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LIVE UPDATES

Lorde slapped on the wrist over mayoral endorsement

Welcome to The Spinoff’s live updates for October 4, made possible by our members, I’m Stewart Sowman-Lund. You can reach me on stewart@thespinoff.co.nz

The agenda

  • This weekend’s Rugby World Cup opener looks set to sell out, according to latest figures.
  • Singer Lorde has joined the list of endorsements for Auckland mayoral hopeful Efeso Collins – but was forced to delete her Instagram post.
  • Auckland rail lines set for rolling closures until 2025.
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Lorde slapped on the wrist over mayoral endorsement

Welcome to The Spinoff’s live updates for October 4, made possible by our members, I’m Stewart Sowman-Lund. You can reach me on stewart@thespinoff.co.nz

The agenda

  • This weekend’s Rugby World Cup opener looks set to sell out, according to latest figures.
  • Singer Lorde has joined the list of endorsements for Auckland mayoral hopeful Efeso Collins – but was forced to delete her Instagram post.
  • Auckland rail lines set for rolling closures until 2025.
Oct 4 2022

Joe Biden expected to run for second term – report

Joe Biden (Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)

US president Joe Biden will run for the presidency again in 2024, according to a private conversation the president had at the White House.

As reported by NBC, Biden told Rev. Al Sharpton of his intentions for the next election during a meeting in Washington last month. “I’m going to do it again,” Biden said told Sharpton, who is also an MSNBC host, while posing for a photo in the Roosevelt Room.

The announcement of a second Biden campaign doesn’t come as much of a surprise, although this is the first mention of 2024 that the president has made (partly to avoid campaign finance rules that would be triggered by an official announcement). Most presidents attempt a second (and final) run at the top job and Biden supporters have been waiting for this.

So far, there’s been no official confirmation from the Biden team.

Joe Biden (Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)

Fewer than one in five Auckland votes received – latest tally

Image: Archi Banal

The numbers yesterday had the vote tally for this year’s election in Auckland nipping at the heels of the equivalent point in 2019. Today, it’s not so bright: the votes received by the super city electoral officer amount to 19.8% of those eligible, down from 22.6% at the same point in the last election and 24.4% three years earlier. A late surge is of course possible, but the orange line at this point tells a story.


Time is running out to vote, but it's by no means too late. Here's a simple guide.

Lorde ‘told off’ over mayoral endorsement, deletes post

Nature: always in vogue.

New Zealand singer Lorde has been “told off” after posting an endorsement for Auckland mayoral hopeful Efeso Collins on Instagram.

In the original post, Lorde said she was “proud” to be voting for Collins and called for higher turnout in the local election.

However, it was since claimed the post may have gone against electoral laws regarding the sharing of a ballot.

In a new video, Lorde, who is currently in the United States, said: “You’re not allowed to post anything about who you’re going to vote for or show voting papers”, before adding that “the post still applies – get out there.”

On Twitter, legal expert Graeme Edgeler said that while posting an image of a ballot was not strictly prohibited, it was bad practice. “Proof of how people vote undermines the secrecy of voting in a way which telling people how you voted does not,” he wrote. “A society in which people regularly not just tell people how they voted, but show them, is one that is just a little more open to pressuring and bribery of voters.”

Patient details lost as cyber attack hits health network

IT security scientists being trained in ransomware at the Athene cyber security centre in Germany (Photo: Frank Rumpenhorst/picture alliance via Getty Images)

A cyber attack targeted at a health network is believed to have seen some patient details erased.

According to media reports, the Pinnacle Health network of more than 85 clinics across the central North Island suffered the attack.

Health minister Andrew Little told RNZ that he was aware of the incident and more information would be revealed shortly.

We’ll have more details as they come to hand.

The lady was for turning

Liz Truss (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

This is an edited version of an article first published on Bernard Hickey’s newsletter The Kākā.

Just over a year after she was elected in 1979 and facing an intense backlash to her union-busting and deregulatory reforms, Britain’s Conservative PM Margaret Thatcher told a party conference: “You turn if you want to. The Lady’s not for turning.” It became a defining moment in the Thatcher revolution.

New UK Conservative PM Liz Truss modelled herself on the party’s hero and began with a similarly shocking and unpopular set of policies, but they lasted less than a month. She reversed plans to remove the 45p tax rate at her party’s conference last night and is now set to try to find tens of billions of spending cuts. She has also yet to reverse plans for income tax and corporate tax rate cuts, along with the removal of bonus caps for bankers. But she did essentially bow to the “wisdom of the crowds” in global financial markets that unfunded tax cuts were unsustainable for a state with debt to GDP over 100% of GDP.

Liz Truss with the 15th prime minister received by Queen Elizabeth II. Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images

As Bill Clinton’s sidekick James Carville said 30 years ago, there’s no-one more powerful in the universe of the political economy than the bond market. That was true then and it has been the driving assumption underneath the “consensus” of neo-liberal politics for the last three decades. In reality, those bond market vigilantes were euthanised by low inflation, low interest rates and money printing for most of those three decades. The vigilantes seemed to wake up with a start last week and have been soothed overnight.

The lesson will not be lost on National here, which also plans tax cuts that will go mostly to the rich that it has yet to say how it will pay for. It would not surprise me to see National backpedal on the timing of the tax cuts. It will also have to explain how it can deliver them in a non-inflationary way that doesn’t see the benefits whittled away by higher interest rates and lower house prices.

Bernard Hickey’s writing here is supported by thousands of individual subscribers to The Kākā, his subscription email newsletter and podcast. You can support his writing by subscribing, for free or as a paid subscriber. 

Watch: Alice Snedden chews on the morality of meat-eating

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Ever since she adopted a dog, Alice Snedden has been plagued by one question: how can she love and care for one animal while eating countless others? In the latest episode of Alice Snedden’s Bad News, she chews through the morality of meat-eating. Which animal is the most ethical to eat? Why can nobody make a good fake bacon? And where do fish sit in all of this? Joined by vegan comedian Tom Sainsbury, Lord of the Fries owner Bruce Craig and animal welfare scientist Craig Johnson, the truth might be hard to swallow.

Trainee GPs to be paid same as hospital counterparts

Former justice minister Andrew Little (Photo / Getty Images)

Doctors who choose to train as GPs will be paid as much as their hospital counterparts.

The government has announced plans to bolster the number of new doctors going into communities, upping the annual number trained from 200 to 300.

The fact trainee GPs were paid less than registrars working in hospitals was the biggest barrier to young doctors going into general practice, said the health minister Andrew Little.

“That pay gap will be closed, to bring the pay of first-year GP registrars in line with that of hospital registrars,” he said. “Funding is also being increased to enable the Royal College to pay teaching supervisors for an extra two-and-a-half hours a week, and GPs who host 12-week community training modules will be paid hosting fees of $3600.”

Little said the measures confirmed today will keep New Zealanders “healthy and out of hospital”.

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Dumped reality contestant calls court charge ‘irrelevant’

Wayde Moore

A contestant set to be cut from an upcoming local reality show says his misdeeds have been blown out of proportion – and thinks he was a victim as well.

Wayde Moore will not appear on FBOY Island NZ, despite the show having wrapped filming. It followed revelations that he had appeared in court last year after admitting he’d asked a drunk woman home in the hopes of having sex with her. He was accused of attempting to suffocate her when she cried out for help, though was ultimately acquitted.

The woman at the centre of the claims told media the show glorified inappropriate behaviour and believed Moore should be dumped from the show.

Speaking to Today FM’s Tova O’Brien, Moore said he didn’t disclose his court charge during his application for the show “because it was irrelevant”.

He added: “It was something that had gone through the court system, it was hard enough at the time and I was found not guilty. Going into any job I apply for I’m not going to disclose things I don’t need to.”

While Moore said the incident looked bad, he believed he too was a victim from what had happened. “Who hasn’t had a 3am ‘you up’ text? I’ve had girls text me at that time of the morning… It isn’t appropriate, but it is something that’s not just in our culture but in all cultures.”

Pushed by Tova O’Brien to address on how he was a victim, Moore acknowledged he had made wrong decisions. However, he said he thought both he and the woman had “moved on” by now. “It was a traumatising experience for both of us. We both made mistakes here,” he said.

FBOY Island NZ is still expected to debut next week on TVNZ+.

Organisers optimistic for sold out Rugby World Cup opener

The Black Ferns haka during the international women’s rugby match between France and New Zealand, November 20, 2021 in Castres, France. (Photo by Fabien Pallueau/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

This weekend’s Rugby World Cup opener looks set to sell out, according to latest figures.

The Eden Park triple game opening match includes a fixture between the Black Ferns and Australia, with France also set to take on South Africa and Fiji playing its first women’s World Cup match against England.

Tournament director Michelle Hooper confirmed to RNZ that over 35,000 tickets had already been sold for the Saturday event. That means another 12,000-ish tickets need to be sold to ensure a sell-out crowd.

Total ticket sales for the entire world cup have so far hit 75,000.

Efeso Collins’ biggest endorsement to date

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Singer Lorde has joined the list of heavyweight endorsements for Auckland mayoral hopeful Efeso Collins.

In a post to her Instagram story, the pop star wrote: “I’m proud to be voting Efeso Collins for mayor of Auckland.”

She added: “Local election turnout is low as always… your community needs you.”

Lorde has endorsed Efeso Collins (Photo: Insta)

Lorde has beaten the prime minister to an official social media endorsement of Collins, though Jacinda Ardern promises one is on the way. Speaking at her post-cabinet press conference yesterday, after an Instagram post in support of Wellington’s Paul Eagle, the PM said she would be making an endorsement today.

Newsroom’s Tim Murphy has been keeping track of the Auckland mayoral endorsements, showing Collins has certainly garnered more support from local celebrities than the polling frontrunner, Wayne Brown.

As an aside, as Stuff reports, Lorde’s public endorsement constitutes a possible breach of electoral rules for sharing a photo of a voter ballot.

The Bulletin: Auckland rail lines set for rolling closures until 2025

Auckland Transport and KiwiRail announced plans yesterday for a $330 million rebuild of rock foundations under train tracks in Auckland. Three main train lines in Auckland will be affected over three years with the Southern Line, the Eastern Line and the Western Line services closed for long periods of time. Bus replacement services will run instead. Rail historian André Brett has called the situation an “omnishambles”. In a blog post Brett outlines why he thinks we’re in this situation and questions why the public weren’t informed sooner when some officials knew seven months ago that the work was required.

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