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Open mike 30/04/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 30th, 2022 - 78 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 …

78 comments on “Open mike 30/04/2022 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    RNZ, 11.35 this morning:

    In the Southern Hemisphere, April 30 marks the Pagan festival of Samhain, sometimes known as witches’ New Year's Eve.

    Rowan of Wycksted is a green witch living rurally in the Kaipara… Rowan runs Wycksted.co.nz, an online witches store… https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday

    Check it out for current broomstick prices. Black cat Loki is featured.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Mild, diffident chap wants to make history:

    Revenue Minister David Parker said on Tuesday he had virtually no idea how much tax New Zealand's wealthiest people were paying, and he wanted to find out. He said it was part of the work he was doing on new legislation which will become the Tax Principles Act, setting out the rules around a fair taxation system… The task of gathering the data on how much tax the top cohort pays has been given to IRD. Parker said the department was the only one that could do it.


    Becoming the first person in history to create a fair tax system is a laudable ambition, of course. Parker's self-effacing style is likely to lull opponents into a false sense of security. They will assume he's the last person to be capable of achieving it.

    In the US, a similar interest is being displayed:

    To capture the financial reality of the richest Americans, ProPublica undertook an analysis that has never been done before. We compared how much in taxes the 25 richest Americans paid each year to how much Forbes estimated their wealth grew in that same time period.

    We’re going to call this their true tax rate. The results are stark. According to Forbes, those 25 people saw their worth rise a collective $401 billion from 2014 to 2018. They paid a total of $13.6 billion in federal income taxes in those five years, the IRS data shows. That’s a staggering sum, but it amounts to a true tax rate of only 3.4%.


    The site has been beneficiary of a departmental whistleblower:

    ProPublica has obtained a vast cache of IRS information showing how billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Warren Buffett pay little in income tax compared to their massive wealth — sometimes, even nothing… ProPublica has obtained a vast trove of Internal Revenue Service data on the tax returns of thousands of the nation’s wealthiest people, covering more than 15 years. The data provides an unprecedented look inside the financial lives of America’s titans, including Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch and Mark Zuckerberg.

    It's a long report so intellectually-challenged readers ought to have a cuppa & lie down before getting into it. Forensic analysis can be daunting.

    • Sabine 2.1

      Maybe David Parker needs to be introduced to this person here who states that he pays no (basically no) tax, despite being a multi millionaire. Is has been known since 2010. 🙂


      Wellington-based Trade Me founder and philanthropist Sam Morgan says he doesn't pay tax.

      "I pay basically no tax," said the entrepreneur, who founded Trade Me in 1999 and sold it in 2006 to Australian publisher Fairfax for more than $700 million.

      Mr Morgan, 32, who was estimated to have made at least $227 million from the sale of his business, was recently named as a director of Fairfax in New Zealand.

      His admission that he effectively doesn't pay tax was made on the SciBlogs website.

      or this one from 2021


      The wealthiest New Zealanders pay just 12 per cent of their total income in tax on average, according to research from Inland Revenue and Treasury, Stuff can reveal.

      The same research found 42 per cent of the wealthiest New Zealanders were paying lower tax rates than the lowest tax rate paid by people who earn their money from an ordinary job or a benefit.

      from 2013


      Many Kiwis with assets of more than $50m declared income of less than $70,000 in their tax returns

      Two-thirds of New Zealand's richest people are not paying the top personal tax rate, with increasingly complex overseas schemes and bank accounts being used to evade the taxman.

      Inland Revenue has found that 107 out of 161 "high-wealth individuals" who own or control more than $50 million worth of assets declared their personal income in the last financial year was less than $70,000 – the starting point for the top tax bracket of 33 cents in the dollar.

      The multimillionaires used a variety of 6,800 tax-planning devices – such as companies, trusts and overseas bank accounts – to avoid paying tax. One had a network of 197 entities.

      but then i guess that David Parker was doing somehting else in the years 2010 – 2022 to know that rich people in NZ are not on record for paying taxes. But i am sure they are going to find a lot of small business owners that may be 'avoiding' paying taxes that they must tax some more. Sure thing here he is speculating just that.


      OPINION: Small business owners are the target of a recent Government proposal to extend tax avoidance laws to a wider range of small business owners to make sure they are paying their fair share.

      New Zealand has had personal services income attribution (PSIA) rules since the 39% top personal tax rate was introduced in 2000. Now that the 39% tax rate has been reinstated, the Government is proposing to widen their ambit considerably. Proposals are contained in a new discussion document.

      Vote Labour, cause fuck it why not. Lol.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Jonathan Haidt's Babel thesis reflects on how the past decade of social media has produced "mob dynamics".

    Social scientists have identified at least three major forces that collectively bind together successful democracies: social capital (extensive social networks with high levels of trust), strong institutions, and shared stories. Social media has weakened all three.

    When people lose trust in institutions, they lose trust in the stories told by those institutions. That’s particularly true of the institutions entrusted with the education of children. History curricula have often caused political controversy, but Facebook and Twitter make it possible for parents to become outraged every day over a new snippet from their children’s history lessons––and math lessons and literature selections, and any new pedagogical shifts anywhere in the country.

    The motives of teachers and administrators come into question, and overreaching laws or curricular reforms sometimes follow, dumbing down education and reducing trust in it further. One result is that young people educated in the post-Babel era are less likely to arrive at a coherent story of who we are as a people, and less likely to share any such story with those who attended different schools or who were educated in a different decade.

    The former CIA analyst Martin Gurri predicted these fracturing effects in his 2014 book, The Revolt of the Public. Gurri’s analysis focused on the authority-subverting effects of information’s exponential growth, beginning with the internet in the 1990s. Writing nearly a decade ago, Gurri could already see the power of social media as a universal solvent, breaking down bonds and weakening institutions everywhere it reached. He noted that distributed networks “can protest and overthrow, but never govern.” He described the nihilism of the many protest movements of 2011 that organized mostly online and that, like Occupy Wall Street, demanded the destruction of existing institutions without offering an alternative vision of the future or an organization that could bring it about.


    Mobs nowadays merely do moral outrage – there's no attempt to do constructive engagement with politics. No attempt to find common ground. Just mobs of haters competing with other mobs of haters. People who spend their lives pushing cellphone buttons don't have time to think.

    • KJT 3.1

      I've always considered that NZ's social cohesion in the past, reflected the fact that almost all of us, apart from a few "wannabees" went to the same State schools.

      The shared experience meant that Māori, Pakeha, new immigrants and different social classes, became familier with, and tolerant of each other.

      A level of social trust that has been undermined in more recent years.

      Covid shows that social cohesion in NZ, is still better than in many places. Something that the "There is no such thing as society" Right Wing, are determined to fix! A divided society is easier to screw.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        That societal norm of the 1950s/60s was indeed characterised by a general sense of tolerance. My parents offered me the option of going to Wanganui Collegiate in late '62 and I immediately rejected it in favour of the state alternative. I already felt at age 13 that the upper class thing was distasteful.

        Social identity as nonconforming member of that monoculture resulted, but the seventies diversified us into multiculturalism. Social media has ramped up that biodiversity to a toxic level. Pendulum swing back to cohesion is required.

      • Belladonna 3.1.2

        The vast majority of kids still go to State Schools.

      • Molly 3.1.3

        The transient nature of housing, has affected the stability needed to form robust communities as well.

        Time poverty, for whatever reasons, has reduced the number of volunteers available for creating or maintaining community organisations which also contribute to opportunities for different demographics to meet and mix. Falling church/religious service attendance has an impact as well.

        Even with state school attendance, the increase in inequality in terms of income, means that the diversity within particular schools is often limited by the economic demographic of its location.

        • KJT

          Increases in inequality and the separation by class, of housing and school zones that has resulted, is breaking down our social cohesion and quality of life.

          • Molly

            The negative effects are quite extensive when you take time to consider the possibilities.

            For an individual, increased likelihood of isolation, loneliness, and reduced support structures for any difficulties.

            For families – reduced trust in regards to other people in neighbourhood, less opportunities for mutual support, no social contracts in regards to behaviour.

            For communities – reduced cohesion so harder to create and maintain political movements for community benefits, lack of influence on community assets and resources etc.

            I can think of more, but that's pretty depressing to start with…

          • Patricia Bremner

            With real estate people promoting "good schools".

    • RedLogix 3.2

      Good find Dennis.

      Repeatedly I have been struck at how outrage never seeks consensus or a path forward to making anything better.

  4. Ad 4

    Did anyone ever find out who was funding the Mandate protest at Parliament?

    • Dennis Frank 4.1

      I asked Google:

      Two weeks ago Red Stag Timber chief executive Marty Verry declared he had personally donated funds to the protest.
      He said he supported the opposition to vaccine mandates, and had given $250 – what he called a "small personal donation".

      "But I haven't been at all impressed with the way it's evolved over time. I think a dangerous fringe got in there and started to take it over and I think it lost the support of the public." Verry said with hindsight he would not have given the protest money.


      Large sums of money traded hands during and leading up to the 23-day occupation, but it is unclear how the money was spent and who has benefitted. Fight Against Conspiracy Theories (Fact) Aotearoa spokesperson Lee Gingold said groups like Voices For Freedom had been flexing their financial muscle.

      Voices For Freedom is the trading name of TJB 2021 Limited. VFF founders Claire Deeks, Libby Jonson, and Alia Bland serve as its sole directors and shareholders. The anti-vax group has admitted they were behind the distribution of two million flyers, thousands of large rally signs seen at the parliament protest and other protests around the country, as well as billboards in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch.

      On their website, Voices For Freedom claim they intend to be transparent about their finances. “VFF is funded through individual donations from thousands of concerned Kiwis. Funding is put towards the various projects we facilitate and the general running costs and overheads of the organisation,” the website says.

      “Like any well run organisation receiving funding we intend to provide basic information on finances such as to provide accountability and transparency at appropriate junctures and at least annually.”


      • Ad 4.1.1

        Yes the Red Stag people were in the open, appreciated.

        I was checking for more.

        It bothers me that we are only going to get an IPC review rather than a deeper intelligence review of the protest. You never kill a movement until you kill the money. It also bothers me that our intelligence services were reporting this week that far and away their largest effort is into hard right wing chatter including repeated viewing of the Christchurch massacre.

        In the middle of the Parliament Grounds protest there was a sufficient risk for the DPMC threat group to be gathered, and lots of dark mutterings from Minister Wood.

        I sure hope Newsroom has the capacity for a decent investigation if Ardern is going to keep squashing a solid answer to the power and speed of the movement.

        • Dennis Frank

          I agree that dark money input ought to be brought to light. Obviously the media will focus on crowd-funding – since the set-up was designed on that basis it's convenient for them. I doubt Newsroom can go where the spooks can.

          If the PM is indeed averse to investigating, not much citizens can do except remind her that covert US RW funding of attempts to destabilise democracies in other countries has been established practice for a long time. Point out to her that if she hasn't yet read the exposé by John Perkins who masterminded such ops long ago then she obviously is leading from a position of ignorance!

    • Anne 4.2

      Ad @ 4
      It was widely believed that a large portion of the money was being donated from off-shore including from both America and Canada. Exactly how it entered NZ has never been revealed, but it is sounds like it might have been through a circuitous financial route to prevent exposure of the original donors.

      Edit: I see Dennis Frank @ has already alluded to it.

    • Rosemary McDonald 4.3

      I too would like to see a thorough investigation into the anti-mandate/freedom protest that coalesced around the convoy from the Cape and Bluff and the gatherings in Wellington and Picton.

      I was one of the many people who flicked a few dollars (and having been mandated out of my paid employment this was not easy) to individuals and groups to support an action that in earlier times I would have joined in person.

      A few dollars becomes a sizeable amount when you consider the vast number of people who supported the convoys…both from the North and the South. Thousands and thousands of us got out there in the atrocious weather to cheer and wave and cook food and donate petrol money. Thousands stood on motorway over bridges with their signs…many of them VFF which were funded through donations…but also an equal quantity of hand made signs. I broke my 'no facebook' rule and found some of the very many people filming and posting the entire journey. Many of the postings were from non participants traveling home from Waitangi weekend who were wondering 'wtf all the cars and campers and trucks were doing and why are so many people cheering them on? '

      Hours of footage and much discussion, and when there was fuck all mention of the sheer numbers of participants that night on the news some folks really began to ask serious questions about selective reporting and msm censorship.

      I know for a fact that collections were taken up around the regions for clothes and camping gear and food and cooking equipment and some dollars to be taken down/up to Welly by those who had to work during the week but wanted to join in on the weekends. Short- lived (largely because the were taken down by the moderators) Faceache pages facilitated this…securing rides for those without cars and space for stuff to be delivered. Seldom were requests for $$$ made…and almost all that were were subjected to much scrutiny.

      The cooking tents and the portaloos were all donated as was the plumbed in loos and the showers. And the hay to soak up Mallard's water. And the laundry pick-up, wash and dry and deliver back to the Freedom Camp. And the accommodation for those not able to camp. Facebook pages…the short-lived ones again… would put out a call for particular items…like disposable rain ponchos…and hundreds would be delivered. Sound and movie systems and gazebos and pavillions…all magically appeared. Wellington region signwriting companies donated banners and posters or offered heavily discounted rates. Then there were those Wellington food businesses who broke ranks with the Welly Wokesters and set up at the Camp to provide free treats.

      There were signal groups at the Camp who attracted some extra support…and some of this was in the form of cash donations…namely the NZ Health Forum and NZDSOS, who have done sterling work supporting those many, many Kiwis who rolled up their sleeves and had the jab and ended up physically foobarred. And subsequently got treated like garbage by much of the mainstream health system and ignored by msm media.

      It was obvious that those not supporting this protest action were baffled and disbelieving that this was actually a relatively casual and leaderless movement. The entire population of NZ was represented…all ethnicities and 'classes' and ages and faiths. One group…the Destiny Church rooted Freedom and Rights Coalition…very quickly got their wings clipped both at the Camp and on Faceache (one of the few times I commented was to tell them to back off because they were a liability) because of their domineering, 'we're in charge here' demeanor that was deemed intolerable.

      Despite what the media and parliamentarians claimed the Freedom Camp was not a river of filth. It was not full of weak- minded and emotionally damaged racists, misogynists, anti-Semites and tinfoilhat- wearing nutbars. The children there were much loved and well cared for and until the Police decided violence was the best way of dealing to their parents had an altogether wonderful experience.

      It was not funded and organised by some Dark Overlord from the Far Far Right hell bent on undermining democracy and laying waste to order. I suspect that at least one of the alt media groups might have ties to overseas organisations but most of the very best footage is informal homegrown or from Kiwi vloggers.

      It scares folks, doesn't it, that even now no individual has been identified as being the organiser/leader/spokesperson of the Freedom Camp? Folks can't get their tiny little brains around the fact that so very many of our fellow New Zealanders came together over a what will be seen in the future as a constitutionally unsound and scientifically unjustifiable government over reach. This was People Power at its absolute finest.

      The subsequent treatment of those of us who protested or actively supported the protest by the government and it's pet media has done untold damage and will never be forgotten.

      • Nic the NZer 4.3.1

        At which time did you discover you had donated money to a lynch mob?

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Which lynch mob?

          This one… https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1207/S00070/asset-sales-march-in-auckland-ends-in-beheading.htm?from-mobile=bottom-link-01 ?

          Now…which would you say is the more worthy issue? The issue most deserving of demonstrations of anger and retribution towards the perpetrators?

          An elected government selling off the country's stuff…or an elected government penalising and punishing citizens who have very real and valid concerns about a novel and experimental pharmaceutical product being mandated for just about everyone over the age of 12 in one form or another? A product with known performance inadequacies and a growing reputation for causing serious side effects in far too many recipients?

          People or stuff?

          Those expressing their anger at the government and the media at the anti mandate protests in such a manner were in the definite minority. And I heard no cheering from the assembled crowd as they held actual mock hangings.

          • Nic the NZer

            You donated to both? I don't like your track record.

            • Molly

              Could it be that Rosemary's account holds truth, and is a reflection of many of those who supported and participated in the protest?

              There seem to be many on TS unable to even entertain the thought that the protestors were not hive mind.

              I too, had concerns over those either affected by adverse vaccine effects, or those who lost their employment due to the vaccines. AFAIK, despite knowing there would be fallout (and some were unable to be vaccinated) there was no provision for these NZers.

              I admire Rosemary for donating to these people when her own income had been severely curtailed.

              I can understand how her compassion and empathy for others lead to a financial contribution. Even when frustrated or challenged she has not manifested at any time into a personal call for violence that I know of.

              Why would you assert that she donated to a "lynch mob"?

              • Nic the NZer

                Unfortunately the truth in Rosemary's comments comes in homeopathic doses.

                • Molly

                  A lot of people managed to take in the import and impact of the pandemic and maintain equilibrium to some extent. They may also have had in place shock absorbers in terms of financial security, family and friends support systems, and the general contributions to resilience and well-being.

                  Not all are that lucky.

                  1. Some of the first demographic, may have also found themselves dealing with extra shocks: unable to be with loved ones when ill or dying, unable to mourn with others when someone has passed away, being advised to not avail themselves of the vaccine, yet unable to get an exemption – so they either lose their employment, or jeopardise their health.

                  I can see how the marginalised were enthusiastically marginalised, by the righteously pious – in public and here, on TS. That 'othering' is also a managing technique for stress. Seems to have worked for many here.

                  NZ did forget that the team of five million, required the inclusion of everyone. While many may have considered the mass vaccination of the population as the only public response of merit, we could have still held the principle that we don't ostracise others who felt differently. Anyone who has suffered iatrogenic harm, or seen that harm done to others knows that 100% trust in medical advice, can sometimes make you unprepared for the consequences, and the fight that you will have ahead to get issues redressed.

                  Do we really want to live in a country where compliance is 100%, and no questions are asked?

      • Matiri 4.3.2

        I know people who went to the protests. One particularly selfish twat brought Covid back to our small community and school. Her husband, a teacher, asked her not to go. As far as most of our community is concerned, that will never be forgotten.

      • mauī 4.3.3

        Wonderful comment, thank you. Meanwhile many of the bright minds here could only engage with ridicule and rage as their fellow NZers cried out for help. This response I can only sum up as anti New Zealand.

        • RedLogix

          To be fair to these people – their highest priority became the hope of saving lives. It is hard to fault them for this.

          Yet as you have observed there is a lesson to be learned here – that even when you have the best of motives it is possible to still go too far.

  5. Molly 5

    A precis of what is occurring, for those unable/unwilling to engage:

    Several countries who have undertaken medical literature reviews regarding the social, medical and surgical transitions of young people have concluded that not only do the harms of this approach outweigh any benefit, the outcomes are improved if the response is quality exploratory therapy.


    (Harms include bone damage, cognitive impairment, removal of sexual function, infertility, diminished mental health, a requirement for life long medication, and often unaddressed trauma or other health issues.)

    Could those advocating the continuation of NZ's affirmation health care explain why they support this treatment of children and young people, when objective reviews are indicating such high levels of harm?

    • Anker 5.1

      Thanks Molly for posting this.

      Yes I would like to see hear from anyone including on this site who promotes affirmative care for gender dysphoric teens justify its continuance after reading this.

      Anybody out there??????

      I found it particularly disturbing when I realized the NZ Association of Counsellors actively promotes affirmative care, particularly as most school counsellors are registered with that body.

      • Molly 5.1.1

        Perhaps if we frame it as a thought experiment?

        ie. What would be your position if you discovered that without clinical evidence – Russian medics were treating non-conforming, autistic, traumitised and gay children with therapy, medications and surgeries that would likely lead to sterilisation, lack of sexual function and sensation, perpetual requirement for medication, unresolved mental health issues, and detrimental physical and cognitive side effects?

    • Sabine 5.2

      did you see this?


      and yes, again, it is the Daily Mail that writes about this issue cause the left wing media does not dare touch it whilst being covered by a full body condom and a barge pole. They might fear that their identities fall off if they do.

      • Molly 5.2.1

        I watched the Swedish documentary that featured Leo.

        The deliberate ignoring of this issue by the supposed 'adults' in the room is both fascinating and appalling. I fully understand the criticism of identity politics superseding sense, as I see it played out here.

        No-one who truly cared about children and young people would take the chance that harm was happening – and would continue to happen – because no-one asked for good evidence, or looked at it when it was presented.

        Yet, here we are. a growing coven of Cassandras shouting into the gale.

        And still the sound of silence from the left.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          I've been conducting some informal research over the past few months… trying to ascertain random women's knowledge of, and thoughts about, the two Bills recently passed in our Parliament. You know which two I'm talking about.wink

          These women are between the ages of 45 and 65 and are either Maori or Pakeha.

          They all watch some telly, listen to some radio and spend a bit of time on line. All are reasonably generally well informed and have been around the block a time or two. All of them identify as 'Left'.

          None of them realised the BDMRR Bill made it possible for a person to simply rock on up to a Registry Office and sign a declaration to change the sex on their Birth Certificate. No conditions. no tests, no medical input. They are simply righting the wrong of being 'assigned the wrong sex at birth'. (I'm starting to enjoy the look of stunned confusion on their faces when they come to understand the potential ramifications of this.) A pity there was no open discussion of this in msm other than the odd reference to 'transphobes'.

          Moving on to the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill … all these women friends are of course familiar with and opposed to the (mostly historic) practice of 'praying the gay away'…and were happy to see it buried for good.

          When I explained to them that the legislation incorporates (and indeed was somewhat hijacked by) the treatment of people identifying as trans, they were not overly concerned…no problem with folks living their authentic life etc etc.

          When I pointed out there was, and still are concerns that failure to affirm and medically treat a child who claims to have been 'born into the wrong body' could be interpreted as "Conversion Therapy" and the perpetrators censured or prosecuted there was that look again.

          I'm calling it the 'what the actual fuck' look.

          This crap was passed after a deliberate campaign of keeping any in- depth discussion of the deeper issues and possible ramifications out of the wider public eye. This is not how the democratic process is supposed to work.

          And we have two Bills in force that demand we all suspend reality and unquestioningly accept the world view of a very small, but very loud and strangely influential section of society.

          FWIW…I will take any and every opportunity to bring these two pieces of legislative madness to the attention of those who care, but perhaps were looking the other way when they were trundling through the House.

  6. Anker 6


    staggered (but pleased that this item was on the front page of Stuff.

    Daphna is a Marxist feminist and one of the founding members of SUFW. She was due to give a talk about how SUFW had a number of their meetings cancelled in public libraries as a result of activism by trans activists. SUFW took their case to the High Court in Palmerston North and won and the Judge concluded that they could not be considered a hate group.

    so the talk to talk about how free speech got cancelled was cancelled

    • Molly 6.1

      Thanks, Anker.

      I found the article a bit wishy-washy. More concerned with the Barbra Streisand effect, rather than the principles of free speech, and the importance of informed debate. (Particularly in our tertiary education institutions.)

      Not a fan of David Farrar, or Curia, and would support instead any left-wing organisation that truly articulated the importance of free speech, and of public discussion and debate. But I am unaware if there is one in NZ at present.

      • Visubversa 6.1.1

        There certainly is a shortage of left wing organisations which are exposing the unscientific and homophobic agenda of gender ideology. We have no left wing Parliamentarians who are brave enough to speak out against the complete capitulation of the Public Service to the ideology. We have no Clare Chandler, no Joanna Cherry etc. All we have is Deborah Russell wishing that we would all just "fuck off", and a host of others who have never heard the word "autogynephilia" thinking we are just being nasty to people like Carmen and Georgina. In the meantime Healthline is asking 72yo women booking Covid Vax appointments if they "identify as a woman" , and schoolkids are being taught that sex is "assigned" at birth.

        • Anker

          Visubversa agree with all you say! Do these people have noboundaries asking a 72 year old woman if she identifies as a woman?

          I must add that Deborah Russell also was very keen to promote the idea that sex is on spectrum, as per one article from Scientific America (which I understand the author later said that what she wrote is being mis interpreted).

          • Visubversa

            The Labour Party is presently reviewing its "Diversity and Inclusion" Policy after a bunch of women pointed out that it was not in accordance with the protections in the Human Rights Act. They had – of course, left out SEX.

            21Prohibited grounds of discrimination


            For the purposes of this Act, the prohibited grounds of discrimination are—


            sex, which includes pregnancy and childbirth:

            • Anker

              Oh, I am glad to hear this. Still a party member. Anyway I can get involved with this Visu? Anyone I should write to about this?

              • Visubversa

                Nah – just keep your eyes and ears open. Especially at Conferences etc, Lynn P knows who I am if you want to get in touch.

              • The Fairy Godmother

                There are a few of us. If you speak up you will find support.

            • Molly

              If you can – Visubversa -can you ask why 'Sex' is missing from the Sentencing Act 2002 s9(1)(h), given all the other characteristics relate to the Human Rights Act 1993 s7(21)(1).

              And how, why and when 'gender identity' replaced it?

              Especially given that that the police policy on hate incidents uses the Sentencing 2002 categories, and only those categories to determine hate.

              ie. You will get assessed for ageism, but sexism is no longer a problem. Misgendering? Well, depends on the perception of the complainant. Anyone kept up with what's happened in the UK?

              • Visubversa

                Molly – this seems to be the answer to your question.

                A bit more digging about the Sentencing Act reveals that Phil Goff at the time decided that "gender identity" covered all the bases. Gender identity in s9(1)(h) was included largely on the basis of lobbying by gay activist Callum Bennachie, better known for his pro-prostitution work. Must be one of the earliest examples of gender identity trumping sex in our law.

                There's an article here setting it out in detail. Also shows up how 'sex' is a much clearer and better term than 'gender'.


                • Anker

                  Molly and Visubversa, I had no idea about this. Thanks for posting as usual.

                  And thanks to the Fairy Godmother

      • Anker 6.1.2

        Yes agree Molly. I think most of the left wing are asleep at the wheel on gender ideology. Having considered myself left wing all my life, I am finding that I now critically examine most things coming from Labour and Greens and the left wing in general.

        And I agree about the article, but I was amazed it even made stuff. They usually only publish stuff that supports gender ideology

    • Belladonna 6.2

      A very interesting and rather well-balanced article.

      The cancel-culture and the woke brigade are certainly having an influence on freedom of academic debate, let alone public commentary.

      No doubt they would be delighted by this outcome…

      Academic institutions are failing in one of their primary mandates – to foster and protect academic debate. Seizing bureaucratic loopholes in order to cancel debate with which the leadership team doesn't agree – is a misuse of their power.

      Those on the left should regard this with trepidation. Pendulums swing back. Who will protect their academic freedom/freedom of speech when a right-leaning group is in power?

      • Incognito 6.2.1

        In their unrealistic attempts to ensure the ‘health & safety’ of every individual they strip all playgrounds of all equipment, pad the ground with bark, and put rubber mats to prevent muddy and slippery patches. Universities are treated as intellectual playgrounds for vulnerable and gullible wee intellects whose fragile minds need to be protected against any bad influences from outside. Their over-cautiousness during the pandemic is just another symptom. Academics are no longer taught to think for themselves or allowed to teach others how to think for themselves unless it is according to a prescribed method & content aka ‘the curriculum’.

  7. Chris Trotter nails it today. Brash's Orewa speech will look like a minor interjection compared with the the racist bile we are going to see during the upcoming election campaign.


    • pat 7.1

      My own comment from the other night expressed much more eloquently….with an exception…

      "Labour and the Greens will find themselves being dragged further and further to the left in order to keep this nascent Red-Green-Brown coalition together. To distract their still dubious working-class Pakeha supporters from the co-governance question, Labour may lay before them reforms aimed squarely at dismantling the neoliberal economic order in favour of “real Labour policies”.

      …will not happen because they are idealogically neoliberal and wouldn’t know how to construct a working class manifesto.

      • Anker 7.1.1

        Visubversa agree with all you say! Do these people have no boundaries asking a 72 year old woman if she identifies as a woman?

        I must add that Deborah Russell also was very keen to promote the idea that sex is on spectrum, as per one article from Scientific America (which I understand the author later said that what she wrote is being mis interpreted).

        I suspect the majority of Labour politicians are captured rather than scared. Shows an absence of critical thinking.

    • Dennis Frank 7.2

      the next phase: Biculturalism 3.0 – also known as “Co-Governance”

      Nice one, Chris. Shoulda told Labour about it last year, eh? If they had fronted with Biculturalism 3.0 back then, all them mainstreamers doing collective shudders at co-governance would've thought differently.

      Then he offers this:

      lack of any serious preparation of the non-Māori population for the revolutionary implications of setting New Zealand’s democratic political system aside in favour of “parity” between the Treaty “partners”, has already set in motion the growth of potentially massive electoral resistance to the co-governance project.

      Good point – if Labour are actually doing that. Instead, Labour seem to be very carefully constructing the impression in the public mind that they aren't really. Perception management is all about plausible deniability so the best binary model to use is those optical illusions that combine two images in one.

      Chris pushes the thrilling prospect of the next election being fought on the basis of ideology. When did that last happen?? Racists on one side, everyone else on the other. Exciting stuff will happen within families, as some members become stridently racist – to the horror of other members. Lively up yourselves!

  8. The gloss seems to be coming off the Luxon image!

    This Scoop column has much about the extreme right-wing mind set of the Natz leader, and his general mediocracy! A new JohnKey he is not!

    Footnote Two: This column doesn’t usually feature much in the way of personal anecdotes. Yet this Facebook anecdote by the Wellington journalist Jeremy Rose is so consistent with Luxon’s comments yesterday that it reads as confirmation:

    “I met a former Air NZ flight attendant recently. She told me how their conditions were cut to the point that she had to pay for her own tickets to Auckland to work on international flights. On a return trip to Wellington she was told she'd be sitting next to Luxon. She asked not to be, but they said it was the only seat.

    So, she told, me she had to decide whether to tell him how she felt or live with the fact that she hadn't. So, she started to explain the situation and he interrupted her with: "You're just waiters and waitresses…". She said to me not only was that not true – there's a lot of safety training, first aid etc, etc – but it was insulting to wait staff. She then pointed out to Luxon that the top 10 staff were earning $19 million between them to which he replied: "I could earn a lot more elsewhere." He seems to lack any self-awareness, humility, decency or even intelligence.”


  9. Belladonna 9

    Truancy from school is a huge issue in NZ. And, if we accept the premise that education is a pathway out of poverty, a deeply concerning one.


    There are no simple answers. The trend had already begun before Covid, but the lockdowns and consequent disengagement from schools has accelerated it.

    Poverty and housing insecurity are a significant factor. Parents who are working multiple jobs, or who need teens to work part-time to contribute to the family income, are not in a position to encourage/enforce school attendance. And frequent shifts in home address make it much harder for kids to engage with school (and schools to track where they are and what's happening).

    But, also, the disengagement from education as a whole. Schools not equipping kids with the basic building blocks needed to learn (reading/maths) – the profound failure in NZ education philosophy in teaching 'balanced literacy' rather than 'phonics' has now gone intergenerational.

    Many of these truant kids are so far behind educationally, that they see simply no point in going back to school. Resourcing schools to adequately support their learning (rather than simply dumping them in a main-stream class, for them to continue to flounder), is also needed.

    • Molly 9.1

      Some kids learn reading by phonics, while others benefit from a different approach.

      Education institutions should be able to offer another option when the initial one is not working. There are always some who take longer, learn differently, and have other priorities at the time you are trying to teach them.

      It would be good to have intention statements about what our education systems are trying to achieve at different levels.

      eg. Primary – encourage the child's natural curiosity, and while providing the basic tools, encourage and reward self-directed learning and achievements.

      (I'm sure there are teachers on this site, that can markedly improve on that offering).

      As you say, the reasons for truancy are diverse and hard to address for that reason. Improving a student’s experience at school may be one of the only options in a teachers control.

      • Belladonna 9.1.1

        Unfortunately, for the last 20 years, only the 'balanced literacy' approach has been taught in teacher training – so few new teachers have anything else to offer when it fails.

        Thoroughly experienced teachers, of course, are more likely to have a grab bag of skills, acquired over many years, to use in teaching the exceptions – which is why Mums network like crazy to figure out who are the 'good' teachers…

        According to this article (which I have no reason to disbelieve), teacher trainees have 90 minutes of training on how to teach reading.


        Now, it may well be that they pick up extra skills in placements and on the job – but that's a very hit-and-miss method of education.

        And individual schools (mostly wealthy, high decile schools) are spending a ton of money on running teach-the-teacher programs on structured literacy (decodable reading, or phonics). Poorer schools – who arguably have the most need, mostly miss out – and struggle on with a method which absolutely fails with a significant proportion of students.

        [This is a US article – but the literacy approach and learning-to-read strategy is the same one taught in NZ schools. We seem to be wedded to it, in an educational sense, because it was popularized and promoted by kiwi, Marie Clay]


        Actually making it a mission to teach the basics well – and continuing to teach them until the child has the learning building-blocks (reading & maths) to enable them to learn – would be the No. 1 thing that schools could do to turn around learners who are currently failing.

        • Molly

          "Actually making it a mission to teach the basics well – and continuing to teach them until the child has the learning building-blocks (reading & maths) to enable them to learn – would be the No. 1 thing that schools could do to turn around learners who are currently failing."


          The training for the teacher training also needs scrutiny by the sounds of it.

      • Gaynor 9.1.2

        My mother, Doris Ferry taught in poor areas in Dunedin state primary schools in the 1930s and 1940s. As a primer teacher she said you lost grading if you did not have every child reading with a reading age of seven years by the time they were seven years old. School inspectors allowed no excuses for a child who had not achieved this . It would have been quite unreasonable to have expected this standard from the teacher without a method of teaching reading that could effect this. The method ,of course, was intensive phonics . Only now being resurrected as structured literacy. It has taken 80 years for our education establishment to come to their senses and reluctantly allow phonics once again!

        My mother claims she never saw a dyslexic child nor in fact any child needing remedial reading help . Whereas whole language (W. L.) aka balanced literacy ,suits only a proportion of students, phonics succeeds with all. Multitudes of studies for decades confirm this. No research ,done thoroughly, has ever shown W.L. to be superior to phonics. Cognitive science and neurological studies, also confirm this .

        For those interested in the literacy debate ,I recommend listening to the radio recording of 'Nine to Noon", This week on Wednesday in which Kathryn Ryan featured a U.S. professor of statistics ,Tom May ,whose research reveals Marie Clay's much exalted reading recovery, W.L.programme , actually damages participating children in the long term. The eight -year old reading slump that those with inadequate phonic skills experience once there are too many words in a text to memorise. It has been an appalling waste of money, let alone caused untold misery to very many thousands of children here and world wide.

        The sooner the disastrous whole language era is over the better. Structured literacy courses for all teachers should be free. I have taught students to read with phonics ,privately, many of them dyslexic, using my mother's methods. She taught 1500 students ,who had failed to read in local schools,using phonic workbooks and other phonic material and parents to help with their own child, every day She even taught semi-literate parents how to teach their own child . She was spectacularly successful but ignored by the ministry.

        If the ministry really believed in literacy for all they would find a way to train teachers . But it clashes with their progressive philosophy which dwells on many fanciful things but certainly not universal literacy as NZ did and excelled at in the past .

        • Molly

          As you say, NZ reading levels in the early parts of last century and up to the 70's (IIRC) were recognised as excellent around the world.

          I don't know if the incidence of dyslexia, dysgraphia, and other learning impediments like ADHD etc have been proven to have increased in the last few decades and why. It could be that these conditions are more widely known, and so the diagnosis is more often given. It may also be environmental factors (low-level pollution) or some form of ingestion during childhood that have contributed.

          I have home educated four of my children. In terms of learning to read, it has been a lesson in understanding how skilled teachers have to be in a larger classroom to meet so many different needs.

          Two of my children didn't need reading instruction at all. They learnt the alphabet, and picked up reading from following along – without instruction – when being read to.

          One of them, from the age of two or three, used to write screeds of symbols that looked like writing, so they loved the written word before they even knew the alphabet.

          Another was both dyspraxic and dyslexic. Interesting, but not saying conclusive fact, is that when pregnant with him, we lived directly on one of NZ's most busy residential roads, with traffic (and pollution) 24 hrs a day. He also returned to pre-verbal state for 6 months after receiving an infant vaccine. Strict phonics is what was necessary to get him reading, and taking time with this allowed him to enjoy reading when he finally got it.

          My youngest is dyslexic – as his father was, and resembles him the most in terms of personality. The classic problems with a 3D mind presented with a 2D code, often flipping d, b, p and q and reading them all the same. He is the only child with a short limit on being read aloud to. While all the rest would listen for as long as I would read, his attention span would go after a very short period. He has a hearing impairment that is not related to the structure of the ear, but the fact that his ear canals are incredibly narrow, and wax buildup interferes with hearing well. That has improved markedly over the years, but it has taken time. On the other hand, his ability to think in 3D is noticeable, and useful.

          I don't know if there is any reason that greater numbers of children are diagnosed with neuro-divergent thinking, or attention disorders. I do think it has increased, rather than it is diagnosed more often because of awareness. But that's only my personal observation and theory.

          Phonics definitely worked for the two that had difficulties with reading, and helped them both navigate towards independent reading. If introduced to the other two that were mainly self-taught, it would not have interrupted that process too much I think. But it may have interrupted the easy falling in love with the written word, that kept them reading for quite a while through their childhood and adolescence.

          We need to bring all the best tools available forward, and keep working on it. My very limited experience with my own children, does remind me how valuable successful teachers are in our schools. Perhaps as always, they are the ones best suited to assess their students and be able to request and easily access materials for those they have at any one time.

          • Gaynor

            Certainly, pedagogy is both the art and science of teaching. Unfortunately the current W.L. dominant in N.Z. has stubbornly ignored the science,

            Choosing suitable books,materials and fun activities for students as well as teachers who can cajole,motivate and cultivate a students interest in reading are valuable. Gifted junior class teachers ,however, came to our private school room with their own children, they had failed to teach to read , indicating that ,this is not enough without also the science of reading.

            I can assure you the 'natural reader' who seems not to need any explicit phonics instruction, greatly benefits in spelling and comprehension from having as much structured phonics as the rest of the class. They can just cover the phonic work more quickly.

            With no proof at all the, the progressive philosophy, states as gospel that structured learning in any subject produces mindless robots with zilch imagination . As a student in the 1950s and 60s, I actually did not see any robotic classmates who were incapable of critical thinking or creativity.What I dud see was everyone in the class could read the set text ,all knew their tables ,absorbed knowledge,and did the A and half the B exercises in the arithmetic book the whole class were doing. One student in my class had better solutions to the worked examples in the text book ,so the teacher had him write them on the board and the class wrote them down .

            Other students in my classes went on to write songs and music,write novels and poems,create wearable art etc Structured learning did not seem to damaged them !

            Doris, in her youth had been aware of dyslexia ,since she had a cousin with an organic form of it . Unlike now, it was a rare condition . One percent or even less . According to Wikipedia,the prognosis is "Dyslexic children require special instruction for word analysis and spelling from an early age…………instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics,vocabulary and reading fluency ". But in the 1930s and 40s a large proportion of N.Z. five and six- year olds were receiving this exact treatment ,hence being fortified against dyslexia .

            Certainly toxic substances,in the environment do impact on children's learning, But there have always been environmental and social problems . In the '30s and '40s there was severe poverty from the Depression and trauma from W.W.2 The environment was loaded from lead ,DDT and other toxins now banned . Children were kept home from school to do the laundry and other work and because of a shortage of teachers up to 50 in a class.

            Still the expectation was that every child could become literate and numerate to the correct level for their age.

            Parents coming to our school room ,late last century, were annoyed by the diagnoses of neuro-diversities put on their children by psychology. To the parents it seemed they acted as excuses for the schools to account for their children's failure to learn. They wanted a cure .

            I have respect for teachers as people ,but I am concerned they have been brainwashed into believing failure in children to achieve at the correct level is inevitable.

            It is not!

  10. joe90 10

    There are some images floating around of Russian soldiers eating among the corpses of their fellows. They appear oblivious to the violence, death and misery surrounding them and that they’re responsible for it. I feel for them. But what choice do they have? Poots' head chopping Kadyrovite barrier troops are a reality. Russian military penal institutions are likely as deadly as they were 75 years ago and kin punishment is a thing in Russia.

    The entire shit-show, the brutality, the cruelty, and the plight of those Russian draftees is on Poots yet he and his apologists continue to spin this as somehow being Ukraine or NATO’s fault. Pricks.

  11. arkie 11

    Renters continue to have their health and comfort sacrificed due to ineffective enforcement of legislation regarding heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture, drainage and draught-stopping:

    Without the need for licensed inspectors, anyone, including the property owners themselves, can claim a property meets the standards. They can also decide if their home is exempt from meeting a standard.

    The Government does not keep track of which homes meet or are exempt from the standard, or why.

    “You're not accountable if you're not counting,” said Swarbrick.

    However, the Government commissioned an annual survey of renters and landlords by Colmar Brunton, the results of which found damp and mould was worsening, and revealed discrepancies between what renters and landlords reported.

    Once again the stacked power dynamic of rental housing is laid bare, and as per usual Labour has preemptively signalled their intention to not do anything about it because, according to Poto Williams at least, the costs outweigh the benefits.

    Building and Construction Minister Poto Williams​ was asked if it was acceptable a home could meet the standards, yet cause health issues and damage to property for tenants, and if not what the Government would do about it.

    Williams said work was not planned to improve the standards, while the cost of introducing licensed inspectors would outweigh the benefits.

    Renters deserve to live comfortably and without their home endangering their health, it seems out of step with our consumer rights to have such substandard 'products' being marketed. Renters need a WoF style regime to provide some transparency and confidence.

    Swarbrick, who advocated for a rental warrant of fitness, a Green Party policy, said renters should not have to live in an unfit house, just as workers should not have to drive an unfit car.

    It was a human right, she said.


    • arkie 11.1

      Some other changes that could help readdress the imbalance in addition to a rent WoF, from Renters United:

      • Limit rent increases to no more than inflation, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the preceding 12 months.
      • Allow reasonable and proportionate rent increases above CPI where significant improvements have been made to the quality or facilities of the home – beyond ordinary maintenance. Such improvements would not include those made in order for the property to comply with minimum standards.
      • Prevent unreasonable rent hikes between tenancies by requiring the landlord to set rent within a reasonable range of the previous rent charged for that property (except where significant improvements beyond normal maintenance have been made) and inform incoming tenants in writing of the rent paid by the previous tenants.


  12. joe90 12

    Fifty years ago.

  13. joe90 13

    Move along, people. Nothing to see here..


    According to a 2019 profile in The New York Times, Broeksmit was a musician and the son of a Deutsche Bank executive who died by suicide in 2014.

    After his father's death, Broeksmit gained access to his father's email account and found hundreds of files related to the bank, including board meeting minutes, financial plans, spreadsheets and password-protected presentations, the newspaper reported.

    Federal and state authorities were scrutinizing allegations of criminal misconduct and the bank's long relationship with former President Donald Trump, the newspaper reported.

    According to The Times, Broeksmit supplied the documents to journalists and others, including Fusion GPS, the research firm linked to an unverified dossier about Trump, and investigators with the FBI's New York office.


  14. arkie 14

    I have previously said this government is primarily reacting to the ‘public mood’ as described by the media, BUT it’s even worse:

    Documents released to RNZ show Annalect surveilled public comments on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and other sites, about current topics like ‘Covid response’, ‘virus’, ‘vaccine rollout’, ‘economy’, ‘business and consumers’, ‘contact tracing’ and ‘team of five million’, posted by New Zealanders.

    The reports were provided to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), and released to RNZ with a statement from Covid-19 Response deputy chief executive Cheryl Barnes.

    It had helped the Covid-19 group to be “agile and adapt communications to address the questions and concerns of New Zealanders,” she said.

    “The analysis compiled by Annalect has also helped measure the success of the Unite Against Covid-19 communications and public information campaign.”

    Barnes said the reports had provided “valuable insights” into the effect of pandemic restrictions and people’s acceptance of them, and their willingness to carry out Covid-19 related health behaviours.

    That has been important in ensuring the safety of communities and mentioning public trust, she said.


    • Ad 14.1

      Listening to the public mood is a basic function of democratic government.

      They do tonnes of it. As they should.

      • arkie 14.1.1

        Agreed, but my emphasis is on the distortions of the medium in particular. I certainly wouldn’t trust such social media platforms to fairly represent public mood any more than I trust a Herald or Stuff poll that’s used to drive a narrative. These often can undermine good intentions. In this particular case it appears to have contributed to the weakening of the effective COVID measures but another good example is the CGT argument, or the recommendations of the WEAG. Sometimes you have to take people with you.

        • Ad

          There's no fairness in it, just making sure social are part of the data picture.

          They would also track The Standard and Kiwiblog as well for bookends.

          This lot are in general paranoid about stepping beyond public acceptance.

          It's possible to have too much democratic responsiveness, but it could be worse.

          • arkie

            This lot are in general paranoid about stepping beyond public acceptance.

            Succinctly put.

    • Incognito 14.2

      University of Auckland researcher Dr Andrew Chen said the reports seemed like “essentially an extension of polling or focus groups”.

      This comparison is confusing and potentially misleading. The public knows that political parties commission and pay for polling and focus groups. However, this is the Government commissioning and paying for ‘market research’ from the Taxpayers’ purse without being upfront about it. To be fair, Chen does mention this a little further down.

      Chen said outsourcing the information was probably a “good thing” in terms of privacy, because it ensured the government did not have access to the original comments and the identities of the people that posted them.

      I think this is a bold assumption by Chen unless he checked and verified it. Although the Government as commissioning and paying customer may and probably did not have direct access to the data, it is quite common (i.e., default) in outsourced contracts that the customer receives a copy of all raw data at the end of the contract and in fact becomes owner and trustee/guardian of the data.

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