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Open mike 25/07/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 25th, 2020 - 123 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

123 comments on “Open mike 25/07/2020 ”

  1. bwaghorn 1

    Had a recent chat with a guy , after 5 months of not sleeping drs have worked out what's wrong,.

    He has too options for treatment go pay for private at about $14k and be treated in 3 weeks time or go public which will be 4 to 5 months wait .

    The real kicker is it's the same surgeon that would be doing it in both cases.

    This is how they are privatising health in nz .

    • Ad 1.1


      Seen it lots, very close.

      Health is NZs ultimate 2-tier citizenship divider.

    • tc 1.2

      Yes and you have to pay when it's a required procedure. The system can reject you even going on the waiting list.

      There's far too much of that ! Surgeons have expressed to private patients they should've been already via public. Some fixing dhb botched efforts even.

    • Cinny 1.3

      That's messed up.

    • Janet 1.4

      In the regions, like Northland , this has been the case for many years….we are waiting on surgery from the same surgeon. be it public or private , and the private ones get the jump on those provided by New Zealand's free health system.

    • AB 1.5

      Seen it frequently – medical specialists engaging in cartel behaviour by charging very high prices that can be leveraged through private insurance – the consumer buys insurance or faces painful delay.

      The profession also restricts access into the profession and then again into specialist colleges. Many people perfectly intellectually capable of being doctors, and who would love to be doctors, can't get admission to medical schools.

      Short-term fix would be to pay the Cubans to train a thousand or so (including specialists) for us – then import them to work in the public sector.

      • Adrian 1.5.1

        Yeah but, I had to get a hip op with a 7 month wait because there is only so much money allocated to hip operations, so I paid for it myself because it would cost me more to employ someone for 8 months or so to run my farm, I dont have health insurance because I'm 70 and 3 years premiums is about the same money, 21K. BTW, because I got it done just as I needed a stick to walk, I was able to be back on the tractor after 2 weeks and full on after 4 weeks, the extra 6-7 months on public would have meant not being able to walk on the farm like 10 years before for the other leg.

        If everybody, particularly us old buggers, got what they wanted right now the health bill would be stratospheric with ironicly a lot of waste, its complex why' but having huge numbers of highly trained and expensive specialist medical staff hanging around doing SFA in times of little demand is one reason and no, an orthopedic surgeon can not do bypasses or brain surgery. Sure the wait is twice as long as it needs to be but there aren't that many surgeons about.

        Anyway the thing that surprised me was that the actual surgeons charge was only about 20-25% of the bill, now if you get a free one you don't see the breakdown of the costs, things like overnight stays in a private hospital are expensive ( but about the same as public maybe even cheaper ) although surprisingly only about the cost of a nights quarantine at the moment. I cut my bill down by doing a runner on the second day, you can be quite quick on crutches, must have been the drugs.

        Private practice does serve a purpose by taking a load of the public system.

        The only thing that I would change is a tax break for people who pay for themselves, maybe not nessecarily those with insurance, in my case I saved the government 20k or so, happy to do so even though I couldn't really afford it ( I drive a 4th-hand 20 year old car ) but it was going to cost me that anyway and ironicly if I had employed a manager if one could have been found I would have gotten tax relief on those expenses.

        Specialists have huge expenses, their insurance costs are well over 100kp/a, there is a compulsory retraining period every year which they pay for themselves and generally a nurse or office person as well and they don't start earning until late 30s. It is a mugs game. Although I did appreciate the Maserati parked outside though I think the Toyota Corolla was my mans one.

        • AB

          Sure – it's more complex than my mischievous Cuban suggestion implies. But the reason we have such marked inequality is because some people can get into privileged positions where they can indulge in cartel behaviour, price gouging and ticket clipping, externalisation of their costs onto the public, or feast on income streams derived solely from the ownership of assets. And other people can't – and whether you can or can't bears little or no relation to effort, skill, or contribution to society.

          • Adrian

            Agreed AB but the cost of a surgeon is a world price and there is a world shortage. A Cuban would be a good surgeon no doubt but for your safety his English would have to be first class and his knowledge of Aus/NZ practice sharpened up and of course he would still have to pay for his own insurance because if he made a fuck up ACC would be on his case so I'll bet your Cuban would pretty soon be nailing down the world price for his efforts.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Private practice does serve a purpose by taking a load of the public system.

          The only two things that the private sector does is:

          • Make shareholders and doctors a higher profit (profit is a dead-weight loss)
          • Introduce massive inefficiencies into the health sector

          Health, like telecommunications and power, needs to be a monopoly to get the best efficiencies.

      • halfcrown 1.5.2

        AB @ 1.5 wrote

        "Seen it frequently – medical specialists engaging in cartel behaviour by charging very high prices that can be leveraged through private insurance – the consumer buys insurance or faces painful delay."

        That's the American system that the likes of Goldsmith and other Tories would like to see in this country

        Why do you think the health system has been rundown with shit descovered in the walls of hospitals when this administration took over?

    • Sabine 1.6

      with private insurance two years ago i waited ….. six week for an appointment, three weeks for a scan, three weeks for an appointment, three weeks for the steroid injection.

      i have frozen shoulder syndrom. Getting of the drugs was nice.

      But when you only have one specialist per town you wait. With or without insurance.

    • Treetop 1.7

      So it is not about having a surgeon available, it is about the capacity within the public health system.

      To avoid privatisation there needs to be a criteria a person reaches that they can access funding to have the treatment done privately but the government pays.

      Those who have private health insurance would not like this. People are dying on the waiting list or when they are acute the surgery may be best done when not acute. Surgeon may recommend surgery in a month, 4-5 months go by and finally surgery but other factors can come into play underlying health issues not related to the actual surgery.

      Also problems occur with referrals, and people die needlessly.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.7.1

        So it is not about having a surgeon available, it is about the capacity within the public health system.

        Nope. The public health system would have the capacity – if the doctors weren't moonlighting for the private sector to make a higher profit for themselves. The effect of this is that the people on the public waiting lists are there longer.

        To avoid privatisation there needs to be a criteria a person reaches that they can access funding to have the treatment done privately but the government pays.

        Simpler, and better, to just get rid of the private system. Its existence is only making the whole system worse. The people dying on the public waiting lists are doing so because of the private system.

        • Treetop

          Were surgeons paid enough in the public health system there would be no need to operate else where. So the capacity problem is the payment for the surgeon's service.

          • Draco T Bastard

            If the public health system paid more then the private system would just pay more again resulting in the same problem.

            The only fix is to get rid of the private system.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.8

      And proof that the problem of long waits on the public health is caused by the private sector and their maldistribution of our resources.

      • Treetop 1.8.1

        About 20 years ago I heard that a person could have private surgery at say Wakefield hospital and require an ICU bed and be transferred from Wakefield hospital to Wellington ICU.

        If so an ICU bed would need to be available at a public hospital for a private operation.

        Possibly a private hospital now has their own ICU or high risk procedures are not carried out in a private hospital.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          Certainly Middlemore has a steady flow of botched private sector operations to fix, some terrible cases, and if you have a heart attack on the private sector operating tables you get rushed to the public system.

          The private sector does a narrow range of operations with a narrow range of equipment. Mainly stuff that has a private demand and is profitable.

          Those who run down the public sector health system don't mind it when they have their major car accident or heart attack or stroke. The fact is that the private system doesn't have to meet the costs of major surgery, an accident and emergency system or really risky stuff like major back surgery.

          The public system doesn't have to meet the cost of vanity surgery like face-lifts (though as noted they do sometimes have to fix the poor outcomes when they occur) and if the wealthy can bypass the public system by paying to go private that does help.

          Where I object is the public system winding down stuff they used to do as a matter of course like varicose vein surgery or breast reduction surgery where these are needed in the expectation that you will now get that down privately. I also mind the surgeons insisting on and charging for things like "compulsory consults" in the public system for things like grommet operations after a GP referral when in the private system they will simply take the GP referral direct. Such consults are a good slice of pocket money.

          I don't mind them working in both either – there is a public good in having private sector surgeons develop and maintain expertise beyond the narrow range of private sector operations. It is part of the countries resilience building should severe things happen.

          • Treetop

            Nothing changed in 20 years.

            Awful to say this, the transfer with a cardiac arrest would be so no liability.

            I thought public hospitals have there own insurance and I know they can tap into ACC.

            Do you know anything about hospitals having insurance?

            I have dealt with the HDC, coroner and a DHB. I have been blocked with ACC as the person did not have an executor. A day of reflection today as the anniversary of the death and the case is in bits, not active and no decision and ongoing investigation required.

            • Descendant Of Smith

              The transfer with a cardiac arrest would be so no liability.

              They just don't have the gear. Medical equipment is incredibly expensive.

              Do you know anything about hospitals having insurance?

              If you mean for medical mis-adventure that is covered by ACC.

              • Treetop

                In my case coroner did not even look at the ACC treatment injury form which is inaccurate and person came back from injury repair dying. Neither did coroner look at what the vascular surgeon said and injury was worse than what ICU put on the ACC form. ICU have misled ACC. No post mortem. The way a coroner can close a file without next of kin permission is not right, a family representative had the say on file being closed as letter was not addressed to next of kin. Everything that could have gone wrong did. A dead person has very few rights.

                So when it comes to medical misadventure there is misadventure from those whose job it is to ensure everything which led to the death was looked into.

                I know how the medical system and ACC operate. I have had dealings with both over many years and I am not a giver upper when I know I am being bull shitted to and mucked about. I do get pissed off with medical issues wasting my time but someone needs to take action against the flaws in the rubbish system.

                I am about to apply for legal aid for a dead man once I find the right lawyer.

    • greywarshark 1.9

      This is the way that NZ fills its medical needs – has done for a long time. It contracts with surgeons etc for part of their time, then they also have the private patients. That way top-class people can earn a decent income, and we have up to the minute techniques available.

      • Treetop 1.9.1

        What you say even happens with a surgeon/specialists consultation.

        After ACC heavily grills you, (the branch medical advisor)private surgeons and private specialists are then funded to give treatment. Some surgeons and specialists are on a good wicket with ACC and they have the say over whether or not the injury will be treated.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Frank Macskacy has summed-up the situation very well:

    "National will lose in September. And most likely in 2023 if the pandemic has not been defeated. Their laissez faire approach to government and economics has been revealed to be utterly inappropriate for the challenges in the Age of the Virus.

    National has been caught out – like the proverbial possum frozen in the glare of oncoming headlights – as the human race struggles to adapt to the new norm of responding to the spread of contagion.

    There is an inexorable inevitability to how politics has begun to change radically with the advent of a global pandemic."


    • Under MMP parties don't win or lose elections. Last election National won but lost, Labour lost but won, Greens came fourth and won their first stint in Government, and NZ First came third but somehow won the management of coalition negotiations and a disproportionate amount of Cabinet negotiations.

      It's hard enough predicting what will happen in two months.

      Trying to predict what will have happened with Covid, the economy, employment, how Labour will be doing, and who will be the leader of National by 2023 is a meaningless mug's game.

      • Chris T 2.1.1

        Pretty good summation actually.

        • Anne

          Only for those people who still can't adjust their brains to the electoral logistics of the MMP system that a clear majority of citizens voted for in the mid 1990s.

          • Chris T

            Feel free to point out which bit is wrong.

          • JanM

            It makes perfectly good sense if you substitute the word 'winning' for 'gained the most votes'. It's not the information that's awry so much as the attitude

      • OnceWasTim 2.1.2

        If you post your measurements @ Pete, I'll get out the Elna (actually a Brother with all the stitches), and run you up a lovely linen beige leisure suit for the summer. I feel the need to exercise my feminine side a little more (in this space going forward).

        I might even extend to a pale blue number for @Wayne as well for his next rent-a-voice gig on the weekend 'incisive, and in-depth' mover and shaker TV Currant Fears "shows".

        It'd all be quite entrepreneurial doncha think? I might even become a regular thing.

        • Treetop

          And I will crochet a nice Bennie and a shoulder bag for Pete and Wayne. No trouble as I have the time and they are very fortunate that the only colours of wool I have are light and dark blue. Don't worry I have enough balls of wool (30) I unravelled 2 good second hand jumpers I got from the op shop.

          If the beige leisure suit clashes with the blue Bennie and shoulder bag Pete can wear them on separate days.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.3

        Last election National lost. Labour, NZFirst and the Greens won.

        You don't like that truth and so you lie to yourself and others in the hope that we'll go back to a less democratic system.

    • Treetop 2.2

      The virus of dirty politics within the National caucus will not be eliminated or eradicated until the spreader is gone.

      National have no show in eliminating Covid-19 were community transmission to return, they cannot even control Co-20 in their caucus.

  3. Koff 3

    Vietnam – 413 cases of Covid-19 so far, no deaths, in a population of 98 million (from Worldometer data), has now banned all wildlife imports , dead or alive – a major source of zoonotic diseases. Vietnam must be the quiet, world leader in Covid-19 response.

    • Adrian 3.1

      Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia all have low infection and death rates, in an article yesterday Guardian ? New Scientist? the assumption is that as this is the area where Horseshoe Bats are native and endemic the locals may have an immunity built up over hundreds of years to corona type viruses. There is also no reason to suspect the numbers, there hasn't been an increase in funerals. Also it is now suspected that this is where it mutated and transferred to the Wuhan market.

  4. Ed 4

    Jonathan Pie skewers Boris Johnson's government about face masks.

    We need to change our culture on this as well.
    If there is a breach of the border and we return to Covid 2 , masks must be mandatory.


  5. Cinny 5

    Is it possible to put kiwi's in quarantine at vacant RSE worker accommodation in the boonies? One road in one road out.

    Some selfish people are messing it up for everyone, maybe city accommodation isn't the best place to house those in quarantine.

    • Graeme 5.1

      It's getting them from point of entry to the 'facility'. That's manageable for Hamilton and Rotorua with a single bus trip. Going much further and all sorts of complications arise, which evidently became a factor in discarding Dunedin,and one of the many that ruled out Queenstown. There's also the problems of dealing with an infected person that requires hospitalisation.

      • weka 5.1.1

        longer term we will need facilities adapted for purpose. Hacking hotels is a good interim measure, but I'm betting that improved design will make the process better for people in Q. Here's hoping they focus on that as well as the security issues.

    • Descendant Of Smith 5.2

      With the sense of entitlement some have I'd suggest the Chateau Tongariro. It has been used previously for health reasons – rehabilitating soldiers, asylum!

    • Sacha 5.3

      Is it possible to put kiwis in quarantine at vacant RSE worker accommodation in the boonies?

      The big problem with remote places is lack of access to health facilities and staff, apparently. Was discussed weeks ago in media.

      • greywarshark 5.3.1

        I don't think that people should be put off from putting their ideas forward because it has been on the media previously. Perhaps just give them a link of the source and they might come up with something even better, or add to the previous ideas. Squashing pesky insects personally is the preferred organic way, but let's not be organically destructive about people with ideas.

        • Sacha

          No squashing intended. Relaying an angle I'd seen discussed (but could not remember enough to link) and ended up just echoing Graeme at 5.1 to some extent.

    • Adrian 5.4

      I don't think there vacant ones anywhere and there has to be a separate bathroom per room per person or family.

    • Matiri 5.5

      Access to mental health and addiction support services are a consideration too, sadly.

    • KJT 5.6

      Don't think they would enjoy living in old woolsheds with holes in the walls and one toilet/wash handbasin for 12 people.

      Besides. Why punish the thousands of people who have, and will comply with the isolation rules, because of a few idiots.

  6. Observer Tokoroa 6

    leave them alone ….they'll come home

    I have never really known what "NZFirst" is.

    Clearly, it is a one person noisy bucket, dragged around by Winston Peters who happens to be, Deputy PM of our NZ Parliament. He has his failings. So do I.

    He reminds me of a very old greywarshark stalking around in a stuffy old dirty museum.

    He has a friend in there – called Trotter. Who seems to be slipping away, having numerous weird upsets over tiny Lefties who refuse to sign up for War.

    Being a Lawyer, our Deputy Prime Minister for one reason or another, failed some time back to pay considerable monies, belonging to the Citizens of New Zealand.

    For which he blamed quite a number of Politicians – and said so out loud.

    Being a Lawyer, he is able to accuse any number of Politicians, because he is free to name whom he wants in the Chamber.

    Joe Blow – has no such Freedom.

    I am not suggesting that greywarsharks are Lawyers – but I am tempted. However, I quickly realise that our messy greywarshark knows everything and is always right. Inside and out. He's a nice old thing.

    • weka 6.1

      While I appreciate anyone attempting to do political analysis about Peters, I'm not entirely sure what you are trying to say here, and I'm not seeing the connection with greywarshark other than to somehow diss her. Please leave the personal stuff out of your comments.

    • greywarshark 6.2

      Hey that's not true, I don't know everything just a lot about some of the things I write about. And I like to cast my net wider than just thinking about myself and my preferences, so take an interest in what's going on around me, trying to be informed. That is all!

  7. Sacha 7


    Four people were found and detained by 7.50pm Friday and had been returned to the facility.

    Why not straight to jail?

    • Sacha 7.1


      Five people accused of absconding from managed isolation in Hamilton last night wanted to attend a relative's funeral in Auckland.

      Hamilton's mayor Paula Southgate told NZME the group applied for compassionate leave due to the passing of a relative but had been declined.

      • Janet 7.1.1

        If you are coming home to a funeral the funeral can wait……

        • weka

          unless it can't or the people organising it won't. Not an excuse to break Q. We do need to adopt new cultural practices around funerals and grieving, and adapt.

          • Sacha

            Yes. Many families already had to during lockdown.

            • weka

              some people manage change better than others. Having new cultural practices as the norm should help (rather than having to adapt personally under stress, which not everyone is good at).

              I'm sill in favour of prosecuting people who abscond as well.

              • Sacha

                Agree. And hence my issue with not putting them in jail after capture. Why open the possibility of a repeat performance.

                • Ed1

                  I suspect police holding facilities and prisons are not well equipped to deal with the health aspects of covid testing and possible infection. Doubtless we will find out more about how they got out; sadly it may make it harder for future "bubbles" in isolation to be able to gather together.

                  • Gabby

                    You'd hope they would be, what with the continual comings and goings they're very much noted for.

                • weka

                  wouldn't that be decided at the court hearing today?

                  other offences that put people at risk don't automatically end in jail upon arrest eg drink driving.

                  • Sacha

                    I could have said 'holding cell' – point is that they have forfeited usual justice process by breaching isolation. Needs to be a strong signal to other returnees that the consequences are immediate and firm. No bail, no returning to a hotel.

                    • Sacha

                      Also, most other offences do not put many many lives at risk. It's why there are specific charges for these.

                    • weka

                      The risk of killing many many people is still pretty low though. Compare to someone drink and reckless driving and hitting a bus load of people maybe. If the person gets caught before they hit the bus, what happens to them that day?

                      I agree about strong signals, and I'll be curious as to why they're being returned to Q. But if we have another outbreak, we want people to feel good about going into isolation, be willing to be honest about symptoms, so I think there is a fine line between making Q a good experience or a punitive one.

                      Maybe hefty instant fines would straddle that line.

                    • PaddyOT []

                      "The risk of killing many many people is still pretty low though."

                      Trump Falsely Claims ‘99 Percent’ of Virus Cases Are ‘Totally Harmless’ 5th July NY times.

                      148 000 deaths later….

                    • weka

                      PaddyOT, why are you conflating the NZ situation with the US one when they are obviously very, very different? We have containment and contact tracing processes in place, better than we did when we had community transmission. The chances of mass deaths from a Q absconder is very low because of all the work we've done to date. This is the opposite of the US situation.

              • Sabine

                Maybe have them sign paperwork that holds them liable for the cost of the quarantine, the cost of retrieving them and hte cost of returning them to the quarantine centre should they break quarantine.

                * 5 as in this case and you are quickly talking about money.

          • greywarshark

            What about kindness and set up skype for them. Families sticking together and being co-operative will help us through our future travails, they are supposed to be important until apparently the state says they aren't, to it. We have the technology, where there is a will there's a way; we aren't trying to get to the moon which apparently the world can afford.

      • weka 7.1.2

        this makes sense of the motivation at least.

    • Just Is 7.2

      Four childeren, the eldest 17 and the mother

      • Sacha 7.2.1

        I assumed that, but where does it say mother?

      • Shanreagh 7.2.2

        Surely the children would have just followed the mother, or the mother would have expected them to. Mother therefore not leading by example.

        Surely 'someone' should be talking to Maori elders to get around the impasse caused by unattainable, for the moment, cultural norms so

        funerals can be delayed

        bodies embalmed to allow for this

        Lower the expectation that families are expected to fling themselves across the world to go to tangi etc etc. it must be costing overseas NZ families $1000s to be here.

    • Adrian 7.3

      Four of them were kids. Good luck with sticking them in Parry.

      • Sacha 7.3.1

        Local cells. Don't get carried away.

        • Macro

          Generally children are not to be interned in Jail. There are secure facilities for children but they are not prisons.

          Under the Sentencing Act 2002, a child or young person under 17 cannot be sentenced to prison or home detention unless they commit a Category 4 offence (e.g. murder, manslaughter, crimes against the State) or an offence where the maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment or more.


          This has been the case in NZ since the 1925 Child Welfare Act.

  8. Anne 8

    I would be interested in an analysis of the type of people who break quarantine. Such questions as:

    1) Are they outgoing, articulate people or are they loners?

    2) Does one particular age group dominate?

    3) Do they have family and friends who are keeping in touch with them?

    4) Are they average citizens who, in normal circumstances, will have a full-time job?

    5) What is the majority reason given why they choose to break out?

    6) Or are they just ignorant idiots who can’t comprehend the reasons why they have to quarantine.

    I think most would go for no.6, but that might be unfair on some of them.

    • Sacha 8.1

      Such a small group that I doubt there are useful patterns. Best to focus on the behaviour and modify that, which is the current approach (eg: station people at each site with power to arrest).

      • Anne 8.1.1

        I agree at this stage but given this situation is likely to continue for some time, then an analysis might ultimately become useful for those who are in charge of these facilities and keeping the occupants inside them.

        • Sacha

          You would need dozens of escapes to see a statistically significant pattern that could be relied on to drive policy responses. It seems they are responding promptly enough to each one that arises.

          • PaddyOT

            Paperwork as the solution?

            As it has elsewhere in the world, the coronavirus found a hole in Australia’s system: It spread in part because of the sharing of a cigarette lighter among security guards working at a hotel where returning international travelers are being quarantined. Along with this the other vulnerabilities were quarantine hotel workers returning home to families and spreading the virus. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/world-australia-53259356

            Returned NZers as Escapees may not be the next cause of another outbreak.

            Some nurses who have been doing clinics in quarantine hotels here, are then going back to their shifts at hospitals. AND that these nurses working in our quarantine hotels are not mandatorily required to wear full PPE.

    • Shanreagh 8.2

      I would like to have some analysis about those returning full stop.


      Groupings ie families singles, couples

      how long away

      are they returning to a home/job

      where they have been living until now and for how long

      do they hold PR or citizenship anywhere else.

      But then I am nosy & cynical. It would certainly help allay my fear that many will be coming to rest & recuperate, possibly with the help of the social welfare system here before leaving again to go 'home' when the rest of the world settles down. So I am sceptical that they coming here with the idea of helping us get through the next bit of NZ's response to Covid-19 and that is to take the opportunity to make NZ a better place.

  9. Sacha 9


    Air Commodore Darryn Webb has revealed the group of five entered New Zealand from Brisbane on flight NZ146 on July 21. Webb said the family's request for an exemption from isolation to attend the family member's funeral was refused because they had not been administered a day-3 Covid-19 test.

    A further request was made yesterday to view the body of the deceased relative, which the Ministry of Health was working to organise, Webb said. These discussions were occurring with iwi, Maori wardens, and police.

    Webb said the family was told their application was "looking positive" last night and that a decision would be made by 8pm.

    At 6:58pm yesterday people were seen climbing over the perimeter fence of the Distinction Hotel.

    • weka 9.1

      the plot thickens.

      • Sacha 9.1.1

        And thickens.. https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300065838/mum-who-escaped-coronavirus-isolation-i-wanted-to-give-my-children-closure

        They had flown over from Brisbane after the children’s father suffered a stroke and died on July 20.

        The mother scrambled to create a new plan and eventually organised with hotel staff, police and Defence Force security staff for the man’s body to be taken to an empty facility nearby where the family could view the body for one hour, she said.

        However, the plan was dependent on approval from the Ministry of Health, which kept pushing back the time it promised to give her an answer by, she said.

        • Sacha

    • observer 9.2

      Clearly there were specific circumstances with this family, quite different from the previous individual instances, which only highlights how the instant simplistic "solutions" really aren't helpful. Countdown guy in Auckland was an idiot taking selfies, the one in Ellerslie had "issues" that required mental health workers, and this was a family desperate to go to a funeral, the reason they had returned to NZ.

      Somebody at the press conference suggested ankle bracelets. Woods did well to answer it patiently, without rolling her eyes. Having something on (implanted in?) your body doesn't stop you moving. You don't get immobilised. That's a sci-fi movie.

      • weka 9.2.1

        I don't like the idea of ankle bracelets for people that haven't been convicted of a crime, but isn't the point of them that they notify the police if someone leaves the hotel? In real time.

    • anker 9.3

      Their application looking positive and decision at 8pm. Officials working hard to try and accomodate grieving family, then they blow it. If they are only here for the funeral, send them back right away. We did not need these types wasting police time and resourses. Name them, name and imprison their accomplices…………..

      Many people will miss out on funerals. Many people did before Covid. Half my family overseas when a parent died and they chose not to come back, but we would have held the funeral for them. Plenty of help for people grieving e.g. counselling. Attending a funeral does't guarantee you don't have a complicated grief response.leave…..

      What completely irresponsible people. I have no sympathy that they will miss out now

      • Goodgrief 9.3.1

        Yes Anker. These totally irresponsible idiots need a really hard lesson but so did those that aided and abetted the escape. The interview with the father of the dead person's only regret was that the family didn't succesfully escape. It is more than clear that these fwits should be hauled before the courts and punished. But the reality is that they won't be because they are maori. And that is racist. Justice should be colour blind but it isn't.

        • solkta

          Ummm, i think you will find there is a surplus of Maori being "hauled before the courts and punished".

          • Goodgrief

            Bullshit. The people that aided and abetted these fwits have, to my knowledge, not been charged. My point to you and solkta is that despite clear evidence that people have acted to aid and abet that there is no charge because of "cultural sensitivity". CRAP.

            • Incognito

              I’ve got some facts for you: https://www.corrections.govt.nz/resources/research_and_statistics/quarterly_prison_statistics/prison_stats_march_2020

              You’re free to believe whatever you want to but you have zero evidence that those who aided the absconders have not been charged because they are Māori and “cultural sensitivity”. Your strong language won’t change that fact.

            • solkta

              I doubt the Police have or could get enough evidence to convict anybody who helped these people. I doubt they even know who was involved. The four were arrested before they met up with their accomplice(s) and the one who made it to Auckland gave himself up.

              If you know something more then please share it. Otherwise you are just talking out your arse.

            • anker

              Goodgrief ffs we don't even know who aided and abetted these people, i.e. if they were Maori……….when I posted my comment I didn't know the family were Maori and frankly IMHO it is irrelevant. Your speculation that they didn't charge the enablers because they were Maori is unacceptable.

              The Judge gave this woman a very stern warning. I am disappointed the media published her side and the 17 years side of why they absconded. Its a pandemic. They would have known the might not get compassionate leave. The 17 year old got to see his father, but by absconding they prevented the other kids from doing this.

              People can still grieve the loss of a parent without attending a funeral. This debacle created by the children's mother has made it so much worse for them

              It just smacks of entitlement


        • Incognito

          It is more than clear that these fwits should be hauled before the courts and punished. But the reality is that they won't be because they are maori.

          They have appeared before a judge and are on bail.


          You were saying?

        • Muttonbird

          If the mother found it so important that her kids were close to their father, why did she haul them off to Queensland?

          Or perhaps they were all there at one point but he was deported. In that case they can blame the Australian government.

          Further evidence that Australia and Australian people simply do not get Coronavirus. The slack attitude of the AUS government and people is why nearly 50 people have died after they supposedly beat Covid.

          Their surge in deaths is almost 50% of their initial deaths.

          And to think we had the Plan-B people here backed in tone by the National Party claiming Australia got it right.

          Make no mistake, if the National Party are the next government, Covid 19 will re-enter New Zealand

          • Incognito

            I read several times that she wanted closure for her children.

            • anker

              Her own actions have likely prevented closure for her children…………..What a bloody awful performance she has put her kids through.

              Sometimes we don't always get what we think we need to get especially in a pandemic…….I know of many people in really bad situations because of this pandemic……………

              • Incognito

                Easy for us to say and judge from the sideline and the comfort of our keyboards. Until we walk in her shoes we have no idea what she was feeling let alone thinking; it must have been awful. Apparently, she tried to do the best for her children. I’d hazard a guess that better communication with and between the authorities might have prevented the whole thing from happening. The response: more security 🙁

                • anker

                  O.k. Incognito I hear your point of view.

                  Doing the best for your children in a pandemic under these circumstances, imho involves supporting them in their grief in Queensland as travelling during a pandemic with quarantine meant their trip was problematic from the get go.(no guarantee of getting compassionate leave). So she put her children through a horrendous trip with two weeks in quarantine. Just as they were waiting on a decision about getting to see the body, she decided to break the law and abscond by breaking open a window and climbing over a very high fence. Possibly one of them could have fallen and injured themselves or worst. Then put her children in the position when they were arrested by the police, while her 17 year old was on the run with police helicopter hovering. One child saw his fathers body, the others didn't. Then they appear in court and get a very stern message from the judge. I think these were very very poor choices for her children. She has also taught her children you don't need to worry about rules, if you really want to do something, just do it, break the law and risk arrest. Actually as I write this, I think this woman has shown appalling judgement.

                  I reserve no sympathy for any absconders. They are prioritizing themselves over everyone else in a pandemic, including the poor bloody police who have to arrest them, not knowing whether they have covid.

  10. weka 10

    James Shaw throwing some shade on Winston Peters and NZF. Subtle zen vibe to Peters' brass knuckles.

    "Ultimately the constellation of parties that make up the next Government is a result of the election," said Shaw, asked whether he'd be happy to work with NZ First again.

    "That really is up to the voters of New Zealand… We have done an enormous amount in the last three years. Yes, there have been things we didn't get over the line – but in terms of the things that we did get over the line, we actually did get those things through as a result of our partnership with NZ First.

    "It's not been comfortable at times – they have been a chaotic and disorganised partner in Government at times, but actually, you know, ultimately I think the people of New Zealand will judge what will make up the next Government. I'm pretty confident that we'll be in a position to form a Government with Labour."


  11. PaddyOT 11

    Colbert on Trump last night. It's not the cognitive test Trump explains that's the only farcical take but a little bit further in the video is Trump's evaluation on the qualities of Dr. Deborah Birx.


    Seems there's now a viral fan base for her 'style' as the US's current focus.

  12. RedBaronCV 13

    Tiwai – there was a discussion yesterday about the power being freed up. Has the Government ensured that the extra supply being freed up will be used in the national interest by cancelling resource permits or some such if it is not?

    I wouldn't put it past any power company to sign up to supply some dodgy enterprise so long as the return was sufficent to keep the executive salaries up.

    At current share prices Meridian and Genesis (half of each) is about $7 billion. Makes you wonder if restoring state ownership, merging and the reducing power prices so benefits went further would not be a massively good investment. At some point privatisation should get push back otherwise every right wing government just sells more.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      I wouldn't put it past any power company to sign up to supply some dodgy enterprise so long as the return was sufficent to keep the executive salaries up.

      Business pay less per kw/h than residential so you'd think that they'd be keen to get that extra from residential users.

      At some point privatisation should get push back otherwise every right wing government just sells more.

      There was push-back but the government sold it off any way. As I say, we don't have a democracy – we have an elected dictatorship.

      • gsays 13.1.1

        While I agree with most of what you say about the power parasites companies..

        I seem to recall Key winning an election saying he would flog off the the family silver.

        • Draco T Bastard

          True but there was also a referendum showing that most people didn't want him to do that. If we were a democracy he, and the rest of National, would have changed those plans.

      • RedBaronCV 13.1.2

        I'm not thinking of just push back at the time but actually looking at undoing some of this after the right is voted out. ACC has been about the only thing where the left made it very clear that they would renationalise if it was sold and losses would not be compensated for. We have things like the Hamilton prison that is a 35? year privatisation contract and it just gets left. It becomes a one way street with more and more going into the private sector.

        Imagine the outrage from the right if say the teachers in public schools all worked for the one company that they owned. And a left government signed a 35 year contract with the company complete with manning formula's and wage escalation and site agreements so that future governments were committed to it.

  13. Byd0nz 14

    Yea, well it's about time All infrastructure entities were (re)nationalized, back to the peoples' benefit. Lets see how socialist, Labour can be in the next 3 terms of government, let's see shades of Big Norm come through.

  14. Andre 15

    We've had our deliberations about our reactions to sexual misconduct by pollies, whether we're too tough or not tough enough. But things could be waaaay worse.

  15. joe90 16

    George Tiller allover again. They're going to get Fauci killed.


    Let those words sink in and then let us revisit the things Bill O’Reilly said about Dr. George Tiller before Dr. Tiller was actually assassinated in 2009.

    According to Salon O’Reilly brought up Dr. Tiller 27 times on his national show over four years (from 2005 to 2009 before Dr. Tiller was murdered). That’s almost seven times a year or every two months.

    Here are some of the ways O’Reilly targeted Dr. Tiller on his national platform:


  16. joe90 17


  17. Muttonbird 18

    Southland District Mayor calls out Winston Peter to do some work and back up what he says.

    Southland District Mayor Gary Tong said it would be good hear what Peters had to say about scuppering the $100m deal.

    "We need some assistance down here. We do need help from the government.

    "His intention was a local shareholding is what I understand, but I'm hearing from down there that's not going to work."


    I imagine Gary Tong is pretty upset with Winston for blocking a relief package.

  18. JohnSelway 19

    Wow… this is some pure crazy…


    • joe90 19.1


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