#gigatownoamaru needs your help

December 7, 2013

A recalculation of Wanaka’s population resulted in it soaring to the top of Chorus’s gigatown competition.

Oamaru is still in a very creditable second place – and with your help we could get back to first.

If you’re not supporting another town, please sign up today to help Oamaru earn extra points and encourage friends and relations all aroudn the world to do the same:

Supporters World Promotion Rules

Become a Gigatown supporter and open up a whole new world.

Find supporters from all over your town and beyond to join your Gigatown’s cause and win.

Here’s how you can help your town win 25,000 Gigapoints and experience the amazing Leon Keer’s 3D art:

1. If you haven’t already joined your town’s supporters’ network click on the JOIN UP button now.

2. Invite your mates! Remember, you don’t have to live in a town to support it, so friends and family from further afield can support your cause, too.

Entries are open from 10am Thursday 5th December and close at midnight Saturday night, 7th December, 2013.

The town that adds the most supporters to their supporters’ network over the course of the promotion will win.

1st place – Leon Keer’s drawing in your town and 25,000 Gigapoints

2nd place – 15,000 Gigapoints

3rd place – 10,000 Gigapoints

In addition, any town that doubles its supporters over the weekend will receive a bonus of 10,000 Gigapoints.

Winners will be announced on this website. The first three placings will be announced on Sunday 8th December. Bonus winners will be announced and all points adjustments made on Wednesday 11th.

Click here to add your support for #gigatownoamaru.

It’s a year-long competition with the opportunity to be the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown at stake.


Saturday soapbox

December 7, 2013

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, to muse or amuse – and to support #gigatownoamaru .


Sunday soapbox

December 1, 2013

Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, to muse or amuse – and to support #gigatownoamaru .

Surely, in the light of history, it is more important to hope rather than to fear, to try than not to try. For the one thing we know beyond all doubt: Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who says ‘it can’t be done.'” –Eleanor Roosevelt


Saturday soapbox

November 30, 2013

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, to muse or amuse – and to support #gigatownoamaru .

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors – Plato.


Thursday’s quiz

November 28, 2013

Baking is taking priority over blogging today so I’m leaving the questions up to you.

An electronics batch of shortbread is on offer to anyone who stumps us all with a bonus batch for mentions of #gigatownoamru.


Only in #gigatownoamaru

November 27, 2013

Where else in New Zealand, and maybe the world, do you get a daily penguin report?

If only those penguins could vote to make #gigatownoamaru the first gigatown in the southern hemisphere.


Asado con y sin gas

November 23, 2013

When we first went to Argentina more than 16 years ago we were introduced to the delights of the asado –  barbecues on a parilla – the wood fired oven.

The food was delicious and I put a parilla on my one-day-when list for home.

In the meantime we had to make do with ordinary barbecues, or what one of our Argentinean visitors dubbed asado con gas – asado with gas.

Nearly three years ago we got the South African version of a parilla – a Kiwi Braii – at our crib in Wanaka and now, finally we’ve got a parilla at home.

The last of the fire bricks were installed last week.

parilla 007

We’ve got 150ish people coming for dinner tonight so my farmer test-drove the parilla, cooking a fillet of beef yesterday evening.

One of the secrets of the asado is cooking over embers rather than flame.

The fire is lit to one side and when the embers drop, they’re lifted on a long-handled shovel and placed under the food.

It requires patience but the taste and tenderness of the meat is worth the wait.

parrilla hp

Last night’s test-drive was a success.

I’ll be able to report to our Argentinean friends that we can now cook an asado con y sin gas – with and without gas and we’ve brought the taste of Argentina to #gigatownoamaru.


Saturday soapbox

November 23, 2013

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, to muse or amuse – and to support #gigatownoamaru .


Thursday’s quiz

November 21, 2013

Dinner preparations are taking precedence over question setting so I’m inviting you to pose them.

Anyone who stumps us all will win an electronic batch of meringues (third batch of real ones has just gone into the oven).

Anyone who manages to inset #gigatownoamaru into a question or answer will get a bonus batch.


Perverse Midas touch

November 20, 2013

Labour is trying to pretend its rediscovered the regions and has been showing the love by talking them down.

Once more the facts don’t support their rhetoric:

New Zealand’s economic recovery continues to be led by the regions, the latest ANZ Regional Trends report released today shows.

The report highlights that 12 out of 14 regions recorded a rise in economic activity in the September quarter and year-on year this was the strongest rate of increase since December 2004.

According to ANZ, the North Island, led by Taranaki, expanded 4 per cent in the year to September – a nine year high – while the South Island’s annual increase was higher at 4.6 per cent. Canterbury again recorded the strongest annual average rate of economic growth, increasing 6.2 per cent in the 12 months to September.

“ANZ’s report follows other recent positive economic indicators with business confidence at its highest level since 1994, the manufacturing sector in expansion for the last 11 months, and the net inflow of migrants in September being strongest since July 2003.

“The latest Regional Trends report makes a nonsense of the Opposition’s claims that New Zealand’s regions and towns are being ‘gutted’. The reality is it’s our regions that are leading New Zealand out of the Global Financial Crisis.

“This data will embarrass the Labour Party and comes on the back of other recent gaffes such as the “manufacturing crisis’ and the bizarre claim of a regional exodus the day before the Census results came out. Labour leader David Cunliffe was left red-faced when official statistics showed all but one region grew in size from 2006 to 2013 and he should be red-faced again.

“If it wants to Labour can keep talking down our regions and the performance of our economy. But only the National Government’s comprehensive Business Growth Agenda is creating jobs and lifting business confidence and growth in our regions and right across New Zealand.”

The report on the Business Growth Agenda is here.
The ANZ Regional Trends report shows that good economic news is translating into jobs:

Employment posted its strongest increase in 6½ years, led by a large lift in Otago.
The unemployment rate improved in all regions from the central North Island and
southwards.

Labour tried to manufacture a manufacturing crisis and manufacturing has improved.

It’s been spreading gloom about the regions when they’re doing well.

It’s a bit like a perverse Midas touch – whatever it says is bad is really as good as gold.

#gigatownoamaru is going for gold in its quest to be the southern hemisphere’s first giagtown.


Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail already bringing business

November 18, 2013

The Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail isn’t even completed yet but is already bringing business to the area.

Existing businesses are reporting more customers and new ones have set up to supply, service and entertain cyclists.

A neighbour who runs an up-market B & B said they have had a lot of extra custom from people nearing the end of the ride and wanting to reward their efforts with a little luxury.

All of them have thoroughly enjoyed the ride and one who has done trails all over the world said it’s up with the best.

The trail is graded easy to intermediate and includes some steep hills. But those can’t be too challenging for bicycles when a team managed to complete the trail on penny farthings.

Despite penny-farthings having no gears, enthusiasts yesterday completed a ride of more than 300km from Aoraki/Mt Cook to Oamaru in just three days.

Oamaru Ordinary Cycle Club captain Graeme Simpson said 27 riders from the club set off from Aoraki/Mt Cook on November 10 – half of them on penny-farthings – to raise awareness of the Oamaru Victorian Heritage Celebrations by completing the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail.

Mr Simpson said the 312km cycle trail had been ”challenging”, but ”doable on a penny-farthing”. . . .

Photos from Alps to Ocean Facebook Page.
Photo: The group at Burnside Homestead.
Burnside Homestead
Photo: Left to right: Mitch, Bill Blair, David Wilson.
Oamaru Harbour

Some of the trail is still on roads. A trust has been set up to raise money to fund the work required to take the whole trail off-road.

#gigatownoamaru also enjoys the challenge of becoming the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown.


Word of the day

November 17, 2013

Nutation – a periodic variation in the inclination of the axis of a rotating object;  the act or an instance of nodding the head, especially involuntarily or spasmodically; a wobble in a spinning gyroscope or other rotating body; a small irregularity in the precession of the equinoxes; the circular swaying movement of the tip of a growing shoot; spontaneous movements of plant parts during growth.

The points tally for #gigatownoamaru is growing, but not wobbling.


#gigaBOMB for #gigatownoamaru

November 17, 2013

All supporters of #gigatownoamaru are asked to use the weekend’s Victorian Heritage Celebrations to get gigabombing:

Here is a challenge for all of you in #gigatownoamaru! We are starting off with a photo challenge! We want everyone who is attending any event over this weekend in Oamaru to post photos here, we are #GIGABOMBING the town!

A couple of days… ago we asked about you internet speeds in and around Oamaru, how slow were they!!!

We would like you to get out your cameras and phones, take photos of all the Victorians and locals enjoying themselves then upload here the full sized pictures.

Whilst uploading, start counting seconds and tell us how long they took. THIS IS IMPORTANT AS THIS IS HOW WE WILL GET POINTS!

Please comment on the photos, but remember to #gigatownoamaru

We will add the photos to an album for everyone to see along with the names of the photographer, and contact details if you are a professional!

Here is a challenge for all of you in #gigatownoamaru! We are starting off with a photo challenge! We want everyone who is attending any event over theis weekend in Oamaru to post photos here, we are #GIGABOMBING the town! A couple of days ago we asked about you internet speeds in and around Oamaru, how slow were they!!! We would like you to get out your cameras and phones, take photos of all the Victorians and locals enjoying themselves then upload here the full sized pictures. Whilst uploading, start counting seconds and tell us how long they took. THIS IS IMPORTANT AS THIS IS HOW WE WILL GET POINTS! Please comment  on the photos, but remember to #gigatownoamaru  We will add the photos to an album for everyone to see along with the names of the photographer, and contact details if you are a professional!


#gigatownoamaru extends lead

November 16, 2013

The gigatown score board is back up.

It shows #gigatownoamaru in front – still – with 245736 points.

That’s a very satisfying 64,736 ahead of the town in second place.

gigatownoam


Giga gaming?

November 16, 2013

Anyone who’s been checking the gigatown website over the last day or so has been finding something’s up with the scoring.

Instead of going up, as they have been, the tallies for several towns has been going down.

What’s going on?

Chris Keall writes:

Chorus’ Gigatown competition began with a noble aim: to showcase the benefits of Ultrafast Broadband fibre. . .

But now the Gigatown competition has opened it’s home page is … a riot. At first glance, it’s hard to work out what the hell’s going on. . .

A communications professional involved in one town’s bid tells NBR ONLINE, “I know there has been cheating. $200,000 is  at stake and councils are paying people to coordinate the campaigns. Someone in both Oamuru and Porirua set up bots to rack up tweets.”

Chorus did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but it seems from social media chatter that both Oamuru and Porirua have had had their totals trimmed. . . .
Oamaru has led from the start and these accusations of giga gaming are refuted on the #gigatownoamaru Facebook page:
. . . Absolutely disgusted with the comment that Oamaru set up bots to automate tweets. I started the competition here in Oamaru as the previous council declined to partake in a meeting with Chorus. The new Council and Mayor, Gary Kircher, are 100% behind their town in this competition.
From the start we have worked with Chorus to define the rules of the competition along with the other competing towns….
At my request, Chorus set up a facebook closed group for the managers to discuss the rules and events. I could see early on the potential for abuse and the social media frenzy that would be created that would become extremely hard for Chorus to manage.
There has been a change in the rules, and Chorus is working at removing points that do not fit within these parameters across the board. Their facebook page clearly states the definition of “spam” which is definitely not what one would expect from a flippant use of the word.
Your comments show little insight into the vigor that the residents of the participating towns are displaying and their enthusiasm at promoting their communities. Yes, a monster is in the process of being created, yet the outcome, whether a town wins or not, will be increased social networking between education, business, local government and the greater community.
The Gigatown Oamaru team has stated from the start that we will play fair, and win a clean fight.
I am incredibly proud of Oamaru, given that little effort with no funding that has taken us to the top of the leaderboard from day 1. This shows a town with huge potential.

The competition has gripped the town and wider district. It’s the number one talking point. Even people who know and care little for social media have got involved  to support their community because they can see the benefits to be gained from becoming the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown.

So… what does Spam looks like?

To help keep #Gigatown fair, fun and relevant we are regularly sweeping for spam.

No-one likes spam, and the social media platforms we’re using have spam rules of their own that we all need to follow.

So, just to be clear, here is a list of spam-like activity that won’t be counted. . . .

Chorus has a tiger by the tail. It’s important for the company and the integrity of the competition that rules are clear and abided by.

They must be trying to sort it out now because the scoreboard reads:

Time for a regular check under the hood.

We will be back online soon.
But don’t worry your points are still being scored.

 

 


Word of the day

November 15, 2013

Vorfreude – intense, anticipative joy derived from imaging the future; the joyful anticipation of imagining future pleasures.

#gigatownoamaru is full of vorfreude about this weekend’s Victorian Heritage Celebrations and the prospect of becoming the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown.


CIRs past use-by date

November 14, 2013

The Opposition is trying to pressure the government over the referendum on the partial sale of a few state owned assets.

This exchange in Question Time yesterday shows they’re making no traction at all:

1. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE (Leader of the Opposition) to the Prime Minister: Will the results of the state-owned assets referendum in any way influence his Government’s policy to sell State assets; if so, how?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): No.

. . . Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Maybe the way to—[Interruption] Let me relive your past so that you can enjoy it, because we are certainly going to enjoy it on this side. Let us put it another way. This is not the first time, actually, that New Zealanders have heard about the mixed-ownership programme— no. During the 2011 election campaign, Phil Goff described the election as a referendum on asset sales. Russel Norman described the ownership and use of State assets as having become “the defining issue of the election”. The Mana Party said that a vote for National was a vote for asset sales. Well, guess what? We campaigned on it the whole way through, and we won with the largest result in National’s history under MMP and the largest result of any political party under MMP, and Labour got the worst result—

. . . Hon David Cunliffe: Given that more New Zealanders at the last election voted for parties that were opposed to the Government’s assets sales programme, and given that over 327,000 New Zealanders signed the anti – asset sales petition, does he agree that there is unease amongst New Zealanders over his policy?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: The election campaign in 2011 was dominated by this issue of the mixedownership model. National won that election with a comprehensive majority in any terms. This Parliament has faced on numerous occasions referendums for which there has been significant public opposition, and we do not even know, by the way, what the result of this referendum will be. But the most recent one was when 87.4 percent of New Zealanders opposed the smacking legislation. That was a policy pushed by Helen Clark, the Greens, and a Labour Government, and all that we can say is that Labour arrogantly ignored it. So when Labour members are in Government they just ignore things, and when they are in Opposition they roar like little tigers or lions, or whatever else it is over there that they do.

Hon David Cunliffe: Given that the Prime Minister’s wafer-thin majority looks like it is going to be hanging from the coat-tails of “Crazy Colin Craig”, who believes in binding referendums, does he propose to ignore the results of the next referendum, just like he has ignored and arrogantly refused all the others?

Mr SPEAKER: Again, in so far as there is prime ministerial responsibility, the right honourable Prime Minister.

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I am prepared to accept that I have got a narrow majority in Parliament, relatively speaking—it is 64 votes. But that is way better than David Cunliffe, who does not even have a majority in his own caucus.

Dr Russel Norman: Is the Prime Minister looking forward to receiving his ballot papers in the mail next week so that he can voice his view, albeit the view of a small minority, in favour of asset sales in the referendum?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Firstly, the member is prejudging the outcome, but what I will be saying when I receive my ballot papers through the mailbox is: “What a waste of $9 million of taxpayers’ money, which the Green Party could have seen spent on vulnerable kids or for a million other good reasons in the Parliament.” Secondly, I will say to myself: “Man, it was amazing the way that they tried to con the New Zealand public that they had signatures they did not have.”, and I will say to myself: “It is just another stunt from the Greens that will not work.”

Dr Russel Norman: Does he agree that it is important that all New Zealanders, even those like himself who are part of the small minority that supports asset sales, participate in our democracy under this legislation and exercise their right to vote in the referendum?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: It is up to people whether they wish to participate in an electoral stunt, but I will just say this to the member. This is what I want the member to do. When he is going on the radio and he is on TV, and all the various things he does over the next 3 or 4 weeks, I want him to say this. I want him to say: “I am voting against the asset sales referendum that has been put up.”— fair enough—“I will be voting no.”, or whatever he will be voting, and I want him to say to the New Zealand public: “I deeply apologise for being so arrogant as to ignore you on smacking.”, because

that is what that member did. He was part of the party that drove that. When it was about smacking, he said to the public—

. . . Hon David Cunliffe: What does he think is better value for money: the cost of running the antiasset sales referendum, which is $9 million or thereabouts; the $147 million that he spent on ticket clippers for the fire sale of State assets; or the $1 billion that Treasury says he and Bill English have wasted by the fire-sale rushing this sale of energy companies when the market could not absorb the shares?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Well, firstly, the member is just plain wrong, actually—

Hon Members: No, he’s not.

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: —as he was yesterday in question time, even though he does not actually want anyone to go and have a look at what he said—which is about the third or fourth time that he has been wrong, but do not worry, we will keep an eye on that. The Government has actually maximised the return that it got from these assets. It has actually sold them into a strong market. If the member is so in favour of referendums and thinks they should be binding, then he will adhere to the one that saw 81.5 percent of New Zealanders wanting the number of MPs to reduce to 99 and he will support the 87.4 percent of New Zealanders who did not want the smacking legislation. That member, like the Green member, cannot have it both ways. They cannot say: “I’ll ignore the public on the ones I don’t agree with them on, but I want to follow them on the ones I do.”

When Citizen’s Initiated Referenda were introduced the results were not made binding on the government for very good reasons.

One of those is that referenda are very blunt instruments and it’s incredibly difficult to word them so they are not ambiguous.

The current one is a case in point.

It asks if people support the partial sale of state owned assets. People who don’t want any sales at all will answer no, but people who would rather SOEs were sold in full could also answer no.

None of the CIRs that have been held so far has been acted on by the government of the day.

That isn’t an argument for making them binding.

It’s an argument for getting rid of them.

That this one was a politicians’ initiated referendum rather than one driven by citizens is another argument for that.

CIRs have passed their use-by date and should be replaced with a more effective and less costly vehicle for influencing government policy.

#gigatownoamaru is working hard to influence the competition to be the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown.


Word of the day

November 13, 2013

Sillage – trail left in the water by a boat, wake; scent that lingers in the air; trace of someone’s perfume; the impression made in space after someone has been and gone.

#gigatownoamaru is leaving an impression in its quest to be the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown.


NZ Herald’s 150th birthday

November 13, 2013

The New Zealand is celebrating 150 years of publication.

Today we proudly mark 150 years of publication of The New Zealand Herald. We look forward with confidence to our journalism in print and on digital devices continuing to be a substantial and positive voice for the public interest and progress in this country. . .

With today’s paper and in a special interactive feature on nzherald.co.nz, we chart the Herald’s life and times through 150 years of great New Zealanders. These are the people who made the country; each day’s news columns being history in the making.

A warts-and-all appraisal of the paper makes clear how much the Herald has changed. The great issues of the day in 1863 were the ‘native rebellion’ just south of Auckland – and the threat to Auckland’s place as capital and leading centre of the colony. The Herald’s stridency in favour of the British forces and highly charged antagonism towards Maori fighters may have been true to the attitudes of ‘white’ New Zealand at the time, but are no less distasteful given the context of hindsight. That was then – over the past generation the paper has been a consistent advocate for confronting and righting grievances through the Waitangi Tribunal and other settlements. . .

The Herald has adapted many times to great change. We are at once a daily newspaper, instant news agency, video channel, website, smartphone and tablet app and presence on social media; the Herald is ‘consumed’ daily in seven distinct digital forms. . .

The Herald still holds a powerful position in covering the area with the country’s biggest population.

But technological changes and the increasing use of digital media will continue to challenge it.

Very few young people of my acquaintance get a daily paper now and an increasing number of older ones are opting to catch up on-line rather than with print editions.

One of the biggest challenges the Herald and other traditional media outlets face is how to generate the revenue to pay for quality journalism when so much on-line is available without cost to the reader, listener or viewer.

#gigatownoamaru is grasping new technology in its quest to be the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown.


#gigatownoamaru growing, growing

November 12, 2013

Oamaru, New Zealand’s sharpest town,  has led Chorus’s gigagtown points table from the start.

‘Gigatown’ will be the first town in the Southern hemisphere to access a one gigabit per second (1Gbps) internet connection.

How do we decide who gets to be Gigatown? Actually, we don’t decide – you do.

We’re looking for the town that wants it the most. There’s two ways we’ll be measuring that drive, enthusiasm and determination to be Gigatown:

1. by listening out for the town with the loudest voice on social media; and

2. by tallying up the supporters for each town signing up on this website.

Over the course of the competition, we’ll measure social media and online community engagement in support of each eligible ‘town’.

The town with the loudest voice will be New Zealand’s first Gigatown, and will be well positioned to become a leading digital innovation hub for New Zealand, showcasing how ultra-fast broadband can re-define our economy, reshape how our children learn and change how our communities live, work and play.

Points will be counted up for each town and adjusted relative to the town’s size to become ‘Gigapoints’, which are displayed on this website so you can keep track of your town’s progress. The adjustment for town size ensures that each town has the same opportunity to be the Gigatown.

The five eligible towns with the most points at the end of the initial round will go forward to the finals

When I checked a few minutes ago #gigatownoamaru was more than 40,000 ahead of its nearest rival.

How’s it doing it?

Good, old fashioned community spirit combined with new fashioned technology as people in the town and the wider district and their family and friends use social media – Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, . . .  to gain points.

gig 12.11

 


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