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Open mike 30/08/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 30th, 2020 - 204 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 …

204 comments on “Open mike 30/08/2020 ”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    The weather's a little ragged here today, but there's a new cafe in the village – Jacob's Rivery Bakery, and it's wonderful; excellent coffee, vegetarian/vegan'organic food – I especially like the jackfruit "sausage" roll; the staff are super-friendly, vibrant young people, all of whom live in the village and locals have taken to meeting there; by design or accident, for all sorts of impromptu discussions and debates, celebrations and retreats from ordinary life. The decor is "plants", to my eye at least; there are dozens of glossy, well-cared-for pot plants on shelves and stands throughout the cafe, and I feel at home amongst them. The building is the historic post office with postmasters living quarters upstairs. The enormous clock that used to be fixed high on the wall on the street-face of the building sits in the local museum now; I wish they'd put it back up! If ever you are in Riverton, stop off there for a good time, before walking two stores to the north, where you'll discover the Riverton Environment Centre and everything on offer there, including a yarn with one of the volunteers there, a bearded chap who's willing to die in a ditch for the Green Party smiley

    • RedLogix 1.1

      A wonderful picture you paint Robert. We live in turbulent times and we should treasure those oasis of order and grace we do have.

      One day we will get back home and I'll make a point of visiting Riverton. An old friend of mine once said, tongue in cheek, "New Zealand gets more civilised the further south you go. Somewhere around Mossburn it comes good."

      Also you may enjoy this story.


      • Robert Guyton 1.1.1

        I hope you will, RedLogix. I'll buy you coffee and introduce you to the native people of the area smiley

      • halfcrown 1.1.2

        " An old friend of mine once said, tongue in cheek, "New Zealand gets more civilised the further south you go. Somewhere around Mossburn it comes good."

        Agree with that 200% How bloody true that is.

        • Andre

          Late last year I was in that area for the first time in quite a while. I was pleasantly surprised to find good pies in Gore. Because I've heard so much about cheese rolls, I had to try them too. All I can say is, what is wrong with people?

    • swordfish 1.2


      a bearded chap who's willing to die in a ditch for the Green Party

      Which is more than you can say for the people of Riverton.

      Greens took 18 out of 795 total Party-Votes in 2017.

      Just be mindful, Robert, Greenies have occasionally been burned as witches in Southland over recent decades. That's after they throw you in the river to see if you float.

      • Robert Guyton 1.2.1

        Swordfish – I have, though not a witch per se, been singed many times in the past and had my buoyancy tested on more than one occasion by the good burghers of Riverton. Most recently, a minor kerfuffle over some painted-kindling caused crook'd fingers to be pointed toward the ditch-witch in his forest-garden, but that blew over with the first salt-laden sou'wester; I've weathered many squalls such as that, and expect to face more as the mood of the nation deteriorates along with the water quality, and the Federated Farmers find their muddy feet and big-laryxned voices again. Par for the course, for a provocative shaggy greenie who likes to string words together for effect.

    • Whispering Kate 1.3

      Hi Robert. I have posted you in the past of our resident cock blackbird. He has a damaged foot which has bent in on itself. He manages very good and is looking splendid. I am wondering if you know how long these house wild birds survive in their natural environment. We call him pegleg because of his gammy way of walking. Over the seasons he has mated and reared many clutches of chicks in nests in and around our garden. He is very tame and will come when we call and all of our garden birds are fed every other day with fruit and wildbird seed mixed with wholemeal breadcrumbs and fat mixed. Pegleg is at least seven years old now and considering he was fledged in our garden and we never thought he would survive but he finally got airborne and the rest is history!! Is seven a good age for a blackbird in the wild. He looks as glossy and handsome as ever and is nest building with a mate right now.

      I would be interested in your knowledge of longevity in blackbirds in the wild.

      • Robert Guyton 1.3.2

        Oh hi, Whispering Kate – I remember well your blackbird posts and am pleased to hear your male bird is so well. The number 20 popped into my head when I read your question about longevity, but I think that individual might have been coddled (as yours are being by the sound of it smiley I can't really say then, as I read that some only attain 3 or 4 years before they make way for others of their kind. Ours seem to hang around for yonks, but I haven't kept a record. The several that centre their attentions on my garden especially love the worm-farm, not for the worms, but to intervene in their feeding by helping themselves to porridge-left-overs, sweet corn, home-made bread crusts and so on. I hope you get to enjoy your birds for a long time to come!

        • Whispering Kate

          Thank you Robert. Yes we love our birds. Tui, fantails, kereru wax eyes and then all the blackies, thrushes starlings you name it. They make such a mess in the garden but then they give us such a lot of fun. They love our bird baths, tui dive bomb into them and the starlings bring the entire family – seven sometimes all in the bath together. Twenty sounds amazing and yes our birds are spoiled so who knows how long pegleg will survive considering his gammy leg.

  2. Ad 2

    I like Bernie Sanders a whole lot more now that he's fully put his shoulder to electing Joe Biden for President.

    As well as his old policy and comms teams pushing the Biden team a long way into their platforms, anders himself is putting his considerable support base out there with new speeches:


    The panel events, Sanders' team said, have racked up more than 850,000 views in all, for an average that exceeds 200,000.

    With the Trump Republicans attacking the very voting process by actively sabotaging the Post Office, Sanders' motivational energy is going to be critical to replacing the current US regime.

    • RedLogix 2.1

      Well that is a welcome spark of good news. Because so far while Biden is clearly the more worthwhile candidate, he's not winning, just like Clinton wasn't winning in 2016.

      In normal times you'd have to think the village idiot could beat someone as clearly unsuited to the job as Trump. Yet the fact that the Democrats are not 30 pts ahead and utterly unbeatable right now rings a big fat alarm bell in my mind.

      The Democrats always have the real problem that their voter bases is highly diverse, with often conflicting interests. It usually takes an eloquent and charismatic candidate to unify them, and this Biden ain't. If Sanders can help bridge this deficit and build some real unity in the Democrat base, it may just tip the balance.

    • Andre 2.2

      It's hard to guess how much effect that will have on his base compared to 2016.

      There's a solid component of his base that are middle-finger voters attracted by the idea that Bernie was going to stick it to the establishment. They will think Bernie going in to bat for Biden is selling out and they either won't vote or do a burn-it-down vote for Donasaurus Wrecks.

      But if he can bring back to Biden a significant chunk of those that peeled off for Stein (or Johnson) or got taken in by the smears against Clinton and just didn't vote, then he'll have done a solid for the US and the rest of the world.

      • Ad 2.2.1

        Sanders and team are being a lot more cooperative towards Biden than they were with HRC at this point. And people like OAC get that they can both reform the Democratic party AND back Biden against Trump.

        It will take all of Sanders' base and all progressive others to vote, if they are to overcome the electorate border gerrymandering, Fox news dominance, and active polling place discouragement to change this government.

        • AB

          "It will take all of Sanders' base and all progressive others to vote …"

          Nice setup – that makes it pretty clear who will be blamed if Biden falls short.

        • Adrian Thornton

          @Ad, "And people like OAC get that they can both reform the Democratic party" she (and you) must be completely deluded, the DNC would rather eat their own babies than offer anything to the progressive wing of that party…that is why they pretty much said (talking in political optics here) shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down, by not inviting her to even speak at the DNC convention…not sure why you can't just admit the DNC is 100% brought and paid for by corporate USA.

          But then this shouldn't surprise me whatsoever, I seem to remember you are one of the liberals who think the FBI are now friends of the left, and seriously, you can't get much more delusional than that.

    • AB 2.3

      "I like Bernie Sanders a whole lot more now .."

      What was there to dislike previously? Apart from the tendency to give the same speech over and over. Plus the damaging mis-characterisation of himself as a 'socialist', instead of a mainstream social democrat reaching back to the true values of America's past?

      • Andre 2.3.1

        Uhh, a complete absence of any legislative success of any difficulty or significance, beyond leveraging his vote to get a few nickel-and-dime amendments. Which appears to be related to an apparent inability to compromise or showing any other coalition-building skills.

  3. Andre 3

    The short-fingered vulgarian still using songs after their creators told his team "NO". This time it's Cohen's "Hallelujah". They should have asked for "You Want It Darker". Probably they should also have tried to understand the meaning of "Hallelujah" rather than just assuming it was some kind of religiously fervid praise.


  4. Don't know if anyone else has posted this but supposedly Labour’s internal polling shows Chloe ahead in Auckland Central. And I don’t call 9% a “marginal lead”.

    Greens 33 Labour 24 Nats 22

    • swordfish 4.1

    • Ad 4.2

      A decent Operator would release this as an internal hit from Chloe's team against Shaw, while he's getting a kicking, letting the members know that there are leadership alternatives.

      • Incognito 4.2.1

        Decent Operators are hard to come by. They should have imported some from the UK or Oz or hired Hooton.

        • Ad

          If the Greens walked over glass and got Gordon Campbell back, or even godhelpthem Russell Norman, they'd be operating harder and tracking at 9 and not fucking up.

          • Incognito

            I have a soft spot for those who fuck up. I do it myself all the time. Getting over the threshold is good enough for me; they are not ready yet for Cabinet and by “they” I don’t mean individual MPs.

            • Ad

              In Labour you don't get into Cabinet without a fuckup on your CV.

              "Don't Fuck It Up" would have been a much better campaign slogan.

      • solkta 4.2.2

        How is Chloe a leadership alternative to James?

  5. Peter 5

    Cohen's song? Rules?

    There is only one rule – 'I'll do what I want. You don't like it? Take me to court. By the time my second term is coming to an end the hearings will just about be done. If some pardons and commutation of sentences need to be done, so be it.'

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    A couple of educators share their ponderings on the purpose of education in relation to current social context: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/ideasroom/pandemic-shifts-some-education-myths

    What is called for in a world after Covid-19 is a new educational purpose – one that reconnects thinking around environmental wellbeing, social health and economic fairness. There have been many voices calling for change, for the world to be resetwe cannot go back to how things were. Does education need a reset?

    No, it needs a revision. The system needs to be made fit for purpose in the ever-changing world we're in. Lange faked that with Tomorrow's Schools in the '80s, but we know not to trust Labour promises.

    We are told that if we send our children to school it will help them get a worthwhile job and have a stable and affluent life; that it will help their self-advancement, help them ‘get ahead’. The myth of education as a commodity to be accumulated is widely accepted.

    Mythos is powerful in mass psychology, and when combined with bureaucracy it created an education system with awe-inspiring inertia. Guaranteed to defeat progress. Which is why the system never entered the 20th century.

    When I passed thro it in the 1950s/60s it was clearly archaic but effective in mass-producing crap (such as mainstreamers, Nat/Lab voters). I encountered Summerhill in 1970 when it was a hot trend & that crystallised my feelings about how education ought to be done – but nowadays the necessity for real progress is more urgent.

    we concentrate on the personal; we now find ourselves part of a worldwide phenomenon. Our connection to global economic movements is suddenly more apparent. We have seen millions of people lose their livelihoods in a week, yet we have learned that previously unthinkable legislation to support those in need can be passed easily.

    Suitable leadership can still get the right results fast, and Labour deserves credit for proving that point currently. If only it realised that the same cut-through must be applied to the national curriculum! But connecting the dots is so hard for some. 🙄

    We have learnt that the encroachment by people on natural environments causes stresses that lead to the increasingly frequent transmission of zoonotic viruses. At least six viruses have transferred to humans since 2000; more are likely on the way.

    Consumption of nature producing pandemics is gnosis too deep for most people to learn, I suspect: the causal relations are opaque unless you happen to be a microbiologist. Capitalists working with third-world govts will produce pandemics unless a greater force stops them. Business as usual.

    the economic system, focused on short-term gain, is disconnected from its impacts on people and on the environment; and human misuse of the natural environment leads to a fundamental and dangerous disconnection with the symbiotic relationship between humanity and nature.

    The control system has a predatory relationship to nature though, and it determines the future via representative democracy. Kids must learn how to collectively defeat the left & right puppets the system uses. It's the only way to escape becoming victims. Therefore an education system fit for the purpose of human survival must be both radical and beyond left and right.

  7. joe90 7

    What's your arsehole score?

    ( 1.49 )

    Over 100 years ago Charles Spearman made two monumental discoveries about human intelligence. First, a general factor of intelligence (g) exists: people who score high on one test of intelligence also tend to score high on other tests of intelligence. Second, Spearman found that the g-factor conforms to the principle of the "indifference of the indicator": It doesn't matter what test of intelligence you administer; as long as the intelligence test is sufficiently cognitively complex and has enough items, you can reliably and validly measure a person's general cognitive ability.

    Fast forward to 2018, and a new paper suggests that the very same principle may not only apply to human cognitive abilities, but also to human malevolence. New research conducted by a team from Germany and Denmark suggests that a General Dark Factor of Personality (D-factor) exists among the human population, and that this factor conforms to the principle of indifference of the indicator. This is big news, so let's take a look.


    Note: The Dark Core Scale was adapted from the larger test battery. I selected the items on an ad-hoc basis for entertainment purposes, but I do not recommend using the scale to make any sort of diagnosis. For more on the D-factor, go to http://www.darkfactor.org. To take the self-assessment created by the researchers of the dark factor study, go to: http://qst.darkfactor.org.


    • Gabby 7.1

      My dork factor is sky high.

    • Cinny 7.2

      Miss 15's arsehole rating was off the charts the other day. But she's good now lololz 🙂 Teenagers, dang, it's almost like they can think for themselves 🙂 🙂

  8. Andre 8

    Now that significant volumes of end-of-life lithium batteries are becoming a thing, here's a brief look at ventures underway to recycle and recover value from that resource. Featuring JB Straubel, one of Tesla's founders, so it's about real life rather than just lab demonstration possibilities.


  9. joe90 9

    More daily cases than the days leading up to 14/5 when we last entered L2 but Auckland's all set to go to level 2?

    • Andre 9.1

      It's not the numbers that scare me. It's that sometimes new cases are still being reported as "under investigation". That suggests to me that new transmissions are still going outside the circles of contacts the contact tracers are finding out about. So I struggle with the idea that the outbreak is "contained".

      People better be fkn careful and conscientious about masks and distancing and other transmission-reducing behaviour or we're gonna be back into level 3 or 4 in no time. And maybe not just Dorkland, either.

      • Ad 9.1.1

        NZGovernment have just put out a request for ALL people in South and West Auckland to take the test.

        Andre your closest one is in the New Lynn carpark next to the New Lynn Medical Centre.

        Chop chop

      • Ed 9.1.2

        Professor Shaun Hendy on the point you make.

        “If we can’t immediately link these cases to the main cluster then it is very likely we have undetected active cases in the community and once we go to Level 2, spread could kick off again.

        • mauī

          Thank you Ed, superb comment from Hendy there and wonderful of you to highlight it.

      • peterh 9.1.3

        Every under investigation has been changed within a couple of days to the cluster ,just this morning minister of health statement we are going to level2, we know where all the positive have come from, almost all from in isolation

        • Andre

          That just means that after the fact they have been able to trace it the path back to where it came from. Not that they have determined a reasonably reliable boundary around the risk.

    • Ed 9.2

      There was an excellent comment on the Standard yesterday by SPC. SPC's post referenced two studies about how children spread the virus.

      link: https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-29-08-2020/#comment-1746287

      Professor Shaun Hendy has asked the Government to reconsider the planned move down to Covid alert level 2.

      Professor Michael Baker was on RNZ this morning, calling for the wearing of masks by everyone at secondary schools. He is emphatic on the issue.


      • weka 9.2.1

        to do an internal link on TS you either need to put the link in a direct line with some text, or you need to use the link tags. I've fixed your comment as it was linking to the post rather than comment (this is the default if the link is put in a line of its own without tags).

      • SPC 9.2.2

        They should have delayed opening schools to Wednesday (3 week lockdown minimum – given new information that children retain viral load for 3 weeks).

        That allows planning for social distancing at 2.5 and for people to sort out masks (which should be compulsory for children in schools, on school buses and indoor workers and in street queues).

        2.5 for mine should include temperature testing for entry to buildings. And expectation people work from home if they can.

        I suspect they eased back down a little early because Mof H bungled planning for a regional lockdown by not having pre granted exemptions for business activity.

        If they were influenced by the plight of hospitality business and the looming election they had better hope General Luck is back on duty.

        Because going back to Level 3 in Auckland, and to 2.5 for the rest if this spreads, will put an end to the Oct 17 election date.

        • Incognito

          They’re between a rock and a hard place (i.e. damned either way). I believe the (health) risk is higher than last time we came out of L3 and we need more luck this time.

    • Stuart Munro 9.3

      Looks like fatigue to me. The government has been ground down by the brute stupidity of media. A win for the virus. Bring out your dead.

      • Janet 9.3.1

        My feelings too. They are walking a tight rope I know, but better to follow through in the way they started , and I think tomorrow is too soon.

      • Pat 9.3.2

        certainly appears so

      • weka 9.3.3

        yep. Also the economic pressures and Labour being largely unprepared for how to deal with this once the neoliberal model fails.

        • weka

          and, impending election.

        • Stuart Munro

          I think they have been too accommodating of media. The Covid updates are a public health announcement – they should not have been contestable, any more than military announcements would have been in time of war.

          The place for the kind of malign aggression media displayed, aside from lonely exile on the Auckland or Bounty Islands, was in regular press conferences, not queering the compliance pitch of an emergency public health announcement.

          If, as I fear, we develop a growing outbreak in the wake of relaxing restrictions, it should called the “Morrah/O’Brian” outbreak, in honour of its sponsors.

          • weka

            that's a really good idea about separating out the public health announcements and the press conferences. Do the first, have break and do the rest a bit later. Gives people time to settle down too.

      • RedBaronCV 9.3.4

        yep too soon for me too. At least they could go "no inter regional travel" out of Auckland and maybe the Waikato. South of Taupo seems to be okay.

        But if people don't believe it has been beaten then they will stay home as much as possible anyway. So they won't be out spending money. So we will still have a lot of the economic impact plus the potential virus spread as well.

        I'm outside Auckland and it has been very quiet although with no local cases people are starting to go out again. I'll be cutting back outings again from tomorrow. If they kept Auckland in I’d slope off for some skiing

        Given that cheaper testing (spit on paper stuff is coming) this might be the last really major lockdown that we would need.

        • weka

          My worry now is that Aucklanders will bring the virus south, but I haven't been following closely enough to know what the risk is.

  10. joe90 11

    Here's the right's latest poster boy for toxic masculinity cleaning up graffiti and here he is sucker-punching a young woman.

  11. Dennis Frank 12

    Ace ponticator Shane Jones out-performs Trump:

    Jones said Robertson was the Matua as Finance Minister and stood call the Government didn't intend on doing a U-turn on the funding https://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=12360593

    Experts in linguistic analysis will be studying this statement for decades to come, I suspect. University theses may even be written on what "stood call the Government didn't intend on doing" actually means.

    Jones may complain that a Herald journo mangled what he really said in the interests of postmodernism – but methinks such false modesty from the hat won't persuade many.

    • Sabine 12.1

      That is the thing tho, this school is not going to harm anyone but the Greens, why? Only the Greens had a standing policy for over 9 years to not fund private schools – no matter how green washed the 'building' will be. Jones is dong what he always does, Labour can simply wash their hands in innocence, in the meantime the Green Party is getting not much love from many – other then here…. and i don't think that will be enough.

      If i were any more cynical then i am i would suggest that the Green Co Party leader was set up to fail and he rant straight into this. But surely the Co Party leader of the Green would not be so stupid after several years now in Parliament. One would hope.

      • Dennis Frank 12.1.1

        Nobody onsite here has suggested what ought to have happened instead. That collective failure demonstrates the inadequacy of all sideline commentators. They persist in not factoring in budget decision-making constraints that closed off options for James. The primary one being the pressure of GR's schedule!

        Imagine the shitfight which would have erupted if he had rejected that line item: "Green Party rejects funding for Green School! Labour & NZF approved the funding!"

        Experts in the psychology of brands wheeled out in the media would declare that the Green brand had been reduced to ideological twaddle by the Greens. Spokespeople for the Green movement would point out that rabid leftists were outnumbered by around a hundred to one in the movement. Since I joined it in 1968 that's always been evident.

        So it's clear that the GP has dodged a bullet that may have proved fatal. I predict negative consequences will be minimal. Even leftists have to get real eventually…

        • Robert Guyton


        • weka

          Imagine the shitfight which would have erupted if he had rejected that line item: "Green Party rejects funding for Green School! Labour & NZF approved the funding!"

          Yep, but that would have been a minor storm dealt with by using the focus to highlight the Greens' education policy. Also, if there were one or two thousand applications for the fund, I doubt that turning down this one would have been a big deal. Plenty of others to choose from.

          I do think both sides are essentially right here. The problem is that approving the Green School needed a different process, eg one whereby the school was asked to meet certain conditions around funding that were more aligned with GP values.

        • Sabine

          Again, what are you taking umbrage with? that i say outright that Shane Jones is Shane Jones and wont be anything else ever and he is not even worth discussing?

          I am simply over the constant whinging by people here about this party that is not doing shit, that party not doing shit, while the government is good enough to fuck up on their own.

          The school is literally just the another drop bringing the bucket to overflow. People losing their jobs, they are locked in their homes, they are told to be fearful of the unseen enemy and National cause Judith will be worse and then this dumb ass blunder by someone who should now better. – nothing i did. Sorry mate.

          Us people here in no where land that are not rabidly partisan or super loyal partisan we vote every three years and only get to hope that it 'will get better' and chances are it will not. It never does.

          So we look at the parties and their principles and hope to find something that works for us and vote for that then.

          We have been educated on this site so many times about what the Green Party can do or can not do it ain't even funny anymore, and btw, often times it is literally just condescending, cause we can read, and we do read, and sometimes we even vote for them, or Labour. Cause not as bad as the other option.

          I already have given him the benefit of the doubt. But you don't get to whine about Shane Jones saying its gonna go forward, and not also lay the blame at the feet of the others Parties involved.

          Also, last but least, If the Greens would not have a standing policy of 9 years to not fund private schools – and providing money to build one – 'for the construction only' – is still providing money to a private school, non of this brouhaha would have happened and frankly that is the matter at hand. What in the name of a pandemic will be next on the 'nice to have but not needed anymore policy ' on the chopping block. And this is not a question only to be laid at the feet of the Green Party but also includes Labour and NZ First.

          At the end of the day, people like me will go to the polls, hold their nose and put a cross under the name of the person they find the least offensive. Not the person who has a good program for the future but the least offensive – because non of the clowns in government actually have a plan for us living on the margins of society. And the Greens now fall into this category, because if this policy is no more valid, then what next.

          And if you don't want to discuss this anymore i suggest you don't post links complaining about Shane Jones who says this will go forward. The Greens – thanks to their Co-Leader – happy or not about it – are Co-responsible for it, as James could have said this should not be included, but he did not. And they now need to shoulder this responsibility.

        • McFlock

          Nobody onsite here has suggested what ought to have happened instead.

          Really? Sorry, I thought I had.

          What ought to have happened was that this school submitted their application and had it stand on its own merits without the Green Party lobbying for it:

          “Ultimately that was something the Green Party advocated quite strongly for and so it was one of their wins out of the shovel-ready project area,” Hipkins said.

          He said the Green School project was “not necessarily a project I would have prioritised”.

          So according to Hipkins, this wasn't a project that Shaw was merely put in the awkward position of announcing – Shaw explicitly requested it.

          So my suggestion of what ought to have happened instead is that Shaw, or whomever in the Greens, had shut the fuck up about this private school in whatever meetings the subject occurred.


          • Dennis Frank

            Shaw explicitly requested it

            Hipkins didn't say he did. Nor has anyone else, except you. Since James specified that he was approving it on the Labour/NZF basis of regional infrastructure development, we can't blame him personally for any Green lobbying that may have been done earlier.

            You could be right, but I didn't hear him refer to such lobbying on the Zoom call, so I'll wait & see if anyone else did!

            Anyway, I was referring to the other options James may have had at the point in the process where he was faced with an apparent binary option: approve or reject. Weka said the rules stopped him running it by the Green caucus for a collective decision. I've already pointed out why rejection would have produced a worse shitstorm for the Greens.

            • McFlock

              No, "approving" is not "advocating quite strongly for"

              Stuff might have been misrepresenting the subject of the quote, or Hipkins was bullshitting and everyone has since gone with that just to keep the shitfight to a minimum, but that's the available comment.

              As for Shaw finding himself in "approve or reject", that's when you kick it upstairs.

          • weka

            Not sure why you are referencing Hipkins here (again), he wasn't involved in decisions afaik and his first response to the question was to say it was nothing to do with him, talk to the relevant ministers.

            Lobby is not quite the right word, because it implies that the Green Party from the outside promoted the project above others. Whereas my reading is that Shaw was part of the group that looked at more than a thousand applications, shortlisted them, and in that process he used a climate change and environment lens. The mistake was in not using a broader GP policy lens.

            Still afaik, the Green Party didn't have anything to do with, it was Shaw and his Ministry staff.

            • McFlock

              Lobby might be the wrong word for "advocated quite strongly for", but your lens theory is not inconsistent with Hipkins' account.

              Shortlisting things in meetings with people who have different perspectives often involves advocating for one's preferred shortlist items.Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes you horse trade. But if you don't advocate, usually your preferred options don't make it to the shortlist.

              Budget items, job applicants, even the damned catering menu, sometimes. I'm still quite pleased I got them to include a pepperoni pizza at the last work hobnob.

              • weka

                Yes, it's his job to advocate strongly for projects that are going to help our climate response.

                My problem with Hipkins' statement is that afaik the GP wasn't involved. If Hipkins had said Shaw it would have made more sense in terms of getting the public up to speed on what actually happened. I don't blame Hipkins for this, it wasn't his area to comment in, but it's why I don't find that particular statement helpful as a reference point, it just keeps muddying the waters.

                Shaw's 30 min explanation and 40 min Q and A (with MD) to the members was important not only for the response to members, but because he basically described the inner workings of govt in ways that are rarely seen. I learned a lot. I wish this was happening regularly.

            • Dennis Frank

              I can now see why coalitions get so fraught in govt, if parties cannot appraise budget decisions to see if they are inadvertently likely to approve funding for things their policy opposes.

              I wonder if the protocols binding the decision-making are in the cabinet manual, or simply agreed ad hoc for each coalition.

              If the Greens had not had James in the frame as assoc finance minister, would they have been able to make caucus decisions on budget line items? I doubt it. Yet any funding decision ought to, in principle, be subject to Green caucus assessment. Or is that impractical?

              I'm not up with how much say a coalition support party gets, if any, so maybe others are more informed & can elucidate.

              • weka

                I guess he could have had one of his Minister staff run it past GP policy. Not sure if that creates a conflict of interest. Maybe someone else needs to be assigned the role and asked to sign a confidentiality agreement.

          • In Vino

            Good one McFlock.

        • Gabby

          They coulda said, we'll build your school and you can give us a 50% share in it, praxically.

      • mpledger 12.1.2

        I am ok with funding the green school. It's a business that attracts a lot of export dollars and it fits within the fund it got the money from. The perfect shouldn't be the enemy of the good.

        However, some schools are in shocking disrepair especially in the provinces and Wellington. I know Auckland is growing but there is an extraordinary discrepancy between Auckland high schools and their facilities and what other school around the country have to make do with.

        • RedBaronCV

          Stuff the export dollars they are visa selling to the rich. I'm not interested in that.

          • Incognito

            Contrary to some commenters here, I don’t think all the rich are ‘evil bastards’ by default. For me, context is important, i.e. how did they obtain their wealth and what do they do with it. The stereotypical ‘rich bastard’ is such a lazy label to declare one’s hyper-polarised prejudiced position that immediately kills any meaningful conversation.

            • Sabine

              for the last few weeks here there has been an ongoing campaing maligning 'overseas students' – buying visas to live here, scams, scammers etc and but this is not it?

              It is. And frankly if this school wants to show us it is not just a nice to have unschooling project for the failing kids of the very rich then they can come public as to whom their target group is. Cause 24.000 NZD is a lot of cash for most people in this country.

              This is not about all rich people are being evil, but most rich people don't pay taxes, do their best to not pay taxes, and their wealth has so far failed to trickle down to any of us. That i think is more the issue.

              • Incognito

                Young bright people like to acquire new experiences and explore the world. Some study overseas, some become au pairs, some do their OE after graduation. Some love a country they spend time in so much that they would like to stay or come back and then stay. We cannot have that, so much is clear, because some will abuse the system and our hospitality. Who do they think are, freeloading freedom campers in Aotearoa?

                I’m all for a wealth tax 🙂 Hit them where it hurts the most, in their pockets, of course. Paying (higher) taxes is the only way they can re-pay their debt to society, obviously. How these taxes ‘trickle down’ to any of us depends on Government.

                When they have ‘thieved’ enough [HT to DtB], they should give away all their ill-gotten gains instead of setting up a school to help others as it helped their children, for example. Like this couple did:


                Redemption is possible although some will never forgive – once a thief, always a thief.

            • RedBaronCV

              I'm not saying they are all "evil" as such. I object to visa buying on many grounds – I'm with Sabine in their failure to contribute to the community as taxpayers or in many other ways.

              Nor do I agree with the wealth being used to buy a bigger say in the decision making processes in the community. if they wanted to just come on limited term visa and be heavily constrained as to what they can spend money on locally – no political donations no dragging in under paid staff etc etc . But we are also winding up with this "super grade of people who trot from country to country legally" and who then move on rather than clean up aany mess they help to create. Frankly Repugs from the USA really grind my wheels – it didn't work there so why should we allow them here. It's a bit like taking on all the priviledged leaders of say the old communist USSR.

            • Draco T Bastard

              I don’t think all the rich are ‘evil bastards’ by default.

              The only way to get rich is through theft.

              Book Review: Why We Can’t Afford the Rich by Andrew Sayer

              The early sections of the book set out Sayer’s most interesting arguments: namely, that the wealth of the rich is unearned, and thus amounts to the extraction of value created by others or else simply speculation.

              Just because it was legal doesn't mean that it wasn't theft.

              • RedLogix

                The only way to get rich is through theft.

                And of course the marxist definition of rich is 'anyone wealthier than me'.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  And there you go, making shit up again.

                  • Ad

                    Proto-Marxist Proudhon said:

                    "La propriété, c'est le vol!" : Property Is Theft!

                    Though he was referring to property owners who "stole" profits from labourers.

                    He's not remembered for anything else.

                    • In Vino

                      Ad – Don't scorn Proudhon. At least his idea was an interesting concept. Nowadays we have sad dumby right-wingers tediously claiming that tax is theft. Oh dear…

                    • Incognito []

                      Property Tax = double theft or thieving from the thieves? Bring on a Wealth Tax, I say!

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Doesn't mean that he wasn't right.

                  • RedLogix

                    It's apparent from this thread that 'anyone who can afford to send their kids to a private school' fits the bill however.

                    Seems a pretty good proxy.

              • Stuart Munro

                I think your generalization may be a bit of a stretch.

                Hubbard, of South Canterbury Finance, didn't really fit that model, which is part of the reason he was so easily ripped off by Key and his accomplices.

                A level of incontinent greed is certainly abundant among the wealthy, as are a more innocent set of self-justifying assumptions about those who are not rich. But dishonesty is not obligate, merely frequent.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I think your generalization may be a bit of a stretch.


                  To get rich requires economies of scale applied to income. In other words, income from multiple people being fed into one stream. To achieve that requires some sort of mechanism that takes the wealth generated by those people and transfers it to another without the latter doing any work for it. It’s called, in modern parlance, a passive income. I suppose it got its name changed because its original name, rentier income, has some rather negative connotations.

                  So, shareholders, owners of rental properties, speculators and capitalists in general are all supported by law that allows such theft.

                  As I was told when I was doing Amway: A person working will never get rich but someone who has many people working for them will.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    As I said, the correlation is strong, but there are counter examples. J. K. Rowling became one of the wealthiest persons in Britain without recourse to financial jiggery pokery – she took the Oracle's advice:

                    If you would have innocent wealth, bring the bones of Hector out of Asia, and build a shrine to him.

                    Metaphorically, of course.

            • gsays

              Ahh, the deserving rich…devil

              • Incognito

                We all deserve a second chance in life angel

              • RedLogix

                …. and the endlessly undeserving poor.

                Actually a lot of it is to do with random dumb luck. The really interesting question is what can you do to increase the luck of others?

          • Janet

            I think that it is as much about the $,s from overseas students as anything else too ! I as a tax payer do not support this. Helping a private school for Kiwi kids I can handle … JUST ! Maybe if the access through the education system to become a NZ citizen was clearly and completely closed I might be able to handle that too.

      • Barfly 12.1.3

        The best chess players in the WORLD (who can play dozens of games blindfold) make mistakes in a game inside 64 squares that they have played for years – and in some cases decades – 20/20 hindsight is so cheap.

        I think the horse has been dead for a while – will you please stop flogging it?

  12. Ad 13

    There's a grouping for you: against masks, the UN, and the government generally: Aotea Square raise the roof!



  13. Andre 14

    I gotta say, it's been fascinating watching all the special pleading, sophistry, pinhead dancing and wilful misrepresentation of critics that's been happening ever since it was the "good guys" that got busted screwing up.

    • Ad 14.1

      Just fun teasing the moisties.

      Lucky we didn't let them near serious Ministerial responsibility, or walk with tin snips.

    • weka 14.2

      Can't say it's been fun watching otherwise intelligent, politically aware people completely misunderstand how govt works.

  14. joe90 15

    Chose your characters…establish a plot…

    • Gabby 15.1

      Those cunning Chinese must have planned meticulously for yankistan to engage in collective fuckwittery. How did they pull that off?

  15. Andre 16

    Whew. They're not asking everyone in South and West Auckland to get tested. That never made sense – that's around 500,000 people and testing capacity is only around 70,000 per week. They have yet to update guidelines on who they want to turn up, but I'll guess they will be asking extra hard for people with even the mildest symptoms and/or any conceivable connection to a case to get checked out.


    • Chris T 16.1

      And I am guessing no one will be held accountable for the mix up again.

      • Andre 16.1.1

        Maybe an emotional junior staffer.

        • Chris T

          Indeed. As heaven forbid someone senior should take some responsibility

          • weka

            Did you miss Andre's sarcasm or just side step it?

            • Chris T

              In the linked article?

              TBF yes. But it could just be me being thick. Wouldn't be a first.

              I am not even talking about her being held accountable.

              • Incognito

                Andre’s sarcasm was in Andre’s comment, not in the article that Andre linked to.

                Just as well you’re not talking about the PM being accountable. At least, the PM is taking steps to correct the mistake and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

            • Andre

              … and there I was, just quietly enjoying the whooshing sounds echoing around …

      • Anne 16.1.2

        Some fool didn't read or listen to the instruction properly and sent out the wrong message. It would have been either a MoH staffer or a media outlet – or both.

        I'm getting sick of these staffers or journos who botch- up and (maybe) put others at risk in the process.

        • Andre

          The error was within government somewhere. It was on the Unite Against Covid 19 facebook page, which is a genuine government communication channel.

    • Muttonbird 16.2

      That advice never seemed right. The PM was pissed off.

      Didn't stop Ad getting excited and pushing it right here on this forum though.

      • Andre 16.2.1

        Relax. Ad didn't make the screw-up. It was on an official government communication channel.

        • Muttonbird

          But he didn't question what was obviously an error. Most reasonably intelligent people would have questioned it, and not said, “chop, chop”.

          • Andre

            Why waste a good opportunity for a wind-up and spoil it with expressing skepticism?

            • Ad

              I'll get you one day you little scallywag.

            • Muttonbird

              Don't know how you are feeling in Auckland but I'm desperately worried about my income and family.

              I guess it's ok for people not working because their life doesn't change with Covid. For those of us still producing it's terrifying and having someone from leafy Wanaka on the wind-up is not helpful.

              • Andre

                Uh, IIRC Ad is still living in West Auckland (a Titirangi elite, no less) and Ad's workplace is also messed around with at level 3, and has alluded to disruptions from COVID possibly messing up plans to retire to Wanaka. Ad is sharing the disruption, not indulging in windups from a comfortable safe distance.

  16. Robert Guyton 17

    [content removed for breaching quoting rules]

    • Cinny 17.1

      Crikey, thanks for that info Robert and links etc. Much appreciated

    • Robert Guyton 17.2

      The moderation thread, moderator? I'm not sure where/what that is but rest assured, if I did, I'd visit willingly!

  17. ScottGN 18

    The latest Observer Opinium poll has Keir Starmer and Labour level pegging with the Tory government for the first time in over a year. Boris and his government have surrendered a 26 point lead in just over 5 months. Both parties are on 40%.


    • Gabby 18.1

      The tories have well over 4 years to orchestrate a hate campaign against him, no hurry.

  18. Morrissey 19

    Ken Loach calls out Sturmer for his complicity in the persecution of Julian Assange


  19. Morrissey 20

    "I'm getting really sick of guys named Todd…"

    That little gem comes at the 13:15 mark…

  20. Ad 21

    Adasenya or Costa?

  21. DS 22

    Defending NZ from crazy British newspaper columnists:

    Of New Zealand and Lockdowns: A Reply to Madeline Grant

  22. Dennis Frank 23

    Amazing. Public servants once again trying to destabilise the govt. Just saw the PM on Newshub say she's "incredibly angry".

    • Herodotus 23.1

      Not sure about blaming public servants and having an agenda to topple the government without giving some supporting links to this assertion. – Why did not Min Hipkins correct the message during his interview during the morning ? Or that it took until midway thru the PM's 1:00 briefing for a correction to be made when our PM was aware of this during the morning.


      • McFlock 23.1.1

        Seems there's a couple of options:

        A) the media reported it from 5pm, but anyone in govt who was familiar with the particular decision wasn't monitoring the media.

        B) the media reported it from 5pm, but anyone in govt who was familiar with the particular decision and was monitoring the media just figured that whatever media report they heard had fucked up the message and (being the weekend) they had no inclination or ability inclination to check the website at the time, and the media getting the message wrong is so routine they forgot about it.

        C) the media reported it from 5pm, but anyone in govt who was familiar with the particular decision and was monitoring the media underestimated the fuckage they should give and failed to correct it or call a minister about it. Maybe they thought they could wait until monday, who knows.

        • Herodotus

          Not sure about a govt dept consciously sabotaging – Looking forward to your reasoning to discredit.

          Option 4 . The minions at comms once contacted by the media, time ticked by as minions were waiting for seniors(Government Group) to give direction and what actions/statements were to be implemented. Story progressed, and still at the time of the PM's 1:00 statement there was still no action with the oversimplified statement still there.

          • McFlock

            From the Herald timeline (seriously? This bullshit deserves a timeline? Oh well, what the hell) "contacted" can mean "called someone's cellphone" or "sent email to generic [email protected] email address". The latter can easily be a few hours on the weekend depending on their set-up (helpdesk is dealing with other shit, takes a while to escalate, comms minion looks at email at home, verifies issue, escalatesfor instruction, supervisor goes for placeholder statement while they sort out the web editors, maybe has to drive into office). At which point the issue was resolved within a couple of hours. And everyone pulls finger when Ardern gets asked about it, because before then they didn't know that a journo thought it was a massive fucking crisis.

  23. ScottGN 24

    I don’t think it’s deliberate sabotage Dennis. Just poor grammar really and a lack of clear understanding of what needed to be communicated. And the fact it took as long as it did to get it taken down is probably best explained by the fact it’s the bloody weekend and all those 9-to-5ers couldn’t be reached.

    What’s annoying is the way the 4th estate all circle the wagons whenever one of their own comes out the worse for wear after an exchange with the PM. It’s getting bloody tedious.

  24. Robert Guyton 25

    Exhausting weekend!

  25. anker 26

    I am not sure what all the fuss is about re the information about all Westies and Southies getting tested………….Not a biggie at all and maybe it got people back to the testing station which can't be a bad thing.

    Honestly people, it is a harmless mistake. Confused and the likes must be as dim as two planks

  26. ScottGN 27

    No I don’t have it now weka. It came up on my Facebook this morning. The headline did say that everyone in West and South Auckland should get a test. But if you read through to the body of the text it was clear they were primarily concerned about people who were displaying symptoms or had any of the co-morbidities linked to Covid or were somehow connected to the Auckland August Cluster. It was clumsily worded for sure. But let’s be honest, you didn’t exactly need Mensa level comprehension skills to figure it out.

    The media shitstorm that’s erupted over it today is just self serving click bait bullshit.

  27. Stuart Munro 28

    It has been a tough weekend in some quarters. Let me recommend Irresistible if you haven't seen it.

  28. joe90 29

    And me.

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