Daily roundup

This is how professional road lice park their bikes.

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Why does it take so long for these one person wrecking crews to be stopped? The media are no help


Dutch Homes Ltd owes more than $500,000 to unsecured creditors, according to the first liquidators’ report, released on October 16.

Subcontractors, suppliers and customers – from whom he took deposits but never completed the work – are out of pocket.

Those customers include Wayne and Rianne Bonnett, who are angry at Joseph Van Roij.

“We all feel so stupid, so betrayed,” said Rianne Bonnett, whose almost-complete house is in Amberley’s Oakfields subdivision.

“Van Roij was a friend – he came to Wayne’s 50th birthday party. He has been here for dinner and we’ve had dinner with him and his family,” she said.

“He was part of the local football club. It’s because of us that Wayne’s parents invested $40,000 in him to build a house in Pegasus.”

The Bonnetts invested $280,000 into their house and are now paying subcontractors directly to finish the build. They estimate they are about $40,000 out of pocket but are more angry for others affected.

Catharina van der Knaap’s house next door to theirs is all framing and no roof, despite her having paid Dutch Homes Ltd $190,000.

“This is her retirement savings,” Wayne Bonnett said.

“It’s not so bad for us – we have jobs and we can cope. But for Catharina, in her 80s, she can’t get a mortgage and she can’t afford to finish what Van Roij started. She just has to sit and watch her house rot.”

Retired couple Barry and Shirley Tilling [ in photo above ] paid Dutch Homes $56,000 for work that never began.

“We paid $9000 up front for plans, then $40,000 deposit when we signed the contract,” Shirley Tilling said.

“He later asked for another $9000 to pay for the concrete to go in. We thought the $40,000 should have covered it but I was unwell and didn’t have the energy to argue.”

The 74-year-old and her husband, 77, now live in a borrowed caravan on their son’s farm.

With no chance to recoup the loss or earn extra money, they are homeless.

Bit of a Dutch one man wrecking crew, and he’s done it to more than one client, suggesting these aren’t the results of falling on hard times.

Speaking of Dutch one man wrecking crews… remember this?

Read more »

Tasman v Taranaki – who will win? [POLL]

Time to get your scores in the comments – closest one will get bragging rights.

It promises to be an awesome game.  It is rare not to at least have Auckland, Christchurch or Wellington represented in the ITM Cup finals.  So the  provinces will be the winner either way.

Answer: a few centimeters

The question:  What is the difference between a Muslim woman wearing a hijab and an Exclusive Breatheren woman wearing a head scarf?

Amy Cronin, misses the point:

“Are you hiding bombs in your skirts?” a stranger yelled from a car window as 12-year-old Radiya Ali walked down a Hamilton street in the mid-2000s. She had arrived to New Zealand as a refugee from Yemen, four years after 9/11 – an innocent among hicks and alarmists who saw young girls wearing the hijab and thought it stood for terrorist.

“Did you steal those curtains you wear?” people hollered at her as they passed. “Why are you wearing sheets on your head?”

Salma Salat came from Kenya 17 years ago, when she was 4.

“I don’t remember it, but my mum found it tough adjusting and raising kids in a time when people were shouting things out from the streets.”

In the days post 9/11, a man approached Salma as she was walking with her sister. She remembers him yelling at them, “terrorists”. She was 7 and didn’t know what it meant.

Radiya and Salma are 21 now, and they are friends. They tell these stories with wide eyes, in the can you believe it way adults recall their traumas from childhood. You won’t find gentler, or stronger, young women. They are innocent in many ways, but they have seen.

Yes, well. ¬†Hamilton. ¬†The culturally sensitive ground zero of the North Island. ¬†And yes, as people, we aren’t too flash at coping with what makes us different.

So that sets the scene for this article, which is utlimately about the hijab. Read more »


Dirty Politics UK style

There is a lot of talk about ‘Dirty Politics’.

As a long term left wing agtator told me last week over a beer…it wasn’t dirty politics…I was just politics.

Right now in the UK a similar story is unfolding, where the media are hunting after Guido Fawkes aka Paul Staines and his links with PM David Cameron.

Guido operates in many respects just like I do…and just like me he kicks his own team in the slats.

The Prime Minister is the last person you would expect to find honouring rogue political blogger Guido Fawkes, who has just brought down one of his ministers.

But David Cameron appeared as guest of honour via a video link at the 10th anniversary celebrations of the controversial website.

Just three weeks ago, Brooks Newmark resigned as Minister for Civil Society, causing the PM immense embarrassment as it was on the eve of the Conservative Party Conference.

This followed the Tory MP being enticed into sending explicit pictures of himself to a male reporter, posing as an attractive young woman, who was working for Guido Fawkes.

Fawkes then hawked the story around Fleet Street before it was eventually published by the Sunday Mirror.

The dubious journalistic methods employed were so contentious that two newspapers refused to publish the story and the Sunday Mirror, which did, is being investigated by the new press watchdog IPSO.

Yet, in his message broadcast at the dinner, the Prime Minister saw fit to condone such behaviour, praising Fawkes (real name Paul Staines) and his website as ‚Äėrequired reading‚Äô.

‚ÄėCongratulations on ten years of Guido Fawkes,‚Äô said Cameron, ‚Äėand what better way to celebrate a decade of rejecting the cosy political establishment than by hosting a cocktail reception and a dinner in the heart of Westminster with half the Cabinet and the lobby invited.

Read more »

On secrets and gossip

We all love gossip.   And the other side of that coin?  Secrets are impossible to keep.

Gossip, in all its forms (leaks, tips, interviews) are the fuel for blogs, the media, politics and even law enforcement.

Modern men cannot keep a secret – and are now worse gossips than women, according to a study.

Researchers found that, contrary to the assumption that women can’t wait to spill the beans, it is men who are first to pass on confidential information.

Thanks to social media, men no longer wait to see their mates in the pub and typically share a secret within three hours, the study found. And almost half of men admit to blabbing about a secret within minutes of first being told about it.

In comparison, women will keep it to themselves for at least three and a half hours before passing it on. The study of 2,000 Britons s found that the average man will keep a secret to themselves for around two hours and 47 minutes Рalmost 40 minutes less than women.

More than one in ten guys even admitted to blabbing someone’s private secret within 10 minutes or less of first finding out about it.¬†Despite this, 92 per cent of men consider themselves to be good at keeping secrets.

In my experience, people you can truly count on to keep a secret are¬†extremely rare. ¬†But why is there this… human need to tell? Read more »

Mental Health Break

Caution: deals with animal butchery

The Slaughter from Jason B. Kohl on Vimeo.

Is this how Ebola will spread around New Zealand?

Doesn’t matter how many people are ready for Ebola. ¬†It doesn’t matter how well trained they are. ¬†It doesn’t matter if we have the facilities and equipment.

It’s going to come down to something like this


As a demonstration of how well-drilled New York City officials are in how to deal with Ebola, it left a lot to be desired.

Two New York City police officers who attended the Harlem apartment building of Dr Craig Spencer – the first confirmed Ebola case in the city – were observed afterward dumping their protective gear and caution tape in a garbage bin on the street.

While it was not immediately clear if the two officers had been inside Dr Spencer’s apartment, the episode had many people asking if the equipment should not have been disposed of in a biohazard bag – even if only as a precaution.

The other day it was the “clipboard guy” that walked up to fully biohazard suited people transporting a suspected Ebola patient, and now we have this. ¬†If there is going to be a failure to contain the disease, it won’t be because of a mistake made by front line people. ¬†¬† Read more »


Map of the Day

Sponsored by What Power Crisis, click here for this week’s Solar Deal


What 16th Century Ottomans thought Europe looked like on Top of an Actual Map of Europe

Click here for a larger view


Read more »