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Open mike 25/09/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 25th, 2022 - 136 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 …

136 comments on “Open mike 25/09/2022 ”

  1. Blazer 1

    I was thinking of all the 'mad man' types the world has had to deal with since WW2–Hitler,Stalin,Mao,Pol Pot,Saddam,Gadaffi,Bin Laden,Chavez,Milosovic,Ceaucescu,Castro,various Kims and now Putin.

    The common characteristic was that NONE of them spoke English.

    Things that make you go….hmmmm.

    • Arthur 1.1

      Except for—- those that did.

    • Jenny are we there yet 1.2

      Blazer you left Winston Churchill off your list of imperialist tyrants. He spoke English.

      Arch imperialist Churchill muses on how the declining fortunes of the British Empire after WWII could be tied to US global interests.


      The International Churchill Society

      Reading Time: 8 minutes

      What changes are to be made in the political, economic, and defence structure of the British Commonwealth and Empire? In what way will an ever more closely knotted British Commonwealth and Empire become also, at the same time, more closely associated with the United States?….

      …..should we concentrate upon our own Imperial and Commonwealth organisation, or upon our fraternal association with the United States, and put our trust in the English Channel, in air power, and in sea power?

      Did anyone say 5 Eyes?

      Churchill's musings, pretty much describe the current present world order, dominated as it is by the Western imperialism’ A world Order now being challenged in the 21st Century by arising neo-imperialist nations China and Russia, and their allies. Who want to achieve their new imperialist 'multilateral' world order on the globe. (By force if necessary).

      • Belladonna 1.2.1

        I don't know that you could accuse Churchill of mass-murder against his own citizens – as practised by most of the initial list.

        If you want to denounce imperialism – then you'll need to add leaders of China, the US and France to the list.

        • RedLogix

          Imperialism is an ancient habit going back at 3,000 years. There is no nation, no peoples, no leaders in history who did not indulge in some form. Like it's economic cousin slavery – both were virtually universal because they were thermodynamically necessary to survive in a pre-industrial world.

          This modern habit of presentism, ''A magic moral time machine' where you always win as Bill Maher described it – is little more than speaking ill of those no longer able to defend themselves. Cheap, selective and above all – manipulative.

          • SPC

            The empire of Akkad-Sumer was over 4000 years ago.

            We have fallen upon evil times, the world has waxed old and wicked. Politics are very corrupt. Children are no longer respectful to their elders. Each man wants to write a book and the end of the world is evidently approaching


            Attributed to Naram-Sin ruler of Akkad-Sumer

            • RedLogix

              Yes you are correct I missed a word – I meant to say 'at least 3000 years ago'.

              Empire was in my view an inevitable stage of human social evolution, a consequence of growing populations totally dependent on photosynthesis for energy and requiring more land and resources to enable more complex societies to expand.

              And as with all things human there were tradeoffs – both positive and negative but over time the benefits have hugely dominated. We must of course understand our deep past, acknowledge it's often brutal realities – and yet recognise that each one of us is the result of an unbroken chain of smart, tough ancestors who sacrificed and suffered much that we might live. I for one am very grateful and respectful of them.

              It is after all how we arrived at modernity, typing our thoughts on our magical computers on a fantasmagoric network that connects the entire planet in milliseconds.

              And yes that is a very droll quote – every man wants to write a book indeed!

      • mikesh 1.2.2

        “Who want to achieve their new imperialist 'multilateral' world order on the globe. (By force if necessary).”

        I don't think think this is true. Russia and China are really trying to defend themselves from being engulfed by Western imperialism. Both the PRC and Taiwan support the notion that that together they make up a single country, but the latter regard China's Communist Party regime as illegitimate. The party disagrees, and claims Taiwan as its own, but is not able to take control of it at present. Russia wants to defend its hold on Crimea, which has been Russian territory for 300 years, and which seems essential for Russia's defense.

    • miravox 1.3

      The common characterisitic of those leaders that didn't slaughter their own people is a strong democracy. How far do you think the apparently English-speaking Trump would have gone if the US democratic process was any weaker than it is?

      However, democracy hasn't stopped English-as-a-first language leaders madly slaughtering people in other countries.

      The thing that makes me go hmmm is your thinking behind the comment.

      • aj 1.3.1

        The realist school of thought, simply put, is the belief that world politics is always and necessarily a field of conflict among actors pursuing wealth and power. That can explain almost most actions by nations and individual leaders in this thread, plus many others.

        Cooperative ideals in international relations are unfortunately just a dream.

  2. pat 2

    “Previous Labour governments built schools, hospitals, public transportation networks, entire suburbs. Why can’t they?”


    Why indeed.

    • Visubversa 2.1

      Who is rebuilding Dunedin Hospital? Who is fixing Middlemore Hospital? Who is working on Light Rail for Auckland? Who is building State houses all over the country, but especially in Auckland where whole suburbs are being rebuilt in a mix of public and private developments? Who is rebuilding Owairaka Primary school?

      • Bruce 2.1.1

        And Onehunga Primary School

      • Belladonna 2.1.2

        In the case of Dunedin hospital, I suppose better late than never. Ardern made a campaign promise that it would be built in her first term. It did not happen (and I doubt that Peters would have been a road-block on this issue – building capacity in the regions was a policy plank for him)


        "Ms Ardern believed that the hospital would be finished sooner than within the seven to ten years that National had set out."

        Given that it's taken nearly 5 years to break the ground on it (June this year) – it seems as though the 7-10 years is right on target,


        "The first stage of the project, the outpatients building, is on schedule to open in 2025. The inpatient building will open in 2028."

        • Louis

          'A promise kept late is a promise kept'

          Clark was health minister in 2017 when the new hospital was announced. At the time he said construction would begin in 2020.When asked if the 2022 ceremony meant he had broken his promise, Little said “a promise kept late is a promise still kept”


          • Anne

            Its amazing how many people criticise the government for not maintaining promises/predictions previously made about the completion of certain projects.

            There is a new epidemic of national proportions befalling the nation – Amnesia. For the past 2 or so years we have been in the grip of a world wide pandemic and projects started 5 or more years ago are only just getting up and running again. 🙄

            • Belladonna

              Ah….No. This was a promise about completion of a hospital during the first term 2017-20. Given that they hadn't even completed the designs by late 2019 – there was zero chance (even without a pandemic) that there would be a completed hospital by the 2020 election date. This was not a project delayed by Covid in 2020, it was a project which had not yet even begun.

              It was an off-the-cuff promise by the PM on the campaign trail – when politicians are prone to over-promise what they don't have the capacity to deliver.

              • Incognito

                This was a promise about completion of a hospital during the first term 2017-20. [my italics]

                Nope, you are contradicting your own comment @ 2.1.2. There’s no way a new hospital build can be completed from start to finish in a period of 3 years.

              • Louis

                "At the time he said construction would begin in 2020" Then the pandemic struck.

                • Yes. He said that in 2017. In late 2019 (immediately pre-pandemic) they still didn't have plans complete, let alone business case and costings. There was no chance that building would ever have commenced in 2020 (even if there were no pandemic)

                  The agreed design was approved by Government in Sept 2020.


                  The final business case wasn't completed until May 2021.


                  As I said, they badly underestimated the lag time for major projects.

                  • Incognito

                    I think that it is fair to say that they responded to the information that they obtained after they were elected and formed their first-term Government and during the various early phases of the overall project, e.g., they changed it to a 2-stage project with the first stage fast-tracked in order to finish 3 years earlier. I also like to think that this is a much more prudent approach than sticking to an election promise in an absolute and literal manner.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram


                    As I said, they badly underestimated the lag time for major projects.

                    "Badly", did you say? That's news to me, which makes one think, given delays caused by our pretty good pandemic response (2020 – 2022).

                    Indicative Business Case for Dunedin Hospital Rebuild
                    [29 June 2017; PDF]
                    New hospital new site
                    Commentary on timing: This option assumes design, consenting, demolition and site preparation work being undertaken from 2019 to 2022. Actual construction of the new hospital and energy centre is assumed to take four years, with a further six months commissioning work.

                    Dunedin hospital rebuild [26 August 2017]
                    The Ministry of Health is working to secure an appropriate site for the new hospital, with a strong preference for a central city location. Depending on the location the new hospital will be opened in 7 – 10 years." – Dr Coleman


                    • No site prep work done in 2019.
                      Therefore impossible (even without the pandemic) for building work to have commenced in 2020.

                      And, as I said above, plans not completed until late 2020.

                      In order for them to meet their 2019 beginning-site-works target, they would have needed the plans to have been completed early 2018 – to allow 6 months or so for the business case to be done, and contracts to be issued for work to start in 2019.

                      They were well behind their timeline before the pandemic hit.

                      You really can't blame the pandemic for *every* failure to deliver.

                      Incognito's argument that they discovered the complexity once in government, and adjusted their time-table is a lot more convincing than just shouting 'Covid!'

                    • Ad []

                      They redesigned piling for example after more Geotechnical study.

                  • Ad

                    Design for Dunedin and other hospitals was altered by COVID itself.

                    Hospitals weren't on the "shovel ready" list, and there were also hard overrun lessons to learn from Canterbury and Middlemore. Designed and fucked up under National.

                    It's a 1-in-100 year project that needs generous design time and simply doesn't matter who's in government.

                    Scope arguments will likely continue into ECI phase.

                    • Poission

                      Wellington childrens not affected so much,when the donors maintained project control.

                    • Ad []

                      Wellington health is committing no extra services to current baseline for that hospital.

                      Dumb donor agreement, opening doors to fuck all.

                    • TBH it beggars belief that hospitals weren't on the shovel-ready list in a pandemic.

                      I don't know a lot about Canterbury – but the Middlemore issues appear to be in the buildings designed and built during the 5th Labour Government.

                      Although, I think that it has more to do with building standards, than with failures of Government design and management.


                      I agree that buildings of significance benefit from a cross-party approach, allowing significant time for planning and scheduling – it's a pity that neither of the main parties appear to agree with us.

                    • Ad []

                      As a member on the hospital bid team, it beggars belief anyone with half a braincell thinks putting a hospital on a "shovel ready" list would ever work.

                  • Louis

                    "When Labour took office in 2017, we immediately committed to building the new Dunedin hospital. Fast forward to 2020 and we have secured funding , purchased a central city site and despite COVID-19 disruptions, continue making progress. the construction phase is well underway with demolition taking place, ground works progressing and more funding released for ongoing contracts."


                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    @Belladonna (5:57 pm)

                    No site prep work done in 2019.

                    "Commentary on timing: This option [New hospital new site] assumes design, consenting, demolition [2021] and site preparation work being undertaken from 2019 to 2022."

                    They were well behind their timeline before the pandemic hit.

                    Far be it from me to dispute the opinion of a self-declared respectful centrist vis-à-vis ignorant Labour's "failure to deliver" – remind me again about Ardern's 'off-the-cuff over-promise' MO, and just how "badly" Labour failed in this instance, whereas the Nats were "right on target". TBH it beggars belief – see "100,000 houses" or "light rail."

                    You really can't blame the pandemic for *every* failure to deliver.

                    Seems some have almost forgotten about the pandemic – reckon that has a bit to do with the relatively small number of dead Kiwis. Still, Labour delivering a new hospital for Dunedin according to the Nats pre-pandemic timeline can't be all bad – can it?

                    Incognito's argument that they discovered the complexity once in government, and adjusted their time-table is a lot more convincing than just shouting 'Covid!'

                    Shouting? The wedge is in. Misrepresentation comes in many guises – as transparent as a transparent thing wink

                    • Please link to evidence of site work being done in 2019.

                      It really doesn't matter how hard you spin this – it's a failed promise (in terms of timing) by Labour.
                      And, has nothing to do with the pandemic – i.e. the failure was evident pre-pandemic.

                      Of course, if you can link to evidence that site works had begun, or even finalized plans or a business case were complete and ready for action in 2020 – only to be derailed by Covid, then I will certainly withdraw and apologize.

                      Given that I've provided links that show that the planning wasn't complete until 2021 and the business case until 2022 – I don't think you'll have much luck.

                    • Louis

                      It is not a failed promise Belladonna, when the promise is being kept.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Please link to evidence of site work being done in 2019.

                    Who made such an unsupportable assertion? Let me at 'em.

                    From the MoH-commissioned Indicative Business Case for Dunedin Hospital Rebuild [Final 29 June 2017]:

                    "Commentary on timing: This option [New hospital new site] assumes design, consenting, demolition and site preparation work being undertaken from 2019 to 2022."

                    Here's another link (to a May 2021 ODT article) on demolition and site preparation work. “Nothing to do with the pandemic.

                    Given that I've provided links that show that the planning wasn't complete until 2021 and the business case until 2022 – I don't think you'll have much luck.


                    "It really doesn't matter how hard you spin this", imho Labour delivering a new hospital for Dunedin according to National’s pre-pandemic timeline is a good thing.

                    As you put it (grudgingly @2.1.2): "I suppose better late than never."

                    P.S. Not a Labour voter.

                • Ad

                  And there was only 1 competent NZ bidder with the qualities to build the no 2 hospital in NZ. Which is what Dunedin is.

                  They didn’t go with the locals so they have to wait for all the specialists to arrive in from overseas.

            • Kat

              Anne, I suspect these same people expect govt projects to happen in line with fast food production times and search engine results on Google. The opposition and lazy media just serve to amplify these expectations. It is plainly obvious that a fair number of people have no idea how govt functions and the realities of planning and the carrying out of public works, even in the best of times. Sadly this ignorance is becoming alarmingly more apparent in today's society.

              • Kat

                Oh look……here is the national director of brain spin, mud throwing and meanness herself, a classic example in todays Herald………….

                It’s time Govt listened to people

                • Herald on Sunday
                • 25 Sep 2022
                • Paula Bennett

                Photo / Mark Mitchell

                Is Grant Robertson shielding the Prime Minister from the public?

                Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson has stated this week that he believes that threats and abuse towards politicians has increased. I’m not out there anymore so I don’t have first-hand knowledge, but have been talking to a few journalists and other MPs who say it does seem a bit more organised and that there are some people who really want to disrupt and are abusive.

                I had more than my fair share during my 15 years in Parliament. I could be a bit controversial and, as Minister of Social Development, I made the most significant changes to welfare that the country had seen in decades. When you make changes in a portfolio that directly affects some of our most vulnerable, people can be scared of change and that can manifest to anger.

                I didn’t enjoy it, but I understood it.

                I in no way support abuse and threats of violence. I had a few scary times. One where a guy chased me and I got into my car and locked the door just in time. He then kicked the side of my car and started to punch the windscreen — I got out of there quickly. Another protest in Whanganui that was blocking my exit. I was in the car with my mate Chester Burrows and one of the protesters said her foot was run over.

                On the whole I found listening to people and understanding where they were coming from was part of the job and actually made me better at it. Hiding from the public and hearing only the good stuff is ignorant and dangerous.

                Threats and abuse are not new — but they might seem that way to the current Government. For the first few years of a new Labour Government the country went through what was called “Jacindamania”. No one would dare criticise her, including the media. I once criticised her in an ill-thought-out tweet and was hounded by outrage for weeks.

                Then we had Covid and the Prime Minister was held up as some kind of saint who was saving our lives. Again, no one dared criticise her, we turned into a nation of followers overnight as messages were sent through every medium, led by the PM to “be kind”. Simon Bridges dared to criticise our response to Covid — proven right with time — but we all know how that went. It was the beginning of the end of his leadership.

                The blinkers have now come off for many. They feel lied-to. They feel cheated. All the promises, all the words about improving everything from child poverty, to housing, to crime, to the cost of living have come to nothing. In fact, we are substantially worse off. Yes, people are angry and they don’t feel they are being listened to.

                The thing I feel most cynical about is Grant Robertson saying this week that they would have to look at how they campaign next year. That is because in the past two elections they have had very staged appearances by the Prime Minister — her facing an angry mob doesn’t suit their agenda. They want you to see her in front of a planned crowd, all hanging on her every word and looking at her adoringly. Think about her announcement standing on the train platform promising to build light rail from downtown Auckland to the airport. Carefully staged — oh and of course, another broken promise.

                His coming out now was planned and will be used as an excuse for her not to be out campaigning in public. Perhaps the Government should listen to some of those angry people. Understand where they are coming from.

                Perhaps they should stop with false promises and actually deliver something and then people might happily get on with their lives.

                Perhaps the Government should listen to some of those angry people. Understand where they are coming from.

                Paula Bennett is a former Deputy Prime Minister and National Party politician who now works at Bayleys Real Estate as national director customer engagement.


                • Incognito

                  The blinkers have now come off for many. They feel lied-to. They feel cheated. All the promises, all the words about improving everything from child poverty, to housing, to crime, to the cost of living have come to nothing. In fact, we are substantially worse off. Yes, people are angry and they don’t feel they are being listened to. [my italics]

                  This was a tell-tale sign of manipulative spin and counter propaganda.

                  • Kat

                    This is the National party maitre de who used to hand out lollies and lead 'sing along songs' on the blue bus, who infamously once said that Jacinda Ardern doesn't have the brain to be a leader, that Jacinda stole her sunshine, that is now selling real estate, penning cheap shot commentary in the Herald and staring in charades and mind game shows on TV.

                    I challenge anyone to give an example of anything of real worth that this now very very bitter ex politician left as a positive legacy of her time in govt and parliament.

              • Anne

                "Sadly this ignorance is becoming alarmingly more apparent in today's society."

                And when it hits members of your own family who you originally thought were intelligent and astute enough to see through the DP, then it brings home just how serious this age of mis and dis-information has become.

                • Finn McCool

                  So because some of your family members think differently to you, you believe the causal affect for their opinions is misinformation they have swallowed hook, line and sinker?

                  Has it crossed your mind you may be wrong? That your perceptions of the current state of affairs is ideologically driven misinformation?

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Has it crossed your mind you may be wrong?

                    Always – although that's never stopped me having an opinion wink

                    When evaluating information, misinformation and disinformation, I let consensus expert opinion be my guide – usually sees me right. Anne’s opinion about her family members may wrong (as you posit), but she’s certainly better placed than most to form her opinion, don’t you think?

                    No denying the appeal of contrarian views in these uncertain times, but consider the possibility that views at odds with expert consenseses are motivated by something other than a search for truth.


                  • Anne

                    Has it occurred to you that you are an ignoramus and have absolutely no knowledge of my family or their beliefs or disbeliefs. Does it occur to you that you have no right to pass disrespectful judgement about something you know nothing about?

                    Does it occur to you that you may be the one swallowing mis and dis information gathered from less than reputable sources.

                    What a jerk-like response!

                    • Finn McCool

                      ''Has it occurred to you that you are an ignoramus and have absolutely no knowledge of my family or their beliefs or disbeliefs.''

                      Well, when you write the following, naturally the reader will make assumptions given the topic under discussion and what members of your family have obviously opined contrary to beliefs you hold:

                      ''And when it hits members of your own family who you originally thought were intelligent and astute.''

                      What about this? :

                      ''Does it occur to you that you have no right to pass disrespectful judgement about something you know nothing about?''

                      I wasn't passing judgement on your family. I was posing a question to you.

                      ''Does it occur to you that you may be the one swallowing mis and dis information gathered from less than reputable sources.''

                      Yes, I worry about disinformation all the time. Hence I pay little attention to social media for starters. That leaves serious publications and articles to wade through. And even then bias must be taken into consideration.

                      You called me a ignoramus with a a knee jerk-like response, without understanding what I wrote, or answering the question I posed. That tells me your mentation has the consistency of kapok. Ironically DMK provided me with the answer you should have.

          • Ad

            Clark is right.

            They are hard deals to get through government because they are big fucking deals.

          • Belladonna

            Neither do your assumptions (that the pandemic intervened) make it fact.

            I've provided evidence that they were well off track on their timeline in 2019.

            Where is your evidence that they were all poised to start building in 2020 and were derailed by the pandemic?

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          In the case of Dunedin hospital, I suppose better late than never.

          I suppose similarly – a new hospital for Dunedin, promised by both Labour and National in 2017, built by Labour according to National's timetable. Neither party would have factored a pandemic into their original completion date estimates.

          Construction Sector COVID-19 Recovery Study [January 2021; PDF]
          COVID-19 impacts thus far
          The impact of COVID-19 has made 2020 the most turbulent year in recent history for the Sector. The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated significant public health and economic policy responses centred on addressing the human impacts of the health crisis. Yet, measures aimed to slow the spread of the virus resulted in an unprecedented decline in construction activity.

          • Ed1

            Comparisons with previous administrations are not always easy; I am aware that there was hospital building during the time of the National Government; in Wellington a new Block was built at Bowen Hospital, and I think there was substantial work done at Wakefield. I don't know when it happened but the firm that now does taking samples for medical tests seems to be everywhere, although I was surprised they did not seem to be involved in the Covid injections; Dental firms seem to be going corporate as well – perhaps new Dentists cannot afford the equipment needed these days, so a corporate structure puts the profits with the supplier of capital – and now Warehouse Chemists are setting up bigger stores and may squeeze out local chemists through not charging for prescriptions – they may provide the same sort of competitive market that results in such low prices for groceries at our supermarkets . . . Meantime there are still trucks from three different companies going down my street to pick up rubbish – its got to be good to have the competition – for both profits and of course private companies are automatically more efficient . . . but thank goodness someone else pays for the road repairs from those extra trucks . . .

      • Matiri 2.1.3

        And Nelson Hospital.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    Twitter going nuts at the moment about a rumoured coup in China. Apparently flights cancelled all over the place, military vehicles seen heading to Beijing, and Xi being under house arrest. Seems to be mainly coming from India, and nothing confirmed at the moment. But would be huge if true.

    The interesting thing is that the article is very specific in its detail, and as far as I know, no denial from China yet.

  4. Kantar poll seems to be showing Brown as a clear front-runner over Collins for the Auckland mayoralty in the latest poll – conducted after Viv Beck pulled out.


  5. joe90 5

    And they're off.

  6. joe90 6


  7. Incognito 7

    Doesn’t nitrate give water that earthy taste?


    Environmental testing shows rivers and lakes in low lying areas of the country are generally in a bad state.


    Yup, the metaphorical but also literal shit always travels down.

  8. Incognito 8

    However, the reports were quickly debunked.


    Darn, and I didn’t win Lotto either because I didn’t buy a ticket surprise

  9. Incognito 9

    Oh dear, MoH has corrected one of its many webpages.

    Last week, the ministry amended information on its webpage about transgender children and young people, removing the words “safe and fully reversible” from a section about puberty blockers.


    • Molly 9.1

      What's your point here?

      AFAIK, despite lack of clinical evidence for use in "affirming healthcare", and increasing evidence of harm, the MoE website changes do not reflect a change in prescribing protocols – as they should.

      Those who have asked the Ministry to justify use, also keep an eye on messaging.

      • Incognito 9.1.1


        • Molly

          That's less than expected from you, Incognito.

          The Ministry of Health (and Education) has taken advice from advocates, and website edits are the least of it.

          Do you approve of current protocols for minors and consider this a storm in a teacup?

          Or do you just want to critique those who noticed the change? Because?

          • Molly

            Phone edit funky.

            "Taken advice from advocates" should have added "without scientific basis or evidence regarding next positive outcomes"

        • Ad

          You went there dummy

          • Incognito


            • Anker

              You can groan and sigh all you like Incognito. But when the cases of detransitioners start rolling in, it will be those of us who spoke up and pushed back against this harmful ideology that will be off the hook.

              The rest of you. Well you will have to admit you were wrong and defended the medical transitioning of children who are left with irreversible damage.

              My conscious will be clear

              • Incognito

                Given that I have neither treated nor suggested a child to undergo or not undergo transitioning treatment I can assure that my conscience is as clear as yours. FWIW, I’ll leave the moral judgement of the specialists involved in such treatments to those who are better equipped to do so and who have all the facts of each individual case.

                It was nice talking to you again.

          • Molly


            Remember TS is not for asking if medicating NZ children without clinical evidence is a problem.

            It’s for swapping insights into the Ukranian war…

          • Molly

            Yes, Ad. He went there. Briefly, pointlessly and with little intention other than to… what?

            How much time have you spent on looking for the background to New Zealand's current approach to the treatment of minors? I'm assuming it's very little, because you would not be so casual.

            But, hey ho. Return to your usual discussion. (Which bores me to tears, but I have the self-control to not assume that my boredom should stop others being interested in it, and pass judgement.)

            Do you know the latest Standards of Care from the WPATH guidelines that we base on health care on, removed any minimum ages from medical intervention, and included a section on eunuchs as a gender identity, complete with reference to child eunuchs?

          • Anker

            The M of H can't have it both ways.

            Either puberty blockers are safe and fully reversible or they are not.

          • Anker

            A British psychiatrist on puberty blockers. He ran a specialist clinic for gender dysphoric people in the UK.

            Watch and learn

      • weka 9.1.2

        to me it looks like MoH passed the buck. When the court cases arrive, it will be individual doctors not the MoH being held accountable. Clever, having a bob both ways.

  10. joe90 10

    He's not wrong.

    Gabriel Boric: "It makes me angry that the left condemns the violation of human rights in Yemen or El Salvador, but not Venezuela or Nicaragua"

    The president of Chile, Gabriel Boric, was forceful this Thursday in pointing out that the Latin American left cannot have a double standard when it comes to human rights, and expressed that he is angry that there are sectors that do not condemn the abuses committed in Venezuela or Nicaragua. "It really bothers me when you're on the left and then you condemn the violation of human rights in Yemen or El Salvador, but you can't talk about Venezuela or Nicaragua," he assured during a conversation at Columbia University. Boric stated that “it does not matter if you are from the extreme right or extreme left. They are civilizing mandates. Respect for human rights cannot have a double standard” The Chilean president recalled that when the human rights abuses began in Venezuela during the government of Hugo Chávez, sectors of the left avoided condemning him.


    google translate


  11. I hadn't realised that the recent flow of insightful media coverage of the justice system, and the problems and inequities therein, were the result of a specific project.

    Journalists are shining a light on our legal system, revealing some important cases and systemic problems. They're doing so in the face of impediments inside the courts and uncertainty about where the money to pay for the reporting will come from.

    project Open Justice Te Pātiti, which is funded to employ 15 specialist journalists to cover everything from the Supreme Court to the Tenancy Tribunal.

    The project has increased coverage of our courts across the country, including several in smaller towns and regions that have not seen regular scrutiny in some time.

    I would definitely support continued funding for Open Justice. The more light we shine on justice and injustice the better.

    Open Justice's future is far from guaranteed. Its funding runs out in September next year, though NZME can apply for further funds in either of the two final PIJF rounds.


  12. I love the flexibility inherent in this design of modular tiny houses.

    Yes, of course there are fish hooks in terms of consenting, etc – not to mention site coverage rules – but the whole concept of a house that grows and/or shrinks as your family circumstances change is awesome.


    • We just need more flexible thinking in Councils. A big ask as they don't do that!!

      So we need to lobby them.

      • Belladonna 12.1.1

        TBH – I don't think lobbying them is going to achieve much. Action needs to happen at a national level.

        Councils are running scared (terrified more likely) over the whole leaky buildings saga which is still grinding its way through the court system (apparently new leaky buildings – including relatively recent builds – are still popping up). So often Council is the 'last man standing' and wears the cost for reparations of faults in building design, materials and workmanship (all other parties having wound up their business) – because they signed off on them at the time.

        Until NZ finds a way to decouple Council responsibility from liability – Councils will be highly motivated to be as conservative as they possibly can be in terms of design approval. They also have issues around infrastructure – given the way the rates-based funding is tied to value of the property/land. A sewerage/stormwater connection (for example) costs just as much for a tiny house, as it does for a property worth 3x the price – and the family occupying the tiny house are equally likely to use Council services like pools or libraries – but the higher valued property pays a lot more in rates. Hence Councils are motivated to sign-off on high-value builds, rather than cheaper tiny houses.

        My solution would be for the developer/builder/architect to be required to take out insurance against flaws in development/construction/design which impact on the habitability of the house. A one-off cost paid at the completion of the build (Switzerland does this). If there is a leaky building scenario (or any other build quality issue) – then the insurance companies fight it out. [I'd also legislate that they have to pay for repair/remediation up-front – while they're carrying on their legal battles over who pays in the background] And, developers/builders/architects who have ongoing issues, will be unable to get insurance, and will go out of business.

        • scotty

          Such an insurance scheme could not happen in New Zealand.

          It would immediately be framed as 'another tax' by ZB/ Herald arm of the National party – adding further to construction costs – stealing money from hard working Kiwis…

          • Belladonna

            Depends on how it’s framed.
            I think that many, many homeowners would like to see an effective scheme, rather than being forced (as they currently are) to go through the Courts in the hope of gaining redress.

        • RedLogix

          We have experience in this area – from some years back admittedly – and I totally agree with you. Our building industry has struggled for decades with numerous problems and what you have described is absolutely one of the more significant ones.

          I rather like your solution – although it would be good to have some carveouts to allow quality owner builder work to be permitted.

          • Belladonna

            I don't have a problem with owner building work, so long as the owner wears the long term cost if problems eventuate. Insurance could cover this, as well.

        • Molly

          "Until NZ finds a way to decouple Council responsibility from liability"

          The LBP mechanism does decouple the councils from liability.

          A consequence has also been that there is no one agency responsible for ensuring projects are built to plan, and to N Z Building Standards. That is now distributed amongst the local authorities and the associated Licensed Building Practitioners.

        • pat

          We have such a scheme and did have at the time of 'leaky building'….insurance, either public or private is not a panacea.

          • Belladonna

            No. Your general house insurance does not usually cover defects in workmanship or design (AKA leaky buildings).

            • pat

              Master build guarantee supposedly does…and the consenting authority is ultimately liable.

              As we have discovered having 'insurance' is no guarantee all loses will be made good….at best insurance may provide partial recompense in some situations.

              The question is at what level of additional cost/risk is it viable?

              • The consenting authority ultimately being liable is part of the problem. What that actually means is that the cost/risk is spread across the ratepayers. And strongly incentivises high compliance fees and low risk consents (you want to do something 'different' be prepared to pay multiple tens of thousands up front)

                Masterbuild guarantees spreads the cost/risk across a small number of builder members. It has always seemed to me to be a marketing tool, rather than an insurance protection.

                Insurance, which is then re-insured off-shore, spreads the risk much more widely.

                ATM developers routinely wind up their company at the end of each build – to ensure they are not liable for any downstream build-quality consequences. Insurance would be one mechanism to ensure that they couldn't opt out of their responsibilities.

                It's affordable and effective in Switzerland (had a long discussion a couple of years ago with a Swiss/Kiwi friend renovating a house in NZ who was horrified at the apparent immunity of builders/developers here).

                • Pat

                  All insurance whether private or public is ultimately borne by the populous and reinsurance /insurance only remains so long as it is viable for the party(its) underwriting it. LLC ability to wind up is not altered by the presence of insurance and ICs can themselves 'wind up' (a la AMI)…the ultimate 'last man standing' will always be the Gov, both state and local….and any dispute is determined by the courts, whether it be with developer, IC or even the government.

                  We can demand all sorts of conditions on doing business here should we so desire….provided we are prepared for the possibility that no one will deem it worth the cost/risk to do so (and also that one way or another 'we' pay for it anyway)

      • Belladonna 12.1.2

        And, wouldn't it be great if Council's mandated this kind of movable house as the only allowable build in flood-prone areas (looking at you North Shore beach-front) – every time a multi-millionaire wants to replace the house (happens amazingly regularly – looking at the building works every time we go to the beach) – they'd have to use modular housing….

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