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Open mike 24/07/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 24th, 2020 - 143 comments
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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 …

143 comments on “Open mike 24/07/2020 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Chris Trotter asks "Why Is The Left Not Opposing The West’s New Cold War With China?" Then fumbles around for a while trying to figure it out. https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/07/24/why-is-the-left-not-opposing-the-wests-new-cold-war-with-china/

    The answer, sadly, is that the contemporary Left is almost entirely ignorant of geopolitics and the strict limitations it places on diplomatic action. Even when it comes to basic economics and its decisive influence on politics, the Left’s powers of analysis have atrophied to an astonishing degree.

    Others would summarise that into `ignorant & clueless'. Yet, having adopted the wrong frame for the situation, Chris risks putting himself into the same category!

    The Cold War was produced by a polarisation of ideology: two competing belief systems. Capitalism and communism. Since China is now both, the frame doesn't apply to current geopolitics. What part of that don't you understand, Chris??

    He then proceeds to falsify history as though fronting as an apologist for the communist regime is a good idea.

    Whenever the Chinese Empire was strong enough to assert its suzerainty over Tibet (which was most of the time) the Tibetan theocracy willingly paid homage to Beijing.

    Those of us who have actually done the historical research know he's bullshitting. There was a century or two when that suzerainty was real (around the 17th, from memory) but the rest of the time it was mere pretence by the emperor – and he fails to mention the earlier period of history when the Tibetans conquered China and the opposite situation prevailed.

    Intellectual dishonesty is characteristic of leftists, of course, so his demonstration of tribalism merely serves to remind us why the left never achieves widespread respect.

    • Andre 1.1

      My question is simpler: why does anyone pay any attention at all to Chris Trotter?

      • gsays 1.1.1

        In asking that, you prove the point Dennis was making.

        • Peter

          Dennis Frank wants to suggest that Trotter talks crap.

          To make the point that he knows what crap is he wrote that last paragraph.

          He successfully proves that point.

      • francesca 1.1.2

        Why do people read Chris Trotter?
        Because his is a thoughtful voice that poses questions and offers an alternate view to the mainstream

        Who wants to live in an echo chamber

        • Andre

          One can be thoughtful and pose questions and offer an alternative view, and still be handing people the wrong end of the stick. Which Trotter does with monotonic regularity.

          Dennis merely showed one aspect of the shit smeared on the wrong end of the stick Trotter is offering. But Trotter starts out from the get-go with bullshit framing and misrepresentation, let alone the public self-pleasuring he indulges in his second paragraph.

          As for echo chambers – there's a particular echo chamber filled with blinkered views formed in particular group in an odd period almost half a century ago. Trotter keeps that chamber resonating admirably.

          • greywarshark

            Andre – Chris provokes discussion at least. And Dennis and you are so entrenched in the belief that you know all, that you set yourselves up as gurus. You may worship yourselves, others respect your knowledge and wisdom, but don't accept your take on everything as the last word. Hence words from and to Chris's opinions are valuable. And accepted truth may change over time as different information and perspectives arise.

          • ianmac


            Aha. A new word to me. "

            2.speaking or uttered with an unchanging pitch or tone.

            "her dour, monotonic husband"

        • Bearded Git

          Trotter writes brilliantly but he writes to be provocative.The consistent themes are 1. Old School Labour is good. 2. The Greens are bad.

          He often makes valid points. For instance he rues the gradual loss of the unions (which I agree with) because power has shifted far too much into the hands of the employees employers. For this reason he often attacks the current Labour government for not addressing this power imbalance. He overdoes these attacks.

          He consistently attacks the Greens either because they are not green enough or because they are too green. I think he yearns for the old FPP days where a strong Labour government could do what it likes.

          IMHO he would be better off accepting the current order of things under MMP, especially the rise of the Greens and the need to address Climate Change, and argue for a CGT, Land Tax, and Transaction Tax that will move capital from the rich to the poor and into resources that will combat Climate Change.

          [lprent: corrected ’employees’. ]

        • swordfish


          Who wants to live in an echo chamber

          Oh, a number of people here … Intersectionals & Clintonistas in particular (although the former demands while the latter simply wants).


      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.3

        He sometimes gets things right and its worth paying attention when he does.

    • francesca 1.2

      I don’t think the new cold war has anything to do with capitalism/communism , why should it?

      It’s about a failing ,falling empire trying to hang on and a new rising power challenging it’s economic/military hegemony
      A so called cold war means shots have (so far) not been fired .The hot war comes when its all out hard weaponry, not just propaganda and economics

      • gsays 1.2.1

        The Cold War was also about having a ready bogey-man to keep US defence spending through the roof and the populace scared.

        There was a fair amount of willy-waving involved too.

        • Sacha

          Colonel Trotter's writings are ever-wistful for that waving and the certainties of his youth.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 1.3

      Dennis, that's a nice critique of Trotter's post. Have you ever reflected on why you feel the need to spoil such contributions by ending them with rubbish generalisations and hyperbole? Are you perhaps 'concerned' that without a provocative assertion or two your contributions would lack punch?

      "Intellectual dishonesty is characteristic of leftists, of course, so his demonstration of tribalism merely serves to remind us why the left never achieves widespread respect."

      Really, Dennis, NEVER? Certainly 'the right' governments in the USA, UK and Brazil haven't covered themselves in glory with their 'handling' of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the evident failure of those administrations to keep their citizenry safe has contributed to the “widespread respect” that NZ citizens, not to mention the wider world, have for our health services and centre-left government.

      • Incognito 1.3.1

        Before you engage with some you may want to strap on your shin pads: one on the right and two on the left leg. Jockstrap/pelvic protector is optional.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Never felt the need for physical projection during this form of jousting, although I do get some relief from wearing a brace to treat tendonitis in my right achilles smiley

    • Brigid 1.4

      So it seems to me that your counter argument Dennis is "Those of us who have actually done the historical research know he's bullshitting."

      However it doesn't take much effort to research your claim and I find that Chris may be right.

      "The first international document which used and explained this word was a convention signed by Britain and Russia in Petersburg on August 31, 1907, titled The Convention Between Great Britain and Russia Relating to Persia, Afghanistan and Tibet.

      The third ….. section declared that the governments of Great Britain and Russia recognized China's right of suzerainty over Tibet."

      One wonders why you haven't challenged Chris on TDB or his own blog.

  2. Byd0nz 2

    Bash, bash , bash, the great West on China bash, the elite one percent fear their moribund grip on power and their bashing of their Capitalist rivals, China and Russia knows no bounds, as though they have the moral high ground, of course no mention of the 'Berlin wall' Israel has built to imprison Palestinians and jailing 12 year old stone throwers for 3-4 years. No mention of the Arms sales that enable their mates to bomb and starve to death Yemeni children etc etc. Mushroom clouds for tea anyone?.

    • Cinny 2.1

      Byd0nz, Looks like you are new here, welcome.

      We've discussed the terrors Israel places on the Palestinians as well as the horrid situation in Yemen many times on this blog. Am yet to read a poster on TS that supports what is happening in either Palestine or Yemen.

      Meanwhile China is rather topical atm, especially considering the information surrounding the recent deaths of two NZ Chinese in a car accident.

      • Byd0nz 2.1.1

        Yes, well I was refering to the news media being the ones doing the bashing rather than the good people on this blog.

        • Cinny

          Sorry Byd0NZ, my bad. Thanks for explaining 🙂 I appreciate that, text has no tone, sometimes I get confused 🙂

          Dennis, re the car crash. Yes will wait with interest regarding the result. I hope the person in hospital makes a recovery, their insight will be paramount.

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.2

        Shoot the messenger has been around a very long time. Reasonable to suspect Chinese agents somehow performed the elimination of their opponents, but we must wait & see if the cops find evidence.

        I remember reading in Rolling Stone about how Karen Silkwood got killed. She was a reporter investigating a nuclear power plant in '75. Car got run off the road & Hollywood eventually made a movie about it. Best way to prevent someone telling the truth is to eliminate them. It's why the left does de-platforming, eh?

        • greywarshark

          Karen Silkwood was a whistleblower, working in a nuclear plant and very anxious about what seemed to be a cover-up of their operations. And had a convenient vehicle malfunction that led to her death.

          • greywarshark

            This was a very unfortunate car crash in NZ killing two pro-democracy Chinese activists. Vehicle crossing the centre line, scraping one and lining up for head-on for the second with these precious, brave people inside. Is that coincidence? Who was driving the vehicle that was 'out of line'?


            However, international security analyst Paul Buchanan said China had a track record of interfering in other nations' affairs, including hacking.

            Furthermore, "independent" Chinese voices in New Zealand regularly experienced intimidation by pro-Beijing groups, he said.

            "It's not unjustified that independent members of the Chinese community may feel threatened to the point that when something tragic like this happens, they – if not jump to conclusions – then certainly suspect that the accident may have more sinister causes than a mere accident."

            I'm reading Anne Perry's book, A Sunless Sea which is about opium and gives detail of the Opium Wars and degradation that Britain rained on China and the terrible toll produced by vicious British behaviour. I think she does good backgrounding giving correct information. I'll try to put a bit up later as it would help us to know what may be in Chinese minds if we understood some of the low-down dirtiness this part of British history overseas. Which would help in balancing our opinions.

      • francesca 2.1.3

        So now we have the northbound assassins doing a kamikaze move over the centre line, initially missing the target, clipping the wrong car but serendipitously slamming headlong into the right car and severely injuring themselves.Not much of a payoff or career advancement there.

        I can think of more surefire ways, but why waste a tragedy when there's propagandistic hay to be made?

        I think Prof Brady is showing her true pro US (Wilson Centre)colours here and would take a large grain of salt with her claims

          • Just Is

            Evidently the car that collided into them was driven by a Women with a young daughter as a passenger.

            Yesterday the news implied sabotage, the only thing I could think of that would result in the death of the front seat occupants was that the safety belts had been interfered with, or the air bags failed.


        • Tiger Mountain

          Yes, a rather messy “hit” to say the least. It stretches credibility really, unless some evidence emerges beyond the apparent coincidences.

          Professor Brady makes some fair and interesting points about China in her writings, but seems too much of a US proxy to have her every utterance taken as absolute truth.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Those with valid concerns about the influence and 'machinations' of the CCP do their case no favours by indulging in fact-free speculation. Fearmongering, IMHO.

        • Appears it was pouring rain. More likely they planed in the wet.

  3. Observer Tokoroa 3

    Mr Trotter

    You want the Lefties to take the burden of War.

    You are worse than smug Trotter.

    • greywarshark 3.1

      Good ol' Observer Tokoroa. Always comes up with something interesting and helpful. Not.

  4. Rosemary McDonald 4

    I am delighted to read that vaccinologist Helen Petousis- Harris has finally realised that dismissing or minimising adverse effects from vaccines is not a sound tactic when trying to sell the product to the wider public.

    Excellent and well referenced article from Farah Hancock on the progress around developing a vaccine against Covid 19.


    With vaccine hesitancy an identified global health concern there's a risk not communicating likely side effects could see people lose trust in a vaccination programme.

    University of Auckland vaccinologist associate professor Helen Petousis-Harris said potential side effects need to be talked about upfront.

    “People will lose trust and their confidence if you don’t.”

    Side effects are normal “and not necessarily a bad thing either” she said.

    “You don’t want them to be serious or severe but there’s a range of effects you get when your body is making an immune response.”

    This is the first time I have heard of a vaccine promoter actually admitting that a vaccine can cause significant symptoms, and acknowledging that being honest and transparent about these significant post -vaccine symptoms (rather than dismissing them as being 'coincidental') is more likely to inspire trust in the target market.

    Everyone will agree that it is way too early to celebrate the apparent efficacy of these very new and novel vaccines as potential long term effects have not as yet been assessed.

    • Andre 4.1

      Misrepresenting again, Rosemary. Or else you really haven't been paying attention.

      Every time I've gone and got a jab, the possibility of side effects and reactions has been presented to me, along with going through a checklist to determine that the vaccines I was about to get were not contraindicated for me. Ranging from being told to expect my shoulder to be sore enough to be dysfunctional for several days, to being expected to call in regularly to the travel health doctor's office for several days after getting a whole bunch at once (if they didn't hear from me on schedule they were going to come looking).

      Let alone that even the briefest glance at credible information sources shows a plethora of info on what kinds of reactions are likely.

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.1.1

        Andre. You remind me of Pavlov's dogs.

        If I did not make it clear…I am not referring to an individual’s experience with an individual vaccine administrator, although there are one or two accounts from credible persons whose vaccine experience has not been as well managed as your own. For example, the former editor of the British Medical Journal who's account you seem to be ignoring. https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2019/03/13/richard-smith-who-is-most-likely-to-have-side-effects-to-flu-vaccination/

        I am referring to the official vaccine narrative…if I missed the press release where it was acknowledged that many vaccines cause local pain and irritation and perhaps low fever, and that some vaccines cause more significant symptoms in some people and occasionally long term disability or health effects…please provide a link.

        • Andre

          The CDC on side effects:

          Any vaccine can cause side effects. For the most part these are minor (for example, a sore arm or low-grade fever) and go away within a few days. Listed below are vaccines licensed in the United States and side effects that have been associated with each of them. This information is copied directly from CDC’s Vaccine Information Statements (VISs), which in turn are derived from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations for each vaccine.

          Remember, vaccines are continually monitored for safety, and like any medication, vaccines can cause side effects. However, a decision not to immunize a child also involves risk and could put the child and others who come into contact with him or her at risk of contracting a potentially deadly disease.


          Your own link:

          Petousis-Harris said even though a vaccine is still some time away, it’s a good time to start thinking about managing people’s expectations so side effects don't come as a surprise.

          “That can be tailored as time goes on.”

          She said it’s something New Zealand has done before for the Meningococcal B MeNZB vaccine where a side effect was a very sore arm after injection.

          “That was talked about a lot in the media, and people were prepared for that. They actually over-talked it, and it wasn’t as bad, but it made people prepared.”


          The public’s tolerance for side effects has reduced in recent decades. Le Gros said he has a deep scar on his arm from a smallpox vaccine. Nowadays, that kind of reaction would be considered too severe for a vaccine to get approved.

          Just a brief search for Petousis-Harris and vaccine side-effects turns up plenty:

          Informed consent is about gaining appropriate knowledge in an environment and manner that is meaningful and without coercion. People must understand what is being offered, what is involved, the probable benefits, risks, side effects, failure rates, alternatives, the risks and benefits of not receiving the treatment, and that they have a choice.

          Sounds reasonable? The sticking point is what constitutes risks and benefits, and scientific information versus pseudoscience. Informed consent must be based on the best current science-based information or else it is a sham.


          My note: grossly overstating risks and side effects degrades and interferes with informed consent by falsely skewing the entire benefit/risk picture.

          You're correct that I'm not spending my time looking for examples of credible people making comments I can misrepresent and distort into painting a false overstated picture of risks and harms from vaccines, and/or paint a false picture that vaccine experts hide the widely acknowledged side effects that can occur, and that a very few people should not get specific vaccines and that these contraindications are checked for before administering a vaccine..

          • Descendant Of Smith

            And Bill Gates says something similar – that there are side effects and these need to be reduced before a vaccine is provided. He gets well mis-represented by the conspiracy people.

            "You know, if we have, you know, one in 10,000 side effects, that’s, you know, way more — 700,000, you know, people — who will suffer from that,” he said.

            “So, really understanding the safety at gigantic scale across all age ranges… it’s very, very hard.”


    • Shanreagh 4.2

      It has been my experience as a person who has been having the flu vaccine, as an at risk person since 1995, that with all vaccines their possible side-effects are pointed out at the time of 'sticking' as it were. I am of an age were to travel we had to have a range of vaccinations & a vaccination card and the side-effects of these were always pointed out

      Whenever I have had a vaccination I have had to give an informed consent and the last flu one I signed the form that the nurse had that had the actual name and makeup of the vaccine and was taken through any side-effects and asked if I had any allergies. For instance people who are allergic to egg white were known to have a reaction to one of the flu vaccines as egg white is used as a carrier.

      With all vaccines there will be side-effects whether permanent or transitory, ranging from the carrier ingredients to the attenuated culture used. These will be known at the time of sticking. As part of informed consent they will be explained.

      The vaccine trials will have thrown up side effects and that is why time to test and do a range of tests is always a good thing. Treatments have to undergo a huge testing regime after they have been derived.

      So for me far from being unusual it is very usual and has been my experience over many years with vaccines and other 'chemical' medical treatments.

      Some side-effects they will know to be coincidental from the testing carried out. Some they will note as possibly new, do some more testing etc.

      But as with most things these days there will be people who don't want to have treatment for whatever reason. The key is to get as many people who do not have concerns vaccinated/treated, keep the communication up so the nay-sayers do not queer the pitch ie by putting people off seeking vaccines or treatment for those who are wanting to play a part.

      • Shanreagh 4.2.1

        There have always been articles on side effects and usually at flu jab time they come out in the press releases/articles. The side effects for other vaccines are available on Ms Google.

        The narrative about the current work on the Covid-19 vaccine has always seemed wrapped around with the issue of possible side-effects.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 4.3

      Rosemary, I'm wondering about your use of the phrases "sell the product" and "the target market" with regard to vaccines. I've been vaccinated for polio, MMR, tetanus, influenza (regularly) and probably others I've forgotten about (damn vaccines!), but have yet to part with a penny directly for any of those treatments. I suppose I must thank taxpayers (and therefore myself) for covering the cost of that disease protection.

  5. Ad 5

    For those concerned about New Zealand's greenhouse gas emission roduction, a really interesting release from Stats NZ yesterday:

    Approximately two-thirds of New Zealand’s regions recorded decreases in their total greenhouse gas emissions, while one-third of regions saw increases between 2007 and 2018.

    Between 2007 and 2018, the largest falls in emissions were in:

    – Auckland, down 955 kilotonnes (7.8 per cent)

    – Taranaki, down 707 kilotonnes (11.3 per cent)

    – Northland, down 545 kilotonnes (10.8 per cent), and

    – Waikato, down 272 kilotonnes (2.0 per cent).

    Over the same period, emissions increased in:

    – Canterbury, up 1,175 kilotonnes (11.0 per cent),

    – Bay of Plenty, up 356 kilotonnes (11.9 per cent),

    – Southland, up 335 kilotonnes (6.2 per cent), and

    – Otago, up 333 kilotonnes (7.0 per cent).

    “This is the first comprehensive picture we have been able to develop to show where emissions are being produced in New Zealand and which regions are driving the changes in emissions,” Mr Oakley (Head of Stats) said.

    I'm hoping this gives rise to debate about divergence between energy density and industrial productivity, and to be able to break that down on a regional basis.


  6. observer 6

    Another photo here.

    I remember the news at the time. RIP.

  7. Scud 7

    Today’s the 20th Anniversary of the my mate Lenny Manning who was KIA while on a Patrol in Timor-Leste with BCoy 2/1 Battalion as a part of NZBATT2 under a UN Peacekeeping Mandate.

    The Black Beret represents his service in WAI/WEC SQN, the Bayonet represents his service BCoy in 2nd/ 1st Battalion RNZIR, the beer can in QAMR stubby cooler is the many beers we drunk on Crewmen’s and later at Burnham Camp home to both NZ Scots & 2/1 Battalion

    RIP Lenny

    • greywarshark 7.1

      Thanks for reminding us Skud. Not to be forgotten. We who read and happily/unhappily responded to the overseas fighting can too easily dismiss those who faced it.

      And it is interesting to read Tricledown's points on outdated gear. I thought that National was all gun-ho to paraphrase, and would be wanting ours to be strong, well-equipped fighting men. But it seems that even matters they agree with they want to do on a mean budget, the skinflints.

      Maybe it is because they are less skin and more flint; they like machinery and technology and despise the human side of life, in other words, their own selves and person. Now that is really screwy. Let's not vote the National Anti-Human Party into power for God's sake – and for those of us who haven't caught this obliterating human-hating virus. Nah to NAHPs.

    • I Feel Love 7.2

      Cheer scud, appreciated.

    • Ad 7.3

      +1,000 Scud. Kia kaha to your brother.

  8. Tricledrown 8

    The NZ Army was sent into Timor by the Shipley govt with antique equipment that didn't work and the Steyr rifle that malfunctioned.

    Tax cuts by National led to running down of military capability to where it was barely functioning. Same with Healthcare Education etc.

    Now Goldsmith is promising to cut $80 billion of govt spending .

    Are we going to run down healthcare further than now with Carona virus threatening our Country,Education now we have lost overseas students and have high unemployment. Police numbers with gangs on the rise,

    Cutting govt spending will send New Zealand into a deeper longer recession making it harder to repay debt as well as keeping the economy afloat.

    What makes me laugh at Goldsmiths naivety is the Conservative Australian govt is tracking on the same debt level per capita as NZ so that makes Goldsmith's false narative scaremongering about debt levels in NZ a fallacy.

    • Just Is 8.1

      Nationals three main policies are:

      Tax Cuts


      Cuts to all Govt spending

      The last 30 yrs proves that.

  9. Shanreagh 9

    The announcement by Paora Goldsmith on the Nats plan for cutting back the Public Service seems

    other-wordly like harking back in the mists of time



    super BAU from the National waybacks

    missed the public mood with all our public servants being thanked for all their steady work in Covid-19 and to come.

    That was the effect on me, after thought.

    My first reaction though was a chill. Really it was.

    Been there done that got oodles of scars mentally & career-wise from the time-wasting, stupid, never-ending restructurings that took place in the PS. What a pall these constant PS restructurings cast over NZ. They restricted service, diverted us from being able to work on our departmental work full time so as to serve our people. Instead we spent time, endless days and months fighting to retain our own jobs, functions or departments.

    To turn the corner we need innovation, failed has-been policies won't work. They shouldn't be given the opportunity to work.

    The cost is too high on those affected both 'clients' or whatever name our people are called, and public servants. Public Servants work for the good of the public.

    I'd love to get away from the tosh neo-lib stuff written into the Acts dealing with the State Sector that we work for the Minister. We work for whatever govt is in power upholding and bringing about whatever legislation, policies etc the govt has been elected to do.

    The Minister is responsible for bringing us $$$$, legislation, policy direction. We don't work for them…our over-riding work is for the people of NZ.

    Hopefully the reviews of legislation this Govt is proposing will look at, and determine, what was actually wrong with the system prior to these pieces of legislation. Sure there were a few good parts in what followed but those of us working at the sharp end were never sure what the 'mischief' was that the reforms were trying to remedy.

    Meantime here is the link…..public servants prepare to shiver.


    • I Feel Love 9.1

      Great article, thanks for sharing.

    • Anne 9.2

      My first reaction though was a chill. Really it was.

      The 1980s and the 1990s – a case in point.

      Experienced long-time servants thrown to the wolves.

      Colleagues pitted against colleagues.

      Back stabbing and lies in order to gain ascendancy.

      New managements who didn't have a clue about the departments they were managing.

      In the department/agency I worked for they lost some of the best brains in the business.

      I could go on……………

  10. greywarshark 11

    What are 'Australian terms' I asked myself.

    Jun.28/20 LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will be ready to quit its transitional arrangements with the European Union “on Australia terms” if no deal on their future relationship is reached, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki on Saturday. ..
    Australia does not have a comprehensive trade agreement with the EU. Much of EU-Australia trade follows default World Trade Organisation rules, though specific agreements are in place for certain goods.

    The UK Government has now passed a deadline of 30 June where it could have asked for extension from the EU and now the end of December 2020 seems fixed as final for leaving – ready or not as in the chant of the children's game. However… it may be possible for the UK and the EU to secure more preparation time in the form of a real implementation phase later in the year.







    Finally concern about British citizens overseas – and what about
    EU citizens in UK? What a shower the UK is.


  11. Treetop 12

    Does anyone think that there is not an exception to not take action in regard to dirty politics when dirty politics should not claim a scalp of an MP?

    I want an inquiry into when Collin's knew about ILG?

    I saw what happened to Moyle after it happened and this is on par with what is happening to ILG.

    I do realise that ILG compromised his Work Relations and Employment portfolio and that there is an investigation to check his ministerial spending.

    I cannot prove it that Collin's knew earlier than claimed, this is why I want an inquiry held into my above question.

    I would also like members of her caucus to come forward and say if Collins knew before she is alledging that she knew.

    • Gabby 12.1

      It isn't not difficult not to be uncertain about what you may not be asking due to the double negatives you haven't not eschewed.

      • Treetop 12.1.1

        TS is for opinions and not for proof reading grammar, comprehension or spelling.

        • Gabby

          Not untrue but it cannot have failed to escape your attention that unless clarity isn't avoided opinions may not be entirely unclear.

        • Sacha

          TS is for opinions and not for proof reading grammar, comprehension or spelling.

          Depends if you want a discussion or just to enjoy the sound of your own voice.

    • taxicab 12.2

      An obvious hit job , pay back double . I have no doubt about that as she , unlike the PM , felt an overpowering need to drop it into the media's lap so as to play it as whataboutism . Difference from Falloon is that there is no aggrieved victim (s) behind the disclosure and the ex mistress is seemingly living in London now and no doubt horrified about being ammunition in Collins game of dirty politics . The equivalent to Key's top drawer of dirt but more likely tip offs from Slater. I think Collins figures the only way to win is to have a bitch fight in a mud pool and needs to drag Jacinda down to her level for a competition to be had.

    • Alan 12.3

      I want an inquisition into when Jacinda knew, apparently it was common knowledge for months – the boss should know about these things from the outset

      • greywarshark 12.3.1

        Cameras on underpants and in bra straps and you could get a shoe like in the tv show Get Smart with a mike in the heel. What a heel!

      • Treetop 12.3.2

        You raise a good question.

        Did you know about the affair?

        Did you know that the other woman was connected to the office?

        Is it up to a leader to ask a team member about their sex life?

        The affair has been used against an MP to harm them and their political party. It is dirty politics to do this.

      • Gabby 12.3.3

        NOBODY expects the Alan Inquisition.

        • Treetop

          Alan makes a valid point. I already know the answer to "when Jacinda knew."

          I do think she would have sorted it out had she known at an earlier date and ILG would have lost his ministerial portfolios but not have been in the position to have hastily resigned.

      • anker 12.3.4

        Alan if you hold this view, the same should be true for Judith/Todd/Simon they should have known about Falloon.

    • bwaghorn 12.4

      I'm more interested in the time line for falloons case . When did the first victim make a complaint and was it only to the police? It seems strange that the national party was the last to know.?

      • xanthe 12.4.1

        I am more interested to know if the images shared were photo-shops of a labour MP’s head on to a nude body

      • Treetop 12.4.2

        Strange how the ILG affair was exposed and the timing.

        The only other recent affair exposed was Jamie lee Ross and what a mess that was in how the National Party handled that.

        That is what I am getting at, so nasty to use an affair against someone to try and end their career.

        I do admire Jamie lee Ross for standing as an independent and leaving on his own terms and not letting dirty politics kick him to the curb.

        There were issues with Jamie lees behaviour in his office and I gather he took responsibility for this.

        I would like ILG to change his mind about resigning as an MP. I do think not being a minister is enough punishment.

        • anker

          I don't want Ian L-G to stay on as an MP. I have a very low opinion of him now. While I understand people giving in to attraction under intense circumstances when working at parliament, what I think is outrageous about Lees-Galloway is taking his mistress to Paris. Can you imagine the lying and underhandedness that went on. Phoning his wife from Paris and lying. Meanwhile, she's at home in Palm North looking after their three kids……………what an absolute pig he is. He has treated her with utter contempt…………….She deserves better than this

          • Gabby

            We're assuming it was all secret I guess.

            • anker

              Yes you are right I am assuming the affair was secret or at least his wife didn't know about it. I assume that if she did LG might have said "my wife and I have an understanding and I was completely transparent with her. She also said about Paris, no darling you take the mistress, I am all good here in Palmy minding our three children"…. But seriously though, I am making an assumption that the wife didn't know and I could be wrong.

              BTW my opinion of LG doesn't alter my opinion about Judith C's handling of this, definitely a political hit, playing dirty politics, muddying the waters the old they do it too defence.

              • Gabby

                Well it could have been more along the lines of ok we'll get divorced after the election.

          • Treetop

            I did not want the discussion to go where you are taking it and assuming it is for you to be a marriage guidance counsellor.

            So every politician who has had an affair you are not fit to be in parliament.

            Is that what you are saying?

            • anker

              Ok Treetop, I accept that you didn't want the conversation to go in this direction. But I was expressing my view. There has not be a note from a moderator that my view is unacceptable for this site (at least not yet).

              I am certainly not trying to be a marriage counsellor. No marriage counsellor would or should express such a view to a couple they are trying to help. It was just my opinion. I am making a judgement on L-G behaviour or an aspect of it. My perception is that others on this site talk about other politicians and each other like this. It is out of character for me to comment like this…..and I will give thought as to whether it is helpful to do so or not.
              I still maintain my view of L-G behaviour.

              • Treetop

                I to am making a judgment and I am trying to keep within the boundary of dirty politics ending a politicians career. My judgment is not based on the private life or the impact on the individuals involved.

                Individuals have their own style on TS, some comments I look forward to reading and others I only partially read.

      • Treetop 12.4.3

        I think the answer to your question was in Bridge's safe and that is why Muller wanted a new safe.

    • rod 12.5

      Collins said she was done with dirty tricks. No worries. Nationals puppets and arselickers in the media, will do all the dirty politics for her.

  12. Sacha 13

    Campaigning Winnie flaps his gums over Tiwai. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12350762

    "If we go down this pathway of abandoning Tiwai Point, in favour of a transition package as some politicians would advocate for, the results will be dwarfed by what happens here and the wider impact on employment across New Zealand," he said.

    "If we don't prevail, and restore honesty and common sense to this issue, we will have disastrous effects here and across the country."

    Where 'common sense' means increasing corporate welfare.

    • greywarshark 13.1

      Down at the garage they said that Tesla was looking at the site for a possible manufacturing plant or whatever.

      • Adrian 13.1.1

        My son is an alternative power researcher and when asked about Tesla going to Tiwai he doubted it would happen as a battery factory would not use much electricity as the component materials need to be processed nearer to source as they are only a very small percentage of the rocks and soils containing them and it is that process that requires almost all of the power use. Transporting thousands of tonnes of rock halfway around the world to extract kilos of rare earths etc is not an economic goer, not to mention the problems we already have with the existing dross from Tiwai.

      • Sacha 13.1.2

        Utter fantasy. Also way too far from their markets.

    • Just Is 13.2

      Rio Tinto have plenty of money, they can write off any losses, last yr they increased production by 30% by adding another Pot, 6 months later we're closing down, power is too expensive.

      Peters wants to provide Corporate Welfare, again, and again, to a mining magnate thats makes $2.5m every hour of every day.

      A number of yrs ago she suggested to Aus Govt that she should be able to import workers from China who'll work for $1 an hour, they turned her down.

      How greedy do you have to be.

    • tc 13.3

      FFS Winnie, not an industry anyone wants to go up against china state sponsored makers anymore. Common sense is to say goodbye.

      Maybe our own Silicon Valley/ Server farms etc as about time we had our own long white data cloud or act as our plan B. Tesla sounds fanciful IMO.

      Not too tropical with significant power available, just saying. With Imagination

      • Adrian 13.3.1

        TC, see my comment at 12.1.1, similar things apply for a data server, not many jobs for the local boys and girls and good luck convincing 250k/pa data scientists from Silicon Valley to relocate to Bluff. Auckland maybe, or Coromandel at a pinch, better off using the power to electrify trucks and trains which is the use that would have the most dramatic results on our carbon total.

        • McFlock

          The thought occurs that we already have the KAREN fibre network in place. Plus lots of power and a good source of cooling seawater.

          Sure, not many local jobs in the finished product, but an ongoing process of construction of supercomputer facility A, five year construction of B when A is online, refit of A when B is online… a fair few local jobs in the ongoing development cycle.

        • Sacha

          Dunedin might be about the closest place slightly attractive to foreign staff that's not atop a faultline, but overall our problem making data centres viable is constrained cable capacity into the world. Shame because NZ has the governance and integrity reputation to make that sort of industry work.

          • Sacha

            Agree about electrifying transport. Imagine farm vehicles too. Enough to support a local EV maintenance industry.

          • McFlock

            Yeah – ISTR a data centre was part of the harbour revamp aspiration.

            I'm just intrigued by what could be done with the massive power infrastructure going to the smelter, but that wouldn't track through the dunedin CBD 🙂

            We do have good fibre within NZ. So something with moderate international data flows but lots of calculations required on it? And if it gets really good, Bluff might be a handy shore station for another fibre cable in a decade or so.

            I just can't help thinking there's a powerful resource there for a jump ahead for Southland.

            • Sacha

              Southland is not the answer.

              • McFlock

                No, Southland is the question, not the answer.

                As in "when the smelter closure makes hundreds of people unemployed in Southland, what new industries and enterprises can use the infrastructure strengths of Southland to supplement the employment and revenue of Southland in the manner of the SIT free fees scheme?"

                • weka

                  is the power supply best used at Tiwai Point? Or anywhere in the nearby area?

                  • Andre

                    The HVDC link from Benmore to Haywards (Lower Hutt) loses about 6% of the input energy over that 610km distance. So if the HVDC were extended to Manapouri in the south and to Auckland in the north, total losses from Manapouri to Auckland might be around 15%, compared to maybe a couple percent loss in transmission (wild-ass guess) from Manapouri to Tiwai Point.

                    Round figures Tiwai Point was guessed to pay around $250M a year for electricity plus maybe $60M for transmission. So rough hand-wavy numbers there's maybe $50M of value in electricity that's not lost by using it in Southland rather than sending it all the way to Auckland.

                    That's without considering the cost of grid upgrades that would be needed.

                    • weka

                      using it anywhere in Southland? (i.e is the power supplied via normal grid, or is it something special for Tiwai?)

                    • Andre

                      The main high voltage line goes direct from Manapouri to Invercargill where it joins up with the rest of the grid. Then looking at really non-detailed maps it appears the high-voltage lines go north past Gore to Roxburgh and Clyde.

                      The smelter's demand is fairly closely matched to Manapouri's output, by design. But there are times when Tiwai Point draws more than Manapouri produces and draws the extra from the rest of the grid, and there are times when Tiwai Point doesn't use all of what Manapouri is producing so that excess goes into the grid.

                      So if a new heavy user appeared somewhere close to existing high-voltage lines, then it's likely just a matter of putting in a substation to tap off from existing lines. But if the new heavy user were well away from existing lines, say somewhere like Mossburn or Kingston, then a new high voltage line would likely be needed as well as a substation.

                      Losses are affected by distance (more distance more loss), voltage (higher voltage loses less) and whether it's AC or DC (DC loses less, but it's not easy to convert to AC so you need to be dealing with a lot of juice to make DC transmission worthwhile)

                    • weka

                      so quite a bit of potential not just the Tiwai site then. Which way do the lines go if not past Mossburn?

                    • Alice Tectonite


                      Wonder about electrifying the big dairy factory at Edendale (currently a coal burner). There's an existing grid line via Gore but don't know if it has sufficient capacity (it's lower voltage 110kV, compared to the main national grid 220kV).

                      Manapouri to Tiwai lines run near Ohai then straight to Makarewa substaion north of Invercargill (see Transpower National Grid maps).

                      @ Andre

                      Rather than HVDC through to Auckland, I wonder about increaing the 220kV capacity north of Wellington, which would allow more South Island power to be used throughout the Lower North Island. Might free up some of the existing North Island generation for Auckland.

                      looking at really non-detailed maps …

                      Depending on your level of nerdness, Transpower's GIS data is freely downloadable …

                  • McFlock

                    Probably throughout the region, but an electrical system is a bit like plumbing or information transmission: a network is only as big as its smallest pipe. If the local subtation or lines are at capacity, then being able to supply more energy is useless because the current pipe isn't big enough.

                    But we do know that the smelter already has bloody big pipes from generator to factory floor, so if I were to make an uneducated and speculative guess, I'd suspect the cheapest option from a grid point of view would be to have another high-energy facility (maybe not as big as the smelter, but a good energy user).

                    Another high-energy option would be a particle accelerator: the Large Hadron Collider uses 200MW at peak flow, less than half the smelter's capacity. And the farmland around might be easier to access for a trench-dug tunnel (like a fuel line, but without the kauri logging risk) or elevated pipe than in other countries. And the data can get transmitted to any NZ scientific facility via the KAREN fibre line.

                    I'm just spitballing here, but my point is that there are far more options than "save the smelter" available. And, frankly, Shadbolt's Invercargill has a history of having good ideas for Southland that are out of left field. I wouldn't be surprised if they float something that makes people go "wtf" but which actually comes off looking good.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Given we have supplies of iron sand in NZ could there be conversion to steel and us building our own trains, building supplies, etc.

                      We'd have to move away from the notion that cheapest is best of course – we know that this is generally not the case.

                      We need to build the notion of community good into our state owned infrastructure rather than this notion of profit e.g. rail has a split of public good (say 60%) paid through taxation and private good (40%) paid for through sales and fees and ticketing.

                      I do actually think the same for roads if we applied the same 60/40 split to roads then maybe road user charges could be reduced.

                      And they should be state owned – profit is just a dead-weight and high executive salaries are just capital theft.

                  • Graeme

                    The smelter is at Tiwai because of the the deep water port for the alumina, and other inputs coming in, and product going out.

                    Another industry may not be that critical of location, data centre could be just north of Invercargill by the Lorneville substation. A silica refinery, probably between the resource in Western Southland and Lorneville.

                    • McFlock

                      good point about the port, too.

                      It feels a bit like the occasional problem I have at work, where although I don't know the method I can feel there's a bloody good answer that's just a bit too far away to grasp at the moment.

                      Ah well, Southland will figure it out. It's a bit flat for my taste, but it's got a lot going for it these days.

                  • Sacha

                    is the power supply best used at Tiwai Point? Or anywhere in the nearby area?

                    Unlikely to beat other locations for sustainable ongoing benefit to the nation rather than one region. Takes more than one plant.

            • RedBaronCV

              NZBitcom computers? Although there are no jobs from that – I think they just chew power. And the end product is pretty much a fantasy

          • Alice Tectonite

            Dunedin … not atop a faultline

            There's a mapped active fault less than 10 km from The Octagon (runs along SE side of Taieri Plain at least as far N as Wingatui) (NZAFD, GNS). Also, the Akatore Fault that goes offshore near Taieri Mouth likely continues towards Dunedin (& possible under it). Recent research suggests it's capable of M7 to M7.4 quake & is the biggest seismic threat to Dunedin (piece on Newshub: best non-paywalled source I could find).

        • weka

          the road to Tiwai Point comes from Invercargill not Bluff. Bluff is closer, but across the water.

  13. karol121 14

    Just for fun, looking back to the Ruatoki event (Urerewa-Operation 8) and Comm. Marshall's (video) comments; (Jackal’s post, 24 May 2012).

    Did the accused NOT get the legal representation that many believed they deserved?

    He, he, he, ho, ho, ho!

    And did anyone ever really determined whether the bus (or the tourist coach perhaps) would have been targeted at Johnkey's head from a great height, or Bush’s? (George Bush that is, not Mike Bush's)

    Is it not high time that Tame Iti got himself a high salaried job somewhere, either in corporate or performing arts?

    That guy still has heaps of talent and maybe he should avoid getting mixed up with many of those old farty arts patrons (especially of the Akarana ilk).

    I really do not believe that most of them have his best interests at heart.

    Be self reliant or be a bottom feeder, I guess.

  14. joe90 15

    Drastic times call for drastic measures.

    B.C. health officials are recommending an age-old, occasionally cutting-edge tactic for sex during the coronavirus pandemic: “glory holes.”


    • Robert Guyton 15.1

      "cutting-edge tactic" – ouch! Also, from the article:

      "The recommendation is just a tip and not a firm rule, according to the website."

    • bwaghorn 15.2

      Na they should just get married , that stops sex happening altogether 🤣

  15. ianmac 16

    Brian Easton writes van interesting column on Pundit. It covers the National shifts in Economic terms and some pointers on the Collin position.

    So where in the political spectrum does the current National Party stand? I start with the right-to-left (or more precisely extreme-right-to-centre-right) economic spectrum and include the social dimension later.

    John Key repeatedly distanced his party from the extreme right, treating Don Brash almost cruelly in order to maintain the distance. He was not of the centre-right either. His allegiance was (mainly) to the Auckland Business Community (which abandoned neoliberalism about twenty years ago in favour of a more active government support). His style was mañana: never do anything today which can be left to tomorrow….

    …National’s fundamental tenet is low taxes which means squeezing the public sector. It was so adamant about this that when the Canterbury Earthquakes provided the perfect opportunity to raise taxes, it failed to impose a special earthquake levy. Not only did the earthquake recovery suffer, but so did the public sector, to the detriment of its service to the public. The current government is still trying to recover the mess…..


    • Robert Guyton 16.1

      His addendum is most interesting:

      "Addendum: This column was drafted before the events involving Andrew Falloon and Ian Lees-Galloway. It has not been rewritten.. However, I must add this. The column tries hard to be fair towards Judith Collins; after all it is really about wider issues than her. But the way she dealt with the Lees-Galloway allegations was inappropriate. She was right to pass her knowledge on to Jacinda Ardern, as the prime minister had done to her over Falloon. She was wrong to announce she had done so (on morning radio) before the Prime Minister had publicly dealt with the information. In contrast Ardern waited until Collins had made her Falloon announcement before explaining her involvement. Collins’ timing has the hallmarks of a Whale Oil counterpuncher. It does not promise a clean election."

      • ianmac 16.1.1

        Yes Robert. Collins never misses a chance to use a nasty jibe. Be interesting to know which people like her for that habit.

    • bwaghorn 16.2

      Na key was far right ,he just disguised it well .

      His governments underfunding of health is privatization by stealth.

      collins and goldsmith will finish the job if given the chance.

      • R.P Mcmurphy 16.2.1

        spot on bwaghorn. he knew what he was doing. punishing the working classes and siphoning off the money.

  16. R.P Mcmurphy 17

    got chipped on FB yesterday fordaring to mention that some of the nationals female mp's were showing a bit more cleavage than necessary on teevee ch31 last night. then a nationals troll showed up and demanded this and that and it was a great old brou ha ha. the upshot was the post was deleted but then they all went and changed their clobber. hahahahahaha.

    • Incognito 17.1

      Surprising, given that Nat MPs excel at cover ups.

      • greywarshark 17.1.1

        Jonathan Pie spouts his disgust at the sensitivity that has established new norms so that we aren't even allowed to regard ourselves as one biological sex now and accept that there is generally two plus.

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  • Government commits to international effort to ban and regulate killer robots
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  • Delivered: 1,000 extra transitional homes
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  • Traffic light levels announced
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  • New Ambassador to Russia announced
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