Opting out is easy

August 15, 2011

A few, very polite protesters against voluntary student union membership stood at the entry to the National Party’s conference on Saturday.

“We’re not protesting, we just want you to consider our views,” one told me.

One of the justifications for compulsory membership is that those who really don’t want to belong can opt out.

Mydeaology writes about just how easy that is:

It is easy to opt out. All you need to do is:

That’s easy, isn’t it?


Thanks for the stadium, Malcolm

August 8, 2011

Malcolm Farry and the team promoting the Forsyth Barr stadium have faced a barrage of criticism over the design, location and cost.

They stayed firm, focussed on building a stadium we could be proud of and it opened on Friday – more or less on time and to budget.

That was no small achievement and the stadium itself is a wonderful asset not just for Dunedin but the lower South Island and, at least until the rest of New Zealand catches up, the country.

Thank you Malcolm, you and your team have done a really good job.

Snow threatened yesterday morning and there was a polar wind blowing when we got to Dunedin an hour before kick-off in the match between North Otago and West Coast. Inside the stadium and out of the wind, though the temperature was merely cool but not uncomfortable.

We were on the lower level of the south stand near the 22m line and had a good view of the whole field. The loos were spotless and plentiful – 38 loos and 14 hand basins with high speed hand dryers for women  at either end of each level and men reported more than enough for them. 

I have just a couple of recommendations for improvements – a responsible host might consider selling water for less than $5 a bottle when beer cost just $1 more; and there would be a market for hot drinks as well as cold.

Hundreds of North Otago people had come down to inspect the stadium and cheer on the team. We were rewarded when halfback Hamish McKenzie went over for the historic first inter-provincial try at the stadium.

North Otago kept the lead, although the final score , 29-19, probably flattered the team .

For more words and some photos of the stadium and yesterday’s game check out this baby makes it all worth while by  Hayden Meikle  and a match report in the ODT and Mydeology’s day 5 of opt-out watch Forsyth Barr stadium bonanza edition.

Former Dunedin mayor Peter Chin and sitting councsellor Lee Vandervis debated stadium funding on Afternoons.


Filibustering to preserve foolishness

June 4, 2011

Is the bill allowing students freedom of association really the most important piece of legislation for Labour?

It must be when their serial filibustering is wasting $453,000 for every hour parliament sits.

Meanwhile the Otago University Students Association shows why voluntary membership should be permitted.

Among the issues its memberswere asked to consider in a recent referendum was:

Should OUSA adopt the following as external policy: ‘That OUSA opposes factory farming and the sale of factory farmed products (including eggs, chicken and pig products) and therefore requests that all campus food outlets use free-range products?’

Yes 1616 (74%)
No 573 (26%)
Total votes 2189
Total present 2606 (quorum met)

Otago has about 20,000 students. Only a little more than 10% of them bothered to vote and now they’ve been lumbered with this policy which has nothing to do with education or student welfare which ought to be OUSA’s core business.

It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with animal welfare either, it’s a policy based more on emotion than reason.

If it was implemented it would add significant costs to the food available on campus which is something the OUSA would be concerned about if it cared more for its members than political crusades.


Did you see the one about . . .

May 22, 2011

The tertiary education conundrum – Mydeology thinks it’s time for a rethink.

I wannabe a pseudo scientist – has Michael Edmonds got a deal for you!

21 accents – Zen Tiger on 21 ways to say . . .

If you want a hundred trillion dollars – Anti-Dismal on hyperinflation.

What makes some people vote – Lindsay Mitchell on the power of positive personality.

Science journalism is not the same as science – Larvatus Prodeo on the science news cycle.

91863 – Credo Quia Absurdum Est deals with a spam phone caller and also has a funny story about Mummy’s job.


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