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Open mike 25/10/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 25th, 2010 - 57 comments
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57 comments on “Open mike 25/10/2010”

  1. I am going to try and make today a hobbit free day …

  2. Blue Boy 2

    Has ayone seen the ‘Gooffather”, he’s been AWOL since the Labour Party Conference?

    • lprent 2.1

      He isn’t as obsessed about being in the cameras lens as clueless is. After all Goff is a competent politician rather than a mere dabbler in the arcane art. Consequently he doesn’t require that huddle of staff that clueless uses to bolster his confidence, and who seem to spend their time getting photo ops for him rather than keeping an eye on his rogue ministers who keep screwing up. Mind you I suppose it is easier doing that than trying to restrain Brownlee or Tolley.

      Does that answer your question? In the same daft vein as yours which should delight you. Do you have any further idiot troll type questions?

      Talking about Brownlee, this SNAFU occoured on his watch as Minister of Economic Development. Even for someone as incompetent as he is, this is a rather big set of blunders because he wasn’t watching a major project. I’m continually surprised that John Key leaves him in that portfolio. But I guess he is still grateful from when John got put in as leader of National.

      • Blue Boy 2.1.1

        You haven’t answered my question, WTF is Mr Invisible. He is obviously getting Trev to handle the heat on the Hobbitt issue. He needs to stand up and defend Labours position with the inept CTU and why they are trying to fuck up NZ film industry.

        • Anthony C 2.1.1.1

          What heat? This mess has nothing to do with Labour and absolutely nothing to do with Goff as much as you want to link them to it.

          Anyway open mike, it’s been sad and unsurprising to hear Helen Kelly and Robyn Malcolm receiving the same kind of misogynistic attacks that Helen Clark was subjected to in her later years as PM – I suppose disenfranchised and downtrodden middle-class white guys still haven’t gotten over the erosion of their status in society.

          • Blue Boy 2.1.1.1.1

            Stop looking I found him. He had better watch his back, the vulcures are circling.
            http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-stories/8188601/goff-to-meet-gillard/

            • lprent 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Just shows that you don’t read much. If it took you how long to find that? You really are a bit slow. Perhaps you should learn how to use google?

              • Colonial Viper

                National Party research unit is on leave for Labour Weekend so these guys are doing it all for themselves.

                • Fisiani

                  Halfway report card looking good for National. A very definite Achieved.

                  http://www.national.org.nz/web/Economic_Plan_1_Aug_2010.pdf

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Wages pushed down, tick.
                    Workforce mobility reduced, tick.
                    Tax cuts for the wealthy enacted, tick.
                    Union bashing commenced, tick.
                    Bail out of financial speculators completed, tick.
                    Adult education for those out of work cut back, tick.
                    Home help for the frail and the elderly slashed, tick.

                    Oh that’s definitely ‘achieved’ alright. Brings a tear to my eye.

                  • lprent

                    Umm, no mention of

                    1. unemployment rates especially amongst the young and maori
                    2. increased welfare dependency by people receiving benefits
                    3. that the deficit has increased markedly largely because of taxcuts reducing the ability of the government to pay welfare
                    4. that opportunities overall for adult education have reduced markedly (to the detriment of us all over the long term
                    5. that none of the infrastructure apart from that started by the previous government is confirmed yet (eg broadband) because the government appears to be incapable of getting other people to sign up with their programs
                    6. that the overall spending on research, development and science is down because they cut many of the existing programs
                    7. etc etc

                    This list was obviously put together by a PR idiot who hopes people have short memories

                    • KJT

                      The hemorrhage of NZ business and jobs offshore continued unabated despite dropping wages to developing country levels.

          • M 2.1.1.1.2

            ‘.. it’s been sad and unsurprising to hear Helen Kelly and Robyn Malcolm receiving the same kind of misogynistic attacks that Helen Clark was subjected to in her later years as PM – I suppose disenfranchised and downtrodden middle-class white guys still haven’t gotten over the erosion of their status in society.’

            Yeah, it’s the only way some guys are able to crack a fat

            .

          • Vicky32 2.1.1.1.3

            Yes, I have noticed the misogyny, and the thick, manky smell of testosterone…
            Deb

        • lprent 2.1.1.2

          I don’t think that Labour have a position on it. What they are correctly doing is largely staying out of an industrial dispute as has been the convention for many years. I’d have to note with approval that the National party or the NACT government is also not saying anything much about it either at present. The initial comments that did come from that side were quite ill-advised and I’m quite glad they appear to have stopped. Changing conditions of labour law is a fraught situation when it is done on the basis of idiotic reflex.

          The only comment that i have seen by Trevor Mallard has been about the role of the Minister of Economic Development in getting a major investment into NZ

  3. come get some 3

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10682899

    Fucking bludgers, dont they know it’s easy to buy a house

    • Ed 3.1

      Despite some small reductions in house prices, reducing incomes (remember median age has reduced by $5 to $9 in the last year under National) probably mean that for many New Zealanders it has never been harder to buy a house. Banks are not as ready to lend 90% of purchase price, especially to people in teh income bands where unemployment continues to increase.

      Also noted from that article:
      “He is proposing that new tenants be told their tenancies will be reviewed every three, five or 10 years to make sure they are still the right people for that home.

      If not, the house could be transferred to the non-profit sector such as the Salvation Army, or the tenants could buy the house, move to a more suitable home, or be evicted.”

      It seems that National propose to hand over management of State houses to charities . . . – or will they try to sell them?

      • Zorr 3.1.1

        Also, the thing not stated in that article is that HNZ -are- constantly reviewing the status of their tenants and that if they no longer meet the hardship requirements they start charging market rent on the house. Not exactly the free ride that they are being painted as.

        • ZeeBop 3.1.1.1

          Yeah, I thought it was a bit lapse of Housing NZ not to offer smaller accomadation when the
          kids leave home. They might leave people in a larger home just to keep it occupied until
          they free up smaller homes and that’s the crisis because there aren’t enough smaller homes
          in the private big is better developer led market.

          • Vicky32 3.1.1.1.1

            I would happily move to a smaller home as my son has moved out – but not until I have a job! Until then, I am trying to lie low, and not be noticed by HCNZ, they mess up all the time.
            Deb

    • NickS 3.2

      What is it with National choosing Minister who don’t grok logic?

      Probably the standout bit is this:

      Heatley said long waiting lists show the current system is not working.

      Which is a clear supply/demand issue, caused by a combination of factors such as the housing market bubble, which caused rents to increase to levels the poorer segments of the NZ population couldn’t afford, pus the current recession. And underlying it all is National’s selling off of state houses in the 90’s without replacing those assets, further stuffed up by Labour not really building sufficient numbers of state houses.

      Only addressing the suitability of tenants, will likely merely be a cheap band-aide, the sort that falls off rapidly, and combine this with Heatley saying they’ll be fobbing houses off to “charities” and National’s craptastic reasoning when it comes to infrastructure investment, it’s delusional to be optimistic anything good will come of this. Basically, in terms of logic, Heatley’s missing evidence that contradicts his arguments, but as we’ve seen over the holiday highway, ACC, National Standards etc, that’s just business as usual…

      More worrisome for me, while the Salvation Army are fairly egalitarian and don’t really discriminate on basis of religion, race sexuality etc, and only really evangelise via “good works” rather than hard sell missionary stuff, other charities may not be so nice towards tenants…

      And given National’s habitats of fobbing stuff off to “mates”, colour me pessimistic that this any other than a bad idea.

  4. And here at Downtown Auckland there are maybe 25 protestors, a couple of kids dressed as hobbits and the odd sign. And no speakers or sound system. They should have got the unions to organise the ralley …

  5. Gina 5

    OK Guys.
    I saw Q&A online yesterday with Phil Goff. He has really lifteed his game and was very good.
    Paul Holmes looked like a frantic idiot and kept repeating the mantra ” Goff cannot win. If the election is free and fair I think he can but here’s where I start to worry.

    I’m having nightmares about the next election. I think the Nats are going to rig it via roll purges of the poor, poor single women and Maori voters as is similarly practiced in the USA by the republicans. Why do I have these suspicions. Well if you want ot know read on….

    First read the quote I’ve pasted in from the electoral commission website.
    http://www.elections.org.nz/study/news/law-change-planned-allowing-online-re-enrolment-and-update-of-details.html

    “A law change is planned that will allow people to re-enrol or update their enrolment details online, without the need for a signed enrolment form.

    When people enrol or update their details now they can fill in the information online but they must complete the process by signing the completed form.

    The proposed law change in the Electoral (Administration) Amendment Bill No.2 will let people re-enrol and make changes to their details online using the ‘igovt’ government logon service which will require a password to protect security.

    The new online enrolment update facility is expected to be available for the next General Election, once the new bill has been passed.”

    Next read this article

    http://www.bradblog.com/?p=8109
    D.C. Internet Vote Scheme Hacker: ‘Within 36 Hours University of Michigan Had Total Control of Server, Ability to Change Votes, Reveal Secret Ballots’

    No signature required to update registration details. The mind bogles about the security of this system. This needs to outed for what it is. It must be stopped.

    And why not read this artickle also to see just how dumb it would be to have a very easily altered database for voter registrations.

    http://www.bradblog.com/?p=8118
    Iranian, Chinese Computers Also Discovered to Have Been Hacking D.C. Internet Voting System

    This sytem would be great for convienince if it were safe but no internet voting or registration scheme can be.These people at the University of Michigan along with many other Top computer scientists know that there are new threats every day and there is no way to guarantee security of the registration process on the Internet. This is why you update update your antivirus software every day. Because the interent is not secure even with passwords and encypton.

    I called your party office the other day and explained my concern to a woman who I cannot name, asking her who I should talk to in parliament about this.
    When I was explaining that this could totally jepordise our democracy and how lucky we were to have democracy I asked her was she concerned about the possibility of New Zealand becoming a dictatorship. She was adamant that “things were going that way” and she didn’t give a brass razoo. I kept on talking a bit but noticed she had gone quiet and thought she must have hung up on me like she had previously. At that point I thought she was off the phone and said something to the effect that she was mental. Unfortunately she was still on the phone and kindly returned the complement.
    I really have had enough after watching the whats been happening in the US and seeing it being repeated here. You see I value deomocracy and I’m sure most of you feel the same, but as National party member Don Mackinnon said a couple of years ago. There are only 13 true democracies in the world. Don also questioned whether democracy was the best system to keep food in the table. Why did he say these things? Helen Clarke assured us all that Don meant nothing by it but I’ve never felt comfortable with hearing that. Call me a conspiracy theorist if you like and maybe a nice guy like Don is beyond reproach? Who knows!!

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      We have to keep a very sharp eye on proceedings over the next 6 months, of that there is no doubt.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      This sytem would be great for convienince if it were safe but no internet voting or registration scheme can be.

      Yes they can. All it requires is a security token or something like Kiwibanks’ Keepsafe. It’s almost impossible to break through either of those systems. It would still need to be watched for attacks, they certainly aren’t going away, but that’s no different from now as electoral fraud happens as the recent events in South Auckland proved.

      • Gina 5.2.1

        I have been assured that the government is not involved in elections and that the electoral commision administers them independantly. However they will be using “‘igovt’ government logon service which will require a password to protect security.”

        That sounds like we are going to use an existing government system for our registration process. Not independant at all.

        Who runs and programs this system. Im sorry but any system is vulnerable to government computer insiders who write the software. No system is secure from the programers employed or plants paid to corrupt elections for the highest bidder or perhaps a cause like the pro-life movement.If a government wants to fix it, its much easier to change mass registrations via computer especially with no signature required.

        Its much harder to change 100000 signed registration forms than for an insider who has inserted code into the software that enables that person to overide security systems.

        It may be a failsafe system if you can guarentee no corrput programing. And Draco T, if you looked at the code would you be able to tell if anything was a miss? Dont think so unless you are a programer. Forged signatures and documents however are much harder to achieve on a large scale and and much easier to detect.

        This is not safe and it looks like the only way to get this sorted will be to bring in computer experts here or from overseas with experience in this area. You cannot guarentee the programers integrity. So what looks like a well protected system may be corrupt from the beginning.

        Heres some info about Mike McConnel, an anti choice and Republican internet strategist.

        http://www.democracynow.org/2008/12/22/republican_it_specialist_dies_in_plane

        “top Republican internet strategist who was set to testify in a case alleging election tampering in 2004 in Ohio has died in a plane crash. Michael Connell was the chief IT consultant to Karl Rove and created websites for the Bush and McCain electoral campaigns. Michael Connell was deposed one day before the election this year by attorneys Cliff Arnebeck and Bob Fitrakis about his actions during the 2004 vote count in Ohio and his access to Karl Rove’s email files and how they went missing. ”

        Mike McConnell reportedly told Stephen Spoonamore (banking IT expert ) that the primary reason he helped Bush steal the elections was to save the babies. He was a staunch oponent of abortion. It was also reported that Mike regretted what he had done in his part in rigging the election was talking to anti internet voting activists and was going to public but was killed just before that would have happened.

        Watch Amy Goodman talking to Mark Crispen Miller about Connells election activities and Tragic Death on Democracy Now.

        http://www.democracynow.org/2008/12/22/republican_it_specialist_dies_in_plane

        You cannot guarantee the integrity of the programers period.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1

          All those can be done through the paper system as well and there are ways and means of ensuring the coding is legit and not corrupted. The best way I’ve seen is Open Source and a Checksum.

          Can’t guarantee the integrity of paper counters either.

          • Gina 5.2.1.1.1

            Draco
            “Can’t guarantee the integrity of paper counters either.”
            No you can’t however counters have scrutineers from all parties watching them counting votes. With corrupt code a whole election can be changed by one or two people in minutes. Scrutineers cannot see inside the machines counting votes or registering voters and all sorts of firmware can infect parts of the computer system not even connected with the main system. The CD drive in you computer has its own firmware built into it along with many other parts of the computer.

            Thats the difference. And one or two counters might count 10000 votes between them if they can get past the scrutineers. I person putting corrupt code into a computer can corrupt an entire election or electoral role easily if the system is administered by that code.

            One or two people miscounting votes will likely be picked up by the scrutineers but who can pick up computer fraud over an entire election. Who can watch every software and firmware part of every computer in the election. Not possible sorry.

            Its much easier to hack elections via computers and that is why they were introduced in the US. The costs of their systems are extortionate and most election officials have little to no training in how to use them and ensure a safe election. But don’t listen to me I advise you to talk to Banking IT CEO Stephen Spoonamore who has been involoved in banking security for 30 years and he will tell you that the internet cannot be secured for elections.

  6. Mickeysavage:

    Uhm are you getting the lastest updates from the marches???

    You said 25 protestors and acouple of kids dressed as hobbits?

    Do you work for faux news or something? You should because your good at lying.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    I’ve been thinking of the tax rort that international corporations partake in and how it can be eliminated.

    If I’m reading it correctly the corporation sets up a business in a country that has an income but it then offsets that income through billing expenses in another country effectively bypassing tax because the amount that is taxed is calculated as income – expenses. The foreign expenses are, of course, over-charged so as to minimise any taxes.

    Such shifting of expenses can be eliminated by ruling that overseas expenses are not tax deductible. This would ensure that taxes are paid as well as pushing for the local business to be an actual business that benefits the local economy rather than being a shell company with the sole purpose of funnelling money overseas without paying tax.

    • Jagilby 7.1

      “The foreign expenses are, of course, over-charged so as to minimise any taxes”

      As usual you’re wrong, don’t have a clue what you’re on about and just talking through a hole in your head..

      I’ll give you a headstart on the issue though – Look up the term “transfer pricing”. There’s a multitude of rules and regulations on it – indeed there’s a whole industry advising on it.

      Speaking of advice, before you start “thinking” again, you’d be well advised to read up on it before going on another mindless rant on the subject.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        And lots of companies still paying no taxes where they should be. This would indicate that the rules that you’re saying are there aren’t working.

        • Jagilby 7.1.1.1

          This is just comical now.

          Com’on let’s be honest here… You don’t have a shred of evidence to support that statement.

          A second ago you hadn’t even heard of transfer pricing (rules that have been in place and modified for 70-80 years) and now you, in your infinite wisdom aftering having a little “think”, are saying that the rules don’t work.

          Show me exactly what you’re basing that on – where transfer pricing regulations are failing and the quantum of tax revenue loss.

            • Jagilby 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah, and your point?

              The IRD is onto it. Established rules and regulations are there to combat the issue.

              That’s exactly the point I was making.

              From the article:
              Overall, there was a high level of compliance with transfer pricing rules. “It is an area that you can never say is under control, but certainly it is one where we believe there has been high levels of compliance and good co-operation.”

              • Draco T Bastard

                http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/4268985/IRD-hints-at-probe-into-Googles-sandwich

                The Dominion Post revealed in June that Google New Zealand expected to pay just $7726 tax in respect of its last financial year, less than the average teacher or building worker.

                Google does not break out its revenues outside the US and Britain, but it is understood it sold about $150 million worth of advertising to New Zealand customers.

                I’m sure that Google are obeying the laws but $8k on tax from $150m in revenue would indicate that the laws aren’t working. The rules are there but you can probably drive a truck through the loopholes.

                • jagilby

                  You, just as much as me, have no idea of what contributes to that tax result and I don’t have the patience or inclination to go through the notes in their annual report to find out.

                  What’s the big fucken deal, where are you getting $150m from??? That’s a blatant lie – Go check the annual statements on the companies office. Google had revenues of $3.4m in the last 2 years – $3.4m! Not to mention that they have terrible margins here.

                  You take a household name and make these grandstanding statements about them but neglect to mention what we’re talking about – $3.4m in revenue is absolute peanuts for Google. I’d suggest it’d even be below the level of materiality for their auditors.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.2

        Jagilby just relax and impart your knowledge without imparting your ego, OK?

        Anyhows, Google uses a lot more than “transfer pricing” to gain an effective 2.4% non US tax rate. It uses “inter-company licensing fees and contracts for services” as well as known tax shelters like Bermuda.

        DTB – another way of stopping this kind of rorting by foreign multinationals is to have more local companies supplying your home markets. And a rock solid and well funded IRD/serious fraud office not afraid to hunt the big boys.

        • Jagilby 7.1.2.1

          I’ll impart my knowledge sans ego when people here stop making completely unsubstantiated, ill-informed statements against the “evil corporations”.

          It might very well be the case that Google uses a lot more than transfer pricing to achieve that effective tax rate – so what? If jurisdictions (democratic jurisdictions in the case of Burmuda, Cayman, Switzerland etc) want to turn itself into a tax haven then who are we to tell them they can’t?

          DTB was making the insinuation that transfer pricing was a major loophole that tax authorities just let slide for multinational corporations. I take offence to the fact that people can make such claims here and everyone jumps on the bandwagon without a skerrick of evidence or knowledge on the issue.

          Believe me the IRD is already well aware of transfer pricing issues and have a well funded team solely dedicated to ensuring that related party transactions take place at arm’s length prices. And yes, that applies to the “Big Boys” just as much as anyone else.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.1.1

            …want to turn itself into a tax haven then who are we to tell them they can’t?

            As I’ve told you before, such practices result in an imbalance to free-trade. They can do it, but we need to respond by making it expensive for them to do so.

  8. Tigger 8

    Jackson – “As an industry we are perfectly well-equipped through our various guilds to provide excellent terms and conditions for our film workers. If there are problems, it is up to us to use our guilds to resolve them.”

    This is a damn untruth and he knows it. For years the unions in the industry tried to negotiate minimum agreements with the producer’s organisation but due to the powerless position they were in they couldn’t achieve any real or lasting benefits. It was effectively put up with what we’re prepared to give you.

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    What I learned today (wikileaks edition):

    In June 2004 an order was given such that war crimes reported to the coalition in Iraq would not be investigated where it was Iraqi on Iraqi. “”only an initial report will be made … No further investigation will be required unless directed by HQ”.”

    Also in June 2004 John Negroponte was appointed US ambassador to Iraq. He is obviously one unlucky fellow, having also been US ambassador to Honduras in the eighties where he was found to have turned a blind eye to violations of human rights committed by the US backed government of that nation.

    A coincidence I’m sure.

    • Vicky32 9.1

      Oh yes, I am sure it must be a coincidence, because he’s such a well-meaning fellow! 😀
      Deb

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    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    4 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    5 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    7 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago

  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
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