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Open mike 30/06/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 30th, 2021 - 110 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 …

110 comments on “Open mike 30/06/2021 ”

  1. Ad 1

    When a standard small-l liberal conservative like Chris Finlayson can go full on-record slaying the entire National Party, you can bet the floodgates will open to more ex-Ministers going after them and forecasting their destruction.


    He's former Attorney-General, former law partner, now QC.

    This is a big signal for the legal establishment, let alone the party.

    • Jester 1.1

      Don't forget that Labour was down where National are now (22%?) until Andrew Little decided to relinquish the leadership. So it's highly likely they will survive but not be ready to govern until around 2029 or so.

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        And again, it seems to be forgotten that NZ is MMP and that even with only 22 % and a few other parties they could govern – as could Labour for that matter if they have enough friends left in the other parties to form a working coaltion.

        The current majority of Labour is unusual in that setting, and as far as i can see i don't see it repeated in 2023.

        And fwiw, lets see how housing, mental health, the health system, the public school system, our hospitals, etc will look come election day.

        • GreenBus

          I suspect Labour will get away with just tinkering as usual. Lots of deserved critisim about lack of progress on many of issues, but Labour/Greens/Maori would be feeling pretty safe because to vote them out would put who in power? Would National/Act do much to fix our problems? Nope.

          • Sabine

            As i said, the best this country can hope for is a Labour Party that must go into a coalition, even if only with their junior partner the green party.

            We will see how much are still happy to vote for the lot come 2023.

          • Sabine

            What problems have Labour fixed since they came about?

            Housing? That is an even worse problem now with a good decent mid sized town now housed at 100 of millions of dollars every few month.

            Health care? have you tried getting it atm? Waiting lists? No beds for ?Starship? Crumbling Emergency departments and nurses leaving for OZ cause better pay and houses?

            Schools ? Still underfunded unless for the very rich, still crumbling with unheated transportable class rooms and teachers eating lunch in the Gymnasium?

            cancelled roads and slow trains, and golden bike bridges etc?

            They can tinker, but it must be considered that if you constantly only cut the fraying edges one day you run out of edges to cut. And it seems that that is all they do, its easier and faster then to mend the edges properly. I can see Labour fall for their own arrogance and hubris.

            Oh and maybe a bit more flowing shit in Wellington, cause our infrastructure is awesome and the people in the towns don't need government help? Right? The ratepayer will fix it. Right?

            • Pete

              Schools still "underfunded unless for the very rich, still crumbling with unheated transportable class rooms and teachers eating lunch in the Gymnasium?"

              So what would you do?


              I know of a school which has five “leaky building” classrooms which have to be replaced. It’s being handled.
              Impacted by availability of builders etc. of course because they’re all busy. Shall I attack the government and say they’re useless because kids are using a hall and corridors as classrooms?

              • Sabine

                let's do nothing, after all you provided us with handy excuses and leave it to the next government. Rinse repeat. Why have government at all?

                • Pete

                  Do nothing? Hell, I won't be doing nothing, I'll be going to Specsavers because I don't see nothing being done.

                  The attitude is all very roading.

                  "My road is crap. They're not doing anything about it. Why should ours be down the priority list?"

                  Cones. Road works.

                  "Bloody cones, bloody roadworks."

                  Done. "They should've done it ages ago."

                  Next road down the county, and the next, and the next? Same scenario.

                  • Sabine

                    Yes, and the Roads in Northland were crap already under National and Key who blamed it on Helen Clark, and now they are being blamed on John Key. See that rinse repeat in action.

                    And cones are living on the road as they too can't be housed. That is my story behind the cones. They are homeless, as whomever owns them finds it easier and cheaper to just keep them on the road – often as a hazard more then anything, rather then warehousing them after use.

                    And yes, you are right there, they should have done it ages ago, National or Labour, and you know what? They. Did. NOT.

                    But then maybe Labour is gonna be building some two laned bridges in Northland. 🙂 Or build some schools to replace the ones that fall apart, specifically those that are in the poorer areas of the country.

            • woodart

              Ive just spent a week in P.N. hospital. no complaints from me. nothing like as bad as you (constantly) moan about. maybe you need to get out into the real world ,to find that we have it pretty good here. when you have customers in your shop, are you this negative?

              • Sabine

                It is good that you had a good day in hospital.

                here is your average waiting list in Counties Manukau.


                here is Auckland Central


                and here is PN http://www.midcentraldhb.govt.nz/HealthServices/Pages/Elective.aspx

                In addition the Elective Services Patient Flow Indictors (ESPIs) targets ensure people do not wait longer than four months for a First Specialist Assessment (ESPI 2) or wait greater than four months for certainty of treatment (ESPI 5).

                btw, that whinging you are hearing, its coming from Government. 🙂

                I am however pleased that you got the medical care you needed, and i hope you did not have to wait in agony for month on end for that to happen.

                • woodart

                  perhaps you should read my post correctly before rushing back with yet another moan. I was in hospital for a week, not a day. and perhaps you should also think about positive attitudes (unfortunatley you arent the only person with outrage as your default setting). talking to the nurses at the P.N. hospital(who were great along with ALL of the staff, the one thing they all agree on is that a positive attitude is more important than any amount of dollars. one definite thing I have learnt(many yrs ago) is that a positive attitude towards beauracracy and officialdom gets you much better levels of service…….or you could just whinge, your choice..

    • Incognito 1.2

      Stuff had briefly a Breaking News banner that Collins was going to respond; watch live.

      It has gone …

      I wonder where Collins is …

      Judith, the mike is here. Judith …??

      • alwyn 1.2.1

        I'm surprised that she bothers to talk to that silly woman on Morning Report.

        Why doesn't she talk to Judith about the subjects the interview was meant to be about. Covid vaccination progress, The clamp down on free speech, the shambles that is housing etc.

        Could it be that Radio New Zealand are under instructions not to embarrass the Government?

        Oh well, perhaps you can tell us why Jacinda refuses to talk to the more competent interviewers on New Zealand radio? Mike Hosking for example.

        • Muttonbird

          That's proper tin foil hat stuff there. Yes, media is massaged, but if people are concerned about the Covid vaccine, the clampdown on hate speech, and housing, they shit as shit don't want to hear from Judith Collins.

          She can't even run her own party, let alone a country.

          Judith's position is of Judith's making and if the media want to grill her on her fuck-ups in caucus then they should be free to do it, no?

          • Sabine

            Well i don't disagree with you on Judith (bring back Puckish! or maybe that was Judith?), it certainly will not be the Labour Party that will talk about those people that are not o n board with their 'reforms'. According to the Labour Party they have a 'man' date for that, and thus it is all kumbaya.

            And besides, National said exactly the same thing when Cunliffe spoke, or Andrew Little for that matter. And neither Cunliffe or Little 'ran' the Labour Party successfully for anything on anything.

        • Gabby

          What's Horeskin an example of?

          • McFlock

            How privilege can turn grown men into petulant man-babies?
            The way mass media has a constant temptation to cater to the dumbest segment of the population?
            How capitalism rewards people with confidence rather than competence?
            The ongoing problem of hairstylists exploiting the vulnerable conceit of the tasteless nouveau riche by charging them large sums of money in exchange for silly haircuts?

            So many things, none of which include "the more competent interviewers on New Zealand radio".

        • bwaghorn

          Your honor its speaks to the caricature of the defendant collins, its important that people know that collins is capable of killing off any opposition in her party using devious methods, so people can decide if the should believe the defendant collins on any thing else that dribbles out of her nasty twisted little mouth

        • KJT

          Hoskings is "competent".

          Thanks for the laugh this evening.

      • Morrissey 1.2.2

        Maybe she's temporarily absconded to Jacobabad, to escape the heat of the National Party imploding…


    • Chris 1.3

      Bloody Findlayson. Wish he'd kept his mouth shut. This'll get Collins sacked and the nats will start their climb back. Honeymoon's over.

      • mac1 1.3.1

        That's possible.

        My reading is that Finlayson's point about the inability of National to reconcile its urban liberal and rural conservative factions (with the added complication of religious conservatism) will continue. The party will falter further and two parties will emerge along with ACT who as libertarians occupy a different space on the right.

        If Muller was really pissed off, and could resist the inevitable repercussions, he would force a by-election and again show the poor candidate vetting and selection, organisation and campaign performance that is the current National party status.

        • woodart

          the many different groups that eye each other suspiciously at nat party conferences will keep on drifting apart. more interested in personal gain than benefits for the masses(as it should be, if they are ever honest). it will all come down to how unpopular the current gov has to get to be elected out . with the nats hemouraging voters to everybody else(even parties not in gov, what a hoot),its going to be a looong cold winter for the nats.

      • GreenBus 1.3.2

        Aunty Jude is a tough cookie. Findlayson isn't saying anything we don't all know. If the Nats change leader who would you suggest? The new fellow from Botany? To be thrown under the bus, against JA? Sleep tight Aunty Jude is firmly in charge, I hope.

        • Chris

          I'm not suggesting anyone. All I'm predicting is that Findlayson's remarks could easily be the straw that breaks things and that Collins will be rolled – not to get someone they think is good in there, but to get rid of Collins because the longer she stays the more damage they'll have to fix. They'll be looking to at least slow the clear run the government has down because it's Collins that's gicing it to them right now. The honeymoon could be over, unfortunately.

  2. lprent 2

    If you were up very early this morning and missed The Standard, it was because of a power cut at about 0400.

    The UPS'es woke us up, I notified Vector, and shut the system down. The whole of the K Rd area was out.

    Came back up sometime around 0600. When the cat woke me up, I started it up again and took some time to clean up a few nagging server issues.

    (yawn) It will be a later start to work today.

    I am getting a bit tired of being the Vector power outage alarm system for this area. I wish they’d just fix whatever the repeated problem is and return us to having power outages every few years rather than every few months.

    • Incognito 2.1

      You must be on your third coffee by now then 😉

      • lprent 2.1.1

        Went back to bed immediately after that comment. Got up just before 10. Fortunately I had planned to work from home today anyway because it was a cursing day (ie when I was debugging a block of code I wrote weeks ago and learning humility).

        Now I am on my third coffee.

    • Stephen D 2.2

      Gotta love the cat alarm!

      • lprent 2.2.1

        My partner has been treating it like a new born child and feeding her at inappropiate hours. Both a slowly learning the values of fast and break-fast.

  3. Incognito 3

    Some light reading for a cold morning. Of course, Dr Fauci will be vilified, as is already happening. Fair is fair, when fact is fantasy.


    • Jenny how to get there 3.1

      Facts versus fantasy

      Joe Bennett 05:00, Jun 30 2021

      …. Included among the beasts were both people and dinosaurs, who then lived cheerfully side by side until such time as dinosaurs for some reason died out.

      Joe Bennett

      The dinosaurs died out because there was no room for them in the ark. Joe Bennet should know this. Joe you need to check your facts, read the small print. between the lines, in the first book of chronicles.
      It's all there, at least I think it is. It was just left out in later reprints.
      Joe if you can't find it there, it is the work of the devil. And you had better get yourself to the nearest pentecostal revivalist meeting and fall to your knees and beg to save your soul, or else be horribly tortured in hellfire, FOR EVER

      • Incognito 3.1.1


        You don’t know anything about palaeontology, obviously. The dinosaurs died out before the Ark. By about 23 years. Look it up on Wikipedia or Google it. I cannot do the thinking for you.

      • Macro 3.1.2

        The dinosaurs died out because there was no room for them in the ark.

        Noah could have saved the world a plague and malaria too!

    • Adrian Thornton 3.2

      Here is a more constructive analysis on the primary reasons why so many people rightly distrust MSM and by extension the way 'science' has been weaponized against any critiques that people may genuinely have…as usual Joe Bennett adds nothing to the conversation except his sanctimonious empty headed reactionary dribble.

      Why Has "Ivermectin" Become a Dirty Word?

      "At the worst moment, Internet censorship has driven scientific debate itself underground"


      • Incognito 3.2.1

        I suffer from Apple phobia and I fear Mac tin.

        • Adrian Thornton

          I have no idea what those things mean?..maybe science can help alleviate any discomfort you may be experiencing?

      • Andre 3.2.2

        Taibbi is misrepresenting again, as is becoming sadly common with him.

        Ivermectin skeptics are asking for one thing: for a credible, quality study that shows significant benefit.


        At least one credible quality study has indeed been done – but the results were that ivermectin had negligible benefit.


        Nobody is attempting to suppress studies of ivermectin. But I’ll take a guess actual experts capable of setting up and running a credible quality study mostly look at the limited benefit claimed in even the lowest quality and overhyped studies rife with known biases, and conclude there's better things to put their time and resources towards. Particularly since those with deep understanding of pharmacokinetics and cell biochemistry have lots of good reasons to believe ivermectin will be ineffective, as outlined in the sciencebasedmedicine article.

        Now let's consider places where ivermectin has been widely used. Brazil. Peru. Hungary. Czech Republic. India. Any of them look like covid treatment success stories?

        https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries (sorting by deaths per 1M population is useful)


        And for a general look at where the false claims are coming from about ivermectin getting suppressed etc – this Vice piece is a good backgrounder:


        • mauī

          "Ivermectin skeptics are asking for one thing: for a credible, quality study that shows significant benefit.".

          Obviously you're not looking very hard… there are dozens of peer reviewed positive studies – https://c19ivermectin.com/

          "Nobody is attempting to suppress studies of ivermectin."

          Yeah right… so why is even mentioning ivermectin censored on the largest social media sites in the world.

          • Andre

            Here's an exercise for you, maui.

            Pick any of the studies you want from that c19ivermectin site. Find the source paper reporting it, and explain why you think it's a credible, quality study. Be sure to look at aspects such as blinding, randomisation, controls, numbers of patients in the various arms of the study.

            Studies that have low numbers (which make it very difficult to tell if there's a "there" there amid the statistical noise), might not blinded or randomised or with any of a number of serious flaws can still get peer-reviewed and published. But they aren't actually good evidence, at best they might be pointers to what treatment to trial in a better larger study.

            These small, non-blinded poorly controlled, poorly randomised studies tend to be badly contaminated by confirmation bias, where the person conducting the study believes they have "the answer" and makes choices that bias the results. Such as one study I saw that had a total of 20ish patients, the control arm had only four patients, and the control arm patients were on average the oldest, highest BMI, highest co-morbidity score. They are also badly prone to publication bias – whereby only the positive results where the researchers can proudly trumpet their results actually get published, and the studies that don't generate positive results just get quietly shelved.

            As for censorship, that issue is discussed in the Vice piece linked above:

            What goes undiscussed here, of course, is that Big Tech isn’t suppressing science—as outlined above, ivermectin is being vigorously studied across the world—but is, rather, moderating promotion of and advocacy for an as-yet unproven cure for a serious disease. The alternative here—that YouTube, if it doesn't bar advocacy for the use of potentially dangerous drugs in potentially dangerous ways, will become a haven for the promotion of unproven and at times outright dangerous quack cures, in the same way that it was previously a haven for Sandy Hook and Holocaust denialism and other rather pernicious forms of misinformation including bleach drinking—goes undiscussed. …

            Youtube's actual policy is here:


            In particular:

            Educational, documentary, scientific or artistic content

            We may allow content that violates the misinformation policies noted on this page if that content includes context that gives equal or greater weight to countervailing views from local health authorities or to medical or scientific consensus. We may also make exceptions if the purpose of the content is to condemn or dispute misinformation that violates our policies. This context must appear in the images or audio of the video itself. Providing it in the title or description is insufficient.

          • Macro

            No worries maui. There is plenty of it around. If needed you can always get your dose here:


  4. weka 4

    • weka 4.1

      Click on main text in Kristina’s tweet to open the thread

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.1.1

        Yet instead of fighting women’s oppression & demolishing a gender prison that also harms us, you try to demolish feminists, fight to strengthen the prison walls, assert male dominance over the female wing & add a new non-binary wing but the prison & the oppression still remain .

        I still reckon that Triter and Faceache are largely stinking pits of superficial and vile narcissistic venting, but now and again there are pearls cast.

        An uplifting read, and somehow hopeful….thanks weka for braving the Dark Places and returning with this.

        • weka

          it's all about the curation of one's account. On TS, moderators do it, on twitface it's up to the individual.

    • Gabby 4.2

      Is that a joke definition?

      • weka 4.2.1

        It's hard to tell with Lavery, maybe they're shitposting or trolling. But the response/analysis of the position is valid IMO, because Lavery is part of the hard core queer culture that wants to restrict women's rights. Even if Lavery was joking, they're still pouring fuel of the fire of misogyny and sexism.

        • weka

          This came out around the same time. Lavery is a one of the editors. Lavery claims the cover is satire, GCFs say the fuck it is when images of guns and other weapons are aimed at feminists online all the time in the gender/sex war. It's trolling and direct messaging imo, as well as normalising violent imagery within trans activism. One of the things happening is trying to demolish the perception that most violence is done by men (males).

  5. Incognito 5

    The country may almost run out of vaccines but Chris Bishop will still be jabbing a dead horse called Pfizer.


    • mpledger 5.1

      Vaccine distribution is definitely when there should be "just in time" allocation.

      • Janice 5.1.1

        I agree, 'just in time' is what all good businesses try to do. Chris B really showed his nasty nat colours this morning when he stated on Morning Report that Chris H should offer an incentive to Pfizer to get further up the queue. Obviously he believes bribery is not illegal if he does it.

        • Sabine

          actually that is what Israel did in order to get the vaccine, and i would not consider it a 'bribe' – that is something that really involves giving moeny to a private person / entity to receive a personal benefit, while Israel simply outbid others, and in a free market world that would be par for the course. Highest bidder wins.


          The sum means the average price for each dose of vaccine from both companies is about $23.50, slightly higher than the amount that Pfizer had initially said the shots would cost, according to the report. The higher price is because Israel has pushed to buy large numbers of the vaccines and to have them delivered quickly to keep the vaccination drive in high gear.

          Vaccine prices reported by the Washington Post and the BBC in December indicate Israel is paying significantly more for the Pfizer vaccine than either the US or the European Union.

          The Washington Post reported at the time that the US was paying Pfizer/BioNTech $19.50 per dose while the EU 27-country bloc was paying $14.76. It cited Moderna vaccine prices as $15 per dose for the US and $18 per dose for the EU.

          The figures were based on EU prices that were tweeted — and then deleted — by a Belgian government official as well as calculations from Bernstein Research, an analysis and investment firm.

          The BBC reported a day earlier that Pfizer was marketing its vaccines to countries at a price range of $10.65 to $21 per dose, while Moderna’s range was $25 to $37 per dose.

          Israel was late joining the line for the Pfizer vaccine behind the US, Canada and Japan.

          • woodart

            so, in your world(?)

            bribery only exists for personal gain?

            • Peter ChCh

              Yeah, Sabine is well out there. Just look at the Belt and Road Initiative of China. Massive bribes (low interest loans to countries with bad credit and similar) all offered in the national interest of China, not personal gain.

            • Sabine

              actually again, this is not a bribery. Not done in the dark. Not done hush hush. Not done at all. Just simply ' how much do you want to get it too me'. Fwiw, that is not bribery, that is capitalis. A bit like selling and / or buying a house in NZ. Highest bidder wins.

              Bribery is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official, or other person, in charge of a public or legal duty.[1] With regard to governmental operations, essentially, bribery is "Corrupt solicitation, acceptance, or transfer of value in exchange for official action."[2] Gifts of money or other items of value which are otherwise available to everyone on an equivalent basis, and not for dishonest purposes, is not bribery. Offering a discount or a refund to all purchasers is a legal rebate and is not bribery. For example, it is legal for an employee of a Public Utilities Commission involved in electric rate regulation to accept a rebate on electric service that reduces their cost for electricity, when the rebate is available to other residential electric customers. However, giving a discount specifically to that employee to influence them to look favorably on the electric utility's rate increase applications would be considered bribery.

              A bribe is an illegal or unethical gift or lobbying effort bestowed to influence the recipient's conduct. It may be money, goods, rights in action, property, preferment, privilege, emolument, objects of value, advantage, or merely a promise to induce or influence the action, vote, or influence of a person in an official or public capacity.[3]

              It may have not been ethical, or moral, specifically in regards to poorer nations who can not outbid Isreal on the free market, but it was not a 'bribe'. It was simply a higher bid that was accepted by Pfizer.

              It is equally not ethical or moral by Pfizer to not share the patent so as to provide other nations that have vaccine producing abilities to make their own generic but again this is the free Market.

              And just be cause you don’t like or approve of China and its actions, i.e. the offering of cheaper loans to countries that would otherwise / or have been other wise fleeced by the west is also just good business. The building of infrastructure in Africa by China, the west could have done that, but did not.
              The west could have done a great many things over the last few decades/hundreds of years in Africa, the Stans, Asia, etc, it choose to invest little and create a whole lot of war and then plunder and pillage a lot. Go figure.

          • Peter ChCh

            The price differences most likely represent the size of the orders – the larger the order, the lower the unit cost.

            Isreal is a very small market. The EU and the US are very large markets. I expect NZ will pay even more than Isreal for the same reasons. Where does bribery come into it?

            Just the free market at work.

        • bwaghorn

          bishop is from the party that built an Arab chap a sheep farm in the desert dont forget

  6. Patricia Bremner 6

    Everyone now knows Pfizer to be the most efficacious so is now most in demand.

    Fortunately we ordered early. We also ordered other vaccines, and now it appears a mix may be our best defense, much as it is with influenza.

    • Sabine 6.1

      Everyone knows. Right? Here is a nice article comparing the available vaccines.


      Vaccine efficacy

      The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have shown astonishing — and essentially equivalent — degrees of efficacy, at least in the early stages after vaccination.

      The Pfizer vaccine showed efficacy of 95% at preventing symptomatic Covid infection after two doses. The vaccine appeared to be more or less equally protective across age groups and racial and ethnic groups……….

      The J&J one-dose vaccine was shown to be 66% protective against moderate to severe Covid infections overall from 28 days after injection, though there was variability based on geographic locations. The vaccine was 72% protective in the United States, 66% protective in South America, and 57% protective in South Africa.

      But the vaccine was shown to be 85% protective against severe disease, with no differences across the eight countries or three regions in the study, nor across age groups among trial participants. And there were no hospitalizations or deaths in the vaccine arm of the trial after the 28-day period in which immunity developed.

      So please define '"everyone".

  7. Joe90 7

    @ PB

    From earlier this year – the fuckery surrounding acquisition of the pfizer vaccine.


  8. weka 8

    A bit of light relief. To me the funniest thing here is the girl asking knock knock dude if he wants a key. I guess that's me put in my place.

  9. weka 9

    Write a diatribe against capitalism or patriarchy in a right-wing publication and some readers will generally accuse you of being a fool. But write anything heterodox for a progressive publication and you are sure to be told, not only that you are wrong, but that you are a bad person who needs to shut up.

    The old saying that “the right looks for converts, while the left looks for traitors” is much older than cancel culture, and it ­remains as true as ever.


  10. lprent 10

    OMG: I just had an amusing time responding to a query from my partner when she ran a across something out of her (?probably) physiotherapy treatment.

    She was wondering 'what the hell' when a paper started out describing the effects of the "sonic hedgehog (SHH)".

    Turns out that Wikipedia has a page on it. It leads off with

    Sonic hedgehog is a protein encoded for by the SHH gene.[1] This signaling molecule is key in regulating embryonic morphogenesis in all different types of animals. SHH controls organogenesis and the organization of the central nervous system, limbs, digits and many other parts of the body. Sonic hedgehog is a morphogen that patterns the developing embryo using a concentration gradient characterized by the French Flag model.

    At this point I am still suspecting a spoof… Eventually I find this…

    Two of these genes—i.e., desert hedgehog and Indian hedgehog—were named for species of hedgehogs, while sonic hedgehog was named after Sonic the Hedgehog, the protagonist character of the eponymous video game franchise.[15][16] The gene was named as such by Robert Riddle, who was a postdoctoral fellow at the Tabin Lab, after his wife Betsy Wilder came home with a gaming magazine containing an advert for the Sonic the Hedgehog video game.[17][18][19]

    Apparently the structure of the protein encoded from the genes looks spiky… like a hedgehog.

    As a sub-note

    A potential inhibitor of the Hedgehog signaling pathway has been found and dubbed "Robotnikinin"—in honour of Sonic the Hedgehog's nemesis, Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik.[88]

    The rest of the article explains exactly how important these genes and the signalling proteins are in body development.

    A very effective way to make something obscure to something that I'm going to remember. Also a hint that scientists often grab jokes from popular culture.

    For instance how the Thagomiser made its way into the description of dinosaur morphology.

    • woodart 10.1

      as a student of gary larson < I can attest to the fact that the real world is getting more and more like larsons cartoons . my cat doesnt agree……

    • McFlock 10.2

      I have a suspicion the quantum physics crowd started it when they started naming things "strange" and "quarks".

      • Andre 10.2.1

        My fave is WIMPS – weakly interacting massive particles.

      • bwaghorn 10.2.2

        I've been spotifyng "The infinite monkey cage' there a baffling lot those physicists, hoping some of it's getting lodged somewhere.

    • Incognito 10.3

      There are quite a few gene names that make you laugh out loud. Scientists do have a sense of humour and don’t always go for the high-brow jokes.

      Unfortunately, the party poopers cancel culture PC brigade was on to it.


  11. Matiri 11

    More on facts versus fantasy. Concerning that so many New Zealanders struggle with the truth out there!


    • RedBaronCV 11.1

      Well it would help if the government and councils stopped promoting false and slanted facts.

      – All water supplies need fluoride to stop tooth decay. Now this is not anti- fluoride but conflating the two issues over the whole country comes pretty close because there is tooth decay in fluoride areas as well.

      – Wellington will grow by 80,000 people over the next 30 years. About a 40% increase.It wasn't labeled a high projection scenario, middle was about 30,000 but we are expected to plan on a figure that is dodgy at best

      -The IRD ran a trial on 644,000 taxpayers for six months around their employer contributions. Really? Umm if you made a mistake on a system changeover maybe admit it?

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        Dunno about the other two, but you're overegging the fluoridation claims from what I can find.

        The usual line is along the lines of "Fluoride is a natural substance that helps protect our teeth by making them stronger and by reducing tooth decay."

        I have to look at this issue every few years and don't recall any categorical promises it will eliminate the problem by itself. And such a phrasing would inspire quite the rant from a particular colleague who has a definite obsession with precision in language

        Not saying it never happened, but would love to know which council made that statement (if only to throw red meat at said colleague lol).

        • RedBaronCV

          The fluoride claim was advanced in this which conflates the 6500 children needing hospital dental care with no fluoride supplies Were they all from those areas? or a large proportion. The claim further down about better dental health rests on some evidence work. Invoking Bloomfield was to try for the golden halo effect I imagine.


          • McFlock

            From your link, Verrall said:

            “Around 6500 children under the age of nine were admitted to hospital for tooth decay and associated infections in 2019. The Fluoridation Bill as a whole recognises water fluoridation is a health-related issue. Right now only around 2.3 million New Zealanders have access to fluoridated drinking water.”

            That doesn't read to me like all 6.5k admissions would be stopped if everywhere was fluoridated.

    • Incognito 11.2

      I don’t believe it.

  12. Ad 12

    Minister Mahuta's water reforms to amalgamate all the nations' water entities from 67 into 4 have been announced.


    The safeguards against the potential for privatisation will be important.

    Also she will have her work cut out showing how this corporatisation is different from Max Bradford taking away all the electricity gentailers from local government 20 years ago.

    Or how it is different from any other smashing of local government in previous years like the removal of social housing from Councils by stealth.

    Thank God there's a review being conducted in parallel about the future of local government. They look like they are about to become as useful as community boards.

    • mac1 12.1

      "Or how it is different from any other smashing of local government in previous years like the removal of social housing from Councils by stealth."

      Tell us more. You see, if it's done by stealth then we don't know about it!

      • Ad 12.1.1

        Councils banned from applying for funds to assist with public housing.

        So they do the math, and then sell them off.

        • mac1

          What councils, what houses where, how many?

          At the moment it's more assertion, Ad. You may be right, but we still don't know anything about these stealthy moves.

    • Robert Guyton 12.2

      “They look like they are about to become as useful as community boards”.



      • greywarshark 12.2.1

        Possibly the whole problem relates back to confusion about what were 'community boards' – free-for-all house cladding?

      • RedBaronCV 12.2.2

        Do nooot laugh about community boards. Aren't Mickey Savages chickens back in Titirangi? The community board has my complete sympathy on that unsolvable issue.

    • Robert Guyton 12.3

      "The safeguards against the potential for privatisation will be important."


    • RedBaronCV 12.4

      And this solves what exactly? And delivers what to local communities? Why not form a Ministry of Works – water division – that has some decent engineers and goes around councils sorting out the technical problems of water delivery and implementation and maybe there is a subsidy per head/ by location to put it in and continue delivery and then leave it with the council ownership.

      We need engineers on this not overpaid CEO's and potential privatisation.

      Maybe I need to put a tank supply in for moi and get my drinking water from a stand pipe at the end of the street.

      • greywarshark 12.4.1

        RedBaroncv Your idea sounds practical and effective governing. I predict it won't fly – everyone will say it sucks. So no water division – just the division as usual.

    • McFlock 12.5

      Was talking to a local councillor who went to the briefing they gave down south.

      They were unimpressed. It's called "three waters" but wastewater and stormwater were barely mentioned in their briefing documents, the focus was almost entirely on drinking water. And they were also unimpressed with the guy in charge's attitude to the legislative requirement for dealing with Mana Whenua – the councillor felt it was regarded as token consultation, rather than the required "giving effect" to their te Mana o te Wai statements.

      We'll see, I guess.

      • RedBaronCV 12.5.1

        A briefing says it all doesn't it really! Do what we say, don't bother about a democratic community discussion.

      • Ad 12.5.2

        Mana whenua have to be half of each Board. Detail in the Cabinet papers released on appointment processes.

  13. Treetop 13

    5th state in Australia to have Covid community transmission. A family in South Australia.

    Source 9 news Australia.

    Yeah right tui when it comes to having a partial reopening of the trans Tasman bubble.

  14. greywarshark 14


    ..The idea is to consolidate about 100 RMA plans and policy statements down to about 14 – but details of the committees will work is still forthcoming.

    The government said the new system will be less complex and more efficient – but Massey University Associate Professor of Planning Caroline Miller rejects that.

    She said the proposal contains a massive new set of overly complex and centralised rules and procedures – and is too much change in one go…

    "I'm not trying to be ageist but they'll take on a lot of bright new young things who have no idea – and they will be shoved in at the deep end."

    Miller said the whole process could easily come grinding to a halt.

    "I think there's a potential for a huge, real catastrophic breakdown….

    Another Great Leap Forward by a modernising, vital, fast-acting Labour Government dealing with all the big and little problems, going further than other governments ever tried to reach.

  15. gsays 15

    In case of winter blues, Covid fatigue or the desire for a distraction, I heartily recommend Talkback.

    A new show on TVNZ on demand. Created by Mike Minogue and Jason Hoyte. Ginette McDonald and Morgana O'Reilly also feature in the cast.

    Well written, incisive and funny. Most of the characters in the show are recognisable.

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