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Open mike 30/05/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 30th, 2021 - 123 comments
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Open mike is your post.

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123 comments on “Open mike 30/05/2021 ”

  1. Andre 1

    The US has had a dramatic drop in covid infections and deaths, coinciding with with the mass rollout of vaccinations.

    So a reasonable question is: how is the pandemic going for those yet to be vaccinated?

    WashingtonPost has taken a look at that question, and the tl;dr is that for the unvaccinated, the pandemic is carrying on just as it was before the decline. The explanation may be the way vaccination and behaviours to limit disease transmission has become such a polarised issue. Those inclined to be vaccinated or not have separated into distinct social groupings, and the antis are still having their superspreader events while completely unprotected.

    The evidence is clear, folks. Get your vaccination when it's offered to you. It really works. Herd immunity in the rest of society won't protect you if you're unvaccinated if your social circle includes a lot of other unvaccinated people.


    • Sabine 1.1


      ""Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi's forced Jewish people to wear a gold star," Greene tweeted on Tuesday. Greene has also compared face masks to the gold stars. Nazis forced Jews to wear the stars to stigmatize, humiliate, isolate and control them."

      oh well…rumor has it, some of them are fuckwits. Also it was not a gold star (that one goes to families in the US that have lost people in their war adventures elsewhere). The jewish citizenry of Europe, Russia, and other places occupied by the German were forced to wear a yellow star. Seriously, US Americans are dumb, mean, petty and dumb.

      • Anne 1.1.1

        James Shaw came up with an amusing anecdote on Q&A this morning:

        A bottled water company in America (might be California) is producing GE free bottled water. Where else could that happen? surprise

        • mac1

          Don't they know that stuff is poisonous? There's a sign at the community gardens where there's been some at times considerable pilfering (I lost all my kumara one year), that gives a warning that the vegetables in the plot had been sprayed with di-hydrogen monoxide and should not be eaten until the withholding period had been safely observed!

          • Robert Guyton

            That's funny, Mac1, 'cept, those who sole were unlikely to be deterred by the fear of sprays 🙂

            Probably thought, all good, that's what we normally eat!

          • Anne


      • Incognito 1.1.2

        oh well…rumor has it, some of them are fuckwits. Also it was not a gold star (that one goes to families in the US that have lost people in their war adventures elsewhere). The jewish citizenry of Europe, Russia, and other places occupied by the German were forced to wear a yellow star. Seriously, US Americans are dumb, mean, petty and dumb.

        You’re so quick to judge.


        • Sabine


          The Nazis required Jews to wear the yellow Star View This Term in the Glossary of David View This Term in the Glossary not only in the camps but throughout most of occupied Europe.


          Yellow badges (or yellow patches), also referred to as Jewish badges (German: Judenstern, lit. 'Jew's star'), are badges that Jews were ordered to wear at various times during the Middle Ages by some caliphates, at various times during the Medieval and early modern period by some European powers, and from 1939–1945 by the Axis powers. The badges served to mark the wearer as a religious or ethnic outsider, and often served as a badge of shame.[1]

          with all due respect…. yeah, nah nah. But thank you much for explaining my countries history to me, what would i do with out you telling me?

          And yes, i am quick to judge, as Maya Angelou once said: "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." And it has served me well ever since.

          • Incognito

            Not only quick to judge but also resistant to challenge and correction with belligerent passive-aggressive behaviour to avoid having to change their minds let alone their behaviour; virtually incapable of admitting being wrong let alone apologising.

            https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/artifact/white-armband-with-blue-star-of-david [same source as yours]

            Nobody argued that it was about “[your] countries history”, which is another one of your many comprehension fails on display here on a regular basis.

            Bye now – have a nice day.

            • Sabine

              if you were to have looked at the links listed you would know that the white armband with blue david star is listed as one of the variants used in Poland and pretty much every where else they wore the yellow star.

              Good grief, Incognito i have no idea what upset you today, but it was not me, nor anything i said. Please find someone else to discuss the marking of the jewish citizenry by the generation of my grandfather.

              [Content deleted because it contained too many links that triggered Auto-Moderation]

              [link added: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_badge ]

              But then you are not here calling me out on my perceived incomprehension of your attitude towards me, you are just here trying to goat someone into a cake fight, and as always, i don't have enough cake to waste.

              I truly wish you a happy day.

          • weka

            Your other comment is held up in Spam. Cut and paste is too long, and too many links within the cut and paste.

        • Gabby

          It's impressive that someone can judge quickly and accurately while others dither, haver and nitpick, isn't it. You are right to express admiration.

          • Incognito

            Not admiration, but in absolute awe how someone can judge the IQ and undertake a character assassination of one nation in one fell swoop based on the colour of a badges worn in Europe over 75 years ago. That ain’t a mean feat, even by Trumpian standards.

            • Gabby

              Hopefully the awe you feel will grow an aspiration to explore the differences between persecution and claimed victimhood by choice. Every journey begins with a single step.

              • Incognito

                My journey is taking me in a different direction; my metaphorical shoes are well worn and not just by walking. I’m afraid I won’t live up to your aspirations.

    • mauī 1.2

      "…and the antis are still having their superspreader events while completely unprotected."

      It's almost like natural immunity and treatments don't exist in your world.

      • Rosemary McDonald 1.2.1

        An oldie (in terms of this rapidly morphing field) but a goodie.


        “Several months ago, our studies showed that natural infection induced a strong response, and this study now shows that the responses last,” Weiskopf says. “We are hopeful that a similar pattern of responses lasting over time will also emerge for the vaccine-induced responses.”

        I guess at the end of the day it comes down to choice. The vaccinated have nothing to fear. Those who have not had any of the vaccines are not a risk to the vaccinated.

        From what I've read, the vaccines are safe for everyone….old, young. babies, pregnant women, immunocompromised…there's a vaccine to suit.

        And all the vaccines are of course 100% safe and at least 90% effective and each new outbreak inspires a greater demand for the jab. There will be very few left unvaccinated, and these these folk pose no threat to those who are.

        I'm not seeing any problem here.

        • Andre

          Antisocial arseholes who don't get vaccinated when given the opportunity, then get diseased, are still a risk to those for whom the vaccine is ineffective.

          That's largely the immunocompromised. Often due to needing medication for other conditions.


          Then if someone with a weak immune system is unfortunate enough to get exposed to one of those diseased antisocial arseholes and gets the disease, they are at risk of a prolonged illness, which vastly increases the likelihood of them becoming the source of new mutations.


          • Foreign waka

            There is nonetheless a point to be made that a person has a right (!) to decide whether they want to be vaccinated. It seems to me that this pandemic has not just wracked havoc with the health and economies but also with the understanding that people are free to decide. Emphasis on FREE. Unless we are now in a dictatorship by stealth?

            I personally will get vaccinated once its offered. But only because I want to see my family again. Otherwise I wouldn't as I feel that the speed in which the vaccine was introduced leaves my sense of proper process very much at unease. And I am not the only one.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              the speed in which the vaccine was introduced leaves my sense of proper process very much at unease.

              Any rational person with even a minimum of understanding how these products are developed will have cause for concern.

              The latest drive to use these experimental mRNA vaccines on children (using the 'you don't want to kill grandma') inducement is, in my opinion, criminal.

              I can find no study which proves children are at risk from Covid 19 or are a risk to others.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                I can find no study which proves children are at risk from Covid 19 or are a risk to others.

                That’s unsurprising, but dead children are all the proof I need.

                In Kids, The Risk Of COVID-19 And The Flu Are Similar — But The Risk Perception Isn't
                Even a vaccinated parent can occasionally get infected with the coronavirus. There's also a small risk that the virus can pass to an unvaccinated child, and that child has an extremely small risk of getting seriously ill. To date, out of more than 74 million children in the United States, there have been about 300 COVID deaths and a few thousand serious illnesses.

                Every cell on the planet is either chocka-block with mRNA, or dead.

                What is mRNA? The messenger molecule that’s been in every living cell for billions of years is the key ingredient in some COVID-19 vaccines
                One surprising star of the coronavirus pandemic response has been the molecule called mRNA. It’s the key ingredient in the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. But mRNA itself is not a new invention from the lab. It evolved billions of years ago and is naturally found in every cell in your body. Scientists think RNA originated in the earliest life forms, even before DNA existed.

                mRNA-based vaccines have been delivered to hundreds of millions of people since their initial approvals in December 2020.

                Full length mRNA molecules have been proposed as therapeutics since the beginning of the biotech era. The field became active in 2012 when Moderna Therapeutics raised almost a billion dollars in venture funding in its first three years.

                The dawn of mRNA vaccines: The COVID-19 case [JCR, May 2021]
                In less than one year since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, two mRNA-based vaccines, BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273, were granted the first historic authorization for emergency use, while another mRNA vaccine, CVnCoV, progressed to phase 3 clinical testing. The COVID-19 mRNA vaccines represent a new class of vaccine products, which consist of synthetic mRNA strands encoding the SARS-CoV-2 Spike glycoprotein, packaged in lipid nanoparticles to deliver mRNA to cells. This review digs deeper into the scientific breakthroughs of the last decades that laid the foundations for the rapid rise of mRNA vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic. As well as providing momentum for mRNA vaccines, SARS-CoV-2 represents an ideal case study allowing to compare design-activity differences between the different mRNA vaccine candidates. Therefore, a detailed overview of the composition and (pre)clinical performance of the three most advanced mRNA vaccines is provided and the influence of choices in their structural design on to their immunogenicity and reactogenicity profile is discussed in depth. In addition to the new fundamental insights in the mRNA vaccines' mode of action highlighted here, we also point out which unknowns remain that require further investigation and possibly, optimization in future mRNA vaccine development.

            • Andre

              It's important to understand how the speed of development and approval was achieved. There weren't safety corners cut, that it happened a lot quicker than normal is more a reflection of how much drawn-out dawdling there is in the normal process, together with how tragically prevalent the disease become during the trials.

              This meant the necessary data came in very quickly. Most new vaccines are for very rare diseases, so it normally takes a long long time for enough trial participants to actually be exposed to the disease to gather meaningful data.

              The apparently compressed timeframe was achieved by companies taking financial risks by gearing up for the next stage while trials were still underway, rather than the usual process of waiting for results to come in before even thinking about the next stage. Regulatory and approval bodies also sped things up by immediately acting as soon as data was available, rather than their usual process of maybe considering things at their convenience months or even years after data becomes available.

              This piece discusses the timeframe issue in more detail:


              • Rosemary McDonald

                It's important to understand that there are absolutely no long term studies on these vaccines and there is absolutely no data to support a declaration that there will be no long term adverse effects from these vaccines.

                So why, pray tell Andre, are they pushing these experimental vaccines on to children who are not at risk from Covid and pose minimal risk to others?

                • Andre

                  Children should get vaccinated because there are people at risk from infected children. It's only in your fantasies that children do not pose a risk to vulnerable individuals, and that children are not at personal risk.

                  The personal risk to children is lower, but the risk of death and long covid appears to be high enough that just the risk to children alone would justify a robust response to this emergent disease.

                  A SERIOUS picture is emerging about the long-term health effects of covid-19 in some children, with UK politicians calling the lack of acknowledgment of the problem a “national scandal”.

                  Children seem to be fairly well-protected from the most severe symptoms of covid-19. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the majority of children don't develop symptoms when infected with the coronavirus, or their symptoms are very mild.

                  However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that a large number of children with symptomatic and asymptomatic covid-19 are experiencing long-term effects, many months after the initial infection.


                  Just one of the many results from searching for long covid in children.

                  edit: and when it comes to general covid in children, there’s a plethora of articles like this:


                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    But Andre. Those people who are, according to you, at risk from being infected with Covid 19 by a child will be a non-child. An adult. Who may or may not have chosen to be vaccinated. Who will either not be at risk at all, or have chosen to live with the risk. Such risk that exists'

                    The good news is that evidence suggests children don't easily pass covid-19 to each other in the classroom. In one study, a 9-year-old in France with flu and covid-19 was found to have exposed more than 80 other children at three different schools. However, no one became infected with covid-19 as a result, despite numerous flu infections within the schools, suggesting that although the environment was conducive to transmitting respiratory viruses, covid-19 wasn't passed on as easily.

                    More recently, a study of children between 5 months and 4 years old in nurseries in France has shown low levels of infection and transmission of covid-19. The study also shows that staff weren't at greater risk of infection than a control group of adults. The results suggest that children are more likely to get covid-19 from family members than from their peers or teachers at nursery, although more evidence is needed, say the study's authors, because the study happened when strict measures were in place to control the virus, and before fast-spreading variants appeared.

                    That quote is from the study you cited, that also shows that children suffering from 'long Covid' are very much in the minority.

                    If I have the time later I will try and find a study that proves that the risks to children from Covid outweighs the long term risks from an experimental vaccine.

                • Riff.s

                  There are no studies of the long term health effects of covid vaccines because such studies will take a long time.

                  There are also no studies of the long term health effects of chilhood covid infection because such studies will take a long time.

                  It seems to me that some countries are vaccinating children because they will otherwise not reach covid herd immunity due to too many adults refusing the vaccine.

                  • Sabine

                    That is exactly what the US is doing atm.

                    Also states are now rescinding mask mandates and are in the process of re-opening schools, no masks, no social distancing etc.

                • Sacha

                  There are no long term studies of Covid either.

            • Andre

              The flip side to rights and freedoms include responsibilities and accountabilities.

              So while I agree that anyone should be free to not get vaccinated, there should be a corresponding responsibility to minimise the risk of infecting others. So not having unvaccinated people in public facing jobs or other jobs where there is increased risk an infected individual may cause to others seems a reasonable precaution.

              It seems to me that a reasonable accountability for those that refuse vaccination (without good medical reason) is they should be fully responsible for their own medical costs of treating that vaccine-preventable disease, should they get it, as well as the treatment costs and other losses suffered by anyone they pass it on to.

              • Sacha

                Rights also do not exist in isolation – they are balanced against others. Freedom from avoidable infection or death seems like a pretty significant one.

                Maybe we could re-open some quarantine islands for those who believe their freedom to refuse is more important. They can imperil one another as much as they like.

                • Andre

                  Heh – Waiheke comes to mind. They might be going to end up that way completely voluntarily.

                  • Brigid

                    I'd suggest Whakaari,/White Island.

                    Decent distance from the main land.

                    Nice and hot

                    Pretty damned sterile

          • Rosemary McDonald

            No, no, Andre…it's all good to give the vaccine to immunocompromised people…

            From the experts…

            People with HIV infection or other immunocompromising conditions or people who take immunosuppressive medications or therapies might be at increased risk for severe COVID-19. No data are available to establish COVID-19 vaccine safety and efficacy in these groups. However, the currently FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines are not live vaccines and therefore can be safely administered to immunocompromised people. People with stable HIV infection were included in the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials, though data remain limited.

            Immunocompromised people can receive COVID-19 vaccination.

            So at the end of the day it is going to come down to availability and choice.

            The happily vaccinated are not at risk from the unvaccinated.

            So what is your problem?

            • Andre

              Immunocompromised people can safely get the vaccine. It's just of low likelihood of doing them any good. Because they are immunocompromised – ie their immune systems are weak to non-functional, so they don’t have an effective immune system that can be trained to identify and neutralise the invading virus.

              So they are still at risk from diseased antisocial arseholes.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                They seem to have that issue sorted…


                They are giving them an extra dose.

                Again, it comes down to availability and choice.

                The vaccinated are not at risk.

                Another interesting topic for discussion might be how it has come to be that it is acceptable to level hate speech at those exercising their right to bodily autonomy and medical choice?

                In the absence of any real risk to those making a different choice.

                • Andre

                  On the topic of hate speech, you're the one here advocating for something that is likely to lead to identifiable specific harm to identifiable specific vulnerable individuals, while expecting to be free from accountability or consequences.

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    Where have I advocated for something that is likely to lead to identifiable specific harm to identifiable specific vulnerable individuals, while expecting to be free from accountability or consequences.

                    We are having a discussion. Debating the pros and cons of the necessity of vaccinating children with an experimental vaccine that has not been proven to have no long term adverse effects.

                    When the risk to and from those children from Covid 19 is extremely minimal.

                    Discussing a thing, and presenting evidence, does not constitute "advocating".

                • Incognito

                  They seem to have that issue sorted…

                  They are giving them an extra dose.

                  Oh good, all sorted, nothing to worry about then, if you say so. Although people who actually know about this stuff might not quite see it this way, at least not yet: https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19vaccine/92439

                  The vaccinated are not at risk.

                  Of course, if you say so. Vaccines offer full protection to all known and future variants, don’t they, so there’s nothing to worry about? Some of these variants might arise in immunocompromised patients, as Andre has already pointed out. Some variants might arise as we speak in other countries.


                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    If you say so.

                    Correction, Incognito.

                    It is not I making these claims.

                    It is the the FDA, the CDC and various researchers and health professionals making these claims.

                    And you make a good point about the variants, but I don't understand how immunocompromised people (if they choose to be vaccinated) are at any greater risk from variants than any other vaccinated person, providing of course the vaccine is effective for that variant. If the vaccine is effective for those variants then fully vaccinated people have nothing to fear from unvaccinated persons. If the vaccines are not effective against a variant then a person's vaccination status is not a risk factor for those vulnerable persons.

                    As has been said…this is a 'tricky' virus… and it's apparent ability to rapidly form viable mutations means that vaccines are not going to be the magic bullet some are understandably desperate for.

                    All the more reason to put greater effort into learning about the origins of this best. Know your enemy and all that.

                    • Sacha

                      I understood that the Covid vaccines on offer reduce the chance of death or serious injury, but they do not prevent a person becoming very sick. Some of us are better placed to tolerate that risk than others.

                    • Brigid

                      Immuno-compromised people are at a greater risk because they are immuno-compromised.

                    • gsays

                      Thanks Rosemary for your mahi on this topic.

                      Well done on not rising to the manky bait bobbing around in the thread, My reckons have the animosity towards those that are wary is going to start ramping up.

                    • Incognito

                      If you read the first link in my comment, you’ll know that immune-compromised people generate a weaker or even no response at all to Covid vaccination. You’d also know that a third dose is being studied and under review, so no ‘expert’ worth their salt can make any claims yet.

                      Immuno-compromised people are always more vulnerable to infections.

                      Immuno-compromised with long (chronic) infections could be a source of new variants, as has been suggested previously.

                      It has been suggested that the variant may have originated in a chronically infected immunocompromised person, giving the virus a long time to replicate and evolve.[20][2][21][22]

                      The HV 69–70 deletion has, however, been discovered “in viruses that eluded the immune response in some immunocompromised patients”,[60]

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lineage_B.1.1.7 [AKA UK variant]

                      If this is correct, then even vaccinated immuno-efficient people may be at risk if the vaccine is less or not active at all against any new variant that may evolve in time in immuno-compromised patients.

                      It will be very interesting to find out about Ground or Patient Zero but it has little bearing on national and global vaccination and elimination strategies.


      • Macro 1.2.2

        Be interested to hear what you think are the natural immunity for humans that currently exist. I assume that you refer to those who have previously had the virus and have recovered. Even so persons who have recovered can still be reinfected and transmit the virus.

        As for natural treatments, do you have any studies supporting their efficaciousness?

    • swordfish 1.3

      Wouldn't it have been nice if those at greatest risk of serious illness / dying from any Covid outbreak (aged 80+ with comorbidities) had all been vaccinated by now (as opposed to just a relatively small minority). Maybe, just maybe the high-risk elderly should've been in Group 2 (as in other Anglosphere Countries) rather than back in 3 ?

      • Andre 1.3.1

        There are lots of things the would have been nice to have been different.

        One of the things that actually is nice about New Zealand's response to covid is that we now don't have community transmission, unlike just about everywhere else in the world.

        So in New Zealand, those at highest risk of serious disease/dying (aged 80+ with cormorbidities) would be at the end of a chain of transmission starting at one of our various borders (air, sea, freight etc).

        So I'm quite happy that the strategy is to try to break the potential chain of transmission at the earliest possible links, so those at highest risk didn't get exposed. After all, the elderly with comorbidities are also likely to have less robust immune responses, so the better protection for them is to not be exposed. Put another way, I'm quite happy my 80+ parents with comorbidities got their vax (first one 8 days ago) well after their port-working neighbour in his forties and their late 30s granddaughter that is a doctor at the local hospital.

        IIRC, there were three published strategies for different levels of community transmission for the vaccine rollout – we're in the awesome position of using the one with no community transmission. The other two scenarios, limited community transmission and widespread community transmission, would both have put 80+ with comorbidities into a higher priority slot.

        • swordfish


          You're sounding very complacent given the recent emergence of dangerous new variants & the associated surge in Asia-Pacific Countries previously praised for their apparently successful elimination strategies …

          … great to hear your 80+ parents have had their first jab … but most in that age group haven't … my 90 year old parents (one with high-risk health conditions) for instance continue to wait patiently with no sign on the horizon.

  2. Sabine 2

    Who would have thought? She'll be right?


    The Ministry of Health abandoned an effort to secure all district health board computer systems citing budget constraints.

    The Government also has not followed through on its Cyber Security Strategy 2019 which promised annual reports around cybersecurity breaches.

    He notes “enterprise security protection software”, of the type being talked about are in place at a number of different health organisations, but the ministry does not publicly disclose security tools and technologies.

    ​Hunter allegedly pledged to the health IT industry that the ministry would put money into a sector-wide system for cybersecurity during a presentation he made to a ​Health Informatics NZ conference in Hamilton in 2019.

    Meanwhile, key parts of the Government’s cybersecurity strategy have barely been implemented even though it was published two years ago. Promised actions included an action plan and an annual report.

    The minister responsible for the cybersecurity strategy, ​Kris Faafoi, left the role in November last year.

    His successor, ​David Clark, admits no annual cybersecurity report from the 2019 strategy document was ever produced. However, he promises a report will be produced for the 2022 financial year.

    Well i guess the guys who get their medical help from the Waikato DHB are shit outta luck, prevention of these hacks are hard work, even harder when no one who is tasked and paid to do something is actually doing something. But i rest peacefull in the knowledge that should either Kris Faafoi or David Clark need any medical help they will get it asap, thus all is good.

    • Peter chch 2.1

      David Clark is now in charge? Are you joking.

      The former Minister of Health who is on record knowingly lying about this very same DHB, who hid under his bed in Dunedin (when he wasn't out breaching lockdown rules) during the worst of the pandemic, who… too many screw ups to record.

      He possibly could manage the parliamentary broom cupboard, but thats about his limit. Unbelievable.

      • tc 2.1.1

        Wow so from Faafoi to Clark who's done nada. That's an arc of competence we can all take comfort in at least it wasn't Nash.

      • Jester 2.1.2

        David Clark would be lucky to get a job in middle management in the real world. His CV does not make for good reading.

      • Pete 2.1.3

        Was Clark was Minister of Health until July last year? Over the period all of the approaches to the handling of Covid were formulated, established and got under way?

        Our handling of covid was a massive screw up I suppose. Is that what history says? Oh well, put it down to Clark 'hiding under his bed' in Dunedin.

        • Peter ChCh

          It came very very close to being a massive screwup. Geography, small and largerly well dispersed population, luck and yes, Arderns firm decision to lockdown are the reason we missed a bullet.

          Do you really think Clark showed a sliver of leadership, hiding under his bed in Dunedin and repeatedly breaking lockdown? Do you not think his place, and his job, required him to be in Wellington? Do you think the repeated lies he told about the Waikato DHB were a good thing?

          The policies and processes you point to were in no shape or form down to Clark. These were developed and refined and gamed over time by professionals. Clarks role was that of a manager and leader. He has failed continually as both.

          Why do you think Clark was dumped in July as MOH?

          • Louis

            @ Peter ChCh. What a ridiculous statement to make, Clark never hid under his bed. All ministers, including Clark, were told to work from home, which they all did, he was part of NZ's successful Covid19 strategy and I would describe his resignation as Minister of Health as a circuit breaker.

            Dr Bloomfield would disagree with your belittling assessment that it was all down to luck, geography and small population, because it wasn't.

            I seriously doubt your claim that the Waikato DHB board were sacked due to "repeated lies" from the minister, after all, it had been warned previously over its poor governance and finances.

            • Peter chch

              Louis. I never claimed thats why they were sacked. They were sacked because of incompetence, corruption and other performance based reasons.

              I said Clark repeatedly lied to the media before finally coming clean and apologising for his lies. Please re read what I said.

              • Louis

                @Peter ChCh I did read what you wrote.

                Quote: "Do you think the repeated lies he told about the Waikato DHB were a good thing?"

                You gave the perception that he lied in order to sack to DHB board, which is not true.

                "Clark repeatedly lied to the media before finally coming clean and apologising for his lies"


                • Peter chch

                  Louis. Thats your perception, not what I wrote and certainty not my intent.

                  That's the problem with text communication, very easy for both sides to miscommunicate or misunderstand.

                  I am very well aware why that DHB was sacked, and for the reasons I stated. That was not Clarks doing.

                  • Incognito

                    You should still provide a link about all those lies by Clark to the media, thanks.

                  • Louis

                    You were pretty clear Peter ChCh "Do you think the repeated lies he told about the Waikato DHB were a good thing"

          • Phillip ure

            Clark wouldn't lie…he is a religious minister/a man of God…a christian…

            • Peter chch

              Phillip, that means he most probably cannot lie straight in bed!

              But seriously, he comes across like a possum trapped in the headlights. Probably a decent guy, just out of his depth.

        • Louis

          Well said Pete.

    • alwyn 2.2

      Why is anyone surprised? There are no photo-ops when you do useful things like putting in decent cyber-security systems. It isn't nearly as useful as blowing $50+ million on horse and pony shows like the fiasco that was the Pike River Recovery project. That was the one where the PM, back before the 2017 election promised that the boys would be recovered and that money was no object?


      Cyber security? Nah.

      • Sabine 2.2.1

        I am not surprised, but still pissed of at the nonchalance with which these guys admit that in fact they had done nothing, and will do nothing until at least 2022 – well hire some to 'start the report' or such – after all some monies will be spend on IT this year as per Minister of health Andrew Little.

        The only ones paying for the inaction of government are those needing the services of that DHB, the staff working there cause they don't et paid – that darn IT system – and never mind the covid vaccination roll out for the area as that too is supposedly done by he DHBs.

        It's either incompetence, lazyness, or malice.

      • Incognito 2.2.2

        That was the one where the PM, back before the 2017 election promised that the boys would be recovered and that money was no object?

        I think you’re misrepresenting things; there was never a promise of an unlimited budget (AKA blank cheque) and nobody would have expected that. IIRC, the total budget was $51 million, once Labour got into Government with NZF.

        As you know, the Pike River Recovery Agency was set up by the new Government within MBIE, not MOH, as you seem to erroneously insinuate in your comment. You know how Government Budgets work, so please lift your game and stop making misleading comments here, thanks.

        • alwyn

          I gave you a link for my statement. Did you see in the bit that says.

          ""Returning your men and your boys is as much about a personal perspective as it is about anything else."

          No projections for a monetary cost have yet been created and it was yet to be decided which budget the agency would come from.

          Ms Ardern said that "money shouldn't be an issue".

          "There's no reason why the work can't start immediately," she said."

          That sounds pretty unlimited to me. And no, I don't accept that I have in any way implied that it was to be run by the Health Department. It was of course going to be part of Government expenditure and it is money the Government chose to spend in exactly the way the Government chose not to spend it on cyber-security.

          • Incognito

            That sounds pretty unlimited to me.

            So, you’re pretending that you’re naive and ignorant about Government budget allocations and Budgets? How cute, but I don’t believe you; no budget ever is unlimited or open-ended and you know this – you have previously claimed knowing “a great deal better” than the PM and the Minister of Finance (here it is: https://thestandard.org.nz/bluffgeld/#comment-1774689), which sounded like a load of pretentious hot air but you can’t have it both ways.

            Anyway, money to start is not money to complete.

            And no, I don't accept that I have in any way implied that it was to be run by the Health Department.

            Well, in that case, your comment about the Pike River Recovery project was utterly irrelevant to the topic of the thread and a diversion. But then again, you were in good company with other divisive and divertive commenters here 🙁

            • alwyn

              Firstly. The Government did decide to finance the Pike River Recovery Project.

              Secondly. They chose not to finance cyber-security for the DHBs.

              One can only conclude that they wanted the first project more than they wanted the second. The budget allocation pot for each of them is quite irrelevant. The ranking of things they wanted to do stands and that confirms my conclusion.

              If you want to argue that the various budget allocations for Departments were set and couldn't be altered in 2019 you will still have to explain why the project couldn't have been done in 2020.

              You will also have to explain why, if additional money cannot be put into the budget for a Department at a time after the Budget cycle they managed to find a huge sum for the Covid 19 activities in early 2020 when the money had not been foreshadowed in the previous Budget round.

              Sorry but they clearly chose one thing and did not choose another. The only thing I will agree that I am the one bringing it up without proof, in the form of a statement from one of the Politicians involved, that one had photo-op possibilities and the other didn't. It remains my opinion of course but I'll admit I don't have a smoking gun.

              • Incognito

                Indeed, Government set its Budget based on priorities. Whether they under-funded or not funded at all the centralising of cyber security is a moot point, as it is still up to each DHB to ensure its system is safe and fit for purpose. If it had gone ahead, not all DHBs may have taken it up, anyway. That’s your first red herring.

                Your second red herring is to suggest that there is a direct connection between funding the Pike River Recovery Agency and not funding or underfunding centralised cyber security in the public health sector. There is no such link; they are funded from completely different pots of money (AKA Ministerial down to Departmental budgets, etc.). You just picked one of your favourite pet projects to take a swipe at your favourite targets, as usual.

                Your third red herring is suggesting that Government found “a huge sum for the Covid 19 activities in early 2020 when the money had not been foreshadowed in the previous Budget round”. They did not “find” it anywhere, as you know. As if they were meant to also miraculously ‘find’ some money for cyber security!? Yeah, right. You know that Government does not run its books like that, so stop spreading disinformation.

                You still have to explain why you are trolling here, particularly why you should get away with it.

      • Tricledrown 2.2.3

        Alwyn given Nationals history on underfunding health and IT stuff ups INCIS healthcare IT failures makes Labour look good.National kept funding for health at the 2008 levels over 9 years funding for 4.5 million NZers while the population increased by 500,000.The cash sums were made to look good but the percentages never increased.National gave the savings in tax cuts to buy votes just before elections.

        • alwyn

          Rubbish. Why don't you tell us what the health budget as in 2009 and then each year after that. Your claim that it never increased is a risible comment.

          • Louis

            Alwyn, the previous National government underfunded health by $2.3 billion dollars

            “So that gives you an idea of how short it is and therefore why we are seeing patients put up in motel beds..”


            • alwyn

              No. "Andrew Little says that National etc"

              What Andrew says and reality seldom have much in common. I haven't looked at this study but I did look at one by, I think, the CTU Economist a few years ago. What they did, and what I think this study did, was to very carefully pick the starting year. You will note that National was in office for 9 years but this study purports to compare the numbers with 7 years ago. It doesn't look at the numbers from the end of the Clark Labour Government and compare them with the ones at the end of the National Government. That would be fair.

              When they talk about 7 years they are taking as their base year the first year attributable to National. That was the 2009-2010 year. The 2008-2009 year was the last year of a Labour Budget.

              Now what actually happened in 2009-2010 was a massive, far above inflation, one off, injection into the Health system. Then they didn't have further one offs, but basically kept up with inflation. This study is cheating by their choice of there starting year. Try doing it again by looking at end of Labour and end of National and you get a quite different result.

              I'm not going to try and track down this study. It will have ended up in the rubbish bin by now I would think. At the time of the CTU equivalent I commented in some detail about the fiddle. It was on this site I believe. It was a fraud but not that many people bother to check out the claims made. The simply take the view, as you seem to have done, that Andrew Little says it so it must be true.

              • Louis

                So Alwyn, basically that's just your opinion and you cant actually back yourself up.

                $2.3 billion shortfall in health

                "The funding needed for health to be restored to the level it was seven years ago to keep pace with cost pressures has widened to a massive $2.3 billion"

                “The updated study by economic consultants Infometrics… used Treasury’s own modelling for calculating real health costs for core crown health expenditure"

                "It’s not just Labour saying this:

                Frustration, disappointment over health funding in Budget 2017

                Patients and healthcare workers say they have been left frustrated and disappointed by “inadequate” funding for health in the 2017 Budget.

                They said the Government’s announcements on Thursday would not go nearly far enough in addressing concerns about overworked staff, access to new medicines, and access to mental health treatment.

                The Government said total health spending would be a record $16.77 billion in 2017/18 – an increase of $879 million, with an overall increase of $3.9b over the next four years.

                However, the record claim does not take inflation into account, and sidesteps the fact that almost half the spending will go toward mandated wage increases as part of the pay equity settlement. …"

                $2.3b Health funding shortfall

                • alwyn

                  Gosh, he's found a post on the Standard that repeats Little's waffle.

                  And adds David Clark and a number of Union Reps.

                  Are you surprised that The Standard didn't approve of the National Government? Doesn't mean they were right though.

                  • Louis

                    You're in denial of the facts Alwyn, Infometrics used the government's own figures, which showed a $2.3 billion shortfall in health.

                    • alwyn

                      Why don't you take a look at how Infometrics calculate the result. Then you should ask yourself the simple question. What are they comparing their calculation to? The only rational answer is compared to what Labour might have done. Since Labour weren't the Government you will have to try and decide how an estimate for that can be determined. A possible answer is to take the last year of the Labour Government and increase it each year in the way they historically did. Or by the factor they did use in the paper, which is a possible interpretation of that.

                      You have to start however by what Labour actually were doing, not by what National was already doing during their term.

                      I wrote quite a lot about this in this blog. After you have read the Infometrics stuff, assuming that you can find it, and have understood their methodology try working out a proxy for what Labour might have done, and compare it with what National actually did do during their entire term. Their entire term.

                      You'll find that the total National did spend was greater than what Labour might have spent using their preferred inflation factor for Health expenditure.

                    • Louis

                      That's a load of waffle and it's not my job to find your past comments on this website, that's your'e job.

                      Facts prove otherwise to your opinion, Alwyn.

                    • alwyn

                      I am really not going to waste my time repeating the facts about a subject over and over again to people who haven't bothered to read the comments the first time around.

                      It is like the rubbish people post that the banks can simply help themselves to the money in your account if they make bad deals and that you, the customer, lose your money while the shareholders in the bank lose nothing at all. I explained the fallacy in their statements on a number of occasions on this blog. I then decided that I had wasted enough time on fools.

                      That is what you are. You are a fool who believes a fallacious claim that one of your heroes chooses to blather on about. I have told people in the past what was wrong with the story. I really don't see why I should waste my time explaining it again to someone who is too lazy to read the first explanation.

                      What the facts prove is that you are a lazy idiot.

                    • Louis

                      The facts prove you wrong alwyn, but there you go waffling again, with nothing to substantiate your opinion.

  3. Pat 3

    Well I think the drought may have ended

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    Last week, weka published a post on the Longwood Loop and our efforts to raise funds to buy an electric van that will travel the circuit from small town to little village in Southland, moving locally-produced fruit, vegetables, cheese, honey and whatever else locals produce, to other locals, waiting expectantly at the various "trading posts' along the loop.

    We're thinking of, and pitching this as "a pilot for social and economic rejuvination and reslience in rural NZ", which is exactly what it is. With $47,400 raised already we are close to our target of $51 000 – we need just $3 600 more and have 36 hours left in our PledgeMe campaign to reach that target.

    Could you, would you (I won't say, "you should 🙂 please give a little and share this message ( there are some great rewards: Wild South honey, Southern NZ scenic calendar, produce hamper, forest-garden tours (these are very ably narrated 🙂 meals and accomodation and more.


  5. joe90 5

    But the kids will be okay..



  6. Robert Guyton 6

    This interview* might interest those with a garden and a desire to interact with it more closely.

    *advance warning – the interviewee is me 🙂




    [direct link added]

    • Phillip ure 6.1

      Just a heads-up for you robert…

      I understand a beard-intervention is being planned for you..

      There are fears amongst your friends that you might completely disappear…behind that untrammelled growth…

    • gsays 6.2

      What is the interview title Robert?

      The link gets me to the access media home page.

  7. Sabine 7

    oh boy, the virus that just keeps on giving.

    Vietnam has discovered a new coronavirus variant that's a hybrid of strains first found in India and the U.K., the Vietnamese health minister said Saturday (US time).

    Nguyen Thanh Long said scientists examined the genetic makeup of the virus that had infected some recent patients, and found the new version of the virus. He said lab tests suggested it might spread more easily than other versions of the virus.

    Vietnam was initially a standout success in battling the virus — in early May, it had recorded just over 3,100 confirmed cases and 35 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

    But in the last few weeks, Vietnam has confirmed more than 3,500 new cases and 12 deaths, increasing the country's total death toll to 47.

    • Andre 7.1

      My first question on this news was how is vaccination going in Vietnam? The short answer is it's barely even started – ourworldindata has them at just 1% of the population having received at least one dose.

      Hopefully we'll make through to most of our population getting vaccinated before the next significant border breach.

      • Sabine 7.1.1

        As per the article is 1 million with astra zeneca, and still waiting on more doses to be delivered by the third/fourth quater?

        Yes, that is what i hope, that we get enough of at least the compromised groups vaccinated and those that work the border and plague hotels.

        Vietnam has since ordered a nationwide ban on all religious events. In major cities, authorities have banned large gatherings, closed public parks and non-essential business including in-person restaurants, bars, clubs and spas.

        Vietnam so far has vaccinated 1 million people with AstraZeneca shots. Last week, it sealed a deal with Pfizer for 30 million doses, which are scheduled to be delivered in the third and fourth quarters of this year. It is also in talks with Moderna that would give it enough shots to fully vaccine 80% of its 96 million people

  8. Andre 8

    A frequent concern about the new mRNA vaccines is about their long-term safety – obviously a completely new technology does not and cannot have a long-term record so how can anyone know?

    My own biochemistry expertise is negligible, but I have several family members and friends that are academics that need a deep understanding of cell biochemistry for their jobs.

    Their opinions are unanimous: there is zero reason to believe the mRNA vaccines might have long-term effects beyond training the immune system to recognise the pathogen and deal to it. The mRNA simply causes a cell to make copies of the spike protein and show it to the immune system, then the mRNA breaks down and is dealt with by normal cell biochemistry processes just like all the myriad other RNA mediated processes going on all the time in cells. The immune system does its garbage cleanup on the cells exhibiting the spike protein just like it does the myriad other garbage cleanup operations going on all the time. For anything long term to come out of these completely routine processes (besides immunity) would go against well established understanding of how biochemistry works.

    Then there's the fact that the first trials with mRNA vaccines started roughly a decade ago, and the first covid vaccine trials started roughly a year ago, and widespread administrations started roughly six months ago. In the context of vaccine side effects, that's starting to be "long-term". Even with the very intense monitoring happening, there is no signal of any kind of side-effects beyond the usual few weeks or at worst months timeframe that vaccine side effects almost always appear in.

    For more reading:




  9. Sabine 9

    ahh, when comments fall under pre – moderation. 🙂 It must be a rainy day sunday.

    • Andre 9.1

      Or maybe lots of links?

      • Sabine 9.1.1

        i try to delink but sure that can be it.

        • Andre

          Wikipedia quotes are especially bad. It can take ages to hunt down all the links in those and kill them.

          • Incognito

            Easily fixed: paste as Text Only

            • Andre

              mRNA is created during the process of transcription, where an enzyme (RNA polymerase) converts the gene into primary transcript mRNA (also known as pre-mRNA). This pre-mRNA usually still contains introns, regions that will not go on to code for the final amino acid sequence. These are removed in the process of RNA splicing, leaving only exons, regions that will encode the protein. This exon sequence constitutes mature mRNA. Mature mRNA is then read by the ribosome, and, utilising amino acids carried by transfer RNA, the ribosome creates the protein. This process is known as translation. All of these processes form part of the central dogma of molecular biology, which describes the flow of genetic information in a biological system.

              Hey, howboutdat? Ctrl Shift V actually works. Next all I need is a browser where I can just hit that ‘clipboard with a T’ button.

              • Incognito

                Why make life hard when it can be dead-easy with the lovely Text Editor provided at no charge by Lprent & Co 😉

                • Andre

                  The text editor actually told me "no". But was helpful enough to tell me to try the Ctrl Shift V.

                  • Incognito

                    I don’t actually use the front-end text editor but good to hear that it is working well.

        • Incognito

          Sure, what else can it be except an overly long piece of text with way too many links? It has already been explained to you today @ 2:40 pm and @ 3:50 pm, but here’s the reason why it triggers Auto-Moderation: https://thestandard.org.nz/faq/comment-formatting/#linking.

          Dinner is smelling good!

    • Incognito 9.2

      Your comment triggered Auto-Moderation because it contained too many links; it is pending. This has been around here on TS for as long as I can remember. This is entirely independent from Moderator action. In fact, a Moderator has to deal with it, review it, and release it as is or with edits, or Trash it. This takes time and depends on Moderator availability – Moderators are not at the beck and call of belligerent commenters who cannot or don’t want to follow the rules here.

      Your comment is therefore utterly misguided, but this is not unexpected from you. In fact, your comment sounded like an accusation to me and I hope this was not your intention; you may want to be clearer to avoid such interpretation.

  10. Sabine 10

    This is going to be interesting, hopefully in a good way.


    Bennett to announce forming 'change' government today

    Yamina leader Naftali Bennett informed Lapid of his decision on Friday * They agreed that Bennett would serve first as prime minister until September 2023………………

    MKs and other candidates in Yamina who oppose building a coalition that would replace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be asked to resign by Monday in order to be replaced by a candidate who would vote in favor of the government, because the support of at least six of the seven MKs in Yamina is necessary for a majority.

    Sources in Yamina accused Netanyahu of lying about an agreement with Likud on a minority government being reached. They said the only agreements reached with Likud were about running together if there would be a fifth election.

  11. Pat 11

    "More than half of global GDP relies on high-functioning biodiversity but about a fifth of countries are at risk of their ecosystems collapsing due to the destruction of the natural world, according to an analysis by the insurance firm Swiss Re last year. Australia, Israel and South Africa were among the most threatened."


    If anyone knows about (financial) risk it's Swiss Re

  12. weka 12

  13. aj 13

    Panel of Mike Smith of the Iwi Chairs Forum, Climate Change Commission Rod Carr, Dairy NZ's Tim Mackle and Wellington Councillor Tamatha Paul talked emissions during a Q+A special this morning.

    Tim Mackies made a stout defense of the dairying position but undermined his arguments by making some silly statements, eg

    First thing is, it's not all about dairying although greenpeace like to use this highly emotive 'industrial'
    There's nothing industrial about the sector, this is a bunch of families across the country pretty much…

    (sound of members of the panel scoffing)


    (15min 20 secs into that clip)

  14. greywarshark 14

    Here is how leveraged house prices are unreasonably affecting Council rental prices. Whatever directive from government there has been, it is poor public housing that forces government public housing, central of local, to calculate rents based on market rents, or a proportion of them, rather than on historic book value, plus costs incurred. That way they would be paying their own way, not some inflated figure driven by stupid government policies based vaguely on business methods.


    But a report to council last month indicated that, to keep up with market rate, senior housing rents in Marlborough needed to go up by 35 percent. This was $66 a week more for a one-bed unit, and $78 a week more for a two-bed unit.

    The council has a self-imposed rule that the rent it charged for senior housing needed to be within 80 percent of the "market rate".

    Pensioners said a 35 percent increase would be "impossible" to pay.

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