The Daily Blog Open Mic – Monday – 16th December 2019


Announce protest actions, general chit chat or give your opinion on issues we haven’t covered for the day.

Moderation rules are more lenient for this section, but try and play nicely.

EDITORS NOTE: – By the way, here’s a list of shit that will get your comment dumped. Sexist language, homophobic language, racist language, anti-muslim hate, transphobic language, Chemtrails, 9/11 truthers, climate deniers, anti-fluoride fanatics, anti-vaxxer lunatics and ANYONE that links to fucking infowar.


  1. The family of an under-the-table migrant worker who died on the job is seeking compensation from ACC.

    Since the guy wasn’t paying ACC, shouldn’t his cash employer, developer who owned the million dollar house and the person who bought him into the country, be paying the compensation, not pushing up ACC levies and taking down tax paying employees and businesses in NZ, overwhelmed by all the cash jobs now burdening the social welfare and ACC system?

    Compensation to the family, should be from work safe bringing charges against the above and the money going to the family as compensation.

    Instead it seems unions, think the taxpayer should be paying, even though the person was working illegally, paid no taxes and was obviously being used a cash labour and an immigration Ponzi, by multiple parties???

    Death of common sense.

    No wonder the cash economy is booming when it is becoming the norm that migrants are on benefits while working illegally.

    AKA helping a new generation of smokers, another socially harmful, growth opportunity it seems! Pay up NZ, the health system needs more cash and the government does nothing!

    The tipping point: why New Zealand is being flooded with smuggled cigarettes

    Cigarette smuggling case: Defendants keep names secret to protect children, employees

    Mother and son arrested for smuggling tobacco into NZ

    Exclusive: Filipino shipping agent escaped jail time after 225k un-taxed cigarettes found in container she arranged

    Clearly tracking what is going on with all the migrants in NZ on the temp work permits and then onto benefits is not being monitored very well by our government and social services and police, and even if caught with criminal activity it’s a jail-free-card and no real consequences. Deportation is clearly not an option – the government loves all the socially destructive growth industries popping up, from illegal cigarettes, meth, MDMA, cocaine, and other drug smugglers/dealsers here to cash jobs in the building industry as it keeps the economy looking healthy in the short term with all that illegal money floating around.

  2. Absolute hero.

    Shows how important local knowledge is and being able to make informed decisions without heavy process and central oversight being the way to save lives in an emergency like this, which is never straight forward and needs people who can use intuitive, gauge conditions quickly, based on deep understanding of the situation from deep experience there and being in the right place at the right time!

    Is the government going to bother to recognise this hero?

    Sadly most of NZ disaster and policing and defence seems to have lost common sense in the NZ “Meth committee’ approach to determining processes, science and practicality!

    • Has anyone read anything from police regarding why one and possibly two victims from the eruption came to be in the seas around Whakaari? I can’t find information on this. I know the people are still missing but questions need to be asked here, in particular how these victims came to be in the ocean, and if they made it into the water by their own volition (the only reasonable explanation), why they were left behind. Did they stumble blindly off rocks around the corner from the jetty or what? Who spotted the body in the water? Why were conditions too rough to pick the body up? Wasn’t there only a one metre swell running? Do we have to wait for the coronal report and subsequent inquiry to get answers about this tourist activity which is so dangerous now (requiring full hazmat and decontamination) but wasn’t dangerous a week ago (requiring just hardhat and gas mask)?

  3. I have been looking at this situation too savenz. I think government needs to take an overview. The Island’s risk level needs individual attention. You include it as part of a group requiring risk control measures. Each one has its own subject, and controls be tailored to offer the practical outcomes as you say. We have an emotional response to the matter, but it now needs to be looked at carefully and objectively. We need better safety levels and better outcomes, for our adventure tourism business in NZ Inc.

    I detect an attitude from some of the public, ‘Oh well, there are bound to be accidents and fatalities.’ This should not prevent us from trying to ensure that they are averted through good and responsible and regulated and properly inspected measures. Erebus is an example of our carelessness zeitgeist. (And zeitgeist is a German word; an appropriate country to use as a model of careful measures for reliability.)

    I didn’t like the police attitude at first – it sounded like post Pike River – we take charge, we decide everything, we freeze everything, and we are the ultimate decision-makers and if we choose to shut everything down we will, so suck it up. That was not the final case, and if it was at the beginning, they soon decided a different direction. Working with the knowledgeable people, and hearing the victims’ families and keeping them informed seemed the order of the day. Whether this was forced on them because of international victims with overseas media scrutiny demanding a response outlining what action was possible, not a dismissive one, I don’t know. But it was impressive, though they did keep reminding us of how risky it was.

    I compare this to firefighters who also advise of the risk, but don’t shy away from it completely; they can’t, it is inherent in the job. I think that getting the Defence Forces and the Civil Emergency people in would be more appropriate than the police as first responders. Having good reports that cover the forensic details is important though and must be carried out carefully. Perhaps there need to be specially trained people beyond the usual criminal forensic scientists involved, a sort of cross-over risk-forensic trained category.

    As far as local knowledge is concerned, I understand that the local iwi are now the owners of the Island and control the visitor business. They must understand the way that the volcano is monitored through Geonet, how often, what changes in the level of activity and what they mean etc. I put the link to the NZ Volcanic Alert System below. It seems hard to be certain about anything as though there are 5 levels ‘An eruption may occur at any level, and levels may not move in sequence as activity can change rapidly.’ The Island has gone up to Level 2, which seems to have a big range of activity within it, which is labelled ‘Moderate to heightened volcanic Unrest’. Level 3 is an actual explosion. It seems that there should be intermediate measures within the 2 Level with more gradations, perhaps four; Wakaari Island might have registered 2.5 then at last reading.

    You also comment on the helicopter company owner’s concerns about his business which is connected to the Island tourism business concern. There is usually a Rahui placed where there have been deaths and people are prevented from going to the area. So that would be an immediate concern. Then there has to be better monitoring of the volatile volcano and a ruling body that takes responsibility for deciding when to curtail visitors. There can be a temptation to be reluctant to respond to potential risk, and this must I think be taken out of the tourism company’s hands, with the state adopting the overall role of Kaitiaki, stopping business at set activity levels of the volcano. In that case, helicopter tours would still be relatively safe, having to circle the island perhaps.

  4. CEAC – PGF/BERL report confirms rail is essential to our East coast region
    Tuesday 17th December 2019,

    Press Release: Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre
    Subject; “PGF/BERL report confirms rail is essential to our East coast region”
    The just released PGF/BERL rail viability report was the most comprehensive analysis of the rail transport option conducted since the Gisborne rail line closed in 2012.
    The PGF/BERL feasibility report is strongly favourable of restoring rail services in the report released today, so our community request Gisborne Council must support it.
    Because the 100 page BERL study outlines many reasons;
    Most importantly for focusing on the ‘community wellbeing’ approach outlined in the four categories covered in the ‘Local Government wellbeing act,’ as the purpose of Local government is to consider; social, cultural, economic and environmental tenants.
    • Security of rail transport is essential to ensure our region’s economic growth for several reasons now confirmed in the report.
    • Choice of transport modality is important to export and industry activities as choice of transport drives down transport cost due to competition.
    • Cost of road maintenance and fatalities is also reduced by using rail.
    • Lower climate change emissions is a big benefit when rail is used.
    • Our community health and wellbeing in our whole community is enhanced using rail as a safe transport mode.
    • Our export products will be labelled as a ‘lower carbon footprint’ product, attracting higher producer profit from higher prices received globally.
    • Winston Peters “Rail makes a vital contribution to urban public transport. Moving more freight by rail is economically efficient, and reduces carbon emissions as well as deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
    • Transport Minister Phil Twyford says funding in this year’s Budget is just the first step to rebuilding rail as the backbone of a sustainable 21st century transport network, with a long-term national rail plan to be developed this year.”
    • Page 25; Recommendations -101
    • (1) The Ministers recommend that you note that rail contributes to the national and regional economic growth and reduces emissions and congestion, reduces road deaths and injuries, facilitates wider social benefits and provides resilience and connection between communities.
    • (2) that you note the findings of the future of rail which recommend investment for resilient and reliable to rehabilitate heavy rail network and Kiwi rails freight and ferry business which is critical to ensure that rail is sufficiently resourced to deliver the benefits outlined in recommendation (1).
    The PGF/BERL report is very welcome to the Gisborne people of Tairawhiti, who have the right to know finally the truth of the importance of rail to our community’s health and wellbeing.
    We all support the reopening of the rail line. as BERL’s report now confirms that it is viable.
    To show our support for rail In a Gisborne Herald press rail poll conducted last April showed 85% of those polled wanted rail services for freight and passenger services returned to Gisborne, and that is significant.
    We are confident the new PGF/BERL ‘Gisborne rail viability study’ will finally be adopted and used to supporting the re-opening of the Gisborne rail service again after seven long anxious years of suffering.
    Why do we believe this?
    Our past history will now reveal why?
    The new BERL report was not “a whitewash” as our past Gisborne Councillor Manu Caddie called the failed 2014 MBIE/NZTA rail feasibility study was.
    We clearly saw that the NZTA/MBIE “whitewash study” was manufactured by Steven Joyce as an excuse to close rail as part of his policy of eventually closing down all regional rail services as he favoured the roads more than rail as a partnership.
    Steven Joyce was nicknamed “The tarmac king” for obvious reasons and his ghost around parliament still lingered long after he left government.
    Until a brave champion of the provinces and his boss (Shane Jones and Winston Peters) stuck up for rail in our provinces again.
    So now due to these gentlemen’s support this time the new 2019 ‘BERL Gisborne rail viability study’ will finally include;
    • the vitally essential rail evidence from the Government’s own (Principal Advisor of all transport modes) called the ‘Ministry of Transport’
    • With many rail viability reports contained as their references inside the BERL report.
    • These were not included in 2014 by MBIE/NZTA “whitewashed” study that factually & deliberately omitted those important government documented studies from that last 2014 ‘botched whitewashed cherry picked ‘National Party’ Gisborne rail report that MBIE/NZTA produced.
    URGENT; Government needs to properly commit more funding of our ‘Ministry of Transport’ so they can adequately embark on ‘new rail studies’ for our future security now also.
    In 2014 the “ghost of Steven Joyce” that deliberately botched that last rail viability report was a savage blow then against the hoped restoration of our Gisborne rail, and in turn severely injured the hopes and aspirations of all in our Gisborne communities for the last five years.
    Fact. Media wrongly call NZTA “The Transport agency”
    • NZTA is not “the transport agency”
    • NZTA is only a “road controlling agency” referred to as an (RCA) and NZTA should never again be used as a “rail advisory agency” – as it only deals with promoting new regional roads for trucks and definitely not for rail freight, as it regards roading as its only focus’ so it was a mistake to use NZTA for an ‘advisor’ for rail in the first place.. .
    • This 2014 rail report was a ‘phoney report’ full of omissions of evidence that would have supported rail, and was designed only to silence the Mayors of HB/Gisborne during their efforts to collectively go directly to Parliament in 2013 with a Public Gisborne petition signed by 10480 community members requesting Government to repair the Gisborne rail service.
    • The last National Government in 2014 was caught off guard with the over welling public show of support for the rail service that that they ‘hastily cobbled together this phoney’ “Gisborne Economic viability study” that was hollowed out with a thinly veiled view that it may support the need to restore their rail service but with not enough evidence to save the rail then, and we got stymied after the Mayors deputation to Wellington to meet with the then Minister of transport Steven Joyce and his sidekick Gerry Brownlee at their office.
    • The Mayors of HB and Gisborne were in fact given a big rat to shallow on that very day, and were given nothing but false promises to produce a “Gisborne rail viability study” instead of a real promise to reopen the rail line in 2014.
    Simon Bridges Gisborne press release September 2019.

    “You’ve been one of the lucky few with roading investments, which nearly always move the dial.’’

    Speaking about the feasibility study suggesting the Wairoa-Gisborne rail line could have a freight future, Mr Bridges said his issue was whether the funding would have greater effect in Tairawhiti if spent elsewhere.

    National ‘‘would like to consider” having a water infrastructure fund directed at the productive sector and people living in Gisborne city.”


    Result from Simon Bridges press from National = (Ghost of Steven Joyce) + no rail.
    Never again should we ever trust the National Government when it comes to supporting Gisborne or HB over protecting our rights to have a rail service to our eastern provinces as it seems that ‘National are diametrically opposed to having a well-balanced rail service to our remote regions in every sense of those words’.
    CEAC–PGF Rail report confirms rail is essential to our East coast region.
    Thank you Coalition Government for giving Gisborne/HB hope again for returning our rail service to us all.

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