Open mike 27/03/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 27th, 2023 - 94 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step up to the mike …

94 comments on “Open mike 27/03/2023 ”

  1. arkie 1

    The terror of co-governance, and the reality:

    For 13 years, five iwi members and five Crown members have got together every two months to make decisions about how to improve the health and wellbeing of the polluted river. Everything's done by consensus – there's no voting. And if meetings take a bit longer while the 10 representatives nut out points of difference and come to a joint decision, the quality of what's decided is the better for it, Penter says.

    That's different from a more traditional board, or the way councils work.

    "The way that our decisions are made is by the merits of the argument; it's not about rushing into a show of hands, and 'oh, it's 6-6, or 7-7, I'm the chair, I'm going to use my casting vote, and let's move to the next item on the agenda'.

    "With co-governance, we have to pause and work through issues a bit further than perhaps we might have. And invariably, that results in better decisions, because they are far more weighted, far more considered."

    At Auckland's Western Springs College – Ngā Puna o Waiōrea, a co-governed school, principal Ivan Davis and tumuaki Pa Chris Selwyn find it hard to square the rhetoric around Three Waters with their own reality.

    They believe the long-running co-governance model has been critical in the success of the school, in particular in lifting the performance of Māori students.

    "[The anti-co-governance rhetoric] saddens me, if I'm being honest, because of knowing what can be achieved through co-governance," Selwyn says.

    "It saddens me when people just go, 'It's not the norm, it's not going to work. Get rid of it'. Well, we're showing how it can work on a day-to-day managerial and at a governance level as well."

  2. Visubversa 3

    The book we all should read. The story of the Tavistock "gender identity" clinic and a medical scandal.

    "By 2020-21, the clinic accounted for a quarter of the trust’s income.

    But this isn’t to say that ideology wasn’t also in the air. Another of Barnes’s interviewees is Dr Kirsty Entwistle, an experienced clinical psychologist. When she got a job at Gids’ Leeds outpost, she told her new colleagues she didn’t have a gender identity. “I’m just female,” she said. This, she was informed, was transphobic. Barnes is rightly reluctant to ascribe the Gids culture primarily to ideology, but nevertheless, many of the clinicians she interviewed used the same word to describe it: mad.

    And who can blame them? After more than 370 pages, I began to feel half mad myself. At times, the world Barnes describes, with its genitalia fashioned from colons and its fierce culture of omertà, feels like some dystopian novel. But it isn’t, of course. It really happened, and she has worked bravely and unstintingly to expose it. This is what journalism is for."

    • AB 3.1

      Because an idea can be taken to absurd lengths, does not invalidate the idea itself. Road safety is a good idea, making all cars travel at 5km/h is bonkers.

  3. Sanctuary 4

    We should not under-estimate the incredible good luck centrist liberalism has struck with the continual lurch further and further to the right of their conservative opponents in the UK, USA, Australia, Canada and here in New Zealand. Despite the near universal rejection of their agenda, the right insists on making itself less and less attractive to median voters.

    • ianmac 4.1

      This tilts National further to Luxon's evangalistic right. Let us pray, unless we are atheists in which case let us clap loudly.

      • roblogic 4.1.1

        Don't worry, it seems that as soon as a candidate (of any party) makes it into parliament they are whipped into being a good little neoliberal.

        • Tiger Mountain

          Your one sentence roblogic, encapsulates 39 years of our political history!–the neo liberal Parliamentary consensus as some call it–where whichever MMP arrangement prevails, monetarist legislation, contracting out custom & practice and penetration of public infrastructure by private capital is rolled over.

    • observer 4.2

      Yeah, we should definitely punish Labour and the Greens by electing more National MPs like Greg Fleming … that'll teach them! [/sarc].

      It's good of National to remind us who they are.

  4. Tony Veitch 5

    [unlinked quote removed]

    No Right Turn, Wednesday, 22 March.

    Quite right – we need to send the sort of message to Labour even they'll be able to understand – vote Green or TPM!

    This election must be a Climate Election!

    • Tiger Mountain 5.1

      Yep, Party vote Green or TPM, prob Lab Electorate (Willow Jean Prime) though to try and keep the Natzos out in Northland.

      • Tony Veitch 5.1.1

        Yes, I've party voted Green for 3 elections, and Labour voted in my ChCh Central electorate.

        A bit hard for me to make a change to 'send a message to Labour!' Unless I vote TPM.

        • arkie

          If everyone (apart from AK Central) vote for the Labour electorate MP and either the Greens or TPM we may even expand the size of parliament with overhang seats for the Labour electorate MPs. Party vote for policy, electorate vote for representation.

          • gsays

            On that subject, this PSM will struggle to vote Green this time round.

            Marama Davidson's outburst, post Posie Protest, has revealed more than would be desirable.

            I thought I would sleep on it before responding. In the hope that she may walk back or explain her thinking but according to RNZ's noon news, Greens have released sexual assault data concerning white males. Not a mention of DV, prison muster stats, gangs etc.

            From my point if view, it's Turei 2.0.


            Edit, I am interested in yr view of her comments arkie, but certainly don’t feel obliged.

            • arkie

              You're free to priortise whatever issues you like but that it comes at the expense of meaningful climate action is unfortunate for us all and the planet.

              • gsays

                As one who is keen on change on the climate front, it is disappointing politically, to hear this sort of crap.

                Think it, believe it, just keep it under your hat.

                • arkie

                  A good analogy for voting is that it is a bus route; no party or politician represents all that we might want, however it is important the direction they are headed; the bus might not take you to the doorstep of your final destination but every kilometre the bus takes you in the direction you want gets you closer to the destination you seek. Catching the other bus in the other direction takes you further from your goal.

                  • gsays

                    Cheers for engaging.

                    I think I will wait for a bus who's driver doesn't insult me.

                    • arkie

                      Then you will make no progress on your journey, it is unfortunate, but it is your choice.

            • Visubversa

              So much for the "white cisgender" nonsense.

              Most violence is committed by men. And a man's capacity for violence is not magically removed when he identifies as some other gender.

              There is lots of evidence. Trans Crimes UK does their stats. This Never Happens does a wider range including our Toko Shane (Ashley) Winter in Paremoremo prision for the sadistic torture and murder of a young woman. –

              • arkie

                In response to questions 38 and 39 Prof Freedman referenced “a well-known Swedish study” to imply that patterns of criminality are the same amongst trans women as they are amongst cis (non-trans) men. In her response to Q40 she alleged there were “Swedish studies” (plural). Additionally, Prof Stock referred to “male patterns” when talking about criminal behaviour in her answer to Q26.

                I understand the “Swedish study” to be a single 2011 article published by Cecilia Dhejne and colleagues, in which the authors reported on mortality, suicidality, psychiatric care and conviction rates among individuals who transitioned in Sweden between 1973 and 2003. This study is widely but inaccurately cited by anti-trans groups on social media as evidence that trans women retain “male patterns” of criminality, an error repeated by Profs Freedman and Stock. Dhejne herself rejected this interpretation explicitly in an interview with Cristan Williams of TransAdvocate in November 20152 . I attach the full relevant extract in Appendix B. A key point she makes is the study is “certainly not saying that we found that trans women were a rape risk” to cis women.


                • Visubversa

                  There is certainly some evidence when it comes to the prison population and those who commit sex crimes.

                  "If identifying as a women did reduce the propensity to commit sex crime to female levels we would have expected to see just 3 or 4 of transwomen in prison with sex crime convictions. Instead we see up to 76."


                  • arkie

                    In response to Q29, Prof Stock claimed that trans people and their supporters had flooded the UK Government’s 2018 GRA consultation process, and that “Whoever has to analyse that data at some point, if anyone does, will also have to work out how many of those responses were genuine responses from individuals writing their thoughts out and how many were using this system, gaming the system [to] skew the data”.

                    The existence and impact of various campaigns to encourage people to respond to the consultation was in fact explicitly factored into the analysis of the consultation report published by the Government Equality Office in September 2020. One has to question why trans people should be criticised for responding to a consultation about a change in the law that directly affects them.

                    One group which did provide pre-determined answers was anti-trans campaign group Fair Play for Women. According to the Government Equality Office, this group provided a simple web-based form which allowed people to enter an email address, then would automatically submit pre-written answers to the consultation, without providing information on the background or context to the questions, or an opportunity for users to provide their own answers. Approximately 18,000 people took advantage of this.13 Therefore, contrary to the assertions made by Prof Stock, distortions appeared to come from anti-trans campaigns, rather than organisations or individuals who advocate for trans equality (see also Appendix D).


              • gsays

                I was under the impression, from the Dunedin Longitudinal Study that males and females were within cooee of each other in respects to violence.

          • Shanreagh

            I am not voting for Greens in any way shape or from from now on, after 3 elections. Their support for the No Debate concept has brought concern to many women.

            The new local Lab candidate was one of the screamers outside the SUFW meeting in Wellington on the No Debate issue. So I will have to find another candidate I like.

            Labour will need big moves on climate change, women's issues before I vote for them.

            Actually at the moment I'd like Labour to get a close run to take down the tightness & arrogance that I find so unappealing. They have put so many good policies on the back burner that I find things a bit sterile. I guess that will change.

            I also think it is good to share power to debate about which policies to take forward from coalition partners, noting that no one party has all the answers or the best policies

    • weka 5.2

      I've removed the quote. If you quote, you have to link. Every single time. We need the context and it needs to be easily available.

  5. Anne 6

    I think Sir Peter Gluckman's commentary in relation to subjects like CC and what needs to be taught in schools, plus the lack of social cohesion as witnessed this past weekend is well worth a listen. It might be a once over lightly of complex issues but that is all most people want to assimilate:

  6. Francesca 7

    I totally agree with you Anne that transgender people have rights and should have rights to live however they want without harassment.

    But then I also think , for eg, that lesbians have rights to their own women only lesbian workshops, dating sites and conferences without being harassed by shouting crowds and death threats(kill a Terf " being a common placard outside these places.)Or told they should welcome penises into their bodies because otherwise they are sexual racists?

    Do you believe it is wrong for lesbians to be only sexually interested in female bodies and minds?

    And I would have been interested in hearing the women who intended to speak at the rotunda explaining how they are impacted by self ID for example.

    Yelling and shouting and uttering threats of violence does not constitute free speech in my opinion.The protestors would have been better to counter Kelly Minshull with their own arguments and speeches.

    • Cricklewood 7.1

      Not just threats, pretty clear case of assault here. Hopefully someone can embed for me.

    • Visubversa 7.2

      We had years of "no Debate" and "there is no conflict". Now we are having the debate, and there are plenty of examples of conflict between the sex based rights and protections that women have fought for over decades, and the sudden demands of today's "Rights Activists" for their complete removal.

      We are moving into the "both sides" phase of the debate. However, it is a crock.

      Adopting the ‘both sides’ argument implies that the two perspectives have an equal claim to consideration. For example, the scientific evidence that climate change is real is overwhelming, so should we be giving equal time to conspiracy theorists who want us to believe that it’s all a left-wing lie designed to destroy the oil business? Whenever anybody dares to mention evolution, should we be obliged to endure an equal period of religious fundamentalists telling us how man (sic) was created, fully formed, on the sixth day?

      There is not a single shred of scientific evidence that gender identity even exists, let alone a means of detecting what it might be in any particular person at any particular time. And yet this impossibly vague notion is superseding sex – the body of scientific evidence for which is huge and incontrovertible – in prescribing everything about how we live, up to and including our laws.

      There is no common ground. The two positions are mutually exclusive. There is sex, or there is gender identity. There is science, or there is gender woo.

      That the woo-woo is regressive and deeply homophobic and misogynistic only makes it worse. So enough of the ‘both sides need to hear each other out’, it’s time to pick one.

      • weka 7.2.1

        I don't really know what gender identity is, it sounds like a concept as much as anything.

        But I do have a felt sense of myself as a woman. As far as I can tell, this arises out of my female body, and some of it is physical but not all of it. We are creatures with minds and emotions too.

        It's like people saying there's no such thing as a spiritual experience, but they can still watch a sunset, feel moved (what is that they are experiencing?), or feel a connection with something bigger than themselves.

        It's possible that there are women who have an experience of themselves as a woman, but for whatever reason instead of evoking something positive, it makes them feel ashamed or hateful towards themselves. To me this is something that can be healed in most women, and we are just very very bad at helping them do this. Getting worse at doing this. For all the body and sex positivity rhetoric, I don't see much in the way of practical and ongoing support for women around being female, and certainly the push to change society so that women can naturally feel comfortable in their own skin has stalled.

        Fuck neoliberalism and its need for disembodied slaves.

        • Visubversa

          That is it – we treat software problems as if they were hardware problems. There have always been people with various sort of bodily dysmorphia. Anorexia is one of them, the feeling that your left leg is inhabited by demons is another. Many of these come from childhood trauma and some are symptoms of other forms of mental illness.

          In children you have the classic "if I was a boy, he would not do that to me" or "if I was a girl my Daddy would love me and not call me a faggot and a sissy because I like nice things and I don't like rugby or fishing."

          So called "gender identity" seems to be just about which set of sexist stereotypes you most identify with.

          • weka

            So called "gender identity" seems to be just about which set of sexist stereotypes you most identify with.

            Or don't identify with.

            I think the whole tumblr effect and adopting GI is about the stereotypes, whereas GD is more about girls and women being desperate to escape the patriarchy.

            • Visubversa

              Well, the mTf bunch certainly adopt a very stereotypical alter ego of what they think a woman should be. At a "business lesbian" group I used to belong to – in a room of 50, 49 were wearing comfortable, ordinary women's clothing, admittedly with an emphasis on dress pants and boots! The remaining 1 – with a short tight skirt, black stockings, high heels, frilly blouse and lots of lipstick was the "transbian".

              • weka

                so we went from lets abandon stereotypes because they harm women, to women can wear what they want, to shut up you're not allowed to criticise stereotypes, that's transphobic.

          • Michael P

            .it seems to me that so called 'gender identity: is more about "Look at me, look at me, look at me!!"

            Can't remember where I heard that but seems accurate

            [From now on, please stick to one username + one e-mail address, thanks – Incognito]

            • Incognito

              Mod note

            • Michael P

              Will do sorry about that was using phone this morning and was getting double posts and formatting not working etc. Although the username / email address differences are to do with me needing glasses to see shit on my phone these days.. <sigh> getting old…

          • Michael P

            So called "gender identity" or what those who fully believe in such a thing are really saying when they come up with their new nonsense gender along with their special pronouns seems to me is summed up as per this quote I heard or read somewhere.

            "Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!"

      • Shanreagh 7.2.2

        Well said Visubversa.

      • Michael P 7.2.3

        For those who still think women are getting upset and being transphobic in speaking up (or at least trying to speak up) about the threat to women's sex based safe spaces from gender self ID laws etc, here is another example that shows this sort of thing is not a myth, it is happening all over the western world and women have a right to demand action.

        My apologies if this case has already been posted about..

        This man has been convicted of threatening to rape his own mother. He also attacked a social worker ripping out clumps of her hair and tearing off her eyelid. He also has a previous conviction for actually raping his own mother along with his father.

        As you can see, he is a nasty piece of work and clearly represents a threat and danger to women (probably to men too by the sounds of him)

        Thanks to gender self ID laws he has decided that he now identifies as a women. He is being sent to serve his time at a WOMEN'S prison..

        This is a classic example of one the factors surrounding the attempted erosion of women's sex based rights that people are talking about. They are not being transphobic, they are saying men shouldn't be allowed in these spaces.

        Further, even if it was transphobic, I don't care. I have 3 females in my immediate family as well as many other female relatives, friends and colleagues. Theirs and all other women's physical safety and right to feel safe and to have female only safe spaces are far more important than someone's hurt feelings. In my opinion anyone who thinks otherwise obviously doesn't give a shit about women

        It does make you wonder what the hell is going through politicians heads when they write and enact this sort of legislation. Surely part of the process of writing legislation must be to thoroughly investigate and take into account any downstream effects that may or may not occur as a result?? Are they really all that thick?? Is this part of some sinister bigger agenda?? Or are they just scared of the loud minorities pushing this BS??

        By the way, I haven't met a man yet who doesn't think exactly the same way as me on this issue. Interestingly I have spoken with two transgender friends (both M2F and real TG's, not just men dressing up as women) and they also think exactly the same. So any men commenting on here supporting the TRA's from Saturdays chaos, do you believe it's ok for this man to be sent to a women's prison? If so on what basis do you justify that position?

  7. Francesca 8

    I have never come across womens rights advocates picketing , yelling, screaming or punching anyone at a trans rights rally

    How is it ok for trans rights activists to do all that and shut down womens rights rallies?
    And will our media be brought to account for continually upping the ante and falsely calling Minshull a nazi and an anti trans campaigner.
    Which was bound to bring out a crowd seething with anger and hatred

    • Molly 8.1

      The Platform NZ has just put up a three episode review of the event. (Haven't watched it but remain disappointed that it doesn't appear as if any of our other broadcasters are going to do so.)

      Usual burble until 12:24 when he takes the first caller.

      • Michael P 8.1.1

        One thing I don't agree with is when some women as per one of the callers in the interview saying they want to be able to speak about these issues that concern women without men present and that it has nothing to do with men.

        I have to push back on that. Firstly, this is a public issue where government policy and legislation , etc is involved so nobody should be excluded, But more importantly, all men have mothers and a large proportion of them have wives, daughters, girlfriends, sisters, etc,etc,etc. If my wife or daughter or sister or mother or any woman I am close too has a serious issue or problem which affects her negatively then it affects me negatively, just not in the same way.

        So I think men should be able to attend a public event such as Let Women Speak if they want to. (In this case to listen not to speak). This is the sort of issue where there is huge strength and political clout in women and men showing unity.

        But I also believe that women have the right to hold women only events if they wish to, obviously a public park is not the right place for such events.

        • Molly

          "One thing I don't agree with is when some women as per one of the callers in the interview saying they want to be able to speak about these issues that concern women without men present and that it has nothing to do with men."

          I understand what you are saying, but I didn't take it as not wanting men to attend open public events. I thought she was saying that she – personally – would find it more comfortable to speak her mind in an environment that was only women.

          If my interpretation is right, then I support her with that. And any other person that wants to create a gathering of their own to discuss common interests.

          However, that is definitely not the kaupapa of the #LetWomenSpeak events. The only sexed criteria there is that women are prioritised for access to the microphone, and if all the women who want to speak have done so, and there is available time – men can then step forward and give their views.

          Both my partner and my daughter were there on Saturday. He said that the experience was intense and the intimidation of the attendees was intentional and directed towards the older women, not himself. So, if some women want to meet together without men to discuss these issues, then let them. They can do so in comfort and add their efforts to others that are concerned about the same things.

          As an acknowledgement of all the men who do inform themselves and do understand what concerns women have – here's Graham Linehan on last Sunday in Hyde Park, being invited to speak after all the women have finished at the monthly #LetWomenSpeak event:

          • Michael P

            Totally agree with everything you've stated here.

            Thinking further I guess maybe somewhere in my mind I'm thinking that I keep seeing / hearing the word 'men' a lot within this issue and is pretty much always in a negative sense (rightly so in my opinion) but am sure most people of course understand that usually 'men' in this context means a tiny minority of men.

            I guess I'm wanting to reinforce the fact (fact in my opinion) that the vast majority of men are fully supportive of women's sex based rights and are absolutely appalled at the (mostly) male violence towards women that was perpetrated at this event.

    • Shanreagh 8.2

      Bravo too Francesca. I did read in an overseas twitter page that calling nontrans rights believers Nazis is a fundamental part of the trans rights campaign.

      I read several tweets by Chloe Swarbrick who called people terfs and other stupid words also trans anti women words. I did tweet back that there was no need to call people names but of course it won't change a thing.

      To say I find it juvenile would be an understatement. It reminds me of the nah, nah ne nah nah, tongue out an d fingers waggling behind the ears that went around our primary school at age about 7. It was promptly dealt to by the parents.

      To think that these are educated people. Sad.

  8. RedLogix 9

    It is my sense someone political made the decision to not provide police presence. The UK based GBNews nails the KJK event:

    • Molly 9.1

      I agree.

      (Just a note, suspicion that the reference @6:27 is a fake account.

      I watched the rest and I can't see any other questionable references.)

      • RedLogix 9.1.1

        Another excellent essay this morning:

        We have indeed contributed to the global debate about transgender rights – but only by showcasing how intolerant this group is, and how violently they react to ideas that challenge the perceived orthodoxy in our South Pacific hermit kingdom. It has cast a spotlight not only on the violent undertones that exist within parts of the transgender movement; but also on New Zealand’s own appalling record of violence, particularly with regard to domestic violence.

        Let’s not kid ourselves. Yes, there is free speech in New Zealand, but there is very little robust debate about difficult or controversial topics. Discussion is routinely closed down by slurs, stigmatizing language and official complaints. Local media often avoids politically or socially sensitive topics.

        Ask Dawkins or Keen about free speech in New Zealand. Ask them how intellectually curious we are. Now, thanks to an unruly mob in Albert Park, many millions of people around the globe have seen how tolerant New Zealand is when it comes to engaging in public discussion.

        The fact of our inability to manage this trans issue, the COVID mandate protest, the co-governance and MM debates in a civil, constructive manner is heading us directly down the path to hell. So far the large majority have not felt directly impacted by what they see as largely arcane, marginal debates, but sooner or later our luck will run out and it is hard to see it ending well.

        This comment is not the place to explore at length why, but this is a real moment in our history, not a footnote. People who have grown up with no-one who will say no to them have no internal boundaries. And we are far too blind to malign external influences assiduously exploiting this.

        • Molly

          Good article, thanks:

          The police loitered by the perimeter of the park, staring at their boots or their phones as the chaos unfolded meters away from them. But then again their job was not to keep the two groups apart, or keep the peace. They weren’t going to interfere with the mob justice that was being meted out in the park. Instead, they were no more than taxi-drivers, waiting for Keen to force her way out of the angry crowd and onto Princes Street where the police obliged with a lift to her hotel and then the airport.

          New Zealand’s governing parties and media could not have been more closely aligned with the thugs. Reminiscent, in fact, of Mussolini’s Italy.

          It was shocking to watch and images of those fifteen minutes have now been viewed many millions of times and have been commented on by international media and personalities with audiences many times the population of New Zealand.

          The description of deliberate police inaction is repeated in many personal accounts, including from my partner and daughter who attended.

          I'm listening to some of the silenced women speaking on The Platform that I posted above, and they are reiterating this.

    • SPC 9.2

      Did someone political in the UK determine the same policing practice in London the same weekend 15 minutes – the monthly LWS event in Hyde Park (the counter-protest surrounding them and no effort to keep them apart.

      The issues appears to be common practice to allow counter-protesters to shout down/use noise.

      • RedLogix 9.2.1

        The issues appears to be common practice to allow counter-protesters to shout down/use noise.

        It is not clear if you approve of this tactic. I do not. It may not be a quiet tactic, but it effectively silences your target. A thugs veto if you wish.

        Moreover it seems to have gone a fair bit further than this .. like 'let the mob intimidate the nasty woman and then provide a ride to the airport.' I suspect every activist group in NZ will have quietly observed these events, and will be drawing a range of conclusions.

        • SPC

          It's not a problem, if it’s the old fashioned political meeting heckling or a Hyde Park corner passer by making comments. It is, if its organised to silence and of larger size and allowed to kettle a smaller group.

          The Melbourne police used horses to separate groups (easy in a street setting, not so easy in Albert Park).

          They tried separation via barriers, but once they went down and the speakers were surrounded on the rotunda and silenced by the noise – the problem became one of safe departure.

          Of course National wanted Chelsea Manning banned from New Zealand.

      • Michael P 9.2.2

        I watched an interview with Toby Young of the Free Speech Union (on the same Sunday edition of GB News's Free Speech Nation that is mentioned in this thread.

        They did some research of a large number of police stations in the UK by way of freedom of information requests and the findings were quite shocking.

        In Summary they found that police training in gender, diversity, equity and inclusion is fully ingrained in police training and seems to be the main concern and takes up by far the largest part of police training. Whereas training around the laws on free speech and associated issues is either non existent or simply one line on a page.

  9. arkie 10

    Dame Anne Salmond on the cosiness of Ministers with the industries they are supposed to oversee and the greenwashing and environmental harm it causes:

    Over the past few weeks, New Zealanders have been exposed to shocking images of local landscapes ravaged by forestry sediment and slash during Cyclone Gabrielle, from Tairāwhiti to Hawke’s Bay.

    At the same time, investigative journalists have begun to explore the story of how this has been allowed to happen, in the face of scientific reports over the past 20 years predicting this kind of damage, and the successful prosecutions of forestry companies which include scathing court judgments about their practices.

    Neither politicians nor officials can plead innocence or ignorance in this matter. International forestry companies are among the largest landowners in New Zealand; and as Guyon Espiner has recently shown, they routinely employ lobbyists and lawyers to persuade ministers and officials to serve their interests, rather than those of the electorate – in the design of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), for instance, and the National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry (NES (PF)).

    The tone of texts and emails between ministers and lobbyists is telling. ‘Hi mate,’ writes a minister to a forestry lobbyist who is pleading with him not to exclude pine plantations from the ‘Permanent Forest’ category of the ETS. Sure enough, soon afterwards a declared policy preference for restricting this category to native forests is overturned, and pine plantations are included, a decision ratified by [the Labour] Cabinet. They should all be ashamed.

    What needs to happen now? Let’s hope the inquiry into forestry slash and land use in Tairāwhiti has integrity. It needs to listen to local people, look at local landscapes and serve local interests, not those of the forestry corporations. Likewise, the current reviews of the ETS by Treasury and the NES (PF) must not be captured by the forestry industry.

    Rather than parroting words put into their mouths by forestry lobbyists, our politicians need to serve local communities and defend them from the kinds of ravages and losses they have suffered in Cyclone Gabrielle. Otherwise, they deserve to be voted out of office.

    It's not just the quality of our democracy that’s at stake, but the future of our children and grandchildren. In tackling climate change, the biodiversity crisis and the degradation of waterways and the ocean, we need to take action that will make a real difference to the state of the planet, not to the balance sheets of global corporations.

    • RedLogix 10.1

      In the immediate aftermath of Cyclone Bola I made my way (a whole other story) to a backcountry farm run by some friends that was in the absolute bullseye of the devastation. I got to see with my own eyes the patterns of destruction; put simply the steeper land in grass only was usually wiped out. Pine plantations provided only marginal protection, and that still in sound native forest did best.

      Nothing was immune to damage; the land is far too unstable and steep and will always erode. But it was obvious to my eye – and I have spent enough time in the NZ backcountry both tramping and working with geologists, to have some idea of what I am looking at – that mass replanting in pine forests on steep land was not going to work. But that is what they went ahead and did anyway.

      And as the industry now reluctantly acknowledges, these plantations are too steep to economically manage or harvest. The low grade timber they tend to produce, full of knots and twists is not of high value, making the economics even worse. As a result the harvesters tend to only extract the best logs, leaving behind a large fraction of 'slash'. It isn't even economic to pulp it.

      The core problem here is that the local people are deeply conflicted; forestry has provided the only reliable income for these remote communities for years; and just shutting down the industry will cause another kind of devastation.

      I would propose the optimum path forward for the East Coast is a balanced combination of state funded native forest restoration and slash clean-up, a timber industry that slims down to planting high value species on only suitable land that is economic to manage, and a pivot to understanding how to best develop their immense cultural capital.

      The region has plenty of largely unsuspected potential to become a model of sophisticated land management and cultural regeneration. But too much has been squandered on low quality exploitation for decades. If this Commission is to deliver a worthwhile result, it has a big task ahead of it.

      • Robert Guyton 10.1.1

        "I would propose the optimum path forward for the East Coast is a balanced combination of state funded native forest restoration and slash clean-up, a timber industry that slims down to planting high value species on only suitable land that is economic to manage, and a pivot to understanding how to best develop their immense cultural capital. "


      • pat 10.1.2

        All sounds good…except high value logs tend to take generations to reach milling size….meanwhile the calls for employment (or the call to reduce population decline) will continue.

        As always the issue of time rears it's inconvenient head.

        • RedLogix

          I agree – which is why any Commission will need to take the broadest view possible. The slash is just one symptom of a far more complex problem with no easy solutions.

        • RedLogix

          I should have added that I wish the Commission good fortune. The East Coast is a region of NZ I have hapu connection with, and many strong memories. It is a special place that deserves better.

          • pat

            Although the East Coast is probably more neglected than most it is a problem that faces the whole country…e.g. Canterbury has similar issues to address with dairying…and the straw that is international tourism is not a solution.

            Difficult decisions ahead

  10. tsmithfield 11

    So far as trans rights are concerned, should trans people who have trasitioned towards being female be entitled to be treated as female in all respects if they pass the gender equivalent of the Turing test? That is, biological females can't tell that they weren't originally female?

    That would seem a sensible position to me, because, if biological females can't tell the difference, then they probably don't have a reason to feel concerned?

    • Visubversa 11.1

      That will cut out about 98% of those "transitioning towards female". And these days any restriction is condemned as "gatekeeping". Gender ideology says that you are what you say you are the second you say it. No arguement is permitted, no critical thought is allowed.

      Also, females are very good at perceiving the sex of someone – even from a distance. It is a survival mechanism and is needed now as much as it ever was.

      • tsmithfield 11.1.1

        Also, females are very good at perceiving the sex of someone – even from a distance. It is a survival mechanism and is needed now as much as it ever was.

        Yes, my wife seems to be almost telepathic at times lol.

        Gender ideology says that you are what you say you are the second you say it.

        This is a major problem that I don't see can be worked around.

        So, applying that logic, a male who decides he wants to perve at female bodies can just proclaim himself to be female and therefore enter the female changing sheds. Am I correct in that logic?

    • Charlotte Rust 11.2

      I had a thought today (ha), it might be a bit hardline but I propose it would go a long way with women if men who wish to be female (and vice versa women who wish to be male) in good faith should be required to be all in. Fully commit to surgical gender reassignment and hormone therapy. Controversial – definitely, but worth a ponder.

      • Shanreagh 11.2.1

        I think this is what the previous ability to change birth certificates said. You had to have living as the opp sex for X years and have a Dr/JP verify this. If you transitioned you had to complete it.

        For some reason this was deemed to be ????? something unfriendly, No Debate came along. It initially posited was that waltzing up with bit of cash and biro to a BDM office could see you come out with a new certificate saying you were a woman.

        NZ has changed this slightly so that you can partially transition, get a JP to sign a declaration. I am not sure how reversible partial chemical transition is. NZ has also linked to the concept of safe spaces for women.

        I will link to a very post on TS about this process by Weka? Visubversa?

    • bwaghorn 11.3

      Fuck off, as father of a daughter I don't want any fucking cocks in female only spaces, end of story, any one who thinks it's OK is criminally insane.

  11. Stephen D 12

    “Davidson, who is the minister in charge of sexual and family violence prevention and Green Party co-leader, was filmed saying “I am the violence minister and I know who causes violence in the world, it is white cis men” after attending a trans rights protest in Auckland.”

    How is she wrong?

    Disclaimer, I am an old white cis male.

      • Stephen 12.1.1

        Taking a broader look at violence. How many wars have been started by women?

      • Robert Guyton 12.1.2

        Rubbish facts. Who causes violence?

        Those who act violently and are prosecuted for it, don't necessarily cause it.

        • Shanreagh

          Yes Robert this is the point that many, including me, have been trying to say all weekend, mainly to NZ tweeters, the overseas ones seem to get the connection between what happened on Saturday and high levels of domestic violence.

          The fact that the protest happened, that the violence erupted is directly related to the fact that NZ has very high rates of domestic violence. Violence has many causes but chief among them is the inability to talk to achieve a meeting point/consensus or to use effective strategies to defuse tensions – withdraw, let other speak for you etc etc..

          We still have macho type posturing, we glorify a sport that still has high levels of roughness (I won't call it violence but rough handling)

          So on Saturday we had people spoiling for a fight because no-one had said 'hey stop that'. And they needed to have been saying it at least since No debate came into the lexicon.

          So the violence against people and property that we saw on Saturday bears out the statistics that we have high levels of violence in domestic situations. If we cannot manage our domestic situations we have little to give to a society that says we value letting people be or having no violence here. We are working against type.

          The stats only say one thing as you say, Marama Davidson using them is a bunch of crock. She clearly is not able to scale up or down mentally as to what an inability to deal with violence at home might mean when we leave to go to the outside world.

    • Charlotte Rust 12.2

      Taliban? India? Saudi Arabia? Iran?

    • Nic the NZer 12.3

      Treat it as an exercise in basic reading comprehension maybe? Why did Chris Hipkin's say she could better explain what she actually meant, with reference to the Stuff article.

  12. Corey 13

    After those comments and the celebration of using violence to shut down debate, the lack of fucks about poverty, housing, mental health and health in general apart from hiring more bureaucrats rather than increasing capacity and increasing scary authoritarian streak on free speech and debate and an obsession on putting people into boxes rather than focusing on economic and housing. inequality

    The left is no longer heading in a direction I'm comfortable with…. It's heart breaking to see but I'm not revolutionary, I'm a reformist I care about poverty, the left don't, the one good thing about true conservatism is there is no such thing as radical conservative

    I think a few terms in opposition and being shunned for abandoning economic justice for social justice is what the left needs.

    Fuck the lot of them, the right will hurt me economically but we never had any of this shit under the previous govt and I'm beyond sick of seeing the left act like fucking thugs and justifying the racism of low expectations, homophobia, misogyny and doing fuck all on housing, health and poverty.

    Im staying home. I imagine turn out for this election will be the lowest we've ever had there's no good options.

    I do want a change of govt though and as a person whose spent his entire life hating the right… Fucking heart breaking but this lot need to go. Nutters.

    I will never bring myself to vote tory or act of NZf, I'd rather chop of my arms and legs than vote tory.

    • RedLogix 13.1

      Welcome to the ocean of the politically unmoored. You are not alone on this turbulent sea.

      I frequently pondered the question of whether to vote or not, but I keep coming back to the sacrifice made by our fathers and grandfathers – and now in Ukraine – so that we might have the privilege of voting.

      In this light I cannot in good conscience stay home.

    • Charlotte Rust 13.2

      Agree! I am despairing. I’m finding that I want to listen to dour ACT members on their opinions on this so called rally at the weekend when I’d normally turn the radio off if they were on. I’d rather my ears bled than give them 5 minutes of my time notmally. And even then I find they haven’t gone far enough and are skirting the edges – being politicians I guess. Sigh. Let’s get on with the important stuff or else there will be survival issues facing humans and it won’t matter a bit what’s between our legs.

  13. I loathe & detest the word 'cis'. It is a made up word that describes a person from a trans perspective whose gender matches their born sex.

    It is a made up word by the minority trans community to describe the wider community in relation to them, and that community is the majority. To not buy in to the language does not mean we lack compassion or won't work for them to have a fair go.

    I don't know enough about the LGB people to know if they use it but suffice to say that my older lesbian friends do not. They use male/female.

    So when I heard Marama Davidson let forth with her 'cis' this or that I knew we no longer had someone who thought independently on the issue. She is captured in other words.

    So I may be incorrect or left out some important bits and please tell me if I have. No one needs to know these things they are of little relevance.

    If we need to distinguish then what is the matter with male/female and other adjectives if we need them.

    Just musings.

    • Charlotte Rust 14.1

      She f’d up and should be accountable, she’s a politician ffs, she’s meant to be a diplomat. Imagine if Ardern had said that. I know that the greens will always be a minority party, I used to hope they wouldn’t be, but if they are in govt they would be making decisions for all, even cis white males, not just minority groups. If she did have a brain fart because of the accident shouldn’t her team have taken her for medical attention? She seemed pretty cognisant in that video. Also are claims that it was one of Tamaki’s cohort rhetoric or is it true – are the police following up on this hit and run? Had she stepped out onto the road in the heat of the moment without looking properly? There seem to be a lot of unfounded accusations being thrown around. It’s all conjecture at best.

  14. Jenny are we there yet 15

    All politics is pressure.

    New Zealand's anti-nuclear legislation was enacted in the depths of the cold war. Those opposed to it have been trying to water down and gnaw away at the edges of our nuclear free policy ever since. As the world heads to toward another cold war, nuclear rhetoric, bluster and nuclear proliferation has picked up pace again, even reaching to this corner of the globe.
    With Australia getting tooled up with nuclear submarines – It was inevitable that the pressure would come on us to rejoin the nuclear club.

    Newsable: Does our anti-nuclear approach need a rethink?

    Emile Donovan06:00, Mar 28 2023

    Um. No.

    Sure, everyone else may be doing it, but that doesn't make it any less insane.

    • Jenny are we there yet 15.1

      Behind the pressure to accept nuclear power will be the pressure to accept Australian, (and US), nuclear powered submarines into our waters and harbours.

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