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Open mike 27/04/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 27th, 2019 - 179 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

179 comments on “Open mike 27/04/2019 ”

  1. Ad 1

    Stiassny gone from NZTA Chair.

    This means:

    – No Chair

    – No permanent Chief Executive

    – All but 2 Tier 2 management gone

    – Legislation coming to break NZTA up on its way

    – Further restructures once new Chair and Management in place

    – Net result nothing substantial gets done for years.

    • Dennis Frank 1.1

      "The time is now right for a new chair and new permanent chief executive with the skills required to guide the necessary culture change within the agency to ensure public safety is at the heart of its function." https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/112283766/nzta-board-chair-michael-stiassny-steps-down-saying-hes-done-his-job

      A wish & a hope. Operational staff will be nonplussed by the quaint notion that regulators are supposed to regulate. The possibility that public safety could replace interior decorating as the agency priority will have many uneasily eyeing the exit.

      • Ad 1.1.1

        Huge turnover already.

        This government shows disregard for public servants.

        • Gabby

          How did the organisation get so full of deadwood addy?

          • Ad

            It's not "dead wood". They are people who dedicated their lives to public services for decades on end. Better known as public servants.

            The "dead wood" to be found there now is in new management brought in who know nothing about transport (often from telco industries), no experience of being a regulator (though some of being regulated), and the only group who got any attention for multiple decades were the motorway design+build team.

            Also, the focus on safety was lost when the LTSA was merged in.

            The postmortem will really start when the reports hit parliament and they carve NZTA up again.

            • Graeme

              And your solution?

              Could NZTA have had been turned into an effective organisation without tearing it to bits first?

              • Ad

                The solution is in the next three months:

                how will they be restructured by this government?

                In case the left need reminding: transport is the largest remaining field in which we can decrease our fossil fuel reliance, and it is all in the hands of how NZTA allocates funding.

        • Dennis Frank

          Yes, a good analysis of the problem. Reminds us that the academic world is always good at producing analysts. Problem-solvers, not so much.

          A clever government would crowd-source them. Award a prize for the best solution. Who would judge? Ah, devil of a choice, eh? To outwit the devil in that detail, I suggest use of a voluntary panel, size unlimited. Members only on an identified basis (nobody hiding behind an alias).

          So all those who were motivated to volunteer on the basis that they self-identify as people who know a solution when they see one, produce a winner on a consensus basis. I'd require the govt to publish the top ten rated by the panel – designs plus suggestors. That would establish a pool of folk who are good at problem-solving on a common-ground basis – very useful to any govt as a resource applicable to other social problems!

          • greywarshark

            I read recently that women only got a fair deal when being chosen for a position when, to make the selection totally anonymous, carpet was laid so that the panel couldn't hear the lighter footsteps.


        • greywarshark

          Pat Timely and deep wisdom.

          DF Problem solving and decision making effectiveness – gold. And reaching decisions after full anf frank discussions, perhaps even two or three votes with concessions, small changes would be better than consensus.

  2. Jenny - How to get there? 2

    Is going by bus, better than going by train for CO2 emissions?

    It appears that taking the bus to Christchurch produces less CO2 per passenger than going from Auckland to Christchurch on the train..

    It is also cheaper to use the bus to Christchurch than the train.

    How about that?

    The breakdown from worst to best is, Worst – private car, Second Worst – plane Third worse – train Best – bus


      • greywarshark 2.1.1

        I like to know where a place is in the world. This Victoria, is the only town of any size, at the south of Vancouver Island with a long sea voyage between it and Vancouver. We will see if the locals like the free idea, they probably don't have the import vehicle lobby that we have that has ended up with tonnes of semi-industrial vehicles towering over the traffic.

    • Andre 2.2

      It all depends on occupancy – and including the emissions created by mass-transit vehicles doing dead-head travel.

      If I were doing the same trip in my LandRover, which gets the same 10km/litre on diesel, yes the 160ish kg of emissions for solo travel would be appalling. But load it up with 6 people on board, and it probably even beats the claimed figure for the bus.

      Similarly, when looking at emissions from public transport systems, looking at just thebest case scenarios from fully-laden trains or buses is grossly misleading. What actually needs to be looked at is total emissions over the whole system divided by total passenger km travelled. It's quite hard to find those numbers, they're often protected as "commercially sensitive". The last time I went through the exercise of finding actual numbers the diesel bus based systems I found numbers for were actually slightly worse than solo car travel. Because of the amount of driving buses do empty or with very few passengers. That's not a good argument against bus systems, they offer many many other benefits, it's just being realistic about their emissions contributions.

      As always, the details of which mode is "better" diverts from what makes the biggest reduction of all – reducing or eliminating the harmful activity altogether. But if the travel cannot or will not be foregone, then electrification becomes the obvious next best. Electrifying the entire ground-based transport system is entirely technologically feasible right now, it's just a matter of whether we have the will to do it quickly or whether we'll just keep making pathetic excuses and continue to drag our heels.

      • Jenny - How to get there? 2.2.1

        "Because of the amount of driving buses do empty or with very few passengers……"

        The way to fill them up, make 'em free.


        • Jenny - How to get there?


          Free public transport objectives combine simultaneously social, economic and environmental aspects. In bigger cities, the environment might be the highest priority; however, offering free public transport addresses the problems of the working poor universally. Increasing pressure on the environment and the widening gap between the wealthy and the poor will press policymakers globally to consider free public transport not only in urban areas but also in the sparsely populated countryside. Estonia and its capital Tallinn serve as a global lighthouse to those interested in the implementation of free public transport.

        • Andre

          The amount of low-occupancy public transport doesn't have much to do with the fares charged. It's more to do with the surges of passengers going to work in the mornings and going home in the evenings. Sure the buses are full one direction, but then near empty as they cycle back to pick up another load.

          It's also to do with how the best way to get people out of their cars is to make it viable for people to not own a car, and public transport serves almost all their needs. Because if you own a car for other reasons, public transport has to compete with the convenience of using a car and only the marginal cost of the car trip (not the entire ownership cost). I knew plenty of people in big eastern US and european cities like that. Some didn't even have driver's licenses, others just occasionally rented a car when they really needed one.

          But to make that workable, the public transport has to be readily available at highish frequency all throughout the day and night. So that means a lot of low-occupancy trips at off-peak times.

          • Jenny - How to get there?

            It's more to do with the surges of passengers going to work in the mornings and going home in the evenings. Sure the buses are full one direction, but then near empty as they cycle back to pick up another load…..

            These are all reasonable objections.

            To address these issues I would start piecemeal. Free public transport during rush hour. And on all school buses. Free public transport on all buses using the bus lanes into the inner city. (Quicker trips on the busways minimising low occupancy return journeys.)

            Being clear of pedestrians, and other vehicles, it occurs to me that buses running on busways lead themselves very well to autonomy.
            At the beginning and end of their journeys when the autonomous buses have to reintegrate back into normal traffic, (where AI has trouble coping), they could be switched to remote Mechanical Turk for the last part of their journey.

            Autonomy also has other advantages, electronically linking together, greatly closes up following distances allowing more vehicles (ie more commuters) for less roadway. Also a single electronic command could pull them all aside for emergency vehicles to pass.

            And as for the convenience of the personal motorcar. That convenience, which is already constrained by peak hour congestion, could be constrained even more by giving more motorway lanes to the dedicated bus services.

            In particular, bring the North Shore busway across the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

            Making this route fare-free would be compensation for leaving your private car in the garage.

            Two lanes dedicated to a busway on the Auckland Harbour Bridge, (going from the current figures for the existing partial busway), will have the capacity to transport tens of thousands of more commuters during rush hour than the current jammed up bridge bottleneck allows. Such an initiative would also negate the proposed multi $billion harbour tunnel or third harbour crossing at a tiny fraction of the cost.

            Free the Busway


            • alwyn

              The first thing you propose to do in your "piecemeal" solution is actually the worst thing to do. You say "Free public transport during rush hour". What you will do with that is add passengers at the busiest time. This will, in general, mean that you will have to put another bus on the road. At rush hour all the buses in use are fully occupied and there are no empty seats. The only way you will get another passenger on is to add another bus.

              It is to prevent this that cities have introduced congestion pricing. If you travel on the road at peak times, by whatever means, you should pay more. With your approach you will only increase congestion. People who were happy to travel an hour earlier, on a mostly empty bus, will be encouraged to delay their trip until the rush hour. After all, it is now free. What you will encourage is buses that make one loaded trip in the morning rush hour and one trip in the evening equivalent. The rest of the time they will be travelling empty, or not travelling at all. I would like to know how you would get drivers to work under those conditions.

              What you want to do is to get people to travel at other than rush hour. To do that you should ONLY charge for tickets during the rush hour. ie The complete opposite of what you propose.

              You then suggest "And on all school buses.". That is unlikely to have any effect from this alone. What you should be doing is to change school hours so that they do not conflict with the rush hour for adult workers. If the demand for worker travel is at its peak from 0800 to 0900 you should shift the start of the school day back to 1000 so that a bus can make a trip with workers and then a second trip with school pupils. In the evening have schools finish at 1600 so the pupils get home on buses that only they use and then workers can travel at a later time.

              It isn't making school buses free that will make a difference. It is having school pupils travel at a different time. If need be ban school pupils from the adult travel time buses.

          • The Lone Haranguer

            On a visit to Hong Kong a few years back, we stayed out in the New Territories area and when we wanted to go into the Kowloon city area, we took the bus.

            They had large buses on the route (45+ passengers) about every 10-15 minutes, and hoards of maybe 18 seaters which came thru about every two to three minutes. If they were full, they just didnt stop, but it didnt matter because we knew there were more coming within minutes.

            I take the buses in Christchurch, which I think had (pre earthquakes) one of the best city bus services in our country. Post earthquake, the routes changed and the linking of services seem to be inferior.

            I regularly see large buses, outside the commuter hours, with 1-5 passengers on them. I do wonder if anyone has priced up the cost/benefits of a fleets of 18 seaters for these times of the day.

            • Andre

              When city buses go electric, taking some of them off the road in the quieter spell between morning and evening busy times will be a good opportunity for recharging.

              Dunno how that will tie-in to improving bus service by having a mixed fleet of larger and smaller vehicles. It might allow higher frequency services during less busy times. But the capital tied up in having a numerically larger fleet might end up being unacceptable.

        • Jenny - How to get there?

          When an increase in public transport usage of one or two percent gets banner headlines in the NZ Herald.

          There is a way to greatly increase the use of public transport way past these piddly amounts.


    • alwyn 2.3

      It would have been a great deal more useful if he had spelled out the assumptions being made about the number of passengers on the vehicle for each form of transport.

      There is an implicit assumption that there was only one person in the car. What about the others? Does the calculation assume that every single seat on the bus was occupied for the whole trip for example?

      I would also suggest that if he uses 10 litres/100 km on a relatively flat route like Blenheim/Christchurch he should get a more efficient vehicle. That is an appalling consumption.

    • Andre 2.4

      Also Jenny, the article was about a trip from Blenheim to Christchurch, not Auckland to Christchurch.

      In an Auckland – Christchurch train trip, the emissions would be significantly reduced if the passenger trains use the overhead electric power available from Hamilton to Palmerston North (not sure if they actually do).

      • Jenny - How to get there? 2.4.1

        My bad. Sorry. My Auckland centric goggles were on, and I missed that detail.

      • Jenny - How to get there? 2.4.2

        P.S. Your other point.

        "the emissions would be significantly reduced if the passenger trains use the overhead electric power available from Hamilton to Palmerston North…"

        This is a good point, and maybe a good argument can be made for electrifying the whole rail network.

        It is quite likely, that in that case, I would expect that rail would overtake buses in the carbon emissions stakes.

  3. Morrissey 3

    Kim Hill was an uncritical and empty-headed sounding-board for another liar this morning

    RNZ National, Saturday 27 April 2019, 8:10 a.m.

    As Kim Hill showed several years ago when she did not dare to contradict a word uttered by another smooth and vicious liar, Alex Gibney, [1] she doesn't have the spine to confront these brutal hatchet men.


    8.09 Jonathan Freedland aka Sam Bourne – America on a knife-edge

    Sam Bourne is the pseudonym of Jonathan Freedland, an award-winning journalist and broadcaster. He has written a weekly column for the Guardian since 1997, having previously served as the paper's Washington correspondent. He has won awards for his columns and his first novel, The Righteous Men, was a Number 1 bestseller. His next two novels, The Last Testament and The Final Reckoning were both top ten bestsellers. His latest book written as Sam Borne is To Kill The Truth, which examines a world 'without truth' – and who stands to gain.

    This was as horrific as you might imagine. At the end, Freedland mounted a sustained smear attack against Jeremy Corbyn. "Corbyn just doesn't get it," he told Kim Hill, who listened to him with the same rapt silence she accorded another liar, Luke Harding, last year….

    JONATHAN FREEDLAND: So I'm afraid Corbyn is a man of his time. He's nearly seventy years old. And like many of his age he carries a lot of prejudices. He's a classic middle class bigot….. I saw a poll just today. Now a majority of English people believe Corbyn has a problem…I'm afraid it's pretty damning.

    KIM HILL: Oh dear….


    Disgusted and shaken, I sent Kim Hill the following email….

    You accepted every one of Jonathan Freedland's lies. Why?

    Dear Kim,

    You accorded Jonathan Freedland a silent and unquestioning reception as he spouted the most outrageous nonsense—from "the Democrats would like to talk about other things than Russia" to "Jeremy Corbyn is a bigot." Without even slightly demurring, you let him claim, sans evidence, that "a survey finds that most British people now believe that Labour does have an antisemitism crisis." In fact, all polls show that most people do not care about the absurd smear campaign by the Blairite rump of the Labour Party.

    Your uncritical reception of that liar was a disturbing replay of your reception of his similarly disreputable and discredited Guardian colleague, Luke Harding.

    Yours in disappointment,

    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point

    [1] https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-hatchet-man-speaks-alex-gibney.html

    • greywarshark 3.1

      Your pervasive criticism of interviewers like Kim Hill with a greater grasp of world events, tropes, memes, styles, literature and media, and human psychology than yours, is a clear example of how much just goes over your head Morrissey. Trenchant criticism of people with greater knowledge and sophistication than yours only highlights your own lack.

      • Bearded Git 3.1.1

        Except that Morrissey happens to be right.

        • aj

          Hear hear.

        • greywarshark

          I hate people who think they are always right! Is there a law about that yet? And who sit on the sidelines sniping at people going about the business of living in a thoughtful country, which looks at perceptions and teases the threads, and gazes towards the hearts of people, and sometimes find interesting absences or unusual growths where the heart should be. There are nuances that thinking people understand.

          And they don't condemn outright people who are doing the thinking, poking and prodding to see what next our devious little minds are going to come up with, our obfuscations, and our pretensions and on. Intelligent people can gain a lot from listening to someone allowed to burble on and may reveal more of their inner mind than if they were being pumped with pre-determined questions.

          • Morrissey

            "Pre-determined questions"? She asked NO questions. She did not challenge anything he said. She gave him a free and interrupted forum to spew his malicious, unsupported lies against Jeremy Corbyn.

        • Brigid

          I agree. I would like to give Kim the credit of being devils advocate but this time I can't.

        • Kevin


    • Siobhan 3.2

      Funny you should bring this up. I was just talking to a friend of mine, currently under yet another TS ban, and who shall therefore remain nameless..but anyway, they just happened to send me a copy of a letter they had just emailed 'Our Kim'..and one that I will put up here as it pretty much sums up my own thoughts on the matter..

      Good morning Kim,

      I find it disturbing that you seem to time and time again drag on these

      centrist liberals writers to moan and groan about Trump and the end of

      truth, yet these these very same hacks have been for years pedaling

      their own fake news and bias without a peep, or the slightest push back

      from you…or for that matter anyone at RNZ.

      Where are your interviews with Glen Greenwald, Aaron Mate'or Matt

      Taibbi? whom all remained neutral through the Russia/Trump conspiracy

      that Freedland was pushing hard in his writings (and has now been

      debunked) and has also been conspicuously lacking any perspective as is

      his(and The Guardians)over the top bias against Corbyn, and that isn't

      even touching on his blatant and well known bias toward Israel.

      Media Lens

      10 May 2017

      ‘Meltdown’: The Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland Writes Jeremy Corbyn’s



      Counter Punch

      February 13, 2015

      Why Jonathan Freedland Isn’t Fit to be the New Editor-in-Chief of the



      Of course, as it sadly seems to have turned out, you have become just

      another guard dog for the Liberal status quo. So I guess that means you

      won't see any problem with the bias that you routinely broadcast, which

      is a real shame as I have been listening to and enjoying your shows in

      one form or another for a long long time, and it would have be great to

      have at least one voice (especially one as good and as sharp as yours)

      in NZ media that embodied fairness and accuracy in reporting to at least

      some degree.



    • Gabby 3.3

      You people just Don't Get English Irony morsissey.

      • Brigid 3.3.1

        Why should we? This isn't bloody England.

        • Gabby

          That's bloody why bloody morsissey doesn't geddit bloody briggy.

          • Morrissey

            Oh I get irony, Gabby. What I don't get is how anyone can take a dishonest, crude and dullwitted creep like Jonathan Freedland with any degree of seriousness.

            “[W]hen my book, The Holocaust Industry, came out in 2000, Freedland wrote that I was ‘closer to the people who created the Holocaust than to those who suffered in it’. Although he appears to be, oh, so politically correct now, he didn’t find it inappropriate to suggest that I resembled the Nazis who gassed my family.

            We appeared on a television program together. Before the program, he approached me to shake my hand. When I refused, he reacted in stunned silence. Why wouldn’t I shake his hand? He couldn’t comprehend it. It tells you something about these dull-witted creeps. The smears, the slanders – for them, it’s all in a day’s work. Why should anyone get agitated? Later, on the program, it was pointed out that the Guardian, where he worked, had serialised The Holocaust Industry across two issues. He was asked by the presenter, if my book was the equivalent of Mein Kampf, would he resign from the paper? Of course not. Didn’t the presenter get that it’s all a game?”

            —-Norman Finkelstein


  4. Ankerrawshark 4

    Good on you Morrissey

  5. greywarshark 5

    Someone recently pointed out how capitalist and communist have something in common, and pointed to how they plan for growth. (I think it was Monbiot in a link put up here.) Also at state or top government level, neither seem to have considerate thoughts about humans as individuals, it is how they can turn those individuals to advantage for the system that rewards the leaders and elite; and that single purpose unites them.

    We spent years anxiously keeping the taint of communism out of our national zeitgeist. (German words allowed. Perhaps it is the unfamiliar Russian alphabet that limits our understanding of that nation. Perhaps we would find some good in communism if we could speak the language, ie friendship is дружба druzhba.)

  6. WeTheBleeple 6

    I'm guessing there's no emissions standards on some gardening tools e.g. line trimmers, lawn mowers… I can't find any mention of NZ standards on these tools except by manufacturers themselves – some light engines have standards some places overseas…

    In addition to irritating noise pollution you can smell (many of) these small devices from a couple of sections away if the wind is blowing right – so much so I'll close windows to that side. Fumes and din.

    Well maintained lawns are bad for both social and ecological environments. As most folks with manicured lawns have landscapers do it – I can only remind those keeping up with the Jones's that a real ostentatious lawn historically involved silence, servants and scissors. Lawnmowers are completely gauche.

    Convert your lawnmowers to hovercraft:


    And your lawns to forest.

    • Robert Guyton 6.1

      "Fumes and din" – the sound and the fury of modern man attacking all that isn't man.

      Hovercrafts are noisier than any lawnmower I've ever cursed heard.

  7. mikesh 7

    Apparently I'm not alone. This web page puts the case against capital gains taxes more cogently than I have been capable of, though it uses much the same reasoning that I have used over the years.


    No doubt supporters of CGT will say that it's not really about logic and/or reason, but about "fairness", though it's difficult to see how a tax can really be fair if its basis is irrational.

    • Andre 7.1

      It doesn't actually make an argument against treating realised capital gains as income. It just uses semantic pettifoggery to try to obscure the way realised capital gains gives the recipient extra cash to spend, exactly like earned income from wages or passive income from rents, dividends and interest does.

      • mikesh 7.1.1

        I think that if you are going to look at capital gain in terms of the extra cash that the seller receives then you must consider the fact that the buyer suffers a cash deficit in the same amount. Are you proposing that the buyer receive a tax rebate based on that deficit?

        As far as not treating capital gains as income is concerned, this is not just "semantic pettifoggery". As the author points out, a transaction represents a change in form in which capital is held. ie from property (say) to cash. A sum of money is always capital, though of course such capital can sometimes be acquired through income generating activity. However in the case of the sale of a fixed asset any surplus cash comes about through capital gain rather than through income generating activity.

        • Andre

          In the context of tax and realised capital gains, in most (if not all) tax systems that have a CGT, the buyer in a transaction that happens now does indeed receive a "tax credit". They get it when they sell at some time in the future.

          In all systems I'm aware of that have a CGT, the full selling price is not subject to CGT, but is reduced by subtracting the cost basis. That cost basis is usually made up of the initial purchase price, the cost of capital improvements done during possession, selling expenses etc etc. The taxed capital gain is on the selling price minus the cost basis.

        • Psycho Milt

          When my employer pays me every fortnight, it suffers a cash deficit in the same amount. So far, the IRD nevertheless appears to consider my salary to be income, presumably on the basis that I've received a large amount of cash I can spend. The magical properties of the cash received from realising capital gain that make it not-income remain elusive, perhaps because, like fairies at the bottom of your garden, they don't actually exist.

          • mikesh

            It's not necessarily true that the buyer will retrieve his cash when he in turn sells. The market may collapse, or he may be forced to sell disadvantageously for some reason eg as a result of bankruptcy. In any case, where tax is concerned it is what happens in the here and now that matters, not what may happen at some future date.

            I am well aware of how capital gain is calculated. However, the author of the article is arguing that, in the case of the USA (and by implication, in other jurisdictions as well), capital gains taxes should be removed from the taxation statutes.

          • mikesh

            The IRD is right to consider your salary to be income. However I don't think they are interested in how much cash you have.

            There is nothing magical about the properties of cash. Cash is simply an asset. An asset is not, in itself, income; though it may be acquired as a result of earning some income eg by working, and receiving that income in the form of cash

        • The Chairman

          If you are going to look at capital gain in terms of the extra cash that the seller receives then you must consider the fact that the buyer suffers a cash deficit in the same amount.

          In the context of capital gains why must we consider the buyers cash deficit? It's not a capital gain.

          And as they are obtaining an asset (generally of equal monetary value) in return for their capital, one must question if they suffered a net loss at all.

          Not only does a transaction represent a change in form in which capital is held, it also acknowledges any change in value. And if the value has gained (minus expenses) and been realised, it then becomes a income generating activity, thus a form of income.

          • mikesh

            If the seller is not losing inasmuch he has received an asset which incorporates a capital gain, that means the seller has not gained anything because he has parted with an asset that incoroprated a capital gain. Sorry, you cannot have it both ways.

            How can a capital gain be an income generating activity when it is not an activity in the first place.

            • The Chairman

              If the vendor/seller obtains a capital gain they are not losing. Due to the fact they have made a gain. The buyer on the other hand exchanged their cash for an asset of the same monetary value, thus haven't suffered a net loss.

              If a vendor/seller makes a loss from a sale, then there would be no capital gain, thus income. And that loss could then be claimed.

              How a capital gain can become a income generating activity was explained in my initial reply.

              • mikesh

                Selling a property is a "zero sum" activity as no new goods or services are being produced. Therefore any gain by the seller must be offset by a loss to buyer; and if the buyer has not made a loss then the saller cannot have made a gain. That's what "zero sum" implies.

                • The Chairman

                  Selling a property is not a "zero sum" activity. Gains and losses (that are not balanced out) can potentially be made by the vendor or the buyer. Hence, one of the flaws in your logic.

                  Buying & selling a property in itself is a service. In fact, there is an industry based on it

                  • Incognito

                    In fact, there is an industry based on it

                    In fact, there is an economy based on it: FIRE.

                  • mikesh

                    Who is providing a service to whom ? Is the seller providing a service to the buyer, or the buyer providing a service to the seller, or are the pair of them providing services to each other ? And what is this service to which you refer ? I assume it is not the service provided by land agents and conveyancers. If it is then I would have to say that you are "nitpicking".

                    • The Chairman

                      The vendor. And in providing the service they incur costs – i.e. preparing the property for presentation, marketing and legal costs. Or they can opt to pay to have the sale managed via real estate agents.

                      What you class as "nitpicking" is merely reality.

                    • mikesh

                      "And in providing the service they incur costs – i.e. preparing the property for presentation, marketing and legal costs. Or they can opt to pay to have the sale managed via real estate agents."

                      True. But these things are not services. At least not in the sense in which shop keeping is a service. A shop keeper, by bringing goods to a place where they are more readily accessible to his customers, performs a service for which those customers are willing to pay. Tarting up a property to make it more attractive to buyers is not a service in that sense. And land agents etc are merely part of process of selling.

                      What I call "pussy cats" are also part of reality. But that doesn’t make them tigers.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      'Pussy cats' and tigers are both 'cats' (felines) though, in a strict sense.

                      Tacs caT
                      Tax cut!
                      Cute cat…

            • Incognito

              How can a capital gain be an income generating activity when it is not an activity in the first place[?]

              Nobody here except you has argued it is or isn’t an activity (as in: “producing a product or service”) as such. That’s sophistry (AKA red herring). In reality, it is a (re-)evaluation of an asset in the actual current market. If that ‘activity’ results in a profit (for the vendor), it is or should be regarded as income and should be taxed accordingly.

              This is one of the main reasons for introducing a CGT in the first place. It diverts much-needed investment away from economic activity to renting that produces no goods or services.

              • mikesh

                You are saying that it should be regarded as income whether it is income or not That's where we differ. I am saying that capital gain definitely is not income.

                Actually I have never said that the fact that capital gain is not income is necessarily a reason why it shouldn't be taxed, but I am opposed to taxing it on account of its lack of efficaciousness. The question of whether or not it is income is important though because if it were income then there would be no question but that it should be taxed. The fact that it is not income means that reasons need to be found for taxing it. The necessary reasons don't exist.

                It seems to be generally agreed that it will have little effect on the housing market, or in reducing inequality; it's unfair inasmuch as there seems to be a need to exempt family homes, which is likely to result in more capital being poured into these; and most importantly, if it were introduced it would become almost impossible to introduce something better.

                I think if one is to tax property, then the best format would seem to be the system of local body rates; for two reasons:

                1. they include family homes

                2. They are collected quarterly.

                Capital gains taxes fail on both these counts.

                • Incognito

                  I think we are starting to see some movement!

                  The fact that it is not income means that reasons need to be found for taxing it. The necessary reasons don't exist.

                  In your comment, you have alluded to three reasons.

                  I don’t know why you insistently keep saying that capital gain is not income. Is this some kind of economic axiom?

                  Land Tax could be collected by Local Government simultaneously with Rates. But then Central Government would miss out on revenue because it has to compensate by lowering wage tax. I’m sure Local and Central Government can come to some kind of arrangement.

                  • mikesh

                    It is not an axiom, but a simple statement of fact. For a gain to count as income it has to be the result of some economic activity – some product created and sold, or some service provided. It has to be this way because that's how an economy operates. We work to produce goods and services and with the income that we get from that we purchase the goods and services of others, Everything balances out (Say's law). But when a property is sold, nothing new is created, so the gain, if there is one, is not income. If it was then such a gain would mean that there was more income than there were goods and services available for purchase.

                    And, yes, I know that Keynes has pointed out that the system envisaged by Say is not perfect, and that there are leakages. (That is why Keynes recommended deficit budgeting to rebalance the system.) But the theory is good enough to explain why capital gain is not income.

                    Land tax could be collected by local bodies with their rates demands, and handed over to central government, perhaps with the deduction of a small commission.

        • Andre

          Do you think the same argument applies to everyone that makes a living from trading goods? Should small dairy owners be exempt from tax? Wholesalers?

          Because the exact same pettifogging "argument" about cash, capital, assets, income etc applies to their activities. As it does to traders of houses (as defined by the brightline test) and shares traders in New Zealand, who currently are liable for tax on their profits.

          • mikesh

            No. The same thing does not apply to shopkeepers. The mark-up that a shopkeeper applies to a product is his return for the service of operating a shop. A return for a product created or service provided create constitutes income. If a gain is not supported by the creation of a product or provision of a service then it cannot be classified as income, otherwise we would have an imbalance between the goods and services available for purchase by the community and the income available to purchase them. A capital gain does not come about by producing a product or service.

            I don't really understand Einstein's relativity theory, but will be the last person in the world to accuse him of "pettifogging".

            • Andre

              But the seller has indeed performed a service. He or she has made the asset available for purchase at the moment the buyer wants to purchase it. If the seller wasn't performing the service of selling, there would be no sale and no income from realised capital gain.

              This is exactly like the dairy owner that makes a can of beans available for sale at the time and place a local decides they want to buy a can of beans. The only difference between a dairy owner that makes a $1.00 realised capital gain on a can of beans he has held for a week and a property investor that makes a $1 000 000 realised capital gain over 10 years in a property is simply the numbers involved in the dollar amount of the initial investment and the timeframe.

              • mikesh

                The shopkeeper's only purpose in purchasing cans of baked beans is to sell them at a profit. The purchaser of a house will have purchased it, not for resale, but either to provide accommodation for himself and his family, or to rent out to a tenant. it is true that there may be some who purchase for the purpose of selling at a profit – these are dealt with through the brightline tests – but a property owner who sells usually does so because the property is no longer needed for its original purpose, and any capital gain is serendipitous. He is not providing a service but simply unloading a property that he no longer needs. The only ones providing services would be the land agents handling the sales and the solicitors doing the conveyancing. These parties receive fees for their services..

                • Andre

                  So we arrive back at the "intent" test of whether profit made on a transaction is taxable – nominally our current situation, but in fact usually evaded. Because I'm aware of lots of people that have bought properties where the primary intent is capital gain on future sale. Tenants have been considered a barely tolerable evil, to take the sting off the negative gearing they've taken on.

                  Do you really support tax law being built on a basis where tax due is easily evaded by a simple uncheckable lie about intent at time of purchase?

                  • In Vino

                    Perhaps Mikesh could explain why capital gains profit-gougers bother doing what they do, since by prevarication and pettifogging semantics he pretends that they gain nothing from what they do. Obvious nonsense. 'Creative accounting?'

                    My question is: does Mikesh actually believe the sophistry he is pushing, or is he cynically blowing smoke into our eyes to see if we can rebuff the obfuscation?

                  • mikesh

                    All I can say is: Are you going to punish the good guys just to discourage the bad guys. There are some honest landlords out there.

                    • Andre

                      It's about getting those that derive income from ownership of assets to contribute some of that income back to maintaining the society that makes that passive income possible. The way things are set up right now, we largely avoid making any contributions back from that income, we're largely freeloading. Yes, I'm one of that privileged group.

                    • mikesh []

                      The income which made up the capital gain ' reslizstion' came from the buyer, who had already paid tax on it.

                    • Sacha


                    • That's the giveaway, isn't it. These guys think of their contributions to the upkeep of their society as a "punishment." The ACT Party explained in a nutshell.

                    • mikesh

                      Mr In Vino non Veritas (above) talks about "capital gains profit gougers" So I would think that he thinks in terms of capital gains tax as some sort of retribution. But he doesn't really know what the fuck he is talking about, so I guess you are right to question my use of the word "punish".

                  • mikesh

                    I don't think it depends on intent. It depends on the fact that the shopkeeper's markup is a return for service provided while the property seller's is not. This 'intent' criterion seems to have been dreamed up by IRD in order to get the problem of wanting to tax where there is no income. While I am not happy to see people lying in order to evade tax, I am also not happy to see IRD imposing tax based on a lie.

  8. Andre 8

    How to walk the fine line of thoroughly examining a candidate's background, suitability and vulnerabilities without setting them up for smear attacks …


    All that said, of course it would be better if people could focus their criticism on actual behavior rather than leaning heavily on meaningless insults, like “neoliberal” or “corporate shill.” So much of what tanked Hillary Clinton in 2016 was not legitimate criticisms of her actual flaws, especially as she went to great lengths to address those criticisms. It was that she was being demonized with ugly labels that she didn’t deserve. Flaws can be overcome. But if someone is redefined as somehow fundamentally evil in a voter’s eyes, there’s little that can be done to fix that.

    • Morrissey 8.2

      demonized with ugly labels that she didn’t deserve.

      She deserved to be called a racist….

      …and it's hard to describe her depravity in this clip…


      • Morrissey 8.2.1

        And she's a shameless liar, as the scandal over Benghazi, amongst many others, confirmed….

      • Andre 8.2.2

        Thank you for illustrating so clearly the exact kind of fuckwittery the author was talking about. How many Benghazi investigations were there that found zero culpability on Hillary's part? Was it nine or eleven? Yet here you are, still trying to boost that smear.

        How are you enjoying having that demented baboon flinging its feces at the Oval Office walls when it's the kind of extreme moronism you've just exhibited that helped put him there?

        • Morrissey

          Admitting that Hillary Clinton was, and is, like her husband, a depraved liar and a racist does not equal support for Donald Trump.

          • Andre

            Yet going all out on smearing Hillary had functionally damn near the same effect as supporting Mango Unchained. But you're too fucking stupid to understand that, yeah?

            Hillary in fact acknowledged the superpredator comment as a mistake and revised her views. But you're too full of stupid malice to check it out and revise your views when someone else revises theirs.

            In a written response to The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart on the issue Thursday, Clinton said: “Looking back, I shouldn’t have used those words, and I wouldn’t use them today."

            "My life’s work has been about lifting up children and young people who’ve been let down by the system or by society, kids who never got the chance they deserved," Clinton continued in the statement. "And unfortunately today, there are way too many of those kids, especially in African-American communities. We haven’t done right by them. We need to. We need to end the school to prison pipeline and replace it with a cradle-to-college pipeline."

            • Morrissey

              "Smearing Hillary"? That was her making that disgusting "black predators" speech. That was her laughing about a horrific murder—the victim was sodomized with swords. That was her failing to answer questions from Congressmen.

              Nobody invented that racism, that depraved laughter, that scandal in Libya.

              • Andre

                Ok, every one of the points the author of the Salon piece made has sailed waaaay over your head. Never mind.

              • McFlock

                Nobody invented that racism, that depraved laughter, that scandal in Libya.

                Well, "depraved" is subjective, and the Benghazi thing was largely a repug construct, so yeah – I guess 1 out of 3 is a pretty good success rate for you.

                • Morrissey

                  Well, "depraved" is subjective,

                  You're correct, as you so often are, my friend. There are indeed those who will laugh at, and approve of, the murder—no matter how gruesome— of an officially designated enemy. In Saudi Arabia, their versions of Hillary Clinton no doubt laugh loudly whenever anyone mentions the killing of another officially designated target, Jamal Khashoggi. It's all subjective: some people hate that sort of thing, others laugh long and loud about it.

                  and the Benghazi thing was largely a repug construct

                  The Republicans certainly made the most of it. The idea it's a "construct" is wishful thinking, however.

                  so yeah – I guess 1 out of 3 is a pretty good success rate for you.

                  I'm batting above 300. That makes me the Ted freakin' Williams of this forum!

      • Gabby 8.2.3

        You're buying into Rinse Penis' lie about the super predator thing are you morsissey?

  9. One Two 9


    FDA (among other functions) is responsible for oversight of manufacturing plant inspections and quality assurance. Manufacturing plants which produce products the FDA is charged with approving and monitoring.

    The FDA has an extended archive of systematic failings.

    Like other FDA commissioners before him, Scott Gottlieb has called his agency's drug oversight program the "gold standard" for safety and effectiveness.

    But veteran industry consultant John Avellanet, who has trained FDA inspectors, questions how effective the FDA's drug plant inspections actually are.

    "It's so easy" for FDA inspectors to miss things because they're working with confusing regulatory terms and standards that are often decades out of date, Avellanet said.

    • Just how often people are sickened or die from tainted drugs is next to impossible to determine.

    No government agency tracks cases unless they're linked to a major outbreak among hospital patients. And sudden, seemingly random illnesses in disparate places are notoriously hard to link to a tainted drug.

    That's in part because drugmakers don't have to divulge which products are made in which manufacturing plants, since that is regarded as proprietary information.

    • higherstandard 9.1

      'That's in part because drugmakers don't have to divulge which products are made in which manufacturing plants, since that is regarded as proprietary information.'

      I'll think you'll find that they do have to divulge such information – to check my assertion go to this site and look up any medication available in NZ.


      • One Two 9.1.1

        Your assertion is incorrect as it pertains to the subject of the comment and link…you are 100% out of context…

        Leaving that to one side…if the FDA do not have the data…medsafe will not have the data…

        The FDA systematically fail to perform their regulatory function to inspect manufacturing plants at a level required to ensure product quality standards.

        The article makes it clear. Reading the article would assist with your lack of understanding.

        • higherstandard

          sigh…. Medsafe do have the data… follow the link I sent you type in the name of a medicine it will provide the site that the medicine is made in, packaged in etc… the medicine that is sold in NZ must be made in these notified sites and must meet the registered specifications that are registered with Medsafe.

          If you have any information to suggest that any medicines in NZ do not meet these requirements (not including those supplied under Section 29 of the medicines Act) you should notify Medsafe as soon as possible.

          i'm still somewhat confused as to what you're trying to achieve posting these selected articles regarding medicines and vaccines ?

          Do all medicines and vaccines have risks ….Yes. I don't think anyone would argue that point.

          • One Two

            No need to perform a digital sigh…

            Why would you spend energy being still somewhat confused about what I'm trying to achieve?

            As for the NZ situation as you stated…that is your assertion…take an example of a drug (s) listed in the article…use the medsafe site you linked to…post the results showing the site production and product lines…

            I can absolutely understand and agree that data should be readily available as a matter of course…

            If NZ does in fact have access to the production site data and must publish that data then it is certainly a positive for the NZ consumer…But I was not discussing NZ or medsafe…they are not part of the context…

            The article talks to FDA requirements of manufacturers to which you have attempted to rebuke using NZ's medsafe…

            What you should provide is evidence (because you are keen to have provided a rebuke..an irrelevant rebuke…but you are keen so keep going) in counter to the statement from the article which shows the FDA absolutely require and collect site production data matched to product batches/lines and does not need to make that data available in the USA...

            Because through your use of medafe, you are seeking to illustrate that the FDA does collect the data, and does make it available in publicly accessible DB’s…

            So go ahead…

            • higherstandard

              Once again what is the point you're trying to make ?

              How is what is/isn't published by the FDA relevant for NZers. Of course the FDA requirements for how and where pharmaceuticals are manufactured are very similar to the requirements of Medsafe that they are not searchable is likely down to the fact that there isn't a similar OIA in place in the USA.

              Medsafe got sick of answering OIAs many years ago on a number of issues regarding what medicines were in registration so decided to publish the information on their website with the full agreement of the companies providing medicines in NZ.

              Unless you are prepared to be transparent about what point you trying to make regarding medicines and vaccines I can't see the point in continuing this discussion as it tends to be just so much magpie like 'Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle'

              • Incognito

                Excellent point! I think One Two doesn’t really care about the relevance for New Zealand.

                • One Two

                  If I was intending to use the NZ context in the original post, I would have specifically referenced it…

                  I was specifically referencing an article which illustrates regulatory failings of the FDA in USA.

                  Not a case of doesn't really care, Incognito…

                  • Incognito

                    Actions speak louder than words, One Two.

                  • McFlock

                    ooo now tell us how awful the European Medicines Agency is, too.

                    Did you know that a head of the China Food and Drug Administration was executed for taking bribes? Such corruption in healthcare, vaccines must be useless. /sarc

                  • Incognito

                    This is a digital written word space…what actions are you referring to?

                    Oh come on, One Two, surely you are smart enough to work this out; it really is not that hard.

              • One Two

                Of course the FDA requirements for how and where pharmaceuticals are manufactured are very similar

                Very similar…is not exactly the sameand is not a counter to the article statement I used

                …to the requirements of Medsafe that they are not searchable is likely down to the fact that there isn't a similar OIA in place in the USA

                Speculation on your part

                The article I reference is reflective of my position, being that the FDA has a litany of regulatory failure which is well documented and evidenced…

                The FDA, similar to many other federal agencies in USA is not fit or purpose. Decades of fraud cover-ups and documented artifacts evidencing the failures provide illustration…and the influence of regulatory failings has negative consequences…as per the article…

                No need to take this one any further…thanks for the respectful engagement…

                • higherstandard

                  "The article I reference is reflective of my position, being that the FDA has a litany of regulatory failure which is well documented and evidenced…

                  The FDA, similar to many other federal agencies in USA is not fit or purpose. Decades of fraud cover-ups and documented artifacts evidencing the failures provide illustration…and the influence of regulatory failings has negative consequences…as per the article…'

                  The FDA is certainly not perfect, I'm unfamiliar with any government agency anywhere in the world that is.
                  However with the vast number of medicines, vaccines, medical devices that are supplied in US there is a vanishingly small number of poor manufacturers or counterfeit products this is down to the FDA systems and oversight where they are constantly reviewing products and listing manufacturers both by appointment and just turning up unannounced to ensure manufacture is as per requirements and registered specifications.

                  They undertake these activities just as the other major regulators in the world do EMEA, UK, Canada and TGA and we are fortunate they do as NZs Medsafe has neither the funds nor personnel to undertake all of this for our medicines supplied in NZ.

                  The alternative to such agencies despite their shortcomings is behaviour we see in less (or non regulated markets) where counterfeit medications. vaccines, medical devices are far more common and products are often manufactured to far lower specifications than we enjoy in NZ.

              • Once again what is the point you're trying to make ?

                I think the point One Two is trying to make is that the nutbar sites he/she reads are all American ones.

            • Bazza64

              One Two, you require evidence from other posters to this site, but seem unwilling to provide evidence of your assertion yesterday about the millions of vaccine affected children. Must be that your statements aren’t backed by evidence and are hot air ?

  10. The Chairman 10

    Tax Working Group insider highlights another potential problem due to Jacinda dumping a CGT under her watch.

    He is predicting that the funding shortfall of not delivering on a comprehensive CGT could leave the Government with a headache as inflation and wage rises pushed more workers into the top income tax bracket.

    He points to teachers, police, and nurses all pushing past the $70,000 band, creating real pressure with no new source of revenue to fund a material lift in that threshold.

    Additionally, he was concerned that "some of the longer-term pressures that worried the working group – demographic change, increasing reliance on taxing labour income and increasing lack of tax equity – will remain and some future Government will be faced with dealing with these pressures somehow."


    • Incognito 10.1

      But Nightingale said he was not sure the Government could have dealt with the divisive issue any differently.

      I am very concerned that you left that out.

      • The Chairman 10.1.1

        Why? It was something he admittedly was unsure of.

        Clearly, I was highlighting his predictions, not what he was unsure about.

        Nevertheless, it wasn’t completely left out as it was in the link provided.

        • Incognito

          It is important for balance and fairness. Nightingale was balanced and fair, I give him credit for that, and I give his concerns more credit because of that too. See, that’s how it works. I’m sure you can take a hint, can you?

          • The Chairman

            To be fair, the comment you highlighted didn't relate to the concerns he holds. That comment refers to his thoughts on NZF not currently supporting it.

            Whereas, his concerns relate to the long-term effect of Jacinda taking it off the table under her watch.

            And for balance, I provided the link.

            • Incognito

              It puts his comments in a perspective based in and on reality, the realm of what’s possible and achievable (and what’s not). This is why I rate his (Nightingale’s) comments and concerns. I have a feeling that you didn’t take the hint though …

              • The Chairman

                It puts his comments in a perspective based in and on reality…

                And the reality is his concerns are based on the long-term effect of Jacinda taking it off the table under her watch – not that he was unsure if she could have done anymore to get it past Winston.

                As for your hint/insinuation, it was unfounded.

    • Sacha 10.2

      "the funding shortfall of not delivering on a comprehensive CGT"

      And here we go again. How many days are you going to repeat that line?

      • The Chairman 10.2.1

        It will be a talking point until Labour sufficiently fills that void.

        • Incognito

          That’s going to be five long years if not longer frown

          • The Chairman

            Will Labour still be in power by then?

            Their delivery is largely failing to tackle the problems they’ve highlighted.

            While voters may put up with it for now (as polls suggest they are) if those failures continue to mount up, come election time voters are likely to be over Labour's spin, stalling tactics and caring, emotive Jacinda.

            Most are reasonable and won't expect too much, but they will expect Labour to be able to point to some positive results of substance.

            And if the opposition play a good game, one can't say it's in the bag for Labour.

        • Sacha

          Really? When did you stop beating your wife?

  11. marty mars 11

    When people get it wrong we expect them to back up and say sorry. We all do that. But what about deliberate tactics of mistruthing – how do we combat that and retain our humanity. Highlighting it is one way.

    alwyn said

    "Why don't you tell us the rest of the story? After talking to the MPs she went straight back to the Airport and caught her next flight to a place where she could spread the word that flying must stop.

    You know. Just like James Shaw it is a case of don't do what they do. Do what they tell you to do because they know better."


    he was asked a number of times for proof but couldn't provide it.

    Here is the proof he made it all up to sow seeds of dissent within those trying to save us from the effects of climate change

    "According to the carbon dioxide calculator on the Loco2 train booking site, Greta and her father each saved about 400kg of CO2 by not flying: about a tenth of the average Swede’s total annual carbon emissions."


    alwyn you have no excuse for this behaviour – shows you in a very poor light – sad little bullshit artist.

    • Gabby 11.1

      'Bullshit artist' is a nice way of saying 'lying sack of shit'.
      In wally’s defence he’s prolly parroting Lardy Williams or the Horeskin so I guess he’s a 2nd hand ‘bullshit artist’.

    • alwyn 11.2

      I have just noticed this. I asked the person who told me she was flying and he said that was what he had been told about her planned travel back to Sweden.

      That was apparently incorrect. And no, I didn't just make it up as you are wont to put it. What I was told turns out to be wrong. If that upsets you that much will you point out where you have quoted something that was incorrect and where you have then withdrawn the comment?

      If you haven't done so then I suppose I should just dub you, and your mate Gabby as being sad little bullshit artists.

  12. The Chairman 12

    Is intentionally altering the climate (such as blocking out the sun) a defensible last-ditch effort to stave off climate damages?

    And will it come down to that?


  13. UncookedSelachimorpha 13

    Encouraging to hear that the Living Wage is quite correctly being used as a minimum benchmark for wage negotiations:


    Of course the company claims they can't afford to pay workers a living wage (which is not a lot to pay actually) – despite posting a $21m profit last year.

    • The Chairman 13.1

      I see the company came to the table with only one offer of a 3% wage increase above the current minimum wage. Stating that any further increases would result in redundancies.

      The Union was fast to point out that’s not a negotiation.

      Seems a good example of why Labour should have made the minimum wage the living wage

  14. JO 14

    Jenny Odell is an artist and writer in California. These are her thoughts about bird watching, social media – and context…

    'I remember going for a walk near my parents’ house once and hearing a scrub jay shrieking in a valley oak. It was such a good example of a scrub jay shriek that I was about to get out my phone and record it, when I realized that it was shrieking at me (to go away).'


    'People read a tweet or a headline, react, and click a button—thousands and millions of times over in a matter of days. I can’t help but liken the angry collective tweet storms to watching a flood erode a landscape with no ground-cover plants to slow it down. The natural processes of context and attention are lost. But from the point of view of Twitter’s financial model, the storm is nothing but a bounteous uptick in engagement.'

  15. One Two 15


    No recall for glass found in vaccines:

    Sanofi Pasteur, one the world's leading vaccine makers, had a potentially serious and costly problem on its hands: Its Monroe County plant discovered tiny pieces of glass in batches of a vaccine intended for babies.

    The health risks posed to any individual by vaccine vial delamination are widely believed to be minuscule. None has been documented.

    Nonetheless, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned that lamellae could cause serious health problems such as an adverse immune system reaction. When confronted with glass contamination, medical manufacturers have erred on the side of caution, alerting the public and issuing sweeping product recalls.

    Sanofi, on the other hand, allowed doctors and nurses throughout the country to continue injecting babies with the potentially problematic ActHIB for another year and a half.

    The FDA did not push back, either. After the regulatory agency found out about the issue, it accepted the company's assurances that the vaccine was safe.

    Asked why the company did not notify the public or issue a recall for the vaccines, which are used to inoculate children against a bacterial infection that can cause meningitis, he said,

    "The products that were shipped from our facilities met the applicable requirements and specifications for safety and efficacy. There were no additional actions required by FDA."

    • The FDA do not effectively inspect manufacturing plants for production line failures
    • The manufacturers waited 2 months before reporting the the delamination to the FDA
    • The manufacturers did not examine other products from the same vendor despite being aware of customer complaints
    • 11 months later (at least 13 months after discovery) the FDA performed a site inspection
    • FDA produced a report in May 2014
    • FDA absolves Sanofi in November 2014 on the basis the manufacturer gave their word all was well following an internal investigation
    • The industry operates on self regulation in violation of the official FDA statutory obligations

    Delamination is primarily resultant from:

    • Inferior (cheaper) product use
    • Products stored for extended time periods
    • Complex interactions between glass and pharmaceutical formulations
    • Sacha 15.1

      How is the United States FDA relevant to the NZ labour movement? You seem to be posting on the wrong site.

  16. Chris 16

    Oh well, I suppose we can find solace in the fact we know this government will do nothing for those on the lowest incomes:


    • The Chairman 16.1

      The following below is from your link

      The Government has made it clear there will be no more by way of a families package. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, at the last Budget, that $5.5 billion was to last four years – there's no more money for child poverty reduction.

      • Chris 16.1.1

        And meanwhile homelessness remains rife, food banks report record demand and Labour’s just passed the previous government’s nasty Social Security Act 2018 which, contrary to what the nats touted it as doing, is neither a simplification of the 1964 Act nor policy neutral but instead yet another piece of war-on-the-poor legislation Labour’s constantly shown it’s been an avid supporter of since 1999.

    • Sacha 16.2

      Always take Stacey Kirk's analysis with a giant sack of salt – she is a notorious Nat-aligned hack. Wish they'd just employ her and remove the pretence.

      • Chris 16.2.1

        Yes, I agree entirely. But the relevant bit isn't Kirk's usual hyperbole rather what Labour has told us to expect and is consistent with its track record of treating the poor with contempt.

  17. One Two 17


    The FDA's drug reviewers keep leaving to work for big pharma, and it's a big problem

    "It’s a small study … But it’s the best data we have on the problem"

    For an FDA worker, "when you know 60 percent of your colleagues who leave go to work for the industry," he said, "it may make you more likely to be the kind of regulator that gets along well with the industry, helps them shepherd drugs through, and doesn’t push too hard on the warts in a trial."

    Here’s what that might look like. Oncology is the field for which the FDA currently approves the most drugs — yet these drugs typically add only a couple of months to a patient’s survival. What’s more, Prasad said, there is rarely evidence that these drugs improve quality of life, but there’s lots of evidence that they cause severe side effects.

    In subtle situations like this, Prasad said, "the discretion of the medical reviewer is really tremendously important."

    "First, these people don’t give up their FDA contacts when they move to industry, and that may give the company they work for preferential access to decision-makers," he said.

    "Second, knowing the way the FDA works also means that you know where the weaknesses in the FDA evaluation system are, and it’s possible they may help their company exploit these weaknesses."

    • Revolving doors lead to regulatory capture and conflict of interests
    • Regulatory failure and dereliction of duties are outcomes of revolving doors
    • Such outcomes inevitably have chronic negative consequences
    • Sacha 17.1

      At least attempt to say how this topic is relevant to NZ – or just stop if you can't do that.

      • Rosemary McDonald 17.1.1

        "…how is this topic relevant to NZ"

        Medsafe accepts Good Manufacturing Practice certification from overseas jurisdictions….including the clearly compromised US FDA.


        When I have nothing better to do it would be interesting to find out how much actual hands on investigation Medsafe (and other NZ government regulatory bodies) do, rather than relying on the robustness of overseas evidence.

        • One Two

          MOH / PHARMAC / MEDSAFE / PTAC / PTAC Sub C's / IMAC (perhaps others)


          Above link is to PTAC meeting minutes:

          • Most references in minutes are to foreign research and recommendations from foreign governing bodies and private industry companies



          PTAC email discussion completed on 26 January 2018, regarding urgent Subcommittee advice and a recommendation that access to maternal pertussis vaccination be widened to include women in their second trimester of pregnancy with a high priority.

          • Widening the recommendation of widening DTaP multi vaccine (against the manufacturers recommendations – not tested on pregnant women against inert placebo control group in pre-licensure testing)
          • Email content has not been identified in meeting minutes – only the above reference to the high priority recommendation
          • References to research data and recommendations are +/- 100% foreign
          • Suggestion is that no vaccine immunisation research is carried out in NZ (excepting possible reviews)
          • Suggestion is that NZ vaccine immunization programs are +/- 100% developed using foreign research data and governing body recommendations (NZ medical data is used in discussions)



          • Non specific dollar values are provided
          • Private companies are heavily involved in project sponsorship and funding

          IMAC Funding*

          Primary funding for IMAC is provided by: New Zealand Ministry of Health

          Additional funding

          • IMAC receives additional funding from a variety of sources for specific research projects.
          • Private industry offers some minimal funding for special projects such as financial support to aid in the distribution of our newsletter.
          • Our annual workshops and bi-annual conferences are partially funded through private industry sponsorship. This funding is provided in the form of educational grants that are not targeted for any specific topic within the workshop/conference.

          I have not been able to identify the levels of industry funding/sponsorship provided to IMAC via Auckland University.

          • higherstandard

            "Widening the recommendation of widening DTaP multi vaccine (against the manufacturers recommendations – not tested on pregnant women against inert placebo control group in pre-licensure testing)"

            No medicines, excepting those specific to treating maternal/foetal medical issues and even then rarely, are tested on pregnant women/foetuses as it is rightly considered unethical. post registration surveillance is carried out on all medicines/vaccines to identify new adverse effects and to determine the relative safety of providing products to pregnant women.

            NZ vaccination programmes are of course based on overseas research as we make no vaccines in NZ that I'm aware of and our population would be too small to undertake anything but small trials – not sure if there would be any medical value to do this locally.

            Yet again i'm uncertain as to what point you're trying to make with these posts ?

            If it's to suggest that the MoH, PHARMAC or IMAC are somehow in the pocket of private companies such a suggestion is risible.

            • One Two

              No medicines, excepting those specific to treating maternal/foetal medical issues and even then rarely, are tested on pregnant women/foetuses as it is rightly considered unethical.

              How could it logically be unethical to test vaccines against an inert placebo control group on pregnant women in pre-licensure testing, yet post licensure becomes ethical to then inject women with the very same untested vaccine ?

              I do know how this happens, but as you made the reference to unethical I am asking you to explain the logic, as per my question…

              • If you could keep to the above question in your next response.


              AU TGA pregnancy category: B2
              US FDA pregnancy category: Not assigned


              There is no data on use in pregnant women to know this drugs risks, including the risk of fetal harm or reproductive effects.

              -Available data from patients who received this vaccine during or within 30 days prior to pregnancy show major birth defect and miscarriage rates consistent with estimated background rates.

              Animal studies showed no evidence of fetal harm. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy. The background birth defect and miscarriage risk for the indicated population is not known. In the US general population, the estimated major birth defect risk is 2 to 4% and the miscarriage risk is 15 to 20%.

              AU TGA pregnancy category B2: Drugs which have been taken by only a limited number of pregnant women and women of childbearing age, without an increase in the frequency of malformation or other direct or indirect harmful effects on the human fetus having been observed. Studies in animals are inadequate or may be lacking, but available data show no evidence of an increased occurrence of fetal damage.


              • higherstandard

                One two – can I suggest if you are seriously interested in immunology you undertake some reading – I suggest starting with Essentials of Clinical Immunology.

                • One Two

                  I asked you specifically to respond to the question regarding logic behind your statement on unethical testing

                  You have not..

                  Why not?

                  • higherstandard

                    'asked you specifically to respond to the question regarding logic behind your statement on unethical testing

                    You have not..

                    Why not?'

                    I haven't got the time or inclination to answer all your questions. on occasion I'll post information to provide a view in support or in opposition to your postings on vaccination and/or matters medical but I have found no use in entering into internet discussions with you.

                    …thanks, however, for the respectful engagement…

                    • One Two

                      It would have taken you less time to have provided an answer on the ethics

                      How could it logically be unethical to test vaccines against an inert placebo control group on pregnant women in pre-licensure testing,

                      yet post licensure becomes ethical to then inject women with the very same untested vaccine ?

                      It can't be.

                      And you have avoided providing the only rational answer to the question regarding the ethics.

                      Instead you have deflected and avoided providing the answer, and then projected your frustrations at having been cornered, onto me…

                      That is absolutely not being respectful.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              "…or IMAC are somehow in the pocket of private companies such a suggestion is risible. "

              So glad you brought that up…


              …but of course it all completely above board and for specific projects only…

              • higherstandard

                Nothing in there that gives me any concerns Rosemary, anything in particular you're concerned about amongst that funding ?

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  So….you're happy with vaccine manufacturers giving lots of money to New Zealand's Immunisation Advisory Centre?

                  Then IMAC claims to…. provide New Zealanders with independent, factual information about vaccine-preventable diseases and the benefits and risks of immunisation. We also provide training for health professionals, national immunisation coordination and policy advice and research.

                  I do have a problem with this, insomuch that this organisation are oft quoted, and presented by the media as being the 'official' source of all commentary regarding NZ government funded immunisation programmes.

                  We all know the Ministry of Health is dysfunctional and lacks credibility, but you'd think if it were going to contract out this part of their responsibilities they'd at least make the funding conditional on IMAC not being compromised by also being funded by vaccine manufacturers.


                  • One Two

                    HS's comments regarding ethics and the ethics in general are entirely illogical, contradictory and deeply flawed…

                    Vaccines were used as both the test and control

                    Below details of pre-licensure testing for DTaP (1 day to 6 months)

                    VACCINE TYPE – DTaP

                    TEST GROUP RECEIVED:

                    1. Infanrix (GSK) – Vaccine
                    2. Daptacel (Sanofi) – Vaccine

                    CONTROL GROUP RECEIVED:

                    1. DTP – Vaccine
                    2. DT / DPT – Vaccine


                    Placebo: A substance or treatment that has no effect on human beings.

                    1. https://www.fda.gov/downloads/biologicsbloodvaccines/vaccines/approvedproducts/ucm124514.pdf (link is broken)


                    2. https://www.fda.gov/media/74035/download

                    Not ethical to use an inert placebo control group, but seemingly ethical to use vaccines as both the test and controls…

                    That is one example of the definition and classification word play used by industry and regulators…


                    Exactly the same technique has been employed with all FDA approved and CDC scheduled vaccines…


                    • higherstandard

                      OT please do some reading on how clinical trials are performed and what is/isn't ethical – start here for a simple overview.



                    • One Two []

                      Many years ago, HS…no need to beg…

                      Your pointing out the unethical word play and strategies of the designs employed to ensure that it is unethical to test against an inert placebo control group is as disingenuous congnitive dissonance as it is possible to get…

                      What you apparantly don't understand is the consequences such unethical morally bankrupt testing protocols have on assessing risk profiles…

                      That is…risk profiles can't ever be accurately assessed…by deceitful design claiming to be ethical

                      What other basics are you not aware of?

                      Fundamental failings in logic 101…

                    • higherstandard

                      "Fundamental failings in logic 101…"

                      Also known as 'A selection of Phillip Ure's internet ramblings'

                    • One Two []

                      Why are you signalling to a commentator who is no longer in a position to comment at this site (as I recall)?

                      You're becoming disrespectful as I pointed out earlier…because you've been challenged in ways that are above your present levels of understanding, and then responded in an a regressive manner…

                      Keep up the reading, broaden the scope and focus deeply into the available materials…

                      The deceptions are contained within the official documents as provided by the regulators…package inserts, trial data..the documents required to comb through to identify the fraudulant activity…

                      …all except the 32 years of vaccine safety study reports as reguired by federal law…which were not provided by HHS to congress biannually…

                      You won't find those reports..apparantly they don't exist…

                  • higherstandard

                    smiley Over the 12 year reporting period a couple of hundred thousand in unrestricted grants for research on the likes of Pertussis In Pregnancy Safety (PIPS) Study, Pneumococcal immunisation and hospitalisations for invasive pneumococcal diseases, all-cause pneumonia and otitis media in New Zealand between 2006 and 2014 and some conference sponsorship amounts all the funding from the MoH and HRCexcuse me if the first thing I think of is not that IMAC is somehow compromised.

  18. Morrissey 18

    No Joe. No, no, no.

  19. Muttonbird 19

    What a joke. Harley Davidson thinks they don't condone gang culture but most of their revenue is from ill gotten gains in this country. Their sales rely on the suffering of families and communities so some crowing idiots think they look good on a bike.

    Harley Davidson = Gangs. They are scumbags the lot of them. Including the parent company in America.


  20. joe90 20

    The Boss getting his Harry Nillson on. That pedal steel is pretty damn gorgeous, too.

  21. greywarshark 21

    There are so many concerned, kindly people on this blog working on helping prejudiced recidivists, serial liars, conmen and trainees, straying distracted adults, wilfully uneducable dolts – you could spend your time wisely if you instead joined a prison visiting group. Spend time helping people who will improve, though they have broken laws, and when they leave will be better people and more literate. And they will be able to find their home on this blog with many mates like themselves.

    Their literacy will have improved and they will find that most trolls here are overflowing with verbiage to the point that if some fertiliser was added and the mix muck-spreaded, it would clothe the bare hills of NZ in alphabet trees.

    • You make a good point. What is this prison visiting group of which you speak, and how does one contact it?

      • greywarshark 21.1.1

        I should indeed find it and put it up. There is a lovely educating spirit here and I am sorry that it appears to not achieve the success it deserves.

        • marty mars

          My mother in law is in a church group that writes to prisoners (different ones each time I believe) on a regular basis. This is designed to help the prisoners.

        • Psycho Milt

          I suppose there's nothing preventing me also stirring myself to have a look…

  22. greywarshark 22

    It's a game of two halves. One is small businesses trying to keep to fussy rules set by Health and Safety (please limit these someone – remove review anything.) The other is NZ tourist operators being relaxed.


    Two tourists were injured, seriously, in an earlier sandslide. Someone needs to be responsible for caring about the tourists.

    Gannet Beach Adventures' owner Colin Lindsay said the gannet season does not start until September, but it's uncertain if the beach will be open by then.

    "It's really just a bit of a waiting game, the recent rockfalls aren't of great concern. It's just a normal coastal process that's gone on for a long time.

    "It's just a case of now the council is saying they're responsible for beach-users so they have to do all the preventative measures and precautions," he said.

    Mr Lindsay said in the meantime they are continuing with their winter maintenance and preparations as usual.

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