they want.

      • arkie 1.5.2

        ‘centrists’ kicking the can down the road and waving identity politics to stifle criticism

        You remember that Labour talked about the failure of neoliberalism while doing nothing to change it, won a outright majority and then said they’d govern for all NZers, and to top it all off, the BDMRR bill that everyone was up in arms about vis-a-vis identity politics was a Labour bill, passed by a Labour Government, the Greens were supportive but not needed to pass the legislation.

        It’s seemingly very easy to criticise the only party in parliament that has stuck to it’s values and has been quietly achieving for decades, while still voting for the centrist, neoliberal capitalist ‘Labour’ party. It’s baffling.

        • gsays

          That bill passing unanimously and the brouhaha surrounding it, I haven't been able to reconcile.

    • Ad 1.6

      Greens are at 10% and holding.

      Keep that level of support to get more power in the form of Cabinet posts next time.

      Also worth noting that their support for Trans legislation hasn't hurt their public polling one bit.

      10% is not to be sneezed at for a small party with near-zero media profile, and fewer members than the New Lynn RSA.

      May is their big month with the Carbon plan coming out same time as the Budget.

      Put off throw-the-toys moves off until then.

      • Craig H 1.6.1

        A good strategy, will probably achieve more in the longer term than destroying the relationship with Labour. Taking 12 MPs into a coalition government would mean significantly more power and ministerial portfolios than a confidence and supply arrangement, and for mine, significantly more opportunity to get more done.

      • Molly 1.6.2

        Also worth noting that their support for Trans legislation hasn't hurt their public polling one bit.

        Also worth noting their support for trans legislation (?), was conducted amongst the party conformists and did not display the transparency and open debate they usually espouse.

        So, of course, it didn't make a difference to polling. No-one on the fence would have any idea what was being proposed past the Be Kind talking points.

        • Ad

          Even in the most liberal and gender-sensitive party in New Zealand, your agitation generated zero difference to the Green Party MPs vote.

          You don't have to be grateful with 10% support, but if the Greens hold that number to Dec 2023 you will find many will be.

          • Molly

            Even in the most liberal and gender-sensitive party in New Zealand, your agitation generated zero difference to the Green Party MPs vote.

            I'm not agitated, just cognisant of their failure to be forthright about legislative change and unintended impacts on women's rights.

            The response of many on TS seems in line with the #NoDebate stance GP took,

            It's apparent that many who comment here have limited knowledge past TWAW. Which of course, is a false statement to start off with.

            • Molly

              Of course, if you want to engage in a true discussion on the topic, I'm in

              • Anker

                I don’t believe that those on The Standard want to have a true debate about gender ideology. Other than chanting the mantra, trans women are women and presenting scientific papers about 7 people who have mixed sexual characteristics fertilising their own ova, which has no relevance to the trans gender debate.

                quite a number of people I know won’t be voting labour or Green because they believe these parties have been captured by gender ideology. It’s unlikely to lose Labour or Greens a huge number of votes.

                it still is a very dangerous ideology and it is harming our children. Most people on this website are reasonably bright, so it astounds me that some have accepted this ideology uncritically

                • Stuart Munro

                  It's not an easy debate to have – and if you've been the focal point of a cone of insincere criticism you know that venturing opinion on it is buying into a buttload of spleen. But here goes:

                  It's about lying. Lying is sociopathic, it is a hostile act – something Kant was trying to nail down with his categorical imperative. In their enthusiasm for the humane act of treating the rainbow community with tolerance, that tolerance was, improperly, extended to telling lies. This led some of them astray, and de facto led them into habitual special pleading. But no gender group is so oppressed that lying is good for them, nor does it ultimately serve any of their interests, nor the interests of society at large. They need to stop lying.

                  I think the first time I became aware of this was reading something Tim Barnett said, that homosexuality was genetic. Now, I've done a bit of science in my day, and I thought that was interesting. But Google failed to turn up the replicable studies showing that this happened to be true (it is the subject of numerous inconclusive studies). It's interesting because it seemed a miss-speaking. Barnett meant to claim perhaps, that homosexuality was innate. The claim of genetics however, would have taken the claim out of the realm of personal belief, and into the realm of objective fact. It's not quite there.

                  There is a discipline, in the sciences, perhaps most concisely expressed by Grice's Maxims of Conversation, notably the maxim of quality:

                  • Try to make your contribution one that is true.

                  Notice that this is first of all about maintaining the quality and thus the value of one's own utterances. This is clarified by

                  • Do not say what you believe to be false.

                  And the practical consequence, which informs even discourse upon the Standard is:

                  • Do not say that for which you lack evidence.

                  Barnett lacked evidence for his assertion, and might have done better to have confined himself to the truth, that he strongly believed it is innate. But, like communism in the heady days of its intellectual popularity, he wanted the support of "science". Why should it matter?

                  Well that would be because those who don't themselves experience the phenomena as innate might attribute it to heteronymous desires – those indisputable matters of taste which are morally neutral. Being morally neutral however, they would not be entitled to any particular presumption of tolerance – such as that that allows contemporary trans activists to force their way into gender segregated spaces, and to justify demonizing JK Rowling, who is a public intellectual who has tirelessly supported the rainbow community.

                  Debates over gender issues need to be truthful – but the custom of the community is not to deal in fact, but the heady and swaying currency of opinion. For the moment they can use that as a stick to beat the likes of JK Rowling, conscientious dissenters. But opinion washes in and out like the tide – it is only the truth that lasts.

                  • Anne

                    Thank you for that succinct analysis Stuart Munro.

                    May I, for a moment, expand a bit on my experience which is related to truth telling although nothing to do with the subject in question.

                    For 24 years I was a staff member of the weather forecasting community of NZ. Our mantra at all times was to tell the truth although we were sometimes misled by the fickleness of some weather systems. However there was one occasion when I could not resist telling a lie. It was to a well known Air Commodore turned politician who I disliked (that's another story) and his mate, PM Rob Muldoon who I equally disliked.

                    They were planning a sailing holiday at a time when a cyclone was approaching NZ. The initial school of thought was that it would travel down the east coast of the NI and give us a battering. Our forecasts demonstrated as much. But we realised in time that it was going to slide down to the west of the NI and the effects were thus much reduced. I chose to stick with the former forecast and the pair cancelled their holiday.

                    At the time it gave me the greatest of pleasure I had ruined their sailing holiday. Yes, it was childish and I was burdened with guilt for a long time afterwards. So much for telling lies.

                  • Anker

                    That is a truly wonderful reply Stuart Munro. One of the best comments I have read on The Standard. Yes gender ideology is about telling a lie and as you say "no gender group is so oppressed that lying is good for them" . It isn't. And it isn't good for women who have to put up with the lie that a male bodied swimmer creates a level playing field competiting with women.

                    The gender ideology movement gas lights women and girls. It is built on a lie, and woe betide those who don't accept and regugitate the lie

                  • Molly

                    Thanks, Stuart. Sorry for the delay in acknowledging this well-considered comment. Your guidelines are ones I've tried to keep to on this topic, but without much success in creating a respectful dialogue.

                    Your comment re JK Rowling brought to mind this post which shows her tweets alongside some of the responses. You can clearly see the pattern of instant aggression and threats in response to her statements. What is noticeable is the violent and sexual nature of the threats. A recognisable masculine response towards women deemed troublesome.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      I'm not really a fan of her books – though I used them with students who liked them – but she has often found herself on the right side of history, and I regard that as an accident – as Ambrose Bierce defines one:

                      ACCIDENT, n. An inevitable occurrence due to the action of immutable natural laws.

                      JK Rowling attacks government as out of touch with poor people | JK Rowling | The Guardian

                      Rowling finds herself in these conflicts because she is a mature and thoughtful person with an enviable clarity of expression. The clowns attacking her should be careful – if she novelizes them their cause is done.

    • DukeEll 1.7

      This is always my favourite argument from "lefties" about left wing politics.

      I feel that it boils down to "Don't speak up in defiance of the majority lefties, you'll hurt the movement from within, even if the majority is hurting you and your own."

      Stalin would be proud.

  2. Blade 2

    Opal – the king of gemstones.

    I have always admired opal. That stemmed from a lady I knew who had a black opal set in a bracelet The colours were so vibrant they looked fake. All I knew was most opal comes from Australia and is mined by Aussies who live underground to escape the heat.

    So it was with pleasure I came across a TV programme called Outback Opal Hunters that runs each weekday.

    This programme has it all. Geology lessons, makeshift engineering, how to live on nothing, human relationship dramas, the art of haggling, old school ethics, how to mine, how to read the rocks, crime ( ratters – people who steal from mines) and good old Aussie mateship.

    But the other reason I love this programme is there's no bloody wokeism. No trans males who are conflicted about their gender. No Greenies, climate change nutters or people who suck lattes while looking around to see who notices their new iPhone.

    All you see is people with opal fever living in a 1950s time warp.

    In this clip, old Les takes over the haggling. Les at 74 can still work like a young man.

    From 3.40

    • Blazer 2.1

      I enjoy watching it too.

      Opal finds and dilemmas' are staged of course for good .T.V.

      • Blade 2.1.1

        I wondered about. Of course the camera crew cannot be on site while miners go weeks without finding anything. They are onsite only for the finds. So at the end of each programme the impression opal is found each week is of course not correct. But I think most people realise that.

        I’m more into it for the education – especially staking a claim.

    • Treetop 2.2

      Outback Opal Hunters is on my must see list for TV viewing. Educational for children, the remoteness, getting stuff fixed, borrowing equipment, no money no diesel to dig for opal, how deals are done etc.

      Usual slot is ch 12 Sunday night 7.30 pm – 8.30 pm, awaiting a new series as off air for now at that time.

      I also like Jade Fever, think they will hit it big on the current series ch 12 7.30 pm – 8.30 pm on Wednesday night. There is a contrast in both programmes, cold and heat, the size of the rock/gem.

      • Blade 2.2.1

        Must watch the Jade Fever programme, I haven't seen it yet.

        I also saw on the news recently that the gold rush is on again down South.

        • Treetop

          Gold panning is on my to do list. I turned down an offer to do this 18 years ago when in Greymouth.

      • Gezza 2.2.2

        Yes, Ch 12 on Freeview is Choice TV. I’ve been watching the Jade Fever series off & on for a few years now. Also watched a few episodes of Outback Opal Hunters.

        Both quite interesting for the personal dramas (Jade Fever’s about a family-based prospecting/mining operation), the extremely rugged conditions featured participants work in, the amount of time & effort they put in for no return before they hit a vein or boulder or outcrop that pays off but never seems to make them millionaires, & the risky things they sometimes do that would probably have Worksafe & other safety regulators having fits.

        Being paid for appearing in these reality tv shows is probably a very handy source of additional funds. They never seem to have the money for anything but used trucks & other vehicles & mining equipment, which always seem to break down & add to the dramas.

        I’ve also watched quite a few episodes of Ice Road Truckers & Outback Truckers which are similar shows.

        I’ve sometimes wondered how much time the film crews put in, whether there’s always an off-screen camera operator or whether it’s a combination of camera crew & in-place cameras operated by the participants themselves (e.g. in truck cabs) & how they put the scenes together.

        Looks like Jade Fever has ended though:

        • Treetop

          Larry is such a character in Jade Fever. His suspenders stop his pants from falling down at the back and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Larry's driving skills, his vehicle car parts and metal yard always something going on.

        • Treetop

          Have you seen Ice Gold, the location is either in Alaska or Greenland, very remote as helicoptered in?Looking for rubies and gold. A permit was not granted to retrieve a ruby find. Indigenous rights take precedence over mining. Money is made in miners paying for permits but money is lost from big finds.

          • Treetop

            Looked it up Ice Cold Gold filmed in Greenland. Saw it a few times.

            • Gezza

              Yeah, I watched a wee bit of Ice Cold Gold episodes about twice. But it doesn’t appeal to me as much as the others. Not exactly sure why – maybe because the participants fly in for short periods from the US so it seems a bit plastic. I don’t watch it.

        • Blade

          ''The amount of time & effort they put in for no return before they hit a vein or boulder or outcrop that pays off but never seems to make them millionaires.''

          That seems to be the hook…they hit a vein, make some decent money that goes on the bills, and then the cycle starts again.

          I would like to know what they are paid?

          But it seems to me even if they were paid a million bucks, or found a million dollar opal, they would still be mining. It's an obsession coupled with a certain lifestyle.

        • Blade

          Whitey is given the boot. Can't talk about this case because I don't have the facts.

          Meanwhile in Aotearoa a few years back, greenstone gathering is a no -no.

          I can talk about Ngai Tahu. All I will say is they have settled with the Crown four plus times since the 1800s. I have little time for them except to commend them for not wasting their final (?) settlement money and growing their enterprises.

      • alwyn 2.2.3

        The oddest thing around Coober Pedy, which is one of the main places for mining Opals, are the signs all over the land surrounding the town. They warn you not to walk backwards. People tend to do that when trying to get into just the right place to take a picture.

        The problem is that the area is covered with uncapped holes. They are dug by miners looking for Opals and IIRC they are about 10 metres deep. If they don't find anything they just walk away from the hole and leave it. There must be thousands of them.

        The signs warn you not to walk backward as you may step straight back into a very deep hole.

        • alwyn

          Sorry. I meant to put a link. Try googling this and you will get lots of examples

          coober pedy sign telling people not to step back

          • Blade

            Have you been there in person, alwyn?

            • alwyn

              We visited a couple of times when we lived in Australia. We only stopped for a night each time. The first time was a trip to Alice and Uluru and the second was going up to Darwin. Coober Pedy is on the Stuart Highway from Adelaide to Darwin There isn't that much to see really. There was a home that had become a museum. When they wanted an extra bedroom they had started excavating and found a very rich source of Opals. It never did become a bedroom and they left it partially finished so people could see what a mine looked like.

              The people didn't really live underground, The living areas were basically cut into a cliff, like caves and then windows were put into the front of the room which faced the outside. It was mostly done because there was nothing there to build houses from. No trees in the area. It did help with the summer heat though.

              That was back in the 1990s though. We haven't been back that way for a long long time

              • Blade

                Interesting- nothing like seeing something first hand. No trees is hard to imagine.

                • alwyn

                  No trees was a bit of an exaggeration. There is a bit of scrub but nothing that would give you any sort of timber you could build with. It isn't sandy desert or anything like that. The whole of the red centre is pretty much like that.

                  I remember seeing a map once that covered the area about 1000 km north from Coober Pedy. That would be about 300 km north of Alice Springs or 1200 km south of Darwin. It showed all the cattle stations in the area. They ranged, IIRC, from about 4,000 sq km to 11,000 sq km. That isn't hectares. That is sq km. I don't think I could live there but we loved touring the country. It is so vast and lovely.

          • alwyn

            I commented above that as I remembered them the shafts were 10 metres deep and there were thousands of them. I just looked at a story about the rescue crew for problems in the mines and there is a quote from the guy who runs it.

            ""There are 2 million 20-to-30-metre-deep mine shafts around here," he said."

            My memory was far too benign.


        • Treetop

          Probably some people never made it out of a mine hole and have not been found.

    • Robert Guyton 2.3

      "1950's time warp"

      Got it.

  3. Treetop 3

    I have been thinking about the post which Mickeysavage wrote on 1 January 2022 titled A Few Predictions for 2022.

    @ 6.1 I wrote, I think by mid January the Omicron strain will already be established in NZ.

    I have also thought about who will get the chocolate fish as Mickeysavage wrote, A chocolate fish will be awarded to the most outlandish prediction that proves to be correct.

    There were no competition rules or a date given to award the chocolate fish.

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    memes change so fast .

    metaverse is so 2021 , now its YOUNIVERSE

  5. aj 5

    The debate raging between those who deny the severity of the pandemic and insist it is 'coming towards the end' is fascinating, and perhaps this is just the usual division of society amongst optimists and pessimists.

    Two interesting reads:

    Watching the marches against mandatory vaccination for NHS staff and I'm angry.


    As of late, America's favorite pastime has been predicting when the pandemic will end.

    • Treetop 5.1

      I am trying to work out the best strategy to avoid getting Omicron. I was surprised to hear that N 95 masks need to be fitted properly and that a cotton one could be more effective than an unfitted N 95 mask. I will probably use a cotton mask and a blue one over the top when I go to the supermarket or the school.

      My biggest risk of exposure is collecting the grandkids from school or when care is needed over the school holidays.

      I saw a heading on stuff recently that ACC claims have gone up 300 per cent for home exercise injuries. A lot of time is now being spent in the home.

      • Descendant Of Smith 5.1.1

        Yeah but from what base. It is really irritating when only percentages are reported. Big difference if it is 300% of 10, 100, 1,000, 10,000, 100,000…………… and over what time period.

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    Anyone wondering about the difference between semitic labels gets clarification here:

    The terms Hebrews, Israelites, and Jews are close synonyms and are often used interchangeably. All three terms refer to those who have descended from Abraham through Isaac and Jacob. The terms are used figuratively a few times in the New Testament in reference to the spiritual seed of Abraham. When speaking of the fleshly nation of Israel, the term Hebrew ties the people directly to Abraham; Israelite relates them to Jacob, or Israel, and Jew or Jews reminds us of this people's homeland and is used to distinguish the race from other people or to contrast them with others.

    Prior to this summary the page provides the historical/biblical origins of the three terms – seems a useful elucidation.

    • Gezza 6.1

      I was fascinated to discover some years ago that the terms semite or semitic actually relate to Middle Eastern languages & include not only Jews but Arabs, many of whom when criticising Israel are often accused of being anti-semitic.

      relating to or denoting a family of languages that includes Hebrew, Arabic, and Aramaic and certain ancient languages such as Phoenician and Akkadian, constituting the main subgroup of the Afro-Asiatic family.

      relating to the peoples who speak Semitic languages, especially Hebrew and Arabic.

      I don’t know why the term semite has come to be commonly perceived as specific to Jews or Jewish Israelis.

      • Dennis Frank 6.1.1

        Yeah, good point there Gezza. I actually discovered that myself years ago but had forgotten all about it…

        Been reading a library book about archeology in the promised land, updating my overview. You may be interested:

        • Gezza

          I’ve been surprised to learn there is virtually no archaeological evidence of King David’s existence or of his royal city of Jerusalem (just two steles of two other local contemporary people’s rulers – whose inscriptions are believed by some to refer to the “House of David” but are disputed as to whether they actually do), & that even among scholars who accept his existence (seemingly most) there’s still dispute over whether he became a powerful king as described in the Old Testament’s Hebrew Bible or remained essentially just a local chieftan in Judah.

          He’s such an important, iconic figure in Christianity I just assumed there was more strongly-supporting historical evidence than just the Bible narratives.

          I guess when archaelogists do digs in Israel generally & Jeruslam specifically there’s always going to be the problem of turning up multiple layers of settlements & towns, segments of walls, wells from earlier times & peoples etc built on top of or near each other & debate as to whether these can be reliably attributed to the times figures in the Bible are calculated to have lived there.

          • Dennis Frank

            I’ve been surprised to learn there is virtually no archaeological evidence of King David’s existence or of his royal city of Jerusalem

            Likewise. Decoding of whatever different form of historical revisionism &/or mythologising different generations did is always a problem.

            The author has a sophisticated approach: he identified five different paradigms that divide experts in this arena!

            multiple layers of settlements

            I read this morning where he mentioned 18 different settlements piled on top of each other in sequence, identified in a single tell!!

  7. Byd0nz 7

    Listening to Chris ‘Actually’ Luxon saying on morning report that he wasn’t criticising for criticising sake, but it sure sounded like that to me. Actually he sounded pretty useless all in all, but then that’s the Nature of Nats

    • AB 7.1

      The best way of "de-risking" (Christopher has an ugly, C-suite cliché for everything) is to not vote National.

  8. Robert Guyton 8

    Making good decisions – Katrina George

    "Despite encouragement from her tertiary mentors and family to do her PhD, Kataraina found her calling. She adores working in nature and applying her mātauranga (knowledge) to what she does now at the Ngāti Kea Ngāti Tuara Rūnanga Trust.

    “Science is great and much more theory-based, which isn’t me,” she laughs.

    “I’ve realised as I get older that working in the practice-space with people is more me. I find it so much more satisfying being on our tupuna Maunga (ancestral mountain), Horohoro, and seeing how we can make changes.”

    Horohoro is a flat-topped maunga and the main feature of the rural farming community with the same name. It stands about 13km southwest of Rotorua. Its full name is Te Horohoroinga o ngā ringa o Kahumatamomoe and is part of the tribal boundary of Ngāti Kea Ngāti Tuara who’ve occupied the whenua (land) under their maunga for more than 500 years.

    In her role at the rūnanga, Kataraina’s already compiled a list of what her aspirations are for her tribal rohe (boundary).

    “I don’t want to be CEO or anything,” she says.

    “Instead, I’ve got my sights set on more environmental aspirations such as working on our maunga. Creating and implementing pest control to create a natural corridor to Mokaihaha to bring our native kōkako back to Horohoro. So, I’ve given myself goals so I can stay on and keep contributing to improving our rohe (area) and this key goal."

  9. RedLogix 9

    We require robust debate here.

    I dont think so. You have appointed yourself the sole arbiter of COVID truth. Discussion is over.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    [RL: Point proven. Your propensity to moderate on content has now gotten away on you. You consistently abuse your position of power here to bully, silence or diminish opinions you dont like. Oh yes you are very good at making it look deniable, but the pattern is clear over many years and many topics.

    This site is no longer fit for purpose.]

    • Robert Guyton 9.1

      I thought that was Bill?

    • fender 9.2

      That's complete rubbish Red. Without Weka and Lprent ( who is obviously too busy to spend a lot of time here) countering the misinformation and amateur reckons around covid then this site would be a laughingstock.

      I thought you would be more professional by using the back-end to air your grievance actually.

      Personally I have nothing but admiration for the work Weka donates around here. She's a sensible, modern thinker and has helped teach many on critical issues facing us all.

      • McFlock 9.2.1

        I'd keep the fuck out of this'n.

        It might have been my imagination, but if the mods are really at the stage of overwriting another mod's moderation in order to accuse them of bullying, there'll be a shitfight going on in the backend.

        • RedLogix

          No there will not be a shitfight in the backend. I am out.


          • swordfish


            Hope you'll reconsider, Red … you're frequently a voice of common sense & sanity here.

          • Hetzer

            You wont be missed by the dull turd polishers here. I will miss your insight and intellect, the site will be much poorer without your contributions.

          • gsays

            I, too, hope you will rethink this.

            There are nowhere near enough voices that challenge thinking amongst the cheerleaders to be found round these parts.

            I may not comment often or agree but I find your input to be thought provoking and I value that it tests what I think to be true. Not all enjoy having their beliefs and opinions questioned.

        • fender

          Oh I'd have preferred to have kept out of it, but I can't ignore an unwarranted attack on someone I admire ( same with the abuse of power against you the other day) who has made this place better.

          If he's really gone then at least there will be less whataboutism whenever male on female violence is discussed.

        • pat

          "I'd keep the fuck out of this'n."

          And that is the most intelligent post of the day

      • fender 9.2.2

        I'd also add that I've never witnessed any bullying or abuse of power from Weka. She's always fair, considerate, and doesn't condescend in her moderating. When she has needed to give me a tune up for indiscretions I've always grown in maturity.

        • GreenBus

          fender 9.2.2

          Well said, I agree weka is a very good mod and must put a lot of her time in.

          • Robert Guyton

            weka's roughed me up a couple of times (can't imagine why 🙂

            I rate weka highly, for sincerity and patience. The Covid discussions have caused some serious wobbles here on TS, as they have in the wider community. I hope RedLogix reconsiders – this may take a day or two, I say from experience. These discussions here are worthwhile and far better than any I've found anywhere else and a lot of the credit for that must go to the various moderators, be they Bill *winces, RedLogix, weka or the others 🙂

            The problem arises, not with people attacking moderators – though that must be irksome, but with this issue of public health where untrue claims could, perhaps damage the reputation of the site and create a misleading atmosphere of acceptance of untruths. The problem is, both parties believe they are on the right side of the issue and both are passionate about maintaining the integrity of the position they hold. It's very similar, I reckon, to the climate change issue, where media declared they would not publish denial comments. I laughed and enjoyed that move, but deniers, and freedom-of-speechers screamed blue murder. I don't know if there's a simple solution to these tensions – they seem to ebb and flow, depending on various factors. I'n any case, as Jacinda might say, be kind 🙂

            • Robert Guyton

              At least no one has been impersonating moderators and writing moderation notes to themselves, as I did, many years ago, on Kiwiblog. I pretended to be David Farrar and gave myself a strop-up, in what I thought was a humorous manner, but David didn't laugh, instead, banned me for life (for the 3rd time).


              Those were the days!

            • McFlock

              The untruths are high stakes, too.

              If I'm wrong but what I want happens, we will incrementally and permanently lose freedom from state control (but we'll be alive to try to get them back).

              If the covid-minimisers are wrong and we let omicron rip open the borders by ending MIQ, have no vax pass or check in app, and not bother with isolating infected people, then thousands of NZers will die.

              Which is why getting things right is important.

              Shorter timeframe than climate change, too.

        • McFlock

          true, that

          And even when commenting crosses into moderating, the warnings have always been a reasonable take (regardless of whether I disagree), explicit, and in bold.

        • Anne

          fender @ 9.2.2

          And she doesn't bear grudges either.

          • Patricia Bremner

            yessmiley Yes Weka is special. Weka talks to the problem. There is a total lack of ego, and plenty of prods to think more about issues, and an openness to new ideas with substance. We are lucky on this blog. Being challenged is hard for some to accept.

      • As someone put is, I'm not sure who, Bill and Redlogic have "an odd little kick in their gallop."

        Entirely agree with you about Weka, a very moderate moderator. Lprent can be a bit direct at times, but also deserving respect.

    • Descendant Of Smith 9.3

      I'll miss you and would hope you would reconsider – maybe even just to return for a while as a commentator. Although we disagree on a lot we also agree on many things. You are one of the few voices that is optimistic and takes a world is overall better than to used to be view and nuclear power is a useful means of energy.

      I do think the covid debates have tested people as people have quite firm positions.

  10. arkie 10

    People should do everything they can against Omicron, but it's likely large numbers will be infected, the Covid-19 Response Minister says.

    But "the cat is out of the bag to some extent, and we know that we're that we're likely to see more cases, and potentially significant more cases associated with these ones.

    "There's no silver bullet we are going to experience a large number of cases."

    Individualising the public health response and arbitrarily ruling out the actual 'silver bullet' that previously saved us from widespread transmission, lockdowns. It's is baffling to think this is the same Labour party that achieved an outright majority based on their successful navigation of this crisis. They are happy to let business and media direct the response now, I feel for at-risk people some of whom feel they've been thrown to the wolves of BAU capitalism.

    • weka 10.1

      what's that a quote from?

    • weka 10.2

      a few problems with lockdowns:

      • some people really struggle with them
      • they negatively impact the economy
      • there would be more protests, as super spreader events given omicron, which would mean either allowing them, or mass arrests (which presents its own set of transmission issues)
      • political fallout

      Then there is the issue of strategy. If we accept that it's unlikely that omicron can be eliminated, what's the timeframe for lockdowns? Is it until everyone is boostered? How does that work with a rolling vax schedule?

      Is it until the new omicron vaccine is developed and made available to NZ and then given to the public (4 months?)

      And in the meantime we would still likely have some community spread of omicron.

      I think there are big gaps in the current strategy, and I think ruling out regional lockdowns as needed is unwise, but I'm struggling to see how lockdowns would work in this situation.

      • weka 10.2.1

        re individualising, this is where one of gaps is. A payout to beneficiaries so they can buy some extra food and medical supplies would be good. Doing the actual mahi of community building to make sure people are ok rather than just telling people to find a buddy in their neighbourhood.

        But I do think the government is doing quite a lot for the collective.

        • arkie

          Yes I don't disagree. I, like you, see the Govt response as good but it could be significantly better, especially in the realm of community building and direct payments to everybody. We have had 30 years of 'I've got mine, Jack', it would be nice to see the 'communitarian' approach we have been told that this Govt would be following.

          • Molly

            …but it could be significantly better, especially in the realm of community building…


            For instance, when given the opportunity to look ahead and address current medical personnel shortages in response to a pandemic, did they include registered nurse training in their Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund?

            No. They have missed a few opportunities during the pandemic to help those who need help, and provide further resilience to all.

      • arkie 10.2.2
        • they negatively impact the economy

        Right, but so does 10,000 infections a day. Each one of those is required to isolate for 14 days, while their close contacts isolate for 10, these people won't be working/spending much during this isolation time, this has had an effect across the world in places who never bothered with lockdowns at all.

        Ultimately lockdowns work, from a physical point-of-view, by preventing the transmission of the virus. They can't live outside a host, so isolation is highly effective of breaking the chain.

        Targeted regional lockdowns, combined with direct payments to individuals, rather than employers, would be a better idea than the level 4 lockdowns of last year imo.

        Admittedly this is all largely academic because the die is cast and we are where we are.

        China is still following a zero-COVID strategy and their economy and public health system has been functioning better than elsewhere. 8.1% GDP growth in 2021.

        • Treetop

          Will China still go for a zero – Covid strategy once the Winter Olympics finish? The games start on 4 February 2022.

          Beijing has a population of 20 million and already there have been Omicron cases there.

        • McFlock

          It's not just the required isolation that hits the economy, it's the folks who isolate because they're not morons, and the folks who might consider going out but it's just not as appealing as it used to be.

      • Treetop 10.2.3

        The first level 4 lockdown in 2020 the energy payment was doubled. The food grant SNG needs to be doubled. When people are at home with children, children eat more, when at school some get access to a no cost lunch. Good nutrition is so important for the immune system.

    • Ross 10.3

      Individualising the public health response and arbitrarily ruling out the actual 'silver bullet' that previously saved us from widespread transmission, lockdowns.

      Lockdowns were a policy failure, unless you believe the following are indicative of success. And remember we've never had lockdowns for other viruses (including the seasonal flu which reportedly kills 500-600 people a year).

      We have borrowed billions of dollars, including paying healthy workers to stay at home, which almost certainly will be met with cuts to services in the future. That means cuts to spending on health, education and welfare. Are we prepared for these cuts? Will we say they are necessary and we need to just suck it up?

      Two months ago, it was reported that Christchurch Hospital had told GPs it will no longer accept referrals for general surgeries unless the condition is "life-threatening", as its waitlist has become "unmanageable". Some women will die as a result of not getting a mammogram as quickly as they should. Others will likely die from not being operated on in a timely manner.

      According to Canterbury District Health Board chief of surgery Greg Robertson: “Our capacity to provide surgical care has been significantly affected by Covid-19 alert levels 3 and 4 that commenced on 17 August 2021″. From the same November 2021 article: "Between August 15 (two days before the first Delta case was reported) and October 24, an estimated 102,959 planned care (elective) procedures were cancelled due to the outbreak”. Why should the capacity to provide surgical care be compromised when the risk of harm from COVID is low?

      The Health Ministry's 193-page pandemic plan (2017) made no mention of lockdowns. In fact, the word "lockdown" doesn't appear. That's interesting because the plan made some startling assumptions.

      The New Zealand standard planning model assumes a severe pandemic wave in which 40 percent of the New Zealand population (more than 1.9 million people) become ill over an eight-week period. The peak incidence in the model occurs in weeks three to five, when about 1.5 million people – a third of New Zealand's population – would be ill, convalescing or just recovered. These figures are based on the New Zealand population statistics published by Stats New Zealand 2013 – 4,766,140.

      The standard planning model assumes a total case fatality rate of 2 percent, within which about 38,000 deaths would occur over the eight-week period, peaking at about 23,500 in week four (compared with New Zealand's normal weekly death rate of around 599).

      A third of our population affected? In fact, 15,400 people have contracted Covid (over a two year period). As a proportion of the team of 5 million, that represents 0.0031 (nearly a third of one percent).

      By abandoning future lockdowns, the Government has essentially admitted they failed, though of course no politician would have the courage to admit it. Maybe we'll get an admission many years later.

      An examination of over 100 Covid-19 studies reveals that many relied on false assumptions that over-estimated the benefits and under-estimated the costs of lockdown. The most recent research has shown that lockdowns have had, at best, a marginal effect on the number of Covid-19 deaths…It is possible that lockdown will go down as one of the greatest peacetime policy failures in modern history.

      According to Gibson:

      Lockdowns are ineffective at reducing Covid-19 deaths. Variation amongst counties in the United States, where over one-fifth had no lockdown, shows no impact of lockdowns. Specifically, one cannot reject the hypothesis of zero difference in deaths between lockdown and non-lockdown counties. Using these results to inform a counterfactual of what would have happened if New Zealand had not gone into a Level 4 lockdown faces the criticism that the setting is different. Yet it is a universal force of human nature – privately taking steps to reduce exposure to a new risk – that likely makes lockdown superfluous. Moreover, evidence from elsewhere suggests that lockdowns were either superfluous or cause total deaths to rise because of non-Covid mortality."

      • Bill 10.3.1

        Might be worth adding Dunedin Hospital skirting with Code Black last December…

        Code Black is a rarely invoked situation when the hospital is essentially full and patients need to be discharged so new cases can be admitted.

        I'm sure mandating injections for hospital staff had nothing to do with it…hmm.

        Fleming said 28 beds in Dunedin Hospital were not in use last week because staff were not available.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          Yes, seems you might be right Bill – " mandating injections for hospital staff had nothing to do with it"

          Dunedin hospital has around 3,000 staff and 388 beds. 28 beds were unavailable due to staff unavailability (7.2% of beds).

          They lost 30 staff to the mandate requirement (1% of staff). Of course, some may have since been replaced.

          There may not be a 1:1 relationship between staff and beds available, but the mandate resignations seem small compared to the total staff shortfall.

          In fact, the story you link to says the hospital was in a similar dire situation (actually worse), in March 2020 – before any mandate requirement. There is no doubt our health system features chronic staffing shortages, but you are trying to build an anti-mandate narrative with superficial "facts" it would seem to me.

          • Bill

            Your link states seven doctors and eleven nurses were gone, and that three senior medical officers were on stand down alongside another seventeen nurses and thirteen 'other staff'. (Very rough calculation quickly gets beyond the 30 you mentioned)

            How many on stand-down caved and 'took the plunge'? Dunno.

            Odd thing to be kicking people out of an already buckling health service in a pandemic when the worry is that it might be overburdened, but hey.

            Basic medical ethics that would demand treatment is a personal choice and subject to informed consent – implying then, free of inducement or coercion, is all that's required to oppose mandates. The doctors, nurses, and other health practitioners (psychiatrists, psycho-therapists, care workers….etc) who have been 'scrapheaped' by the mandates are consequential details worth mentioning – ie, they do not form the basis of a pro-autonomy/anti-mandate position.

            • weka

              Basic medical ethics that would demand treatment is a personal choice and subject to informed consent – implying then, free of inducement or coercion, is all that's required to oppose mandates.

              Conflict of rights though. Are you thinking that nurses shouldn't be required to have any vaccinations right now, as a matter of personal choice? Or just the covid vax.

              Other reasons, off the top of my head, for getting close to code black:

              • the closed border means less staff. Like many other industries, healthcare has long relied on imported labour
              • SDHB is still in a mess after a long history of mismanagement and financial fraud.
              • general rundown of the SDHB services because of neoliberalism
              • secondary effects of neoliberalism eg people using A and E because they can't afford to go to a doctor
              • people are presenting with more complex health issues

              If the issue is code black, we can look at all the factors. If the issue is the vax mandate, then looking at that on its own makes sense for the mandate but not the code black.

              • Bill

                In past years, and no matter the virulence of a particular strain, I'm not sure that nurses and caregivers in rest home facilities were required to have the flu vaccine at pain of losing their job. Encouraged, yes. But delivered an ultimatum? (Seems not)

                And fully – Code Black likely always results from a suite of contributory factors.

                  • pat

                    And we didnt exclude a quarter of the employees from the health workforce….just as well i may add.

                    • Incognito

                      The influenza virus is different from the COVID-19 one. Recall the initial estimates, based on the reproductive number (R0), to achieve so-called herd immunity (AKA population immunity), and how they went up with increasing R0 of the new variants such as Delta. Vaccination strategies should and do take those differences into account, to a degree, and one size does not fit all.

                  • pat

                    And that is true…until omicron, with an estimated R factor of somewhere around 5..regardless of vaccination

                    • Incognito

                      Indeed, which is why they go all out with fully vaccinating as many as possible, including children. Even when a better vaccine comes around this may stay the most appropriate strategy, but possibly only requiring one annual shot instead of the ‘needle cushion’ approach that’s followed at present.

                    • pat

                      Time Incognito…..we have none.

                    • Incognito []


                    • pat

                      pretty much….its here and spreading, We will have to do the best we can with ALL the resources we can muster.

                    • Incognito []

                      We have no control over how it’s spreading??

                    • pat

                      Id suggest very little….short of a level 4 lockdown and even then with essential workers and supermarkets it will still spread. We are reliant on contact to survive as is the virus….remembering essential workers are whanau members…they are not hermits.

                • Shanreagh

                  Nurses in hospitals are required, when starting training, to have a suite of vaccinations and to keep them current, they are sent reminders to do so. My flatmate is a nurse and has not yet heard of a colleague who has refused to have a booster or updated vaccine of the large number they started out with.

                  The covid vaccine misinformation campaign has seen a few at her hospital leave though none on her wards or her colleagues though she did say some have left.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    yes Not just nurses, and not just in NZ. Vaccine mandates eh?

                    Health Science Screening
                    Student Health is responsible for managing immunity screening and vaccinations for all students entering a health sciences division course (Medicine, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Medical Laboratory Science, Dentistry, Dental Technology, and Oral Health.)

                    Immunisations required

                    Medical schools still calling the shots on student vaccinations [May 2019]
                    Before they work with patients, New Zealand medical school students are required to prove they’ve been immunised for a wide array of communicable diseases.

                    It's really not that unusual, and reflects the consensus expert medical opinion about the health benefits of vaccinations.

                    By law, medicine, nursing and physiotherapy (not pharmacy) students are classified as category A healthcare workers and must be screened for and protected against the following [nine] diseases:

                    This programme is designed to protect you, and the patients with whom you come into contact, against preventable illness.

                    Screening and immunisation are compulsory and failure to comply will result in discontinuation.

              • pat

                The 'mandate' makes no sense at all.

              • McFlock

                Over the past ten years there's been a growing call for health workers to themselves follow best practise.

                In 2015 Waikato DHB fired 3 people for refusing to mask if they didn't vaccinate against the flu. Also note the 85% target they were failing to achieve, pretty sad compared to a 90% minimum for covid. And even 90% might not be good enough.

                • pat

                  If Omicron behaves in NZ as it has done offshore (and why wouldnt it?) then 100% vaccination will not be 'good enough'

                  • McFlock

                    why wouldnt it?

                    Well, it might not if our "red" is still more than most half-arsed lockdowns. And if the tests caught the Nelson cases once removed from the border, rather than 3 degrees of separation. And if we're going into it with a fully vax rate higher than many developed countries have yet achieved, let alone were at two months ago.

                    We're not dead yet, even if it does hurt.

                    100% vaccination will not be 'good enough'

                    Maybe. Still, it would suck if our vaccination level + red might have been good enough, (especially to delay catastrophe until after omicron-specific vaccines become available) but we never knew for sure because we decided that the merchants of doom were finally correct on their third prediction of the inevitability of failure (having failed dismally in 2020 and 2021).

                    • pat

                      I thimk you are being unfair to the health professionals and the gov….consider, Omicron showed up as an issue around a month or so ago and it spreads fast….no time to modify vaccines or introduce them….all the previous mitigations are largely ineffective.

                      Place yourself in the decision making position…what are your options?

                    • McFlock

                      Cut MIQ numbers
                      Go to red when it started turning up at miq
                      Go to L4 instead of red when it turned up in Nelson – even if just a regional L4.

                      Frankly, I'd also have considered rejecting bail if there was a reasonable case to be made someone broke lockdown restrictions, first time.

                      All options.

                      Most of them ruled out by opposition for the sake of opposition, and not just from the Opposition.

                      Is red enough to keep cases at manageable levels, with the assistance of personal efforts and widespread vaccination? Maybe. We'll get up to hundreds of cases a day in coming week or two, probably, but after that there will likely not be any plateau – it'll either come down again or keep skyrocketing and we're all fucked for months.

      • McFlock 10.3.2

        And remember we've never had lockdowns for other viruses (including the seasonal flu which reportedly kills 500-600 people a year).


        We have borrowed billions of dollars, including paying healthy workers to stay at home, which almost certainly will be met with cuts to services in the future. That means cuts to spending on health, education and welfare. Are we prepared for these cuts? Will we say they are necessary and we need to just suck it up?

        still better than many nations who "lived with" covid.

        A third of our population affected? In fact, 15,400 people have contracted Covid (over a two year period). As a proportion of the team of 5 million, that represents 0.0031 (nearly a third of one percent).

        Yes, because lockdowns work. Until they don't provide meaningful improvement over the existing vaccination, masking, distancing, and so on.Try the rates of countries that didn't go to L4 for a decent length of time.

        By abandoning future lockdowns, the Government has essentially admitted they failed

        nope, they're admitting that circumstances change (and possibly that the morons have yelled loudly enough to get them to make a suboptimal decision).

        Also, Gibson seems to take a binary approach to the term "lockdown" when even across the ditch we've seen hairdressers labelled "essential services".

        • Ross

          The article you linked to talked about Auckland being in lockdown due to polio (some 80 years ago, so nothing more recent?), not the entire country. And despite 500-600 flu deaths each year, we don't have lockdowns for the flu. But this comment piqued my interest:

          “New Zealand tends to go for the traditional public health measures just like most societies, so the tried-and-true isolation of the sick quarantine of people who might be infected – just like with the old days of smallpox and other diseases where they quarantined ships,” she said.

          Isolation of the sick? No, we isolated the healthy. And to repeat, the pandemic plan published by the Health Ministry in 2017 made no mention of lockdowns, which perhaps isn't surprising as they don't work and impose significant costs.

          • McFlock

            We've done pretty well with disease control since the development of vaccines.

            NZ has had lockdowns before. We imposed them as needed, especially if you take some US versions of the term. But we haven't really needed them since things like air travel or 100kph speed limits came into play. Communications took time, so devolved control made sense then.

            But they've always been in the infectious disease control playbook, for the right sort of vector.

          • McFlock

            What's fascinating is that even if lockdowns were new, that doesn't mean they don't work.

            They do, if implemented early, and hard. Otherwise we'd be like the US or anywhere else that failed or didn't attempt an early lockdown. A real one.

            Which is one worry I have about the traffic light system. Is it a gamble the government is making just because the white-anters have eroded confidence in measures that work, is the government taking a gamble that

            1. omicron really is mild and
            2. that vaccination and social distancing will at least limit the speed of its spread?

            Or is it basically pretty confident in those assumptions and the government and the modellers know what they're doing and shit won't snowball on them?

            • pat

              Neither….they hsve no alternative, though they will be hoping it is as benign as indicated ( low death count)….they may be right.

              Its a no win situation…there are so many when you are ultimately responsible.

              • McFlock

                There's always an alternative.

                The question is whether they've rejected one possible option because it has diminished marginal protection for the population, or merely because two years of whicnging has made it unenforceable.

                • pat


                  • McFlock

                    Whinging. Been a long day of computerizing. No idea how I randomly pressed "c".

                    Maybe I was wincing at the time?

                    • pat

                      Thank you for clarifying…it was not a poke at spelling but a genuine query.

                      What option have they rejected?

                      As far as I can see their options are very limited but within those limitations I think they have made the wrong call, mandates will not improve the health outcomes ( and are detrimental to social cohesion )….ultimately the gov control is exceedingly limited….this version of the virus is going to proliferate no matter.

                    • McFlock

                      L4 lockdown use has been explicitly rejected, especially as a nationwide measure, if I recall correctly? I would be genuinely happy if it were still in the toolbox, at the very least.

                      I also reject the inevitability of defeat. Each day we slow it down or even beat it back a bit is a win for someone.

                      It often comes back to my mum. She's in her 80s now. She's active, volunteers, gets out and about. She still contributes. We meet regularly – today, as amatter of fact. And then I think of all the mums who have died from covid in the last couple of years, even if they were in their 80s. And the kids.

                      And yes, "from" not fucking "with".

                      So if omicron comes and she has a bad flip of the coin, she had a couple of years that millions of others did not because their governments did too little, too late, and thought GDP was more important than lives.

                      Those couple of years? That's a win. A couple more years? Another win.

                    • pat

                      Understand ….my mother is approaching 90 and diabetic and naturally im concerned…though I may add she is less so, and in a way thats not surprising.

                    • McFlock

                      It's all the mums. And the kids. And the ones in between.

                      We can at least slow this prick down, give people more time. So we should.

                    • pat

                      Consider this…my mother has in home care including showering, medication etc and even before covid there was a dearth of in home carers…..if you gave her the choice of staying at home with unvaccinated carers v being placed in a rest home I can guarantee you what her choice would be….no contest.

                    • McFlock

                      Consider how much close contact an unvaccinated home carer has with how many people in a given week.

                      And one of them's your mum.

                    • pat

                      Yes, i know, but more importantly so does she….and yet…

                      There is nothing more important than autonomy….its worth thinking about.

                    • McFlock

                      An unvaccinated carer is also more likely to be rendered unable to work for weeks. Similar result, but more abrupt when it happens.

                    • pat

                      Yes there will be an acute shortage of carers….and the problems that will cause….vaccinated or not.

                    • McFlock

                      But the fewer people who are vaccinated, the bigger the problem.

                    • pat

                      Possibly (it is unclear yet with Omicron) however we have 94% working age double vaxed so we are unnecessarily excluding 6% of the potential workforce…a workforce that is understaffed and under pressure even before we have isolations and illnesses.

                    • McFlock

                      If they are disproportionately going to be the cause of the disruption, best to put them on notice now and sort out alternatives or give them a chance to get vaccinated, rather than have them just not come in one day.

                    • pat

                      everyone has has had ample opportunity to be vaccinated. (some under duress)…if they are not it is a choice they have made , and as we are seeing vaccination does not stop the spread of Omicron… may reduce severity of symptoms, but that has little impact on spread.

                    • McFlock

                      vaccination does not stop the spread of Omicron

                      That's still unclear, it could well offer some protection against infection. Could even halve it. But even worst case of no slow in infection, the difference is some staff between being off work because positive test and off work for weeks because massively ill, maybe long covid, etc.

                      But what if there's an omicron vaccine in a few weeks rather than months? Or the booster does have significant protection against asymptomatic infection?

                    • pat

                      "May"….half of a big number is still a big number, especially with such a large R factor.

                      And seriously?. a new vaccine not only designed , tested and manufactured in weeks….but also administered……thats a shipload of straws being clutched.

                      Theres hope, and then there is delusion

                    • McFlock

                      A big number halved is more time.

                      As for the vaccine, looking at the link I supplied for the claim, pfizer was saying March. Whether that's the start of trials from scratch, or whether the FDA says it's close enough to the previous one that it doesn't have to do everything from scratch, that's the question.

                      Then there's the production rollout, NZgov assessment, purchasing… sure, it might not be on NZ streets at the end of march. But we'll have a ticking clock, and all we need to do is slow the spread, not stop the spread with what we have.

                    • pat

                      A big number with an R0 of 5

                      And even if all your unicorns eventuate, consider this….the gov have approved the purchase and distribution of RATs…..sufficient shipments wont arrive for months, a product that has been manufactured for months.

                    • McFlock

                      An R0 of only 5?

                      Seems to me that let's say 8 weeks to the end of march, 2 week generation for the virus, R0 of 5.

                      That's 4 cycles.

                      We've probably barely got the tip of the current outbreak, ballpark 200 community omicron cases atm?

                      Gen. total

                      1. 1000
                      2. 5000
                      3. 25000
                      4. 125000 by end of march


                      add masks and boosters and distancing, say they halve the infection rate (illustrative):

                      Gen. total

                      1. 500
                      2. 1250
                      3. 3275
                      4. like, 10 or 12k by end of march, it's a bit late to math

                      The point is that if we put the effort in now, we slow the pressure on the system regardless of whether an apparent hail mary throw comes about – but we give it more time to come about, too.

                      That means lowering the odds of spreading the disease by any way we can, including by requiring that people who have many close contacts as part of their jobs be vaccinated. It's good enough for a cup of coffee, and it's good enough for our mums.

                    • I'd just like to say, McFlock, you talk one hell of a lot of sense!

                      One of the best commentators on here. Keep it up, and look after your mum!

                    • pat

                      It was late… have halved the infection rate for the entire population rather than realising that the infection rate may (possibly) halve for fully vaccinated as opposed to unvaccinated…..a very different calculation.

                      Look at the the daily numbers from NSW in a population with very similar vaccination rates and other public health measures, including masks, mandates and distancing and you will see a real world trajectory…..then remove mandates and decide what difference it would have made.

              • Grant


  11. Muttonbird 11

    Odd. Conservative media are already looking over the top of the Great White Hope, Christopher Luxon. Paywalled.

    • Peter 11.1

      I saw the headline, "Great blue hope – is National's Nicola Willis a PM in waiting?"

      He's just got into the office, put his pictures on the walls, his books in the bookshelf and they're thinking about calling the removal people? 😵

      • Shanreagh 11.1.1

        He's just got into the office, put his pictures on the walls, his books in the bookshelf and they're thinking about calling the removal people?

        Hopefully the contents of his bookshelf don't include a MAGA cap.wink

        • Blade

          Talking of MAGA caps, I'm a great fan of President Trumpy. And I'm a fan for one reason – he did stuff.

          • fender

            That Bloomberg piece explains how he seems to have the Republican party by the short'n'curlys. I'm curious to know what stuff he did that was of any good for the US or the world.

            • Blade

              1- He allowed border security to do their job. Obama had hamstrung them.


              2- He pulled the US out of some United Nation agreements.

              3- He supported miners, and slowed decline in their industry.

              4- He made freeloading Nato members pay their way.

              5- He would have stopped Muslims entering the country if he could have got past congress.

              6- Pulled the US out of the Global Climate Pact. That's a biggy for me.

              7- He stood up to China.

              I can't remember the rest.

              Remind me about what Biden has done?

              Please understand Trump the man and Trump the President, are two different things in my book.

              • McFlock

                You think those are good things, right?

              • fender

                Yeah, but I meant good. That's a list containing regressive, racist, destructive and destablising things.

                But if that's what you're into then that's unfortunate.

                • Blade

                  Protecting your border is not good? Would you let me walk into your house because I wanted your food and money?

                  You have respect for the United Nations? They are the people who stood by while men women and kids were slaughtered in Balkans.

                  You don't believe people should pay their fare share of an agreement?

                  Letting China laugh in your face and do nothing is good ( cue Jacinda)?

                  You believe Islam and Western culture can in the PRESENT live side by side. You know they have a name for you, right. You are an infidel.

                  You believe in Man Made Climate Change? If you believe that you believe bush fires and coral degradation is caused by the climate.

                  I'm sorry…but you Lefties are away with the fairies. America is finding that out at the moment.

                  • fender

                    There's protecting borders and then there's treating refugees like scum.

                    The UN is far from perfect but its better to have nations around the table together than not. If an agreement wasn't being honored there must be consequences. But if some blowass makes demands over riding existing agreements it's hardly shirking of responsibility.

                    Treating international relations as a game to rark up support from airheads is dangerous for the whole world.

                    Any peoples can live side by side if they have respect for one another and have no hidden malicious intent.

                    The science is sound regarding our effect on our rock, don't be foolish.

                    You right wingers are a danger to our species and many others too.

                    • Blade

                      ''There's protecting borders and then there's treating refugees like scum.''

                      Yes, they turn them back, and guess what, they try again. Makes a mockery of officially applying for residency. I think you didn't get the ''home'' analogy.

                      ''But if some blowass makes demands over riding existing agreements it's hardly shirking of responsibility.'

                      Talking of vetoes…

                      ''Any peoples can live side by side if they have respect for one another and have no hidden malicious intent.''

                      If you are a TRUE adherent to the Islamic faith, that is not possible in thought or deed if the possibility exists to show your true self.

                      ''The science is sound regarding our effect on our rock, don't be foolish.''

                      Please remember I have stated on numerous occasions that the climate is changing. But I have no time for man made climate change believers. Like weka, opposing views on the subject are not welcome.

                      ''You right wingers are a danger to our species and many others too.''

                      I would expect you to say that.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Blade says:

                      "But I have no time for man made climate change believers."

                      This is great news! I suggest, Blade, that you compile a list of those "climate change believers" here on TS, blacklist them (us) and don't interact with them in any way – you have no time for them, as you say).

                      I'm top of the list and more than willing to be ignored by you.

                      It's a breakthrough day for reason on The Standard!

                    • Blade

                      Good ole, Robert. He loves to be selective. Here's what I wrote:

                      ''Please remember I have stated on numerous occasions that the climate is changing. But I have no time for man made climate change believers. Like weka, opposing views on the subject are not welcome.''

                      Don't let the truth blind you, son.

                    • lprent

                      Don’t let the truth blind you, son.

                      Making arbitrary statements without explaining your specific thinking and reasons for it is just acting like a dickhead.

                      You need to state why you don't think the current last century of climate change can't be attributed to humans. After all 4.5 billion years ago the 'climate` was most likely due to bits of space junk. We only recently in geological terms got out of a glacial likely to be primarily triggered by a point Milankovitch cycle. We probably entered a a ice-age about 45 million years ago after Antarctica drifted into the southern polar region and formed enough of an ice cap to act as a global deep freeze.

                      Then we have the most rapid known rise in CO2 in at least the last 3 million years happening over less than 200 years, and you're explaining a congruent rise in temperatures by the net equivalent if tapping your nose.

                      Makes you just look lazy, ignorant and too stupid to be able to argue a case.

                      Actually a lot like "Trumpy" – a person who never managed to do anything that actually works apart from increasing his debts and screwing people doing work for him.

              • 6- Pulled the US out of the Global Climate Pact. That's a biggy for me.

                Climate crisis? What climate crisis?

                Head . . . sand.

              • joe90

                1- He allowed border security to do their job.

                Of course he did. Bless.

                Yet despite this supposed focus, the government records show that Border Patrol was observing more immigrants sneaking into the country than when President Trump took office. In fiscal year 2016, Border Patrol agents witnessed about 100,000 successful entries. By 2018, the number had risen to nearly 128,000. In 2019, it hit 150,000. Through four months of 2020, it was on pace to hit almost 156,000.


                2- He pulled the US out of some United Nation agreements.

                Weakening the international rules based order and increasing the risks of war, disease and poverty is not a good thing.

                3- He supported miners, and slowed decline in their industry.

                Meanwhile, industry income continues to plummet as year in year out coal consumption declines by more than 20%, mine closures have new highs and job losses continue to accelerate.

                Jobs are being lost from the US coal industry at the fastest rate in decades as the fuel gets crowded out of an electricity market that is shrinking because of the coronavirus pandemic. The number of coal mining jobs dropped 12 per cent to 43,800 in April, the US labour department reported. The financial picture is darkening in coal districts of Kentucky, West Virginia and Wyoming.


                4- He made freeloading Nato members pay their way.

                Lie. NATO isn't a club, there are no dues and decisions made by member countries to up their spending were made years before tRump arrived on the scene.


                5- He would have stopped Muslims entering the country if he could have got past congress.

                Yup. And in a fit of pique the moron in chief jiggered legal migration, anyhow.


                6- Pulled the US out of the Global Climate Pact. That's a biggy for me.

                So you're an anti-science loon, too. Good-oh.

                7- He stood up to China.

                Yeah, he sure did.

                Key Findings

                • The Trump administration imposed nearly $80 billion worth of new taxes on Americans by levying tariffs on thousands of products, which is equivalent to one of the largest tax increases in decades.
                • We estimate that retaining the tariffs put in place under the Trump administration would reduce economic output, income, and employment.
                • The Biden administration has kept most of the Trump administration tariffs in place, except for a five-year suspension of tariffs that were part of a WTO aircraft dispute.
                • The tariffs that are still in effect are estimated to reduce long-run GDP by 0.23 percent, wages by 0.15 percent, and employment by 176,800 full-time equivalent jobs.


                I can't remember the rest.

                Looks to me like you're lucky you can even remember your fucking name, sport.

              • gsays

                He also got Kin Jong un to the bargaining table.

          • Blazer

            Yeah sure and he's the only one …who can …do it!laugh

      • Stuart Munro 11.1.2

        Once I led an airline, made it run
        Made it race against time
        Once I ran an airline, now I'm done
        Brother can you spare me a dime?

        • Incognito

          Once I was a brave CEO
          Boldly going where no one dared
          Now I’ve taken my big ego
          To make the Government feel really scared

  12. McFlock 12

    So the Office of the Childrens' Commissioner is getting tweaked. A sole commissioner to be replaced by a board, oversight of the highly problematic Oranga Tamariki to be moved into a new organisation, and some other current OCC investigative powers moved to the Ombudsman.

    Only a couple of years ago the government was increasing the OCC budget.

    The OCC has an important role, being both advocate and an investigator to protect some of our most vulnerable and at risk people. Frankly, I'm against devolving any of that responsibility away from the OCC – as the Spinoff points out in a much longer and more detailed article, a separate OT oversight body already exists and is not nearly as independent as the OCC currently is.

    I also have suspicions that a panel of three will produce meetings minutes over months, while an individual commissioner can make a statement within hours.

    Anyhoo – submissions close on Wednesday 26 Jan (the day after tomorrow).

    Save the Children are against the changes, and also point out that there has been no work done on seeing what children actually want – something that the OCC might have been able to help the government out with, if the thought had occurred.

    • Dennis Frank 12.1

      no work done on seeing what children actually want

      Doesn't surprise me at all. Media are in collusion with govt in the ongoing effort to ensure that children have no say.

      You may recall seeing children interviewed quite often on the news but I'm confident every single instance falls into the category of uncontraversial. The tacit psychology still universally operative is that children are seen but not heard – despite several generations of kids being heard plenty at home & in school the past half-century.

      Since the seen but not heard thing is conventionally allocated to the Victorian era, it goes to show how powerful the inertial effect of brainwashing actually is!

      • McFlock 12.1.1


        Might be a bit far.

        But it probably didn't occur to anyone, yet when I was involved with a child-oriented project that also involved OCC, they were the party that suggested actually involving kids in ongoing development.

        I must confess, it hadn't occurred to me.

        • Dennis Frank

          Yeah I did mean tacit collusion due to folks not thinking about it – convention does embed like that. I gather there's been steps in the direction of reform – kids are expected to report abuse nowadays? Dunno who to, when the abuse happens at home. Teachers??

          But I see no reason why policy ought not to incorporate feedback from kids. Especially an entire class put to the question, with encouragement from teacher to respond to a visiting expert researcher. Kids like to volunteer opinions in a supportive social matrix.

  13. Bill 13

    "I voted against compulsory vaccinations for NHS staff and for covid passports. My worry is that it leads us in the direction of ID cards and formal identification of people for everything they want to do. This is the direction in which it goes."

    Jeremy Corbyn

    • Dennis Frank 13.1

      His apprehension is reasonable. Big Brother seems to be in the pipeline in London, since all them outdoor cameras often record stuff that shows up in the news. However policy need not necessarily be driven by fear. Corbyn had the opportunity to advocate for a supervisory system that monitors the control system on behalf of the people. I bet he never did so. Typical leftist.

      • weka 13.1.1

        Apparently the House of Lords voted no to the amendment to the Crimes bill that was going to lead to repression of protest.

      • Bill 13.1.2

        Corbyn had the opportunity to advocate for a supervisory system that monitors the control system on behalf of the people.

        Can you explain what you're referring to there?

        Typical leftist.

        Nah. Sadly, Corbyn's an a-typical leftist in these days.

        • Dennis Frank

          It's the ole who watches the watchers? thing. Parliament could enact legislation that specifies a supervision system that monitors usage of the control system. All systems are vulnerable to capture by vested interests, so the design challenge is to use lateral-thinking to prevent that.

          For instance, supervisors could be public servants by default, or they could include parliamentarians, or even party hacks. Biodiversity spreads risk! You could use JPs, for instance. Anyone with mana & a track record of public service perhaps.

          Corbyn's an a-typical leftist in these days

          In some respects. Siding with Palestinians against Israelis was understandable, but it takes two to tango so triadic framing would have got him out of that hole & he's a typical leftist insofar as being too old-fashioned to do innovative thought to solve a problem…

    • Blade 13.2

      I was listening to Chris Hipkins this morning. The more I listened the more I heard National I.D card on the way for us under the pretext of Covid health measures.

      • Bill 13.2.1

        The more I listened the more I heard National I.D card on the way for us under the pretext of Covid health measures.

        Ya think?! Here's a taster from cut and pastes from a link I provided in a post that (I suspect) no-one bothered to read because, y'know, the link crossed a blue line.

        From the first reading for Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill

        Eugenie Sage (Green)

        “We note too that digital identity is potentially really important for our voting system. There has been provision made for online voting at local authority level for trials, but I don’t think any local authority took that up because of concerns about hacking and insecurity of information. So the work in this space may assist with that.

        Glen Bennet (Labour)

        “We are now having to ensure that this piece of legislation, which is around our digital footprint and our identity and the framework that it brings, is fit for standards in 2021 and beyond…

        Simon Bridges (National)

        We support the intent.

        James McDowall (ACT)

        I’m not sure, based on the bill, if Application Programming Interfaces are going to be used to share data between private and public organisations. […] but I think the direction of travel is right and we’re happy to commend this to the House.”

        Terisa Ngobi, (Labour)

        COVID-19 is a really good example of why this Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill is timely and critical […] Again, it’s really timely and I commend this bill to the House.

        Ingrid Leary, (Labour)

        It’s absolutely crucial that we are able to keep our digital identity safe so that we’re not exposed to fiscal issues around banking, that we can move freely and restrict movement where necessary, and just enjoy our freedoms in the non-digital world… So this is a very timely and important initiative, and I commend the bill to the House.”

        Nicola Grigg, (National)

        a framework that will ensure consistency in the basic principles of privacy and data protection is welcome by us on this side of the House, and indeed all sides of the House, and in a very quickly changing and evolving digital world, it is going to be essential to incorporate a framework that will engender trust in the public. So we are pleased to commend this bill to the House.”

        Barbara Edmonds

        I’m really keen to understand how the international interoperability works with Australia and the UK and whether other international country partners are going to it, in order to protect our Kiwis’ identification or information.

        Here's the link.

        • Blade

          I can understand Labour lapping up this legislation . That would make for a tidy, and easily controlled hive.

          As for National – these gin soaked wastes of space need to crawl down to the basement and dust off their party's constitution. Then they need to live by it. If that means 20 years of being a political joke, so be it.

          At least you know Labour stands for something.

          • arkie

            At least you know Labour stands for something

            yup, BAU capitalism.

            • Blade

              Yes, with a touch of hate, envy and trying to fleece the taxpayer by putting money in one pocket and taking it out of the other. It's all smoke and mirrors. But it's a great act for the fiscally ignorant.

        • Craig H

 is the Bill after its first reading. Digital identity services exist now e.g. Realme – surely some regulation would be useful rather than solely relying on the Privacy Act?

          And in essence, didn't the requirement to produce ID for alcohol and set up driver licenses to be useful as ID, effectively give us something close to a national ID card anyway?

          • McFlock

            The drivers license thing has bothered me for years, the switch from "present it within 48 hours" to "carry it all the time".

          • Bill

            The problem comes from 'everything' about you being digitised and transited through a framework that's subject to a singular controlling authority.

            I mentioned RealMe in the post I wrote, and the difference in scope and level of intrusion and control that a digital passport represents.

            Our money is to be digital currency (NZ Reserve Bank is already exploring the introdution of a CBDC) held in digital wallets on the same device that will also hold vaccine status, other medical info, bio-metrics such as iris and/or fingerprint scans, location and movements, and a galaxy of financial info and behaviours sitting alongside (I dunno) a carbon credit tally?, social credit score?…

            And all accessible by way of whatever "permissions" are inbuilt to apps developed by corporations (including permissions to pass info to other apps) and by whoever sits atop or at the centre of the Digital Framework who can then turn off access to society on the basis of the info they have. eg – late for booster shot, or guilty of some transgression = green pass turns red, and suddenly you can't buy certain services or physically participate in society.

            It's already happening in areas of China, and India has a huge bio- digital system (co developed by Gates) that's supposedly voluntary ie, sign up for access to HIV meds or….no HIV meds type voluntary.

            The shit coming down the pyke isn't of the same order as a library swipe card or a credit card.

  14. McFlock 14

    As PM, Luxon would be spending an hour a day calling DHB heads in order to ask them about things that could just be in an excel file and things that are out of their control.

    • Blade 14.1

      This dude obviously has no idea about politics. But, hold on, I've just read this:

      ''Clint Smith.

      Director of Victor Strategy and Communications. Former Senior Policy & Communications Strategist for Jacinda Ardern and Ministerial Advisor. Opinions my own.''

      That really explains a lot. Take away Jacinda and her spin and you are Left with something worse than the National Party… and that's saying something

      Even stuff seems to be waking from their slumber:

      Senior doctors also has a go at the gummint today.


      • McFlock 14.1.1

        Awww no, twitter dude has a bias.

        Is making 20 calls a day to ask dhb heads about drug approval a good use of pm time? Or was Luxon full of shit?

        • Blade

          It's all about staying relevant when you aren't. It's about suggesting stuff you probably won't have to follow up on. It's about PR.

          So looking at Clint's credentials and then looking at what he wrote, he either has no idea about what his former job should have entailed… or he's just putting the boot in for the team.

          • McFlock

            Sure, it's all about anything other than the leader of the opposition wanting ministers to spend an hour a day calling CEOs about stuff that isn't even in the CEO's purview.

          • Craig H

            Staffed ICU beds is useful information, that's why the DHBs report on it regularly to the Ministry of Health. Not sure why the PM needs to personally call all the DHB CEs for this information when the Ministry could email the PM the report after they collate it.

        • Dennis Frank

          full of shit

          Seems like that. Everyone knows secretaries are for phone calls. There's a century of that reality behind us. Nobody will take Lux seriously on that.

          • McFlock

            It's got nothing to do with who makes the call.

            The assumption is that lack of progress is due to the ministers or pm not nagging CEOs enough. Sure, as CEO Luxon might have ignored a board instruction until the chair started harrassing him daily, but NZ healthcare has been on decline for 30 years.

            He could criticise the government for failing to up the pay of nurses and other healthcare workers. One of the things that has made recruitment hard is shite pay and shite staffing – both related to the ongoing and longstanding underfunding of public healthcare, and a self-perpetuating cycle.

            But then there's the problem with the rest of healthcare underfunding, and the DHB "debts" accrued because DHBs happened to have more sick people than budgeted for.

            Labour's regionalisation might address some of that… or it might just draw a veil over the same problem for another ten years. We'll have to wait and see, but my hopes aren't up.

            And if Luxon, as a National party leader of the opposition, were to propose actually spending billions more of real money on healthcare, real pay rises for staff, real surgeries, not just the usual accounting "increase"… would that be believable? A massive public spending promise, especially one with equity in mind?

            Their donors would have a fit.

          • Peter

            Nobody will take Lux seriously on that? Nobody unbiased and with a smidgen of commonsense in touch with reality.

            Luxon wasn't speaking to them though. He's aiming for eejits who will saying, "He's a man of action, look at that, he's got his finger on it. I'm really impressed by him. He's way more onto it than the Government"

            • Dennis Frank

              Yeah I got that he was aiming for that effect. Trouble is, thickos like that will already be voting for him. Won't impress any centrists.

              • Blade

                Looking at TV news tonight…and watching a confluence of negative factors coming together.., and listening to HDA, and Western Australian correspondent, Oliver Peterson, I would say by the end of the year you would have to be a halfwit to still support Labour.

                Doesn't leave much of a choice does it?

                Hell, apart from Chris, the rest of Labour used the Wellington anniversary to continue their holiday.

                Btw – Western Australia and NZ will be a great watch given both have taken similar(?) approaches to Covid. I wonder who will go under fist?

                ps- don’t take my comments too seriously. According to Weka I’m an exaggerator – what with predicting a lockdown and stuff.

                • pat

                  Shame National is such a cluster…though it is possible they could lead the next administration.

                  "It's the economy stupid" will be true again

                • Dennis Frank

                  don’t take my comments too seriously

                  I'll try to keep that in mind. smiley

                  I chose not to watch the network news tonight. I often jump between 1&3 to minimise the boredom, but that only works until I get the sense they're filling in. I have a good sense of media filling due to a decade spent in the TVNZ newsroom putting stories together.

                  My expectation for the year currently is random lines of infection in all directions that will take out unhealthy folk & tune-up the others. Darwinism as ecological process. Fast-food addicts that survived the first two waves ought to be the first group heading down the gurgler. They should exit declaring themselves happy to be victims of capitalism & singing I did it my way.

                  • Blade

                    ''I chose not to watch the network news tonight. I often jump between 1&3 to minimise the boredom.''

                    Great minds think alike. It's only the first 10 minutes for me. Then I switch off. Sometimes if I want to shock the system I will watch 'The Project' for the horror affect.

    • felix 14.2

      Is Clint being thick or dishonest? Surely he understands that the point Luxon is making is that the number of EXTRA icu beds SHOULD be increasing.

      • weka 14.2.1

        still not a number that changes daily. I assume what Luxon means is that he will harass the DBH chairs daily until they meet his demands.

      • McFlock 14.2.2

        Sure. And that they would increase daily if the PM or minister called the CEOs about it daily. And something about drugs that has nothing to do with the CEOs.

        But if the problem is more complex than CEOs not being motivated enough, it's Luxon being loose with the truth.

        • Stuart Munro

          I expect anyone who called 20 CEOs every day would get to spend a whole lot of time listening to soothing muzak – just the thing after a morning wrangling the wrong-headed no-hopers and bad bargains that are National's best and brightest.

      • Craig H 14.2.3

        As I said above, the DHBs report those numbers regularly to the Ministry of Health. Not sure why the PM needs to personally call all the DHB CEs when the Ministry could email the PM the report after they collate it.

  15. Robert Guyton 15

    DHB head – "Hello? Oh,, yes, I've made those enquiries you deman…requested.

    That's $5.50 in the staff cafe and $4.50 from the coffee-cart at the front entrance…yes, of course, critical information, Christopher.

    Looking forward to tomorrow's call.


    Hangs up.

  16. arkie 16

    Critical thread for those who may feel unsafe if they are forced to work in risky situations:

    Here is the legislation around worker right to refuse unsafe work:

  17. Jimmy 17

    Seems like some restraints of trade are enforceable. Shows you need to be careful what you sign.

    Tova O'Brien: Broadcaster must wait two months before beginning her new job |

    • Dennis Frank 17.1

      Interesting. Counter-intuitive, so the devil's in the details:

      Discovery’s lawyer Peter Kiely said O’Brien sought legal advice and spoke to her then-boss about the restraint of trade provisions before taking up her position as political editor in 2018. “That's what she negotiated, that’s what she agreed to.” Kiely said the wording of the contract referred to the type of business, not the type of role, and plainly included a news radio station.

      He said evidence heard by the authority from media commentator Gavin Ellis made it plain that both organisations were competing for the same audience, the same talent and the same advertising dollars.

      Still, it'd be good if her new employer takes it to appeal &/or Supreme Court. Law's an ass. Political editor on tv & radio show host are different creatures.

      • Gezza 17.1.1

        Yes – an interesting outcome.

        Previous reporting from Stuff suggested that the restraint of trade provions in Tova O’Brien’s contract would likely be unenforceable:

        In her decision released on Monday, Authority member Marija Urlich determined the radio and television programmes were in competition and that the restraint of trade clause was enforcible.

        “The evidence establishes if Ms O’Brien starts work with MWR [Mediaworks] she will be working in competition with Discovery.”

        Would be good to see the full decision to read how that determination was arrived at.

        • Dennis Frank

          True, the rationale used to produce the decision is the key. Until we see that, I suspect Ellis, who I quoted, got the leverage. As an ex-Herald editor, he could seem an expert to the judge. If his specification of the market carried the weight of evidence, I mean. Commercial law combined with contract law…

        • Ad

          Tova O'Brien got a fine of $2,000.

          Judge Urlich sent a useful signal there to further uses of that kind of clause.

          Kinda bullshit now anyway: at a headline unemployment rate heading under 3%, everyone's just poaching like mad.

          • Gezza

            Yes, I saw that:

            The Authority has also ordered O’Brien to pay $2000 for her breach of the conflict of interest clause in her contract. This relates to her providing Mediaworks a comment for their press release and taking part in a photoshoot while still employed by Discovery.

            Discovery’s head of news Sarah Bristow described it as “egregious”. O’Brien said video included about three seconds of her and the single quote remained in a story on Discovery’s own website. She apologised to Bristow.

            She at least conceded that that was $2k worth of cheeky.

  18. Jimmy 18

    Steal over $200k and no jail time! Seems like crime does pay.

    Waikato DHB employee, friend avoid jail after $228K theft – NZ Herald

    • Dennis Frank 18.1

      Indicative of a mind-set in the judiciary – ripping off taxpayers is cool because the effect is socialised. Nobody in that class of victims feels actual pain from the ripoff.

  19. Jenny how to get there 19

    Dirty Rotten Liars

    Smashing up a Pamure medical centre, aligning with fascists, threatening health workers, payiing a person to take ten vaccines in one day to gain false vaccine passports to pass themselves off as vaccinated at public venues.

    Is there anything the anti-vaxxer conspiracists won't stoop to?

    Canterbury DHB denies anti-vaxxers' claims child collapsed after COVID vaccine

    William Hewett 1 hour ago

    The Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) has shot down another anti-vaxx rumour claiming a child collapsed because of the COVID vaccine.

    • Robert Guyton 19.1

      I reckon a "litmus test" here on TS would be: Do you believe children have collapsed here in New Zealand, as a result of the Pfizer's vaccine (rather than other factors)?

      • mauī 19.1.1

        Firstly I would go with, Do you have confidence the media would report on it if a child did collapse?

        • Robert Guyton

          Yes, I do. It would be next to impossible to conceal a real incident such as that.

          I would ask you, mauī, do you believe the accounts that circulated, of children, collapsing as a result of their vaccination? That is, is there something in the vaccination that caused such serious reactions?

      • Jenny how to get there 19.1.2

        I agree. But I think if you asked them straight out,

        Do you believe children have collapsed here in New Zealand, as a result of the Pfizer's vaccine (rather than other factors)?

        They wouldn’t give you an answer.

        (But probably still worth asking, just to see them all plead the fifth. Slimy dishonest scum that they are.)

  20. The question is how did christopher luxin get his job at Air New Zealand or is his case long range planning by nationals and yet another kiwi "MYSTERY CAREER". Was his job advertised?

    [please stick to your pre-approved user name thanks – Incognito]

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