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Open mike 30/08/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 30th, 2021 - 150 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 …

150 comments on “Open mike 30/08/2021 ”

    • vto 1.1

      imo it is the capitalisation of anything and everything in our society which is primarily responsible for all this

      capitalism – it aint a social system to run a society on, it is a bunch of tools designed to pull the wealth of that society in one direction.

      ever played monopoly and witnessed the end result?

      wake up people

      • mikesh 1.1.1

        Capital is a tool which enhances a workers productivity. Capitalism is a system in which capital is considered a source of income in its own right.

      • Adrian Thornton 1.1.2

        @vto, +1, the unethical commodification of domestic housing in what has proved to be nothing more than a capitalist pyramid scheme is a wake up call..or so you would think, burning the planet down around us in the last hundred years in the name of unsustainable growth and accumulation is be a wake up call…or so you would think…

        unfortunately many people have been entrapped into believing that free market liberalism is the only path..they either cannot or will not think or try to imagine a world out side of the safe ideological parameters that has been created around them…and to them if you do you are nothing more than a heretic…which is why they are more and more being accurately described as free market fundamentalists.

    • dv 1.2

      need money to read it. How ironic.

    • Sabine 1.3

      Compounding this extraordinary situation is the collapse in migration. Since the pandemic, from April 2020, net immigration has averaged just 495 people a month – one tenth of the pre-pandemic rate. We have built large numbers of houses and apartments and yet we have few people arriving to fill them. So what explains the housing catastrophe of the past four years if it is not the traditional issues of high migration and low rates of building?

      Here, the Government takes centre stage. In 1989, the then Labour Government changed the Reserve Bank Act to focus monetary policy on keeping prices stable. It recognised that previous monetary policies under Robert Muldoon had made property speculators rich through borrowing to buy property in times of high inflation.

      The current Labour Government, then in coalition with NZ First, decided to revert to a formulation of the act similar to that under Muldoon. After receiving advice from Treasury – and, indirectly, from Treasury's advisers – it widened the act to include a new task for the Reserve Bank: to achieve "maximum sustainable employment" in addition to its price-stability mandate. The amended act came into force in December 2018.

      I have seen no record that Treasury warned the Government that this change would lead to asset-price rises, including house prices. This is despite existing studies, including one of my own, showing that setting a "dual mandate" would lead to a ratcheting up of asset prices. The advice also ignored the Muldoon-period experience of property owners getting rich as a result of monetary policy settings that benefit those owning property.

      Monetary policy under the amended Reserve Bank Act has lived up to the predictions: it has sparked huge increases in the wealth of property owners at the expense of Māori and Pacific peoples and at the expense of the young. House prices have risen by a staggering 44 per cent in less than three years since the amended act came into force.

      Even more unbelievably, house prices have risen by 30 per cent in just 16 months since the pandemic lockdown started, despite rampant house building and virtually zero net migration. Housing supply constraints and high migration – which traditionally push up house prices – have not been the culprits on this occasion.

      from the linked article above – it is quite sad that this article is behind a paywall.

      • KJT 1.3.1

        "high migration – which traditionally push up house prices – have not been the culprits on this occasion."

        Not true. Speculation in land is driven by expectations.

        The expectation that we will return to high immigration fueling housing inflation, is a large part of the willingness to ,,"invest" in housing, and the banks concentration on housing and other land lending.

        We will soon see those who benefit from soaring land prices, joining those who want wages to remain low and the endless supply of cheap offshore workers to continue, in pushing for the return of our previous ridiculously high levels of immigration and temporary visa’s.

        • Sabine

          Lets say i am a speculator and i want to make guaranteed money. What would i invest in?


          A. People will always prefer even the worst hovel to a tent in a ditch. Funfact: the tent in the ditch aka freedom camping is slowly but surely 'illegalized' for all but high paying tourists in the future – when we allow tourists back in.

          B. I don't even need money to buy these houses, i just need to own one, and then thanks to the fake 'equity' i get another loan and another loan and thus it was ever so. The tenant will pay the loans as they always did.

          C. low credits available to those that have 'equity' and can borrow money at the lowest cost ever. Thanks Government. Could not have done it without you.

          Handing cheap credit lines to people with wealth in assets and bank balances who have looked at a and b and decided that no matter how shitty live on this planet will be in the next 50+ odd years, people will still need a house and people will pay what ever is asked for that 'house'.

          And the cheap credit line of last year to the rich and wealthy – went only there. And guess what they bought with that cheap money? Houses. After all YOU will rent one if the only option is to live in a ditch, or hey, in a tax payer funded Motel for the unhoused.

          And in the meantime, my little glorified Gardenshed that i bought a few years ago, literally in the last 10 month doubled in QV. Can't make that shit up. Seriously.

          So yeah, blame the migrants that can't come in the country and have not been able to come here for some 18+ month now, it must be them. Can't be something else.

          • Incognito

            So yeah, blame the migrants that can’t come in the country and have not been able to come here for some 18+ month now, it must be them. Can’t be something else.

            As usual, you’re quick to judge and criticise and your clearly haven’t thought deeply about this. Always good idea to start with underlying data and take it from there. See whether you can get your head around this: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/300309438/migration-dries-up-record-drop-in-numbers-moving-to-nz

            • KJT

              Speculation is driven by expectations.

              The speculators who can afford houses expect the current drop in immigration to be temporary.

              • Sabine

                True that, but currently and probably for the next 2 odd years migration will be hindered by Covid, closed borders and MIQ requirements for the most part.

                The article that i exerpted about clearly states this

                "high migration – which traditionally push up house prices – have not been the culprits on this occasion."

                so next to high migration there are other factors and currently migration IS NOT the main issue – as those that come in are actually Kiwis, and at 454 per month, not even that many. Many people may go through MIQ, but not many stay. Most leave after a visit to the whanau.

                But housing generally will still be an issue for many years, simply because we have not build to demand, we have now issues re building materials, availability of tradies etc.

              • pat

                Expectations are certainly a key factor.

            • Sabine

              Sarcasm Incongito. I shall add a s/ tag the next time. 🙂

              • Incognito

                If the shoe fits, Sabine, it is not sarcasm, but a truthful observation. Can you handle the truth, Sabine? It seems you’re struggling to accept it sometimes …

                So yeah, people stopped having babies for some18+ months now, it must be them. Can’t be something else.


                • Virgil

                  It appears you may have missed the points here, Incognito.

                  Sabine's comment "So yeah, blame the migrants that can't come in the country and have not been able to come here for some 18+ month now, it must be them. Can't be something else." was very obviously sarcasm.

                  However, you appear to have taken it as genuine, with your comment "As usual, you’re quick to judge and criticise and your clearly haven’t thought deeply about this. "

                  Then you appear to have taken Sabine's reference to sarcasm as applying to your comment, calling your comment "a truthful observation".

                  Have I got that sequence of events correct?

                  [I’m quite familiar with Sabine’s commenting style, thank you.

                  I’m also quite familiar with her reckons here, thank you.

                  Sarcasm does not get her off the hook and does not make her immune against push-back. If Sabine wants to join or have a genuine and constructive debate, she knows what and how to do it, what works well and what does not.

                  Has Sabine gone shy or is she lost for words?

                  How familiar are you with Sabine?

                  How fucking stupid do you think I am?

                  I cannot stand dishonesty and slyness.

                  You have one chance to come clean and apologise for trying to deceive us or you will receive a permanent ban and I am sure you do not need an explanation as to why – Incognito]

                  • Incognito

                    See my Moderation note @ 11:03 am.

                    • Virgil

                      [I’m quite familiar with Sabine’s commenting style, thank you.

                      I’m also quite familiar with her reckons here, thank you.

                      Sarcasm does not get her off the hook and does not make her immune against push-back. If Sabine wants to join or have a genuine and constructive debate, she knows what and how to do it, what works well and what does not.

                      Has Sabine gone shy or is she lost for words?

                      How familiar are you with Sabine?

                      How fucking stupid do you think I am?

                      I cannot stand dishonesty and slyness.

                      You have one chance to come clean and apologise for trying to deceive us or you will receive a permanent ban and I am sure you do not need an explanation as to why – Incognito]

                      Quite a bit to unpack there, I must have hit a nerve. You have not actually answered the question either.

                      You know full well that 95% of her post was factual and accurate, yet ignore that and fixate on the one line that was obvious sarcasm. If you know her style, you would know that sarcasm is part of that style.

                      How Fucking stupid do I think you are? I don't know yet, I havn't met you.

                      How familiar am I with Sabine? Extremely, thank you. She has mentioned her firefighter partner? Yep, that's me.

                      I have absolutely no idea to what you are referring in your last two paragraphs regarding deceiving you. If you are accusing me of something, at least have the decency of actually accusing me of something, not hiding behind dishonesty and slyness.

                    • Incognito []

                      I must have hit a nerve.

                      You reckon?

                      There is Dirty Politics, false/fake accounts, astroturfing, AI bots, imposters, spammers, sock puppets, et cetera, and this site has had its fair share of this deceptive sly shit. So, when a new commenter arrives on this site, goes straight into bat for another one as you did, it raises a big flag, and I check them out. My findings tell me that my hunch was correct: this is a commenter who cannot be trusted to be open and honest. That’s the nerve you hit; it is a nerve of this site, because we value honesty and transparency here as much as we do in our politicians and officials, for example.

                      Much false propaganda and other conspiracy BS contain truths, so making something “95% […] factual and accurate” is not a strong argument. In fact, it is weak and reads like an admission of ignorant BS masquerading as sarcasm.

                      I’m sure you are capable of unpacking the rest of the luggage by yourself.

          • KJT

            Whose blaming immigrants?

            Blaming those who want to many at once to keep wages low and house prices high

            But saying that the willingness to spend so much on houses, has nothing to do with the expectation that immigration settings will, "return to normal" no matter what Government is in, is denying reality

            • Incognito

              Whose [sic] blaming immigrants?

              Answer: people who believe that simplistic reductionist ‘common sense’ will solve all complex problems. They know it all, they can solve everything, and they’re never wrong. Arm-chair ‘experts’ in everything. And just wait for their protests when you challenge them …; pathetic people.

              • pat

                Nothing wrong with reductionism provided the interaction of the constituent pieces is considered…indeed reductionism could be deemed a requirement of good analysis

              • swordfish


                people who believe that simplistic reductionist ‘common sense’ will solve all complex problems.

                Sounds like the currently ascendant Woke ideologues … although, in their case, enacting a crude, cartoonish & ultimately self-interested ideology rather normative notions of common sense.

                If forced to choose, I think I’d go for the common folk wisdom of the majority, grounded as it is in widely agreed & instinctive notions of ethics, morality & human rights … over the self-interested moral posturing of an affluent Woke Establishment that aims to systematically scapegoat.

            • Sabine

              it seems you did.

              "high migration – which traditionally push up house prices – have not been the culprits on this occasion."

              Not true. Speculation in land is driven by expectations.

              And yes speculation in land is driven by the expectations that YOU and YOUR family and their children and so on and so forth will need a place to live. I might remind You that currently we have 4368 homeless kids – they will grow up and want families of their own, we have 24000 odd people on housing lists couch surfing or car sleeping etc. And that is what we have now. Never mind what we will have next year. Or in the years after that.

              So the speculators that drove the house prices up by 30% since the first lockdown are homegrown for the most part, cashed up by cheap loans courtesy of the governments monetary politics of the last year.

              And that does not touch on the fact that the country up and down has a fair share of empty properties – be that for speculation, or because they need work to be rendered habitable, that we seemingly are not building for what the markets needs but what is bringing in the highest profit, that the stock that we build is subpar – see leaky buildings, apartment blocks etc, and we might start scratching on the surface of all the shenanigans that keep some people very rich, and others permanently and generationally kept in a poverty and homeless trap despite working and being kiwis.

              • KJT

                I know it is a bit to nuanced for some to comprehend.

                But blaming immigrants as against blaming those who are responsible for some of the highest per capita immigration levels in the OECD, mostly to keep themselves rich and give an illusion of economic growth, are two different things.

                Immigration, and the resulting asset appreciation and lower wages, is part of the “shenanigans” that keep some very rich, and way too many below the poverty line.

                • roblogic

                  Exactly. It's a greed driven immigration policy that's to blame. Immigrants themselves are acting rationally on the individual level. But that doesn't take away from the fact that 4800 new humans per month, mostly going to Auckland, is a huge contributing factor to the housing shortages

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    There are lots of NZ houses (~400 dwellings per 1000 people, with ~7% of dwellings vacant), and new houses are currently being built relatively quickly (~1.7% increase in the last year?) But I don’t want to share.


                    There is a shortage of 'affordable' houses, in part because these get snapped up as investments by the wealthy. A new 3-bedroom house (nothing special; offers over $949,000) on a subdivided section (<400 m2) in my modest Palmerston North Street sold in a matter of weeks.

                    Liked the recent effective illustration of part of the problem you posted.

              • Gypsy

                Well said.

        • Gypsy

          Speculation is not the only driver of demand. A lot of people just want some where to live.

          • KJT

            Whoever said it was the only one.

            However most people who ,just want a house to live in," either have one, usually with a huge mortgage, or cannot bloody well afford one.

            • Gypsy

              And Grimes' point is that current monetary policy is making that situation worse. Except for the speculators, who are quite happy with plenty of cheap money.

              • roblogic

                Anyone with more than 5 houses should be forced to sell within 6 months, or have their stuff confiscated without compensation

              • KJT

                Along with other points.

                Which as we have just discussed are more self justification on his part than reality.

                • Gypsy

                  Not sure where you get the ‘self justification’ bit from. He’s only repeating the criticisms he’s levelled before. Time is simply proving him right.

      • Nic the NZer 1.3.2

        This article probably reflects the unease with any change is reserve bank policy more than any kind of meaningful forecast of the economy (or causal explanation of what has occurred in the economy).

        The reality of central bank inflation first policy implementations (e.g ignoring employment even when employment was part of their mandate) is discussed here.


        To summarize the reality, the RBNZ is not able to force the economies inflation rate using monetary policy. They may believe that they can but the monetary policy leaver is not really connected to the economy in that way. The policy does have a history of tightening interest rates well before inflation has been observed resulting in losses of employment however. Its been much less effective with the only partially counted in CPI price of housing and countering that however. This applies even during the 2000s when interest rates were quite high and house price growth was still surging ahead. Its also worth noting in this regard that one major component of inflation is wage growth and so being effective in limiting inflation and wage growth but ineffective in limiting house price growth for several decades may result in wide disparity between housing (and rental) costs.

        Its also worth understanding how the discussion is miss-leading with its explanation of the economies response to monetary policy (and its implication of QE as a problem). The simple reality is QE was just a way for the RBNZ to fund the governments deficit, nothing more, nothing less. It didn't impact house prices unless your counter factual was the country locking down without a wage subsidy (yes, this would likely have put the country in recession and probably have crashed house prices). But the counter factual should be, the government paying much more on its borrowing but still issuing a wage subsidy, and this would have resulted in similar house price rises (and larger profits to banks and higher interest on low risk savings). The house price rises are caused by people being willing to get into long term debt to get into the property market, banks backing them doing that, and to some extent the lock down helped there by taking away the smashed avocado forcing them to save and still providing them with income during lockdown which went unspent (which is why NZers savings rates were way up across the lockdown). Additionally this kind of commentary usually thinks about a fixed pool of savings being loaned into different areas depending on their relative profitability. In the economy areas of spending and investment are additive however so the housing market collapsing will simply leave a spending hole in the economy if rates are put up to that extent.

        Its not necessarily obvious but banks and institutional investors find a high interest rate environment more profitable for their activities and a low interest rate environment less easy. This is probably one of the reasons this kind of commentary has been asking for a high interest rate environments return since circa 2010, with encouraging governments to stop spending because they think that might be the way to get there.

    • Tiger Mountain 2.1

      A great guy, Ed was a union man. He visited the National Distribution Union (now FIRST) one time in the 90s when he was in NZ. NDU at the time incorporated Actors Equity.

      Pundit and film maker Michael Moore said about him today…
      “When I was making my first film, “Roger & Me”, I was broke, so I wrote to some famous people to ask for help. Only one responded: Ed Asner.

      “I don’t know you, kid, but here’s 500 bucks,” said the note attached to the check. “Sounds like it’ll be a great film. I was an autoworker once.”

    • Patricia Bremner 2.2

      Yes Barfly, he could act.

  1. bwaghorn 3

    I reckons that there is a serious case to be argued for completely shutting the boarders to nz till we have every one vaccinated , that wants to be .

    Most will accept it due to the fact that lockdowns are the not the way to live .

    Close the miq s till next year.

    • Sabine 3.1

      Imagine, we are all vaccinated, but can still get it, and maybe even die of it, should we keep the border closed for a little longer until something better comes along? And if that don't work, a little longer?

      • Andre 3.1.1

        Yes, with the current vaccine and variants, vaccinated people can still get it and maybe even die from it.

        But the risks of severe illness and death in vaccinated people people appear to be way below other risks we commonly accept as routine in everyday life. So once everyone that wants vaccination has received it, I'm happy to ease the restrictions we now have. The re-opening guidelines the government published just before our current outbreak seem entirely reasonable to me.

        All plans subject to change in response to new information and new circumstances, of course.

        • Sabine

          That is not the point that i was making.

          The point is that some will even ask for closed borders if all were vaccinated.

          And once we are all vaccinated, we still can get it, we still can get ill of it, we still can die of it. And / or another mutation will make Delta look like Alpha.

          This whole Idea that if we just do this one thing and it – Covid – will go away is just meh.

          We should accept that this is gonna be around for a while now, and hopefully at the very best we get better at managing it.

          And with that in mind, we might want to flesh out our Lockdown rules a bit more – who can work etc, how to distribute food to everyone if we had a complete melt down with essential workers ill en masse, education – there are still kids that can't have online education due to material issues, and so on and so forth.

          But i would also not be surprised if we do nothing of the sort, and just pretend that we will go back to what was normal on a lovely day in March 2020.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            And once we are all vaccinated, we still can get it, we still can get ill of it, we still can die of it. And we can still infect others…

            This message is not getting through. At all. Very scary that even spokespeople on the wireless think that being vaccinated somehow casts a spell of complete immunity and safety.

            [I was interested in finding out who those numpties were who “think that being vaccinated somehow casts a spell of complete immunity and safety”. So, I clicked on your link and listened, and listened again, but I could not find the part where they stated what you claimed they stated!?

            Therefore, it seems that you fabricated nonsense to suit your narrative about some mythical “message”, which you referred to three times, is not getting through.

            It is tiring and tedious when people make up shit to spin their own shit and I’d like to think that we ought to and can do better here on this site.

            So, please explain yourself or withdraw and apologise for spinning lies here – Incognito]

            • Sabine

              You still have a better then before chance of not dying.

              And that also is a point that must be stressed.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                You still have a better then before chance of not dying.

                Which is absolutely awesome for the approximately 30 % of people who have been able to have both jabs.

                These people need to realise that they cannot consider themselves and others 'safe' from infection or infecting until all New Zealanders who want the jab have had it.

                This message is not getting through.

            • Andre


              So the takeaway should be that at some point in the next wee while, everyone can expect to come into contact with SARS-CoV-2.


              So the question is, who wants to get vaccinated, with attendant tiny risk of short-term problems, and have their immune system all trained up and ready to fight and have the best chance of beating the virus before it turns into a full-blown round of covid.

              And who wants to internalise some really complicated misinformation inside their head so they end up facing the virus with a completely naive immune system, thereby massively increasing their risk of full-blown covid and huge risk of death and debilitating long-term problems.

              That really is the risk-reward trade-off. Tiny risk of short-term issues from the vaccination, versus huge risk of debilitating long-term problems or even death from the actual disease. As well as potential restrictions on privileges previously taken for granted if someone refuses the free, very safe, and very effective precaution of getting vaccinated to protect the community as well as oneself.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                All very interesting, and you really ought to be running the country's vaccination publicity campaign.

                But none of what you say addresses the very real issue that the message that the jabs do not confer immunity to the virus is not getting out.

                While over 50% of Kiwis who want to be vaccinated have yet not been able to…all your talk of 'refusing' and 'choice' and 'risk' etc is moot.

                The lucky nearly thirty percent who have been able to be vaccinated need to be reminded that they can still infect the unvaccinated and potentially cause serious illness and death.

                [More explaining to do for you. You said this:

                But none of what you say addresses the very real issue that the message that the jabs do not confer immunity to the virus is not getting out.

                A week ago, I banned another commenter for one month for making the exact same claim and their refusal to clearly explain what they meant. Spreading false information is on par with not self-correcting, elaborating when requested, or not providing any information at all and thereby creating a vacuum of innuendo that fills up quickly with conspiracy BS.

                So, how the jabs work then, if not through immunity? Do the injected microchip and nanobots create a 5G anti-virus force field?

                I assume the jabs do something, yes? Or is it just another elaborate scam by Big Pharma to make insane profits without care for lives?

                Please explain clearly what you meant or take a month off too – Incognito]

                • Andre

                  What is your basis for asserting "the message that the jabs do not confer immunity to the virus is not getting out"?

                  As far as I'm aware, two of our recent cases (Warkworth rest home worker and Auckland Hospital nurse) have been breakthrough cases. In both cases, from published information about their actions, it appears both were fully aware they could still become infected and infectious, and acted appropriately with that awareness.

                  If you have any evidence of anyone in New Zealand that has been vaccinated has been acting in an irresponsible way that suggests they believe their vaccination status absolutely completely protects them from infection, please link.

                • KJT

                  The ,"jabs" do confer immunity in the majority of cases. That is the point of having them.

                  It is how vaccines work.
                  Immunity is not the same, as not getting the virus.

                  • mauī

                    Both the UK and Israel have high rates of vaccination and currently have some of the highest amounts of active cases they've seen since the start of the pandemic.

                    Given that, you would have to sceptical of the immunity they provide.

                    • KJT

                      That has already been covered.

                      How they were "opened up" way before vaccination levels were high enough to justify it.

                      A lesson NZ seems to be heeding.

                      Even so, in Israel, The UK and USA, the pandemic has become mostly a ," pandemic if the unvaccinated" as the vaccinated rarely get seriously ill with Covid.

                    • The Al1en

                      In the case of the UK, wouldn't that be the fault of a botched government response, like ending insufficient lock downs and keeping borders open when covid was still running rampant?

                    • Andre

                      Israel is only about 67% with at least one dose of vaccine, and the UK is only about 70% with at least one dose. Full vaccination rates are a bit lower in both countries.

                      So no, not "high rates of vaccination".


                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      And yet, despite active cases increasing in some countries with medium-to-high vaccination rates, the % of Covid cases that result in death is down, and the residual tragic Covid deaths are heavily skewed towards the unvaccinated.

                      First, surges in COVID-19 infections led to shortages of hospital beds and staff. Now it’s oxygen [30 Aug.]

                      Dr. Ahmed Elhaddad, an intensive care unit doctor in Florida, told CNN's Pamela Brown on Saturday that he's frustrated and "tired of seeing people die and suffer because they did not take a vaccine."

                      He said the Delta variant is "eating" people's lungs, which eventually leads to their collapse.

                      "We're seeing the patients die faster with this (Delta) variant," said Elhaddad, who is the ICU medical director at Jupiter Medical Center.

                      "This round, we're seeing the younger patients — 30-, 40-, 50-year-olds — and they're suffering. They're hungry for oxygen, and they're dying. Unfortunately, this round they're dying faster," he said.

                      Elhaddad noted that his ICU does not have a single Covid-19 patient who is vaccinated, nor did he see any vaccinated people die from Covid-19.

                      "There's no magic medicine. … The only thing that we're finding is that the vaccine is preventing death. It's preventing patients from coming to the ICU," Elhaddad said.

                      I do wonder at the choices of the deliberately unvaccinated who willingly subject themselves to greater risk of death, and work to recruit others to their cause. Imho the 'Covid antivaxx' fraternity is clearly a 'choose death cult'. Tragic pandemic deaths will be increasing weighted towards the unvaccinated; its natural selection.

                      CDC study shows unvaccinated people are 29 times more likely to be hospitalized with Covid [24 Aug.]

                      The new study also found that unvaccinated people were nearly five times more likely to be infected with Covid than vaccinated people.

                      The data is in line with comments from federal and state health officials, who have been saying for weeks that millions of unvaccinated Americans have been putting themselves at serious risk.

                      Let me be clear: There are cases where vaccinated people do get Covid-19, but they are far less common than unvaccinated people getting Covid-19. And most importantly, their conditions are far less severe,” he [Biden] said during a speech.

                      No doubt President Trump would have put it differently.

                      New report shows unvaccinated people are 15 times more likely to die from COVID-19; Adult ICU patients hit record highs [29 Aug.]
                      "The vast majority of people dying with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. If you are not vaccinated please don’t wait until it is too late," said Mandy K. Cohen, M.D., secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services. "The authorized and approved vaccines have been through rigorous clinical trials and met scientific standards. Millions of North Carolinians have been safely vaccinated."

                      Unvaccinated Pastor Who Almost Died Of COVID Now Preaches The Importance Of Vaccines [29 Aug]

                • Brigid

                  " the message that the jabs do not confer immunity to the virus is not getting out."

                  I do believe this falsehood is widely accepted, and it's probably what is giving the simple minded the reason not to vaccinate.

                  There have been no cases of seriously illness or death in NZ in those who are vaccinated. Can you refer to any cases throughout the world where this is the case?

                  The vaccine does confer immunity. Ask any nurse working in a covid ward who are the patients who survive the virus.

                  It's those who have been vaccinated.

                  The other salient pint is that it's an air-borne virus contracted thru the nose or mouth and therefor easily be spread to anyone in the vicinity with the next exhalation.

                  No vaccination will preventing such a virus being spread.

                  • Andre

                    Part of the problem is anti-vaxers misrepresenting the meaning of immunity, falsely mispresenting it as an all-or-nothing thing.Whereas immunity is better viewed as being a multi-dimensional continuum.

                    Anti-vaxers misrepresent immunity so they can fabricate a disinformation talking point against vaccines.

                    • KJT


                      As soon as you see anti vaccers breathlessly repeating, "but vaccination doesn't stop you getting the virus" as if that is something we haven't known since the 1700's, they have already signalled they have no comprehension of how vaccination, and vaccine immunity, works.

                  • Sacha

                    No vaccination will prevent such a virus being spread.

                    I think that is actually what Rosemary was trying to say. Being vaccinated means I will not get as sick. I am still contagious if I do get infected. Masks and handwashing and bubbles of some sort will still be needed.

                    • Incognito

                      Rosemary is correct in that regard. However, there are vaccines that confer sterilizing immunity, e.g., against HPV. Unfortunately, none of the current Covid-19 vaccines appear to act like that.

                    • Brigid

                      The point I intended to make was that it's disingenuous to suggest the vaccine is not of much value because it doesn't guard against transmission particularly.

                      "Being vaccinated means I will not get as sick. I am still contagious if I do get infected. Masks and handwashing and bubbles of some sort will still be needed."

                      Yes, I think most of us understand that.

                    • weka

                      yeah, I think there's a semantic issue here. Some people taking being immune to mean they won't get the illness. That's not the case with the covid vaccine, so in that sense Rosemary is right. Others take immunity to mean what I would call partial immunity. Some level of immunity is provide by covid, but not in the way that many of us that grew up with vaccines understand (measles, polio etc).

                      We just need to increase nuance in language.

                      I'm also not sure that Rosemary is wrong about the messaging. I asked on twitter if people getting vaccinated were told at the time that they could still transmit the illness. Someone showed me this flyer they were given after they got vaccinated. This flyer doesn't tell people to keep on with all the other protocols because they can still transmit covid, which seems like a lost opportunity to say the least.

                    • Incognito []

                      No, in my opinion, this is more than simply semantics. It is about being clear about meaning of words, but it is also about understanding the scientific/medical concepts and terms that are generally very well defined, for a reason, using them in their appropriate context, and explaining clearly what they are and what they are not, and using them in and as truthful and impartial information and conclusions. In other words, it is about avoiding confusion and misconceptions that could easily mislead other people and perpetuate the spread of mis- and dis-information.

                      This becomes a bigger issue when combined with strong bias and negative attitudes towards a certain position on a topic. It becomes an even bigger issue when the topic involves measures to control a pandemic that comprise delicate, sensitive, complex, difficult, and controversial decisions by Government.

                      We’re not all experts on immunology and we have to learn, make mistakes, admit to these, correct them and each other, and improve our thinking and communication. In turn, this will make for better debate, better questioning, better informed consent, and better decisions overall. Who wouldn’t want that?

                      The question would be, as posited by some commenters here: why would people choose to get vaccinated if it does not confer immunity? Would make for an interesting poll.

                      Another way of putting it: why would the NZ Government spend well over $1billion on a vaccine if it does not confer immunity?

                      Instead, why not just jab people with neutralising therapeutic antibodies (nAbs) against Covid-19 if vaccines ‘don’t confer immunity’?

                      Doesn’t this strike you as absurd questions? Unfortunately, some people would take them seriously and at face value and answer them accordingly.

                    • weka

                      I'm still unclear on what Rosemary meant. I thought she was talking about partial immunity. Are you saying that she believes that vaccines don't work at all?

                      I agree about clarity and its importance. I also think there are often two or more languages being used to talk about medicine, and we need more than just the science one. This is why I would like to see everyone in this sub thread explain what they mean by immunity. Not long paragraphs of technical detail, but coming in from the outside it looked like people talking past each other over the full vs partial thing. Am happy to be proved wrong on this (and Rosemary is the one that can clear up what she meant).

                      "This becomes a bigger issue when combined with strong bias and negative attitudes towards a certain position on a topic."

                      True, but I see it on many sides, including the people who have great faith in science. Rosemary and I have a largely unspoken shared understanding of how disability plays into the debate, not necessarily vaccine damage, but how the health system routinely fails people and how people with faith in the system often ignore this.

                      I also have experience with alternative medicine and see ignorance and bigotry expressed against that from the people that have more faith in science (I have faith in both to varying degrees 😇). That leads into a broader conversation about evidence and wellbeing, which is something I would love to have, but it doesn't happen here often because of the scoffing. Which I can't be bothered with.

                    • Incognito []

                      Indeed, this is/was the point: what did/does Rosemary mean when she says that the vaccine doesn’t confer immunity to the virus, which essentially means that the vaccine is ineffective in mounting an immune response. If this were the case, it would never have been approved because of lack of efficacy. The ‘field trials’ (i.e., in real heterogeneous populations) also speak of effectivity of the vaccine. So, Rosemary’s assertion is utterly wrong and misleading.

                      Rosemary could have clarified and qualified here assertion, her claim of fact, but so far she has refused. Not good enough, as far as I’m concerned when it comes to Covid vaccination.

                      I hear you and respect Rosemary and your concerns about disability and the failures of the health system in NZ. I also hear you about the issue of alternative science. However, none of those issues apply here; it is/was not about pitching one faith against another.

                    • weka

                      Doesn’t this strike you as absurd questions? Unfortunately, some people would take them seriously and at face value and answer them accordingly.

                      Probably, but I'm not sure why you are tying them to Rosemary. Are you suggesting that her comments are a problem because people reading might misconstrue them in ways that affirm their beliefs about anti-vax?

                    • Incognito []


                    • weka

                      Ok. Well that's useful to know and helps me understand what you are doing and saying better. I disagree, I don't think commenters, or authors, can be held responsible for other people that they don't even know, misinterpreting their words through a series of mental gymnastics that the writer has no input on.

                      I mean, the whole point of what we do in comments here is hash out ideas, good, bad and ugly ones. If someone says something that's wrong or a problem or not understood, it's on the rest of us to point that out.

                      I would feel differently if someone put up an anti-vax post full of misinformation.

                    • Incognito []

                      When a comment is vague and ambiguous, the onus is on the commenter to do better. In fact, the onus is on commenters to avoid this in the first place, and be as clear as they can be to avoid possible confusion and misinterpretation. When presenting information, the onus is on the presenter to make sure this information is sound and underpinned by sound sources. In other words, responsibility for interpretation does not solely rest with the reader/recipient and it is not a binary, it is a two-way street, as is all communication.

                      Smart people with an agenda know how to manipulate these things and when it comes to Covid-19 (or sex/gender ID/self-ID, or Climate Change, for example) we know how much these simple rules of engagement matter.

                      Lastly, an ‘anti-vax post’ doesn’t have to be “full of misinformation” to be problematic to me. Misleading posts often contain a lot of truth and a little of untruth. Once these gain a foothold they’ll get distorted and amplified further on various platforms. This is how mis- and dis-information spreads (e.g., Dirty Politics); it is my goal here to break the transmission chain and get the R0 number under 1.

                • UncookedSelachimorpha

                  "But none of what you say addresses the very real issue that the message that the jabs do not confer immunity to the virus is not getting out."

                  The fact that vaccinated people can still catch and spread the virus is widely reported in the media. I'm double-jabbed, I know I can still become infected and then pass to others, as does everyone else I know who is vaccinated.


                  Not that any of that detracts from the huge benefits of being vaccinated.

                • Incognito

                  See my Moderation note @ 11:21 am.

                • weka

                  I've said below I think this is a semantics issue. Perhaps a solution here is to use phrases: partial immunity and full immunity. Those are lay persons terms. Happy to use medical terms as well if they're pointed out.

              • AB

                Yes. If every government in the world had acted like ours in Feb-Mar 2020 and been successful – then the future might look different. But that was never going to happen. We have mounted a brilliant holding operation until effective vaccines became available. The murderous lunacy of other governments in not even attempting to do the same is amazing.

                The future looks like very high rates of vaccination, protecting the most vulnerable, and some residual public health measures such as mask-wearing and maybe occasional lock-downs if local outbreaks get out of control. The intentionally unvaccinated remain a reservoir of infection for the rest of us and will be a potential drain on our healthcare resources. How we treat them will be a difficult problem – do we respect their choices or abandon them? And if we get a variant that out-runs vaccine development, then we go back to square one.

                • Andre

                  The intentionally unvaccinated remain a reservoir of infection for the rest of us and will be a potential drain on our healthcare resources.

                  Yup. And treating them has a devastating psychologically effect on the healthcare professionals trying to keep them alive. Because refusing the vaccine is so cluelessly pointless, and all the suffering and waste of resource is so easily and cheaply preventable.

                  If I were dictator, sometime about when the vaccination curve starts to level off, I'd put up big tents in the far corner of hospital parking lots and paint "Unvaccinated Covid Patient Wards" on them in big letters, and let it be known that three meals a day would be supplied and that's it as far as care provided. And barricade myself against the medical ethicists coming for me with torches and pitchforks.

                  If a variant emerges that evades the vaccine, we'll always have the option of closing up again for a while until we get a new vaccine that works against the new variant. With mRNA vaccine technology now having proven itself, and production facilities fully ramped up, it shouldn't take anywhere near as long as it has for the first round.

                  • The natural history of the disease and response to treatment in unvaccinated patients will become clearer and it will be useful experience for the teams managing them. Those who refuse treatment will add to information on the unmodified disease and provide opportunities for further research.

            • Incognito

              See my Moderation note @ 10:13 am.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              At around 3.20 the discussion turns to the vaccination status of truck drivers and in the absence of a vaccine mandate a company can choose to hire vaccinated drivers and/or send only vaccinated drivers across internal borders. The interviewer belaboured the point… as if a vaccinated driver crossing an internal border was somehow safer than an unvaccinated driver… when we all know that all of us should take precautions regardless of our vaccine status. Because vaccinated people can still infect others especially with the Delta variant.

              The 'casting a spell of immunity' was my take on it and I apologise for missing the mark humour wise.

              However…it seems to me to be highly presumptive to place the employment security of unvaccinated truck drivers (or any worker come to that) in jeopardy when, given the low level of vaccination in the country, the fact that they may be unvaccinated is most likely through no fault of their own.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                However…it seems to me to be highly presumptive to place the employment security of unvaccinated truck drivers (or any worker come to that) in jeopardy when, given the low level of vaccination in the country, the fact that they may be unvaccinated is most likely through no fault of their own.

                I see where you're coming from. Seems to me that if drivers on 'cross-Covid alert level' routes refuse the offer of a Covid vaccine, then they could be obliged (during a global pandemic) to accept clearly signalled employment consequences, e.g. re-assignment. It's a matter of choice.

                Truckies block Gold Coast highway protesting Covid-19 rules [30 August]
                News footage showed federal One Nation senator Pauline Hanson and her advisor James Ashby at the protest.

                Federal Employment Minister Stuart Roberts said the health orders were tough, but the truckies shouldn’t be inconveniencing thousands of people to make a point.

                He said truck drivers are important, but personal liberty needs to be balanced with public good.

                Vaccination seems to be the way for us to be able to get through this, to get back out of lockdown and to get ourselves back to the freedoms that we love here in Australia.

                The rest of the world is doing it. Sure, there is carnage left, right and centre, but there is carnage left, right and centre here.

                No-one wants it, it isn’t a perfect situation. I have taken the decision to get vaccined, get it done. It isn’t necessarily what I want to do, but it’s the only way to move forward.

                Will be interesting to follow up on whether the protest that Brock and other NSW truckies have staged cuts any ice with the QLD and federal govts.

              • The Al1en

                As the company I work for do essential work, all staff were given the option of getting the covid jab back in June. I would have no issue if those who refused (unless on medical grounds) were kept from entering the workplace until they complied, if that were ever enforceable.

      • Treetop 3.1.2

        The current outbreak is the biggest challenge that NZ has faced. Everyone is affected. It is about the government looking after the people they govern and the people and resources they need to manage the pandemic.

        Vaccination has been proven to reduce death and hospitalisation. Unfortunately break through cases of Covid occur in vaccinated people.

        Crisis time is most likely to occur with the Delta strain and crisis measures are required.

        I would like to know what the crisis measures are which the government will use?

    • tc 3.2

      Some merit in that with fauchi's indication that more than 90% may still not be sufficient.

      It may well come down to do as best you can then open up with those that choose no vax taking their chances.

      It's new turf and personal responsibility is just that… personal.

    • Treetop 3.3

      Closing the MIQ facilities cannot occur, they are needed for Covid positive community cases. Not everyone can isolate at home due to lack of space. Access to food could be an issue for some. Access to health care would be easier in MIQ.

      The bubble with Australia and the Olympic games required spaces in MIQ. Had these spaces not have been required, returning expats or essential workers the country needs, more would have had entry into NZ. Reuniting families of essential workers with NZ working visas would probably have occurred.

    • pat 3.4

      Prof. Rod Jackson explains the situation well in this mornings interview on RNZ….at the point it is deemed our health system can cope (based on analysis of vaccine rates) we will ease restrictions on our border


      • Treetop 3.4.1

        An ICU bed with Covid, I had not thought about the extra resources required until mentioned in the audio link.

        • tc

          Consider the legacy blojo, gladyator, trump etc are all leaving their health systems with long covid.

        • Sacha

          Lack of ICU staff and resources is why NZ went into our first tight lockdown last year like we did. Still a major weak point.

    • Largely agree bwag but it is BORDERS FFS not boarders.

      (Sorry this spelling has been seen on TS several times now and it is starting to irritate)

      • bwaghorn 3.5.1

        Noted ,but I'm going to blame that little spell checking goblin in my ph,

      • Tony 3.5.2

        Bearded git is starting to get irritated by a simple spelling mistake and already is using the FFS language, wow! Hate to see you get really ittitated .. I bet you are a barrel of laughs to be locked down with.

    • swordfish 3.6


      I reckons that there is a serious case to be argued for completely shutting the boarders to nz

      Just boarders ? … what about renters & people who own their own home ?

  2. arkie 4

    RIP Lee Scratch Perry

    "I tire of the trope that genius rides shotgun with madness, but few people were as weird or cast as long a shadow as Lee Perry," tweeted producer Steve Albini.

    "His records were shocking and became talismans for anybody who ever tried to manifest the sound in their head. Requiescat."


    • Sabine 4.1

      That is so sad.

    • gsays 4.2

      The term gets overused but Perry was a true original.

      I never tire if hearing songs with his prints on them.

      There is an interesting BBC doco in the net somewhere about The Upsetter.

  3. Adrian Thornton 5

    The USA are the modern masters at creating terrorism and terrorists….

    "Nine members of one family were killed in the US drone strike targeting a vehicle in a residential neighbourhood of Kabul, according to a relative of those killed reported by CNN. The overall civilian death toll remains unclear."


    ….though it has to be said that from what we are learning about this 20 year conflict, it was nothing more than a way to funnel money into the pockets of the usual capitalist pigs…so killing children and civilians and enraging/radicalizing more men would be right up their ally.

    “War Is a Racket”: The US War in Afghanistan Validates General Smedley Butler


    Was the Afghanistan War a failure? Not for the top five defense contractors and their shareholders.

    "These numbers suggest that it is incorrect to conclude that the Taliban’s immediate takeover of Afghanistan upon the U.S.’s departure means that the Afghanistan War was a failure. On the contrary, from the perspective of some of the most powerful people in the U.S., it may have been an extraordinary success. Notably, the boards of directors of all five defense contractors include retired top-level military officers."


    • Byd0nz 5.1

      Exactly right. So how long will it be, before the next US War of aggression and profit will be leveled at the next victim Country in line?
      The US being military regime with an economy based on the misery of war

      • Morrissey 5.1.1

        Their gunsights are still on Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Iran. All of those countries have committed the capital crime of conducting an independent foreign policy.

        • Brigid

          And Syria.

          In the meantime stealing their oil.

          • Byd0nz

            The danger is, now that the US is a laughing stock, they will try for a war they think they could actually win, but of course they will fail again like all unjust wars do. When will they ever learn, they are just not competent at war.

            • I read somewhere that the only 'war' the USA has successfully won since WW2 has been the invasion of Grenada in 1983.

              Small Caribbean islands had better watch out!

              • Morrissey

                They rolled triumphantly over Panama six years after taking out the dire threat of Grenada. They named it, hilariously, "Operation Just Cause."

              • Byd0nz

                Yea, coz Cubans were helping build an airstrip, that invasion had a news black out put in place.

    • aj 5.2

      "Nine members of one family were killed in the US drone strike targeting a vehicle in a residential neighbourhood of Kabul, according to a relative of those killed reported by CNN. The overall civilian death toll remains unclear."

      Did anyone really believe the msm reports that the operation was completely successful and the only casualties were the intended targets?

    • Jenny how to get there 5.3

      [Crikey! Yesterday, Lprent gave you a stern warning about posting links without explanation or commentary and today you do it again, thumbing your nose at Moderation here, with a YT clip of over 40 min that appears to off-topic too.

      Take a week off – Incognito]

  4. McFlock 6

    Andrew Geddis on Spinoff has an interesting comment on police overreach with covid rules.

    He covers the video of police confronting a guy with L4 rules because he was filming an arrest they were conducting (Weka posted the tweet with the video yesterday, but the videos got taken down), and a couple of other instances where cops relied on what they thought their powers were, rather than what they actually were.

    It's not a histrionic "fascism gone made" comment, and covers that some of these powers are needed at this time. But cops gonna be coppin', and will always push the extent of their authority.

    Although on that theme, I reckon the cops who didn't like being filmed would have found some other reason to demand details and threaten arrest. They're good at that…

    • solkta 6.1

      Yeh it didn't look much different to me from how they usually behave.

    • Cricklewood 6.2

      Yes they has been overreach, guidelines clearly say ypu can drive a short distance ie to a local park for exercise. My elderly parents were threatened with fines and were told driving to the park 5min drive away walks was a breach. Shook them up a bit.

      Before anyone wants to say they should of walked to they park they're old, the street they live on is very steep and slippery in winter whereas the local park is large and dead flat.

    • Jenny how to get there 6.3

      Wijohn threatened

      Pat O'Dea – The Daily Blog, August 29, 2021

      Former Green Party candidate and climate change activist Luke Wijohn has filmed police threatening him with arrest after he came across a group of officers pinning a man to the ground in Wellington.


  5. Morrissey 7

    As usual, Kathryn Ryan's foreign correspondent this morning was horrible

    RNZ National, Monday 30 August 2021, 9:50 a.m.

    Over the years, listeners to Nine to Noon have been afflicted at ten to ten each day with a hit of what is often shameless propaganda from some of the most bloody-minded propagandists on the planet. The line-up of grotesques masquerading as "foreign correspondents" has included U.K. correspondents Matthew Parris, who is an ex-Tory M.P., and Dame Ann Leslie ("Arrrrgggh! Every year we have to listen to the militant rabble rousingof the teacher unions!"); U.S. correspondent Jack Hitt who, on the very day that Chelsea Manning's show trial in Maryland began, chose to witter on about Game of Thrones instead [1]; and Israeli correspondent Irris Makler, who is possibly the most brutally dishonest of the lot of them. [2]

    This morning, listeners were subjected to yet another dim and dismal addition to Ryan's dim and dismal line up: "our Latin America correspondent, the BBC's Katie Watson." She was not as shamelessly partisan as Dame Ann or Irris Makler; her problem—and ours—was that her "report" was at about the level of a substandard Year 10 student's Social Studies homework.

    First topic for the once-over-lightly this morning was Brazil. Watson stated that Jair Bolsonaro "won" the 2019 election because "people were fed up with the Workers' Party." She did not mention—and, crucially, Ryan did not press her on this—that the most popular politician in the country, Luiz Inácio da Silva, had been imprisoned on trumped-up charges and that his successor Dilma Roussef had been ousted in a farcical judicial coup, following an avalanche of disinformation and character assassination by the right wing political establishment and its media accomplices, to be replaced by the Iago figure of Michel Temer.

    That assault against democracy happened in 2016—Standardisti may recall spectators at the Rio Olympics waving "FORA TEMER" protest signs during some events. But Katie Watson's "report" rigorously excluded any context, and she talked as if Bolsonaro had won a normal democratic election.

    Topic 2 was Venezuela; Watson spoke of the "opposition leader Juan Guaidó" as if he were a normal democratic politician; she chose not to mention the fact that he has zero credibility and even less support in Venezuela. [3] He is supported, however, by the Washington political class and its media servants like Katie Watson.

    Last but not least was a "feel good" story about swamp rats in Argentina. Unlike the first two items, this one had some actual substance to it.

    [1] https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-04062013/#comment-643309

    [2] https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-18-01-2018/#comment-1437205

    [3] https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/The-Making-of-Juan-Guaido-US-Regime-Change-Laboratory-At-Work-20190129-0021.html

  6. Stuart Munro 8

    Is anyone else getting unsolicited calls from an outfit offering to 'train' them in derivatives trading? Some decidedly non-local voices – it reminds me of the various 'microsoft' and 'spark' scam callers we had a few years back, this kind of thing:

    Three arrested over 'phone scams' which has allegedly cost elderly thousands | Stuff.co.nz

    • Graeme 8.1

      I get them all the time, all from overseas but sometimes showing a NZ number. You can assume whatever number they show is fake anyway. Got to the point that I dump any unfamiliar number to voicemail. They never leave a message

    • Morrissey 8.2

      Interesting, Stuart, that you placed this item about shonky derivatives traders directly under a discussion about John Key.

      I presume that was deliberate? devil yes

  7. Anker 9

    numbers look better for Auckland today…..but less testing over the w/e

    i note the govt are now releasing covid no’s. before the 1pm presser. Methinks that is what most people tune in for, so therefore less likely to watch at 1pm and therefore avoid the media “holding them to account” aka desperately finding any small issue to blow out of proportion…but just my reckond

    • Forget now 9.1

      I am liking the shape of the curve, but as you say; Anker, that may be due to reduced testing on Sunday.


      Though isn't the press conference at 4pm today (with PAL announcement), rather than 1pm? Hence the early announcement of numbers (53 in community).

      • Cricklewood 9.1.1

        I overlook a testing station its been a ghost town for the last 4 days prior to that it was packed hundereds of cars 6am queues etc… cases will fall purely based on less testing.

        • McFlock

          we-ell not necessarily, if the bulk of tests are due to an abundance of caution rather than likely contact or symptoms. We might find that the ones being cautious leave it, while the ones who are really worried or have been instructed to get tests still test at a similar rate.

          80 to 50 is a big jump, sure. But not out of the realm of hope – in march/april last year it went up pretty smoothly and then went from 89 to 67, and kept going down.

          Here's hoping….

          • Cricklewood

            Sure there's definitely truth to that and im sure the test return time which had pushed out 4-5 days is now shortening,

            I'd love to know how many people with Delta are asymptomatic was talked about alot with the first waves of Covid esp even of our current cases it would he interesting to know. Really high test numbers esp given how many places of interest there are I hope pick up those asymptomatic cases that could be very problematic and likely to become more prevalent as vacc rates increase.

            We need to keep test numbers very high and fast return at home type tests would be really useful in that regard.

      • Anker 9.1.2

        I think the last few days they have announced the approx numbers. But I could be wrong about their motivation in so doing.

        I am keeping my fingers crossed that the 53 cases today means we are defeating Delta

  8. Stephen D 10

    Pablo well worth reading on foreign policy matters.


    Not sure I agree with his conclusion though.

    “More can be added to this litany of unhappiness but for the moment the point is this: the era of liberal internationalism has come to an end as both a practical objective and a foreign policy theory. It remains to be seen what will emerge in its stead once the repercussions of the pandemic and US decline fully filter throughout the global community. But therein lies a basis for hope, because in a multipolar world in which no one actor can impose its vision of the “proper” order of things and yet the need for international cooperation is more apparent than ever, perhaps the makings of more equitable and balanced global society can be made.”

    Things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. The COVID vaccine debacle worldwide shows us that international cooperation is along way away.

    • Ad 10.1

      If Pablo can't figure out things worth fighting for, he's not much use as a commentator on any international conflict.

      Pablo might want to focus on which conflicts are likely to come before the UN Security Council: Actions with Respect to Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression.


      There's a few out there that don't require the entire international multilateral system to collapse first.

      • Morrissey 10.1.1

        Thanks for that, Ad.

        Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations provides the framework within which the Security Council may take enforcement action. It allows the Council to "determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression" and to make recommendations or to resort to non-military and military action to "maintain or restore international peace and security".

        That is a clear warning, surely, to the regimes in Washington, London, and Tel Aviv, as well as their vassals in Ottawa and Canberra.

        • Ad

          I can't figure out now whether action in the UN Security Council in terms of mandated intervention is now worse than inaction. Maybe I'm having a minor theo-political crisis and just need to open another Penfolds GSM.

  9. Rosemary McDonald 11

    Also addressing a man made existential threat is the upcoming People's Inquiry .

    The online public hearing begins on the 2nd September.

    This is a public hearing, everyone is welcome to attend and listen to survivors, advocates, scientists, researchers share their oral testimony on the impacts of toxic chemicals and poisons.

  10. Liam W 12

    I am concerned by the recent announcements by the Government that they cannot maintain the current rate of vaccinations, and that our next big shipment of Pfizer isn't due till late October.

    Frankly, I think they have made a mistake not choosing to use other vaccines alongside Pfizer. We should be able to maintain that pace through the use of other vaccines. The sooner people are vaccinated the sooner our economy can start to open back up.

    Which is key to everyone's wellbeing. I hope these questions are asked…


    • Incognito 12.1

      Here’s the timeline of Medsafe approvals of Covid-19 vaccines in NZ: https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/COVID-19/status-of-applications.asp

      IIRC, they said yesterday that a new vaccine would (could?) slow down the current vaccination roll-out.

      I’m concerned that you think that opening up the economy is key to everyone’s wellbeing. You might want to elaborate on that.

      • Liam W 12.1.1

        Obviously introducing a new vaccine could complicate the roll-out – but I'm sure those risks could be mitigated, especially if they are actually potentially having to dial down capacity in some areas due to the shortage.

        Those would be the areas I would propose another vaccine could be implemented, also Janssen is only one shot which would simplify things a bit, you wouldn't been to worry about them being booked back in for the wrong vaccine etc.

        I kind of expected that mentioning of the economy would open me up to being framed negatively.

        What I mean to say is that opening back up is where we want to be in terms of citizens being able to do the things they value – see their families, get back to work, access healthcare, travel, go shopping, move house etc. The economy is not an end in itself.

    • Andre 12.2

      Yeah, nah.

      IIRC, there were good reasons to go exclusively with Pfizer. That hasn't changed. Not least of which is the Pfizer is arguably the best-performing of the four vaccines we did an early sign-up for, with lowest risks of adverse events.

      Now that we have a good argument that our need has become somewhat more urgent, I reckon there's a good chance Pfizer will be able to flip a few more our way a bit sooner.

      After all, the crazy high rate of vaccine refusal in the US means there's probably tens of millions of doses that Pfizer had penciled in for sale in the US that they'll be looking for alternate customers for.

  11. Trouble brewing between WA (which has implemented a highly successful Covid lockdown) and the federal government (which opposes lockdowns and supports a Boris-style opening of the borders) today. From the Sydney Morning Herald just now:

    "Mr McGowan [WA Premier] fired back at a press conference earlier today. I really find it odd that [the federal Treasurer] says things like this, Mr McGowan said.“NSW is in a catastrophic situation and he’s worried about people flying to Bali. Perhaps instead of attacking us they should show a bit of gratitude and appreciation for what Western Australia has done. Over the course of last 19 months we kept all have our industries open. We kept our mining industry open and COVID free, we poured countless billions of dollars into the federal treasury, which they are now pouring countless billions of dollars into NSW.”

  12. Jester 14

    Does anyone know how the Covid patient is doing in Middlemore that was flown in from Fiji?

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