Colin Espiner on Easter Trading

Colin highlights the ridiculously outdated reasons for these laws

Fancy nipping down to the pub this afternoon or a quick trip to the mall? Sorry, but because of a Christian festival celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, you can’t.

You can get your hair cut today, Easter Sunday, assuming you can find a hairdresser outside of a mall who’s prepared to open. But woe betide them if they try to sell you hair product – that’s contraband today.

If you’re desperate for a pint, you could always sign up to a chartered club, because that’s less offensive to Christianity. Or check into a hotel. Or head to a gastro pub or a restaurant that serves alcohol, as long as you purchase a meal as well.

Jesus loves those with a full stomach.

There’s always the garden, assuming it’s not raining today. Your local garden centre is allowed to sell you a potted plant today (Jesus has risen) but not on Good Friday (Crucifixion day).

Things are looking slightly better if you live in a designated tourist town, like Wanaka or Taupo, or for some bizarre reason, Auckland’s Parnell Rd. Picton’s a possibility for a spot of shopping today – but only if a cruise ship is in town.

If you like a pie-like food object, you can always get one from a service station too (remember to blow on it)

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

John Galbreath Photography New Mexico

John Galbreath Photography
New Mexico

Colin Craig can’t win, so why is anyone bothering?

Matthew Theunissen reports

Labour deputy leader David Parker said: “…the only way Colin Craig will get elected is if the National Party manipulates MMP and throws him the seat.”

And National will only make a deal with the bad, not the mad. ¬† That hasn’t stopped Craig’s dad from trying his hardest to keep himself ¬†and his neighbours in, what he hopes will be, his son’s electorate.

Colin’s father Ross mounted a successful challenge to the draft boundaries, shifting about 50 neighbouring lifestyle blocks from Rodney electorate into East Coast Bays.

In his objection to the Representation Commission’s original proposed boundaries, Ross Craig said Haigh Access Rd and the adjacent stretch of East Coast Rd had links with the Bays. “This area is within the East Coast Bays area for local body elections,” he said.

Ross Craig sent out flyers and got 72 other signatures on his petition – and this week, the commission agreed to the boundary change, almost certainly giving his son more votes if he confirms his intent to run in East Coast Bays.

The really amusing thing is that his son still doesn’t know what electorate he will stand in, so all that effort may have been for nothing anyway. Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

MH370 search results: Nothing. Zero. Nada. Zip. Zilch

The black box has stopped pinging and it is probably lying on the sea floor at a depth that makes it pretty hard to locate.  No debris.  No floating luggage.  No avgas jet fuel slicks.  Nothing.

A US Navy deep-sea autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is scouring a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean floor for signs of the plane, which disappeared from radars on March 8 with 239 people on board and is believed to have crashed in the area.

After almost two months without a sign of wreckage, the current underwater search has been narrowed to a circular area with a radius of 10 km around the location in which one of four pings believed to have come from the black box recorders was detected on April 8, officials said.

“Provided the weather is favourable for launch and recovery of the AUV and we have a good run with the serviceability of the AUV, we should complete the search of the focused underwater area in five to seven days,” the Joint Agency Coordination Centre told Reuters in an email.

Officials did not indicate whether they were confident that this search area would yield any new information about the flight, nor did they state what steps they would take in the event that the underwater search were to prove fruitless.

And so we are left to speculate.  Perhaps MH370 went down in one single piece?  That would be the best outcome in terms of being able to locate the plane with side-scan radar.

But if it broke into thousands of little pieces, why aren’t we seeing anything on the surface at all?

Read more »

The Owen Glenn character assassination continues

As I highlighted last week (Hit jobs not just political), the knives are out to make Owen Glen look like the bad guy. ¬†Eric Watson doesn’t have any hard stuff, so now we’re reduced to this kind of smear

The heavyweight off-field battle between the Warriors’ co-owners has taken another turn, with revelations Sir Owen Glenn threatened to pull his team from the second day of the NRL Auckland Nines tournament in February over a parking dispute.

It is understood the incident unfolded late on the first day when Glenn attempted to exit a car park at Eden Park but was told he couldn’t because of a traffic management plan in place around the stadium at that time.

In the “heat of the moment”, he made a threat to pull the Warriors team out of the tournament, forcing officials from the club to later apologise to the NRL.

Glenn confirmed he had an issue leaving the central Auckland stadium, but said he needed to get away quickly due to medical reasons.

“When I tried to leave Eden Park on the first day, the gatekeeper said no-one was allowed out for an hour. I told him I needed to take medicine for my diabetes but he said he could not allow me to leave the ground,” he said in a statement last night.

Imagine being locked into a facility? ¬†Why wouldn’t anyone be allowed to leave at will? ¬†Especially for medical reasons. ¬† Read more »

Former colleagues on Brash: NZ dodged a bullet

Deborah Coddington attempts to destroy what is left of the political zombie corpse that is Don Brash

New Zealand dodged a bullet in terms of its prime minister when National lost the election under Don Brash.

When Kim Hill interviewed him last Saturday about his self-published autobiography, Luck, he said that in 1840 Maori were “a stone-age people” and “all cultures are not of equal value”.

But he frequently disdains tangata whenua culture as “animism”.

Now I’ve formed the opinion, from his statements and writings, that behind that mask of politeness which prompted one reviewer to call him a “likeable duffer”, he’s also supremely chauvinistic. Brash’s dismissal of women is breathtakingly arrogant.

I don’t just refer to his philandering ‚Äď many people have affairs but grown-ups take responsibility. Brash blames his infidelity on “the male biological urge”. Not his fault then.

There’s also a certain decorum one should adopt when it comes to former lovers: Don’t talk about it in public. In short, shut up. Brash didn’t have to publish what he calls “the salacious bits”.

That he did is appalling bad manners, and I suspect he enjoys a kind of “Aren’t I naughty?” frisson from telling us about his sex life. Little wonder, as he himself says, he has few friends.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Brash is somewhere along the autism spectrum. ¬†His talents with numbers are undeniable. ¬†The destruction of people he has left in his wake on the other hand is an¬†omnishambles. ¬† Read more »

Marriage of convenience, but who will get the bash when it breaks up?

It is actually fascinating to watch Hone and Kim work so hard to convince everyone they are the answer to taking down National, and John Key with it.  But we all know it will come to conflict at some point.

Rodney Hide muses

The intricate Hone Harawira and Kim Dotcom dance is proving every bit as exciting as the royal tour. What makes the Hone-Dotcom tie-up exciting is its incongruity. It’s the sheer implausibility of the marriage that commands attention.

The Mana Party represents Northland’s poor and dispossessed. And here’s Dotcom arriving at their conference with a cavalcade of late model European SUVs.

Dotcom drove up more like an African potentate than a suitor for the hearts and minds of Te Tai Tokerau.

Harawira believes “white mother[]****** have been raping our lands and ripping us off for centuries”. Dotcom is as white as white. The party that shouts the loudest about indigenous rights and Maori sovereignty is hooking up with a party led by a German self-styled “visionary”. Dotcom is not even a New Zealand European but a European European.

Harawira says he would be uncomfortable if one of his seven children dated a Pakeha. But here he is hopping into bed with one.

Just goes to show bonny boy Hone is for sale. ¬† When all is said and done, he’s quite happy to enter into an agreements with another white mofo and setting himself up to be ripped off again.

It’s like a woman going back into an abusive relationship. ¬†Hone doesn’t know how to be anything but a whipping boy. ¬† I doubt his mum is proud of him right now. ¬† Read more »

Paid with rats? How does that turn into a living wage?

Vice is enjoying some of New Zealand quirkiness

For centuries New Zealand flightless birds and slow-moving reptiles lived without fear of native predators. This golden era ended when the British showed up on rat-infested ships. Since then, rats have become the key player in the destruction of native forestry and the extinction of nine native species of birds. Clearly the rats need to go, but how do you motivate New Zealanders into becoming active rat hunters?

Beer Trap is a program that lets time-rich and beer-poor university students swap dead rats for free brews. Genius, right? We spoke to Jonathan Musther, one of the masterminds of the campaign, about the intricacies of fixing the environment with young Kiwis and alcohol.

VICE: So first of all, how do I get a free beer?
Jonathan Musther:¬†It’s pretty simple, you bring a dead rat to Victoria University of Wellington‚Äôs Science Society, we supply the traps, and we exchange it for a voucher which you can use to claim a drink at The Hunter Lounge (the uni bar).

Other than beers, why are we killing rats?
It‚Äôs a twofold problem. For one they kill a lot of our natives. They eat skinks and lizards and they also eat insects like the Weta. Plus birds‚Äô eggs‚ÄĒeven tree-nesting birds like the Tui‚Äôs because rats can climb trees quite happily.

Interesting to know that the money¬†we use to fund our¬†universities are going to provide beer for pied piper type students. Read more »

How can we solve the paedophile NIMBY problem in our society

Lucy Townend reports

A high-risk paedophile is to be moved from a Palmerston North suburb after an outpouring of community concern.

The 27-year-old man, whom Corrections and police refused to identify, was convicted of raping a 10-year-old girl in 2006.

He was released from Auckland Prison to a Salvation Army men’s hostel in Lockhart Ave, Milson, last week after completing an eight-year sentence.

He is subject to an extended supervision order which allows Corrections to keep tabs on him, including 24-hour GPS monitoring, for the next seven years.

Before he was released from prison, a health assessor pushed for the maximum extended supervision order of 10 years, saying he showed little remorse and had a high risk of reoffending, even after a decade.

Since the offender’s move to Milson, the Salvation Army has been contacted by half a dozen worried people.

A flier which identified the man, his offending and his address was distributed to letterboxes in Milson.

The community invariably runs the pedo out of town. ¬† Read more »