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Open mike 28/04/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 28th, 2022 - 126 comments
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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 …

126 comments on “Open mike 28/04/2022 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Greens unite with National & ACT against Labour:

    MPs from across the House, including National, ACT and the Greens say backbench Labour MPs – who make up the majority of members at most select committees – are actively blocking parliamentarians from accessing information from officials. They say this gatekeeping is undermining the job of the Opposition and obstructing democratic debate.

    Opposition MPs say this has been an ongoing issue, since Labour won a majority at the 2020 election… National had recorded 19 instances so far.

    Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick​ said she tried at every meeting of the Finance and Expenditure Committee, for six months, to get a briefing from Treasury and the Reserve Bank on how the two organisations forecast house prices.

    She had the support of ACT and National’s Nicola Willis, but Labour successfully blocked the request as it has a majority. Swarbrick said it made no sense for MPs to be that concerned about discussions or releasing information.

    Willis and Swarbrick teamed up to try to get the briefing, with the deputy National leader saying Labour’s committee members needed to act in the public interest: “There shouldn’t be anything to hide here.” Swarbrick said there had been agreement from the entire Opposition that Labour appeared to be getting in the way of the free flow of information.


    Is this really something to get excited about? I mean, Labour acting like a bunch of control freaks is nothing new, right? Why would anyone seriously expect Labour to be democratic? The Louisa Wall saga reminded us how they operate – closed shop tactics are an integral part of their tradition. If Chloe is serious she'll have to persuade the other Greens that authenticity is paramount. Some of them would then realise that discriminating against women is undemocratic. Could be a cat-fight…

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Eurocrat control freaks are being threatened by a dangerous radical who has successfully infiltrated their system:

    The European Council – the body of EU leaders – is “from a democratic point of view, a monster” and “totally dysfunctional”, she says. The European Commission is “shamelessly protecting” autocratic governments, over enforcing the rule of law. And the European parliament, the veteran MEP thinks, “is not playing its role within European democracy”.

    The European Peace Facility, which is funding weapons for Ukraine, she points out, is neither scrutinised by the European parliament, nor national legislatures. Instead, a group of member state officials meet behind closed doors to sign off its annual budget and accounts. In ‘t Veld supports EU funds to arm Ukraine, but thinks more transparency is needed: “So we are spending €1.5bn [£1.24bn] without democratic oversight on weapons and I think that’s a very good illustration of why we need a drastic and quick reform of the European Union.”

    Such views don’t make her very popular, even in her own group of centrist MEPs. She recounts one colleague “really shouting at me” for “attacking” the commission. While in ‘t Veld supports the EU’s Ukraine policy, she doesn’t think MEPs should stop asking difficult questions: “Since when is parliamentary scrutiny considered to be an attack? I think it’s an attack on democracy if there is no parliamentary scrutiny.”

    It is an argument she makes in a recent book, The Scent of Wild Animals, which calls for a radical overhaul of how the EU works.

    When the commission was recently found guilty of maladministration by a European watchdog over text messages von der Leyen had exchanged with the chief executive of Pfizer at the height of the pandemic, while negotiating billion-euro vaccine deals, the European parliament did nothing. “Can you imagine any other leader of the government or the executive doing this and the national parliament being mum? I’m just totally shocked. I don’t know what to say,” said in t’ Veld. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/27/totally-dysfunctional-sophie-in-t-veld-on-the-eus-relationship-with-democracy

    Her problem is being outnumbered by those who believe in normality. When it has always been normal to view the controllers as a privileged caste, it is unthinkable to enforce accountability on them for misbehaviour.

    But she doesn’t see any government supporting the fundamental changes she advocates. “It matters what kind of European Union they are advocating: I see no move anywhere in the member states to go for a more supranational European Union, more democratic.”

    In part, the debate is an old fault-line: should the EU be led by powerful Brussels-based federal institutions, or is it a club of member states, where national capitals take the big decisions, with the commission as a secretariat. Today’s EU is a mix of both, but the intergovernmental idea, championed by the former French president Charles de Gaulle decades ago, has been in the ascendancy for at least twenty years.

    Research shows that the commission is less likely to take wayward member governments to court than in the past, highlighting the sway of national governments over Brussels. “The commission doesn’t want to piss off the member state governments,” contends in ‘t Veld. “And that is sort of the end of everything: you can pass as many laws as you like, but if they are not being enforced then there is no rule of law, because then everything becomes arbitrary.”

    To counter this, she argues the commission needs to be more independent of national governments.

    She's on the right track but needs support from others. It's a redesign problem, and when complex systems have to be reconfigured you get a big intellectual challenge to grapple with. Looking on the bright side, Brexit & Ukraine have signalled loud & clear that the old guard are deadwood.

    • Ad 2.1

      Dennis, why don't you read the actual book and report back?

      Otherwise it's just your usual bitching and moaning about bureaucrats when you really don't know what you're talking about.

      I'm not sure why anyone thinks that elected-bureaucratic niceties are going to be observed when the EU has been under active attack since BREXIT, has dealt with stupendous refugee crises without any outside help, has just come through a 1-in-100 pandemic, Russia actively at war on the east, deep political shifts to authoritarianism in multiple states, the gas now cut off to two key eastern states, and its two key trade partners in US and China in deeper conflict year by year.

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        I'm not sure why anyone thinks that elected-bureaucratic niceties are going to be observed

        Well I can't speak for anyone, but I'd hazard a guess that they would default to normalcy – as bureaucrats normally do! The prevalent syndrome being when in doubt, pretend that normalcy is the best way forward. I thought 30 years of climate-change denial amply proved that point.

        I agree that a string of crises ought to provoke them into crisis management mode, at least, even if as an evasion strategy to avoid structural reform. No sign of that shift, right? Or if you have seen evidence of it, do let us know. So I believe the mind-set of the ruling Eurocrats is locked into defence of their citadel. They don't want a lifetime of empire-building to be wasted. That's why the woman is complaining – she just doesn't quite realise yet how inertial the opposition is.

  3. felix 3

    'Inevitable that the system would operate unjustly': Grounded Kiwis fight against MIQ ends in High Court win – NZ Herald

    "In her decision, Justice Jillian Mallon found New Zealanders' rights were infringed: "In some instances in a manner that was not demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society."

    Not that it will bother the nasty little authoritarians who haunt this site and blindly support the govt in every instance, but it should bother anyone interested in living in a free democratic society.

    No, it doesn't mean the judges don't care about people dying, it means the government came up with a terrible way to prevent people dying.

    The government needs to be better.

    • mpledger 3.1

      Having a lottery system was the fairest way to let people in (with a separate route for emergencies).

      It would have been impossible for MoH workers to read, *verify* and rank around 10,000-15,000 people's reasons every round. (Verification being important because, if the pandemic has shown us anything, it's that some people think the rules don't apply to them even when other people's lives are at stake.)

      All that would have happened is that those with the most resources or most social capital would have been able to write the best sob story and get through the system the quickest. And that maybe in-line with how democracy works in practice but not how we'd like it to work in theory.

      • mac1 3.1.3

        "those with the most resources or most social capital would have been able to write the best sob story".

        That was how the media saw it, anyway.

        Now, it's a game of "let's get picky" after the decisions that had to be made immediately, on best advice, (but no months of internal memos), and made conservatively (in the sense of conservation of life and health).

        The best analogy on how they should be treated is that of recent after-match comments made on refereeing decisions, by losing captains, stroppy half-backs and sideline coaching parents.

      • Craig H 3.1.4

        Totally agree, and it would have become a debacle very quickly.

        Since MIQ was handed to MBIE, this work likely would have followed it, and MBIE probably would have leaned heavily on the immigration model (for good or ill) because of the short time frames involved and need to get something up and running quickly. Imagine the joy of having a points system like the current Skilled Migrant Category for residence applications…

      • Bearded Git 3.1.5


      • Jilly Bee 3.1.6


      • Muttonbird 3.1.7

        Great response. This government was true to their values and used a model which made sure that everyone was treated the same regardless of their abilities and resources.

        Entitled people hate that.

    • Peter 3.2

      Unfortunately Government and government departments are peopled by people. People have different perspectives and make different decisions than others even though factors and circumstances they have to deal with are the same.

      What I think I've learned from the covid situation is that if different people were in charge, e.g. Chris Bishop and Michael Woodhouse, (with whomever as their PM) things would have have been dramatically better than what eventuated. Across the board, in all facets.

      Mistakes would not have been made, no person would have been able to say "unfair" and every single person who wanted to come into the country would have been able to do so in very timely fashion.

      We would have tired of the daily media festivals of delight about the rapturously happy they'd sought out.

      The lawns at Parliament would not be needing refurbishment. As it is, hopefully they'll be in fine condition so that Liz Gunn, Charlotte Bellis and others don't muddy their shoes when they're there for the 'Accountability Gallows Gala' when those who weren't up to handling covid, and demonstrably set out on inhumane paths get their just desserts.

      Is that it?

      • mac1 3.2.1

        Different perspectives is right, Peter.

        My perspective has changed as a fit man in his Seventies, who is in day 5 of covid isolation.

        I am thankful that we were given time by concerted government action, based on scientific evidence and social responsibility, to be better protected by double vaccination and a booster shot.

        My perspective as an older person is further affected by the prospect of the winter warmth payment starting in May, as my tomatoes and other plants begin to wilt in the colder nights. It is enhanced by the increase in superannuation. The government increasing the minimum wage has the flow-on effect of increasing the Super payment based as it is on the average wage.

        My perspective as a parent and as an older citizen is rejoicing that my children and those of others had a chance also to be protected against Covid.

        My perspective as a New Zealand citizen is grateful and appreciative of the government's actions regarding such issues as covid and social security payments. It's reassuring to know we have a government that cares, and acts; to know that we will not be brushed like crumbs from the tables of the callous rich.

        Politicians should recognise this voice. It is the voice of our seniors, a major part of the voting body politic.

        • Adrian

          Well said Mac, and sorry to hear about the Curse of the Covid, is there anything you need? Id drop off a few Rose's if I thought you could taste it!. Good luck to you two.

          • mac1

            Thanks, Adrian. At the moment it's a 4 Hoick Day, but Mrs Mac1 is now sprung upon the general population after her week in situ.

        • ianmac

          Well said Mac1. You speak well for us too.

        • Patricia Bremner

          yesyes 100% Keep up rest between activities and fluids All the best.
          Two friends aged 83 and 80 have recovered after a couple of weeks and said they were told if they had not had those three injections they might not have . All the best Mac1.

          • mac1

            Thanks, Patricia. All good so far. Enough breathlessness to understand why the infection can proceed to hospitalisation. I'm a fit, hill walker- or was- but at 72 wary of the advancing age of body systems.My brain was always middle aged, a Swiss fellow Uni student once informed me as a teenager.. You're still remembered, Al!

      • Bearded Git 3.2.2

        Brilliant Peter.smiley

    • Ad 3.3

      The judge finds a lot more than that.

      Unless the judgement is appealed right up to the Supreme Court, Crown Law and Parliament are going to take little notice.

      They will also not take notice of the rights tested by the vaccine mandate if the government refuses to have anything but an IPCC investigation into the Wellington Parliament occupation.

      This government is doing an excellent job of suppressing debate about all kinds of BORA rights that were tested over the last 2 years. They are just doing a general tidy-up before Budget.

      And unless the judgement is appealed, they are going to get away with it.

      • alwyn 3.3.1

        Who do you think is going to appeal this? Surely it would have to be the Government who are the ones to be found at fault?

        Why would there be anyone else who needs to appeal?

        • Bearded Git

          Correct Alwyn.

          I think the court got this wrong-in fact it is in cloud cuckoo land. It should be appealed by the government.

          The Court is wrong to think that it is practical or even possible to rank 10,000-15,000 people every few weeks as to who should enter the country first based on largely subjective criteria, and where the "entitled travelers" are likely to make things up in order to justify entry.

    • AB 3.4

      The "nasty little authoritarians" are actually those individuals who believe their right to travel supersedes someone else's right to freedom from a potentially deadly virus. They are simply claiming the authority to over-rule the rights of others. Rights are always limited and negotiated – anything that is unlimited and not negotiated is not a right, it is a claim of absolute power.

    • Jimmy 3.5

      You gotta have a home. Anyone with a NZ passport should have been allowed to return to NZ and the government should have enabled this. They would obviously have to isolate on arrival and be tested. But it is just wrong to make people 'stateless'.

      • mac1 3.5.1

        Jimmy, remember that there were a million Kiwis overseas who might have wanted to come home. The question then was how to test, isolate and accommodate up to 1 million people……..

      • Craig H 3.5.2

        That was the original model when the borders first closed, but enough people didn't fully comply with isolation that the government saw it as necessary to set up MIQ to manage future compliance. MIQ wasn't perfect by any stretch, especially early on, but it still managed isolation compliance better than self-isolation did.

    • Temp ORary 3.6

      I posted this link yestereve, but obviously not read by you Felix:

      The exact orders the judge will make have yet to be decided. The parties have 14 days to agree on the words of a declaration, or the judge will decide it at a later date…

      “We have long acknowledged the difficult trade-offs we’ve had to make in our Covid-19 response to save lives and the effects of those decisions on all New Zealanders, particularly those living abroad.”

      The judge’s decision was being carefully considered, {Hipkins} said.


      As someone with enough health issues to be eligible for the earliest vaccine rollouts, I am glad that this government was putting lives before convenience last year. Even if I wasn't, I'd hope I'd have sufficient empathy for the vulnerable people in Aotearoa to support these decisions.

      But anyway, it's all still a bit up in the air at the moment. We'll hopefully see in a couple of weeks what specific orders and declarations have been decided upon – and whether these will be appealed.

  4. No, it doesn't mean the judges don't care about people dying, it means the government came up with a terrible way to prevent people dying.

    I am sure you are right (not).

    I am more sure that in the history of the pandemic the response of the Government to keeping the population of NZ currently in NZ safe in the face of unprecedented danger of death will rightly be seen as the humane and people focussed response it was.

    The court case of Grounded Kiwis and that one to do with the mandates will be seen as interesting footnotes.

    I am sure that in the washup of the response that anything that could be an improvement will be taken from all manner of reviews and judgements, including this one.

    We are lucky we had the Govt we did.

    The alternative would hardly bear thinking about with the lack of focus on people and the overarching focus on business and big high flyer mates.

    • Anne 4.1

      Good response Shanreagh and a necessary one. Thank-you.

      When you consider this government had to make monumental decisions in the bat of an eyelid, then it is amazing there have not been many more 'teething troubles'. No-one anywhere had any real guidelines to follow since the last pandemic was over 100 years ago in another age.

      I find it amusing and frustrating that critics of the government's and ministry's response to the pandemic use the 'benefit of hindsight' to undermine all the positive outcomes which is internationally recognised as one of the best set of Covid outcomes in the world.

      Ms Charlotte Bellis, who I understand was party to this court case, lost all credibility in my eyes when she mischievously attempted to malign the Covid minister, Chris Hipkins by claiming he had smeared her and violated her privacy in one of his press statements. It was a blatant lie and all too obvious to anyone who took the trouble to read the statement in question. Imo, anyone who goes to such lengths at a time of a raging pandemic is never to be trusted at any time.

      • mac1 4.1.1

        And well responded yourself, Anne. The days of the 'ready reckoners' should be numbered and social influencers should return to street corners and be restricted to the range of the unamplified human voice.

        The naysayers should be well examined for their evidence and their motivations.

        The media does have a role and I hope that an unfettered but fair media evolves in NZ again, based on journalism skills of research and enquiry, The 'Gotchas' should be directed at the issues and arguments, not at individuals.

        Such a media is an important leg in the democratic giving us trust that those accountable are so held. But it ought not be a forum de minimis, a whinge-session, a daily show on a par with games, quizzes and comic presenters.

        But why oh why were we subjected to a full-on scare hunt recently on TV on a subject of low importance affecting few-indeed, a topic so trivial that I can't remember what it was. Bloody covid brain!

  5. Rosemary McDonald 5

    And while we seem to be (hopefully) entering a period of post- Covidpanic reflection and are beginning to look at how governments reacted to the crisis…what was done and what should have/ could have been done differently…this paper has emerged from academia that discusses in some depth the The Unintended Consequences of COVID-19 Vaccine Policy:Why Mandates, Passports, and Segregated Lockdowns May Cause more Harm than Good

    Before y'all do the usual kneejerk reaction and write this off as another anti-vax, conspiracy theory rabbit- hole generated pseudoscience crap piece you might want to bear in mind it received funding from the respectable Wellcome Trust.

    The general thrust is that vaccine mandates …

    …are scientifically questionable, ethically problematic, and misguided. Such policies may lead to detrimental long-term impacts on uptake of future public health measures, including COVID-19 vaccines themselves as well as routine immunizations. Restricting people’s access to work, education, public transport, and social life based on COVID-19 vaccination status impinges on human rights, promotes stigma and social polarization, and adversely affects health and wellbeing. Mandating vaccination is one of the most powerful interventions in public health and should be used sparingly and carefully to uphold ethical norms and trust in scientific institutions. We argue that current COVID-19 vaccine policies should be reevaluated in light of negative consequences that may outweigh benefits.

    It is well worth downloading the pdf and reading the paper entire. Don't be put off by the thirty odd pages…much of that is references.

    And our very own PM gets a mention… alongside Blair and Duterte.

    I stumbled across this when Youtube suggested I might be interested in this 2 hour discussion amoung the authors that clearly demonstrates the researchers very real and founded concerns that the draconian population- wide mandates may very well have undermined, ( read destroyed) trust in Public Health agencies and governments well into the future.

    • Descendant Of Smith 5.1

      I'm not sure where the voice of many of the vulnerable are in this. Those restrictions gave many the confidence to be able to shop, etc when needed.

      I contrast this with friends in the US in areas where COVID was rampant who basically didn't leave their house for two years and have everything delivered and sanitised.

      It seems some peoples freedoms i.e. to travel the world trumps those that actually have to live here and can't afford such luxuries. The risk of catching COVID for many would have been much worse than planned and organised lockdowns and a sense we were in this together.

      • Rosemary McDonald 5.1.1

        The paper focuses on vaccine mandates.

        The imposition of which destroyed the we were in this together vibe.

    • RedLogix 5.2

      Thanks Rosemary. Have read this – a balanced appraisal. Lessons to be learned.

    • "Restricting people’s access to work, education, public transport, and social life based on COVID-19 vaccination status impinges on human rights, promotes stigma and social polarization, and adversely affects health and wellbeing."

      I'm guessing that dying of Covid would affect heath and wellbeing even more.smiley

      To state the bleedin' obvious, the vaccine mandates were necessary to get 95% vaccinated. This has been borne out by the fact that around a million idiots in NZ who had the first two doses have refused to get the booster/third dose (necessary to protect against Omicron) because this was not part of the mandate.

      • Rosemary McDonald 5.3.1

        Did you read the paper Bearded Git…watch the discussion?

        Do you understand that there always have been quite specific populations who were early on identified as being most at risk of serious illness and death from Covid? For the overwhelming majority of the rest of us Covid was always going to be largely at the most a nasty cold.

        And you do understand that 'forcing' an obviously non- sterilising 'vaccine' on those not at risk from the disease on the pretext that it will prevent infections was a monumental error?

        Most folks have an aversion to being lied to. Noble or no.

        • Incognito

          Perhaps you can give us examples of sterilising vaccines, without scare quotes, and explain to us the point you would like to make.

          Perhaps also you can give us examples of who was ‘forced’ in NZ to get the vaccine.

          FYI, mandatory vaccination because of the nature of one’s job is not forcing vaccination. Your language is misleading, but you already know this.

          Lastly, how many in NZ die of a ‘nasty cold’ [see what I did there?] each year? Perhaps the numbers are of a similar order as the number of Covid-related deaths? Or perhaps they are nowhere close to Covid-related death stats?

          Perhaps you can give a robust estimate of how many Kiwis would have died from Covid and Covid-related complications in the last 2+ years without vaccination?

          Most folks have an aversion to being misled by biased commenters.

          • RedLogix

            The term 'sterilising vaccine' is a well understood technical term:

            What is sterilizing immunity?

            Sterilizing immunity means that the immune system is able to stop a pathogen, including viruses, from replicating within your body.

            This is manifestly not the case for any of the current COVID vaccines.

            FYI, mandatory vaccination because of the nature of one’s job is not forcing vaccination.

            It might not be quite the same as tying people down and using literal force to inject them, but workplace mandatory vaccination can certainly be described as a very substantial coercion all the same. Essentially you are forcing people to choose between being vaxxed against their will – or relative poverty. Not something I thought I would ever see the left advocating for frankly.

            • Incognito

              Thank you, but I asked for examples of sterilising vaccines. Alternatively, perhaps you can give examples of non-sterilising vaccines other than for Covid-19 and explain why this rendered them utterly useless.

              No, there’s no force against their will and (almost?) nobody was vaccinated against Covid by force. I know a couple of people who chose to leave their profession because of mandatory vaccination in their employment sector. None of these are in poverty but their incomes have dropped, at least in the short term, which you could label “relative poverty”, I guess.

              When my employer introduced mandatory vaccination I objected to the mandatory part. I have mentioned this before here on TS.

              • RedLogix

                Sterilising vs non-sterilising is not a binary black and white. Very few vaccines achieve 100% suppression of replication. Often this does not matter a great deal for many diseases.

                But in the context of an air-born infection, and when most infected people will not be ill enough to be confined to bed – it matters a lot.

                As for mandatory vax – well it's still going on.

                More than 2,500 teachers who have not been triple vaccinated will no longer legally be permitted to work in Victoria onwards from Thursday, April 28, Herald Sun reported.

                This in a sector already highly stressed.

                • Incognito

                  Indeed, so why would anybody want to turn this into a non-sterilising red herring when it is just meaningless without any explanation? Other than to mislead? For example, are flu vaccines sterilising or non-sterilising? If we don’t know what a commenter is talking about we cannot know if they know what they’re talking about.

                  In NZ the Government dropped most vaccine mandates from 5 April onwards. However, the stress it caused in and to certain sectors will be felt for some time still.

                  • RedLogix

                    My second para points to the relevance in the context of COVID.

                    • Incognito

                      Pointing to is not explaining, so this is not helpful in the slightest.

                    • RedLogix

                      I was trying not to insult your intelligence.

                    • Incognito []

                      No need to worry about me. There are many readers of this site, but I happen to be asking questions and not getting any useful and accurate answers. It’s almost as if some commenters here are all too happy raising confusion, doubts and discord but unwilling to provide genuine answers to specific questions, and rather divert & deflect. Are they masking their ignorance or their biased agenda?

          • Rosemary McDonald

            Can you die from a common cold? FYI…this article from The Conversation precedes Covid (out in the world) by a few weeks. Identifies those groups most at risk of dying from a cold…which almost prophetically matches those most at risk of dying with or from Covid.

            How many in NZ shuffle off their mortal coils with a push from a nasty cold? I bet that would be hard to ascertain as I lay odds that not many ending up with one of the forms of pneumonia that can follow a cold were being tested for a particular virus, per se. That might be different now.

            RedLogix has (hopefully) filled in the gaps in your vaccine knowledge and explained what is meant by "sterilising".

            Perhaps you can give a robust estimate of how many Kiwis would have died from Covid and Covid-related complications in the last 2+ years without vaccination?

            No, I can't. I am surprised that our case numbers and associated deaths (prior to Omicron of course) are so low. Most of our cases here in NZ have been Delta or Omicron… for which the Pfizer product offers marginal protection from infection but may very well have prevented severe illness in some people.

            As we can see from the latest data…Omicron seems not to care if you're jabbed or no. The rates of hospitalisation and death with or from Covid are almost at level pegging now between the unvaxxed and the double or triple jabbed. Omicron is ubiquitous. All of us are going to encounter it sooner or later. The absolute vast majority of us are going to survive it. Even us filthy unvaxxed. (Had it btw. Not at all pleasant, but now fully recovered… thanks for asking.)

            Most folks have an aversion to being misled by biased commenters. You just might be a little too close to see clearly Incognito, but bias abounds in these pages. You slap that label on me because I do not fear censure from you lot for presenting research and opinions that do not fit the biases of most of the TS commentators.

            As a matter of interest…did you even read the paper?

            • phill

              I'm sorry, but that is NOT a scientific paper. It is a pre-print, which means it hasn't been peer reviewed or published in any journal. Pre-prints can be interesting but must be taken with a sack full of salt until they go through this process.

              Also the Abstract contained this: "While COVID-19 vaccines have had a profound impact on decreasing global morbidity and mortality burdens, we argue that current population-wide mandatory vaccine policies are scientifically questionable, ethically problematic, and misguided."

              What? Is it scientifically questionable, ethically problematic, and misguided to let lots of people die? This must require new definitions of all of these terms.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                Awesome to get your input phill. You of course read the entire paper…and the references supplied that support their concerns?

                You do understand that it is perfectly acceptable to discuss these issues?

                If the Pfizer product prevented infection/transmission and reduced viral load in the infected there might have been and ethically and scientifically acceptable justification for the mandates.

                Did you miss the bits where it is said that mandating the ‘vaccines’ for those not at risk from severe outcomes from Covid is problematic? Of course,they are not saying that those who are most at risk from Covid shouldn’t get the shots.

                You might want to read it again.

            • Incognito

              The article in in The Conversation is nice but hardly ‘prophetic’, as it based on science and not on some religious faith. It also doesn’t show anything on the actual number (stats) of people dying from or with the cold. So, until this question remains unanswered I can safely assume that very few people in NZ die each year from the common cold and many more have died from Covid-19, so far. Also, the number of hospitalizations of Kiwis due to the cold has not been substantiated. Of note, there’s no vaccine against the common cold.

              So far, nobody has addressed my gaps in vaccine knowledge and explained in clear terms why and how sterilizing immunity is relevant and important in the context of Covid-19 and mandatory vaccination. So, most readers of TS are none the wiser. You brought it up, so why don’t you explain it? If it helps, use the flu vaccine as a comparison.

              You seem not to understand that vaccination does indeed still have a protective effect on severe illness and death even with the Omicron variant although it may be less impressive than with earlier variants. You do state:

              Most of our cases here in NZ have been Delta or Omicron… for which the Pfizer product offers marginal protection from infection but may very well have prevented severe illness in some people.

              and in the next sentence:

              As we can see from the latest data…Omicron seems not to care if you're jabbed or no. [sic]

              Sounds a bit contradictory to me. In my view, it seems highly probable that vaccination has significantly helped reducing the number of Covid-related fatalities in NZ. Natural immunity is now adding to this layer of protection, which further weakens the justification for mandatory vaccination.

              However, you’re correct that many if not most Kiwis are likely to be exposed to Omicron and/or future variants at some stage given the current set of public health measures and overall compliance. I guess Government has decided this is how we learn to live with it.

              How you self-describe your vaccination status and attitude is entirely up to you and they’re your words, not mine (but thanks for trying).

              I query anybody I spot here making dubious, ambiguous, or plainly misleading statements, particularly but not exclusively about Covid-19. I note that I have not moderated your comments in this OM, so perhaps this is your attempt at a pre-emptive strike? Your insinuation of “censure” suggests a strong bias and says a lot about you. For the record, I’m immune against your venom – it can sting and cause a nasty itch, but it doesn’t hurt and certainly doesn’t kill me – the beauty of natural immunity cheeky

              Yes, I’ve read the paper, but I fail to see how this is relevant to this discussion thread. Perhaps I’m not close enough to see [it] clearly?

  6. Molly 6

    Thanks, Rosemary will have a look.

    Did they offer up suggestions on rebuilding trust?

    • Rosemary McDonald 6.1

      "Truth" and "Transparency" get an outing. Bringing back actual science…like naturally acquired immunity is not only a 'thing', but is most often better and longer lasting than 'vaccine' acquired immunity. "Vaccine", because what we have been offered with the mRNA products stretches that definition.

      One author opines that if they had been properly called 'drugs', and the experimental nature of them acknowledged, and proper informed consent was sought from those in the most vulnerable-to -severe -Covid group who could have/should have been given priority access, and full advice given about potential serious side effects then the distrust subsequently generated by the products' failure to live up to the hype could have been avoided.

      I'd recommend a watch of the clip…I have watched it twice now both before and after reading the paper. These are genuine public health academics and frontline workers quietly horrified at this massive public relations catastrophe.

      In another discussion elsewhere about the pandemic response mistakes it was suggested that a good start to restoration of trust in Public Health institutions would be that those guilty of gross mishandling and misinformation should begin by offering us all a sincere apology for getting it so wrong.

      Breath-holding not advised.

      • Anne 6.1.1

        In another discussion elsewhere about the pandemic response mistakes it was suggested that a good start to restoration of trust in Public Health institutions would be that those guilty of gross mishandling and misinformation should begin by offering us all a sincere apology for getting it so wrong.

        So, 5% of the population are into pseudo science, rabbit holes, crackpot conspiracies and willful denial of the real facts. Yet you make a general claim there is "a lack of trust in Public Health institutions and misinformation".

        I have just had a lengthy session of support (time-wise) and assistance from the Public Health institutions after a complex operation, and I cannot express strongly enough my admiration and respect for all involved in the midst of a devastating and stressful pandemic.

        And yet the likes of you and your fellow bully-boy/girl 'five percenters' can do nothing but try to undermine and demean the achievements of so many courageous people (both in government roles and the Public Health Services) who have worked their butts off and saved a great many lives in the process.

        95% of the population have NOT lost trust in the Public Health Service. Imo, its time the likes of you and your fellow travellers were officially hauled over the coals for your grossly inaccurate claims and misinformation.

        • pat

          There may well be "5% of the population are into pseudo science, rabbit holes, crackpot conspiracies and willful denial of the real facts", but there is an increasing cohort that are rapidly losing confidence in NZs health system if the experiences related to me are anything to go by….the young first time mother asked to leave 2 hours after giving birth is reminiscent of the health reforms of the nineties.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Did you read the paper Anne? Did you invest some time listening to the presentations and discussions?

          Didn't think so.

          There is a difference between the Health System (where you were privileged to experience such wonderful care) and Public Health about which this paper is writ.

          Bugger up the public's trust in Public Health and you jeopardize the future health of all….into the future.

          I suggest you source a copy of David Skeggs’ 2019 book on the parlous state of NZ Public health.

          And what is this 5% of which you speak?

          Hmm…have you checked out how many eligible Kiwis have said 'no thanks' to the booster? How about the parents who took their little ones along for their first Covid jab but have said 'no thanks' to them having the second?

          I'll give you a clue…they amount to much more than 5%. And these are the folks who happily rolled up their sleeves for the first two.

          On a personal note Anne…you seem to be one of the many around these parts who believe that because they had a positive engagement with the health system this is the experience of all. And if this is not the experience of all…perhaps it must be at least in part the fault of the dissatisfied patient?

          • Anne

            Did you read the paper Anne?

            No I did not. I stopped reading the stuff you link to a long time ago. Once in a blue moon there might be some semblance of reality attached to an article but not sufficient for me to waste my time wading through them.

            I have my own formal professional science training experience which help me to sort the wheat from the chaff and I know codswallop when I see it.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              Why on earth are you commenting about an academic paper you can't be bothered reading?

              Did you check out how many Kiwis have rejected the booster and how many are not taking their littlies back for a second shot?

              You can't deny the data from the Natrad site.

              Why do you think there has been such a withdrawal from this wonderfully safe and effective Public Health program? Especially with the relentless 'If Covid doesn't kill you Long Covid will make you wish it had…' messaging dished up every day through MSM.

              As a scientist you must be wondering…

              • Anne

                I am not a scientist and have never claimed as much.

                "Why do you think there has been such a withdrawal from this wonderfully safe and effective Public Health program?"

                You are a prevaricator! That is, you distort and mislead.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                New Zealand’s Covid strategy was one of the world’s most successful – what can we learn from it? [5 Apr 2022]

                Otoh there's the Bardosh et al. manuscript that Rosemary is highlighting:

                As we have attempted to show, it may very well be that the risks and harms of punitive public health strategies far outweigh the benefits.

                Guess anything's possible – personally I reckon the overall benefits of NZ's public health COVID-19 elimination and mitigation strategies, punitive and otherwise, outweigh the risks and harms – time will tell.

                Bardosh et al. [Table 3] contains a quote supposedly uttered by PM Ardern:

                If you are still unvaccinated, not only will you be more at risk of catching COVID-19, but many of the freedoms others enjoy will be out of reach….we have managed very high vaccination rates, generally, without the use of certificates but what has become clear to me is that they are not only a
                tool to drive up vaccines; they are a tool for confidence. People who are vaccinated will want to know that they are around other vaccinated people…it is a tool for business”

                The gullible and/or careless may be prepared to accept this quote as accurate, but the "Saint Jacinda" jibe in the source article's title is a bit of a giveaway – "Saint Jacinda backs a two-tier society". As for that article's author: "Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond." Oh dear!

                New COVID-19 Protection Framework delivers greater freedoms for vaccinated New Zealanders [22 Oct. 2021]
                If you are still unvaccinated, not only will you be more at risk of catching COVID-19, but many of the freedoms others enjoy will be out of reach. No-one wants that to happen but we need to minimise the threat of the virus, which is now mainly spreading amongst unvaccinated people.”

                "Academic paper"? Maybe, in time – let's wait for more peer review.

                SSRN is an open access research platform used to share early-stage research, evolve ideas, measure results, and connect scholars around the world.

                • Just Saying

                  The truth is coming out. There have been just a few scientific papers offered to people on the Standard to ignore, but ultimately the truth itself can't be ignored.

                  If you want to see the results of trying to push the river, look at China.

                  But you don't need to look that far away, you can just look here at what a great Labour movement became.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  The gullible and/or careless may be prepared to accept this quote as accurate,

                  Really? It is what it is.


                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Rosemary, your research does you credit. Nevertheless, the PM Ardern quote in the Bardosh et al. manuscript you linked to @5 is inaccurate (the two Youtube videos you posted above indicate that you know this), as is The Spectator gossip columnist's offering (Saint Jacinda, etc. etc.) that Bardosh et al. used as their source.

                    Don't know the personal stance/ideology of any of the authors vis-à-vis COVID-19 vaccine mandates, but the above inaccuracy is just one example from Table 3. Immediately above the Ardern 'quote', Michael Gunner (Northern Territories Chief Minister, Australia) has the following attributed to him.

                    Your personal vaccination status is not relevant. If you campaign against the mandate…If you say 'pro-persuasion', stuff it, shove it. You are anti-vax.

                    Bardosh et al. offer this link (to an ABC article) as their source, but that article doesn't contain the quoted words. Can't be bothered checking the other 'quotes' and 'references/sources'.

                    Imho it would be preferable (and a simple matter) to correct these errors before the opinion is published in a reputable journal, as it's this sort of sloppy 'science' that givs the impression of bias and so undermines public confidence.

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      Did you watch the press conference video? The entire Herald video? Read the speech notes found at NZ Doctor site? The quotes attributed Ardern are largely correct.

                      And as for Gunnar's greatest hits…here it is from the horse’s mouth. Spittleflecked.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Did you watch the press conference video? The entire Herald video? Read the speech notes found at NZ Doctor site?

                    Yes, watched the videos, not that there's any direct reference to these sources in Bardosh et al. In The Spectator gossip columnist's article that they cite, two statements made by Ardern are (incorrectly) mashed together – why? Stupidity? Laziness? Artistic license?

                    Seems we agree that the quotes presented in Table 3 of Bardosh et al. contain inaccuracies and are poorly referenced – don't know about you, but the question that springs to mind is 'Why?', given that I could find the correct quotes, and appropriate references, with a Google search.

                    Here's another example of a (sloppy) misquote from Table 3:

                    "…If they refuse to vaccinate, or continue to leave their home, the village leaders are empowered to arrest them…."

                    This is the correct passage (from the cited Health Policy Watch article):

                    If these individuals refuse to vaccinate, or continue to leave their home, the barangay captain, being a person of authority, is empowered now to arrest the recalcitrant persons, he added.

                    Recalcitrant eh?

                    As for "Spittleflecked", Gunner's not the only one – makes you think.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          95% of the population have NOT lost trust in the Public Health Service…

          Well said Anne – they're not perfect (only human), but your account typifies my experience of interacting with NZ public health staff. There's been no need to rebuild my trust in the services they provide, because I never lost it.

          Feeling sad for those who've lost trust due to a bad experience (which could alter one's perspective), but rejecting consensus expert medical advice is not for me.

          • Nic the NZer

            Its well over 95% still have trust. When a bunch of the protesters discovered they had Covid-19, they of course took themselves off to Wellington Hospital. I did hear about an ambulance being called to a death among assembled anti-vax group, which certainly could have been due to the assembled discouraging seeking medical attention until it was too late. But if the question is for a medical issue would you seek medical treatment from a NZ registered doctor more than 95% of people will say yes to that.

            • pat

              Theres a world of difference between confidence and necessity

            • Rosemary McDonald

              Its well over 95% still have trust. Is this fact, or your opinion?

              When a bunch of the protesters discovered they had Covid-19, they of course took themselves off to Wellington Hospital Again…citation?

              I did hear about an ambulance being called to a death among assembled anti-vax group, which certainly could have been due to the assembled discouraging seeking medical attention until it was too late.

              So much to unpack here. Yes..an ambulance was called to one of the sites a few of the protestors fled to and a person had sadly passed.

              “The deceased is suspected to have been Covid-19 positive at the time of death, but further test results are awaited and the cause and circumstances of death have yet to be determined,” he said.

              I see no mention anywhere that the person had been discouraged from seeking help…perhaps you have a source for your supposition?

              • Nic the NZer

                Rosemary, until the coroner releases a statement that the death involved an unsuspicious accident with a makeshift gallows device, I recon my suppositions about the groups behaviour and advice are more than reasonable.

            • Molly

              "But if the question is for a medical issue would you seek medical treatment from a NZ registered doctor more than 95% of people will say yes to that."

              But that does not equate to trust in the system, necessarily.

              It does mean that between the option of what is offered as healthcare, and nothing, they may choose the offering.

              The quality of healthcare in NZ needs improvement. Patient centred care is often not forthcoming. Unless the spending in healthcare is focused on improving patient service and outcomes, the government can put more in the budget and not improve the provision one whit.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    Here is a brilliant solution for ending the Ukraine conflict.

    In this video, Alfred McCoy points out that, at the start of the conflict, the European Court of Human Rights ordered that Russia desist from its attack on Ukraine. Of course, Russia simply ignored that order, seeing it as a toothless.

    McCoy explains that the one of the concerns for the ECHR is the protection of civilian property and infrastructure. On that basis, McCoy suggests that the ECHR could make a judgement for damages to Ukraine.

    The next step would be for the ECHR to order European nations reliant on Russian gas, to deduct a given percentage (say 20%) of payments to Russia and set that aside in a fund for reparations to Ukraine, to fund the restoration of infrastructure.

    The ruling could also include a ratchet clause. So that the percentage of the reparations payment increases for each week the war continues.

    The problem for Russia is that they have invested a huge amount in infrastructure for gas to Europe. Their choice would be to either cut off gas completely, and lose all revenue. Or to accept the reparations imposition. So, they probably would have little choice but to accept the imposition as Russia is so reliant on that gas income, and has very little way to generate that income from other sources due to the high infrastructure cost and time involved in doing so.

    This proposed solution would also answer the concerns of nations such as Germany that have a high reliance on Russian gas.

    I think a brilliant and creative solution that kills a lot of birds with one stone. Hopefully, his ideas get to the right people.

    • GreenBus 7.1

      don't worry, the great USA said they can supply the gas….

      yeah sure what a joke.

      comrade putin can just turn the tap off for winter,

      gee the germans wouldn't like that aye.

      the west hasn't yet learnt threatening putin doesn't work,

      he's holding all the cards.

      • tsmithfield 7.1.1

        Sure they could do that. The winter is over in Europe now. So, not a problem for a year or so.

        By that time Germany would have made some strategic decisions such as reactivating coal or nuclear power plants in case of such a move by Russia.

        Russia is the one with the most to lose here. If they cut off gas supply, they lose a major source of income for them. They just can't afford to cut the gas supply off for any length of time.

        You are wrong about who is holding the cards.

        • aj

          Russia is the one with the most to lose here. If they cut off gas supply, they lose a major source of income for them. They just can't afford to cut the gas supply off for any length of time.

          Russia, China agree 30-year gas deal via new pipeline, to settle in euros


          EU says pay for Russian gas in euros to avoid breaching sanctions


          • aj


            So, not a problem for a year or so.

            Try 6 months. And "Industry"

          • tsmithfield

            The problem with China is that the limiting factor of gas supply to them is the pipe network that already exists. This could of course be increased by adding an additional pipe line. However this is going to take quite a long time to get set up.

            The other factor that could be a larger problem for China very soon is that the American companies such as Haliburton that maintain the fuel infrastructure have pulled out of Russia due to the sanctions.

            I understand that the pipeline that runs to China at the moment runs through fairly extreme conditions. Hence the likelihood of something going wrong with the system is fairly high. If something goes wrong with the system, it is going to be very problematic for Russia to get it fixed due to the unavailability of expertise due to the sanctions.

        • Bearded Git

          tsmith-nuclear power is far too expensive compared with renewables. (I just love saying this)

          • tsmithfield

            I know. I don't think Germany has huge amounts of options for renewables over there.

            I have been there, and they have large fields of solar arrays, and I think I saw some wind as well. But I am not sure they have enough options to meet all their needs with renewables.

            When I was there several years ago, they were making a big thing about closing their nuclear power plants down. But what wasn't said was that they were substituting that for power from France, which is produced by nuclear power (so I was told, anyway).

            • Bearded Git

              I think solar will become more and more prevalent, especially as power storage improves.

              I read the other day that there are 900 (yes nine hundred) large scale solar projects in the pipeline in the UK and here in NZ a couple were announced last week.

              • Poission

                At the moment 5.49pm NZ the UK is producing 0 gw of 13.4GW of installed capacity.

                Germany 1.19mw of 56gw of installed capacity.

      • Jenny how to get there 7.1.2


        28 April 2022 at 11:41 am

        ….the west hasn't yet learnt threatening putin doesn't work,

        Who's threatening who?

        Russia threatens to launch strike on UK soil over weapons supplies to Ukraine

        Putin's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said the hits could be authorised against Nato member countries' military targets as supplies to Ukraine forces continue.

        By Abigail O'Leary -Mirror News Reporter

        • 11:07, 27 Apr 2022

        "Do we understand correctly that for the sake of disrupting the logistics of military supplies, Russia can strike military targets on the territory of those Nato countries that supply arms to the Kyiv regime?"

        "After all, this directly leads to deaths and bloodshed on Ukrainian territory. As far as I understand, Britain is one of those countries.” [Vladimir Putin's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova]


        • tsmithfield

          The west isn't threatening Putin. They are doing. That is the big difference.

          What is the world to do? Just cower and slink away every time some aggressive country threatens nukes? Where do you think that ends?

          In the end we need to confront bullies with very clear messages about what is unacceptable behaviour.

    • mikesh 7.2

      I see that Russia has refused to supply gas to Poland because Poland apparently doen't want to pay for it in rubles, so I suspect Russia is not all that dependent on the revenue.

      • tsmithfield 7.2.1

        Poland and Bulgaria are chump change. Lets see if they will dare cut the gas to Germany.

        • Poission

          Italians surrendered.

          • Jenny how to get there

            Italians surrendered?


            They should be ashamed of themselves.

            Reminds me of an old joke about the many reverse gears an Italian tank has.

            Europe and Italy will have to endure a little a hardship to ween themselves off Russian oil and gas at some point.

            Well worth doing it now, if it can help stop the war, and save lives in Ukraine.

            Eventually Europe and the world will have to endure more than a little hardship to totally ween ourselves off oil and gas, that is if we want to stop climate change, and save the planet.

            Better Europe begin the transition now. Less hardship later.

          • pat

            The EU is not a united block…indeed the energy crisis may be the final straw.

            • Poission

              Italy debt has blown out to 150% of gdp (2.6 trillion euros) A lot of the rich north was funding this from negative interest rates,these are now interest bearing so we see the issues with Spain,Portugal,Italy and Greece again,as will as the problematic new entrants.

              On the other hand those countries vegetable oil production reserves will be big cash earners.

              • pat

                Italy and debt are permanent bedfellows, but the differing needs/sources for energy continue to create division…..it is not a happy union.

                • Poission

                  Algeria has warned Spain it will cut off its gas if it redirects it to Morocco (which it limited flows to over the Western Sahara arguments)

                  Everyone with a grudge is hanging out their dirty laundry for all to see.

  8. Temp ORary 8

    What is it with these internet celebrities (in their own minds) filming themselves being arseholes in distant countries and posting it online? This isn't quite; filming corpses in Japan's "suicide forest" level bad, but still the cluelessness is astonishing:

    A wellness guru and actor from Canada has made a tearful apology after a video of his naked haka on top of a sacred mountain in Bali fell foul of authorities on the Indonesian holiday island.

    Jeffrey Craigen is to be deported following footage of his performance on Mount Batur, a volcano that is considered holy by many Balinese…

    One complication for authorities is that airlines are refusing to carry him as he is not vaccinated against Covid-19…

    “I didn't even know the words I was saying,” said Craigen. “I was just expressing what I was feeling and I sincerely apologise for any hurt that I gave any Māori people … I apologise to the Balinese people. I apologise to the Māori people. I am very sorry.”

    The head of Bali’s immigration office Jamaruli Manihuruk told AFP that all visitors need to abide by local laws…


    Haere rā ki haere poka noa i roto ki he puia! Just expressing what I am feeling.

  9. dv 9

    With this case I am encouraged to take Lotto to court, cause I haven't won a big lotto prize.

  10. Dennis Frank 10

    Big spender announces her pre-budget plan:

    Woods announced the $1.4 billion package at a media conference in Auckland’s Mount Roskill, alongside Mt Roskill MP Michael Wood and Manurewa MP Arena Williams. Approximately 5400 homes would be built in Mt Roskill, with 4400 in Tāmaki, 3800 in Māngere, 1200 in Northcote and 1000 in Oranga…

    Woods said infrastructure upgrades would "revitalise" the five suburbs through land decontamination work and better water infrastructure. Other upgrades would address flooding issues in Mt Roskill and improvements to walking and cycling infrastructure in Oranga.

    At the media conference, Woods said the Government would "be entering into a formal partnership agreement" with Auckland Council on Kāinga Ora's large scale projects. https://www.1news.co.nz/2022/04/27/govt-announces-14b-infrastructure-spend-for-auckland-homes/

    Anyone know why this was declared now, rather than as part of the budget?

    • lprent 10.1

      Anyone know why this was declared now, rather than as part of the budget?

      The answer was in the article you linked.

      The money for the new infrastructure has come from the Government’s previously announced $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund (HAF).


      The Government’s Housing Acceleration Fund was announced in March 2021 as part of a package of measures that had been intended to address the housing crisis.

      • Dennis Frank 10.1.1

        Right, so the fund was pipelined a year ago and it has taken a year for the detailed implementation plan to get designed & survive internal scrutiny plus amendments, I presume. Fair enough. On that basis, looks like runs on the board for Labour – which is what they're in dire need of right now. yes

        • Jimmy

          What do you expect from a minister of housing that didn't even know what percentage the OCR was when asked by Hosking.on air. And instead said she was more concerned with mortgage interest rates! Someone needs to let Megan Woods know, the OCR will determine the mortgage rates.

          • Dennis Frank

            Depends if she's supposed to know that or not, eh? If H told her he'd checked her job description's ministerial responsibilities, and the govt web page specifying those had "must know OCR" on it, I'd be impressed. Never heard of him actually doing his homework for an interview. Thought he was just hot air.

            • Jimmy

              I would of thought it was implied that she should know the OCR. She is the housing minister earning the big bucks, and even a pleb like me knew it was 1% at the time!

              Its like having an electrician turn up, you sort of expect them to know what the different coloured wires are and which one is earth!

          • lprent

            Someone needs to let Megan Woods know, the OCR will determine the mortgage rates.

            Actually someone should let you know that the OCR doesn't determine mortgage rates.

            Hardly a surprise (even to someone as vague as you usually are) when you consider that the current OCR is about 1.5%, and that the best current floating mortgage interest rates are more than 3x that level.

            The OCR has a very limited influence on the mortgage rate compared to the other factors like availability of funds for the banks to lend, the competition between banks, the riskiness of lending, the current currency inflation rate, the current CPI inflation rates, and even the willingness of customers to take out loans of various kinds.

            The only reason that some 'journalists' like Hosking talk about the OCR is because that is something simple enough for their limited minds and attention spans to concentrate on. Even then, Hosking is a mere parrot – he is repeating the tactic of recently used with effect in the current Aussie election. He doesn't even have the imagination or intelligence to invent his own ideas.

            A housing minister gets more concerned with things like availability of housing, builds ongoing, costs of building supplies, legislation, and the ability of people to afford to get housing.

            These are all topics that professional simpleton like Hosking is barely aware of – because he is more interested in whoever paid for him to spread 'his' opinion last.

            • Jimmy

              "Actually someone should let you know that the OCR doesn't determine mortgage rates."

              Well it is very coincidental then, that every time the OCR increases, the mortgage rates increase, and when the OCR reduces, they go down.

              Yes the current OCR is 1.5% as it increased 0.5% the day after Megan didn't have a clue what it was. I wonder if she now knows it is 1.5% and the banks have subsequently increased their mortgage rates?

              • Incognito

                Are you talking about fixed or floating mortgages?

                • Jimmy

                  Both really, but the OCR has a more direct effect on floating.

                  "How does the OCR work in NZ?

                  The Official Cash Rate (OCR) is an interest rate set by the Reserve Bank. It influences all other interest rates and is, in effect, the wholesale price of borrowing or lending money in New Zealand. It allows the Reserve Bank to meet its primary goal of ensuring price stability for New Zealand."

                  • Incognito

                    Having an effect, direct or indirect, and having an influence is not what you stated @, which is that “the OCR will determine the mortgage rates” [my italics]. Clearly, this is not correct and only vaguely close to being accurate in a very broad generalised manner. You should lose the sloppy wording and sharpen up your language unless you want to be perceived as an ignorant fool who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Given your response @ to Lprent I think you just wanted to take a stab at Megan Woods and your comment suited your biased narrative by twisting truth and accuracy. Being a Hosking clone or wannabe is worse than being an ignorant fool.

                    • Jimmy

                      You are dancing on the head of a pin. I used the word "determine" in comment perhaps I should have used the word "effects" or "influences" but it's pretty obvious that the OCR increasing will push up mortgage rates accordingly. And yes as housing minister, I would have expected Megan Woods to know the rate and was surprised that Mitchell didn't know it either.

                    • Incognito []

                      You’re sloppy and slanted. Mortgage interest rates go up & down independent of OCR and at different times and to different degrees depending on whether they’re floating or fixed and the term of fixing. Competition for market share between banks is another factor and there are other factors too, as Lprent already mentioned. You just choose to act like an ignorant fool and having another dig at Woods. I think this borders on trolling, so make of that what you will – I have my own view and more than happy to act on it too.

  11. Bruce 11

    Interesting doco on where meat comes from and the empires behind the industry.

  12. joe90 12

    Barking end-times nonsense coming out of Moscow.

    …will simply croak

    • joe90 12.1

      Stalin's heir living up to his forebear's ideals.


      In 1932 and 1933, millions of Ukrainians were killed in the Holodomor, a man-made famine engineered by the Soviet government of Joseph Stalin. The primary victims of the Holodomor (literally "death inflicted by starvation") were rural farmers and villagers, who made up roughly 80 percent of Ukraine's population in the 1930s. .


    • Jenny how to get there 12.2

      The Third World War, Special Military Operation.

      "We'll have to conduct a Special Military Operation to demilitarise Nato."

      It seems we will be not having a Third World war after all, only a Special Military Operation.

      Phew! That's a relief.

      Russia’s most famous journalists and “experts”, (ie. all those left not silenced or exiled) don't want to call war 'War'. Even if it's against Nato.


  13. Jimmy 13

    So it was Ormiston Mall ram raided in the weekend, and I just heard on the radio last night there were break ins (or attempted) at Sylvia Park in Auckland and Chartwell Mall in Hamilton.

    Which shopping mall will be hit tonight?

    This really has got out of hand.

    • joe90 13.1

      Epidemic in my burg. A game that doesn't make the news. Kids are putting their exploits up on tiktok and daring others to go one better.

  14. The UK's Covid related deaths are running at a 7-day rolling average of 294. That is equivalent to 107,000 deaths a year.

    All sorted thensmiley.


  15. joe90 15

    It's taken years to expose just a few of the extrajudicial killings carried out by Assad's murderous thugs. It's going to take many more years to expose the true horrors of Assad’s war, his prisons and the conduct of his Russian backers, find the criminals responsible and hold them accountable.

    The rookie militiaman froze in horror as the scene unfolded: a blindfolded man was led by the elbow and told to run towards the giant hole that he did not know lay in front of him. Nor did he anticipate the thud of bullets into his flailing body as he tumbled on to a pile of dead men beneath him. One by one, more unsuspecting detainees followed; some were told they were running from a nearby sniper, others were mocked and abused in their last moments of life. Many seemed to believe their killers were somehow leading them to safety.

    When the killing was done, at least 41 men lay dead in the mass grave in the Damascus suburb of Tadamon, a battlefront at the time in the conflict between the Syrian leader and insurrectionists lined up against him. Alongside piled heaps of dirt that would soon be used to finish the job, the killers poured fuel on the remains and ignited them, laughing as they literally covered up a war crime just several miles from Syria’s seat of power. The video was date-stamped 16 April 2013.


    • Jenny how to get there 15.1

      Thank you Joe for standing up for the people of Syria. Very few have had the courage to do so on this website at risk of being ganged up on and labeled a "head chopper" by commenters and authors, and told to self censor or be banned. On the grounds that our views are ‘irrelevant’.

      I was in Syria in 2010. I spent most of my time helping the Palestinian refugees in the Latakia Palestinian refugee camp. I returned to NZ just before the mass protests against Assad broke out. The Palestinian refugees in the Latakia refugee camp were some of the very first to be murdered by the regime for joining the protests against Assad. Here in New Zealand I sat appalled as I witnessed live feeds of Syrian fighter jets war ships strafing and shelling the Palestinian refugeed camp from the air and sea. Speaking as one who knows, exposing the atrocities committed by the Assad regime against the Syrian people on this site puts you at risk of copping a ban.

      Thanks again for standing up for the Syrian people.



      11 February 2017 at 2:25 pm

      Hero singer throat cut and voicbox and tongue cut out.


      [Sick and tired of you habitually posting mostly irrelevant comment upon comment on the bottom of threads that mention Syria in any way. I’m banning you for the weekend so I don’t have to keep an eye out, and I’ll ban you for a very long time if you ever pull this bullshit again.] – Bill


      14 February 2017 at 6:41 am

      Hero uncle – Dahi Al Musalmani

      [For ignoring moderation and lying about authors…continuing with the same old tiresome pattern of bullshit – 1 year ban] – Bill

      [Take a week off.

      You have dredged up this same shit from 2017 three times before and this is the 4th time. The most recent one was only 2 weeks ago (https://thestandard.org.nz/why-trust-in-the-media-is-declining/#comment-1882559) and you received a Mod note, which you’ve blatantly ignored.

      Next time you dredge it up again and choose to re-litigate previous moderation you’ll receive a ban for a month without warning – Incognito]

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