Deans 1 – Henry 0


Oh dear:  Wallabies 34 – All Blacks 19.

Meetings you’d want to miss


North & South challenged readers to suggest a speaker and topic guaranteed to attract a smaller crowd than the 36 people who attended one of Michael Cullen’s public pre-Budget briefings.

The magazine appreciated Jill Sinden’s offering: Helen Clark Presents Eight Countries, 15 Days, One Trouser Suit – How to Dress Up and Down with Style and Panache.

But the prize went to Megan McPherson with a Winter Lecture Series: Painting for Charity – an interactive workshop with the Rt Hon Helen Clark; Macro-economic Trends in Western Migration with Mary Anne Thompson; and Tagging – Legitimate Post-Modern Form of Self-Expression by Artistically repressed Urban Youth… Cindy Kiro Explains.

To these I’d add: Food You Should Fear from Sue Kedgley; Disciplined Discipline – a joint presentation by Sue Bradford and David Benson-Pope; and The Fourth Estate – Their Part in my Downfall by Winston Peters.

Zapped by shocking power bill


Garston cafe owner Tony Corbett got a shock when he saw his latest power bill. Contact Energy charged him  $1100 when his normal monthly power bill is about $200.

His sister Tess Corbett had a similar problem in Kaiwaka – her bill from Meridian Energy is usually about $34 a month but the last one was $394.

The cause of the problem appears to be the meter readers’ inability to read the meters. They’d given a six-figure killowatt reading instead of a five-figure. The sixth digit on the meter is a unit counter and was read as a unit of kilowatt power so Mr Corbett’s 177 kilowatts had been recorded as 1770.

Memo to staff trainers: meter readers need to know which numbers they are supposed to read and record.

Testing times


Conflicting loyalties over tonight’s rugy test have been summed up in today’s ODT by Garrick Tremain with a cartoon which is sadly not on-line.

It shows a bloke garling at the television and his wife saying: “I’ve never known him so uptight about a test match… He so wants the ABs to win and Graham Henry to come second.”

Shorter blustering peterus facing extinction?


The zoological community is finding increasing evidence that the shorter blustering peterus may be facing extinction.  


Characterised by its immaculate pinstriped plumage and animal cunning, the peterus has defied previous predictions of its imminent demise because of its chameleon-like propensity for taking on the characteristics of former enemies when coalescing with other species.


Experts put this ability down to a lust for power which blinds the peterus to the contradictions in its easy assimilation into communities on which it has previously poured scorn.


The peterus has a parasitic relationship with the taxpayer which is aggravatged by a predisposition to pork barrel politics. It has several natural enemies including the media and anyone who thinks. It likes to give the appearance of integrity but has a weakness for baubles and while it would strongly deny this, it also has a history of hypocrisy.


Experts have not been able to explain the contradiction in the peterus’s predilection for gazing at its own image and its total lack of personal insight but many put it down to an unfortunate belief in its own superiority.


The species is semi nocturnal. Its natural habitat is late night bars but the peterus can also be found braying in the chamber. While it has a tendency towards ranging alone, the peterus can be charming and appears to be comfortable in crowds of sycophants like those found at Grey Power meetings.


It preys on the fears and prejudices of the insecure and the bewildered and has a symbiotic relationship with the blue-rinsed sub species of voter.


Scientists admit to several gaps in their knowledge of the species because of the difficulty in pinning it down and its inability to give a straight answer. They also display some wariness in approaching it because of its predisposition to rabid attacks when cornered.


The peterus has often displayed irrational behaviour and has been noticed recently digging furiously in a hole of its own making. Long time observers of the species admit to a grudging admiration for its ability to get out of tight spots in the past but believe that it may be too difficult for the peterus to extricate itself from this hole when it is so deep and becoming increasingly muddy.

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