If government’s the answer you’re asking wrong question

January 13, 2009

Adam Smith at Inquiring Mind has a series of posts bringing letters to the editors of various publication to the notice of the blogosphere.

From a Parallel Universe # 15  is from the  Waikato Times – 10 January

Time to resign?

After this week’s news regarding Fonterra is this another litany of lies?

I believe it is time for John Key to intervene in the interests of New Zealand (as Helen Clark would have already, I believe). Henry van der Heyden and Andrew Ferrier should resign before the whole New Zealand economy goes down the drain.

JOHAN MARINUS DE WIT
Hamilton

Adam initially thought it was black humour but then decided the writer was serious.

I hope his initial reaction was right but I too fear it isn’t and Adam provides various acts of foolishness by the previous administration which might incline people to believe government intervention in private businesses is normal.

But the writer is not only politically misguided, he’s also worrying unnecessarily about Fonterra.

The Sanlu investment was a disaster and the management and directors may still have questions to answer over that; and the milk payout, already well down on last season’s, is likely to go lower.

But the company has already written off  Sanlu, last season’s payout was a record, the drop is largely the result of international commodity markets and even if it drops below $5 it will still be above the longterm average.

The world is in a financial mess and New Zealand is in recession but Fonterra is not in crisis and even if it was if the government was the answer you’d be asking the wrong question.


Mother-daughter duo sets world shearing records

January 13, 2009

Margaret Baynes and her 22 year-old daughter Ingrid have set the first women’s two-stand eight hour lamb shearing record.

TVNZ reported (not yet on line) that they had aimed to shear 800 lambs but managed to shear more than 900, with Ingrid shearing a few more than her mother.

Record attempts are refereed with points off for cuts or wool left on so it’s not just quantity but quality which counts.

UPDATE: The story is now on-line at TVNZ:

They hoped to shear 800 lambs but managed 923 collectively. Ingrid, with 470, pipped her mother’s total.


Multi-stop cheaper than return fare for same flights

January 13, 2009

I can’t remember the last time I had bad service from Air New Zealand and recent experiences with staff on the ground and in the air have been very good.

However, I haven’t had such luck with cheap, last minute fares as Poneke,  although that could well be because I’m not always flying between main centres.

I usally book on-line and have discovered that using the multi-stop option can be cheaper than a straight return fare to and from the same destination.

I just tried the website Air NZ website  for a flight to Auckland tomorrow and back on Thursday and found it would be $908 return.

2:30 PM Wed 14th

Oamaru

4:30 PM Wed 14th

Christchurch

 
3:15 PM Wed 14th

Christchurch

5:50 PM Wed 14th

Auckland

 
NZ2002
 
NZ0532
 
Adult $663*  
11:00 AM Thu 15th

Auckland

1:25 PM Thu 15th

Christchurch

 
12:20 PM Thu 15th

Christchurch

2:10 PM Thu 15th

Oamaru

 
NZ0525
 
NZ2001
 
  3h 10m  
Adult $245*  

All flights from Oamaru go to and from Christchurch but there were no choices given for connecting flights so I then tried Oamaru – Christchurch – Auckland – Christchurch – Oamaru and found I could do the trip for $630. 

2:30 PM Wed 14th

Oamaru

 
3:15 PM Wed 14th

Christchurch

 
NZ2002
 
  45mins  
Adult $99*  

 

4:15 PM Wed 14th

Christchurch

5:30 PM Wed 14th

Wellington

 
5:00 PM Wed 14th

Wellington

6:30 PM Wed 14th

Auckland

 
NZ0454
 
NZ0464
Adult $311*  
 

    

 

   

10:25 AM Thu 15th

Auckland

 
11:45 AM Thu 15th

Christchurch

 
NZ0533
 
  1h 20m  
Adult $104*  
1:25 PM Thu 15th

Christchurch

 
2:10 PM Thu 15th

Oamaru

 
NZ2001
 
  45mins  
Adult $116*  

 

That means a short stopover in Wellington on the way up and a flight 35 minutes earlier from Auckland coming home.

But curiouser and curiouser, if I pick the same Christchurch-Auckland-Christchurch flights as given on the return option – it’s still cheaper at $843 than the return fare of $908.

4:30 PM Wed 14th

Christchurch

 
5:50 PM Wed 14th

Auckland

 
NZ0532
 
Adult $475*  
11:00 AM Thu 15th

Auckland

 
12:20 PM Thu 15th

Christchurch

 
NZ0525
 
  1h 20m  
Adult $153*  

I’m not sure if I believe my own calculations so I’ve checked twice and still get the same result – unless I’ve read this incorrectly I could spend a little more time on the computer to make a multi-stop booking and add a little more to the travelling  time to save $229 or choose the same flights offered for the return booking and still save $65.

There’s only one flight in and out of Oamaru a day but why aren’t alternative times and prices offered for connecting flights?

I don’t want to go to Auckland tomorrow, but next time I do I’ll be comparing the return fares with the multi-stop options before I book.


Atrocities from all sides

January 13, 2009

Construction workers in Poland have uncovered a mass grave  believed to be of 1800 German civilians who disappeared during the Soviet Army’s march to Berlin.

That reminded me of a story my father told. He served in the 20th battalion in Egypt and was part of a group who took some German POWs. They were handed over to Polish troops and never seen again.


How sad is this?

January 13, 2009

Several families were camping on a farm near Lake Wanaka.

The weather was fine and sunny so they spent their days doing what families do at the lake.

The older children swam and played with lilos, a couple of younger ones dug a hole and filled it, bucket by bucket, with water; their parents were in the water playing too or engaged with them on the shore.

One afternoon some of the group wandered along the beach and came across another family – the parents engrossed in their books and the wee ones on a rug equally engrossed in a portable DVD.

The charitable corner of my mind realises it’s possible this was just a snap shot and the whole family had been playing together in and by the water for the rest of the day.

The rest just wonders why they’d  take any form of electronic entertainment to the lake.


%d bloggers like this: