Early Edition with Kate Hawkesby

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Don't risk not knowing what's going around New Zealand and the world - catch up with interviews from Early Edition, hosted by Kate Hawkesby on Newstalk ZB.

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2221 episodes

Kate Hawkesby: Teens still getting away with thuggery, while PM rejects premise of question

I see the latest outburst of thuggery from our youth happened at a Palmerston North shopping mall. 30 teens ‘rampaged through it’, stealing, smashing things, throwing glass at staff, kicking them. Here’s the rub: they came back the next day bold as brass to skite about their performance and mock staff they'd abused. Understandably, businesses are fearful.  As well as this group’s destructive spree through the place where they also threw chairs, they assaulted a young worker while other offenders cheered on. Police took 20 minutes to arrive apparently, despite the station being two minutes from the mall, and by then a bunch of the teens had escaped, they only managed to round up two girls. But this gang of thugs are relentless, they carry BB guns and knives according to mall businesses, and they don’t fear police. I tell you who is living in fear though, retailers. A contact recently told me a well-known jewellery chain in this country is struggling to get staff to work there anymore given the recent spate of attacks on jewellery shops. We have a youth crime wave that is now seriously out of control and shows no signs of abating. And it’s no longer just an Auckland problem. My Christchurch-based sister was asking me the other day how I can stand living in Auckland with so much violence around the city. Not just our CBD but through the suburbs too.  She’d heard about the six ram raids in one night and the brutal street brawl between rival teen gangs, she said Auckland didn’t sound appealing at all. And that’s a worry too isn’t it? What all this does to our reputation if we’re not seen as a safe country anymore. And I just wonder if we’re all a bit punch drunk by so much of this that we’ve become a bit too immune to it all. For the people at the forefront of this though – can you imagine? Their livelihoods are being crushed here, as well as their spirits. And having a government say they’re going to get on top of it – then nothing happens must be as soul destroying as it is frustrating. The PM was interviewed recently about ram raiders and the lack of consequences for them and she 'rejected that'. Are we surprised she rejects anything anymore? It’s so predictable it’s laughable, but she said that the police and Government are taking youth crime seriously. She said they want to stop young people entering a life of crime, and that ‘a group of ministers’ were all looking at what’s contributing to young people choosing crime. But what about consequences? The PM couldn’t say what the consequences were, she just rejected that there were none. Police on the ground say kids are bored, that lockdowns didn’t help, and that young people feel they’ve got nothing to lose.  Many of them are repeat offenders; they get some kind of notoriety out of it. I would’ve thought the most obvious place to go looking for the clues would be asking young people themselves. A group of teenagers recently said they do it because they get away with it. They do it because they can. They know the cops won’t chase them. So I would have thought that’s your answer.  While departments and ministers and politicians are all hunting for the why’s and how’s of these kids offending, the kids are just getting out there doing it knowing they can. We should be demanding more of government ministers than just letting them say they’re looking into it. Or in the PM’s case, that she rejects the premise of the question. See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

3m
Aug 11
Jason Walls: ZB Deputy Political Editor says for an Guarav Sharma to call out their party in such a public way is extraordinary

Surprise about scathing bullying allegations from a back-bench Labour MP. Gaurav Sharma has hit out at bullying between MPs and from parties towards MPs.. He says it's facilitated and promoted by the Prime Minister's Office, the Parliamentary Service, party leaders' offices and party whips' offices. Newstalk ZB Deputy Political Editor Jason Walls told Kate Hawkesby it's rare to see an MP break ranks like this. He says for an MP to call out their party in such a public way is extraordinary. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

3m
Aug 11
Gary Hermansson: Sports psychologist on criticism of the All Blacks

There will be a lot of nervous rugby fans heading into this weekend. The All Blacks have their redemption test match against the Dpringboks on Sunday morning. But all week, there has been an enormous amount of scrutiny and criticism of the team. Most of it is directed at coach Ian Foster, with pundits warning this could his last match. Sports psychologist Gary Hermansson joined Kate Hawkesby to discuss the impact this criticism may have. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

4m
Aug 11
Lynda Keene: Tourism Export Council CEO says changing uni terms could be useful for some industries

Changing university terms may not address the tourism worker shortage, but it could help fill other gaps. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has suggested moving the university year by six weeks so more students can work in tourism and hospitality over summer. It follows the release of a new plan, aimed at boosting the sectors' workforce. Tourism Export Council Chief Executive Lynda Keene told Kate Hawkesby many tourism businesses need workers with particular qualifications, but she isn't opposed to the idea. She says for industries like horticulture, the idea could be very helpful. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

4m
Aug 10
Kate Hawkesby: Young people have an inflated sense of entitlement

Although we’re crying out for teachers, I don’t think we’re doing ourselves any favours. Well, certainly not the Teachers Complaints Committee and the Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal. Stuff had a story yesterday about a relief teacher at Mt Maunganui College, who objected to two ten year olds in his class sharing headphones listening to music from a cell phone, and drumming on the table, refusing to stop apparently. The teacher tried unsuccessfully to take the phone away, so removed an ear bud from one of the students instead. Cue the hanging offence.  This, the committees from on high decreed, was an act of ‘serious misconduct’ and one that could “adversely affect the students wellbeing..” Now I don’t know if you’ve been in a school lately but there is some serious attitude going on inside many classrooms, and some pretty reprehensible behaviour, much of it stemming from a lack of any respect for authority.  So I can understand this teacher’s frustration. These days you’re expected to be not just teacher but also social services manager, wellbeing overseer, and part time parent, yet god forbid you try to discipline your students. The grievous actions of this relief teacher in trying to get a couple of students to pay attention in his class, was labelled by the Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal as.. “actions [that] could bring the teaching profession into disrepute.” Fighting this through an appeals process, which he lost, has cost this teacher $55,000 so far and he says it could yet cost him another $20,000.  He’s been censured, his teaching registration’s now lapsed and he’s decided to just retire. He said the whole process has been ‘farcical.’ He was quoted saying his advice to other teachers would be to .. ‘not, under any circumstances, feel any responsibility for the welfare of your students, because it will cost you big time.’ And therein lies the rub for teachers.  You’re expected to be compassionate, holistic; all round guardians for these students, yet at the same time don’t even think about disciplining them or trying to set a boundary. In this case all the teacher was after was a bit of attention in his class, I assume so that some learning could take place, but unfortunately, the students right to listen to music instead of doing maths, appears more important. That kind of logic is so topsy turvy I shudder to think how hard it must be for teachers, it’s no wonder youth crime is at an all-time high. If kids know they can get away with disrespectful behaviour then you’ve lost the battle before it even starts. They’re not listening. This teacher said he was doing his ‘best to control some of the most unruly behaviour’ he’d ‘witnessed in his 40 years as a teacher.’ He was reported saying  he'd ‘never been abused like that in [his] life.’ Which speaks to the state of young people these days, but also to the current climate of pandering to the offenders not the victim. The fact a teacher is getting abused at all, is something we should be disgusted by, but we’re not, sadly we’re barely surprised. But the fact a Disciplinary Tribunal then decides a student’s wellbeing may be ‘adversely affected‘ by having an ear bud flicked out of his ear, shows how far down the road we’ve gone on promoting an inflated sense of entitlement among young people. See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

3m
Aug 10
Kate Hawkesby: No matter where it goes for Uffindell, there’s a bigger problem for National

So, Sam Uffindell has now been stood down from caucus while the National party investigates some new allegations that have come to light from when Uffindell was a uni student. He's been accused of banging on the bedroom door of a female flatmate in 2003, screaming obscenities, she claims he was a bully. The former flatmate says she lived with Uffindell and three other students for several months in Dunedin in 2003, she says he was verbally aggressive.  She says he excessively used alcohol and drugs, and that she didn't feel safe. She eventually moved out, her Dad corroborates her story. And there were other details reported like the flat had no furniture in it, handles had been broken off doors etc. That part of the story I'm afraid is probably to this day the state of many Otago Uni student flats, if not worse. And you could mount an argument that that's flatting culture in a student town like Otago - students sitting around drinking, smoking weed, yelling obscenities, trashing flats.  Doesn't make it right, I'm not defending it, but having had and continuing to have many family members through the flatting scene in Dunedin, that part's not that shocking. It's a problem with Otago flatting culture and student party lifestyle and that's another story for another day. This incident and allegation is what counts and how this woman was made to feel. She says she was scared. She's clearly traumatised by it. Uffindell has responded to the allegations by saying he did engage in a 'student lifestyle' but that he rejects any accusation that he engaged in behaviour that was intimidatory or bullying. He says that simply did not happen. So it's his word against hers, hence a QC's now been hired to look into it independently, and in the interim, he steps aside. The first thing that comes to mind for me here is that I believe Uffindell when he says he's not now the person he was back then, he sounds back then like a thug and a bully and frankly an idiot. I wouldn't have wanted a bar of it either if I was his flatmate. But he does seem changed these days, and genuinely remorseful in the case of the Kings College incident, I mean he grew up obviously, and tried to make amends by way of an apology. He has also in the past 24 hours said in interviews that there's nothing else - he was asked directly if there was anything else in his background that could come to light now, any other incidents of bullying, and he said no. He denies these Otago Uni flat accusations, says it simply didn't happen. He says a number of flatmates fell out in the second year of uni and two of the flatmates left midway through the year. So he's either a lying bully with a history of aggressive behaviour, or he's telling the truth. The QC will decide. In the interim, and more importantly what are the optics of this, what will the public make of it, the people of Tauranga, and National supporters? It is a giant unwelcome distraction which does the party no favours. And it actually points to a bigger issue within National of how seriously they take candidate selection, how thoroughly they're vetting people, and how much brainpower they're applying to the process. No matter which way it goes for Sam Uffindell, that's the bigger problem for National. See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

3m
Aug 09
Simeon Brown: National Transport spokesperson has concerns about income-based driving fines

Concerns from National about the prospect of driving fines being linked to a person's income. The Ministry of Transport is giving the Government advice on potential changes to the system of fines, which have been largely unchanged for the past two decades. Possible options include a move towards income-based fines, and greater use of demerit points. National Party Transport spokesperson Simeon Brown told Kate Hawkesby he'd be concerned if ministry officials are recommending income-based fines. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

3m
Aug 09
Michael Dowling: Council of Licensed Firearms Owners concerned about new gun law passed overnight

The relationship between gun owners and the Government is continuing to sour. A new law passed by Parliament overnight will mean anyone with a serious conviction may be banned from having a gun or being in places where guns are likely to be for ten years. Council of Licensed Firearms Owners Chairman Michael Dowling says he's concerned about how those places will be defined. He told Kate Hawkesby gun owners feel they're being ignored during each change to gun law. Dowling says they've lost trust and confidence in Police and the Government. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

3m
Aug 09
Doug Jarvis: Butcher in Tauranga as small businesses still struggle to fill vacancies

Small businesses are still finding it hard to fill vacancies. A snapshot from MYOB shows 59 percent of SMEs have increased their wages, but a third are still struggling to find workers. Questions are being asked as to who fills the gaps. Doug Jarvis owns two butchers stores in Tauranga, and is having to work seven days a week, just to keep things operating. Doug joined Kate Hawkesby. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

3m
Aug 09
Lesley Yeomans: Qantas asks bosses to work as baggage handlers and drivers as labour crisis takes off

Qantas has asked corporate executives to work as baggage handlers after getting itself in a pickle during the pandemic. The airline asked senior executives and managers to join a new contingency programme working as handlers up to five days a week for three months, overseas media reported. The Australian newspaper said Qantas bosses had previously worked at airports in peak times, but the new programme showed how severe worker shortages now were. The newspaper said the airline's head of operations wanted at least 100 volunteers to work at Sydney and Melbourne airports. Jobs would reportedly include loading and unloading bags as well as driving vehicles to move luggage around airports. Late last month, Qantas domestic and international chief executive Andrew David admitted the airline was struggling in some areas. "Much has been said about Qantas in the last few months. Some of it's fair, as we're absolutely not delivering the service that our customers expect, but some of it fails to take into consideration what's happening across the industry here and around the world." He added: "Some have pointed to Qantas's decision to outsource ground handling as a key reason the restart has been hard. This is not true." David said Qantas finished its ground handling changes before Easter 2021 when domestic travel was back to almost 100 per cent. He added: "The pandemic was very tough on aviation. Economically, most airlines were on their knees. Early in the pandemic we were 11 weeks from bankruptcy and have since posted $6 billion in losses and over $24 billion in lost revenue." The labour market this year has been tight in Australia and New Zealand https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/labour-crisis-severe-talent-shortage-as-job-candidate-numbers-fall-on-both-sides-of-tasman/TTVLCRBM3IJ624ZFBRVPPRA6W4/, with low unemployment in many sectors. A Qantas spokesman told The Australian: "We've been clear that our operational performance has not been meeting our customers' expectations or the standards that we expect of ourselves." See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

1m
Aug 09
Carmel Sepuloni: Social Development Minister says National is trying to demonise young people

The Government says National is oversimplifying complex issues, with its new plan to tackle youth unemployment. National has unveiled a policy to get under 25s off the Jobseeker benefit and into employment. It includes incentives for people to take up jobs -- and sanctions such as money management or benefit reductions for those who don't take part. Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni told Kate Hawkesby the Government's policies are working, and National's policy won't. She says National is trying to demonise young people as if they don't want to work, when the vast majority do and just need some support. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

4m
Aug 07
Kate Hawkesby: I feel for Ian Foster

Imagine being Ian Foster right now. Worse than being the most hated politician, is being an under fire AB’s coach surely. We seem to be more aggressively passionate about rugby in this country than anything else. Not even the way the country is run, apparently compares to how the AB’s perform, in our eyes. So why are we so harsh? Why are we so invested in how a sports team performs? Is it because for so long our identity as a nation was wrapped up in having a strong rugby team? Did we idolise them and put them on a platform so early on that they became too high on the pedestal. You know how the saying goes – the higher up you are, the further you have to fall. It’s who gets the bulk of the blame I’m interested in though. Everything seems to be falling squarely on the coach’s shoulders. NZRU management and culture took a bit of heat for a while there with a spotlight on how things are being run top down. Players always take a bit of heat if they’ve committed some egregious sin like not kicking or passing the ball properly. But the weight of the country’s anger and disappointment seems to be largely sheeted towards coach Ian Foster. Former coach Steven Hansen recently spoke out about the attacks on Foster, he described social media reactions to him as, "cruel, nasty, malicious, spiteful, vicious, straight out bullying..". And he wasn’t just referring to social media but mainstream media journalists too. The treatment has been savage, so what’s going on with us that there’s such a pile on when we lose rugby games? We tolerate a lot of stuff in this country, but not losing rugby obviously. Which makes the job of coach surely unappealing at this stage, at a time when there’re so many questions about how rugby’s being run. Questions over culture, questions over the structure and support offered by the NZRU. If I was Scott Robertson I’d be having a good long hard think about whether this is something you really want to take on right now. And for the players, it must be so tough for them to feel confident right now, or mentally robust, in the face of such heat. We surely don’t do ourselves any favours as a country when we turn on them and want them lynched. How is that supposed to make them able to perform any better when all of their fan base and supporters suddenly ditch them? I can’t work out if this is just New Zealand’s ugly tall poppy syndrome at play, or whether this level of vitriol is unique to rugby because we feel we have some kind of ownership of the game. Like we all know better or could do better? The armchair pundit is surely the worst kind; it’s pretty easy to sit at home and criticise when you’re not the one in the public eye, in the arena, slugging it out in real time. Yet our collective outrage seems to fuel a truck load of pressure right to the athletes and coach’s feet. Pressure that many of us may not be able to withstand, so why are we so quick to dish it out? See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

2m
Aug 07
Brad Olsen: Economist says weekly grocery shop is unlikely to get cheaper any time soon

Your weekly grocery shop isn't likely to get cheaper any time soon. New analysis from Infometrics and Foodstuffs shows the prices supplies charge supermarkets has increased nearly eight-percent in the past year. The increases are being passed on to consumers. Infometrics Principal Economist Brad Olsen told Kate Hawkesby the increase follows minimal rises over previous years. He says throughout 2019 and 2020 supplier cost changes were minimal, but they've now been accelerating since April 2021, and it shows the pressure on suppliers. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

4m
Aug 07
Sias du Plessis: South Africa sports correspondent ahead of All Blacks first test

The All Blacks play their first test in South Africa since 2018 this weekend. It means a wake up time of 3am Sunday morning, you could just roll over in bed and flick the radio on, there will be live commentary on ZB. The stakes are very high; Ian Foster is facing big pressure to make up for the series loss against Ireland. South Africa sports correspondent Sias du Plessis joined Tim Dower. LISTEN ABOVE     See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

4m
Aug 04
Ant Boyles: NZ Council of Cargo Owners on more predicted supply chain issues this summer

Another wave of supply chain disruptions is predicted this coming summer, just as exports are due to peak. Massey University’s mid-year risk outlook highlights a bunch of factors converging. Ant Boyles chairs the New Zealand Council of Cargo Owners and joined Kate Hawkesby. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

4m
Aug 04
Julian Leys: Building Industry Federation says a national products register could be a piece of the puzzle

Regulatory changes may be needed to bring more competition to the building supplies sector. A Commerce Commission draft report into the building product sector has found competition in the market isn't working as well as it should be. The watchdog has found it's too difficult to get innovative products to market, and established players are blocking land use by their competitors. Building Industry Federation Chief Executive Julian Leys told Tim Dower a national products register with information about each product could be one piece of the puzzle. He says access to information improves decision making, will make it easier for new products to enter the market, and will increase competition. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

5m
Aug 04
Tim Dower: Real construction issues come from incompetence from those in Wellington

Sighs of relief in some quarters after the Commerce Commission report on building supplies came out. ComCom says competition isn't working as well as it could in the sector and a lot of people in the industry said…er...tell us something we didn't know. ComCom also raised the issue of rebates; big volume buyers get a better discount, but is there anything too surprising about that? If you were a big buyer, you'd expect a better price too wouldn't you? There are some comments about restrictive land covenants and exclusive leases, these sound a lot like what we heard in the supermarket report. But overall, the message from this lengthy probe seems to be, you know what, there's nothing much to see here. So has the ComCom missed the glaringly obvious, or are there reasons we pay so much more for building stuff than the Aussies do? People often take pot shots at the bigger companies, with the supermarkets it seems justified as some of their conduct has been appalling. But is it the same in construction? If so, this report hasn't found it. And surely the very nature of a business is that it wants to grow, either by expanding into new markets, or exporting, or coming up with new products, or buying smaller competitors. Funnily enough, it was only last week that ComCom OK'd Fletcher buying up another half a dozen building products stores, and a frame and truss manufacturing plant. So it's obviously not concerned about a large company getting larger. Perhaps the real problems in construction have more to do with incompetent government departments and unwieldy regulations. We've seen it with the Gib crisis; it's not the fault of the few giants dominating that market. It's more about the regulators making it nearly impossible for new competitors to get a foothold. Regulators who, of course, have a monopoly on rule-making. Perhaps ComCom could achieve more if it looked at the competence, or lack of it, in some of those office towers in Wellington. See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

2m
Aug 04
Kate Hawkesby: Price of food's getting so high, I might bake my own bread

With the price of food the way it is, lest we forget we are in a ‘cost of living crisis’, I have become hyper-alert at the supermarket these days in terms of what I’m paying. And it seems I’m not the only one. Headlines these days say shoppers are fed up and looking to go elsewhere than a supermarket. It used to be, back in the good old days, that the supermarket was the best deal for food. You’d be mad to buy cereal or butter at the local dairy because it was smaller scale so sold at a premium, you could guarantee back then it would always be the more expensive option.  You’d also be less likely to get the freshest products in terms of use by dates. But these days I think that may have changed. Not on everything, but on some things. When a block of butter the other day turned out to be four dollars cheaper at The Warehouse than it was at Countdown, it was apparent the gap’s now enormous. But here’s the thing, who has got time to drive round all these places comparing prices? For all the people who say it’s up to the consumer to shop around, have you been a consumer lately? It’s exhausting.  We don’t have hours and hours in the day to endlessly trawl supermarkets, dairies or The Warehouse looking for the cheapest price. Most shoppers going to get groceries have limited time, they’re sticking to their local hood for various reasons including the price of petrol, so they’re not driving all over the place to check butter prices. That’s what your local supermarket is banking on of course, it’s preying on our desire for convenience, but to get a step ahead of them is hard work on our part.   So it behoves the supermarkets to do better by us doesn't it? Their success was artificially inflated by the Government during lockdowns when they decreed from on high that supermarkets could be the only places to open. And that was a travesty for the local fruit and vege shops, bakeries and butchers, but I’ve decided they’re the best places to shop. You can guarantee you get the freshest produce, way fresher than a supermarket, you get the personable interaction of others in your community, and you’re supporting small, locally-run businesses.  The new moves by the Government to monitor supermarkets, off the back of that Commerce Commission report don’t come into effect until next year, so if you think supermarkets are already responding, you can think again. They’re still at it, and they know they’ve got us over a barrel when it comes to convenience. I wonder how many of us who planted vege gardens during lockdown still have them going? How many who took up baking their own bread are still doing that? I mean when push came to shove we sure did get creative with food provisioning, but back to normality means back to our old habits. And I don’t know that’s necessarily a good thing? Not if we’re getting fleeced at the checkout, surely? So I’m actively trying to spend less time in supermarkets these days, shop smaller and locally more often, and buy in season. It doesn’t mean I’ve gone as far as baking my own bread, but I’m not ruling it out. See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

2m
Aug 03
Richard Levy: Climate researcher says some people will have to pack up and move on

Some coastal communities are now facing the very real prospect of having to desert their homes due to climate change. The Government has released its first national strategy for adaptation. It includes plans for the likely retreat of entire communities or towns affected by sea level rise. GNS Science Environment and Climate Research Lead Richard Levy told Kate Hawkesby some people will simply have to pack up and move on. He says insurance companies are going to have to do what's called "insurance retreat", where some places may become uninsurable, forcing people to leave. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

3m
Aug 03
Craig Renney: Union economist says more needs to be done to protect low income workers

The Council of Trade Unions says more needs to be done to protect low income workers. The latest wage figures show inflation has increased, but the union says pay isn't being matched. Meanwhile, despite forecasts, unemployment has slightly risen. Union economist Craig Renney joined Kate Hawkesby. LISTEN ABOVE   See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

2m
Aug 03
Andrew Mertha: China expert says Pelosi's visit to Taiwan could have flow on effects for world relations

Nancy Pelosi's controversial trip to Taiwan could have ramifications for the whole world, for a long time to come. The US House Speaker has wrapped up her visit to Taipei, where she expressed solidarity with the Taiwanese government. China has condemned the trip, calling it a violation of China's sovereignty under the guise of democracy. SAIS China Global Research Centre director Andrew Mertha told Kate Hawkesby it could have flow-on effects for international relations around the world. He says the US and China are the only two world powers that can come together to solve certain bilateral and multilateral international issues. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

4m
Aug 03
Katy Armstrong: Immigration advisor on surge in visa application numbers

Families who were split up by the borders being closed, may now be inflating a surge visa numbers. Immigration stats show a 73 percent increase in visitors on pre-Covid figures. Most are either students or tourists. But, Into NZ Immigration Advisor Katy Armstrong told Kate Hawkesby many will be family members who've recently been able to apply to come into the country. She says they had to wait till July 31, to apply for their spouses to come via the visitor visa category. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

3m
Aug 02
Kate Hawkesby: There is no need for a vaccine mandate on health workers anymore

I’m pleased midwives are asking for justification of the ongoing Covid vaccine mandate, surely we need to let it go by now. Surely it’s not even relevant anymore, in a world where we are learning to live with Covid, where we are gaining herd immunity anyway, and where the evolution of the virus is such that keeping up with never ending variants and relevant vaccines is going to become impossible to patrol. Let’s be honest, how many of us are going to keep up with all the new vaccines that may be available over time against all the new evolving variants? How many of us are boosted and going to get re boosted and re boosted and how do you keep tabs on that and enforce that without becoming an all-controlling, micro managing, nanny state? Surely we are at a point now with such desperation in our health workforce that we have to be more realistic? And when it comes down to it, would you rather have babies delivered safely and new mothers cared for? Or, stressed and alone because there just isn’t a midwife available? It’s been reported that the College of Midwives has been asking for a review of the mandates for a while.   They apparently first wrote to Ministers back in May, asking for a ‘robust review’ into evidence supporting mandating midwives, "given the critical nature of the midwifery workforce shortages". Their logic is sound and hard to argue with. If they’re daily RAT testing, and they’ve got PPE, then what’s the problem? You weigh that up against the alternative; no midwives or a glaring lack of them, then it’s a no brainer surely. Frustratingly, the Government replied to this plea in June with a standard ‘thanks for your letter’ type response, and just reiterating that they regularly review Covid response settings. Do they though? Or is that just the ideology behind it? Oh we should keep looking at this, when was the last time they looked at the traffic light system? When did they think about a mask review? What’s their idea of ‘regular’ reviews really? But I think when you’ve got even a vaccinologist on board, surely you’re onto something? University of Auckland vaccinologist Helen Petousis-Harris even said "the conversation has definitely changed" and it was "very reasonable" to review evidence for having mandates. So we either value quality maternity care or we don’t, I guess is what it boils down to. And in a country struggling so desperately with no health workforce surely it behoves us to have all options on the table, including the option of an unvaxxed midwife. What would you rather have? An unvaxxed midwife, or no midwife at all? I think it’s naïve and backward thinking of the Government not to engage in this with midwives, but not just them, with many aspects of the health workforce. Surely it’s time we had another look at how relevant mandates really are now, and surely other sectors of the health workforce put pressure on here too. Because for a government that claims to be ‘regularly reviewing’ all this, it doesn’t really feel like it. See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

2m
Aug 02
Jason Campbell: Former US official in Afghanistan reacts to killing of al Qaeda's Ayman al-Zawahiri

There has been overseas news with the US killing the leader of al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri. It comes ten years following the killing of the group's founder Osama bin Laden. Zawahiri helped coordinate the 9/11 attacks and was known as bin Laden’s right hand man. But now questions are being raised about whether the Taliban gave sanctuary to the al Qaeda leader. Jason Campbell is the former country director for Afghanistan in the office of Secretary of Defence for Policy and he joined Kate Hawkesby. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

5m
Aug 02
Kate Hawkesby: Turns out people do want to return to cruise ships

I mentioned yesterday, with the return of cruise ships to our now fully open border, who’d be game enough to get on a cruise? The horror of those ships stuck like floating prisons when in the early days of Covid people got stuck on them unable to move. I thought that might put people off for life.  But, apparently not. I was inundated with messages from people already back out cruising, not only that, they’re loving it. And so far so good, touch wood. It’s been drama free. I mean there was that cruise ship Coral Princess, last month in Brisbane, which got hit with a Covid outbreak. They had to offer up refunds to passengers after the ship was held in Sydney while the two thousand odd passengers had to choose whether to disembark, while positive cases had to isolate on board. Cruise aborted. And surely after two years of a pandemic and no cruising, that’s just the worst luck ever. I’m not sure any of those passengers would be back. But the people that are into it, love it, they’re devout about it. I thought it was largely for old people, but then my cousin whose in her 40’s has just done one, she loved it. My parents are hard core cruisers, the first thing they booked post-pandemic was a cruise. It didn’t bother them at all the thought of being tucked up at sea on a boat with thousands of other people, they weren’t remotely worried about Covid.  This surprised me, because I can’t think of anything worse than a cruise ship being the place you end up getting it. So far so good though, touch wood again, they say temperatures are taken every morning, masks are worn on all forms of transport between destinations like tenders or buses, and no unvaxxed passengers are allowed on board. So far they’ve kept the cruise Covid-free. But on top of that, no one’s talking about Covid overseas anymore, which hopefully we're getting to the place of here, where it’s just not front of mind anymore.  No one talks about Covid abroad because no one is thinking about Covid, in fact I was surprised they’re even bothering with masks, given most places overseas appeared to have ditched them. Which makes me wonder what cruise passengers here must be thinking this month, when they start disembarking and coming back into mask land. They’re quite possibly going to be bemused by it but find themselves having to comply with it when and if retailers or tourist operators remind them of our ‘Orange light’ rules.  I wonder whether they find that cute and endearing, or just think we’re all nuts. Here’s the other thing about new international tourists off cruise ships arriving into our city wharf; is Auckland city ready? I’m just not sure a main street of for lease signs and homeless people is quite the welcome they’d be expecting? Boarded up shop fronts and graffiti? A lot of closed shops? I’m hoping their impending arrival has focused the mind of Queen Street retailers to rev it up a notch and throw out the welcome mat. I’m hoping enough tourists pour up that street to breathe new life into it, likewise into the hospo venues in the viaduct. They deserve it, they desperately need it. And I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed for big numbers that not only take the CBD off life support, but see it thriving again. See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

3m
Aug 01
Anne Daniels: Nurses' Organisation would have liked Govt consultation on efforts to plug health system gaps

A nursing union says it would have liked to have been consulted in new Government efforts to plug gaps in the health system. The raft of efforts includes payments to entice former nurses back to work, and doubling the number of nurse practitioners being trained. Registration fees for incoming foreign nurses will also be covered, along with the induction period for overseas doctors. Nurses' Organisation President Anne Daniels told Kate Hawkesby they weren't party to the package. She says there's a few other things they would have liked to have added, but they can't do that unless they actually talk to the Minister. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

5m
Aug 01
Liz Yeaman: Wellingtonians frustrated at the lack of EV charging stations

EV owners in Wellington are getting frustrated. Despite a big push for us to ditch our petrol guzzlers for the electric life, we don't have enough chargers in the city. This is leading to some businesses hogging the chargers, with residents complaining of fleet vehicles parking at the chargers for hours at a time. Liz Yeaman is managing director of Retyna, a consultancy focusing on EVs joined Kate Hawkesby. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

2m
Aug 01
Jordan Williams: Taxpayers' Union Director on Kainga Ora's plans to hire more staff

The Taxpayers' Union is crying foul on Kainga Ora's plans to hire more staff. A leaked briefing obtained by Newstalk ZB reveals the housing agency wants to take on nearly 500 more full-time staff, in the coming year. It's now gone back on that figure, saying the number will be 465, and that almost half are needed to fill existing vacancies. Taxpayers Union Executive Director Jordan Williams told Kate Hawkesby the payroll has been growing fast. He says it only had 1200 staff in 2017, but that jumped to 2200 last year, and it is now on track to reach 3000 by next year. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

5m
Aug 01
Lucia Die Gil: Greaterthan partner says a four-day week is never going to be work/life fix

A Kiwi HR company says wellbeing sessions at work or 4-day weeks are never going to be the work/life fix employees are currently demanding. Greaterthan has worked with Callaghan Innovation, Edmund Hillary Fellowship, AJ Hackett International, and other New Zealand organisations to address the changing attitudes of workers since the pandemic. Partner Lucia Die Gil says it’s the dog-eat-dog nature of getting ahead in the work place which is leading to high staff turn-over, burnout and poor productivity. Lucia Die Gil joined Kate Hawkesby. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

3m
Jul 31
Andrew Alderson: ZB sports reader with a wrap of Day 3 of the Commonwealth Games

Newstalk ZB sports reader Andrew Alderson joined Kate Hawkesby for a wrap of Team NZ's Day 3 at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

2m
Jul 31