Open mike 24/09/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 24th, 2020 - 178 comments
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178 comments on “Open mike 24/09/2020 ”

  1. PsyclingLeft.Always 1

    nats have big mouths….obviously to get both feet in.

    "National Taieri candidate Liam Kernaghan and Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean are among several National party figures to have posted material online which is claimed to quote Labour leader Jacinda Ardern out of context."

  2. Pat 2

    "Hydroelectricity has the highest value at 84:1, compared with wind at 18:1 and solar lower according to whether battery storage costs are included.

    For hydrogen the EROI is 1:4 or 1:5. In other words, it’s demonstrably negative."

    And yet hydrogen is being promoted by the Gov….they must expect we are going to have a massive surplus of energy available in the near future which runs contrary to all the current scientific opinion.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 2.1

      Maybe they are thinking the post rio tinto Future?…But really NZ has to also get on the Bus (literally) and Light Rail,Coastal Shipping etc etc.

      People sitting (ONE person !) in traffic snarl ups…is just stupid.

      A Voice…

      Professor Alistair Woodward from the University of Auckland agrees with Barnett that the resulting traffic logjams showcase gaping vulnerabilities in Auckland's transport infrastructure – but he has different ideas as to how to deal with this.

      That includes cutting down car numbers.

      “We haven’t thought hard enough about the future. Everything is short term … you know it’s ‘bung on another lane, it’s widen the road, it’s put in a new road’.

      “Of course all that does is to boost the amount of traffic. So it’s entirely predictable that if we spend squillions of dollars on a tunnel under the harbour for more roads, that they will full up rapidly as well and we’ll suffer all the environmental and social costs of living in a car-dominated city.”

      • Pat 2.1.1

        and those 'squillions of dollars' wont be again available to fix the mess

        • PsyclingLeft.Always

          I read the Link Article…if you dont mind me asking…is that you? Is very good anyway. I have an Interested Layman's uptake of Science…(and a lot of Other) Just being Informed is absolutely essential.

          We really need some Forward Thinking…..

          • Andre

            Personally, I'm quite a hydrogen skeptic. The energy losses involved in separating the hydrogen, then using it, is a big downside compared to batteries, pumped hydro, or other energy storage. The hazards and engineering difficulties of bulk use of hydrogen scare the crap out of me – the way hydrogen embrittles many common metals, and basically just pisses through polymer materials while degrading it on the way through is frightening. Then hydrogen has an extremely wide range of concentrations where it's explosive, much higher than any other common gases. If you're using hydrogen in fool cells, you can't add odorant (like is done to natural gas and LPG), so leaks are less easily detectable, and hydrogen flames are invisible to the naked eye.

            Nevertheless, there are some positives around hydrogen as a replacement for a few fossil fuel applications.

            If anyone gets to a feasible photocatalytic hydrogen production means, then the energy loss, or EROI, problem goes away.

            Hydrogen is sufficiently energy dense that it is feasible for a few applications that batteries simply couldn't store enough energy for – such as medium distance aviation and cross-ocean shipping. IIf my off the top of my memory recollections are roughly correct, in terms of actual useful energy stored including tanks and after conversion to useful mechanical energy, fossil fuels can be up to around 5 kWhr/kg (in a huge marine engine) or 3 kWhr/kg for land transport. Hydrogen maybe 2kWhr/kg for marine, maybe 1.2 kWhr/kg for road transport or aviation. Batteries are at around 0.17 kWhr/kg in production Teslas now, with recent announcements they will go up to a bit over 0.2 kWhr/kg.

            Hydrogen may also be a better substitute for fossil fuels for some industrial processes that require very high process heat temperatures – steelmaking gets a mention in the links above, but cement production might be another.

            • PsyclingLeft.Always

              Hi, that was a well thought through comment. And yes re the sceptic. Definitely not the Energy Panacea…


            • Stuart Munro

              You're in good company:

              Activists warn Adern – Hydrogen no path to low carbon future

              Members of Climate Justice Taranaki and other community groups gathered with white elephants outside today's launch of the National New Energy Development Centre by Prime Minister Jacinda Adern and Energy Minister Megan Woods. The protesters are opposed to the government's support of Hydrogen technology.

              “We are repeating bad choices again from the Think Big era of the 80s that had a far reaching economic burden and many environmental impacts,” said Fiona Clark, long-standing Visual activist and Tikorangi Gaslands resident.

              "As benign and fashionable a Hydrogen economy may sound, the zealous push for it as the essential route to a just transition is unfounded, both in physics and economic terms," said Climate Justice Taranaki researcher Catherine Cheung.

              "The production of Green Hydrogen from water and renewable energy is extremely expensive and inefficient. Its storage and distribution, also costly and energy intensive, are fraught with technical and safety issues."

              From Climate Justice Taranaki per Mike Joy

              • Andre


                Forgot to also mention, a widespread hydrogen economy may also be damaging to the ozone layer. It's for sure hydrogen and ozone very happily recombine to make water and oxygen when they get together, the question is whether any escaped hydrogen from ground level would would actually make it to the ozone layer height before oxidising to water along the way. Modelling results seem to vary on how much would actually make it and how significant it would be. But hydrogen leakage from aircraft already most of the way up to the ozone layer would almost certainly be damaging.

    • mango 2.2

      They have to look like they are doing something even if there is nothing that can be done.

      Unfortunately society as a whole is not yet ready to accept that the ultra high consumption era is coming to an end. Even the greens can't openly say that even though they know it.

      • Pat 2.2.1

        You may be right but sooner or later it will be impossible for even the biggest sceptic to ignore and then there will be recriminations….or worse.

    • Pat 3.1

      he remade a good point but it was not a 'debate'

    • ianmac 3.2

      Thanks for the link Robert. The Jessica Much Mackays of our world don't think Much. Just an entertaining "blood bath" would be her/their idea of good.

      Ian Johnstone was yesterday on the Panel describing the tension in the famous eyeball to eyeball debate between Lange and Muldoon and the setting provided for the Leaders. And our current Leaders debate? Woolly questions. Poor layout. Poor moderation.

  3. Reality 4

    Good to see several letters in today's Dominion Post critical of Judith Collins' overbearing, aggressive, bullying tactics in the debate. And also that John Campbell had let her get away with it.

    On the other hand, no letters supporting her.

    Collins' childish remarks yesterday about "heat in the kitchen" further highlighted her nastiness. If anyone has stood up to the heat in the kitchen in the last three years, it is Jacinda, with the tragedies that she has had to deal with. The world has taken note and I hope New Zealand continues to do so.

  4. Alan 5

    So Julie tells us the wealth tax is a bottom line for the greens.

    Most people in their 50s or 60s who have worked continuously, saved, and paid off the mortgage will have assets worth $1-2 million.

    The greens want those people to pay $10,000 to $20,000 wealth tax per year, every year until they die. Never mind the fact that these people may not have much cash in the bank or that they may be retired and are living on a very modest pensions =the greens want your money.

    Never mind that this would be a highly expensive administration nightmare for all involved

    This is going to cause an unholy shit fight between the greens and labour

    • The Al1en 5.1

      Never mind that, Wilkinson, how will the clutching pearls hold up is the real issue

      • Alan 5.1.1

        who is Wilkinson, have you had your coffee yet?

      • Sabine 5.1.2

        He has a point.

        The point being that many people that hold 'assets' worth a pretty coin are otherwise cash poor. Point being, many in Auckland.

        Another point that is not pointed out often, is that these people can't actually downsize as in this country we don't build small -or even just smaller anymore. So even if a retired couple would want to get out of the million dollar property into some thing smaller they can't for lack of offerings. – and again the chorus of ‘move to the countryside’ does not work for people who have medical needs or whose family is important and who want to live nearby. Again, this too is a problem that is studiously ignored by our betters, namely no jobs, no healthcare, etc.

        So if you are on a fixed income, and your property is the ONLY asset you have this tax is neither fair nor feasable. This tax makes as much sense as TOPs tax on 'unproductive goods' like Nana's house in which she lives but does not rent in order to make a profit, Never mind that she can't find anything to rent for herself should she want to rent the good house for a profit. Cheap stupid solutions to big problems.

    • Dennis Frank 5.2

      an unholy shit fight between the greens and labour

      Nah. At most, the initial round table will see a robust advocacy from both sides. Then they will shift into negotiations mode.

      Since it is not in the interests of either party to alienate any part of the wealthy middle class, the inevitable coalition policy will be a reasonable compromise.

      I predict this will take the form of giving the Greens what they want (an effective wealth ceiling, to enable reduction of inequality) and giving Labour what it wants (a big enough solid voter base for re-election).

    • Rosemary McDonald 5.3

      At least you could do is provide a link…


      Site links to screen readable pdf giving details of the policy and examples of how the Wealth Tax will apply in various circumstances.

      • Dennis Frank 5.3.1

        The net wealth tax will be set at a level where only around 6% of wealthiest New Zealanderswill pay the tax –and it will generate the revenue to cover the Guaranteed Minimum Income that ensures everyone in Aotearoa can thrive. This is a transformative structural change that will reduce inequality in Aotearoa.

        • Sabine

          Yes and the GST increase will only cost about 3 bucks a week.

          Good grief, you know its one thing to discuss these matters, its another thing to really believe what these people say and to believe that this will be paid for by the richest, who already don't pay taxes in this country. This is as idiotic as is the Grant Robertson Tax increase for people making 180.000 NZD. They are already on record for not paying tax over 70.000 NZD cause good accountants and various loopholes that neither the Green nor Labour actually propose to close. A bit like that extra 5 days of sick leave…………which thanks to loopholes are not given to a huge number of workers.

          Smoke and mirrors, but you get to be seen as doing something.

          • Craig H

            I'm interested to hear how one structures affairs so assets are not assets in a wealth tax regime. Income is easy because of shareholder salaries (set up companies, pay $70,000 to each shareholder annually and leave the rest of the profit in the company to be taxed at 28%), but actually hiding assets is difficult because they appear somewhere. For example, if I own 10 houses outright worth a total of $5 million, and put the ownership of them into one or more companies, I still own the shares in the companies which are worth at least the net asset values of the companies i.e. $5 million. Trusts are a bit more complicated, but government and IRD have been cracking down on tax planning using trusts for 20 years, so I'm sure that can be sorted adequately.

            The European issue has been that people just move themselves and their businesses and assets into other parts of the EU without a wealth tax and without any impact on operations, but that doesn't strike me as immediately available here. A person who moved overseas while leaving their assets here would still be a tax resident here, and a person who moved their assets overseas but stayed here would also still be a tax resident here. Maybe some sectors can operate here without being here at all, but nothing we do taxes them anyway, so they aren't worth considering.

            • Sabine

              talk to an accountant.

              from 2012


              nland Revenue has found only half of wealthy individuals worth more than $50 million each are paying the top personal tax rate, despite Government moves to combat tax avoidance.

              There are about 250 New Zealanders with wealth in excess of $50m, deemed "high wealth individuals" by Inland Revenue.

              New figures obtained under the Official Information Act show a sample by Inland Revenue of 184 of those individuals, taken between 2009 and 2011, found 49.5 per cent had declared they had earned $70,000 a year or more. The rest declared they earned less. Those who earn more than $70,000 are in the top tax bracket and pay 33 cents tax in the dollar.

              from 2014

              Figures given to ONE News show many of those worth more than $50 million are only paying tax on around $70,000 dollars of annual income.

              When the tax man comes knocking, most of us expect to pay our fair share. But some of us can avoid it .

              Even millionaire Gareth Morgan admits he's not paying his.

              "Ah no, definitely not. But that's the way the tax regime is," he says.

              Inland Revenue monitors 200 New Zealanders worth more than $50 million each. Yet 46.5% of those multi-millionaires earn less than $70,000 a year, meaning they avoid paying the top income tax rate.


              from 2015


              New Zealand's super-rich were found liable for an extra $77 million of tax in the last financial year.

              The country's most well-off have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in extra tax to Inland Revenue since it set up its high-wealth individual unit in 2003.

              Those who come under the scrutiny of this IRD division must have, or be in control of, more than $50 million.

              According to IRD's investigation and advice manager Tracey Lloyd, the unit has identified 200 people who met the criteria.

              Of these 200 people, 93 declared their personal income in the 2013 financial year as less than $70,000 – the point at which one is required pay the top tax rate of 33 cents in the dollar.

              from 2020

              New Zealanders pay 33% tax on every dollar of personal income over $70,000. This means someone paid $700,000 a year pays the same income tax as someone earning ten times less.

              The super-rich routinely find ways to avoid even the minimal tax obligations New Zealand expects of them.

              “The richest one percent of New Zealanders own 20% of this country’s wealth, and they can obviously afford the best accountants in the business. They take advantage of loopholes to ensure their money is not classed as taxable income, but instead as other currently untaxed forms of wealth and capital,” says Mr Barclay.

              “This must change. Most ordinary working people don’t have a choice about paying our tax, it goes out of the pay check automatically. The super-rich should not get to play by a different set of rules to the rest of us.”

              this is why i am so cynical when it comes to the beige suits sprouting their wet dreams about 'tax increases on the rich' . It means nothing at all if you can already structure your assets to such an extend that someone like Gareth Morgan is on record for not paying taxes because 'its all legal, and why should i pay taxes if i can avoid them' after all he ain't a wage slave who is taxed well before you and i ever receive our money 🙂

              • Craig H

                I asked about avoiding wealth tax, not income tax – the shareholder salary regime makes it easy to avoid income tax.

    • Andre 5.4

      The Greens are definitely making a mistake with this. First they're framing it as a "take it from the rich pricks to give to the poor" and that "it's only going to affect the richest 6%" – it just looks like a mafia-style shakedown that lives up to the worst caricatures of taxation, and they're forgetting about all those that aspire to get to a comfortable financial situation where the Greens would then stick them with the rich prick tax.

      If they were to put the same die-in-a-ditch commitment to a capital gains tax and frame it as sharing a slice of your success back to maintaining the society that made that success possible, then I'd be fully with them. But the way the proposed wealth tax is structured is so ill-conceived that I don't think those that propose it are fit for office. It's a significant part of why it's very unlikely I'll vote Green this year.

      • Dennis Frank 5.4.1

        a mafia-style shakedown

        Doesn't work as analogy due to lack of gun-carrying Green enforcers. It's actually an antique socialist policy design. Since that style of taxation did work way back, and got at least one generation of solid support in Aotearoa, it's worth a try.

      • Grantoc 5.4.2

        An irony is that most Green voters live in affluent inner city suburbs – and are 'wealthy' according to the Green's criteria.

        Many of these Green supporters will fall within the 6% of the population that the Greens define as wealthy and thus able to pay this tax.

        One consequence of the Greens wealth tax, should it come to pass, is that many of those in Wadestown, Grey Lynn, Fendalton et al may decide to switch their vote to Labour. In doing this they avoid the wealth tax but still get a green friendly government.

        If such a scenario played out on election day it'll be goodbye Greens. Their position is precarious enough now; this wealth tax policy only makes it worse.

        Great strategic thinking Greens.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 5.4.3

        I wouldn't worry Andre – given Labour's proposed timorous shift to a very slightly more progressive income tax regime, the wealth of the "richest 6% group" looks pretty safe from ‘tax grabs‘ in the short-to-medium term.

        I'm financially comfortable, so have never felt a need or aspiration to belong to the "richest 6% group"; indeed such an aspiration is beyond my ken and of no interest.

        Government revenue from a wealth tax such as that proposed by the Green party might fund programmes that foster wider societal and environmental resilience, so I'm all for it and will Party Vote Green.

        If there's an alternative progressive tax change that would generate similar revenue from those that can afford it (as opposed to (say) a GST increase, which generates (some) revenue from those who can least afford it), then I would at least weigh up that alternative – wouldn't stop me voting Green though.

    • Incognito 5.5

      Most people in their 50s or 60s who have worked continuously, saved, and paid off the mortgage will have assets worth $1-2 million. [my italics]

      Really? I don’t think so. The policy is designed so that only about 6% of the people pay this tax. That’s not most people by a long shot.

      Assuming someone can save $10 of their hourly earnings and that they work 2,000 hours in a year, it would take them 50 years to save $1,000,000. They’ll have to start very young in your world.

      … =the greens want your money.

      Nope, they want it to go towards the public good (AKA society) and where it is needed the most.

      The policy clearly has provisions for asset-rich cash-poor people.

      Never mind that this would be a highly expensive administration nightmare for all involved

      Nope. Assets are already taken into account for rates, insurance, tax, etc. The policy is simple and straightforward and IRD can easily manage it.

      It sounds like you have no idea what you are talking about and just fear mongering. Maybe you should talk to your accountant before 17 Oct.

      • Sabine 5.5.1

        Whith all due respect Incognito, are these the same 6% who already don't pay taxes and are on record for not paying taxes?

        • Cricklewood

          Yeah it's one of those good in theory ideas where the reality is accountants and lawyers do well arranging trusts off shore holdings etc and the actual tax revenue recieved is well below that forecasted.

      • Bearded Git 5.5.2

        Incognito-thank you for injecting some sense and facts into the Green's Wealth Tax debate.

        This is a truly transformational policy that would, if implemented, genuinely shift wealth from the top 6% to those in poverty.

        People complaining about the WT in TS appear to be either:

        1. Neo-liberals happy with the continuation of the current unfair world order.

        2. Self-interested people worried that they will have to pay the tax themselves.

    • mauī 5.6

      If they're paying $10,000 in tax a year under the Green policy, they would own a $1 million dollar home outright, have a share portfolio worth $500,000, savings of $300,000, and have a new Tesla and an Audi in the garage.

      Gosh, how is little old Mary going to survive on the pension, driving her runabout Tesla to the supermarket to buy budget bread and a weekly lotto ticket in the hope she might extract herself from the extortionate Government tax.

    • Sacha 5.7

      The greens want those people to pay $10,000 to $20,000 wealth tax per year

      Nice try. It's 1% for each dollar over $1m. To pay $10k wealth tax, you need another million on top of that. For a couple, you would need a total of $4m to be paying $20k. Cry me a river.

    • Janet 5.8

      Yes better they capture it as death duties again 1

  5. RosieLee 6

    Will the family home be exempt? Surely only the "investment" properties will be taxed?

    • Alan 6.1

      family home is not exempt, the greens want your money

      • Dennis Frank 6.1.1

        Okay, having read the report, I get your point. It may mean a coalition isn't feasible.

        A fracture has been riven into the Greens-Labour Party relationship after the Greens demanded a wealth tax be part of any future coalition government agreement. The Greens' election policies include a plan to make Kiwis with a net-worth greater than $1 million, pay 1 per cent of their wealth to the Government as a tax. Those worth more than $2m would pay out 2 per cent of their wealth as tax.

        Greens MP Julie Anne Genter today told a small business panel discussion the tax policy was a "bottom line" condition that must be met for her party to join into a second Coalition government with Labour.

        • Sacha

          Update from a Greens party leader on that:

          Yesterday, it was reported that Green MP Julie Anne Genter had told a small business panel discussion the tax policy was a "bottom line" condition that needed to be met for her party to join into a second coalition Government with Labour, assuming next month's election goes both parties' way.

          Shaw this morning confirmed Genter’s comment, but told host John Campbell the Green Party “doesn’t do bottom lines”.

          “We do priorities and we’ve got six that we’re taking into this election. Julie-Anne did use that language yesterday.

          “We don’t use bottom lines because what we want to see is a Labour-led Government with Jacinda Ardern as the Prime Minister and the Green Party back in Parliament and part of that Government.”

          • Dennis Frank

            Thanks, that's helpful. Those into facts will remain frustrated, of course. Since "Julie-Anne did use that language yesterday", according to James, while implying she was wrong to do so.

            So she doesn't know the difference between priorities & bottom lines?? Or is there no actual difference, and Greens make it up as they go along? “We don’t use bottom lines" seems to be James using the term as a precondition of coalition entry, and rejecting such usage.

            I think his approach is appropriate. Perhaps Julie-Anne used the term inappropriately, due to a slip of her tongue. Or, as Trump would say, "I mis-spoke."

            • Dennis Frank

              I was right on that last point:

              Green Party co-leader James Shaw says one of his senior MPs misspoke under pressure when she said a wealth tax was one of the party's bottom lines.

              Got Bomber excited again:

              …ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING!!!!

              WHAT ARE YOU DOING?



              Perhaps James will have to educate him about the relation of Green leadership to coalition negotiating.

              She did not accidentally "tell the truth", he said.

              He could have helpfully explained that accidentally telling the truth is a Labour Party thing.

              Shaw says the Greens aren't making the tax a bottom line because "when we get into negotiations we have got to see what the result of the election is. And it's as simple as that".

              Too simple for Bomber. And there's yet another point that will bamboozle him:

              Whether or not it becomes a bottom line depends on how many people vote for the Greens, Shaw says.

      • Rosemary McDonald 6.1.2

        the greens want your money

        Course they do, silly. How do you think that shit that needs doing gets done?

        You'll be pleased to hear that at least one 'fringe' party NZ Outdoors Party member agrees with you.

        Reacted with some emphasis when I suggested raising taxes by 1.5% across the board to fund health and disability equity.

        • Alan

          does the term "Political Suicide" mean anything to you Rosemary?

          • Sabine

            yeah, so lets tax the one bit of wealth people in this country can aspire to hold, a property.

        • Grafton Gully

          "shit that needs doing gets done" I look at my neighbours and see a sleepout with garage converted to a flat and the backyard soil covered with concrete to replace the garage ("we have plans"), a backyard barren of all but mown grass because it's just "too much trouble" to grow fruit trees and veges, a pile of rubbish and excavated clay where once veges grew because of willful passive aggressive ignorance. No amount of money will change this. Why bother when it's "too much like hard work" and "I get my veges from the supermarket" – like most people.

      • Bearded Git 6.1.3

        Alan…in order to transfer it to those in poverty.


    • Dennis Frank 6.2

      The devil in the detail lies in the differential between net wealth & modest income, and since retired folk will be concerned about that, the policy has an escape clause:

      Some people, particularly retired people, may have a high value home but only modest income. These people will be able to defer payment of the net wealthtax until the home is sold,

      • Alan 6.2.1

        so if there house is worth $1.5 million and they live for 25 more years, the government will take $375,000 when they die, that is really a vote winner

        [Read the policy before you comment on it. It might help inform you.

        A retired couple living in in house worth $1.5 million don’t pay a cent in wealth tax under this policy – Incognito]

        • Dennis Frank

          Unlikely to win the votes of their children! The interesting thing to watch for at the election is what proportion of the 94% of the electorate that the policy benefits will vote Green in support of the policy.

          Say the Greens get a substantial vote of above 10% – that will indicate significant policy resonance to ensure the validity of the policy as an effective ploy.

          If they don't get that, the wealth tax will become a proven marketing failure…

        • Andre

          It's not the taking a slice of the estate that bothers me. At that moment, what was a home has been converted into a mere financial instrument. It's the way that when the first partner dies, the survivor suddenly gets lifted into the net asset bracket where a punitive tax applies at the exact same moment their income drops sharply, and will then be dealing with the psychological effects of an ever-increasing tax debt at a life-stage when debt-free financial independence is increasingly important.

        • Incognito

          See my Moderation note @ 8:55 AM.

        • Alan

          yes but as soon as one of them dies the surviving partner will start paying wealth tax, financial hardship piled on top of grief. – such a wonderful thing for our aged community to look forward to, thanks Greens

          • Incognito

            How much does the surviving partner have to pay?

            • Alan

              yes, I got that wrong, they pay 1% on the amount above $1 million.Say the house is now worth $1.6 million, that means they need to find an additional $6,000.00 per year after tax for the rest of their life – another winner from the kind, sharing hard left.

              The thought of having that imposed on my hard working parents really pisses me off.

              • Incognito

                Indeed, the surviving partner would pay $6k pa in wealth tax to live rent-free, which amounts to $115 per week. That’s not going to break the bank, is it?

                The value of the property may go up (likely) or down (unlikely). When it is sold, there is no CGT. That really pisses me off.

                When the surviving partner passes away, there is no inheritance tax. That really pisses me off.

                How much of one’s wealth is generated through hard work and prudent living and how much is through rising property prices that prices many others out of owning a home and driving them into the rental trap? That really pisses me off.

                As long as your hard-working parents are alive, they don’t pay a cent in wealth tax. Enjoy your parents’ company for as long as you can and don’t worry about something that may not happen in a long time, bless them.

                • The Al1en

                  the surviving partner would pay $6k pa in wealth tax to live rent-free, which amounts to $115 per week. That’s not going to break the bank, is it?

                  Not on a super payment of $847 per fortnight, winter fuel payments and eligibility for a rates rebate. Quite doable I'd say.

                  • Sabine

                    how much would rates be on a property like this?

                    • The Al1en

                      Look, your relentless negativity isn't changing my mind about a policy that, while good (in my eyes), isn't likely to come about, especially as James Shaw is already walking back the bottom line quote.

                    • Andre

                      In Auckland, about $3500 pa, which might get rebated down to about $2800 pa if their only income was Super. Then about $1500pa for home insurance, about $600pa for water etc etc.

                    • Sabine

                      its not negativity, its realism.
                      Seriously, how much would rates be on a property like this?

                      you say; Not on a super payment of $847 per fortnight, winter fuel payments and eligibility for a rates rebate. Quite doable I'd say.

                      IF we assume this hypothetical scenario and we look at income derived vs outgoings then Rates need to be included. How much would the rates be on a property that raises exponentially due to high land cost for example, but with no actual raise in income.

                      because this is an issue in many areas where land prices are going up up up and wages and super don't.
                      or the rates raise because of Council spending 🙂


                      Terre Nicholson's house in Te Kūiti is meant to be her forever home.

                      Two years ago she and husband Mike, a pensioner, could not afford to buy what they wanted in Hamilton, where Nicholson's job as an environmental consultant was based.

                      So they looked around and decided on a 1970s house on a classic Kiwi quarter-acre section (1250m sq), in the small King Country town.

                      But the couple didn't bank on the soaring rates in the Waitomo District.

                      "We knew the rates were high but the cost of the house was low. We wanted a place we could basically retire in. This is our forever home."

                      When they bought the house for $445,000, the rates were around $3000 per year.

                      "And then they went up. And now they've gone up again."

                      In two years the rates have spiked by more than $1000 to $4200 per year. That's $350 a month.

                      So why not answering the questions rather then running away shouting relentless negativity. IS that all you got?

                    • Sabine


                      24 September 2020 at 11:41 am

                      thanks for that.

                    • The Al1en

                      I'm totally happy with my position and for calling your relentless negativity for what it is, ta. It’s a logical deduction.

                      But if you feel the need to go in to bat for the very asset rich amongst us at the expense of the very poorest, you go right ahead.

                    • Sabine

                      The Al1en

                      24 September 2020 at 11:49 am

                      Quote: I'm totally happy with my position and calling your relentless negativity for what it is. Ta.

                      But if you feel the need to go in to bat for the asset rich amongst us at the expense of the very poorest, you go right ahead. Quote end.

                      seriously? That is all you got? Your math was wrong, you left out an important part of home owning, Rates. Rates that are currently going up with no end in sight. Ok right. And other then that, you still have not answered a fair and square question.

                      But maybe its your relentless optimism that makes you just over look such important factors as Rates when you talk about finances and what is feasable on a fixed income or what is not. Its like the national dudes that do math and then discover holes in their math, but its ok.

                      And last but least the 'asset rich' the developpers, the slum lords etc they won't be paying that tax. They already don't pay tax.

                    • The Al1en

                      I don't buy the concern for the poor when you moan about paying minimum wages to your employees.

                    • Sacha

                      Sabine, people can already defer rates until their home is sold. Nothing special needed.

                    • RedBaronCV

                      In Wellington about $5500 plus further increases promised. Plus insurance $3600 plus parking coupons for a lot of inner city suburbs $200 plus rubbish collection. So another $6000 or so would just about wipe out a single pension or increase inner city rents something drastic . It would be over $300 a week to live in an owned home.

              • mauī

                The surviving partner's assets have just increased by $800,000. There is a plan to tax it.. that can be deferred to sale date. Oh the humanity! Won't someone think of the children's inheritance, so they can take it.. all untaxed.

        • Cricklewood

          Trouble is most people wont read the policy so will be very easy to scaremonger

        • Jester

          What happens when one of them dies. Normally then the house is transferred to the spouse. If he/she lives for 15 more years say, wouldn't that be 1% of $500k per year for 15 years = $75k tax …still a lot of money. I don't like it.

      • Grafton Gully 6.2.2

        Legislate to cap salaries at $40,000 pa. I am paid – like it or not a shitload of money I don't need and would do what I do because I like doing it and am competent. It all assumes people work ONLY FOR THE FUCKING MONEY.

    • You_Fool 6.3

      Other than it adds to the administrative costs, the Greens have already said it won't be on the family home, only on investments…. but some people want to clutch their pearls….

  6. Dennis Frank 7

    Treasury advice is relevant here. It would be reasonable to expect that the Greens have not factored in revenue collection feasibility.

    Labour's Nash said Finance Minister Grant Robertson had ruled out imposing any wealth tax. "As the Revenue Minister, I have had a look at a wealth tax and I think it is very, very difficult to implement," he said. "It's on unrealised gains, which make it very difficult for people to pay who are asset rich, cashflow poor."

    • Pat 7.1

      Not at all…a lien on assets to be collected on disposal….a system local bodies have used for years with regard to that land tax called 'rates'

    • Bruce Ellis 7.2

      Nash's quote sounds a great justification for a capital gains tax

      • Andre 7.2.1

        Yep, a capital gains tax really is the much better way to collect tax from the income generated by capital. It's part of the reason why most countries actually do tax capital gains, but very few collect any significant wealth taxes.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I suspect that the only reason why the Greens went with a wealth tax is because almost everybody is against a CGT.

          • Pat

            i suspect the reason is the fact that capital gain on improved business practice is penalised whereas a wealth tax does not….capital gain on a successfully expanded business that provides employment and possibly FX is not the target…pointless property inflation however is.

            A wealth tax targets that scenario and provides incentive to invest in income ( and therefore employment) generating assets rather than a state subsidised RE market that dosnt produce FA…not to mention that its a ponzi scheme that destabilises the entire banking system

  7. Anker 8

    Last night Ianmac posted a quote from Brian Gould about the lighting angles and camera positions in the leaders debate.

    it clarified my view that the set up of the debate overwhelmingly favoured National. I also noticed quite frequently when Jacinda was replying the camera went straight on Collins.

    i am sure Campbell irrupted Jacinda more cutting her short.

    last night I put in a complaint to the media council. It’s pretty easy to do and I would encourage others to do it. I let the standard know how it goes

    • tc 8.1

      I'm sure there's a box of wet bus tickets ready for that and any other complaints.

      A top down review and clearcut is required at TVNZ/RNZ. Maori TV appears back on track after Maxwell's silver hammer routine national inflicted on them, doing good stuff locally and terrific movies.

      However plenty of TVNZ/RNZ output fails the journalism, objectivity and what an old boss called 'intellectual rigour' bar to be broadcast. But hey we don't seem to care anymore, not seeing any party want to address it.

      • anker 8.1.1

        Yes sure it will be a wet bus ticket. but it will cause theme time and nothing like letting people know they are not pulling the wool over your eyes.

        • tc

          Most effort probably goes into the lame judgements they pronounce to look all considered and tough which accompany the bus ticket.

          Grammerly probably gets a workout after some copy/paste reasoning.

    • Cinny 8.2

      Speaking of the debate somethings been bothering me. Did judith say she was brought up on a farm in a state house whose windows didn't shut properly?

      Because I've never heard of a state house on a farm.

      I need to go back and re-watch it just to clarify.

      • anker 8.2.1

        Not sure Cinny. I seem to recall she said State houses weren't well built and cited the windows not shutting properly example.

        State houses are solid as unlike leaky homes built as a result of deregulation

        • In Vino

          The woman is either an idiot, or a cynical cheat. My house was built in the early 1950s. Not a state house, but looks similar.. There were no airtight windows then.

          I shut the windows tight, but in winter I can feel air leaking through. Judith Collins expecting 1930s – 1960s houses to have windows that don't let air through is like expecting a 1950s Morris Minor to have air bags and ASB brakes. (One can seal these old windows with sticky-back foam rubber tapes, if one wants to.)

          Next door is a house built in the 1970s. It has the luxury of rubber-sealed alloy windows. But I notice heaps more condensation on the inside of them than I get in my place. I conclude that a certain amount of air circulation may be healthy!

          What I suspect is that if Judith and her ilk do get into power (heaven forbid!) she will immediately use the 'leaky windows' argument for selling off (to the already well-off) every state house built before 1970, so that her mates can benefit ever more from rising property values and rents, while the poor who rent them will struggle to pay their rent off even 2 or 3 jobs paid at a miserable minimum rate.

          A classic way of creating a hell-hole of a society, so that a profit-gouging, greedy element can have their way.

          • Patricia 2

            My parents were the first tenants in a state house built in Mt Roskill (Auckland) in1947 on a quarter acre section. We never had condensation but we did have an open fireplace which was well used in winter. All the houses in the street are still standing, well maintained and sheltering families. The back sections have become infill housing – the newer houses don't look like they'll last 70 years.

            During the "debate" Ms Collins said she would like to get rid of all the old state houses. Some parts of Auckland have had hundreds of older state houses removed and replaced by apartments / town houses. Only time will tell how people adjust to living so close to each other. I guess after being crammed in emergency housing (single motel units) anything else will feel like luxury.

      • joe90 8.2.2

        Saw a tweet the other day from someone who'd grown up down the road from the farm Collins lived on and surprise surprise, the houses looked like the state houses of the day.

      • millsy 8.2.3

        To be fair, the state house design was used for accommodation by most government departments back in the day. Go to any site that either is owned by the government or was in the past, and you will find state housing.

        Examples include, the towns built around the hydro dams, and the power stations in Meremere and Huntly, housing at the old mental hospitals, Forestry workers housing, and in Jude’s case, Landcorp’s predessors.

    • gsays 8.3

      Not negating what you have the interests of fairness, the logo on the floor of the studio featured a circle with a red tick.

      I could hear Judith fans howling about unfair, obvious bias and Jacindamania.

    • Nic the NZer 8.4

      Come on, Campbell was feeding Jacinda answers. On the hospital question Jacinda was getting it all wrong and going on about insisting on MOH mandated budget cuts. Campbell tried to feed her the simple popular answer with the prompt, will some of that debt need to be written off? But she stuck to her position and eventually Judith got to take up the point that "obviously" some of the hospitals debt would need to be forgiven.

      • SPC 8.4.1

        The original problem is the supply of capital to HB's with a certain cost to pay for it year by year. Given the current cost of debt this is windfall profit territory. The cost of capital impacts on their operational budgets and inevitably leads to deficits and over time mounting debt. Debt the government can finance far more cheaply than the boards can. And so on.

        • Nic the NZer

          Sure. Question is why is the correct answer so obvious that Collins can mouth it while the Labour leader PM has to avoid answering the question.

  8. Andre 9

    Bear with me while I tell a tale of three Rich Pricks, each with a couple mill to do something with. To illustrate how a wealth tax operates very differently to a capital gains tax.

    Rick Prick the First is aware of a high value specialised substance collected from wild-growing seaweed, and conceives an aquaculture venture to farm this seaweed. He purchases a block of land fronting onto suitable estuaries in a remote part of the country (hoping to provide future employment in a depressed area), and puts the remainder of his fortune into equipment etc that would be needed to process the seaweed. As it turns out, a couple of seasons of red tide, and other developments in the area affected the water quality so the venture never takes off, and ten years later finally gives up. He recovers about 1.2M from selling the land. Under the wealth tax regime, over those ten years he has paid about $100k for the privilege of losing $800k of wealth, at least partly due to government permitting other environmentally degrading activities making his venture non-viable, and the steady suck of $10k a year wealth tax added too much continual drain on ongoing cashflow. He would not be liable for any capital gains tax.

    Rich Prick the Second puts his 2mill into a block of ratty houses in a kinda neglected area, to be an aspiring slumlord. Over the next ten years the government invests a lot in renewing the neighbourhood and improving transport links, so at the end of ten years RP the 2nd sells his shabby house to a developer for basically the skyrocketed land value of 6mill. Because his clever accountants and lawyers have kept the assessed property values rising fairly slowly he's only paid about $120k in assessed wealth tax over those ten years, and trousers a capital gain of $4mill untaxed. If we just did a straight copy of Australia's capital gains tax regime with NZ rates, RP2nd would pay $660k capital gains tax on his windfall that was entirely due to government investment in the area.

    Rich Prick the Third spends around 1.5M on a nice-ish house in a bush area, and invest the rest to give a little bit of income to live on. Over the ten years he puts a fair bit into keeping the bush area pest-free and restoring degraded areas. After ten years, there's been a modest capital gain of half a mill in his house (modest because the government hasn't really done anything for the area, but it's close enough to the big smoke to benefit from general increase in demand for housing) and investments when he sells up to go do something else with his life. He would pay about $120k in wealth tax over those ten years (which would soak up all of the investment income at current rates of return), plus income tax on the investment income. Under a capital gains tax, he would pay about $67k for the capital gain the government didn't do much to create apart from just maintaining society, plus the income tax.

    • Andre-are you against a Wealth Tax per se or do you see adjustments as being possible to the Greens' WT that will, in your opinion, make it workable?

      • Sabine 9.1.1

        i think he is saying that a Capital Gains tax would be the answer.

        i think a Capital Gains tax would be the answer.

        • Andre

          As long as people are clear on what it will and won't do.

          A capital gains tax won't fix the housing market. As long as there are is less supply than demand, there will be profits available.

          A capital gains tax will simply take a slice of the profits to go back into maintaining the society that made those profits possible. That maintenance of a good society might include the state building more housing for those that need it, which would increase the supply and reduce excess demand, thereby reducing potential private profiteering from the capital intensive activity of providing housing.

          • Sabine

            i don't expect any taxes to fix the housing market. But if we could actually tax wealth at the point of sale it would work in rasing revenue, btw, that would apply to me too if i sell my business i would be taxed, right now i am not.

            The housing market will need intervention that currently not one person in Goverment – irrespective of their stripes – even want to contemplate. So they rather add another few hundred thousand people to the Accomodation Benefit and they rather charge beneficiaries 25% of their benefits or low wages to pay for Emergency and Transitional Housing. – which again benefits them and their 'own class'.

            • The Al1en

              and they rather charge beneficiaries 25% of their benefits or low wages to pay for Emergency and Transitional Housing

              The same rate at which every other beneficiary or wage earner up to $635 for a single or over $900 for joint incomes pays for state housing, leaving them 75% each week.

              • Sabine

                State housing is a rental, stable fixed with a landlord – the government who is accountable.

                Emergency housing is where ever winz send you, to what ever hovel they don't even care to expect, and it does not even have to be close to the schools your kids go to.

                Not even the same. You tried this before and it is still dumb. Seriously try harder, be best or something.

                • The Al1en

                  If you're homeless and the government want to take much less than market rates for you to stay in a motel until you get something permanent, given the alternatives of living in your car, a garage or under a bridge, I don't think that's as outrageous as you want it to be.

                  Though a wealth tax on the very asset rich may make funds available to do it for free 😉

                  • Sabine

                    this is from Auguat:


                    It has been revealed that a Ministry of Social Development initiative to provide emergency housing in fact made the housing crisis worse and lined the pockets of a small group of landlords and real estate agents who were in on the lurk.

                    The country has been paying for an emergency accommodation scheme put people in motels and hotels at market rates of more than $120 dollars per night for every room rented.

                    However, from 2018 MSD extended the scheme to include private homes, paying the same motel room rates to landlords for every room in the house they would rent, Newsroom has revealed.

                    A three bedroom house rented out at a hotel rate of up to $150 per room per night could bring in $3000 per week in areas of the country where the median rate for a similar house was $550.

                    From March this year, Covid-19 changed things, with motel accommodation freed up and MSD was able to consider moving people from private rentals into motels.

                    However, once the MSD informed landlords they wouldn't be receiving subsidies after June 30 families started receiving eviction notices and social workers began scrambling to find motels rooms for stressed out families.

                    Paying a slumlord up to 3000 NZD – motel rates for a week – because the last government and the current government are shit at negotiating fair rates is not the problem that the homeless have created. It is the Governments fault.

                    taking 25% of what ever a homeless person or family may have to -fund part of the shittily negotiated 3000 NZD motel rates per week – to make a quick buck and look a bit less idiotic, usless and like complete frauds that suck at negotiating is not fair towards the person/family who already has nothing.

                    But it again shows that the last government and the current guvernment are shit at a. negotiating fair rates for emergency shelters and transitional housing, .b iare totally shit at creating government funded and run emergency shelters, and Labour is no better then was National when they settled homeless people with the debt of that 'housing'. Neither party gives a flying fuck about the poor.

                    And that wealth tax that James Shaw is running away from now is not gonna be paid for by the asset rich and cash rich of this country but by yourself and people like you.

                    And James Shaw and Grant Robertson know that. And they are the wealthy people that you would like to tax in the first place, and they have absolutely no reason to increase their cost of living.

                    • The Al1en

                      Yeah, yeah, and as I wrote the other day, charging for unchecked rooms in a house probably isn't a good policy, but then you know that already if you read the reply.

                      Still, as far as I'm concerned, charging someone 25% of their wage to be secure in a motel rather than out on the street doesn't seem like the worst thing ever, and certainly far from disgraceful, uncaring or "bullshit"

      • Andre 9.1.2

        I am against the wealth tax per se because it is is very poorly targeted. It will also severely discourage some activities that are beneficial to society, that require high capital assets but don't generate high income. Such as bush restoration. I don't see any way to adjust the wealth tax to make it work better in its effects on people's financial decisions and general well-being. Politically, it would be less harmful if it were set at a significantly higher level, say where it hit the 1% who already have to have accountants file do their taxes, not the 6% most of whom don't need accountants.

        I strongly support taxing income generated from capital – which is why a support a capital gains tax, and I think things like the PIE tax rates being lower than the income tax rates are a big mistake. I also think we should have estate taxes and gift taxes – the idea that unearned income doesn't get taxed while earned income (which we want to encourage, right?) does get taxed strikes me as wrong way around.

        • Sabine


        • RedBaronCV

          I too think this is very poorly targeted and riddled with problems. As some one said a tax for living in Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown.

          Don't forget that if the bulk of inner city properties in the main centres are hit by this tax (why would high rise multi flat student accommodation be exempt?) then it is also going to add a belt to rents – the very people this is supposed to help.

          Plus it taxes those whose parents live onshore and hands it out to them plus all those whose parents live offshore in Texas or London or some where else and are not paying the taxes.

          And why tax wealth if you won't tax multi million dollar salaries ( and block up the loopholes around tax being paid in companies and trusts)? Grant not lifting the trust rate was a huge no-no.

          Also any deferrals (which would have interest) are basically state supplied reverse mortgages which for a single person (largely women) might apply over 30-40 years. Nobody suggests reverse mortgages are a good thing and compound interest could ensure they die a pauper.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      (hoping to provide future employment in a depressed area)

      to be an aspiring slumlord.

      Over the ten years he puts a fair bit into keeping the bush area pest-free and restoring degraded areas.

      Your logical fallacy is: Appeal to emotion.

  9. Peter 10

    I don't know anything about Lawrence Yule.

    Is he special or just typical National scum?

    Is it open slather? Can any politician say they're going to do something and then imply they've achieved, delivered it?

    • tc 10.1

      Lawrence looks to be an exceptional national candidate, insulting the voters IQ with that claim. Top work and who closed the last Hospital they had ?

    • Stephen D 10.2

      He was Mayor of Hastings and presided over the Hastings District Council during the

      campylobacter fiasco of 2016.

  10. Stephen D 11

    Election 2020: National promises farmers return of foreign workers and a rollback of regulations on water and climate

    From the party that gave farmers mycoplasma bovis.

    Yeah. Good choice.

      • joe90 12.1.1

        ..or, it seems, the ballot box..

        Get rid of the ballots and you'll have a very peaceful – There won't be a transfer, frankly. There'll be a continuation.

        • Andre

          What I find scariest is how all the Repugs are cheerfully going along with it all. Four years ago, I would have guessed that out of the nearly 300 Repugs in Congress, there would be at least a dozen or so that had some semblance of spine and principle and would at least attempt to slow down a few of the most egregious violations of laws and norms. But no, there's not a single one with even a hint of backbone. At most, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins occasionally appear to have faint vestiges of overboiled cartilage that slightly distinguish them from the rest of their school of jellyfish.

          • joe90

            Spineless fuckers will abet the coup.

            The Interregnum allots 35 days for the count and its attendant lawsuits to be resolved. On the 36th day, December 8, an important deadline arrives.

            At this stage, the actual tabulation of the vote becomes less salient to the outcome. That sounds as though it can’t be right, but it is: The combatants, especially Trump, will now shift their attention to the appointment of presidential electors.

            December 8 is known as the “safe harbor” deadline for appointing the 538 men and women who make up the Electoral College. The electors do not meet until six days later, December 14, but each state must appoint them by the safe-harbor date to guarantee that Congress will accept their credentials. The controlling statute says that if “any controversy or contest” remains after that, then Congress will decide which electors, if any, may cast the state’s ballots for president.

            We are accustomed to choosing electors by popular vote, but nothing in the Constitution says it has to be that way. Article II provides that each state shall appoint electors “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.” Since the late 19th century, every state has ceded the decision to its voters. Even so, the Supreme Court affirmed in Bush v. Gore that a state “can take back the power to appoint electors.” How and when a state might do so has not been tested for well over a century.

            Trump may test this. According to sources in the Republican Party at the state and national levels, the Trump campaign is discussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislative majority. With a justification based on claims of rampant fraud, Trump would ask state legislators to set aside the popular vote and exercise their power to choose a slate of electors directly. The longer Trump succeeds in keeping the vote count in doubt, the more pressure legislators will feel to act before the safe-harbor deadline expires


  11. greywarshark 13

    Jobs, training. skills, income, sense of worth, companionship, socialisation not loneliness, co-operation – all draw us together. This sounds good for younger people – now something for retirees to do that gives back to society some of what the cohesive society is giving out to them.

    Nature enter me!

  12. Dennis Frank 14

    So "on May 27, less than a week of being in leadership, Muller had a panic attack for the first time in his life.

    Today, coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Week, the Bay of Plenty MP shared more of his experience in a post on social media.

    “Sure, it had been a rough couple of days of media criticism, but I was heading home and had finished a couple of great conversations with mentors and supporters. I was looking forward to seeing my wife and kids before a day out in my electorate.

    “It started with an intense prickling sensation in my head, followed by what I would describe as ‘waves’ of anxiety.” He said the panic attacks kept coming “with even more ferocity”, and didn't cease “no matter what” he tried. “Stretching, yoga or calming apps on my phone, nothing could stop the waves of anxiety and dread that would start the moment I woke up.

    “I could tell it was impacting my performance so I was prescribed sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medication if needed to get through the weekdays in Parliament. At least this would get me through to maybe five hours sleep a night, maybe enough to function.”

    Good to see him sharing his experience of the physiology. Lotsa folk still deny the mind/body interface. For a conservative to specify how it affected him makes him a valuable role model to help other conservatives get real. Farmers, especially!

    • Cinny 14.1

      Will never forget the Dr that prescribed me sleeping pills to help with severe depression when the girls were 3 and 5yrs old.

      Take one at 4pm the Dr said…. fell asleep on the couch at 4.30pm kids couldn't wake me no matter how hard they tried, not good for a single parent. Thankfully Mum turned up out of the blue and helped with the girls while I continued to be zombied out. Never took one again. Useless Dr.

      I went to that Dr 13 times asking for help in under 6mths, her solution, sleeping pills. Changed Dr's after that, finally got some real help along with counselling which changed my life.

      Glad mental health is coming out in the opening, it's so important to have these conversations and share experiences.

    • millsy 14.2

      I wondered if he really wanted to be National leader in the first place, maybe he was badgered into it.

    • Gabby 14.3

      We shouldn't discount a guilty conscience. Todd Mk 3 being a man of god and all.

  13. joe90 15

    It's 2020. Of course it'll become deadlier.

    Scientists in Houston on Wednesday released a study of more than 5,000 genetic sequences of the coronavirus that reveals the virus’s continual accumulation of mutations, one of which may have made it more contagious.

    The new report, however, did not find that these mutations have made the virus deadlier or changed clinical outcomes. All viruses accumulate genetic mutations, and most are insignificant, scientists say.

    • greywarshark 15.1

      Perhaps it's something in the water there. They should do a study on how Flint residents are getting on.

    • RedLogix 15.2

      Hilarious. Chris Martenson reported on the D614G mutation months ago … sometime back in June .

      • joe90 15.2.1

        A more infectious mutation going from being detected in 70% of global infections to a 99.9 percent prevalence in a particular location sure is hilarious.


        • RedLogix

          Hilarious in the /sarc sense that it takes this long for useful information to get into the public domain. At this rate the importance of Vit D and C will probably hit the media sometime in the New Year.

          I'll constrain my comments to this; in the course of this pandemic I've seen a number of issues on which my confidence in the integrity of the medical system has been severely shaken. It looks very much to me that a combination of professional arse covering, gross politicisation of the science, and an industry desire to find a nice profitable solution to COVID have muddied the waters badly. And probably cost not only 100's thousand of lives, but deeply dented the global economy in ways we are yet to discover.

          NZ has been served relatively well by it's govt Health System, but elsewhere the entire episode has been a shameful wake up call.

          • Andre

            A quick google turns up actually authoritative sources discussing the D614G mutation back at least as far as May.


            edit: similarly back in May for the correlation between vitamin d deficiency and worse covid outcomes.


            But I haven’t seen anything that suggests taking vitamin d if you’re not deficient has any benefit.

            • RedLogix

              So why has it taken damn nearly six months for the importance of the D614G mutation’s increased infectivity (Martenson talked in terms of a factor of 4) to hit the mainstream media?

              Given that 40% of North Americans and 80% of Black Americans are Vit D deficient, and the numbers are typically higher among the elderly, then yes there is a strong case for supplementation. It should have been made mandatory for all care home residents ages ago.

              In terms of evidence there is the preliminary Spanish clinical trial referenced here a few weeks back, plus two very large Israeli observational correlation studies, all of which confirm what has been known, as you say since May, that Vit D plays an important role in preventing serious outcomes.

              In terms of treatment of hospital cases, the Spanish clinical study found that a derivative of Vit D that is immediately available to the body, gave a strong indication of being an effective tool in the treatment arsenal. Apparently a larger follow up trial is in the pipeline, but hell this is really good news if it’s confirmed.

              Vit D supplementation is cheap, safe and could have massively blunted the impact of this pandemic months ago. You have to ask why it wasn't at least trialed on a substantial scale by some govt, somewhere. But no, we all have to wait for an expensive vaccine it seems.

              • Poission

                Much more problematic is the recent corona express flight from managed QF in chch to AK.

                An update on the case of the man who left MIQ in Christchurch having returned negative tests for COVID-19 and then tested positive in Auckland.

                There were 86 people on that flight. 70 have returned negative results, 6 were previously reported positive cases that do not require further testing; 3 are recently reported positive cases, 7 are pending.



                • RedLogix

                  Without gainsaying all of this above, can you also tell us about the false positive rate for the PCR testing, and the impact this has on case rates?

                  • Poission

                    As all positive tests also have genomic sequencing,you need to be a bit more expansive on the question.(are you suggesting cross contamination / etc)

                • SPC

                  Much worse the tourism to Taupo by those infected. This is potentially the beginning of the end of our return to level 1 this year.

              • Gabby

                Cheap. There you go. Who's getting rich off that?

              • SPC

                Vitamin D and sleep are vital to immunity – esp T cells.

                Yup every rest home should blood test and issue supplements in the most effective form. Everyone infected should be blood tested and if Vit D levels are low they get a real big booster.

                Every primary care service to

                • SPC

                  Maori should test and prescribe to those with low levels. And those over 50 should take it through winter (as they do not get as much off the skin as younger people do in summer).

                  What you have not heard about yet in MSM – is something in the bmj – British Medical Journal.

                  Some people seem to have immunity to this coronavirus – and they are people who have never been infected (never had any antibodies).

                  (PS Swine flu 2009 – those born before 1949 seemed to have immunity to that).

      • swordfish 15.2.2

        Despite coming in for a silly bit of flak here back in early Feb, Chris Martenson has always been well ahead of the game. Works from the principle: Perfect is the enemy of Good … in a fast-moving Pandemic, don't wait for peer-reviewed perfection … just go with the available emerging data & make a judgement call on the veracity of each … adapt to new info as you go. Consequently, 6 months ahead of WHO / CDC & even a couple of months ahead of the otherwise wonderful John Campbell (except, perhaps, on Vitamin D … I started getting Vit D supplements for both us & my Parents back in mid-Feb on advice from Campbell). Between them, Martenson & Campbell have been required viewing this year.

        • RedLogix

          Yes. Someone in a YT comment thread said that they regarded Martenson as a 'leading indicator' and Campbell as a 'lagging indicator', but when they both started saying the same thing you had to be reasonably confident of the information.

          Perfect is the enemy of Good … in a fast-moving Pandemic, don't wait for peer-reviewed perfection … just go with the available emerging data & make a judgement call on the veracity of each … adapt to new info as you go.

          Absolutely. In a crisis demanding impractical standards of evidence is fatal; it's a form of 'paralysis by analysis'.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Does Dr Martenson still believe that Covid-19 is an artificial (engineered) virus?

          Human attention is drawn to novelty, to things that are new and unexpected,” says Aral. “We gain in status when we share novel information because it looks like we're in the know, or that we have access to inside information.

          Martenson's recent advice on taking vitamin D supplements to maintain and/or improve one's immune system seem sound, and certainly 99% of nutritionists would agree. It's a beautiful day and the sun is shining – time for a morning walk.

          "Importantly, toxicity isn’t common and occurs almost exclusively in people who take long-term, high-dose supplements without monitoring their blood levels. It’s also possible to inadvertently consume too much vitamin D by taking supplements that contain much higher amounts than are listed on the label. In contrast, you cannot reach dangerously high blood levels through diet and sun exposure alone."

          Chapter 24 – Vitamin D and Immunity (in Foods and Dietary Supplements in the Prevention and Treatment of Disease in Older Adults , published 2015)

          "This chapter focuses on the current understanding of vitamin D and immunity, with special attention to the elderly. Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency are common among the elderly population. Vitamin D plays an immunoregulatory role in innate and adaptive immunity, and low vitamin D status has been implicated in the etiology of immune disorders, such as infectious diseases as well as some autoimmune disorders. As summarized here, the aging of the immune system is well documented and indicates that both innate and adaptive immunity are impaired with increasing age. Nutritional intervention with vitamin D seems to be a valid approach to delay the deterioration of the immune system with increasing age. Based on promising results in targeting some of the impairments of the immune system in older people, supplementation with vitamin D seems to be one strategy in attempting to increase not only the lifespan but also the health span of this increasing elderly proportion of the global population."

          • RedLogix

            Does Dr Martenson still believe that Covid-19 is an artificial (engineered) virus?

            I watched Martenson's arguments on this in detail. In short I agree with him that there are too many unusual aspects to this virus to make the official story that it evolved completely in nature to be a satisfactory answer.

            Of course no-one has proof of it being 'engineered' either, that would demand a standard of evidence we're very unlikely to ever get. It remains as far as I'm concerned an open question.

            As for all the biotech people insisting it has to have been naturally evolved, you have to keep in mind that if it wasn't, this would be an absolutely catastrophe for their profession. It would be a loss of credibility far worse than Chernobyl was for the nuclear industry, so yes I do think there are some strong motivations at work here.

            The same for why various cheap and effective treatments have been downplayed as well, or why the science around HCQ was so crazily politicised … again questionable motivations at work.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              Martenson no doubt believed that Covid-19 was an artificial (engineered) virus when he was writing about that hypothesis months ago. I'd like to know if he still believes that, i.e. has he reaffirmed his opinion in the last few weeks?

              It would be interesting, for example, to know his view(s) on the 14 Sept. Yan report, just as it would be interesting to understand why some believe that various cheap, if unproven treatments for Covid-19 infections have been “downplayed” as the official global Covid-19 death toll approaches its first million.

              • RedLogix

                I'd like to know if he still believes that, i.e. has he reaffirmed his opinion in the last few weeks?

                In the past few weeks Martenson has said that he's going to wind up his COVID coverage and shift his focus back to his main interest which is resilience and thriving in uncertain times. (He's really got a lot more in common with most Greenies than anyone else.) Absent any new information on where COVID came from I doubt he'll have anything to add to what he's said already.

                I would guess that his position right now is similar to the one I expressed above.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Thanks RL; while I disagree with Martenson's previously expressed opinion on a hypothetical artificial origin for Covid-19, this January 2019 statement of his certainly rings true to me.

                  "For both the elite and the majority, their entire world view and their personal sense of self depends on things not crumbling all around them, so they remain willfully blind to any evidence to the contrary."

    • Andre 16.1

      President Pussygrabber would sign that law so fast the Sharpie would start smoking. Especially if it named him the Chief Inspector.

  14. Peter 17

    Breaking story on RNZ 4:00 news!!!

    Judith Collins is upset the All Blacks may be in isolation at Christmas.

    THE WORLD IS ENDING !! Jesus wept.

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