Posts by Bart Janssen

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  • Speaker: If the fish stinks ..., in reply to Moz,

    we do see that type of capture everywhere from policing to politics, but it’s still a bad thing

    My experience with them has been different.

    But either way the solution is to increase funding to allow them to operate independently and not to simply accuse them of being corrupt.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: If the fish stinks ...,

    And just as an aside MPI is way way overworked and underfunded. Going after MPI is just attacking the lone policeman on the block.

    The problem is this government has decided that funding MPI will limit their ability to make tax cuts next year.

    MPI is full of good dedicated hard working folks who believe their job is worthwhile. I'm sure there will be the odd bad one in MPI but that's true of any organisation. To go after MPI when the problem is the government is just picking on the easy target.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: If the fish stinks ...,

    No matter what access MPI has to what would ultimately be many terabytes of footage, if an industry is responsible for reviewing, analysing and reporting on itself, there is a risk of abuse,

    This is bollocks. You just said those same cameras showed dumping and illegal activities that were not prosecuted.

    So IF there was abuse of the cameras then either it was really incompetent abuse and failed to delete the illegal activities
    OR
    There was no abuse of the cameras.

    That our fisheries are a huge problem is no secret. That this government has no will to limit commercial fisheries is no secret.

    To pretend there is some grand conspiracy over the cameras when the cameras show damning evidence of fish dumping is just stupid grandstanding by Greenpeace and a ridiculous distraction from the very real problem of over-fishing and fish dumping confirmed by those cameras.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Labour and the Greens in a tree..., in reply to Sacha,

    I’m really looking forward to seeing Kevin Hague as a Minister of Health and Julie Anne Genter as a Minister of Transport

    ... and Steffan Browning as minister of science?????

    Sorry but it had to be said.

    There are significant issues in this coalition. I agree with the two you proposed, There are very few anywhere in the house who have been able to speak with more knowledge and authority about her portfolio than Julie Anne Genter.

    But that expertise is not present in all the portfolios.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Labour and the Greens in a tree..., in reply to Alfie,

    his redirection of the science budget to multinationals

    That isn't true of this budget.

    Marsden (pure science) got +12 million per year (added to the current 53 million they have). So that's quite a big step up.

    MBIE bidding is influenced by "benefit to NZ" but they have taken a much stronger "science first" position this year. That of course is subject to change at any time.

    So much as I'm quick to criticize the paucity of science funding I can't in all fairness do that for this budget - well except to say they should have tripled the Marsden fund.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Labour and the Greens in a tree...,

    Except that for the last three elections it has always been clear that Labour couldn't govern without The Greens.

    Everyone knew this.

    Yet despite everyone knowing it was Labour/Green vs National the public still voted National ... Or more accurately the Labour/Green voters chose not to vote leaving the National voters to elect the government.

    This MOU changes nothing.

    Unless Labour and The Greens can get together and and take best from each party and create a manifesto from that and ditch the least appealing parts from each party, then there is still nothing for the non-National voters to love.

    Show me joint policy.

    Show me that both parties understand that the public have real problems with some of the elements in both parties and move to limit those negative elements.

    Show me that both parties are capable of learning and are not stuck in ideological backwaters.

    Otherwise Winston is right.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Three Dreams,

    My flying dream is often a frustrating one where I can never quite get enough altitude and end up skimming along just above ground level or worse gaining enough height to make power lines a real issue.

    Also I apparently often fly naked, which is embarrassing when you're flying at knee height through the school.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy., in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    that’s not even natural justice

    Absolutely.

    Maybe it's because I'm a bit jetlagged but this has left me quite depressed and horrified.

    I know those working in our social services can become war weary and cynical. But this policy is just inhumane. When did our society become so uncaring? At what point did we allow this contempt for the social welfare state become so ingrained that we can do this to our own citizens?

    I get that state systems can become inefficient at times and that sometimes a market led process can get better value for our tax dollars. But this level of contempt for the actual people being harmed goes beyond any mere desire to use taxes efficiently.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy., in reply to BenWilson,

    Which is what Bart said, just longer.

    I think you'll find I was considerably longer winded :).

    Without knowing the details of the testing method it's hard to guess at thresholds.

    Even more worrying, we know nothing about the methods used by the testing companies, sampling regimes, cleaning of equipment between houses, calibration protocols etc. All of which might take a reliable test into the realms of garbage data.

    And as Ian pointed out - if a testing company is also a cleaning company you have the possibility of corruption as well.

    And all with the intent of throwing socially disadvantaged people out of their homes!

    Again - where is our humanity? Is this what we want our government to be doing?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy., in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I think having a “cheap” test that’s indicative but includes a relatively high chance of false positives is OK so long as it’s not considered diagnostic.

    Recently there was a change in the advice MDs got regarding testing for prostate cancer. The situation was that a simple (cheap) test was available for an antigen associated with prostate cancer. Like many antibody-based tests it was relatively easy to adjust the sensitivity of the test so that false negative tests were unlikely. The logic was if you had prostate cancer you didn't want to get a test that said you didn't have the cancer.

    But by adjusting the test to limit false negatives it meant there were more false positive results. The logic was that these didn't matter because any positive test could be confirmed or negated by subsequent more accurate tests.

    The problem was that the follow-up test was almost always surgery, which was risky and had a significant chance of harm and even death.

    Even worse it turned out that many of the instances of positive antigen tests resulted from prostate tumours that were not growing and the patient would die of other causes long before the tumour had any effect on health.

    So they stopped doing the test and went back to the much more reliable finger.

    All of which is a long winded way of saying tests have consequences. By testing for meth in a house there are consequences. If the consequences were trivial then having false positive tests would be OK. But the consequences are horrible, people being thrown out of housing and having debt imposed on them that can never be paid back.

    If this were a medical test the advice now would be to stop testing immediately because the harm being done is far greater than any benefit from the test.

    If this was a medical test we'd know exactly what the false positive rate was because lives would be at stake.

    But wait lives ARE at stake.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4090 posts Report Reply

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