Open mike 27/01/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 27th, 2021 - 106 comments
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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 …

106 comments on “Open mike 27/01/2021 ”

  1. RosieLee 1

    I think this government is certainly dragging its feet on all aspects of housing, but it's a bit rich for Collins and the Nats to be lecturing and grandstanding.

    • Treetop 1.1

      The government needed to have put in place a measure for rent not going up more than 10% in a year. Once the Covid rent freeze was lifted rent has become unmanageable for those already struggling. An interim payment needs to be introduced until there is the right balance in home ownership and private rental.

      The government cannot build subsidised housing quick enough. Some people have high health needs and they already have enough daily stress caused by their health. Terminal conditions, bleeding conditions requiring a blood transfusion, mobility conditions….

    • Jimmy 1.2

      I don't think it makes any difference whether Labour or National are in regarding the increasing house prices. Even back in Helen Clark's days, house prices were rising sharply. NZ and Auckland in particular are a very desirable place to live.

      • Incognito 1.2.1

        How many State Houses did National add in those 9 years in Government?

        • Jimmy 1.2.1.1

          No where near enough. But over the last few years the wait list has virtually quadrupled.

          • Treetop 1.2.1.1.1

            I would like to know if there is a change in criteria for a state house under National and under Labour?

          • Incognito 1.2.1.1.2

            I wonder why that might be the case.

            • Treetop 1.2.1.1.2.1

              The criteria under National to get a state home was dreadful, even with several health conditions. In 2016 I got put on the B list low down when I had 3 weeks to find a place as the landlord sold. The A list was numbered with 20 places.

              The rental market is so much worse now. I find it stupid that Work and Income ask if you are looking for other accommodation. As if people can afford private rental.

    • Sabine 1.3

      this is a fun read.

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/prime-minister-jacinda-ardern-promised-to-fix-the-housing-crisis-and-our-readers-had-a-lot-to-say-about-it/GKMYH2Z2OLONQZ5VTHMKJNW5V4/

      and that is what opposition parties do, they grand stand, and considering that Labour. is in their second term ……….well maybe its time for hte opposition to put fire under the bums of those that want to drag their feet because they ran out of ideas on how to fix it.

    • Herodotus 1.4

      So who should lecture ? No party in parliament, as even the greens have had to swallow dead rats so their moral credibility could be questioned by some. This sounds to be as a deflection to anyone asking why has nothing tangible been done, and we have had 20% increase in the property values in some markets over the last year🤬

      listen to the phrasing of the government there are no actions or plans , we have to wait for a treasury report to come out. FFS. Where is the Winteck development that was 2 years ago 10 years to complete . There is no action on the site.

  2. Pat 2

    Conflict of interests?

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/agency-ambitions-spark-tourism-turf-war

    "Tourism has been of huge importance to the country, pre-Covid, as our biggest export earner and the direct employer of 225,000 people. Before the pandemic took hold, total spend by tourists had reached $42 billion a year, 58 percent of which was from domestic tourism. About $1.8 billion of GST was paid annually by international visitors."

  3. Forget now 3

    Motorcycle couriers driving on the footpath in full ear-covering helmets really irritate me. Especially in suburban streets during the school holidays! I didn't mind the old Posties on bikes, and helmets you could hear through (even the new electric mobility vehicles – though I imagine that I might have a different view if I was still pushing prams, or in a wheelchair), because they retained situational awareness. I have tried ringing the courier company, and the police – but it's just not stopping.

    So today I am going to go through all the fun of heading into the middle of town to make a formal written complaint at the police station today, having noted the license number this morning. Does that seem an over-reaction? And is this an issue in places other than Dunedin?

      • The Al1en 3.1.1

        You're welcome.

      • Forget now 3.1.2

        Ta for the link TA, I will have a look at it before I head in. But this motorcycle courier was driving on the footpath past driveway entrances in front of houses that they were not stopping at. If they were just looping in and out from the road, that'd be slightly different (though with the reduced hearing, still dodgy)

        When I have rung the police in the past, they have seemed not entirely dismissive, but unwilling to take it any further if I didn't come in to make a written complaint. The courier company made soothing noises, but seemed unlikely do anything. After all they are the ones who set unreasonable workloads for their employees/ contractors in the first place.

        It's one thing making sure my kids know to stay away from the roads because of traffic being dangerous. Having to keep them fenced up off the footpath is another, especially since the older one is starting to get tall enough to open the gate.

        Edit: had a look at your link now, that quote is from a section clearly headed: Information for moped riders. So that’s irrelevant to this instance. Somewhat confusingly,on a different page it says bluntly:
        You cannot ride motorcycles or mopeds on the footpath.

        https://www.nzta.govt.nz/vehicles/vehicle-types/motorcycles-and-mopeds/#motorcycles

        • The Al1en 3.1.2.1

          I guess if they have the permission to ride on the pavement, they can ride on the pavement, no matter how annoying. If they don't, they're illegal, so dob them in.

          Let us know the response.

          • Forget now 3.1.2.1.1

            Basically desk staff said they'd get back to me. I was typing a longer response but that vanished somehow with clumsy fingers. Which is irritating!

            She did briefly seem quite interested, when I told her the area of town; probably assuming gang members. But even they are not that socially irresponsible! So I guess if you want to be a renegade biker, the best patch to keep you safe from the cops is; a company logo.

  4. Anker 4
    • Anyone else feeling very concerned about this Northland covid outbreak? I find it hard to believe that there isn’t community transmission given the strain is highly infectious……..

    I have had tremendous faith in the govts response to date, but I feel pretty uneasy about this. People I know in the cafe one hour after the woman have tested negative, and now have been told they are free to get on with life…..

    btw sick of people moaning about long queues to be tested……it seems people expect ease and comfort, not remembering that we are in a pandemic and they need to suck it up and do the right thing. I am not saying health board shouldn’t try and improve things.
    same with people flying to Oz whose flights were canceled. People need to realise we are not living in pre-covid days…..

    • Incognito 4.1

      How many close contacts, including her husband, have been tested and were negative, 15, wasn’t it? But let’s lockdown Northland now and close all borders for a few weeks till the dust settles. And start vaccinating everybody tomorrow. It’s not good enough, as Judith says and David wants to wear his white T-shirt without a face mask.

    • weka 4.2

      The woman with the original infection didn't have respiratory symptoms. I'm guessing that is a big part of why there's been no community transmission.

      Pretty sure that the govt would have acted quickly if there was community transmission (and will when there is). All the contact tracing will be happening. The system works, and even where it fails at the first barrier, or the second, we still have other actions for elimination.

    • Treetop 4.3

      I am more puzzled by it. I did raise that the woman could have had a false positive test or contamination in the lab. I would retest her to be sure on this.

      I am concerned about the flaws in MIQ. Nurses not wearing visors when testing. People handling luggage not wearing PPE or gloves. Bus drivers transporting MIQ guests not wearing a mask. Guests mingling in exercise and smoking areas.

    • Jimmy 4.4

      We do seem to be extremely lucky that all her close contacts have now tested negative, even her husband. As this South African strain is supposed to be far easier to spread around.

      • Forget now 4.4.1

        Tested negative so far, Jimmy. More than a week yet before they have their second test even if they remain asympyomatic, and I wouldn't bet on the husband, at least; staying that way. Plus there are the two new Pullman probables.

  5. Anker 5
    • I wasn’t suggesting any of those things incognito, just expressing uneasiness.
    • yes husband tested negative and 15 other contacts negative, but don’t we have to wait another 12 days for his second test?

    Queensland did a sharpe 3 day lockdown when SA variant in the cmty. And boarder worker only had it for a few days.

    I don’t think we should shut our boarders, but as I posted recently tighten the criteria for people coming in. People need a very compelling reason to be travelling during a pandemic, imho.

    I don’t have a huge amount of faith in the vaccine really, not that I am an anti Vaxer and I will definitely have my jab. It’s just that there is no evidence that it will stop transmission or will be effective against the mutating strains. All this “we should have the vaccine sooner” is just politicking.

    • weka 5.1

      my reading is that there are a lot of people feeling anxious, in part from last year, and who want some simple solutions to alleviate their anxiety and stress. The vaccine is an easy one to latch on to. Like you, I don't believe the vaccines are going to offer any quick fixes, and I think apart from the front line workers (who deserve protection) we should be letting countries with community transmission have first dibs.

      One of the things for NZ about 2021 is to upskill people in how to manage chronic stress. This isn't going to go away any time soon, and I suspect many people still think it will. Was pleased to see Ardern yesterday making it clear that it's not.

      • Sabine 5.1.1

        Our upskilling to treat chronic anxiety is called anti depressant and anti anxiety meds. And we stay away from the news and the speeches of highly paid suits that really still try to sell us that going back to 'normal' will be a thing.

        Those of us that are trying to keep our business afloat we are pretty much all on it. (these are the people that have businesses with whom i speak, most of them women – who pretty much so far have born the brunt of the pandemic – be it working from home/homeschooling etc during lock downs, having anxiety ridden kids, losing their jobs, losing their businesses, and not being paid any benefits because the partner still makes a coin).

        The vaccine is what is needed to be done, and now we have world wide large scale testing that will tell us if it will work. So seriously we should not be rushing into it.

        But anyone at this stage pretending that this is not an issue and will be over by christmas, gone just like this, like a miracle etc……..is just fooling him/herself.

        And even then, so its over now, the pandemic is gone, half of the world has not properly worked in a long time and is broke as, a lot of people are dead, etc, do we really think we can just go back to March 1 2020 and pretend it did not happen?

        • weka 5.1.1.1

          another 12 months is a long time. Meds are ambulances at the bottom of the cliff. Useful, but we can put some fences at the top too. Long term stress, esp in a situation like this that has so many unknowns, is a big burden. Best we pay attention to how we adapt sooner rather than later. Chch should have taught us some things about this (but so much we didn't learn there).

          • Treetop 5.1.1.1.1

            Adapting is the best way forward. Pulling the plug on a business is sometimes necessary. It is the unknown which causes the most fear. All one can do is go a day at a time.

            • weka 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Still a fair amount of denial about our situation methinks. Which is interesting for those of us involved in climate action. This one is more in our faces, but still taking some time for people to get to grips with the long nature of teh crisis.

          • Sabine 5.1.1.1.2

            Meds is pretty much the only thing available to most of us, so meds it is. People like me, and those that i know, we don't have the luxury to dream about stuff that ain't never gonna happen and good mental care is one of these 'nice things to have' that we should have, but all we get is meds.

            We adapt, we work through our grief, and we understood that this Covid thing is going to be a marathon not a sprint. So the best that one can do is go day by day, one step at a time and hopefully stay afloat and make it through the other side, mentally and emotionally not too damaged.

            Chances are this is going to take the better part of another 2 – 3 years until it has run its course – either by humans becoming more adapt at the virus, or the virus running out of bodies thanks to vaccines or a combination of both.

            The best mental health advise that i can give at this current time, is don't expect these things to happen fast, do expect lockdowns in the future – hopefully only short and isolated ones, and a bit more hardship just generally. So no need to rush anything, expectations or wishes, and just go slowly. And if it gets to much, Meds.

            • weka 5.1.1.1.2.1

              Meds is pretty much the only thing available to most of us, so meds it is. People like me, and those that i know, we don't have the luxury to dream about stuff that ain't never gonna happen and good mental care is one of these 'nice things to have' that we should have, but all we get is meds.

              Yes, this is why I am suggesting that NZ doesn't leave the stress to our usual poor attention to mental health. We've got some breathing space that many others in the world don't have, we could actually attend to this now.

              I agree about expectations.

              • Sabine

                The government could do so much, not only for the reasons mentioned by you, but also by the fact that they were elected in majority and could right now simply govern, boldly and with the future in mind.

                I don't see it happening, i don't hear it happening and i have confined the ideas that government (well a Labour led government) could and will do something to the dust bin of history.

                Running on not bettering the life of our most vulnerable has ruled sensible things such as better mental healthcare out full stop. Why you may say? Because our most vulnerable have lived in uncertainty – financially, physically for the longest time and they would know something about depression and anxiety, and they only have meds if they are lucky to have a doctor to go too.

                Right now would be a good time to do many things.

                • weka

                  yep. The kind of chronic stress I am talking about isn't new to me and many of my peers.

                  What's different this time is the middle and political classes are experiencing it too and it might sharpen their minds 😈 We will see.

            • gsays 5.1.1.1.2.2

              Hi Sabine, you are right about day by day, one step at a time.

              May I be so bold as to suggest the importance of now. Anxiety is a product of the past or future.

              Meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, time in nature all aid in access to 'nowness'.

      • Anker 5.1.2

        Sometimes anxiety is an appropriate reaction to a very stressful event, like potential exposure to covid or anxiety about ones business failing due to covid. If you are wired to experience anxiety more intensely then meds are a good idea, unless is it a temporary stressor such as waiting for a covid test to return.

        Just for the record, I didn't say I was anxious, just very concerned about the situation in Northland. Registering concern or even anxiety can be a very helpful thing as it can lead to behaviours like scanning, social distancing or even getting tested if it is warranted. The people I worry about are the over confident people who think we are still living pre covid and that we have can still have that life (and that they expect and feel entitled to that life). These are the people who will let the side down because they will not take the pandemic seriously and realize they have a crucial role in stopping the spread of the virus. We all do. They are the people who are still partying as the Titanic sinks. Unfortunately there are a few of these in my life and they cause some frustration and concern. This is not a time to be wildly optimistic.

        • Treetop 5.1.2.1

          It is not for me to say how anyone should feel. When stress goes up it needs to come down. People need access to services when required. I am not immune to stress.

          Being over confident about Covid can be the cause of a person being infected or worse.

          I think I got the reply wrong. You raise some good points.

        • McFlock 5.1.2.2

          All in all, NZ is in a pretty good place at the moment: good border controls, and testing capacity for when those controls leak. So I don't think a widespread outbreak from this case is likely to have been missed.

          We still need to scan/log contacts better, and there will be a review on how the person was released from isolation with the virus (just as a matter of business as usual). Maybe there are things that need addressing there.

          If community cases are detected, then the next step is a regional lockdown like Auckland had.

          But while it's possible, this particular Sword of Damocles is the new normal. Maybe a vaccine will stop transmission, maybe not.

          Personally, I stopped closely following the covid news sometime in lockdown. Not to "bury my head in the sand", but I realised that 90% of the news regarding it won't actually affect my behaviour, so why reinforce the stress?

          Either I get to go to work and potter around stores and cafes, or I'm back in some level of lockdown. I can deal with either. I'll miss hugs, though.

          • weka 5.1.2.2.1

            same re following the news closely. Can't remember the last time I listened to a live press conference on covid. I figure I'll hear what I need hear on TS or twitter or look it up on RNZ. I do like talking through the issues though, which I'm not sure is that great stress wise.

        • weka 5.1.2.3

          Anker, my comment about stress was in response to "All this “we should have the vaccine sooner” is just politicking." I was pointing to the possibility that people's politics are in part being driven by the chronic stress and anxiety.

          Completely agree that anxiety is a reasonable response to the situation we are in. Chronic stress wears away at people, lowers immunity, affects cognition, makes it harder to handle painful emotions and experiences. I really think we should be looking at this, mostly because I think this is how it is going to be from now on. People used to living under chronic stress understand this, and there are a lot of people for whom this is a new thing.

      • Incognito 5.1.3

        The problem has been growing and is another one that won’t be easily or quickly fixed.

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/122695066/new-zealands-psychological-crisis-putting-lives-at-risk

        However, experts do offer some good and useful advice that everybody can adopt.

        https://www.newsroom.co.nz/keeping-calm-in-a-world-gone-viral [by Dr Sarb Johal]

    • Incognito 5.2
      • I wasn’t suggesting any of those things incognito, just expressing uneasiness.

      Yes, I know, but others did and I was just expressing my sarcasm about that but I forgot to include the \sarc tag; it is important to keep a sense of perspective. My apologies for the confusion.

      It appears that current vaccines are effective against current strains although a booster shot might be desired/required, which is quite similar to flu vaccinations.

      You’re correct that, as far as I know, it is not yet known if current vaccines will stop transmission. My guess is they won’t.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    The Europeans are going to stiff us all over vaccine deliveries, you just know it. Our only role is to go up there and save them from fascism, then they can get back to shitting on everyone else.

    • Treetop 6.1

      It was predictable that there would be disparity in vaccine roll outs due to the demand and the shortage.

      • McFlock 6.1.1

        It seems to me to be doing quite well, as far as global rollouts of in-demand products go.

        If it were a cellphone, we'd have loads of reports of breaking screens or exploding batteries by now, as well as the shortages…

  7. Anker 8

    Yeah that's the link.

  8. Anker 9

    a request of people who visit this site and I hope it is o.k. to make this request. A small survey.

    If you were invited to a rather large indoor party with someone who left MIQ a week before would you attend the party? Very interested to hear peoples view including any qualifiers.

    • dv 9.1

      Unlikely- probably not.

    • Andre 9.2

      Well, before Christmas I picked up my brother and sister-in-law from their two weeks in managed isolation and drove them for an hour to their place. Then spent the rest of the afternoon with them. So I'm not that bothered about spending time with people straight out of MI.

      On the other hand, she had covid way back in March last year, along with their son, and he was in the house the whole time while they were ill, so there's a pretty good chance they currently have immunity.

    • McFlock 9.3

      yeah, probably. Depends on the party lol

    • Peter chch 9.4

      Yes of course. Despite the failures at the border, these are the exceptions, not the rule. And let's face it, the MOH and other government agencies have knowledge and expertise now that dwarfs what they had 10 months ago, and will competently deal with any rare breaches 8n a fast and effective way.

      And ffs, life goes on. Let's get real here. We are a lucky country and should embrace our good fortune rather than become hostage to fear.

    • Forget now 9.5

      No.

      But then I probably wouldn't go to a; rather large indoor party, anyway; even if it wasn't with someone who left MIQ a week before. Not so keen on subjecting myself to compromise music, and drunken blather; aside from the infection risk. I might do a smaller more focused event (say; a 6 person meal, or board-game) if they were definitely asymptomatic when I arrived though.

    • Sabine 9.6

      nope.

      • anker 9.6.1

        Breaking news two likely new cases in the community from the Pullman.

        Wondering if people want to repeat my survey. Would you go to a largish indoor party with someone who had left MIQ in the last week?

        • Sabine 9.6.1.1

          nope.

        • Forget now 9.6.1.2

          Anyone else starting to wonder if the test being used at the Pullman was ineffective with the South African variant? Maybe improperly stored or transported, because the later tests were successful in detecting it.

          As for the survey; still a provisional yes for a smaller (brie) gathering, rather than a shindig (or hootenany).

          • Treetop 9.6.1.2.1

            Maybe a longer incubation period for a new strain or a connection with the positive case at MIQ, the Northland case and now the 2 think from Orewa.

            A no for me attending a gathering as to great a risk. I will not even travel on Intercity. I still leave the house most days.

        • gsays 9.6.1.3

          If it helps, I am in a camper and headed north.

          Currently @ the Raglan campground and headed to Matauri Bay, via Whangarei/Ngunguru.

          We are signing in everywhere.

          • Treetop 9.6.1.3.1

            I could be swayed with a camper trip to Matauri Bay.

            • gsays 9.6.1.3.1.1

              If you can be @ Raglan motor camp before 10 am Friday, yr welcome to join us.

              [Removed spurious word from user name]

        • McFlock 9.6.1.4

          still a yeah, probably.

          If they're emphasising pushing numbers through community screening and previous MIQ residents, they might have shifted to a more rapid, more sensitive, but less specific test. So more false positives and detection of historic cases.

          There's a fair chance at this stage that the shepherd equivalent is to be looking for a lost sheep and finding a couple of others that died ages ago. Maybe the live sheep is still out there, maybe not.

    • Janet 9.7

      No, after two weeks maybe.

  9. Peter chch 10

    I just cannot believe the sense of entitlement of some of these people. How about showing some gratitude that we, the 5m, are even allowing you back into NZ and the risk we, the 5m, are taking as a result.

    Well before the 2020 border closures, both our Prime Minister and her Deputy repeatedly warned come home now, or maybe it will not be possible.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/covid-19-coronavirus-managed-isolation-guest-complains-about-breakfast-would-you-complain/L2ZZECBGK4NXIIVQUGME4TVGPM/

    • McFlock 10.1

      … aren't croutons supposed to be hard, or am I just a savage?

      that photo of the caesar salad made me hungry.

      • Peter chch 10.1.1

        I don't even know what a crouton is. Maybe I am just ignorant! Actually, maybe not 'maybe'.

        • McFlock 10.1.1.1

          they're little bits of stale toast for soup and caesar salad. Good use for old bread.

        • Andre 10.1.1.2

          My dad's special recipe: get an old baguette and put it out in the sun for a day or two to harden up. Use a table saw or bandsaw to cut it up into cubes. Fry the cubes up in butter and seasonings or garlic to make sure any residual soft bits go jawbreaker hard.

          • McFlock 10.1.1.2.1

            My god, how could anyone eat such slop?!

          • Bearded Git 10.1.1.2.2

            Sounds like an angle-grinder might be useful here too…I like croutons.

            • Forget now 10.1.1.2.2.1

              No – that's for breadcrumbing the rat cutlets. You have to use the right implement for the right dish BG!

              Of course, the trick is getting those rodents to run fast enough on the treadmill to turn the grinder wheel. No solar panels back in them old days. Not being the one on the hubcap frypan is wonderful incentive there.

      • weka 10.1.2

        I'm remembering what those Dunedin hospital meals looks liked in the media a few years back. That MIQ menu looks positively gourmet.

    • Jimmy 10.2

      You cannot please everyone! Over the last six or seven years or so, I have never had a bad Air NZ meal………haven't had one for over a year mind you, but people always complained about airline food. I always thought Air NZ food was pretty good.

    • Anker 10.3

      Oh dear! What a shame! Never mind………

      WTF! If he doesn't like it get on the next plane from where he's come from. I know I shouldn't say things like that, but FFS

    • Treetop 10.4

      Returning to NZ is a bit like the hospital waiting list for surgery. You need to wait, the surgery can be postponed, rescheduled and then postponed again. Once you have your procedure you usually feel better. You can pick up an infection while in hospital and need to remain longer.

      I nearly forgot, some people complain about the hospital food.

    • Incognito 10.5

      Clickbait

  10. McFlock 11

    lol travelling to a first nations region in a private jet and claiming to be motel workers to scam yourself ahead of the vaccine queue is a ruse so low that it even gets you kicked from a casino company.

    But this scam reminds me of the adage "if the only punishment is a fine, then it's legal for rich people".

    • Peter chch 11.1

      Agree McFlock, fines are never 'justice', as they treat all as equal, when plainy we are not.

      I always have believed community service for anyone who appears in court is a far superior penalty than a meaningless (for some) financial penalty.

      And as someone who has had both, the CS taught me a lesson (reinforced for many weeks) and yet fines just bred hardship and resentment.

  11. Stuart Munro 12

    Sam Sykes, a kiwisaver fund manager, reckons the cure to the housing crisis is more investors.

    Nothing could be further from the truth – it was investors that screwed it up, and continue to do so. Let investors find or create productive avenues for obtaining ongoing income – instead of parasiting off peoples' need for housing.

  12. joe90 13

    Shot. Chaser.

    https://twitter.com/Te_Taipo/status/1354197599138373633

    John Banks has reportedly been removed from his radio show after a “blatantly racist” incident yesterday where a caller said Māori were “genetically predisposed to crime, alcohol and underperformance educationally”.

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/john-banks-removed-his-radio-show-after-blatantly-racist-caller-said-m-ori-were-stone-age-people-reports

    • Forget now 13.1

      It seems the loss of advertising is behind Bank's removal, rather than any moral integrity from Cursed Talk. The duplicity in his statements would be astounding from anyone else, they're not really unexpected from him:

      "I didn't pick it up at the time, here when you're broadcasting, you're talking to producers, you're talking to bosses," Banks said.

      "I spoke to people later in the show who disagreed with the man and I picked it up then, however this wasn't enough to demonstrate that his comments were wrong and racist."…

      Banks interrupted the caller, saying “just a minute, your children need to get used to their stone-age culture because if their stone-age culture doesn’t change, these people will come through your bathroom window”.

    • Gabby 13.2

      'Hone' Carsehole at it again?

  13. Jester 14

    Hone Hawera reckons there are two new cases we are not being told about on ZB!

    • weka 14.1

      Govt is saying the two people have been in isolation since Sunday and are being retested. Results and a press conference tonight. Two other people with positive tests turned out to be an historic case (no longer infectious) and a false positive.

      • Treetop 14.1.1

        So other Pullman hotel cases. Now 2 more people released with negative tests and potential to be community cases.

        This has to be sorted out fast what the cause/s are.

        • Forget now 14.1.1.1

          the pair completed their managed isolation in the same facility and at the same time as the Northland community case and are now under investigation.

          "The two former returnees both returned a positive test for Covid-19, however it is yet to be confirmed if they are recent or historic infections. Further urgent testing is being carried out this evening," the ministry said in a statement.

          "The two people are asymptomatic and have already completed their managed isolation and previously returned two negative tests.

          "Both individuals are currently self-isolating at home.

          https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/435296/two-more-possible-cases-of-covid-19-linked-to-pullman-hotel-being-investigated

          If they completed their Pullman stay at the same time as the initial case, that means they have been in the community since the 15th. I sure hope that were as thorough as she was about tracking their movements. Also, likely to have been in Auckland rather than Northland, though that is unconfirmed speculation on my part.

          • Treetop 14.1.1.1.1

            When it comes to recent or historical infections and the 2 negative tests.

            Were a case historical would it test negative?

            But they have both tested positive.

            There could be a community case out there not linked to the Pullman Hotel.

            Genome sequencing will tell me more. Pullman Hotel senario seems the most likely.

            • Forget now 14.1.1.1.1.1

              It didn't say what tests they were using. The PCR involves scouring the sample for virus fragments then duplicating the genetic material until it becomes detectable. It sounds weird, but the science is solid. Though it does also copy inert viral remnants as well as active infection.

              • Treetop

                I see the PCR test is the test which matters and the genome sequencing.

              • Incognito

                Though it does also copy inert viral remnants as well as active infection.

                Huh??

                • Forget now

                  The testing laboratories do 45 "cycles" of PCR on a Covid-19 test sample, which takes a little over half an hour. After this time, a single SARS-CoV-2 RNA molecule will have become 17 million million identical DNA molecules. These are so small that you STILL can't see them with your eyes.

                  To see how much DNA there is, and to find out if the test is positive, the PCR reaction mix includes a special tag that glows when it is cut up.

                  https://www.otago.ac.nz/biochemistry/research/otago736925.html

                  But if the virus cell envelope has ruptured (ie virus is dead, inasmuch as it was ever alive in the first place – say; inactive) and there are fragments left over in the swab sample, then these viral remnants may be replicated by the envelop protein primer template. Despite their being no active SARS-CoV-2 virus infection in the subject.

                  Hope that makes more sense, Incog. Don't know if I'd started drinking when I typed the above description, but certainly have been now. I'm probably missing something important out, but that's basically it.

                  Think of making a clay mold from a sculture (analogizing the DNA template for the RNA viral envelope protein), then making a bunch of wax casts with that mold, then stacking them up in a gigantic mountain of candles so that they can be seen burning from another mountain top many kilometers away. This is getting a bit farfetched of a methaphor really…

                  Anyway, I was mainly here to read, not write, and now I just want to go watch more old music on Youtube. Enjoy your night, morning now!

      • Jester 14.1.2

        According to the 10:35pm "breaking" news, they are positive unfortunately, and now being taken into MIQ.

        The thing I don't like is that I first heard about them via Hone Harawera on One ZB, and not from the ministry via Ashley or Hipkins.

  14. Ad 15

    Good to see Biden signing orders requiring that Federal private prisons be stopped.

    I know its a fraction of the total, but its a good move.

    How many do we have here?

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    Minister for Digitising Government Judith Collins is in Sydney to attend the first Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting of 2024.  “This is a great opportunity to connect with our Australian counterparts and identify how we can work together on digital transformation,” Ms Collins says.   “Both our nations are looking into ...
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    4 hours ago
  • Appointments to Antarctica New Zealand Board
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appointed Leon Grice and Heather Simpson to serve on the Antarctica New Zealand board.  “Since taking office, the Coalition Government has become concerned about the direction of the Scott Base Redevelopment Project,” Mr Peters says.  “It is vital that Antarctica New Zealand has the right ...
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    5 hours ago
  • Strengthening the Single Economic Market
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis has met with Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers to discuss the opportunities to lower business costs and increase the ease with which businesses and people can operate across the Tasman.     “I have met with Treasurer Chalmers and shared our new Government’s ambitious economic goals, our plans ...
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    6 hours ago
  • Government to address business payment practices
    The Government will repeal the Business Payment Practices Act 2023, Small Business and Manufacturing Minister Andrew Bayly announced today. “There is a major problem with large market players imposing long payment terms and routinely paying invoices late. “However, the Business Payment Practices Act is not an effective solution and would ...
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    6 hours ago
  • Greater focus on work will reduce child poverty
    Worsening child poverty rates support the Coalition Government’s focus on reducing the cost of living and getting people into work, Child Poverty Reduction Minister Louise Upston says. Figures released by Stats NZ today show child poverty rates have increased, with the rising cost of living, driven by inflation, making it ...
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    9 hours ago
  • NZ announces new support for Ukraine
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have marked two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by announcing further support and sanctions, and extending our military assistance. “Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter,” Mr Peters says. ...
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    9 hours ago
  • Finance Minister to meet Australian Treasurer
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to Australia today to meet her Australian counterpart, Treasurer Jim Chalmers.    “New Zealand and Australia have an incredibly strong trade and investment relationship. The Closer Economic Relations and Single Economic Market are powerful engines for growth on both sides of the Tasman.     “I will ...
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    11 hours ago
  • PM shocked and saddened at death of Efeso Collins
    “I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins’ sudden death,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and South Auckland communities. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, ...
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    1 day ago
  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
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    3 days ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
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    4 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
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    6 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
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  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
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    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
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  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
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    1 week ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
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  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
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    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
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    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Minister congratulates NZQA Top Scholars
    Education Minister Erica Stanford congratulates the New Zealand Scholarship recipients from 2023 announced today.  “Receiving a New Zealand Scholarship is a fantastic achievement and is a testament to the hard work and dedication the recipients have put in throughout the year,” says Ms Stanford.  “New Zealand Scholarship tests not only ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
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    2 weeks ago

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