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Open mike 29/01/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 29th, 2021 - 59 comments
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59 comments on “Open mike 29/01/2021 ”

  1. Ad 1

    No rain in the North Island forecast through to the second week of February.

    Sure it's summer, but it's getting brutal.


    Meanwhile, Wellington Council blows two big pipes in a week: one wastewater, and one water main.


    Minister Mahuta keeps getting political gifts delivered to her massive water reform door.

  2. Jimmy 2

    The South African strain of Covid doesn't seem to be as easily passed on as they thought as the person from the Pullman didn't seem to infect any close contacts, which is good. Not sure about the UK variant. Watching the news last night, the one that concerns me more is the Brazilian variant, as if you believe the news article, it seems to have a much higher death rate, and also is killing far more young people.

    • I think Boris is using the UK Covid variant super-infection argument to cover up/act as a diversion from his atrocious Covid response….another 1400 deaths in the UK today.

    • Treetop 2.2

      Either NZ has dodged community transmission or Covid-19 is spawning undetected.

  3. Anker 3
    • Jimmy the scientists are saying STH African strain and UK strain more infectious so I would go with that.

    we seem to have got lucky in Northland, but actually I wouldn’t bet on there being no cmty transmission in Northland or Auckland. I hope I am wrong

    • McFlock 3.1

      They're testing pretty hard and the SA strain is more infectious, so the longer we go without transmission from those cases then the more likely it is that the people had been infected in the past, gotten better, and when they got tested it just picked up the corpses of the viruses that had already been killed by the immune system.

      a good reminder to keep good habits, though

  4. Ad 4

    Everyone braced for the Climate Change Commission's reports next week? Me neither.

    Here's the key lines from Matthew Hooten in the (paywalled bit of) the NZHerald this morning:

    "Nothing about Ardern's record suggests anyone need take the new carbon budgets any more seriously than tax reform, flooding the housing market with cheap houses, consolidating district health boards, abolishing school boards, reducing poverty or tackling inequality.

    Yesterday's announcement on electric vehicles simply laid out a timetable for never-ending bureaucratic report-swapping, with nothing like the environmnetal ambition of even Boris Johnson's Conservative Government which has banned the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars in the UK from 2030.

    Everything about Ardern's Government soon reduces to mere talk, with Covid taking the political heat away. Enjoy the status quo."

    • Drowsy M. Kram 4.1

      Nothing about Ardern's record suggests anyone need take the new carbon budgets any more seriously than tax reform, flooding the housing market with cheap houses, consolidating district health boards, abolishing school boards, reducing poverty or tackling inequality.

      If Hooten's prognostications are accurate, then an extended succession of Ardern-led Magenta-Green coalition governments is a good bet. Hope the opposition National party MPs enjoy the status quo – Ruthanasia can't rescue them now.

  5. Ad 5

    I think we can safely say that Australia doesn't really appreciate China's diplomatic effort to drive a wedge between ourselves and Australia, by conferring much improved trading relations between NZ and China compared to Australia and China.


    But it sure hasn't stopped Damien O'Connor following Nanaia Mahuta's lead in proposing that New Zealand should broker a peace agreement between Australia and China. That's like a major disagreement breaking out between Ardern and Scottie, and the Prime Minister of Kiribati trying to step in as peacemaker.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      And interestingly all the reports here indicate that apart from iron ore (which China absolutely needs at the moment), other Australia exports have done rather well from the diversification effort they've had to do in the wake of the CCP trade bullying this past year. Quite a few people here are realising that Xi Xinping's efforts to 'make an example' of Australia have ended up doing the Aussies a favour.

      The simple, brutal lesson NZ should learn is that the CCP is perfectly willing to openly use trade as a tool of coercion if it suits them. They don't even feel the need to be a tiny bit subtle about it.

      • Ad 5.1.1

        We're still pretty good at taking large companies and turning them into much smaller ones: Fonterra, Fletchers, Ports of Auckland, etc.

  6. Sanctuary 7

    The Auckland Tories at the Northern club have found their candidate to run against Goff, and the appropriate discussions have been had with their propaganda organs.


    • Ad 7.1

      She'd bring more energy to the job than the current guy.

      • fender 7.1.1

        Loud ass big mouth =/= more energy

        • Ad

          She was the standout performer under Key and certainly brings tonnes of Select Committee and Ministerial experience, qualifications, and her background looks like a Labour candidates'. I ain't defending her policies.

          We need a mayor who willreally stand up to government, because at the moment Goff is just getting rolled around like a dead seal on a beach.

          • Sanctuary

            No one will vote for a right wing candidate, simply because everyone is terrified they will flog off all the cities assets to pay down debt and we'll all end up paying five times as much for water to privatised and unaccountable water company, which will be paying it's CEO ten million a year or something.

            The super city needs serious reform, driven by central government, to undo the worst of Rodney Hide's screw ups. For a starter, double the number of councillors. 20 for over 1.5 million people? Really? And some sort of reform to up the number of people voting in local body elections. The city needs more & better coumcillors so we don't just get name recognition jobs for life representatives rubber stamping the decisions of unelected council bureaucrats.

        • Herodotus

          She already from your attributes listed, offers more than the last few mayors we have been gifted. 🤭

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          "Zip it, sweetie." Bennett's too good for the 'supercity', I reckon, just like Banks.

          • "I don't remember." (John Banks’ response when asked about his helicopter ride to Dotcom's mansion.)
          • "You think I came up the river on a cabbage boat." (John Banks responding to media questions about Dotcom.)
  7. mac1 8

    "last few mayors we have been gifted."

    I know this is a light-hearted jibe but the word 'gifted' is very well chosen.

    We ought not to have Mayors, or any other politician, 'gifted' to us.

    They should be selected by us at community level by parties or political groupings, supported and advised by us, and voted for by us.

    Not gifted by a small cadre of business and political interests and voted for by fewer than those who can't be bothered to vote.

    Auckland mayoralty 12 October 2019 Registered 1,065,383 Turnout 367,796 (34.5%).

    Phil Goff Independent beat John Tamihere Independent by a popular vote of 180,146 to 80,903 Percentage 48.97%

    180, 000 of 1,065,000 voted for the mayor. 16.9% of the registered voters.

    Gifted to us………….

  8. Stuart Munro 9

    "For years, the same hedge funds, private equity firms, and wealthy investors dismayed by the GameStop trades have treated the stock market like their own personal casino while everyone else pays the price," she(Elizabeth Warren)said in a statement.

    Free-market economy always seems to be the answer until it's the wolves of Wall Street who are getting bled.

  9. RedBaronCV 10

    Maybe I'm a bit thick but how does permission to maintain and refit a boat suddenly seem to morph into the green light for the selling of cruises by the boat concerned. And how on earth can "maintenance" be done if the cruises start not long after arrival? I actually think the headline could be a bit more critical of the attempt to bypass quarantine.


    In a written statement, MBIE said the border exception request was lodged on January 8th.

    “For foreign crew to be granted an exception to enter New Zealand under these circumstances, they must be considered essential for the operation of the ship to travel to New Zealand for the purpose it was granted permission i.e. refit or refurbishment of the vessel. Immigration instructions specifically exclude anyone on a ship who is not essential for the purpose,”

    • Stuart Munro 10.1

      It's a first step – the cleaner and hospitality jobs are reserved for New Zealanders. Imagine though, what MBIE would be doing if they actually operated in NZers interests. The prestige jobs would go to New Zealanders too. You think NZ people can't skipper ships? A bunch of big expensive yachts racing in Auckland about now seem to be proof that's just not true.

      • David 10.1.1

        But of course 4 Australians who can sing wiggle wiggle big red car is totally different.

        • Stuart Munro

          Well yes actually – the Wiggles are artists after a fashion. You could go on stage and do their routine, but it wouldn't be the same – you wouldn't draw a crowd and their supporters wouldn't find you adequate.

          A ship's captain or engineer or airline pilot has a set of practical skills that can be learned and if NZ isn't training enough of our own, MSA has a lot explaining to do – which being an outfit entirely populated by expat Poms they do anyway.

          • Graeme

            Strange thing to this is that a lot of new Zealanders work in the international super yacht and small cruise industry, especially in the hospo side, and are sought after for their practical hands on attitude. I know of one who's built quite a career managing the hospo side of yacht in Europe and a couple of chefs who've worked yachts. Surely they could have put together a crew out of NZ, but that mightn't have been as good a value proposition for the promoter as the French crew.

            • Stuart Munro

              I think the line I'd be inclined to push comes from here at 3:45 "We're talking about jobs, but jobs that bring dignity". There was a time when we didn't need to explain that in NZ.

  10. Graeme 11

    Welcome to the morality and ethics of the cruise industry. They’re a delightful bunch.

    • Pat 11.1

      they gambled…and lost

    • Treetop 11.2

      Turn the cruise ship around. If NZers are on board and want to return they will need to book MIQ.

      Can those running the cruise guarantee that there will be no community transmission?

      Government cannot afford to be kind or soft. Stupidity sums it up for me.

      • Pat 11.2.1

        As Faafoi said it is not about covid…they neglected to get the proper immigration clearances

        • Treetop

          Regardless of visas for the 61 hospitality crew, the track record of Covid on cruise ships is the issue and it cannot afford to be chanced.

          • Pat

            The covid risk is negligible….other risks however..

            • Treetop

              I have no sympathy for the organiser and his impatience. The communication the organiser has had with INZ and NZ health made it clear about the visas and conditions of entry.

              It is about trust and I would not trust the Organiser.

              • Pat

                I have zero sympathy either…but again this has nothing to do with covid excepting that covid closed the border

                The (claimed) 700 hopeful cruisers however I do have sympathy for…I hope they dont end up bankrolling this farce

              • Graeme

                We'll probably find that the 'organiser' and the boat operator are pretty close to the same. There's a lot of overseas ownership in the NZ tourist industry, with most of the revenue going back overseas. This one's a prime example, French boat, French crew and I doubt they'll be serving much New Zealand wine with dinner.

                It's be a huge slap in the face for New Zealand tourism operators if this was to go ahead. Most of the industry is running at less than 20% capacity and this lot think they can rock up and suck customers out of the place. I hope these leaches get smacked so hard they go away and never come back.

                • Treetop

                  There is a good reason why the hospitality crew need to be employed from NZ.

                  I would be interested in knowing if there were 61 qualified people in NZ who could work on the cruise ship. I think there is and more.

                  An exception was made for the fishing industry due to not having the qualified people in NZ. The cruise organiser probably thought the same would apply to them. To have booked the passengers for the cruise before ensuring the ship could sail, the organiser was asking for it.

                • RedBaronCV

                  I'm still pretty stunned that they can give their visa reason as "repairs & maintenance" when it really seems to be – "run cruises."Ii'm zero sympathy too.

                  And apparently the tourism industry has a lot of yo yo money – comes in and goes straight back out to overseas owners leaving us with the social costs.

  11. Sabine 12

    Oh my gosh, i can't put in words how exited i am to know that the wiggles are essential workers or something and thus must come to the country.

    What would we have done without the Wiggles.

    • Forget now 12.1

      My children are going to have to do without The Wiggles, Sabine.

      I'd like to say it is just because of ethical objections to their not being willing to use kiwi crew in a pandemic. But really; $76 per ticket in the stalls ($300 upstairs)? So; $225 (to $900) for a couple of hours of a kids show! They can make do with Netflix Wiggles.


      Edit: A mere $60 per ticket for the second show of the day! First is at 10am, second at 1pm. So I guess they’ll be lower energy then? Still; just no.
      2 shows of 2200 at $70 = $300,000+

      • Incognito 12.1.1

        Perhaps the matinée is in te reo.

        • Forget now

          Not many Māori will be buying those morning tickets at $300 a seat, Icognito. I sure won't be! No muso I know has ever made that kind of money in a single day…

          But it's not just siphoning off the NZ children's treat money for the year (hell; I couldn't afford to buy them clothes or stationary, let alone toys, at that price) for a fleeting, likely soon forgotten couple of hours. The emergency MIQ places are now not available for, well; emergencies:

          On the same day The Wiggles were given a space in managed isolation (MIQ), Yvonne Ponting was told there was no emergency spot for her dying brother to come home to see his family…

          The family's application for an emergency spot in MIQ was denied on Friday morning, as it did not fit under the “serious risk to health” category… An MIQ spokeswoman said there was no guarantee a person fittting the emergency categories would get an allocation…

          “Even if we manage to get a managed isolation spot just via the general public way, he's going to be dead by the time he gets his spot," Yvonne Ponting said.

          She feared there was a two-prong risk for the family.

          Firstly, that Ponting would not make it home to New Zealand in time altogether or that he would get back, but not recognise his family due to his worsening brain tumours.


  12. Incognito 13

    I don’t want to derail the post by MickySavage with an off-topic comment but I wonder if Social Media could be used to influence democratic elections, for example. Imagine some cashed-up investors have taken a ‘long’ position on an asset influenced by which political party gets into power. Purely fictional stuff, of course.

    • Macro 13.1

      Imagine some cashed-up investors have taken a ‘long’ position on an asset influenced by which political party gets into power. Purely fictional stuff, of course.

      You mean like this?

      Donald Trump was cultivated as a Russian asset over 40 years and proved so willing to parrot anti-western propaganda that there were celebrations in Moscow, a former KGB spy has told the Guardian.

      Yuri Shvets, posted to Washington by the Soviet Union in the 1980s, compares the former US president to “the Cambridge five”, the British spy ring that passed secrets to Moscow during the second world war and early cold war.

      Now 67, Shvets is a key source for American Kompromat, a new book by journalist Craig Unger, whose previous works include House of Trump, House of Putin. The book also explores the former president’s relationship with the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

      • Treetop 13.1.1

        I find this sort of stuff to be read it and decipher it for yourself. People are out there who can verify the facts but fear for the safety of their family or theirselves and being employed.

        • Macro

          That is true. However, Yuri Shvets, apparently does have some serious credentials to back up his claims. He was a major in the KGB and served as an undercover agent in Washington DC 1985-87 before his defection to the US in 1993, where he is now a US citizen. So he would have known if tRump was being regarded as a Russian asset, and to be given favourable treatment. This is not the first instance. There have been many others. tRump of course. would never be aware of it, just thinking that his "wonderful" personality was the main reason for the largess bestowed upon him. But underlying it was the long term goal, that should he ever hold a political position of power, his divisiveness would suit the aims of Russia to a T. A country divided, such is now the case in the US, is now less of a threat to Russian ambitions.

      • Incognito 13.1.2

        I was thinking closer to home.

        • Macro

          Something like this?

          A land banking business with a big piece of residentially zoned real estate on Auckland's outskirts has made more than $6 million a year for almost two decades – doing nothing.

          QV records shows Yi Huang Trading Company owns 39 Flat Bush School Rd, which it bought in 1995 for $890,000.

          Now, this 29ha block is listed on the market for $112.6 million, promoted as "the land of opportunity, vacant but close to Barry Curtis Park".

      • Anne 13.1.3

        Macro @ 13.1
        I planned to post that story here this morning but forgot.

        My personal view: it is likely there is a good dollop of truth to it. He would have been one of numerous individuals they kept an eye on as ideal candidates for future manipulation. So, the Ruskies had Trump’s measure 40 years ago.

        Of course, the West does it too, but maybe not to the same extent.

        • Macro

          So, the Ruskies had Trump’s measure 40 years ago.

          Yes – it seems highly likely – and they wouldn't have had to do much arm twisting to get their intentions across. From all earlier accounts of his dealings, much of the money flowing to the Deutsche Bank and on into tRump's pocket, was from Russian sources. He has been, and still is, heavily indebted to Russian influencers.

          They picked him because of his outlandish political ideas that formed the basis of his popular ideology. This nativism, and far right mean thinking was perfect for creating the division that now ferments the US body politic.

        • joe90

          So, the Ruskies had Trump’s measure 40 years ago.

          ‘The perfect target’:


      • mauī 13.1.4

        This sounds much like Luke Harding's book, which was light on evidence and heavy on innuendo. But some smart folks do enjoy a good spy thriller novel.

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  • Good Employer Awards celebrate food and fibre sector
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  • PM's comments to NATO session
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  • Veterans Minister announces new focus on mental health for veterans and their whānau
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  • Keynote remarks: Tech 4 Democracy Summit, Madrid
    To Provost Muniz, to the Organisers at the Instituto de Empresa  buenas tardes and as we would say in New Zealand, kia ora kotou katoa.  To colleagues from the State Department, from Academia, and Civil Society Groups, to all our distinguished guests - kia ora tatou katoa. It’s a pleasure ...
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