TDB lockdown tips & hacks – Monday 30th March


Have a Lockdown tip or hack you would like to share with others?

Please post them here for readers.

Todays gratitude – shout out to Farmers who are unflinchingly working the land to keep the rest of the country fed. Your importance in protecting us builds a bond between the urban and the rural that has been frayed but is now celebrated.

Thank you Farmers.

For the latest official advice – please go to Government website here.

Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice going into this pandemic and 2020 election – please donate here.

If you can’t contribute but want to help, please always feel free to share our blogs on social media.

TDB Recommends

TDB Team 2020.


  1. Having fun not getting through to MSD? I spent a big chunk of last week trying to assist a mate who had gone away for a week to visit family get back on to his benefit which MSD cut off when he left & omitted to reinstate one week later when he returned.
    The MSD main number has a recording on it designed to frustrate. It says the customer has a 70 minute wait, asks you to state your business and then no matter how you reply, it cuts you off. Any time. I began phoning them at 7.45 this (Monday 30th) morning. Same deal as all last week. We went back to my cobber’s msd site and tried every option to get some response out of a 100% moribund system. No go.

    In the end in frustration we went through every email ever sent him by MSD. We found one that suggested he call them with what appeared to be the same 0800 number, but it wasn’t, a couple of digits were different so I rang it & hey presto!, a human answered me, switched me through to the correct department and the problem was sorted straight away. All that effort last week to comprehend that MSD regards customers who use their main phone contact as trash to be ignored.
    I won’t put the number I used here because they will just do the same to it as the main one if too many calls go through, but I’m sure people who cannot get through do the same, that is read the pile of pointless correspondence as thick as “war & peace” in their msd inbox, they too will uncover an alternative contact number.

    If sufficient customers do that who knows, maybe MSD will get their act together on their main number.

    • While we are thinking about the lack of effectiveness and efficiency in the MSD (and human kindness) that applying private enterprise systems to government ones is supposed to bring us! How much does admin of MSD cost to us all? (All of us that is through being taxpayers through 15% GST at least.) I am just reminding everyone that Taxpayers aren’t some picked-on cult that has to form a union to protect itself from unreasonable demands of taxation, which should be abolished by tomorrow according to them. Note that one of the advantages of a properly organised UBI, that includes automatic allowances for various situations and allows you to decide who you sleep with or without, would be a halving at least of the cost of MSD, and, I would bet of the Mental Health providers.

      A few random thoughts about how we are supposed to manage in an economy that seems to encourage consumerism, acts to decrease wage rises below real annual inflation, weakens local businesses with rampant price competition, offers large credit opportunity to make up the gap between wages and the cost of living, and marginalises those in jobs which don’t pay enough to meet normal living costs.

      Note item by Max Rashbrooke, with something I disagree with, which is that it would automatically be universal and so go to people with plenty of dosh. The fault is in the title ‘Universal’ which indicates an avid idealist approach and of course not be necessary to pay out to anyone already getting more than the basic income, which is the crux of the matter. Deciding what ‘Basic’ amounts to and ensuring that it has sufficient purchasing power for a plain but reasonable standard of living. It would have an inflation adjusted (including all housing costs) tipping-point and fall away to that of ensuring even for the comfortably off that when needed they could access good home care, free doctor’s visits and help with prescriptions, and mobility transport for the disabled at any age.

      Of course the actual reality of money, the nature of which is as taken for granted as electricity also has to come into a well-thought financially distributive government program. Even Don Brash and the Governor of the UK main bank could not agree on some aspects of money. It definitely needs to be thought about, and by all citizens who can be brought to take an interest in their economy and how it can be devised and shaped to encourage both self–sufficiency and satisfaction with the life path of every citizen. That should be the goal of a flourishing NZ rather than that of acquiring wealth and measuring success by displays of socially desired goods and pleasures.

      This is a note about our incomes and how they are treated by government systems and stats. Income is divided into two categories – disposable and discretionary (minus necessities?. In truth, discretionary is what is available for spending after the basic necessities are dealt with, only then can discretion enter the thinking, and often it can only be about what food not to buy. (Yesterday I saw beef mince at lower supermarket price (called prime, or premium I think) about $18 kg, lamb shoulder chops about the same – both once cheaper meat option.) The simple two-part categorisation is economist-speak.

      Key Takeaways. Disposable income is the net income available to invest, save, or spend after income taxes. Disposable income is calculated by subtracting income taxes from income.
      Discretionary income is what a household or individual has to invest, save, or spend after taxes and necessities are paid.Jul 30, 2019

      More about the mechanics of disposable and discretionary:

      What is Discretionary Income? – Global Banking & Finance › what-is-discretionary-income
      Discretionary income is the amount of a person’s income that is left for saving, spending or investing after paying taxes and paying for private necessities, such as food, clothing, and shelter. Discretionary income [theoretically] includes money spent on luxury items, non-essential goods and services, and vacations.

  2. I’m inclined to think that last comment I put up starting with the MSD theme should have gone into the daily
    open mike so sorry, could you shift it over. It’s not actually informative about Covid-19 though getting in touch with an increasingly distant inactive and irresponsible government so as to get action is a timely topic. It is hard and if anyone just wants to have a cry and then a laugh to recover their hope and balance I recommend Python as a remedy with MSD as the occupants of a castle and you applicants as the English who get a response that is deriding in the extreme – and then Eddie Izzard being very silly, as pudding afters.
    French Taunting

Comments are closed.