The Nation – retirement, mental health

Today on

Can we afford to keep retiring at 65? We talk to and

An affordability problem that National remains in denial of.

Past and future growth of the elderly population

Between 1901 and 1951, the number of New Zealanders aged 65 years and over increased almost six-fold, from 31,000 to 177,000. Over the next 48 years, it grew by another 151 percent to reach 446,000 in 1999. This was much faster than for the rest of the population: for instance the number of children under 15 years and those in the working ages (15-64 years), increased by 54 and 109 percent respectively.

Between 1950-52 and 1995-97, the expectation of life at age 65 years increased by 2.7 years for males and 4.2 years for females, to 15.5 and 19.0 years, respectively (Statistics New Zealand, 1998).

The elderly’s share of New Zealand’s population has trebled from 4 percent in 1901 to over 12 percent in 1999 (see Figure 1).

Graph, Elderly Population.

Latest projections indicate that the population aged 65 years and over is expected to grow by about 100,000 during the current decade, to reach 552,000 by 2011. The pace of increase is projected to pick up after the year 2011, when the large baby boom generation begins to enter this age group. For instance, between 2011 and 2021 the elderly population is projected to grow by about 200,000 and in the following ten years by 230,000.

By 2051, there will be over 1.14 million people aged 65 years and over in New Zealand. This represents an increase of 715,000 or 166 percent over the base (1996) population. They are expected to make up 25.5 percent (or 1 in every 4) of all New Zealanders (4.49 million). At present there are about half as many elderly New Zealanders as children. By 2051, there are projected to be at least 60 percent more elderly than children.

Is our mental health sector in crisis, and is an inquiry needed?

This is a serious issue. Time and resources would be better directed at remedies rather than yet another inquiry. The term crisis is confusing.

If you are personally in crisis:

  1. If this is an emergency phone 111
  2. Or go to your nearest hospital emergency department (ED)
  3. Or phone your local DHB Mental Health Crisis Team (CATT Team) or ring Healthline 0800 611 116

  4. Or if you need to talk to someone else:

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 522 2999

Suicide Prevention Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOK0)

Youthline – 0800 376 633

Samaritans – 800 726 666

Is Scientology a religion or a rort? We talk to about his new book “Fair Game”.



Cyber attack

There’s claims of disruption on the Internet and a possible cyber attack.

Cyber attack disrupts websites in US, Europe

A number of big websites in the US and Europe are being hit by what appears to be a large cyber attack.

It’s been disrupting sites including Twitter and Netflix, as well as Spotify, Airbnb and Reddit.

Services including PlayStation Network have also been hit.

The first problems appeared on the East Coast of the United States but people in Europe are now reporting outages too.

No one has claimed responsibility, but US government officials say they’re looking at all possible scenarios.

I haven’t noticed any problems. Twitter seems to be working normally for me.

‘Several waves’ of massive cyber attacks take down sites across the globe: Twitter, Spotify, Amazon and Reddit among those forced offline as Department of Homeland Security launches urgent investigation


  • Github, SoundCloud and PayPal also reported to be down 
  • Some of Amazon’s cloud services also believed to have been hit
  • Outage appeared to be primarily affecting web users on the US East Coast 
  • Second wave of attacks began around 1PM ET
  • Department of Homeland Security ‘investigating all potential causes’
  • The ongoing interruption of its network resulting from a DDoS attack
  • DDoS attacks are a primitive form of hacking using botnets – networks of computers that hackers bring under their control


Ben refers to my non-noticing:

No real reason you would PG besides Twitter. Google has its own Domain Name System (DNS) which has proven to be quite resilient though has been censored by the likes of Turkey. Most content that comes from the likes of Netflix etc is housed locally to the region in which you access it via local Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) which house the media. This reduces costs, stress on upstream providers and improves latency.

Dyn has quite a cool history. This will be a pivotal moment for Dyn as it has been a big year for them. They recently raised $50M in May in their Series B. Also this month they appointed Doherty as their CEO. Doherty formerly ran Arbor Networks who actually specialise in DDoS mitigation and prevention.

Many companies are noticing significant issues with DDoS mitigation and prevention, and inside Tech there is a significant hiring shortage of specialists who are good to great at security on this level. A significant issue that has been highlighted is the rise of Internet of Things (IoT) devices which have brought many millions (soon to be billions) of Net enabled devices onto the Net. Many IoT devices lack even basic security and are regularly used by bot masters in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks for that reason.

The Register: DNS devastation as Dyn dies again under huge denial-of-service attack

Twitter, Amazon, AirBnB, Github and many others impacted

An extraordinary, focused attack on DNS provider Dyn continues to disrupt internet services for hundreds of companies, including online giants Twitter, Amazon, AirBnB, Spotify and others.

The worldwide assault started at approximately 11am UTC on Friday. It was a massive denial-of-service blast that knocked Dyn’s DNS anycast servers offline, resulting in knock-on impacts across the internet. Folks immediately started reporting problems; millions of people are affected.

After two hours into the initial tidal wave of junk traffic, Dyn announced it had mitigated the assault and service was returning to normal. But the relief was short lived: just about an hour later, the attack resumed and at the time of writing (1800 UTC), not only is Dyn’s service still down but its website is too.

By blasting Dyn offline, public DNS providers – such as Google and broadband ISPs – are unable to contact Dyn to lookup hostnames for netizens, preventing people from accessing sites using Dyn for DNS.

More details:



I usually don’t care much for political labels, because politics is much more complex than petty pigeon-holing allows (at least from my point of view).

Even the simplistic left and right have acquired different slants.

The alt-right label is getting a bit of attention with it’s association with Donald Trump in the US. Even it is fairly loosely defined.

The alt-right is a segment of right-wing ideologies that reject mainstream conservatism in the United States. It is largely Internet-based and found on websites such as 4chan and 8chan, where anonymous members create and use Internet memes to express themselves. It is difficult to tell how much of what people write is serious, and how much is intended to provoke outrage. The alt-right uses social media likeTwitter and Breitbart News to convey their message.

Generally alt-right postings support Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, and oppose immigration, multiculturalism and political correctness.

The alt-right has no formal ideology, although various sources and alt-right figures have stated that white nationalism is fundamental. It has also been associated with white supremacism, anti-Islamism, antifeminism, antisemitism, ethno-nationalism, right-wing populism, nativism, traditionalism, and the neoreactionary movement. The alt-right is an umbrella term. The movement has been associated with multiple ideologies from anarcho-capitalists, American Nationalism, neo-monarchists to men’s rights advocates and people who oppose mainstream conservatism.

– Wikipedia

Alt-left seems less prominent, although there have been attempts to connect it with Hillary Clinton.

ATLEFT.COM simply describes themselves as “The left wing of the AltRight”, which is pretty pointless.

From Quora – Is alt-left an operative concept in US politics in a similar sense of alt-right?

There is indeed an Alt Left movement but it is quite small. In fact, it is much smaller than the Alt Right. The Alt Left could possibly be seen as “the left wing of the Alt Right.” The original Alt Leftists were Leftists and progressives on the Alt Right who felt very uncomfortable and out of place there for many reasons, mostly because in many ways, these people ARE Leftwingers, despite their presence on the Alt Right. They finally broke away from the Alt Right and formed an Alt Left.

The Alt Left has been described in many ways. “It’s the Alt Right, except they like Mao more than they like Hitler,” is not a bad description.

The Alt Left is where the Left and Right meet at the bottom of the circle if you envision politics as circular instead of linear.

Most Alt Lefties supported Bernie Sanders, but Sanders would probably not like the Alt Left much. Now most of them will vote for Hillary even though they hate her. A few are voting for Trump.

The Alt Left has all sorts of wings but some commonalities seem to be a negative view of the Cultural Left ranging from annoyance to contempt alongside explicitly leftwing economics. So they are Left on economics, but somewhat Right on culture.

This sounds all over the place.

I’ve sometimes thought of myself as centre-ish but that’s often misunderstood. I am not in the centre of every issue, nor do I have no strong opinions or political convictions as some seem to think a non-lefty or non-righty must be.

I see myself as a bit ‘alternative’ in politics. I certainly don’t feel like I belong to any particular political faction or label. I like to challenge those who have fixed positions and think they are staunchly right or left.

In political debate and in how I like to run Your NZ I often (not always) I stand in the middle of those with fixed ideas, considering the merits and the negatives of both sides.

Sometimes I agree more with leftish positions, sometimes more with rightish positions, but I can’t define when I might lean one way or the other, or might have a neutral-ish opinion, or a mix.

I don’t see why it’s not ok to have, for example, a conservative approach to socialism, or think that a social conscience is an important aspect of decent capitalism.

Centre and centrist seem too positional to me so I’m going off those terms for my own way of looking at things.

So for today at least I’m tending more towards alt-middlish – when I’m not agreeing with more polarised positions.

At least this doesn’t paint me into any political corners.

Brexit/EU update

From Missy in London:

The posturing by EU Leaders has been ongoing since June, with a lot of threats being provided if the UK tries to leave the EU completely and not sign up to free movement. This week was no different, however, today was the European Council Meeting (leaders), and Theresa May went for the first time, and I think it may be the first glimpse the EU Leaders have of how tough Theresa May can be – in a diplomatic way.

The lead EU negotiator for Brexit reportedly said this morning that the negotiations would be undertaken in French, Theresa May has said the negotiations would be undertaken in a way that would get the right deal for Britain. The negotiator immediately tweeted that he hadn’t said that, and the language hadn’t been decided on. Juncture meanwhile said that there was no reason every country could not do the negotiations in their own language. TM 1 EU 0

Theresa May also gave what is seen as a rebuke to the EU Leaders today, by saying that they want to conduct the negotiations in a mature way. This is widely seen as telling the EU that they are being immature in their responses.

Theresa May also went on to tell the EU that they would begin trade discussions with third countries before Britain leave the EU. Under the EU rules a country cannot sign any trade deals until they are out of the EU, many in the EU (and those that voted Leave in the UK) see that as meaning they can’t begin discussions, however, legally this is not what it means. This will be a blow to the EU bargaining power, especially if they can get some quick deals with the likes of NZ, Aus, Canada, India, China – or at least far along in the deals, as the EU will not have the threat of no deals for several years to try and use to make Britain dance to their tune over the single market.

EU: Today the Free Trade Deal with the EU and Canada fell over as Wallonia (a region in Belgium) vetoed it. For the Belgian Government to vote in favour of anything at the EU they require all regions to agree before they can vote in favour, so one region holding out means Belgium will veto. Some are saying this is bad for Britain, and the EU negotiations, it is in that it represents how difficult it will be, however, if Britain is able to use this to move ahead FTA negotiations with Canada it could be a good thing, as it will show the EU that the UK have options, and they don’t need the EU to do these trade deals.

UK child migrant controversy

From Missy in London:

First Update is on the Migrant situation – child migrants in particular. This is a situation that has been causing much controversy this week in the UK.

Background: It was estimated that there were approximately 800 ‘children’ in the Calais camp that could be eligible to come to the UK as they already have family here – a parent or sibling. The media and celebrities pushed this story with images of young children (under 10) and talked about vulnerable children needing to come to the UK. This garnered a lot of sympathy, and many people here were happy to welcome young, vulnerable children, particularly young girls, to the UK. This week they began arriving, and the controversy began.

The first intake of the ‘vulnerable migrant children’ that the UK took were described as 14-17 year olds, however, when images of these ‘children’ were published (all smiling and doing a thumbs up, many saying they were happy to be in the UK), alarm bells started ringing for some people as these ‘children’ all looked like young adults, and they were all male. Some went so far as to use face recognition software to see how old they might be, most came back as being in their 20’s or 30’s. At least one guy, to many, looked almost 40 – he had wrinkles, grey hair, a pronounced adam’s apple, and features that were those of a mature adult rather than a young teenager. The Home Office claims they look older because of their experiences (a possibility to a degree), and in the case of the man mentioned before, a charity claimed he was an adult interpreter for the Home Office (obviously they knew he wasn’t a child), but the Home Office denied he was their interpreter.

An MP suggested dental and medical checks be conducted to check their ages, the Home Office claimed that this wasn’t accurate and it was too intrusive – though yesterday a Home Office paper leaked to the media shows that the Home Office do use dental checks to verify ages.

It has come out this week that the Home Office’s own figures show that approximately 65% of the migrants they interviewed in Calais lied about being under 17, but those were the one’s that got tripped up in their lie, or had someone dob them in. Migrants and some NGO workers in Calais have admitted that many of the men in the Calais camp will lie about their age to try and get to the UK as an unaccompanied minor.

To add to the shambles, some local authorities (who are responsible for the care of the ‘children’ initially) have stated they won’t provide housing or benefits for those that cannot verify their age with a birth certificate, passport, or dental checks.

There have been reports today that at least one of the migrant ‘children’ that arrived on Monday is already on the UK Biometric database, and is verified as being well into his 20’s.

Understandably many in the UK feel that the UK’s generosity is being taken advantage of, and what they are seeing is young men lying about their age to come into the UK, not as refugees but as economic migrants.

Labour’s health petition whopper

This week’s petition from Labour is aimed at fixing our tax system. Perhaps Labour should aim at on fixing their honesty, or their research or maths.

Sign this petition

To the New Zealand Government

Fund our health system properly so New Zealanders can get the treatment they need.

That’s hopelessly vague. More detail:

Sign the petition to fix our health system

In just six years, National has cut a whopping $1.7 billion from our healthcare system.

Every day we hear stories of how these cuts are impacting Kiwis’ lives. Stories of struggling to pay for the GP; missing out on the medicines they need; and health professionals who are exhausted and overstretched. It’s not right and we have to fix it.

To fix our system, we need to make sure Kiwis know this is a vital issue and they need to vote to change the Government at the election next year.

To make sure health is an election issue, we need to build a massive campaign calling on the Government to ensure the health system can provide the services Kiwis need. A huge petition can’t be ignored and together we can make sure health gets the attention it needs.

A petition this vague, huge or otherwise, will be easily ignored. Health funding is a big issue but this won’t do anything to help our health system.

Plus there is nothing from Labour about how they might ‘fix’ our health system.

Has the Government cut a whopping $1.7 billion from our healthcare system?

The Budget Economic and Fiscal Update 2016 (BEFU) published on 26 May 2016, health spending from Treasury’s Core Crown Expense Table (billions):

  • 2011 – $13.753
  • 2012 – $14.160
  • 2013 – $14.498
  • 2014 – $14.898
  • 2015 – $15.058
  • 2016 – $15.635
  • Forecast for 2017 – $16.214

That’s an increase of $2.461 billion, not a decrease of $1.7 billion as claimed in the petition.

Perhaps Labour is using some different numbers, but with no details it’s impossible to tell how they have come up with a whopping reduction.

It looks more like a whopper of a lie.

From London’s River Bus

Missy has posted here about her commutes on London’s River Bus service:

I am enjoying my commute home tonight, sun shining, blue sky, and a gorgeous view from the river bus. I hope I never get bored with, or sick of, the view of tower bridge as the boat approaches, or of Greenwich as we pass. London is a beautiful city and best seen from the water – or top of a double decker bus.


A Thames Clipper on the river by St Paul’s Cathedral

Missy last month:

I am heading home from a few after work drinks, and have decided to take the Riverbus. Currently I am looking out the window at Tower Bridge – amazing in daylight, but breathtaking at night – as is most of London. I feel so lucky to be living and working here, some days I still punch myself as I can hardly believe it. It really is an incredible city.

Pickled Possum asked:

Morning Missy I am there on the riverbus, with you, only in my mind of course lol
Any chance of a picture so we can see what you see and so eloquently write about?

Here are some photos Missy has taken over the last week or so.









Sunrise looking East from Woolwich – so down past the Thames Barrier, and in the distance is Essex and Kent (Essex north of the River, Kent is South)

Thanks Missy. London is one of the world’s great cities, and it looks great from the water in a variety of moods.

Media watch – Saturday

22 October 2016


Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

As usual avoid anything that could cause any legal issues such as potential defamation or breaching suppression orders. Also remember that keeping things civil, legal and factual is more effective and harder to argue against or discredit.

Sometimes other blogs get irate if their material is highlighted elsewhere but the Internet is specifically designed to share and repeat information and anyone who comments or puts anything into a public forum should be aware that it could be republished elsewhere (but attribution is essential).

Open Forum – Saturday

22 October 2016

Facebook: NZ politics/media+

This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isn’t spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is for you to raise topics that interest you. 

If providing opinions on or summaries of other information also provide a link to that information. Bloggers are welcome to summarise and link to their posts.

Comments worth more exposure may be repeated as posts.

Your NZ is a mostly political and social issues blog but not limited to that, and views from anywhere on the political spectrum are welcome. Some ground rules:

  • If possible support arguments, news, points or opinions with links to sources and facts.
  • Please don’t post anything illegal, potentially defamatory or abusive.
  • Debate hard if you like but respect people’s right to have varying views and to not be personally be attacked.
  • Don’t say to a stranger online anything you wouldn’t say to their face.

Moderation will be minimal if these guidelines are followed. Should they ever be necessary any moderator edits, deletes or bans will be clearly and openly advised unless obviously malicious from anyone breaching site protocols, or spam.

Friday night Chesstock

Anyone heard of Lejzor and Fiszel Czyż?

The immigrated from Poland to Chicago, changing their names to Leonard and Philip Chess. They worked in a family junkyard within hearing distance of a black Baptist church.

“On a Sunday, man, they’d get going with that groove and you couldn’t help but stand there and dance. Really, that’s, that’s how good it was. We gradually got a feel for this black blues. And thank God it took off.”

They later bought a record label, renamed it Chess, and their first recording was of someone called Muddy Waters.

Phil Chess died this week, aged 95, having left a legacy through making a significant contribution to the promotion and proliferation of blues, rock and roll, rock and jazz.

Chicago Tribune: Phil Chess, co-founder of blues label Chess Records, dies

Guardian: Phil Chess, the Polish immigrant who brought blues to the world