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Open mike 27/07/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 27th, 2022 - 103 comments
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103 comments on “Open mike 27/07/2022 ”

  1. Incognito 1

    Was Andrea Vance a little liberal with the truth or did she ‘research’ just enough to suit her narrative?


    • observer 1.1

      That's a very good read, and appears disarmingly frank, and credible (though of course the writer has axes to grind).

      In particular, this confession should be sent to every journalist, and anyone else who wants to talk up National's economic credentials in future …

      Many people in National Leader's Office, the leader, other MPs and the campaign team privately agreed with criticisms of National’s debt target. More than one MP and senior staff said that we had a real issue with over economic narrative and credibility.

    • Belladonna 1.2

      While the details change a bit – I think that both pieces outline a profound lack of trust between the senior leadership team in Parliament (and by extension their staffers), and really, really poor communication – both skills and the ability to actually talk to each other.

    • Chris 1.3

      There's nothing in Johnson's piece that shows Vance was wrong. At best she merely highlights a difference of opinion; at worst there's nothing contradictory between what Johnson and Vance say.

      • Incognito 1.3.1

        An insider gives a different account of events inside the tent and says the following about an outsider who was not even near the tent at the time:

        I believe there is much to challenge in Vance’s book.

        There is only light coverage of the fiscal plan issue in the Vance book but what is said, […], completely misrepresents what actually happened.

        This is totally wrong.

        To suggest, as Andrea Vance does, […], is ridiculous.

        That’s more than a difference of opinions, it is a different set of accounts that make for quite a different story.

        This raises many questions about Vance’s version of accounts of what may or may not have happened inside the National Party tent and suggests, at least to me, that nothing should and can be taken at face value when it comes to political pundits writing political novels “packed with incident and drama, meanness and madness”, as Steve Braunias says.

  2. Molly 2

    No impact on women they said when changing legislation.

    #NoDebate was successful in framing questions for clarity and discussion on possible impacts as harmful 'debate'.

    Reported as "distasteful and repugnant" "concerns about the transgender community", rather than requests for confirmation of women's single-SEX spaces:


    Dunedin mayor Aaron Hawkins has called a woman's concerns about the transgender community "distasteful and repugnant" after her submission to the city council.

    Dunedin nurse Jennifer Scott was concerned about transgender women using the female changing rooms at Moana Pool.

    She asked for the council to ensure designated gender-based private areas, such as changing rooms and toilets, would be upheld in all facilities funded or owned by the council.

    After her submission, Hawkins, who appeared shaken, told Scott her submission was "hard to listen to, and it was at very least distasteful, if not repugnant".

    Lack of discussion and clarity has lead to inconsistent practice in the council owned facility.

    Councillor Jules Radich told Scott he was unaware Moana Pool staff were directing "anatomically male" patrons to use the female-designated changing rooms, and said he agreed the use was inappropriate.

    He asked how long the practice had been happening.

    Scott said transgender women were being directed to the family changing areas, but if a staff member was not aware of the situation, patrons would sometimes enter the women's changing room.

  3. Poission 3

    US vice president emancipates the pronoun.

    • Sabine 3.1

      Oh please let the 'assigned female at birth' in our government do the same every time they have an interview. Just for shits n giggles.

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    James Shaw – candid, honest.

    "If I’m honest, I’ve found it hard to get the mix right between being a minister and a Co-leader and, quite clearly given the vote last weekend, I haven’t quite nailed it."


    [non-embedded link added for those that can’t see the embed]

      • weka 4.1.1

        it's there now.

        • Sacha

          I'm not seeing it

          • Incognito

            Neither can I, in the front end, but I know the link is there reading the comment in the back end. This is something weird I’ve come across many times and it seems to only affect FB links. Many times I wanted to growl people here for not linking when in fact the link is there but invisible to me!?

            • arkie

              What appears to be an image is an embedded facebook post not unlike twitter embeds. If one clicks on the 'read more', the time stamp or facebook logo one can follow the link to it's origin on FB..

              • Incognito

                Nothing ‘appears’, there’s absolutely nothing to suggest even that there’s a link or whatever. All I can see is the comment text. As I said, it’s weird but I can live with it 😉

                • arkie

                  Ah, that is very weird. Apologies.

                • Sacha

                  I too can only see text, no image or link or placeholder.

                  Do not have a FB account so chances are it would show me nothing when I clicked through anyway.

                  Ah, can see and read the FB embed on the mobile theme of this site.

                  • Incognito

                    You don’t need to have a FB account to see & click on FB links, same as you don’t need a Twitter account to click on links to Twitter/tweets. Worst thing that can happen is that you run into a login wall or something. I suspect it is something to do with browser and/or device security settings.

                    • Sacha

                      Depending on the FB customer's privacy settings, some/many posts load blank for non-customers.

                      Whether the embed shows may/not be related to this.

                    • Incognito []

                      IIRC, I tested 2 different browsers on 2 different devices (PCs) and only 1/4 showed the FB link in the front-end. In the greater scheme of things I don’t rate this as a critical an important issue for TS.

                  • weka

                    Ah, can see and read the FB embed on the mobile theme of this site.

                    What OS are you using?

            • weka

              I could see it on my laptop earlier, can’t see it now on my phone.

              the embed of FB posts in comments is new yeah?

              • Incognito

                IDK if it’s new because I tend to read almost everything in the back-end and I tend to not click on FB links. I find it hard enough as it is to keep up here some days …

                • weka

                  when I was helping Robert the other day to copy and paste FB links I saw it embed and tbought, oh FB is embedding now. Don't think I'd seen that before.

              • weka

                correction, I can see it on my phone on the Mobile version but not the Desktop version.

    • AB 4.2

      Maybe Robert, though it could be difficult to convince people of that. They are perhaps more likely to misinterpret transparency as dysfunction – as CH Smith notes today:

      Nassim Taleb of Black Swan and Antifragile fame recently noted the critical role of transparency in systemic resilience. He observed that "a system seems all the more dysfunctional when it is transparent."
      In other words, when we see all the petty squabbling, the clash of competing self-interests and the conflicts arising from advocacy, we reckon that system is dysfunctional and doomed.
      But that is the healthy system, for what's at stake is visible to all, as is the process of all the stakeholders negotiating some agreement on how to proceed.
      Corruption requires opacity … Opaque hierarchical systems appear tranquil and well-managed because the conflicts, self-interest and corruption are hidden. But opacity and rigid hierarchies are systemic weaknesses…

      • Robert Guyton 4.2.1

        That's right, AB and you are right to say, "it could be difficult to convince people of that" – that's the nub of the problem faced by any organisation. Discretion is the answer but not easy to employ successfully. Word-smithery helps also.

        • weka

          it's a good post from Shaw. I fully expect people to interpret it with ill intent. Shaw being weak and acquiescing to the children etc.

    • Ad 4.3

      Tuiono is the last not withdraw.

      Week could still get interesting.

    • Jimmy 4.4

      Seems like Teanau Tuiono cant make up his mind! Does he seriously think he could beat James Shaw in a vote? As a centre right voter, I would laugh my ass off if he did.

      Green Party MP Teanau Tuiono 'considering' a tilt at co-leadership – NZ Herald

      • Incognito 4.4.1

        Nothing wrong with a contest of opinions unless they want to create an echo chamber filled with group-think, i.e., a group-think tank.

      • Jester 4.4.2

        Don't be stupid Jimmy, Tuiono won't stand against Shaw.

  5. pat 5


    "The Government is forging ahead with its income insurance scheme despite concerns about a lack of transparency and the impact on low-income earners, hiring senior staff to move ahead with its delivery."


    Time for a workers party

    • Poission 5.1

      Treasury projected a transfer to the government of 1.1 billion in the first 1/4 and 4.3 billion in the first full year for this new tax.

      They will remove the jobseekers benefit and there is a limit of sixth months in the insurance.

      • pat 5.1.1

        I doubt even this lot would be suicidal enough to remove Jobseeker in the initial implementation (I dont discount it in the future however)…but its not about employment in any case…yet more deception from the bloody politicians.

      • weka 5.1.2

        There will be people not eligible so that can’t remove JS.

        • pat

          They could…its only existed for less than a decade.

          • weka

            let me rephrase. Labour won't remove JS because the insurance scheme won't cover everyone.

            Nact on the other hand…

            • pat

              The details are yet to be announced….but the insurance scheme COULD cover unemployment and an alternative benefit(s) could cover illness/disability…as in days gone by.

              …but as said, this isnt about (un)employment.

              • weka

                from memory, the only people that would get it are those that pay into it and lose their jonb. So if you are a student and then you graduate and can't get a job, you would get JS, not the insurance.

                • pat

                  As said the details are still unknown, but one of the concerns is also the possible ineligibility of the self employed.

                  These are the reasons I say if you are concerned about the impacts of unemployment this is NOT a scheme to address it….and that is because its not about unemployment.

                  • weka

                    totally. It's Labour's plan to stop more people from slipping into the underclasses, while they leave a big chunk of people in the underclass.

                    • pat

                      And remove the government (any government) one step away from pressure over unemployment implications…..meanwhile the investor class have their investments supported by worker inputs.

                      Neoliberalism writ large.

                    • weka

                      yep. Will help with the neoliberal vote I guess.

            • arkie

              I too feel that Labours seeming commitment to this income insurance scheme along with the two-tier COVID payments, does signal a lack of real concern for those on low incomes. How long have they had to action the WEAG recommendations?

              Child Poverty Action Group has expressed fears it would bake in pre-existing inequality and act as a regressive tax on lower-income families, while also undercutting any move towards long overdue reform of the welfare system.

              ‘A two-tier welfare system established under a social unemployment insurance scheme would likely exacerbate poor mental wellbeing among welfare benefit recipients and strengthen stigma for benefit recipients,’ CPAG social security spokesman Mike O’Brien said.


              • weka

                yep. Slap in the face for people that lost their jobs for health reasons and are subsisting on SLP, or worse, on JS. Five years and they can't even bring themselves to name those people outloud.

    • Sabine 5.2

      Interesting. In Germany we have this system since ever.

      You pay x amount of your income into the unemployment tax. Your boss does the same. When unemployed one is entitled to 60% of their last net income for 6 month, then a review in which one has to prove that they did not find a job despite search and another 6 month is granted, after that it is Hartz 4 which is the equivalent of social welfare.

      This unemployment scheme is for all income groups. But it would make totally sense in NZ to only apply it to those that last need it. It would also make sense for Labour to create something that can very easily be perverted by National.

      • pat 5.2.1

        Since Bismark apparently….and it has a number of differences from what has been outlined here (to date)….

        The Hartz laws represented the most important structural reforms since 1969. They were implemented between 2003 and 2005 and introduced the following measures:

        Hartz law I (2003) Required the salaried employees to register as job-seekers as soon as they became aware of the date of termination of their employment agreement; Established job recovery assistance measures, as well as the requalification measure mechanism intended for the older job-seekers; Enabled the job-seekers who hadn’t worked long enough to be entitled to the unemployment benefits to receive continuing training aid; Created temporary placement offices; Enabled the employment offices to entrust, by way of contract, the management of back-to-work jobs to third parties; Softened the regulation relating to dismissals; Required from the job-seekers a greater mobility, considered as appropriate.

        Hartz law II (2003) Established business start-up aid (creation of the self-employed status); Created service vouchers for domestic employment jobs; Amended certain provisions relating to mini-jobs and midi-jobs; Set the conditions for creating the future Job-Centers.

        Hartz law III (2004) Reorganized the employment public service

        Hartz law IV (2005) Reformed the unemployment benefit payment system: reduction of the length of time during which unemployment benefits are paid to 12 months (unemployment benefit I); Merged the long term unemployment benefit and the social aid into a single unemployment benefit II; Established a social aid reserved to the job-seekers unable to work.


        Im unclear where the German premiums end up in that system…here the proposal is an ACC type investment fund.

        • Sabine

          Hartz IV was the final and most radical of these laws. It bound together all social welfare allowances – from day-to-day requirements, to school books to clothing, all of which had to be applied for separately – into one flat sum, and named it "Unemployment Benefit II." This became the allowance an unemployed person receives after their official "Unemployment Benefit I," an allowance based on their previous income, ran out after a certain period.

          Hartz IV centralized both these benefits through the Bundesagentur fuer Arbeit (Federal Labor Office), rather than separate regional offices. Its intention was to prioritize getting people back to work, in whatever form: temporary, part-time or full-time.


          And of course what one gets today under Hartz4 as a lumpsum is less then what it was when one individually applied for 'fringe benefits'. Maybe that is what made that reform so 'important'. The reduction of services and pay out.

          Disclaimer: I have a disabled brother on HArtz4 who will every now end then be invited to the unemployment office to prove he is still disabled. Something he did not have to do before Hartz4.

          However unemployemnt pay outs in Germany are capped:

          ow much unemployment benefit I (Arbeitlosengeld I) will I get?

          The amount of benefit you receive is based on your average net pay in the 12 months before you became unemployed (known as the “assessment period”). Your benefit will be 60% of your previous average wage (or 67% if you have children), up to a maximum of 7.050 euros per month in West Germany and 6.750 euros in East Germany.

          Your benefit payments will then be subject to taxes and social security contributions, just like a regular wage. These will automatically be taken from your benefit by the employment office before it is transferred to your bank account at the end of each month. This includes deductions for:

          vs here in NZ were it on the surface seems that he only ones benefitting from this payout are the very well to do people in Government, NGO, Charities and the likes that may or may not lose jobs in the future if the government were to change. I am not sure as are many others here that it will benefit that Janitor or Service person from Poorland NZ.

          Both unemployment benefits and Hartz4 are granted by the Unemployment Agency, whilst there was a Socialwelfare Agency to deal with those that needed different aid in the past.

  6. Poission 6

    Australia cpi comes in at 6.1 (the quarter at 1.8 down from 2.1)

    Food was 7.3.

    The next 1/4 will have the large electricity increases in it.


  7. Anne 7

    Congratulations to Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

    He has announced that he has sent a directive to 14 Local Body Councils to fluoridate their water supplies. Great news. As a former School Dental Nurse this is a special concern for me.

    Through stupidity – and once again listening to disinformation – many councils have badly failed their communities and their children in particular. The rate of decay in children's teeth has skyrocketed in recent decades and that can lead to all manner of on-going health problems. Contrary to the claims of the nay-sayers, fluoridation is totally safe and the process is carried out under strict protocols.

    I expect the "Freedumb Crowd" to holler and shout. Let em scream. Sometimes for the health and safety of everybody, such directives and indeed legislation if required have to be made.

    • In Vino 7.1

      Fully agree, Anne.

      In 1970 as a 1st-yr teacher, I asked a 3rd-form class who had a filling in their teeth. Only 2 or 3 raised a hand. My town had been adding fluoridating water for some years. When I was in the 3rd form, we all had mouths filled with amalgam..

      But since then my perception is that the great evil of SUGAR has doubled its input, and now even fluoride cannot cope.

      To take away the fluoride is idiotic.

      But to do nothing about excessive sugar everywhere is even more idiotic.

      Where is the reduce sugar campaign? Worn down by unfavourable coverage in capitalist media controlled by big companies like sugar manufacturers?

      • Anne 7.1.1

        Where is the reduce sugar campaign? Worn down by unfavourable coverage in capitalist media controlled by big companies like sugar manufacturers?

        Another ugly side effect of neoliberalism. Money grubbing corporates and their equally grubby media counterparts dominating the discourse. I venture to suggest there is also a link to the internet which is awash with batshit crazy conspiracy theories.

    • Molly 7.2

      Anecdotal, but relevant.

      Rural water, so definitely no fluoride.

      All four children no fillings. Oldest now 26 years.

      Are there any downsides to universal fluoride in drinking water that people should be aware of?

      • Incognito 7.2.1

        Some people who drink and smoke all their lives live to a grand old age.


        Are there any downsides to drinking and smoking that people should be aware of?

        • Sanctuary

          I plan to take up pipe smoking on my 90th birthday.

        • Molly

          My FIL started smoking at 6, and kept on doing so till 93.

          His sister, adult smoker, developed throat cancer in her 70s.

          We used to joke about his lungs being leather bellows. When he died, we gave his almost full tobacco pack to his smoking buddy at the home – a grateful 92 yr old.

      • Rosemary McDonald 7.2.2

        Are there any downsides to universal fluoride in drinking water that people should be aware of?

        Thing is…such is the extremely polarised nature of the issue, any discussion of potential 'cons' is going to elicit the usual reaction from the 'pro' group. All is binary dontcha know.

        Wiki has a very good page on the issue…bearing in mind that only a 5.7 % of the human race has access to the benefits of artificial fluoridation through water supply. Some countries have naturally high levels of fluoride in the water and it has to be removed to make it safe.

        This page explores water fluoridation in various countries in some depth and is well worth a read. The one that caught my eye was what happened in Israel. From 2002 water fluridation was required by law…but this was repealed in 2014 on the grounds that…

        "Only some 1% of the water is used for drinking, while 99% of the water is intended for other uses (industry, agriculture, flushing toilets etc.). There is also scientific evidence that fluoride in large amounts can lead to damage to health. When fluoride is supplied via drinking water, there is no control regarding the amount of fluoride actually consumed, which could lead to excessive consumption. Supply of fluoridated water forces those who do not so wish to also consume water with added fluoride."[19] Many in the medical and dental communities in Israel criticized the decision as a mistake


        All very well putting fluoride in the water…but are you going to get your target demographic to drink it?

        Interestingly…our very own Mystery of Health has a flyer on Vitamin D during pregnancy.

        https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAQQw7AJahcKEwjgtIOIiZr5AhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQAg&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.health.govt.nz%2Fsystem%2Ffiles%2Fdocuments%2Ftopic_sheets%2Fvitamin-d-factsheet-dec20.pdf&psig=AOvVaw3h3EHtKN8FuQVBY36ZPXEH&ust=1659045640611031 (Sorry for the ugly link..but following the directive not to embed.)

        Low Vitamin D levels during pregnancy can lead to poor bones and teeth in the child. Is the checking of maternal Vitamin D SOP in New Zealand for all pregnant women?

        Its complicated…not binary at all.

        (Anecdotally Molly…three kids…youngest 30…rural raised on unfiltered tank water and bugger all fillings. While we didn't have a sugar ban…fizzy drinks were special occasion only and I most definitely never had them sucking on bottles of anything other than water. Likewise I ensured I ate healthy when pregnant. )

        • Robert Guyton

          "Thing is…such is the extremely polarised nature of the issue, any discussion of potential 'cons' is going to elicit the usual reaction from the 'pro' group. All is binary dontcha know."

          Thought you were going to talk about vaccines 🙂

          There's a pattern in your thinking, Rosemary!

      • Rosemary McDonald 7.2.3

        You might also be interested in comparing the % of public supplied fluoridated water in various regions with the % of 5 year olds with 0 fillings.



        For instance, Counties/Manukau has 90-100% access to fluoridated water but the lowest % of 5 year olds with no fillings.

        It'd be handy if chucking a bunch of chemicals into the town supply would provide a universal fix…but it is not that simple.

      • Anne 7.2.4

        There was a section of rural NZ that had sufficient natural deposits present in their drinking water to be effective. I think it was somewhere in the South Island but have long forgotten the details. Whether it is still the case I don't know.

        High natural deposits are present in parts of Europe and at a high level of concentration. High concentration can cause white spots to appear on the enamel surface of teeth but that is not going to occur in NZ as the specified level of fluoride deposits are low by comparison.


        It should be pointed out that fluoride exists naturally in streams and water ways. Its not some kind of man-made chemical.

        Edit: some people have naturally healthy teeth and gums. Good genes. Sounds like that was the case with your children Molly and no doubt they were brought up on a healthy diet too which is a big help.

        • Incognito

          I’ve heard of some rural folks cleaning their teeth with a handheld tool or device and some kind of white paste …

          • Poission

            Yes but fluoride is a commie plot that robs you of your bodily fluids.

            • Incognito

              The pure white paste is fine, of course. However, you must watch out for the ones with a red stripe; only use the ones with a blue stripe according to my dentist Dr Morpheus.

              • Poission

                Do the spectral regimes transform under rotation from the western hemisphere to the southern hemisphere ?

            • pat

              Spicy Sweet Homemade Mouthwash

              On November 4, I wrote that I had finished up my last bottle of Act fluoride rinse and had decided not to replace it. Several dentists told me they didn’t think I needed it. However, I wasn’t just using the rinse for the fluoride; it had also served as my mouthwash for the last couple of years, leaving my breath minty fresh. Without it, I needed to find a plastic-free alternative, and since there are apparently no mouthwashes sold plastic-free these days, I decided to make my own.

              I found the following recipe on Mother Earth Living and tried it:

              Spicy Sweet Mouthwash

              This mouthwash requires a couple of weeks for the spices to steep in the alcohol.

          • Robert Guyton

            Twig and baking soda – I know those people!

  8. left for dead 8

    I'll bite (Freedumb)You may well be one of them,and/or it's been a very long time since you practiced. Fluoride is very good at killing "good bacteria",that is the problem needing addressed.

    Sorry can't/not linking,Google or any search engine will help.

    • Barfly 8.1

      I was in High School in Tauranga when fluoride was added to the Tauranga water supply (around 50 years ago). I used to see the dentist every 6 months and every time I needed multiple fillings – after fluoride was added I needed One filling in the next two years. I believe it's lunacy that some local bodies still haven't adopted it.

    • Anne 8.2

      "Fluoride is very good at killing "good bacteria"…

      Course “you're not goin to link”. Comes from some wingnut conspiracy theory to be sure!

      And why do you think you know more about dentistry than me? Are you a dentist?

    • dv 8.3

      Are you sure it was fluoride AND not Fluorine?

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