Inequities over staff increases

November 16, 2008
One of the unfortunate consequences of MMP is the larger area of electorates. The difficulty and added expense of servicing them has not been recognised by extra resources for their MPs.
However, thanks to one of the clauses in the agreement between National and the Maori Party  that will change.

All Maori MPs and all MPs in general seats which cover an area greater than 20,000 square kilometres will be entitled to an extra staff member, equivalent to three full time out of parliament staffers.

The Electorates which will benefit from this are:

Name

Area sq.km

Te Tai Tonga

161,443

Clutha-Southland

38,247

West Coast-Tasman

38,042

Te Tai Hauauru

35,825

Waitaki

34,888

Ikaroa-Rawhiti

30,952

Kaikoura

23,706

Waiariki

19,212

Te Tai Tokerau

16,370

Hauraki-Waikato

12,580

Tamaki Makaurau

730

The MPs representing them are Rahui Katene, Bill English, Chris Auchinvole,  Parekura Horomia, Jacqui Dean, Colin King, Tariana Turia, Te Ururoa Flavell, Hone Harawira,  Nanaia Mahuta and Pita Sharples.

The area the bigger ones cover definitely justifies more help. But there are 21 general electorates which cover bigger areas than Tamaki Makaurau.

That raises the question of why an electorate covering a relatively small area of 730 square kilometres needs an extra staff member if these, which are bigger, don’t:

East Coast

13,649

Taranaki-King Country

12,869

Northland

12,255

Rangitikei

12,189

Wairarapa

11,922

Taupo

9,101

Selwyn

7,854

Napier

6,866

Rangitata

6,826

Whanganui

5,948

Invercargill

5,617

Rotorua

5,535

Waikato

4,947

Coromandel

4,653

Tukituki

4,277

Dunedin South

2,702

Waimakariri

1,757

Otaki

1,728

Whangarei

1,628

Hunua

1,266

Bay of Plenty

1,188

Rodney

1,051

Helensville

865

 


Lucky or blessed?

November 16, 2008

 

“Aren’t we lucky?” I said.

“Aren’t we blessed?” she responded.

She wasn’t nit picking, she was pointing out the important differences between being lucky and being blessed.

I thought of that while we were driving through the Mackenzie Country on Friday and stopped to look across Lake Pukaki to Mount Cook:

cook-pukaki

I also thought of this from Katherine Mansfield:

It was one of those days, so still, so clear, so silent you almost feel the earth itself has stopped in astonishment at its own beauty.


Psychosclerosis sightings

November 16, 2008

Cases of psychosclerosis abound.

Chris Trotter’s and Steve Braunias  must have been in the grips of it when writing their columns in last week’s Sunday Star Times.

Then Michael Cullen played Muldoon.

Monkeywithtypewriter  spotted a serious outbreak at The Standard.

Simon Cunliffe had such a bad attack that the ODT added this to the end of his weekly column:

Simon Cunliffe is assistant editor at the Otago Daily Times. His views are entirely his own.

And Inquiring Mind came across classic symptoms in a letter to the editor.

But all is not lost. It is possible for those suffering from psychoslerosis to overcome their affliction as Chris Trotter shows:

Who is served by an ideology that refuses to recognise that crucial aspect of the human spirit which refuses to accept the brute statistical reality that many are called but few are chosen?

Are we socialists, in our drive for an absolute equality of outcomes, really willing to descend to the level of a certain species of crab which will, when collected in a bucket, seize and haul back into the doomed mass any individual that attempts to escape its fate by climbing out?

Should John Key’s mother be condemned for instilling in her son the notion that, with lots of hard work and a little luck, he could transcend his state house roots?

Is that why so many other New Zealanders raised in state houses voted against Helen Clark’s Labour-led government last Saturday?

Because, somehow, they had got it into their heads that she would be happier if they never left them? Never climbed out of the bucket?

Or, God forbid, that Labour’s social-democratic state was actually about seizing them in its claws and dragging them back down into it?

But alas, he’s had a relapse in today’s SST.

I can’t find it on line but in his column he shows an inability to see past his own prejudice which is a classic symptom of psychosclerosis.

He’s writing about the deal between National and the Maori Party. He reckons Maori are betraying their roots but if he wasn’t afflicted by psychosclerosis he’d be able to see it as the historic opportunity for progress which is how those with a more positive outlook regard it.


McGlashan sees red over TV blue

November 16, 2008

Singer Don McGlashan gets full marks for imagery in explaining his anger over TVNZ using his song Anchor Me while showing a montage of National leader John Key’s election victory.

In an angry letter to the network, McGlashan said he had never voted National and “would rather have sex with a very ugly crayfish than let them use my music”.

TVNZ’s agreement with the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) to play a range of New Zealand music at a set fee gave it the right to use the song, but I can understand that how someone with McGlashan’s political leanings would be unhappy about it.

However, I’m having trouble thinking of another song by a New Zealander which might have been used that would not offend a musician because all the ones I can think of lean to the left too.


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