Who pays for tourists to go?


My post on the sign on the door of a Singapore loo has generated comments  about who should pay for public loos.

This is one thing I don’t mind being rated for. Like a lot of country people, I use public loos in town when I’m at home. People who live in town might not need them in their own town but if they travel at all they must use them in other places paid for by other people.

The alternative to ratepayer funding is for someone to run it as a business.  The one in Singapore was a pay-to-go loo and I’ve encountered ones where you not only pay to go, you also pay per sheet of paper.

But I suspect that only works where there’s a high volume of users and no minimum wage.

The other option is for businesses to provide them for customers, as many do.

That may help attract custom, but not all travellers want to eat, drink  or buy everytime they need a loo.

The other point to consider when wondering who should fund loos, is what people would do if they couldn’t find a loo and the consequences of that justify public funding for me. It’s enough of a problem in the coutnry or bush, I don’t want to think about what might happen if their were no easily accessible public loos in towns.

High Country Weather


This Friday’s poem is James K. Baxter’s High Country Weather.

High Country Weather

Alone we are born
and die alone
yet see the red-gold cirrus
over snow-mountain shine.

Upon the upland road
ride easy stranger:
surrender to the sky
your heart of anger.

James K. Baxter

Prompted by these photos at Rob’s Blockhead.

Welfare for what?


When welfare was first introduced it was to cover necessities for people in real need.

A couple of academics want a change in the rules for the unemployment benefit   so an individual could receive it even if his/her partner was working.

People tend to live up to their incomes so the loss of a job will strain family budgets, but should the taxpayer be expected to help people sustain a lifestyle?

I think the answer lies in the quote from Jenny Shipley’s valedictory speech from Monday’s Quiz: 

“In my view the welfare state was not conceived for the middle class and yet it is increasingly captured by them.”

July 3 in history


On July 3:

1608 Quebec City  was founded.

1884 the Dow Jones published its first stock average.

1937 Tom Stoppard , Czech born British playwright was born.


1963 a DC-3 crashed in the Kaimai Ranges killing all 23 people on board. This is still New Zealand’s worst internal civil aviation accident.

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