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Open mike 29/03/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, March 29th, 2020 - 181 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

181 comments on “Open mike 29/03/2020 ”

  1. Im right 1

    Another day in lockdown, another day for all lefties to dream about socialist policies to be enacted, to agree with each other about all the policies that they want for NZ that have been rejected by far left voters in UK and USA (Corbin and Sanders), but feel free to dream….it's free after all, the actual policies not so much!

    • KJT 1.1

      At a time when the failure of the right wing, Neo-liberal policies of the last decades have been so blatantly highlighted.

      You would think the right wing shills, would have the brains to realise it.

      The only thing wrong with socialism, is that it allows fools to survive to adulthood, to claim it doesn't work.

      • Incognito 1.1.1

        Don’t waste your breath on this brainless troll, as he won’t be replying.

      • Paddington 1.1.2

        "… when the failure of the right wing, Neo-liberal policies of the last decades have been so blatantly highlighted …"

        By what? By Covid? Are you serious? Look there are plenty of things wrong with neo-liberal policies, but there are countries with higher infection rates than the US that are hardly neo-liberal paradises. Norway and Denmark are two examples. Spain and Italy are two more telling examples.

        Covid seems to be uninterested in differentitating on the basis of economic policy.

  2. dv 2

    We have done a hell of a job," Trump said, as he sent an ominous message to state and local leaders who have been urging the federal government to do more to help them save lives.

    As US is rushing up to 120 000 cases. Most in the world, and increasing at just under 20k per day

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/donald-trumps-america/120654446/coronavirus-donald-trump-mulls-quarantines-for-new-york-new-jersey-and-connecticut

    • Cinny 2.1

      trump was revolting during yesterdays presser, telling people they should be appreciative of what he has done… wow.

      sonny perdue, their secretary of agriculture was in attendance, quietly sweating in the background, coughing when it was his turn to speak.

      Reminded me of a similar presser in Iran a few weeks back, where their health spokesperson was sweating and coughing, later he was diagnosed with the virus.

      Lets hope journalists don't get sick with it, right now the USA needs truth tellers more than ever.

    • Treetop 2.2

      Trump has had it. He put making money before the health of Americans. In New York the full impact is 5-7 days away.

      The world is going to undergo a reset which will be evolutionary, economic, humanitarian, medical and self sufficiency will need to occur.

      • dv 2.2.1

        Yes, USA have over 120k cases, and will probably break 20k new cases today.

        • Treetop 2.2.1.1

          Cuomo Mayor of New York is not thinking how he needs to think either. Gone Burger as well.

          • dv 2.2.1.1.1

            New York

            Cases 53,316 Today+7,054

            Deaths 883 Today +277

          • Andre 2.2.1.1.2

            Bill de Blasio is mayor of New York City. Andrew Cuomo is Governor of the state of New York.

            • Treetop 2.2.1.1.2.1

              Thanks for that. I apologise to the New York Mayor.

              Who holds the power the Mayor of New York City or the Governor of the state of New York?

              • Andre

                If you value your sanity, don't even to try sort out exactly who is responsible for what. There's a byzantine structure with lots of overlaps and lots of gaps. It's a fkn wonder anything works at all.

      • lprent 2.2.2

        In New York the full impact is 5-7 days away.

        Trump didn't get elected in New York. As we know, Trump isn't interested in anyone who doesn't support him fully and without their brains engaged.

    • tRump is thinking of November far more than the health and welfare of the American people – there are reports he wants his signature on all the cheques going out to all (?) Americans. What a campaigning ploy (as well, of course, as being completely immoral)!

      • Treetop 2.3.1

        USA is known for riots when the President is not listening. At some point people will riot. Now is not the time. Could be worse than the 1960s civil rights.

        Yes completely immoral.

  3. RedLogix 3

    Everyone on the planet should watch this right now. It's a masterpiece of visual mathematics that anyone can understand.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxAaO2rsdIs

  4. aj 4

    Neil Young can destroy a venue with a full-on electric attack he can mesmerize an audience with just an acoustic guitar, piano, harmonica, and casual banter, even while playing a suite of songs they’d never heard before. See him do so above in a 1971 concert live at the BBC’s Shepherds Bush Empire Theatre. Young plays four songs that would appear on Harvest: “Out on the Weekend,” “Old Man,” “Heart of Gold,” and “A Man Needs a Maid.” He also does “Journey Through the Past” and “Love in Mind,” which would appear two years later on the bleak 1973 Time Fades Away, and “Don’t Let it Bring You Down,” a song from 1970’s brilliant After the Gold Rush.

    Full set list:

    Out on the Weekend, Old Man, Journey Through the Past, Cowgirl in the Sand, Heart of Gold, Don't Let It Bring You Down, I Am a Child, There's a World, A Man Needs a Maid, The Needle and the Damage Done, Tell Me Why, Love in Mind, Dance, Dance, Dance

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-8WFaqBZm0

  5. Robert Guyton 5

    This phenomenon is very interesting:

    Cross-continental collaboration, individually isolated by bonded by circumstance, enabled by technology – nice combo.

  6. Crickleood 6

    This is interesting out of Iceland and it's way to late for a lockdown to be effective unless it lasts months.

    population has contracted the virus and that about half of those who tested positive are non-symptomatic,” said [Iceland’s chief epidemiologist

    If you look at that number you could say that we could double our number of known cases comfortably and then on top of that you will have another big number of people with mild symptoms.

    I'm pretty confident given we haven't been testing at the airports until very recently Corona is well embedded in our population.

  7. A 7

    For those Kiwi's stuck in Aussie with no income, no welfare, no way out…surely this is some kind of international human rights breach?

    • I Feel Love 7.1

      And those NZrs stuck in Peru, they were told they couldn't get on the charter flight to Australia because of the chance they could be stuck at the airport in Australia for more than 24 hours.

      • tc 7.1.1

        Sadly Oz is showing some true colors cobbah.

        • RedLogix 7.1.1.1

          Nope. Australians are not a lot different to Kiwis, they're a little more direct in they way they express themselves, but for the most part they're the usual mix like everywhere else.

          It's their govt that's the problem here; keep the focus on that.

          • JanM 7.1.1.1.1

            While remembering who voted that government in, of course!

            • RedLogix 7.1.1.1.1.1

              There is an overall truth in that, but this was an unusual election. If we could magically erase QLD out of the equation it would have been a likely ALP victory.

              When you have a number of electorates all swing one way on a single regional issue, perverse outcomes are always likely.

              My point to tc is there is no need to resort to bigotry to explain what is happening here.

            • weka 7.1.1.1.1.2

              It's simply a matter of luck and timing that we don't have a RW govt focused on protecting neoliberalism right now.

              • Wayne

                Seriously Weka? Have you already forgotten the Christchurch earthquake?

                Basically the same financial and civil defence remedies applied by the previous govt in 2011, as the present govt has applied, except it was location specific. The big difference being the entire CBD was knocked flat and most roads and underground infrastructure completely destroyed. Which is why it ultimately cost $40 billion. And also daily press conferences back then, same as now.

                In fact the current govt has had the big advantage of most of the emergency systems that are available to govt having been well tested in the previous 10 years. So just as NZ did way better than the US over a natural disaster (think Katrina) so are we doing way better with the pandemic.

                Partly it is a function of size and partly a function of a unified central govt, as opposed to a federal system. Also we seem, both in 2011 and in 2020, to have a better govt than the US did in Katrina and the present.

                • Chris

                  Bridges' big turnaround from 'this government doesn't know what it's doing' and 'it's leading us into economic oblivion' to 'we're all in this together' would've probably been difficult for him to swallow but his comms people sensing the public mood would've demanded it. Just look at Australia, US and the UK. We wouldn't have been any different. The sheer magnitude of what's happening now would've meant Bridges looking like a complete idiot if he'd continued with his pathetic attack lines. He's already close to joining the scomo/bojo/trump club as it is – many would say he's already a fully-fledged member.

                  Your comparison with Christchurch assumes the government did a good job. FFS, there are people down there who still haven't got their houses sorted out, not to mention the thousands who were ripped off by the government putting them in the no-win situation of accepting woefully inadequate payouts for their properties; or the millions spent on idiot boards made up of people who knew nothing about what they were being paid to do, many of whom were your mates.

                • weka

                  My view on Chch is that National dealt with the emergency *and prioritised the economy over people. eg the lack of mental health services. Obviously National weren't doing what the US and the UK are doing now, but I think a Labour led govt would have placed a different emphasis on Chch recovery, and National would certainly be placing a different emphasis if they were in power now.

                  Have to say it's been good to see the more traditional conservatives in National speaking out recently and aligning more with values. This bodes well.

                • KJT

                  Quick question. Who decided to pump up the pandemic reserves in 2017, which we are relying on now?

                  National, or this Government?

          • Chris 7.1.1.1.2

            Instead of telling anyone what to focus on, RL, what you need to remember is that the thinking of a nation is coloured, at least in part, by the policies of the prevailing government, and right wing governments have it easier than left wing governments in this regard. So, while you might say aussies are similar to kiwis, at the moment that's not quite the case. The average Australian's attitude towards NZ and NZers has changed a lot over the past decade, and not in a good way.

            • RedLogix 7.1.1.1.2.1

              The question that should challenge us all at this moment is … is what I am doing building trust or dismantling it?

      • dv 7.1.2

        Didn't Scomo refer to the ANZAC spirit a while back?

        He needs to look at the word.

      • bwaghorn 7.1.3

        Big brothers can be fuckwits

    • RedLogix 7.2

      In about 2 weeks time this sleeper issue is going to hit many 10,000's of kiwis, just as Australia is going to be under a tsunami of COVID 19 deaths and SloMo's govt will be under maximum pressure.

      Very bad timing. We need to act now.

      Ardern needs to find a way to put some pressure on Morrison to act before it degenerates into something far worse. The best way I can think of is for the NZ govt to announce it will pay a generous UBI to all 650,000 kiwis in Australia. Then wait a few days and announce that it will tax all Australian banks in NZ at 100% until the bill is paid.

      Most Aussies can appreciate a robust negotiation like that, and would take pleasure in seeing their banks get a kick in the nuts.

      • KJT 7.2.1

        "Socialism" who would have thunk it!

        • RedLogix 7.2.1.1

          The idea is to embarrass Slo Mo into action. First of all the UBI needs to be generous, significantly more than what the Australian govt has been fumbling about with for the past week. It needs to convey a high clarity message of clean action and taking responsibility.

          Then by taxing the banks you get pressure from the big end of town. If that doesn't work, extend it to all Australian owned commercial entities.

          The other element that needs to be highlighted is that NZ is taking care of the 60,000 Australians in our country who need help. It may be a much smaller number in total terms, but per head of capita, it’s comparable between the two nations.

          Give the issue high visibility profile and Slo Mo will eventually cave. The Australian public are not a lot different to NZ and can see the obvious need here.

      • bwaghorn 7.2.2

        Is that the same banks that are allowing kiwis 6 month mortgage holidays. In a game of who's got who by the short and curlier I'm afraid the aussie banks will win .

        • RedLogix 7.2.2.1

          Govt is also providing the funding guarantees for these mortgage holidays … and in any game of curly grabbing they will always win.

          • In Vino 7.2.2.1.1

            Those same banks might be quite capable of blocking our payments to Oz-Kiwis in the first place, and sure to block them if a tax were mentioned.. Scomo likely to support them in this, as well.

            • RedLogix 7.2.2.1.1.1

              That would be flat out theft and solid grounds to arrest senior bank officers. It would also play very badly with the public on both sides of the Tasman.

        • Wensleydale 7.2.2.2

          Think about the PR catastrophe that would result from the banks revoking those mortgage holidays. They'd be as popular as a scorching case of herpes.

      • Anne 7.2.3

        Yep. Nothing less will get through that government's thick skull.

      • Adrian 7.2.4

        Brilliant. I'm all for that.

      • Treetop 7.2.5

        Morrison will not say no to NZ health workers in Australia.

        CER (closer economic relations) nothing in CER when it comes to NZers living in Australia and paying tax being supported.

        Put it on the reset list

        I predict a flood of migration of expats returning from Australia.

    • greywarshark 7.3

      A – human rights breach – yes. That is another way to put pressure on govt, Not that they will always respond. Once you've been there a couple of times and not been hit by lightning then…

  8. Graeme 8

    This could get messy, commercial landlords are shitting themselves

    Freeman said the Government does need to step in. "We think Government is a key part to help provide a solution."

    The council is hearing about multiple scenarios, including hearing from many landlords who are working constructively with tenants in discussing rent relief, including postponements to outright cuts in rents, through to those refusing to pay.

    "The biggest issue with this is that we need everybody to come out of this. We need businesses to survive and landlords need to survive," Freeman says.

    The problem is this clause in the standard ADLS lease which covers most commercial leases,

    No Access in Emergency (27.5)

    If there is an emergency and the Tenant is unable to gain access to the premises to fully conduct the Tenant's business from the premises because of reasons of safety of the public or property or the need to prevent reduce or overcome any hazard, harm or loss that may be associated with the emergency including:

    (a) prohibited or restricted access cordon applying to the premises; or

    (b) prohibition on the use of the premises pending the completion of structural engineering or other reports and appropriate

    (c ) restriction on occupation of the premises by any competent authority,

    then a fair proportion of the rent and outgoings shall cease to be payable for the period commencing on the date when the Tenant became unable to gain access to the premises to fully conduct the Tenant's business from the premises until the inability ceases.

    This clause came into the standard lease after the Christchurch earthquakes and applies to all emergencies, pandemics are included in the definition at the back of the lease.

    As a commercial tenant I'm hearing a lot of different outcomes with this, from some landlords who offered their tenants lengthy rent holidays before any restrictions, to others that aren't even returning phone calls or emails. Pretty much the same range of behaviour landlords are reporting, but the other way around.

    But both parties entered into the lease, presumably aware of the obligations contained and are bound by them. If a landlord is saying that the clause shouldn't apply, then what else in the lease doesn't apply any more? The whole lease?

    The difficulty is working out what is fair. A strong argument can be made that no rent is payable as the tenant cannot conduct any business, but the tenant has the benefit of storage in the landlords premises.

    Some sort of ruling is required on this before the end of business on Tuesday, so rent payments on 1 April can either be withheld or paid in part. I don't think and argument can be made that full payment in possible under that clause.

    Either the Government does it, or the Property Council and Retail and other business associations get together in Court first thing tomorrow and thrash out a ruling.

    • greywarshark 8.1

      Bob Jones and his illk will be getting testy, he might start a new polly party.

    • pat 8.2

      I suspect this issue is being examined as we speak….wouldnt be surprised if there is a directive within the next few days

      • Graeme 8.2.1

        It's looking very much that way, despite Robertson saying there wasn't much the Government could do in his stand up yesterday.

        The problem goes a long way beyond clause 27.5 . There's also ratchet clauses in commercial leases, the rent cannot be less than the pre-ceeding rent on review. This will make it very hard for many tenants who won't have anything like past business levels as we come out of this, and will be trapped in leases that are killing them very quickly. But I know some here that won't be around if they have to pay the next 3 months rent with no income apart from the wage subsidy.

        Then landlords won't have any tenants, or not at the same rental. Who's going to take on a lease at 2019 conditions now, unless you're in the essential group.

        • pat 8.2.1.1

          it will require a lot of flexibility from the banks as well as reduced expectations from landlords but the reality is they have Hobsons choice

          • Graeme 8.2.1.1.1

            Tricky bit will be when one party is going down and becomes very inflexible and irrational. Leases are very enduring creatures that can exploit and be exploited. This would create a lot of un-neccessary pain and most likely a domino effect of landlords and tenant insolvencies.

            Will probably come to a point where an exit procedure will have to be instituted where previously solvent parties can get out of contracts before they are sucked dry and become insolvent. This would apply to tenants obligations to their landlords, and landlords obligations further up the chain. Once we get to domino insolvencies there will be very few able to restart businesses to continue the economy.

    • Gabby 8.3

      Is there a similar deal with commercial rates?

      • Graeme 8.3.1

        Sort of. Rates are part of the outgoings, so the landlord pays them and hands the bill to the tenant. Same as the landlords insurance and any management fees, so if you have a dispute with the landlord through the property manager, you tend to pay for both sides of the argument.

        If 27.5 applies, which it does in this situation the landlord will not be reimbursed for a proportion of the rates, and other outgoings through the lockdown period.

        It's a matter of determining what that 'fair' proportion is. And 'fair' isn't really a thing in commercial negotiations, it's screw as much out of the other party as you can.

  9. Herodotus 9

    4,6,10 weeks time when we have extinguished this C19 from NZ, what then?

    International travel (tourism) will be decimated. As we cannot allow a repeat of this to occur, otherwise we have placed NZ of hold for Nothing. As with international contact, the virus will reestablish itself.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      Yes that is the crunchy part. NZ will have to revert to the kind of travel conditions that prevailed before the 60's; possible but only if you really need to.

      As for how long … there are too many variables. If the CCP is to be believed and they've eliminated COVID 19 from China, then with a coordinated global effort it could be gone everywhere by June. But both believing the CCP and expecting effective global action are unlikely presuppositions.

      It's likely by later this year most nations will start to respond more competently. We'll see a combination of universal testing, isolation, social distancing and good hygiene start to bring the numbers down dramatically.

      Then it's highly likely we will soon see effective use of anti-retroviral drug treatments reduce the death toll substantially. (I'd personally like to see credible trials of IV-VitC as some Chinese hospitals report success with.)

      The magic bullet of a vaccine is by no means certain. After all after decades of trying we still don't have a vaccine for HIV, but there is an enormous high tech effort being put into it by dozens of teams worldwide.

      Plus of course we cannot rule out another black swan event emerging in the wake of all this instability. It's easy enough to point to some of the factors that may come into play, but predicting how they will actually weave together in real time is impossible.

      • Treetop 9.1.1

        Are you still stranded?

        • RedLogix 9.1.1.1

          It was a way more complex story than I was prepared to relate in a public forum; but essentially yes we're still stranded. Fortunately over the past three days we had a very welcome change for the better in our family position and we are no longer in panic mode thanks.

      • infused 9.1.2

        China is full of shit. How can China only have 80k cases with so little that have died. It's a sham.

        I think the cellphone subscription decline has some truth to it (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-23/china-s-mobile-carriers-lose-15-million-users-as-virus-bites)

        Just look at the US taking off now. We all know the US has been useless on this, specifically Trump, but China's stats don't stack up.

        • adam 9.1.2.1

          It's the CCP, they lie like we breath. You have to remember a few things about Chineses politics.

          That saving face is a real issue. Lies by omission are not seen as being such a bad thing.

          Local officials lie, for a lot of reasons, including for future job prospects.

          That the Chineses population has been slowly losing trust in the CCP leadership for a long time. So any lie which helps keep trust – is going to fly in China.

          I agree the numbers don't add up – but relax – like all government conspiracies, the truth comes out eventually.

    • Gabby 9.2

      Build a nice quarantine centre adjacent to every airport. Visitors welcome, but allow an additional 2 weeks.

    • weka 9.3

      So much work that needs to be done in NZ, I think we can replace tourism.

      1. climate mitigation (forestry, regenerative agriculture, future proofing infrastructure, retro-fitting existing housing and commercial buildings for a CC world)
      2. relocalising food production
      3. new support and health systems
      4. future (near and far) proofing supply lines by re-estabilishing some manufacturing here.
      5. conservation

      that's just off the top of my head and all of those require front line/on the ground staff as well as technical, management, design, construction and so on.

      • pat 9.3.1

        but none replace the lost foreign currency

        • KJT 9.3.1.1

          Which we actually need mostly to repay debt. We do not need it for resources and human labour in New Zealand.

          • pat 9.3.1.1.1

            you arnt serious are you?

            • KJT 9.3.1.1.1.1

              I did the sums some time ago. Many of our, so called, export industries, cost us at least as much as they earn.

              • pat

                that would be some interesting maths but whether accurate or not IF we wish to import (and we do, more than we export) then we need to obtain foreign currency….rebuilding our economy solely with local activity will not facilitate that which leaves us with something of a difficult economic AND political challenge

                https://www.stats.govt.nz/reports/overseas-goods-trade-2018-in-review

                • weka

                  Why do we need to import more than we export?

                  • KJT

                    Our "export" industries borrowings, are way in excess of anything justified by their earnings as an export business.

                    As too many are running as a speculative capital gains earner, rather than a business. And borrowing to do so.
                    Removing those will increase, not decrease, our total trade account.

                    Funnily, often the same people who oppose Government debt and spending, except if it is for them, of course.

                    Simply put we are paying back too much interests, profits and externalities, offshore.

                  • pat

                    we dont 'need' to import more than we export, indeed it would be advantageous to export more than we import or at least be balanced but we have imported more than we export for decades and consequently most of our manufactured items come from offshore as do pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, transport and heavy engineering (Wellington are awaiting a pipe from Germany to repair their sewerage system currently)….we make very little of that which is required to maintain our current lifestyles

                    • KJT

                      The results of decades of destroying local manufacturing, and services, in support of the "Globalisation" religion.

                      Hopefully this will be a good lesson on that fallacy.

                    • weka

                      @pat, right. So the idea about future proofing is that we change that and don't end up so vulnerable.

                      When was the last time we exported more than we imported?

                  • pat

                    consistently?…probably in the 1960s or 70s, there has been the odd surplus year since the 80s but we generally run deficits which require foreign borrowing…..it is the most obvious flaw with MMT

                    • Nic the NZer

                      According to my MMT understanding if you run an export deficit the foreigners end up earning and holding more of your currency (e.g a bank record in NZ says Johonny foreigner has a bank balance of X). They may then invest that surplus into asset classes resulting in foreign debt (meaning an institution in NZ keeps a record we owe Johonny foreigner X for his loan/investment). So the flaw in that description is where?

                    • pat

                      you assume they desire to hold our currency, that is by no means a given…..theres a reason the bulk of international trade is conducted in USD

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      No, i didnt assume that at all. They will have exactly 3 options 1) hold it 2) spend it (presumably in NZ) or 3) invest it (presumably in NZ).

                      What you didn't identify is where this description is inaccurate in any way, e.g what the alleged flaw is.

                    • pat

                      again..you assume they desire to hold it (or spend it in NZ, or invest it in NZ)….we produce commonly available commodities and are (until recently) a relatively popular tourist destination….that is by no means a given, indeed they probably wish to buy an airliner. the latest tech, pharmaceuticals, oil, solar panels etc….all the things we want to buy as well and dont have for sale

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      Its not about assumptions at this point, those are the possible uses for the funds earned. As you suggest, no you wont be able to buy things not manufactured in NZ with your NZ currency, even if you really really wish you could.

                      Now you said there is a flaw with this description, but have identified no flaws.

                    • pat

                      given the choice who would buy from "the Company Store"

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Company_store

                • KJT

                  Actually simple addition and subtraction on a spreadsheet. From publicly available information.

                  • pat

                    lol…im glad you put simple because it is …and completely misses the point. If we desire to be a first world nation we will always have to import as there are very few economies in the world that can produce all that is needed….the U.S and the EU are about it….China at a pinch, but definitely getting close. The Soviet block tried but rapidly fell behind.

                    Thats isnt to say we couldnt be self sufficient but life would be unrecognisable….hence the political difficulty

                    • KJT

                      Who said we have to be totally self sufficient?

                      It is not an all or nothing.

                      There are proportions of our export industries we could well do without.

                      As well as many things, which we would be better off, if we produced locally.

                  • pat

                    we dont have to be all or nothing but you cant replace roughly a quarter of your export dollars with local currency and not expect an impact of what is able to be imported….which if you recall was the original suggestion

                    • weka

                      17% according to wikipedia.

                      Given we're not talking about no imports, what's wrong with replacing 17%? Where's the line where replacing imports with a relocalised economy (where the $ stays in the local economy) becomes unviable for a decent standard of living. What %?

                    • pat

                      17 Dec 2019

                      Tourism is New Zealand's largest export industry in terms of foreign exchange earnings. It directly employs one in eight New Zealanders.

                      Data and statistics

                      For the year ended March 2019:

                      • Total tourism expenditure was $40.9 billion, an increase of 4 percent ($1.6 billion) from the previous year.
                      • International tourism expenditure increased 5.2 percent ($843 million) to $17.2 billion, and contributed 20.4 percent to New Zealand’s total exports of goods and services.
                      • The number of short-term arrivals to New Zealand increased 1.3 percent over the same period.
                      • Tourism generated a direct contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) of $16.2 billion, or 5.8 percent of GDP.
                      • Tourism is our biggest export industry, contributing 21% of foreign exchange earnings.
                      • The indirect value added of industries supporting tourism generated an additional $11.2 billion, or 4.0 percent of GDP.
                      • 229,566 people were directly employed in tourism (8.4 percent of the total number of people employed in New Zealand), an increase of 3.9 percent from the previous year.
                      • Tourists generated $3.8 billion in goods and services tax (GST) revenue, with $1.8 billion coming from international tourists

                      (Source: Tourism Satellite Account 2019, Statistics New Zealand)

                    • weka

                      let's settle on 20% then. I still don't see what the problem is with replacing that with domestic economy. It's not like pre-80s we were a third world country .

                    • KJT

                      Well. We are going to find out soon, how we get on without it.

                      Shit. We may even have to "produce things" like Germany.

                    • pat

                      which 20% of imports would you like drop then (remembering thats just the tourism industry, there are others impacted as well)?…or maybe a 20% cut across the board?…if we are going to accept that our FX earnings are to reduce then ipso facto what we can purchase offshore will decrease as well (sans deflation).

                      As stated the other night, whatever programme the Government implements to rebuild the economy is going to have to keep at least one eye on this fact…..straight out fiscal intervention is not going solve it, especially given our supply chain is predominantly offshore

                    • KJT

                      You will find that the net benefit of the tourist industry is much less than stated.

                      It will also be much less than 20% of imports we have to cut.

                      In fact a lot of those imports were to supply, and pay for, the tourist industry.

                      Like many who try and enumerate economic benefits from exports, you forget a ledger has two columns.

                      You are also making apparent the obvious stupidity of abandoning almost all local production, in pursuit of illusory “free trade” benefits.

                    • weka

                      What are the imports for tourists? Fuel, food, souvenirs (no loss there), linen, alcohol.

                      Pat, it's probably a useful exercise to ask ourselves what we could live without, or live with less frequently, in exchange for a values-based economy and lifestyle, and future proofing NZ.

                      Maybe we don't replace our consumer electronics so often. We start producing more clothing in NZ again (merino, hemp, harakeke are all industries waiting to grow). Apart from food grown in the tropics, why are we even importing food?

                      These are also of course climate change and ecology issues.

                    • pat

                      yes there will be a reduction in tourism related imports among other things but if the plan is to replace that activity with say an infrastructure upgrade or a electrification (decarbonising) of transport/industry then quite obviously they will require significant quantities of imports…our dollar has already dropped considerably and our other main export stream is already at capacity (some say over) and even if it wasnt its nature requires considerable time to ramp up…we have imported inflationary pressures and little ability to reap the benefit on the other side…..fortunately the Saudis are playing chicken with the Russians and the frackers, but for how long?….

                      the ledger is looking pretty red

                    • weka

                      Increasing dairying for export would be extremely daft.

                    • KJT

                      Cutting over 9 billion in oil exports in half would certainly help our balance of trade.

                    • pat

                      @ weka…yes it would be a useful exercise and we do import a lot of stuff we dont need to but try getting agreement on what that is

                    • KJT

                      Quickly just off the top of my head.

                      Campervans, temporary visa workers, aircraft, helicopters, fuel, exotic foods, are just some things we import at a foreign exchange cost, for tourism.

                      Then, there are the internal costs of course. Which the tourist industry has passed on to the rest of us, while avoiding paying them, themselves. Pollution, accommodation, overcrowding, low wages, etc. Reducing those also means more resources for New Zealanders.

                      The really obvious example, at present, is all the air bnb's, that have been freed up for rental housing.

                    • pat

                      @ KJT

                      Yes there will be some positive impacts such as Air BRB rentals being freed up and the reduced carbon emissions for example and resources are freed up for local use….one the main resources that will be freed up is labour (post shut down) but as previously stated that dosnt necessarily increase our capability (certainly not in the near term) and while we may have unused capacity there is much we need that capacity cannot supply

                      Not all economic activity is interchangeable

    • bwaghorn 9.4

      Visit by cruise line only with more than 2 weeks sailing before they land

      • weka 9.4.1

        That's not a bad idea. Will be interesting to see if cruises survive in their current form though. It's not like this is going to be our only pandemic.

  10. Kay 10

    Thinking ahead to the future a bit here.

    What is domestic travel in NZ going to be like? AirNZ will still exist of course, but in a scaled back version for some time, and I can't see an immediate return to the cheap seats of the main trunk routes we're accustomed to in a hurry.

    Already there's the subtle push going on to promote domestic tourism after this over, and fair enough. But there will also be the ongoing need for people to get from A to B for work and personal/family reasons, so how is that going to look?

    I tend to view travel through a non-driver's lens out of necessity, and being in the low income bracket, from the cost perspective. My main travel has been Wgtn-Auck to visit family by way of cheap flights. But I'm old enough to remember the days of the Silver Fern/Silver Star Main trunk line being a passenger service, not a tourist one, and the predominant mode of transport for students and lower income people at a time that plans were the preserve of business and higher income travellers. And passenger trains ran the length of NZ from Auckland to Dunedin, complimented with a good railways-Intercity bus system.

    NZ is of course, a country of car drivers, and we are so price sensitive so I can anticipate than on principle many will choose to drive rather than pay more for an airfare because it's faster and more convenient than the Intercity buses that have been scaled back to the bone (and are quite uncomfortable long distance). So would this be our opportunity to restart those mothballed main passenger lines, change the tourist ones back into affordable passenger, so Auck-Wgtn, Picton-Invercargill, Chch-Greymouth, Wgtn-Napier-Tauranga-Auckland? (With wifi of course)With a lot of people unable to affordable fares andstill needing to get places, this might be a great opportunity to get people back to the concept of overland travel.

    It could also be part of the major infastructure projects needed to help kick start things economically, and perhaps there's a lot of ex-AirNZ staff whose skills might be transferable to a new type of transport?

    • weka 10.1

      Trains seem a no brainer because of CC too. I'm not sure we can rely on converting the whole NZ fleet to e-vehicles now, will be interesting to see what happens to the global economy and trade systems around that.

      I suspect we are going to go through extended periods of time where some regions are able to have more travel than others. Possibly limited travel between regions.

      • William 10.1.1

        Agreed. The idea of replacing our present vehicle fleet with electric has always been a silly pipe dream. Our present ~80% renewable electricity generation is already used for other purposes. We will need to drastically increase our generation to charge ev's as well.

        I for one don't relish the idea of wind turbines & solar farms everywhere just so we can continue driving as we've become used to. Extensive public transport & revamping our towns so amenities and jobs are closer to where people live will be required. This also means walking & cycling will be feasible for the majority of journeys.

        During the last election I was pleased when Jacinda referred to climate change as our nuclear free issue. I've come to realise that was not a good comparison. Going nuclear free didn't actually require us as individuals to change at all. Preventing climate change will require significant change in life styles.

        • weka 10.1.1.1

          quite agree. I think we will find we have some spare power generation once Tiwai Point closes, and with increase in solar on housing and commercial buildings. But I don't think we should be using that up on EVs, and the sooner we get to the idea of a steady state economy the better. People need to wake up to power generation from renewables still being a finite resource.

        • KJT 10.1.1.2

          Yes. People often assume new technology will simply replace the way it is done with older technology.

          Better to look at the goal, rather than simply replacing what we had.

          Golf cart type vehicles, rather than Teslas, for in city travel. Working at home rather than in an office?

          Agree. Climate change is more like our WW2.

  11. Ric 11

    I would prefer to travel from Auckland to Wellington by train. I recently traveled both ways by bus for $44. Another time it was still below $50 return. Hard to compete with that.

    • Wayne 11.1

      This is what the $500,000 govt backed business loans are supposed to cover. Landlords giving say a 50% reduction for 3 months and the tenant paying 50% with the loan.

  12. Blazer 12

    Going forward the Govt should introduce a zero immigration policy.

    All empty homes (without good reason)should be requisitioned.

    Limit the number of residential properties an individual can own.

    • mac1 12.1

      Interesting to note that the Press reports that all the homeless in Christchurch, bar two who demurred, have been housed.

      Am I being cynical that the homeless matter when community safety is at stake?

    • Treetop 12.2

      Yes on the reset list.

      No more land/house banking.

      With a bit of luck they could sell their home to the government and actually provide a home to a needy person/family.

      Every cloud has a silver lining.

  13. Treetop 13

    Modi in India has a humanitarian crisis before a health emergency.

    Some of my closest friends are from India. It is always interesting to hear their point of view on how differently they think from me. Their survival instincts are an example.

  14. Incognito 14

    This looks interesting and another possible tool in monitoring the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community.

    https://www.dutchwatersector.com/news/sewage-water-as-indicator-for-spreading-of-covid-19

  15. Incognito 15

    Possums, pukekos, and hedgehogs should feel safer for four weeks.

  16. Adrian 16

    This virus may with luck go the way of other Sars virus and even Mers in that they disappeared after a number of months especially with the sort of containment regimes we have now. Mers almost mysteriously just faded out and it appears that this Covid pathogen is not exactly robust as soap and water breaks it down effectivly dissolving the fatty acid coating that binds the elements together. We can but hope. It may already be happening in Wuhan if their reports can be believed.

    But meanwhile we must follow the best advice.

  17. lprent 17

    Interesting… There was a pretty distinct shift in demographics over the last couple of weeks. Admittedly there has been an increase in total unique users from 5800 odd to 6500 between the two weeks.

    Week 1 of March

    Week 4 of March

    Good to see that google thinks we nearly have now gotten to almost an even split on the genders.

  18. infused 18

    Remember when we talked about climate change and my response is we need to reduce the world population? That was met with horror on here along with 'the world has plenty of food'.

    Well, you see the most affected places during covid19 are population dense places. One of the reasons why NZ may fair a bit better.

    • lprent 18.1

      *sigh* You really are pretty damn ignorant about your own country aren't you?

      Well, you see the most affected places during covid19 are population dense places. One of the reasons why NZ may fair a bit better.

      As you point out it is the density of population in a country that is an issue in epidemics. But when you're describing 'density', you're probably doing something completely inane like people per square km.

      Now that is dumb – it really doesn't matter for the purposes of any disease to count areas where are only cows, sheep or bush.

      A good surrogate for that population density is to look at urbanisation measures. That is to say, looking at the areas where there are significiant number of neighbours close to you.

      NZ is amongst the highest in the world – 86.54%. That puts up amongst the most urbanised countries in the world – 27th in the wikilist

      To give you an idea just picking out OECD countries current and trying to join

      Belgium 98%
      Iceland 93.8%
      Israel 92.4%
      Japan 91.6%
      Netherlands 91.5%
      Luxemberg 91.0%
      Denmark 87.5%
      Sweden 87.4%
      Brazil 86.6%
      New Zealand 86.5%

      … and some of the rest
      Austrailia 86.0%
      UK 83.0%
      US 82.3%
      Norway 82.2%
      South Korea 81.5%
      Canada 81.4%
      France 80.4%
      Germany 77.3%

      On your other point

      …climate change and my response is we need to reduce the world population…

      If you ever look at the issues of climate change without your idiot blinkers on, then you'd be aware that concentrating people into cities is actually one of the best ways to reduce climate change.

      The distances between people reduces virtually every climate change measure per person. Less transport emissions from routine travel and distribution through both reducing the transport web and allowing more use of communal public transport. More efficiency in the use of high green house gas emitting building materials especially concrete and road asphalt. Just eliminating unproductive paved roads in favour of rail would be a massive improvement.

      Not to mention that if we eliminated the climate unproductive use of farmland for food, for instance stopping meat, wool and dairy production, that would massively reduce emissions of methane – a really significiant climate change gas. It'd also allow more room for forests and peat bogs which are pretty effective short-term (by my earth science standards) sinks of carbon. It'd also allow more plant based food to be grown if we needed it and as close to the urban centres as possible.

      You have to remember that the cities are the driving force of all modern economies. Most rural economies are pretty peripheral to the real economy in most developed countries, and even in many of the developing countries. There isn't that much wealth in the rural world. There are mostly just a few relatively wealthy. That is because concentrations of people are very very good at generating wealth.

      This whole concept of relying on the rural economy as the only productive part of the economy is something that I'd only expect to hear from damn fool 18th century aristocrat. One who likes consorting with bats, pigs, pangolins, birds, and apes. They appear to be mainly there to give urbanites disgusting diseases.

      Fortunately I'm too polite to describe some of the disgusting methods of consorting… 😈

  19. calltoaccount 19

    Huge lift in Trump’s approval ratings, post Covid. See the graph at the Real Clear Politics website. An election winning four percent and rising.

    What on earth is happening in the US to explain this lift?

    I blame a ‘support the leader’ impulse, in the face of a mortal danger. Even when that leader’s actions make that danger worse. Lemmings, meet cliff.

    • joe90 19.1

      What on earth is happening in the US to explain this lift?

      They're plagiarising Churchill speeches and making it sound like war pres tRump and the 5th Marine Division are going to storm Iwo Jima and fight Covid 19 on the beach.

    • Andre 19.2

      It may be no more than a rally-around-the-flag-in-a-crisis thing that Americans are big on. In which case, it's a remarkably small bump in support considering the scale of the problem and likely to dissipate quickly as it sinks in just how venal and incompetent the Fifth Avenue Fraud's response has been.

      • Anne 19.2.1

        Yes. They are into flags in a big way in Yankee land. Not content with one maybe two fluttering in the breeze like most other countries, they have to have rows of them all over the place. Jingoism at its worst.

        When the body count starts to rise in the thousands I think they might have a little re-think – at least those who are capable of thinking at all.

    • millsy 19.3

      The US under Trump is well on it's way to becoming a fascist theocracy.

    • "Huge" is overstating it a bit.

      Incumbents tend to benefit from crises….until the chickens come home to roost when the economy and Dow Jones crumble.

  20. joe90 21

    Disaster capitalism.

    http://archive.li/AQuMm (wapo)

  21. adam 22

    The words I thought I never never utter.

    Britney Spears, I'm a fan.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iji3t9vkCMk&feature=em-uploademail

  22. Herodotus 23

    IMO we need to comment on small positives of our situation:

    Hit 100 teddy bears on walks

    Rubbish day last Friday – Recycling was minimal – No Junk mail 😀, Gaia is smiling for small mercies

    • And if you watch the 6pm news – no screaming 'buy buy buy' and 'sale must end Monday' ads from the likes of Harvey Norman, The Warehouse or Briscoes etc.

      Now I don't bother muting the tv when the ads come on, lol.

  23. adam 24

    In the world of Covid-19 the USA still do the best dick moves.

    https://thegrayzone.com/2020/03/27/trump-bounty-maduro-guaido-plot/#more-22582

    Good news is, the population are seeing through it, and one of the accused has effectively turned on his ghoulish friends.

    Gotta wonder if the Bank of England will give the money it stole back to the people of Venezuela after the person they stole it for, is about to be charged?

  24. joe90 26

    A crime against humanity/

    USA Today and the Washington Post reported U.S. virus deaths so far totaled more than 2,000 as of Saturday, doubling in less than 72 hours.

    https://www.starherald.com/news/national/us-virus-deaths-top-doubling-in-two-days/article_576f112c-3af4-5862-9f8c-65c1ef8494d6.html

    • Sabine 26.1

      file this under

      but her fucking emails.

    • joe90 26.2

      The joys of for-profit health care.

      “There is no [protective gear] to be bought on the private market through vendors,” said Kevin Donovan, president of Lakes Regional HealthCare, which has two hospitals in central New Hampshire. “We order but don’t have any money to pay for it,” because companies manufacturing masks and other emergency gear are demanding cash payments on delivery. Donovan said his hospitals, like others, are low on cash because they have canceled the elective procedures that are their moneymakers.

      “Unless we start getting material from the national stockpile,” Donovan said, “I don’t know where we are going to get it.”

      http://archive.li/6dAY2 (wapo)

      • Sabine 26.2.1

        maybe this event will teach us that public hospitals should not be run as 'for profit'.

        World wide the issue is that hospitals are under equipped, under staffed, and that the staff is underpaid and burdened with huge student loans.

        Castro with his fee education and his doctor/nurses program had it quite right. And instead of plastic crap Cuba exports doctors. Maybe that is the big big lesson to be learned from this.

        I also hope that the doctors and nurses here on the frontline will have their student loans cancelled in full. That is the very least the country can do for them.

    • Andre 26.3

      He appears to have written off his chances in Michigan, judging from his comments aimed at Whitmer. So he has to try extra hard not to lose Florida.

    • Peter 26.4

      It looks plain and simple, quid pro quo. Vote for me, be a critical state, you won't die.

    • joe90 26.5

      She called it.

  25. bwaghorn 28

    June the 1st Is gypsy day (the day the change farms)for dairy farmers. Might pay for the government to put their thinking caps on how this will go if we are still level 4 or 3

    • weka 28.1

      what's gypsy day?

      • KJT 28.1.1

        Farming contractors, sharemilkers, and farm workers renew contracts and move around.

      • bwaghorn 28.1.2

        As kjt says it's the day farms change hands . It's always been this day so as most arnt milking atthat time and have time to get there systems set up before july /august calving.

  26. joe90 29

    South Korea flattened their curve around the 7th of March, but a quarter of all new cases occurred since then and despite the number of new cases dropping since the 12th of March, half of all deaths have occurred the over the past 12 days or so. But if they take the foot off restrictions they'll be in for a second round.

    Say goodbye to the rest of 2020, we're in for a long, long haul.

    "For Korea one of the big issues is starting school again. We’re expecting a decision from 6 April, and that will be based on where the outbreaks are happening, how they're being controlled and how comfortable the government feels about being able to get on top of new cases quickly."

    Professor Gye Cheol Kwon said Korea’s success is down to a dedicated system of trace, test and treat.

    "Testing, isolating, contact tracing and quarantine is the only way Koreans have outperformed others."

    He added that it is difficult to predict how long the current restrictions will last.

    But some experts don't believe life in Korea will truly return to normality until there is a viable vaccine that is proven to be effective against Covid-19.

    Dr Kim, himself a vaccine specialist, said a vaccine is likely to be at least a year to 18 months away. Until then some restrictions are likely to remain in place.

    "Really if you want to return to the way things were, going out at night, going to concerts, to pubs, or going out to dinner, you really need to have a vaccine," he said.

    https://www.rte.ie/news/2020/0329/1127023-what-south-korea-can-teach-ireland/

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