NZ

Wellington doesn’t want amalgamation – the Len Effect no doubt

The whole country can see what a total stuff up Auckland amalgamation is.  Everything that was promised has not come to pass, especially cost savings.   What has come to pass is that previous councils would not work together so things that would benefit the region were very hard to achieve.

Now Aucklanders are enjoying a mayor and a council hell bent of using its new powers to commit the region to a rail network that is going to cater for only 15% of the population, yet causing rates increases that will be hundred of percent in excess of inflation on a yearly basis for the foreseeable future.

Wellingtonians don’t want a bar of it.

Submissions close [today] for people to have their say on whether to make Wellington a super city.

The local government commission is recommending nine councils that would be governed by one body. But many don’t feel they’ve been given enough information on it. Read more »

Now this is why Brian Edwards and I are good friends

My good friend Brian Edwards has looked at the terrorism/armed forces/war thing, and it is no surprise he’s come to the same conclusion I have.

…in today’s Herald on Sunday, I read that “… The Defence Force has confirmed soldiers will be given the chance to withdraw from the controversial deployment.”

This is apparently part of being “a good employer”. Personal or family circumstances or “ethical grounds” qualified as the principal justifications for not wanting to be deployed in Iraq. Apparently this has always been the case provided the serviceman or woman “had legitimate reasons”. “Otherwise,” said the Former Chief of Army, Major General Lou Gardiner, “your mates would always see you as a person who opted out. It’s human nature.”

It is indeed. But I would have thought that “legitimate reasons” for not being sent to a war zone would include not wanting to be injured or killed. That too is “human nature”. And, as a Defence Force spokesman reminded us, “military personnel are people who have lives and families and individual circumstances that mean they are less appropriate for a particular deployment”. Read more »

Key doesn’t rate Winston Peters’ chances in Northland

NEXT! Winston Peters

Prime Minister John Key is confident National can retain its seat in Northland despite NZ First leader Winston Peters throwing his hat in the ring.

“This is all about Winston and Winston not feeling that relevant post the election.”

Mr Peters living there or going fishing there didn’t mean he had a plan for Northland and National, as the Government, could do more for Northland, Mr Key said.

“If Winston Peters was to win Northland you deliver a stronger Peter Dunne and less RMA reform,” he said.

“It’s not about the candidate, it’s about what you can do and what you are doing for Northland.”

Read more »

Phil Goff tries reverse psychology

via Stuff

via Stuff

Sending troops to Iraq is playing into the terrorist’s hands, opponents say.

New Zealand is sending 143 military personnel into Iraq including 16 specialist trainers to train Iraqi soldiers.

Prime Minister John Key says he doesn’t think the Islamic State would be defeated in two years, but New Zealand would make a contribution and not stay in Iraq longer than that.

Labour’s defence spokesman Phil Goff says the $35 million being spent to send New Zealand trainers could make a real difference providing humanitarian aid.

The United States had spent billions of dollars and put thousands of trainers in with no effect, he told the programme.

“The Iraqi army is corrupt, it’s sectarian, it’s incompetently led, it lacks morale. None of those things can New Zealanders do anything about. This is sheer tokenism by John Key.” Read more »

Tagged:

Will “wine based drink” damage our wine industry?

2624D6C800000578-0-image-m-5_1425039460760

Wine based drink.  It’s 75% wine, and 25% something else.  Something else doesn’t even have to be defined, but can contain something like… milk.  And it is sold side-by-side with actual wine.  You know, wine wine.

Don’t believe me, do you?

Shoppers are being ‘misled’ by supermarkets selling ‘wine based drink’ which is only 75 per cent wine in bottles that look like the real thing.

The Australian plonk looks like a normal bottle and is sold in supermarkets alongside real wine – but the small print reveals all is not as it seems.

The labels show that the ‘wine based drinks’ are not proper wine, with experts calling on producers to come clean about what else goes into the drink.

Industry guidelines state that any drink containing less than 75 per cent wine must be described as a ‘wine based drink’, but suppliers do not have to say what the rest is, other than sulphur dioxide or any allergens.

Sainsbury’s is selling Copper Red and Copper White with 12.5 per cent alcohol at a price of ÂŁ6.25.

Morrisons is stocking Shy Pig Red and White, at 11 per cent and 10.5 per cent alcohol, amongst some of their most popular buys at ÂŁ3.29.

26242D8A00000578-0-image-m-6_1425039477505

Terribly misleading.

I especially like the fact that they don’t have to explain what the other 25% is.  Could as well be lighter fluid or anti-freeze.

But the problem is that this a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  New Zealand wine makers need to front foot this development by popping stickers on with “REAL WINE” on them.

Also, a big push to prevent these pretenders to be placed among real bottles of wine.

sdasd

Perhaps with the egg and milk in the ingredients, it should be shelved in the dairy section?

‘The fact that we had been misled into buying them as wine led us to do some more investigation.

‘We understand that supermarkets might find it difficult to have another section for these products on their shelves and may wish to merchandise them with wines, but we feel that low strength, low calorie and these drinks might all be best for their customers if merchandised clearly for what they are all together.

‘I suspect the other 25 per cent is water, but it could be unfermented grape must which would be better as at least that’s in wine,’ he added.

‘The so-called wine is highly misleading and it’s bad for the wine industry. It damages the industry’s integrity.

Next time, buy your own real cheap plonk, add some milk, eggs and water.  Much cheaper that way.

But much more seriously, having this crap among real wine will devalue the sector and the brands.  New Zealand wine makers must be proactive at making sure their product stands out as genuine.

 

– Daily mail

Our bludgers, criminals and tax dodgers in Australia just got sold out by Abbott

Good job too.

Tax officials in Australia and New Zealand have agreed to share more information to try and help New Zealand recoup millions of dollars in unpaid student loans from people living in Australia.

Prime Minister John Key and Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, announced the information sharing arrangement at the annual leaders meeting yesterday.

Revenue Minister, Todd McClay said under the agreement, tax officials in Australia would be able to provide up-to-date contact information to their colleagues in New Zealand.

“We know that when we contact people, they start paying. Approximately 70 percent of overseas borrowers we contact begin to repay their debt. This new arrangement with Australia will ensure we contact many more borrowers,” he said. Read more »

Defence Force to allow conscientious objectors

New Zealand troops will be allowed to “opt out” of going to Iraq.

Five days after Prime Minister John Key announced 143 personnel would be sent to the Middle East to train Iraqi forces in the war on Islamic State fighters, the Defence Force has confirmed soldiers will be given the chance to withdraw from the controversial deployment.

The Defence Force says it is part of being a “good employer”.

In a statement to the Herald on Sunday, a Defence Force spokesman said military personnel could indicate “any matters” they believed made them unsuitable for the mission, including personal or family circumstances.

Consideration would also be given to any troops who said they didn’t want to go to Iraq on ethical grounds.

“The same consideration would be given as that applied to any other issue that may impact on their ability to deploy,” the spokesman said. Read more »

HDPA cutting our killer tourists some slack

There’s a road I like to take to get away from the city. It carries you north out of Wellington, passing the Hutt on your right.

At first, there are cars everywhere, but once you clear the motorway the vehicles thin out. You pass quaint tea rooms, cows in a paddock and old huts you assume must belong to DoC because who else would put a hut all the way up there?

The road begins to climb, gradually at first. The two lanes north reduce to one. And it’s narrow. But you don’t mind because from this road you get a stunner of a view. Bush, clouds threading through the hills, snow sometimes.

The road zigs left, then right, like a river winding around the mountain. You have to slow right down to make the corners. The drop down one side is scary if you stop to think about it. There’s only a ruler length between you and the edge.

This road isn’t a secret find of mine. It’s our second most important drag. State Highway 2, heading over the Rimutakas. It’s one of only two ways to get out of our capital by car, and it’s a road tourists drive every day.

In this outrage about the carnage tourists are causing on our roads, I reckon we may be forgetting our part in the crashes. These are our roads and they’re dangerous.

A couple of years ago I stopped for a drink at a roadside bar in South Africa. The light was failing so the barman told me to get going. “It’s a bloody windy one,” he warned.

I did as I was told. I drove through a gorge and the corners came. Even though the curves were sweeping, I began slowing down. I didn’t want to be surprised by those sudden turns.

But the sharp corners never arrived. I was back on the straight.

What the South African barman considered winding was nothing for someone who knows the Desert Rd, or that gorge that runs between Napier and Taupo, or Arthur’s Pass. Read more »

Is Gerry Brownlee protecting Air New Zealand?

So here’s the thing.  There are about 500,000 people that live out west and north of Auckland that need to drive an hour or more to get to Auckland Airport to catch a plane.   There is an airbase at Whenuapai – right smack bang in the middle of where these people live.

The chief executive of a new regional airline being set up says he has not given up hope of the Whenuapai military airbase being used for commercial flights.

Kiwi Regional Airlines wants to fly from Whenuapai to Wellington, but Defence Minister, Gerry Brownlee said he had no plans to change the airbase’s status.

The carrier’s CEO, Ewan Wilson, said he would keep trying to change the Government’s mind.

“It still remains a goal for us. Governments come and go, we’re not quite sure of what makes Whenuapai so unique. The military base at Woodbourne, Blenheim operates for both civilian and military use.” Read more »

Labour candidate wants casual staff

Labour candidate for Rotorua at the last election, Tamati Coffey, is starting an up market bar.

He is advertising for casual staff.

facebook_1425108015027 Read more »