Open mike 27/03/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 27th, 2024 - 44 comments
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44 comments on “Open mike 27/03/2024 ”

  1. SPC 1

    A UK court has asked the Americans to reassure them that Assange has free speech rights and will not face the death penalty if extradited to the USA.

    The Americans can guarantee this easily enough (especially if they say no less free speech rights than he had in the UK).

    The thing is the decline of the health of Assange because of his prison conditions (and past embassy circumstance).

    At this point the US government should ask for guarantees about his health before any transfer – or else have plans for his recovery before he stands trial.

    • Koff 1.1

      I have just watched the documentary* on the Assange and Wikileaks case here in Brisbane which was released in Oz. NZ and the UK (but not the U.S.) just before yesterday's court ruling. It's a very powerful film and sets out Assange's case well. If the detail is accurate it's unlikely that Assange would live much longer in Belmarsh anyway and sending him to the U.S. probably a death sentence in itself.

      * Film is called "Trust Fall" and is definitely worth watching:

  2. Joe90 2

    Russia celebrates and rewards torturers and mutilatilators.

    Of course Russians use sexual violence as a weapon of war.


    Atrocities are Russia’s means of warfare. Since the beginning of its aggression against Ukraine in 2014, the Kremlin has weaponised actions that are internationally considered as crimes, including sexual violence. With the all-out invasion in 2022, Russia’s sexual violence has expanded in its prevalence and gravity. It makes for difficult reading, but the extent of documented crimes includes rapes; gang rapes; sexual slavery; beating and mutilation of genitalia; castration; threats of rape and forcing family members to witness abuse of their loved ones.

  3. Obtrectator 3

    Data that's specifically about persistent (i.e. long-term and/or inter-generational) poverty is no longer being collected:

    As Kate Prickett remarks in today's Post*, " …. cancellation of the Living In Aotearoa Survey means the government will escape being held to account for how our most vulnerable children are doing".

    *not in their on-line edition

    Supposedly a StatsNZ (not government) decision, but almost certainly one consequent upon the 6.5% reductions being imposed on them.

    Will we be seeing further examples of important information being deemed too expensive to collect?

    • joe90 3.1

      *not in their on-line edition

      The Press.

      OPINION: In 2018, Aotearoa New Zealand passed ground-breaking legislation, with both the left and the right agreeing that eliminating child poverty was important for a fair and productive society.

      A key part of understanding whether our policies and our economy were meeting that challenge — the legislation emphasised — was making sure we were collecting data and measuring whether, in fact, child poverty was going down.

      To that end, the legislation mandates that the government collect data to be able to report on nine different measures of poverty, with four of those measures identified as primary measures.

      Complying with that mandate, however, just became a lot harder. On Friday afternoon, StatsNZ quietly posted a webpage announcement to say that its barely born Living in Aotearoa Survey was being cancelled.

    • tc 3.2

      Already have with their removal of the legislative changes parker had going through to collect data for a fairer taxation system.

      The reasoning …its more red tape/reduce beauracracy.

    • Gosman 3.3

      Stats NZ has a choice what data collection (if any) they cut. They obviously decided it was not as worthwhile data as others.

  4. weka 4

    the left wing critique of DQSH in public libraries and schools (short version):

    1. The problem isn't gender non-conformity, which the left supports, it's child safeguarding
    2. Drag is inherently a form of adult entertainment based around sexual content
    3. Internationally, there are plenty of examples of DQs doing sexualised content performances in front of children
    4. Because of No Debate, and the liberal left's reactionary position to critique, the left can't have any conversation in NZ about DQSH and child safeguarding
    5. Thus we don't know if sexual content is part of DQSH in NZ. The issue isn't that all DQSH is sexualised, it's that we have no way of finding out.
    6. the issue also isn't that all DQs are sexual predators, or that they all do sexual performance, it's that the (neo)liberal position is in the process of removing child safeguarding in a number of areas, and that too many people now don't know what child safeguarding is (it's an actual thing, not some moral panic from religious fundies)
    7. child safeguarding isn't about opposing gender non-conformity (that's the conservative argument, not the left one). It's about maintaining clear boundaries so that children who are inherently vulnerable are best protected
    8. if the liberal left wants to make a case for sexual content at DQSH, they need to make an actual case not pretend it's not happening

    Here are some examples. If they seem shocking or unbelievable or uncommon, that's because MSM doesn't report on this, and most liberals are in a social media bubble. The rest of us see this and the political analysis of it routinely.

    Sexual content at DQ performances with children:

    A picture in NZH about DQSH, and Rainbow SH FB page sharing the article without comment on the costume on the right.

    • weka 4.1

      Two additional issues.

      Drag Queens are performing parodies of women, demonstrating gross stereotypes. and there is a theme of sexism and misogyny in the culture (men mocking aspects of femaleness). Again, there is no way to know if DQSH in NZ is like that because we're not allowing a conversation about it and it's being left to the conservatives to drive the narrative.

      Drag kids. It's becoming acceptable for boys to be involved in sexual content as children.

      Drag kids doing adult sexuality,

      This is a pretty good explainer of the drag kid issues from a conservative woman who isn't opposed to drag generally.

      • tWig 4.1.1

        Coco of Erika and Coco, the drag artist act, is an actual female who dresses up in rainbow clothes. The two have run a drag act business since 2020, focusing on small towns round NZ. They visit many venues, and tailor their act to suit the circumstances. Have a read of the many, many positive reviews of the library performances by parents who took their kids along before this post-Posie Parker NZ. No grooming involved.

        Under your logic, no children should be exposed to androgenous dressing by men in dresses, and, by extension, to butch-dressing women jeans, work boots, muscle tees or tuxes with fake mos (shout out to Jools and Linda Topp!). And we should police little kids play dressing up in their mum's old dresses, no little boys allowed, just like in the 60's.

        • weka

          Coco of Erika and Coco, the drag artist act, is an actual female who dresses up in rainbow clothes. The two have run a drag act business since 2020, focusing on small towns round NZ. They visit many venues, and tailor their act to suit the circumstances. Have a read of the many, many positive reviews of the library performances by parents who took their kids along before this post-Posie Parker NZ. No grooming involved.

          I’ve watched a bit of them online and I have no trouble believing that you are probably right about their act and their ability to discern what is ok for kids and what isn’t.

          There are still two problems:

          1. We’re talking DQSH in NZ generally, not just those two performers.
          2. Because the debate has been so polarised, we haven’t been able to have a conversation around child safeguarding. Which means we don’t know if adequate safe guarding is happening or not. Here I am talking about the judgement of councils and libraries are well as DQ culture. You can look up the rainbow dildo butt monkey saga in the UK if you want to see why trust should not longer be automatically granted.

          If the liberal left allowed a full and frank conversation about child safeguarding instead of this perpetual reactionary shutting down, I suspect that acts like Erica and Coco would be able to continue with better support. But the commitment has to be to child safeguarding first.

        • weka

          Under your logic, no children should be exposed to androgenous dressing by men in dresses, and, by extension, to butch-dressing women jeans, work boots, muscle tees or tuxes with fake mos (shout out to Jools and Linda Topp!). And we should police little kids play dressing up in their mum’s old dresses, no little boys allowed, just like in the 60’s.

          You appear to not understand the logic, which is strange given your commitment to gender non-conformity.

          I already said that gender non-conformity isn’t the problem and that the left supports this. The argument you are talking about is an ultra conservative one. In NZ most people don’t care about GNC and are quite happy for people to dress how they want (mostly appropriate to the occasion). Feminists like myself want more freedom for people to present how they want to present and an end to gender enforced roles (we also have a critique of DQ culture where it is misogynistic in its parody of women).

          The accurate comparison here would be other adult entertainers eg strippers, going into libraries in their stripper work clothes and performing simulated sex acts for kids. In which case I would absolutely oppose this as well. If however, someone who is a stripper at night, also does clowning for kids during the day, has good boundaries around work and doesn’t bring anything about the stripping to the clown job, then all good.

          I also think it’s important to point out that if you can’t follow my basic arguments there, if you think wanting to protect children from sexualised content is the same as thinking kids shouldn’t be exposed to butch women and efeminate men, then you are in no position to understand what child safeguarding is.

          • weka

            I mean, I literally made it my first point,

            1. The problem isn't gender non-conformity, which the left supports, it's child safeguarding

            Do you not understand what that means?

      • Tabletennis 4.1.2

        Thank you Weka: I like to add the commercial site of things

        Why the mono culture effort over many NZ libraries, to put on Drag Queen story time for children?
        These events endorse the belief that if a man puts on a dress, he becomes a woman and, by extension, that children can literally change their sex.
        Without exception there will be one or more titles on their reading list to make children believe that Janet has become Jimmy.

        How can parents give informed consent to their children hearing sexual content when the performers advertise that they will answer any impromptu question from the audience?

        Further more: Rainbow Storytime is a private business that charges fees.
        Libraries do not normally support any private businesses, so why is an exception being made for this one?

        Libraries are supposed to be neutral, non-commercial spaces, for the benefit of all citizens.

        • weka

          good article thanks, and it rounds out why I put up the Lactatia story alongside the DQSH issues. The blurring of boundaries is definitely happening.

  5. Anne 5

    Today is the 40th anniversary of the Trades Hall bombing.

    Those who were around at the time will remember it well. Anti-union activity was rife throughout the country, aided and abetted by a malignant force in the shape of the former prime minister, RD Muldoon.

    It was a home grown act of terrorism.

    Former union boss, Ken Douglas is on record as saying:

    "We'd had really quite intense anti-union activity by the Muldoon government and that was on going to a very large extent, we'd had the Tania Harris marches in Auckland against trade unions, so there was a lot of emotions."

    Douglas said he believed the bomb was planted against the trade union movement and against the Labour Party.

    He said the media had reported the day before that a meeting was being held between the industrial and political labour was taking place that day.”

    The aim had been to wipe out the national union leadership, but the meeting venue was changed at the last minute, and the care-taker Ernie Abbott was killed. Essentially that is what happened.

    From some experiences of my own at that time, I beleive there is more to this story than has been shared with the public. That is a shame because, for one reason or another, innocent people had their reputations shattered over that incident.

    • AB 5.1

      Thanks for your recollections Anne. I caught a bus in Vivian St not far from Trades Hall that morning – less than half an hour before the explosion. I was too young and politically naive at the time to have much inkling of what was happening and why.

  6. joe90 6

    It's working.



    ·Mar 16, 2021

    Critical Race Theory is falling. It's end, but not THE end, is coming.


    ·Mar 16, 2021

    I agree with you. The activists are realizing that their ideas, once put into practice, are generating discontent. Their racial coalition is also breaking apart—Asian-Americans, in particular, are revolting against CRT, which punishes them more than any other group.


    ·Mar 16, 2021

    We have successfully frozen their brand—"critical race theory"—into the public conversation and are steadily driving up negative perceptions. We will eventually turn it toxic, as we put all of the various cultural insanities under that brand category.


    The goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think "critical race theory." We have decodified the term and will recodify it to annex the entire range of cultural constructions that are unpopular with Americans.

  7. Robert Guyton 7

    "…the Tarras airport will harm tourism because we have no way of limiting tourism numbers…"


    [Site policy:

    Directly or indirectly advocating violence in any shape or form (including ‘jest’ and advocating self-harm) to individuals or groups is simply not allowed. Moderators will have a no-tolerance humourless response as the only possible response. If you want to talk about political conflicts around the world, then do so being mindful of this proscription]

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • Bearded Git 7.1

      Tarras airport will be fast-tracked.

    • Robert Guyton 7.2

      You MUST be joking!!

      Suggesting that we limit the length of the runway means large aircraft won't choose Tarras as a destination, not whatever dark interpretation you have made. I am offended and feel an injustice has been made here. Please repost my original comment and read it again with my explanation in mind. Anyone reading the edited comment above will cause people to think poorly of me, unfairly.

      I am not happy.

  8. Phillip ure 8

    A financial-equation around the homeless – that not many are aware of:

    Let's take just ten homeless – those sleeping rough – in cars/vans etc.

    On paper each of those ten homeless would be eligible for emergency accomodation in a a cost to taxpayers/the public purse of approx $2,000 per week…multiplied by 10 = $20,000 per week..

    Over one year those ten homeless…by getting by as best they the taxpayers one million dollars..

    A further saving comes from none of those ten claiming accomodation benefits..and the like..

    Plus they put their incomes thru the local tills..

    So what is the fucken problem..?

    The homeless are less of drain upon the public purse…than just about anyone else..

    And they can stand tall and proud..can look anyone in the eye..take pride in taking care of business/taking no handouts..

    (Contrast this with the mewlings of business sectors etc..who stand there with their hands held out for those taxpayer dollars)

    So how about shelving the stigmatising..the attitudes shown by many…

  9. SPC 9

    ACT are calling student areas for Maori and Polynesians segregation and the deputy PM from another party mentions the KKK.

    They have been there for decades, but apparently this is now unacceptable – because "the being critical of any privilege or special treatment for non whites moment" has arrived.

    Clarence Thomas built his career in DC opposing affirmative action (after graduating from Harvard law School via that programme).

    • I remember similar moaning over the establishment of Women's Common Rooms at universities in the late 1960's.

    • tWig 9.2

      Big Hairy News unpack the issues on ACT's race-baiting on this space issue.

      My 20 years ago my child's school secondary school ran homework spaces for different ethnic groups among its students (Asian, Indian, Pacifika, Maori formed 60-70% of the student body at Mt Roskill then). Targetted study groups encouraged peer-to-peer support groups that improved academic outcomes for students. Great idea, but needing separate spaces.

    • weka 9.3

      the right are winning the culture war, and the liberal left are wondering why.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 9.3.1

        DeSantis faces pushback in Florida as voters tire of war on woke
        [9 March 2024]
        Conservative lawmakers rejected a host of new culture wars proposals in the legislature

        the right are winning the culture war, and the liberal left are wondering why.

        The 'right' have won some battles, but imho "culture war[s]" will always be with us.
        I choose to believe that "There is more that unites us than divides us."

        Waging Culture Wars Justly [25 March 2024]
        Second, I think proportionality in a culture war means something like “playfulness.” This second point will feel like it’s in some tension with the first. I think that a just culture war can be one in which, while we do not trade insult for insult, we do trade joke for joke, barb for barb.

        The internet could use more pacifists. I’m reminded of a cartoon I saw years ago, where this guy is on his computer in the middle of the night. His bathrobed wife says “Honey, are you coming to bed?” He says, “I can’t, somebody is wrong on the internet.

        Who cares about the culture war? [10 Jan 2024]
        Those who are economically left and socially liberal place little importance on candidates’ positions on culture war issues. Instead, they prioritise economic (six out of the top ten) and traditional non-economic (four out of the top ten) issues.

        Why might culture war issues have played a bigger role for people with more traditional social values? Partly, this may be because politicians and media on this side of politics were emphasising the issues referred to in the survey – such as Suella Braverman ending diversity training in her department and Rishi Sunak campaigning to stop ‘woke nonsense’.

        Certain periods have seen culture wars rise and fall in prominence. These issues may be important to party competition now, but may play less (or more) of a role in the future. New issues will continually emerge in the ever-evolving landscape of cultural battles, and could motivate orthodox and progressive voters to act in different ways in the future.

        Some writers and scholars have said that culture wars are created or perpetuated by political special interest groups, by reactionary social movements, by party dynamics, or by electoral politics as a whole. These authors view culture war not as an unavoidable result of widespread cultural differences, but as a technique used to create in-groups and out-groups for a political purpose.

        According to The Guardian, "many on the left have argued that such [culture war] battles [a]re 'distractions' from the real fight over class and economic issues."

        • observer

          Things happen in the USA. Very different things happen in NZ.

          If there's a "culture war" checklist it includes things like abortion, gay marriage, indigenous rights and language, attitudes to immigration, religion, and much more. The line on that graph in NZ is going one way, and it's not Florida's.

          Conservatives here (like Luxon) only get elected by promising NOT to undo progressive social changes. By at least pretending (for votes, not principles) that they were actually in favour of them all along.

          Itch-scratching shock-woke headlines are a media staple, always have been, but wars are won in votes. There's a reason why National have never returned to 2005.

          ACT and NZF want 10%. Governments don't.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Things happen in the USA. Very different things happen in NZ.

            I sincerely hope that "very different things" will continue to happen in Aotearoa NZ – the issue of Muller's MAGA cap certainly faded fast.

    • Rose 9.4

      I’m disappointed in this story on two levels (1) the political capital Act is trying to make and (2) the general reporting on the matter by a defunct MSM in NZ.

      I’m up at the university as a mature student two days per week. I’ve seen the signs. What most of the media fail to mention is that this is all part of the Tuakana program to support Māori and Pacifica students. I’m fully in support of this program. My first stint at the university was the late 1980s. It’s such a joy to see so many more students now from theses communities feeling supported and succeeding at UOA.

  10. SPC 10

    Auckland International Airport Limited (AIA) floated on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on Monday, 22 February 1999. The company opened its first day of trading with a share price of $0.71 which was down 60.50% from its offer price of $1.80 per share. The first day of trading for Auckland International Airport Limited on the ASX saw its share price move between a low of $0.71 and a high of $0.71, before closing at $0.71 per share which was 60.50% below its original offer price of $1.80 per share.

    AIA's current share price of $7.62 is a $5.82 or 323.33% premium to its original offer price of $1.80.

    The Mayor of Auckland says the owning the airport "which he says has a risk of flooding" is unwise and the dividend return is too low against cost of debt.

    So he wants to sell the shares and operate a wealth fund that generates a higher rate of return.

    He excluded historic CG from owning the shares from his assessment. The only way his wealth fund would generate the amount he claims (7.5%) would be via CG – the only guaranteed way (the airport is a land based asset) would be buy land before it was zoned residential. Pretty legal?

  11. SPC 11

    Remember when we had government controlled leaks, via a trusted well educated go between, so China did not have to hack parliament to know what was going on before it was reported in the media?

    This is all a sad consequence of National’s money in the bag for MP’s fiasco, when we lost the chance for a next generation arrangement.

    The GCSB also has these controlled information flow arrangements so the USA had no need to hack them either.

    Of course, we have no need to spy on South Pacific governments and their parliament MP's because of course we educated them and they report to us, their friends …

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    The Government is bringing the earthquake-prone building review forward, with work to start immediately, and extending the deadline for remediations by four years, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Our Government is focused on rebuilding the economy. A key part of our plan is to cut red tape that ...
    6 days ago
  • Thailand and NZ to agree to Strategic Partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, have today agreed that New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand will upgrade the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership by 2026. “New Zealand and Thailand have a lot to offer each other. We have a strong mutual desire to build ...
    7 days ago
  • Government consults on extending coastal permits for ports
    RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Transport Minister Simeon Brown have today announced the Coalition Government’s intention to extend port coastal permits for a further 20 years, providing port operators with certainty to continue their operations. “The introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 required ports to obtain coastal ...
    7 days ago
  • Inflation coming down, but more work to do
    Today’s announcement that inflation is down to 4 per cent is encouraging news for Kiwis, but there is more work to be done - underlining the importance of the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track, acting Finance Minister Chris Bishop says. “Inflation is now at 4 per ...
    7 days ago
  • School attendance restored as a priority in health advice
    Refreshed health guidance released today will help parents and schools make informed decisions about whether their child needs to be in school, addressing one of the key issues affecting school attendance, says Associate Education Minister David Seymour. In recent years, consistently across all school terms, short-term illness or medical reasons ...
    1 week ago
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy cut in oceans sector
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is streamlining high-level oceans management while maintaining a focus on supporting the sector’s role in the export-led recovery of the economy. “I am working to realise the untapped potential of our fishing and aquaculture sector. To achieve that we need to be smarter with ...
    1 week ago
  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
    1 week ago
  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    1 week ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
    1 week ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon acknowledges legacy of Singapore Prime Minister Lee
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today paid tribute to Singapore’s outgoing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.   Meeting in Singapore today immediately before Prime Minister Lee announced he was stepping down, Prime Minister Luxon warmly acknowledged his counterpart’s almost twenty years as leader, and the enduring legacy he has left for Singapore and South East ...
    1 week ago

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