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Real protestors do not burn kids playgrounds

Written By: - Date published: 8:10 am, March 4th, 2022 - 239 comments
Categories: covid-19, human rights, trevor mallard, vladimir putin - Tags:

Martin Luther King once said “An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.”

Noble words.  A principle exemplified by the actions of Rosa Parks amongst many others.

The Wellington protestors would also have you believe that theirs is a noble protest against the tyrannical excesses of an out of control government but I would beg to disagree with them.  There was no willing acceptance of police action, only incredulity that their defacing of our House of Representatives, the threats of violence against MPs and media and the blocking of a major Wellington street was responded to by police in a rather vigorous manner.

Their sense of PR was that bad it is almost as if Vladimir Putin has been advising them.

Torching a kid’s playground and a hundred year old Pohutukawa adds nothing to the cause.  All it does is piss off kids, parents with kids and tree huggers all in one go.

To then blame Antifa shows how far down the US rabbit hole some of them are.  There is no prospect of reconciliation with these people.  No sitting down for a chat and a discussion will help.  They exist in a different dimension.  Help is required.

To top things off a group of protestors has threatened to occupy Wainuiomata Marae.  From the Herald:

Residents appear to have repelled an attempt by some of the protesters who were moved on from Parliament grounds who then tried to occupy the Wainuiōmata Marae.

Tensions were running high in Lower Hutt last night as a group ousted from central Wellington tried to rehome themselves elsewhere in the region, targeting the marae.

Residents from the Lower Hutt community turned out in force, blocking the entrance to the site, putting up cones and even sitting in chairs across the driveway.

A police helicopter circled overhead and continued flying late into the night.

A post on Facebook suggested the protesters stayed in the community, and spent the night in the Remutaka Forest Park and at a temple.

Last night, Speaker Trevor Mallard weighed in on the resident blockade, saying he had spent some time at the marae on Thursday evening.

“My community is doing a better job of stopping the feral campers than I did,” he wrote.

Locals have successfully protected the Marae.  It was apparently chosen because it runs a Vaccination clinic.  “My body my choice” only appears to apply to those who reject the use of life saving vaccines, not those who want the benefit of the best medical technology.

The actions of the protestors is incredibly disrespectful and matches previous behaviour.  Earlier incidents where they served a trespass notice on Taranaki Whanui whanau in Wellington and their occupation of Ngati Whatua Orakei land in Tamaki Makaurau shows a hostility that is startling.  It is the level of disrespect that only a Nazi would be proud of.

The question has to be asked where do we go from here?  A section of our community need help.

239 comments on “Real protestors do not burn kids playgrounds ”

  1. Julian Richards 1

    "The question has to be asked where do we go from here?"

    At the end of your usual rant MS you get to the point.

    "A section of our community need help".

    'A child that is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth'. African proverb.

    • Shanreagh 1.1

      As usual you give no suggestions or ideas on the way forward.no

      • Julian Richards 1.1.1

        Communication, understanding, forgiveness, acceptance etc etc.

        Pretty basic stuff.

        The devil is in the detail, or maybe that's the corruption of the higher idea.

        Please though @Shanreagh, step forward and share a thought that isn't pulling things down further.

        • observer

          Fine, let's talk specifics. What should happen in this case?


          I'd suggest: exactly what did happen, should happen. Arrest leads to a court case, and presumably a report on any relevant psychological issues. Further intervention would depend on that.

          There is certainly no case whatsoever for treating criminal damage as anything other than crime, because the victims deserve protection.

          Just because the slogan is "freedom" does not change that.

          • weka

            Has anyone said not to charge people breaking the law?

            in that case, charge the man, and let the justice system deal with it. But looking at Wellington I’m also seeing a lot of young men who will now be shunted into that system where many will be socialised and trained and n further criminality. Restorative justice might be the thing that says both “you cannot behave like this” and “here’s how to be part of society again”.

            • Patricia Bremner

              Weka I think there has to be recognition that great strides have been made not to allow that to happen for more minor breaches. Many there got carried along by a few, some even trying to prevent the object throwing, but those who willingly joined in have a great deal of restorative work to do for the community.

              Sometimes people get carried along by a sense of grievance, and crowd dynamics take over and they do and say things they are later ashamed of and find hard to explain, as it comes from anger and frustration and mob madness "them and us".

              Those with more nuanced use of the situation will get found and separated from the hurt and misguided. Experts will examine film of all kinds from all angles to understand the patterns and perpetrators.

              The hard core group who tried to take over the Marae are different from the groups left with little wandering the streets. The well heeled who poured money in to promote their own beliefs and positions vacariously, using the situation, will have to face their liability for empowerment and encouragement.

              The big problem society have to own, not all feel included and cared for. That has to be addressed. How we do that matters

              This was not one group, but many small groups who have a variety of reasons for being part of this protest gathering. Some did no lasting harm as they tried to express their problems and sense of alienation, others used every opportunity to threaten vilify and damage.

              The authorities have the sad task of undoing all the strands, identifying the main groups their leaders and intentions. That will take time, and many will have to do restorative actions to show they understand the enormity of their behaviours.

        • Andrew Miller

          Surely that works both ways?

          The mob have made it pretty clear they’re not interested in communication, understanding and acceptance, they simply demand it of the rest of us.

          As for forgiveness, what are we to make of that as a claim from people who have assaulted, threatened and harassed ordinary members of the public for no other reason than they’ve accepted the science and acted in line with public health measures.

      • Clive Macann 1.1.2

        I thought he put it up here for discussion, not to dictate a way forward. YOU come up with the solution.

    • GreenBus 1.2

      Where do we go from here?

      Drug rehab would be a good start.

    • CrimzonGhost 1.3

      A child that is spoiled and spared the rod too is ruined. Bad apples spoil the basket. More aphorisms for you. They don't need a hug, they need a spanking, a time out.

      • Julian Richards 1.3.1

        "They don't need a hug, they need a spanking, a time out"

        'Break' their spirit instead for the herds 'systems' conformaty??

  2. PsyclingLeft.Always 2

    MS, You have summed it. And I cant say what I feel about those idiots….

    This though.

    Taranaki Whanui, with the support of the Kiingitanga, laid down Te Kahu o Te Raukawa, a cloak of peace and protection. The protesters had not honoured their role as manuhiri, it said.

    "We feel that [Wednesday's] actions did not uphold Te Kahu o Te Raukura. We laid down those expectations which I don't think were unreasonable. What we saw was the undermining of that."


    I did listen to RNZ on Monday…and a Maori spokesperson of this gave a very measured talk.
    I have utmost Respect for them and their Mana. And I dont give that easily…..

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Your contention “A section of our community need help.” is correct Micky and it would likely take hundreds of comments here to even approach making some sense of it all. Mad, bad, sad, alienated, dispossessed, discarded–yes by neo liberalism and post colonial fallout–revved up in dark corners of the internet, and more mainstream social media channels.

    There were other elements than the marginalised involved too as the various minor celebs and funding illustrated.

    I know three people that were in the Wellington occupation, two who have been divisive pains in the Far North for many years–“sovereign citizens”–who bludge on activities and occupations other groups have organised and consistently try and create disunity, while issuing weird notices “under the Crimes Act 1961” to all and sundry including Police officers.

    The other one is a Hare Krishna member who I have bought Samosas and bread from for years via “Food for Life” no more unfortunately, this guy happily cooked for the occupiers throughout.

    The Convoy protest came from negative, aggressive and even violent mindsets. I have little confidence in state security agencies being the answer to anything much, but they sure need to start earning their pay, and the alphabet soup of NZ Police Committees and Bureaus need to wake up too. They have tracked us lefties well enough for many years!

  4. weka 4

    Calling people ferals is dehumanising, it’s a word used in NZ to describe animals conserved pests (and should be eradicated), and legitimises the term to be applied more widely. Think right wingers and people sleeping rough. Or conservatives and hippies. Or MPs and those that disapprove of.

    it also will make things worse. It still beggars belief that the left think ostracising people will help change. Calling the protestors ferals, esp by someone in Mallard’s position, will reinforce the beliefs of protestors that the government doesn’t care about them. Or the left. It will will strengthen their resolve, and for some they will go ok may as well act like ferals.

    there are plenty of ways to call out behaviour without dehumanising or ostracising people further. Dehumanising and ostracising is the the antithesis of help.

    • Robert Guyton 4.1

      Be civil to the uncivil.

      • weka 4.1.1

        I think be civil and maintain boundaries on what is ok and not ok and be willing to do that strongly where necessary.

    • bad politics baby 4.2

      Yes I was quite shocked he used that word, Mike Laws coined it from memory, not a person anyone would want to emulate. I do understand a lot of people are angry at the occupiers, & the occupiers certainly acted unlawfully, but feral is certainly up there with 'subhuman' & othering. Be better please.

      • weka 4.2.1

        Ferals also has a cultural context, mostly in Australia. We shouldn't be using it as a pejorative against people for this reason as well.


      • Patricia Bremner 4.2.2

        I was shocked the Speaker used the word "Feral" and then he talked of all the conversations and help he had from Chris Luxon. Perhaps that was what they were saying to each other, in the wee small hours, without acknowledging the anti social sprinklers and music and health notices he blared out?

    • Shanreagh 4.3

      Calling out unacceptable behaviour though is an acceptable way to express the views of a community/members of a community. I have no problem with calling the 'behaviour' ……insert any adjective of choice. 'Feral' would not be my term my term would be 'disrespectful' or 'unhelpful to their cause'.

      It was also hurtful and dangerous etc. To try to suppress a natural inclination to label behaviour as unacceptable then leaves the steps forward more difficult. e have identified the nadir, the pit or bottom that we want to rise above. This is because we do not have a baseline. We need to place the behaviour as without this place, how can we measure stepping forward to make an improvement.

      Can we also leave aside, for the moment, labelling any behaviour as one person's view as to if it is left or right. I find this premature. Left/right labelling places a dampener …..We are after solutions. We are after ideas. The left may not have the only good ideas. So please let us have all the good ideas, unfiltered.

      1 label the behaviour

      2 do not have any preconceived ideas about what ideas may fit a left or right label

      Again with labelling please do not give in to the apologists who are now trying to split the group into violent/non violent, before or after. The protestors were happy to welcome all who wanted into the fold. They saw this, clearly, as one of their strengths. And they were not happy little campers from day one. Some were violent, resisting leaving from very early on.

      • Robert Guyton 4.3.1

        "The protestors were happy to welcome all who wanted into the fold."

        The naivety in that is very disturbing.

        The same naivety resulted in the adoption of conspiratorial beliefs.

        That naivety is what needs to be attended to, by those who are not so afflicted, imo.

      • weka 4.3.2

        Calling out unacceptable behaviour though is an acceptable way to express the views of a community/members of a community.

        Yes, I said we have lots of options for calling out the behaviour.

        I have no problem with calling the 'behaviour' ……insert any adjective of choice. 'Feral' would not be my term my term would be 'disrespectful' or 'unhelpful to their cause'.

        Feral wasn't being used as an adjective, it was used as a noun. Protestors are being named animals that we want to exterminate. We're all angry and stressed, we can still make choices about how to express that. My point is political. Of course it’s natural to express how we feel about a complex, disturbing situation. What we do with those feelings politically matters. Do we want to be like the people who can’t control themselves? Or the people who believe they are justified in their actions no matter the consequences?

        • Incognito

          Feral wasn't being used as an adjective, it was used as a noun.

          I thought it was referring to the quote in the OP in which it was an adjective, not a noun.

          • weka

            true, I was thinking of other uses I have seen. But even "feral campers" is problematic. It's not feral rioters, but feral campers. There’s nothing wrong with feral camping, lots of us do it.

            Given Labour are trying to introduce some hefty anti-freedom camping laws that will support tourism and penalise poor people, there's an additional angle to this as well. There's a lot of prejudice in NZ about people who free camp, live in housebuses, car camp, and so on. Then there are the people living like that because they have so few choices.

            • Incognito

              Yup, I agree that the choice of words is often problematic in that it evokes an emotive state in/of the reader. Whether this is intentional or not is not easy to spot, but very easy to assume, as so many do. Some so-called freedom campers have spoilt if for many others – the dwindling numbers of operational camping sites is another factor. I know people who live permanently in their motorhome and they’re not well off (and getting quite old) – for some it’s a lifestyle choice just as others live on a boat.

              • weka

                I'm guessing most people are using it without thinking about it, it's an easy word to trigger something.

                I see the freedom camping problems as a direct result of successive governments encouraging mass tourism with few regulations. Hence Juicy vans with no toilets and shit on the side of the river/lake. Labour want the mass tourism, so they think the solutions is to regulate the vans instead of regulate tourism. Poor people will be prohibited from camping, and Labour will hand our wild spaces to the people most likely to disrespect them. Juicy will continue to make lots of money and send it offshore. It's completely insane, and typical of much of how we do things in NZ.

                Starts with values which then hit a lack of imagination. Same with the response to the protest, hence Mallard's first impetus is to build a fence around parliament.

                (building up to a post 😉 )

                • weka

                  and the freedom camping thing will have been discussed in caucus, including Mallard, not hard to see the whole 'dirty ferals' vibe running through all this. Let's ban and/or discard them. Where do they think poor people are going to holiday?

      • weka 4.3.3

        not sure what you mean by left and right there. NZ still largely has a binary political system along that axis, with a third disjointed apolitical section of society. I'm left wing. The National Party are rw. Micky is lw. Mallard is a centre lefties. These are useful signposts and shorthands.

        • gsays

          I am heartened (ever-so slightly), you have called out the use of certain pejoratives around this issue.

          Since Pfizer's, not as miraculous as we were lead to believe drug, has been available, there has been healthy portions of: nutters, Nazi's, freedumb, anti-vax, alt right, lost-in-a-rabbit-hole, fucking filth, tinfoil hat slurs tossed with gay abandon round these parts.

          I understand that TERF (trans exclusive radical feminist) is felt as a slur, therefore not really tolerated.

          The vitriol expressed by Pavlov and the salivating hounds gives strong food for thought. Nary a skerrick for folk who no longer have a career, income, job due to them deciding not to have a medical procedure. A procedure we now know isn’t as effective as we all would like. Some, like my family, have fractures that will not heal in a generation.

          Initially, I thought the last comment I saw Biil post was a tad over the top. I now realize he was spot on and I was being a touch idealist.

          • Robert Guyton

            You're calling some here, "salivating hounds", gsays?

            • weka

              nice use of skerrick though. Some things can be forgiven.

            • gsays

              To be honest, Robert, I would say the majority of those round here.

              • Shanreagh

                Why in putting a view do you need to personalise it to fellow posters. can you not advance a view and let those who agree or not respond. I am referring to your own over egging with the words like 'salivating hounds'

                nutters, Nazi's, freedumb, anti-vax, alt right, lost-in-a-rabbit-hole, fucking filth, tinfoil hat

                Some of these words accurately describe the people who were at the protest – alt right, Nazis. I have no problem with those words though I do note on some MB there has been a bit of a debate as to whether Nazis should better be described as Neo-Nazis.

                'F*****g filth' is used by a poster on here who is anti the vaccination. I also draw the line at that mainly because I am not a fan of swearing and because no pro vax person I know has ever used this about someone who is anti vax. .

                Anti and pro vax are not derogatory as far as I can see…just describe in shorthand form belief systems.

                That leaves nutters, freedumb, lost in a rabbithole, tinfoil hat.

                Now I use the word 'nutters'. I worked for someone that had a separate file called Nutters. These were the people who wrote screeds, quoted screeds from other work, often incorrectly, and were incapable usually of reply. No logic will work any magic.

                Some nutters though are often prescient or future thinkers though whose ideas have not yet come. A fine line sometimes between some nutters and this definition “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

                Freedumb, lost in a rabbithole, tinfoil hat.

                Freedumb has been especially used in this debate because one side views vaccines, masks etc as a loss of freedom and yet their argument are lacking in lacking or substance.

                The best use of this though is the use Dumkirk to describe those anti vaxxers who ended up on the other side of Cook Strait expecting to catch the Interislander, forgetting that the ferry had the terrible requirement to carry either a vax pass or an exemption.

                Tinfoil hat has been been around for many years – since 1926.

                The origin of the tin foil hat came from a short story called “The Tissue-Culture King” by Julian Huxley, a eugenicist and the brother of A Brave New World author, Aldous Huxley. In the story, the protagonist resists mind control by wearing a hat made of metal foil.


                often worn in the belief or hope that it shields the brain from threats such as electromagnetic fields, mind control, and mind reading.

                Down the rabbit hole has a similarly long history and has not been derived especially around Covid.

                Definition of rabbit hole abridged from Merriam Webster


                'a complexly bizarre or difficult state or situation conceived of as a hole into which one falls or descends..especially one in which the pursuit of something (such as an answer or solution) leads to other questions, problems, or pursuits.


                Because it is so early on in this work it is easy to say that we are either at the edge of a remarkable new and useful science or that we are careering down an environmental rabbit hole.— Jack Hitt

                In the season-two premiere of HBO's Westworld, viewers were again tossed down a rabbit hole filled with theories, where one open door leads to many more closed ones.— Josh Wigler and Zoe Haylock'

                To be honest I am taking your views with a 'grain of salt' or perhaps the it is a case of the lady doth protest too much, methinks. You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment on whether people meant these phrases personally or figuratively, I suspect figuratively.

                I am not going to attempt to write out the long form of these sentences above . We rely on a turn of phrase, shorthand, literary analogies in most speech and informal writing.

                I don’t have an objection to describing behaviour, some of the behaviour was feral though I don’t usually like the word feral. I also see an analogy between some of the conditions there and some of the unsanitary conditions of freedom campers. In the minds of many freedom campers has got to be a bit of a dirty description in more ways than one.

                • Shanreagh

                  I have been thinking……

                  Down the Rabbit hole. As a mix of my own observations and the story,

                  Rabbit holes are often smooth sided, some times twisty turny. So imagine falling down an adult sized one, hard to get up without an enormous physical effort. Perhaps an effort that was at odds with your previous beliefs that say legs, or perhaps brute force, were more important than the small movements and time that arms will get you. You may find that you have to go out backwards ie without being able to see where you are going.

                  Then there is the story about getting to the bottom of the rabbitholes and finding closed doors. So using the analogy to open a closed door, what will be there even if you could get it open? Might it be something that doesn't support your previous point of view? How dangerous would it be if all of the doors opened into things that you did not want to see? Wouldn't it be so much easier just to accept what got you there?

                  To me, finding yourself a prison of one's own mind, as falling down a rabbithole tends to infer, is a bit like why there was this duty to escape in many military forces. It is all too easy to settle back.

                  But I guess the point is that if you have no conception that you are down a rabbithole, what then?

                  Education, education, education

                  • Incognito

                    To a rabbit a rabbit hole is perfectly normal and comfortable, it is home, and it is truth & reality. When under threat, perceived or real, it will hide and stay in the rabbit hole until the coast is clear. If you want to understand rabbits you’ll have to observe them and listen to them before you engage. You’ll have to educate yourself about the how and why rabbits do what they do. In other words, ‘education’ goes both ways and this is what’s generally missing, IMO, from the authoritarian Left and Right moral crusaders, no matter how well their intentions are.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "To a rabbit a rabbit hole is perfectly normal and comfortable, it is home…"

                      Unless there're weasels down there with you…

          • weka

            there's a balance to be had I think. On TS the pejoratives I will intervene on are ones that are loaded at the class level. Terf isn't felt as a slur so much as it's a highly weaponised term that is used to both attack women and undermine feminism. Hence https://terfisaslur.com/

            anti-vax is a useful term, but it does get used too broadly and I think it's valid for people to push back against it being used as a catch all.

            alt-right is just a descriptor imo, like left, right, centre right etc.

            the ferals one is classist as. The left really is up itself at the moment. But the left is also not wrong in being pissed off at that protest. The protestors fucked up in a number of ways and won't take responsibility. You can't do politics like that, it just makes everyone crazy.

            but I know what you mean about the onslaught of positioning and language. I found the vaccine is god stuff pretty hard going for quite a long time, and there were things I didn't talk about much for ages eg the issues for chronically ill people, vaccinations, research and invisibility.

            I currently find the lines that people who lost their jobs because of the mandates chose that to be both hugely problematic from the left, and now bordering on gaslighting in some aspects.

            Everyone is tired, and stressed, and now we're in the thick of the outbreak. It's become a cliche, but kindness and respect would help.

            • gsays

              Cheers weka. Even though my comment was a reply to you, it wasn't aimed at you.

              More about a wee rant that has built up over the weeks.

              In respects to tired and stressed, so many opinions here seem to come from folk who are down with the mandates, passports and boosters. They have millions of dollars worth of marketing in their corner and their incomes are Tickety boo.

              If they are stressed and tired, that is nothing compared to those who don't have faith in a drug that is not as effective as promised, lost their jobs, untenable stress in the household, haven't heard a wiff of what the situation has to look like to end this discriminatory way of living.

              Then, to add more high glo vests to the plethora of cones, there is korero about carrying on this shit because 'flu season'.

              If this is what 'the left' looks like, I feel like seeing what Luxon and his "unfit to govern" crew look like.

              (I am quoting myself above.)

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                It's reasonable to highlight the manifold problems associated with NZ’s rollout of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 [Is it safe? Why is it taking so long? But it's less effective against new variants! Booster?] and divisive mandates/passports.

                Tangible vaccination-associated problems are regrettable, as is the pandemic itself – these problems could be weighed against the death and illness that high vaccination rates have prevented. You only have to look at the pandemic death toll elsewhere in the world to realise the (imho extraordinary) achievement by and for Kiwis – that's worth celebrating.

                Two years on from the first COVID case, New Zealand’s successful pandemic response still faces major challenges [28 Feb. 2022]

                New Zealand’s strategic approach has supported the country in achieving some of the world’s lowest COVID-19 mortality rates and increased life expectancy. New Zealand has also had a relatively small amount of time in lockdown and comparatively good economic performance.

                To achieve these successes, New Zealand has had to deliver major public health interventions very rapidly and their limitations have become apparent over time.

                Border quarantine is difficult to maintain if not done well and creates severe consequences for some. The vaccine rollout has been highly inequitable. Mandates for vaccine and mask use have been divisive and sometimes vigorously opposed by a vocal minority.

                Challenges and opportunities ahead:

                1. Taking a precautionary approach in the face of uncertainty
                2. Enhancing equity and better protecting the most vulnerable
                3. Improving communication, policy responsiveness and trust
                4. Improving evidence-informed leadership and adaptability
                5. Investing in public health infrastructure

                These improvements will provide legacy benefits that prepare us well for other public health challenges we face.

                Analysing COVID-19 outcomes in the context of the 2019 Global Health Security (GHS) Index [PDF]
                We hypothesised that social cohesion – the willingness of societies’ members to cooperate for survival and prosperity – may result in increased compliance with government guidelines and safer social behaviours, leading to fewer deaths. We believe a similar effect underlies the reduced excess mortality associated with quality of and trust in governance measured by the CPI. That is, populations who perceive their government as trustworthy are more likely to comply and respond well to their government’s recommendations and strategies. This may partially characterise the performance of countries like New Zealand, who are perceived as the least corrupt government in the world by their population. (As reflected in their #1 ranking in the 2020 CPI.) The New Zealand population were largely compliant with government guidelines and reported little public dissatisfaction towards their government’s COVID-19 approach. Hypotheses relating to greater social trust and improved COVID-19 outcomes have been explored and supported elsewhere in recent literature.

    • CrimzonGhost 4.4

      I call them feral coz that's what they are. Uneducated, unsocialised, anti-social fringe dwellers. The word was not used here coz traditionally we've never a huge white trash/redneck/bogan/extreme hippy culture in NZ unlike in US with rednecks/trailer trash or the extreme bogans & extreme hippies in Australia called ferals ever since the late 70's or beyond. It's apt to call them feral coz that's how they're already acting.

      • weka 4.4.1

        like I said, dehumanising. That you want to do that with your personal politics says more about you than anything else. It's a prejudice just like other prejudices.

  5. Ad 5

    The PM is playing this well.

    Ideally recommendations from DPMC and Speaker's Office on Parliamentary Security, further controls on 'incitement speech', some harder reviews of NZPolice intelligence, all in time for ANZAC Week.

    It's a good opportunity for Ardern to reach out to Trudeau (Ottawa protests), Biden (Jan 6 attack), and Morrison (Shrine of Remembrance attacks) on how the security-state reacts to threats to major civic spaces.

    It's rare for Labour to be able to shape the security apparatus, but the GCSB clearing-house approach to intelligence threat assessment was woefully too late for useful reaction. Ardern needs to revisit the Christchurch Massacre Royal Commission recommendation on domestic security intelligence and threat assessment.

    • Incognito 5.1

      11 days

    • Shanreagh 5.2

      I agree.

      Also a long hard look at the purveyors of disinformation.

      • Sanctuary 5.2.1

        I don't understand all the dispairing hand wringing about "what can we do????" about mis- and dis-information.

        The commentators always start off with mentioning social media. Well there is your problem. We need to face reality. The giant, hopeful, glorious social experiment of an unfettered internet of decentralised interests has been replaced by a space inhabited by a few giant tech off shore companies who have monetised disinformation, misinformation and polarisation for profit. The enemies of democracy use social media to feed unfettered anti-democratic propaganda to manipulate the impressionable and the gullible into a living in a state of unreality.

        In short, the quarter century long trial of an unfettered internet is over and the jury is in. It's been a complete disaster from freedom and democracy. The time has come to reassert our national right of our parliament to set the rules and regulations the big tech social media giants operate under and if they don't comply, ban them. Simple as.

        • weka

          hard not to agree with that, but the problem is that it would be hard for NZ alone to do that without major buy in from other countries. Someone needs to lead the way though.

          • weka

            the other option is to use SM tech and techniques to influence in a positive direction. Also fraught, but it's what some of the high level nerds who've escaped silicon valley are talking about seriously. Because they believe that SM giants can’t be stopped.

          • Sanctuary

            It isn't hard. You just pass legislation that puts large SM sites under the purview of the regulations that govern other news publishers and give the government the power to fine them and/or direct ISPs to blacklist them if they don't comply.

            FB for example would probably pull out of NZ voluntarily anyway, since it freely admits that it's business model is built on allowing any old bullsh*t online and it couldn't act responsibly even it wanted to (which it doesn’t) and stay in business. As Trademe informs us, a local variant complaint with NZ regulations would quickly fill the void.

            And of course, giving the government greater regulatory powers would also have the beneficial side effect of starting to turn off the torrent of social damaging unregulated hard core pornography that is ruining so many lives.

        • Dennis Frank

          My compliments for that combination of accurate diagnosis & feasible solution, expressed succinctly! yes

        • Belladonna

          So, just to take Facebook as an example. The vast majority of Kiwis use Facebook for its intended purpose, a way to update far-flung family and friends on what's happening in your life [and, of course, sharing the cat memes 😉 ]
          What do you propose to replace it with?
          Whatever platform has to be easily accessible and attractive for people (Internationally) to use.

          ATM the only countries which have banned Facebook are: China, Syria, Iran and North Korea (not that many people NK have Internet).


          Really, is that the company you want our democracy to keep?

          Banning relatively mainstream sites, simply encourages people to start using more dark web platforms (8-chan, etc.). I don't see how this is a win, at all.

          I also think it's likely to be highly ineffective:

          Absent a very strong techno-informed censorship regime (like China), I strongly suspect that most people would simply use a VPN to evade any government ban on Facebook – just as people do to access US or UK geo-restricted content, now.

          Have just been listening to Kathryn Ryan interviewing Ed Cooper on dis-information. [Listening in transit – so may have missed some of it]


          Where she asked an important question (paraphrased): Where a country (like Russia) imposes strict censorship on news – isn't it only through social media that ordinary Russian people can gain a different (and possibly more truthful) perspective on what's happening in Ukraine?

          Ed Cooper didn't answer (as far as I heard), but segued off into discussing the fact that the social media info you access isn't curated, and tends to reinforce your current beliefs (all true) – but not the question being asked.

  6. Siobhan 6

    Its occurred to me that these people (who I admit do my head in) are "real" protestors..its just they don't realise what they are actually protesting…which is inequality, insecurity, lack of community…not to mention underfunded Health care, both physical and mental. The mandates could have ended yesterday..their lives will still be fraught and marginalised under our basic Economic, Market and Social settings that Labour are so committed to.

    So our Labour government cleans up the area, chases them back under their rock and goes on, business as usual..oh, and with one idea to help solve these "not real" protestors problems..a compassionate "wrap around" fence at Parliament..

    • Andrew Miller 6.1

      This again…

      Given all evidence to the contrary, we’re supposed to just accept a sanitised view of what they were protesting.
      What were the people talking about ‘Rothschilds’ protesting, or those with execution lists? I’ve seen protestors spreading bizarre conspiracy theories about Ukraine, what are they protesting?
      A significant portion of those there, particularly at the end, had agendas that were nothing to do with
      what you’re talking about.

      What kind of community do people who abuse children, threatened supermarket workers and try to occupy a Marae want?

      You might want us to protest those things (and I may well join you), you might want to pretend that mob were protesting those things, but reality is they weren’t.

      • Siobhan 6.1.1

        I think you missed ".its just they don't realise what they are actually protesting" in fact you seemed to have missed the whole point of what I said.

        And I realise in an ideal only nice sane law abiding morally upright people would be protesting ..but THE WHOLE POINT is that our society creates large swathes of people (most of whom were NOT at these protests) who are entirely disengaged from societal norms both in their private and public lives. And screaching your disgust might make you feel better ..but its guaranteed to ensure nothing ever changes.

        • Anker

          100% Siobhan.

        • Andrew Miller

          And your handwringing and treating grown adults as children devoid of agency perpetual victims of ‘society’ helps?

          It’s patently obvious that a large number of the people involved aren’t vulnerable, they’ve actively chosen to embrace appalling views. They know perfectly well what they’re protesting and part of their propaganda is to convince people they’re either part of or voicing concerns of a wider community.

          Your refusal to condemn what deserves condemning may make you feel better, but it too ensures nothing ever changes.

          • Anker
            • “It’s patently obvious”…..so you say Andrew….I am not sure how you can be so emphatic about that ie that a large number of people aren’t vulnerable.

            You have made these types of statements previously on this topic. I tend to give what you say very little time. I would be more open to considering your views if you said “imo”.

            I try not to make things personal on this site, but my experience of your comments is that they seem a little pompous

            • Andrew Miller

              The bloke talking about the ‘Rothschilds’ isn’t imo, nor are the execution threats, not was the spitting at bus drivers, or the harassment of school kids, or NW workers or the Uni students or the journalists or the fires, or the paving stones, or the shit thrown at the cops and polluting Wellington harbour etc etc etc.

              You call me pompous, but I’m not the one trying to take the moral high ground whilst pretending that somehow these are vulnerable people deserving of our sympathy.
              Given that such a position requires you to ignore so much evidence of people with appalling view pursuing appalling agenda the isn’t ‘imo’ because it’s extremely well documented, to try and portray those of us who could clearly see this for what it was as somehow being unconcerned about inequality or NZers excluded from society isn’t so much pompous as self righteous.

              I’m curious as to what this mob would have had to do for it not to induce such self righteousness handwringing.

              • Shanreagh

                Agree with your views Andrew.

                Well publicised actions are not imo.

                The bloke talking about the ‘Rothschilds’ isn’t imo, nor are the execution threats, not was the spitting at bus drivers, or the harassment of school kids, or NW workers or the Uni students or the journalists or the fires, or the paving stones, or the shit thrown at the cops and polluting Wellington harbour etc etc etc.

                Suggested solutions may well be imo eg education, combatting mis-dis- information

                We won't get anywhere if we have to find a way forward that requires us to either disbelieve our own eyes or put aside commonly accepted community standards such as all the 'isms'

                1 The actions have to be documented, named

                2 we ask why

                3 we then ask how to remedy to go into the future

              • Anker

                Ok, firstly I apologize for referring to you as pompous. That was out of line.

                I have expressed a variety of views about the protesters and the Govt on this site. For me its not a black and white situation.

                When they first arrived and it looked like the police were going to get them off the lawn, I thought that was a good thing. A turning point for me was Trevor Mallards behaviour with the music and the sprinklers. A police negotiator was interviewed at the time who said it was time to negotiate with these people. I thought that sounded a good approach.

                I couldn't help but admire the protesters for outliving the rain in Wellington which was fierce and the Trev's strategies. This despite me being fully on board with the govt's Covid response and I have praised them many times on this website. Then I stated to think about the mandates and question whether they were a good strategy. I get some of the protesters believe way out alternative theories about Covid and vaccines, ideas that I find bizzare. I fully endorse science and feel alarmed by posts such as Molly's a couple of weeks back about the school science curriculum.

                I believe the Govt should have sent a representative to talk to them. I never believed the line that but who should they talk to? The Govt could have given them 48 hours to find 3 to 5 representatives to meet with. Or do what they did with Ihumato, ie send Maori politicians to talk with them. Pave the way for dialogue. I am not saying this would have worked, but it would have shown some good faith and maybe it could have worked. World leaders have attmepted dialogue and peace talks with Putin afterall.

                What really raised my radar was the utter contempt and vilification ALL protesters were treated with. Michael Woods shameful speech "a river of filth"………For god sake, this Govt brought in laws that significantly impacted people's lives. Yes I think it is crazy that people rather lose their job that get a vacinne (in most cases), but that was the choice they were faced with. I am empathic enough to imagine that if I belived the crazy ideas about the vacinne and was told I would lose my job if I didn't have it, how terrifying and anger producing it would be. I am also empathic enough to feel for the PM who has worked so hard and done such a good job with Covid to find this appalling and the last thing she needs.

                So I see this situation from many points of view. And this changed as events evolved.

                Some of my more fixed ideas.

                Mallard showed himself as unfit for the job of speaker due to his childish tactics.

                David Seymour ,while utterly condeming the protest and the abhorent behaviour, at least knew what his job was as an MP. To try and meet with protesters, if for nothing else to try and get the situation ressolved for local business.

                I ve never liked or approved of the playground in Parliament. $500,000 is an outrage given the situation many of the poor find themselves in NZ

                Most of the protesters weren't violent, nor did they try and storm Parliament or burn the slide.

                I feel incredible sorry for the police and what they had to put up with. I feel for the citizens around parliament whose lives were effected by the protest (but I knew that would be temporary and that it would end one way or another).

                I feel even more deeply for the State House tennants who have had anti social tennants living next to them (with what sounds like worse behaviour than the protesters). People who have had harrasment, threats and abuse, day and night, and the Govt has refused to evict them.

                I watched a little of Patu the other day. Protesters did let off smoke bombs . I seem to remember protesters hurling objects at the police. There was a least one protest where there was a noose hung up with a dummy Ron Don who some wanted hung. I didn't approve of that then or now.

                I am really concerned about the further radicalisation of these people.

                I think nurses and teachers, in particular shouldn't have lost their jobs, they should have been re-deployed.

                Courts have ruled the mandate for police and military have overturned the mandates.

                • Nic the NZer

                  The claims about parliamentarians are not listening and parliamentarians are not negotiating are ridiculous. The leaders of all parties acknowledged that there was a camp in front of parliament and that they had demands. David Seymour turned out to be the most forward negotiator but he had one condition, end the illegal occupation (e.g remove your vehicles). Remember this follows day 2 when aspects of the protest attempted to storm parliament buildings and some were arrested.

                  There was around this condition almost no attempt to move to negotiation mode. Its because they didn't want a negotiation. They wanted to hold parliament to ransom. That was the only strategy they ever described anywhere as successfully terminating the occupation for them (with various versions on the theme of how badly parliament is ransomed).

                  • weka

                    ooph, that might be the best summation I've seen, thanks.

                  • observer

                    I made the point a few days into the protest that there was no leader or spokesperson appearing in the media, trying to win over public opinion, as has happened in countless previous protests. No Pania Newton, no Minto or Mair or Hone or even the Groundswell farmers. And even after 3 weeks, who was the face/voice of the protest? Nobody.

                    So this well-meaning notion of "MPs/government send someone to negotiate" is a fool's errand. There was nobody there to talk to. They could barely talk to each other.

                    • Incognito

                      The politicians circling around were smelling an opportunity to do some grandstanding – never let a good opportunity go to waste [who said that again?]. It doesn’t take a cynic to see that. The only big winners were the media, also judging by the abundant commentary here on TS – our advertisers & shareholders were more than happy wink

                    • weka

                      that pay rise coming any day now Incog.

                  • mauī

                    This is simply not true, not one current person in parliament spoke with or even addressed the protest group.

                    On the other hand within a week protestors were asking for a meeting with government (and they reiterated this throughout the duration), and a few days later they had also offered up a professional mediator to help with any negotiations. It's very clear who was proactive in trying to negotiate here.


                    • Nic the NZer

                      This is simply not true, David Seymour met with their representative right across the road.


                      The protest made many obvious mistakes from the beginning and when (as in this area) the government gave them the opportunity to fix it they again and again slapped the hand away. The council even found somewhere for all the vehicles to be parked, acceptance of which would likely have been part of a path into dialog.

                      Your link merely demonstrates that they under took none of the prior actions before demanding negotiations begin. Which I already stated.

                    • observer

                      I have often broken into somebody's home, held a gun to the residents' heads and demanded they negotiate. My reasonable demands are that they should do whatever I want, and also they must leave the house for good. (My opening bid is that they should be put on trial, but I am very reasonable and can let that one slide if they agree to do everything else I want).

                      Unfortunately they call the police and I leave with nothing.

                      Why are people so unreasonable?

                    • Anker

                      Thanks Maui

                    • mauī

                      NNzer, that's interesting, so evidence then the protestors used at least two mediators (one being the backbencher guy) to try and get talks going.

                      Only one MP attempted negotiation by making his own demands a priority and duly got nowhere.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      So before we can continue this discussion your going to have to acknowledge that two wrongs make a right.

                      You claimed "This is simply not true, not one current person in parliament spoke with or even addressed the protest group.", that being the first wrong, however it turns out it was wrong itself because "This is simply not true, David Seymour met with their representative right across the road.", the second wrong, which was itself right, and so justifying the claim that David Seymour was in fact starting negotiations with the protestors was initially right.

                      After that we can resume the hypothetical question of how many mediators should optimally participate in a negotiation and if JFK is the second mediator and shoots himself from the grassy knoll is that a legitimate resolution of this fiction or something best slapped onto the tail of a low budget production which just spent its last allocated pounds at the bar after splashing out on an unrelated musical number involving robots.

                  • Anker

                    Hi Nic, Just to clarify when talking about, re negotiating, I meant sitting down with these people, not just saying we hear you are their.

                    Was there negotiating with from politicians with the protesters? Other than David Seymour I didn't hear of it, but of course impossible to follow every story. Who from the Govt other than Seymour actually negotiated with the protesters.

                    Of course they did acknowledge them (be hard not to). I hear Jacinda say "you have made your point". Is that what you mean by listening?

                    • Nic the NZer

                      Of course there was no formal negotiation, tea and biscuits is after the protestors stop breaking the law and move their vehicles away (to a council supplied car park with toilet facilities no less). I mean they couldn't even meet terms of an opposition MP who broke ranks, and would like nothing more than bring a reduction in covid response to parliament. To me this makes it obvious how irrelevant negotiation was as a resolution. Now hostages, there were plenty of telegram threads explaining how you negotiate while holding hostages.

  7. Peter 7

    A section of our community need help? Yes. How do you educate people about science? How do you educate people to not believe nonsense on the internet?

    How do you get people to not get sucked into the latest fad bullshit cause on line?

    The real lunatics and misfits are probably easily identified, the passengers who jump on their trains not so. That mass, how do you have them not wanting to get on board? They are the ones who need help.

    • Hamish 7.1

      It starts by leading by example.

      It starts by being open and honest.

      It starts by acknowledging "the science" is often wrong.

      Have a read of "the truth wears off"

      I did a post on open mike 1 march post#3

      ( on phone and cant manage get the link to the post number )

      I presented a science paper showing that masks stop 0% of virus aerosoles.

      The push back was a paper claiming they worked, but the refferenced articles mostly said they made no difference.

      There seem to be two opposing camps on masks… the govt says they work, protesters say they don't.

      So far the science presented in my posts and the replies is that they don't

      So who is following 'the science'

      • observer 7.1.1

        But if it's about freedom, how could anybody object to other people choosing to wear a mask, in a shop, in a street?

        Whether protesters think my mask works is absolutely none of their business.

        • Poission

          When the CDC shames mask wearing for economic reasons,and not scientific reasons,you have very big problems.It is NOT a matter of personal choice.

          This time last week, nearly all Americans were still being urged by the nation’s leadership to please, keep those darn masks on. Then the Great American Unmasking Part Deux began. On Friday, the CDC debuted a new set of COVID-19 guidelines that green-lit roughly 70 percent of us—effectively, anyone living in a place where hospitals are not being actively overrun by the coronavirus—to doff our masks in most indoor public settings.

          • observer

            It is entirely a matter of personal choice, thank you.

            And in case you haven't noticed, the pandemic's stages – and responses – have been vastly different in the USA and NZ.

            But even if there were no differences at all, even if we were living in the USA, no f***ing protester is going to tell me what to wear. It's called freedom. If you can't grasp that basic concept, I can't help.

            • Poission

              Mask wearing is the best defence against Covid,here the science is strong.

              Follow the leader policy is the fundamental problem with the government response,when it is against science BAU is a big fucken fail.

              Read the articles.

        • Hamish

          But the govt is ORDERING peole to wear masks and punishing them if they don't…. hardly freedom.

          • observer

            I'll try one more time.

            Do you accept that people called "protesters" have constantly abused, even assaulted, people who choose to wear a mask?

            Do you think that is standing up for freedom?

            • hamish

              You assault someone, you are in the wrong.

              Yelling abuse at someone, well that is rude.

              I have to put that up from a neighbor from hell…

              Go too far and the police might arrest you for dissordley behaviour.

          • PsyclingLeft.Always

            Wha? Im sure that made sense to you.

          • Poission

            No the government is NOT ordering people to wear masks,it has a policy to wear masks on Buses and planes for example,but no penalty if they do not.You can claim an exemption,but are not required to show it.


            There is a policy to wear masks in supermarkets if you do not have an exception,such as being unvaccinated and under 12.ie in the largest infected demographic.

            • hamish

              I'm confused. The messaging I got was that there were many situations where you were required to wear a mask.

              But you are saying that if I choose not to wear a mask anywhere the will be no issue.

              • Poission

                The policy is that say masks are mandatory on Buses and planes,unless you have an exemption.There was no requirement to prove an exemption,its a trust model.

              • Shanreagh

                I am required to wear a mask and show my vaxx pass to places like the library and an arts & crafts centre. I am required to wear a mask to the supermarket. My Drs rooms & chemists require the wearing of a mask. Travelling on buses requires wearing a mask. These are places where someone will politely enforce it if people don't wear them. On buses/supermarkets here in Wellington the driver or security guard will not allow entry without a mask. Anywhere where eating food purchase is involved owners can require mask wearing and wear masks themselves. So small bakeries & cake shops. Cafes etc.

                I wear a mask, ie I don't require anyone to TELL me when I am anywhere where I cannot guarantee I can keep at least 1.5m distance from those around me so outside on crowded streets, markets.

                I wear a mask when driving sometimes when going from place to place to pop in to several shops on the ay and cannot be bothered taking it off.

                Basically I am not going to die in a ditch over a sensible requirement to wear a mask. Basically it is way way down the list and I have 'bigger fish to fry' as they say.

          • Robert Guyton

            "But the govt is ORDERING peole (sic) to wear masks seatbelts and punishing them if they don't…. hardly freedom."


            • hamish

              Plenty of data that seat belts are effective reducing death

              As I mention above, the evidence that masks are effective at preventing death is lacking.

              Even that evidence that was presented by a mask believer,when you actually read it, cited articles that found no effect…

              If there was solid evidence, it would be a different matter.

              A complete ban on the consumption alcohol would save lots of lives…

              As with anything, it is a balance of harm reduced against the burden of reducing that harm.

              How much harm is been done to children's development by having to wear masks.

              • Hongi Ika

                NZ Government and the Health Authorities are obviously following best practice for the good of all New Zealanders.

              • Shanreagh

                How much harm is been done to children's development by having to wear masks.

                Are you able to cite something about this or is it a reckon? Most of the kids I know want to do their bit to help, to keep themselves, parents, younger siblings, fellow students safe.

                • hamish

                  Just memories of articles in passing up to now.

                  Looked on line, divided opions not much hard data.

                  So is a big experiment, and again for what benefit….

                  But the uneven rules have people wondering…

                  We can go to concerts, dinner, Broadway shows. But being in the same room as the population least at risk for a poor COVID-19 outcome is forbidden. It’s because our leaders have decided that concerts, dinners, Broadway shows matter while parental involvement in kids’ education just doesn’t. They pretend there are no consequences to this. There are.


                  • roblogic

                    The consequences of long Covid are far more severe than the slight inconvenience of putting a piece of cloth over your face.

                    • felix

                      It doesn't matter whether we think it's a good idea. We're probably getting it anyway.

                    • hamish

                      Guess you missed the posts on mask efficiency


                      To summarise, laboratory experiments found masks to be 0% effective against virus aerosols.

                      A believer in masks posted a rebuttal article, which was an own goal and supported the notion they don't work.

                    • roblogic

                      Are you a doctor? I don't take medical advice from fools on the internet who cherry pick data to support their pet theories.

                      The Lancet recently published a meta analysis of 172 studies and found that mask wearing reduces your chance of infection to 3% against baseline.

                      The use of face masks was protective for both health-care workers and people in the community exposed to infection, with both the frequentist and Bayesian analyses lending support to face mask use irrespective of setting. Our unadjusted analyses might, at first impression, suggest use of face masks in the community setting to be less effective than in the health-care setting, but after accounting for differential N95 respirator use between health-care and non-health-care settings, we did not detect any striking differences in effectiveness of face mask use between settings. The credibility of effect-modification across settings was, therefore, low. Wearing face masks was also acceptable and feasible.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    "So is a big experiment…"

                    Tell that to the Japanese.

                  • Shanreagh

                    To be frank I would rather my child wore a mask and was alive than danced to a tune of its parents crazy ideas of freedom and was unmasked, and ended up dead or brought Covid home especially if there were immuno or elderly or compromised people at home.

                    I dislike children being weaponised like this. I have always felt that different decision making patterns should apply when acting for someone.

                    I think you will find that the courts will uphold your own personal right to turn down medical treatment for whatever reason but will draw the line at these also applying to children.

                    There have been cases where Drs have sought a ruling from the courts to allow them to use life saving techniques such as blood transfusions to stop a preventable illness or death in a child whose parents had beliefs against this. There are also Kainga Ora cases where children have been removed because they are living in conditions that fit the parents beliefs but were not good for the child…

                    So the decision making difference for those in your care is around preserving life ie making sure on the balance of probabilities there is a life and that your child is not placed at risk by your beliefs. This is also on the basis that your child's life is separate from yours and that they are not just a mini me.

                • felix

                  It's not about kids wearing masks, it's about very young children not being able to see faces. Pre-language, this is how children learn to interact with the world. It's the seemingly simple yet crucial developmental steps such as recognizing that other people react to your actions, and learning that you can react to theirs. And like all early childhood development, it's not a la carte – each stage depends on you having completed all the prior stages and building on them. In exactly the same way, kids who learn to walk without first learning to crawl mill miss out on making crucially important neural connections that are needed later for many other important developmental functions because they can only be formed during that particular stage of the developmental process.

                  None of this is reckons or in any way controversial to state, it's the accepted mainstream ec development science and any trained ec teacher will tell you the same.

                  My reckon based on this is that we are creating a generational scar in child development by denying pre-language children access to the facial communication they need, the consequences of which we will begin to reap in a decade or so when they reach adolescence emotionally, intellectually, and developmentally crippled.

                  • Muttonbird

                    But pre-language children get most of these cues from their parents, other family members, and wider family friends on play dates, etc. None of these people will be wearing masks in those environments.

                    Pre-language children shouldn't really be needing to see the face of the local butcher for their development.

                  • Shanreagh

                    So how does this relate to children who are blind/low vision?

                    Children are not confronted with people wearing masks day in or out or have to wear masks themselves for long periods.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Children will become more highly tuned to "reading" emotion etc. as their cues will come from eyes, rather than faces.

                    Perceptive people could tell that Key was untrustworthy, not because of the expression on his face, but because of his dead-fish eyes.

                  • PsyclingLeft.Always

                    Children feel protective OF and protected BY their Mums.Dads,Brothers,Sisters, Grandparents,Aunties,Uncles,Cousins,etc.

                    Well mostly. Hoping that these actually have the child's Best Interests at heart. IE NO covid mis/disInformation. Or deflection around masks !

              • Robert Guyton

                Plenty of people don't accept the claims about seatbelt.

                They should perhaps set up camp on the lawn in front of Parliament, demanding an end to oppressive seatbelt mandates, because they believe, they've researched, they have a gut feeling, that seatbelts JUST DON'T WORK!!!


                • Shanreagh

                  But, but isn't it terrible that kids riding and scootering have to wear helmets? I'm sure some of them might have scootered along to their vaccination appointment wearing a helmet.

                  Perhaps a joint seatbelts/helmets protest. If we got the anti helmet wearers we could get the 'saving the world through yoga and essential oils' crowd along to dig up the cobblestones to use as weapons. Or are we just going to have a camp and not the finale?

                  • Robert Guyton

                    I've been pressing my anti-vaxx/mandate friends/associates to opine about the "finale", in the hope that they might be able to explain why it is the protesters didn't pack up tent and go at the point they could see that violence (police and protester) was inevitable. There were plenty of loud, insistent, clear warnings about the consequence of staying, but many chose to face those.

                    Have you a pithy explanation, Shanreagh?

                    • weka

                      I haven't had the opportunity to talk to the people I know who were there, but am curious what the ones you are talking to have said.

                    • mauī

                      RG, how would they know there was violence coming when there was a human chain of people on Molesworth St that stood there all that morning, with their backs to police?

                    • Shanreagh

                      perhaps an extension of the Stockholm syndrome

                      the boiled frog concept where instead of water being heated we have a gradual heating up of ideas until the unacceptable ideas back home in HB or Southland, become OK at the protest

                      bad actors who were there from the beginning alt right, Counterspin etc.

                      wall to wall commentary from the likes of Counterspin during the occupation

                      recognition that their ideas actually were not held by a large silent majority outside the protest

                      no leadership

                      no effective or realistic demands

                      the recognition that actually 'everything goes' does not really……ie the assembling of too wide a group with disparate views

                      recognition and anger that 'we stuffed it up ourselves' by:

                      having no leadership, having no realistic demands, by not controlling the imagery on site (Groundswell had this problem too)

                      not being able to sustain a tight ship, if there was ever one, and the relation of this to confused messages compare with Greenham Common


                      Allowing protest boards and communications from the camp that fitted the definition of Conspiracy Theories.

                      Allowing personal hatred for one MP to become a rationale for the protest ie misogyny

                      Staying too long, camping is hard and tiring especially cheek by jowl with others.

                      Not leaving in a dignified way and not having a fading away strategy.

                      In negotiating terms no BATNA – best alternative to a negotiated agreement.

                      Saying it was anti mandate when in fact it was a continuation of anti vax.

                      following too slavishly and being seen to be doing this, the models from overseas.

                      Suspicion from those who may have been able or prepared to support a fair go, that the ideas and funding came from dark funders and forces overseas, who did not necessarily have NZ's interests at heart.

                      Just plain anger at the whole world, we can see that.

                      The finale was a mix up of all these disappointments, poor planning and frustration etc.

                      Sadly it was all too predictable. They were given enough rope/signals to go but chose to hang themselves instead.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Comprehensive and useful response, thanks, Shanreagh.

                      Disturbing, to see people unable to change course in the face of harm.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      weka – none were willing/able to address the question; the best I could get was that the seriousness of vaccination-harm was such that the protesters were willing to experience violence. I didn't find that convincing, or at least, reasonable. My greatest concern is around the biddability/naivety of many of the protesters – they seem politically unsophisticated, to a disturbing degree. I feel that is a big factor in their decision to stay-put; believing that somehow doing that would win the political war.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      mauī – it would take some serious cognitive dissonance to miss the blatant signals that violence was about to occur – the police shouted it from the roof-tops and commentators of all stripes warned of the violent elements/expressions of violent intent from the protesters themselves.

                      How could anyone not have seen trouble coming (see shanreagh's comment)???

                    • mauī

                      Robert, it appears to me you get your view of what the protestors were about from those who didn't want them there. I mean you could have read their daily press releases, watched daily speeches, read all the personal hand written signs and observed the communal village springing up before your eyes to gain a different impression of what might be taking place. But for whatever reason you didn't.

                      On the final day a large body of people stood on Molesworth with arms linked for I estimate over 6 hours in peace, before something changed… Somehow they were supposed to have foresight that things would quickly get ugly and so abandon ship? come on man.

                    • McFlock


                      The violent end was predictable.

                      You want to blame the cops for the violence when this lot finally get hiffed from the area? Whatever.

                      The police loudspeakers made it pretty clear the end was imminent on the day, too.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      mauī – it may appear that way to you, but in fact, I went to great lengths to gather from all media sources, including and especially the live reporting from a friend (strongly anti-mandate/ex-Occupy stalwart, half my age 🙂 and read accounts on fb, commenting and "debating" wherever possible, with those anti-vaxxers fb friends who haven't yet blocked me, and barely looked at msm accounts. (don't have a telly 🙂 Plus, as I have said, engaged face to face with people in my village, who have seen the situation differently to me, some of whom were arrested at the protest in Wellington. I've also been email-debating these issues with my oldest friend, who is anti-vcxx, anti-mandate and, seemingly, anti-this-Government, for months now, in an effort to keep some commonground/civility/relationship going as events have unfolded. What I tried to do, is have a go at understanding the breadth of the issue. I believe I have a sound idea as to why they (the locals) and other protesters stuck with their kaupapa on the day of the Great Clearance. I was asking here to see if others had formulated a view. Your response to the question seems to be, "you don't know what you are talking about, sheepie!".

                      In response to your comment,

                      "On the final day a large body of people stood on Molesworth with arms linked for I estimate over 6 hours in peace, before something changed… Somehow they were supposed to have foresight that things would quickly get ugly and so abandon ship?"

                      I say, YES! They were supposed to have foresight!!! The fact that they seem not to have had, seems not to concern you at all, but it bugs me mightily. If the protesters lacked the foresight to see what was patently obvious to most of the country, north to south, not even near to Parliament's lawn, then what hope have they for finding their way through the forest of misinformation and malevolent influence we "non-protesters" can also plainly see?

          • joe90

            and punishing them if they don't…


          • Shanreagh

            If you seriously are unable to wear a mask you are able to apply for an exemption. There is a shopkeeper near here who has a mask exemption that she wears on a lanyard around her neck.

            Why would anyone need to be ordered to wear something that potentially could save your life? I don't know the answer to this? Death wish, feeling of being invincible. There are idiots around who need to have safety features legislated and that is why …..otherwise we would all be wearing seatbelts in cars and crash helmets on bikes without it having to be enforced.

            Actually as a younger couple keen on motorbike touring we wore helmets and visors before the law enforce this, because we were not idiots and wanted a better chance of survival should we be in an accident.

          • Macro

            You have a very limited concept of what constitutes freedom Hamish – as do all those who "protested" at camp covid.

            To get a better understanding of what those who oppose your assertions here are thinking I suggest you have a good read – no skimming – of this article (originally published in the conversation) by two senior lectures at Canterbury Uni whose study concerns the very topic you angst about "Freedom"

            Drawing on a long intellectual tradition, the philosopher Isaiah Berlin defined the two forms of liberty in an influential 1958 lecture at Oxford University.

            Negative liberty, he said, means the absence of external obstacles or constraints, such as coercive interference by governments.

            By contrast, positive liberty means the ability to do the things you want to do. It is associated with self-realisation or self-determination – being in control of one's own destiny. The protest slogan "my body, my choice", for instance, is an appeal to individual negative liberty – freedom from mandates and restrictions.

            But it's not possible to simultaneously maximise both negative and positive liberty. There are inevitably trade-offs. If the protesters had their way, New Zealanders would have more negative liberty but less positive liberty. Overall, we argue, people would be less free.

            Nearly all laws restrict negative liberty, but their effect on positive liberty varies dramatically. For example, laws prohibiting theft restrict negative liberty – they restrict people's freedom to steal with impunity.

            But do such restrictions make you feel un-free? Quite the contrary, laws against theft increase positive liberty. They allow us to feel more secure, and because we don't have to keep a constant eye on our property, we can do other things.

      • Hongi Ika 7.1.2

        Sanitation and hygiene definitely stop the spread of viruses, however that is probably foreign to most of the protestors from what I observed.

      • Barfly 7.1.3

        "I presented a science paper showing that masks stop 0% of virus aerosoles"

        Well having looked at one of your other posts and being overwhelmed by your abilities in cherry picking, conflating and misunderstanding a subject I will not bother to debate with you as life is too short and my time has value to me.

        • Hongi Ika

          Barfly the virus is also spread via human contact ie clean hands, hence the recommendation with regards to the use of hand sanitizers.

          Japan has virtually eliminated the virus through basic hygiene measures, the Protestors in Wellington did not look a very hygienic lot and I am guessing many have the virus now. The Wellington Protest was a Classic Super Spreader Event and will test the protesters immune systems over the coming weeks.

          • PsyclingLeft.Always

            The Wellington Protest was a Classic Super Spreader Event and will test the protesters immune systems over the coming weeks.

            And also sadly, Our NZ Hospitals, their Nurses/ Doctors and other Health care Workers. !

        • Hamish

          But time enough to write a long ad hominem attack….

          Care to enlighten which one offends you so much?

    • Anker 7.2

      We could have helped these people by not vilifing them. That would be a start. I don't mean the Alt right people.

      I mean the majority of protesters who voted Labour, Greens NZ first, National and Act. All realatively mainstream parties. Now we will be lucky if they fall into NZ first arms. I say lucky, because the alternative is far far worse. But not listening we have opened up the potential for further radicalisation.

      Oh and we probably won't change these people's mind off their weird ideas about vaccines etc. But we could have and should have attempted to see what possible commone ground there was e.g. the mandates. John Minto has a great article, sorry not to link, about to attend a work meeting.

      • Hongi Ika 7.2.1

        Winston may have picked up some valuable votes in Wellington to help tip him over the 5% mark.

        • McFlock

          That was his purpose.

          He was the only one who didn't have votes to lose by going after the covid cadre.

          Well, him and the new conservatives.

          Well, him, the new conservatives, and whichever front organisation density puts up this time.

          Well, him, the newcons, densityfront, outdoors, heartland, and maybe Seymour and the nats will be tone deaf enough to fight each other for that crowd, too.

          That few percent might have to do a lot of heavy lifting…

    • Belladonna 7.3

      How do you educate people about science?

      Start with much better quality science (and maths) education in schools.

      McNaughton said the TIMSS report showed where New Zealand students were weakest, such as biology and statistics, and that would help with targeted solutions.


      Precisely the areas which are needed to understand and evaluate the effectiveness of vaccines and vaccination.

      Whatever curriculum and pedagogy strategies that are being widely used in NZ to teach these subjects – at the primary level – are clearly failing, and need to be reviewed and changed.

      [NB: saying primary, since teaching and learning are cumulative. If there is poor preparation and teaching at the basic level [Yr 4-8], this will translate into poor results when measured at Yr 9]

      Schools only have a limited amount of teaching contact hours throughout the year. Do we want to spend them on teaching NZ history and Digital technology (the government's education curriculum reform priorities so far), on on teaching basic science and maths to acceptable levels?

      NB: I can confidently say from a middle-class parental perspective, teaching digital tech as part of the curriculum in school has been a total waste of time. Kids from year 4+, who have devices and Internet access, already have a thorough practical understanding of the topic – and could probably teach the teacher. No comment to make on NZ history – being implemented next year, I understand.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 7.3.1

        A 'practical understanding' of the internet and its devices is for all intents very little true understanding.

        Its like saying being able to drive a car means you can have a proper understanding of why and how a car works.

        The schools teach computer science principles and much broader than turning on a smart phone and using social media

        • Belladonna

          Having audited what is being taught over zoom classes during lockdown, I can confidently say that little in the way of 'computer science principles' is being taught in the mandatory weekly computational thinking class.

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            What would you expect and what age group are you thinking about ? Im presuming you have actual computer science knowledge

            • Belladonna

              Different ages – not just my kids, but also friends. Ranging from 8ish, through to 14.
              And, yep, I do indeed have info tech knowledge.
              Observationally, the primary teachers have little understanding of what they're trying to teach in the computational thinking area. Just as many are not at all comfortable teaching maths or science (this is not new, we've known this for at least 20 years)

              The Education Review Office, in a report in 2000, raised concerns that many primary school teachers lacked enough knowledge of maths and science to teach them well.

              [editorial referencing – not the actual report]


              What I and fellow parents have seen is teachers mostly working off scripts and using Scratch. Nothing wrong with Scratch – but it's been the program of choice for after school and holiday coding programs for the last few years. Techie kids are very, very familiar with it.
              At the upper age range, in the computational thinking class (NB: not Digital Tech as a subject) still doing Scratch (kids are not impressed – regard it as baby stuff) – not playing around with robots, mechatronics, etc. – which they'd enjoy and inspire them.

              But, realistically, doing an hour a week of this is fairly useless. Kids need a project, or to have it thoroughly integrated with the rest of their learning.

              Yes. It *can* be taught well – with an inspiring teacher who thoroughly understands both the topic and how to communicate it. But there aren't too many of them in our school classrooms.

              The actual point of this was, that while we're struggling to teach maths and science effectively, why are we bringing in new subjects that teachers don't know how to teach.

              Computational thinking won't teach people not to fall for scams.

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                Thanks for that. I see the point you were making before.

                It made me think that the schools are set up to teach 'old stuff' – you know the history geography science maths that was long accepted wisdom, often what teachers themselves had been taught.

                In a way the digital technology is crying out to be taught online by great teachers and streamed into classrooms with the classroom teachers facilitating project type work only and learning at the same time.

  8. Robert Guyton 8

    How can entire communities learn to make good decisions?

    Making good decisions is central to healthy community, in my opinion.

    • Shanreagh 8.1

      Good community decision making is a product of good individual decision making. or it goes alongside. I've said all along we need to see what our education system is saying about 'civics', political structures, how to tell a scam, history, all the 'isms'

      Some of the protestors who were taken in by anti science may also be taken in by other 'its your money they are after' scams eg the role of essential oils in saving the world, payday loan schemes, pay as you go schemes/scams. With the protestors it was it was it is your brain, judgement, good sense they are/were after. Financial literacy can be taught, how difficult is it to teach people how to recognise scams that are after people's minds.

      On an individual level, the misuse/purloining of the NZ Flag was very upsetting. NZers are not usually the 'ra, ra', 'I'm a patriot', 'I fly the flag' sort of people. The huge use of flags signalled to me that at least some of the imagery had been taken from overseas.

      To be honest viewing the NZ flag will never be the same to me. At the back of my mind is the misuse and the taking of it, turning it upside down and other misuses. If John Key came along again and said what about a new flag, I might be tempted….though I am resigned to any flag being misused.

  9. barry 9

    For many at the camp – this was the first real home they have had for some time. They have successfully alienated themselves from their families and communities. So now they are bereft as they have lost everything.

    • bad politics baby 9.1

      Yes, unfortunately, & now finding no home in Marae.

      • Shanreagh 9.1.1

        Why, unless you whakapapa to a marae, would you expect to arrive and be welcomed as an anti science and health protestor at this Marae that has for years and years been to the forefront of marae based health services.

        And the Kuia/Aunties there should be enough for most to get the message, and they would also know who is theirs.

        Marae are not your local motorcamp.

        How rude.

    • Policy Parrot 9.2

      These people need to have a serious self-examination of their beliefs and approach to life (if they are capable of that).

      For too many, their problem isn't necessarily their beliefs, but their egos.
      They simply don't want to be told that they are wrong. To be fair that isn't a problem unique to this group.

      However, they cannot be just dismissed, doing so represents a danger and suggests arrogance on the part of the government. Acknowledge their prior hurt, seek to understand the way why think what they do, and challenge them in a way which attacks the belief but saves the ego – they were misled etc – similar to those people who are scammed for money online – but this time – they were scammed for knowledge.

      • Shanreagh 9.2.1

        …challenge them in a way which attacks the belief but saves the ego – they were misled etc – similar to those people who are scammed for money online – but this time – they were scammed for knowledge.

        That is my view too. I am sure we can make sure that people are not scammed in this way just as we can make sure they are not scammed of $$$$$. We have begun stopping the scamming for $$$$$ by regulating eg payday lenders etc. It might be harder to do but I am sure we can have a multi pronged approach to stop people being scammed out of their commonsense. There are some ideas further up the thread


        regulation of mis or dis information at a high level like the Chch accord

        we need to keep explaining about mandates and that when we are through to the other side will be the time to look at mandates just as we have looked at border controls etc.


  10. I agree with the framing of 'real' protestors as a way to tease out the stages of this occupation. Also that it is possibly tongue in cheek.

    When you frame it as real rioters, real over throwers it puts it in perspective, or 'real violent' protestors.

    Real rioters do all of the above, throw stones, objects, set fire to things, even kill other people (sometimes on their own side).

  11. Dennis Frank 11

    They exist in a different dimension. Help is required.

    Hard to argue with that. However, worth a try! First, you need the type of diplomat who can do interdimensional travel. Got none of those, right? Get real.

    Wearing my pollyanna hat I could perhaps acknowledge the possibility that such an unusually skilled person is theoretically possible. Rather than the diplomatic corps, you'd probably find them in some depth-psychology field. Also, I know several who use horoscope interpretation to help clients. There are counsellors who can cope with traumatised victims but when complex belief systems get in the way of human to human interaction they may be unable to form supportive relationships.

    Second, does the govt really fund help for delusional folk? I suspect not. I suspect a bipartisan consensus that turning a blind eye to that problem is best. However, if someone has evidence to the contrary, let's hear it.

    Third, the question of help for that group hinges on political contingency. They seem to be around 5% of the populace, so the cost would be significant. What's the bet Labour & National will just hope they fade away instead?

  12. PsyclingLeft.Always 12

    While there were repeated warnings about the far-right, racist and violent elements who were part of the protest, we still saw things like fawning media coverage about a wedding between two protesters on the steps of Parliament mere days before the lawn was set on fire. There was an effort by some local media to normalise the protesters that seems quite naive now.


    A good, well summed article. These people were not OK.

  13. Incognito 13

    People band together for all sorts of reasons and into many different groupings, be it clubs, gangs, or congregations, etcetera. They have done this for ages because it fills a need and/or want. Group loyalty is instinctive and can go far and deep, just like real blood ties – blood and red colour are often used as a symbol. Groups identify through symbols & signage. Protests and movements without a clear vision (aka beef), strategy, and leadership all acting as an umbrella (or tent) will fizzle out – the underlying needs or wants of the people won’t.

    Once the mandates start to disappear the sting will be disappear too. Until then, an authoritarian approach fuelled by moral righteousness will run the risk of further and prolonged alienation, which will not serve us well in the longer run, IMHO.

    In addition, the Novavax vaccine will be rolled out soon, which should alleviate concerns some have about mRNA vaccines.

  14. Cliopedant 14

    Childrearing 101 means not indulging or excusing bad behaviour. And just as you can’t reason with a two year old throwing a tantrum, you can’t reason with many of these “protesters” because they won’t respond to logic or sound argument. It’s all very well arguing that we should try to understand their points of view, but that doesn’t mean accepting them. You can’t reason with irrationality.

    And then there’s the bad actors whose intentions are to be deliberately, often covertly, subversive of social order. I don’t want to understand their malice, I want them detected and punished for their sly nastiness and incipient or overt violence. They are not going to respond to attempts at reasoned understanding. Time for some of the adults in the room to step up and take action to restore social harmony. And that doesn’t include David Seymour.

    • Incognito 14.1

      Toddlers aged 2 and protestors have an entirely different pre-frontal cortex – Functional Anatomy 101. If you view and treat toddlers the same as adults you will get nowhere and vice versa.

    • Anker 14.2

      Cliopedant……….there is a saying hard on the behaviour, soft on the person.

      There have always been people who have had wacky ideas about alternative medicine, long before the internet. People who mis trust Western medicine and evidence that is sound. They are entitled to their view point….. why should we try and change their minds? I realize in a pandemic their health choices will impact on us. But changing minds is a long term goal and it was never going to happen at short term notice as would have needed to in the pandemic.

      If we are serious about wanting to influence these people, how about we stop vilifying them? Does anyone think they are really going to be open to new information from people who call them feral? idiots? crazy? Nazis?

      "real protesters don't burn down playgrounds". And so the vast majority of the people at the protest didn't do that. They had 22 days to burn the playground down and they didn't. Someone or a small group of people burned the playground down. This protest absolutely did attract anti social types (I mean that in the DSM 5 definition of the term). People who have no respect for rules, who want to intimidate etc. But they were not the vast majority.

      The playground is an interesting symbol. I didn't like the use of tax payers money to build it in parliament. That could have gone to a disadvantaged community for anyone of a number of benefits. Those who live and work around parliament are some of the most advantaged people in NZ. There are other playgrounds nearby.

      For me it could be a symbol for how out of touch those who inhabit parliament are.

  15. Hamish 15

    Glitch post

    [lprent: space filler comments? If this was meant to be deleted, then you could have used the delete button in the re-edit. ]

  16. Peter 16

    I've read it all through to here. Regardless of all that, how come to a backdrop of 'Freedom' signs, people in Wellington were telling others to fuck off when they tried to walk in the environs of Parliament and harassed others for wearing masks and grabbed at them?

    And how do you tell them they need help?

  17. The thing that struck me right from the beginning of this farcical 23 days was the sophistication of their posters/banners.

    Few felt tips scrawled on ragged squares of brown cardboard; printed signs and a large variety of them too.

    There had to be a substantial amount of money behind this clownvoy – and that aspect, overseas or internal, needs to be looked at.

    • weka 17.1

      how much does it cost to print one of those placards? I've seen them in other protests (not convoy ones) they seem reasonably standard. And obviously there were a lot of hand drawn ones at the convoy protest as well.

      Do you know how much money XR in the UK raised? Do you want all protests scrutinised to see where their money comes from? Won't that have a dampening effect on protest?

      • To my mind, XR is a legitimate protest movement, and one all of us should support.

        The clownvoy 'represented' a very small minority of the citizens of this country, yet seemed well supplied with money (at least from a signage pov) Much more so than any protest I've ever been on.

        It just seemed funded well in excess of its base. IMHO

        • weka

          yes, it is. My point is we need to be careful in how we establish this narrative in NZ.

          eg why does size matter?

          what happens when National are in power and they want to take money from XR etc because they judge them as illegitimate?

      • AB 17.1.2

        It's worth knowing where the money comes from. Whether anything is done to stop it is a separate and much more challenging matter. I'm inclined not to stop it unless it is the proceeds of crime etc.

    • Hongi Ika 17.2

      Hopefully the Leaders of this Protest will be held to account, Winston didn't help the situation going down there mask less trying to win votes.

  18. Anker 18

    Cliopedant……….there is a saying hard on the behaviour, soft on the person.

    There have always been people who have had wacky ideas about alternative medicine, long before the internet. People who mis trust Western medicine and evidence that is sound. They are entitled to their view point….. why should we try and change their minds? I realize in a pandemic their health choices will impact on us. But changing minds is a long term goal and it was never going to happen at short term notice as would have needed to in the pandemic.

    If we are serious about wanting to influence these people, how about we stop vilifying them? Does anyone think they are really going to be open to new information from people who call them feral? idiots? crazy? Nazis?

    "real protesters don't burn down playgrounds". And so the vast majority of the people at the protest didn't do that. They had 22 days to burn the playground down and they didn't. Someone or a small group of people burned the playground down. This protest absolutely did attract anti social types (I mean that in the DSM 5 definition of the term). People who have no respect for rules, who want to intimidate etc. But they were not the vast majority.

    The playground is an interesting symbol. I didn't like the use of tax payers money to build it in parliament. That could have gone to a disadvantaged community for anyone of a number of benefits. Those who live and work around parliament are some of the most advantaged people in NZ. There are other playgrounds nearby.

    For me it could be a symbol for how out of touch those who inhabit parliament are.

    A lot of people who were there weren’t anti social. The Govt made lame excuses for not meeting with them. As I said above we will be lucky if Winston Peters scoops them up.

    • observer 18.1

      Over the 3 weeks the question was asked many, many times (including on here):

      When will the "vast majority" stand up and disown the "anti social minority"? When will they demand that they leave? When will they remove the many, many signs of violence, bigotry and hate?

      They didn't.

  19. Just Saying 19

    It's called rioting. I repeatedly predicted rioting to all who knew me from the very beginning of the 'two New Zealands' campaign. I felt it – it was visceral.

    What I don't understand is how for me this instinct was a knowing of where this was heading, a deep dread, from the very first chords. While the same music led so many, including here, to "filth, feral, shit, contaminated, eliminate''.

    Same signal. A tune as from a pied piper leading most here to extreme and dangerous hatred.

    It’s worth mentioning two previous riots (Auckland and Dunedin,) involved mostly ‘respectable’ middle-class kids)

    • observer 19.1

      extreme and dangerous hatred

      You mean Counterspin, Telegram and the like?

      • Just Saying 19.1.1

        I've only heard of Counterspin here. Telegram? other than the old, possibly extinct means of sending messages, this is completely new to me.

        Always, the hatred lies somewhere else. Always.

        • observer

          You could choose to inform yourself. You are on the internet, it's not hard. They don't hide their hate.

          I wouldn't blame anyone for not wanting to look closer at where the hate comes from. To learn who those people are, what they say. It's a deeply dispiriting experience. I'd prefer a nice walk in the fresh air and sun.

          But you can't "understand" in any meaningful sense by deliberately avoiding the evidence. It might comfort us to invent our own version of the occupation (as some on here clearly have). But if you're going to apportion blame based on feelings instead of information, that's not going to stack up.

    • Shanreagh 19.2

      It’s worth mentioning two previous riots (Auckland and Dunedin,) involved mostly ‘respectable’ middle-class kids)

      These are not springing to mind. Would you please reference them.

      I can recall protests but very few riots as we saw on Wednesday.

    • Shanreagh 19.3

      I don't recall a Two NZ campaign. This was part of the protestors, anti vaxxers iconography for sure.

      I recall a call to vaccinate with consequences for those who chose not to. The reasons for this have been explained many times here and in the news media.

      I must admit from very early on when I saw the level of anti vax 'woo woo' and the appropriation of ant vax memes from overseas whether or not they were happening in NZ I was concerned.

      There just did not seem to be any way of stopping this tide of irrational thinking. I did see a link on Unite against Covid website that answered queries such as those about the trackers. But how does a Govt counter this type of misinformation without setting off the doubters who are waiting to hitch their ant vaxx wagon to something.

      I guess many of us gave our fellow citizens too great a credit for being able to sift things out etc.

      Frightened people often behave irrationally but it really is a chicken/egg situation as to which came first

      ie whether you are frightened by misinformation and that leaves you more vulnerable to irrational behaviour or the other way round.

      Incidentally I have not seen this

      Same signal. A tune as from a pied piper leading most here to extreme and dangerous hatred.

      I have seen caring, rational people struggling to see:

      the aim of the protest

      the point of the protest and it lasting so long

      the gathering together of a whole raft of dangerous grumpies and violent entrepreneurs and not keeping a tight ship ie what place did the Counterspins, Action Zealandia, Arps of our NZ world have in a protest ostensibly about 'mandates' but really about anti vaccination ideas?

  20. observer 20

    Again: this has nothing to with mandates. Nothing to do with "freedom". Nothing to do with the marae and iwi. And no amount of "whatabout … " can make it so.


    “There are reports of up to 100 vehicles on the way to Wainuiomata.”

    To do what? Engage?

    • Shanreagh 20.1

      I am sure that the fact that Wainuiomata is the home of Trevor Mallard will be playing a part in the choice of Wainuiomata. Also the fact that this marae has been a home for part of the vaccination campaign from very early on.

      • Robert Guyton 20.1.1

        A revenge attack for turning on the sprinklers?


        • Shanreagh

          No more about being the one who trespassed them, 'them' not being able to see the difference between the position and the person holding that position at this time.

          Hence all the vitriol about the PM as a person as people are not able to separate the person from the position. Also an inability to understand that the PM whether the post or the person does not do all of these things attributed to her personally.

          Also probably because the Marae has been notable in providing a site for vaccination clinics.

          As did Pipitea Marae that was overrun with protestors who purported to give the Marae a trespass notice, as they tried to, or did with the Anglican cathedral. The Cathedral was ostensibly providing a home for the fixtures beaming radiation and EMF into the protest areas and causing the sickness there that we recognise as Covid.

      • observer 20.1.2

        I'm sure they can concoct any kind of spurious reason and convince themselves inside their echo chamber.

        They might as well find an apiary and demolish the beehives.

        Or they could just leave innocent people alone.

        • Incognito

          The ducks in duck ponds will fall on hard times when the protestors stop feeding them, the innocent poor paddlers.

      • weka 20.1.3

        Also the fact that this marae has been a home for part of the vaccination campaign from very early on.

        So there are Māori protestors, from that marae, who are trying to go there?

        • weka

          I feel incredibly sad watching that video, that it's come to this. That man isn't connected to the marae apparently, so I've no idea what he is trying to do. And good on the people for defending their place. I hope cool heads will prevail in these situations.

        • Shanreagh

          I don't know. The Marae is very strong on being a place to provide Well Health services for its people and has been for many years. Any protestors from there who tried who tried to go there would be well aware of the kaupapa of the marae. People who whakapapa to a place generally are more aware of the Tikanga relating to entry and the ceremonies around it.

          Incredibly disrespectful to do as they did at Pipitea Marae to come in through the back door and to try to force an entry at Wainuiomata. Like people arriving on your front doorstep and saying I'm a person like you I'll come into your home……. or like people who arrive at the back door, unasked depriving you of the ability to make them welcome properly at the front.

          (My mother had an absolute and total dislike of people who came to the back door and most of the places they lived in had a gate or other ways to block access, but there were still those who opened the gate or climbed over a lower gate…..)

      • Hongi Ika 20.1.4

        Maybe Alt Right Gangsters ?

        Does Mallard have some ancestoral links to the Wainuiomata Marae perhaps ?

    • Peter 20.2

      Apparently New Zealand covers 268,021 square kilometres. The guy chose to stand on a couple of them in Wainuiomata. As he's entitled to I suppose. All the choices and that's exactly where he wanted to be.

      I saw numbers of clips in the past couple of weeks where some wanted to use a few square metres around Parliament. Reporters they were, as if that's relevant to freedom. Some there objected to that and effectively prohibited them from doing it.

      I'm sure the guy taken away understands how things work. I see the Marae has a vaccination clinic on Sunday. I'm sure everyone understands that anyone who wants to be vaccinated has the freedom to do that, anyone who wants to give vaccinations or be part of administering them has the freedom to do that. Without mindless harassment. Any bets on the carted away guy understanding that?

  21. Robert Guyton 21

    "The former leader of the New Conservative party, Leighton Baker, has been remanded on bail and is due back in court later in the month.

    He is charged with obstructing police and trespass in relation to the anti-mandate protest"


    • Poission 21.1

      Two classes of people Prime minister cited in High court case.

      Pyke also told the court that the concept of vaccination mandates was summed up best by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern herself, when she accepted in an interview with the Herald that the mandates created two classes of people.

      "That is, with respect to the Honourable Prime Minister, an accurate observation. That is what it is."


      • PsyclingLeft.Always 21.1.1

        By FAR the vast majority of NZers are allgood with the mandates. And also not keen on anti vaxxers neither.

        And Not Teaching their Children, spreading mis/disinformation or looking after them or relatives in Hospitals.

      • observer 21.1.2

        Court challenges over the vaccine mandates can (probably will) change government policy. Setting tents on fire and chucking rocks will not.

        The money spent on the camp would have been better spent on legal fees.

        But as we know now, it wasn't about the mandates. That pretence went up in smoke.

  22. Just Saying 22

    Reply to Shanreagh at 19.3 Again what started as a reply fell to the bottom. Apologies

    Very deep sigh.

    I have no doubt there are people who oppose vaccination in NZ. There always have been. A number of people so small that they have never prevented NZ achieving herd immunity in childhood vaccination. Vaccines for all the usual targets, such as whooping cough, small pox, (hell I'm struggling to remember because they relate to diseases that have been eliminated in NZ outside of rare cases of people bringing TB into the country).

    I must admit from very early on when I saw the level of anti vax 'woo woo' and the appropriation of ant vax memes from overseas whether or not they were happening in NZ I was concerned.

    Please link to this.

    This has not been about that small number previously opposing vaccination. I'm vaccinated against things I can't even remember. Most recently I had the covid vaccination, but I don't expect it to prevent my becoming infected, or infecting anyone else. It was just for my own benefit. Prior to that, shingles.

    It never needed to turn into this. I can't imagine why PM Adern's actions have been consistently inflammatory. 'There Is No Alternative' doesn't wash with me because the inflammation has continued despite NZ exceeding vaccination targets, despite most here, who are angry at the unvaccinated, having themselves been vaccinated.

    This is about disease and an (unfortunately) non-sterilising vaccine. Which means most of us will get covid despite vaccination and regardless of those who are not vaccinated.

    • Peter 22.1

      The scientists got into action and came up within some sort of vaccinations. There are bound to be 'scientists' in Kaikohe, Moutere and Murupara who think they should have come up with something better. And they themselves knew better what the answers were. Or thought it better to not come up with anything.

      Or that we, everyone should have just accepted things and not worried about it. Almost 6 million dead so far. Only. Plenty more left. 10.8 billion doses of a vaccine administered so far. Some play the "it's God's will" card and the everyone's got to die sometime, so don't worry" one.

      Ardern's actions have been consistently inflammatory? Some would agree with that on the grounds she was sucked into playing the Covid game. You know, borders closed, lockdowns, MIQ, the focus on vaccinations. She made it out to be a big deal.

      Here is the news: It is a big deal. There are 5 million different perspectives here in New Zealand. The good thing is we are all right about what should have been done or should be done. The best thing though is that we didn't have to be in the driver's seat. The bestest thing is as much as we didn't get to drive or enjoy the ride we're still here to comment on the driver.

      • Hongi Ika 22.1.1

        Fortunately we are a couple of months behind the rest of the World and our health professionals are monitoring what is going on overseas. I have put my faith in them as opposed to the Medical Professional/Scientists in Murupara/Kaitaia/Moutere. I have got myself double jabbed, I am skeptical about Big Pharma however at some stage each individual has to make an informed decision. I have friends on both sides of the fence and I am hearing some pretty whacky stuff which may or may not be true ?

      • Shanreagh 22.1.2

        Very much to the point……

        The bestest thing is as much as we didn't get to drive or enjoy the ride we're still here to comment on the driver.

        Or as they say 'I wouldn't be dead for quids'

        Though this so-called mild Omicron seems to have a high death rate or is this Delta still floating around. We didn't quite knock Delta out before Omicron came knocking.

        Or, more likely. it is a product of the infectious nature of Omicron putting more in hospital and affecting more

    • Shanreagh 22.2

      I must admit from very early on when I saw the level of anti vax 'woo woo' and the appropriation of ant vax memes from overseas whether or not they were happening in NZ I was concerned.

      Please link to this.

      If you read the article by David Farrier
      you will see the level of woo he had identified as at October 2021. Up to that time I had been involved in checking out all manner of claims that I had come across on a NZ MB I was frequenting at the time.

      I got involved through an interest in Conspiracy Theories generally from the point of view of the leaps in logic that the human brain must do to accept any of these.

      There are 1000s of anti vax memes.

      I read a couple of websites

      Sorryantivaxxer and the Herman Cain awards and these both chronicle the lives and deaths of fierce, and not not so fierce, anti vaxxers.

      The entry requirements for Sorryantivaxxer are

      'The purpose of this site is educational, except for a few exceptions, everyone listed on this site was/is an anti-vaxxer activist who helped spread COVID-19 misinformation on social media. Share to stop others from making the same mistake. GET VACCINATED!'

      These are people who have been deluded into to thinking

      a Covid does not exist or

      b vaccines contain covid, 5G, trackers, magnets, stuff that will alter your DNA

      c vaccines are the mark of the beast, are against God's word etc etc.

      d are part of a huge Plandemic, are linked to Pizza Parlours in Washington DC, pedofiles in Washington DC


      NZ has one entry so far on this worldwide site. Hopefully we won't get more.


      Now this is not so bad if they kept these views to themselves but many shared & widely. Most later died of Covid though a few are better…..many are still what they call 'shit posting' the same anit vaxx memes.

      There have been a couple who have come out the other side after Covid and reflected.

      This guy is one


    • McFlock 22.3

      Which means most of us will get covid despite vaccination and regardless of those who are not vaccinated.

      Besides the entire "reduced infection is still better than no reduction in infection" point, your prediction of "most of us" getting omicron seems somewhat more pessimistic than many of the projections of people who actually know what they're talking about. "Most" is a possibility, by no means a certainty. Especially if everyone does basic stuff like masks, vaccination, isolation when possibly sick, physical distancing, and other "don't be a moron" measures.

  23. Just Saying 23

    And this time I saw the post jump to the bottom when I was trying to reply to Shenagh. What is new is emptying the already written content on the way.

    Pat, thankyou for your efforts. Shelagh, I tried.

    This is to hard. I struggle to get a cursor on the page in the first place.

    I think this computer is just too old. And this is a whole lot of effort that is better spent elsewhere. Wishing you all well.

    • Shanreagh 23.1

      Are you hitting the reply tab? Sometimes I do that and it gets right to the bottom of the page but is still linked even if it is quite a way away from the original post. Also Weka was in convo with posters who were finding banners across the pages where they wanted to reply.

      So it may not be your computer and don't give up because of it, or us……smiley

    • McFlock 23.2

      There are more than a couple of comments of mine that were edited to something like "shit, missed the reply tab" lol

      Whatever the reason, shit happens

  24. coge 24

    I've heard talk today the current state covid mandates will be lasting until at least the end of 2023. I'm not sure this is tenable for the NZ economy.

    • McFlock 24.1

      I've heard talk that the economy can go fuck itself, the important thing is people.

      The economy will adapt. Because people adapt. The economy is run by people.

      • Shanreagh 24.1.1

        Yes that has been borne out throughout this Covid pandemic. Focus on health (ie People) and the rest looks after itself more or less.

        Having said this people are tired and to have the good work that has happened to keep us safe trashed literally and metaphorically on the home strait by 3 weeks of occupation by selfish uncaring people has made some even more tired.

        I want to get my teeth into, and be part of work to ameliorate, poverty, improve housing or climate change. I am sure our govt also wants to get into some of these but our health is paramount.

    • Shanreagh 24.2

      What are state covid mandates? We don't have states…was this about somewhere in Aus or US?

      It would help if you would cite your sources or make it clear it if it was in the work staff room or in a conversation with an MP. Otherwise it is just speculation and opinion.

      PM has said on many occasions that mandates would go when they are not needed.


    • observer 24.3

      I've heard talk today the current state covid mandates will be lasting until at least the end of 2023.

      I haven't heard any such talk, and it would be a major headline if it were true. A search of both Google and Twitter produced 0 results.

      Please tell us where you heard this.

      Many on here ask us to be patient, show understanding, empathy etc … but how are we supposed to deal with such daily dishonesty? Happy to engage in good faith debate, yes. Those peddling misinformation, no.

  25. swordfish 25


    Fascinating (if unsurprising) to witness the Dogmatic Woke desperately trying to maintain the Critical Race Theory narrative of eternally-innocent, vulnerable & victimised Māori … never the perpetrators of violence or anti-social behaviour … always the Noble Victims. With the Establishment Pakeha Woke, of course, always their Heroic (if highly paternalistic) Rescuers.

    The current subtext: White Neo-Nazi Supremacists attack vulnerable Iwi at Wainui Marae.

    Anyone watching the live feeds a few days ago would've noticed Māori Men were disproportionately among those potesters involved in violence, incitement & provocation against Police.

    And I'm guessing more than a few of those heading to Wainuiomata Marae are, in fact, Māori rather than White Nazis (including among the occupants of 40 cars staying at a local Wainuiomata property).

    Woke sacralisation of anyone & everyone of Māori ethnicity (despite the disproportionate violence & anti-social behaviour, particularly among the Underclass) has now become an attempt to impose a complete Fantasy World on Reality. No doubt to scapegoat the victims, forcing them to suffer in silence, while the affluent Woke (disproportionately inheriting the wealth from colonisation) get to indulge in ostentatious moral posturing while ensuring they live as far away from the mayhem they've created as possible.

    The contrast between underclass Māori male violent / aggressive behaviour in lower & low-middle income cities & suburbs … and the Romanticised BS that the affluent White Woke self-interestedly employ as a weapon to scapegoat others … is absolutely jaw-dropping.

    • roblogic 25.1

      Rubbish. @Te_Taipo documented the Māori elements of the protest and called them out. Looks like you are pushing a narrative of your own.

    • weka 25.2

      The current subtext: White Neo-Nazi Supremacists attack vulnerable Iwi at Wainui Marae.

      unless you can link to more than one instance of analysis that was framed like that, I'm going to assume you are projecting you anti-woke politics onto the situation. Not saying it hasn't happened, but I'd like to see actual evidence.

    • Anker 25.3

      Agree Swordfish and I notice no one is excusing the anti social behaviour at parliament and towards the police at the end as due to colonisation………..

      And I keep thinking of your parents and all the other state house tennants trapped for four years plus next to the anti social types that were undoubtable at the protest (and there were also peaceful people who I understand tried to control these anti social elements). These same type of anti social tennants that the State has refused to evict. But when we have them being anti social amongst the Wellington elite, that won't do……

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