They Are Us

Written By: - Date published: 10:21 am, February 20th, 2022 - 129 comments
Categories: covid-19, Deep stuff, human rights - Tags:

“They are us”.

These were the words Prime Minister Ardern uttered straight after the Christchurch massacre.

The people camping outside Parliament are also us.

We don’t have to agree with them.

We can tow their cars and put their extremists in front of a judge.

But they are still us.

They can wee on the front lawn, believe stupid things, and be completely imbalanced about necessary tradeoffs of human rights. They may have no ideological core, no leader, and little they can agree on. They may be supported by no political party in parliament. And still they are us.

Where else ought they go? Back to no job, no MSD help, no network other than that online? We don’t even do that to prisoners coming out of jail. Why did this government think they would get away with such a fast and massive change in societal rules without demur?

The only right place for a protest is right outside where our national democratic representatives gather. It is their job to make you feel uncomfortable. Bars don’t have a human right to customers. MPs and Parliamentary staff should all be working from home on Teams as per the government’s own COVID advice, not complaining about being yelled at. The location, scale and length of the protest is proportionate to the degree of deprivation these people have experienced.

At Ardern’s address about the Christchurch massacre, she unified all of Parliament by bringing all party leaders on her air force flight from Wellington to Christchurch. At Christchurch’s vigil she stood and said simply “You are us.”

Where has that Prime Minister gone? Why are these people not us? It is contempt.

Ardern used to be globally renowned as one who would with skilled communication embrace all. Ignoring crisis is her new mode, and her polls are tanking almost as fast as that of Labour itself. Two months after the 2019 Christchurch massacre Prime Minister Ardern and French President Emmanual Macron used a G20 summit to launch the Christchurch Call to Action as a partnership between government and Big Tech to deny “terrorist and violent extremist content” online. They made a difference while not solving the problem entirely.

Where has that statesperson gone in 2022? Multiple countries have faced COVID civil rights crisis after crisis, but there is no call for common position or approach from Ardern. Where is that same solid moral and logical foundation we once knew? Why has her courage left her?

The current inaction by NZ Police and government is turning the inchoate rabble into a cause celebre. This will only start being solved – as in the Canadian approach – when local police start towing the cars away. So instead into that cold political air consisting of pure fire-ready oxygen, Russell Coutts is joining, Dame Tariana Turia supports them, the cars keep coming week after week. We know now this is going to grow, and with that dumpster fire will come broader and unwelcome international political support.

The protest will continue to grow until Ardern sets out a specific timetable that ends the vaccine mandates. As she should, and like she has for every other COVID-response step.

Few other than Government Ministers actually agree that the vaccine mandates should continue. Whatever solidity is left has little foundation. Just maybe they have a point.

Covid-19: Are NZ’s vaccine mandates justified in the age of Omicron? |

But now to her, any response looks like caving. Every protester, according to Minister Wood, is harbouring Nazis.

Labour’s Michael Wood warns MPs who want to support anti-mandate protest it has ‘river of filth’ running through it | Newshub

Ardern, not Mallard, is responsible for the growth of this protest.

Yet the people whose job it is to talk to protesters – politicians – dare not speak to the unclean. They speak above them directly to the media, and repeat how un-principled of them it would be to speak to them as if at stake were principles higher than packing up a tent. The politicians are treating them like the societal outcasts they are so they behave like outcasts even more.

The slippery slope of political shunning will grow into a social pileup. Disease. Injury. Crime. Counter-protest. Public v protester violence. Deeper extremism. Calls that they all be infected and let the protest+disease “sort itself out”. Calls for ever-greater martial force from left, centre and right.

This used to be everything Jacinda Ardern stood against. So did we.

Actually let me show you how real New Zealanders deal with outcasts when you’re not an MP: Salvation Army and City Mission and Te Whanau Waipereira staff are abused dealing with the homeless and wasted every day. Police are regularly abused as part of their line of work. Courts engage sensitively with outrageous crime in socially and culturally sensitive settings. DHB mental health teams deal with the delusional and their wake of damage in group conferences every hour of the day. Social Welfare and Oranga Tamariki staff deal with outrage, incoherence, living condition squalor and fact-free stupidity every day.

They do the hard mahi these politicians won’t.

The ordinary public service know better than the politicians that not engaging with difficult people just makes the whole situation worse and worse, and they do so with skill not evident in Ardern’s current leadership.

Ardern has changed for the worse and her reaction to this protest can only recall Robert Muldoon’s darkest days.

They are not “them”.

They are us.

129 comments on “They Are Us ”

  1. mickysavage 1

    To show that debate is alive and well on the Standard today there are two posts with considerably different views.

    For me I disagree with Ad in his criticism of Ardern. Right now is not the time to work out when to announce a lifting of mandates. It is a time for assessment and providing full support to the health system. The Wellington protests are an unfortunate sideshow and distraction and the involvement of the far right should not be minimised.

    • weka 1.1

      three now, all headlined (you and I overlapped?). Would have been nice if they didn't all use the same photo, but maybe there's some potent imagery in that after all.

      • Belladonna 1.1.1

        Actually – I think that the same photo speaks volumes. That it's perspective that matters – not 'reality'.

        • Dennis Frank

          When a perspective is shared by a group you get a socially-constructed reality that separates out from whatever socially-constructed reality exists already.

          The protest has morphed into a self-organising system. When humans do those they co-construct alternate realities on the basis of common cause.

          Leftists, standing apart, observe this natural phenomenon but misinterpret it due to their bias. Better to go with what's happening. Leftist delusions are irrelevant.

    • weka 1.2

      added a couple of links that were missing.

    • Chris T 1.3

      "Right now is not the time to work out when to announce a lifting of mandates"

      Is that a joke?

      People just want to know an idea of what is needed to do it. No one expects a specific date.

      • McFlock 1.3.1

        Well, I'm not so sure about your last sentence, but in case you missed it over the last couple of years the basic principle is that the public health measures will end when there's not a high probability that removing those measures will result in thousands of cases a day and the concomitant pressure on primary, secondary, and tertiary-level health providers will kill people even if the virus doesn't kill them directly.

        happy to help

        • Chris T

          That isn't good enough.

          Edit: But appreciate the govt probably hadn’t thought about it yet.

          As they really are that disorganised.

          • McFlock

            Dude, they've been doing it for literally years, adjusting public health measures to match the rising, or falling, public health hazard. L4 comes in, risk passes, got to L3 or L2. Traffic light starts orange, then goes red. Bubble comes in, bubble leaks, bubble pops.

            Everything else is in the hands of viral evolution in the rest of the world. Omicron sub variants get even more mild, things relax, then the omega or eye of horus variants come along and the unvaccinated lose their jobs again. Or we get a more transmissible haemorrhagic disease like ebola, and reopened travel goes back to miq.

            If you want anything more firm than that then go to a farm, buy a live chicken and read its damned entrails.

            • Chris T

              I am not sure why this is so hard for you to take in.

              No one is asking for an exact date I know.

              What they want is the criteria and status of the contagion stats wise which would provide enough comfort to drop the mandates.

              This criteria could be meet tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. Just wtf is it?

              As I say. I am guessing they haven't considered it yet.

              • McFlock

                You're correct, I don't understand why you're looking for specific "criteria" in a pandemic. What, you're after a case per day number? A demonstrated R0? Any measure encompasses circumstances where controls can be eased and where controls should be increased.

                Safe to say it's not gonna happen while cases are jumping by hundreds a day. We've got the expected curves of this outbreak which seem to be tracking cases pretty well along the 80% masking front (2500 announced today feb20, 2550 was the projection for feb 18). We might be under the projection, but not outrageously so.

                So don't expect much in the way of changes to mask mandates before mid-April at the earliest, and shit could push that further back. If public health efforts aren't discarded, of course.

                We're in it "for the duration". The entire "don't know where, don't know when, but I know we'll meet again some sunny day" vibe.

                • Chris T

                  You're correct, I don't understand why you're looking for specific "criteria" in a pandemic. What, you're after a case per day number? A demonstrated R0? Any measure encompasses circumstances where controls can be eased and where controls should be increased.

                  Well the govt obviously isn't thinking about it

                  But nice of you to add the other bit when it should be the govt saying it.

                  • McFlock


                    When I was watching the dailies, the government said it repeatedly.

                    • Chris T

                      Should be easy to post a quote saying it then. I am happy to be proved wrong and apologise.

                    • McFlock

                      I stopped watching the dailies months ago, sorry.

                      Still haven't quite figured out what you're having difficulty with.

                    • Chris T

                      It is pretty simple.

                      Ardern said: "We only want to use things like restrictions and passes and mandates for so long as they are providing safety for the community.

                      "When they're not needed, of course, you'd look to remove them."

                      What situation criteria meets the level of them being needed?

                      She ain't rocket science. She don't even have to give a date.

                • Chris T

                  Safe to say it's not gonna happen while

                  So don't expect much in the way of changes to mask mandates before mid-April at the earliest

                  We're in it "for the duration". The entire "don't know where, don't know when, but I know we'll meet again some sunny day" vibe.

                  Apologies. But this is my point.

                  This is all logic. But is also nothing the govt has pointed out to people more worried than I am.

                  I am getting a bit sick of their promoting paranoia. When the main cause is their own lack of clarity

                  • McFlock

                    Seems pretty clear to me. Any more clear, and the complaint would be that the government is treating nzers like they're children.

                    • Chris T

                      So what?

                      People are supposed to just listen to your sane comments and not bother listening to the govt who don't clarify anything?

                    • McFlock

                      Where do you think my "sane comments" come from?

                      What is so unclear about this media conference? It's an hour long, clearly identifies objectives, current situation, next steps, and so on. Also says why they do some stuff, the limits of tech (like the "pingdemic" risk outlined at around 8min in the bluetooth bit, or RATs @10min). 20min in and it seems clear enough to me.

                      If that's not your thing, what about the community response framework?

                    • Chris T

                      You mean apart from the fact the govt is blatantly missing in action in it?

                    • McFlock


                      You think that if it's only the DG health and a variety of ministry personnel, "the government" isn't there.

                    • Chris T


                      As normal, they are aren't there when any actual proposed planning is given out, and only around when they hand out stats these people give them.

                    • Chris T

                      But if you think it is pointless having the PM guide the country instead of just read stats out all good.

                      I disagree, Think she should be a guide and give reassurance and some sort of idea of what might may cause things to head closer to normal.

                      Get others may not.

                    • McFlock

                      DG health is part of the government. MoH is part of the government.

                      A year ago you were complaining about the PM having a "free daily party political broadcast every day she wants it". Now she's not making enough appearances.

                      I'm wondering if the apparent communication breakdown is in the receiver, rather than the transmitter.

        • Peter Mattiassi

          If the Govt really cared about our health providers saving lives then they should resource them better, and not demoralize and decimate them to the point where they want to go on strike. Talk to some nurses ask them how they feel about mandates. We are not expecting the removal of all restriction overnight. We are talking about vaccine mandates because they could well be counter productive at this point in time.

          • McFlock

            Yeah, bollocks.

            Long term fuckups don't mean the short term plan is wrong. It just makes it more important that the short term plan works.

            This protest is "counter productive". "Mandates" are not.

  2. Clive Macann 2

    You seriously can't compare Wellington to Christchurch.

    Wellington is a group of mainly misinformed people spouting plenty of untruths and acting in a somewhat violent and threatening arena with no regard for the law.

    How does that compare to the Christchurch you talk about?

    • weka 2.1

      He's talking about Ardern's ability to treat NZ as a whole when under stress. Obviously lots of lefties want to other the protestors and Ardern apparently does too. Ad is pointing out that this is unnecessary and wrong. It's about about a moral equivalence in terms of politics, it's about he tangata, he tangata, he tangata.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Yeah, I share your stance re her lack of leadership. Perhaps she hasn't figured out that she has a political crisis to engage with as well as a public health crisis?

    If so, the penny ought to drop sometime soon. Understandable that she got stuck in pandemic management thinking but political leaders nowadays are meant to follow the people (rather than lead them) and the recent poll showing a 70:30 split in public opinion on the mandate was a signal to her that the team of five million framing she used a couple of years ago no longer has validity. There's an opposing team now.

    Just watched the police commissioner on Q+A and was surprised by how well he came across. He said he was acting on the advice of his executive. Anyone know what he meant by that?? Some kind of collective leadership group of top cops? Whatever, he seems a model of peaceful conflict resolution in process and the PM ought to engage on a similar basis. Stop displaying impotence!

    • mikesh 3.1

      If so, the penny ought to drop sometime soon.

      Hopefully, when Christmas comes around, Trevor will play Yuletide carols to the protesters over the loudspeakers. They could also distribute free hot cross buns to them the following Easter.

    • mikesh 3.2

      I think the mandates were put in place to protect employers who, in the interests of staff safety declined to employ unvaccinated persons, from accusations of discrimination, and perhaps from litigation. A secondary purpose, I suppose, would have been to encourage waverers to get themselves vaccinated – and seem to have been very successful in doing so.

      I don't think the gover4nment can provide a timeline for removal of the mandates until omicron has played itself out – and delta too, which is still circulating apparently.

  4. Muttonbird 4

    Incredibly poor taste to highjack this quote made for people whose only crime was to be muslim. A crime for which they paid with 51 lives.

    Just being edgy to get eyeballs on the post?


  5. Robert Guyton 5

    The police commissioner "seems a model of peaceful conflict resolution in progress".

    The Prime Minister has said that the matter is his, not hers.

    That's wise thinking, given your comment, Dennis, don't you think?

    Leave the matter in the hands of the capable person whose job it is to manage the problem.

    • Dennis Frank 5.1

      Operationally you are correct. However a govt can't succeed by ignoring a political crisis created by it's own legislation. It does have to own the crisis.

      Instead, the PM has been trying to ignore it by using an above the fray stance. The longer she remains stuck in that, the more damage she does to her govt. People interpret it as impotence. Weak govts lose.

      • Patricia Bremner 5.1.1

        "Weak Governments Lose" They should use the cosh? then lose? Rock and hard place. You either believe and live by 'least violence possible' or you don't.

        • Dennis Frank

          No, wrong to use traditional force methods. Coster is doing peaceful non-violent confict resolution. I hope he succeeds with that. You can do that from a position of strength, and although many complain that he seems weak and the police control system too porous to take seriously, his interview with Q+A gave me the feeling that his containment policy is satisfactory.

          What we are not being informed of is the extent of govt/police liaison. Notably missing from the public debate has been the police minister. You could use a cardboard cut-out of her instead – would be just as effective in the public mind. If she has been doing active liaison behind the scenes, that would be unfair. We just don't know. I reckon Ardern ought to tell us. Transparent governance!

  6. vto 6

    I agree with others above that the comparison with 51 dead men women and children in Christchurch is out of order Ad.

    The protestors who have lost jobs and the like have suffered a kick. These kicks come to people each and every day of every year…

    … the only thing that makes this any different from every other everyday kicking is the prominence and the higher numbers involved..

    … but the actual effects of the kicking are no different. The protestors are crying over an everyday risk and kick, and they need to get over themselves.

    Risk to tourism from a pandemic? Always been there.

    Risk to hospo from a pandemic? Always been there.

    I see people kicked everyday by government, by acts of god, by business risks, by acts of ill intent from fellow humans, by events in foreign lands… it goes on and on and on…

    … the only difference is the singular suffering a sole sufferer (which nobody cares about – John Key ‘life choices’ anyone? bullshit) … compared to the multiple headline-grabbing of the larger numbers involved here…

    so nup, aint no "they are us" in the context posited.


  7. mikesh 7

    The slogan "They are us" was very effective when used by Jacinda at the time of the Christchurch massacre but has now become something of a cliche.

  8. Bearded Git 8

    Ad-below are extracts from Toby Manhire's brilliant article describing the key people behind the Wellington anti-vaccine protest. You may be able to stomach these people but I want nothing to do with them.

    "The letter [containing demands from groups at the parliament protest] was co-signed by the Freedom Alliance, NZ Doctors Speaking Out with Science, the Outdoors & Freedom Movement, the Freedoms and Rights Coalition and Voices for Freedom. It ..included …the false assertion that Covid is no more severe than the flu."

    "Kelvyn Alp’s conspiratorial subjects range from the moon landings to the Christchurch massacre. He feeds his viewers the flagrant falsehood that Covid is a hoax – “there is no virus, there never has been….trafficked children are incarcerated in a dungeon under parliament, interspersed with spam hawking fraudulent vaccine passports, weight loss pills and crypto."

    Brian Tamaki's "FRC has arranged dozens of protests around the country, including at the Auckland Domain, the motorway “gridlock” and the large gathering at parliament in November, where one FRC speaker declared the media to be “an army of terrorists”.

    "VFF describes itself as a grassroots organisation, but the abundance of the material it has created, including mass-produced misinformation pamphlets, posters that dominate demonstrations and giant billboards, have raised questions about funding."

    "On another Chantelle Baker stream, she gushed over messages such as “love conquers all” inked on a vehicle. Except some of the messages in the frame were wishing death upon politicians. And the vehicle was adorned with a picture of Jacinda Ardern behind bars, emblazoned with a conspiracy theorist Q."

    OFM "is led by conspiracy theorist and lawyer Sue Grey, who is currently being investigated by the Law Society. Grey has addressed the crowd at parliament a number of times and repeatedly appeared on Counterspin. She has been at the forefront of various anti-vaccine legal efforts"

    Freedom Allianc NZ is "An anti-lockdown, anti-vaccine group that promotes conspiracy theories,"

    Billy Te Kahika "has been active on Facebook, producing livestreams including, last week, a disquisition on UFOs, the “alien agenda of Satan” and how it all connects to the UN."

    A tiny minority of current and former health professionals have joined the anti-vaccine bandwagon and promulgate misinformation. Many have been suspended or are under Medical Council investigation.

    • weka 8.1

      You may be able to stomach these people but I want nothing to do with them.

      What do you think should be done with them then, if they are not part of NZ?

      • Bearded Git 8.1.1

        Weka-I think the full force of the law should be thrown at them. I think the police should give them until noon on Monday (tomorrow) to pack up all illegal structures, and if they don't take this opportunity the police should move in and pull them down.

        My patience with this rabble is at an end.

  9. Reality 9

    Advantage, your post is seriously abhorrent.

    It totally ignores the hundreds of thousands of decent, law-abiding New Zealanders who have toiled away silently for two years to help us get through this pandemic. I am sure our PM has done her very best to make the right decisions in extraordinary circumstances for the best outcome for us. She will have had many long, stressful days and you come out and unjustifiably insult and malign her.

    • Tony Veitch (not etc.) 9.1

      I have to say I feel bloody little affinity with those nutters in Wellington.

      • Anker 9.1.1

        "I feel very little affirnity with those nutters" ……..But that is the point Tony V .

        Its not about whether you or I feel affinity with them. I don't. I have known many people over the years who are suspious of Western medical, want take anti depressants, anti biotics, blood pressure meds etc etc. I am on a completely different wave length to them. But these people are still New Zealanders. Vilify them at our peril

  10. weka 10

    This used to be everything Jacinda Ardern stood against. So did we.

    Not really. I know the rhetoric and how useful it has been in helping NZ through a difficult time, but Labour has basically ignored the underclass as much as possible for 4 years, and this is more of the same. The undesirables and the too hard basket.

  11. Patricia Bremner 11

    Ad this post should have started with your bias towards Robertson replacing Ardern being made clear.

    You ask … Where has that Ardern gone?.

    She is still there, doing her job meeting with Cabinet, the affected Ministers, rolling out help and keeping her team on task, which is dealing with moving to endemic settings, and along with that will come the possible end date for mandates.

    Yes most of these people in the protest are "Us". However their beliefs are not the usual kaupapa, but a more insidious version of potboiled "freedom".

    They are to be pitied and do need help, but they have the right to refuse that and to protest which they are doing.

    The people joining the bandwagon who have ulterior motives are known and are being peeled off by the authorities or noted as being "in association" are bringing imported ideas and possibly funds.

    Peter Thiel needs monitoring imo as he was a great support for Trumps MAGA. and is courtesy of Key a New Zealand citizen.

  12. Sanctuary 12

    To say people calling for the overthrow of democracy are "us" is a non sequituer. It doesn't matter how many of the protesters are decent people (most German soldiers were supposedly decent but that didn't stop the German army engaging in routine mass gencoide and war crimes at the behest of its leaders) they've aligned themselves with fascist elements determined to over throw the government. The exact problem is many of these people are NOT "us", just as anyone who was on the field in Hamilton in 1981 and had to run the gauntlet of the unleashed mob after the game was cancelled knows that "Rob's mob" were not "us".

    I reject the idea that those organising protest are in any way part of an "us" I recognise, just as I rejected the drunken far right mobs who chanted "we want rugby" then roamed the streets beating up anti-apartheid protesters were "us". This is a them and us situation. Compromise with a mob led by the openly fascist because we are all one happy family? That'll be a cold day in hell. Sometimes you gotta stop being a pussy and pick and side and fight for what you think is right. After all, the fascists have. I don’t like fascists. They are not any “us” I identify with. I'll see them on the street, for a second time, if I have to.

    • aj 12.1

      Sometimes you gotta stop being a pussy and pick and side and fight for what you think is right

      The only thing I did was wrong
      Was staying in the
      Wilderness too long
      Keep your eyes on the prize
      Hold on

      The only thing we did was right
      Was the day we started to fight
      Keep your eyes on the prize
      Hold on

    • Bearded Git 12.2

      Brilliantly put Sanc.smiley

    • weka 12.3

      who is the 'us' you are talking about? I thought Ad was referring to New Zealanders. If the protestors aren't part of NZ, do you want them deported?

      Ironic seeing you talking about who you identify with. We come full circle.

  13. observer 13

    Ardern has changed for the worse and her reaction to this protest can only recall Robert Muldoon’s darkest days.

    At this point the argument disappeared up its own rhetoric.

    Some of us recall Robert Muldoon’s darkest days. Others have documentaries to watch and books to read.

    What has been the worst so far? It didn't look good when that naked woman was taken away, though it turned out not so bad. Multiply that by a thousand and you have the beginnings of "Muldoon's darkest days".

    If you want a debate, stick to evidence, give up the fan-fiction.

  14. Reality 14

    When the Prime Minister said "they are us" she was referring to people who were going about their lives peacefully, working hard, learning English, looking after their families. They had been through.extraordinary challenges but never behaved like the protesting rabble. So yes they were "us" even though they were mostly immigrants or refugees, who spoke a different language and practised a different religious belief. They wanted to contribute to New Zealand, not tear it apart.

  15. Andrew Miller 15

    It’s hard to take seriously anything that doesn’t make the slightest effort to even consider, let alone seriously engage with the possibility that speaking to them is both utterly pointless and potentially a way to make things worse.
    The emotional blackmail of calling them ‘outcasts’ and alluding to the work of CSOs with the vulnerable, makes great rhetoric, but again doesn’t even acknowledge the possibility that a significant number of these people are people within agency who’ve chosen to embrace appalling ideas or happy to stand next to those who hold grotesque views and that it comes with consequences, one of which is that others may not be willing to engage with you until shown you can be engaged with reasonably.
    It’s these job to make politicians uncomfortable? Well if I was a politician I reckon I would be uncomfortable knowing there were people outside my place of work discussing and passing around execution lists.

  16. barry 16

    You think that Ardern should announce when the mandates will end. Do you think she knows? Basically nobody knows what will happen next in the pandemic.

    It is like MIQ. People wanted certainty as to when that would end and she gave it, but circumstances changed and it had to be extended. If she says the mandates will end on July 1st, it would imply she has some sort of crystal ball that has been hiding from everybody else.

    • Louis 16.1

      Well said Barry. The PM has repeatedly said the mandates will end, when they are no longer needed. No one knows when that will be. Covid19 didn't come with a schedule and she has also pointed out, repeatedly, that the last thing we should do is remove health measures as Covid19 cases surge. It's a no brainer.

      imo Ad's piece is just an attack on the PM and contains the standard blame rhetoric I've seen from other right wingers. Jacinda is not responsible for this fascist led protest.

    • tsmithfield 16.2

      No, but she could give the milestones required to be met to end mandates. I am sure the government already has those in mind, and would at least be something to offer the protesters.

      • Louis 16.2.1

        How tsmithfield? when the virus is constantly changing. Why pander to them anyway? as it's not really about the mandates, that's just an ruse, it's more about getting rid of the current government.

    • Ad 16.3

      It is just like MIQ. Ardern gave the decision horizon, then the decision, then changed it. That's how she brought the political tension down.

      That is all Ardern has to do here, like she has with the same amount of uncertainty, for the last two years.

  17. m dri 17

    they are us went out the window with

    "yep,yep, that's what it is" referring to the creation of a two tiered society.

    The "expert" Micheal Baker later stated that the traffic light system was created not so much for the sake of public health, but to encourage people to get vaccinated.

    the benefits of the shot for healthy people were debatable with Delta and now with Omicron look like having no discernable benefit at all.

    it looks more and more like the vaccine pass and its exclusion of those who have chosen not to have the shot is not so much about health, but compliance.

    you may not like the rabble, the far right or whatever you want to call the protest, but every person has the right to choose what they want injected into their bodies, and coercive measures look more and more like an odious governmental overreach.

    [Letting this through for now for the purposes of debate but your claim that the vaccination shot is not helpful for healthy people is bollocks. It reduces the chances of hospitalisation and it reduces and suppresses the spread. And the mandate is not compulsory – MS]

  18. swordfish 18


    But they're so Uncouth, Ad !!!

    My understanding is that few, if any, of these absolutely Ghastly Little People buy smashed avocado & grilled kale salads from their local organic farmers' market ! …

    … if we caught any of them loitering around Kelburn, Wadestown, Ponsonby or Grey Lynn eating their appalling takeaways with the sort of etiquette you'd expect from Ed Miliband, then I can tell you we'd be ringing 111 without hesitation … in fact, we might just have a quick word with the Commissioner of Police who lives nextdoor … or with Poto Williams in the $5 million Mansion down the road …

    … and I assume you do understand, Ad, that not one of these so-called "protesters" has displayed even the slightest interest in Queer Theory, Intersectionality, choosing from the menu of 153 separate Gender Identities or any other esoteric, self-indulgent dogma that excites affluent, demanding ex-boarding school girls & boys suffering from Dark Triad personality types ???

    These are simply not our kind of people … they certainly don't share the unusually refined moral sensibilities that we constantly advertise with a good deal of pomposity & ostentation (albeit without too much in the way of self-awareness).

    Only Māori participants are acceptable to us … as Critical Race Theory has taught us, each & every indigenous person is eternally virtuous, eternally innocent, bereft of agency, always powerless, always the victim & never responsible for their own actions. They've simply been "led astray".

    As for the rest, Rik – the celebrated activist we all revere – put it best:

    • RedLogix 18.1

      The Young Ones just ripped the jugular

    • Anker 18.2

      Mostly I agree with this post Ad.

      I think at our peril we "other" these people.

      I have no doubt there are some bad people in the crowd, and alt right are inflencing some of them. Even more reason to work with these people and try and keep them in some way as the team of five millon

      I don't believe all these people are "nutcases" . Over the years I have come across many people who reject Western medicine and claim the healing power of crystals etc. One of these anti vax people I know of is a dentist. Another an old hippy greeny. For whatever reason they believe what many of us think is a bit weird.

      I have a great deal of sympathy for local businesses impacted by the protest, but I heard before the protest, people were avoiding restaurants and bars in Wellington cause of Omicron.

      I feel very deeply for the health professionals who will have to nurse these people when they inevitably become sick. With the risk of sounding patronizing, sometimes people, ie the protesters, have to learn the hard way.

      I do have some sympathy for politicians and Wellington bureaucrats facing the abuse. A bit for the former, more for the latter. But not as much sympathy as I have for the Housing NZ tennants who have had anti social tennants living next door to them for four or so years, who this government have refused to listen to (and evict these anti social tennants). These people who are on the bottom rung of the ladder have had to deal with violent threatening noisey neighbours day in day out. Banging on there walls at night, taking steel bars into their homes and threatening them. And the govt only recently did something about these people. Correct me if I am wrong by now it will take 3 months to evict an anti social tennant. As I said before sometimes people have to learn the hard way ,and this sort of applies to this Govt who now have problematic tennants on their front lawn.

      BTW I am not sure what Ardern should do. She has done a sterling job in the pandemic and I appreciate that. But it is David Seymour who has showen real leadership IMO. While condeming outright the behaviour and ideas of the worst element of this mob, he has attempted to engage with them.

      • Ad 18.2.1

        The Speaker should be requiring those MPs to conduct Parliamentary business on Teams while we are at Red level, just like every other responsible employer.

        Same for any policy-advisor in any Ministry, any MP staffer.

        One MP today said to me "I'll be damned if I'm going to be pushed around by that rabble", and was flying down to Parliament as a matter of principle.

        My advice to them would be to get over themselves. They're no more important and no less COVID-vulnerable than any citizen.

        • Anker

          I agree that politicians shouldn't all be at parliament in red. What if there was an outbreak of Covid there? Bound to happen soon.

          "I'll be dammed if I will be pushed around by that rabble" is most unhelpful.

          While using the spy agency as I am sure they are to keep a finger on the pulse of whats brewing (or not) there, I strongly believe the politicians need to engage with some of these people. Treat them as if they have geniune greviences (some of them do). It is the house of representatives afterall. If people don't feel listened to this will create more problems.

          What would be wrong with saying we want the mandates to be over too and we are really sorry that we have had to implement some of our Covid interventions. We recognise your lives have been very effected by these mandates. We can't promise that we will lift them as soon as you would like, but we would like to discuss what we can do that would be helpful, while doing our best to limit the impact of the virus on the health system and vulnerable people. Lets sit down and talk.

    • Ad 18.3

      OMG Swordfish.

      I swear you get darker by the day.

      Imagine if the climate change proponents we hear so much about had half the guts these guys are showing. They don't because some MPs would get embarrassed and we just can't have that.

  19. Corey Humm 20

    Judging by the paranoid delusional ramblings a great many of them are in need of a stay in a mental health facility and I don't say that as an insult I have bipolar, we've long known NZ has a mental health crisis and I truly believe many of these people are victims of falling through the cracks in our mental health system and found themselves in an online community without the skills to decipher truth from fiction, honestly many of the things these people say are genuinely certifiably insane.

    There's also feral national front supporters who are out in force but apparently don't exist and our eyes are playing tricks on us.

    middle class vegans who think meat free diets and fasting and exercise will expell COVID toxins and they believe vaccines cause autism they've got jenny McCarthy on their side so screw you, they didn't vaccinate their dreadlocked hippie daughters and sons named no shit " Saigon and Eyzac" And they turned out alright.

    Saigon and Eyzac are simply furious they couldn't do drugs and have orgies at summer drug festivals so are bringing one to the capital. They'll swear black and blue how progressive they are and that there's no white supremacists at the protest while standing next to ten and say "it's fake news" and while they'll have no issue doing snorting drugs offered by strangers without asking what it is they "aren't putting experimental drugs in my body"

    Then you've got the poor brainwashed supporters of evangelicals like destiny's church and their ilk who think God and their bishop will save them (as long as they pay ) and will follow him to the end of the earth.

    Then you've got the Maori nationalists who are almost always up for a protest and have been brainwashed by bad actors mentioned above.

    Then you've got the right wing people who just hate the govt and would like nothing more than to enforce a military take over. They will work with anyone. They are gloating about getting money from overseas and don't even care about COVID they are just happy to have an issue to use to weaponize, these and the national front types are the ones who'll say "we can't leave even if Jacinda says she'll end the mandates because she'll just reinstate them when we leave"

    Then your crystal greenie libertarian alt health types similar to the middle class Karen's and their festival tantrum throwing kids, they'll lecture you about just about not being progressive enough and take up every social cause unless it directly effects them, then they become so selfish that Trump would approve.

    They'll swear black and blue too, that they arent anti vax they are just anti mandate but if you think about it being anti vax mandate is not too different from being anti vax. They don't wanna get vaxxed but they wanna be able to say they did.

    Then the so called kiwi battlers and working class somehow able to afford large tents and huge supplies and are able to drive cross country and willing to dump their livlihoods their vehicle in a street and risk it getting towed, somehow able to afford weeks off work and rent and are "mostly vaccinated" these people are supposedly the majority, but really it's the factions above that are the majority but these battlers are the acceptable face.

    Then you've got the few teachers, nurses doctors who lost their jobs because they wouldn't get vaxxed and would like them back, the public look at them and think yeah na I don't want you teaching my kid or working in the health system if you will stand with this lot.

    A truly weird coalition whose only commonality is they don't trust science, journalism, health expertise, big pharma the govt , civil servants "experts" and usually have a very very very poor understanding of NZ democracy and civic institutions.

    Then you've got a dying broke media desperate for a story and clicks who will cry about these mean people saying mean things but secretly loves the chaos , loves rarking them up and loves playing the virtuous anger card. "Where is the leadership"

    Then you've got the police. Unwilling or unable to do anything, often partial to a national govt, they won't mind this making labour look weak in the slightest, underresourced , understaffed and too afraid to use force after the last couple of years of public and media attention to police violence they aren't going to risk their jobs, their safety or public relations disaster to make a govt they don't particularly like look good.

    Then you've got the government. Between a rock and a hard place due to the overwhelming majority of support for the COVID response, the fact omicron is raging and about to make this a winter from hell their primary concern is getting as many people boostered and vaxxed before the new strain takes total hold and collapses the health system. They can't remove COVID restrictions. The public would be furious and stage bigger protests. The protest won't move unless they do cancel all restrictions. They can't force the cops to make them move and the protesters have their kids there as human shields to stop any intervention. They also are led by a nice person who isn't about ruthless politician and doesn't want to be seen to be using emergency powers to get the boot of the state to remove them, that'd be giving some of the above factions what they want. The pm is stuck pointing at the police and the police pointing at the government leaving the public and media to rage incoherently about lack of leadership for allowing a small minority collecting in a few places to make a mockery of the govt and the COVID restrictions the country has made for two years. If they act it could be ugly and outrage the public who could become more sympathetic to the protesters , if they don't act the public will be outraged and think they are indecisive, ineffective, spineless useless weak leadership who'd rather give crims hugs. Damned if they do damned if they don't, but probably best to be hated and effectual and strong than hated and indecisive and weak.

    Then you've got your anarchists, trolls, nihilists who think this is freaking hilarious and wants it to continue for a laugh.

    The sympathizers who will gaslight you and tell you statements the protesters say, the people at the protests aren't really there and this is all propaganda and you're too intelligent to fall for it.

    Then the general public. The people who have sacrificed their lives for two years and elected a majority govt to make the tough calls .they follow the rules, worry about our health system, get furious about lockdowns but understand it's for the greater good, their rents, mortgages, groceries have gone way way way up and are struggling to find accomodation or keep accomodation. They are outraged that these rules they follow and the safety they cling on to is being disregarded. They all know someone whose fallen down the rabbit hole so Many have a smidgen of sympathy to some of these people because we haven't experienced the rates of other countries forget how goof we have it but they know omicron is here and they are freaked out about their loved ones not being able to get surgeries or medical treatment because we're too busy keeping COVID patients alive, they have a little sympathy but it's evaporated due to these protests and will have no tolerance once omicron hits. Many of the general public experience or witness harassment, bullying abuse and violence directed at staff members for following COVID protocol. They are disgusted that the decisive leadership they elected in 2020 had left the building, worried about what happens if these protests get out of control and really outraged that these people are popping up in more and more places with a pathetic police response Many will never speak to their friends and family who are unvaxed as long as they life but they are also good compassionate types who don't wanna see kids at these protests get hurt.

    What do with all the these people after COVID? I don't know, I don't think there can be a come to Jesus moment all we're all kiwi's again type deal, anyone whose explored their family lines will usually find a place in time where there was a great falling out and different members seperated and never spoke again and that there are close relations they never knew about in their own city, these are often those kinds of things.

    Maybe we could send the antivaxers to some of our uninhabeted island territories so they can live in freedumb in a vegan yoga paradise where the national front are the police the conspiracy theorists report the news and there's an lsd MDMA dance rave every night after a hard day of living off the land, the unvaxed teachers can teach, the unvaxed nurses and doctors can run the hospital. They'll be happy, we'll have a lot of free up housing stock.

    They may be us, but they don't have to be near us!

    • Shanreagh 20.1

      Brilliant piece of writing Corey Humm.

    • Dennis Frank 20.2

      Pretty much how I see things in my more jaundiced moments too. indecision When I comment here I try to be constructive (when not being critical) & that involves a glass half-full view of human nature instead of focus on inadequacies.

      This comprehensive picture you painted well reminds us of features of human nature that never change. They just morph a little to reflect changes in culture. People were hopeless hypocrites due to christianity when I was young & that has abated significantly since, plus the general nastiness masked by usage of platitudes constantly to make users seem okay has receded too. Apart from that the exhibition of defects seems perpetual. We rationalise that by saying nobody's perfect. 🙄

    • Patricia Bremner 20.3

      devil Well put Corey.

      The only thing I would note is .. Who at the main tent is paying the parking and other fines?

    • Ad 20.4

      Appreciate the effort that went into that Corey.

      Watching the NZPolice take a far more subtle, tactical and careful approach than the entire political order has been a learning.

      Seeing how fast the PM et al shut up when they saw the NZPolice actually handle it far better than them has been excellent.

    • Louis 20.5

      +100 Corey.

    • Anker 20.6

      I don't think many of the people at parliament would meet criteria for a mental health disorder that would put them in a psych unit. Possibly some of them have schizotypal Personality Disorder (these people have odd eccentric ideas0 but basic reality testing is in tact. Some of the more conspiracy theory types might meet criteria for delusional disorder, but usually they don't end up in a psych ward either.

      All of my adult life I have been aware of people who have very extreme ideas about their health and bodies. Some of the extreme beliefs might be symptomatic of a somatic disorder……….But again not mental health unit material.

      I am sure there is a real mix of people at parliament with a mixture of motives. I think keep our spy agencies monitoring them and prepared for the very worst, which hopefully won't happen. Expect them to be there for some time. The occupation won't be permanant, they never are and most likely this will end when either the restrictions are loosened or they get sick in great numbers.

      As for all of us, it is best I think to ignore them, or at least not give them too much attention. By all means any abusive or threatening behaviour should be reported to the police for them to deal with.

    • KJT 20.7

      Pretty Much.

  20. DS 21

    I believe the full term is

    "They are shitting on us."

    For two years, the vast majority of the New Zealand public has been fighting the virus. Now? A sliver of muppets are literally fighting for the virus… calling for Death both implicitly (via the end of Covid restrictions) and explicitly (via the murder of politicians).

    The best analogy would be if British Nazi-sympathisers put out landing lights for the Luftwaffe during the Blitz, and refuelled the enemy aeroplanes every time they turned up. While also sabotaging their own military, and calling for Churchill's hanging.

    And here you are, bending over backwards to legitimise them via referencing the Christchurch shooting.

  21. alwyn 22

    I wonder whether we are likely to appear as a terrible example in the Economist in the near future? There is a leader in the 19 February 1022 edition (pay-walled I'm afraid so I've not given a link) which includes the following.

    "But the truckers have every right to express their disagreement. A wise government would listen to them and respond politely, taking their complaints seriously and patiently explaining why covid restrictions, though onerous, are necessary for the time being.

    Justin Trudeau has done the opposite. First, he refused to meet them. Then, seizing on the fact that a few of the protesters appear to be bigots, he attempted to put all of them outside the boundaries of reasonable debate by condemning “the anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, anti-black racism, homophobia and trans phobia that we’ve seen on display in Ottawa over the past number of days”.

    It then proceeds to talk about the other worrying actions the Canadian Government is proposing. The heading for the leader is

    "No, Canada
    Justin Trudeau’s crackdown on protests could make things worse"

    I wonder whether we will feature in some other copy of the magazine shortly? They will just need to change Canada to New Zealand, truckers to Convoy, Justin Trudeau to Jacinda Ardern and Ottawa to Wellington.

    • Nic the NZer 22.1

      Well as long as they remember to swap over the ideal and actual response in their moralistic (but also nihilistic) tale then I am sure you will want to read about how allowing the protest to continue for far too long only made things worse.

  22. RedLogix 23

    Your posts remain the sole reason I return here Ad.

    You may enjoy this:

    Instead, they see their government willing to push a class of people outside the boundaries of society, deny them a livelihood, and deny them full membership in the most welcoming country in the world; and they said enough. Last night I learned my new neighbours are not a monstrous faceless occupying mob. They are our moral conscience reminding us – with every blow of their horns – what we should have never forgotten: We are not a country that makes an untouchable class out of our citizens.

  23. "They are us"

    Kind of like that mad, racist uncle we all fear to invite to family gettogethers.

    Actually,that really did happen.

    A father to one of my partners some years ago was a real racist reactionary bigot. "Bloody mowris" this, "bloody abos" that (he lived mostly in Australia), bloody "wogs", bloody muslim refugees…

    Until, one evening, in a restaurant, I'd had enough (my parents were refugees) and I let him have it with my full Hungarian fury.

    Sure, "they are us".

    But we still let them know when they've crossed a line.

  24. Freemark 25

    I wonder how many here have been to the gathering. The influence of the right wing/neo nazi/white supremist/conspiracy theorist is minimal.

    These are real people. Working class almost predominantly brown people who have been mandated out of working class jobs. Just because they didn’t want a white mans medicine that at this stage of the “pandemic” has little to offer. Despite above comments there is little community benefit offered by the jab, and many just want the choice to sat no. Many have tested positive, which means little except for shutting down their & their extended family’s income for a couple of weeks. No real sickness, and I see a lot of acceptance that if they get sick, they get sick, and may even die. Data says that the risk of this is very small – most accept this. But they see their children excluded, they see the otherness of masks, etc. They see their tribal elite being paid off by Govt, and no trickle down. What they mainly see in the Freedom Camp is the opposite of NZ over the last 2 years – unity over division, hugs and korero, freedom from manufactured fear. No condescending pakeha telling them they are child-like & unable to make informed choices about their health. The PM ignores this at her peril. IMHO the police won’t support her or her direction to break it up, the army won’t either. To pretend that some evil right wing forces are directing this is quite ignorant. To pretend that a few extreme ideas around executing politicians is unique to this (as opposed to the mock guillotine at TPPA) is delusional. I think that for the PM to survive as PM she needs to drop the now pointless and frankly evil mandates now, otherwise her mandate (please excuse the pun) is over. I can’t for the life of me comprehend how the left have abandoned the working class in favour it seems of big pharma, big media, and repressive big Govt.

    • McFlock 25.1

      copy that, minimal influence from the nazis. lol

    • Patricia Bremner 25.2

      Oh I am sure the PM is not ignoring them. Thank you for your patting down of our fears .

    • Ad 25.3

      Good to see you have the recent historical memory of protest when it was the hard left marching up the street with the guillotine, shouting out the names of National Ministers to be removed, in proper rhetorical style.

      Suzie Dawson covers it on The Daily Blog:

      GUEST BLOG: Suzie Dawson – Remembering The Left | The Daily Blog

      The mass camped outside wouldn't know where Moore Wilson was and will never take the Days Bay ferry, but they are telling the entitled left in power that this is the fight we used to have.

      • weka 25.3.1

        that argument only works if you either believe the left literally wanted to execute Richardson etc, or you don't believe that there are people in the current protest wanting insurrection (including executions).

        It was a different world then, no-one thought a guillotine at a protest was anything other than referencing the French revolution via street theatre.

        • Ad

          The left don't have a monopoly on rhetoric, theatre, or indeed radicals. We stink unshowered after a week just like them.

          Human nature hasn't changed since 2014 other than left have been in power for a while.

          The hard right last limited rights for what they viewed as good public policy in the Employment Contracts Act, and the protests from the left were fierce.

          • weka

            Yes, I remember. No-one wanted to execute MPs and journos or remove government

            It's not human nature that has changed, it's the socio political context.

            • Ad

              Everyone wanted to remove the government. At that point few believed in democracy. Eventually it led to MMP in 1996.

              The main issue in the ECA protests is that the left failed to radicalise.


              What part of the sociopolitical context has changed?

              • adam

                People like Mark wimp faced Gosche voted against the general strike, a vote which we against what the members wanted.

                The whole trade union movement dropped the ball. People were organised, their leaders failed them. The leaders who feathered their own nests under the new rules.

              • weka

                Everyone wanted to remove the government. At that point few believed in democracy. Eventually it led to MMP in 1996.

                I suspect you don't understand what some of the protestors mean. They're not talking about removing Labour. They're not talking about replacing MMP with something better. They're talking about removing all government. Libertarian af. We will all help each other come the revolution or some such nonsense.

              • weka

                What part of the sociopolitical context has changed?

                9/11, internet, social media, Chch shootings, pandemic.

    • Rosemary McDonald 25.4

      Well said freemark and What they mainly see in the Freedom Camp is the opposite of NZ over the last 2 years – unity over division, hugs and korero, freedom from manufactured fear is pretty much what we see up here in the FFN. Fear is most definitely the mind-killer.

      And there's a real rebellion against what we are supposed to think are the Maori leaders…the people are not blind, and they've had enough of the 'we know what's best for you' brigade with their flash suits and nice cars.

      Your pearls will sadly be rejected and trampled by the swine here who think they know…but are so out of touch they may as well be on another planet.

    • gsays 25.5

      Your last sentence hits the spot. It may be called The Standard but there is relatively little support for workers to be found here.

      The Brahmin class, (easier to say than the work from home, I'm alright, Jack, blow the bridge I'm over class) have little empathy or sympathy for those not meeting selection for the team of 5 million.

        • Shanreagh

          Just looking at that that list Weka what a wonderful array of people/worker focussed issues we have all read about or contributed to. Some I did not comment in at the time but now at second glance look appealing, the Alabama miners is one and some are so prescient its a bit spooky.

          Congratulations to all those around TS – moderators, authors and readers/writers and all the wonderful words and arguments that have come forward. smiley

        • gsays

          Thanks weka, I watched the Beau video about the Alabama Miners strike.

          Some real pearls of wisdom from that anarchist. also signs that the activists in Wellington are getting something right.

          My comment was about how I feel about a lot of the 'commenteriat?’ to be found here. Not so much the post content.

          Although not so long ago low wage tourism jobs lost through COVID were dismissed with a casual sentence and, from memory, only one commenter took issue.

          I bang on a bit during the nurses strike and feel that more were inclined to swallow minister Littles lines – deliberately conflating the pay equity negotiations with wages.

          The same Little who said this:

          [quote without link deleted]

      • joe90 25.5.2

        Your last sentence hits the spot.

        Yup, sometime commenter has the interests of working people at heart.


        The general work ethic for trades & semi skilled is a bloody disgrace, too much entitlement mentality fostered by welfarism.

        • gsays

          Thanks Joe Some great pointers.

          "Think for yourself. Make up your own mind. Stand up for other people and never be afraid to lend a helping hand to someone who needs it."

          "I know that the freedom I cherish cannot come at the expense of other people’s freedom,"

          "A job is about more than just a pay packet, it’s about the dignity of work. It’s about a place and a purpose in your community.

          Every Kiwi who can work should be able to work.

          And where people can’t work, the government should support them because we don’t believe in throwing Kiwis on the scrap heap"

          "Because right now this government isn’t living up to our values."

          Where is that Labour leader?

          • joe90

            And you're all good with some time commenters opining that the general work ethic for trades & semi skilled is a bloody disgrace, too much entitlement mentality fostered by welfarism, too.

            • gsays

              I said I liked the last sentence.

              Come step out of your binary world Joe. It ain't all right or wrong.

              • joe90

                Come step out of your binary world Joe. It ain't all right or wrong.

                Of course it's binary.

                The notion that it's not is how employers and their hand-fed Tory government inserted the wedge that cleaved New Zealand workers from the union movement.

    • DS 25.6

      The working class don't fight for the right to kill others through their own stupidity.

      Working class, my arse. This protest is against the very notion of solidarity… and the number of poncy muppets driving down in fancy SUVs rather goes against your framing.

      Say hello to Russell Coutts for us though.

      • Ad 25.6.1

        The working class were goaded to fight for revolution for over a century, and yep including the right to kill others for their own righteousness.

        They were mostly lied to and mostly got their asses kicked.

      • Shanreagh 25.6.2

        driving down in fancy SUVs rather goes against your framing.

        And not forgetting the very flash campervans. Very worker, and all the time off work, also very worker coming up for 2 weeks now.

        The money from unknown sources for feeding, advertising from VFF (huge horrible signs around Wellington) etc etc Following the money in the expose of the Canadian Truckies GoFundMe donations led straight to the US, not forgetting NZ's modest $103,000 donation.

        Then let's remember the Dirty Dozen vaccination sceptics whose poison was poured into gullible ears…..also from the US.

        What kind of people would want to harm working people by promoting mis- & dis-information and why? Are the Dirty Dozen anti worker? Their memes appear in 100s of the Facebook sites of ordinary working people who believed this misinformation, did not get vaccinated and died as a result, and are still dying. Omicron is not universally mild, especially for the non vaccinated.

  25. Peter Mattiassi 26

    I think everyone wants this to end including the protesters. Decent people want it to end peacefully. Jacinda could probably bring this to a close by simply meeting with the protest leaders.

    Some people because of their beliefs and principles have found themselves on the wrong side of the mandates, for that have paid huge price socially, psychologically and financially. Is it so difficult to merely acknowledge them as normal people caught up in strange and difficult times? And grant them the time of day and show willingness to hear their message. Why is that such a huge concession?

    It was always a political rather than scientific decision whether or not to introduce vaccine mandates. But with voluntary vaccination so high in New Zealand that choice was highly questionable. Right now in the pandemic with omicron showing high transmission (in the vaxed and unvaxed) and typically mild symptoms, a better strategy would be to shield the most vulnerable and bring back all the Healthcare workers we can so they can help save lives. Better they do what they are trained to do than wait outside parliament for days on end.

    • DS 26.1
      1. There are no protest leaders.

      2. The conversation would at best go

      Jacinda: "What are your demands."

      Nutters: "End all mandates now."

      Jacinda: "I can't do that."

      You can't negotiate with muppets from Mars. The real crime is that they are being legitimised right here on The Standard.

      • Ad 26.1.1

        Nutters from every protest to Parliament: "Meet our demands now"

        Prime Minister from every parliament: "I can't do that"

        Prime Minister who successfully saw down every protest since 2020: "This is the timetable we will make decision by, and we will revisit if we need to."

        Current Prime Minister: "You are not worth even engaging with."

        • Muttonbird

          Go read the traffic light framework again. It's all in there.

        • Shanreagh

          Correction for current Prime Minister following the same standard as for travel, MIQ, borders: "the mandates will end when the mandates are no longer needed for health reasons."

          Correction/addition cross parliamentary party group "This group does not support negotiating with the protesters while they are acting above the law by trespassing."

    • observer 26.2

      "Jacinda could probably bring this to a close by simply meeting with the protest leaders."

      Have you read their list of demands? It goes way beyond vaccine mandates.

      Leaders would tell everyone to go home, and then everyone would? They can't even get them to agree on car parking.

    • Shanreagh 26.3

      …….bring back all the Healthcare workers we can so they can help save lives. Better they do what they are trained to do than wait outside parliament for days on end.

      I think the ship has sailed on that one. Several friends now ask at hospitals, where they have been admitted, just to confirm that those nursing them are vaccinated, even though the mandates were to prevent having to be nursed by people who could infect you. I think it is reasonable to anticipate that this might continue.

      I know prior to the mandates diners were asking if the servers were vaccinated or indicating they did not want to be served by unvaxxed people. I think that may continue as well.

      I think also that hospitals are going to look carefully at the whole of their staff to see that they are and keep to appropriate vaccination schedules. Nurses going to study for Nursing degrees are required to get a range of vaccinations before they are accepted onto the degree courses.

      • joe90 26.3.1

        First thing my brother the caterer's prospective clients ask – are all your staff double vaccinated?

        • Shanreagh

          And it won't stop with just Covid….people have been put on alert about other health type matters, expect to see more attention paid to local authority licensing of restaurants, food handling places. Complaints made about people coughing and bringing colds and influenza to work, then movement to get better sick pay etc etc.

  26. Goodread 27

    This is one of the more balanced reads I have had on this site. A fair and balanced view , worth the time it took to read

  27. Dave Langford 28

    I’m glad to see someone so keen to align themselves with these ferals.I know someone there and if you’d be so kind to provide your address,they will be in desperate straits regarding somewhere to camp after their 15 minutes of fame.I trust you will step up and do the right thing by your new whanau😂

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  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor
    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    14 hours ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15
    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    15 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15
    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    17 hours ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?
    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    18 hours ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution
    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    19 hours ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky
    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    19 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    20 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    20 hours ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?
    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    21 hours ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ
    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    21 hours ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28
    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    1 day ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response
    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment
    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President
    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Questions from God
    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • The politics of money and influence
    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity
    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    2 days ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?
    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.
    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Women in Space.
    Count downThree twoI wonderIf I'll ever see you againI'm 'bout to take offI'm leaving youBut maybeI'll see you around somewhere some placeI just need some spaceA brief reminder that if you’re a Gold Card holder you can subscribe to Nick’s Kōrero for 20% off. You’re also welcome to use this ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 13
    Auckland waterfront, July. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 13 are:The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government watered down vehicle emissions standards this week, compounding the climate emissions damage from an increasingly ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Dems need to ask the right question about Biden as his age now defines the campaign
    Midway through the news conference that many American political commentators had built up as critical to Joe Biden’s re-election chances, the US president said European leaders are not asking him not to run for a second term, “they’re saying you gotta win”.The problem for Biden and his advisors is that ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • Govt flounders while ocean temps soar
    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items of climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer, most of which they discussin the video above. According to experts, the rate of ocean surface warming around New Zealand is “outstripping the global ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Learning From Brexit
    Whether Britain leaving the European Union was right or wrong, good or bad is for the Brits to decide. But there are lessons about international trade to be learned from Brexit, especially as it is very unusual for an economy to break so completely from its major training partner.In Econ101 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Friday, July 12
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of Friday, July 12 are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Hot Damn! It's The Soggy Bottom Boys!
    Good morning lovely people, and welcome to another weekly review. One which saw the our Prime Minister in Washington, running around with all the decorum of Augustus Gloop with a golden ticket, seeking photo opportunities with anyone willing to shake his hand.Image: G News.He had his technique down to overcome ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • When an independent expert / advisory group is anything but ..
    OPINION: Yesterday, 1News reported that the Government's "independent" advisory group had recommended Kiwirail offload its ferries to another entity.Except this wasn't entirely new news at all, besides that it came formally from Nicola Willis’s advisory team.TVNZ is under significant cost pressure, and earlier this year, after expressing strong discontent with ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 9:00 am on Friday, July 12 are:Scoop: Ministerial group advises KiwiRail no longer run Cook Strait ferries 1News’ Julia RodenNews: ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 12-July-2024
    Kia ora and welcome to another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! The week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Scott delivered a delicious disquisition on donut cities, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Dominik Scythe on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Friday, July 11 are:Climate: Transport Minister Simeon Brown said in a release the Government's plan to reverse New ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 12
    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s climate strategy ‘pamphlet’, its watering down of Clean Car Standards and its general lack of coherence;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Casey Costello strikes again
    Summary: A track record of deception is becoming evident in the Government’s Coalition alliance. Ministers across all parties have been found to either lie without contrite, and/or act unlawfully and unreasonably. The rails are coming off quicker than a marshmallow induced fantasy train ride as the conductors throw caution to ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #28 2024
    Open access notables Antarctic Bottom Water Warming, Freshening, and Contraction in the Eastern Bellingshausen Basin, Johnson et al., Geophysical Research Letters Cold winds blowing over polynyas (areas of ice-free water) on the Antarctic continental shelf create sea ice, forming very cold and somewhat salty, hence very dense, waters. These dense ...
    4 days ago
  • We're back! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashWe’re back after a three-week mid-winter break. I needed a rest, but back into it. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s gas fantasy
    Yesterday the government released the advice on its proposal to repeal the offshore fossil gas exploration ban, including a Climate Implications of Policy Assessment statement, Cabinet paper, and Regulatory Impact Statement. I spent some time looking at these last night, and the short version is that the government's plan is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A criminal minister
    RNZ reports that cancer minister Casey Costello has been reprimanded and forced to apologise by the Ombudsman for acting "contrary to law" in her handling of an OIA request: Associate Health Minister Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced to apologise for trying to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Luxon in the NATO pressure cooker
    New Zealand is one of six countries invited as onlookers to this week’s NATO summit in Washington. As such, PM Christopher Luxon will be made aware of the pressure on the 32 NATO member states (a) to increase their Defence spending (b) to become less militarily dependent on the US ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus for Thursday July 11
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of July 11 are:Climate: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts issued the National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government’s climate strategy yesterday, including a three-page document with five bullet ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • By George! Splendid streets take shape down south
    The revitalisation of Auckland city centre, especially around Wynyard Quarter, Te Komititanga, and Queen Street, is top of mind for Greater Auckland readers – but other cities around Aotearoa New Zealandare installing people-friendly streets. This guest post by Jessica de Heij, who grew up in the Netherlands and is an ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:30 am on July 11 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister acted 'contrary to law’. Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Thursday, July 11 are:Economy: Te Pūtea Matua The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced its Monetary Policy Committee decided to hold the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Farmers’ revenge meets Green resistance
    If there was one issue that united farmers in opposition to the Labour Government, it was the battle of the waterways between farmers and Environment Minister David Parker. Parker won the first round with his 2020 National Policy Standard on Freshwater Management (NPSFM) which imposed tough new standards on waterways ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Personal Reflections: 10th July
    Please note: This is a personal reflection and does not refer to politics. These entries are not sent to subscribers.Text within this block will maintain its original spacing when publishedHubris and Pride Out of the fire and into the frying pan? Swimming with the big sharks Tonight, I am excited. ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Oh Vienna
    Nothing can warm your heart like the sight of your daughter stepping off a train. Mary-Margaret arrived on Saturday to ride with us to Vienna.You know your way around a bike? the guy at the hire shop asks her. Yep. She’s ridden them on rail trails, Auckland’s mean streets, commutes ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand forges deeper ties with NATO
    Christopher Luxon is finding his foreign policy feet. Now eight months into the job, New Zealand’s Prime Minister is in Washington DC this week to attend the NATO summit. It is the third year in a row that Wellington has been invited to the annual gathering of the North Atlantic ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s carbon capture fantasy
    As the climate crisis has grown worse, the tactics of the polluting industries have shifted. From denying climate change, they then moved on to pushing "carbon capture" - dumping their emissions underground rather than in the atmosphere. It's a PR scam, intended to prolong the life of the industry we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
    The Way We Were: An indelible mark was left upon a whole generation of New Zealanders by the Great Depression and World War II; an impression that not only permitted men and women of all classes and races to perceive the need to work together for the common good, but also ...
    5 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
    Sources for the data and research:Peter Milne: Time’s up on Gorgon’s five years of carbon storage failureSimon Holmes a Court: "Does best CCS power station in world provide model for Australia?" Chris Vanderstock: "The truth about Carbon Capture and Storage"   "Sunk Costs": documenting CCS's failure to meet every, single, target, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    6 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The President They Have Got.
    “This cannot be real life!” Confronted with the choice of recommitting themselves to the myth of Joe Biden, or believing the evidence of their own eyes, those Americans not already committed to Donald Trump will reach out instinctively for the President they wish they had – blind to the President they ...
    6 days ago
  • Has Progressivism Peaked?
    Let’s Go Crazy! AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) rarks-up the voters of New York’s 16th Congressional District.HAVE WE MOVED past peak progressivism? Across the planet, there are signs that the surge of support for left-wing causes and personalities, exemplified by the election of the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) to the US House ...
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Dawn Chorus for July 9
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Labour may be looking at signing up for an Irish style 33% inheritance tax instead of or as well as a capital gains tax;Sam Stubbs has proposed the Government sell ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Mr Luxon goes to Washington.
    Once fastened servile now your getting sharpMoving oh so swiftly with such disarmI pulled the covers over him shoulda' pulled the alarmTurned to my nemesis a fool no fucking godTuesday morning usually provides something to write about with a regular round of interviews for the Prime Minister across Newshub, TVNZ, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Kiwirail at Councils Transport & Infrastructure Committee
    Last week at the Council’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee, Kiwirail gave an update about the state of the network and the work they’re doing to get it ready for the opening of the City Rail Link. There were a few aspects that stood out to me so I’ve pulled them ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 9
    Photo by City Church Christchurch on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 8:00 am are:Scoop: Waipareira Trust political donations probe referred to Charities Registration Board NZ Herald-$$$’s Matt NippertScoop: Migrant whistleblowers speak out after ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on the...
    This article by Robin Kundis Craig, Professor of Law, University of Kansas is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Federal Chevron deference is dead. On June 28, 2024, in a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court overturned the 40-year-old legal tenet that when a federal ...
    7 days ago
  • The folly of retreat in the face of defeat
    Note: This is a long readPolitical discourse on social media taught me that bad faith operators and tactics are not only prevalent, they are widespread and effective.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Their objectives are much narrower than one might imagine.The ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • The Parent Zone
    Hi,I am about to wing my way back to New Zealand for the Webworm popup this Saturday in Auckland — can’t wait to see some of you there! In the meantime, I highly recommend the latest pet thread over on the Webworm app. All I’ll say is that readers here ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • Tuesday: The Kākā’s Journal of Record for July 9
    Photo by Alex Zaj on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, news conferences reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 9 are:Politics: Full news conference: 'Please resign', Chloe Swarbrick tells Darleen Tana RNZ VideoPaper: Increasing speed ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Breaking up is so hard to do
    The fundamental weakness of the waka jumping legislation is once again on display, as the Greens seem reluctant to trigger it to remove Darleen Tana from Parliament altogether. Tana has been suspended from the Greens Caucus while it had barrister Rachel Burt investigate allegations that she had been involved in ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago

  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship
    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    7 hours ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality
    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    16 hours ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy
    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    2 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants
    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    3 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    4 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    4 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    4 days ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    4 days ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    5 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    5 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    5 days ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    5 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    5 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    5 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    6 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    6 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
    Toitū te taiao – our environment endures!  New Zealanders will get to enjoy more of our country’s natural beauty including at Cathedral Cove – Mautohe thanks to a $25 million boost for conservation, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka announced today.  “Te taiao (our environment) is critical for the country’s present and ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced a further $16 million of support for Ukraine, as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal invasion. The announcement of further support for Ukraine comes as Prime Minister Luxon attends the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. “New Zealand will provide an additional ...
    6 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says that Country Kindy in Manawatu will be able to remain open, after being granted a stay from the Ministry of Education for 12 weeks. “When I heard of the decision made last week to shut down Country Kindy I was immediately concerned and asked ...
    6 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
    New export arrangements signed today by New Zealand and Indonesia will boost two-way trade, Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. Mr McClay and Dr Sahat Manaor Panggabean, Chairman of the Indonesia Quarantine Authority (IQA), signed an updated cooperation arrangement between New Zealand and Indonesia in Auckland today. “The cooperation arrangement paves the way for New Zealand and Indonesia to boost our $3 billion two-way trade and further ...
    6 days ago
  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
    A Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) framework has been released by the Coalition Government for consultation, providing an opportunity for industry to reduce net CO2 emissions from gas use and production, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “Our Government is committed to reducing red tape and removing barriers to drive investment ...
    6 days ago
  • Faster consenting with remote inspections
    The Government is progressing a requirement for building consent authorities to use remote inspections as the default approach so building a home is easier and cheaper, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Building anything in New Zealand is too expensive and takes too long. Building costs have increased by ...
    7 days ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
    A new revision programme enabling the Government to continue the progressive revision of Acts in New Zealand has been presented to Parliament, Attorney-General Judith Collins announced today. “Revision targets our older and outdated or much-amended Acts to make them more accessible and readable without changing their substance,” Ms Collins says. ...
    7 days ago
  • Government aligns Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia to reduce vehicle prices for Kiwis
    The Government will be aligning the Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia in order to provide the vehicle import market with certainty and ease cost of living pressures on Kiwis the next time they need to purchase a vehicle, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“The Government supports the Clean Car Importer ...
    7 days ago
  • NZQA Board appointments
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today announced three appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Kevin Jenkins has been appointed as the new Chair of the NZQA Board while Bill Moran MNZM has been appointed as the Deputy Chair, replacing Pania Gray who remains on the Board as a ...
    7 days ago
  • More support for Wairoa clean-up
    A further $3 million of funding to Wairoa will allow Wairoa District Council to get on with cleaning up household waste and sediment left by last week’s flooding, Emergency Management and Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell says.  In Budget 24 the Government provided $10 million to the Hawke’s Bay Region to ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister thanks outgoing Secretary for Education
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today thanked the outgoing Secretary for Education. Iona Holsted was appointed in 2016 and has spent eight years in the role after being reappointed in May 2021. Her term comes to an end later this year.  “I acknowledge Iona’s distinguished public service to New Zealand ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister concludes local government review
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has concluded the Future for Local Government Review and confirmed that the Coalition Government will not be responding to the review’s recommendations.“The previous government initiated the review because its Three Waters and resource management reforms would have stripped local government of responsibility for water assets ...
    1 week ago
  • Consultation begins on new cancer medicines
    Associate Health Minister for Pharmac David Seymour says today’s announcement that Pharmac is opening consultation on new cancer medicines is great news for Kiwi cancer patients and their families. “As a result of the coalition Government’s $604 million funding boost, consultation is able to start today for the first two ...
    1 week ago
  • 50 years on, Niue and NZ look to the future
    A half-century after pursuing self-government, Niue can count on New Zealand’s steadfast partnership and support, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says. “New Zealand and Niue share a unique bond, forged over 50 years of free association,” Mr Peters says. “We are looking forward to working together to continue advancing Niue’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Upgrading system resulting in faster passport processing
    Acting Internal Affairs Minister David Seymour says wait times for passports are reducing, as the Department of Internal Affairs (the Department) reports the highest ever monthly figure for digital uptake in passport applications.  “As of Friday 5 July, the passport application queue has reduced by 34.4 per cent - a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Roads of National Significance moving at pace
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news that the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is getting on with the Government’s first seven Roads of National Significance (RoNS) projects expected to begin procurement, enabling works and construction in the next three years.   “Delivering on commitments in our coalition agreements, we are moving ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New school for Flat Bush
    The Coalition Government is building for roll growth and easing pressure in Auckland’s school system, by committing to the construction of a new primary school, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. As part of Budget 24’s $456 million injection into school property growth, a new primary school (years 1-6) will be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Dr Shane Reti's speech to Iwi-Maori Partnership Boards, Rotorua
    Dr Shane Reti's speech to Iwi-Maori Partnership Boards, Thursday 4 July 2024    Mānawa maiea te putanga o Matariki Mānawa maiea te ariki o te rangi Mānawa maiea te Mātahi o te tau Celebrate the rising of Matariki Celebrate the rising of the lord of the skies Celebrate the rising ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Announcement of Mental Health Targets and Mental Health and Addiction Community Sector Innovation Fu...
    Kia Ora Koutou, Tena Koutou, Good Morning. Thank you Mahaki Albert for the warm welcome. Thank you, Prime Minister, and thank you everyone for coming today. When I look around the room this morning, I see many of our hard-working mental health and addictions workforce from NGO and Community groups, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Expert panel appointed to review Public Works Act
    An independent expert advisory panel has been appointed to review the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk has announced.  “The short, sharp review demonstrates the Government’s commitment to progressing critical infrastructure projects and reducing excessive regulatory and legislative barriers, so ...
    2 weeks ago

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