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Open mike 29/05/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 29th, 2021 - 73 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 …

73 comments on “Open mike 29/05/2021 ”

  1. Muttonbird 1

    ACT caught spreading fake news again. What is it about the alt-right and their murky relationship with the truth?


    Arnold Rimmer's big marketing drive will come to nought if he keeps lying like this.

    • Jenny How to get there 1.1

      If you inhabiit an alternative universe it’s easy to find 'alternative facts'.

      Kellyanne Conway’s illogical defenses of Trump will live on in the GOP – The Washington Post

    • Sabine 1.2

      Well if you read the article all the way to the bottom, you will find that between Labour, National and ACT they all seem to have issues in their advertising. They all seem to advertise about 90 % the truth and 10 % a misconception about the truth, and they all seem to pull their ads? Maybe its a thing ALL political parties do? But i agree with the complainant, a. J.A did not say the words as in the ad, and it should probably be Grant in that picture as i assume him to make the decision about the taxes and J.A is the 'communicator' of the team.

      But can you imagine the ads National / Act will run in 2023 when they will simply state that they will axe both the 39% taxrate on 2% of the public (500 million the poor dears) and re-instate the write of of interest for property holder.

      • Nic the NZer 1.2.1

        The ASA rejected the complaints against both National and Labour party adds.

        • Sabine

          and yet, people took offense. 🙂

          So yeah, all of these parties will go as far as the public and watchdogs are letting them go.

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            ACTs falsehood is that the very high income earners ' are hard working'

            Tell that to the people on low wages while those driving high priced cars under tax free notational purchases wizz by.

        • alwyn

          The ASA never ruled against ACT. ACT decided to remove the ad and the ASA then never got round to considering it.

          ACT by then had got all the publicity for they wanted. Indeed they got far more than if no complaint had ever been raised.

          • Muttonbird

            The ASA gave ACT the opportunity to correct but they backed down obviously knowing they’d got it wrong.

            It was horrible to see ACT use images of children in their lie. They are a party of low morals and just don't seem to get what decent people want.

            Rimmer must be very confident of securing the remainder of the disgruntled and paranoid racists from the National Party, but he won't swing any middle voters at all.

            Good luck to him.

          • Gabby

            Do they really need publicity that paints them as devious lying little shits though?

            • alwyn

              I have heard people comment that that approach has worked marvelously for the current Government when they talk about how well their Covid 19 policies are working.

              I really couldn't comment on the matter though.

              • Gabby

                I have heard people say some pretty bonehead stuff too.

              • Muttonbird

                I'll comment on the matter. New Zealand's Covid response is the envy of the entire world. Our unemployment rate is low and our growth forecast is high compared to other OECD countries. We are once again at the top of the Covid resilience rankings.

                The government's Covid-19 policies are working very well and I'm not sure what metric anyone would be using to say otherwise.

                The fact that it hurts some people is a real worry though.

                • gsays

                  One of the biggest threats to our enviable position is complacency.

                  No need to scan in because *insert weak excuse*, or 'my privacy, I will not leave name and address'.

                  Arrogance will get us.

    • Anne 1.3

      "What is it about the alt-right and their murky relationship with the truth?"

      Many, many years ago when I was young my Dad told me to be wary of Tories (he was English and regarded all right wing parties as Tories) because they're nasty. He reckoned you could never trust them to tell the truth.

      So, it gets passed down the line from parents to children. They think it is normal behaviour and they presume everybody else does it too. Maybe some do, but most don’t.

      It is why they come up with all the silly theories about Jacinda Ardern because they can't accept she's straight and honest and actually means what she says.

      • Westykev 1.3.1


        "It is why they come up with all the silly theories about Jacinda Ardern because they can't accept she's straight and honest and actually means what she says"

        Jacinda is a politician, all politicians lie, the first lie she told as leader was in the Christchurch leaders debate in 2017 when she said she would not lie"

  2. gsays 2

    Whenever the issue of advertising and the dodgy morality surrounding it comes up, I can't help but hear D Boon hollering the first lines of this song.

    Only 1 1/2 mins of pallatable American punk, The Minutemen:

  3. FAB mouse 3

    Tax Payers Union showing their class again, backing a Ratepayers Alliance with some rude members. Various right wingers criticising the behaviour but avoiding the R word.


    Simon and Peter could have done better to call it what it was.

    • Morrissey 3.1

      Very similar to the "Christian" women who yelled "Speak English!" during the karakia at the United Women's Conventions organized by the new Labour government in 1984. Hilariously, many (perhaps most) of those extremists who could not handle a few words in Te Reo Māori were practitioners of "speaking in tongues."

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        OK Morrissey – those speaking in 'tongues', do you know that or are you just throwing that in as a possibility.

        I am concerned at the power that religions like the Exclusive Brethren and other religio-business models may have over this uncontrolled business and profit- oriented economy. Are you keeping an eye and ear open for that thing?

        • Morrissey

          OK Morrissey – those speaking in 'tongues', do you know that or are you just throwing that in as a possibility.

          It was the great Fran Wilde who made that comment after those foolish and linguistically challenged "Christian" women made their protest.

          • greywarshark

            Thanks hadn't seen that.

            • greywarshark

              But what say you to the other point, Are your eagle eyes surveying the role that the ir-religious play or would like to, in gummint?

              • Morrissey

                People of strong religious views are in the Labour government, just as they were in the National government. It's hard to quantify just how much influence they have.

                It’s when the religious-political nexus is brazen that I start to worry. Thankfully we have no Billy T.K. or Colin Craig in parliament right now, but we’ve had a number of right wing so-called “Christians” there in the past—people like this thoroughly nasty piece of work…


                I was appalled to hear John Tamihere a few years ago boasting of how he made a point of attending a Washington “prayer breakfast” along with a host of right wing Democratic and (predominantly) Republican “lawmakers”.

  4. Morrissey 4

    "The clowns at MSNBC didn't have a clue."

  5. greywarshark 5

    I had the idea that under neolib people's wishes were supposed to have more weight than previously under More government. Why shouldn't people, having agreed and made a case for it, be able to amalgamate with another local authority as here.

    The Horowhenua towns of Ōpiki and Tokomaru have been denied their requests to ditch the district and become affiliated with Palmerston North City.

    Residents of the two towns requested a boundary alteration in October 2018, saying they felt neglected by Horowhenua District Council.
    Residents felt more connected to Palmertston North, where they work, shop and go to school.

    While the Local Government Commission acknowledged residents' strong ties to Palmerston North, it ruled the move would not provide benefits on the scale required to make a change.

    It sounds very parental to me – no dear you can't have that seemingly sensible thing you want because it doesn't meet my cost efficiency code.

    • Gabby 5.1

      Nekminit, little towns everywhere are linking up with local cities and demanding the district councils they've abandoned do something about the shocking roads they commute on and holiday along. Spiffing.

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        Sounds good. You never get anywhere these days by going along with yesterday's methods – now you go straight to the best offer. That's how things get done these days or you just sit there like a good little whatever and be sidelined.

  6. georgecom 6

    A short but good article on Stuff today from Mike Joy about the limits of growth, or limits of green growth to give it current terminology. Essentially he comments on the EROI – energy return on investment of 'green' energy sources. What he says is not new and a number of contributors and readers on this blog know it well already. Australian permaculturalist have been expressing ideas of a necessary energy decline for 2 or 3 decades. It is quite rare however to see that discussion make it's way into main stream media.

    • Pat 6.1

      Good to see the fundamentals being more widely expressed but the logical conclusion remains unsaid

  7. Anker 7


    so we have a significant piece of legislation coming up that will allow anyone to gender self I D. In a vote compass poll just before last election, the majority of voters did not support it. There was a large number of undecideds, 20%, that suggests there is a need for more information on the pros and cons. A feminist group, Speak up for Women, wanted to hold a public meeting to put their side of the debate. Christchurch, now Dunedin library have cancelled their bookings. This is a serious breech of people being able to exercise their democratic rights. The group is concerned with the interests of women and girls.

    I know there are mixed views on this blog about gender, but at least we have the debate.

  8. Muttonbird 8

    Good piece by Thomas Manch. It's about the tension between NZ and AUS over long standing issues like rights for Kiwis and defence spending, but mainly explores the differences in approach to China.

    ANALYSIS: The second-class treatment of New Zealanders in Australia remains a “pebble in the shoe”. The insistence on deporting criminals continues to corrode. And China’s rise remains the major conundrum for the New Zealand-Australia relationship.

    On defence:

    (Dr Anna Powles​, a senior lecturer in security studies at Massey University) said Canberra’s distrust about New Zealand’s commitment to defence and security goes back to the split of the ANZUS alliance in the 1980s, and the current rift over China had been brewing for a few years.

    “New Zealand’s low defence spending has long been a source of frustration across the Tasman. This has frustrated officials on both sides.”

    Our defence spending is reflective of our geographical position. Our location is our competitive advantage with regard to defence; military/political aggression, and pandemic alike. It is also to our detriment; high export/import costs and remoteness from key markets, so it is natural to want to use our advantage and not have to redundantly spend on defence according to the desires of an increasingly paranoid and belligerent nation like Australia.

    (Victoria University professor David Capie​) said Dutton’s appointment to the defence portfolio in Australia would be challenging for New Zealand.

    Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton stands in parliament, alongside Prime Minister Scott Morrison, sitting on the left.

    "It's extremely likely that he's going to take a sharper line on Australia's defence in the region. And I think that's going to highlight some differences with New Zealand.


    Australian National University professor Dr Brendan Taylor​ said Australia had become progressively more hawkish, or aggressive in its foreign affairs, since as far back as the Kevin Rudd Government in 2009.

    However, a turning point occurred early in 2020. Taylor said there was now a “much stronger emphasis on values … seeing the world in terms of democracy versus authoritarian regimes”.

    “That's probably why you're noticing a real drift away from the New Zealand position … Australia has really shifted and is continuing to shift.”

    This was partly due to the “key personalities” within the Morrison Government who hold strong ideological views, he said. The pragmatic, interests-based approach to foreign policy was giving way to these views.

    Identity politics, anyone? These two strategic analysts clearly point to fundamentalist, ideological personalities within AUS politics sculpting that country's aggressive overtures. I happen to think Peter Dutton is one of the most evil men in he world and is largely responsible for the deterioration in the NZ-AUS relationship. What damage is he yet to do to our region?

    Taylor said New Zealand officials understood their Australian counterparts much better than the other way around. There was not a lot of expertise about New Zealand within universities and think tanks across the Tasman.

    "My sense is the Australian Government has been struggling to understand the New Zealand Government's approach.”

    New Zealand’s approach to China resembled that of some South East Asian nations, he said – Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta’s speech to the New Zealand China Council last month was comparable to speeches given by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong​.

    "The Australian Government could probably learn a bit from looking at speeches like that.”

    This is interesting. Although it is felt “Wellington has long had to show it’s relevant and reliable to Canberra", it is apparent Canberra has little regard for Wellington and have a very poor understanding of New Zealand. This is reflected in the way they treat their closest neighbour and friend.

    But the persisting issues – such as the deportations of criminals to New Zealand – could limit how willing New Zealand would be to co-operate on Pacific issues that arise, at a time when China was seeking to expand its influence.

    Indeed. Conservative Australia cannot have it both ways.


  9. Noel 9

    "The second-class treatment of New Zealanders in Australia remains a “pebble in the shoe”

    I regularly raise the erosion of the Special Category Visa whenever I am in communication with people I know Australia. Overwhelmingly they just don't want to discuss it. Plenty of ostriches in Australia

    • alwyn 9.1

      Why should they want to discuss it? They think it is a great idea and think their Government is right to kick out what they see as ratbags.

      Try discussing with New Zealanders the deportation of Pasifika people from New Zealand. We are doing just the same thing to them that Australia is doing to New Zealand people over the ditch.

      This story is from a couple of years ago but I doubt that things have changed much since it was written in 2019. Just a few quotes.

      "A police spokesperson said 1664 people were deported to New Zealand from Australia between January 1, 2015 and February 22, 2019."

      "Meanwhile, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) figures show in the past five years 1040 people have been deported to the Pacific from New Zealand." That would seem to be the 5 years up to March 2019, given the date of the story.

      "Newsroom was unable to verify anecdotal reports of people being deported after being in New Zealand since childhood, but was told in one case a man deported to Tiuvalu in 2017 after release from prison had been in New Zealand since he was two years old.".

      Now tell me. Are you protesting about the actions of our Government? If not why not, given that you seem to think that Australia is wrong when they do the same thing?

      • Incognito 9.1.1

        #whatabout and #theydidittoo

        Now tell me, is this the best you can do? I know some here cannot, but surely you can argue better than this level of boys in a schoolyard …

        • alwyn

          My comments aren't merely along the lines of "They did it too"

          For what it is worth I'll give you my own views. They are based on having lived there for 7 years and, in the quarter century since then, having visited Australia typically twice a year. That unfortunately stopped at the beginning of last year and I haven't been over there since October 2019 but I don't think the situation has changed.

          I think the following situation applies. No Australian Government really cares very much about New Zealand and no Government is going to change this deportation system. It doesn't matter whether it is a Coalition or a Labour Government.

          The reason they won't change is because the Australian public are overwhelmingly in favour of it. Their attitude is that they don't see why they should have to allow people with even fairly minor criminal records staying there when they can be deported.

          Trying to debate with them, as Noel wants to do, is completely pointless. They simply aren't going to change their views. Having our Government trying to persuade their Government to alter the policy is equally pointless in terms of getting any change. I think the New Zealand Government knows that but they think it may get them a few more New Zealand votes. This they are interested in doing. Admitting they are powerless and that Australia doesn't care? Not likely!

          Therefore if you think that people shouldn't be deported to somewhere that they are strangers to, it is totally pointless to try and achieve anything in Australia. It might give you a warm fuzzy feeling but your efforts will achieve nothing. Absolutely nothing.

          At least you may, and it is only a may, get some results if you try and get a New Zealand Government to change its ways. Here at least you can vote and most politicians pay at least some heed to what voters want. If you want to spend time on this topic do it where you have at least some chance of getting something to happen.

          A New Zealand resident who cannot vote in Australia but who opposes a policy that most Australians approve of has much less or a chance of getting some action than I would have if I started a campaign to get Parliamentary salaries back to the level they were 50 years ago. That was when an MP was paid about as much as a HoD teacher. Would Parliament go back to that? Not a chance. Even that would be much better odds than those that attach to the proposition that Australia will change its deportation policy because some New Zealanders don't like it.

          It Isn't Going To Happen. Spend you time where you might be able to do some good. Work on New Zealand problems.

          • Incognito

            Good comment, thank you.

            I’m quite sure you’re right on almost everything you said. However, this doesn’t mean that NZ Government has to like it, agree with it, accept it, and say nothing and just let it go. This is not how politics work, this is not how humans work. That said, I don’t think it is a hill they want to die on, politically speaking, but it is now a NZ problem.

            As for uprooting people from their community and even ripping apart families and whanau, for whatever reason, I think this should not be done lightly, as it can lead to (more) stigmatisation, social isolation, and alienation – you know that this does not end well. It is actually a harsh penalty in any context. It tends to create big(ger) problems elsewhere, which has an element of NIMBYism. Shifting a problem doesn’t solve it.

      • Pat 9.1.2

        Banishment and exile are as old as society. Would we be as concerned if Australia had exceedingly long prison sentences or even reintroduced the death penalty for some crimes that impacted NZ born residents?….I suspect much less so.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 9.1.3

        The only thing similar in the Deportation review tribunal was a Tuvalu man manslaughter conviction 2 years 'after' getting a residence permit

      • Barfly 9.1.4

        "Immigration New Zealand (INZ) figures show in the past five years 1040 people have been deported to the Pacific from New Zealand"

        You conflate that with deportations to New Zealand from Australia

        Got any breakdown on how many deportations from New Zealand to the pacific were simply for overstaying visas? – Your quoted figures are meaningless without it.

    • greywarshark 9.2

      It seemed tp me when I was in Oz that they were mainly materialistic and run on commonsense lines with short term horizons.

  10. Jester 10

    This is good news. No matter which side of the political spectrum you support, no politician should have their life or families lives threatened.

    Man arrested after alleged threats against MP Simeon Brown | Stuff.co.nz

    • Drowsy M. Kram 10.1

      Awful for Brown – apparently the second threat this month. Don't understand why he should be such a "death threat magnet".

      Police arrest second man in a month over threats made to National MP Simeon Brown

      "Police say they received a complaint on Tuesday night from Brown after threats were made against him.

      A 22-year-old man is due to appear in the Christchurch District Court on Thursday.

      He will face a charge of threatening to kill.

      Earlier this month a 25-year-old man from Wellington was charged with threatening to kill Brown."

      • Muttonbird 10.1.1

        A 22-year-old man… 25-year-old man.

        Good to see young people interested in politics, though.

        • Jester

          Would you have the same blase attitude if it was a threat against Hipkins or Ardern?

      • Barfly 10.1.2

        Not Pee-wee Herman fans?

      • Anne 10.1.3

        Well, he is one of those… toss em all into jail and throw away the key types. Or better still… leave em on a desert island in shark infested waters. 😉 And he does make a song and dance about it.

        The issue is a little more nuanced than his simplistic stance suggests, so he can't complain if they respond with what are no doubt empty threats.

        Not that I am condoning their behaviour, but Simeon does ask for it.

        • Incognito

          Brown carries the victim mantle with pride; mission accomplished.

          • Jester

            So did James Shaw when he was punched.

              • Jester

                Not a lot of similarity in the cases, but Shaw played the victim well.

                • Incognito

                  What do you mean by “Shaw played the victim well”? He was a victim. He gave a victim impact statement to the Court for the Trial.

                  At an earlier hearing a judge found Harris threw two punches to Shaw's face, one of which fractured his right eye socket and then when Shaw was on the ground, threw three or four more.

                  The judge was not satisfied that there had been any kicking.

                  "It was pretty solid. I haven't been punched that hard previously."

                  The attack stopped when two people intervened.

                  "Initially I went to work because I did not think it was that bad but I started bleeding from the nose and then went to ED."

                  The main injury was to his eye socket with a lot of bruising and a scan showing a fracture.

                  I’m starting to wonder what is your point.

                  • Jester

                    My initial point at 10 above was, I don't believe any politician should have themselves or their families threatened of violence or being killed as per the "Your gonna get popped without knowing it you peanut".

                    National MP Simeon Brown receives more death threats from Mongrel Mob after criticising funeral procession | Newshub

                    I find it gob smacking that some commenters on here from the tone of their comments at 10.1.2, and 10.1.1 seem to think its all ok and Simeon is fair game. That's why I asked at to try and find out if they felt the same way if a similar threat was made to a Labour (or any other party for that matter).

                    • Incognito

                      That’s a good point well made, thank you. No politician should have a target on their back.

      • Phillip ure 10.1.4

        @ drowsy..

        'don't know why'..

        um..!..possibly because he is a jingoistic right-wing dickwad..?

        (just guessing here..)

  11. Incognito 11

    Addressing the binary “us” and “them” of populism between academics and other citizens also requires diversity in universities. Academia that is reflective of wider society will change the scope and nature of teaching and research, improving research engagements with communities, and broadening the demographics of student bodies.


    Academics can be real ignorant snobs when it comes to acknowledging that much of the heavy lifting in tertiary education institutions is done by non-academic staff and non-academics in general, including post-graduate students and so on. This divide is sharp, cutting, and hurtful to all those non-academics who work extremely hard and bend over backwards, especially during the Covide-19 pandemic, and make a huge but under-appreciated contribution to the experience of all in those institutions and, by extension, to our society. It is similar at schools, particularly secondary schools, where support staff do an amazing job, for little pay, and some have the highest academic qualifications (i.e. PhD).

    I strongly resisted turning this into an epic rant …

    • Poission 11.1


    • McFlock 11.2

      I can get behind the article in general, academics literally are paid to know about the topic. But… Heh. University of Otago.

      The institution that did a multi-year "support services review" because the vice chancellor thought it had too many general staff. Made dozens redundant, and had to hire back 10% of them. For literally years people would walk into the tea room not knowing if a someone in there had received a redundancy notice. It was fucking cruel.

      And they forgot about all the general staff who actually do research: analysts, writers, technicians… "forgot", as in "nobody heard from the review committee unless they specifically asked if they were 'in scope'". Silly billies, you never stick your head above the parapet.

      But the review got done, whatever bureaucratic nightmares it caused were probably overshadowed by the dent they put in the holiday pay and rendundancy liabilities the HR balance sheet faced, and the vice chancellor has pissed off to a uni three times the size of otago (her plane no doubt held aloft by the laurels of her bold and innovative restructuring).

      • greywarshark 11.2.1

        Oh well McFlock the top bananas are hired because they are from another country, known to be rottweilers and can be let loose on the institution/council without ripples affecting all the other CEOs in NZ. They are hired guns, and know how to shoot execution-style.

  12. greywarshark 12

    Jonathan Pie's latest. Dominic Cummings' about-turn has bemused him and he's not feeling himself.

  13. Pat 13

    Democracy under threat?……looks more like outright war.

    "A mayoral candidate has been killed in Mexico, bringing to 34 the total number of candidates murdered nationwide ahead of June 6 legislative elections that will fill thousands of local seats and nearly half of the country’s governors."


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