Open mike 28/05/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, May 28th, 2019 - 188 comments
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188 comments on “Open mike 28/05/2019”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    Anyone fighting the damming of the Lee River near Nelson?

    This article is very pertinent; Song of Water featuring on  Dark Mountain.


    Here are some snippets.

    "Testimonies given by traditional medicine people in these sacred site cases pointed out that climate change is not the problem, but a symptom of the problem; that species extinction is not the problem, but a symptom of the problem; that in fact all the environmental problems that now threaten the human species are only symptoms of the underlying problem. In half a dozen different court cases across the country, traditional people testified time and again that the air, the water and the land are sacred elements at the core of their religions that must not be desecrated, while the government and business interests made the case that these life-supporting systems can be closed down when there’s a financial incentive to do so. "


    "Time after time, tribal members testified that their worldview recognises the Earth as a numinous presence upon which the fate of the human species depends. On the other side, government lawyers relied on the dominant paradigm of Earth as a soulless material resource, disconnected from the fate of the human species. "


    "The final legal standoff unfolded amidst the ancient redwood forests of the Pacific Northwest, which many consider the crown jewel of North American ecosystems. Even for unbelievers, the overwhelming scale and beauty of 2,000 year-old trees towering 350 feet overhead silences mental chatter and raises the volume on the ineffable. The local Yurok, Karok, Tolowa and Hupa peoples possess a distinct cosmology and an entire way of life centred on listening to that voice. While much of their spiritual life-way remains mystical and secret, they have publicly revealed that their dances, ceremonies and prayers are directed toward maintaining the stability of the Earth and the renewal of all life. A recent scientific study confirmed what these people have long known – redwood forests exert a strong stabilising effect on the climate because they store at least three times more carbon above ground than any other type of forest."


    "The Kootenai case was resolved in an entirely different way. The tribe had a charismatic spokesman in medicine man Pat Lefthand, who thought that Kootenai Falls could speak for itself. He invited the judge to accompany him on a personal encounter with the site, and as the two men walked beside the river, Pat recounted his tribe’s history and described some of their spiritual practices. Then he suggested that the judge sit on one of the rocks below the falls and contemplate the beauty that surrounded him. The lawyer Steve Moore, who represented the tribe along with Walter Echohawk, said that ‘there’s an irrefutable presumption that a license will be granted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In the past 40 years, only three applications out of thousands have been denied.’ Yet in that moment of listening to the waters that had inspired countless generations of traditional people, the judge had a change of heart. Upon returning to the courtroom, he refused to grant the utility’s permit to build the dam."


     "The answer may emerge if Americans in the mainstream culture can begin relating to the spirit of their particular places, as opposed to bringing foreign spiritual practices to those places. The traditional life-ways of the Native Nations based on observations of natural phenomena have persisted throughout centuries of oppression, and remain to this day as guideposts for our imperilled civilization. At this late hour, as wildfires ravage the west, floods inundate the south and east coasts, and heat waves stifle the cities, the people and the courts would do well to listen to them."


  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Climate change and the media (Skeptical Science)

    "As part of its launch, the media consortium, which included The Guardian of the U.K., published a Hertsgaard and Pope essay in The Nation entitled “The media are complacent while the world burns.”

    In that piece, the two authors put forward a series of “preliminary suggestions” under such sub-headlines as:

    • Follow the leaders, “emulate outlets that are already covering climate change well.”
    • Don’t blame the audience and listen to the kids.
    • Establish a diverse climate desk, but don’t silo climate coverage.
    • Learn the science.
    • Don’t internalize the spin.
    • Lose the Beltway mindset.
    • Help the Heartland.
    • Cover the solutions.
    • Don’t be afraid to point figures.

    Their provocative and entreaty-filled ideas amount to the proverbial clarion call to action, in this case for the enfeebled news media to come to the aid of an endangered and in many ways politically immobilized planet, ours."

    • adam 2.1

      Bill said this years ago. 

      The only way out is to stop, stop enabling a system which distroy's.

      Stop working, stop buying stuff, withdraw your support. 


      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        Good start, but is that enough, Adam?

      • Gosman 2.1.2

        In which case why don't more of you do this?

        • Robert Guyton

          It's a suggestion for journalists, Gosman. 

          I'm not sure that Adam's a journalist. I'm a columnist, and do do "this". 

          • Gosman

            I'm meaning the "Stop working, stop buying stuff, withdraw your support. "stuff. I presume that is not related to just Journalists.

            • Robert Guyton

              More of us are doing this.
              Do you think fewer of us are?

              • adam

                Now gossy has buggered off.


                Yes I do think it enough Robert Guyton, late stage capitalism can no longer operate without consumption. Massive consumption, and whilst it can handle about 15% (very rough figure) being weak consumers, it could not handle an extra 5% to 10% actively not participating. If we ever got that % of the population to not consume goods and services for a week or more – our economy as it is constructed, will be stretched to breaking point. That said, I'm also in no doubt that gossy and the die hard devotees of liberalism would start calling for violence at that point. 



                • Pat

                  you do realise the result?….what will be the first thing demanded in a recession?

                  P.S…. Bill was right but I suspect that he decided he was wasting his time

              • Pat

                obviously very few as we still have growth

  3. francesca 3

    The dam was overwhelmingly resisted  by most of the Tasman District. It was one of those issues that crossed over , as the reasons for protesting the dam were many 

    Environmental, social,(the many paying the costs, the few reaping the profits of irrigation)ratepayers finding yet another big idea to pay for, the arrogance of the council and in particular the mayor, riding roughshod over the wishes of the people of Tasman.

    We'd won, when suddenly the council pulled out of its hat a mystery investor, thus reducing the costs to the ratepayers…actually all residents of Tasman , as those who pay rent also indirectly pay rates)

    This swung the vote, and a terrible precedent has been created.

    The costs will rise astronomically and now we're stuck with it, a problem that could have been avoided if the council in previous years hadn't wildly over allocated water in the first place

    Waikoropupu Springs has had better luck with strong advocacy from local iwi


    • Robert Guyton 3.1

      Mr Kempthorne is a deeply Christian man…

      • Matiri 3.1.1

        Mr Kempthorne is not standing for Council again. His job is done…

        • Robert Guyton

          So I hear. He doesn't love the Lee River.

        • Cinny

          Lolz too true and there be my opportunity to add some more info…

          The council didn't listen to the people re the dam, they then leveraged the unusually long dry spell to enforce their choice.  Interestingly during the water restrictions growers and farmers on the Waimea Plains still irrigated, during the middle of the day (yup wtf!).  Think I might have mentioned on here at the time when I saw.

          I really, really hope we have a big clean out of councillors at this years election and get some who do listen to the public over a few farmers and growers who appear to not want to change their business methods to factor in the changing climate.

          kempthorne gave up months ago and tells lies.  Many complaints are made about the council.  As well there are many, many complaints made about the lack of response from kempthorne and his admin when people approach them with issues.  Those are facts.

          Apparently kempthorne is just a puppet now and his deputy and now mayoral candidate tim king has been running it for some time.  That's a fact too.

          My advice to anyone in the Tasman District is, if you really want change and god knows we need it, don't vote for any of the 'old guard'. Many members of the TDC have been there for decades and done sweet fa. 

          tim king has been there for around 19 yrs, no way I'd be voting for him to be mayor, he is part of the problem.

          On the upside, I do hear good things about the CEO, apparently she is lovely and gets things done.

          • francesca

            Certainly at this end one turncoat and one stubborn would-not-listen is for the chop
            Problem is trying to find good candidates willing to stand

  4. adam 4

    It is getting scary,  we could lose the US democracy sooner, rather than later. 

    • ianmac 4.1

      Scary stuff Adam. 

    • Adrian thornton 4.2

      Too late, the US already doesn't abide by any agreement or international law, or national sovereignty and so on and so forth that it doesn't want to already.

      • joe90 4.2.1

        Old men talk, young men die.

        • vto

          Jesus, the parallels with 1930's Europe are frightening.

          And increasing on a daily basis. Another one – Trump using emergency powers to carry out operational business, aka the arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Hitler did this too.

          There will be another example before the week is out.

          Maybe it's worth running a tally

  5. marty mars 5

    The future is here

    Work to clean up landfill rubbish strewn along the West Coast is being axed by the local council for the time being because it cannot afford to continue with the work.

    All those foul polluted rivers and beaches in all those other countries? That is us tomorrow.

    • Sam 5.1

      That's why a price on carbon AND a price on pollution is required. Firstly to get access to land, men and material and 2nd to allocate those resources to areas that lack built up infrastructure. A lot of the pollution, espesseially out on the ocean dosnt have easy access to a ready made workforce close to towns with all the amenities a workforce would expect. With out this financial and structure or function climate policy ends up being haphazard, volinteery and ineffective,

    • Gosman 5.2

      Perhaps if the West Coast local government had greater sources of revenue like from say the impact of mining and forestry investment then perhaps they could afford to clean up the rivers.

      • Robert Guyton 5.2.1

        Perhaps if people living on the West Coast loved the land, they wouldn't have chucked their waste into a hole dug into it. If they loved the land, they wouldn't mine it, nor would they fell the forests.

        • Gosman

          Except the West Coast doesn't have an awful lot else going for it to attract people and investment. Sure Tourism is nice and everything but it tends to be on the lower return side of economic activity.

          • Robert Guyton

            Eventually, they'll explore sustainable activities to support their people and the environment they live in; at least, that's my wish. Clinging to destructive behaviours is not a long-term solution. 

          • vto

            investment investment growth growth… how tedious are those cries… 

            we dont need all that… many people are quite happy having their breakfast in the morning and going about their daily activities. This idea that all must put shoulder to the grindstone to build big business and get growth growth growth – pffttt – it is a myth rapidly being exposed. It is only to support the financial 'system'.


      • marty mars 5.2.2

        thanks gossie – your rwnj solution – create more and worse pollution so we don't worry about the lesser. Brilliant work doofus.

        • Gosman

          Care to explain how else the West Coast can afford to clean up these rivers then? 

          • Stuart Munro.

            Perhaps you should reflect on what will happen to their tourism if they don't.

          • marty mars

            ready – take money from something else and use it to clean it up or don't clean it up and continue with the other uses of the money and accept the consequences. This is a local and national strategy that could do it. DO NOT double down and dig more hole. cut down more trees or hide the truth of our dirty polluting life. Front up and get it sorted. 

            • Gosman

              What will you take more of from on the West Coast given it is already struggling on the economic front?

              • Robert Guyton

                Their reluctance to adopt new ideas?

                • Gosman

                  It is a serious question and one that Environmentalists generally avoid. Previously Tourism was meant to be the great saviour of the West Coast in terms of jobs. However Tourist related jobs tend to be low value and low pay. Now I understand it is meant to be IT related which is at least higher value and higher paid. However I am yet to be convinced that it is a viable option given IT workers tend to like to work in larger more cosmopolitan cities than what the West Coast has to offer.

                  • vto

                    Gosman "Care to explain how else the West Coast can afford to clean up these rivers then? "

                    Answer: They can;t afford to clean it up. So stop cleaning it up. Very very simple. So very simple. Stop.

                    If someone else wants to clean it up then go for it.

                    This is called reality. 

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Gosman – why do you hold "environmentalists" responsible for finding solutions to the West Coast's predicament? It's not they, whoever "they" are who are, demanding change there, it's reality itself, speaking through circumstance (a gouged out refuse dump) and the wider world (coal, it's just not on!). The Coast and coasters will have to figure it out themselves, local solutions to local problems, they know best their own circumstances, or they must ask for help in solving their dilemma.


                    • vto

                      Unfortunately Robert a lot of coasters don't like "greenies". Their local Council reflects this too. It is this very attitude that had led to this problem in the first place, in the same way this very attitude led to the Waiho bridge being taken out in the same storm due to their attitude to rivers and stopbanks… the attitude is mired in colonial pioneering days..

                      Until this attitude to "green" changes then coasters wont "figure out" how to deal with these such problems. Their current answer is more of the same, so they will almost certainly simply dig another hole in the ground, probably beside the last one.

                    • Poission

                      Are you thinking local robert.

                      Tell us your position on the waste tender.



                    • vto

                      Here is something interesting to mull on…

                      I walked the coast immediately north of this river (the rubbish flows north generally) just a month ago.

                      Didn't see any rubbish, despite this being the main beach rubbish zone. 


                    • Grumpy []

                      Probably because the current runs South……

                    • Robert Guyton

                      I always think local, poission. If those good folk are being managed fairly and the business systems are sound, then I wish them all the best and hope they'll keep their jobs; they deserve and benefit greatly from their involvement and engagement in the industry. Though my own council is not part of the decision-making trio of ICC, GDC and SDC, we have discussed this issue at length and depth.

                    • Cinny

                      VTO, yes 🙂 strongly agree, very very well said…

                      maureen pugh is one of them..check out this recent pic she tweeted…. unbelievable.


              • vto

                you give yourself away with the word 'take'

          • Robert Guyton

            Museum etiquette says, don't do anything you can't undo; don't create stores of waste in vulnerable environments if you can't manage the consequents.

      • Wensleydale 5.2.3

        So dirty up the rivers (and cut down trees and gouge vast craters into the landscape) so you can afford to clean them up afterward, while still dirtying them? That's almost Pythonesque in its genius. Your reasoning skills are woefully underrated, Gossie.

      • Grafton Gully 5.2.4

        Trash as raw material for artworks, including found object art.  A positive engagement with their new environment, 

      • Cinny 5.2.5

        Fun fact… maureen pugh was Mayor of Westland District Council and enforced a massive rate hike, driving the Council into quite a bit of debt.

        If there's not enough money in the coffers….why is that maureen?  She doesn't like talking about it lollz.

        May 2013.. Ms Keenan says the council is up to $20 million in debt. Westland District mayor Maureen Pugh has previously said her council's debt is not significant compared with others in the country.

        As well West Coast Regional Council do not believe in climate change….and with mine owners on that Council I doubt they would be asking any mine/forestry owners for revenue to solve such issues as said clean up.

         Jan 2019
        The West Coast Regional Council has been called "idiotic" after saying it will not support the Zero Carbon Bill until the science behind human-caused climate change is proven.

        Mine owner and West Coast District councillor Allan Birchfield, wearing a Make America Great Again hat, strongly opposes climate change.

  6. Adrian thornton 6

    It seems that RNZ has just noticed (again) that New Zealand has a two tier Health system, well worry not….I have a very simple solution that I will guarantee will fix ALL the problems in our two tier health system and would within three election cycles bring NZ the best public health care system in the world…

    Every politician who has a portfolio in a sitting Government, including their direct family (spouse and children) including the Prime Minister has to use the public health care system while in government and for five years after…there you go problem solved.



    • Gosman 6.1

      Umm… how would you enforce this law?

      • Adrian thornton 6.1.1

        Where there is a will there is a way… maybe mandated by citizen driven popular consensus that forces the politicians to be seen as having enough faith in our public health care system that they actually use it themselves…seems only fair and sensible to me.

        Why let people make decisions on something so fundamentally important to the fabric of our society, yet they don't want to use that system themselves? in fact it turns out they trust that system to take care of them and their family so little, that they use a parallel system that they do trust, and can afford to pay for…seems a little strange to me.

        • Sam

          Part of it is technology. The latest cutting-edge MRI machine, plus all the training and techs to use it, is going to cost your hospital muy mucho dinero, and the cost has to be made up somehow. Same with the upgrades to other older equipment. The armies of paper-shuffling functionaries, who exist for no other intelligible reason than to administer the 4,567,345,798,001.2 new regulations, only pumps up the cost even more. Some times it's best to hand it over to the private sector than give it to. A bureaucracy.

        • mac1

          In the book "Viking Economics" the author wrote of the Scandinavian economies in at least some of which the rich supported their health system and were happy to pay the tax required to fund it. It was a public good and they were part of the public. Similarly, their children went to public schools; fee paying-schools were not permitted. Consequently, the schools and hospitals are very good.

          Another way to enforce compliance is to make avoidance a worse option. In London, pollution in the Thames was greatly reduced by the simple rule that water you took for use from the river was sourced downstream from your outflow into the river.

          In other words, you got back some part of what you put in.

          That idea could apply to taxes and public services.

          Popular consensus would also ensure that tax compliance would increase as the Scandinavian model encouraged payment and use of taxation-sourced services. I'm sure there that tax avoiders amongst the well-off would be socially sanctioned at least.

          "Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got It Right-and How We Can, Too" by George Lakey.


    • ianmac 6.2

      Does anyone wonder about the sustained attack on Pharmac?

      Here we have a great system where medicines are purchased on our behalf after due diligence. We should be praising Pharmac for their economical operations. Not condemn them.

      So who is likely to profit by condemning Pharmac, and why? 

      • Adrian thornton 6.2.1

        I agree, it comes down to governmental fiscal priorities, and you can be sure that if those same politicians who are being all hardarse on the spending now, had that health system as their and their families primary provider, that there would be no problem at all with funding, for all facets of decaying health care system…none whatsoever.

        Can you imagine baby Neve having to wait for a month screaming to have her teeth seen too…I think not.

        • Anne

          I understand Pharmac is an autonomous body who make their own decisions around the funding or otherwise of medicines etc. and the government has no input into those decisions. So what has the sarky inference about the families of politicians got to do with Pharmac? They have no more influence than any other person. 

          I think you have used ianmac's contribution to throw some dirt at Jacinda and the Lab. led govt., knowing full well they are not responsible for the deterioration of Public Health services in NZ. One thing we do know, this government will over time be able to turn it around just as they have done in the past.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            One thing we do know, this government will over time be able to turn it around just as they have done in the past.   

            Now that statement absolutely demands evidence.  Citations please.

            (Because Jacinda Ardorn (?) put ‘growth’ at the top of the list of government priorities this morning. A lot of ‘look at what we’ve already acheived’, as well as a reminder that ‘the middle’ has benefited. Oh dear…we were having Key flashbacks.)


          • Adrian thornton

            Anne, Pharmac can only spend what they are allocated to spend….that amount being dictated by the sitting government. and by extension the mother of baby Neve.

            Hardly snarky. more a case of what is good for the gander is good for the goose.

            • Psycho Milt

              Thing is, the funding can't be open-ended, so there has to be a cap on it, and any cap you put on it is an arbitrary figure.  So, the current cap is an arbitrary figure and could be raised if the government chose to prioritise that over other spending. 

              But suppose the government actually did raise the current cap: the cap would now be higher, but it would still be an arbitrary figure and would still fail to cover all the expenditure that people would like to see, which in turn would mean we'd still regularly have sob stories in the media about so-and-so who's being heartlessly murdered by the government. 

              There is no way for society to give everyone everything they want – well, not outside of Iain Banks novels, at least.

              • McFlock

                I would actually like to see some data on that – this isn't a "links or it didn't happen" argument, it's just that if we set some criteria to reasonable treatment options, then what would the total cost be?

                Like if (just for the sake of discussion) we adopted a spreadsheet function that would see if the efficacy and QALY probability was less than a million dollars for each likely QALY. Then one to two million was in a minister's discretion, and more than that was in a "not recommended". 

                So is there any indication that such a system would cost like $50billion a year as everyone demanded the most extreme but marginally-beneficial intervention (or trebled their use of viagra), or would it just be an achievable goal to reach towards? Or does pharmac actually already overreach that hypothetical criteria of "reasonable treatment"?

                I don't have an issue with pharmac, but it is always good to do the math before we argue something is unaffordable.

                • Oh sure, I'd never argue that there's no point in increasing the funding because you can't increase it to infinity dollars.  I just don't see it as being possible to increase it to a point where there'd be no wailing about the government killing people.

              • The Chairman

                @Psycho Milt

                While there may be no way for society to give everyone everything they want and funding can't be open-ended, we could and should be doing more.

                Unfortunately, at the end of the day, the Government deems other matters are a higher priority.

                And for good reason, many are questioning the Government's spending priorities and avenues being taken for new sources of revenue. For example, should we really be gifting so much in foreign aid when we can't look after our own? Should the Government be taxing offshore property investors to bolster revenue, thus expenditure to improve well-being?

              • Adrian thornton

                @Psycho Milt, All I am saying is that it would be very interesting to see were that mysterious cap would be if the people who made those decisions used that same service themselves…quite a bit higher i would hazard a guess.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Thanks Adrian, that's clear. And I like your thinking @6 – would concentrate the 'political mind'!

                  "Every politician who has a portfolio in a sitting Government, including their direct family (spouse and children) including the Prime Minister has to use the public health care system while in government and for five years after…there you go problem solved."

                  And mac1 @ had a good suggestion on how to improve water quality.

                  "Another way to enforce compliance is to make avoidance a worse option. In London, pollution in the Thames was greatly reduced by the simple rule that water you took for use from the river was sourced downstream from your outflow into the river."

                  I like these ideas.

                • It would be an interesting experiment, yes.  I expect you're right – if John Key had had to send his family to the public health and education systems, they would have been funded at a level fit for the scions of merchant bankers (he probably would have stripped the social welfare system to pay for it, mind). 

      • Rosemary McDonald 6.2.2

        Does anyone wonder about the sustained attack on Pharmac?

        You know of course that Natrad veteran Guyon (love him or hate him ) Espiner has recently been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes… …?

        Came as a shock, and I'm guessing Espiner was forced to dive into the turbid waters that is diabetes in NZ. 

        And being a journalist with an inquiring mind he will have done the Dr Google thing to see what is the gold standard international management program for both common types of diabetes that are so prevalent in NZ.

        Then I guess Pharmac slithered into the picture…and really…what do y'all expect?

        It is a system that has had its day in its current form.

        It is still operating like its 1999…

        Guyon intervied Pharmac head Ms Fitt this morning…

        You could very well be right ianmac and there is a conspiracy afoot…someone will profit!

        Or it could simply be that sick folk do google, and the fact that other countries are funding these pharmaceuticals for their citizens cannot be hidden.

        People want to live.  Mothers want to see their kids grow.



        • Psycho Milt

          Yeah, diabetes is a good one (and also something I know about, so am happy to comment on it). 

          Years ago now, Pharmac decided to change the blood glucose meter it was subsidising because there was a much cheaper one available. There was outrage, particularly from the parents of diabetic children.  How dare Pharmac force them to use this inferior Korean product, thereby threatening their children's health, just to save money?  Wouldn't someone please, please think of the children?  

          Eventually my old meter crapped out and I had to get one of the cheapo new ones.  It was notably flimsier and more cheaply-built than the old one, but when I gave it a drop of blood it told me what my blood glucose level was, which is the whole point of the damn thing.  Since then, the health-threatened children have grown up without dying from having to use a cheap appliance and people have accepted that yes, actually the Koreans are perfectly capable of designing and building a functional blood glucose meter. 

          Also since then, Pharmac's had all money it saved on blood glucose meters available for other purposes.  If it had instead listened to all the bleaters with so little drama in their lives they need to invent some, that money wouldn't have been available.  Also since then, I'm suspicious of any attempts to undermine Pharmac, because none of it comes from a good place.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            Also since then, I'm suspicious of any attempts to undermine Pharmac, because none of it comes from a good place.

            Pray tell, oh Wise One, from where are the attempts to undermine Pharmac coming from?

            And you, with you're wee anecdote about how for the greater good you sucked up using the inferior quality blood sugar meter and didn't die!!!!, are effectively calling Kay (and anyone else who could literally die because of Pharmac's reckless decisions) she is a 'bleater' inventing issues.

            Sir, you are an arsehole.

            • Psycho Milt

              … where are the attempts to undermine Pharmac coming from?

              "None of it" was too strong a term, given that I've made no serious study of Pharmac's opponents.  However, the following are fairly obvious:

              1. Pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyists.

              2. Libertarian ideologues.

              3. Irrational people who are outraged that the government won't spend a fortune to extend their grannie's life by a few months at the expense of other illness sufferers.

              4. Irrational people who are convinced that well-intentioned public officials are actually involved in a nefarious plot to save money at illness sufferers' expense.

              There may be other variants, but I haven't noticed them. And none of the above attempts to undermine Pharmac come from a good place.

              • adam

                Wow Psycho Milt did you really need to double down on being an arsehole?

                Throwing in you being a sexist arsehole was a nice touch though. 

                • NB: (disagrees with Adam) != Arsehole

                  • The Al1en

                    Or middle class wanker.

                    Must suck to be a no hope under achiever. 
                    At least you haven’t been told to fuck off back to your own country.
                    So much for “you are us” 🙄

                    • adam

                      Boo hoo poor little  the al1ne, got caught out being a middle class wanker – again… 

                    • The Al1en

                      No more middle class than you are an accomplished debater.

                      As for wanker, we're probably neck and neck, though as I wouldn't be openly racist in this current, or any climate for that matter, you finally get to win at something. Well done, champ. lol

                    • adam

                      What no threats of violence this time? 


                      I know I'm a wanker, but you chump, sheesh. Do you  actually hold onto the belief  that adding a ‘lol’ makes a comment funny – sad.

                      And this coming from the prat who thinks it's ok to call someone a "crippled cunt"

                      What racism, your ultra dumb belief that 'tory land' is a physical reality. Oh please – you sad little prat, crawl back under the party hack rock you crawled out off. 

                    • The Al1en

                      Actually I think it's not right to call someone that, just like it's not right to tell someone to fuck off back to their own country, but you did it, so tough shit all round you nasty little man.

                    • adam

                      OH poor baby fails at idiom again. 

                      I told you to fuck off back to tory land. Why is that so hard for you to understand? 

                      Let me help – It's a special place populated with Tory prat's, an ideological nirvana for the likes of you. 

                    • The Al1en

                      I'm English, tories are in the UK, and now you're wriggling like a maggot with it's arse cut off.

                      Listen fucknut, it's quite clear I think you're a nonsense waste of space. I find you overly simplistic, quite uneducated and not much more than a walking slogan machine on repeat. What more do you want me to say apart from be more careful who you racially target next?

                    • The Al1en

                      Just to be clear, you didn't actually say "piss off to tory land", your actual quote was "Piss off  back to the tory land you come from", which is quite different in meaning.

                    • adam

                      Seriously didn't know your were a POME, that is funny.

                      Well any way, piss off back to the tory land ( not somthing I ever heard england being called ) you came from, you faux lefty.  

                      Or to clarify my comment for the 3rd time, it's an attack on your politics you muppet. 

                      Sheesh how many times do I have to explain it to you, before I get it through your thick skull. Sorry your so dumb, or is that to much of a complex slogan for you. 

                      You are a bit like your faux racism claim,  you are full of shit.

                  • adam

                    Nice, see you missed your sexist comments, and went with a poor me.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Good points PM, especially 1 and 2.  Pharmac is not trying to make a profit.  Pharmaceutical companies and neoliberals, on the other hand…

          • ianmac

            Well said Psycho. 

          • higherstandard

            Tendering for things such as blood glucose meters is where PHARMAC adds value, the years of delays prior to funding  a gliptin and the complete lack of funding for flozins and other pharmaceutical interventions diabetes is where they add no value and arguably add cost to Vote Health in NZ.

          • riffer

            I'm in two minds about the meters. I've lived with type I diabetes for half my life (I'm 52) and the meter is part of that. On the one hand, the Korean ones aren't as accurate as the old ones (and definitely not as accurate as the expensive American one I used on a recent drug trial). On the other hand, measuring blood sugar levels to a critical amount only matters if you don't have a good blood sugar control, and that's been something that most of the time I've been blessed with the right numbers on. Others are not so lucky. Or maybe my Aspergers and strict routine helps with that. Who knows. Add me to the list of people who haven't been badly affected by the change in blood sugar meters. I too am suspicious of attempts to badmouth Pharmac.

          • Cinny

            I have heard from an insider, a few years back that Pharmac is a joke compared with other 'drug agencies' on the planet, was told it was almost 3rd world in comparison.  Said person was extremely well versed to make the claim.

            The below Al Jazeera doco may be of interest, food for thought… Dec 2018

            Trust WHO: The Business of Global Health

            Investigating the hidden motives behind actions of the World Health Organisation and the real powers that control it.


            • Gabby

              Would said person prefer his/her employer setting whatever price they liked cinners?

              • Cinny

                Said person loves the salary and perky lifestyle so is happy to turn a blind eye.  Sad but true.

      • Kay 6.2.3

        Does anyone wonder about the sustained attack on Pharmac?

        It's not a sustained attacked, it finally the media doing the job of the media and informing the public about the inner workings of our drug funding agency, an agency which affects all of us at some point, and how it operates (or doesn't) is literally a matter of life and death for a lot of NZers. Plus if there's one thing this investigation has showed, it's the arrogant attitude of their CEO which has got me even more angry than this, which I am currently caught up in, so this "sustained attack" is rather personal, as these other stories are to many other people.

        I'm not going to try and explain just how more complicated the background to this decision is, or the consequences, but I can assure you that if you believe that all decisions to defund brands and force people to switch brands for the sole reason of saving money in the drug budget is a good thing, then sorry, you are sadly mistaken. Maybe Pharmac can boast about their savings but will you be happy about the very real world consequences, ie avoidable costs to the health system, people losing their jobs (and stop paying taxes/forced onto a benefit) drivers licences, heaven forbid having a seizure behind the wheel (brand changes can and do cause breakthrough seizures in fully controlled people- do you want to be in the car they crash into? The Transport Agency don’t have a problem with this btw, you might want to have a word with them about this); read the article again- this condition kills people. Pharmac are completely ignoring Medsafe and best international practice.

        I'm in total freak out mode because in 4 months time I face the choice of literally starving to pay to stay on my brand ($90/week) or be forced to switch brands which I won't tolerate because I have a history of not tolerating brain drug brand switches. So what do you propose I do? If I don't stay on this drug I will die, and it's the only epilepsy drug on the market I can tolerate. I am far from the only one in the situation.

        The Minister of Health is deliberately ignoring our letters, he is not making an comment about this. Ultimately Pharmac funding is on the government, of course it is. I don't know why the frozen capping, more people coould be out there being productive (read;taxpaying ) members of society if they were able to access medications that are currently denied. So yeah the prioroties are all screwed up. Rant over.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Thank you Kay.  Real world experience beyond price.

          (And I'll wager there are any number of examples of adverse effects from Pharmac pulling funding for a particular brand of drug in favour of a cheap generic. I have a couple I'll share if necessary.)

          I can only assume that those here who do not understand why the sustained attack on Pharmac have no health and disability issues at all.  Or have been living in caves…

        • joe90

          It's not a sustained attacked,

          Ya reckon?

          • McFlock

            The plot thickens

          • Rosemary McDonald

            joe90, yes I have heard that certain campaigns against Pharmac are engineered by the pharmaceutical industry, and if necessary I will stipulate exactly which of Pharmac's decisions I am talking about. 

            Most often I base my opinions on my own lived experience with having to mitigate the adverse effects of some of Pharmac's decisions…and on accounts from others with similar experiences. I have no reason to doubt these people.

            We all need to be able to sort the wheat from the chaff.

          • Kay

            I'm surprised that Russel Brown of all people wasn't aware that particular tactic has been used by Big Pharma in NZ for many years now. I was very aware of it many years ago. Can't remember exactly where I heard it. We'd be completely naive not to think Pharma doesn't employ all sorts in attempts to influence sales.

            I haven't got any time for Pharma's tactics, or their behaviour in general, especially their price gouging whenever they can get away with it (especially in the US). I certainly don't like the fact that it's profits first and foremost, distantly trailed by the public good.

            Do I condone these 'planted' stories? Well, they are declared as sponsored in the fine print. If they weren't that would be another issue. Probably ethically a bit dubious, but at the same time they're making a point aren't they? I don't suffer from extreme allergies but I've been made aware about this funding argument over epipens. I don't care if that was a sponsored article if it bought this story to light and got the proper media interested. Is it any different to the cut and paste press released that the MSM frequently print as "News" hoping we won't notice?

            The situation I'm currently caught up in (read above)- we're not considered "sexy" enough to have drug companies want to write promo pieces to promote access to their brand new drugs, and there are an awful lot of new generation epilepsy drugs that are not even close to being available in NZ. Cynical, but that's how it works. But with Pharmac (and by extension successive governments) playing Russian Roulette with our lives, and the general population clearly not giving a damn until they're personally affected, then yeah, promote away. Get the unenlightened thinking. maybe they'll sign a petition. Even write to their MP. You know, think about their fellow man, even if the end result is zilch.


          • Gabby

            You'd think the drug manufacturers would cut their prices to the bone in a more tangible show of sympathy really wouldn't you.

        • ianmac

          "it's the arrogant attitude of their CEO "

          She did point out that the figures quoted re the low ranking of NZ were provided by a lobby group. A hint perhaps that we should exercise a little scepticism?

          • Rosemary McDonald

            ianmac….this has been going on forever.  It does not detract from the fact that Pharmac has on more than one occasion made funding decisions that have risked/costs the lives of New Zealanders.

            Big Pharma exploiting the suffering of New Zealanders to force Pharmac's arm does not excuse Pharmac's callous treatment of patients who have come to rely on proven medication….or to deny funding to patients for medication with proven efficacy in other jurisdictions.

            Could it be that Pharmac is high on on it's successes.  It has so very carefully constructed this hard- arse  persona in its battle against the pharmaceutical companies that is has lost sight of what its actual purpose is?

            • Psycho Milt

              It does not detract from the fact that Pharmac has on more than one occasion made funding decisions that have risked/costs the lives of New Zealanders.

              No, it doesn't.  However, given that it's impossible for what is effectively a rationing system for health care funding not to make decisions that risk/cost the lives of New Zealanders, what conclusion are you wanting us to draw from that?


              • Kay

                I draw the conclusion that Public Servic CEO who have this type of attitude and no concept of the real world have NO right to be in the role:

                What does Pharmac chief executive Sarah Fitt make of people taking desperate measures to fund their own medicine? "I don't think it is a two-tiered system," she says.

                "We have to make the decisions about what are the best uses of the medicines we've got. If people choose to go and fund medicines themselves then that is their choice … It's like having elective surgery on insurance – you can choose whether to do that rather than going to the hospital system."

                But what if you are a low-income earner? "Yeah, that's not going to be a choice. Absolutely," she says.

                Believe it or not, most of us have no problem with the concepts of budget caps, even rationing. We're even intelligent enough to see some of the pros of the Pharmac system alongside the cons. But when you can't get a straight answer out of them, they send out form emails as a reply to everything, they blatently lie to support their claims for defunding drugs, you experience the joke that is their consultation process, the Ministers refuse to get involved, it's impossible to get important information because everything is deemed 'commercially sensitive'- how the hell is anyone meant to be supportive of the system anymore, yet alone have anymore confidence? Having such a patronising arrogant CEO is not helping them one bit.





                • higherstandard

                  'Having such a patronising arrogant CEO is not helping them one bit.'

                  Heh….. you should have met her as head pharmacist at Auckland Hospital – some of my colleagues and myself had some interesting run ins with her.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                Psycho Milt. Person who demands to be taken seriously on this particular issue because of …diabetes.

                Yeah, diabetes is a good one (and also something I know about, so am happy to comment on it). 

                Have you checked your privilege lately?



                • Psycho Milt. Person who demands to be taken seriously on this particular issue because of …diabetes.

                  1. What demand?

                  2. Yes, I know something about that particular subject: diabetes.  I don't recall claiming particular knowledge of other subjects.

                  Have you checked your privilege lately?

                  Shorthand for: no, I don't have any counter-arguments but I do find you very annoying.  

    • AB 6.3

      @AdrianT. Of course – and the same for requiring politician’s families to use the public education system.

      That way we wouldn't have got Billy ("kiwis are pretty useless") English advocating for larger class sizes in public schools while packing his own kids off to private schools that advertise smaller class sizes as one of their advantages.

      Why allow politicians the perverse incentive of being able to ghettoize systems they are rich enough to avoid? Sounds like a "moral hazard" and I recall how hot Billy Boy was on the plebs being susceptible to moral hazards.

      Worthy people like Billy don't experience moral hazards, they simply have a wider range of choices, due no doubt to their inherent superiority. Billy was elitist trash in a way (Saint) John Key never was.


      • alwyn 6.3.1

        You give the phrase "kiwis are pretty useless" as being a direct quote from Bill English. Can you please provide a source for those exact words?

        • vto

          You know there are two hilarious things about Bill English's famous "young people these days are useless" claim… Both of which burst all of his hubris…

          One. If they are useless at that age it is Bill English's own generation that has raised them. Ha ha, fucking useless parents are Bill English's lot.

          Two. If they are useless at that age it is Bill English's own policies that they were raised under too, being born in the 1990's, post-neoliberalism intro, Ruth Richardson and Jim Bolger, all of which Bill English was a full blown cog. Ha ha, fucking useless Bill English policies.

          So to Bill English – you cock-sucker, piss off back to Uselessville. Dont try raising kids again – they end up useless

          • alwyn

            Well. We see how you indulge in debate, don't we?

            What on earth have you been imbibing?

            • vto

              Yes, sorry, but sometimes it is what is required. This aint tiddly winks though – it is real life with real consequences. So, sorry but not sorry. 

              Any comment on the uselessness of Bill English's generation at raising children, or Bill English's useless 1990's and beyond policies??

        • AB

          Evening  Alwyn – how are you this fine day?

          The "quote" was inexact and deliberately so – but it was absolutely true to the elitist spirit of the actual comment English made.
          It was more a nickname than a quote I suppose – such as:
          Alwyn “seething with rage that the plebs are taking over” on the Standard

    • Kat 6.4

      The other tier in the health system are the medical insurance schemes that provide top tier service for those that can pay the premium and meet the criteria. Remove the blood sucking insurance industry out of the health system and…….problem solved.

      • higherstandard 6.4.1

        "Remove the blood sucking insurance industry out of the health system and…….problem solved.'

        In some countries that may have a grain of truth in NZ it's not the case at all.

  7. greywarshark 7

    How about this Eco Maori?   I think this a positive step.


    8:28 am today

    Sally Round

    Sally Round, RNZ Pacific Journalist  @RoundSally

    One hundred canoes by Christmas.   That's the aim of one of the Pacific's most ambitious traditional boat building projects.

    Team leaders for the 100 Traditional Sailing Canoes project, Adi Tulia Nacola (L) and traditional boat builder from Lau, Amena

    Team leaders for the 100 Traditional Sailing Canoes project, Adi Tulia Nacola (L) and traditional boat builder from Lau, Amena Photo: Supplied

    Fiji's Uto ni Yalo Trust is not only reviving ancient construction and navigation techniques, it's also aiming to help remote villages ditch diesel, catch bigger fish and entice tourists to their shores.

    Volunteers from around the country are busy at the trust's workshop near Suva building the craft, according to Trust Vice President Dwain Qalovaki.

  8. greywarshark 8

    In the Auckland region a third of our confirmed cases are Pacific, 43 percent European, 15 percent Māori and the balance are Asian."

    Europeans high with measles in Auckland.   That is a change-around from the usual.   More poor families amongst Europeans than has been thought?

    The stats are high for under 4 then 15-29 togther forming 68% of cases.   Are there many young adult pakeha getting sick, finished school but not in secure training or employment?


  9. greywarshark 9

    Jacinda has done good for NZ and the world with policies of kindness.

    Perhaps there is hope for us.   Chris Trotter feels positive.

    • Rosemary McDonald 9.1

      If our Prime Minister has done nothing else …


      Here's hoping those words do not come back and bite Trotter in the bum.

      • Sam 9.1.1

        Yeah, well. I don't much like been called a dog by the woke trying to control and spin the narrative to signal to every one how outraged they are.

        • Robert Guyton

          Who called you a dog, Sam?

          • The Al1en

            Maybe someone left off the ‘er spaniel’ bit

            • Robert Guyton

              Seems more a Bitzer than a spaniel, but I get your drift.

              • marty mars

                he could be a spamiel or perhaps a spamoyed – hard to call.

                • Robert Guyton

                  We're making jokes at Sam's expense, unwarranted lampooning, but I reckon he won't mind; heart as big as a horse, like Hercules Morse!

                  • Sam

                    you should never put the horse before the jockey.

                    • marty mars

                      unless the horse is called jockey and the jockey called horse – imagine – here comes horse on jockey round the bend and jockey and horse and horse and jockey…  whew that woke me up!

                    • McFlock

                      Puts me in mind of the fact that the Zucker brothers (of Airplane! fame) bought three race horses over four years and called them "All pink", "Ol pink", and "Awl pink" respectively.

                      They intructed the jockey to run next to the inside rail, and it was still four years before the announcer calling the race yelled out "It's awl pink on the inside!"

                    • Sam

                      Greywarshark and Rosmary are being very shy. That's unlike them. Normally they'd jump at the chance to signal how hard they can feel

                    • Robert Guyton

                      And still I ask, who called you a dog, Sam?

                    • Sam

                      I'm not going to say because I had assumed the person would slinked off. The person even had a farewell pitty party. So I wonder if I play it cool whether this person will stay true to its word or if there word ain't worth shit. My money is on there credibility being worth dog shit.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Well, I'm with you, Sam; calling someone a dog, or saying their ideas "aren't worth shit"  or their credibility is, "dog-shit" is not acceptable. 

                      It's distasteful and counter to good debate.


                      I'm sure you agree.

                    • Sam

                      I'm not sure I do agree with all that. I'm happy to honour what ever agreement pseudo agreement or what ever. But change it, modify the conditions in what ever way and I'll fight harder than most.

    • Sam 9.2

      Are you just going to sit there while your woke brethren eat from your shit sandwich? 

      • Rosemary McDonald 9.2.1

        Sam. I find the best way to deal with mosquitoes is to assume they are not the slightest bit interested in me and ignore them. And usually they go on to  bother someone else.

      • Gabby 9.2.2

        Could be an 'ignore the fuckknuckle' policy spambam.

  10. greywarshark 10

    Comparatively, in Auckland, Watercare charges $1.40 per cubic metre (1000 litres) for water piped to houses, while the rest of the country paid an average $1.60 per cubic metre.

    “Water companies are getting the same water but paying bugger all for it,” said water campaigner Jen Branje from the Bung the Bore group.

  11. Fireblade 11

    Alfred Ngaro won't start a new Christian party.

    Brian's leather-clad mob must have scared him off.

    • Hooch 11.1

      More like the focus group results came back in the negative 

      • mac1 11.1.1

        From "Mary Poppins"- 

        "Let's go fly a kite, up to the highest height.

        Let's all go fly a kite."

        Applies to both Alfred Ngaro,  and to Simon Bridges today at midday who was reduced to putting out bits of what he claims to be the Budget, who won't reveal their provenance and who claims to be open and transparent in his politics.  Pffft!


    • Robert Guyton 11.2

      Ngaro heard Hannah Tamaki's interview.

      End of story.

  12. joe90 12

    Oh boy…


    • marty mars 12.1

      yep we have climbed the mountain of survival from the darkest days in the cave, through war, pestilence, disease and bad luck – our genes have survived and replicated through generation to generation to bring us here today in all our wondrous glory, surrounded by artifacts and creations that previously would have been the dreams of kings and queens – and also we have this…

      • joe90 12.1.1

        And this.

    • Macro 12.2


  13. Rosemary McDonald 13

    Jeanette Fitzsimons doing some of the heavy lifting at the Minerals Forum protest in Dunedin.

    This is what a Green Party person does.

    • alwyn 13.1

      Did she walk or ride her bicycle down from The Coromandel?

      Or, and much more likely, did she travel down by plane? That would be what a Green Party person does. Look at the travel James Shaw does on his overseas jaunts for example.

      • Robert Guyton 13.1.1

        Is it a requirement that anyone protesting mining or oil extraction must walk to the protest site, alwyn?

        That would surely reduce the number of people able to protest to almost nil. Is that good for democracy, do you think; placing unreasonable barriers in front of a section of society? Those in favour of oil drilling would be able to drive to the site to support the drillers, I suppose you mean?

      • Gabby 13.1.2

        Ze plan ze plan would've prolly flown anyway wally.

  14. greywarshark 14

    How come there is so much violence in families in NZ?    This good NZ Herald report written by Simon Collins in 2000 gives background to the injuries and death of a little boy.    And the stepfather and his mother were so inured to violence that they thought the child would recover, and probably thought that heavy physical attack would 'larn' him.

    Never again: how we all failed James Whakaruru

    GPs saw James Whakaruru at least 30 times, but none told CYFS about his injuries because he went to at least six different doctors, and probably many more.

    Dr Paddy Twigg, of the Paradigm group serving two-thirds of Hawkes Bay GPs, deplores this fragmentation and advocates the British system of "capitation," where state subsidies are based on each patient registering with a specific doctor. People are still free to change doctors, but their files go with them so no doctor has to treat them in a vacuum, except in an emergency. This system is encouraged in the Government's new primary care strategy.

    The McClay report also recommends "consideration" of mandatory reporting, which would make it illegal not to report any suspected case of child abuse.

    Social Services Minister Steve Maharey says overseas experience is that this merely increases the number of notifications without reducing the incidence of abuse.

    But Dr Kelly says mandatory reporting is already in force in public hospitals, at least in Auckland, and helps doctors to resist pressure from families not to notify suspected abuses.

  15. greywarshark 15

    Guyon Espiner left his interviewing job with Radionz and has gone into long-form reporting for them on Pharmac.    I think he is taking an extreme view that puts Pharmac's operations on the back foot and is in favour of the middle class who are becoming very demanding for expensive drugs that are not curative, and only slow down the disease.    A new protocol is needed for life-extending drugs when there is a terminal disease.    How long can they be funded for the individual, in what circumstances?    I know someone who has a condition that has been treated and that allows this person to contribute significantly to society as a whole.    But if the applicant is a woman and wants to be with her children till they grow up, how do we weigh that up, and all the other similar demands.

    Meanwhile under our present societal system, people are unable to get their children's health needs attended to.   

    It seems an attack on government, not just shining a light on practices that are unsatisfactory or bad, for Guyon to undertake this.    It is an emotional story, a story that will go to anybody's heart, and especially those of the middle class who are used to getting what they want.   

    We constantly hear what they do overseas, which may mean USA which is a basket case.  Other countries aren't living on cow dung closest to a hostile neighbour, that only gives a brief Godfather smile when handed sufficient money.   A story about a rational comparison between us and other better-managed nations may go into our dependence for most things on distant countries, and how we have run our skill set down because government doesn't care about what young NZs work at, if they can't cope they get put in prison, so they had better watch out.

    I imagine the next story will go deep into how much roads cost us and why KiwiRail isn't properly funded.   It will look at the huge trucks and how they make driving hard for cars, and vice versa.   The drivers have a very demanding job.

    After that there is the revelation of how much of our tourist money actually gets to NZs and how much is channelled off overseas.    It will look at the cost in money and free volunteer hours tied up in regular searches, and the ongoing costs to NZs who are run into as tourists go into default and steer to the right instead of our left hand rule.

    • Rosemary McDonald 15.1

      So, Greywarshark, Psycho Milt gets his diabetes treatment funded but Kay faces a future of no funding for the epilepsy drug that works for her.

      So pleased you see the righteousness in this.


      • Drowsy M. Kram 15.1.1

        Rosemary, a hypothetical question.  If you were an expert clinician advising Pharmac on whether to EITHER:

        (A) Switch to funding a cheaper and (on paper) effective anti-epilesy drug, with savings to be used to fund innovative diabetes medicines,


        (B) Continue funding the more expensive anti-epilepsy drug (avoiding any potential problems associated with the cheaper alternative), foregoing the opportunity to fund innovative diabetes medicines,

        then what would you recommend?  How would you decide?  Surely not on the basis of any personal sympathy towards an individual (family member or friend) or group of individuals. 

        Nevertheless, it would be your job to make a recommendation, and that's not a job I would want [we want the best people working for Pharmac] – too close to the classroom Lifeboat Dilemma.

        I choose to believe (without any evidence) that the staff of the non-profit Pharmac organisation are genuinely trying to get the best pharmaceutical value for money for as many New Zealanders as possible.  I accept that I could be a mistaken in my belief – there are bad Pharmac advisors, poor GPs, poor surgeons, etc., working in NZ.  But I believe they are a minority, and that those acting maliciously represent an even smaller minority.

        As a user of Pharmac-funded medicines, I'd prefer to put the acid on the Government that sets Pharmac's funding cap.  Was there more, less or about the same amount of acid directed towards the previous National governments (compared to the current coalition Government) re the Pharmac funding cap?

        And, if you have evidence that Pharmac is doing a poor job and/or making bad decisions then definitely bring that to their attention (I would) – the more feedback they have on their decision-making processes and health outcomes, the more likely they are to make sound decisions in the future.

  16. ianmac 16

    Guyon Espiner left his interviewing job with Radionz and has gone into long-form reporting for them on Pharmac.    I think he is taking an extreme view that puts Pharmac's operations on the back foot and is in favour of the middle class who are becoming very demanding for expensive drugs that are not curative, and only slow down the disease.  

    Well said Grey. And the post of reality from

    joe90 @


    It's not a sustained attacked,

             Ya reckon?…..


  17. greywarshark 17

    Vietnam?   Better late than never.   Good to see some decent help and caring exended.

    New Zealand defence force

    1:14 pm today   Vietnam veterans receive health, wellbeing support decades on

    Andrew McRae, Reporter

    New Zealand Vietnam War veterans are calling for more help as they face health issues they say are related to their war service.

    Vietnam veteran Jimmy Tainui, and his wife Maryanne

    Vietnam veteran Jimmy Tainui, and his wife Maryanne. Photo: Supplied / NZDF

    Veterans had the opportunity to attend a health and wellbeing expo in Auckland on Saturday which brought together a number of veteran support agencies.

    About 300 Vietnam veterans and their families were there.

    From New Zealand, 3000 served in Vietnam between 1965 and 1972, when 37 were killed and 187 were wounded.

  18. SPC 18

    The Israeli Knesset has passed a vote calling for a new election in September. 

    New issues the draft law and attempts at reducing the power of the Supreme Court in their political society (keep the PM safe). 

  19. SPC 19

    Pharmac …

    Every dollar it gets in the money allocated for Health is a dollar less for Health Boards. For equipment and for staff, safe staffing levels and adequate pay and conditions. And for aged care homes and care for those in the home who need help. Mental health, dental health drug addiction programmes and affordable GP visits. 

    Within its budget, every call for a new drug/treatment regime availability requires of them the search for a cheaper option for existing treatment cover. 

    And every extra dollar to health is a dollar less for education, for housing and for welfare/disability. 

    • ianmac 19.1

      So SPC are you suggesting that each Health Board should search for its own medicine supplies? Do you believe that it is a good thing that,

      "every call for a new drug/treatment regime availability requires of them the search for a cheaper option for existing treatment cover."

      • SPC 19.1.1

        No (weaker negotiating position). It is neither a good thing, or a bad thing, but simply a fact that within a budget limit that each new drug treatment funded is only afforded if there is a saving on drug treatments already funded. 

  20. The Chairman 20

    Seems there is little talk on here in regards to the political theater played out today.

    • SPC 20.1

      Looks like their (National)  private spooks have entered the premises of the printers. The government should set those they trust on that lot next year. 

      • alwyn 20.1.1

        "The government should set those they trust on that lot next year. ".

        Is that why Lees-Galloway was working so late in his Office. Using his Ministerial discretion to issue Permanent Residency visas to members of the New York Mafia families. They should get on very well with quite a lot of the Prime Minister's friends. Winston and Shane will be at the head of the queue to welcome them.


        • SPC

          Oops their private spooks have been hacking Treasury.

          Treasury says there's sufficient evidence to show this information came from its systems being hacked, and has referred the issue to the police. Treasury secretary Gabriel Makhlouf says the breach is serious, and the matter was referred to police on the advice of the National Cyber Security Centre.

    • Cinny 20.2

      Wonder who leaked it or did someone create it?  simon's feeling pretty pleased with himself.  Takes the focus off his reluctance to release the report into their party culture.

      Personally I really don't think it's going to cause any damage to the government as a result.  A nat from work mentioned it and even he said no one believes anything simon says and that he would be waiting till Thursday for the real budget.  Lolz I almost fell over when he brought it up.

      Just heard on radiolive that they are interviewing bridges in the next hour… here's the link for a listen, not sure what time it's going to be on.

      • McFlock 20.2.1

        That's the thing – so far there haven't been any surprises leaked, so nothing's been spiked or drawn out.

        Looks like someone's side copy or early draft working numbers. It would be an issue if there were a massive change – e.g. a new levy or something that would unexpectedly skew an industry or the economy (like the 1984 announcement of floating the dollar was a gift to forex speculators). But at the moment it's a bit "meh".

      • ianmac 20.2.2

        The documents were printed as discussion documents a while ago. They were then collected and collated to become the Budget. The format/layout is different from the Cabinet documents.,

  21. Exkiwiforces 21

    It seems I still can’t reply to posts from my iPad?

    McFlock@20.2.1, It all sounds very fishy to me and it could be a stitch up design to trip up old muppet face? His slogan IRT tanks for teachers is quite funny consider that the last true tank that the NZDF had was retired back in 1982 as they replace the old M41 Walker Bulldog Tank and replace it with the Scorpion Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance Track CRV(T). But in saying that the figure of $1.3B NZ begin bounced around atm, does roughly work out to be 5 new C130J models? the Government does need to pull its finger out of its digit as the old H models will run out of airframe hrs sometime after 2020- 2025.

    The massive increase in the police vote could be to do with the buy back MSSA and non MSSA firearms?

    The other one that sort of stands out is MPI, Bio Security and two other depts had their votes all combined, which to is a little weird and when one considers that all previous budgets under Labour and the “No Mates Party they all had separate votes?

  22. OnceWasTim 22

    Stop the prez!!!  In Breaking Newz going forwud. Didja notiss hear Amy Ear Dums hez re-ummidged?

    Oim thinking a little less Pulla en a bit more Enne T. Maybe even a bitter Meggie

    Whoar! (not in a Phil Ure type of Whoar!!!!!!!!!)

  23. Jum 23

    Gee thanks Nacts.

    I'm even more likely to donate to Labour now you've shown your dirtyleaking politics of ex-ede,lusk and co cannibalising NZers is alive and well.

  24. greywarshark 24

    Gordon Campbell, Werewolf on Scoop, has a positive feeling from looking at the European elections recently.

    In Spain, voters rejected the far right populist party Vox, which collapsed back to 6% from the 10% high it achieved only a fortnight ago in the Spanish general elections. On the radical left, Podemos saw its support decline to 10%, a sharp fall from the 18% they’d scored in the last European Parliament elections.

    The decline of Podemos holds a cautionary message for the Green Party in New Zealand.

    Now that Podemos is no longer an outsider party but is actively propping up the Socialist government of Pedro Sanchez, much of its support has been bleeding back to Sanchez and his PSOE party, which has long been Spain’s neo-liberal Third Way party of the centre-left.

    In a further blow, radical left mayors in major cities (including the high profile administration of Ada Colau in Barcelona) lost their fights for re-election. In Spain as whole, the radical left is being marginalised by regional parties, and by the Establishment left.

  25. greywarshark 25


    I thought you might be interested in this book written by a shepherd.  It's on Trademe closes Sat 1/6 start price $9 plus postage?   Might be some good 'yarns'.

    LAST SHEPHERD – 5 Decades in the Wool Industry – Roger Buchanan

  26. Eco maori 26

    Kia ora The Am show. 

    The bowtie is good one day maybe I wear a tie the old saying is you must have the feathers to talk.

    I have one eye vision its he tangata he tangata he tangata there is nothing wrong with Trevor Malard .

    I agree with Chris simon should have reported the leak he would have gained mana from that action but know he leaked it now reap te wai in his face no one likes a cheater????

    The midwest of America hurricane allie it's a bad tornado season condolence to all the people who are affected by this bad weather that is getting worse every year because of climate changes . a earthquake is not that scary. 

    I think all sports is good for te tamariki keeping fit helps  sport is good for their mental health it helps the tamariki learn to interact with their pears m8. Losing is part of winning you have to lose a few times to become a winner 

    There you go the teachers have been moving the goal post in negotiations that alone tells a story our government has up the offer 2 times like I have said this needs to be conducted FAIRLY. 

    I don't see any reason for the financial minister to resign .

    I have stated that everything on the internet can be hacked it's all about how much resource are put into hacking a system. 

    I did read a couple of weeks ago that the Sydney town water dam was half full lowest level in ten years they have cranked up their saltwater desalination plants.

    Ka kite ano 

  27. Eco maori 27

    Some Eco Maori music for the minute. 

  28. Eco maori 28

    Some Eco Maori music for the minute 

  29. Eco maori 29

    Some Eco Maori music for the minute. 

  30. Eco maori 30

    Kia ora Newshub 

    That is true Tom it nationals mess and Labour is cleaning it up. 

    simon looks hacked of his face is wet.

    The head thing shows Eco Maori that synthetic drugs stuff you UP you end up doing dumb SHIT. 

    The mental health of our tamariki and tangata is very important you have to observe your mokopuna quite thoroughly to pick up the signs of problems. 

    The Tornadoes in America are huge climate change is giving tawhirimate more energy  and mana. 

    That good on the boy who egged the Australian pollie he donated 100.00 to the Christchurch disaster relief fund.

    If you look at America opeiod drug problems it will be the same in Aotearoa in ten years heaps of people listed to drugs what a waste. 

    Ka kite ano 


  31. Eco maori 31

    Kia ora te ao Maori news. 

    I agree OUR tamariki education is very important it's a pitty the last government was running down state schools in a goal of privatizing education who cares about the tamariki not getting a good education I hope that a good agreement can be achieved. 

    I can see a lot of whanau struggling I think our government will deliver the best possible solution to our problems ma te wa  .A lot of the problems that have occurred in Aotearoa is directly linked to the funding cuts joyce and did while national was in power .

    ka kite ano 

  32. Eco maori 32

    Kia ora The Am show. 

    Eco Maori agrees with Amanda on the hack issue. 

    ,  ,I,,, no I don't read the nutrition value on food I have a good Idea what good food looks like yes most of the fancy breakfast cereals are full of sugar just crap porridge is my favourite breakfast food.

    That's the way you play it Duncan also everyone knows that the NZ governments budget is a state secret they are breaking the law targeting that DATA.

    I agree with the numbers cruncher a hiccup in the world economy and NZ economy is due being conservative with the growth forecast is needed. 

    Its heating up on the American political scene I say no more 

    Lloyd boris and frage are shorting the British political seen I read that frages party doesn't even have sound policy WTF.

    If it wasn't a hack it is national people left in Treasury that deliberately left the back door 

    I agree on the smoking issue more needed to be dune to help smokers 

    matthew hooton your creditability on this site thestandard is crap Eco Maori has a lot of respect for the leftist on this site I have learned a lot from them .Matthew was drooling trying to dent our Coalition Governments Mana with the hack leak left back door open. But NO you're national m8 will be warning the backbenchers for quite a few more years. LOL.

    Asholes I know of a few I say to much money makes a Asholes. I agree we don't need people to behave like a Asholes if we don't accept that type of behavior it will go away just like one word Eco Maori has pushed to the back of our vocabulary te Elephant John I won't comment on that it's hot over there..With John Cleese in the film show it will be hilarious. 

    Simon and the lawyer good honest opinion I see European elections have given more power to the Green Partys times are changing. 

    You know the teeth are getting long when you forget the glasses and can't read the fine print I have that problem to .

    I want to name a intelligent ashole who blinded a country with his power of control but I won't Ka kite ano P.S that GPS

  33. Eco maori 33

    Some Eco Maori music for the minute. 

  34. Eco maori 34

    I think that some people should be supporting the students future and join the students climate change Global strike .We are only alive on Papatuanuku for a fraction of time when measured by geologic time and from the time life started it's a crying shame that humans can stuff up Papatuanuku in just 2 short life time. If we look after our tamariki future and stop burning carbon our tamariki future will be happy healthy and bright. If we carry on SHITTING In our own backyard burning carbon Our futures will Suffer the consequences of the greedy ruling class not wanting to let go of their POWER CARBON. Enough said


    Greta Thunberg and leading youth strikers for climate action from across the world have called for all adults to join a global general strike on 20 September.

    They are asking citizens to walk out of work just before a crucial UN summit at which nations are being urged to declare much stronger ambitions to tackle ka kite ano link below. 


  35. Eco maori 35

    Kia ora Newshub. 

    The Welbing budget looks good the mental health spend is up . Jacinda knows the tamariki need good nurturing as they will be looking after the country and us when we retire its logical to put the best care into our mokopuna the return on that investment will be 100 fold.

    Very good investment into Railways its the most effective efficient way to transport goods and people it shealds the transport of our goods and people from oil prices shocks ka pai Winston 

    The walk cycle way on the Auckland harbor bridge will be good viewing for the public well over due.

    Ka kite ano 


  36. Eco maori 36

    Kia ora te ao Maori news. 

    Eco Maori has a sore face with the new funding for Maori and Pacific tangata we were left in the dark by national. 

    I say that the funding will improve tangata mental health and save the lives that are lost.

    With the extra funding for te reo we will reach 25% of Maori understanding our Maori culture 

    Ka kite ano. 

  37. Eco maori 37

    Kia ora The Am show. 

    Shamuvl I think you are correct the wellbeing budget is good well over due after the cuts of the last government. 

    The Westcoast has more hard tawhirimate /rain again it has always had a lot of rain but these days the west coast is getting extreme weather  caused by Global warming. 

    I think sometimes John Clesse puts his foot in his —-  any publicity is good publicity. Lucy you look and have a smilia character to a kiwi comedian people can you guess whom.

    Mark I can give you advice on some good sleeping tonics that's the reason I started talking it.

    Awesome that British scientists are advancing cancer research breakthroughs for radiation therapy. 

    The roads in Auckland are jammed up at rushhour times .We have heaps more cars a people nowadays I say it is very visionary our Coalition Governments big investment in massetransport Railways those moves will help save our environment. 

    Very good a ban on trampers  around Tane Mahuta we have to do all we can to save him and his mokopuna. 

    New trade Mark cartoonists don't worry m8 you will still have plenty of putea for the holidays you just mite not be able to have refreshments in the Korua lounge not to much of a sacrifice so that the people under the bridge get good care ????????

    Grant your budget is awesome m8 you can't keep everyone happy the national supporters will have the tissue flying again. 

    Kris give judy a tissue I agree the kiwi workers need to be nurtured and have good wairua to participate in our economy we have to stop just importing workers at the demise of good KIWIs. Investment in  te tangata will give Aotearoa 100 fold returns. 

    Cool smoke free day everyone needs to stop this dumb habit its quite hard to QUIT but I will very soon for te mokopuna .

    Good on the Porirua city council for paying all their workers the living WAGE. Ka kite ano 

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    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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