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Open mike 24/05/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 24th, 2022 - 110 comments
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110 comments on “Open mike 24/05/2022 ”

  1. Jenny how to get there 1

    Joe Hawke is the Rosa Parks of New Zealand

    "We are landless in our own land, Takaparawha means a tremendous amount to our people. The struggle for the retention of this land is the most important struggle which our people have faced for many years. To lose this last bit of ground would be a death blow to the mana, to the honour and to the dignity of the Ngāti Whātua people."

    Joseph Parata Hohepa Hawke 1940-2022

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/kahu/takaparawhau-occupation-leader-and-activist-joe-hawke-dies-age-82/VUB3ASEFG5D6LZ7UQROK75MIFM/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_Parks

    • Ad 1.1

      She sat on a bus for an hour. Joe Hawke stood on his land for 507 days.

      Joe Hawke is the Joe Hawke of New Zealand and doesn't need comparing to anything.

      • Jenny how to get there 1.1.1

        I think the comparison is apt. It is hard to downplay the significance of what Joe Hawke and Rosa Parks did. When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white woman. Rosa Parks began a movement. The Montgomery bus boycott lasted 13 months.

        When Joe Hawke raised his family's small holiday camping tent on Bastion Pt. he began a movement that is still continuing.

        From Joe Hawke's simple act of defiance, a whole movement grew.

        From Joe Hawke's example Eva Rickard led a successful occupation of the Raglan Golf course. More recently Pania Newton led a successful occupation of Ihuamatao.

        Leaders with the courage and foresight of Joe Hawke or Rosa Parks or Eva Rickard or Pania Newton are rare. Almost once in a generation do they appear.

        The thousands that turned up at Bastion Pt. Takaparawha yesterday the first day of his tangi are a testament to the greatness of his legacy.

        Even a contingent of New Zealand police in full uniform came to pay their respects.

        Of the 222 people arrested by police at Bastion Pt. half were Pakeha supporters.

        What inspiring leaders like Joe Hawke and Rosa Parks had in common is that they both belonged to the whole world.

  2. Joe90 2

    Truth to power.

    bloody, witless and absolutely needless ignominy

    Speaking to the BBC, Mr Bondarev said he had "not seen any alternative" than to resign: "I don't think it will change a lot, frankly, but I think it may be one little brick into the bigger wall which would eventually be built. I hope so."

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-61555390

    • Jenny how to get there 2.1

      This decision could not have been easy or comfortable, giving up his position would have required an enormous amount of self sacrifice. All credit to Morris Bondarev, for having the courage of his convictions and acting on them.

      Unfortunately the Russian Federation representative to New Zealand is the complete opposite,
      Totally lacking in principle or morals, guilty of knowingly spreading fake news and lies in support of the bloody invasion and occupation of Ukraine. He won't be resigning his diplomatic post on principle any time soon.

      All Left anti-war activists need to demand the immediate expulsion of this immoral bloodthirsty toady scumbag from our country.

      …Russia's Embassy in New Zealand has used its Facebook page to say that alleged war crimes uncovered in parts of Ukraine are a "hoax".

      Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned against "disinformation emanating from social media", after the posts were publicised.

      New Zealand's Government and Opposition have both aligned with Ukrainian accounts of atrocities, with Ardern saying the reported crimes were "beyond reprehensible".

      "Russia must answer to the world for what they've done," Ardern said. This week, Ardern faced renewed calls to expel Russia's ambassador…

      …..Ardern has so far refused to expel Russia's ambassador to New Zealand. On Monday, she appeared open to the idea that she might do so in the future.

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politics/russian-embassy-claims-war-crimes-a-hoax/KY2VAR3CFALVZLO5K22OOVVLRU/

      • joe90 2.1.1

        Poots' boys will be brewing tea, sharpening, umbrellas and booking their cathedral tours.

      • Incognito 2.1.2

        I’d imagine that not all Russians living in Aotearoa-New Zealand are necessarily strong supporters of the war in Ukraine. So, why deprive all of them from an Ambassador, which is obviously a bit more than a symbolic gesture and extreme virtue-signalling?

        • Jenny how to get there 2.1.2.1

          "All Left anti-war activists need to demand the immediate expulsion of this immoral bloodthirsty toady scumbag from our country." JHTG

          "…obviously a bit more than a symbolic gesture…" Incognito.

          You got that right.

          Compared to at least 231 children killed and 470 children children maimed, a bit more than a symbolic gesture is the least we could do.

          I guarantee incognito, that if it was your child that was killed or maimed, you would be calling for something, obviously a bit more than a symbolic gesture.

          And I could also pretty much guarantee that genuine anti-war Russian expats here, would be prepared to make the sacrifice and undergo the inconvenience of not having their legation handy.

          After all lots anti-war Russian citizens have sacrificed far more.

          Cracking down on peace: How Russian anti-war protesters face persecution

          Russian authorities are attempting to intimidate opponents of the war in Ukraine. Courageous activists in Kazan report what they have been doing and what consequences they face. A report from Tatarstan….

          …..raids were carried out at the homes of journalists, activists and students. There were three different waves on March 6, 17, and 25. Many of those affected complain they were the victims of police violence.

          ….."During the raids there were dreadful insults, humiliation, threats and beatings to my head and back. I was put in handcuffs and forced to kneel for three or four hours. They threatened to strip my 69-year-old mother naked if I did not tell them where my cellphone was," wrote activist Andrei Boyarshinov, who also lives in Kazan. He passed his report to journalists; DW has attained a copy. Boyarshinov, who is now being held in custody in a prison, is accused by authorities of having publicly called for terrorist acts. He rejects the allegations.

          https://www.dw.com/en/cracking-down-on-peace-how-russian-anti-war-protesters-face-persecution/a-61528111

          • Incognito 2.1.2.1.1

            Are you a genuine anti-war Russian expat or an anti-Putin one? How’s severing diplomatic ties, symbolic or otherwise, going to help the victims of war or help to end the war peacefully? If the Embassy is spreading falsehoods and propaganda here in Aotearoa-New, deliberately, to influence public opinion (or of expats only?), then they should be told STFU. Because that’s clearly in our control-sphere.

        • Cricklewood 2.1.2.2

          Not to mention the NZ citizens in Russia and nearby Baltic states who will be left without help when the NZ ambassador to Russia is booted.

          • Visubversa 2.1.2.2.1

            We don't have Consular representation in every country. One of my relatives died suddenly in Sweden and as we did not have a representative there at the time, everything had to be done through The Hague. The MFAT people here and in The Hague were very helpful and everything was sorted out very quickly.

            • Incognito 2.1.2.2.1.1

              That’s a fair point and things don’t necessarily become impossible or extremely cumbersome without an Ambassador. It won’t affect me personally because I’m not a Russian expat, but just another armchair warrior living in the comfort of a warm house in Aotearoa-New Zealand.

        • Adrian Thornton 2.1.2.3

          "extreme virtue-signalling"…you've come to the right place.

      • Stuart Munro 2.1.3

        It's a tricky thing, expelling ambassadors – usually reserved for the outbreak of hostilities. The long term relationship with other states is in principle more at issue than the momentary vileness of their leadership.

        But it wouldn't be a bad symbolic move – to close the embassy until Putin is gone, and Ukrainian territory is no longer occupied. We don't have the guns to push Putin around, but we are a soft power leader, as was shown with the apartheid protests.

        The question is whether NZ chooses to lead. And – it might be a more progressive way to approach the problem than military aid. I expect it would prove electorally popular, and our allies would like it, without the drawbacks we suffered from supporting their ill-starred adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      • Kiwijoker 2.1.4

        Jenny, in the immortal words of The Amazing Rhythm Aces

        ” That Russian would tell a lie even if the truth was working better”

        (slightly amended)

      • Jenny how to get there 2.1.5

        Expel the Russian Ambassador

        NZ's Russian ambassador refuses to attend 'futile' briefings

        Mon, Apr 11 Source: rnz.co.nz

        …..Zuev has twice been invited to appear. In a letter dated 14 March, he said he was honoured to receive an invitation to brief the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee but declined because it would be "obviously futile"….

        ….Golriz Ghahraman saying Zuev should be expelled if he still refused to appear before the committee.

        "The job of a diplomat is to continue dialogue, so that's what we honour until he … honours the same," Ghahraman said.

        Ardern has not ruled out removing the ambassador in future….

        https://www.1news.co.nz/2022/04/11/nzs-russian-ambassador-refuses-to-attend-futile-briefings/

  3. tsmithfield 3

    One thing I very much agree with our government on is the need to diversify from China.

    Here is a fascinating video from Peter Zeihan, geopolitical commentator, explaining a lot of the factors impacting on China at the moment that mean it is unlikely to be a reliable partner going forward.

    I think the government primarily had in mind the potential of China invading Taiwan. However, as Zeihan points out, that is less likely now since China has likely been sobered up by the events in Ukraine. China likely realises that if the same degree of sanctions were applied to China as have been to Russia, China would quickly be totally destroyed economically as it is a net importer of most raw materials including energy.

    Also, another devastating outcome for China would be the likelihood that western corporations would exit China in a similar way that they have from Russia.

    More problematic for China is the issue of demographics. Due to their one child policy that was in place for decades, China has one of the fastest ageing populations in the world. According to Zeihan, recent censuses have been over-counting the Chinese population by 100 million or more. If correct, these factors could lead to the Chinese population halving by 2050.

    Another huge factor at the moment is the Covid lockdowns in China. The Chinese vaccine is useless, and is ineffective against later strains of Covid. Hence, their only option is to lock their populations down. This is having a major impact on their ability to manufacture within China, and is likely to keep continuing to do so every time a Covid outbreak occurs.

    Another factor that occurs to me is that many companies are seeing the effect on the likes of Germany on becoming too reliant on a potential future enemy. Hence, probably many organisations are reconsidering their reliance on China for similar reasons.

    The takeaway from this and other reasons is the businesses need to reconsider their reliance on China both from the exporting and importing perspective. Companies that have shifted their manufacturing to China probably need to consider bringing their manufacturing back to NZ and automate to be competitive, or look for other low wage, more friendly economies such as India for their manufacturing.

    Very interesting stuff, and only part of the puzzle as to why the nature of trade in terms of globalisation is changing forever.

    • Tiger Mountain 3.1

      “low wage” economies–that's the spirit Smithfield!

      • tsmithfield 3.1.1

        Not saying I agree with that strategy. Just saying that is one of the options many corporations would consider.

    • KJT 3.2

      Laughable.

      Successive NZ Governments, driven by the farming lobby, have killed any nascent possibilies of industries, other than exporting dairy to China, leaving us with few alternatives.

      We will never recover the local skill base they destroyed, for one.

      If anyone thinks our "friend" the USA, is going to spite their own local producers to look after NZ, I have a bridge to sell you,

      • tsmithfield 3.2.1

        Not so sure. We are moving into a world food crisis with events happening around the world. So, I think there will be plenty of takers for the food we produce.

        We probably have an opportunity to move some of that towards grains given the world shortage and high prices.

        The biggest downside for NZ is that our internal food prices are going to be very high. But at least we have access to food. Not so much for some countries going forward.

        • DB Brown 3.2.1.1

          "We are moving into a world food crisis with events happening around the world."

          This is true, but what goes up must come down. We seem currently at the whim of markets beyond our control – but that part of it is surely at least partially within our control. Some stability, locally, is doable, if not palatable.

          We are not 'feeding the world' at such exorbitant prices, we are feeding the rich.

          NZ needs to look after NZ, that should include companies operating in NZ. Tax is not everything a company should provide. Goods and services at reasonable rates is, I reckon, quite reasonable.

      • Tiger Mountain 3.2.2

        Yep, footwear, clothing, car assembly, much general manufacturing, textiles, and many others have been closed or gone offshore since traitor Douglas had his way.
        What these delivered above all was full time employment for thousands, who were discarded in the 80s and 90s and never retrained or considered in a strategic way.

        The State Sector is now a snake pit of competing interests–including private capital–rather than a public service.

        With pandemics and climate disaster and imperialist power plays, this is the very time NZ could do with a basic pharmaceutical industry and many others.

        • tsmithfield 3.2.2.1

          Certainly interesting times. I was discussing with my wife's sister who was over from Auz recently. I commented that many firms were going to have to consider moving their manufacturing back to NZ. She said it is already happening in Australia. So, will be interesting to see what happens going forward.

          It isn't just the manufacturing factories. Factories that do operate in NZ are likely sourcing components from China, and will likely have to start making those in-house, or find other sources.

          • RedLogix 3.2.2.1.1

            Agreed – the large global vendor I work for has announced intentions to spend U$4b on new manufacturing capacity – and none of it will be in China.

            Supply chain issues have been experienced as a traumatic speed bump at board levels all over the industrialised world and much of the rest of this decade will see organisations scrambling to re-shore and resource shorter, more reliable manufacturing.

        • KJT 3.2.2.2

          Douglas continedthe process of killing local employment and industry, to pander to the farming lobby that still happens today.

          Muldoon killed boat building and caravan manufacture for "social welfare for sheep". Douglas and co, and even the previous Labour Government sacrificed them for, often illusory, "Free trade benefits". Even this Government has other industries, and tax payers, paying for farmings free ride in the ERP.

          It's cost us dearly, to the extent that decoupling from dairy exports to China will be almost impossible.

          • Belladonna 3.2.2.2.1

            NZ has a thriving boat building sector – not quite sure what you mean here?
            It's mostly directed towards the recreational (and for the big money) luxury end of the market – but all of those skills are very transferrable.

            What tsmithfield seems to be referring to is a (possible) desire to bring back some manufacturing to NZ. I don't know why that seems to attract such negativity. Yes, it will require tooling up and training a workforce. And the bad part of that is….?

            I agree that the Ukraine War has been a wakeup call for many companies about the dangers of strategic supply from one country.

            • KJT 3.2.2.2.1.1

              "NZ has a thriving boat building sector". No.

              NZ has a boat building sector, which is a pale shadow of what it could have been. Like most of our industry.

              In Muldoons time for example. We were carrying a half dozen Farr 6000's to Oz every week. Shortly after the boat tax, we took the molds to Oz. Then Douglas and Co came along, and put the knife in even more. Now we import Benetau's from France. West Australia is building the Aluminum fast ferries that we first designed here.

              • Belladonna

                Well, we have a different definition of 'thriving'.

                What part of that history, makes it impossible to reverse?

                That's the point that @tsmithfield is making – that there may very well be an incentive to repatriate some of those industries.

                Is that not a good thing?

                • KJT

                  "What part of that history, makes it impossible to reverse?"

                  1. Helping and developing our own industry breaches a whole bunch of "Free trade agreements" for one. Agreements that more successful countries were not stupid enough to make. Doesn't seem to stop billions in agriculture "assistance" however.
                  2. Lack of remaining trained people. May have to start paying us? However many of the skills are no longer available as continuity is lost. Very obvious in my industry. Over 45 years since the last big intake of trainees. Can't even replace with immigrants, as the agency employment model overseas, has destroyed continuity of skills training.
                  3. The mindset that nothing could, or should, replace farming. And that farming is the only industry that deserves subsidising/protecting. A harder "sacred cow" to overturn in NZ, than even housing speculation.
                  4. NZ companies mindset that investing in employee skills, wages, plant and capability building is a mugs game, when they can just cut wages, and investment for short term, “making the books look good” and flog it off, for untaxed capital gains. To many of our businesses are engaged in Capital gains farming, not production.

                  "That's the point that @tsmithfield is making – that there may very well be an incentive to repatriate some of those industries".

                  I wish.

                  • Ad

                    Those are very, very tough lessons KJT and I sure won't dare knock the degree of human suffering they imply.

            • KJT 3.2.2.2.1.2

              I've long advocated for training, industries and tooling to be kept local.

              We have to restart from a very low base though.

              No training for decades, has meant most skilled tradespeople are my age or older. Those that are still alive! Our machinery was sold to China nearly 40 years ago, and hasn't been replaced. NZ businesses ability to innovate, has been overtaken by generations of "Managers" whose only skill is screwing down wages. A disadvantage of relying on low wages to grow business profits. So much of our land and infrastructure has been sold offshore, even that room to manoeuvre is gone.

            • RedLogix 3.2.2.2.1.3

              NZ top 10 exports by value 2021.

              Clearly dominated by primary production. Contrast this to say Finland a nation of similar size that has successfully pivoted toward manufacturing – names like Nokia, Wartsillia, Valmet, Metso and Outotec being leading vendors globally in their industries. This being the direct result of a govt strategy first conceived around the same time as Muldoon to transition their economy away from pure primary production (most wood based) to higher value add.

              NZ obviously suffered from the additional challenge of isolation. A quick glance a globe suggests that at least 95% of the human population literally lives on the other side of the planet from us. We are more remote than we think. Yet despite this we have still managed export huge quantities of high volume low value primary products such as logs. The problem may be more complex than mere geography.

              Why could Finland do what NZ could not? The answers are not simple – cultural, educational and political factors all have played into this. KJT makes a fair point that the extremist politics of the 80's went about attempting such a process – but with all the wrong outcomes. And we never seem to have recovered the nerve to attempt such 'big idea' political reform ever again.

              • tsmithfield

                “KJT makes a fair point that the extremist politics of the 80’s went about attempting such a process – but with all the wrong outcomes.”

                I think that our hand was forced in that respect in many ways. That is because we are a small player in a big market. Hence, we need to adapt to what the world is doing, or suffer the consequences.

                One advantage of being small is that it is that small means that it is a lot easier to adapt more quickly to changing circumstances. For instance, it should be quite easy for us to change our emphasis away from dairy to some degree and focus more on grain production where the climate suits, as that is an immediate opportunity with grain shortages due to the Ukrainian conflict.

                Think about a huge container ship trying to reverse course compared to a small jet boat.

                • RedLogix

                  If there is a lesson to be taken from the past few years is that supply chains can adapt well enough to shifts on a decadal scale. At any scale large or small. But fast moving events become impossible to respond to.

                  Converting say Canterbury from dairy to wheat is obviously doable, but I would hazard a guess it would take at least 3 – 5 years to see a substantial result. Is that going to be fast enough?

                  • tsmithfield

                    We do produce grain here now, and our production seems to be increasing.

                    Probably one of the problems for NZ is that our climate can be a bit variable which can affect production. For instance, I imagine grain production would have been down in Canterbury this year due to the damp summer we had.

                    On the other hand, I image the central Otago area would be good for grain growing. It probably has a climate not that dissimilar to Ukraine I suspect.

                    • RedLogix

                      Not saying it is a bad idea per se, but what is our competitive advantage with say Australia? Grain production works best when you have vast areas of open flat land where highly automated machinery can operate unimpeded at scale. And can harvest millions of tonnes with relatively low labour.

                      And then you need the transport and handling infrastructure to get it into ships. Again all doable – but it might take a decade to achieve. Again I am not saying it is a bad idea and transitioning some dairy to oats or even barley could well make a lot of sense.

                      But that feels just like a shuffling of the old low value add primary industry export deck – and do little to get NZ out of the 'nice but a bit impoverished country cousin' trap we have been in for most of my adult life.

                    • KJT

                      Canterbury used to produce a large amount of grain for stock feed.

                      Now largely replaced with imported palm kernal. With the loss of overseas exchange that implies. And water and soil depleting dairy on the plains.

                      Loaded Canterbury wheat for NRM, then paper for Oz and return with Aussie wheat for bread making.

                      Competitive advantage can apply. However import substition is also an underrated benefit.

                    • tsmithfield

                      "Not saying it is a bad idea per se, but what is our competitive advantage with say Australia?''

                      I am not sure that competitive advantage is much of an issue when there is a world shortage of something. Countries will be accessing grain from anywhere it can be grown I suspect.

                      Also, perhaps we could be supplying a lot of our own needs. I imagine the cost of fuel and freight is going to make grain production for our own needs will be a lot more cost-competitive now.

                    • Poission

                      Canterbury still is a large grain producer (along with otago and southland) the South Island produces all of its own milling wheat.

                      When we had the wheat board all of NZ was sufficient in milling wheat.NZ wheat yields per hecatare are around 14-16 tons,OZ around 3-4,difference is the low land cost in oz.

              • Ad

                The more interesting question then is why does New Zealand have such a thriving and resilient economy?

                The 1980s structural adjustment was 35 years ago.

                There is now little that is answered analysing it further.

                • RedLogix

                  Thriving for who?

                  Frankly anyone on less than a median household income is living hand to mouth with no prospect of it ever getting better. Even those further up the income ladder can find themselves by high housing and living costs.

                  In my last role in NZ back before 2013 I was in the top 5% of taxpayers that year – yet despite an absurdly abstemious lifestyle I was doing well to save $5k pa. of cash. In Australia I can do that in a month.

                  The difference has two core reasons. One is that Australian labour productivity is about 15% higher than NZ – because so much of what they do is higher value add. The second reason is that their Wages Share of GDP is about 15% higher – and the root cause of that is a better political balance between employers and employees. They still have powerful unions in a way NZ does not for instance.

                  Combine those two numbers and there is your 30% higher incomes in Australia. And while inflation is changing the ground rapidly everywhere – it is still my view that the cost of living in Australia is a good 15% lower – especially housing. That adds up to a stark difference.

                  Now I agree NZ has been remarkably resilient, we are way short of experiencing a crisis like Sri Lanka. But I would still repeat my last para above – that the political trauma of the 80's holds NZ back from a truly bold restructuring that might allow us to look more like Finland than say Portugal.

                  • Ad

                    Comparisons with Australia are natural but invidious. New Zealand has recovered slightly faster, spent slightly more per capita on recovery, but otherwise we are tracking remarkably close to Australia in no small part because we are about as integrated to Australia's larger economy as it is possible to be without being a state.

                    Australia's depth of public superannuation savings makes them one of the wealthiest countries in the world per capita. And yet there are several million living in poverty and a whole bunch of them are children, just like us.

                    We are not a counter-factual of Australia.

                    Plenty do of course make the choice you make and seek higher wages in Australia – principally because they have a depth of specialisation that we will never have and realistically won't ever have.

                    It's more remarkable to me that so many return and bring what they have earned back. The days of the brain drain are decades gone.

                    We are who we are with the resources we have.

                    We have the strength of government that we have.

                    Most of New Zealand's long term economic strengths won't change no matter which government is in power.

                    • RedLogix

                      I agree the two nations are different – their geographies alone could not be more contrasting. But as you say we are still closely as integrated with them socially and economically as it is possible without being an actual state.

                      It is the political dimension that is missing and for this reason I think we do not reap the full benefits of this close relationship. Imagine for example a region of NZ like say the whole SI where no-one was allowed to vote, and had no political representatives in Wgtn – yet were tied to the NI economically and socially as NZ is to Australia. Would anyone think this a good idea?

                    • Ross

                      Australia's depth of public superannuation savings makes them one of the wealthiest countries in the world per capita.

                      Australia means tests its superannuitants, but we don't. Our esteemed PM said she would resign before making any changes to Super.

                      https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/income-test-for-pensions?context=22526

                  • tsmithfield

                    That higher wage structure in Australia probably does have the benefit of allowing our own industries to be competitive with Australian ones when it comes to sourcing work from Australia.

                    This could start becoming more of a thing if Australian companies are repatriating more of their industry back to Australia from China.

                • KJT

                  Another one on "Planet Key"?

                • Stuart Munro

                  Take out real estate inflation and the true growth figures are not impressive. Decades of economic pretention – but little to support the fiction of competent economic management.

                  • Ad

                    How do you think small business is funded in this country? Banks?

                    Nope. It's funded on real estate loans from the houses people own.

                    Taking out real estate increases from GDP is as meaningless as EBIDTA.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Were that the case the narrowing of the property owner base, and the supplanting of them by speculators, ought to be ringing alarm bells even in the necrotic nerve tissue of Treasury.

                      The simple fact is that our economic advisors have been lying about their results. Far from being world leading economic operators, they are lazy, superstitious, and fundamentally dishonest.

                      And yet somehow these vermin get to opine on economic and social policy. No wonder life is hard, and getting harder.

        • Janet 3.2.2.3

          “God send trials not to impair us but to improve us”

          I see now as a time of opportunity for new business to develop in the gaps and cracks that are now appearing and making NZ vulnerable because so much production has gone offshore (the likes of F&P) or were largely closed down (the NZR and air NZ workshops). Even Thyroxine, which was made by Glaxo at Bunnythorpe near Fielding is now imported. Through the first Lock Down prescriptions were limited to no more than one month’s supply at a time. This is a pill one takes daily to stay well for the rest of one’s life usually.

          Leave the farmers alone to get on with producing our food and exports and start making NZ as self-sufficient as possible again.

          • DB Brown 3.2.2.3.1

            You think that's bad. I couldn't buy any darn garlic in the supermarket yesterday!

            But seriously. Garlic's quite the dietary staple not some tropical fruit we can't grow. We certainly need to rethink what we're doing. Hoping it blows over is naive and lacking in foresight, hindsight and care.

            • Janet 3.2.2.3.1.1

              What I am doing about garlic is growing my own …. Its very easy to grow but of course you need a bit of dirt to grow it and not everyone has that.

              I read once that garlic uptakes toxic elements very readily – thats why I grow my own and not buy the cheap Chinese stuff.

              • DB Brown

                Haha. I put many clumps about the place strategically, so as to make it a 'perennial' of sorts on the section. My chickens (and, I admit I was involved) ate all of it.

                • Janet

                  I hope you ate the garlic'd chickens quickly. My vege garden is ring fenced – no chickens, no ducks, no rabbits can enter. You could probably grow garlic as a pot plant.

                • Patricia Bremner

                  DB if you are desperate. A tube of Gourmet Garlic (Australian grown) is 120gm for $6.00 odd and lasts 4 weeks in the tube once opened refreidgerated. I know!! Plastic!! However some dishes are not the same without garlic. This is crushed. Cheers.

                  • DB Brown

                    Hey good thinking Patricia I'd not thought of value added products, even some granules would have helped. Am so accustomed to having it fresh aye.

                    @ Janet. My attempts at garlic in pots wasn't great. Yes the potting mix was a bit heavy, but they seem to prefer real dirt. Probably because of their mycorrhizal associations. I reckon if people were to attempt this mixing some real dirt in with potting mix should help.

                    Future garlic experiments will happen. I really do want them permanent in the landscape, wee plant cages may be required while the chooks still about.

            • theotherpat 3.2.2.3.1.2

              little bit of effort and yeah it dont like weeds….grow your own,,,,very rewarding

              • In Vino

                Climate change has all but destroyed our ability to grow garlic. Here in the Waikato, warm, moist tropical air without a decent cold winter has brought in a brown rust that ruins most garlic. Once your plant sows signs of this you have to dig out your new bulbs. The rust will stop them developing any further anyway.

                All part of the 6th great extinction, I fear.

    • Ad 3.3

      It's not unreasonable to focus on China since Fonterra in particular seems addicted to it, but it's not the full picture of how different sectors of our economy have changed over time.

      NZStats has done the multi-decade animation by sector here:

      Which industries contributed to New Zealand's GDP? | Flourish

      • RedLogix 3.3.1

        Interesting how very dynamic some sectors like agriculture and construction have been. Way more than I would have guessed.

      • Poission 3.3.2

        It shows that also Gdp is more a measure of inflation and cost in the non productive sectors,as they do not compete efficiently,and only capture mostly wage inflation (which requires pay parity from the more efficient producers such as agriculture).

        Baumols cost disease fuels inequality.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baumol%27s_cost_disease

        • Ad 3.3.2.1

          Crikey I'd live to see that chart done for New Zealand.

          • Belladonna 3.3.2.1.1

            Agree. My cellphone services certainly aren't down.
            And no utilities on the chart (electricity, gas & water, etc. are all up significantly)

        • DB Brown 3.3.2.2

          Fairly clear pattern where services are up and goods are down.

          • Poission 3.3.2.2.1

            Fairly clear pattern of a difference between sustainable efficiency,and cost plus parts of the economy,a large part of the productivity paradox for the economy in general.

            • pat 3.3.2.2.1.1

              Fairly clear pattern of services v manufacturing…tradable v non tradable.

              We are kidding ourselves.

              • Poission

                Well as you suggested previously of what we can make or replace domestic,the service sector is reliant on imported technology,of which whilst large parts of the domestic economy (gdp) they are limited in their ability for external trade.

                • pat

                  Sadly that is true and not likely to change anytime soon….unless we have no option, which may well be possible.

    • Peter 3.4

      "Another devastating outcome for China would be the likelihood that western corporations would exit China?" America had a President whose professed goal was to make America great and have American companies manufacturing stuff at home. By Americans.

      While his daughter was extending her manufacturing businesses in China.

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    The “Indo Pacific Economic Alliance” seems more elbows out stuff from US Imperialism. NZ should not touch this kind of manoeuvring with a 40 foot proverbial–but the Govt. will–with an NZ Labour caucus dedicated to 5 Eyes, and a PM whose commitment to an independent foreign policy in favour of sucking up to the US becomes more obvious by the day.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/new-zealand-joins-world-powers-in-indo-pacific-economic-alliance/6F5JWPSN5A2PRZRNJHEH6ZDUIM/

    • Belladonna 4.1

      Just out of curiosity, who do you think we should trade and form alliances with?

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        My guess would be the very industrious Leninist-Marxist pixies who live in a secret cavern under the Antarctic Ice Sheet.devil

      • Tiger Mountain 4.1.2

        Anyone and everyone–but on a mutually beneficial bilateral basis–not blocs that lock this country into taking sides in imperialist machinations.

        The non aligned movement of nations still exists
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-Aligned_Movement
        and Aotearoa NZ should join it, abandon 5 Eyes and the Anglosphere generally. Look at our geographic position, “The Empire” is long gone, this is a Pacific country.

        • Belladonna 4.1.2.1

          So only trade with the Third World, then….

          Also, many of those countries may claim to have free trade, but the reality is very, very different. You try taking a case over non-delivery of goods to a Saudi court!

      • tsmithfield 4.1.3

        “Just out of curiosity, who do you think we should trade and form alliances with?”

        I am obviously a fan-boy of Peter Zeihan. But no apologies there. His stuff is excellent and highly insightful.

        He says a lot of interesting stuff about how globalisation is starting to collapse. And it looks like NZ is quite well positioned compared to other countries. (Notice NZ is coloured "blue"on that map, and we get a good mention in that video).

        My thoughts about trade going forward are that there are going to be a lot more regional trading blocks due to less problematic logistical routes. Even if we don't trade as much with China due to their issues, there are still plenty of other countries in Asia to trade with, and Australia as well, obviously.

        The other thing I would like to see is a democracy trading block. That is, democratic countries choosing to trade with each other ahead of trading with oppressive regimes. That should have the effect of driving change in some of those countries, and hopefully make the world a more peaceful, co-operative place, which I think is essential to solve the major world issues going forward.

        • RedLogix 4.1.3.1

          Yes I think the democratic world made a mistake in the aftermath of WW2 when after we so successfully shifted prior enemies like Germany and Japan into solid and reliable democratic allies – that we imagined that just by trade alone we could also achieve the same result with Russia and China.

          Turns out this kind of unidimensional thinking has fallen badly short.

          • Francesca 4.1.3.1.1

            The US retained tens of thousands of troops in both Japan and Germany, whether they wanted them or not

            • tsmithfield 4.1.3.1.1.1

              I don't think they would be asking them to go home at the moment!! But I might be completely wrong about that…

            • Belladonna 4.1.3.1.1.2

              I think there is a continuum on that issue of stationing US troops (certainly in Germany).
              During the Cold War (roughly 1945-70s) – Germany very much did want to have the Americans stationed there – the threat of invasion from the Soviet Union was a very clear and present danger.

              From the 70s through to the 90s – there was much less perceived danger of a Soviet invasion, and a consequent waning in the desire to have US troops stationed there – accompanied by the anti-war zeitgeist of the Vietnam era and beyond.

              Following German reunification, and throughout the EU formation, there was much belief in fear of Russia as a thing of the past – and therefore no need for American troops.

              With the rise of Putin and the increasing bellicosity of Russa, accompanied by internal and fringe 'wars' and an apparent desire to reconstitute the historical boundaries of Mother Russia, Germany once again is very keen on US troops being stationed there.

            • joe90 4.1.3.1.1.3

              whether they wanted them or not

              Losers don't get choices.

              • In Vino

                The US policy was to establish big, powerful capitalist economies on both sides of the new communist threat. West Germany and Japan profited accrdingly.

      • Stuart Munro 4.1.4

        Small countries. Countries like Korea and Malaysia aren't going to strongarm NZ the way the US tried to when it screwed up the TPPA, nor will they insist we reflect their dodgy politics by denying Tibet/Uyghur oppression or take their party line on special military operations, be they in Iraq or Ukraine.

  5. joe90 5

    More than a thousand Palestinians evicted by Israel.

    Purportedly to make way for a fucking firing range.

    Less than a week after the high court ruling, the Najjars’ house was demolished, marking the start of what activists say will probably be the biggest mass expulsion of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since the 1967 war, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were driven from territories captured by Israel.

    The court was unswayed by historical documents presented by advocates for the Palestinians, showing what they said was evidence that the proposal to establish a firing range, decades ago, was meant to prevent Palestinians from claiming the land.

    “We had 30 minutes to get out what we could,” said Yusara al-Najjar, who was born in a hand-hewn cave on this same slope in the Negev desert 60 years ago. She looked over the pile of broken blocks and twisted metal that had been her family home and wiped her hands with a slap. “It took no time and our house was gone, again.”

    https://archive.ph/7Q1Tg (wapo)

  6. joe90 6

    Next up, Russia denazifies Russia..?

    //

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1528686718718726144.html

    • Sanctuary 6.1

      To be a Nazi in Russia, you have to be an actual Nazi. Outside Russia the definition becomes pretty loose to the Russians, everything from wearing frilly knickers to not wanting to be conquered by Russia makes you a Nazi to the Putin fanbois – which may explain why the Kremlin's useful idiots keep seeing Nazis everywhere in the Ukraine. You don't have to be the Azov regiment – anyone will do.

    • Francesca 6.2

      Well the Germans would certainly know all about that!

      Seems like a problem within the Nato ranks as well

      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/03/world/europe/germany-military-neo-nazis-ksk.html

      • joe90 6.2.1

        Good thing Germans aren't destroying towns and cities, raping and murdering civilians and looting their homes and businesses on the pretext of denazifying it's sovereign neighbour. Eh.

        /

        • Francesca 6.2.1.1

          been there done that got the T shirt of course , 70 years ago

          • Belladonna 6.2.1.1.1

            So have the Russians – look up some of the accounts of the taking of Berlin.

            However, they seem to have maintained this 'policy' throughout the rest of the 20th century and into the 21st. AFAIK there hasn't been a single war or police action in which Soviet/Russian troops have been involved which hasn't had documented accounts of mass rapes, assaults, deportations, etc.

            Whereas Germany has not…..

          • tsmithfield 6.2.1.1.2

            Most Germans I have known still have still have deep shame over that part of their history. It is not something that most of them are proud of. Quite the opposite, actually. Though I am aware there are far-right nutters there as well.

            • In Vino 6.2.1.1.2.1

              I lived in West Germany for nearly 2 years. When I visited Dachau near Munich, the car park was mostly filled with buses bringing school students there. I was horrified not by the gas chamber (a tiny one which was never actually used – victims were taken to a castle in the vicinity which had a bigger gas chamber..) but by reading the documentation on the boards.

              I read that they kept records of the numbers of Jews killed (hung and fed into cremation unit, or sent to castle gas chamber) but no record of Russian POWs killed. They machine-gunned them in pits and bulldozed the pits over, keeping no records of numbers.

              That is horrifying for me.

              But I think all West German schoolchildren were being fully educated about this. Nie wieder. (Never again.)

              I don't believe that Germans will allow right-wing extremists to take over their country again. It will happen somewhere else, where people have always thought, "Only the Germans could do this – it could never happen here."

              That is just where it is likely to happen.

  7. weston 7

    The Hunter Biden Laptop story seems like its continuing to suppurate in the background of the Democrat's already gangrenous political reality .It crossed my mind , what if the reason Joe Biden's obsession with the Ukraine and funneling money and weapons to the militants fighting there , had less to do with white guilt ridden liberalism , and was about dirt the Zelensky group had on him and his son? Pure speculation of course but you do have to wonder why America would be so keen to immerse itself in yet another pointless war even given the voracious appetite of American Arms industries and especially since they hav'nt even finished prosecuting the many wars they've already started !!

    Anyway Jimmy Dore and Glen Greenwald tackle the laptop story :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FznPmC84bY

    • Peter 7.1

      Yes, pure speculation but put it out there and those who need to read the most sinister things possible into it will do so.

      • Peter 7.1.1

        Putting Hunter Biden's laptop and the speculation into perspective:

        Look at the first 1:45 on here and speculate what is more real, known and prospectively more dangerous.

        • weston 7.1.1.1

          I dont watch TYT got sick of them years ago too hysterical fml this just reminds me how deranged America is Imo they deserve Donald Trump !!

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