Open mike 28/01/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 28th, 2023 - 90 comments
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90 comments on “Open mike 28/01/2023 ”

  1. ianmac 1

    Josie Pagini wrote an anti Ardern piece in the New York Times which I found mean.

    But I found this rebuttal realistic.

    Re “The Star Who Didn’t Quite Deliver,” by Josie Pagani (Opinion guest essay, Jan. 25 NYT):

    This piece about Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand shows how easy it is to misjudge public leaders and misthink our role as citizens.

    We yearn for leaders who will be our saviors. So, when Ms. Ardern fails to rescue us from intractable problems like inequality, we think about her as “The Star Who Didn’t Quite Deliver,” as the headline put it.

    The real problem here, I believe, is our expectations. We should expect high levels of competence from our public leaders, not the ability to walk on water. And we should expect citizens to participate fully in public affairs, not expect to be saved.

    Jerome T. Murphy
    Cambridge, Mass.
    The writer is a retired Harvard professor and dean who taught courses on leadership.

    • AB 1.1

      Pagani is terminally stupid but endlessly and undeservedly platformed for no good reason.

      • Anne 1.1.1

        She knows the 'right' people and can be guaranteed to produce an anti-Labour perspective. Adding a young woman who had star status Madam Pagani had always craved for but never achieved, adds grist to the mill.

        Combine the above with a personal grudge against Labour for thwarting her political ambitions then you have a recipe for mischief making and a lot of 'the nasty' at every opportunity.

      • Bearded Git 1.1.2

        There is a very good reason the MSM uses her AB. She is portrayed as "coming from the Left" which of course is bollocks, but in the eyes of the less well informed reader her criticism of Labour carries more weight.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    "I don't hold a hose, mate" – Scott Morrison, 2019 bushfires.

    "My role isn't to rush out with buckets" – Wayne Brown, 2023 floods.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 2.1

      Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his comments, 'I don't hold a hose, mate' during the bushfires wasn't helpful.

      Not helpful…no. And Mayoral new name? "No buckets" Brown ? : )

    • Macro 2.2

      Quite right. His role is to sit in his office and twiddle his thumbs. Being the figurehead of the right faction and he just needs to let them get on with things like feathering their nests. The mayor doesn't actually have to go out and do things. Does he?!

    • tsmithfield 2.3

      To be fair to Brown, maybe he is saying that there are other ways he can be much more effective in his position as Mayor, and that getting out with buckets would simply distract from that.

      When we had the earthquakes in Christchurch, Bob Parker wasn't rushing around clearing debris. But he was seen as highly effective in other ways that certainly helped direct critical resources to the city etc.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 2.3.1

        Did Bob Parker feel the need to say that his role wasn’t to rush out and clear debris? Mayor Brown’s considered (?) utterance seems defensive to me. Par for the course?

        "My role isn't to rush out with buckets" – Wayne Brown, 2023 floods.

        To be fair to Brown, maybe he is saying that there are other ways he can be much more effective in his position as Mayor, and that getting out with buckets would simply distract from that.

        To be fair to Aucklanders, maybe the Mayor could simply have said that, or nothing.

        Is the jury still out on Mayor Brown 'effectiveness'? What a 'leader' – yeah, Right.

        • tsmithfield

          Maybe he thinks that the second part is so obviously true that it didn't need to be said.

          So long as he actually does what he is supposed to be doing and does it well is the key thing in this situation. If he is simply pulling a "Nero" then obviously he deserves all the condemnation that comes his way.

          Though, probably saying his role wasn’t to get out with buckets was a stupid thing to say. Because, it obviously isn’t. I don’t remember Parker ever saying his role wasn’t to clear rubble. He just got on with doing his part the best he could.

          I am not from Auckland, so have no interest in local politics there, other than, I hope Aucklanders get the sort of result from Brown in this situation that we got from Parker.

          • Peter

            Brown knows that every word is going to be interpreted and used however anyone wants. And twisted. That's how a crazed media and public acts.

            The focus is on Brown because it's in his region, in his domain. Which helps see Jacinda Ardern not being blamed or accused of something. Or everything.

            Woe betide her though if there's someone in Mt Albert with a puddle in their front yard and she's not there in Red Bands and carrying a bucket.

            And if she is there helping and there's a photo in the media the accusations of 'media hog' will come thick and fast.

            • weka

              the discussion I'm seeing about Brown on twitter is relatively restrained all things considered.

          • Tony Veitch

            The earthquake saved Parker, a very mediocre mayor, from Jim Anderton, who was streets ahead in opinion poles immediately before the quake.

            Having said that, Parker certainly rose to the occasion.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            "My role isn't to rush out with buckets" – Mayor Brown, 2023 floods.

            "Maybe". I thought that particular comment was tactless and thoughtless.

            If, however, thought went into it, then that would be food for thought, imho.

          • Bearded Git

            You really give yourself away when you try to defend Brown tsmith. Even the Right must see that he is a hopeless case.

      • weka 2.3.2

        When we had the earthquakes in Christchurch, Bob Parker wasn't rushing around clearing debris. But he was seen as highly effective in other ways that certainly helped direct critical resources to the city etc.

        Maybe you didn't see what happened yesterday? The reason Brown is being severely criticised and thus defending himseld is because he was fucking useless and there were hours where he was mia and civil defence didn't get up and running in time because of that.

        I'll drop some links, because NZ twitter were all over it.

        • weka

          pay attention to the time stamps on these

        • tsmithfield

          Then I would agree. The job of a Mayor is to be on top of that sort of thing and make sure everything is happening that needs to happen. That there is urgent communication with key government agencies etc, and to be visible so that people know that the situation is being taken seriously and can have some confidence.

          TBH, from here, the situation looked like a bit of a cluster-fuck, just from what we were seeing about the train network being shut down just before the Elton John concert. Though it didn't take much of a genius to realise, even from here, that the concert wasn't going ahead in that weather.

          That looked like another cluster because, from what I saw on the news, people were turning up for the concert. It should have been cancelled much earlier.

          • weka

            I think there was way more rain than forecasted, but would like to see that confirmed. But yeah, the concert was cancelled long after it became dangerous and then people were trying to get *home from the concert through flood waters.

            It's still not clear to me exactly what the sequence is for declaring a SOE, eg some were saying last night that the Mayor has to do it and he just didn't. Lots of competent and experienced people were commenting on this in real time last night including Auckland councillors and MPs. Even Luxon tweeted telling Brown to declare.

            After the flooding, I'd like a conversation about under what conditions a Mayor can be removed from office. This is a serious, extreme weather even the likes of which Auckland hasn't seen, two people have died, many people are without power and water or have been evacuated. The emergency services are overloaded. And Ak has a incompetent Mayor that apparently doesn't know what to do.

            • Descendant Of Smith

              Local civil defence emergencies are generally declared by mayors or an elected CDEM representative. Ministers may step in if they feel the need but wouldn't normally need to do so.

              Local emergency The declaration of a local emergency can be done in two ways. First, every CDEM Group must appoint at least one member to have the power to declare a state of emergency for all or part of the Group’s area. Second, mayors have the right to declare a state of local emergency in their own district or a ward within that district. When a local emergency is declared, the Group Controller will coordinate the response. He or she may have any number of local controllers who also work to coordinate the response, but at all times they are subject to the direction of the Group Controller.


          • Molly

            I would have expected the official advisors make the call, and the mayor then acts on that advice. Does anyone know if there was an inexucusable delay between advice being received and acted on?

            For context:

            Previous State of Emergency Declarations in Auckland:


            Use Google time search to come up with previous Auckland flooding events and responses.

            One such, with a higher rainfall (one hour):

            New Zealand – Evacuations After 90mm of Rain in 1 Hour Causes Floods in Auckland

            "Fifty to sixty homes were evacuated in West Auckland after flooding struck during the night 30 to 31 August 2021.

            Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said people largely self evacuated and were staying with friends and family. Evacuation centres were also set up. Auckland Emergency Management said any need to evacuate overrides the COVID-19 lockdown rules.

            As much as 90 mm of rain fell in 1 hour. However, Mayor Goff said the flooding was largely unexpected. “We knew it was going to rain… but there was no early indication that this was likely to cause the level of flooding it has.”

            As of 31 August, flooding had affected communities in Kumeu, Huapai, Ranui, Piha and Henderson Valley. Around 12 roads were closed in the area as a result of flooding and landslides. Around 13 people were rescued from flood waters by emergency services who received 150 calls for help. The mayor said fire, police and emergency management services were all coping well and there was no need to declare a state of emergency.

            A total of 208.2 mm of rain fell in Kumeū in 24 hours to 31 August, which is the town’s second wettest day since records began in 1943 and 149% of the August monthly normal rainfall."

            • weka

              I haven't seen a decent timeline yet. The gist from twitter last night was that the Mayor was absent. That was certainly true, and he did blame CD for the delay. I don't think we will know until someone pieces it all together. But odds on it's more like he was absent, his office wasn't doing what was expected, CD got on with what they could do and soon became overwhelmed because the event got much bigger fast, the Mayor was still being useless, and none of it got sorted out until sufficient pressure was on from councillors, MPs, media and SM. That's how I saw it play out in real time on twitter, but it will be a partial view.

              some more context, re the extraordinary nature of the event (and it was fast).


              • Shanreagh

                It is not just about the timing of the Emergency Declaration. People were expecting communication from the Mayor, reassurance, updates, advice, things like to to contact, links to CD sites etc etc. Brown has one idiot quote about getting the rain to stop then silence.

                I was on Twitter last night and about 4 councillors (inc Richard Hills, Jo Bartley and Julie Fairey) stepped up to fill the void, Efeso Collins retweeted every piece of official/Cnclrs info he could find, while several Lab MPs did the same. We had folk like Huhana Hickey, well known disability advocate who seemed to have been up all night trying to get support for things like NZ Sign Language being included in all the messaging. Later on the bunker under the Beehive opened and we had a 2.00am ? press conference from Hipkins and McAnulty.

                Meanwhile not a peep out of Brown. No-one was asking for him the wield a bucket, just show that he was present.

                Then his disaster of a press conference…… before that his stint on Kim Hill.

                Even if he did not automatically think to do these things he has several enormously paid advisers in his personal office who surely should have advised him.

                While we have been spoilt having at ease and empathetic communicators, others can do their jobs of spreading reassurance by actually having notes (Hipkins appeared to have some notes at the Akld presser). Ill at ease folk should steer clear of phones and other things with tiny screens.

                I forced myself to watch him several times though right from the start of the campaign he has sent shivers up my spine, of something, intuition?

    • Roy cartland 2.4

      "It's not my job to talk people outta killin' 'emselves."

      – Chief Wiggum

    • Sabine 2.5

      It is true on the account of both.

      They should however be the ones to supply hoses and buckets to the emergency services so that they can do their jobs.

      Like calling in the the vollies from Ngaruawahia because they have a jet ski to Auckland.

      These floods are not 'new'. Auckland in 2016 had some pretty bad flooding. Edgecumbe a few years ago, Rotorua a few years ago. And a few in the South Island last year and hte year beofre. All it shows that we are still not prepared as people – where are the fixed Evac Centres that people know about? Oh check hte emergency web page that will list them when the emergency is underway? Hope you are charged and have electricity…..! That our emergency services are still understaffed, under equipped, and mostly run by volunteers who hope to god that someone will come and save their own missus/partners/kids/dogncats…….

      These floods show that we don't still and certainly have not in the last 20 odds years given a thought to the changing climate and build anything for it or with it in mind. But then that is not hte fault of the unlikable bloke that got elected 12 weeks ago to Mayor of Auckland. After the city was run by an Ex labour MP and lefty called Phil Goeff.

      Ask yourself, is you town better equipped to deal with 75% of summer rain in less then 12 hours?

    • AB 2.6

      Brown was managed into office by Hooton and Auckland business interests to sell assets, put a stop to growth in public transport infrastructure, prevent densification of affluent suburbs, ignore the implications of climate change, loosen regulations that hinder profit extraction, encourage property development opportunities through sprawl, avoid uppity brown people having any influence, and return us to the 1950s nirvana of easy capital accumulation by the 'right' sort of people.

      • Sabine 2.6.1

        Or you could argue that Efeso Collins did not have the support of the professional left from Labour and the Greens of Auckland/Government in order to secure a victory and that includes the much vaunted juggernaut that is Labour in South Auckland. And by support i mean money, door knockers, etc.

      • Bearded Git 2.6.2

        AB…..Perfectly summed up re Brown.

  3. Mac1 3

    "And we should expect citizens to participate fully in public affairs, not expect to be saved." Thanks, ianmac at #1.

    That's a quote that should motivate us all to get into politics, the whole nine yards of the fabric of political life- voting, campaigns, committees, door-knocking, meetings, pamphleting, putting up hoardings, phone calling, fund-raising, asking questions of candidates, being a candidate, donating, letter writing, even commenting on blogs….

    Even if we expect to be saved, who's going to do that? If anybody, it's us, being politically active and astute.

    • Sabine 4.1

      What do you call Saudi Arabia then? A good friend and ally. But equally deadly to people the regime don't like.

      • Francesca 4.1.1

        And before anyone cries "Whataboutism!", that old chestnut is a synonym for rank hypocrisy and moral expediency

  4. Cricklewood 5

    Pretty massive consequences from the floods for Auckland. 100s of houses are now effectively unlivivable in the interem some for considerable periods which will put massive strain on the rental market.

    Seeing houses around Mt Eden that have had water through them well over 1m deep some are still sitting in it. Entire first floor in some spots. Hate to think how bad it is in lower lying areas.

    Heaps of dead cars as well.

  5. weka 6

    Re Auckland Airport problems in the past day. We're at the point where flying (short and long haul) just shouldn't be happening on scale. If we want to drop GHGs fast, we have to change everything and that includes flying. Keep flying for essential purposes. It's daft to try and fix emergency response systems for airline flights without doing the bigger picture work as well.

    Anyone wanting to argue that flights are a tiny part of GHG's needs to look at the emissions from the whole trip not just what the plane puts out, and understand that commercial flight economics are based on expansion. That means more planes, more airports, more infrastructure, more GHGs. That's why airports are targeted by climate activists.

    • fender 6.1

      What you say makes perfect sense of course, and maybe many affected by this most recent event caused by a warming planet will be more receptive to the major changes that need to happen. But can you imagine the wailing from the cashed-up selfish who see it as their right to roam the planet on their never-ending tours.

      I can imagine a future where everyone is allocated a cap on their allowable air travel but some would determine any kind of restriction to be a North Korean type restraint to their freedom.

      • weka 6.1.1

        I don't know what the solution is there. Some of it is education, too many people now saying flights don't make any difference. That's the same old reductionist rather than systems thinking, so I guess chipping away at that.

        I was a kid when we had carless days, so the concept seems reasonable to me. But the trick would be placing it in within larger system change that brings personal benefits. You don't have to fly to that meeting (zoom), and here's a space few hours off work instead.

        • Herodotus

          In this time, why then do we have governments so determined to have tourism return to a BAS situation, over the last few years was a great opportunity to transition away from tourism and yet efforts are to promote all tourist destinations world wide ??? Is that not a trip to failure ☹️

          • weka

            massive lost opportunity.

            I think it's a mix of the same kind of cognitive dissonance that many people have (politicians and government staff being like the rest of us), and a lack of skill in firstly imagining how it could be different and then implementing it. When I look at the tourism responses in Otago across the pandemic I see the wrong people in positions of power. There are people who know how to transition society, but they're not being given the power to do it.

        • Cricklewood

          The solution I quite like is a progressive levy on international flights. Basically first trip 0 something like 20 percent of ticket for second, 40 percent for third trip and so forth could be much more aggressive with it.

          Easy to track with electronic passports.

          • Belladonna

            And, the levy must be paid by the individual – not the company (or the government). Perhaps putting them into a higher tax bracket might work (amazing how having to pay an extra 5% income tax affects people's decision-making)

            Otherwise all of the costs will simply be absorbed by the company (just as the currently increased airfares haven't really stopped business flying).

            A really serious climate change surcharge ($500+) imposed on every overseas ticket to NZ – would both reduce demand, and increase the funds available for climate change mitigation. [NB: percentage of ticket doesn't work, as overseas travellers will simply travel to Oz, then take a ticket to NZ]

            And, of course, politicians and public servants must not be exempt – some leading-by-example, wouldn't go amiss.

            This means, that air-travel is likely to become the preserve of the very wealthy. From a 'fairness' perspective, how does that sit with you?

            • Bearded Git

              The proceeds of the levee should be ring- fenced for public transport and other unequivocally green uses.

  6. aj 7

    The RAND Corporation is an American policy think tank created in 1948 by Douglas Aircraft Company to offer 'research and analysis to the United States Armed Forces', it's financed by the U.S. government and private endowment, corporations, universities and private individuals.

    In 2019 it published a report on "Extending Russia" and a number of its recommendations subsequently came to pass.

    Earlier this month they released another report "Avoiding a Long War", this highlights what may be required to do this and includes 'clarifying plans for future support to Ukraine, making commitments to Ukraine's security, issuing assurances regarding the country's neutrality, and setting conditions for sanctions relief for Russia.

    For some of us here this is hopefully a step in the right direction towards preventing any further escalation. The pessimist in me says the neocons and warhawks will ignore it.

  7. Maurice 8

    Some of the water blasted into the sky by the Tongan volcano coming back down?

    Up to 4 million tonnes by some estimates!

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

    • weka 8.1

      please provide some back up for your claim. Back up means,

      1. an explanation
      2. a short quote backing that up
      3. a link to the quote

      None of those on their own will be sufficient.

      • Maurice 8.1.1

        The link I had would not cut and paste but it looks like that was an underestimate.

        Have found some more info and it looks like the HUGE amount of water will be around for a while. What goes up comes down?

        “The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai submarine volcanic eruption on 15 January 2022, injected up to 150 Tg of water into the stratosphere. A month after eruption, a distinct aerosol and water vapor layer formed in the tropical southern hemisphere (SH) stratosphere. The water vapor layer is slightly displaced above the aerosol layer at 26 km. These two layers continued to persist in the tropical SH stratosphere until the end of June while slowly moving apart in altitude.

        “The excess H2O could arrive in northern and southern midlatitudes in 18 and 24 months, respectively, over a broad domain in the upper stratosphere. Since part of the plume has entered the lower branch of the BDC, the elevated H2O may reach lower stratospheric midlatitudes within a few months. The timescale for complete dissipation of the plume may be 5–10 years”

    • Drowsy M. Kram 8.2

      Up to 4 million tonnes by some estimates!

      That's an underestimate.

      Scientists are also now taking stock of the eruption's impact on the atmosphere. While volcanic eruptions on land eject mostly ash and sulfur dioxide, underwater volcanoes jettison far more water.

      Tonga's eruption was no different, with the blast's white-grayish plume reaching 57 kilometers (35.4 miles) and injecting 146 million tonnes of water into the atmosphere.

      One year on from massive eruption in South Pacific, the atmosphere is still feeling the effects [25 January 2023]
      This one was a warming volcanic eruption – I’ve never seen something like this, there’s nothing in the literature about that,’ says Sellitto. ‘All eruptions produce some transient cooling of the climate system. This one was warming the climate system.

      Don't know whether that increase in stratospheric water has contributed significantly to the recent extreme rainfall in Auckland (seems very unlikely), but some are predicting a transitory increase in the Antarctic ozone hole.

      Hunga Tonga undersea volcano eruption likely to make ozone hole larger in coming years [January 2023]
      Although the Antarctic ozone hole of 2023 may join its three large and long-lasting predecessors, perhaps with the help of the water vapor from Hunga Tonga, scientists are confident that in the longer term, we will see the ozone hole shrinking.

    • Macro 8.3

      A more sensible explanation is not hard to find.

      Simply put, precipitation amounts are increasing as temperatures rise because warm air holds more water vapor: a 1°F rise in temperature equals as much as a 4% increase in atmospheric water vapor. Other factors can contribute to rainfall, including El Nino and La Nina

      my bold

      • Maurice 8.3.1

        From the link in the comment above it is expected that the Tongan eruption will raise air temperatures – Tongan volcano eruption raises imminent risk of 1.5C breach

        So probably some effect? Certainly coupled with el nino/la nina ….

        • Macro

          Of course increasing the concentration of water vapour in the atmosphere will amplify global warming.

          Water vapor is Earth’s most abundant greenhouse gas. It’s responsible for about half of Earth’s Greenhouse Effect.

          my bold

          • Maurice

            Thought that cows belching and farting was the worst … though 150 million tonnes of water vapour might have significantly more effect!

            • Macro

              Each greenhouse gas has a different forcing

              A forcing is the technical term for any influence that can shift the climate. Greenhouse forcings occur due to changes in the level of gasses that share two properties: they are transparent to visible light, but absorb the infrared, which we typically perceive as heat….

              Although the atmosphere allows most of the visible light through, many of the gasses there—water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, etc.—absorb infrared radiation, converting it to rotational and vibrational energy. This raises the energy content of the atmosphere and thus the average temperature. The more greenhouse gasses present, the greater the chances of the infrared light being absorbed before it escapes into space. Thus, if all other influences are kept constant, increased levels of greenhouse gasses will necessarily produce increased atmospheric temperatures. …

              The impact of greenhouse gasses differs based on their chemistry. Methane is much more potent than CO2, for example, because it absorbs more IR radiation. A gas' impact is also influenced by its lifetime in the atmosphere. Water vapor falls back out quickly as precipitation, and methane is typically oxidized to carbon dioxide within decades.

              Increasing levels of methane from cows belching is still a significant problem for although it breaks down within decades – it breaks down to carbon dioxide – which has a half life of about 120 years in the atmosphere.

  8. AB 9

    People dead in Auckland including being drowned in Wairau Rd, a vile, ugly stroad with a canalised stream in a concrete channel alongside. Many more are going to die equally horribly in future, and many times more will be left destitute as the insurance industry walks away and/or hikes premiums to unsustainable levels. Even wringing the neck of every CC denier won't help now, as so much future change is baked in.

    • Perhaps we should wait and see whether the deaths are actually attributable to the road design of Wairau – or to other causes.
      At least one report that a death was due to kayaking in the culvert…

      I agree that insurers are going to be looking increasingly closely at storm-water/flood-risk factors in Auckland (as they have been in Earthquake risk-factors in Wellington).
      And, that it's possible (or even probably) that some properties in flood plains and/or the bottom of gulleys, may become uninsurable (or at least uninsurable for storm/flood damage).

      The same is going to be true for properties/communities at sea level – across NZ.

      Managed retreat – at least in Auckland – is simply not a viable short- or even medium-term solution. The city is too big, and lack of housing is already at crisis levels. (Long-term, of course, the climate will make the choice for us).

      The government, quite frankly, cannot afford to pick up insurance costs for the whole of NZ. Not can it fund managed retreat for large numbers.
      And, quite frankly. It's hard to see why the taxpayer should fund managed retreat (AKA a free house and land) for a multi-millionaire living on the Takapuna beachfront, or along the East Coast Bays clifftops, or in St Heliers.

    • Visubversa 9.2

      That Wairau Creek is a very dangerous area. When it floods through there, the volume and velocity of the water is extreme. When I worked for Council I turned down applications for sub-divison and development on sites bordering the river because the Development Engineers were saying that safe egress from the proposed sites could not be provided for in times of flooding events. For established, but undeveloped sites, there were requirements for "bridges" to be provided from the new dwellings to the driveways, or some other place on the site where you could get away in the case of a flood.

  9. joe90 10

    Southerly gusting to 40kts, 1 metre S swell with >2M chop.

  10. SPC 11

    Millions of people suffer from long COVID—but why?

    New data may help solve this mystery. Using a specialized lab technique, researchers are now testing patients with long COVID for microclots in their blood.

    “We’re very early,” says David Putrino, a rehabilitation and long COVID scientist. But out of the few dozen samples they’ve tested, 100 percent had microclots.

    Long COVID microclots are more difficult for the body to disintegrate. Although they can’t block arteries or veins, microclots can block the supply of oxygen to organs and tissue

    (above, microclots in healthy blood, left, and a severe microclot in a long COVID patient, right).

  11. tWiggle 13

    Visited that RAND site to check out its political bias. Quite a broad range of articles on social issues in the US, interestingly.

    I wrote a while ago about my feeling that the anti-vax protest movement was probably pushed by bad actors, possibly state, spreading muck to destabilise countries. My eye-opening moment: an immediate pivot I saw on multiple kiwi anti-vax sites, to a pro-Russia view of the Ukraine invasion in late Feb, during the thick of the Parliament 2022 protest.

    The Trumpian Steve Bannon media empire has strong links to Counterspin, of course. Who pays Bannon, though? RAND have a paper analysing generators of anti-vax, anti-pandemic measure memes. It identifies both Russian and Chinese origins for malicious disinformation.

    We have to acknowledge a lot of anti-Ardern, anti-government hate is hustled along by bots until it builds up local momentum. Be interesting to see if a NACT government attracts state actor disruption, too.

    And this is also why I believe some of the anti-mandate stuff was inflamed by outside actors who benefit from a divided country.

    It's not a conspiracy if it's true…

    • Shanreagh 13.1

      And this is also why I believe some of the anti-mandate stuff was inflamed by outside actors who benefit from a divided country.

      Or perhaps not even a divided country but one where a Right wing government can exist.

      Good post.

    • Graeme 13.2

      Microsoft put out a report of their experiences of cyber activity in the early stages of the Ukraine war

      It's a bit of a chew but Aotearoa, and the 2022 Parliament protest gets a mention on P18

      What an updated version covering the last 12 months would reveal, I shudder to think.

  12. Anne 15

    Good God!! So that bimbo is the Deputy Mayor.

    Btw, I’m an Aucklander and am ashamed of the c-grade team at the top. She’s the ex-National Party president Goodfellow’s wife then. Says it all!

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

  13. weka 16

    British GCFs going hard re the self ID rapist 😈

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    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    1 day ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
    1 day ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon acknowledges legacy of Singapore Prime Minister Lee
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today paid tribute to Singapore’s outgoing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.   Meeting in Singapore today immediately before Prime Minister Lee announced he was stepping down, Prime Minister Luxon warmly acknowledged his counterpart’s almost twenty years as leader, and the enduring legacy he has left for Singapore and South East ...
    2 days ago
  • PMs Luxon and Lee deepen Singapore-NZ ties
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. While in Singapore as part of his visit to South East Asia this week, Prime Minister Luxon also met with Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and will meet with Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.  During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon ...
    2 days ago
  • Antarctica New Zealand Board appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has made further appointments to the Board of Antarctica New Zealand as part of a continued effort to ensure the Scott Base Redevelopment project is delivered in a cost-effective and efficient manner.  The Minister has appointed Neville Harris as a new member of the Board. Mr ...
    2 days ago
  • Finance Minister travels to Washington DC
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to the United States on Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Five Finance Ministers group, with counterparts from Australia, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  “I am looking forward to meeting with our Five Finance partners on how we can work ...
    2 days ago
  • Pet bonds a win/win for renters and landlords
    The coalition Government has today announced purrfect and pawsitive changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to give tenants with pets greater choice when looking for a rental property, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “Pets are important members of many Kiwi families. It’s estimated that around 64 per cent of New ...
    2 days ago
  • Long Tunnel for SH1 Wellington being considered
    State Highway 1 (SH1) through Wellington City is heavily congested at peak times and while planning continues on the duplicate Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin Reserve project, the Government has also asked NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to consider and provide advice on a Long Tunnel option, Transport Minister Simeon Brown ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns Iranian strikes
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have condemned Iran’s shocking and illegal strikes against Israel.    “These attacks are a major challenge to peace and stability in a region already under enormous pressure," Mr Luxon says.    "We are deeply concerned that miscalculation on any side could ...
    3 days ago
  • Huge interest in Government’s infrastructure plans
    Hundreds of people in little over a week have turned out in Northland to hear Regional Development Minister Shane Jones speak about plans for boosting the regional economy through infrastructure. About 200 people from the infrastructure and associated sectors attended an event headlined by Mr Jones in Whangarei today. Last ...
    5 days ago
  • Health Minister thanks outgoing Health New Zealand Chair
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti has today thanked outgoing Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora Chair Dame Karen Poutasi for her service on the Board.   “Dame Karen tendered her resignation as Chair and as a member of the Board today,” says Dr Reti.  “I have asked her to ...
    5 days ago
  • Roads of National Significance planning underway
    The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has signalled their proposed delivery approach for the Government’s 15 Roads of National Significance (RoNS), with the release of the State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP) today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to ...
    5 days ago
  • Navigating an unstable global environment
    New Zealand is renewing its connections with a world facing urgent challenges by pursuing an active, energetic foreign policy, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Our country faces the most unstable global environment in decades,” Mr Peters says at the conclusion of two weeks of engagements in Egypt, Europe and the United States.    “We cannot afford to sit back in splendid ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ welcomes Australian Governor-General
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Australian Governor-General, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley and his wife Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, will make a State visit to New Zealand from Tuesday 16 April to Thursday 18 April. The visit reciprocates the State visit of former Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy ...
    5 days ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves for Winter
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour has announced that Medsafe has approved 11 cold and flu medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Pharmaceutical suppliers have indicated they may be able to supply the first products in June. “This is much earlier than the original expectation of medicines being available by 2025. The Government recognised ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ and the US: an ever closer partnership
    New Zealand and the United States have recommitted to their strategic partnership in Washington DC today, pledging to work ever more closely together in support of shared values and interests, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “The strategic environment that New Zealand and the United States face is considerably more ...
    5 days ago
  • Joint US and NZ declaration
    April 11, 2024 Joint Declaration by United States Secretary of State the Honorable Antony J. Blinken and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs the Right Honourable Winston Peters We met today in Washington, D.C. to recommit to the historic partnership between our two countries and the principles that underpin it—rule ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ and US to undertake further practical Pacific cooperation
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further New Zealand cooperation with the United States in the Pacific Islands region through $16.4 million in funding for initiatives in digital connectivity and oceans and fisheries research.   “New Zealand can achieve more in the Pacific if we work together more urgently and ...
    5 days ago
  • Government redress for Te Korowai o Wainuiārua
    The Government is continuing the bipartisan effort to restore its relationship with iwi as the Te Korowai o Wainuiārua Claims Settlement Bill passed its first reading in Parliament today, says Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith. “Historical grievances of Te Korowai o Wainuiārua relate to 19th century warfare, land purchased or taken ...
    6 days ago
  • Focus on outstanding minerals permit applications
    New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals is working to resolve almost 150 outstanding minerals permit applications by the end of the financial year, enabling valuable mining activity and signalling to the sector that New Zealand is open for business, Resources Minister Shane Jones says.  “While there are no set timeframes for ...
    6 days ago
  • Applications open for NZ-Ireland Research Call
    The New Zealand and Irish governments have today announced that applications for the 2024 New Zealand-Ireland Joint Research Call on Agriculture and Climate Change are now open. This is the third research call in the three-year Joint Research Initiative pilot launched in 2022 by the Ministry for Primary Industries and Ireland’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Tenancy rules changes to improve rental market
    The coalition Government has today announced changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to encourage landlords back to the rental property market, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The previous Government waged a war on landlords. Many landlords told us this caused them to exit the rental market altogether. It caused worse ...
    6 days ago
  • Boosting NZ’s trade and agricultural relationship with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay will visit China next week, to strengthen relationships, support Kiwi exporters and promote New Zealand businesses on the world stage. “China is one of New Zealand’s most significant trade and economic relationships and remains an important destination for New Zealand’s products, accounting for nearly 22 per cent of our good and ...
    6 days ago
  • Freshwater farm plan systems to be improved
    The coalition Government intends to improve freshwater farm plans so that they are more cost-effective and practical for farmers, Associate Environment Minister Andrew Hoggard and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay have announced. “A fit-for-purpose freshwater farm plan system will enable farmers and growers to find the right solutions for their farm ...
    1 week ago
  • New Fast Track Projects advisory group named
    The coalition Government has today announced the expert advisory group who will provide independent recommendations to Ministers on projects to be included in the Fast Track Approvals Bill, say RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Regional Development Minister Shane Jones. “Our Fast Track Approval process will make it easier and ...
    1 week ago
  • Pacific and Gaza focus of UN talks
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters says his official talks with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York today focused on a shared commitment to partnering with the Pacific Islands region and a common concern about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.    “Small states in the Pacific rely on collective ...
    1 week ago
  • Government honours Taranaki Maunga deal
    The Government is honouring commitments made to Taranaki iwi with the Te Pire Whakatupua mō Te Kāhui Tupua/Taranaki Maunga Collective Redress Bill passing its first reading Parliament today, Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “This Bill addresses the commitment the Crown made to the eight iwi of Taranaki to negotiate ...
    1 week ago
  • Enhanced partnership to reduce agricultural emissions
    The Government and four further companies are together committing an additional $18 million towards AgriZeroNZ to boost New Zealand’s efforts to reduce agricultural emissions. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the strength of the New Zealand economy relies on us getting effective and affordable emission reduction solutions for New Zealand. “The ...
    1 week ago
  • 110km/h limit proposed for Kāpiti Expressway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) will begin consultation this month on raising speed limits for the Kāpiti Expressway to 110km/h. “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and this proposal supports that outcome ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Awards – Winners announced
    Two New Zealanders who’ve used their unique skills to help fight the exotic caulerpa seaweed are this year’s Biosecurity Awards Supreme Winners, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard. “Strong biosecurity is vital and underpins the whole New Zealand economy and our native flora and fauna. These awards celebrate all those in ...
    1 week ago
  • Attendance action plan to lift student attendance rates
    The Government is taking action to address the truancy crisis and raise attendance by delivering the attendance action plan, Associate Education Minister David Seymour announced today.   New Zealand attendance rates are low by national and international standards. Regular attendance, defined as being in school over 90 per cent of the ...
    1 week ago
  • World must act to halt Gaza catastrophe – Peters
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York today that an immediate ceasefire is needed in Gaza to halt the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.    “Palestinian civilians continue to bear the brunt of Israel’s military actions,” Mr Peters said in his speech to a ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to United Nations General Assembly: 66th plenary meeting, 78th session
    Mr President,   The situation in Gaza is an utter catastrophe.   New Zealand condemns Hamas for its heinous terrorist attacks on 7 October and since, including its barbaric violations of women and children. All of us here must demand that Hamas release all remaining hostages immediately.   At the ...
    1 week ago
  • Government woolshed roadshow kicks off
    Today the Government Agriculture Ministers started their national woolshed roadshow, kicking off in the Wairarapa. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said it has been a tough time for farmers over the past few years. The sector has faced high domestic inflation rates, high interest rates, adverse weather events, and increasing farm ...
    1 week ago

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