Reasons not to vote Green


Guyon Espiner’s interview with Metiria Turei on Q&A  provided the following reasons not to vote Green:

1. The public transport mantra:

By investing in public transport for example, we not only build a comprehensive public transport system for all communities across the country, but we help to mitigate the impact of the importation of oil into this country. . .

Public transport isn’t necessarily the answers in cities and its definitely not the answer in small towns and rural areas.

2. The opposition to free trade:

Well our position is that you need to have systems of fair trade, that make sure that New Zealand can retain its economic sovereignty, and free trade deals tend to undermine the economic sovereignty.

The only fair trade is free trade.

Oh no, we are not extremists like some others might be, where free trade is the only option for New Zealand which tends to be the kind of ACT National kind of extreme.  We prefer a model that deals with these issues in a sensible rational way, making sure that New Zealand retains the highest level of economic sovereignty, to make the best decisions for its own people while being engaged with the global trade movement, which is very important, particularly when you’re dealing with under developed countries for example who need support.

The only sustainable support for developing countries is trade.

3. They won’t accept that a stock take of mineral resources on public land is sensible and that the economic and social benefits from mining land with low conservation values could be done without degrading the environment.

Now we don’t want the government, we’re very fearful that the government will rip out our national parks just to find coal and petrol, so we would like to make sure that the national parks and marine reserves and wetlands for example are kept free form threats of mining.

This view  is based on blind ignorance. No-one is suggesting ripping out national parks.

4. They overcharged on a flat rented by their MPs but owned by their super fund:

Earlier this year we did – those went out of whack, between February and March of 2009 one of the houses, MPs were claiming over the market value, we fixed that valuation in June to make sure they’re only being asked to pay under market value, and last week we refunded that over claim.  So we made a mistake and we fixed it.

They repaid the excess claimed – about $6000. But no mention was made of the fact they get more by renting from their super scheme than if they owned the flats themselves.

Kiwiblog has calculated that over the eight years they have owned the property they would have only been able to claim rent of $116,000 instead of $192,000.

5. Hypocrisy.

GUYON  . . . you have been telling other MPs and other political parties that you’re the moral compass of parliament, yet you’ve been ripping the taxpayer off.

The panel responding to this interview was political commentator Dr. Therese Arseneau, former National MP Paul East and former Labour president Mike Williams.

News is just posh goss


The danger of an early deadline is that your witty wanderings might be overtaken by events.

Just as well Jim Hopkins was prepared for this when writing, on Wednesday, the column that was published  on Friday  because events did overtake it.

He was writing on the lack of substance on reports from John Key’s visit to New York and said:

When all’s said and done – as it often is – trivia and gossip are the essence of our engagement with the world. Except when we’re being terrified by some real or imagined catastrophe. And if trivia reigned in New York then, clearly, we weren’t being terrified.

Which is a good thing. Terror will come soon enough. We should savour its absence while we can.

This was prophetic. By the time his column was published terror and tragedy had come.

That bigger, badder things happened, doesn’t detract from his thesis though-  a lot of news is really just posh gossip.

Often it’s not what’s ado but who’s adoing it and to whom it’s adoing that determines the difference between news and gossip.

That’s not always a bad thing, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of entertainment in a balanced diet of serious news.

However, it isn’t good if trivia which ought to be the desert, becomes the main course.

See Ya Simon


 David Hill has a gift for creating believable characters and writing about sad or difficult situations in a matter of fact way.

See Ya, Simon is the story of a teenager with muscular told by one of his friends. It is sometimes funny, sometimes sad, but never mawkish, sensitive but not sentimental. It’s not a conventional happily-ever-after story, but it isn’t depressing either.

It is one of the books I re-read at least once a year and each time I read it I get more from it.

You can read more about Hill here.

 dairy 10003

Post 4 in the post a day for New Zealand Book Month challenge.

Deborah who has also accepted the challenge at In A Strange Land has posted on Sea Secrets by Dawn McMillan, Illustrated by Julia Crouth.

Now we’ve got hail


The snow I posted on yesterday didn’t last long. By lunchtime the sun was making appearances between clouds and if you could escape the icy wind it was almost warm.

We biked out to Albert Town, up the track beside the Clutha River and back along the  Wanaka lakeside without risking exposure.

It was 5 degrees when we started up Mount Iron this morning, which isn’t too bad if you’re wearing merino and trying to walk fast* up hill. However, the temperature has dropped since then and now it’s hailing.

I hope the lambs which are getting a cold introduction to the world have good shelter.

*fast is a relative term, some days the hill is steeper and today was one of them.

Is the worst over?


A real estate agent in Wanaka, not known for his optimism, says things are picking up.

He says there’s certainly not a boom but there are definite signs the bust is over.

A rural real estate agent in Southland says the same thing. Buyers with cash in their pockets are looking for farms again.

A transport operator said that a few months ago people were asking for jobs when there were no vacancies and if he did have a job going he could pick and choose who he took on. Now he’s having to advertise and getting only a few applicants.

We’ve noticed the same thing on the dairy farm. When we were seeking staff earlier in the year we were inundated with applicants. A recent advertisement drew just six.

These are small signs of recovery, but over at, Neville Bennett reckons we’re not out of the woods yet.

One reason for that it’s not just what happens here which counts, what’s happening in the countries which buy our exports matters too.

Anecdotal reports from the UK suggest things are still pretty tough there.

The son of a friend, an accountant, took two months to find a job when he got to London in the middle of the year. His sister applied for 200 marketing jobs before she got an interview.

Having a swell time


They stopped en route to the start of the Central Otago Rail Trail for provisions.

When the bloke serving them realised where they were going he asked if they had padded bike shorts.

They said no.

“I’ve got the next best thing,” he told them and produced incontinence pads.

They bought them and were very impressed with the added comfort they provided the first day.

They weren’t quite so impressed the next day.

It rained. Incontinence pads are designed to swell when they get wet and they did.

October 4 in history


On October 4:

1537 The first complete English-language Bible (the Matthew Bible) was printed, with translations by William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale.

1824 Mexico adopted a new constitution and became a federal republic.


1830 The state of Belgium  was created after separation from The Netherlands.


1853 The  Crimean War began when the Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia.

Detail of Franz Roubaud‘s panoramic painting The Siege of Sevastopol (1904).

1876  Texas A&M University opened as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas becoming Texas‘s first public institution of higher education.

1883 The Orient Express began its first run.

1883 – The first meeting of the Boys’ Brigade took place in Glasgow.

1895 The first U.S. Open Men’s Golf Championship administered by the United States Golf Association was played at the Newport Country Club on Rhode Island.

1910 Declaration of the Portuguese Republic

1923 US actor Charlton Heston was born.

1927 Gutzon Borglum began sculpting Mount Rushmore.

1937 English writer Jackie Collins was born.

1957 Morris Yock trademarked the jandal.

1957 Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth, was launched.

1991 The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty  was opened for signature.

 Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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