Film review, Lifestyle and Fitness blogger Pinko Farrar would be into this


A napkin marked with a perfect red lipstick outline from Margaret Thatcher is being sold for £2,000.

The unusual piece of Iron Lady memorabilia has gone on sale with and offers the chance to own a kiss from the iconic Tory Prime Minister.

Britain’s only female democratically elected leader is understood to have used the napkin to remove excess lipstick while on a speaking tour of the US in 2000. Read more »

“tasteless” and “repulsive” – why the public are precious about the truth

Seems some girl that’s famous for being famous just had her own “feral” moment

The socialite daughter of leading fashion designers Denise L’Estrange-Corbet and Francis Hooper has caused outrage with a comment on social media mocking the death of a mother and her three children.

Gossip columnist Pebbles Hooper described the deaths of Ashburton mum Cindy George and her three children – Pio, Teuruaa and Telyzshaun – as “natural selection”.

Police believe they died from the fumes of a car left running in a garage to keep the battery “ticking over”. It’s suspected they could have been dead for up to a week before being discovered.

Hooper’s comment, posted to Twitter on Saturday evening, was met with a barrage of criticism from her 6800 followers who labelled the tweet “tasteless” and “repulsive”.

It appears Hooper, a columnist for the Herald on Sunday, expected a backlash, having prefaced her message with the words: “I’ll get major slack for this, but leaving a car running inside a closed garage while you’re kids are in the house is natural selection”.

While the tweet was quickly deleted, Hooper responded to other Twitter users by saying “those kids died under completely preventable circumstances”. She claimed she was not deliberately seeking attention but was “just stating her opinion”. Read more »

The rising tide of gadgetry and bans while driving

Road safety campaigners are calling for a ban on the use of wearable technology, including smartwatches, by drivers.

Smartwatches from high-tech giants Samsung, Sony, Motorola and LG – which can be used for calls, texts and calendar notifications – are for sale in New Zealand. Apple is releasing its Apple Watch here later this year.

Laws banning drivers’ use of phones – with an $80 fine and 20 demerit points – do not cover the use of wearable technology.

Caroline Perry, of road safety charity Brake, said the law should be widened, stating motorists using smart technology on their watches while driving should face the same sanctions.

“A second’s inattention at the wheel can result in tragedy,” she said.

It seems a little specific to be going after these devices while ignoring the vehicle’s gadgets.     Read more »

Mandatory speed bumps in your driveway – the dog chippers are at it again

Adding speed bumps and mirrors to long driveways are among measures a child safety group has included in submissions to the Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan.

The plan will determine what can be built and where, and is aimed at creating a “higher quality and more compact Auckland”.

It is expected to be formalised by September next year.

Among submissions the council will hear on Wednesday is one from Safekids Aotearoa, which is calling for an overhaul of planning consents for driveways, aimed at saving kids’ lives.

Safekids Aotearoa director Ann Weaver said a child was seriously injured in a driveway every two weeks, and on average five children died every year.

“That’s remained static over the past 10 years, which is very concerning,” Weaver said.

The Unitary Plan was a chance to highlight driveway safety, she said.

Driveways longer than 12m or those shared with other homes, double the risk of a child being run over. Read more »

Schools divert funds into legal defences

Furious parents are threatening principals with legal injunctions if their kids are overlooked for sports teams and school musicals.

The increased threats have forced the Government, principals and Crown Law to work together to draw up legal advice for schools faced by parents hiring lawyers.

It follows several high-profile injunctions lodged against schools – including in March against Christchurch’s prestigious St Bede’s College over the dropping of two rowers.

Petulant parents with more money than sense have been given the tools to force schools to do things against their will – they don’t have the funds to defend themselves

• Some schools have delayed naming First XVs due to legal threats from parents upset over selections;

• Parents have sought legal advice after their kids failed to land lead roles in school musicals;

• Lawyers have been called in after children missed spots in representative debating teams;

• Schools other than St Bede’s College have received legal threats from parents upset over rowing crews.

It is all fairly short-sighted.  Those St Bede’s kids are now marked for life.  Nobody will go near them with the knowledge the package includes precious litigious parents.   Read more »

Schools spend their budgets on food, not teaching, and not a peep from the unions

Schools are digging into their teaching budgets, in some cases relying on donations from principals and teachers to feed children who turn up hungry.

A nationwide survey of lower decile school principals has indicated how many kids don’t have breakfast or lunch, with those in some areas reporting up to 80 percent of students arriving without food each week.

Most of the 270 schools who responded to the New Zealand Principals’ Federation questionnaire said they fed some of their students, with more than half feeding at least 20 per cent each week.

Principals reported using up to $5000 of their operations grants on feeding children each term and many also paid teacher aides to co-ordinate available programmes or help at breakfast and lunchtime. Read more »

BREAKING: Colin Craig wins as last original board member resigns [UPDATED]

John Stringer has decided to resign from the Conservative Party Board to move the focus away from “Colin vs John” and to allow the Board to focus on the issues of due process. [See resignation email below].

“A principal reason for stepping aside for now, is the online abuse my wife, myself and Board members are receiving from the Craig camp.

“Also, the difficulty the Board is placed in re neutrality. As the only person prepared to speak up against Colin Craig, who persists – despite being suspended from the Party – in running a media ‘corporate raiding’ campaign against the Conservative Party (with illegal use of our confidential database) is I feel it is incompatible to serve on a neutral Board at this time.”

NOTE: “There was no earlier legal “suspension” by Brian Dobbs as cited by sacked Party member Colin Craig, or any “Board disciplinary session.” The latter was not moved or seconded by any Board meeting, and John Stringer has never been invited to attend any suspension or disciplinary hearings in the past.

~ John Stringer
Conservative Party of NZ.
Outgoing Interim Acting Chair


From: john stringer <j.stringer@clear….
Subject: Resignation: John Stringer
Date: 2 July 2015 10:32:16 AM NZST
To: Board
Cc: Nathaniel Heslop <nathaniel.heslop@icloud….> Party Secretary

Dear Board Colleagues. CC Nathaniel as Party Secretary.

I think it best in the current circumstances, after a long and weary season of wrestling with oddities in the Conservative Party; that I step aside from the Board. This will allow you all space to try and resolve what are now complex matters separate from distractions
over “Colin vs John.”

I wish to take the heat and focus away from the personalities; I have never wished this to be a confrontation between Colin and myself, but unfortunately, that is what it has become.

There is now acrimonious debate and division on various Party websites, and we, and you, are suffering significant abuse from different factions within our Party on private pages.

It is also very problematic trying as a Board member and de facto Acting Chair, to speak in the media in answer to untruths and provocations from one side which places the Board in a non-neutral circumstance. I cannot do that to you.

Stepping down for now, will allow me, however, to speak openly, and to counter a campaign against myself and the Board. I will continue that as a free person in the interests of transparency and truth..

My goal always has been, and remains, to salvage the Conservative Party for the future, and try and build a future for it. That remains unchanged, and if at a later date, when things have settled, I am more than happy to accept a nomination to sit  on the Board in the future, especially representing South Island members.

So, please accept my resignation from the Board at 10.30pm today, Thursday 2 July.

For the record:

a) I believe the current Board is legitimate.
b) That Colin Craig’s suspension from the Party is necessary and proper.
c) That the so-called “Stringer suspension” of a week ago (25/6) was a contrivance and cannot stand up to any scrutiny.

My very best regards and wishes for the future.





Well well well.

An opinion piece that deserves wider coverage

This opinion piece in the Waikato Times by Peter Dornauf deserves a wider audience than their 26,610 circulation figures.

That a child should die in this country because the house it was living in was too damp and cold and a heater couldn’t afford to be run is a shocking state of affairs. This is the kind of thing we associate with Third World countries.

The other thing we connect with those places are children going hungry,  where poverty reaches such levels of deprivation that there is not enough food to go round.

New Zealand as a place where children go hungry in a welfare state, where large sums of money are spent each year on aid and assistance, suggests something is radically wrong here.

An equivalent time in this country’s history where such conditions pertained would be post 1929 and the Depression. I’m not sure if any child died because of those dire circumstances, but the welfare state had not yet been invented.

So something just doesn’t add up.

Read more »

Professor Doug Sellman finds a new whipping boy

Scientists keep complaining that media are critical of them, and they should just be left alone to practice science unencumbered by plebs having opinions.

Problem is, these scientists aren’t pure and very much driven by money.  There are so many government-filled money troughs, that truth really takes a back seat.

Take this example

Alcohol Healthwatch has joined the National Addiction Centre in calling for the sale of alcohol powder sachets to be banned or tightly regulated.
The alcohol sachets cost about $1.50 and have the strength of 0.4 of a standard drink.
They also contain 20 percent alcohol, and can be mixed with non-alcoholic drinks.

Director of Alcohol Healthwatch, Rebecca Williams, said they were not quality drinks but give people a quick hit.  She said they were predominantly used by young people trying to smuggle alcohol into restricted areas at sports and music events.

Doug Selman head of the National Addiction Centre said the sachets would take the country backwards. He said the sachets can be bought in some bottle stores, and are a cunning way for people to bring alcohol into events.

Professor Sellman, who is also the medical spokesperson for the lobby group, Alcohol Action New Zealand, said these sachets were simply a clever method of making alcohol more available.  “All the evidence points to the fact that if you make alcohol more accessible, more alcohol will be consumed and if more alcohol is consumed you’ll get more alcohol related problems.

“So what we have to do in New Zealand, where alcohol is still relatively out of control, is decrease the accessibility and these sachets are just taking us in the opposite direction by increasing the accessibility of alcohol, but in a rather sneaky and secretive way,” he said.
Professor Sellman said the Government currently had no policy on alcohol sachets and he was urging it to look seriously into regulating or banning them.

Certainly sounds like a potential problem.  Until you actually look into a little further:   Read more »

Explaining is losing, so Steve Joyce refuses to answer

As we all know explaining is losing, but there is an alternative, which Steve Joyce used on The Nation…refusing to answer.

Of course that just then leads to accusations of hubris and arrogance…something Steve Joyce has in spades.

Economic development minister Steven Joyce is dismissing talk of an economic recession but admits “the job isn’t done in the economy”.

The economy is facing some challenges but they must be kept in perspective, Joyce told TV3’s The Nation on Saturday.

“We shouldn’t talk ourselves into a funk. We should focus on what we now know works for New Zealand, and that is we’ve seen a recipe over the last five or six years which is really working for this country. This is a reminder that we keep pushing in those directions, that we keep opening up to world trade, that we keep encouraging investment in our economy, that we keep building the innovation in our industries. Those are the things that are important,” Joyce said.

His comments came as a bank economists pointed to further cuts to dairy payouts, interest rates and economic growth forecasts.

[…]    Read more »