365 days of gratitude

October 13, 2018

There was a time when the Ranfurly Shield stayed stubbornly with one team.

Auckland had held it for ages when they challenged North Otago and for a few glorious minutes the score line was North Otago 5 – Auckland – 0.

The former scored no more points and Auckland added 359 by the time the final whistle blew.

Then Canterbury won the shield and staved off multiple challenges.

But in recent years challengers have managed to win and the shield has had several different homes.

Today, for the second time in recent years, it has come back to Otago.

Last time the team held it for little more than a week.

This time it will stay on the right side of the Waitaki River for at least the summer, and fingers crossed, maybe a bit longer.

However, long it’s in the hands of the blue and gold team, we’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

Tonight I’m grateful to be on the winning side.


Does Auckland deserve this?

August 3, 2015

Colin Craig could run for Auckland mayor:

Former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig has not ruled out running for Auckland mayor next year, despite another week where his personal life has been dragged through the media.

Craig said he had been asked on more than one occasion to run for mayor and said he sees a strong constituency for a conservative, particularly a fiscally conservative, candidate to run in Auckland. . . .

The rest of New Zealand likes to not like Auckland, but does the city deserve Len Brown and then Craig?


Dear Auckland

January 26, 2015

Dear Auckland,

Happy anniversary.

If you’re looking for something to do on your this one-day holiday perhaps you could put your mind to finding a candidate for the mayoralty who would lead the city as it needs to be led.

Like it or not, and many of those of in the rest of the country who are still the majority don’t, what happens in and to Auckland matters to us all.

If you’re poorly led with inefficient transport, too few houses to meet demand and generally performing well below your potential then you’re dragging down the rest of us too.

You’re our most populous city. How hard can it be to find just one candidate among those hundreds of thousands or people who can be a really good mayor?

And it would be helpful if you came up with just one really good candidate so the vote doesn’t get split and allow another less than optimal candidate to come through.

I don’t see the need for party politics in local body affairs and would prefer a mayor unencumbered by party allegiances, but where the candidate comes from isn’t as important as where s/he will go and take the city.

There’s less than two years until the next local body elections.

You need to find someone soon so s/he can start working to get the support needed to win and win with a team of able people to work with her/him for the good of the city and the country.

Enjoy your day off, but please, use it to start finding someone who you, and New Zealand, can be proud to call your mayor.

Yours really sincerely,

The rest of NZ.


Development welcomed and not

April 17, 2014

In Dunedin: Hotel project terminated.

Plans for a $100 million waterfront hotel in Dunedin have been scrapped and the developers’ partnership with the Dunedin City Council has descended into acrimony.

Hotel developer Jing Song yesterday confirmed she had torn up a memorandum of understanding with the council, signed just last month, which had aimed to find ways to progress the project. . . .

In Auckland: New luxury hotel to boost Auckland economy:

A new five-star hotel development on Auckland’s waterfront will strengthen the region’s visitor economy says Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED).

Waterfront Auckland and Beijing based developer Fu Wah International Group have formed a partnership to build a 200 room hotel on the western edge of the Viaduct Harbour by 2017.

ATEED Chief Executive Brett O’Riley says the new hotel will be excellent for Auckland and help contribute to growing the visitor economy, in line with the targets in the Auckland Visitor Plan.
“The hotel – in its amazing location on the water’s edge in the heart of Auckland’s innovation precinct – will enhance our premium accommodation offering. As part of our strategy to attract more high-net wealth individuals to holiday and do business here, we’ve been working with the Fu Wah Group to help them identify the advantages of doing business in Auckland,” he says.
“We are focussed on positioning Auckland as a premium destination and having a globally recognised luxury hotel will add to the tourism offering.” . . .

This looks like two cities with two difference approaches to development.

One welcomes it the other does not.

Whether or not that is fair, is moot, but that’s the perception and anyone contemplating investment will be aware of it.


Auckland exodus sensible move for retirees

January 13, 2014

Retirees in Auckland are doing their sums and finding they add up to a better answer outside the city.

A tidal wave of cashed-up retired Aucklanders will help drive up property prices in Mount Maunganui and Papamoa, a leading city real estate agent has predicted. . .

John O’Donnell, who owns LJ Hooker’s branch in the Mount and Papamoa, . . . said half of the people coming through their doors were baby boomers aged over 60. They were people taking their life’s savings out of Auckland and building or buying in the Mount and Papamoa.

“It is the start of a tidal wave of people coming out of Auckland.” . . .

Selling up and settling elsewhere is a sensible move for retirees if they don’t have strong family or other ties to Auckland.

It could put pressure on other hot-spots but there are plenty of other places for retirees to settle.

An Oamaru real estate agent told me she’s seeing some Aucklanders down this far.

They are able to sell a modest home up there, pay off any mortgage, buy a much better property down here and have a good sum of money left over for a comfortable retirement.

The exodus will take some of the heat out of the Auckland housing market which will be good not just for people trying to buy houses there but for the rest of the economy.


Longest day, shortest night

December 22, 2013

Today is the southern hemisphere’s summer solstice giving us our longest day and shortest night.

Sunrise in Invercargill was at 5:50am  and it will set 15h 49m 06s later at 9:40pm.

The sun rose in Auckland at 5:59am and will set 14h 41m 33s later at 8:40pm.

Aren’t we blessed in the south – a whole hour more of light than the benighted north.


This can’t be your best

December 20, 2013

Dear Auckland,

You’re our biggest city.

You’ve got more than a million people to choose from and you got a mayor like this?

This can’t be your best.

He’s determined to stay which means you’ve got a couple of years in which to come up with someone better.

That shouldn’t be hard.

But you owe it to yourselves, and the rest of the country, to make sure it’s not just someone who’s better than what you’ve got, but someone who’s a good mayor and a good person.


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