Just get on with it

After six years if shilly-shallying the government is finally making noises about sorting out Auckland and has shown the stick.

If Auckland politicians don’t pass a coherent new plan for the city the government could step in as soon as September, the council’s chief executive says.

Council officials are preparing to receive the electronic equivalent of a “wheelbarrow of printed stuff” detailing Auckland’s new Unitary Plan.

After four years, more than 13,000 submissions and 249 days of hearings, Auckland’s first region-wide planning document will be delivered on July 22.

Councillors then have until August 19 to either accept or reject key planning recommendations, such as more intensified zoning and whether to move the city limit.

Read more »

At least one Guardian journalist gets it

While the left-wing continues to unhinge at least one Guardian journalist, Matthew d’Ancona, has finally understood what Brexit was all about:

Before analysis, let us admit to awe: the sheer scale of the moment requires it. The word “historic” is deployed too lazily in political discourse. But it is entirely appropriate this morning. This is a hugely significant day in British (and European) history.

When a party loses an election, its soon-to-be-ex-leader rallies the troops and promises a different result next time. But no such option is open to the crushed chieftains of remain today. There is no “next time”.

This was a unique opportunity to seal Britain’s relationship with the European Union, or to end it. And the voters – at a high level of turnout – decided that it was time to go. They heard the warnings, listened to experts of every kind tell them that Brexit meant disaster, watched the prime minister as he urged them not to take a terrible risk. And their answer was: get stuffed.   Read more »

The left-wing is unhinging over Brexit and it is a wonderful thing

Amongst many on the left-wing is the claim, that despite a record turn out in an election, that democracy has been eroded by the Brexit vote.

Presumably because their side didn’t win, because democracy only works when they get what they want…until that happens democracy is broken.

Actually democracy was broken and that is why Brexit prevailed.

Arts, lifestyle and travel blogger, David Farrar, explains:

The EU overall has been a force for good with many benefits for many people. However it is not what most would regard as a democratic government. The heart of democracy is that the people can sack a Government they have got weary of.  There was no real way for the people of Europe or the UK to sack the EU Government when they think it has got it wrong and needs to go. Without such a pressure release valve, discontent grows and grows.

The concept of an EU is good. The structure of the EU is bad. It may have worked when they had nine members, but not for 28.

Consider how unhappy we would be in NZ if our Government was not elected at the polls directly. Instead we each elected a local Mayor and Council (and all at different times) and all the Mayors got together and they decided who would make up the national Cabinet and Government to decide on our laws.  We would not stand for it.

You need to have the ability for the people to directly sack a Government, and effectively choose its replacement. It is that ability and need to be responsive to the public that makes a Government accountable.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

“David S.(Bear) Crenshaw and Kimberley (Tigger) Crenshaw … Together forever. Married three years.”

“David S. (Bear) Crenshaw and Kimberley (Tigger) Crenshaw … Together forever. Married three years.”

Love and Death on the Third Floor

On The Cystic Fibrosis Wing Of Dallas’ Presbyterian Hospital, an Unlikely Romance Bloomed Between Two Sick Patients. The Outcome Was Inevitable

She was the princess who wore Tiffany perfume. He was the middle-class guy who raced cars. But when they met on the cystic fibrosis wing of a Dallas hospital, romance bloomed.

They first laid eyes on one another in the spring of 1986, when they were both admitted to the cystic fibrosis wing of Dallas’ Presbyterian Hospital. Kimberley Marshall was then sixteen, thin and winter-pale and beautiful, her red hair falling down the back of her pink nightgown patterned with little white hearts. David Crenshaw was eighteen; he wore his usual hand-me-down T-shirt and faded gray pajama pants and oversized glasses that turned dark in the sunlight. David would stand at one end of the hospital hallway, hoping Kim would come out of her room at the other end.

“No way,” the wing’s respiratory therapist, Doug Kellum, would say. “No way she’s going to look twice at you.”

Kim was known among the nurses as the princess. She came from a polished North Dallas family. She loved Tiffany perfume, Lancôme makeup, and clothes from Neiman Marcus. She would sit for hours in her hospital bed, reading romance novels. David, on the other hand, was famous for his bad grammar and coarse jokes. When a female nurse walked past his room, he would lean forward in his bed and shout, “Shake it, baby, don’t break it.” On Saturday nights when he wasn’t in the hospital, he raced midget cars at a local dirt track. “Can you name just one other race car driver in this country with cystic fibrosis?” he proudly asked Kellum. “Let me tell you, there ain’t one.”

“She still isn’t going to talk to you,” Kellum replied.

Read more »

Stuff makes a small mistake

Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are more common than they’d used to be in media these days. We all do our best here on Whale Oil but we too are guilty of speed typing resulting in words like teh instead of the as well as  apostrophes in the wrong place and yes, spelling mistakes.

Sometimes though a small mistake can totally change the meaning of the headline. I picked up this kind of mistake yesterday on Stuff. It not only changed the meaning of the headline but it gave a very hurtful impression about an innocent woman.

Read more »


Whaleoil News Quiz

by Nige

Bulk funding gives Charter schools an advantage but is bad for State Schools

As I read the following article I was amused. In all the critical articles written about charter schools they describe bulk funding as an advantage. They say that charter schools having the flexibility to spend the money how they want allows them to do things that state schools cannot do.  They can provide free uniforms for example, free breakfasts, free stationary and can pay the teachers more. This is actually criticised as it is seen as giving charter schools an advantage over state schools.

Unlike State schools, charter schools are not supplied by the government with buildings or swimming pools or playing fields.  The money they get has to pay for all of that as well as teacher salaries yet they have still managed to pay their teachers the same or more than state schools and provide their students with access to buildings, swimming pools and playing fields.They make use of public facilities to get the biggest bang for their buck.

Now that bulkfunding is being proposed for state schools it has magically been transformed into a bad thing and the critics of bulk funding for charter schools are concerned that State schools will end up paying their teachers less.  One of the things about charter schools that state schools should emulate is the managers who handle all of the budget leaving the Principal free to focus on education. Having an expert on money management on staff is a key difference between charter schools and state schools.

Read more »

Key 2 days ago: Brexit bad for NZ. Key now: Brexit makes no difference

John Key is losing the plot, all over the place on Brexit like a mad woman’s poo.

Two days ago John Key and Murray McCully told the NZ Herald that Brexit would be bad for New Zealand:

Mr Key, who has said he would prefer it if the UK stayed in the EU, said New Zealand officials were reviewing what could happen in the event the Brexit camp wins.

“There is a two-year period if they do vote to leave where they are still part of the union…so we’d have a couple of years to work on that.

“Superficially it would affect things like, for instance, the free trade agreement we are negotiating with the EU, we would obviously work on the migration issues and how those rules might work.”

Last week Foreign Minister Murray McCully said New Zealand has worked on shoring up its relations with other European countries which will limit any ramifications for New Zealand if the United Kingdom votes leave.

Mr McCully said the impact of a Brexit result on New Zealand would be “changes in degree only”.

“If the UK were to leave the EU, it would mean an increasing reliance by us on other relationships in Europe that we have regarded as increasingly important anyway.

“It obviously is easier if the UK is in, because we’ve got a large traditional friend that remains a member.

“But we’ve been working on the assumption for quite some time that we can’t be complacent about the European relationship.”

Read more »

Who is the most scandalous politician in New Zealand?

Scandal is beloved by Media, especially when it involves a politician. I searched through some dusty folders in order to find four prime candidates for New Zealand’s most scandalous politician.

In no particular order, I give you the following four politicians to choose from. Who do you think should be crowned New Zealand’s most scandalous politician? Who have I missed out?

Read more »

Done like a dog’s dinner, says Audrey Young about David Cameron

Audrey Young provides her opinion on Brexit with a slight segue to John Key and his own referendum troubles.

David Cameron would never have called a referendum on the EU if he thought he would be done like a dog’s dinner, as he has been.

He had supreme confidence in his leadership ability and powers of persuasion when he announced in 2013 why he wanted a referendum. He over-estimated.

It has mild echoes of a far less important referendum promoted by his friend and a similarly unpersuasive Prime Minister John Key on changing the flag.

Cameron fittingly announced tonight he will relinquish his captain’s cap before the Conservatives conference in Birmingham, on October 2.

He has shown leadership in resigning. I wonder when Jeremy Corbyn will likewise show some leadership by resigning, having led Labour down the wrong path of the EU?

[H]istory will define him as a loser and Remainers will beat him up for a miscalculation in holding the referendum at all. So why did he?

EU membership had become such a divisive issue in Britain, he felt it had to be confronted properly.

As Cameron said in his 2013 speech: “Democratic consent for the EU in Britain is now wafer thin.”

You don’t answer the growing perception of a deficit of democracy with another commission of inquiry.

Read more »