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Open mike 26/01/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 26th, 2020 - 60 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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60 comments on “Open mike 26/01/2020”

  1. A 1

    Natural justice.  It's a basic concept that all legal processes are subject to…unless you are a beneficiary accused of fraud.  Innocence is no defence.

    In theory the more serious the consequences are to legal proceedings, the more carefully procedural fairness should be adhered to – this is why sometimes criminal trials are aborted, and why cross examination of key witnesses must be permitted except in extreme circumstances.  Not to allow this would undoubtedly result in innocent people being unfairly convicted.

    Witnesses can be mistaken, may hold grudges or just be neighbourhood gossips spreading mistruths.  They may have been asked leading questions by an investigator.  The investigator may not have identified themselves as such and the "witness" may have made a throwaway comment which they knew to be slightly untrue not realising the consequences.  Maybe the witness happens to be an extreme right wing nutjob who thinks they are doing their part by making the beneficiary suffer.  Some of these biases could have been uncovered by the defence were it not for the fact the witness remains conveniently anonymous and therefore much seems to hang on the honesty of the investigators.   

    Please take time in your Sunday to watch this piece from Newshub on Friday.  Since most of us end up in the benefit system eventually this could be you or your family one day….all you need to be convicted is a close and supportive friend that you happen to live with, heck not even that because on a whim MSD can decide that even though you don't live with someone you are in a relationship of the nature of marriage.  If you have any friends that you share life experience with technically you could be putting yourself at risk of conviction.  Ask yourself why, with the severe consequences of a possible fraud conviction, those anonymous witnesses cannot be cross examined in court like in the same manner as in other criminal court proceedings?


    [Video is unrelated to article…can't find it anywhere else]


    • Cinny 1.1

      Wow, I thought such things had ceased.  Those poor people, what an awful thing to endure at their age.

      This happened to a friend (single parent on the solo parent benefit), her boarder had a jealous ex.  The ex went to WINZ concocted a story, my friend was sent a letter and stood down from her benefit.

      The whole story was false, but the only way to fix things was for the boarder to move out, lucky there wasn't a housing crisis at the time.  It was a big needless drama.

      There are some nasty people out there. 

      • Janet 1.1.1

        Universal Basic Income  would sort all this out.

        • RedLogix

          Yes indeed, but the moment TOP made it a central policy plank, the political tribalists around here all decided it was the work of the devil.

          • McFlock

            Well, that and the fact that UBI supporters tend to assume that there will be a near-total elimination of bureaucracy as a savings, then handwave that some bureacracy will provide additional support for everyone with needs not anticipated by the level of UBI.

            A better solution to this specific problem would be to mandate that a different agency spends equal amounts researching tax evasion and benefit "fraud", with the same powers. Party donors will be human rights champions pretty damned quick, I reckon.

            • RedLogix

              So your solution to crappy bureaucracy is more bureaucracy.  Well it just might work, although I have to say how impressed I am that you've turned your native cynicism around so soon. cheeky

              • McFlock

                The cynic in me says "inflict a crappy bureaucracy on rich and poor alike (rather than just the poor) and it'll improve pretty damned quick".

                The realist in me says that UBI or not, someone will need an emergency food grant sooner or later.

                • RedLogix

                  We already have a UBI for retired people, and despite it's 'one size fits all' nature, it's eliminated absolute poverty among the elderly. When they have specific needs above and beyond there is the Residential Care Subsidy. No system is perfect, but it's working reasonably well.

                  Surely it's not beyond our wit to extend the same concept to the wider population. But then again I keep noticing how so-called progressives are quite frequently not all that keen on progress. Odd really.

                  • McFlock

                    "Eliminated"? Not according to Perry, it hasn't. Although I have no idea what benchmark you're using for "absolute poverty", no MSD measure has a zero% poverty rate for pensioners.

                    But I guess a few percent here and there is easy to overlook if a policy idea is clear.

                    • RedLogix

                      The usual benchmark in developed nations is 60% of national median income, which NZ Super provides.

                    • McFlock

                      Then why does Perry not appear to have a single "zero" datapoint for poverty in 65+ age group?

                      Section I.

          • Incognito

            Why is TOP always mentioned in this context but not the Green Party?


            • RedLogix

              Good question. I asked Russel Norman about the Green's UBI personally and his answer IIRC was along the lines that it 'needed more studies' before it would taken forward as a major policy initiative.

              I accept that both parties have similar UBI policies, but TOP put it front and centre in the way the Greens never have.

              • Incognito

                Hmmm, my perception was that it was almost the only leg TOP stood on while the Greens had and still have many (other) irons in the fire. As you said, a matter of different priorities.

                Edit: Russel Norman has been gone for more than four years.

  2. joe90 2

    Woman triggers small man.

    On Friday, National Public Radio (NPR) reporter Mary Louise Kelly said that after she asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about Ukraine in an interview, he allegedly become furious, cursed at her and accused her of not being able to find Ukraine on a map.


    Pompeo responded that he has “defended every State Department official” who do “amazing work around the world.”

    Kelly pushed back, asking, “Sir, respectfully where have you defended Marie Yovanovitch?”

    Pompeo responded, “I’ve defended every single person on this team. I’ve done what’s right for every single person on this team.”

    “Can you point me toward your remarks where you have defended Marie Yovanovitch?” Kelly asked.

    Pompeo then moved to end the interview, saying, “I’ve said all I’m going to say today. Thank you. Thanks for the repeated opportunity to do so. I appreciate that.”


  3. mosa 3

    " “The Pacific Islands are the canary in the coal mine for climate induced migrants. Low-lying island states such as Kiribati and Tuvalu are only one or two metres above sea level "


  4. Cinny 4

    Informative interesting piece on The Listening Post last night.  The Aussie fires, climate change, scotty from marketing and dirty murdoch's media monopoly.  

    There's even a split second clip of our PM in it 🙂 – how's that for a teaser? yes

    It's the first story up and is 11 mins long. 

    • Great link Cinny….the stories on Bolsanaro and on the brave female Maltese journalist (Carolina Galitsia…something like that) are also excellent. 


    • JanM 4.2

      Great piece – . I was particularly impressed with the clear connection made between the presence of the Murdoch press and views on climate change in the USA and Britain, Another good reason to be thankful we live in NZ!!
      Thanks Cinny.

    • Sacha 5.1

      The Harold is all over it.

    • Herodotus 5.2

      I hope that this govt and what follows will NOT continue the “design and build” tender approach. Which disproportionally transfers risk to the contractor allowing the govt to pay little if any premium for the risk that has been passed on.

  5. mauī 6

    A really interesting video on human viruses from an expert, and relevant to what's going on at the moment.

  6. Poission 7

    Would a little paranoia be useful as a survival mechanism?



    • joe90 7.1

      Tin foil hat time.

      Conspiracy theorists and anti-vaccination campaigners have been spreading misinformation on the English-language internet about the origin of the deadly coronavirus that has hit China and recently spread to the US.

      At the heart of the claims being circulated on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube lies the false claim that the virus – which causes severe lung disease – is not new, but a known strain of the virus that is now being spread deliberately.

      In fact, these conspiracies are based on patents relating to existing strains that are part of the wider coronavirus family, but have nothing to do with that currently spreading in China.


      "And how much funding has the Gates Foundation given to vaccine programs throughout the years? Was the release of this disease planned? Is the media being used to incite fear around it?" Sather tweeted.


      According to social media monitor CrowdTangle, the same link to patent documentation that he shared has appeared in over 260 posts on Facebook – mainly in anti-vaccination and conspiracy groups.


      "It's 'new' yet it was lab created and patented in 2015 (in development since 03')," one Facebook user said in a typical comment accompanied by a link to the patent.


      "Coronavirus is a Patented Virus: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation One of the Primary Owners. Deep State Released the Virus to create Chaos Since Nothing Stopping Trump?" said one popular tweet that has gathered nearly 1,000 retweets.


      • Poission 7.1.1

        Always happens,the genetic information suggests strongly that it is a wildfire outbreak,and has links to cv in snakes.

    • RedLogix 7.2

      People who are sensitive to interpersonal disgust – for example, they dislike sitting on a bus seat left warm by a stranger – are more likely to hold right-wing attitudes and to be racist.

      I've touched on this before, as collective societies we have to deal with two contradictory imperatives, on the one hand outsiders represent opportunity, trade, innovation and new genetics while at the same time they're a potent source of risk, from aggression, immigration and most especially disease.

      I'd speculate that we've evolved a spectrum of behaviors, some individuals are drawn to novelty, while others are repelled by it. Depending on the exact nature of the new experience, at least half of the people may either survive or thrive on it's impact.

      In other words yes, a little paranoia is essential to us as a species. And it reflects in our political behaviours as well.

      • Ad 7.2.1

        That's a bit of a reach from a sample of 103 people. 

        Did you know 100% of people who drink milk die?

        I'd like to see a study on Green bourgeois hygiene and disgust spectra.

        every egg must be handed to you personally by the chicken, and they must want to hand it to you.  Each broccoli hand reared, must be purple, and only raised in hand-sifted black soil from a commune where you can see a picture of them all smiling and waving their little purple heads. As for honey, it's just best not to oppress them thousand critters at all. 

        If you think I'm kidding, try living with them.

        • RedLogix

          I agree that one link does not a hypothesis make; but a bit of searching does find similar studies elsewhere.

          Interestingly your examples link to the other theme I've visited recently, Moral Foundations Theory that posits purity as one of the core values.  Historically this has manifested itself primarily in sexual constraint and control, and food prohibitions of various sorts.

  7. Re the coronavirus pandemic.

    One 'fact' we can be sure of, is that the Chinese government has lied about the size of the outbreak.

    You don't build a 1000 bed hospital in 10 days for 1300 reported cases and 54 deaths (or whatever the official manufactured figures are at the moment).

    You don't lock down a city, 9 cities, an entire province because of 1300 reported cases etc.

    I heard one Chinese language reporter say there had been 90,000 deaths! While this is probably a wild exaggeration, the epidemic is much more serious than China is saying.

    We simply can't trust the CCP over anything.


    • Poission 8.1

      information lags behind release.An interesting model (that is dynamic) suggests the numbers are greater.

      Key findings
      ● We estimate the basic reproductive number of the infection (RR0) to be significantly
      greater than one. We estimate it to be between 3.6 and 4.0, indicating that 72-75% of
      transmissions must be prevented by control measures for infections to stop
      ● We estimate that only 5.1% (95%CI, 4.8–5.5) of infections in Wuhan are identified,
      indicating a large number of infections in the community, and also reflecting the
      difficulty in detecting cases of this new disease. Surveillance for this novel pathogen
      has been launched very quickly by public health authorities in China, allowing for
      rapid assessment of the speed of increase of cases in Wuhan and other areas.
      ● If no change in control or transmission happens, then we expect further outbreaks to
      occur in other Chinese cities, and that infections will continue to be exported to
      international destinations at an increasing rate. In 14 days’ time (4 February 2020),
      our model predicts the number of infected people in Wuhan to be greater than 250
      thousand (prediction interval, 164,602 to 351,396). We predict the cities with the
      largest outbreaks elsewhere in China to be Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou,
      Chongqing and Chengdu. We also predict that by 4 Feb 2020, the countries or
      special administrative regions at greatest risk of importing infections through air travel are Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South Korea.



    • RedLogix 8.2

      We simply can't trust the CCP over anything.

      And the problem for the Chinese people is that they know this even better than we do. China is still struggling as a low trust society anyway, this kind of event only triggers everyone's worst fears.

      Winston Stertzel (aka SerpentZA) has stated that his insider sources tell him the death toll is higher than officially admitted to, but he's reluctant to speculate. Even he realises the perils of unjustified fear-mongering.

      There are now four confirmed cases in Sydney. Hopefully we will glean more accurate information on the virus from Australian sources as they start to deal with it.

      • Poission 8.2.1

        Do you have confidence in the nz ministry of health?

        There are no cases of 2019-nCoV in New Zealand to date. The risk of an outbreak in New Zealand is low, but the Ministry of Health is monitoring the situation closely. If any public health measures are needed for this virus, we will advise.

        WHO does not recommend border screening for 2019-nCoV, and there are currently no travel restrictions at the New Zealand border related to this outbreak. As it is currently winter in Wuhan, respiratory illnesses (such as colds and influenza) are expected among those leaving the region.


    • RedLogix 8.3

      That 90,000 number is the number of infections according to this link:


      Still a rapidly moving target; maybe we will have a more accurate picture in a week or so.

  8. According to my source, 'si' means died – 90,000 people have died, 'chuan ran' means infected.

    My source listened to the video in the link given by RL and confirmed the 90,000 deaths (according to the nurse – doesn't necessarily mean it's true.)

    • Just watched a Chinese social media posting (accompanied by a map) saying 6600 people have died in the US and 1,300,000 infected with the coronavirus!

      • McFlock 9.1.1

        Yup, social media at its finest.

        This is what happens when systems have zero trust – as in really low, not just "fringe antivaxx" levels.

        Another side effect was an interview someone had somewhere like a day ago – outside a Wuhan hospital, where a woman was taking her husband around dozens of hospitals because they weren't testing him for the virus. Even if he just has a normal cold, they're taking up clinician/triage time and possibly infecting others because they don't trust an already stressed system. Maybe they're right, maybe the clinicians are right, either way the fear is more pressing than the actual condition.

  9. Sacha 10

    Napier to Wairoa rail line revived: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/408144/reinstated-wairoa-to-napier-rail-line-should-bring-growth

    Is this the one ‘Cleangreen’ was lobbying for?

    • Alice Tectonite 10.1

      I think Cleangreen wanted it open all the way to Gisborne. KiwiRail need more $$$ to fix washouts north of Mahia. Understand there was some provincial growth fund money for a study.

      • OnceWasTim 10.1.1

        He did/does – and with good reason, Even if you think he might be a moaning old once-was-leftie boomer running out of life. 

        Like our PM, I imagine @Cleangreen wonders why things take so long to see the bleeding bloody obvious. In Jacinda's case – "complete faith in her officials" ain't gonna cut it for much longer. Especially when many of them have their own agendas – not the least of which is maintaining a comfy little status quo (in this space, going forward)

        Whatever you think, @Cleangreen deserves a lot of respect for his dedication to a cause, and one that'll inevitably become a necessity.

        But Hark!  Imagine how better off we'd be today if the rail network (tracks) as it stood  50 years ago was still their to utilise

      • Alice Tectonite 10.1.2

        PGF funded report published in December: Reconnecting Gisborne – The feasibility of reinstating the rail line


        … estimated one-off expenditure of between $20 million and $23 million. Additional works to improve the resilience of the line to adverse weather events would cost an additional $5 million to $6 million.


        Over the following 10 years, a further $5 million to $7 million would be required in additional bridge, tunnel, and track works.

    • RedLogix 10.2

      Yes good news. And done for only $6.5m … petty cash. Just highlights how little Key's govt got done really.

  10. If any of youse fellas watched tonight's ONE News (Your News, complete with its Kapow Exclusives), you'll have noticed MBIE (specifically INZ) continues to embarrass its Minister – although I'm actually now wondering whether he's actually into it all.

    Beat Me Beat Me!  More! More!

    I wonder when it will be that the Joyce/Coleman experiment will be disbanded. Maybe they're hoping it'll all fall apart by itself.

    In the meantime, we shouldn't be pretending we're somehow better than anywhere else in the world in terms of providing the platform for exploitation (be they tourists, immigrant workers, students, or even retirees simply wishing to reciprocate the kindness they were given when touring overseas).

    For me, tinkering no longer cuts it – especially when with the current coalition government needing to compromise, there would have been an opportunity to do something about it..

    Roll on public service reform eh Chris?  Don't hold your breath.


      • OnceWasTim 11.1.1

        Take your pick @Sacha.  There's an event nearly every day. 

        The one you've referenced is probably as good as any, but I was thinking more to do with the refusal of a few Ethiopians into the country. A few (prominent) NZers (JPS, QSM's et al) had been hosted by them in that black fellas country and wanted to reciprocate by providing their guides with a 'lil 'ole NUZull that punches above its weight experience – as an expression of appreciation.

        However, they were turned down. 

        Our capability to vet prospective 'lil-ol'NuZull-that-punches-above-its weight entrants is about as sophisticated as our colonial masters want it to be.

        Unfortunately (really really unfortunately, and with all due apologies to @ MickySavage et al), the Labour Party's politicians seem to have succumbed.

        But – you know………as far as I'm concerned (and incidentally a number of family) ………… NEXT, and the best of british luck at the next erection

  11. Eco maori 12

    Some Eco Maori Music For The Minute. 

  12. Eco maori 13

    Kia Ora The Am Show. 

    The way I see it things are a lot better under a left Government than a right one who's main goal is to ceed power and money from the many to their few Wealthy mates. 

    There you go more evedince that alcohol causes a lot of harm to society's alcohol fetal disorder. 

    Ka kite Ano 




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    1 week ago
  • Minister of Employment launches Youth Ready Employer Programme
    A programme for employers to help them engage effectively with younger employees was launched today by Minister of Employment, Willie Jackson. The Youth Ready Employer Programme contains a range of on-line templates that employers can easily access to help with employing and retaining young people in their businesses. The programme ...
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    1 week ago
  • Budget 2020 date announced
    Budget 2020 will be delivered on Thursday 14 May, Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “This year’s Budget will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also preparing the economy for the future. “Those challenges and opportunities cannot be resolved in one budget, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s tribute to former Prime Minister Mike Moore
    I move, That this House place on record its appreciation and thanks for the devoted and distinguished service to New Zealand by the late Rt Hon Michael Kenneth Moore, member of the Order of New Zealand, a member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, an Honorary Member of the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Agriculture Minister declares adverse event in Northland
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has today classified the drought conditions in Northland as an adverse event for the primary sector, unlocking $80,000 in Government support. “This is recognition that the extreme and prolonged nature of this dry spell is taking its toll on our farmers and growers and additional support ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police disrupt methamphetamine trade
    The Minister of Police says an operation to smash a trans national drug smuggling ring today will make a significant impact on the methamphetamine trade fuelling harm in our communities. Police have announced 10 arrests and the seizure of up to five million dollars’ worth of illicit drugs after an ...
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    1 week ago
  • Crown accounts in good shape to counter global challenges
    The Government’s books are in a strong position to withstand global headwinds, with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the six months to December. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above ...
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    1 week ago
  • Racing Safety Development Fund open for applications
    Race courses can improve safety with this year’s second round of funding from the Racing Safety Development Fund. Minister for Racing Winston Peters has announced the second funding round of 2019/20 is open with $347,875 available for distribution. “The racing industry is integral to the economic and social fabric of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s Immunisation System
    Hundreds of thousands of young adults will be offered measles vaccinations in a new campaign to strengthen New Zealand’s immunisation system, Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter said at its launch in Auckland today. “About 300,000 young adults aged between 15 and 29 are not fully protected against measles, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government to fund Aids research
    The Government is committing $300,000 to fund research to update behavioural information to make sure HIV and STI prevention services are targeted appropriately in New Zealand. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson made the announcement at today’s Big Gay Out in Auckland. “There is much talk about ...
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    1 week ago
  • Work to begin on a possible new public media entity
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media has announced work will begin on a business case to assess the viability of forming a new public media entity.   “The Government must ensure New Zealanders have a strong independent public media service for decades to come, which means ensuring public ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government support for communities impacted by flooding
      Minister of Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare announced today that the Government will contribute $100,000 to the Southland regional Mayoral Relief Fund, to support communities impacted by the recent flooding in Southland.  Mr Henare says this week’s flooding has caused significant disruption to communities in the lower South Island.  ...
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    2 weeks ago