Trying to do the green thing but . . . #2


What’s the point of notices in hotel bathrooms asking you to hang your towel up if you’re happy to re-use it if the cleaning staff give you a clean one anyway?

Are they deliberately sabotaging the hotel’s attempts to be green or is the notice just feel-good greenwash?

Trying to do the green thing but . . .


 Are buses always the greener option?

With plenty of time, and a Presbyterian reluctance to fork out $60 plus on a taxi, I decided to take the bus from Auckland airport to the city yesterday.

There was just one other passenger on it.

Buses running full will reduce traffic congestion and use less fuel than lots of smaller vehicles, but  smaller buses or cars must be better than running big buses with few passengers.

But it’s difficult to be flexible with buses. They have to have to have timetables and stick to them regardless of whether or not people are using them.

I suppose two of us in a bus that would be doing the journey anyway was better than us taking a taxi each and the bus running empty and it did save me about $50.

Disunited & futureless


Kiwiblog’s spies report that United Future president Denise Krum has resigned from the party  and joined National.

The vanity vehicle for Peter Dunne has had many manifestations with different parties and names but like a spider it swallowed those who mated with it.

And what has it achieved? That waste of taxpayers money the Families Commission and an extension to daylight saving so the clocks change too early and go back too late (noticed that it’s still dark at 6am?).

I have no grounds to criticise Dunne as Revenue Minister but nor have I anything to praise him for or to make me think that an MP from National or one of the other government coalition partners’ parties couldn’t be at least as effective if not more in that role.

His majority in the last election was far less than the combined Labour and Green candidate vote so had half those who voted for the Greens in the electorate held their noses and given their electorate vote to Labour, he’d have lost his seat.

The sensible thing to do would be to retire at the next election or face the very real possibility of being retired by the voters.

West Coast Trust dysfunctional


The Auditor Gerneral has called on trustees of the West Coast Development Trust to sort out their problems or stand down.

He says the Trust which was set up to administer $92 million given to the Coast to compensate for the ban on logging native forests, is so dysfunctional and divided that it can’t be trusted to do its job.

The auditor-general’s report released today paints a picture of trustees infighting with allegations of corruption being thrown around and counter-allegations of leaking confidential information.

The auditor-general said the situation was so serious that trustees should sort it out immediately or just stand down.

“Unlike other public entities with elected board, there is no other ready mechanism for resolving this level of dysfunction,” the report said.

“Until we see evidence that the group of trustees is able to take effective collective responsibility for the governance of the trust, we are unable to provide assurance that the trust is able to deliver fully on its purpose of generating sustainable employment opportunities and economic benefits for the people of the West Coast.”

A trust fund is a poor substitute for business and I suspect the logging ban may also have had negative environmental consequences.

The ban was a dog whistle political appeal to mainly urban, liberal, green (and Green) voters but I wonder if it was a not-in-my-back-yard approach to conservation which protects our forests but does more damage to others. The ban stopped the sustainable logging of native trees on the Coast, and the pest control which went with it. But has it also resulted in the increase of imported timber from clear-felled rain forests?

Is Turei taking over from Tanczos?


Nandor Tanczos was the Green face for decriminalising marijuana. Does this story  mean Metiria Turei has taken over his mantle?

Three students were arrested yesterday when Dunedin police swooped on a pro-marijuana stall on the University of Otago campus…

Green MP Metiria Turei, who was on campus and arrived at the scene towards the end of the incident, said the police response was over the top…

Ms Turei criticised police priorities.

“This was a phenomenal waste of police time. It is shocking behaviour for police just at a time when confidence in police is at an all-time low.”

While she had only arrived on the scene in “the last few minutes”, she said Gray’s treatment by police was “serious manhandling”.

“It looks very much like they are picking off young men who are running a political campaign.”

Another witness said the officers had not appeared heavy-handed in their treatment of those being arrested.

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