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Open mike 31/03/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 31st, 2022 - 159 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 …

159 comments on “Open mike 31/03/2022 ”

  1. Jenny how to get there 1

    Russia's version of the swastika appears in New Zealand.


    It is interesting but not surprising that the symbol of Russian fascism was put on a zero emissions vehicle, the intersection of the far right with climate change denial is well documented.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    A thoughtful examination of leftism in relation to NATO:

    History is often viewed as an inexorable march of progress and development from the barbarism of war to enlightened peace. This seems to be the underlying thinking of NATO’s left-wing detractors.

    But just as Rome fell, peace and progress are never inevitable, nor should they ever be taken for granted. Francis Fukuyama’s argument that we have reached the end of history has been widely derided by many on the left who find the idea that humanity will not progress past neoliberal democracy absurd.

    I agree with them—but in looking only forward, they have failed to look back. The fact that they see capitalist liberal democracy as the archenemy of peace and progress is not only extraordinarily privileged but terrifyingly dangerous.


    Simplemindedness is dangerous in geopolitics, true. But the implication that capitalist liberal democracy is preferable is also banal. Binary thinking that frames alternatives as either bad or good is part of the problem.

    Russia's war driven by autocracy will teach the young that democracy can only prevail on the basis of collective strength and the use of force to defeat autocrats. History is recycling this old lesson. So peacemakers need to demonstrate their expertise by doing. Chanting slogans at everyone else no longer works.

    • Descendant Of Smith 2.1

      "The fact that they see capitalist liberal democracy as the archenemy of peace and progress is not only extraordinarily privileged but terrifyingly dangerous."

      I'm not sure that premise is in any way true. Most seem to believe that a mixed economy with a better balance between capitalism and socialism is where we should be. Something that compensates for the market failure of capitalism and the uneven distribution of wealth. Much of that debate is about where that balance sits.

      Alongside that are good questions about the power of the military–industrial complex and its influence on public policy and certainly from my own perspective the rise of the religious right.

      There is little call for full blown communist models – the world has seen what that delivered and didn't like it – Putin and China's excesses have probably destroyed any chance of a resurgence in Western desire for that option.

      The right however continues to undermine itself through dirty politics and bull-shit like this below which sadly reinforces he hijacking of capitalism by morons and the degree of selfishness and disrespect it has for ordinary people. Therein lies modern capitalisms problem. It has it's head so far up its own arse it can't see what it is doing wrong. The increasing disparity occurring is a vain but banal self indulgence – one that isn't necessary and could be at least improved if not fixed without too much difficulty. In short capitalism, like self-regulation, is seemingly unable to curb it own excesses. Maybe one day it will reach a level of maturity when it will but for now its proponents continue to think in the main like feckless teenagers.

      A campaign of misogynistic online trolling against left-wing female politicians originated from a house owned by a Young Nat and community board hopeful.

      However, Bryce Beattie, the account holder behind an IP address used to create a fake social media account targeting at least three women politicians, denies any involvement or knowledge in the harassment.

      Beattie, a 26-year-old IT business development manager who lives in Christchurch, accepts this activity must have occurred from his property, but said he has had numerous flatmates over the past 12 months, and he lives with two other people at the moment. One of those flatmates is also understood to be a Young Nat.


      • Peter 2.1.1

        Ah, the Andrew Falloon defence from Bryce Beattie. "I was at a party and someone else used my phone."

        Here it's on the lines of, "It wasn't me, someone else used my IP address. " Sounds like a poser?

        BB+IP=x x=? I reckon the answer is obvious.

      • joe90 2.1.2

        Cowardly turd deleted his linked in page.


      • Adrian Thornton 2.1.3

        @Descendant Of Smith,
        "There is little call for full blown communist models…Putin and China's excesses have probably destroyed any chance of a resurgence in Western desire for that option".

        Can you please point to that part in history when Putin ran a Communist Russia please?…I must of missed that bit.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          Doesn't matter whether he did or not and we both know he didn't.

          The public believe that it was communism and have been strongly conditioned to think so.

          I have much respect for the old fashioned communists in this country. They gave us the welfare state, they fought fascism, they gave us unions, they gave us co-operatives they gave us a much, much better way of looking at the world and the relationship between employers and their exploited workers.

          Capitalism fears both socialism and communism – the embargoes on Cuba are a really good example of this fear. How much better Cuba could be if it could sell its goods on the open market, have freely available tourism, etc. Capitalism – who pretends to be free – simply won't allow such competition.

          • Adrian Thornton

            "Capitalism fears both socialism and communism"..true that…and Liberal Centrists…like at least half of the contributors on this site.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 2.1.4

        Most seem to believe that a mixed economy with a better balance between capitalism and socialism is where we should be. Something that compensates for the market failure of capitalism and the uneven distribution of wealth. Much of that debate is about where that balance sits.

        yes Thanks for putting it (“where that balance sits“) so clearly. Also liked this essay, which KJT linked to here.

        The chain across the river [13 March 2022]
        The second largest line item in the government’s welfare spend is the accommodation supplement (superannuation is the largest). If you factor in emergency housing grants it costs about two billion dollars a year, nearly doubling over the last three years. And this sounds like it should be a progressive policy because it’s helping the poorest people in the country meet their living costs. But in reality it functions as a gigantic wealth transfer to the rich, who own the houses and motels. The US political scientist Steven Teles calls this “cost disease socialism”: you take a sector broken by regulatory capture and rent-seeking, and instead of solving those problems the state pours the public’s money into it. It’s a mind-blowingly expensive way to look like you’re doing something without accomplishing anything or helping anyone. Except the landlords. Or, in the case of power prices and the government’s winter energy subsidies, the power companies which are mostly majority owned by the state itself. The public subsidises the state’s own rent-seeking.

        The goal is to change the system, which begins with seeing it. Most people who follow politics do so the same way sports fans follow a game: you cheer your side and hiss at their opponents. I want people to stop looking at the teams or individuals and see these systems at work: “private-sector anticapitalism”; “upwardly redistributive socialism”; regulatory capture. Rent-seeking. Because I think that once you start looking you’ll see them everywhere. And you’ll see that both factions ritualistically manufacture ideology about socialism or revolution, freedom or capitalism, not to deceive the rest of us but primarily to delude themselves, and so conceal the true foundations of our politics, the low behind the high.

      • Corey Humm 2.1.5


        Im more of an anti neoliberal than a socialist these days. I want socialist or universalism to fill in the gaps of capitalism and I want regulated capitalism to be rethought and reinvented to exist in a world with finite resources and I want the current crony capitalist system done away with…

        Most people who claim to want a socialist state would hate a socialist state.

        I believe there's a huge part to play for govt but I don't want govt to control every industry, I do want govt owned enterprises to compete with private companies in things like housing development and where there are duopololies but I don't want a bloated govt owned monopoly in every industry. I think govt sucks at delivering certain things but for housing development and key infrastructure govt needs to play a bigger role.

        A regulated non crony capitalist stew with liberal, socialist, Keynesian, conservative and interventionist seasoning.

        Noones giving up property rights and noones giving up the ability to rise above their station by working harder.

        I consider myself proudly center left but a quite a bit more reformist left than labour NZ but absolutely on the center left.

        Mostly I despise neoliberalism

    • Adrian Thornton 2.2

      "Russia's war driven by autocracy will teach the young that democracy can only prevail on the basis of collective strength and the use of force to defeat autocrats"….incorrect… young people will (or should) learn the obvious and only lesson that this moment teaches, ie; that illegal wars can be conducted by the most powerful nations with zero international consequences (not accounting for the blowback gendered by those wars)..while less power countries and their populations will be made to suffer by direct action from those same powerful countries for conducting similar illegal wars.

      • Francesca 2.2.1

        The retreat of Russian forces from Kiev and Chernihiv is in line with phase 2 of the operation , having degraded Kiev's ability to reinforce Ukrainian military outside of Kiev, eg Mariupol, Russian forces can concentrate on the encirclement of 60,000 Ukr soldiers in the Donbas

        They can also draw the Ukrainian forces away from the urban Kiev areas

        As to Russia deliberately targeting civilians, there is this to consider:

        From behind a paywall so I copy and paste

        “If there is military equipment there and [the Russians] are saying we are launching at this military equipment, it undermines an assertion that they are attacking intentionally civilian objects and civilians,” said Richard Weir, a researcher in Human Rights Watch’s crisis and conflict division, who is working in Ukraine.

        Over the past month, Washington Post journalists have witnessed Ukrainian antitank rockets, antiaircraft guns and armored personnel carriers placed near apartment buildings. In one vacant lot, Post journalists spotted a truck carrying a Grad multiple rocket launcher. Checkpoints with armed men, barricades of sandbags and tires, and boxes of molotov cocktails are ubiquitous on city highways and residential streets. The sound of outgoing rockets and artillery can be heard constantly in Kyiv, the capital, the squiggly white trails of missiles visible in the sky.

        The Ukrainian military has “a responsibility under international law” to remove their forces and equipment from civilian-populated areas, and if that is not possible, to move civilians out of those areas, Weir said.

        “If they don’t do that, that is a violation of the laws of war,” he added. “Because what they are doing is they are putting civilians at risk. Because all that military equipment are legitimate targets.”


        • Francesca

          The market in Kiev the Russians hit?

          Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers warn journalists not to take photos or video of military checkpoints, equipment, fortifications or impromptu bases inside the city to avoid alerting Russians to their locations. One Ukrainian blogger uploaded a TikTok post of a Ukrainian tank and other military vehicles positioned at a shopping mall. The mall was later destroyed March 20 in a Russian strike that killed eight people.

          There is no proof that the TikTok post led to the strike. On Facebook, a person supportive of the Ukrainian military urged that the man be hunted down for revealing Ukrainian military positions “for the sake of likes” on social media. “I pay $500 for any information about this author on TikTok. ID, residence address, contact details.” The Security Service of Ukraine later said it had arrested the blogger.


        • joe90

          Russia under Putin has indiscriminately killed civilians in Chechnya, Georgia, Syria, and Ukraine. It’s a Russian tactic. Ukraine isn’t causing it.

      • Dennis Frank 2.2.2

        The reason I'm right & you're wrong is human nature: progress happens via empowerment & activism. Your learning teaches the young to be impotent. That only works with those who are inadequate by nature.

        Funny how some leftists keep failing to learn from the Chamberlain/Munich appeasement of autocrats failure, eh? Like a blind spot in the psyche, disabling usage of the intellect.

        Anyway, the generation emerging into adulthood now is really the bunch I was referring to. In those formative years we get a general grasp on what seems to work and what doesn't, in society. Threats from autocrats will produce a natural learning response via watching how older generations deal with the threats.

        • Adrian Thornton

          So what part of my initial comment to you, did you disagree with specifically?

          • Dennis Frank

            I'm right & you're wrong

            I apologise for that knee-jerk binary framing! I got triggered by your comment that my prediction of the learning the young would get from the invasion was incorrect. I don't actually disagree with your alternative – so I suspect we're both right about what they'll learn… angel

        • Subliminal

          You do realise that Chamberlain (Munich) and Vietnam get trotted out at every war or confrontation since Korea. Probably wearing a bit thin now.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Probably because those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it

            • Subliminal

              The main problem with using Chamberlain is that both sides to a conflict could use it. Putin could feel justified using it confronted by neo nazi Ukrainian or Ukraine against Hitler personified as Putin. Generally, both sides will see themselves as Good fighting against Evil.

              • In Vino

                Personally, I get utterly bored with Chamberlain and Munich being trotted out on every occasion. No matter what, it is an exhortation to aggression and war.

                There is actually a lot of history behind the Munich thing that too many people are ignorant of.

      • GreenBus 2.2.3

        2.2 Adrian

        Just curious. What constitutes a LEGAL war?

        A: Superpower?

  3. Pataua4life 3


    Most transparent Govt ever! my arse.

    This is why the current Labour Govt need to be chucked out.

    Hubris and arrogance have taken over this lot quicker than any I remember


    • Dennis Frank 3.1

      Just Labour using deceit strategies as usual. The basic idea is to preach transparency and practise opacity simultaneously. The gamble lies in seeing how many voters get repelled by their hypocrisy. Younger voters will lap it up – hypocrisy has too many syllables for them to get their heads around.

      However I was unimpressed when I read this by Soper earlier. He'd have more credibility if he demonstrated a track record of complaint against National doing exactly the same thing. Does democracy make politicians morally corrupt? Looking at National & Labour, you'd be tempted to answer yes. Soper's so thick he can't even pose the question let alone attempt an answer.

    • Barfly 3.2

      You should consider watching your diet – All the 'bloody raw meat' Soper is feeding you may be bad for your health.

    • mac1 3.3

      I could not understand why tents and sprinklers were brought into Soper's argument that National's move to summon the Police Commissioner was blocked, when the PC was not involved in the decisions.

      Soper's description of the PC as being 'featherbedded' is a use of an old term of union bashing and was uncalled for, especially when there is another and more appropriate vehicle. The Police Complaints Authority has every right and independence to make investigations.

      I expect the National opposition to make a play of the fact that the above mentioned authority has some 2000 complaints before it from the parliamentary protesters. There is an irony in that since National have used a ploy of filing huge amounts of written parliamentary questions to clog the system.

      Soper’s opinion piece just seemed to be a gathering together of various complaints that some have with the Speaker and Government, and should be read as such.

      It’s a conflated grumble.

      • Gypsy 3.3.1

        The term 'featherbedding' is a well known expression beyond it's union connotation. From the Oxford "provide (someone) with excessively favourable economic or working conditions. E.g. "apart from the fees he earns, a practising barrister is not feather-bedded in any way"". Here's another example of usage "The federal commission charged with commemorating 250 years of American independence in 2026 is at war with itself over allegations of featherbedding, favoritism and misappropriation of taxpayer funds. — Jess Bravin, wsj.com, 19 Mar. 2022 "

        • Jimmy

          I'm quite proud of the fact that I have never been a member of a union.

          • mac1

            Nor an association, guild, Federation, or other grouping of like-minded individuals in mutual protection and unified voice?

            We had a long term letter writer in our local paper for many years- Anti-featherbedder was his pseudonym- and he was definitely anti-union.

            I was a member of a school board of governors when the chairman fulminated against the teachers' union, the post Primary Teacher's Association. I had some delight in pointing out to him that he too was a members of a union/ association/ guild/ federation, as an accountant.

            • Gypsy

              I don't have a problem with people voluntarily joining any association of individuals.

            • Blade

              To be fair, as an accountant, his union didn't have access to the impressionable minds of school children.

              • KJT

                You sure.

                Accountants and Lawyers are inordinately represented in Parliament.

                You know, the people who have the final day on the school curriculum

              • mac1

                Access to which you imply we took advantage of in an inappropriate way, Blade?

                You have just cast a very wrong aspersion on 100,000 of your fellow citizens, you know that, in a cheap shot that reflects that you didn't pay attention to the real education that your teachers offered in terms of fairness, factual argument, social ethics and honesty?

                I’m a former teacher, Blade, so don’t object if you get called out for such a slur. The union is its members.

                • Blade

                  Yeah, my family are heavily involved in teaching. Eight at the last count.

                  I don't resile from what I believe.

                  Lindsay Perigo put it more bluntly. He called the current education system ''child molesters of the mind.''

                  When Man Made Climate Change is taught as fact. When undue resources are aimed at Maori and not the three Rs. When the education Ministry can't even get its exam marking correct. What is a rational person to think?

                  BTW – were you influenced by Paulo Freire ?

                  What is Paulo Freire's theory?

                  ''Influenced by Marx, Freire believed that the prevalent ideas of a society are always the ideas of those groups who hold power. He says that sometimes teachers operate on the belief that they teach in a vacuum and that they can close the classroom door on outside influences''

                  https://ncca.ie › media › paulo-freire-v2

                  • mac1

                    A rational person thinks- with reason. A rational person does not make prejudicial and unsubstantiated gross generalisations.

                    Run your beliefs about their access to impressionable minds past your teaching whanau and ask them whether their union has access to the impressionable minds of school children.

                    No, not been influenced by Freire AFAIK, but note that he does use a small but important qualifier in your selected statement- 'sometimes'.

                    • Blade


                      It seems I get bashed on this blog for stating the obvious…and maybe the truth?

                    • Incognito []

                      This is not how it works when you’re in Pre-Moderation until you respond to moderation.

                      If you get released back onto the reserve soon I might restore your comment in full and if I have time.

                    • In Vino

                      Thank you mac1. Blade deserves a huge thumbs down for his deranged right-wing load of bollocks.

                    • Blade

                      Yes, I have read your Mod notice. Is this what Weka was alluding to down below?


                      ''You know to check the Replies list. You’re in premod, and need to respond to a mod note from last time you commented. Please do this now, so other mods don’t have to check the Premod list to see what comments need released.''

                    • Incognito []

                      I’m waiting for your adequate or inadequate response to my Mod note to you. That will decide what happens next. Have a good night.

                    • Blade

                      There will be no more responses to you.

                      You asked for a link to back my assertions up… you received one.

                      You also received an explanation for my first post just being a link ( and wasting your time)…as the time stamp proves.

                      This is just a carry on from my last two week ban that was blatant bs. Although that wasn't your doing.

                      [The other Moderator warned you of exponential bans, but I think that’s OTT, so I have quadratically increased your previous ban of 2 weeks to 4 weeks this time (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-23-02-2022/#comment-1867085).

                      The reasons are pretty much unchanged, but to expand a little on the previous ban note: when you make bold claims and make statements of fact, especially about an individual, you need to be able to back it up with bold evidence. The best you came up with was one link only with some anecdotal stuff from an anonymous source and some reference to similar stuff somewhere else that you’d heard some other time on talkback. You were warned that this was not good enough – anybody can make up shit nowadays thinking that they can get away with it as ‘if it sounds good enough, it is good enough’.

                      Of course, you could have retracted everything and apologised. However, in this case, you would have had to withdraw a whole campaign of comments posted here over a length of time, which would have made you look like a disingenuous troll, at best. I want a break of your BS and if you don’t like it then don’t come back. If you do come back then you’ll have to play by our rules – Incognito]

                    • Incognito []

                      Mod note

            • Jimmy

              As an accountant, I assume you mean he was a member of the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants? I wouldn't consider them a Union. Cant say I can remember the last time Ernst & Young, Delloittes or KPMG went on strike.

              The Tax Payers Union? Ar ethey a real union?

              • mac1

                Your comment shows you don't know what a union does- possibly because you proudly never joined one……

          • Patricia Bremner

            Why Jimmy? It just means you have not worked with others in an organised waysurprise to achieve a goal.

            • Jimmy

              What utter rubbish! So only Union members can work as a team to achieve a goal?

              At work here we have no union members which is probably why the company is so efficient. And we certainly hit our KPI's. And most employees are long term as we pay well above minimum pay rates.

            • Jilly Bee

              My thoughts too Patricia, I worked for a professional association (union) who works with teaching and support staff in the private/independent sector. Membership is totally voluntary and they work with staff on collective or individal agreements, the latter group often being treated quite abysmally, especially when I worked in the early 2000s. Jimmy's and Blade's comments/assertions make my blood boil.

            • Puckish Rogue

              So where do the armed services fit with this?

          • McFlock

            I once met an ACT dude who was proud that "I've Been Thinking" was the only book he'd ever completely read.

            People are proud of the strangest things.

          • Incognito

            But Jimmy, you’re a proud member of the commentariat of The Standard, which has strong historical roots in the Labour movement. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labour_movement

            Membership is free and your enthusiastic contribution here is priceless.

            • Jimmy

              LOL…I have to expand my thinking! I didn't realise that commenting here meant that I was a union member! Let me re-phrase, regarding work places/ employment even as a young bloke when offered to join a union at work none of us did and we have all done pretty well negotiating our own employment situations (jobs).

              • Incognito

                You’re a voluntary member here and volunteering your time to, for, and with other members.

                You may have had an even better outcome from employment negotiations as a collective, the idea being that members are having each other’s backs and the best negotiators are sitting at the table.

        • Red lion seratus

          " to give favourable treatment to a particular group of people esp financially. The verb is often used in connection with companies giving large wage settlements to certain trade unions or to governments favouring certain sections of the community with subsidies" Brewers pg 193, 1991 ed

      • Incognito 3.3.2

        It’s a conflated grumble.

        More like a conflated dog-whistle.

    • Jimmy 3.4

      Jacinda should never have said they would be the most transparent government as they clearly have no intention to be.
      However, coming from Soper, we must remember he is now very one eyed.

    • Blade 3.5

      You seem to have massaged a sore spot, P4l. The drones are in a foul brood.

      I said at the time, Costa and his actions and his relationship with the government needed close scrutiny.

      But it seems the messenger has been stung and there's nothing to see here.

      One things for sure – Costa should have his CV ready if National becomes the government. My only concern is how much will the taxpayer be forking out to see the back of him?

      • KJT 3.5.1

        Yeah. No chance of National keeping a commissioner with a brain, and an intelligent approach.

        • Blade

          Well, violent crime, shootings and general disintegration of society paint a different picture.

          Law and Order may morph into a bigger election issue than the economy if general trends continue. If one cop dies before the election, it definitely will be the number one issue on the election trail.

          I don't see any hard arse approach to crime from our political parties at the moment.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            "It's a terrible thing to live in fear."

            Well, violent crime, shootings and general disintegration of society paint a different picture.

            Well Blade, you certainly paint a 'different' picture. Since 2012 "the number of charges for violent offences has decreased by 20% (from 36,090 charges in 2012 to 28,948 charges in 2021)", while NZ’s population has increased by 9%.

            Imho most human violence is repugnant, so I do hope that this overall downward trend, during the terms of both Labour and National-led governments, gives you some cause for comfort.

            Number of charges for violent offences, 2012 – 2021

            2012 – 36,090
            2013 – 33,143
            2014 – 29,355
            2015 – 30,323
            2016 – 31,585
            2017 – 33,133
            2018 – 31,711
            2019 – 30,548
            2020 – 31,856
            2021 – 28,948

            [downloads Excel spreadsheet]

            Miss Minnie Bannister used many opportunities to say "We'll all be murdered in our beds!" or something along similar lines; after being swallowed by a tiger: "We'll all be murdered in our tigers!", or in "Shangri-La Again": "We'll all be murdered in our monasteries!"

            • In "The End Confessions Of A Secret Sennapod Drinker", Minnie gives a legitimate reason for her catchphrase – as Jack the Ripper was never caught, she believes he's waiting until the outcry about his murders have died down…"And then we'll all be murdered in our beds!"


          • Crashcart

            Overall charges and convictions are trending down and have been for a few years now. Looking at the numbers homicide and sexual assault are about the same and violent assualt is trending down. This is from courts though so is not reported crimes.


            • Descendant Of Smith

              Most bad stuff has been trending down as the population ages. Baby boomers committed heaps of crime when they were young – now not so much.

              They'll try and say they didn't but we had lots and lots of institutions that will say they did – some of which clearly compounded the problem.

              This is generally true across all OECD countries. Access to legal abortion has also played a part with far less children born into difficult circumstances – though we are doing our best to get back into a shitty position with our dire non-efforts to fix the poverty gap. Still the same vested interests who made money off the poor back then are looking to do the same now – landlords, churches, givers of credit……….

              Our predecessors improved things quite simply by ensuring:

              1. Good state housing which removed slum landlords
              2. Free education to lift people to be paid back through taxation when your earnings capacity was high (except the baby boomers forgot to pay it back)
              3. Jobs in the public service for youth and those who were unwell/had limited capability that the private sector was not interested in
              4. Superannuation for old people
              5. Support for children through universal family benefit and for non-working spouses through tax rebates.

              (Universal is best because you are not pitting one set of NZer's against the other and it is cheap to administer).

              None of this is rocket science.

              • KJT

                All correct except for 'Boomers forgot to pay it back".

                Boomers started with a 60% top tax rate.

                The next generation are reneging on student loans in droves, while voting for tax cuts.

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  Started with correct but the intention always was that it was repaid when they were at peak earning capacity and across their lifetime. The oldest boomers were only 41 when tax rates were cut, the youngest 23. Nowhere near peak earning capacity but had benefitted from the universal family benefit, the rebates for having a non-working spouse and being able to claim the cost of life insurance for instance.

                  The tail end of the boomers to be fair lost all those things as well and we must remember that Roger Douglas and ilk were not baby boomers but pre-dated them but in the main the changes to lower tax were made while the boomers were still young.

                  "Income tax was introduced in New Zealand by the Liberal Government in 1891. The tax did not apply to individuals with income less than £300 per annum, which exempted most of the population, and the top rate was 5%. Most government revenue came from customs, land, death and stamp duties.

                  The top rate rose to 6.67% by 1914. During World War I, revenue from income tax increased greatly, becoming the largest source of tax, in place of customs duties. But, still only 12,000 people of an adult population of 700,000 earned above the £300 threshold and were taxed. The top rate was 43.75% in 1921. Tax rates were lowered in the 1920s and in 1930 the top income tax rate was set to 29.25%, and the threshold lowered to £260 of annual income.

                  By 1939, and before World War II, the top rate was 42.9%. During the war, there were huge rises in the top rate, taking it to 90%. It dropped to 76.5 percent by the end of the 1940s. The working class still paid little or no income tax.

                  The top rate was 60% in 1982, until Robert Muldoon's National Government raised it to 66% that year. The Fourth Labour Government, with David Lange as prime minister and Roger Douglas as finance minister, introduced a goods and services tax in 1986 and then reduced the top income tax rate from 66% to 48% in 1988 and then 33% in 1989. The Fifth Labour Government raised it to 39% in 2000."


                  Over time the tax burden has shifted downwards while the extraction of income and profit has gone upwards Taxation has moved from the wealthy (land tax, death duties, import duties, stamp duties) to the working class wages and spending.

                  The biggest lie was employers saying "lower our tax rates so we can afford to pay workers more".

                  • KJT

                    You should also note that less than 10% of boomers got the "Free Tertiary education".

                    Working class tax payers, I was one of them from the age of 17, paid for the children of the rich to infest the ski fields on tax payer dollars.
                    At least though, thanks to Unions, we were getting decent wages even if half was going in taxes.

                    Ask todays University students if they want a return of the pre 1980's "Free tertiary education" but it will be rationed to less than 10% of them,and top tax rates return to 66% to pay for it?
                    And employers, if they want to pay for training instead of employees and the Government. They are already whinging about having to pay wages.

                    Put it like that, you won't have many takers.

                    And. Employers, of course, want tax rates to go down, so they can continue to pay less. Putting their business costs onto those of us, who do pay taxes.

                  • KJT

                    The "great tax swap" increased taxes on lower income earners after the 90's.

                    Taxes on higher incomes and wealth were replaced by various consumption taxes, including the very regressive GST.

                    Higher income earners, such as graduates, got to pay less tax. Noting that even at the top tax rate student loans and taxes combined is less than the total tax paid on a higher income, before 1984.

                    I support "free ecuscation, especially for those who study what used to be apprenticeships. They don't usually get that high an income on graduation.

                    But I get annoyed with the privelidged, who think losing "free University study" which wasn't "free" BTW, is the worse thing that happened in those years.

                    Ignoring those who really have something to complain about. The many who lost their jobs in those years and never recovered. About 40% of boomers, who will retire still renting. And the working class youngsters now, who no longer have apprenticeships and pathways to decent paying jobs, available to them. At least covid has improved that somewhat.

                    • solkta

                      Do you have a link for your claim that 40% of boomers will retire still renting? Sounds like bullshit to me.

                      “Homeownership rates for younger people have seen significant falls since the 1990s; however, ownership rates for those aged 60 years and over have only fallen slightly,” Dr Goodyear said.

                      “This may be because the baby boomer generation was more likely to get a foot on the property ladder earlier than young people today.”

                      With the decline in homeownership, a higher proportion of households are now renting. At the time of the 2018 Census, 32 percent of households were living in rented homes.


                    • KJT

                      It was from Interest co. nz.

                      I will try and find the link.

                      Youngsters from priviledged families appear to only see the people like their parents. And their own student loans, thinking they are hard done by.

                      Personally I know plenty of boomers who are renting still. Working class including the 3000 in my proffesion who were dumped out of their jobs in the 80's and 90's. Just as they were starting their "prime earning years".

                      But keep the delusion that todays University students are uniquely "hard done by".

                    • solkta

                      Wow you know 3000 people. Now that is extrovert plus. Obviously people like your friends are not completing the census, but are telling "Interest co. nz" about their housing situation. Yeh good one.

                    • KJT

                      You are full of it.
                      How about trying to think, before answering.

                      Closed mind, much!

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      You are the only one placing an undue emphasis on free university education.

                      It is but one of the five points I made. Ensuring people had work through the public service and housing in my view have been the two biggest impacts and given only five generations ago my ancestors were victims of the clearances and dying in the poorhouses and most of the generations after that left school early to help the family income often at 14 your suggestion of "privilege" in the way you mean it is far from the truth. You also ignore context in the that there was often little inclination to go to university as you could pick and choose your job and if you couldn't the welfare system of a public service job picked you up. Housing too wasn't just state housing as we know it today – it was MOW, railway, police, education housing.

                      And my parents were the first generation following that to first get state housing instead of living in a slummy rental and then to subsequently but the same house. That I believe, as did they, a privilege afforded them by a kind, caring state – one that is absent today.

                      And yeah Roger Douglas and his ilk made people like my father redundant at 50 and he like many others including friends and workmates, despite applying for hundred's of jobs never worked again.

                      It seems like you wanted to go to university when you were young but couldn't. Welcome to all our working class worlds at that time. And much of todays youth don't like the access they have had to study through loans – many have done courses and qualifications designed to turn a profit and creating vast amounts of debt for something that has proven not useful – if they even finished it. Meanwhile the well-off students still party and go skiing.

                    • KJT

                      Descendant of Smith. I was replying to Solkta, not you further down the non thread. And the mis assumptions about boomers.

                      I agreed with your other points.

                      So many working class boomers, including many I worked with, lost out in the "reforms" and are retiring with no house or a large mortgage after years of insecure or no work. After their initial job training was made irrelevant with the"reforms". They are anything but "lucky boomers".

                      And. I had no desire to go to University.
                      I was happy to do a trade. Which has served me in good stead. I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I went to Uni much later to qualify for teaching.

          • KJT

            Crime is going down. Not up.

            Plenty of evidence though that "tough on crime" doesn't work.

            And jailing "criminals" tends to work for white collar crime. Sending youngsters to "crime University" gives lots of jobs to Prison officers and police, and satisfaction to wannabee Captain Bligh's, but has little positive effects on crime rates.

            What does reduce crime, and hasn't numbers, is giving help and hope to people before the get into crime.

      • Barfly 3.5.2

        Who on earth is this Costa you refer to?

      • Nic the NZer 3.5.3

        "I said at the time, Costa and his actions and his relationship with the government needed close scrutiny."

        I remember that. If I remember rightly you were putting your name up to be the next police commissioner. You also thought "Cuddles" was being too soft and was going to be sacked by the Labour government, for failing to deal with the protest.

        • Blade

          ''I remember that. If I remember rightly you were putting your name up to be the next police commissioner.''

          Incorrect. That was Drowsy M. Kram. Basically changing one drowsy dude with another.

          ''You also thought "Cuddles" was being too soft and was going to be sacked by the Labour government for failing to deal with the protest.''

          Incorrect: I said he needed to be sacked because in my opinion he is incompetent. But come on…Labour sacking Coster?laugh

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            ''I remember that. If I remember rightly you were putting your name up to be the next police commissioner.''

            Incorrect. That was Drowsy M. Kram. Basically changing one drowsy dude with another.

            Come now Bladders dude, surely you jest laugh

            If I’m going to diss Costa, I must be able show how I could do better. https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-20-02-2022/#comment-1865723

          • Nic the NZer

            Looking back it seems you had quite a lot to say about the commissioner. Actually you thought Coster was on the verge of resignation but (and you have been quite consistent about this at least) you thought that he would not be allowed to resign and wouldn't be sacked. Of course with hindsight, given the protest was eventually ended relatively peacefully by the police, this highlights the government has shown good judgement in the acting police commissioner.

            Of course you got some things right. The police did eventually use a forklift to clear cars, so I wanted to acknowledge that because it seems clear now what has happened.

            Clearly the police commissioner saw an emerging challenge for his job approaching anonymously from on the Standard. He then acted decisively taking up the challengers best suggestions as his own ideas and no doubt having a quiet word to the moderators. Unfortunately seems to have done it again, so bad luck and sometimes its important to understand that some people are in their positions because they know how to properly play hard ball.

            • Blade


              I usually laugh after the fat lady has sung. But each to their own.

              • weka

                You know to check the Replies list. You’re in premod, and need to respond to a mod note from last time you commented. Please do this now, so other mods don’t have to check the Premod list to see what comments need released.

      • mac1 3.5.4

        So, the office of Police Commissioner becomes a political gift then, Blade?

        So much for an independent police force.


        I note in searching the internet for the above citing that the ICPA considers itself independent and singularly empowered. "We are the only NZ police oversight body" it states on its web page along with what independence means. National might take note.


        • Blade

          ''So, the office of Police Commissioner becomes a political gift then, Blade?''

          Well, more the commissioner if you can separate the office from the officer?

          Voters like me ( if I voted) will not accept this chap as commissioner. He is tainted with wokism. He should be focused on applying the law as it stands and not be worried about a remedial approach to law enforcement. That role should be for others.

          But the most damning charge against Coster is his frontline staff have little regard for him. He's called the lantern ( very bright, but needs holding). He's not hated by the troops, but they think they deserve better, especially in the support department. The frontline officers believe they are being let down by police hierarchy .

          Thanks for the link to the ICPA. The bios are an interesting read.

          [You sure tell a lot of BS here about the PC. Surely, a remedial approach would consist of actions and behaviour of Police that don’t lead to IPCA cases/complaints, for starters.

          But the most damning charge against Coster is his frontline staff have little regard for him. […] He’s not hated by the troops, but they think they deserve better, especially in the support department. The frontline officers believe they are being let down by police hierarchy . [sic]

          That’s a whole lot of bold claims and assertions there, so you wouldn’t mind providing a few reliable trustworthy links to back these up, would you? It sounds more like you’re spreading rumour, innuendo, and quite possibly lies here on this site and I’d rather clean shit stains in the toilet than having to deal with this shit of yours. You’re in Pre-Moderation until you give a satisfactory response – Incognito]

          • Incognito

            Mod note

          • Blade


            [That it? You force me to read this long piece to find where it specifically supports your claims and assertions? If you intend wasting more of my time I’ll just move you to Black list until next week – Incognito]

            • Incognito

              Mod note for you.

            • Blade

              No, I clicked the post button by mistake, hence my follow up post.

              I was about to send a second post to explain what had happened. But that would have made three posts. Sorry.

              • Incognito

                Those mistakes can cost your dearly.

                ‘Sorry, Mr Officer, I was going to stop for that red light but I accidentally put my foot on the accelerator.’ Yeah, right!

          • Blade

            This, and similar, has been repeated time and again on talk back by frontline officers.

            “He’s got great policy skills. And you would never, ever question his integrity, he’s a good man,” says a former officer who worked alongside Coster, and who spoke on condition of anonymity. “But he’s not the right leader for a police service that is dealing with serious challenges

            I wrote:

            He’s not hated by the troops, but they think they deserve better, especially in the support department. That was more based on talkback calls from officers. It's similar to the stuff article.


            [The opinion of one “former officer” doesn’t cover your assertions. Whether “talkback calls from officers” were similar or not is impossible to tell without links. Even so, a few callers on talkback doesn’t cover your assertions, which sound more like hyperbolic extrapolations and projections from your shitty mind and quite in line with the views of some outspoken Oppo politicians, funnily enough.

            Must do better and wasting more of my time. Take your time and give it your best shot – Incognito]

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    An economics grad turned philosopher examines the contaminating psychological effect of neoliberalism:

    cumulative anxiety, produced by moral ambiguity and obfuscation and present in all market dealings, is a growing source of unrest, mistrust, and irrational fear. There is blood on everyone’s hands and a profound sense of impotence at being manipulated from all directions in a culture of competition and deception.

    We are unable to change a system that we know does awful things on our behalf because we are so embedded in and dependent upon it for life, leisure, and wellbeing that non-participation is not an option.

    So, there is relentless pressure to exploit and cheat and exaggerate, due in large part to the acceptance of ubiquitous deception as a market norm.

    The mandate is to sell you less for more, bypass parents and go straight for kids, sell what’s not good for anybody because you can, and so much the better if it is addictive. We all know this and face it every day and no producer has a moral obligation to reveal anything other than what makes us want their product. Origins and contradictions are hidden because it is in no one’s interest to assume unnecessary costs if they can be passed along to someone else instead.


    We know National & Labour do this shit because they colluded on replacing socialism with neoliberalism back in the 1980s. Recycling the 19th century seemed a brilliant idea to them since liberalism enabled the British empire to conquer & bring civilisation to natives all over the place. Too bad that the recipe minimises the number of winners and maximises the number of victims. It can be rationalised on the basis that other societies did the same all over the world.

    Not really civilised though, is it? Just a simulation, sufficient to fool most voters. The left could do better & provide a positive alternative, to make progress happen.

    • Incognito 4.1

      Good article, thanks.

      This is one of the key issues:

      We are unable to change a system that we know does awful things on our behalf because we are so embedded in and dependent upon it for life, leisure, and wellbeing that non-participation is not an option. [my italics]

      Coupled to the unanswered question about the “postmodern dilemma”, one of the first thoughts would be that governments have a lead role to play in this change – they still have the legal authority to act on our behalf and in our best interest or rather the best interest of all [no pun].

      Unfortunately, or maybe not, National and Labour are now political brands that compete for ‘market share’ subject to virtually the same rules of entry and engagement (i.e. legality) and adopting the same amoral behaviour as winning strategy. As such, they are in the same boat as we are and as everybody else is. Thus, we must not and cannot demand and expect change from them!

      That said, Labour appears to be the more morally conflicted part of the two – the Greens don’t seem to want to ‘compete’ for market share.

      • Dennis Frank 4.1.1

        Yeah. Dunno what the Greens currently think they're doing. I suspect they may still be in constructive engagement mode – adopted to prove that they've transcended being oppositionist. Fair enough, but probably time to move on now.

        Re democracy as mental strait-jacket, think you're probably right to point to the next move having to come from the people rather than the system.

        My political consciousness emerged late '60s as ngos began to make all the running in progressive politics. Tide's gone out on that trend long since – but it was an authentic expression of collective will from progressive people in activism that succeeded in steering the sclerotic mainstreamers. Can happen again…

    • Ad 4.2

      "…markets reward the repugnant and the vicious as well as the noble and the virtuous."

      The standard alternative is to seek a much stronger dredistributionist system.

      The standard non-market systems offer different kinds of rewards, and you can find them in operation on those socialist-type redistributionist managerial systems such as: ACC, MSD, IRD, MoJ, NZPolice, MoH, MoE, Oranga Tamariki, and any other statist system you need to wait on the phone for hours to get an appointment several months into the future. Unless you have actual spurts of blood coming out of you.

      Non-market instruments form different rewards: the most privileged with endless unpriced time, anyone who doesn't need them, and anyone who grovels.

      The economics grad author doesn't have a useful concept of the modern state within our kind of capitalism.

      • Descendant Of Smith 4.2.1

        I'm pleased you are no longer calling them a public service. That is long gone as best as I can tell.

        "Public Service Ethos

        Here, the question is how well New Zealand has been able to maintain the commitment to public service as a vocation. Whatever the faults of the pre-reform system, it would be generally agreed that there was a strong sense of service within the public sector. People made a commitment to a lifetime career in part because of the security which it offered but also because of the attraction of working for the common good. Arguably, this sense of commitment was an important part of self-regulation. Public servants, by and large, could be depended upon to perform not just because of external rewards but because of a sense that what they were doing served a useful public purpose. To a degree this may have reflected the strong egalitarian culture which characterised New Zealand for much of the 20th-century. There is a very real concern that we may have lost much of the former spirit of service and the commitment which went with it in the shift to a contractually based rather than a service based culture. The core assumptions of the public choice and agent/principal theories, that individuals are inherently self-interested and will act opportunistically unless constrained from doing so, can be seen as a recipe for distrust. One academic commentator has recently noted that "Agency theory's founding assumption that all individuals are self-interested utility maximisers becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Mistrust fosters more mistrust."


  5. Blazer 5

    Z takeover …

    [quote deleted]


    [Take the rest of the week off for not providing a link for your quote. You’ve been warned before (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-21-03-2022/#comment-1877167) – Incognito]

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    Latest in an endless sequence of media stories about how bureaucrats persecute beneficiaries: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300554238/disabled-womans-benefit-cut-for-weeks-after-letter-sent-to-wrong-address

    For three-and-a-half weeks, the Waikato grandmother, Karin​, and the rest of her family, tried to get answers from MSD about why they’d stopped paying the 21-year-old’s Supported Living Benefit. Without the benefit, the woman was more than $1000 out of pocket.

    But when the family tried to get hold of MSD, Karin said they found themselves at the back of two-hour-plus queues to talk to someone… MSD acknowledged queues have reached three hours.

    MSD would only talk to the granddaughter’s father, but he works fulltime and wasn’t able to spend hours on hold while he was meant to be working. Karin said he eventually got through, by calling as soon as the call centre opened and waiting for 159 minutes. She said he was told a letter had been sent to his daughter, requesting that she send in a new form to continue receiving her benefit. But the letter was sent to the wrong address and then her benefit was stopped.

    A call centre staff member assured them the issue would be sorted that day, but she said the benefit wasn’t restored until she visited a local MP for help.

    MSD scum treat beneficiaries like scum. How many decades have National and Labour been operating this scum-based system in collusion so far??

    Wrongdoers are protected from accountability by design. The apparent purpose is to breed mutual contempt. Public service ethos corrupted by mainstreamers with no moral compass is the consequence. Vote Nat/Lab to maintain it.

    • Peter 6.1

      Vote Nat/Lab to maintain it? The reality alternative is the vote going to Nat/Act.

      When they get in will MSD employ another 1000 to answer phones and deal with the resultant actions needed? Or contract the work out to some agency? Who'll do a superb job?

      Following the grand alternative will MSD not be scum and only employ people who not only are not scum, but are absolutely excellent and humane and brilliant at the job? People who'll never be dumb and never make mistakes.

      • Dennis Frank 6.1.1

        No, the current situation has been created by collusion between National and Labour since the 1980s. Any pretence that Labour is less guilty will fail.

        • Peter

          Okay, let's get away from pretence. What's the answer to an efficient, humane system? If you were put in charge what would you do so that the situation in the Stuff article doesn't happen?

          • Dennis Frank

            Punish the wrongdoers. Traditional expectations of natural justice being denied is the systemic problem. Abuse by bureaucrats & MSD employees is the natural consequence of that.

            A bureaucrat is responsible for creating 3 hour phone-answering delays, obviously. A deliberate decision to not employ sufficient staff. The manager responsible must be punished for that performance failure.

            Put someone in charge of the department who isn't actually useless would be an excellent start. Then adopt a rule that all phone calls to the dept must be answered in person within 20 mins. I reckon clients would be satisfied.

            • Barfly

              "A bureaucrat is responsible for creating 3 hour phone-answering delays, obviously. A deliberate decision to not employ sufficient staff. The manager responsible must be punished for that performance failure."

              The bureaucrat's name is COVID and he don't give a shit.

          • Sabine

            hire some bodies to answer the phones.

            make sure the bodies that answer the phones can read an address correctly and type it correctly

            maybe don't demand of chronically ill and permanently handicapped a certification that they are still chronically ill and permanently handicapped every three month to validate some bureaucrats existence.

            but above all hire some bodies do answer the phones. 159 min waiting time. that is 2 hours and 29 min. Or in min wage would be about 50 NZD before tax, but i guess poor people have time. Right?

            • Barfly

              What's your wpm in typing? I could never work there – apart from the stress, abuse and derision from clients and keyboard warriors in places like this I could never bloody well type fast enough to meet the standard. Oh and 3.2 % unemployment…..how many of that 3.2% meet the requirements of the position. People here are saying hire more staff and yet at the same time are ranting about mistakes being made – hate to break it to you but freshly hired trained at broken neck speeds staff will have far higher error rates…duh

              • Sabine

                I was good enough to get paid very well for it.
                But i totally get what you say,
                we can’t hire more staff as they would not be faultless at the beginning. Makes good sense to not hire someone at all and besides, phoning and typing is hard work. Hard work indeed.

            • Barfly

              "maybe don't demand of chronically ill and permanently handicapped a certification that they are still chronically ill and permanently handicapped every three month to validate some bureaucrats existence."

              Sabine the Supported Living Payment requires a medical certificate every 2 years not every 3 months. Doctors can complete them online without the MSD client needing to see anyone at MSD. Doctors used to be able to file up to 5 year medical certificates but the last NACT Government decided that Doctors weren't to be trusted that far and reduced the maximum length certificate to 2 years.

              • Sabine

                That is great to know, as i have a friend who has to go every three month to her doctor for a certificate to state that her health issues are still health issues, but then maybe she is on a different type of benefit.

            • Patricia 2

              The problem is that after waiting for 150 minutes you speak to a message taker who promises that a real MSD worker will call you back within 24 hours. Sometimes they do but often they don't. Sometimes your phone rings 4 times then MSD abandons the call. And you are back to waiting for another 150 minutes when you try and call back.

          • Shanreagh

            The first thing I would do would be to explore and implement multiple ways that people can interact with the Department and set response times for each of these.




            direct from the website


            Then do a scan to find out how many enquiries & what these are fall into each comms category

            Then assess the staffing needs required to meet targets, advertise, train etc

            End of project….. after reviewing….

            I would run the project past people who are on the receiving end ie beneficiaries or their reps, voluntary agencies who field enquiries from MSD clients etc

            Many of these call centre type ops run from scripts. The best way to get the best response is for operators to have a specialty and this means a good selection of buttons to press to get to an operator who hopefully knows what you are ringing about. These operators need people they can call on for tricky queries.

            Verification that the person ringing has the right to change an address is important. Some banks/insurance companies have a separate verification process that you go through. Also trying to get people doing more work online rather than relying on mail. In this instance if the form had been sent to an email address with some security then the advice would not have gone to the wrong physical address though could still go to a changed email address.

            • Sabine

              phone and email need bodies to answer both.

              webpage needs data on a phone or internet and that may not be something someone on a benefit can afford.

              As for verification, every client of Winz has a client number.

              A wait time of 2+ hours is not staff failure its management failure. The failure to staff adequately and competently. That task lies with in middle and upper management.

              and that failure has been normalized to the point where we look everywhere but at management when it comes to the lack of care by Winz towards its clients/customers.

    • Barfly 6.2

      A couple of things

      All processes have error rates whilst you try to minimise them they will always have a presence – error rate x volume = will equal a number of errors so yodeling about a wrong address doesn't have much point IMO.

      MSD are very busy normally add in the number of people off with COVID or having to stay home as a contact of a COVID case will make this worse. The last time I talked to the MSD call Center it took 4 attempts in a day got through on the last with a wait of about an hour. COVID has created havoc there.

      To get the lowest time waited try calling as they open 7 a.m. the ques aren't so long.

      Stuff like this is getting carried away

      "MSD scum treat beneficiaries like scum"

      "this scum-based system in collusion"

      "purpose is to breed mutual contempt" "corrupted" "persecute beneficiaries"

      For future reference in a situation like that tell them you want to appeal the decision – appeals of decisions are part of their official records and for me in the past has resulted in a "we will reinstate your benefit starting from the day after it was stopped and we will do it right now if you forgo the appeal". I would also suggest using email – a much lower loss rate than physical mail and a much lower rate of needing to be changed.

      One last thing The NZ Herald keeps true to it usual shoddy journalism "the woman was more than $1000 out of pocket." I am confident the woman's benefit would have been restored from the day after it was cut(thus repairing any loss) but putting that in the article wouldn't follow the narrative they were trying to promote. Not everything is a conspiracy or motivated by malice.

      I survive by way of the Supported Living Payment myself.

      • Dennis Frank 6.2.1

        Well okay but any competent manager would manage, right? Not let the situation slide out of control. How hard is it to hire temps to answer the phone?? They can take down the details of the problem, right?

        Solving the problem will require training to use the ops system, true, but they could at least assure the public that new staff are being trained up to process the accumulating back-log. Have they provided any such assurance? If they had, the Stuff reporter would have included it in the story probably…

        • Barfly

          Current unemployment rate 3.2 % – are you suggesting they should import call center operators?

          As to the disruption caused by COVID well I just need to look at my local supermarket a Countdown holes everywhere signs all over the place about supply chain disruptions distribution centers super short staffed manufacturers with no production schedules due to lack of staff and inability to get materials et cetera.

          I spoke to an old boss of mine one week he had two staff out – the next week was seven out – there was fuck all getting made I am sure he would have loved to "get some temps" it is not that simple!

          • Dennis Frank

            Look, if they can't cope with their workload they can be honest & say so, right? Trying to get away with traumatising their clients is not the right response to crisis. What if those clients commit suicide in consequence?

            The MSD weasels would escape culpability, right? So it stands to reason they ought not to be stopping benefits when the dept has become dysfunctional. Gross irresponsibility is the mildest valid criticism in such circumstances!

            • Barfly

              I agree there should have been publicity that wait times were being severely affected by COVID but you can can have enormous variations in COVID's effect one week or even one day to the next – the worst of the effects should be relatively short (weeks) but there is no label saying exactly long that ball of string is.

              You say "What if those clients commit suicide in consequence?" I remember reading when Key and Bennet gained electoral advantage by campaigning on cracking down and sanctioning beneficiaries MSD call centres were swamped by thousands of calls by mentally unwell people terrified by this – National was rewarded for othering and tormenting publicly the most vulnerable people in NZ so given there is a goddam pandemic going on I am not going to join any dam chorus of vilification of our current government oh and I am looking forward to the additional increase in my benefit coming from next week (on top of the many I have already received from this Government)

            • Patricia Bremner

              MSD weasles

              WTF? They are people Dennis.
              “One of these things is not like the others…” did you not learn that?

      • Sabine 6.2.2

        they tried that calling at soon as they opened as per the link provded and quote from above.

        by calling as soon as the call centre opened and waiting for 159 minutes.

        2 hours and 29 min waiting time because everyone tries to calling right at opening time as waiting times are short.

        Which leads to : define short waiting times for a phone call to a call centre

        disclaimer: I am not on a benefit of any kind.

        • Sabine

          sorry my math was out by 10 min

          its actually 2 hrs 39 min. At min wage that is almost 60 NZD before tax.

    • Belladonna 6.3

      Having had to deal with MSD in person (a while ago now) and hearing stories of friends/colleagues/acquaintances who have to deal with them now….

      A big part of the problem is the 'make-work' form filling. Continually demanding 'proof' that someone's circumstances haven't changed (no, someone with terminal cancer has not 'magically' got better in the 3 months since you last asked, thanks very much)

      Fail to fill in one of their forms – or have it never arrive, or never get back to them, or be lost in their paperwork system – and the instant reaction is to cut off the benefit. And then make you leap through hoops to get it reinstated.

      Changing this model – would do wonders for reducing their 'overwhelming workload'.

      And, mandatory personal communication (yes, the case manager at MSD picking up the phone and calling the beneficiary to sort out the issue *before* any benefit cuts) would do wonders for their reputation.

      Yanno…. Kindness…..

      The biggest problem I see with MSD is that the system is designed to hinder fraudsters; rather than recognizing that the vast majority of 'clients' aren't remotely interested in greedily getting what they're not entitled to (and, in fact, frequently miss out on what they *are* entitled to).

      By all means have checks and balances in place to catch a deliberate and intentional free-loader. But this should be at the end of the process, not the beginning.

      • Shanreagh 6.3.1

        Good ideas Belladonna…changing the focus to 'doing the very best we can for people' plus build in systems to out fraudsters seems a better way than making everyone feels as if they running the gauntlet and feeling sometimes as if you are the problem rather than you being the one with the problem.

      • Dennis Frank 6.3.2

        Yes. Paperwork and focus on forms is a mid-20th century thing. Society has moved on but bureaucrats got stuck in that past era.

        Publicity around the percentage of clients who try to rip off the taxpayers would help clarify everyone's view of the system. It could then be redesigned to treat those offenders differently from the honest majority.

        Basically, there's no excuse for the ongoing failure to adopt an efficient system. Labour & National collude in tolerating incompetence in the public service.

      • Patricia Bremner 6.3.3


      • Anne 6.3.4

        Been there Belladonna – back in the 1990s under the stewardship of Christine
        Rankin. I was also surveilled by the Benefit Fraud Squad (BFS) on a false narrative. The a*******s didn't even have the fortitude to apologise. Doesn't sound to me like anything much has changed.

        Thanks for a timely post.

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    Somewhat Trumpist nutter off to prison for a year – with good behaviour, likely to be on the streets again by winter?

    During Cruickshank's trial in July, Crown prosecutor Dennis Dow said the defendant sent around 88 lengthy emails to government officials and agencies in a four-month period between October 2019 and January 2020. He regularly referred to Ardern and the Government as criminals, slave traders and state-sanctioned terrorists, but it was two emails in particular that went a step too far, threatening violence, Dow said.

    The emails were sent 30 minutes apart on January 20, 2020. "If you continue to support state terrorism … and declare act of war on my life … I will personally wipe you off this f***ing planet," read the first email, which was sent to Ardern, ACC staff, the media and others.

    "I will blow your … head off if your gas lighting on my life continues," he added 30 minutes later in an email sent to both Ardern and fellow Labour MP Andrew Little.

    He had already been well known to a staffer at the PM's office tasked with vetting correspondence. She testified she first came across his "usually angry but not threatening" emails during Helen Clark's tenure.


    I suppose HC's persistently rightist style saved her from his death threats? Anyway, thanks to lenience from the judiciary he'll be back in the saddle soon…

    • Puckish Rogue 7.1

      Just a shame it only seems to be people at the top of the food chain this happens for, everyone else just has to suck it up

  8. McFlock 8

    Saddened to hear today that Moana Jackson has died. Was privileged to hear him speak once or twice many years ago. Very impressive guy.

    His passing is a great loss for the country.

  9. Ad 9

    Respect for Moana Jackson.

    Fought the fight. Changed the country.

    Never dissipated.

  10. So the advice was sent to an incorrect or old address. So I looked up to see how easy it is to get hold of MSD to change your address.

    Conclusion: Not at all easy.

    'How to tell us

    Call us to tell us if you have changes to your:

    • address
    • rent costs
    • board costs
    • other accommodation costs (including water rates).

    So the link goes to a page with lots of links to do other things. Looking at the links there is actually nothing that says 'use this to report change of address'

    You have to work out which category you fit into or the granddaughter fits into from this page


    I chose the below

    'General enquiries for under-65s

    Call our general enquiries team:

    Phone: 0800 559 009

    Calling from Australia: 1800 150 479

    Calling from overseas: +64 4 978 1180

    Monday to Friday, 7am to 6pm

    Saturday, 8am to 1pm'.


    This gets you to a phone number and presumably the 2 hour long waits.

    I do all my work through My MSD. Don't know if that will have something that will allow online change of address. Setting this up demanded quite a bit of effort, knowledge of security/settings and was easier if you had a Realme account, which I do.

    It is terrible to have an expectation that everything will be phoned in. There surely could be a way of doing it online perhaps by requesting a form for change of address from the website and then receiving it and being able to open it per password sent to the cell phone?

    Or get more people answering phones……mind you sometimes I have been guilty of deliberately ringing a non relevant number and saying 'oh I'm sorry I must have rung the wrong number and could you pass me over to XXXXXY part of your business'.

    It seems to me that with an entitlement running on MSD always having an up to date address, that MSD would have the very best and simplest system for enabling people to make changes. When you are trying to to keep the million balls in the air that you have to do as a beneficiary to make ends meet it is shameful that this has not been fixed. It is especially shameful when it affects those who cannot help themselves.

    These forms as well, a flatmate who had been blind from birth used to get them asking if there had been any changes to his disability……he used to sigh and say "I wish..' I think now you are able to get these stopped for non improvable states though this might be wishful thinking.

    • Belladonna 10.1

      While I do support better online communication systems, I also recognize that Internet access is a privilege of the relatively well-off. Many beneficiaries have only a pre-pay phone (no data), and certainly no home Internet connection. An awful lot use the free Internet at the public library (which is why it was a major issue when libraries were closed and the free wifi switched off during Auckland lockdowns).

      One of the big problems with even the phone system, is that 'customers' run out of credit before they actually get through to a live human being at the MSD end.

      And the cruelty of the forms for people with a terminal condition is simply … vile. I used to hide them, and fill them out on behalf (completely illegally) – but the person simply didn't need a bureaucratic paper-pushing exercise to continually rub in that they were going to die in the near future.

      • Barfly 10.1.1

        I think most boarding houses in Auckland have broadband (I am sort of in one but not) I won't be telling the people I know that live in them that they are well off though.

        My pay as you go Vodafone phone is $4.75 per week for more data than I would ever use – but I don't go youtube, facebook, tik-tok et cetera as video chews enormous amounts of data

      • Patricia Bremner 10.1.2

        Belladonna, I had that with a friend who was dying of cancer in 2004 I tried to take her for a holiday… her benefit would be stopped for the 3 weeks if we left the country. This was a Labour Government.

        She was asked constantly if she "Could work for 15 hours a week?", even when she was sick from chemo etc.

        When I kicked up I was told "Oh they do pretend you know"

        I said "So hundreds suffer this rudeness because of one or two?"

        "It's not their money!" I was told. "Lady" I said "It is our safety net money you have the privilege to disburse" I got a blank look.

        I then asked for her Supervisor, and things ran smoothly from there.

        Currently they are struggling with the pandemic, so there will be even worse situations I am sure. The relationship with the Doctor is important as well, as they do have clout.

      • joe90 10.1.3

        Many beneficiaries have only a pre-pay phone (no data),


        One of the big problems with even the phone system, is that 'customers' run out of credit before they actually get through to a live human being at the MSD end.

        Sponsored data and 0800 numbers have pretty much put an end to those barriers.

        What services can be used with 'Cheap as' data?

        The services listed below are included or not available with 'Cheap as' data.

        What's available with 'Cheap as' data?

        Websites include:

        • Work and Income
        • StudyLink
        • Working for Families
        • MSD
        • Find a Job.

        Online services include:

        • MyMSD
        • Apply online and Apply for NZ Super
        • MyStudyLink
        • Department of Internal Affair's RealMe registration website




    • Barfly 10.2

      My Doctor always filled out the forms with "permanent" "life-long" "will not improve" since 2005 they used to be able to certify 5 years National reduced it to 2 years /shrug

  11. Ad 11

    I can bet if more regional councils had generated eco-sanctuary reserves on this scale for Wellington, there would be far less need for the 3 Waters programme.

    It's a proposed 3,313 hectare sanctuary proposed for predator-free fencing.

    Wellington.Scoop » Massive ecosanctuary plan for Wainuiomata

    I’ve forgotten how to re-size apologies.


    It follows a big water catchment. Which is what water entities should be doing anyway.

    [image resized]

    • swordfish 11.1

      I’ve forgotten how to re-size apologies

      Apologies should never be re-sized … Just make them in good grace & be done with it.

    • RedLogix 11.2

      OK good comment Ad.

      This water supply area has an interesting history. Various Water Board authorities, and especially GWRC have acted as custodians of this park for many decades. (The Upper Hutt catchment being the other.)

      Sometime in the 90s GWRC Park staff whose role overlapped with the Wainui catchment took the initiative to put in place a pest eradication program that was highly successful. Using a number of innovative methods (and minimal budget) they pretty much succeeded in eradicating deer, pigs and possums from the catchment. As a result it became the best protected and most spectacular pocket of lowland mixed podocarp forest left in the NI.

      I had the privilege of being able to access the area on many occasions; one visit I recall at Christmas there was an astonishing flowering of rata, the forest laced with the brilliant red blooms everywhere with an intensity you see nowhere else. Those of us who knew the place became intensely proud and not a little protective of its unique beauty and majesty.

      And in hindsight its preservation is a tribute to a small group of public servants who quietly stepped up to do the right thing, with very little recognition at the time. That the next logical step to formally designate it as an eco-sanctuary and protect this unique remnant has to be very welcome indeed.

      • Ad 11.2.1

        Notably the Zealandia fenced reserve in Karori is around an old water catchment area as well. There's one near Nelson as well.

        3 Waters requires an integrated approach to both catchment management and drinking water.

        Better known as mauri o te wai ora.

        Imagine every single water supply catchment in New Zealand being Predator Proof fenced. How much faster Predator Free 2040 would be achieved.

        That's a different country from the one we have now.

        • RedLogix

          Better known as mauri o te wai ora.

          Not really – the reality is that these unique eco-sanctuaries owe very little to anything Maori.

          And that article you referenced – while welcome on the whole – it rankled a little that there was not so much as one para acknowledging the efforts of a small group of unsung people who quietly worked for decades to protect them.

          • Poission

            When they built the Wainui dam,they also had legislation protecting the forest catchment,110 years ago.


          • swordfish


            Heresy, Filthy Heresy !!! … don't even think of soiling the Woke's Noble Savage romanticism with cold, hard, grossly-inconvenient Reality.

            Remember, these necessary fictions are "all in a good, highly paternalistic, cause".

          • Ad

            3 waters requires the holistic approach to water catchments that current structures don't. So the Maori history description is appropriate and accurate.

            This example is a hard fought exception that should be the norm.

            • RedLogix

              The larger city water authorities have done well protecting their catchments where they existed – Hunua and the Waitakeres in Auckland, the Upper Hutt in Wellington, the Kahuterawa in Palmerston immediately spring to mind. I'm not familiar with them all, but there will be dozens of examples of well managed catchments all over the country, most of which will get no public attention.

              As I have written before, there is a technical case for water systems amalgamation and coherence if for no other reason than to spread capital and talent more evenly across the country.

              But the idea that Maori 'co-governance' is necessary to somehow protect them is laughable. Swordfish above captures my sentiment precisely.

              • Ad

                The example shows catchment management should and can involve conservation of wildlife and forest.

                The technical diffusion argument pales against making catchment part of the conservation framing. Stand on the Tararuas and check that land clearance impact that technical diffusion will repair. Not.
                We should have had a 3 waters integrated splotches 150 years sgo, so we should start now.

                Watercare and PNCC deliver little if anything for conservation. Ark in The Park should long have been spread to the whole of the Waitakeres and Hunuas. Their climate and conservation goals are rarely met and risibly small.

                Swordfish just has a bad case of 'roid rage.

  12. Red lion seratus 12

    Having had the selfsame priviledge, I can confirm it is beautiful country…some lovely stands of podocarp alright.The. Eastern Rimutaka catchment have Rata equal to that area as well…

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