Ardern Archive

You, Dear reader may be more educated than I on the implications of the following so I will make it quick and dirty:

Recently Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern has been globe trotting. First she went to the U.S. She managed to admonish the US on it’s gun laws just with her presence and also troll, “Keyboard warriors”, before meeting with the President of the United States for some charming but gropey photo ops in Washington.
The New Zealand public were told that no headway had been made in trade talks with the U.S. What we weren’t told that a major five way security pact was being discussed. The reasons for which will become clear. You can and needs must de-link Trade and Security.
And Ardern went on her way.
The EU leg was a much vaunted success. She and her diplomatic team finalized trade talks four years in the making.

I failed to see much detail in the media. So looked at the material coming from the European Union

Key Elements of the New Zealand-EU Trade Agreement

“Bilateral trade is expected to grow by up to 30% thanks to this deal, with EU annual exports potentially growing by up to €4.5 billion. EU investment into New Zealand has a potential to grow by up to 80%. The deal can cut some €140 million a year in duties for EU companies from the first year of application.”

“European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, said:  “New Zealand is a key partner for us in the Indo-Pacific region. This trade agreement brings major opportunities for our companies, our farmers and our consumers, on both sides. It can help increase trade between us by 30%. It includes unprecedented social and climate commitments. This new agreement between the European Union and New Zealand comes at an important geopolitical moment. Democracies – like ours – work together and deliver for people.”

This is an entirely different angle and set of statistics to that reported in New Zealand media:

“Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who helped conclude negotiations in Brussels said it would help grow exports to the European Union by $1.8 billion a year by 2035” NZ Herald 30th June

Would’ya look at that. There is a significant balance of trade deficit there of 2.7 billion.

Leaving that there for a moment:

New Zealand was informed that the benefits were all positive for New Zealand though that clearly is not the case. That kind of deficit is going to lower the value of the New Zealand dollar and its already hard enough to buy essential medicines and goods and services on the open market.

I was interested in what New Zealand may have had to put up to gain a material benefit from the deal.
Aware of the Prime Ministers social engineering agenda I went further in: And there it is. Once the deal is signed. New Zealand will be legally tied to the EU Carbon Market and the International Labour Organization.

1: Both Labour and Climate disputes will be enforceable in an International Court setting.

2. Labour under Ardern is committing to a low Carbon economy (and probably reduced methane emission economy as well) No wonder the Farmers feel rooted. EU pig farmers get open access to our markets yet dairy herd numbers in New Zealand may get culled.

3. New Zealand working conditions will be dictated by Brussels. To put it mildly. This will not give New Zealand a productivity boost.

4. All this comes with extra costs on businesses.

An excerpt from the Trade Deal:

“The TSD chapter obliges both parties to the effective implementation of the ILO conventions and the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) that each party has ratified.

The agreement commits the EU and New Zealand to effectively implement the Paris Agreement and to work together on climate-related matters, including carbon pricing, or transition to low-carbon economy.

The TSD chapter has a broad range of commitments and cooperation provisions on issues such as decent working conditions, including labour inspection social dialogue, sustainable management of natural resources, forestry, fisheries, aquaculture, ocean governance and the promotion of responsible business conduct. It also promotes cooperation to encourage the shift to a circular and resource-efficient economy and deforestation-free supply chains. It also contains provisions regarding the relevant UN and ILO conventions advancing women’s economic empowerment and gender equality, including promoting cooperation in international fora to advance these objectives.

TSD commitments are legally binding and enforceable through the agreement’s general dispute settlement. Moreover, for the first time in the EU trade agreement, the TSD chapter foresees the possibility of trade sanctions as a matter of last resort, in instances of serious violations of core TSD commitments, namely the ILO fundamental principles and rights at work, and of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Charming. It would have been polite to have had a few press releases at the ready on New Zealand’s binding economic ties with the EU.

And don’t bother looking for the details. These are yet to be released. Of course. Transparency is everything.

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New Zealand does not yet have Omicron circulating in the community. While the rest of the world is boiling over with lysis and recombination (Cell death and transmission plus mutation).
This is a the result of a combination of luck, strict border measures and being surrounded by ocean.
The only thing you can predict is that when Omicron does get into New Zealand. Someone will die with it. And there will be much gnashing of teeth and chest beating and politicians will count their allies. And maybe call in a few favors to stay in or out of the press. And we must not have that. Ever! See, this is not about health outcomes after all this time. This is about political opportunism. This is what happens when an unprepared governing party is caught on the hop by an ever evolving virus. Kiwi Jaime Ridge who was caught out in LA and unable to return to New Zealand called the Government, “Muppets”, in a cute youthful way.
If so, the opposition is comprised of the Fraggles and the Doozers: (National and Act) who been caught out too with a dearth of trusted advisors. Computational scientists and exponential modelers are probably fairly thin on the ground and most of the talent has been hoovered up by Labour. And that is why all political parties are now singing from the same song sheet. It reminds me of shoals of fish. Except for a few principled individuals. They are easy to spot. Even when Parliament is in recess they are working for the dispossessed and in need. Their play is more about where is the system failing people than point scoring or: “Look at Me”. Such as National’s Erica Stanford.
Those scientists and politicians in the limelight aren’t helping by trilling over and over: “Get jabbed”. Those who haven’t, won’t.” There are still those who feel uncomfortable with what they see as unnecessary medical procedures. And won’t shift. Even if these people have no hard and fast scientific argument against vaccination. But when the heck was every citizen expected to defend their views and personal physiology with knowledge requiring a Masters in Biological Sciences? Now, scarily it seems individuals are demanded to go one step further and exhibit their loyalty to Vax constantly, or be excluded and de-platformed. More about that later.
Thoroughly gaslit by now, the unvaccinated may be less scared of the actual virial entity than the specter of social control and ideological forces underpinning the mass vaccination campaign. I get it. I went into my pharmacy the other day and there was a line up of people waiting to get jabbed by my pharmacists. All these pharmacists are familiar and I know all by name. But it was so surreal watching the mass vax action unfold with everyone moving like automatons. I felt like I’d stepped into the Twilight Zone.
And although vaccinated, I would put personal freedom and the right to choose for my body over whatever the majority of the population has decided is sane or reasonable. Basically. You can think I’m mad but if I live within my values I’m good. Mmmmkay?
My conscience still bothers me a lot. Its a tough gig.
Something goes up on YouTube that gives the 10% unvaccinated a tendril of hope that there is a voice to unite them. Dr Robert Malone on Joe Rogan. Then it goes down. News abounds about curfews for the unwaxed around the world. Utter madness.
Re Dr Malone’s concept of “Mass formation psychosis”? I’m not a fan of boxed debunking of accepted medical practices. But I can tell you exactly why Malone pulled the disunited and cynical crowd. They are the kind of folks who might take what works and discard the rest and are brutalized by cruelty towards the unvaxed for having a different set of values. Mass Formation Psychosis is absolutely a thing and there is another word for it:
The cultural divide of ‘pro vax’ vs ‘anti vax’ has got to be the biggest Cultural worldwide explosion since the Beatles! ‘Blame’ culture on steroids. All built around keeping safe.
But New Zealand is safe because the only play in town is having the drawbridge up and it got emphatically pulled up two years ago. On the 18th March 2020, Kiwis were encouraged informally to get home now. I say informally because the only way they might know would be to be apprised of the interviews of the New Zealand media with Foreign Minister Winston Peters. On the 24th March 2020 an official edict was issued for foreign nationals to Shelter in Place.
New Zealanders Overseas Encouraged to Shelter In Place

But how do you account for the misery that has caused in the Ledger of Human Suffering since March 2020 otherwise known as Ground ZeroCovid?
The cost of no tolerance for Covid is high. Businesses fail. There is money in health being spent to keep Covid at bay that is not keeping operating theatres going at optimum throughput. Elective surgeries are deferred and health screenings delayed.
The media seems to have little to offer in the way of holding either the Government or the opposition to accountability unless they are willing to piss Ardern or the cabinet off. That is the litmus test. Going somewhere different. People and economic systems reach the limits of tolerance. You  can only meaningfully reliably gather and rely on data in a closed system to adhere to Scientific Method. But people and economic systems are not by their nature Closed Systems.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over in a system that is made of human parts and hearts that yearn to be connected. For growth and for warmth. For youthfulness and healing. But Labour wants to keep doing the same thing over and over. To keep Brand Ardern going like a stubborn pack mule. The economy and the New Zealand culture cannot keep taking on the strains of being separated from the outside world forever. Businesses are going over and inflation is rampant but as I’m not an economist or a statistician I can’t comment. But people unable to thrive are leaving and a surfeit of New Zealand citizens are unable to easily enter the border, contravening the spirit of the nation’s Bill of Rights (1990) If not the law which will be tested later in January by the group Grounded Kiwis representing the rights of expatriate Kiwis.
A purported 1/5 of New Zealand’s population residing outside the borders at some point in 2020 was not guaranteed easy passage inwards. Safe. Yes. Your patience (two years and counting) is required) But Easy? Hell NO!
Not all of them wanted in at once. A good portion have travelled back via MIQ facilities. The Government’s response has been that they (Labour) are doing a good job. I don’t believe it. A good job would be to weight equally the health requirements of all citizens inside and outside the borders. This is what us hardy Kiwis forget. Humans aren’t automatons pulling a wage and putting food on the table and tithing to church and the unions. TAB & a jug at the pub Nation. Though it suits the politicians that we fall into this liver spotted wallpaper of a life. Once downtrodden (as a result of too little money in the household kitty and this as a casualty of little education and inflation) we tend not to question authority.
We need to remind the leaders we have mental health needs too. The Prime Minister neglects to focus on the ties of family and mental heath and this extends to Kiwis beyond the border. You can’t ignore the health of offshore or onshore Kiwis without affecting the mental health of the other group. Poor mental health can be just as deadly as physical ailments. A border solution needs to balance compassion with pragmatism.
Bring up that Ledger of Human Suffering. Think of all the birthdays, births, deaths, cancers that develop and spread and husbands and wives kept apart in that population of one million.
But close the leather bound ledger. Slide it across the desk to the Labour Ministers of the New Zealand Government, (Grant Robertson, Chris Hipkins, Andrew Little) because all that suffering matters naught. Compared to the handful of Covid deaths and the tens of thousands of Covid deaths that were imminent since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
Yes. Like dominos. Bound to happen. Makes sense doesn’t it? Omicron is as scary as a cold on steroids but will overwhelm the health system and Maori. Makes sense.
It’s as though there is a sense of inevitability about a wave of Omicron devastation but this need not happen if the breakouts are ring-fenced and well managed?
Why are music festivals still happening? Because infection can be well managed now the bedrock is down and they give Labour a win directly within Arden’s jurisdiction. She is the Associate Minister for Arts. Covid turned up at the festivals that went ahead (the deadlier Delta version)
In Sydney it’s reported over fifty percent of cases that turn up at hospitals are Delta. So any music festival still has the potential to be a super-spreader event. This is conveniently ignored while Brian Tamaki drags the pox wherever he goes.
Instead of freaking out about Covid give it to locals to manage.
The best example of Covid control occurred in my hometown of Eltham, Taranaki which had an outbreak of Covid. It even mentions my former marching team! Stuff reports In a good example of regional response:
Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said the iwi had copied the model of Te Whānau o Waipareira and were able to respond “really fast and understand really, really quickly if we have Covid in our community.”

In any case. The balance of scientific evidence is on the side of vaccinating communities: Yale recently came out with a study showing that vaccinations are your best defense against both infection and mutating stains:

5 Things to Know About The Delta Variant

And if they are fully vaccinated. Why are travelers being kept for up to twenty days in MIQ uninfected? A slow transition into prepared communities desperate for tourism and equipped to vaccinate and test and welcome home weary travelers is better  than what New Zealand has now. A pile on of Fear. And say what you will about any of the political parties. Any one of them could be leading. Quite frankly it seems to be the workers. the public servants, the PR agencies, the TV channels, the MIQ and the Armed forces putting in the hard yards.
The Prime Minister couldn’t have chosen a better time to get married. And I commend her on going on honeymoon first so she appears in the best light to overseas media come the Omicron outbreak.
I am after-all a proud Kiwi. If all anyone around here knows about New Zealand is that we have bugger all Covid. “You’ve done sooo well keeping Covid out of New Zealand. You must be sooo proud”! 🙂 I’ll take credit.
Over the Winter Break, I looked at the phylogeny tree of the Nebraska outbreak that showed a shorter incubation period of omicron. My Professor who got his doctorate at Berkeley had this to say:
“As far as the incubation time, I wouldn’t be surprised if what we’re seeing is evolutionary pressure towards higher transmissibility and more rapid incubation (since variants that can’t do that are having a harder time finding viable hosts to continue their “lineage” due to us approaching herd immunity through vaccination) and lesser severity (since killing your host also makes you unable to survive).  I think it might be a “chicken vs. egg” question as to whether we’re seeing more mutations because the virus’ life cycle is being compressed vs. the mutations leading to that more rapid incubation cycle; tough to know for sure, but I’d lean toward the former.”

Ie: 1. Virus spawns more frequently in a shorter lifespan (more offspring leading to more recombination events) as for Natural selection to occur more offspring must survive than are reproduced.
2. A mutation has occurred that has been favored and passed through the population which has favored transmission and decreased incubation period.
Hard to say. Hard to say. Probably the former and that is why MIQ has an abundance of omicron cases at the border. It’s due to the forces of Natural Selection. And codon substitutions at the S1 spike protein. (Mutations)
But it’s not due to lack of effort on the part of your neighbor vaccinated, skeptical, offshore or quarantining. Keep holding your Government to account as a pandemic needs to be actively managed. Saying “We’ve done well”, but keeping mute or muzzling every sector of the population that disagrees or could show the Government in poor light with shush money while stirring the pot around the Pile on of Fear is causing irreparable economic and societal damage to Aotearoa New Zealand. All the best in your navigation around the vax issue.
Love love.

PS Where is Luxon. After coming back and taking the helm has he gone travelling? Like Uncle Gobo?

Uncle  Gobo

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Effectively Phil Goff has replaced Phil Goff as leader of the Labour party. This is why speculation is rife about Shearer’s Leadership.

Shearer beds in in his role as the new Phil Goff.


Come on David. Everyone knows that the unassuming, anti-theatrical, measured approach does not meet the public’s insatiable thirst for drama and charisma. 
Mind you, if you just want to retain your job until the next election, David, it might very well be the way to go. It worked for Phil. 
I “felt” for David over the last week. There was a lot of nasty speculation around the traps about his chances of retaining the Labour leadership. What a shame. He seems like such a “nice” man. If given half a chance he may turn the fortunes of New Zealand around. Those nasty right wing bloggers Whaleoil and Farrar fueling the speculation that he is about to suffer an Ed Stark style decapitation. 
And he will. 
Politics is as much about massaging public perception as it is about having the “right” policies. One of the important perceptions that the public needs to have about a politician is that they are a “battler”. We want to know that they will go into bat for us if the chips are down and in return we will swear them our fealty. 
We know that David Shearer is a battler, we need only to examine his track record as a United Nations co-ordinator and his stint in the conflict stricken areas of the world. However, we need to see the blood and guts being spilt on the debating chamber floor to have confidence. Clark and Cullen retained their grip on power through the inerring ability to bloody their opponents noses first. Key is a master of witty reprisals that dull the edge delivered by the opposition.
Even the nastiest most vitriolic utterance by Labour’s Fenton and Curran can’t match these sophisticated deliveries. 
We need to know that our political leaders “care” but the last quality that we appreciate in them is that they are “nice”.
Time is up for Shearer and I can’t say I am sorry. His veneer of reasonableness hides an insidious socialist agenda that scores votes by jeering at the rich and tapping the moderately wealthy to shore up the country’s finances. This is evident in this speech.  
As for the Labour party Leadership. The question is now, who and when. The options are blindingly obvious. They both have a top chance. My pick would be the preppy Cunliffe who has the oratory skills to drag John Key around the debating chamber in a very entertaining fashion. He’d be good at spilling blood and it would make for great theatresport. 
The Robertson-Ardern ticket would be a winner. Robertson is very gentlemanly in a manner that invokes memories of Jim Bolger. Leaving behind the obvious lack of depth in Adern, installing her as a deputy would give her a top chancing of dragging home the seat of Auckland central. Once Auckland Central returned to Labour it would not be easily wrested from it’s grip.
Ardern would be a safe deputy, not being leadership material due to the short length of her tenure. On the hustings, they would resonate with the younger generation and be Babyboomer “pets”. As a small nation we like to show the world how progressive we are. Robertson being gay is almost an advantage. 
That he has never hidden this facet of his life is one demonstration of leadership ability. “Like me, don’t like me, it matters not”, is the confident projection of Robertson.
Either way, the public has rejected the “nice and reasonable” politician and we want some spice in our sausage. Metaphorically speaking.     
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