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Open mike 27/08/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 27th, 2020 - 195 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 …

195 comments on “Open mike 27/08/2020 ”

  1. Ad 1

    Kinda tough break for the Republican Convention to be shunted off news cycle by a massive climatic event on the Louisiana-Texas border.

    Almost like the earth was a Speaker.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Landfall right slap between New Orleans and Houston. A few hundred km either way could've been much worse.


  2. Rosemary McDonald 2

    I have learned to assume the worst of our politicians…its easier that way as it avoids that awful feeling of betrayal when manifesto promises are broken and hopes for a kinder and more fair New Zealand are dashed…again.

    Heavy sigh this am as the Natrad Bedwetters Club featured the news of Green Party Co Leader James Shaw's announcement of an $11.7 million handout to a Taranaki private school.


    Needless to say sometime State-funded schools are not happy…


    …and those millions would have gone a long way towards rectifying some of the infrastructure issues faced by many Taranaki schools. Some of these issues involve leaky, damp buildings which is ironic as the major business magnates behind this private school made their fortune from selling ventilation systems.


    Doubly ironic as I clearly remember a phone conversation with a telemarketer for said company. He waffled on about cold and damp and how much I needed a home ventilation system to circulate the air around our home. I politely informed helpful gentleman that we already had a ventilation system…windows and doors…

    I digress. The cynic in me suspects that James, the co -leader of the party I had just about committed to voting for again, thinks the average Joe or Jane will hear "Green" and assume all is sound and ethically well with this funding and it must fit within the Party's code. Big mistake, James.

    The alternative is possibly worse. James has turned traitor and has decided to torpedo the last political party that had any semblance of a social conscience.

    • Molly 2.1

      I'm with you there, Rosemary.

    • Robert Guyton 2.2

      Your final sentence is nonsense, Rosemary. Funding a school is a laudable action. The question is; does it contravene Green Party policy and if so, how concerned should we be about that. I'd be very interested to hear from The Greens and James especially, for their explanation, before scuppering the boat I float in.

      • Rosemary McDonald 2.2.1

        I'd be very interested to hear from The Greens and James especially, for their explanation …

        I too await their explanation with bated breath.

        “… before scuppering the boat …”

        Too late, I fear.

        Echoes of the Metiria debacle. Female co -leader attracts wider support, then along come the Party menfolk to crap all over the gains.

        Greens…their own worst enemy since Rod and Jeanette.

        • Robert Guyton

          "Too late, I fear."

          Suspend your judgement till you have heard from those most closely involved, I reckon. Funding a school is not a damning act, it's a well-intentioned, widely supported action. The Greens did say ‘Public funding for private schools should be phased out and transferred to public schools,” (says the party’s current education policy.) but there's nothing yet to prevent them doing so. It is though, at this point, an awkward situation. I certainly don't see it as a "debacle" or even the echo of one.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            Mr Guyton, I am well acquainted with the Green policies, but thank you for the link. Others here may find it helpful, although I suspicion the reading of manifesto and policy statements do not always feature as preparation to casting one's precious vote.

            I fear that even here, amoungst the assumed politcally aware, there is a tendency to vote "Labour" or "Green" or goddess forbid "NZ First" just because.

            Hurry up James! Rattle your dags sunshine and please explain!

            • Robert Guyton

              Someone tending toward voting Green is unlikely to swerve violently away at the news that The Greens facilitated funding for a school, I'd have thought!

              • The Al1en

                Unless they're one of those people, and there are a few about, who look as hard as they can for any reason to avoid voting lab/grn, so they can back a sub 1% party and cling to the notion they're doing the right thing by the country, even though every wasted vote brings the prospect of a nat led government closer.

                Worse than right wingers to me.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  Unless they're one of those people, and there are a few about, who look as hard as they can for any reason to avoid voting lab/grn …

                  Err…there's no need for a search. James is proud and loud over this.

                  Worse than right wingers to me.

                  Thanks for that. So pleased to see rabid tribalism alive and well.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    "James is proud and loud over this" doesn't seem like a "back-room deal" then does it, or something The Greens wished to slip in unnoticed by the public. Seems kinda "up-front" wouldn't ya say?

                • Robert Guyton

                  Many of those people, The Al1en, are presently backing Billy Te Kihaka's conspiracy party now, and loudly declaring that The Greens have sold out to the Man, or whatever. I hear "The Greens support the use of 1080 so it's all over between me and Them!" and so on, levering their exit around any one of a hundred issues The Greens are "ignoring", 5G, compulsory vaccination, mask-wearing, and so on and so on. It's a phenomenon of the startlable-Left, unfortunately. Gotta learn to live with it. For people who profess to support The Greens to immediately declare, "I'm off" at the news of this school support, fits that picture, imo. Consequently, I agree with the sentiment of your comment.

                  • weka

                    Might need to do another post on 1080 and what the GP actually say on that.

                    I kind of understand the reactionary, emotional vote, but I mostly don't get it. We have to have someone in parliament and government, who should that be this time? It's not a hard thing to figure out, despite any disappointments along the way (and I have my own about the Greens).

                    • Robert Guyton

                      The expectation that a political party could perfectly represent the needs of anyone at all, is a pipe-dream. Those who toy-toss at the slightest bump in the road seem flakey to me. Will they just as easily return to the fold if the next issue suits them better, or will they stay stubbornly out in the cold because "the party" betrayed them? This issue is de minimis, in my opinion, in the big picture; I compare it with National's most recent "the water quality regulations will be gone by lunchtime" scandal and ask myself, wtf are Green supporters thinking, throwing in the towel at the sniff of something they don't agree with (or fully understand)? Funding for a school!?! The horror!!!

                  • I was listening yesterday to a group of young Maori men discussing Billy TK and his prophecies. Very disturbing that they have taken as Gospel his comments about 5 G / Covid conspiracies etc. They feel that because Billy TK is a great musician then he must be correct about the "ride to hell we are currently on". I fear for the vulnerable young people of NZ.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      I attended a meeting of such people last night, Patricia. I don't recommend such an experience. I have been engaging in discussion/dialogue/debate with various (younger) people in my town over "Billy" and his ways, pointing out his efforts to align with Hanna Tamaki (spurned) and Jamie-Lee Ross (accepted) as well as his most recent expulsion from the White Ribbon movement because of his "separation from reality", or some such. I mentioned the very poor turnout at the Auckland "5G and everything else" march, which contradicted the followers claims that "the uprising is massive and will turn the country on its head", and have, as yet, made zero progress, despite my careful strategising and genuine concern for their wellbeing smiley

              • Rosemary McDonald

                Someone tending toward voting Green is unlikely to swerve violently away at the news that The Greens facilitated funding for a school, I'd have thought!

                But it is not just any old school is it Robert?

                It is a very special Private School for the offspring of the Very Wealthy of Aotearoa, and especially Overseas.

                At a time when state schools are desperate for funding for remedial work to be done…which would surely have the potential to employ as many, if not more than just this one school.

                Paul Goulter, NZEI Te Riu Roa national secretary said it came as a “complete surprise”.

                “This comes as a complete surprise to us given the Greens’ own clear policy against public funding of private schools.

                “We just can’t understand why the Government would go ahead and fund a private school with public money at a time when public schools in the Taranaki region are crying out for this type of investment,” he said.

                The sheer scale of the funding is significant. When the Government announced a $400 million package to upgrade New Zealand’s ageing public school infrastructure, it was capped at $400,000. The grant to the Green School would be enough to fund nearly 30 schools at that rate.

                Just up the road from Green School, New Plymouth Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools each received $400,000.

              • McFlock

                Not a violent swerve, but less inclination.

                It's shit like this that makes me think of myself as a labour voter who sometimes goes green, rather than a green voter. Funding a private school is fucked, but because it has "green" in the name they'll throw out the socioeconomic principles they allegedly have.

                Basically, a comprehensive and holistic platform is compromised for a single pet project because they like the vibe. Private education is capitalist, and capitalism is the enemy of the environment. An elitist enviro-wank school is the equivalent of champagne socialism.

                • weka

                  Labour supported the choice via their local candidate.

                  We still don't know if the Greens wanted this, or if there wasn't much choice. I can't imagine the Greens would choose this over funding state schools or any number of other projects, so I'm guessing it came from the Infrastructure Reference Group in charge of the shovel-ready projects. That's run by Twyford and Jones afaik.

                  • McFlock

                    Labour are predictable in their policy blindspots.

                    The Greens tend to be pretty solid, then do a random announcement on some issue.

                    Apparently Shaw announced it as a minister – fair call, maybe it's a all-govt thing, but I've difficulty seeing which portfolio makes him the responsible cheerleader for this decisions. Associate minister of finance? Surely they could have given the role of announcing this project to someone else, given that it's in direct contradiction to Green policy?

                    • weka

                      still guessing, but yes Assoc Finance portfolio, *and the GP (according to Hipkins) advocated for it, but I'm betting it was from a pool of projects that Twyford and Jones had shortlisted.

                      So if the Greens had the opportunity to lobby for specific projects for the fund, and it was a choice between say a new road/coal fired power plant or a private school that has a strong green focus, what would they do?

                      Might still be a politically naive thing to have done of course, instead of choosing nothing.

                      Totally speculating here, because I'm just so sick of the whole purity politics stuff, as well as the jumping to conclusions before we even know what happened.

                      If people want the Greens to stick to their kaupapa the best way to ensure that is to give them more power in government. We will never get a GP or any party that is perfect for us, but I just do not believe that this idea came from the Greens originally when they would be more naturally interested in actual green projects.

                    • weka

                      and, if it turns out the Greens chose this over all the worthy green projects needing done that wouldn't have made it past Twyford and Jones, then I will rightly condemn the Greens too. I'll still vote for them though, because climate change is going to monkeys of us all for a very long time after purity ceases to be a pressing concern. Oh yeah, and because their welfare policy outstrips anything else in parliament. And their fresh water policy. And most things when it comes down to it.

                    • McFlock

                      If they had a list of crappy projects, they should have chosen nothing. The projects would have been done one way or the other, it's not like the Greens could have vetoed the entire list.

                      Or at least let Jones and Twyford announce their crappy projects.

                    • weka

                      yes, probably. But we have no idea what happened, so I'd rather wait before slagging off the Greens or changing my vote or whatever. If people want to change their vote because the Greens aren't political players, they can do that, but it's a different thing, and we still need them in govt. It's not like they have policies that will intentionally keep lots of people in poverty, that would be Labour.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, Green policies are lovely.

                      If they stuck to them, it's be nice. Like I say, Labour's imperfections are well-advertised and predictable.

                    • weka

                      GP education policy on private schools hasn't changed afaik. What GP policies have changed?

                    • McFlock

                      The policy is still lovely.

                      Shaw shilling millions in funding for a private school isn't consistent with the policy, is it?

                    • weka []

                      at the least Shaw is bungling the PR on this. No idea if that’s because he thinks funding this school is a brilliant idea and has completely misread the room, or if there’s something more pragmatic going on.

                      I guess the issue for me with the discussion is why people would throw out the lovely policy, along with lots of other lovely policy, over this one thing. Not least because that means voting for a party that won’t be in parliament or one that will but has worse policy. I understand the principle of the thing thing (I have my own bottom lines), but this looks like something else. Post brewing about how people still don’t trust the Greens and look for any weakness as proof of that.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah I agree with that – anyone who's an enthusiastic supporter of the Greens and then ditches it because of one decision is being a bit precious, at best, in the current NZ political climate.

                      But then there's more the "meh, what the hell" voter. By which I mean that up to the election I look at policy and the people involved (grassroots as well as the parliamentarians), but my vote might be up in the air between a couple of parties, and it just depends on what the polls think the result will be and what my preferred result might be. I don't really know for sure what I will tick while I'm picking up the forms, and might be inclined to do something different when I leave the polling station.

                      I mean, I know I won't be voting National, but say labgrn looks pretty solid, maybe I won't vote either if there's a <1% party on the left – give them an extra vote, and thereby a tiny little bit more credibility. Dunno who any decent trace-element parties at the moment are, though, but there's a couple of months yet.

                  • Andre

                    How often will a local candidate not support spending government money in their district? I mean, a west coast Green candidate might oppose the government subsidising the start up of a coal mine, or a Nat might object to a bit of funding to entice the Worldwide Collective Association of Socialist Parties to set up headquarters in their district. But short of something like that, a local politician will always support more jerbs in their district funded by the government.

      • Molly 2.2.2

        I've been aware of this school for sometime. One of the investors is a brother of an acquaintance of mine, and as she is involved in childhood education she was invited to go and view the site and meet the founders last year.

        The idea and the kaupapa make for good soundbites, but primarily from my perspective – as Rosemary suspects – it is a school that is intended to create opportunities for green entrepreneurs. And the "green" aspect is fluid.

        If our society is dedicated to providing a good, quality universal education, that priority needs to be achieved first before educational funding such as this is allocated.

        We are nowhere near providing a good, quality universal education. We should focus on that.

        • Robert Guyton

          "it is a school that is intended to create opportunities for green entrepreneurs."

          And that's a bad thing???

          Surely, it's a school for the promotion of environmentally-friendly learning, yes? A school for children? You're attacking the worth of the school, but I would think its value and values were closely looked-at by James Shaw et al before they swung in to support the funding of it; who to believe, who to trust???

          • Rosemary McDonald

            …i's a school for the promotion of environmentally-friendly learning, yes?

            Surely all schools should be funded to deliver such laudable learnings Robert?

            …who to believe, who to trust???

            The discerning amoung us are struggling with that…

            • Robert Guyton

              "Surely all schools should be funded to deliver such laudable learnings Robert?"

              Well, yes, Rosemary but should all other progress stall until that happens? Shall we cancel the Enviroschools programme till every school has signed on? How would that work?

            • weka

              "Surely all schools should be funded to deliver such laudable learnings Robert?"

              Might want to talk with Labour and NZF about that.

              • Sabine

                why, have the Green nothing to say about this in the government of which they are part?

                or is it simply dumb and tone deaf to announce the waste of some 10 millions to a private school, while other schools in NZ are build of shacks? Oh, its the green focus of that school? Well if that is the case I hope that the Green Party will promote teh idea that all the other schools in NZ specifically the public schools should get the same amount to 'teach green focus' in school.

                We are all in this together, right?

                • weka

                  fucks sake. The GP don't control either the Education funding or the Shovel funding. That's NZF and Labour.

                  Looks like the GP fucked up on this, either via their PR or by their decision on the project. Tell you what, don't vote for them, or vote Labour, that will get you a way better govt /drippingsarc

                  And ffs, go and learn how government actually works, because this fairy dust, magic wand shit is tedious.

          • Molly

            You missed an important part in my comment Robert: And the "green" aspect is fluid.

            " Surely, it's a school for the promotion of environmentally-friendly learning, yes? A school for children? "

            No surely about it. It is promoted as…

            And it is accessible only to a small number of monied students. Our government funding for environmental education should be able to be accessed by all.

            Do I trust James Shaw is not the question. I can see where his perspective lies from actions like this.

            • weka

              what is Shaw's perspective that you see? I'm struggling to see any perspective myself.

        • greywarshark

          Cripes Molly the country has to move in different directions than in the past. Better education is not just returning to what we had in the 1980/90s but something that fits our needs today, more machine-minds and tech, less jobs, poor wages etc. We need to learn less about how to criticise and more on how to thing creatively and practically. Good on the Greens, if they get started then they can tune up to what is needed, change the tune, fine-tune. And at the same time ensure everyone can read, understand what they read, discuss its effect, learn psychology and how to get on with each other, and look up any facts needed on google.

          Thanks for talking us down to earth quietly Robert G. I thought we were leaving Ground Zero by too far a distance there.

          Thinking of getting high, has everyone else caught up with the fact that dirigibles are the thing being worked on around Europe? This was a piece from The Telegraph. I stop at the paywall, might do occasional donations though as they give gen that I don't always get here.

          The UK, a leader in the airship revival, is going head to head with France in an escalating global race. Zeppelins and dirigible airships are now promising to provide the future of green transport, and if all goes well, as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes in this fascinating column, we will be able to hop virtuously from Liverpool to Belfast in point-to-point travel.

    • Goodgrief 2.3

      Shaw's only comment seems to be that the spend will result in 200 jobs. What rubbish. These jobs will be temporary jobs while the build happens and not permanent new jobs. Every indication is that because the word "Green" is in the title of the school that this is the reason the funding – which equates apparently to $200k per pupil – was granted. A shonky and suspect decision.

    • Adrian Thornton 2.4

      @ Rosemary McDonald , Thanks for writing that response to this shameful hypocrisy, it saves me the time of writing pretty much the same thing.

      Funnily enough I had just said on Sunday here on open mike (6.2.1.) that I would probably vote Greens, but lamented the day the Greens didn't choose Bradford as co leader, mainly because of her deeply held values and uncrossable lines in the sand…well this episode just proves that point, Shaw is a pragmatic centrist who is (like so many greens) willfully blind to the class war that rages all around him, and like all centrists end up entrenching a class based society further.

      They just lost my vote that's for sure.

      • Robert Guyton 2.4.1

        They lost your vote because they funded a school? They did indicate that, "‘Public funding for private schools should be phased out and transferred to public schools," – the term, "phased out" doesn't mean "immediately ceased", so their support does not baldly contravene their policy as is being claimed here and on Kiwiblog.

        Again, they lost your vote because they funded a school?

        Was it an evil school? A school that teaches subversive, anti-Kiwi values? A school that is nothing more than a front for…whatever?

        They lost your vote because they funded a school?

        • Adrian Thornton

          No they lost my ( and others) vote because the funded a private school…or didn't you get that part?…to the tune of $100,000 (or more) per student.

          Elitism at it’s most pure…John Key would be proud of this one… yuk.

          • Robert Guyton

            Not interested to hear why?

            • Rosemary McDonald

              Yes Robert…I am very interested to hear why?

              But I'm guessing the justifications you have given us this morning are the same the Green Party will trot out. And those of us lesser mortals are just closet righties if we have a problem with this gross corporate welfare.

              I have a pile of sleeper sized maccy to cut and wrestle into raised garden beds today…I've said my piece.

              A tune for your day Sir…you've sung the Green's hymn well.

              • Robert Guyton

                "Yes Robert…I am very interested to hear why?"

                Shall we wait until we have heard, before we throw our toys from the cot?

                "But I'm guessing the justifications you have given us this morning are the same the Green Party will trot out."

                Guessing? That's not a great platform to throw your toys from; a guess.

                Reactionary, but?

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  …before we throw our toys from the cot …

                  You're implying I am having some kind of toddler meltdown Robert?

                  So much for constructive discourse. I shall go sit in the naughty corner.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    I'm teasing, Rosemary. And "we" is plural, not singular. In any case, some time in the corner, thinking about what you have done, will do you no harm smiley. I'm going to do the same, except I'll do it outside and prune apple trees instead. It would be good to have some more comment from The Greens before we wade deeper into the issue.

            • In Vino

              Robert – are you aware that many teachers feel very strongly about state money being generously thrown at private schools? This particular private school charges over $20,000 per NZ student, and over $40,000 per foreign student…

              This is against the spirit of Green Education Policy. When The Alliance disappeared, I, as a teacher, looked at all the parties' Education policies, liked the Greens' the most, and have party-voted Green since.

              I am now in doubt. I will definitely continue my donations to Greenpeace, but I now wonder about Party vote Green. How are the Greens going to make 5% by losing any of their considerable teacher support? I do not want to waste my Party vote on a party that does not seem bothered about failing to reach 5%.

              Greens need to do some damage control about this, I fear. Ill-considered..

              • weka

                the 5% issue existed before this, and it's entirely on left wing voters whether the GP are in parliament or not after the election. Ditto in government.

                If this is a real deal breaker for you, I'd be interested to know what Labour's policy is.

              • Robert Guyton

                In Vino – yes, and as an ex-teacher (early childhood, primary, secondary, special needs and tertiary) I feel the same way. My only argument here is for restraint around dumping on the Party before their reasons have been published. Do you know why The Greens have made this decision that surely must have tested their attachment to their policy and principles? My experience is that they don't do anything thoughtlessly. I'd like to hear what they have to say on the issue. My immediate reaction is not one I'm arguing for, as I need to hear what James and co. have to say. Perhaps they have reneged, perhaps they have rationalised their action for the furtherance of their principles; that's what I'd like to know. Thick as molasses, my decision-making machinery!

                • In Vino

                  Understood, Robert, but I think some gesture of damage control will be needed for the more short-fused and less contemplative types that there are in many school staff-rooms. I hope that James Shaw can come up with something convincing.

                  It is an irony that Righties attack the Greens for being 'red on the inside', but the Greens then do something that would actually please the Righties, rather than their own supporters.

                  • Andre

                    To me this looks like something that appeals to a small (but possibly vocal) segment of hard-core Greens. It's possible Shaw himself is firmly in that segment. But those in the Greens that made the decision to push for this totally misread how the wider public would take it.

                    For instance, the opportunity to (fairly) cry "hypocrisy" is always going to trump any positive feelings the right may have over any Green support for a private initiative.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    I agree entirely, In Vino and would add "the more short-fused and less contemplative types" here on The Standard and across the comment-o-sphere. It'll be gleeful fun for The Greens' opponents to whip this up but it disturbs me when up-till-now supporters turn-tail so easily before the discussion has been had. Avoiding this sort of gotcha moment close to an election is, in my view, impossible; look at how many National has suffered recently! This single instance for The Greens, whether earned or not, should be measured against those various scandals/outrages. Given also, that The Greens are in Government and actually doing things, rather than say, The ACT Party who do nothing but gripe and are therefore harder to "expose", it's to be expected that a storm of some sort would whip up. This one, where the worst charge that might stick is one of hypocrisy, shouldn't really phase Green supporters, or those who were "considering" voting Green. The damage control will indeed be needed, even if the damage wasn't self-inflicted, but instead, manufactured from without. I'm as keen as anyone to hear a response from James Shaw but significantly less keen to throw in my Green towel and march indignantly off smiley

            • Sabine

              nope, cause there is really nothing that would make wasting this much tax payer money on one PRIVATE school good and decent, specifically in these times where everyone else is supposed to do with less, some with nothing, and here the Green Party is giving 10 millions away for bumkins. But they get to feel all ‘Green’.

          • greywarshark

            Oh Adrian T. you are too good for this world.

        • Siobhan

          John Hardy's Green Schools are in fact not inline with "Kiwi Values"…being a touch expensive..hence the large percentage of overseas pupils..and I don't mean kids from the pacific islands…. We in fact already have schools that cover the whole plethora of "Kiwi Values" many of which include environmental and social aspects of which you might approve.

          They are all desperate for funding for these programmes…infact with increased funding even more schools would embrace the very programmes we urgently need to educate ALL our NZ youngsters.

          John Hardys Green Schools are well patronised by some very wealthy individuals..who I am sure could philanthropically fund his vision to their hearts content. Failing that they could organise a cake raffle…

        • Peter 1

          They have also lost my vote, because it's a fucking private school. I don't care if they promote left wing views if you send your kids to private school you should pay for everything.

          • Robert Guyton

            By the sounds of it, the parents are paying plenty enough "for it". Perhaps there is benefit in supporting the establishment of such a school, for the wider community? Assisting them over the initial "bump" with money that will indeed stimulate the economy through jobs, will benefit everyone through creating a precedent for green public schools and I expect that's what The Greens have deduced. Your reaction, "public school or bust" sounds … reactionary.

        • Andre

          They lost your vote because they funded a school?

          It might not be just one thing. For those of us looking at which party has the least unattractive pile of peaches and dead rats to choke down in order to vote for them, this may be the big dead rat tossed on top that pushes the overall balance away from the Greens.

          • Pat

            This dosnt just taint the Greens however…this reflects poorly on all the governing parties

            • Andre

              Yep. But it's expected behaviour for the other parties, so it doesn't change their pile. Whereas for the Greens it removes the peach labelled "principle" and adds a dead rat labelled "featherbedding their special buddies".

              • Robert Guyton

                Have you listened to Shaw's explanation for the decision, or are you going off half-cocked?

                • Incognito

                  Did James give an interview about this? I’ve only seen his Press Release as Associate Finance Minister.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    I haven't heard anything yet. Maybe we could reserve our judgement/condemnation till we do?

                    • Incognito


                      Am thinking about doing a post on this 🙂

                    • Robert Guyton

                      That would be a good thing, Incognito.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      The Greens won't lose my party vote over this, but I hope Shaw isn't having a Metiria melting moment, and that he stays put.

                      How will National attack this decision to support a private school to the tune of $11,400,000 – that's almost half a flag referendum!

                      National MPs accuse Greens of 'hypocrisy' over $11 million grant for private Green School

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "Green School CEO Chris Edwards has thanked Green Party co-leader and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw for his support. "

                      Shaw's "support"? Is that what Shaw gave? You mean, this wasn't a Green initiative, driven through Parliament relentlessly, in contradiction to the Green's kaupapa? That in fact, Shaw supported something along the way? It gets even worse for the duplicitous Greens – support! Scandalous!

                  • weka

                    You could find an objection to any one project. The point is it's a portfolio of infrastructure and construction projects that’s designed to keep the economy rolling in that field

                    Reading the Stuff piece, questions I have are this:

                    given this comes from Shaw as a Minister and not Shaw as GP co-leader, did the Labour/NZF caucus approve this project?

                    given the funding was for shovel-ready projects, what were the constraints on that?

                    who was in the decision making process? who decided which shovel-ready projects would be approved?

                    why are so many lefties unaware of how government actually works?

                    why are so many lefties expecting a level of purity from the Greens and unwilling to figure out the compromises involved in being in government?

                    • weka

                      also, democracy in NZ would be *far better served if the public had the same access to politician's words as journos.

                    • Andre

                      Sounds like it was a Green push, not someone else's they agreed to as a governing compromise:

                      During today’s 1pm Covid-19 update, Hipkins addressed the funding, saying the Green Party “advocated quite strongly” for it. “It was one of their ‘wins’, if you like, from the shovel ready projects… It’s not necessarily a project that I would have prioritised.”


                    • weka

                      thanks Andre.

                      What's more likely:

                      1. The GP had free reign to choose whatever projects they wanted?
                      2. The fund was restricted to a set pool of projects and/or criteria, and the GP had to choose from those?

                      If it's the former, I would definitely have major concerns about why the GP chose this over many, many other things. But this seems unlikely. Good stick to beat the Greens with though.

                      If you end up with the time stamp for todays' covid briefing and Hipkins' comment, I'd be interested.

                    • weka

                      haven't had time to look at this yet, but…

                    • Incognito

                      That post is being overtaken by other commitments 🙁

                • Andre

                  I've done a bit searching on the web, including on the Greens website, and found nothing yet that makes me feel this was a good decision. Or even anything hinting it might have been a good decision. Shaw directly explaining it hasn't turned up yet (if you want people to consider it, how about linking?) but I'll wait for something written to come out rather than listening to emotionally-manipulative low-fact-density blather.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    "I'll wait for something written to come out rather than listening to emotionally-manipulative low-fact-density blather."

                    Good call. Me too.

                    • Andre

                      Nope. Not persuasive.

                      "International education was until recently New Zealand's fourth largest export sector. It is obviously going through a very tough time right now as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

                      "This project not only secures 200 jobs in the near term, it also creates additional capacity for the time when people are able to travel more freely, enabling Taranaki to develop a thriving international education opportunity."

                      Shaw said the project would create hundreds of quality jobs.

                      "Meaning more people can continue to provide for their families whilst we weather the economic storm of the pandemic crisis. These jobs will provide a good day's pay, doing meaningful work, building a better future for Taranaki.

                      "The support we are providing will help Green School to meet growing demand from parents all over New Zealand, and the rest of the world, wanting to enrol their children. This will mean more families can take the opportunity to put down roots in Taranaki and contribute to the future growth of the region," Shaw said.


                    • Robert Guyton

                      Not persuasive? You mean, you were not persuaded, Andre; what are your reasons?

                    • Andre

                      I'm not persuaded because it's not a green project. It's more of the same bullshit so beloved of the Nats, selling education to bring wealthy people here so we can relieve them of money and they'll spend lots more money buying property and businesses and stuff. But the Greens have hopped on board because of the enviro-wank (thanks McFlock) positioning of the school as their sales proposition.

                  • Patricia Bremner

                    I understood this money came out of the Regional pot, not the Education or Green vote? Personally I am for Public Education, but in a democracy I do support choice. I thought buildings and maintenance were provided by the State?

            • Robert Guyton

              Private schools are already, and have been for yonks, assisted by "government money" – Catholic schools, for example. Why not a green school?

              • In Vino

                Catholic schools are integrated schools: they are not for those who can afford over $20,000 fees per student.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Do they receive Government funding, I wonder?

                  • Incognito

                    Yes, they do.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Well…I was just saying…

                    • In Vino

                      That funding comes with strings, which were meant to prevent them from using their fees to get better teacher:student ratios than state schools, etc. Not quite the same thing.

                    • Incognito []

                      Robert asked whether Integrated schools receive Government funding and the answer is yes. Never said that it was the same thing though because you are right, it isn’t the same as for State schools. I have no time or interest in elaborating on the differences (a major one is the State doesn’t own the buildings & land of Integrated schools); somebody else can or Robert can use Google 😉

                  • Gabby

                    Given that they're state schools, it would be a bit surprising if they weren't.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Most of the funding being offered to the green school has to be paid back, yes?

                    • Andre

                      @Robert you got any basis for suggesting it will be paid back? In all the articles I've seen so far there has been a complete absence of any words or even hints about repayment. But plenty of words like given and granted etc usually used in the context of a non-repayable gift.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      You're quite right, Andre – I'd seen something earlier in the day, before visiting The Standard, which read: "


                      “So their official policy is to ban public funding of private schools (ie the 25% subsidy per student)”.
                      The Government gets back 60% of that subsidy in GST (yes, parents of private school pupils do pay GST on their fees) so in reality it is only a 10% subsidy." Not quite the same thing, but perhaps a little salve to the dreadful wound.

    • Pat 2.5

      Why oh why do they insist on shooting themselves in the foot?


      • greywarshark 2.5.1

        Why oh why can you anti-people not expand your minds about this Green Party move. Nothing you have ever thought of up till now has saved us from getting to this end moment in our world's and country's progress/regress. You set too big a store by your ethics, values, standards or whatever you choose to call them.

        There are broad principles to steer by, but sometimes it is better to include something that may be different than Green Party principles. They aren't a church, po-faced about humanity fitting in with its dicta; the Greens are a Party trying to turn things around for people AND the planet so both have a future that is not dire. They need our support and our help not our pin-pricking platitudes.

      • Robert Guyton 2.5.2

        How is that shooting in the foot?

        • Peter t

          Like Robert, I’m intrigued to know who all the outraged "Green voters" withdrawing their support will now vote for…

          • Peter 1

            No one.

            • Peter t

              Very constructive….. Not.

              • Sabine

                well, it is a choice tho.

                the beige suits of all parties in government can abstain and it is counted as a vote. Why are people supposed to choose between useless, corrupt and uninspired?

                That is how i see the parties, Labour – mostly useless, National, mostly corrupt, and the greens – mostly uninspired.

                oh because y'all are afraid of Judith Collins? Wow, now that is really not a good 'please vote for Labour or the Greens' point.

          • Andre

            As late as June, I was fully expecting to vote Green. Now I really don't know, it's likely I've tipped over to Labour.

        • Pat

          Before i move to my reply you can dial down your knee jerk Green Party defence…the foot belongs to the Gov.

          Read the 'company' promo.that targets the international monied cliental from the international market…it will never be available to the local kiwi kid down the road….FFS, if you are incapable of recognising the appalling hypocrisy of funding this project when both public education and health providers are decrying the lack of resources then you are delusional.

          These types of mindless decisions will cost the incumbents far more votes than Judith and Gerry's carping about Covid

          • Robert Guyton

            The funding doesn't come from the education budget, does it? Nor the health budget. It comes from the budget that's for job creation and infrastructure development in response to Covid 19. Seems appropriate.

            • Pat

              Good grief…it dosnt matter where the funding comes from…it comes from the public purse.

              Tell that to the state school teacher that cant get a teacher aide to assist with severely dysfunctional students because resources.

              This is a private venture that seeks private profit from offshore…let them fund it

              • Robert Guyton

                "Tell that to the state school teacher that cant get a teacher aide to assist with severely dysfunctional students because resources."

                What would that achieve, Pat? The money for teacher aides comes from a completely seperate budget which will not be affected at all by the spending from the one being considered here. They are seperate, unconnected issues.

                • Pat

                  Therein lies your problem Robert….you are thinking like an accountant….voters will not separate the funding streams (and nor should they) …its a question of priorities and funding the desires of the offspring of the (offshore) wealthy dosnt trump the basic needs of the locals

                  • Robert Guyton

                    But we thoughtful commenters on TS will seperate the funding streams, won't we?

                    • Pat

                      personally no…if theres funding available it should go to the area of greatest need first…and private schools for the children of wealthy foreigners (even if climate conscious) are way down the list of needs

                      But even more importantly will be how the state employed educators and the parents of the students view it…and theres a lot more of them

          • Robert Guyton

            "it will never be available to the local kiwi kid down the road"

            A successful "green" school, one that blazes the green-learning trail, risks being a front-footer, trials programmes for the first time, produces well-greened learners who will go out into the world better equiped to mend the environmental and social harms we are experiencing now, will benefit "the local kiwi kid down the road", or at least will potentially, in ways that haven't been discussed here at all. There's been a great deal of outrage at the perceived exclusiveness and privilege involved, as is to be expected from Green supporters; we've always hated on private schools, but perhaps we might pause a while to hear The Greens rationale for their decision, what their decision was, how large the part they played in the decision and whether they had considered the sort of reaction that's evident here.

            • Pat

              If its going to be a trailblazing success then it wont need public funding….certainly when there is so much need in the state education system.

              you are clutching at (synthetic) straws now Robert

              • solkta

                yeh lets just stay in the green change slow lane. No need for anything but the market really. oh..

                • Pat

                  If the Gov wants to speed up change to a "Green economy' then there are a million more effective things they could do (that they are not)

                  • solkta

                    It is not Green led government. If you want that then you need to help them get a lot more votes.

                    James had to pick something greenish from a pile of "shovel ready" projects. The money could be spent on more roads instead.

                    • Pat

                      "It is not Green led government. If you want that then you need to help them get a lot more votes."


                    • Pat

                      How pray tell does lavishly funding a private educational venture WHILE restricting support to a desperate public education sector grow the Green Party vote?….I would suggest the effect is the exact opposite.

                      However as stated earlier this is not confined to the Green Party

                    • solkta

                      So you think that the Greens should have said to Labour "no we will withhold support for your stimulus package because we can't see any green shovel ready projects that fit with our sensibilities"?

                      If this is not confined to the Green Party then why have you been so quite about Labour?

                    • Pat

                      "If this is not confined to the Green Party then why have you been so quite about Labour?"

                      Suggest you do some research

              • Robert Guyton

                An innovative school with an deep green kaupapa, perhaps the deepest in the country so far, shouldn't get enthusiastic support from The Green's?
                And, to quote weka:
                “Labour candidate for New Plymouth Glen Bennett said the announcement was important for the Taranaki economy and job creation.

                He said although it is a private school, the funding wasn’t taking away from public schools as it was an investment in infrastructure rather than education.

                “The expansion of the school will bring more students and their families into Taranaki, adding to our economy.”

                • Pat

                  the kaupapa is debatable…and the support dosnt need to be financial

                • In Vino

                  I don't want to niggle, Robert smiley but you sound suspiciously like one of those apologists for Charter Schools at times…

                  • Robert Guyton

                    I'm not at all, In Vino, nor do I gratuitously support funding a private school. I'm simply saying, let's see what The Greens say before we condemn or applaud them. I generally trust the actions they take and recognise that they are constrained, directed and thwarted by their coalition partners, so when something like this comes up and the pile-ons begin, I like to keep my powder dry till I can see the whites in the eyes of whoever is at the centre of the issue. So to speak.

                    • In Vino

                      Yep – I see your point, but I was also noticing echos from the past.. (Not your echoes.)

                      I really hope James can do a good job of explaining this.

                      Who else will I vote for? Only the least of all evils that is assured of getting over 5%, ie, Labour. But that will be only to keep the Nats out. Not because i have found something better than the Greens.

    • weka 2.6

      "The alternative is possibly worse. James has turned traitor and has decided to torpedo the last political party that had any semblance of a social conscience."

      Co-leaders of the Green Party don't have that kind of power.

      • Robert Guyton 2.6.1

        "the last political party that had any semblance of a social conscience."

        Commenters here are pulling their support over this issue, for "the last political party that had any semblance of a social conscience."

        Who then, will they vote for?

        • weka

          snort. The left has long wanted the GP to be the left's political conscience. Should have supported it better while it had the chance. If the GP has gone mainstream, that's because that's where it's getting support from.

        • weka

          "Who then, will they vote for?"

          Oh dear, Labour thought it was a good idea too.

          SIMON O'CONNOR/Stuff

          Labour candidate for New Plymouth Glen Bennett is pleased with the announcement.

          Labour candidate for New Plymouth Glen Bennett said the announcement was important for the Taranaki economy and job creation.

          He said although it is a private school, the funding wasn't taking away from public schools as it was an investment in infrastructure rather than education.

          “The expansion of the school will bring more students and their families into Taranaki, adding to our economy.


          Slim pickings now for those in pursuit of purity.

          • mac1

            The citation is wrong at $117 million. No wonder we get false news. It should be $11.7 million. It's on a par with Sir Joseph Ward's 1928 election gaffe misreading 70 million pounds borrowed over 10 years to become 70 million pounds borrowed in one year. Factors of 10 do matter!

            • Andre

              $11.7 million appears to be correctly used throughout the article.

              Decimal points tend to get left out of URLs. Presumably because they have meaning to the software, rather than just being another alphanumeric character for making a name.

              • mac1

                Thanks, Andre, for the URL explanation. It's like reading headlines only? In this case, I did read the article. (The URL writer could have left out the .7 and just stated 11 million, surely?)

                • Andre

                  Looks like stuff URLs are just the headline with all punctuation stripped out. That would be easy to write code to do automatically. It would take a bit more work to write code to determine that something isn't a full stop but is instead a decimal point and strip out the numbers after it.

                  • mac1

                    This is done automatically without human supervision of the end product? No-one to proof read and approve?

                    • Andre

                      Quite likely.

                      Just as well I'm not a headline writer for Stuff. I'd be trying really hard to see what kind of unintended consequences I could get to show up in the URLs.

          • Gabby

            Who owns this school?

          • Robert Guyton

            "He said although it is a private school, the funding wasn't taking away from public schools "

            Some of the arguments against this project are being snuffed-out as the day progresses..

            • weka

              it's a principle of the thing thing I think. Which I agree with, just not convinced this was the Greens' idea.

            • Sabine

              Nope, it is still taking form the taxpayer who may or may not have children in private schools to fund a private for profit business.

              the best these guys should get is a wage subsidy when next the country goes to lockdown level 4. Nothing more nothing less, like any other business in NZ.

              • Robert Guyton

                That's right, Sabine. I too baulk at the spending of public money on private projects such as this. However, the story has not been fully told by those most closely involved, so I'm reserving my ire or praise until I know the details, hear it from the horse's mouth, so to speak. If only others would do the same but I know as well as any other that this is the period of wild reckonings and snappy responses online whenever there's a political event, such as this is purported to be.

                • Sabine

                  i actually don't care about these guys sitting down now trying to fix up a narrative to make this pig look less like a pig with smeared lipstick all over the place.

                  We have homeless in this country, this 10 million could have done a great job of building some hovels for these guys.

                  We have a lot of unemployed people currently , and we will have more at the end of this week, month , year with nothing to replace these jobs in the near future.

                  we have a shortage of lab staff, testing station etc, and this money could have done great there.

                  But we are wasting it on a school for a supposed green wash that the children in my family will never go to because we can't afford the 'private school fees' nor yours as you too will be too poor. In the meantime the girls in south auckland don't go to school cause their schools don't have funding for female hygiene products and thus when they are menstruating they stay home. (and don't tell me of the courageous little scheme of providing a few schools in the waikato region with a few tampons to feel good, cause ain't good enough)

                  So for what its worth, the leader of the green party can throw a ten liter bucket of green color at this and it will still stink to high heavens and it will cost the Greens more then the labour party and thus it was dumb.

                  dumb. tonedeaf. smug. dumb.

                  • solkta

                    So why aren't you venting at Labour? Do you support any "shovel ready" projects in the stimulus project?

  3. Muttonbird 3

    Farrar watch:

    This morning, David has two of his special stats driven posts. In one he claims a private Green School is being funded by the Green Party to the tune of $100,000/student and nearby state schools just $330/student.

    In the other he claims high speed rail between Hamilton and Auckland would require platforms 750m long. He bases that conclusion on a claim the cost of capital for the project would be 6%.

    Now, Twyford isn't a very good politician and I shook my head when he released this rail study the other day knowing that the likes of Farrar would jump all over it, but…

    here's an article which examines "the ways arguments using quantitative analysis fool people into accepting misinformation to suit particular agendas".

    The public's inability to spot BS, presented often in the guise of statistical analysis, is an increasing threat to democracy in a data-driven world, according to the author of a new book.

    "Question the source of information – who’s telling me this – and how do they know it, and what are they trying to sell me?" (the author) says.

    I immediately though of our friend on the far right, David Farrar, who regularly uses his special form of statistical analysis to spread BS for political purposes.

  4. Anker 4


    I am proud of NZders. According to this poll they see through the unrelentingly media reports and realise how lucky we are. Last might N Z had slipped even further down the covid metre to 143.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 4.1

      Thanks for the link to those heartening poll results anker.

      "Overall trust in the Government’s handling of the pandemic had slightly declined following the Auckland community outbreak and subsequent lockdown, but remained very high – falling from 82 per cent in mid-July to 79 [± 2.7] per cent in late-August."

      Rather than join the team of almost five million, our opposition National party's main election campaign strategy under Collins' leadership is to undermine public trust in the Government. In normal times this would be politically pragmatic, but in these extraordinary times it just comes across as small-minded, and more than a little dangerous to us all.

      Ross, Falloon, Walker, Woodhouse, Boag, Bridges, Muller, Collins – it’s all about trust.

      Watch those eyebrows folks.

      • JO 4.1.1

        '…in these extraordinary times it just comes across as small-minded, and more than a little dangerous to us all.' yes

        I've been wondering when the campaign strategy from this version of the National Party will come across as dangerous enough to define as treason.

    • Anker
      "It also showed that 64 per cent of those surveyed back the Prime Minister to handle the pandemic in general, compared with 18 per cent for Judith Collins. Over a third (36 per cent) of those who said they voted for National in 2017 now backed Ardern over Collins."

      The election is all over bar the shouting….unless there is another serious Covid outbreak.

  5. Descendant Of Smith 5

    If you didn't believe blacks got treated differently to whites by the police in parts of the US these two videos are mind-boggling in showing that they do.

    This white guy shoots three people at least, the public are telling the police he is the shooter and the police ask the shooter, still holding his gun, for directions to the injured and tell him to get off the road.

    Warning: It does show him shooting people but not in a bloody, gory way. It is simply shocking.


  6. Im right 7

    No Weka posting defending her beloved Green Party, must be awaiting instructions on how to spin this….although it's going to be a tough sell to dance on the head of that particular pin.

    Ohhh look, Judith has done this/said that…will do this/do that!

    Now, has everyone forgotten about the money donated to that private school by the Greens yet?

    Answer: NO!

    [lprent: Idiots who don’t read the policy about falsely ascribing hidden motivations to authors are never right and are to be despised. You know better – so this is your warning.
    Banned for 2 weeks. ]

    [You were supposed to be permanently banned (see https://thestandard.org.nz/daily-review-12-09-2019/#comment-1654747). However, somehow this didn’t happen and I have now rectified the situation – Incognito]

  7. Rosemary McDonald 8

    "No worries, we've got this."


    Ground troops armed with (I hope) tasers arrest violent and dangerous criminal with the assistance of the Eagle helicopter.

    Comforting that this footage exists for the Constabulary to promulgate…we'd hate to think that we were not safe.
    (btw. The criminal is a car thief ffs, armed with a torch. Did he want to get court?)

  8. logie97 9

    The loudest noises about attrition as a result of the pandemic have come from the hospitality industry. The tourist industry, despite its cries of desperation and predictions of doom and gloom in the beginning, appears now to be enjoying steady times and has become less publicity seeking.

    I would have thought that the hospitality industry is actually a "nice to have." Eating out is certainly not an essential and as for that coffee and muffin, at least one of our service stations, does a pretty good job of satisfying a craving for caffeine.

    We often hear the patronising calls for those on meagre incomes to practice a bit of disciplined shopping and "relearning" cooking at home on a budget. Perhaps those same lecturers should spend a little more time using their eye-level ovens and ceramic hobs rather than feeling the need to be waited on. Eating out in the 70's and 80's was a treat and the sit-down coffee shops a novelty.

    • Stephen D 9.1

      In the fullness of Covid Time, there will still be cafes, bars and restaurants. They just will owned and staffed by different people. Your breakfast coffee and muffin will be safe.

      Nature, and capitalism abhors a vacuum.

      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        Eating, food are the main areas providing employment in a stripped down economy such as ours after opening our borders to all comers has socked our small enterprises on the chin. I don't know what you do logie 97 but does it involve thinking kindly about our country and the rest of humanity here besides yourself.

        • logie97

          I do not wish to add fuel to the fire. I commented here as a result of comments sought by the media from those in the hospitality industries as a result of Level 3 in Auckland. On Monday I wrote the following comment on TS and is the context I put today's comment.

          quote… Various media channels have sought the views of business leaders in Auckland to what the affects of extending Level 3 'til Sunday will be. And Chamber of Commerce Barnett appeared to be reading from a prepared-script-of-anticipation. Also spokespeople for the hospitality industry, in unison, have said that it is going to be catastrophic and that there will be massive permanent closures as a result.

          I hope the media channels will seek these same people out again in a fortnight or so to get their assessments and to check if their predictions were anywhere even close…unquote

          I hope this clarifies somewhat.

    • Sabine 9.2

      it is a nice to have that employes hundreds of thousand people in this country via direct employment – chefs, baristas, waiters/waitresses and then down the line, butchers, bakers, grocery stores, council fees, government fees, taxes in form of GST, Payee and so on and so forth and pretty quickly you have a huge segment of hte working population making a living of it and then you might ask yourself, is it really only a nice to have.

      Mind for everyone not working in this industry and making a living of it, it of course may matter not that these people are slowly but surely all losing their jobs, and for a while to be – considering that Covid (or any other pandemic) will be with us for a while. But it they may start re-considering or else try to apply their 'nice to have' to any other industry they may consider 'nice to have'.

      One of the industry that i think is nice to have but that could go the way of the dodo would be the booze makers and shops that sell it. Why? I don't drink. 🙂 Also, female hygiene products, i don't need them, surely they are only a nice to have, people can use toilet paper. Doctors, a nice to have thing, for those that can afford it. Schools, ditto i don't need them, nice to have now go away. Roading, i like trains, so fuck roading. Nice to have but not needed, we have rail. 🙂

      If we were to look at everything as a nice to have vs, something that was created by others to earn a living, we might end up all in ditch with no food, cause nice to have ….but i don't want to pay for it.

  9. Incognito 10

    So-called green entrepreneurs are Darth Vaders who have succumbed to the Dark Side of Capitalism and Class War.

    The binary thinking is strong with people; there is no sensing of the good underneath and behind the mask (persona). Showing or experiencing both sides is a sign of weakness and needs to be stomped on; 100% pure is the Holy Grail.

    Only when you integrate both sides, you become whole. At least some in the Green Party are further down the track with this than others are but they are despised for it and it could lead to their downfall and that of the Party.

    If the Resistance is too strong then any attempts at integration and transcendence will be met by defensive mechanisms and (overly) aggressive hostility against change. In such cases, it is best to leave people be and get on with their lives as they know it [no pun] AKA BAU or SSDD and provide them with some illusory control over (their) existence.

    It is my lifelong struggle – journey is too neutral and uphill battle too aggressive & destructive – to accept things as they are rather than the way I want them to be.

    • AB 10.1

      "It is my lifelong struggle …"

      Thanks for that. In my dotage, I find a quick dip into Montaigne will usually furnish a useful aphorism or quotation to help in that struggle. e.g. "..not being able to govern events, I govern myself."

      • Incognito 10.1.1

        My self-governance is … a shambles. I need a new leader.

        • Robert Guyton

          Rest assured, your new leader will be the same as the old leader smiley

          • greywarshark

            Ah, but the leader from within can emerge gloriously like a phoenix. And that is what is needed from thinking old people, to find the reserves, the depths, to nurture a new shoot and be reborn so to speak.

            It's a spiritual thing and grows on experience, hope and belief out of the muck all around and past all the toxins till it can find light and flower. And I am talking about reality here. I think this is happening. I read books about others' experiences during past times of difficulty, and wonderful people arose strongly and amazingly.

            So keep going, you have the reserves if you have come this far and the difficulties encountered will only sharpen your steel – to change images and similes etc.

            …dotted everywhere,
            Ironic points of light
            Flash out wherever the Just
            Exchange their messages:
            May I, composed like them
            Of Eros and of dust,
            Beleaguered by the same
            Negation and despair,
            Show an affirming flame.

            1/9/1939 W.H.Auden

            • Incognito

              I’m afraid any phoenix would suffocate in my tiny mental cage. I think it is better to wait until the cage has rusted away enough to pulverise into rusty-brown dust. It may not happen in my lifetime.

              • greywarshark

                We all have to go Harry Potterish. In the books Harry and all the Hogwarts kids had to just adjust their minds and walk though a brick wall to get to their railway platform. I think I know its number so hope to see you there.

        • The Al1en

          I don't know about his politics, but that Ray White bloke has loads of hoardings up all over the place, you could vote for him to take over. lol

          • Incognito

            You mean sell my soul to the highest bidder? That would almost be as bad as voting for the Green Party 😀

            • The Al1en

              He'd probably get more votes than those idiot conspiracy theory parties soon to be favoured by the fringe faction of the ‘Dafydd left’ ™

  10. Muttonbird 11

    Mike Hosking is a right wing breakfast radio shock jock who is an angry mouth with all teeth and no tongue for wisdom.

    – Willie Jackson

    "Angry mouth" Hosking. I like it.


    • Chris 11.1

      I wouldn't even call him a shock jock. He's just an idiot.

    • Patricia 2 11.2

      I heard the interview and thought it was downright bullying. MH spoke over Jacinda and didn't let her finish sentences. It was a very disturbing and accusatory interview. Then later in the week speaking to Grant Robertson there were no challenges at all ; all very chatty and matey. MH was subdued and almost submissive. Maybe he doesn't like women in positions of power ?

      • Muttonbird 11.2.1

        You can be sure he doesn't like women in positions of power. Particularly ones who don't subscribe to his peculiar view of the world.

      • Anne 11.2.2

        The Hosk went too far with Jacinda. I bet ZB was inundated with complaints. He was told to pull his horns in or else? Robertson got the new Hosk which might, if we're lucky, last a couple of weeks.

        • Muttonbird

          As angry mouth Mike's voice gets smaller it grows more desperate.

          He'll quit ZB in the event of a Labour led government. They all do.

    • Robert Guyton 12.1

      " finding a local manufacturer who could reproduce the original sweatshirt…"

      • Chris 12.1.1

        I mean the original one.

        • Andre

          The now-famous sweatshirt also belonged to Glendining, who had kept it from the 1990s.

          Different world now. If it was from sometime in the last decade, where it came from might be relevant. But its actual origin is far enough removed from Swarbrick and other current Greens that it can only be of interest to tragic obsessives. And trolls.

    • Patricia 2 12.2

      Can remember similar Green sweat shirts on sale down at the Vic and Cook Street Markets in the good old days. Local people working hard all week manufacturing the shirts and they'd all be gone over the weekend. Very flexible market in those days ; demand dictated the sweat shirts that would be made over the next week. Not many people wandering round in National or Labour shirts in those days.

  11. ScottGN 13

    The fact that National chose the day that the Christchurch mosque shooter is getting sentenced to launch their small business policy probably tells you everything about how they think it’s going to go down with the public.

    • Patricia Bremner 13.1

      Total insensitivity and dissonance from Judith and c/o. But to be expected….cuts for workers, ruin Kiwisaver, and then……. who has this magic money to spend in their businesses?? ….same old tired failed policies that saw people living in cars.

  12. PaddyOT 14

    Nats' small Business plan announced.

    The new sales spin ," we won't be raising taxes."

    Judith's new expert Goldsmith running finance ; the doctor of history digs up old policy, snips pieces here and there and glues them back into a new piece of policy.

    Seems Judith guarantees she won't be gone by lunchtime because there won't be a lunchtime.


    • mac1 14.1

      On a trip to the home of the Labour party in Blackball, I saw a reference to the miner's strike on the issue of a 30 minute crib- a 30 minute lunchtime for the workers.

      National want to return to the 19th century and starve-all stuff all worker's rights.

  13. Corey Humm 15

    I've only been able to vote since 2011 so I'm not sure how labour in govt campaigns vs labour in opposition, but is there going to be any policy manifesto or announcements or is the manifesto the same as 2017 until all of it gets made law?

    It's becoming incredibly frustrating and depressing that labours not releasing policy it seems arrogant.

    Unless labours not running on policy so when they make reforms they can say oh we never said we wouldn't do this , this and this but I feel like it's more they are afraid to release policy because they are so polling so well that releasing policies could turn some people off.

    • lprent 15.1

      It’s becoming incredibly frustrating and depressing that labours not releasing policy it seems arrogant.

      It isn’t arrogant. It is a political reality for the major parties in a MMP environment.

      This was also the case for the arrogant National party in 2011, 2014, and 2017. You can find posts here deploring the arrogance of the government party not releasing substantive policy going back to 2007.

      You can also find comments running back through to the early 1990s in the usenet forums like alt.politics.nz.

      I’d point out by way of comparison that so far the National party policies this election have mostly consisted of bullet points and a few reasonably vague paragraphs promising to reconsider things at some point in the future. All of it uncosted and with vague promises of money appearing out of thin air.

      Mostly it is the minor parties that release policies – mostly because they know that they will never have a chance to do more (at best) than try to add a few of them in a cut down form to a coalition agreement.

      The major parties know that

      1. They can’t promise anything with certainty when they are almost certainly going to have to trade parts of it to make a coalition agreement(s).
      2. NZ governments are almost completely exposed to massive risks from unexpected offshore problems. That is because we are a trading nation with a tiny local economy. The last time I worked for a company that did more than 10% of their business inside NZ was in 1995. I’ve worked for 5 private sector companies since then. Most profitable companies in NZ, and therefore their employees incomes, are directly or closely directly exposed to offshore winds – from export prices to exchange rates in exports and imports. Making policy decisions at a government level when you’re guessing at overall revenue (taxes and fees) and costs (like welfare rolls) is largely an exercise in futility. You only have to look at effects on our local economy and government of the covid-19 in 2020, the GFC in 2008, the twin tower bombings in 2001, the Asian market ‘flu’ in 1997-8, etc etc over the last 30 years to see this.

      3. That anything concrete that major parties promise as policy has to be vague and surrounded with caveats that look like dithering to simpletons. Besides, if it is a 10 year project as most of them are, and the government is unable to deliver in a 3 year term, it will be spun as a ‘broken promise’ for the headlines. So why bother announcing policies that can be measured against that daft and short-sighted yardstick.

      So there is no incentive to make any concrete promises beyond minor ones and vague hand waving about longer term ones. Those kinds of concrete policy announcements really belong back at the era of a completely controlled economy with border tariffs, limits on the amount of money you could take or send off shore, and very very limited export industries (essentially the farming sector with limited processing).

      The National party just indulged in their typical waving of hands with roading projects that will take decades to pursue to completion, are known to have incredibly bad returns on investment (as in they cost vastly more than they could ever return), and have no funding sources as it would exceed revenue targeted at the NZTA. They were clearly made up on the back of a envelope targeting the more stupid voters in their favoured electorates and with nice sound bites for even thicker journalists like Mike (the moron) Hosking.

      The probability of any of those projects ever happening is extremely low. Is that the kind of ‘policy’ you’d like – useless pie in the sky for the credulous? Will that make you satisfied as a policy announcement? You’d have to be as thick as pigshit (or a died in the wool National supporter) to be satisfied with that.

      Personally I prefer what Labour has been doing. Making policy announcements, giving timetables and budgets for them, about what they are planning to do over the next few years. Then pointing out directions where they’d like to head. There are a lot of the latter around. You can find them on the Labour party website, or the Greens website, of the NZF and even the Act website.

      What you will mostly see on National’s website isn’t policy. It is just slogans for news headlines saying we’ll remove this regulation, or we’ll throw $4 billion at something without saying where they’ll fund it from or even why it is important in the future a decade down the line. It really is hard to see National has any policy at all. But I guess that could just be because they have have had 3 radical shift in their dithering direction in the past months and haven’t managed to write any coherent directions. They sound like your kind of ‘policies’.

      Perhaps you should invest in getting yourself a slightly better political and economic education rather than whining about something that hasn’t happened for decades. Then at least you won’t sound quite so much like a political dimwit.

  14. greywarshark 16


    A union representing medical laboratory workers says members taking part in partial strike action are being sent home without pay.

    The company, Southern Community Laboratories, says none of those suspended are involved in Covid-19 testing.

    But the union says employees who have been working long hours and extra shifts testing Covid samples are affected.

    More than 700 workers at private laboratories around the country have issued strike notices for a 24-hour full withdrawal of labour from Friday, 4 September.



    Five people associated with the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship have tested positive in the last two to three days.

    Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield urged anyone who was at the services held at the church on Stoddard Road on the 8, 9 and 11 August and a wedding on 7 August to isolate and seek a test.

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