Too heavy, too expensive, sadly


Superbowl tomorrow – bet you didn’t know this


The incredible, edible, egg…


Daily Roundup

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LEAKED: Labour Rotorua’s finances – they’re broke

Well, not really leaked, more like left for the world to see on Facebook by a member, and not taken down fast enough that I couldn’t obtain a copy.

97badb4d-b5d8-4ecf-ae98-3594d02b1463 Read more »

Should we spread the Waitangi love?

David Seymour thinks Waitangi celebrations should move around the country rather than constantly be based at Waitangi.

But first a bit of history.

Like almost all Kiwis I have always avoided Waitangi on the big day. Images of protesters, crying prime ministers, and actual mud-slinging are enough to put most people off.  If you’ve ever been in Sydney for Australia Day, you’ll know how much better our national day could be.

But Parliament obliges me to be here, so I’m writing this from an old Paihia motel (my parliamentary colleagues had booked out the Waitangi Copthorne, but that’s another story).

The trouble this time is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, or TPPA. People oppose it for the same reason people used to have mullets – fashion, not logic. Being of Ngāpuhi descent myself, it’s been a real struggle to understand why local Maori are protesting a trade agreement.

The fact is, many colonial-era Maori were very entrepreneurial, and took ready advantage of the more secure property rights provided by the Treaty – more secure than being invaded by nearby tribes as happened through the musket war period around 1820 to 1840. One of the many important rights the Treaty gave was access to sea lanes protected by the most powerful navy on the planet.

I’ve been reading Hazel Petrie’s Chiefs of Industry. It tells the story of colonial-era Maori such as Te Hemara Tauhia. In the 1850s he built a sawmill in the north and charged Pakeha to mill their timber.

Then he realised they were making money off the shipping so he commissioned a 20-tonne ship to move it, too. That guy would have favoured signing the TPPA.

He was not unusual. As another author summed up, colonial Maori “were able to leverage European technologies to build remarkable trading relationships around the world as well as forcing the world’s most powerful empire into a stalemate.”

Read more »

Mental Health Break

No matter what we say, no matter what we do…



No, not young Miss Bradford this time – the police.

Police are in shock that motorists continue to ignore basic road safety rules.

It comes as four people have already died on the roads this Waitangi weekend.

Superintendent Steve Greally said that’s four too many.

“That’s a life, it’s not just a number it’s a personality, it’s somebody that participates in a family, it has friends and it affects so many people.”

Superintendent Greally wants people to follow simple rules, like driving to the conditions, not drinking and driving and wearing seat belts.

“There are basic things and it’s amazing that it’s still just not getting through to some people, they’re either too ignorant to understand or they are too arrogant to care.”

I feel for the police, I really do. There is no joy in scraping people off the road; no joy in seeing families destroyed.  And I forgive them their dogged determination to see a lot less of it.

But here are two problems. Read more »


Rodney Hide isn’t impressed with Angry Little’s bribe either

Andrew Little

When I give my vote, I want my money. Immediately. I don’t want it on promise.

That’s why Little has left me so underwhelmed. My vote for him is just a down payment. He wants it again and again before I get my money.

The policy-on-promise wasn’t in his speech. You have to go to the policy detail for that.

It shows Little’s policy not fully kicking in until 2025 – three elections away.

I vote for Little in 2017, I get a year free post-school education. I vote for him again in 2020, I get another year. I vote for him a third time in 2023 and I get my third year. That’s a lot of voting for not much, a long way off.

Little takes seven Budgets to deliver his promise.

As I predicted, it would just be days before the whole thing would fall apart under a little bit of scrutiny.  Read more »