Open mike 28/08/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 28th, 2023 - 44 comments
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44 comments on “Open mike 28/08/2023 ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    Some of the pundits this morning seemed anguished and almost personally affronted by NZ Labour’s leader finally front footing it on some rather obvious matters pertaining to other political parties (NActFirst) and the throwback tendencies of their supporters and policy.

    During Jacinda Ardern’s time in office she was relentlessly subjected to the most foul misogynist abuse, her partner too was harassed to the extent that NZ Police actually issued a rare pre-emptive statement to the effect that Clarke was of no interest to them on any matter.

    So the right like to dish it out but they do not enjoy a return serve.

    • Anne 1.1

      Luxon's claims yesterday were astonishing given that he has spent the last six months pouring cold water on every utterance Hipkins or some other senior minister has made and his attempts to frame everything the government has done/is doing as somehow evidence of chaos, mayhem, splits and factions. And of course the lengths they and ACT went to, in order to bully and discredit Ardern will be legendary.

      I assume they think by projecting their own behaviour onto Hipkins and Labour the populace, with their often very short memory spans, will fall for it. Here's hoping most will not.

      • Tiger Mountain 1.1.1


      • Kat 1.1.2

        For a brief period back in 2020, and perhaps a once in a lifetime occurrence, the general electorate were more concerned about health and staying alive than money. Jacinda saw to both and was given a big pat on the back. That didn't last long.

        Now look at the current whinge list, its all about the amplified projection of the cost of living, gangs and crime. Health and wellbeing has taken a back seat. All the negative utterances from Luxon and his sidekick about Labour is designed to resonate with the self focused, greedy and blatantly fickle section of the electorate that has sadly always existed in this country.

        I agree with Hipkins that in times of war and strife Kiwis have regarded unity as more important than division, however, apart from the aberration that was 2020, just not in times of general elections.

  2. PsyclingLeft.Always 2

    Such a great Sustainable idea….20 (even 15 : ) Minute Neighbourhoods.

    People generally loved the thought that most (not all) of the things needed for a good life could be within a 20-minute public transport trip, bike ride or walk from home. These are things such as shopping, business services, education, community facilities, recreational and sporting resources, and some jobs (but probably not brain surgery).

    Why….are the conspiracy nuts so against ? You would probably have to go inside their minds. Hmmm.

    A simple concept for urban design is the latest target for conspiracy theorists, with one of the country’s most innocuous cities – Hamilton – bizarrely singled out for attack.

    The idea of a 15-minute city is seemingly simple; everything one needs to lead their life in a 15-minute walking or cycling radius; groceries, your job, medical services, entertainment and so on.

    Increasingly the notion of a city within reach of a short walk has faced conspiratorial dissent, with one British parliamentarian describing the idea as an “international Socialist concept.”–hamilton

    Two presentations at last week's community board meeting rallied against the smart, 15-minute city ideal – which strives to create urban communities where all necessities and amenities can be reached within a 15-minute walk – alleging they are methods for corporations and government to exert control over populations.

    Seems its yet another imported conspiracy ..

    The conspiracy theories linked to 20-minute neighbourhoods

    NZFirst and ACT both completely willing to hoover these conspiracy nuts up.

  3. Molly 3

    15 minute cities can retrospectively apply to cities that have evolved from residents walking, which are naturally high density with a mix of uses.

    Alternatively – green field developments – can include all services and utilities within a residential neighbourhood.

    What cannot be guaranteed is employment.

    NZ has had decades of car centric planning. Retrofitting high density in this case, often means individual developers putting several houses where one previously existed. It doesn't improve build quality, community cohesion, nor provide shared green space.

    It is the wrong tool to apply – at the moment – in many NZ cities, without ensuring the core services and shared community assets are in place first. They are not.

    Posted on the Paris 15 min city proposals in 2021.

    NZ is in a different starting position, and cannot import such ideas without significant and expensive infrastructure changes.

    • Anne 3.1

      NZ is in a different starting position, and cannot import such ideas without significant and expensive infrastructure changes.

      What happened in NZ's case is that after decades of government inaction (not all granted, but most of them under National governments) the situation became so dire the current government had no choice but to immediately build high density housing wherever they could.

      In my locality there are a number of completed high density projects and others in the process of construction. The effects are already being felt by frequent gridlocked roads. Lake Rd between Devonport and Takapuna has become the national (small n) epitome of what happens when insufficient structural changes are not in place. The government has responded with transport plans for Auckland that will alleviate the gridlock and also make public transport quicker, easier and more comfortable for passengers. The trouble is it will take years to complete and what to do in the meantime.

      National has vowed to scrap the plans for bigger motor-ways which will do nothing to solve the problem. That is typical of the lack of vision and stunted mentality of the Right.

      • AB 3.1.1

        Same out here. You can't stick multiple clumps of high-density houses out in car-dependent suburbia without making the car-dependency worse. It's easier to bowl old single-family dwellings and replace them with four townhouses than it is to get people out of cars.

    • Belladonna 3.2

      It is the wrong tool to apply – at the moment – in many NZ cities, without ensuring the core services and shared community assets are in place first. They are not.

      I agree, we've had service agencies stripped out of our local shopping centres – in favour of central 'hubs' – which usually have poor public transport links – and which have no inter-agency consultation/development relationships (i.e. the different hubs are not co-located – but rather scattered around based on the internal logic of the organization, rather than the convenience of the community)

      No longer can you visit your local bank, pay your rates or query a fine or charge, or buy curtain tracks in your local shopping centre. Each of these requires a visit to a (different) remote location.

      In the 'old' days (i.e. 20 years ago) – I could visit my bank, pay my rates, buy from the hardware shop, get my fruit and veges from the greengrocer, buy my meat from the butcher, and do my supermarket shopping – all at my local (small) shopping centre – 5 minutes walk away (NB: not a mall, a collection of shops). Now, all I can do, locally, is the supermarket shopping. To do any or all of the rest, requires either a car – or substantial amounts of time spent on PT.

      We have lots of cafes and restaurants in the local area – but very few actual shops for things-people-need.

      • Matiri 3.2.1

        I grew up in a New Town in the UK, specifically designed to alleviate the London housing shortages after WW2. Each neighbourhood had a shopping centre. Ours had a baker, fish shop, Spar and Co-op supermarkets, hardware store, hairdresser, launderette, greengrocer, newsagent/post office – no cafe! My mum would cycle down for fresh bread every day. This was in the 60's/70's.

  4. Roy Cartland 4

    Beautiful idea. In fact, if anyone has ever been to Switzerland, that’s how they live anyway. It’s brilliant, you don’t even need a car (but they have one for holidays etc). People are happier, healthier, thinner, more relaxed and generally ‘better’.

    I always wished Auckland would go back to the collection of boroughs that it used to be. Would be so much healthier for everyone. Damn the supercity and downsize the actual city.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 4.1

      Auckland…is already facing the consequences of Climate Change. Urgent ReThink needed. The mindset to tarseal and concrete over "everything" just lead to flooding, and (very) expensive damage. Sponge Cities should be to the fore with any rebuilding.

      'Sponge city' urban design needed to help New Zealand survive climate change-induced increased rainfall – experts

      And just make Walking,Cycling, etc….safe and easy to do. Streams…Biodiverse areas, Native (and other: ) Birds. How much Happier and Healthier it could all be.

      Just start…..

      • Roy Cartland 4.1.1

        I love it. I’m in Welly, where I wish we could instate Tmatha Paul’s idea – pull up the roads and reinstate the rivers. Canals for transport, local swimming holes for eeling and bathing. Better than Venice.

        • Visubversa

          I wish for the day when the northwestern motorway floods with sea level rise and provides for a ferry service between the CBD and the Whau inlet. Gondolas would do it very nicely!

  5. Roy Cartland 5

    Just got an email form the GP in this very thing. What’s not to like? Even righties like this, don’t they?

    Today we are announcing our plan to redesign cities and towns so they work for people and the planet, rather than cars and corporations. But I need your help to spread the message.

    Our towns and cities can be places where people and nature thrive, with warm and affordable homes powered by clean energy, accessible and climate-friendly ways of getting around, and healthy green spaces.

    Climate-safe Communities is an achievable plan that over the next seven years will reshape the places we live to meet three priorities:

    • People first – our communities will be reshaped around the needs of people, not cars, with green streets for our children to play and move around safely
    • Space for nature – our streets will be lined with trees and streams, and green spaces will provide a place to relax and protect us from flooding
    • Climate-friendly travel – people will find it easier to get around on buses and trains, with services like free dental just a safe walk or bike ride away
    • PsyclingLeft.Always 5.1

      Well…that was timely : )

    • Molly 5.2

      The cost and practical implementation of this Utopia is what's missing, as well as how long this transition will take as well as what the disruption will mean for most of us.

      Unfortunately, planning has been car centric and housing costs have meant that people live where they can afford, and not where they are close to work, schools an amenities.

      The further out you live from a central hub, the more costly is alternative transport in money and time (often prohibitively so), and the less reliable is the service.

      Like Belladonna above, my childhood home was within 5 min walk of school, sports, post office, greengrocers, chemist, butchers and bank as well as other local independent stores.

      These were knocked down 30 years ago and replaced by one supermarket. Cities that have retained such diversity of services with smaller providers, will have an easier time of reaching outcomes.

      Remember the high density now permitted in Auckland, was decoupled from the quality requirements of the Auckland Design Manual that was intended to safeguard against not repeating the errors of the past.

      Despite all the hype, we are not well situated to deliver.

      • weka 5.2.1

        Remember the high density now permitted in Auckland, was decoupled from the quality requirements of the Auckland Design Manual that was intended to safeguard against not repeating the errors of the past.

        who did that?

        • Molly

          When the Unitary Plan was finally ratified, there were late changes to decouple the Auckland Design Manual from the plan. All through consultation, it was referred to as the document that would ensure high quality high-density.

          It is a good document:

          I've posted a few times on this. So, just quickly searched to respond before heading out. Here is one comment from a couple of years ago:

          "only if accompanied by good design and planning that allows for this.

          The Auckland Design Manual was supposed to fill this purpose, but was made toothless when the decision was made to not make consideration of the design manual compulsory in conjunction with the Unitary Plan.

          Mike Lee got vilified for voting against this move, and was described as being against density in Auckland. He was quite rightly against the removal of safeguarding good design, which had been promised all the way through the Unitary Plan discussions by the creation of the Auckland Design Manual. (From what I can recall, Mike Lee was involved in the Auckland Design Manual, so knew in detail what restraints were being given up).

          I agree with better resource use and higher density.

          Higher density without good design or planning does not necessarily provide good outcomes – including for providing homes for the currently homeless or accommodation stricken. Unfortunately, I believe a worse outcome is what we have ended up with the Unitary Plan in it's current form."

          • weka

            so it was the councillors that did this? Or staff as well?

            • Molly

              Very briefly, and from the outside looking in.

              I participated in a lot of the consultation workshops for the Unitary Plan, was involved with a community planning network, and was the main submitter for a local community planning project for a few years.

              I believe councillors voted on the ratification of the Unitary Plan before it became active, but I may have to be corrected on that. I just recall at the time the Greater Auckland blog gave Mike Lee a lot of flak for not voting to pass it in the form presented – and said he was against high-density. In fact, he supported high density and was voting to retain the requirement to adhere to the Auckland Design Manual which had been changed late in the game. By who, I don't know. There were a lot of absolutes given during consultation that disappeared like mist in the end.

              Visubversa might know the ins and outs more than me, and be able to precisely relate how that process worked.

              • Molly

                "I believe councillors voted on the ratification of the Unitary Plan before it became active…"

                Sorry, a correction: I meant a committee which included councillors. But that is relying on very questionable recall.

  6. Roy Cartland 6

    Genuine question:

    Is Winston a red-herring for Right voters? Eg, the Professor Snape of NZ politics?

    What I mean is, campaigning on issues that attract rabidity, heat, ire, vitriol and hate – with no intention of ever implementing them? Look at immigration. He failed utterly, if ever he intended to curb that. Treaty. Maori rights. I think it was Trotter(?) who first proposed this theory, and now I can’t unsee it.

    What do people here reckon?

    • AB 6.1

      Winston swims with the tide – with a bit of lazy, comical flopping and splashing to attract 5% of the attention. If the tide was flowing to the left rather than to the right, he'd be floating past our windows in that direction. The estuary at Whananaki is shallow and warm and he's staying in it. I used to think that eventually he'd be removed as a piece of debris, a danger to shipping. But he might just be immortal.

      • ianmac 6.1.1

        Winston, like Trump, is a popular speaker. The crowds go to hear him as perhaps an entertainer. In the Morning Report today he was fluent and geared his answers to suit his needs rather than answer them. He does this in a much more polished way. compared to Luxon. Imagine Luxon and Peters on the same 1 on 1 debate. Wow. Peters thinks on his feet and would wipe Luxon off the board.

        I would never vote for NZF but am aware of Winston's cunning intelligence.

  7. UncookedSelachimorpha 7

    This is a fantastic response from Billy Bragg, to the "Rich Men North of Richmond" song doing the rounds in conservative circles in the USA.

    Bragg's version gives great practical advice on what will actually help, and reminds you that the culture wars just distract from the real cause of the problems of the working class.

  8. UncookedSelachimorpha 8

    Very big news from the USA that could be an enormous boost for working people – powerful rules against union busting just introduced.

    Companies that try busting unions (Amazon and Starbucks are famous examples) will automatically have to start negotiations with the union in question – the union will obtain status without needing the usual vote!

    Weirdly this has had almost no news coverage so far in MSM.

  9. Stephen D 9

    The only group/person that Winston is looking out for is Winston.

    Baubles of office for meeeeeeeeeee!

  10. observer 10

    Luxon's heckler incident (links: all NZ media) is actually quite funny and a good reflection on NZ politics.

    In many other countries (*cough* USA) the heckler would have been assaulted or worse, certainly removed. Or he would have been physically aggressive himself. Here he's allowed to have his say, and he does, however nonsensical.

    And to give Luxon credit (trying to be fair here) he doesn't lose his temper and make it worse. So in summary, restraint all around. Makes yer proud, eh?

  11. Patricia Bremner 12

    I went on SMS to message our son in QLD.

    There waiting for me is an offer of a "Fan Badge" correction… "A Top Fan Badge" from…. wait for it… Luxon.

    I had visited his page 6 or 7 times to comment on his so called Policies.. rather pointedlyangry and I am a fan???? Wow, he doesn't have the fans he wants us to believe he has, is all I can conclude.devil I fell about laughing. Meantime Labour's sign went up on our section.

    • Adrian 12.1

      Good on you Patricia. Ive only got lifetime country Tories living past me on a deadend road but I put one up just to piss them off.

      • Patricia Bremner 12.1.1

        Adrian I feel a bit the same, however, a couple angelof friends are changing from Blue to Green!! So I live in hope we can pull this off. Cheers.

  12. Obtrectator 13

    Some deeply saddening news from overseas:

    But is anyone going to be really surprised? I'm not. I mean, what is there to live for over there if your sole permitted role is to be a brood mare?

  13. newsense 14

    Wait- it’s confusing Australia was a tax free paradise for employers and the wealthy, which is why everyone was heading there?

    Not because employers are required to pay significantly more towards retirement savings?

    National Capital’s latest KiwiSaver Value for Money report shows most New Zealanders (84%) receive only the legal minimum employer contribution to their funds, currently 3%.

    Across the Tasman, Australian employers must contribute at least 11% to workers’ super accounts.

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