Open mike 26/07/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 26th, 2020 - 81 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 …

81 comments on “Open mike 26/07/2020 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Good to see the PM doing follow-through on the coalition's strategy for weaning Taranaki off fossil fuels: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/122219979/pm-jacinda-ardern-reflects-on-taranaki-and-its-global-potential

    Ardern was in the region for a flying visit on Thursday launching the new energy centre Ara Ake and announcing $48 million in new spending to support projects across Taranaki. “I hope that demonstrates to the people of the region that we genuinely believe New Zealand’s success will be based on investment in our regions.”

    During her day-long visit, Ardern met with the district’s three mayors and other leaders in a behind closed doors sit-down to do a bit of stocktake of where things were at in Taranaki. “We spent a bit of time reflecting on some of the initiatives that have been supported in recent times…Parihaka, the waste treatment injection, obviously the announcement of the launch of Ara Ake and then looking ahead to the opportunities that come with the Covid recovery.” This included what support the Government could provide regarding the skills and trade training required to support new work opportunities.

    Being able to respond to the needs of the community was one factor Ardern identified as a Labour Party tactic to break National’s stranglehold over seats which encompass the Taranaki region, namely New Plymouth, Whanganui and Taranaki-King Country. She said having candidates who are tapped into their communities and know the issues “makes a really big difference.”

    A Labour activist who knocked on my door last week told me their candidate is a community organiser. Well, it worked for Obama.

    One thing Labour would champion if it was elected to Government after September’s general election was the Taranaki 2050 roadmap, which she called an “impressive piece of work”.

    That's good to know. I attended several of the workshops early in the coalition's term and reported on them here – been waiting for the follow-through.

    Leveraging off the work Ara Ake intended to do in creating new forms of energy, Ardern posed the question “why wouldn’t Taranaki be a world leader?.”

    Also encouraging to see that she get's how to implement the roadmap:

    “It’s yours and you’ve already identified what it is that central Government needs to champion alongside you here and I think that will be its strength as you will never succeed if central Government comes in and identifies what a local community’s priorities should be. But we will succeed if we come in and support and work alongside delivering what it is that you determine is the future of the region.”

    Hegel's dialectic, updated into the 21st century: local knowledge & aspirations applied to co-design the plan; implementation via govt supervision. Bottom-up & top-down thinking synthesised via both/and logic. I hope she succeeds in sharing this gnosis so that it becomes general thinking within Labour & the Greens. No sign of National figuring it out…

    • Muttonbird 1.1

      They have also followed through on a national water body which was announced yesterday. No doubt the opposition will complain that govt shouldn’t be governing during the election period.

    • Sacha 1.2

      I'm sure the Greens have never thought of that approach Dennis. Thank goodness they have Labour to show them the way.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Renewable energy development in South Taranaki: https://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/300061761/waipipi-wind-farm-taking-shape-in-waverley

    Installation of the first of 31 wind turbines began last month at the $227 million Waipipi Wind Farm, being developed near Waverley by Tilt Renewables. https://www.tiltrenewables.com/about-tilt-renewables/

    The Waipipi Wind Farm will directly employ 150 staff during construction, then three full-time staff during its 30-year operation.

    Trucks carrying hubs, blades and towers for the wind farm have been travelling through Taranaki to the site from Port Taranaki over the past few weeks… blades 160 metres long

    Overtaking would have been traumatic!! I saw them from the hill above the port. Enormous things, roughly the size & shape of the biggest whales in the ocean, but probably even bigger. Just not so heavy, being mostly air inside. A smaller blade and it's truck tipped over in transit early last month: https://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/121692399/truck-carrying-massive-wind-turbine-blade-topples-over-on-sh45?rm=a

  3. ScottGN 3

    Apart from the fact that Twyford (annoyingly) seems to have done an about-face on his passion for a grade separated CBD to airport metro, the main takeout from this article is that airport to CBD express trains and good local public transport services don’t mix very well. Probably we need to be planning for both.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300063919/election-2020-light-vs-heavy-rail-to-determine-future-of-auckland-transport

    • Andre 3.1

      I really don't understand what benefit light rail has over buses. The footprint of tracks for light rail is bugger-all less than what is needed for bus lanes, and buses have vastly better operational flexibility.

      • ScottGN 3.1.1

        Capacity really. One light rail unit can fit the equivalent of about 4 of the current AT double decker buses. Mostly because everyone has to have a seat on the double deckers due to the low grade ride quality (they lurch around a lot and standing is just dangerous). So as demand (hopefully) increases you need to squeeze more buses onto a finite amount of road space. Eventually you will run out of road. We’re already seeing that at peak times as services from across the isthmus converge on the inner city, the NNR, Mt Eden Rd, Symonds St intersection is an example. Plus we’re running out of street capacity to terminate the services in the city.

        • satty 3.1.1.1

          Another problem with busses, especially double decker busses is the time to board and un-board the busses. I know people here in Wellington that avoid double decker busses for their commute, because it takes too long to get through the "Golden Mile" with too many stops and longer boarding times.

          Trams are usually only one level and have more doors than busses.

          A tram system, in my opinion, only makes sense if you have a dedicated tram line. In some areas of Melbourne the tram has to share the road with cars, which is a complete disaster at car congested times.

          So the people fearing trams are mainly car drivers and their associations (AA). Because it means taking road space away, often rightfully gives trams right of way at crossings and therefore often have significantly lower commute times than cars.

          • ScottGN 3.1.1.1.1

            For what it’s worth station dwell times on the trains in Auckland are way worse than the busses. Though all-door boarding would help on the busses. The main problem though, is once again, safety, the driver can’t move off from the bus stop until they’re sure everyone is safely seated.

        • newsense 3.1.1.2

          Labour's policy was a dedicated light rail corridor before the last election, with light phasing to minimise wait times. Wtf is it now and does the transport minister know?

          From the Stuff article quoting Doug Wilson:

          "Light rail does, but for most of the route it is going to be mixed with traffic, so travel times are affected and you’re going to have a fairly slow journey to the city,” he said."

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        Well, there's the efficiency:

        Trains are in general one of the most efficient means of transport for freight and passengers. An inherent efficiency advantage is the low friction of steel wheels on steel rails compared especially to rubber tires on asphalt. Efficiency varies significantly with passenger loads, and losses incurred in electricity generation and supply (for electrified systems),[60][61] and, importantly, end-to-end delivery, where stations are not the originating final destinations of a journey.

        And passengers per hour by train far exceeds what buses can achieve. Buses, of course, achieve far more than cars.

        With trains we're truly seeing economies of scale and high efficiency in the mode of transport. Heavy rail is better their than light and suburban rail is better again.

        https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1c/Passenger_Capacity_of_different_Transport_Modes.png

    • Muttonbird 3.2

      Twyford might have a point about capacity on the Southern line and extra services from the airport via a spur would slow everything down (I don't know if this is resolvable), but it's really annoying when he says:

      A heavy rail spur is only really useful to airport users going to and from the CBD.

      That is plainly bullshit. People change trains at stations and have been doing this for nearly two centuries now.

      • ScottGN 3.2.1

        Let’s just hope the PM has somebody else in mind for the role of Transport Minister after the election.

        • Sacha 3.2.1.1

          Genter would be a good choice.

          • newsense 3.2.1.1.1

            How responsible are the Greens for the Wellington bus mess? A huge part of it will be selling it to the public and cleaning up the mess of this term. Maybe Genter can do it, but I'm not entirely confident.

            • Sacha 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Do the Greens control either the regional council or the inner city one?

    • Sacha 3.3

      Useful practical post about Akl airport access: https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2020/06/29/63283/

      I’m not sure where the idea has come from that getting between the city and the airport in 30 minutes is so important and it sounds like another case of what I call “airport derangement syndrome”. Almost exactly a year ago I wrote about how there is an over-emphasis put on airport trips with two key reasons being:

      • Politicians, senior bureaucrats, business leaders, media and other members of the ‘elite’ use Airports far more frequently than the average person – so therefore connections to airports are a much bigger deal for them than for most people.
      • A very wide variety of people travel to the Airport over the course of a year, compared to other key places. This means that a lot of people experience travel conditions to and from airports, even if they do so quite rarely.

      Notably, [the Auckland Transport Alignment Project between local and central govt] ATAP suggested just 4% of trips during the morning peak using light rail would be people travelling/from the airport terminals. More importantly the [light rail] project was considered needed to

      • address bus capacity constraints in the city centre
      • improve access to the employment areas, especially those near the airport which would likely be bypassed by a metro system focused on speed to the terminals, and;
      • to unlock growth opportunities in communities along the route.

      However, the purpose of this post was to consider if we could achieve that 30 minute travel time from the city any other way using the network we have planned (or under consideration). …

  4. Pat 4

    "It is up to voters in the precious few weeks until the election to push political parties into ambitious action"

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/oram-we-are-ambitious-people

    While agreeing with the general thrust of the piece by Oram I fear he makes one fundamentally incorrect assumption…..that there is a majority seeking a common outcome

  5. I Feel Love 6

    If our border is closed how can ACT/Plan B can invite the international "experts" here? Will they be paying for their own quarantine?

    • Incognito 6.1

      I reckon they’ll zoom in and zoom out. It’s a shame that the debate is hijacked by a bunch of biased folk pushing their biased opinions and agenda under the pretence of being sound science. The fact that this branded as COVID-19 Science and Policy Symposium hides that in reality it is propaganda aimed to influence NZ policy. Could be an election stunt by Seymour too. It is free and I wonder who funds this.

  6. greywarshark 7

    In case people haven't sighted Rod Oram's opinion on Tiwai Point's demise here is the link from 19 July. It's well based on wide facts, stuffed with them, and probably The Last Word that anybody should bother reading.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/oram-how-the-global-aluminium-market-killed-tiwai-point

    Some people who should know better still keep calling on fellow New Zealanders to save the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter.

    The latest is Winston Peters. He pledges that any future government New Zealand First is part of would support a worker/management buyout. It’s an idea he’s touted since 2011, he reminded us in an article under his name in the Herald on Thursday.

    Similarly, Steven Joyce, the National Party’s chief economic strategist for nine years in the Key and English governments, was all for subsidising the smelter to keep it alive in his Herald column last week.

    Here, though, is the case the smelter really is dead. The sooner we acknowledge that, celebrate its past and work on Southland’s future the better off we’ll all be – particularly the 1,000 people directly hit by the smelter’s planned closure next August.

    What else then? Tesla?

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/elon-musk-may-answer-keeping-jobs-bluffs-tiwai-point-smelter-southland-entrepreneur

    • Gabby 7.1

      Elon's such a great employer, and he wouldn't be digging into the government's pockets at all.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Tiwai Point aluminium smelter only has a future if:

      • We use all the aluminium it produces here, in NZ, for end products. Exporting the aluminium itself simply isn't worth it.
      • We develop our own bauxite source and refine that so that the smelter can use it.
      • It's government owned (or self-owned cooperative) and thus doesn't need to produce a profit for bludging shareholders.

      Chances of this coming about is pretty close to zero – unfortunately. This seems to be because the governments of NZ have given up on actually developing our economy to utilise our own resources and to only export end products and not the raw resources.

  7. Incognito 8

    Our podcast was not made for everyone. Everyone is welcome to it, and to learn something from it, but we’re done with gently educating people who should know better. People who lack the basic respect it takes to do the work to understand why things are the way they are for Māori, their fellow New Zealanders.

    Kia Kaha!

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/300058729/the-myth-of-mori-exceptionalism

  8. weka 9

    Interesting to see TOP's keeping on with the dissing the Greens election strategy (this kind of tweeting isn't uncommon from TOP). Not sure what they think is to be gained (attracting swing voters who hate the Greens?), but I guess it makes them a natural partner for National somewhere down the line.

    https://twitter.com/sparksedit/status/1287164072115363841

  9. AB 10

    Disappointing to see Jack Tame giving airtime to the fool James Carville with his ridiculous ideas about Trump stepping down before the election, and asserting that Biden had the "most progressive agenda ever…"

    Sadly this guy, who might have provided Jack Tame with an intelligent alternative is dead at 37. Michael Brooks in talking to Robert McChesney asks the single most pertinent question … "is there a way of thinking about a Biden presidency that is constructive while being grounded in the realities of power dynamics…" The answer, as you'd expect, is a mixture.

    • newsense 11.1

      The basic take away there is that deprivation creates crime and that inter-generational deprivation even more so.

      It's just about to affect some of the tough on crime mob and others who have sniffed their smelling salts and voted National.

  10. Byd0nz 12

    Time for a Universal Government more like. Based on a world without the corruption of money where people would get their needs met in exchange for working for the betterment of a habitable Planet and a sense of brother/sisterhood.

    Ankraux uzi Esperanton kiel la unuversan lingvon.

    • Foreign waka 12.1

      Byd0nz, a universal government makes it even less possible to prevent corruption, its pretty much an Orwellian scenario.

      Nature favors variety or biodiversity if you will, its better for survival.

      Esperanto has been used for decades but seem to have not that much of an impact as people usually try to associate within their social structure, local lingo. The experiment of mixing different people has not gone that well in Europe.

      A universal income needs to be sooner rather than later discussed as many people will loose their job due to automation. There is a change of how business operate in progress, the outcome most likely similar like the industrial revolution. Those who are right now have a say in the future have a responsibility beyond an individuals preference, political hue or whatever makes them exited. This is about the next generations and their security, be it food, land or resources.

  11. dv 13

    How about

    UBI tax free

    Inc Taxrate over 100k and 150k and 200k

    And a transaction tax to catch the big money movement.

  12. I Feel Love 14

    https://www.google.co.nz/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/josiecox/2020/07/25/leadership-bropriation-covid-boris-johnson-jacinda-ardern-viral-twitter-video/amp/

    Forbes hyping up our PMs leadership skills.

    & saw a funny Tweet comparing Adern rattling off the Govts past achievements with Trump repeating "Person man woman camera tv".

  13. Muttonbird 15

    Ad will be in heaven. The Labour-led government showing intent on major, environmentally sound, forward thinking infrastructure projects.

    The government is doing a great job in the last few days of announcing some major achievements. Serious stuff, and very high quality campaigning.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/300066128/government-wants-100-per-cent-green-electricity-by-adding-battery-power-to-hydro-dams

    • Graeme 15.1

      A bit more detail and indication of the scale of what is being proposed, it's pretty big.

      https://medium.com/land-buildings-identity-and-values/pumped-hydro-update-ec4538cbdb87

      • Brendon Harre 15.1.1

        It is huge step towards 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and a fully carbon zero economy by 2050.

        • Graeme 15.1.1.1

          I was quite surprised by the scale of the thing, it's a Clyde sized undertaking. 23 km of hard rock tunnel is getting into it. Some good employment there. Might even see machines 5 & 6 finally installed at Clyde too.

          But yeah,

          huge step towards 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and a fully carbon zero economy by 2050

    • Pat 15.2

      Brilliant…but the question has to be asked why they waited until the end of their term to fund the investigation….and it needs to be combined with an upgraded fully electrified nationwide rail network.

    • Ad 15.3

      Any Minister can do a report.

      Hard to see any fresh energy investment for years when Tiwai comes off.

      • Andre 15.3.1

        Dunno. If Huntly shuts down the remaining two oldest boilers, and there gets to be a push on to convert other coal users to electricity, we're going to be looking for more generation pretty quickly. And now, decisions won't be distorted by the threat of unleashing all of Manapouri's power onto the market, that will have been done and dusted.

        • Ad 15.3.1.1

          That would need a whole different set of price signals to generator investors than we have now. Even strong changes in Ministerial policy can only operate difficult levers through the Electricity Authority, and through browbeating listed shareholders.

          The geothermal projects around Taupo are in a much more developed state than anything currently in the South Island. Plus they are closer to Auckland.

          Once Manapouri really comes on stream – and takes 6 months to settle – I'd see the geothermal ones as much more likely to proceed.

          Maybe we start to see a stable investment playground in late 2022. Maybe.

          Investment cases after that, project formation and consenting after that, project procurement and construction after that.

          That makes it a third term thing.

  14. I Feel Love 16

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/122208708/sarah-dowie-other-women-were-my-harshest-critics

    In the party of hair puller John Key, saying being an MP is hard because of long hours away from her children, like many other parents. esp solo working parents. Nope, no sympathy from me, she could have highlighted that while in parliament, tried to change policy so all parents get to spend time with their kids, be more sympathetic to parents on the benefit, esp solo ones. Of course she makes some good points (double standards), but mostly comes across "poor me" & justifying why she cheated.

    • Robert Guyton 16.1

      Dowie said:

      "Feminism is about women coming together and celebrating in other women …"

      Dowie also said:

      "“There are women down here [in the Southern region] that I term ‘the witches’."

    • Incognito 16.2

      Justified cheating is an oxymoron.

      • I Feel Love 16.2.1

        I just remembered the "part time PM" bullshit, don't remember Dowie standing up then.

  15. PaddyOT 18

    Lest we forget the decampers !

    Ann Tolley validectory speech abridged.
    ( From Valedictory Statements – New Zealand Parliament).

    I came to Parliament with a busload for my first day.
    I now have a segway about a Greek phrase, " I am reminded of the meaning of the word "politics". From the Greek "polis", meaning "city", comes the Greek word "politēs", meaning "citizen",… because it is all about citizens.

    My speech will show that for years I was shuffled around in Parliament and I was successful. I thank many, many parliamentary people ( many more than citizens mentioned) who helped my success including the VIP transport team.

    Now onto some 'people' I remember who are the real highlights of my career… (though I will just call them people because I don't know their names nor what happened to most of them, but they were memorable).

    *hundreds and hundreds of parents who contacted me about national standards.

    *I remember ” taking PM John Key to the Whakatāne-based academy,( trades) where we met a large group of excited but very focused young people, and two stood out for John and me. They came from way up the coast. They left home at about 5 a.m. to ride—possibly a horse—down to catch the bus to Whakatāne, which was over three hours away.”

    *took an enormous risk and OK'd the Rimutaka Prison taking part in Wellington on a Plate with Martin Bosley. I even went out to the prison kitchen talking to a man who… with a real light in his eye….

    * I went to another prison for the puppy in prison project. " I remember talking to this enormous man. He was huge. He was covered in tattoos. He was a real fierce-looking dude. He wouldn't meet my eye, because many of them wouldn't, of course. But I .." " Then this great big fierce man bent down and picked up this little puppy, this golden Labrador ball of fluff, and with this gooey look on his face tucked it into his neck and told me that Daisy had scratched at the door to go out to the toilet for the first time the night before."

    * I met Tusha Penny." I well remember her recounting the story of a woman whose history of abuse was only really uncovered by agencies. " … " This woman I remember I never met, I never knew her name, but I know we saved her life."

    * I met two young people who had been in State care, " finally grabbed the opportunity to address the system that was failing them so badly," but will talk about only one of them.
    The first young man's story didn't actually have a happy ending. … He was sullen… I think he'd been with cousins up the coast… " I listened to him…" Sadly, I know that this wasn't enough to make up for everything else that had damaged him."

    * Quickly moving along, next minute, it was all good though no matter because, "But one of that group, a bright, intelligent, and determined young woman, took every opportunity to contribute to the redesign process. She came along to Parliament and she sat up here and she watched the lawmaking process when she could, because she was at university studying to be a social worker. I ran into her a year ago at a local school. She had a very successful career." Because she sat up in the gallery and WATCHED.

    In the last nearly 12 months, " We didn't manage to negotiate a full code of conduct with consequences ( because of covid or because some had an entitlement to scoff at rules) —.So "seven statements of expectations of behaviour" have now been passed on to the Speaker.
    " I sincerely hope everyone in the next Parliament commits to these expectations, because—I tell you what—the public expects nothing less."

    With that nod to ' good behaviour being expected only because the citizens are watching ' .

    …. "So I say thank you to the National Party and to my caucus colleagues for your friendship and support over the years. As Deputy Speaker—sorry, I can't read."

    SPEAKER: You're not meant to read anyway!

  16. observer 19

    Colmar Brunton polling now, results expected by Thurs, TV1.

    Their last poll in June had National at 38, up 9 (Muller bounce, and it was a bad news week for the government). Probably an exaggerated high, up from an exaggerated low, but it would be funny if they went down again.

    • Anne 19.1

      Reid Research were polling 3 days ago. These polling companies seem to have a penchant for women between 25 and 45 years. They're not interested in those of us who are well past our prime. Can't think why. 😕

  17. Treetop 20

    I really like the contribution from the younger TS commenters. They may not always get what a baby bomber is trying to say and I may not always get what a person 20-40 ish is trying to say.

    The thing which I really like from age 20 – 40 ish is that they can find a couple of words to explain a behaviour e.g. "love bombing and gaslighting."

    Aha, think I am beginning to get it now why so much bad behaviour is occurring in parliament.

    Some politicians have the agenda of being spiteful (cutting their nose off to spite their face) toward another MP just to achieve a goal. The spiteful politician does not care what means they use as long as their goal is reached which is to take an opponent out and then wipe their hands as if they did nothing to harm someone.

    • Tricledrown 20.1

      JLR is set to release more bad news for National.

      This is politics it's a dirty business putting laws in place isn't going to change anything but just push more underground.

      ie Donations conveniently split into unidentifyable smaller amounts.

  18. newsense 21

    Dunedin needs to find the tree Pete Hodgson came from. Clark, Curran, Woodhouse and Benson-Pope definitely a mixed bag of talent in terms of success in national politics.

    • Tricledrown 21.1

      We need good quality locals not carpet baggers who are rejected up North.

  19. Bollox 22

    I see prosperity X-tian, and conspiracy nutter most likely to jam out a Stevie Ray Vaughan lick Billy Te Kahika has thrown his lot in with that oh-so X-tian and deeply principled politician Jami-Lee Ross in a desperate attempt to get his NZ Public Party registered. I wonder who swallowed the bigger rat? And what for?

  20. joe90 24

    60.9%!

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