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Open mike 28/10/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 28th, 2021 - 257 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

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257 comments on “Open mike 28/10/2021 ”

  1. Ad 1

    So, this is what really crap legislative design looks like.

    First you 'consult' on a purely voluntary project to steal 1/3 of any and every council's assets off them.

    You get a whole lot of negative feedback, with a little support, and announce that you are going to make it compulsory anyway.

    You put out a whole lot of scary figures about whether it will be good for actual consumers or not.

    Then you set out the shape of the legislation.

    Then, on the day you say you are going to steal all these assets anyway, you float an idea that maybe, as well as a water quality regulator, there should be a price regulator as well. That's to replace the democratic accountability that citizens and water customers had in the first place.

    But then the Commerce Minister David Clark said that he was “leaning towards” giving the task to the Commerce Commission, which currently provides competition regulation to a number of other industries such as telecommunications and electricity lines.

    In case anyone missed that last bit, our Commerce Commission is a tiny outfit that has actually provided little protection for customers and users of the entire telecommunications and electricity system, and of course supermarkets, and petrol.

    And in case we missed the other bit, they did the entire year-long consultation without any idea of how it would be price-regulated: they are still making it up.

    Three waters: Government investigates regulator to protect consumers from new water entities | Stuff.co.nz

    There is plenty of precedent that if you go into consultation and have a predetermined view, it's not consultation and can be challenged.

    And the wreckage to this country from the weak Commerce Commission in supermarkets, petrol, electricity, telecommunications, and more, is pretty disgusting and worse to hand water over to it.

    On water it's apparent this government has no idea what it is doing and is generating a very big car wreck.

    With the Greens' Eugenie Sage coming out in opposition yesterday, we'll have to see if Labour have the numbers to push it through in time for establishment in 2024.

    This is utterly reprehensible law-making.

    • Dennis Frank 1.1

      Hmm. I'll wait & see what the select committee process delivers. Councils just want BAU when everyone knows it has been delivering total crap for as long as we can remember. So Mahuta's defiance is refreshing.

      However, I'm as sceptical as you re Labour's capacity for thinking things through properly, and much of what you wrote does resonate with me too. I suspect the public will watch this space with an open mind.

      If councils had been proactive in seeking the essential reform our collective situation has long required, they might have arrived at a consensual position capable of obtaining public support. I see no evidence that this has happened. Therefore the minister is likely to have momentum on her side.

      • vto 1.1.1

        Labour will not win the next election and this will be the nail in the coffin…

        "Councils just want BAU when everyone knows it has been delivering total crap for as long as we can remember"

        Bull. Most all place are absolutely fine actually. The proportion that aren't is very very small

        Further, the idea that Wellington will do it better is the biggest joke in the land.

        • roblogic

          "Most all place are absolutely fine actually"

          Wrong. Just like all the misguided and panicked OTT reckons from the other naysayers round here. I suggest you need to read the comments of Nanaia Mahuta and stop the fact free speculations.

          “New Zealanders simply cannot afford to follow the status quo facing costs of between $1900 and $9000 over the next 30 years, depending on location. Under reform proposals with four entities those figures significantly reduce to between $800 and $1640, saving each household thousands of dollars,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

          “Local councils are trying to deal with the upkeep of aging infrastructure, which is literally crumbling in some of our biggest cities. They face the additional strains of growing population, climate change resilience and extreme weather events, as well as competing for a limited number of skilled workers to do the job.

          “It would be irresponsible to pour taxpayers’ money into propping up a broken system, or let households face unprecedented rises in water costs. Currently 43 of the 67 councils do not have the revenue to cover their water services operating expenditures at the moment, let alone once the infrastructure starts failing.

        • RedLogix

          I built the entire automation system that supplies modern Wellington with it's water. That's pretty much every nut and bolt of hardware, every line of code, every pixel of the graphics. The system I put in place over a decade ago has naturally evolved since then, but I led that original transformative effort.

          And as a result I know how to ensure that when you stand in the shower and turn the tap on – that high quality, reliable and incredibly cost effective water comes out.

          I'm certain that you will have your own domain of experience and competency, and if I was to make sweeping claims you knew to be wrong about it – what would you think?

    • Jester 1.2

      The only thing you can be sure of, is we are going to end up paying a lot more for water in the future.

      • garibaldi 1.2.1

        I have a bad feeling about this 3 Waters. It's almost as if Labour is going out of its way to lose the next election. A gravy train of bureaucratic, one size fits all, idealogues relentlessly fucking things up is exactly what we all recoil from and exactly what Wellington will deliver.

      • Ngungukai 1.2.2

        F#ck mate it's expensive enough in the shops now. Maybe we might be able to drink the tap water they tidy it up.

        • Jester

          May end up being cheaper to buy bottled water than use the tap if they employ the 6,000 – 9,000 people!

          • Foreign waka


            Perhaps we need to look at what is a right, a need and a want.

            The right is for every person to have enough water every day to be hydrated, can apply hygiene standards (if not covid is child's play) and cook their meals – a human right.

            A need has to be the growing of food, i.e. irrigation but I feel that this has to be quantified on a per person rate in NZ, all other usage will incur royalties. And than there is the want. Like a swimming pool or any other installation fed by the pipe system or through pumping water from the ground, out from a river. Subject to additional fees.

            "We do not support the introduction of a royalty on the export of bottled water, which we believe would unfairly target the water bottling industry.

            A royalty would make New Zealand bottled water companies uncompetitive in an extremely crowded and competitive international market place.

            The imposition of a water royalty could see the closure of a small number of boutique New Zealand companies and the relocation of larger multinationals.

            This would risk the estimated 916 jobs within the industry, the $60 million in economic benefits injected into the community every year and the $24 million in export earnings, as companies either can no longer compete or shift their operations to other countries.

            And unlike other beverages, water is also not a high value product, with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) estimating the average export price of water from New Zealand is US$0.64c per litre."

            Really? So we can pump this out of the ground without impunity and just export? Is this going to be traded at the same benchmark as meat? Where Britain pays less per kg beef than the local folks? Is this a pre curser that the average person will have to ration their water consumption?

            This is where the focus should be but it never has, not by the previous and not by this government.

          • Ngungukai

            More profits for Coca Cola and the water manufacturers.

    • Sabine 1.3

      so i was correct in my assumption that yes that could be viewed as theft, it will be used to increases prices and decrease availablitity, and lastly will end up in private hands because 'competition' and 'fairness' and profit?

      lol, lol, lol.

      but at least it is done by labour so it will be less evil, right? It would only be outright scary when National would do such a thing.

      but i do like this headline : The government is investigating protection of water consumers from the government. Labour 2023 – will get nothing done, but will fuck up everything we can.

      • roblogic 1.3.1

        three waters reform programme frequently asked questions – dia.govt.nz

        How can communities be sure these assets will not be privatised?

        Continued public ownership of these water services is a bottom line for the Government. Safeguards against future privatisation will be written into legislation to maintain ongoing ownership of the new entities by local authorities elected by communities. Beyond that, the Government will make communities the ultimate guardians of public ownership through a public referendum with any future proposal for privatisation requiring 75 per cent of votes in favour to carry it.

        Will there be a loss of (local) control/influence over water assets/services?

        Water services will remain in the ownership of the community they are serving. Continued public ownership of three waters water services and infrastructure is a bottom line for the Government.

        Several protections have been built into the recommended approach to safeguard against any possible future ownership changes. These increase the protections over current arrangements. Oversight will be shared through a local Representative Group made up of local councils and mana whenua – which will set expectations for the entity and select an independent panel to appoint an entity board.

        Each entity will be required to engage with communities in a meaningful and effective manner on all key documents and report on how consumer and community feedback was incorporated into decision-making.

        Is the Government selling council / local assets?

        The Government is not confiscating, buying or selling assets, just proposing to introduce a better, safer, more cost-effective way of ensuring that our communities have good-quality water services for generations to come.

    • vto 1.4

      I agree completely Ad.

      There is vast and increasing disappointment from everyone in my circles over Labour and Jacinda. All those soft centre-right votes she hoovered up last election are draining away by the hour…

      bye bye Jacinda

      such a shame

    • Cricklewood 1.5

      Terrible legislation and needs to be stopped. Imagine this hypothetical scenario. The legislation passes and is enacted with regulated price on water. A few years down the track a National/ Act govt have a crack at 'Bradford' reforms splitting the entity into pieces. Say the water itself, delivery infrastructure and wastewater. Then eventually to alleviate the 'cost' to govt of the infrastructure upgrades they decide to say sell shares up in said operations to raise capital.

      This is the enabling legislation that will monetize water eventually leading to the partial privatization of our water supply

      • Puckish Rogue 1.5.1

        Well it depends, the government is receiving more dividends from the power companies since they had partial privatization so I'd be ok with a partial sell off, the government (or councils) holding at least 51% with targets to be met

        • Foreign waka

          You need to tell this top the unwashed in 10 years time. Not just drinking water, water for hygiene, water for growing your own food….

      • Ngungukai 1.5.2

        Crickle that's the problem if they don't do it properly, National and ACT would definitely sell it off to their m8's or Offshore Merchant Bankers.

    • RedLogix 1.6

      See my comment below at 9:49am Ad

      The industry itself has been aware of the need to amalgamate and drive more efficient use of capital and resources for decades. But narrow parochial interests have constantly gotten in the way – it's frustrating, stupid and cannot be reasoned with.

      This govt is showing some of that boldness you keep talking about on this one, how about not abandoning them just when they could get something really useful done?

      • Sabine 1.6.1

        can you define 'the industry'?

        • roblogic

          Water New Zealand

          Water Asset Management Forum

          IPWEA — Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia

          • Sabine

            Thank you for that.

            Next question, do we know of any foreign "industry" that would love to come and help us create a more competitive and industrious 'water delivery system'?

            • roblogic

              WTF are you talking about. So instead of a proper reform like 3 waters you want a cargo cult solution and to throw our infrastructure to the tender mercies of foreign capitalists.

              Why don’t you read some of the review papers produced by the industry instead of making baseless speculations?

            • roblogic

              three waters reform programme national evidence base – dia.govt.nz

              • Water Industry Commission of Scotland
              • Farriersweir
              • BECA
              • Deloitte
              • Standard & Poor's
              • Gypsy

                "A few noisy Councils are controlled by RWNJ's who hate Labour and enjoy pissing and moaning even though these reforms will save their ratepayers thousands."

                Ah, no.

                "But feedback has been negative from most corners of the country."

                • roblogic

                  From your link:

                  "All the major political parties agree that reforms in the Three Waters space are needed and that the status quo no longer exists. Regrettably, a complete failure by the Government to explain to the public why it believes reform is needed, far less why it believed its model is the best one, led to a knowledge gap that was filled by misinformation.

                  "That combination of an information vacuum and rampant misinformation has led to an entirely predictable and understandable public backlash. That, in turn, in my view has been a significant factor that has led the Government to a choice between calling the whole thing off or forcing it through; and as I say, I am not surprised it has taken the latter option," Cadogan said.

                  • Gypsy

                    So? That doesn't provide any support for the 3Waters reforms. And the article certainly makes it clear it's not a "few noisy council's" is it?

                  • Gypsy

                    "A few noisy Councils are controlled by RWNJ's who hate Labour and enjoy pissing and moaning even though these reforms will save their ratepayers thousands."

                    Another unsubstantiated claim.

                  • Gypsy

                    "Seems pretty obvious based on their behaviour and misinformed utterances much like your own."

                    You have made two claims:

                    1. "A few noisy Councils are controlled by RWNJ's who hate Labour and enjoy pissing and moaning…"


                    2. "even though these reforms will save their ratepayers thousands."

                    The first one is total bs, and I've posted evidence of that already. As far as RWNJ's are concerned, Auckland Council has a Labour mayor and a left wing dominate council. Yet the Council, and every single local board, opposes 3 Waters.

                    The second claim is totally unsubstantiated. In fact the GDC commissioned report is just one that says otherwise.

                  • Gypsy

                    "I should type slower and draw more pictures to help you understand."

                    No, you should find an independent source.

                    “The benefits of the Reform Scenario rest on three key claims:
                    ▪ That GDC (and New Zealand as a whole) needs to invest to Scottish levels of water sector capital stock per resident
                    ▪ The amalgamated entity will be able to achieve up to 61.9 percent in opex efficiency and up to 50 percent in capex efficiency compared to existing opt-out entities
                    ▪ GDC as an opt-out entity will not improve over the next 30 years.”

                    “WICS’ modelling makes implausible assumptions about the efficiency in the Reform Scenario. The government assumes that the Reform Scenario will deliver 50 percent capital expenditure (capex) savings and 61.9 percent operating expenditure (opex) savings.
                    The capex saving is not grounded in any actual evidence, but rather on WICS’ observations. The implausibility of capex savings has also been addressed in previous analysis by Castalia for Local Government New Zealand and the Joint Steering Committee. Economies of scale in capex are not available in New Zealand water services, except for relatively minor potential cost savings in procurement. The opex saving is also derived from Ofwat and Scottish observations and there is no strong evidence it will emerge in Entity C following reform.”

                    It’s all in the Castalia report. And others.

                    These reforms were ‘sold’ on dodgy data from the get-go. It’s part of the reason the con-job failed.


                  • Gypsy

                    "By "independent" source I presume you mean "anti-reform" source? "
                    No, I'm looking for you to provide independent sources that actually support the claims made by government to support 3Waters. I assume you didn't read the reports in your own link.

                    For example the Farriers report has a lengthy lists of limitations on it’s review, some of them surprisingly limiting. Then it identifies significant limitations with the WICS analysis (from page vi).

                    The report also identifies the same flaw as other studies have revealed – that the WICS study doesn’t give due consideration to progress from other efficiency improvements within the existing structures.

                    The studies you quote are not endorsements of the claimed benefits. That you somehow think they are is consistent with the frankly heroic claims you make about the rest of the benefits of the reforms.

                    The selection of WICS to conduct the study has been legitimately questioned, given fundamental differences between the situation in NZ and Scotland. The government appears to have had a predetermined outcome, and tried to skewed the field to achieve that. They didn’t allow for Council’s doing their own research, and the vast majority of mayors/councils opposing them.

                  • Gypsy

                    By the way, you havn't walked back your claim that "A few noisy Councils are controlled by RWNJ's who hate Labour and enjoy pissing and moaning…" despite it being abject nonsense.

                    I'd be interested to know your view on why virtually every council in the country (most notably the left wing dominated Auckland Council) opposes 3Waters if it's such a good deal for ratepayers.

                    • roblogic

                      Despite my immense powers of deduction I still can't explain the psychology of local councillors..

                    • roblogic

                      "The forest was shrinking,
                      but the Trees kept voting for the Axe,
                      for the Axe was clever and convinced the Trees
                      that because his handle was made of wood
                      he was one of them."

                      ~ Turkish proverb

                  • Gypsy

                    "Despite my immense powers of deduction I still can't explain the psychology of local councillors."

                    Or Mayors. Or independent analysts. Or 80% of poll respondents.

                  • Gypsy

                    "You didn't read the Deloittes review did you?"

                    Yep, I did.

                    "The economic impact assessment estimates the economic impact of a material step up in investment in connection with reform (the system transformation scenario), relative to the level of investment that might be expected in the absence of reform (the counterfactual scenario)."

                    Which is one of the key criticisms of these 'studies'. The assumption is that investment in infrastructure is conditional on the reforms. It's circular logic – just look at what Auckland is investing the Central Interceptor.

                  • Gypsy

                    A handful of examples are not a reason to steal control of ratepayer funded assets and vest those assets in a model that independent experts say won't deliver the promised benefits and that is opposed by virtually every council in the country.

                    Meanwhile, here's what can happen when council's and private enterprise are left to work together.


                    Re Auckland’s dams – time to ditch the 3Waters proposal if that’s a benchmark. 95.54% full today.

                    Re Bridge Pah
                    “Korongata marae trustee Barney Tihema said the water pipe was a great outcome for the community, and most were planning to connect once work was complete.” “Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule said the community, council and health ministry had worked together to find a solution to a significant problem.”
                    Fixed by a pipe. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/news/pipe-will-fix-bridge-pa-water-worry/27ZTOFHPDP4C7KKRKS5FAWVVYI/
                    No need for 3Waters.

                    You’re really scraping the barrel to make your case Rob.

                    • roblogic

                      Lurching from crisis to crisis and piecemeal neoliberal solutions that impoverish half of the local bodies in NZ, is not a sensible response to the serious challenges of climate change and infrastructure deficits.

                  • Gypsy

                    "Lurching from crisis to crisis and piecemeal neoliberal solutions that impoverish half of the local bodies in NZ, is not a sensible response to the serious challenges of climate change and infrastructure deficits."

                    Just as well that isn't happening then. On the other hand, spending millions setting up a behemoth to achieve zero benefit makes absolutely no sense, but that's the proposal.

        • RedLogix

          I mean by that the people who work in the sector. I accept that represents a diversity of views and not all would agree with me.

          • Sabine

            Hence my question.

            • RedLogix

              I was merely reflecting the reality that no group of humans will ever completely agree on any damn thing. There will always be a diversity of views and this is both an essential and good thing. More than any other regular here I've promoted and defended that principle for years.

              From conversations with senior and capable people I respect however, it's clear to me that the water industry needs to continue to gain efficiencies of scale. Not everything gets better with scale, but some things do – this is one of them.

              At some point decisions have to be made – and the naysayers need to breath through their noses for a while.

              • Sabine

                My trust in these guys not fucking this up beyond believe to the point where in the future we will have issues with people not being able to pay for water is nil.

                I spend several years working in NZ in the 'water' sector. I know full well how fragile our systems are. But this government is not going to be the ones fixing anything. No more then they will fix the DHB's which coincidentally are actually a creation of Labour under Clark, or build houses under Kiwibuild, etc.

                And for what its worth, if it were so good, Councils might be going along, but they don't. Go figure.

                Also, government sits in Wellington, have you seen the issues that Wellington has? Oh that must be all the councils fault, cause Government is nowhere to be seen. Right?

                Underfund it, let it fall apart, complain it don't work, nationalise, sell. Labour/National. No difference.

              • Robert Guyton

                I agree with RedLogix on this matter. His rationale is sound, imo.

      • Ad 1.6.2

        I am not sure I would use the Wellington maintenance AMP as a jump-off point. It's a shitshow. Literally.

        I have no argument with the need for competence and centralisation. Worthy policy goals.

        That is why I confined my comments to both legislative process and regulatory design. They are extraordinarily bad.

        • Dennis Frank


          More apparent than real probably. Rather than being run by Wellington bureaucrats, they seem to be intending a new hierarchy of regional bureaucrats.

          I guess I can talk up the design in Labour's favour to this extent: it's a blend of novelty and tradition. Mainstreamers can adapt via pragmatism.

          • Foreign waka

            The other way around, rather than having local council (the ones living in the same community up and down the country) it will be centralised government in Wellington that runs this.

      • Ad 1.6.3

        Here's a pretty simple and fundamental regulatory question: will the 4 new entities be pricing water only sufficiently to maintain perpetual supply at the regulated quality?

        Who justifies the margin beyond that?

        Which entities will get infrastructure growth charges?

        Does anyone remember what Max Bradford promised from the electricity reforms – and how he went about them?

        • Dennis Frank

          Does anyone remember what Max Bradford promised from the electricity reforms – and how he went about them?

          Yeah, I recall noticing the smoke & mirrors wafting & reflecting around the place awhile. You just need to fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, so he did.

        • RedLogix

          will the 4 new entities be pricing water only sufficiently to maintain perpetual supply at the regulated quality?

          That's the model I'm familiar with. The entity I worked for during the period I was involved demonstrated around a 50% decrease in both energy and chemical costs on a per litre basis. We passed that on directly to our consumers.

          The big ticket items are fixed costs for plant, maintenance and staff. These are the scarce resources that can be planned and managed – over decades. This industry works to very long time horizons and getting this right is critical.

          The short answer is that it all depends on the exact mandate given to the governance boards of these organisations.

          • Ad

            The mandate given to the 4 Boards needs to be set in statute and it must specifically rule out profit.

            There will need to be a suite of regulation about security of supply, certainty of supply, human rights, hardship, biosecurity, entry of persons to land, and of course whether it has compulsory acquisition powers.

            Also, whether the entity can form profit-making corporations under it such as bottling plants, irrigation, and non-water assets that generate profit.

            Also, how will local councils be compensated for the loss.

            This is a mess until there is a Select Committee process to hammer this out.

            It had better be worth it.

            • Foreign waka

              And will water royalty come into the focus with these reforms or do the ordinary folks have to carry the burden. Because up to now, the ones who made stupendous profit from the water pumped out of the ground did not have to pay anything.

        • RedLogix

          From an engineering and operational perspective Bradford was heading in exactly the opposite direction – he took an existing integrated generation and distribution system and broke it up into lots of little competing components with the expectation that somehow the resulting imperfect little market would deliver 'competitive gains'.

          As a neo-liberal this made sense to Bradford from an ideological perspective – as an engineer I saw this 'anti-amalgamation' as completely stupid, the losses from the duplication of effort and the ability to game the market completely dominated. By contrast the 3 Waters proposal goes in completely the opposite direction – creating operational integration efficiency of scale.

          If you have concerns around the governance models then fair call, address them. But it's not fair to compare this with Bradford's mistakes – 3 Waters is a quite different proposal.

          • Ad

            We can have a reasonably good guess about whether super-regionalisation is going to be good for the consumer from the Auckland example.

            From Auckland there is no evidence yet that effective corporatisation of water – with or without a regulator – will deliver better or more secure results.

            20 years ago Watercare was formed as a corporation and it was an impenetrable kingdom from day 1. They were an empire protected by statute that regularly and effectively lobbied in Wellington for their own interests.

            10 years ago Watercare got all the different cities' retailers. Four years ago it was extended to manage the north Waikato. The proposed extension north will only expand the supply points about 200,000 people:

            So we have in Watercare a pretty good idea of what an amalgamated and vertically integrated system of water and wastewater will provide.

            It has provided less water security through minimised investment, poor integration with city growth planning, near-zero political oversight, and some spectacular salaries. Even if someone wanted to, there is zero capacity to have any public influence over the AMP.

            This is where we are heading.

    • Gypsy 1.7

      Whatever the merits of the actual proposal, the government, specifically the minister, have failed beyond comprehension to make the case. The advertising has been deceitful. The engagement with councils has been lacking in integrity. And some of the core claims made in justifying the proposal are contradicted by the governments own review.

    • KJT 1.8

      Shifting assetts from public ownership and control to public ownership and control, is not "Stealing!".

      The takeover of ECAN to ensure water supplies to National's bribers, sorry, funders was stealing. As was the semi privatisation of water by councils.

      How is it that the National propaganda on 3 waters has overtaken reality so quickly?

      Enjoy your rate rises if 3 waters is left to the old boys clubs in councils. Whose failure has made Government intervention necessary.

      • Gypsy 1.8.1

        Central government is distinct from local government. The assets themselves are remaining on the Council's balance sheets, however control and governance are being taken away from the Council's ratepayers who mostly funded the development of those assets. That is a form of theft.

        Your comment about rate rises just shows you’ve been taken in by Mahuta and the propaganda.

        • KJT

          That is rather funny as I have read very little from the Government.

          Even more funny coming from somebody who tends to faithfully regurgitate National party reckons, instead of thinking for himself.

          Government communication on this hasn't been good. Probably because they are trying to communicate and solve many issues at once, including the one, covid that must take much of their time.

          Almost all i've heard from Parliament has been from Luxon, who has been mostly making up bullshit memes, but is also describing the Government plan. Which he doesn't like, of course, because it will likely help solve the problems, and prevent privatisation down the track..

          But, I know from my own information, knowing a bit about water infrastructure, the expensive fuckup coming with council's continued control of three waters. Hastings is just one example. Irrigation, water pollution and water take in Canterbury and Southland is another. The history so far shows graphically, why changes are needed.

          The costs and expertise required to deal adequately with the needs for water, which I agree with Redlogix, are way beyound the ability of the self perpetuating old boys clubs, that are most council's. Who are more scared of losing power, than they are concerned about their rate payers.

          Decentralisation and partial privatisation of power was an expensive failure, especially for domestic consumers.

          This is the opposite. Though a lot depends on Governance as previously mentioned.

          The “profit motive” doesn’t work well for essential infrastructure as we cannot afford it to fail.

          • Gypsy

            You’ll be surprised to know I agree with a lot of that. What I don’t agree with is that 3Waters is a solution. All I’ve seen tends to suggest it will make matters worse, if anything.

            • KJT

              The current setup is not working.

              I am not sure that what the Government is doing is exactly the right solution.

              However council's and the usual suspects, should be discussing it in good faith rather than the storm of BS that has ensued.

              Agree it is a pity that Labours high standard of communcation on covid has been matched by National getting in first with their "reckons" on other policies. National and ACT have much more time on their hands of course. Not having the difficult task of navigating reality.

              • Gypsy

                "However council's and the usual suspects, should be discussing it in good faith rather than the storm of BS that has ensued."

                Are you accusing the Council's of not engaging in good faith? Are you serious? The Council's have been lied to, insulted via misleading advertising, and, when the minister lost the debate, have had their assets effectively stolen from them. I've seen some dodgy governments doing dodgy things in my lifetime, but this would have to rank with the worst.

                • KJT

                  Are you serious?

                  That is bollocks.

                    • roblogic

                      Yes, on your part. A few noisy Councils are controlled by RWNJ's who hate Labour and enjoy pissing and moaning even though these reforms will save their ratepayers thousands.

                      Some groups have a vested interest in the status quo and like to portray everything the government does as some kind of malfeasance. Very Trumpian of them

                    • KJT

                      Referencing"Journalists" that are too lazy to do write their own articles, and simply recycle National party reckons. LOL.

                  • Gypsy


                    Chris Davis? Nanaia Mahuta? Did you actually read the links?

                    • KJT

                      Yes. I read your links. "Journalists" reckons.

                      Newshub in particular gave up being a reliable source of information long ago.

                      The Government Ads are largely true.

                      Ironic those who react "like children" (though it is being harsh on actual children, who have more sense), complain about the need for explanations pitched at childish levels, then go on to prove that their comprehension levels are way below the average high school class.

                  • Gypsy

                    "Journalists" reckons."

                    Nope. Chris Davis is not a journalist. Neither is Nanaia Mahuta.

        • KJT

          I saw it happening with ports all around the country.

          The lack of co-ordinated planning with competing little council "fiefdoms" followed in later times by partial or total privitisation, and the fake competition that has ensued, has cost NZ dearly.

          Gleefully exploited by overseas mega shipping lines, setting one against the other.

    • Foreign waka 1.9

      Two things from an observers perspective:

      NZ is being slowly lead to a revival of 1970 communism where confiscation of public owned property was common place and not to be overlooked, being such an enormous amount of money/asset (yes, yes) it becomes sexy to all sorts of "entities". Not to mention that after all the kerfuffle it will be claimed in the end entirely by Maori. Not that it has to happen, but……

      No one, not even the law (what a worry is that!) will protect property rights after that and everybody votes for that too. It would be funny if it wouldn't be so sad.

      Right next to the human right to survive and that means having drinking water, not at a "market price" but of right. The writing is on the wall.

      So often we hear how lucky we are living in NZ. Now, I know if you repeat something often enough you believe it. But running with open eyes into such political predicament leaves me gobsmacked. Chile is also an extraordinary beautiful country, that in itself has nothing to do with the suffering people have to endure.

      • Ngungukai 1.9.1

        We need to re Nationalise the Bank of New Zealand, Telecom, State Forests the list goes on.

      • roblogic 1.9.2

        How is this confiscation of public property? It's an administrative reshuffle and a massive investment in public infrastructure. Really the opposite of privatisation and asset sales.

        This ridiculous obsession with property rights and delusional claims of theft are worthy of Act/David Seymour.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    So there are 12,000 "members of the self-proclaimed Sovereign Hīkoi of Truth (SHOT) movement".


    Presumably just a fraction of those in the actual hikoi though. As I posted to Daily Review last night, there's an intellectual basis to this thing that transcends simple conspiracy theory categorisation.

    The notion of sovereign citizens has deep roots. Rousseau began his 1762 book on social contract theory with his declaration that humans are born free but are everywhere in chains.


    Another famous philosopher a century before that explained how those chains are formed: the state as leviathan.


    The biblical dragon as origin myth pits the puny citizen against the overwhelming state dragon, incentivising citizens to join together to overthrow the oppressor. Thus hikoi as rebellion. Mythos is an extremely powerful motivator.

    Hollywood always uses it as leverage to generate dollars. The spectre of Master Control loomed in 1982 in Tron, and the boomer generation saw the future. When the laser scanner digitised Jeff Bridges & uploaded him into cyberspace, we watched him liberate liberate software entities and defeat the evil MCP. Hero wins again!


    Mythologists just analyse what we all learnt as kids – mythos is spellbinding. Don't need to read this book to get the point: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hero_with_a_Thousand_Faces

    So the anti-state feeling is liable to become a conflagaration in mass psychology if govts fail to tune in. State repression proves the hero right – every time the state does it! Are you under control? Are you owned by the state as property? It's what they believe. Corporate rights vs citizen rights. You may claim govt ain't corporate. Read this & you may think again…


    • gsays 2.1

      I understand the Freeman on The Land movement is a kaupapa a lot are invested in.

      Robert Menard and his wife refused to fill out a birth (berth) certificate for their daughter. The child was removed from the safe loving by the Canadian authorities.

      Menard went and studied the law. Very interesting, the nature of contracts, police obligations (keep the peace, enforce policy), courts jurisdictions and limits, how corporations became 'people' (by using a law that gave personhood to slaves after emancipation) amongst a bunch of other stuff.

      I can understand and empathize with FMOL gaining popularity when the state starts acting in a heavy handed way.

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        Yeah, the bit that intrigued me was online documentation being circulated by the conspiracy theorists around a decade back that specified citizen identity as full capitalised name. Since I've been biased against my middle name since childhood I only use it when state compulsion requires me to. And having to capitalise the entire damned triad on some goddam state bureaucracy form is always nauseating.

        I sometimes find myself musing upon the notion of social contract. I mean, contracts as commonly used are freely entered into. You choose. You don't have that choice in regard to the social contract. You are born under control.

        The you get brainwashed by state education to make you a good little consumer/taxpayer as adult. It's why Roger Douglas called his party the association of consumers & taxpayers (ACT). Tried to have 50c each way as a leftist, of course, pretending to repudiate the state (socialism) while ensuring citizens got controlled by the market (neoliberalism). Freedom to choose, my arse. Well, I guess he'd say we are free to choose reversion to socialism if we like, and that's a fair point. But as long as the state uses the market as control mechanism, freedom to choose is more perception than reality.

        • gsays

          The real alt folk are great for conservation and having beliefs challeged. Kinda like the smokers outside at a party or pub when the legislation changed in the '90's.

          The first contract entered into a'la Menard is the berth certificate filled out by the parents, mistakingly linking the flesh and blood entity with the fiction that is what the state engages with. Thereby forgetting/surrendering sovereignty.

          The brain washing starts with the folks and then the state mechanisms kick in. Possibly explains a common lack of resilience nowadays, well meaning adults stopping their children from experiencing challeges and 'adversity'.

        • Blazer

          I always thought ACT …was the association of c#^#*'s and thieves!

          Learn something new every day.

    • joe90 2.2

      But who's doing all the harvesting?

      • Dennis Frank 2.2.1

        Yeah the problem with alt folk is their innate tendency to head out to lunch & not ever return. A lifetime of having to disassociate myself from both mainstreamers & alternative nutters taught me to always find a third option.

        I eventually discerned that lies in metaphysics: the psyche has an internal real/imaginal hinge. Some things are verifiably real. Others are noticeably unreal. Then you get a third category looming into consciousness: things that just cannot be allocated into the binary slots. In physics this got formalised in the concept of wavicle being applied to the electron, since it was proven to be a particle in some experimental situations and proven a wave in others.

        You can validate my claim that `the psyche has an internal real/imaginal hinge' for yourself. Just think about how you decide between two options. Your choice depends on which imagined future seems preferable.

        Usually such decision-making occurs in a fraction of a second but the time taken depends on context. In our evolutionary past, we had to decide if a rustle of nearby bushes was a sabre-toothed tiger or not, and had a fraction of a second to spot the nearest tree to leap up into. So situations have a built-in real/imaginal potential which our decisions hinge upon, for survival.

      • gsays 2.2.2

        I can't speak to the issue of organ harvesting.

        The bit that sticks out for me is the description 'anti-vax' hikoi. To the best of my knowledge, it is honouring He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni (The Declaration of Independence of New Zealand) foremost and individual sovereignty.

        Yes there may be a lot of folk that are agin restrictions and mandated medicine.

        I guess it is easier to have them 'othered' into anti-vax, witness Newshub's inclusion of a video Pope Brian Tamaki in their intial article on the hikoi.

        • joe90

          A pākeha mob turned up unmasked, and presumably unvaccinated, under the guise of an affinity with Māori sovereignty with the potential of spreading a deadly virus. That's offensive.

          More cars coming from within Northland were stopped near Kawakawa, with Taitokerau checkpoint coordinator Hone Harawira describing hīkoi organisers as Pākehā anti-vaxers trying to take over He Whakaputanga commemorations.


  3. Adrian 3

    Why there is hasn’t been “ No vaccination, no travel “ restriction in place is beyond me.
    If you can’t be fucked getting vaccinated you should not be free to spread it to anywhere you like.

    And as to speculation as to the involvement of drug couriers in the earlier SI outbreak, pretty much everybody knows that is the case down here, and it wouldn’t surprise me if today’s wasn’t the same.

    • Ad 3.1


      With the Christchurch cases today there will be a huge pressure on Air New Zealand for a full domestic Traffic Light + certificate mandate system to go in within days.

      • Sabine 3.1.1

        Should have been mandated by government already. What good is level 3 in AKL when you can just drive yourself to the airport and fly fly away.

      • Nic the NZer 3.1.2

        Where as the earlier pressure to isolate the South Island had no impact what so ever.

    • Nic the NZer 3.2

      The present domestic travel arrangements are a complete shit show. There should clearly have been a mandatory covid test just prior to domestic travel north to south. These are being done regularly/daily at a few work places so this was possible. This still applies with vaccinated travellers as they are only less likely to be infected. The rates maybe going from 1.2% to 0.4% per head infected during an outbreak.

      Instead it says if you get covid tested then don't fly for 14 days. Thats fine if you have other reasons for getting the test, but it makes it impossible to check if your a carrier before travelling.

      • Sabine 3.2.1

        In rotorua during level 3 we had cops everywhere, stopping cars, asking drivers where they went and where they lived and if you were out of your 5 km perimeter you got send back with a warning.

        In Auckland during Level 3, you get to go to he airport and fly fly away without any issues, its like in the Airport its still Level 1 or pre 2019.

        • Ngungukai

          They also left the back road from Port Waikato to Raglan open, a mate of mine farming in the area, reckons there was a big increase in traffic through the area at all hours of the night and day.

      • Nic the NZer 3.2.2

        Can somebody point to current domestic travel policy, re testing. I have seen conflicting information and think the airnz site where I got this may be is not the policy travelling from Auckland.

        • Ngungukai

          Probably if you are an essential worker you can get a travel exemption, however I don't think they are checked that thoroughly. Inevitably it was going to get to the South Island some how.

      • Craig Hall 3.2.3

        Covid arrived in Christchurch via someone who tested negative both ways before travelling – can't rely on testing alone.

        • Nic the NZer

          I'm only finding, She tested negative. Do you have a reference to the official policy for this travel? What I found on airnz suggested taking tests put your trip at risk.

          Nobody thinks its just testing.

          • Craig Hall

            https://legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2021/0263/latest/LMS557547.html – she would have come under (1)(b) as a person returning home after travelling to Auckland for one of the permitted non-work reasons.

            It's not the easiest to decipher admittedly. In looking at those requirements, apparently she was not actually required to be tested, but did anyway (her purpose was urgent childcare which would come under item 6 of Schedule 5 – the requirement for a test in the last 72 hours applies to "items 4, 5, 9 to 14, 17 to 18C, and 19 of Schedule 5").

    • Ngungukai 3.3

      Adrian once they get to 90% they will open up the whole country so don't worry about it the cat is already out of the bag.

    • Ngungukai 3.4

      Drug dealers don't follow rules just ask the Police even under Lockdown.

  4. Rosemary McDonald 4

    That may be appropriate if there was a vaccine that stopped a person catching and transmitting Te Virus.

    (That was in reply to Adrian…reply button didn’t work)

    • I Feel Love 4.1

      Again, & again, your chances of catching, carrying, spreading, getting ill, long covid, hospitalized, dying, are lesser if you're vaccinated.

      • Ngungukai 4.1.1

        And have a good health status, hence our more vulnerable sectors of society are more likely to have complications from the Covid Virus.

  5. tc 5

    I see coutts being rolled out now by granny who've used his Facebook posts.

    Easier and cheaper than actual journalism when you can cherry pick the entitled views.

    • dv 5.1

      Ive add the words missing from his rant

      The fact is that people are living AND DIEING with Covid offshore and although some people, perhaps many, rightly remain cautious, life has largely returned to normal in many places. But that is not what we are being told here in New Zealand,

      Yesterday cases/deaths

      Europe 239233, 3400

      • Bearded Git 5.1.1

        dv…good stats there…Mr Coutts, whose sense of entitlement is pissing off lot of people around Queenstown over water issues near his mansion, should take a good look at that figure of 3,400 deaths.

      • Sabine 5.1.2

        and Europe has 746 million people. That should also be in this very scary statistic.

        btw, i am not taking cases of infection nor death lightly, but population should be also mentioned, just for clarity.

        • dv

          Fair enough Sabine

          Total cases/ deaths
          63,596,361 1,290,051

          • Sabine

            These numbers are different then the ones above? Care to clarify? I.e. the time frame between first comment and this? Makes no sense to me.

            The point is that while Covid is a bitch, and a deadly one at that, we still have to live somehow. And that involves work, because frankly the moment your and our shelfs in the supermarkets are going empty, what ever good will there is in the population will be going out of the window fast.

            Many people the world over are learning to live with Covid, something that we have been doing here too, albeit somewhat differently. The workers of this country, the 'essential' workers and their families all live with the threat of getting Covid, and have done so since last year. Just saying. Maybe we are just ahead in the 'getting on with Covid because we don't have any other choices then get jabbed, get tested, and hope to recover if falling ill.

            Covid is something that will be with us for a long long time to come, heck it might even be our 'empire destroying' factor before global warming kills us of for good. Get used to it.

            • dv

              The first are the cases yesterday.

              The second are the totals for the pandemic.

              For europe

              • Sabine

                which is not too bad considering. Actually.

                Less then 10% had Covid, and a million plus out of 746 million died.

                (disclaimer: I have family in europe, in several different countries with very different approaches to Covid)

                So maybe we need to stop the fearmongering and simply advocate for testing, vaccinating, masking, distancing, santizing and don't go to large events for a year or two in order to beat it. Actually we should normalise TVMDS and we would all be much safer.

                Btw, we lost 8 people over the last weekend to totally preventable car accidents. Maybe we need to do a bit more fearmongering abut cars and motorbikes, so that people are a bit more aware that bad driving and riding can and will kill.

      • Ngungukai 5.1.3

        Evidently India and China are back to normal.

    • Ngungukai 5.2

      New Leader of the National Party.

    • SPC 5.3

      A male Karen, a Russell.




      1. 1.

        a female member of a class of people of European ancestry.

      2. 2.

        the language of the Karen, middle class white entitlement.


      1. relating to the Karen or their language.
      • Nic the NZer 5.3.1

        Confused, are you saying we should dislike all people of European ancestry? All people whos first names are Karen (or Russell apparently)? Or just people who express self entitlement (such as entitlement to explain how others should properly think) linguistically.

    • Ngungukai 5.4

      Potentially the new leader of the National Party

  6. Adrian 6

    I have the same problem Rosemary, so in reply to you, the vaccine reduces spread hughley but the more important thing is the reluctance to use the QR code’which is a pretty good pointer to the mindset of the traveller and a no vax, no fly rule prevents them spreading at will.

    • left for dead 6.1

      Here here,no vax no leaving district.

      • gsays 6.1.1

        As we are finding this out, https://www.bbc.com/news/health-59077036

        howabout test positive, no leave the district?

        It's more in line with what we want to achieve, limit spread, and there is less othering.

        • left for dead

          Fair point except to say that is more time comsuming and less reliable(most anti's don't scan either),Just get the vax unless medicaly the person is unable,their way more things to make a stand about as a community,,And we don't.

  7. weka 7

    Can someone please explain how someone was able to travel from Auckland to Christchurch in the past week, given Auckland is in L3 with travel restrictions at its boundary?

  8. Stephen D 8

    There is endless whining from left and right over the 3 Waters.

    I’ve yet to see any alternative policy to fix the shit show (literally) that is Aotearoa’s water supply.

    • RedLogix 8.1

      As someone who worked in the sector for 8 years I've already made my views clear – modern water supply is a technology intensive enterprise that requires specialist skills and tools. The efficient use of capital, chemicals and energy inputs is the key driver, which scales well with size.

      Moreover experience makes it clear that because this is such a capital intensive activity the same entity that operates the plant, must also be the same entity that owns it. More than 90% of the cost of delivering a litre of water to the consumer are fixed capital and operational costs. An inability to manage these creates all the wrong incentives and distortions.

      It's my view that these reforms are heading in exactly the correct direction and this govt should be commended and supported for them. This is a once in a generation chance to get this right – and the price of failure will be high.

      • dv 8.1.1

        Thank you RL for that. Good to have some sensible comments from one who knows.

      • Puckish Rogue 8.1.2

        Or it'll turn out like kiwibuild

        • Sabine

          shhh, that is not nice.

          • Puckish Rogue

            To be fair I think the government (or a council) owning 51% is a better option than Labour (or National) owning it outright

            • Sabine

              to be fair,

              i think the game is as it always was.

              Labour nationalises

              National sells

              Citizens pay

              and should it all go to custard

              Labour nationalises

              Citizens pay

              rinse repeat.

            • Ngungukai

              Nah privatise straight away and get some offshore entity who knows something about water to sort it out, we don't have the people with the right skills here in NZ to do things properly.

              • Puckish Rogue

                The government should keep at least 51%, in certain industries, just to keep an eye on things

                I think capitalism is the best economic system we have but I'm but it does need rules and this would be one of them

            • roblogic

              51% ownership are you kidding me!!? Water is a public utility (never to be sold or partly privatised) that needs protection for future generations. Which is what 3 Waters is all about.

              • Ngungukai

                We don't have the people here in NZ with the right skills look at the state of the Canterbury Rivers.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Is it working now? Your government doesn't seem to think so.

              • Sabine

                Makes me wonder who will sit on the boards of these new entiteties? Could it be some useless politicians that need jobs in the future? Maybe that is the problem with NZ, its not that we don't have talent, it is that we elevate those that have none.

              • Sabine

                A public utility that will serve those that can pay.

                Electricity is a public utility that only serves those that can pay.

                Health care is a public utility that only serves those that can pay, everyone else is on a waiting list.

                Education is a public utility that really only serves well those that are in private schools, nevermind the 'public schools'.

                good grief.

                • roblogic

                  A for-profit capitalist model is much, much worse, its purpose being to make money not provide for the public good. It only serves the 1% and screws everyone else.

                  Here's a thread on the delivery of services under communism vs. capitalist countries.

            • Ngungukai

              Or selling it outright to Offshore Interests.

        • Ngungukai

          Or the BNZ and NZRail

        • Ngungukai

          Or the BNZ and NZRail.

      • gsays 8.1.3

        Appreciate your input on this RL.

        Seems to be the attitude to rivers and waterways hasn't changed in 100 years.

        Councils, rural land owners, townies etc just pump or dump into the stream and on the other hand take more than is sustainable.


        The notion of the wai having mauri or life force is often too much for an individual to contemplate let alone a District Councillor.

        Perhaps a far bigger influence and control from Tangata Whenua could tip the balance….

      • roblogic 8.1.4

        Thanks RL. Appreciate some informed input to this. Providing essential infrastructure is a basic function of central government. Really can't understand supposed "lefties" on here arguing on behalf of local governments and their legacy of dysfunction, fiefdoms, and the corporate CCO model. The future really is a foreign country to some people.

      • Stephen F 8.1.5

        Thanks RL.

        If only opposition parties could develop some policies of their own.

    • Ngungukai 8.2

      We need some professional advice from someone with some brains, tidy up the Canterbury and the Waikato Rivers for a start.

    • Foreign waka 8.3

      It certainly does not include confiscation and diminishing property rights.
      So will the rate payer be reimbursed? Not the council please, they have got away with day light robbery far too long. Rates in Wellington have increased 8% in 12 months. This is higher than even the high inflation that was posted a few days ago. If the water charges are being increased than many people will not be able to pay and end up similar like the ones freezing in winter. You can use a blanket but without water you are dead in 48 hours.

      • Ngungukai 8.3.1

        Problem is Wellington have not been upgrading there Water Infrastructure over the years.

        • chris T

          As a wellingtonian I am happy drinking my tap water, and if you have tried to drive down the waterfront in the lat 1 year 1/2 you would know it is being replaced.

          Frankly f'off Labour

        • chris T

          The funniest bit is after their record, people think the govt can do a better job for the entire country.


  9. Adrian 9

    Well done on the Wellington project Rob but did your system include a "life "timescale on replacement or every element in the mix. In Formula 1 ( which I know a little bit about ), and I presume the space industry, everything from the smallest nut, bolt, clip etc has a life attributed to it and is replaced when it comes to that. The problem with our water system is that councils are so busy keeping up with fresh demand that there is no money for prevention. It relies on finger-crossing.

  10. Dennis Frank 10

    The managing editor for Newsroom Pro reports on an attempt by David Clark to rehabilitate himself: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/watchdog-to-protect-consumers-from-big-new-water-providers

    It's an

    argument for an economic regulator to act as a watchdog on the new drinking water, wastewater and stormwater authorities. And it's made in a paper that Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark presented to Cabinet last week.

    Responsibility for regulating water quality has now been moved from a forgotten, dysfunctional corner of the Ministry of Health to the new standalone agency Taumata Arowai. And David Clark's ministerial oversight for health has also been removed

    He's making a useful point:

    the new entities will have "complex and novel governance arrangements" that will make them far less accountable to their owners, the ratepayers of New Zealand. And nor will they be accountable to Government.

    This seemingly inexplicable lack of democratic oversight is justified, by Mahuta and the Department of Internal Affairs, as being forced upon them by Standard & Poor's. They say that without this balance sheet separation, the credit agency will refuse the new authorities and councils the good credit ratings that they need to borrow more money to upgrade their sometimes tired and broken infrastructure.

    Why do her & her officials believe borrowing on the open market is the only option? I assume they feel inadequate. Money only gets created by those sufficiently privileged, and they just don't qualify. They're lower in the establishment pecking order than the RB & private banks, who do qualify as money creators.

    • Blazer 10.1

      ' They say that without this balance sheet separation, the credit agency will refuse the new authorities and councils the good credit ratings that they need to borrow more money to upgrade their sometimes tired and broken infrastructure.'

      Preposterous!…they still need to accountable to the Govt…a vital service.

      The Govt oversight is the absolute best security.

      As for credit ratings…the GFC showed that S&P maintained they were only an 'opinion'!

  11. DS 11

    Unvaccinated. Travelling in and out of Auckland. The mind ****ing boggles. The South Island has every right to be furious.

    • Ngungukai 11.1

      Evidently in Christchurch now won't be long for an outbreak there they should of sealed off the South Island.

    • Nic the NZer 11.2

      It should be understood that vaccination is not sterilizing. Reasonable estimates indicate you have equivalent risk with maybe 5x travel volumes (about 20% of our present cases are vaccinated) if its only vaccinated allowed to travel, though.

      The correct procedure seems to be tests for domestic travel, but thats not a perfect filter either.

      Its also worth noting that if you started getting vaccinated at the beginning of level 4 lockdown you are only 3 weeks past second dose time. At that time in the roll out general population vaccinations had only just started. So there are quite a few who did everything right but are still mid way through the process.

      • weka 11.2.1

        quite a few vaxxed early on who probably have waning immunity now too.

      • McFlock 11.2.2

        And the associated lower risk of transmission from a vaccinated person.

        But lowering the odds by 4/5ths would still have prevented the current issue of an unvaxxed person reaching chch.

        It's all about lowering the odds until they are in favour of the nation, not the virus.

        • Nic the NZer

          In what sense would the Christchurch event have been prevented? You can reasonably argue it could have taken 5x as long or so to happen with a vaccinated person, but that may still have occurred in the same time frame. But its really the event of an infections person turning up in Christchurch which is the thing we want prevented.

          • McFlock

            Dude is unvaccinated. Unvaccinated people wouldn't be allowed to travel. Problem solved.

            Sure, delay five times as long. Not sure that math entirely adds up, but let's go with that: how long has it been since the last case travelled to chch since Auckland came out of L4? Multiply that by five. So odds are that the first instancel ike this would have been… when? end of this year, early next year?

            That's still a massive improvement. Sure, 100% prevention is perfect, but if we must have some travel, at least make it good because perfection is unattainable in that circumstance. It's just about lowering the odds.

            • Nic the NZer

              Well thats cleared it up. Yes, the public relations problem of an unvaccinated person travelling to Christchurch would have been solved, I agree.

              On the other hand if we want to stop infected people arriving in the SI they still need to be tested regardless of their vaccination status.

              At this stage the govt has not locked down Ch so its possible it wasn't passed on and we got lucky again.

              Also whats being delayed 5x as long got to do with it? Domestic travel was allowed since L4 ended.

              • McFlock

                It's not a public relations problem, it's a public health problem.

                Sure, test everyone. But that didn't work for the russian sailors, did it? And if everyone's vaccinated, there's the question of whether flights out of auckland are frequent enough to justify it for vaccinated passengers – how many cases will be picked up in a particular timeframe? One a day, or one every six months? How many will be undetected/slip through in that same timeframe?

                Because delaying, once again, has everything to do with it. We put off a case a long time, when covid finally gets through then it's hitting a more highly vaccinated and prepared population, and there's a lower pressure on the health system in that locality. And if we put it off for even longer and get auckland under control (sure, "if"), the odds of an infected person even trying to get onto a plane get lower.

                Demanding perfection leads to fatigue and failure. Delaying, delaying, delaying. That's the key to this thing. One day at a time, and if we have a binge then we start again with a new chip.

                • Nic the NZer

                  If we want to get real with that public health problem then putting in tests for domestic travel (for everyone) seems to be the only game in town, and no its not guaranteed.

                  But you seem to be suggesting there is a significant difference between fully vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers. Its actually a very marginal difference to a lowish frequency event (in NZs context). I describe this kind of solution as being seen to do something more than actually doing something, though the fact they were unvaccinated has made the bad guy part of the story simpler to report on.

                  Because of the odds, if we only unleash the vaccinated on domestic travel at Christmas, without tests, I would happily bet there is as SI outbreak from that.

                  • McFlock

                    Five times is not a marginal difference.

                    For example, it's the difference between five outbreaks in SI for xmas, and one.

                    Or, in this case, it's the difference between one instance of community transmission in chch, and none.

                    Testing helps a bit, but vaccination is the key. It lowers the odds of transmission on the plane, and transmission at the destination, regardless of test timing or reliability.

                    An argument could be made for both, but not testing instead of vaccination. there have already been too many testing fails for that to be realistic.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      Actually for tests to work only 5x as well the false negative rate must be above 20%. As far as I know these are able to be processed within 12-hours and with a much lower false negative rate than that.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, I just saw craig's comment below.

                      sure enough:

                      The woman had a negative test before travelling to Auckland with a child care exemption, and returned a second negative test before returning to Christchurch on Friday, October 15 where she infected another family member she lives with.

                      Testing is all well and good, but a no vax, no plane policy would have prevented community transmission that slipped through the testing net.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      Your very certain about an event with less than 100% probability involved.

                      And no having vaccinated and unvaccinated travel at Christmas doesn't multiply the outbreak by 5x. That depends on the proportion of each travelling. Its 5x if every vaccinated traveller brings an unvaccinated buddy along. Apparently more than half the country is fully vaccinated already.

                    • McFlock

                      Fair call on the math. But the unvaccinated are significantly more likely to have it and to spread it if they have it.

                      All I'm sure on is that vaccination requirements for aircraft travel would have prevented the spread to christchurch, the only spread to christchurch in weeks.

                      And that the traveller tested negative, and was unvaccinated.

                      Seems pretty obvious that a whole bunch of folks in the south island have been caused needless worry by someone who passed your filter but wouldn't have passed mine.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      Not sure how you can be certain of that because its only made less likely, not impossible.

                      Also, clearly if there has been a regular policy of tests with this travel that has been doing the bulk of the lifting here already. You can make it tighter by restricting travel, but should not think you can replace the test part doing the heavy lifting here without increasing the risk of this activity (substantially).

                    • McFlock

                      Not sure how you can be certain of that because its only made less likely, not impossible.

                      This specific instance would have been made impossible.

                      Dunno about the dataset that would have it, but would be interesting to see how many people have been declined plane travel within nz because of negative tests.

                      And how many of them were vaccinated? Because only 5% of people who have tested positive had been fully vaccinated. What's the false negative rate for the tests currently used?

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      The actual false negative rate will depend on how sensitive the test tuning is, but documentation suggest the false negative rate is between 0% and 5% of covid positive cases are missed. Sorry linking on phone too hard, but assessment-and-testing is in the link at health.govt.nz.

                      Also these missed ones are likely the lower infection level ones.

                    • Nic the NZer


                      This is the link suggesting test false negative rates. Its stated in terms of the true positive rate so its in the range 0%-5% (frequently 0%).

                      "A recent laboratory study found that different COVID-19 testing kits correctly detected COVID-19 in samples more than 95% (and frequently 100%) of the time."

                    • McFlock

                      Depending on which test, sure. In the lab.

                      It still failed chch, while a vax mandate would have stopped it.

                      Sure, run them together, test and required vaccinations. But a vax mandate would have kept the virus out of the south for longer.

            • Ngungukai

              They should have learnt from the in bound traveller's from the likes of India and China last year who were tested negative b4 they left India and then arrived here positive.

      • SPC 11.2.3

        There is a reason why those who test negative overseas still stay in MI when they arrive here (some later test positive).

        The person could have travelled after a negative test, stayed at home but their partner went out to work …

  12. Adrian Thornton 12

    As our RNZ has become a low brow, pathetic husk of of a news source that would rather spend a good part of it's morning news coverage on Alec Baldwin's accidental shooting saga than actual important world events…which is what I assumed their job was, looks like I was wrong.

    Anyway here is just one of those world news that RNZ don't cover…

    DAY ONE: Assange Lawyer in Fiery Rebuttal at Day’s Conclusion

    Edward Fitzgerald QC, a lawyer for Julian Assange, ended the first day of the U.S. appeal with a thunderous response to the case put forward by a prosecutor for the United States.


    • Rosemary McDonald 12.1

      …that would rather spend a good part of it's morning news coverage

      …having a little giggle at mucking up the name of the road that was the scene of a fatal vehicle accident.

      Respect to you Adrian Thornton…my automatic drivel filter is almost permanently engaged when Natrad is on nowadays. Considering I listened almost religiously to all but Mora, Mulligan and Chapman….these days I can barely abide a half hour of it's empty twaddle.

      Tbh…I doubt many of the so called journalists there would even know who Assange is.

      • left for dead 12.1.1

        @ Rosemary and Adrian, RNZ are the husk of their former self,but if they put it down what will be left,Radio with pictures" don't get me wrong, I love alt music our own is dear too my heart,but we must fight back,,,I also need top quality news,can we not send Lisa what ever here name is back to TV.It's bad enough all the recons here (TS)let alone on our national broadcaster.

        edit "Owens

      • Gabby 12.1.2

        Chapman seems to have lost what small ability he had to form coherent sentences.

        • left for dead

          "dropped on his head after the bicycle crash" I haven't noticed any change,hes always been bad,He did so much better in a pub scene.

  13. Ad 13

    87.2% first vaccination from eligible population.

    C'mon team.

  14. Dennis Frank 14

    Diatribe from Jon Entine, founding executive director of the Genetic Literacy Project, and Patrick Whittle, a New Zealand-based freelance writer with a particular interest in the social and political implications of biological science, and a PhD in philosophy:

    11 percent say that vaccines are more dangerous than the diseases they prevent… Before the pandemic, resistance to vaccinations in the US was fairly evenly divided between Left and Right, at least according to polling data. But the reasons were different, and telling. Conservatives were more likely to believe that vaccination should be the choice of a patient or parent, while leftists were more likely to embrace conspiracy nonsense.

    [overly long copy pasta deleted]

    And there's plenty more where that came from: https://quillette.com/2021/10/21/vaccine-rejectionism-and-the-left/

  15. observer 15

    25 Covid deaths in Melbourne/Victoria in past 24 hours. (28 Covid deaths in NZ in 18 months).

    "Living with Covid" … the oxymoron of our time.

    • Ad 15.1

      Name for all hospitalised and unvaccinated with COVID: oxymoron

      • Nic the NZer 15.1.1

        I understand some anti-vaxers have been claiming only the vaccinated get covid, what I didn't expect was you would with them.

        • dv

          They should google antivaxer who have died!!!

          • Nic the NZer

            I thought that if the world was going to end we were meant to lie down or put a paper bag over our head or something. – Bar patron

            If you like, yes – Ford Prefect

            Thats what they told us in the army – Bar Patron

            Will that help? – Barman

            No said Ford, and gave him a friendly smile.

            As written by Douglas Adams.

        • Nic the NZer

          I meant to say, would agree with them.

    • Ngungukai 15.2

      We will probably get to 25-30 deaths per month once we reach the peak and it stabilizes unless we have a massive outbreak in Auckland.

  16. Ad 16

    If anyone wants to see what the first wave of a deliberate financial earthquake looks like, here it is:

    This is the Chinese Central national Development and Reform Commission saying: Evergrande was the start, and now we expect foreign companies to pay their debt back. All of it:

    the foreign investment division of the national development and reform commission and the capital department of the foreign exchange administration held a symposium on the external debt of some key industries (ndrc.gov.cn)

    "…enterprises will continue to meet the needs of reasonable and compliant external debt replacement and repayment in such areas as foreign debt filing and registration and capital exit, and at the same time require enterprises to continuously optimize the structure of foreign debt, use foreign debt to raise funds in strict accordance with the approved use, consciously abide by financial discipline and market rules, proactively prepare for the payment of foreign bonds, and jointly safeguard the credibility of enterprises and the overall market order."

    That's a banking shockwave coming.

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