Tuesday, April 30, 2019


I see Sir Tim was formally 'knighted' at Government House yesterday.    He earned it.   A radical in conservative Southland is something not to be sneezed at given his electoral success.   Sir Tim developed his own brand of local government politics combining fair, energy and humour.   The latter well in evidence when he told his Councillors that being a knight and their mayor would mean for some that he was their worst nightmare come true.

Sir Tim protested against the Vietnam war in his youth and then had the integrity to formally apologise to the Vietnam veteran community at the time of Parade 98 for any distress his actions may have caused.    I for one accepted that apology in the spirit it was given.

Well done Sir Tim.


I seldom visit 'Whaleoil' nowadays but I saw on No Minister's sidebar the promo for their latest post predicting a raft of tax increases under the CoL now that the CGT has been kicked into touch ... so I decided to have a read ...

and this notice appeared .... Warning: Potential Security Risk Ahead ....    Firefox detected a potential security threat and did not continue to www.whaleoil.net.nz. If you visit this site, attackers could try to steal information like your passwords, emails, or credit card details.   What can you do about it?   The issue is most likely with the website, and there is nothing you can do to resolve it. You can notify the website’s administrator about the problem'.

Well, I guess that's one good way to neuter a blog.

Monday, April 29, 2019


The 2018 census is revealed as an unmitigated clusterf**k.     Now the blame game with National fingering Labour and Labour saying that the majority of the planning was undertaken when National was in power.   For myself I think the finger pointing is in the wrong direction.

Can I suggest that we need to look no further than the Government Statistician.   Reproduced below is the Brief to Incoming Minister (BIM) given under her hand to Minister Shaw on 27 October 2017 (18 weeks prior to the census taking place).    She said ....

'The Census is the highest profile piece of work in your portfolio’s calendar. The census produces authoritative and, in some cases, the only comprehensive population and dwelling statistics, including information on small communities and small populations. It includes a wealth of data about New Zealanders, including ethnicity, occupation, highest level of qualification, household and family composition, iwi affiliation/Māori descent, and geographic location. This information is used by local and central government for planning and to allocate funding; and by businesses, NGOs and other organisations to support decision making. Stats NZ is running the next five-yearly Census on 6 March 2018. The 2018 Census will use a new collection model focused on the online completion of census forms and the reduction of field staff required. The target for online uptake is 70 percent. System and operational risks for the census programme have been identified following the November earthquake. As a result, Stats NZ may seek additional funding to manage the newly identified risks. This work is underway in conjunction with Treasury and any funding would likely be sought from the between-Budget Contingency already established as part of Budget 2017. The questions for the census, including on how we record gender and sexual identity, are determined by the Government Statistician through her statutory independence. An explanation of the content decisions made for the upcoming census is provided in a separate 2018 Census briefing, and officials would be happy to discuss this further with you'. 

No indication of any issues of concern then and indeed, the Government Statistician had a duty of care to bring these to the Minister's attention.    She didn't.   If, post 27 October 2017, issues arose then it was Ministers Shaw's responsibility to sort them out.

Where I think the CoL can be fairly criticised, with the census data revealed as essentially meaningless, is their failure to bring the date of the next census forward.    I would have thought this was the logical step of a responsible government.   Clearly they think otherwise.

Your First Car

Can you remember your first car? I certainly remember mine. A pristine, electric blue, 1975 Ford Escort. Seatbelts (barely). No airbags. No crush zones. No radio - though I quickly borrowed my brother-in-law's discarded Euro model, which played tape cassettes and had FM, though that was little use in most of 80's NZ!. Heating? Barely. A/C? That's what the manual windows are for. The massive 4 cylinder, 1300cc engine could squeeze out the speed limit of 80km/h - if you were willing to put up with the shaking!

I threw whatever money I had into the pot and my parents did the rest. Dad grinned and informed me that it was "payment for five years unpaid farm work"! The idea was that I'd be able to see them once a month by driving the 100km or so from varsity, and for the next three years I pretty much kept to that bargain.

Here it is during my first South Island trip, a couple of klicks north of Hampden, North Otago, looking across at the foothills of the Horse Range and the Kakanui Mountains.

There were'nt many kids with cars at varsity, certainly not First Year students, so it was in this year that I first heard the term, "rich prick": one still applied during our Old Boy reunions. As the year wore on, the number of old bombs in the car park steadily increased, together with mechanical knowledge forced upon people if they wanted to use the damned things. More motorcycles too, this being the age when any car less than five years old was not cheap. I've often wondered how many lives have been saved since 1984 by Rogernomics ending car tariffs, import duties and import licences, thereby making cars more affordable and steadily reducing motorcycle use?

And all of this was simply an extension of the near-mania for getting a drivers licence when we turned 15. We wanted to be independent and even borrowing the parent's car did not dent that feeling. Several of my mates got their licence on their actual birthdays. In my case it happened a couple of months later, delayed for reasons I cannot recall.

None of us had cars at that point of course but some families were lucky enough to have two so you got the oldest. I have vivid memories of a 4th Form party where my mate Albert and I did a night race in his parent's tiny, aging Fiat, pushing towards 100mph down a long straight beside other nutters from our class, including a couple on motorbikes. Within two years I'd hit "The Ton" while driving back from some tennis tournament. For that I could thank my parent's 1973 Ford Falcon, as well as another long straight road out in the countryside, and the cloak of darkness. Traffic cops were rarely seen or heard of there. Whenever I think of kids doing stupid shit I have to remember what I was like at age 16, although frankly I was a much safer driver then than in my mid-20's when I'd gained "confidence". Living far out in the boonies with the family's only car forced responsibility, so no drinking and driving and being pretty careful - aside from that tempting 5km straight.

There were also practical reasons for getting a licence. Many kids would leave school at 15 and their jobs pretty much demanded they be able to drive. A lot of farmers were grateful for having a kid who could shoot into town for some spare machinery part or some other item while they continued to work. And of course sporting events became a lot easier for parents when they no longer had to drive the spawn to them.

These memories have been sparked by two things. First, my eldest son just got his first car. Second was this recent article: US Love Affair With Cars Nearly Finished. It points out a problem with new car sales:
J.D. Power estimates that Gen Zers will purchase about 120,000 fewer new vehicles this year compared with millennials in 2004, when they were the new generation of drivers—or 488,198 vehicles versus 607,329 then.

Cost is having an impact, mainly because car companies in the US seem to be focusing on SUV's, targeted at Boomers and others enjoying the wealth of the stock market and pensions. SUV prices are over $US 30,000 and insurance costs are also rising.

Of course I have to laugh a bit at all that. As I described earlier - and I'm sure NZ reader's experiences will be the same - getting a new car in NZ used to be something that might happen to you in Middle Age. In fact I did not get my first new car until I landed in the USA, where the combination of low deposit and low interest financing made it an easy choice.
Millennials and Generation Z saw what happened in the the Great Financial crisis and the first few years of the rebound. They saw their parents arguing over debt in fear of losing their house. They do not want to fall into the same trap.
Used cars? The horror! Bah humbug and "wah" for US Millennials and Gen Z's: they can live as we did for a decade or two.

In my son's case he got a 2008 Toyota Camry with 120,000k on the clock. Six cylinders to easily push it to 160km/h, if desired. Smooth to drive. Cruise control. Radio. Heating - and A/C!!! Crush zones. Airbags. And unlike my Escort, it's pretty much certain to get to 200,000 or even 300,000 klicks before needing any serious work. It also cost about 1/4 of what my old Escort did in inflation-adjusted dollars. Free enterprise at its best. I would not want my Ford Escort back.

But while the car side has progressed in all ways, getting the licence to use it has become far more painful. You have to be 16 now to sit the written test. Then there's a year of "Learner" driving, with me or Beloved Wife in the passenger seat. A second driving test finally passed has then meant a year of "Restricted" driving, which means passengers can be carried only if there is another licenced driver in the car, and they still have to be in the front passenger seat. Comments in that US article point to similar issues there.

But there are other factors too. My son did not even bother sitting the written test until he was 18, then stretched the learners stage by almost two years through sheer inertia/laziness, and this too seems to be what's happening in the USA:
Whereas a driver’s license once was a symbol of freedom, teenagers are reaching their driving age at a time when most have access to ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft to shuttle them around town. At the same time, social media and video chat let them hang out with friends without actually leaving the house.
“That freedom of getting your own wheels and a license—and that being the most important thing in life—is gone,” said Brent Wall, owner of All Star Driver Education in Michigan, a chain of drivers’-ed schools. He said the average age of students in his class is rising. “It used to be the day they turned 14 years and eight months, everybody was lining up at the door. Now I’m starting to see more 15- and 16-year-olds in class.” He frequently hears from parents that they’re the ones pushing their children to enroll.
Yep! All of that certainly was our experience with No. 1 son, and it's even worse with the younger siblings. At this rate they'll be in their early 20's before they're driving as I was when I was 15. And it is a pain when it comes to family logistics.

The article finishes on a typical Boomer gloom note:
When they reach their 20s, more are moving to big cities with mass transit, where owning a car is neither necessary nor practical.
The auto industry will soon not look like what it does today. Cars will be smaller, lighter, electric, and self-driving. Boomers will be gone. Those living in big cities will not need to own a car at all, and most won't.
Boomers are the primary force keeping the current auto trends alive. Demographically-speaking, it won't last.
We'll see about that. There's always been a bit of a hatefest against cars by "city planners" because they can't be controlled the way trains and buses can be, and I've been hearing this stuff about the "youf" moving to big cities with mass transit for two decades now: the usual poorly researched MSM crap. Turns out that the opposite is the case::
In fact, as a new Brookings study shows, millennials are not moving en masse to metros with dense big cities, but away from them. According to demographer Bill Frey, the 2013–2017 American Community Survey shows that New York now suffers the largest net annual outmigration of post-college millennials (ages 25–34) of any metro area—some 38,000 annually—followed by Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Diego. New York’s losses are 75 percent higher than during the previous five-year period. 
By contrast, the biggest winner is Houston, a metro area that many planners and urban theorists regard with contempt. The Bayou City gained nearly 15,000 millennials net last year, while other big gainers included Dallas–Fort Worth and Austin, which gained 12,700 and 9,000, respectively.
I hear the same crap about Millennials and Gen Z with regard to detached suburban homes: that they love living in downtown apartments. More grist to city planners naturally, but again the stats don't support that:.
Perhaps even more significant has been the geographic shift within metro areas. The media frequently has exaggerated millennial growth in the urban cores. In reality, nearly 80 percent of millennial population growth since 2010 has been in the suburbs.
As they can afford to, these generations move to detached housing. As they can afford to, they'll take up cars more, including new cars.

Considering what a pain city driving is, I'd be more than happy to hand over to a self-driving car now. But that doesn't help trains and buses much. We'd still be better to plan for cars than mass transit.

And on the open road, which will still be necessary for travelling, will humans dump that feeling of freedom? I suspect they'll tell the AI to take a break and then grab the controls to have some fun.


Back in November it was reported that the police had dropped two charges against the young man accused of sexual assault at the Labour Party Youth Camp debacle leaving a further four charges of indecent assault involving four different complainants.    It was further reported the case was set down for trial in March.

Well, May is almost upon us and zip, zero, nothing.    Some of the more cynical might wonder if there has not been some cozy little deal negotiated by the accused lawyer leading to the complainants withdrawing their allegations ... cover-up at the start and cover-up now.  

If someone knows of a more mundane reason for the delay then please let us know.  

Sunday, April 28, 2019


On my ANZAC Day post Tom H challenged me (and other Vvets vets) to set out our views on the Vietnam conflict ... then and now.   It was a good question.   I replied thus ...

Given the mores of that time I had no problem with Vietnam ... guess I saw that conflict as an extension of Malaya where the combined Commonwealth forces had defeated the CTs in a twelve year 'Emergency' that lasted from 1948 through to 1960 (officially) and beyond.

Now, in retrospect, I can acknowledge this was a war best left to the Vietnamese. The Diem regime was corrupt and comprised the Catholic elite lording over the mainly Buddhist majority. Those that followed were not much better. Left to themselves the Vietnamese would have probably ended up a pseudo-communist (but with a hard underbelly) capitalist state ... much as they are now ... but without all of the devastation caused by 'our' presence.

One of my heroes from that conflict was a New Zealand decorated (from Vietnam) mid ranking officer who marched in uniform in an anti-Vietnam war protest. That took real guts. But nothing I've said should detract from the fact that those who served there did their duty in a shitty war where there were no real winners ........................

I know there are at least seven other Vvets (New Zealanders and Australians) who read this blog.   I would be really interested in their take on the conflict.

Ho Ho Ho Updated


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Saturday, April 27, 2019


The news that Shane Jones, the self styled 'Saviour of the Provinces' wanted to invest $15 million of 'our' money on an unnamed regional airline that hadn't even asked for assistance but was prevented from doing so by his Labour Party cabinet 'colleagues' shows that at least 'they' understand the pitfalls of giving a man consumed with his own arrogance his own cheque book.    Clearly 'they' understand the maxim that if you cavort with a flea ridden dog then, dollars to donuts, some of those fleas will visit themselves upon you unless you take preventative measures..

Treasury’s comments were withering: "The company has not applied to the PGF for funding, and we have not seen any analysis of what benefit a $15 million investment in this company would provide."

Sources have now told me that the airline in question is Barrier Air which operates a daily service into Kaitaia ... Kaitaia, Northland, funny that.

To answer the question ... yes he is and he's out of control.


The revelation that a known criminal can walk into the Palmerston North Police Station at 7.40 am in the morning and walk out with eleven firearms just beggars belief. 

Just how the f**k were they stored ... in a barrel in the reception area just like the barrels you see in a supermarket containing free fruit for the kids (although the other day I saw a couple of adults help themselves to a couple of pieces).

Even more concerning the news that at least one weapon was a documented exhibit in an upcoming criminal trial ... well, that's the 'chain of evidence' destroyed.

This makes the Police a laughing stock,    Where does the buck stop?   Heads, and some senior heads, are going to have to roll.

Friday, April 26, 2019


with the admission from MSD that the numbers on the Jobseeker benefit increased by 13,000 last year (up 10.9%).

And it's Labour's supposed demographic that has borne the brunt of the increase with Maori numbers up 14.6% and Pasifika up 15.9%.

Peter, Paul and Mary had it right.    When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn.

I look forward to Flake et al to come riding to the rescue.

Friday's Fulminations

There is mild moderation.  Normal rules of blogger etiquette and courtesy to blog hosts will apply.with serious transgressors being thrown out.

Unfortunately our system does not allow your comments to show up in the blog post itself.  Just in the comments section.

Visitors might consider the wisdom of using moderate language.



Thursday, April 25, 2019


I have just returned from the Dawn service here in Paihia.   Beautiful day, cloudless, no wind, warm.    The old and bold tell me it was the biggest turn-out ever.   By my guess a crowd in excess of 500 including a contingent of of ex-servicemen from Oz who apparently make a point of attending a service somewhere in NZL every second ANZAC Day.      And nary a policeman in sight ... funny that.

Self and Mrs veteran off shortly along with another Vvet and his lady to attend the ANZAC Day service in Opononi.   Should be 'interesting'.    I suspect they do things a little different in the 'wild west'.

Lest we Forget.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019


The NZ appointed head of Government is off again.
She will stamp her big carbon footprint and Zuckerberg will quiver,  tremble and fold his cards.

Normally a perpetrator of a mass slaughter is killed or kills themselves before capture and custody keeps them alive then with the dead ones in the absence of record all sorts of theories abound as to what, why, and how but:
In Tarrant this country has a remarkable opportunity for possibly answering those three lines of inquiry, the "manifesto, the 17 minute gopro, and the perpetrator safely incarcerated surviving and available.

Now The second most powerful lassie in the world has that chance, a chance criminologists, anti terror personal, intelligence agents and law enforcement people have  a veritable trove of raw data to hand and could make an effort to learn something. 
Not much more she can achieve here so she is off to France to have a conversation about shutting down  access to such information, via the digital media.

If that is good statespersonship convince me.

Yes I gather the video is pretty challenging, the manifesto is pretty vague and the person at present to all and sundry the prime suspect safely ensconced, but let's do this now, maybe not, bigger fish to fry.
The call of the wild prevails and the world stage beacons, much more attractive would you say.

There is a massive documentary record in many forms revealing the atrocities perpetrated by the Axis and what appears via Nat Geo and The History Channel can be sort of challenging but it did happen. Shutting it down would only allow a resurgence of Fascism in some form or other. the proof of its being real comes on a daily basis, because it was preserved in the chaotic times at the End of WW2

Look out Zucky here comes Cindy, she has an agenda while for you its all about the money.


The MSM were quite happy (and rightly so) to label the Christchurch massacre the work of a far right, anti-Muslim, white supremacist.

Why is it then that the Sri Lankan killings are described as terrorist related rather than the claimed work of the National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) which is a splinter from another hard-line Islamist group The Sri Lankan Thowheed Jamath (SNJT).

Have we come to the point when we can't call Islamic terrorism Islamic terrorism?

Just askin.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2019


Some of you will be aware I am associated with a Trust that provides financial assistance to the children & grandchildren of New Zealand Vietnam veterans.   We've been doing that for twenty-five years and to mark the occasion we decided to run an essay competition on the subject 'What my father's/grandfather's involvement in the Vietnam war has meant to me and my family'.      The competition was well supported with a large number of quality entries. 

The independent judging panel had their work cut out ... some of their comments ... "All the essays were very personal and it was both a privilege and a trial to read such very heartfelt personal histories.  The privilege in being so trusted with the essays and the trial in having to choose between them" ... and another "The trauma the children and grandchildren have faced and yet largely come out the end pretty well balanced or managing their anger is remarkable".

The two winners, one in each division, were announced yesterday.   They will be receiving their prizes ($1,000 each) in ceremonies at Parliament and Mt Maunganui shortly.    A selection of the essays received will feature on the Trust's website in due course and copies of the two winning essays are being sent to the Ministry of Culture and Heritage for inclusion in their Vietnam archive.

In the lead up to ANZAC day it is appropriate I share with you the winning entry from the children's division.    It's a powerful story and serves to demonstrate that on ANZAC Day we should also remember the effect that conflict had on the families of those that served.    I'm pretty hardened  but the bit about going to bed with a bible under her pillow as protection against her father really got to me.

Awhi is happy for her story to be told ......


I loved my dad, even though he was hard to live with. Even to this day I never knew if that was who he had always been or if the Vietnam war had had such a profound effect on him that he’d changed forever. My mum told me that his sister had referred to him as a gentle giant before he’d gone to war. A giant he was, gentle I’m not so sure about. 

A soft side would show through every now and then, but I mostly saw his hard exterior. He was a big, strong Maori man from the East Coast, with huge hands and an authority about him that no one messed with. He was a man of few words and as a kid, I was scared of him. 

Mum and dad met not long after dad returned from Vietnam. Mum was also in the army and was introduced to dad through his sister Rebecca. I came along not long after and was born in Christchurch in 1970. We lived there until I was 4 then we moved to Singapore for 2 years. I remember a few things from that time, but mostly what involved me rather than dad. We moved back to NZ in 1977 to Waiouru and stayed there for 3 years until dad was posted to Tokoroa. He eventually retired from the army after 20 years while at that posting but continued in the territorial force for a few more years. 

I arrived in Waiouru when I was 7 and we left when I was 10. I have lots of memories of my life in Waiouru. Many of them are great and I still talk about them to this day. School, the snow, climbing trees and riding horses at the local pony club. Other memories are not so good and up until recently the events that took place were part of defining who I became as an adult. These are memories of dad, a man who I remember as always being drunk. Like I said at the beginning, he was a big man and a big drunk man is a very scary person to a little child. There were moments that I feared for my family’s safety and on one occasion my brother and I were taken to the neighbour's house so we weren’t exposed to what was going on. I heard arguments and yelling at other houses, so I knew we weren’t the only family where this happened. 

Like I said, my dad was big, Maori and scary, so in my child’s mind I categorised all Maori men to be this way. I distinctly remember not wanting to have anything to do with Maori if this was what they were like. Even to write this down makes me feel deeply ashamed because as an adult,  I am immensely proud of my culture and who I am. However, the forum I am writing this for and the effect of the Vietnam war on my family, I believe this was the start of it for me. 

 After we moved to Tokoroa, this way of life continued. Dad drunk many nights, arguments, yelling and knots in my stomach continuously. I slept with a bible under my pillow because in some small way, I felt like this would keep me safe. When I turned 15, I decided I no longer wanted to live under his roof, so I left school, left home and started working. This was tough on my mum and when I was 16, my parents separated. The life with my dad had been hard enough for me, I can't imagine how tough it had been for my mother. 

When I was 19, I moved to Australia and this is when my relationship with my dad started to improve. He visited me a couple of times and I got to know a little about who he actually was. He was more than the big, scary man I had grown up with. He was intelligent, he cared and I realised he worried about me. When my first child was born, my dad surprised me totally when he started singing nursery rhymes to her. I had no idea he even knew what a nursery rhyme was. Like I said previously, he was a man of few words so he never really talked to us much. I had two more children and dad spent time with them, teaching them games and playing with them in the back yard. This is the soft side of dad that we never experienced growing up as his children. 

Between my first and second child, I had 3 miscarriages. Dad made comments about it being his fault, he thought that maybe the effect of Agent Orange had transferred through to me and this is what caused me to have the miscarriages. Through investigation, it was found I have antiphospholipid syndrome which can be caused by an autoimmune disorder. We will never know if this was in any way linked to Vietnam however, no one else in my family has this syndrome. 

This was the first time we had heard dad talk about Vietnam. Throughout the following years, dad would make random comments during conversations that had nothing to do with Vietnam. It would catch us by surprise and often we asked him to repeat what he said, but he never really did. In the end, we learnt to tune in to when he would go off on another track of thought and voice it out loud. The comment that stands out to me the most was - ‘it was either Charlie or me, and I chose me’.

When Dad was in his 60’s he asked me to write down what life was like for us kids. He wondered if he had PTSD from Vietnam after he had seen a video on the subject.  At the bottom of this essay is the letter I wrote for him back then. I'm not sure if he had any counselling for this but he decided for his 65th birthday that he would invite all the men that had served with him in his section, so they could share their stories with us, and that we would have a better understanding of what had happened. 

This ended up being a time of healing, laughter, tears by all and a connection to the men that dad had served with all those years ago. They told us their memories and stories of dad and who and what he had been to them back in those days. It was then that we realised that our dad held a lot of mana with these men. We were seeing our dad in a different light and an understanding started to develop for the reason he spent so many nights drunk when we were kids. I think he just wanted to block out all the thoughts that were going through his mind. 

When dad was 70 years old, he was diagnosed with larynx cancer. My mother, brother and I cared for him during this time and after nine months of this disease, he died at the age of 71. Throughout these nine months, our family had a chance to be together and heal. Mum cared for dad in her own home after his treatment. A sacrifice she made for my brother and I. Once dad left the hospital, he needed full-time care, my brother ran a business and I was working supporting my family. One of us would have to give up work to look after him. As I mentioned, they separated when I was 16 but she took him back and cared for him so we could continue to work. We were all devastated by the loss of dad. In the end, he paid the ultimate sacrifice for his country. Not during the war but 42 years later by a cancer which is on the list of presumptive illnesses of Vietnam. 

Nine years after dad passed away, my family attended a ceremony at Government house in Wellington, where we received on behalf of dad, an acknowledgement from the government for service. He was formally recognised for his Mention in Despatches award and we were given his citation. This was a proud yet humbling moment for our family. 

The effect of the Vietnam war on our family took its toll, yet the price my dad paid was much bigger. In my grief after dad died, I wrote a letter to the then Prime Minister - John Key, asking him to remember my dad on ANZAC day and the sacrifice he had paid for his country. 

Nga mihi Awhi B

Monday, April 22, 2019

Four Days To Clear

The other day, Adolf had to send a tidy sum from his bank account to the trust account of a conveyancer.   (Here, lawyers don't do conveyancing - I'm not sure why.)

I tried to do the transaction using internet banking but there was a $20k daily limit and I was informed I'd have to go into a branch, be identified and an inter-bank transfer could be arranged.

So, off I trotted to the local branch.  The ladies were very helpful but I was astonished to learn that the funds could not be cleared for four working days.  I had thought the Commonwealth Bank was good enough for instant clearance on a paltry couple of hundred thousand or so.

Forty years ago, when there was no internet, no fax and no electronic banking I can understand why it might take a few days to clear funds from a private account.  But here we had the bank itself making the transfer, electronically.

I hope some knowledgeable reader can provide an answer to this question because I can't imagine what it might be.


A publication with a readership less than the South Island Population, that normally might be an anathema to any self respecting socialist, gives a second place ranking to our Silly Girl appointed by a now much reduced Mr Seven percent, with Bill Gates and his missus in first place, in some fluffy ranking scam,  Woopdy doo.

Back in the seventies another much more widely read weekly rated a certain James Patrick Anderton as a future Prime Minister of NZ, it was Time Magazine by then beginning a spiral of descent towards oblivion and around the time we parted company.  I had begun subscribing in the aftermath of the JFK killing in an attempt to understand better how a nation could murder a sitting President who was only getting more popular by the day.

Present day has the totally unbelievable prospect in c1965  option via the interwebby to access multiple sources some that inform and others that unintentionally give added credence to a world view. A view  so powerful that in the eighties a mere quarter of a century later information destroyed an edifice that had seemed a permanent barrier between Communist East Europe and the free West.
Growing up and surviving in the shadow of world annihilation from nuclear war,  such an ending of communist oppression failing so abruptly and largely unpredicted to many was unthinkable but hope still sprang eternal .
Failed uprisings in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, all ending in various bloody retribution from the Soviet Masters pointed to a longer survival for soviet domination, then Reagan and Thatcher happened and with a now burgeoning difficult to stop data transmission reaching across borders, emperors were revealed Naked and the rest is history.

Real political analysis requires hard work over time from dedicated journalists, not a phone call from the otherside of the world picked up by some lightweight who will sink without trace never to be heard of again. Has anyone ever heard subsequently from the Auckland based stringer "Time" based their rather erroneous prediction as to how the great saviour who turned out to be just another socialist wrecker using copious quantities of OPMs, ended his  time at the trough.
An  ending bathed in ignomy with quaint similarity to the sudden elevation for Ardern and the Mosque shootings, when an earthquake laid the basis for his snatching defeat from the jaws of a TV person of above average camera presence in a mayoralty race. A race that yielded many portents of a last hurrah for the ex Troughmaster general, who in a moment laced with irony declared in a question how he rated his chances said; "It will take a seismic event to stop me now".
That price was also a very high one but one that history has deemed a lucky escape for a damned village.

Some day the nonentity who trilled the song o Praise for Saint Jacinda might be revealed and it still will not have any significance for history
For now, those living in the immediate shadow of her appalling ignorance, pathetic management and ill-deserved world attention for handling the aftermath of the Mosque "incidents" that could have been delivered by any half arsed PR merchant, does not in any measure cover the incompetence surrounding the verging on corrupt and totally inept day to day delivery of the governance NZ Inc deserves.

Take it back and see if a refund is available, good luck with that, such shallow illumination of a rising star, a star that more resembles a shooting star, and that is often merely burning junk returning to the real world.

Sunday, April 21, 2019


I guess I was lucky growing up in the 1950s.   It was a 'gentle' time where folklore has it that the Minister of Labour knew each of the unemployed by name and where we guzzled on (slightly warm) school milk.

But I still remember when my bike was yellow-stickered by the local traffic cop because it wasn't sporting a bell FFS ... and he gave me a clip around the ears when I said I could yell louder than any bell telling me not to be smart and my Dad would hear all about this.

Just why was it compulsory to have bells on bikes anyway?

Happy daze.

Ho Ho Ho