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Open mike 25/03/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, March 25th, 2020 - 155 comments
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155 comments on “Open mike 25/03/2020”

  1. I’d like to initiate some discussion over the idea of ‘flattening the curve’, herd immunity, and the immediate future of New Zealand.

    It seems from what I’ve read, that flattening the curve really entails the same large number of casualties spread over a longer period of time so our hospitals can cope. And herd immunity doesn’t kick in until 70 – 80% of the population has had the disease and recovered (or not).

    Either way, that future is dire for this country.

    But what if the government has, in fact, acted quickly enough, aided by our island geographical location and we do manage to suppress Covid-19 in the next month?

    It will still be raging in other parts of the globe – which would mean life could, more or less, return to ‘normal’ in NZ (minus a tourist industry) but we would still have to be shut off from the rest of the world – until a vaccine can give us that immunity.

    A vaccine is 12 months to 18 months away – so we should be thinking about how we will cope with at least a year without real contact with the rest of the world.

    Or will we pat ourselves on our collective backs after a month, open up our borders so we can return to life before the pandemic, and probably experience a second wave of Covid-19?


    NB – always assuming there is an ‘economy’ in which to be ‘normal.’

    • Andre 1.1

      Flattening the curve results in more or less the same number of infections spread over a longer period (assuming no vaccine or other preventative becomes available), but reduces the number of casualties and long-term disabilities because the healthcare system is not so badly overwhelmed and can provide comprehensive care to more of the victims. And buys time to develop vaccines, develop therapies that reduce the severity of the disease, and even just properly test potential therapies that have been hyped on the basis of limited sketchy anecdotes.

      Even without re-opening our borders early (please god, don't), the risks from relaxing self-isolation and physical distancing prematurely are severe.


      • Anne 1.1.1

        Even without re-opening our borders early (please god, don't), the risks from relaxing self-isolation and physical distancing prematurely are severe.

        Lets be grateful we have a Jacinda Ardern-led government because under their guidance thus far, it is far less likely to happen.

        Imagine if it had been the other lot.

      • bill 1.1.2

        Flattening the curve results in more or less the same number of infections spread over a longer period

        That's the case for a strategy of "social distancing". But with a "shelter in place" strategy (the one rolling out as form today) the total number of infections can be hugely reduced. Hugely…

    • AB 1.2

      If you flatten the curve a lot, then potentially the total area under the curve is less by the time a vaccine is available.

    • A 1.3

      I predict that NZ will handle this better than most. [Side note: I also predict that although it is scientifically improbable the virus itself will be gone from the world in a matter of months, but there will be so many other issues it will barely be noted]

      There will be a drive towards internal tourism, and possibly a temporary reallocation of staff to other industries…maybe working to solve our housing crisis takes priority over welcoming visitors? That would be good to see.

      Farming – focus will shift on how to preserve large amounts of food with an eye to possible export later, but it could be used for the domestic population (we are about to see crazy things happening with the food chain overseas that will promote this idea).

      Int Freight – this will be kept in quarantine for weeks rather than moving it asap.

      Antibiotics – these may be produced here in NZ due to ongoing global instability.

      Your community – communities move to be as self sustaining as possible, with work either from home or a short walk away, sharing of backyards for gardens, looking after each other. Essentially the crisis or as per my prediction above many of them drive people in this direction naturally.

      • weka 1.3.1

        "There will be a drive towards internal tourism, and possibly a temporary reallocation of staff to other industries"

        Permanent reallocation I think. We need to future proof our economy, make it more diverse and less reliant on vulnerable industries (tourism was already vulnerable because of CC but few wanted to talk about it). There are lots of things needing to be done that we can create jobs around (many local food businesses, ecological restoration, climate mitigation, people centred support)

        I'd like to see NZers go back to having holidays rather than artificially creating a tourism industry that needs people to be moving around a lot to sustain itself. There is a huge opportunity here to rethink how we do things across many areas, and to create truly sustainable economies, rather than the top down ones we've been using.

      • Anne 1.3.2

        I'm with you here A.

        Not sure about the eradication of the virus so quickly, but the rest of it would be a godsend. And I agree, once the benchmarks have been set people will start to follow them naturally.

        Sorry rich pricks, but your days of fleecing other people for personal gain regardless of the consequences are hopefully numbered.

        • weka

          "Sorry rich pricks, but your days of fleecing other people for personal gain regardless of the consequences are hopefully numbered."

          You can say that again 😀

    • weka 1.4

      "flattening the curve really entails the same large number of casualties spread over a longer period of time so our hospitals can cope."

      I think others have addressed this, but reiterating that flattening the curve saves lives (for a number of reasons).

      Yes, I think it's reasonable to assume we won't be going back to BAU any time soon. I don't think ever, and I think we need to be thinking about how to transition into something we actually want. This is a really big opportunity for NZ and all humans.

    • bill 1.5

      It seems from what I’ve read, that flattening the curve really entails the same large number of casualties spread over a longer period of time so our hospitals can cope. And herd immunity doesn’t kick in until 70 – 80% of the population has had the disease and recovered (or not).

      I placed a link up yesterday on that front. Here it is again. (Hit any state in the map, ignore the sign up box, and scroll up for the modeling)

      Essentially then, there is one strategy that "flattens the curve" and it involves a 70% infection rate and many deaths – ie, herd immunity.

      Then there's the NZ response which, if everyone adhered to it, could mean a single digit infection rate.

      Thing is (well, there are a couple of things), NZ might not have moved fast enough. The lock-down has that gaping supermarket hole (and others besides). People don't seem to understand the potential of a successful lock-down. I know that I didn't, and most people who've shared their understanding with me didn't – so there's the messaging coming from government.

      • weka 1.5.1

        Good graphic.

        Pretty sure that the NZ government is working on the premise of widespread transmission now. Hence shut down to flatten the curve so that our health system doesn't get overloaded. I think we're still in a good position to manage this, but there will be some shock with the first deaths and as people adjust to the realities (of covid and the social/work disruptions). We've come a long way in the past 2 weeks though.

        Herd immunity as a strategy at this stage isn't about flattening the curve. It's about letting the curve peak now and sucking up the chaos, death and suffering this causes (eg the UK).

        Long term herd immunity is a different issue, and I'm not sure we know yet how that will play out. There are factors like how fast the virus is mutating and how quickly humans develop varying levels of immunity to a new organism. Have you seen the graphs with the peaks and troughs as waves of covid move through a population? 70% for herd immunity still leaves 30% still to be exposed, and some of those people will be at risk.

        Agreed that there are too many people that don't get it yet. It takes time for people to get their heads around it. After today this will change, because there will be much more social and state enforcement (people who aren't up to speed will have consequences).

        • bill

          Pretty sure that the NZ government is working on the premise of widespread transmission now.

          A Shelter in Place strategy, like what the government is trying, is not a strategy that assumes widespread transmission. Thing is, I don't get the disconnect between the strategy and the messaging.

          Plenty of places have managed to eradicate COVID 19 without 'achieving' herd immunity – Vietnam, China, S. Korea….

          From what I can tell, they have achieved eradication via the very same Shelter in Place type strategies this government is trying.

          I know a number of people who will likely die if they get infected. Until I understood the possible effect of the different strategies, I was assuming their chances of life simply diminished with time. Not so.

          But if people continue to think the end goal is 'herd immunity', then many people likely won't adhere to the Shelter in Place strategy. Why would they, if they're going to get infected anyway, and there's a fair chance their own infection will be fairly mild?

          Unless that site I linked is absolute tosh (and I really don't think that it is) then the government needs to up its messaging game immediately.

          • weka

            "A Shelter in Place strategy, like what the government is trying, is not a strategy that assumes widespread transmission. Thing is, I don't get the disconnect between the strategy and the messaging."

            Our version of shut down presumes that 1) there is community transmission and 2) we need to contain that so that the hospital system doesn't get overloaded.

            But, we can't stay in shut down forever, and I doubt we can manage it for the 12 – 18 months until we get a vaccine. And that vaccine will likely still be non-perfect ie community transmission will still happen. Just a lot slower.

            By widespread community transmission I mean that at some point it will be in most places. I don't think we can stop that, but we can slow it, hence flattening the curve.

            I don't mean we will end up like the US, Italy, Uk etc. Also, there's the ratio of infections to our health system capacity (I don't have a good sense of that yet).

            Not sure what you mean by eradicate there. I don't think anyone is thinking eradication once it's in the community. South Korea is still getting new clusters afaik. Our shut down isn't like what China did, but they haven't reopened everything yet, so we will see. They're still getting infection from inbound travellers too.

            Re messaging, I think the flatten the curve one is still the way to go. The basis of it is to keep our health system functioning (not just for covid but for anything), and to prevent unnecessary deaths. I'm sure more could be done on messaging too.

            Are people in NZ talking about herd immunity as a strategy?

            • bill

              Language is maddening.

              'Every' country has had community transmission. Some countries fell back on their experience with SARS and rolled out a version of NZ's current strategy. As a result, the likes of Vietnam are not getting new cases in the hundreds or in the thousands. (According to WHO figures, the total figure for Vietnam is 123 cases) Yes, inbound travelers are likely re-introducing the virus – causing smaller local flareups that get stomped on.

              Social Distancing is akin to the herd immunity (non) strategy insofar as it only slows the final and inevitable arrival of 'herd immunity' levels of infection in the population

              Shelter in Place is about the infection never reaching herd immunity levels. Shelter in Place, if adhered to, obviously also lessens the burden on health services (flattens the curve), and equally obviously does not rely on a vaccine becoming available.

              Covid can be stamped out if it has no available vectors for spread – which is what Shelter in Place attempts to do and, it seems, can achieve.

              Is it a "one hit" strategy? No. I'd be saying it's a "rinse and repeat" one – but with each repeat being in a more localised area since we'll be getting ahead of it instead of sitting back and "waiting to see" as many"western" countries have done, and Asian countries didn't.

              edit – if we ‘blow’ this current strategy, we will most assuredly wind up exactly like the UK, Europe and N America btw

              • weka

                Flattening the curve is precisely to prevent us becoming like UK, Europe and the US. UK, Italy, and the US fucked up, we haven't (thus far).

                Reading what McFlock says before, Shelter in Place in NZ seems to have two aims. One is to try and remove all community transmission. Two is to flatten the curve if we can't do that. The former may or may not be possible.

                If we do remove all community transmission, then there would be a very big change to how we live our lives in relation to the rest of the world (not a bad thing, needed to happen, but still very big change).

                I'm not sure that the stomping it out from a place that has lots of community transmission is possible. Vietnam looks more like NZ in terms of what stage it is at (small number of cases, doesn't know yet what is going to happen). It hasn't had a large outbreak and then contained it.

                In terms of countries that have had large outbreaks and then used localised shut downs to contain it, I'm thinking that this is more about the peaks and troughs thing until most people have been exposed, but there are so many variables that we just don't know yet. Hard to imagine Asia becoming covid free entirely, but will be interested to see how knowledge and theory develop around this.

                • bill

                  Vietnam didn't have the large outbreak, because Vietnam launched effective strategies right off the bat. So did other places. The NZ response may or may not have been timely enough. We’ll see.

                  It's a no brainer that Shelter in Place "flatten the curve", but the idea is also to keep infection levels well below what they they would be with "social distancing'' measures that result, eventually, in levels of infection of 70% or so (ie, whatever the herd immunity level may be for COVID)

                  If the Shelter in Place strategy falls over, then the curve will likely still be flattened, but health services will probably be overwhelmed at some point – ie, the situation will begin to resemble a "social distance" scenario.

            • McFlock

              Herd immunity only works if reinfection is not a significant probability. This might be in doubt.

              Physical distancing and handwashing is essentially lowering the R0 of an infectious disease: rather than each contagious person infecting 10 people, they might only infect 3. So while the cycle between catching it and infecting others takes the same amount of time, it doesn't snowball so much and gives contact tracers time to have an effect.

              I am not privy to the decision-making of the powers that be, but it's worth noting that we have only 4 cases where community transmission is likely, the rest have direct links to overseas travel. It is the latter that is dramatically increasing. So I suspect level 4 is to eliminate the nascent community transmission while we can, and also to lower the threat from the returning NZers. But I don't think it's because loads of NZers are about to be infected out of the blue (well, depending on how closely they queued for bogroll and ammunition).

              • weka

                thanks, I had been assuming it was out there but we hadn't caught up with the testing yet and the lag between exposure and active illness. Do you mean that we might actually eliminate community transmission altogether? What happens after that?

                • McFlock

                  I think it's a hope, and not entirely fanciful.

                • Andre

                  If we get really lucky and eliminate community transmission so we get through this with almost all of NZ avoiding exposure to the virus, but the rest of the world ends up more or less going the herd exposure and subsequent immunity route, that's going to have implications for our isolation. As in, we will need to stay very strongly isolated because we will always be vulnerable to an outbreak. Until there's a vaccine.

                • McFlock

                  Yeah I was working off the report of the daily briefing.

                  "more were suspected" or whatever the wording was could be 2, could be 20. But I reckon we're still in with a chance of knocking it on the head, because we don't suddenly have clusters of 25 or thirty appearing out of the blue, meaning dozens of undetected carriers.

                  • weka

                    that's good news, in which case Bill's point about messaging may be right, although there's still no accounting for stupid and even the most perfect govt response can't control that.

                    • McFlock

                      I'm pretty cool with the messaging so far. Sheltering in place can't be anywhere close to 100%, but it changes the default from "I'll quickly do this" to "why are you out?". So next-level physical distancing, not complete solitude.

                      People are slowly learning to queue on the sticker on the floor, too.

              • bill

                (well, depending on how closely they queued for bogroll and ammunition).

                Not to mention the "hordes" that shut down SH1 by 'mobbing' KFC and McDs the other day.

                I suspect if the messaging had been strongly along the lines of "this might mean a 15% infection rate" instead of (it seems) allowing people to assume the virus was going to run it's course and infect most people one way or another, then maybe (just maybe) there would have fewer "devil may care" people at KFC and gun stores etc.

                • McFlock

                  I dunno. Stoopid gonna stoop. Talk of 15% would have just caused more fights over KFC and more ammo sold to the nuts.

                  • bill

                    You reckon? Don't think it might have helped to get people on side and willfully acting for the greater good?

                    Anyway. This is where we are.

                    • McFlock

                      I think there are precipitously-diminishing returns in the efforts required to optimise messaging for people whose first instinct is to hoard toilet paper.

  2. Anker 2

    My most optimistic thought as we go into self isolation, which according to one poll, a massive 93% of us want, is that we halt the disease here. Possible because after two months in wuhan only one new case in the last week.
    if we then keep our boarders closed and quarantine all kiwis coming back from overseas,gradually we will be able to come out of isolation and I have this hopeful idea that then maybe by spring we can all start holidaying in our own country. Places like Queenstown out of reach for many NZders now a possibility. Gradually this will help pick the economy up (holidaying in NZ rather than overseas travel just like N Z in thr sixties). We would have to stop kiwis travelling abroad though

    • A 2.1

      I haven't been to Qt in years. Would be good to go visit their legendary Sallies store.

  3. Andre 3

    Pharmaceutical disaster capitalism. Anyone wanna place bets on how many members of the nepotistic kakistocracy indulged in a little insider trading before this rort went through?


    • joe90 3.1

      And do my dough?

      . And an aide to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sold off stock in companies including Delta Airlines in late January and later bought stock in Clorox, Inc., which makes bleach and sanitary wipes.


      Other members stand to make money off companies working to combat the disease. Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) purchased between $1,001 and $15,000 of stock in the pharmaceutical company AbbVie Inc., on Feb. 27, the day the company released a statement saying it had donated one of its antiviral drugs to China as an experimental option for treating the coronavirus and that it was exploring a research collaboration on potential treatment options


      Scott Sloofman, a top communications aide in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office, purchased stock in a company that could wind up being instrumental in the fight against the coronavirus in late January: Moderna, Inc., which is now testing the first vaccine for the disease in Washington state.


      Sarah Holmes, New Hampshire-based state director to New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and a longtime aide to the senator, sold between $1,001 and $15,000 worth of stock in Delta Airlines on Jan. 24, as lawmakers were beginning to be clued into the forthcoming crisis.

      Holmes traded out two stocks a week later, on Jan. 29, then on Feb. 27 made two purchases that could prove advantageous in the weeks ahead: Holmes purchased between $15,001 and $50,000 of stock in each of two more companies, the pharmaceutical company Gilead, Inc. — which makes remdesivir, a drug that is currently being tested to treat coronavirus — and wipe manufacturer Clorox.


  4. Cinny 4

    Please don't forget to check on elderly neighbours.

    Make sure you have their phone numbers. They maybe scared and need reassurance.

    • A 4.1

      Thanks Cinny.

      • Cinny 4.1.1

        Printed off a number of info sheets etc today and dropped them in the letterboxes of my elderly neighbours as some aren't that internet savvy. They were rapt.

        When I spoke to them last night, they were all prepared, but they were scared.

  5. joe90 5

    @ mods, looks like we're all in for a long haul, so how about a place to post our distractions de jour?

    • Cinny 5.1

      That's a great idea Joe

    • weka 5.2

      Good idea. I was thinking that when we go into full shut down mode tomorrow we could have a post/thread for our equivalent of the Italians singing to each other. I'll chat to the other authors and see what can be organised.

  6. Anker 6

    Love the clip of Springsteen Joe 90…. arh back in the innocent days when the crowds had no idea about social distancing

  7. pat 7

    with Covid-19 and the shutdown dominating eveyones thoughts at the moment I almost missed this piece of cherry news


  8. joe90 8

    The biggest game changer in the history of medicine.

  9. joe90 9

    As peachy AF.

    The coronavirus survived for up to 17 days aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, living far longer on surfaces than previous research has shown, according to new data published Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


    • joe90 9.1

      Dude's in his early thirties and probably has the constitution of an ox.

      2/ I have been struggling with Covid-19 for 14 days today. By far the worst virus I have ever endured despite being a healthy individual with strong lungs(no smoking/sport), living a healthy lifestyle and being young (least at risk demographic)

      3/ Although the most severe symptoms(extreme fever) have eased, I am still struggling with serious fatigue and a residual cough that I can’t shake. Any physical activity like walking leaves me exhausted for hours.


    • joe90 9.2

      As peachy AF.


  10. Treetop 10

    Some questions are coming up for me?

    Is Trade Me going to remain open to buy a heater or a radio?

    I tried 10 places to buy a thermometer yesterday and I could not locate one. Chemists could not say when new stock would arrive. I tried other outlets as well.

    Is it not essential for those working to have a thermometer at home or to have access to one at work?

    Will ACC reviews still be held?

    A case conference is different. I was pissed off as I had one full days notice by the mediator for the case conference which involved 122 pages. I did not attend. Also I tried a few big law firms to get a lawyer and no success.

    • weka 10.1

      Good questions. Have TM put up any advisories? Afaik couriers will be operational but I'm unclear if there will be limits on this.

      Imo, thermometers this week should be prioritised for medical staff, then people with pre-existing conditions. Like other things, supplies will even out over time, but I'm guessing we don't have a thermometer for everyone in NZ that needs one. Unless pharma supply companies keep a stock for pandemic purposes. Again, the information about this should be more readily available as time goes on.

      Re reviews and such, I'd leave them alone until things settle down. We may find that things settled into a post-chaotic pattern next week or so as people and systems adjust.

      Just my thoughts.

    • millsy 10.2

      You should be able to buy stuff from Trademe, but when you will get it is another matter.

    • mauī 10.3

      New Zealand Post is stopping all over the counter services from midnight tonight. Their mail and courier delivery will continue though.

      You should be ok if you buy a thermometer from a large Trademe seller as they probably have a work around or a courier picks up all their orders without face to face contact.

      • ianmac 10.3.1

        A note from Trademe says that sales can continue for items under 25kg and buyers should use the built in courier service, though the delivery time might be longer.

        • Graeme

          We’ve had emails from Courier Post and Aramex (Fastway) in the last few days saying they will only be picking up from businesses providing essential services, and asking us to register as such.
          With that in mind I’d say the chances of

          TradeMe being online much longer are very slim. The potential for transmission would be too much for second hand goods and new would have to be from registered providers of essential services

          • weka

            Have they said if that will be phased in? eg they will deliver what is already in transit/ordered this week?

            • Graeme

              Here's the Aramex notice

              Although Aramex New Zealand will continue to operate business as usual, we are now required to abide by this new set of guidelines by limiting collections to essential services only until advised otherwise.

    • veutoviper 10.4

      Treetop, I haven't got time right now to check the ACC links below for details re ACC reviews, but hope the links may help you. I note that while they are closing as ACC is not considered an essential service, you can still contact them with questions preferably by email.

      General information


      For Clients


      Hope these links help.

      • Treetop 10.4.1

        With a case conference the mediator organises it and ACC and the client agree to a time. ACC did not contact me to agree to a time and date. Also the mediator is the person who organised the review date. Last week mediator co ordinator rang to say no face to face reviews and I asked for them to email the process. Also I have been waiting 3 weeks for ACC to tell me when they emailed the mediator about a case conference.

        I know when the mediator got the documents.

        I want to know when ACC first raised a case conference with the mediator?

        ACC case worker did not keep proper records or allow me enough time. I told them that I want the case to go smoothly.

        At some point my case will become public if not handled properly. Now is not the time for that.

        I feel that urgent reform is required for historical sexual violation/rape in childhood. Any form of sexual assault also needs to be addressed.

  11. A 11

    This deals with the problem of people coughing deliberately on others. (US)

    Governor Phil Murphy said at a Tuesday afternoon news conference that the man got into a dispute with an employee of a Wegmans store sometime on Monday.

    "He coughed on the woman and told her, after doing so, that he had coronavirus," Murphy said.

    The man then refused to give police his name or driver's license for more than 40 minutes. It happened at the Wegmans on Route 9 in Manalapan.

    The man, who was not identified, now faces charges of making a terroristic threat, harassment, and obstruction of justice.

    "We will not take any non-compliant behavior," Murphy warned.


  12. Carolyn_Nth 12

    So, with my scratchy throat (on antibiotics) the GP said to self isolate and not interact with others.

    I got an email from my local post office saying there is mail in my PO Box today. So, I guess I wait til next week til I can go and collect my mail? Should be OK under lock down rules?

    The GP indicated I should be pretty OK to attend the GPS flu clinic next Tuesday for a flu shot. She booked me into a session for people who are well. They have other flu clinics reserved for sick people.

    The emails are a very good service, and the PO sends me one whenever I receive mail into my PO Box.

    • millsy 12.1

      Perhaps there is someone who can pick it up for you..??

      • Carolyn_Nth 12.1.1

        Maybe, but I am a bit loathe to ask for more help than I need. I can't imaging there's anything in my mail that needs urgent attention at this time.

        • weka

          I think next week it will become clearer how we manage all these things. I'm in the same situation re PO Box.

          • Carolyn_Nth

            Tend to agree, weka. I don't always collect PO Box mail the day I am notified. Others probably are now clearing the boxes less often. The main rule for PO Boxes is not to have too much mail in a box at any one time.

            The GP asked me to stay away from other people on the outside chance I may have THE virus, and could pass it on to others. Even passing my key over to someone else could pass on said virus.

            I think it's more likely I have strep throat, but the GP said, in phone consultation, she'd normally do a throat swab to check it is bacterial. But this is not the normal situation. She also said if I did happen to be THE virus, it was a mild dose and my underlying health is good. So she wasn't going to get me tested – but to notify them if my condition declines.

            This is all to do with how under pressure GPs and the health system is right now. There's probably more people like me contacting them about their mild conditions.

  13. joe90 13

    for those who for whatever reason reckon Carlson gets it..

    • millsy 13.1

      Tucker's position is hardly suprising given that he has been the enthusiastic cheerleader for a system that ensures that millions go without health care or housing and are just left to flounder around on their own in the name of the economy.

      • greywarshark 13.1.1

        The attention of all in USA is on a few people who apparently know about viruses and how to fight them, and have education and the background to underpin their pronouncements about the matter, for the people's understanding and assistance.

        The elected pollies are probably part-time real estate agents. There are 535 or so all up in main body of pollies I think called the Congress.


        This is the number that enables them to make a really good fist of messing everything up. Too many cooks …I think. And then there are all the workers who try to carry out the program that the cooks dream up.

        <i>According to the Office of Personnel Management, as of December 2011, there were approximately 2.79 million civil servants employed by the U.S. government.</i>


        <i>As of 2016, there are around 4,000 political appointment positions which an incoming administration needs to review, and fill or confirm, of which about 1,200 require Senate confirmation.</i>


  14. Robert Guyton 14

    Plants to help weather the storm.

  15. Treetop 15

    My understanding is that if a review is not held within the 3 month time frame you have to restart the process. There is something about if it is the error of ACC with the time frame.

    Even having access to scan documents for a review is an issue.

    This is not a priority for me but I do not have a lot of energy for the ACC process in normal times, yet alone a crisis with an unknown outcome.

    • Treetop 15.1

      Sorry moderator this is out of sequence. Could you please put it in the right place.

      [lprent: I’m the only person who could move comments within a post because I’m the only one who currently has database access. I don’t do it because it does nasty things to the numbering system. It can sometimes can screw up the entire hierarchical structure of the comments. Also it is a lot of work.

      I wrote a routine to allow moderators to move entire parts of the commentary tree to OpenMike. That took me about about 3 days to do perfectly. If I did that at my usual company charge out rates then that would be a significiant amount of money. ]

      • Incognito 15.1.1


        • veutoviper

          Relates to TT's comment at 10. I expect that all ACC reviews etc have been/will be suspended over this period – probably through the urgent emergency legislation going through the House this afternoon.

          I posted a couple of ACC Covid-19 links at 10.4 for TT but now see TT’s reply refers to historic sexual assault/rape. IIRC this has been an ongoing subject for TT here on TS for some years.

          • Incognito


          • Treetop

            You are correct about the sexual offending having been raised by me.

            There has been some progress. The main thing now is the date of injury. Recently a case in Invercargill which has similarities but a twist to mine as ACC has a contract with a DHB for counselling in 2001. I want to fit into the 1982-1992 legislation. The Invercargill case ACC has the discretion to back date more than 12 months.

            You are covered from the date which you first recieve treatment for the injury being treated.

            But the disclosure got missed on my file notes, not my error.

            Also there are 3 lots of legislation I may come under.

            People have enough to worry about at present.

            • veutoviper

              Cheers, Treetop

              Hang in there.

              • Treetop

                This is my last attempt and I ain't backing down.

                I also think ACC waited to see what the Invercargill decision was.

                I will be fine once I find a humanitarian lawyer.

      • weka 15.1.2

        Can't sorry. If you repost in the right place, then I can delete the duplicate (you might have to change it slightly as the system refuses duplicate comments).

        • Treetop

          I messed it up more than I thought.

          I had a good laugh at myself.

          At least you can see that I attempted to fix it😂.

      • Treetop 15.1.3

        I fully understand. I am known for doing stupid stuff.

  16. Anne 16

    Good to see Public Address is going to rev up again.

    I think Russell Brown lives in Pt Chev. which was part of my youthful stomping ground and I have a relative there, so will be good to hear his reports on how things are going in that part of Auckland.


  17. Muttonbird 17

    See this shit isn't good enough.

    Finance Minister Grant Robertson also encouraged landlords and tenants to discuss how the mortgage holiday would work.

    And it's not good enough for Renters United (bless them) to be in thrall of landlords and simply ask that they

    and tenants should be having open conversations now about how they can work together. Whether that means landlords are helping out tenants, or reducing their rent – that would be really good.

    Fucking hell, that is weak.

    The point being that this stuff isn't uniform across the board and different tenants are going to have widely different problems with their landlords behaviour.

    It's totally unacceptable for the Finance Minister and a renters’ advocacy group to palm off the problem onto already stressed out tenants and their families.

    Most landlords will take the holiday and not pass anything on to their tenants – it's left to tenants to beg for it.

    I heard Robertson yesterday saying that if employers took the wage subsidy and didn't pass it on to employees he would 'look into it personally'. The threat was real, but for tenants – well, apparently you are on your own. Nice message for those at the bottom, Grant.

    Let's have some fucking clarity please!


    I shall see what my local MP Denise Lee and the National Party thinks about this…

    • weka 17.1

      The point being that this stuff isn't uniform across the board and different tenants are going to have widely different problems with their landlords behaviour.

      It's totally unacceptable for the Finance Minister and a renters’ advocacy group to palm off the problem onto already stressed out tenants and their families.

      Here's how I see it.

      1. Labour put some things in place really quickly.
      2. it's imperfect, we need to keep raising the issues, and also account for the logistics of so many changes happening at once (best practice will take time to oranise)
      3. everyone is being asked to be kind and considerate
      4. those that can, will do so (tenants and landlords come to arrangements via having adult conversations with each other in considerate ways)
      5. those that can't will still need state assistance
      6. we will have a better idea over the next few weeks how many tenants there are that can't pay rent
      7. afaik Tenancy Services will remain open, and you can't evict tenants with no notice, so there is time to sort these issues out
      8. there will be social and economic pressure on landlords not to be arseholes. If someone can't pay rent will a landlord really want to evict them right now when it will be very hard to find new tenants?
      9. it's imperfect, there will be people who come out of this badly. Personally, I think in addition to holding the govt to account we need to focus on how we can help each other.
      • Muttonbird 17.1.1

        "Yesterday the Prime Minister assured homeowners that 'no-one would lose their home' due to COVID-19. The one-third of New Zealanders who rent need this same certainty, both during the lockdown and beyond," tenants' advocacy organisation Renters United said in a statement.

        Slightly better from RU.

        The AM Show host Duncan Garner argued that if landlords are getting mortgage holidays on their rental properties, they should not be allowed to receive rent payments.

        "That is what I would say too, Duncan, that is what I am saying to landlords today. This is an opportunity here to really come together. Give that security and assurance to your tenants," Robertson said.

        Nope, Grant. Not good enough. And what is you are unlucky enough to have a landlord who isn't taking the mortgage holiday. You're left paying full rent at this acute time due to a decision not your own.

        As landlords around the country apply for mortgage deferrals, Robertson said it's up to them to arrange "what kind of rent gets paid" with their tenants.

        "We still want people to pay the rent if they can, but we are saying to them you will not be evicted in this period," Robertson told The AM Show.

        Great, you just get evicted after this period. That must be great to look forward to when you don't have a job. And, "it's up to landlords". Fucking bullshit it's up to landlords, Grant.


        • weka

          Again, why would landlords evict when it will be very hard to get new tenants? Seriously, I'd like to know what you are thinking.

          Some landlords won't take the mortgage holiday (I don't think it's an actual holiday is it? more a deferral. I'm unclear if the deferred payments are accruing interest).

          Garner's an idiot, please stop listening to what he is saying.

          If I stopped paying rent I would end up arrears to WINZ. There are whole swathes of people that won't need rent help. Those that do, yes the govt will need to look at that, but there is no way to know what the actual situation is yet. Call their response fucking bullshit, but there still needs to be an analysis from critics in the context of the shut down.

          • Muttonbird

            This isn't a level field. Homeowners are able to reduce their housing cost to near nil while renter are faced with full rent dependent of the goodwill of their landlords alone. This places enormous stress on renting families whose household earners have lost their job.

            Don't forget homeowners can apply for the mortgage holiday and wage subsidy and accomodation supplement while renters can only only apply for the last two.

            The no-eviction for lockdown is a basic minimum but what happens at the other end, when tenants have fallen behind and are into debt with landlords and have no job? Things aren't going to look that great then, are they.

            It's not the threat of immediate eviction in the next month, it's the threat of eviction in the next 6. Homeowners have been protected from that but renters have not.

            Just want some clear rules in place, more than what are being suggested right now.

            • weka

              How long is the mortgage things? Is it no payment? Deferred payments? Is the interested being loaded on anyway and just has to be paid later?

              • Muttonbird

                Later doesn't matter. Jobs will come later. Jobs that can pay for minor increases in a mortgage spread out over 25 years.

                It's now that matters. For renters.

                Some will have the entire wage subsidy and more go in rent alone while homeowners don’t have to pay a cent. That is utter, utter rubbish.

                There needs to be a fast-tracked, easy to access, massive increase in the accomodation supplement for six months. Only applies to Covid-19 affected tenants and any voluntary rent reductions by landlords taken into account.

            • Incognito

              My understanding is that you’ll have to show a (substantial?) reduction in income when applying to your bank for a mortgage holiday. It is not a given [no pun] and banks will want (need?) to keep payments going if feasible. Whether it’ll be a matter of squeezing blood out of a stone, I don’t know and I doubt it.

              • Muttonbird

                My understanding is the government (taxpayers) is covering 80% of the risk. Banks of course will never lose anything.

                • Incognito

                  I’d be surprised if the banks’ profits increase as a result of this. Similarly, we’re all in this together; there are no windfalls for anybody unless you have a shed full (shit loads) of toilet paper. But maybe I’m not as bleak as you think I am 😉

              • The Al1en

                Thats my understanding, too @incognito, and because I earn under the $585 wage subsidy anyway, I'm sure I won't be eligible, which is fine by me – use the money for those dropping huge weekly numbers for 12 weeks.

                • weka

                  how did that work out? are you stopping work? Will you get a benefit?

                  • The Al1en

                    On Monday morning I told my boss to apply for the leave payment, as advised by the nurse who called me on Sunday night, so she applied for just the general wage subsidy instead. I would have been right pissed off with her, but then a couple of hours later was the lock down order, so ultimately no difference really, I still get to isolate on pay. once over, if there's still higher than a level two alert in place, as a vulnerable person, I'll again ask her to apply for leave.

                    To answer the other questions, yes to stopping work like all other non essentials, with the wage subsidy helping me out not a benefit yes

          • SPC

            It is a matter of identifying those who qualify for help with their rent.

            Basically all those losing normal income or their jobs entirely.

            1. where landlords seek mortgage relief because of their tenants inability to pay full rent should be only allowed to charge half rent.

            2. where landlords are still paying their mortgages (eg using sales of shares or property to pay down their mortgages), then the tenant being on wage subsidy job or moving onto the dole, then for the lockdown/duration of pandemic impact on employment should be only allowed to charge half rent.

        • Adam Ash

          Don't forget that in many/most cases the rent is used by the landlord to pay the mortgage. No rent, and the property goes up for mortgagee sale, and the tenant gets the chop. Between the tenant and the bank, the landlord is often just the meat in the sandwich, hoping to make a small income from the property while waiting (in vain these days) for some long term capital gain. Most landlords are as much victims in this as their tenants.

          • Muttonbird

            Ok, boomer.

          • SPC

            Where the landlord seeks the mortgage holiday on the grounds their tenant has hardship (loss of income and cannot pay the full rent) then the tenant should be charged no more than half rent (enough to cover rates and insurance and any property management costs).

            Others are losing income why should landlords be immune? The rents are only this high because of the market – and now the market is f*$d. Allowing landlords to charge full rent while there is no one in the market able to pay for it is …

            Now where a landlord is living off/dependent on the rental income, they can apply to the government for income support.

            • Adam Ash

              Rent is usually determined by mortgage cost + insurance + rates + maintenance plus a bit to live off. Rents are 'high' because property prices are high. But when the value of the property goes down, its rare for the mortgage cost, rates and insurance to go down, so the rent stays 'high' to cover the actual outgoings. That the market is in difficulty does not reduce the landlord's costs, so she cannot afford to reduce the rent. If no one is prepared to pay that rent, then the place remains vacant. The only option then is to sell, which usually results in expulsion of the tenant. A no-win situation all round (except for the banks, of course).

              • SPC

                Any landlord trying to charge full rent to someone who has lost their job during the pandemic is as a dangerous to themselves and society as those who refuse to self isolate because they do not have symptoms yet.

              • Herodotus

                "But when the value of the property goes down, its rare for the mortgage cost, rates and insurance to go down, "

                Competing properties that have been purchased in the down turn do have lower mortgage costs, equally properties purchased when the market was lower say 2008 also have lower mortgage costs than those purchases at the height of the property market, yet BOTH charge market rents. Same applies when interest rates reduce do we see a reduction in rents ?? 🤔🤫

              • Muttonbird

                Even I can tell that is false. Rent is determined by the market and nothing else.

                Go sit in the corner.

                • In Vino

                  As I remember, when students were given a $50 increase to their accommodation allowance, a whole bunch of Wellington landlords immediately increased the rent of flats let to students by guess how much?

                  I think that rubbishes Adam Ash's high-faluting theory.

  18. Incognito 18

    @ Alwyn, I’ve lifted the ban and apologies for the oversight.

  19. greywarshark 19

    Public business handed to private profiteers really hurts when applied to hospital parking. Wilson Parking etc is one of the tormenting terribles of NMZ's neolib 'reforms'. I could get really mad at some pollies and businesspeople.

    <i>A nurse at Auckland City Hospital says it was punch to the gut to work under the pressure of the pandemic all day then be charged $19 for car parking.</i>


    Don't spend time planning to hold a committee task force conference about it, get off your fannies and start attending to some of the anomalies that hold us to ransom in our Jewel of the South Pacific (we saved this nice bit of the world for you rich people to have as a have-n.)

  20. joe90 20

    Been told plods were called to a fight in town. In Resene's. Over paint.

  21. SPC 21

    Something under the radar. There is a vaccine against the bacteria causing pneumonia

    Angela Merkel has gone into quarantine after receiving a pneumonia vaccination from a doctor who later tested positive for the coronavirus.

    Can the public at risk of pneumonia, say those infected with COVID 19 or medical staff at risk of infection get access to this vaccine?

    • lprent 21.1

      Pneumonia would be is more of a diagnosis than a bug. You’ll usually see a statement like this related to it in medical waffle. “Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs. Bacteria, viruses, and fungi cause it.”

      covid-19 is itself a pneumonic {?sp} disease as it is an infection that targets lung cells.

      She was receiving a vaccine against one (or more) of the bacteria which cause pneumonia.

  22. Whispering Kate 23

    Is there a law against 70 plus people doing food shopping in a supermarket in NZ? A family member of mine was yesterday on a bus which left Takapuna going through to Devonport (Auckland here) and there was a lady on board andshe was in tears. She had a walker with a basket on the front and had been denied access to a supermarket in Takapuna because she was over 70. She had to get on a bus to go to the Devonport NewWorld. She told this family member of mine she was suicidal and didn't think she could carry on.

    As I write this I am on a call to the 0800 number (won't name the store) to tell them what a disgusting thing to do to an elderly lady. She wasn't there because she wanted to be – it was for food for goodness sake).

    Is there categorically a law against people over 70 food shopping. I realise we must be serious about not getting out and mingling and most will be strictly sticking to the rules. There are people who live alone, have no children living in NZ, maybe no grandchildren. For pity's sake.

    Finally got through and read them the riot act. The big wig has been informed of the situation and have been told they are not a fiefdom and law unto themselves and that it is as essential service they provide. I also told them I wouldn't hesitate to get John Campbell on to it and name and shame them. Frankly its a bloody disgrace. Sometimes this country disappoints me so much it stinks.

    • McFlock 23.1

      So how are the elderly to get groceries these days?

      • mac1 23.1.1

        This 70 year old has had no such problem at our supermarkets. But, he also has had to be the supermarket shopper for his daughter who is in isolation after returning from overseas. Since then, to make matters more complicated, I have been tested today for Covid19 since I have a cough and had a contact with my daughter at the airport. Now both of us need a supermarket shopper…… thank god for neighbours and nephews-in-law.

    • SPC 23.2

      Correct practice would have been

      1. to have a worker do the shopping for her to collect then and there and pay for.

      2. get her details and phone her back so she can make future orders for home delivery in this way (not easy to do anything on-line if she has no device or internet).

      Shops need to provide a phone order option for those over 70

      The community needs to get these people on-line and supply them with a device.

      • Whispering Kate 23.2.1

        I agree. In a perfect world they would have found a chair, sat the lady down and got a staff member to get the food items she needed. She had a walker with a basket attached so she wouldn't have been able to shop for much. This is honestly the most shitty thing that I have heard about for a long time. Fighting in the supermarkets is a gone with the moronic people who frequent them but just plain common decency has gone down the gurgler during this crisis and its frightening how callous and mean some people have become. I have done my bit and given the boss an absolute earful and threatened to name and shame them so I don't think the red neck beef heads guarding the door will be doing it again.

        • I Feel Love

          That's appalling, good on you ringing and complaining, terrifies me to think there are people going through this crap! I wish Grey Power had some kind of hotline or website where elderly could ask for help and people like me (mid 40s, happy to help) could offer assistance.

          • mac1

            Grey Power should have a local office or contact depending on the size of the local association. I'm in GP on a committee and we'd be glad to act aa an advocate with a supermarket on such an issue. With nearly 60,000 members, bad publicity would have an impact upon a rogue supermarket. The Grey Power website is easily accessed and it contains contact names and details for every association. https://greypower.co.nz/associations/

        • Anne

          There are only two supermarkets in Takapuna – one at Hauraki Corner and the other in Barrys Point Rd. Both are Countdown. Sounds like an officious 30 to 40 aged supervisor has got it all wrong. 70 plus shoppers have not been banned from anywhere including supermarkets. They have been strongly advised to stay home and get someone else to do their shopping or arrange a home delivery. Easier said than done at the moment especially if they have no relatives etc. who live close by and/or don't have computer skills. I understand trying to phone orders through has been wrought with difficulty.

          And here is the latest chart of Covid 19 patients which suggest that the 70 plus group is a good deal less than 40s, 50s and 60s:

          <a href="https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/412540/early-analysis-suggests-nz-covid-19-cases-fit-pattern-of-victims-being-older&quot;

  23. Robert Guyton 24

    James Shaw's address to Parliament is very good indeed.

  24. veutoviper 25

    Essential Services and Deliveries etc during the shutdown


    This link issued last night and updated earlier today gives a little clarity on things like online sales eg via Trade Me and also home delivery of food and non-food goods, and other goods. It is by no means complete or set in stone, and is – and will be – an ongoing exercise.

    An example – home delivery of non-cooked food eg My Food Bag OK / cooked takeaways NOT OK.

    Freight – still a lot of questions etc in this area with some carriers closing down and others ramping up their operations. I understand lots of talking/confusion is still going on in this area.

    Here are a couple of RNZ links on these services and related matters from earlier today

    This one from 08.43 this morning covers/explains the guidance release last night


    This one – an interview/answering peop[e's questions by Dr Siouxxie Wiles – covers a whole range of down to earht scenarios during the lock down, including essential services and home deliveries.


    * This area has been a 'major' for me over the last few days. I have had lots of ups and downs stresswise over the last 48 hours and talking with WINZ, F & P and Mainfreight re the urgent delivery from Auckland to Wellington of a new washing machine to beat tonight's deadline. Will post on this separately later, LOL !

  25. observer 26

    Ardern shows remarkable patience in these media conferences. Some Chicken Little questions from the journos.

    Somebody asked if we should be worried about seeing military vehicles on the street.

    "No, but in Italy there are long convoys of military vehicles on the street. They're used to transport hundreds of dead bodies. Worry about that" …

    is what she didn't say, but I wanted to.

    • lprent 26.1

      So did I. One of our engineers got back from a long residency in Italy last week and said that it was rather freaky.

      When I was in the TF as a medic, we were told that would probably be one of our roles if we got involved in a emergency

  26. Whispering Kate 27

    I am on the war path with Countdown today. Now they are not giving specials and have given some paltry excuse. They have made millions out of the foot traffic which has gone through their doors buying up to feed the 8th Army and now they are going to gouge the public. Such generous providers they are (sarc) of our essential food we need to have to survive. The Consumers Institute is investigating. What with biffing elderly ladies out of their supermarkets and now this.

    God save us from such vultures.


    • SPC 27.1

      I'd give them a pass on that one. It's a bit hard to do specials while having a buy 2 limit on sales of products because of demand.

      I ordered some soup on sale two for a special price – range of types (another outlet) and got one can – presumably the rest had run out.

      • observer 27.1.1


        If they offered me a block of cheese for $7 I would go there tomorrow – and be in close contact with twice as many people. It would be a stupid thing to do, but hey … $7!

        Multiply my action by thousands, and the lockdown isn't working.

    • Anne 27.2

      Hey that's unfair WK. One silly staffer didn't let an elderly person do her shopping. That does not equate to…biffing elderly ladies out of their supermarkets.

      They had specials last week I know because I saw them but its possible they've been too darn stretched to be able to physically process them in the past few days.

      I know both food-market chains have categorically denied they have increased their prices as some shoppers are claiming. We have to accept their word for it.

      Exaggerating a situation does not help anyone.

      • In Vino 27.2.1

        On the other hand, Anne, when I finally succumbed to queueing just to get into a ruddy supermarket, I noticed that almost all Countdown's special labels that had been there the evening before (no queue that time) had disappeared. I think one would have to be a bit naïve to think that with the change in people's priorities, sellers will not tilt the field in their favour. They have put few new bottles of wine out since last Sunday (when they change the specials), but this week there are very few specials at all.

        • Anne

          I haven't been inside a Countdown since last week but it does sound like they might have been making the most of the situation. I imagine supermarket shopping will decline dramatically for a while until the panic buyers (most of us in the end) start running out of food.

  27. Muttonbird 28

    Lovely the government has worked hard with the banks to organise a mortgage holiday for homeowners and property investors but any such holiday for renters must be negotiated by individual tenants.

    The renting class has had a few temporary fences erected but only if they pay full rent while others have temporary cost slashed. Their families’ wellbeing has been discarded as usual. Too hard.

    The mortgage holiday is designed to relieve Covid-19 affected homeowners and property investors of outgoings during the six month acute period.

    But the government, including Woods just today, made it clear that renters would have no such government organised holiday. She made it clear that tenants were to pay full rent or face the consequences of building debt with landlords.

    The thing about the mortgage holiday is that any increased costs accrued by that holiday are spread over the life of the mortgage – easy. But the thing about tenants falling behind in rent over this dramatic period of job loss is that any debt they accrued will be demanded immediately.

    What is this caring, worker-focussed government going to do about that?

  28. joe90 29

    The right doesn't have a mortgage on fuckwittery.

    Mexico City (CNN)Brazilians have been tricked by the media over a "little flu," according to president Jair Bolsonaro. Families should still go out to eat despite coronavirus fears, says Mexico's president Andres Manuél Lopez Obrador. And Nicaragua's leader Daniel Ortega has all but disappeared, while political marches and rallies continue.

    As global leaders race to contain the brutal threat of a growing pandemic, a triumvirate of denial has emerged in Latin America, with the leaders of Brazil, Mexico and Nicaragua downplaying the danger of a looming outbreak.


  29. joe90 31

    They explicitly reject Darwin's theory in favour of young earth creationism.

    Testing is to begin.

  30. Bazza64 32


    their actions may prove Darwin’s theory that the less intelligent genes don’t get passed on.

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