Earthquake Taliban: when emotion gets in the way of good policy

One of the troubles with the Christchurch earthquake is the emotion and political overreaction it caused regarding strengthening of old buildings and churches that no one uses. Spending eye watering amounts might makes sense in Wellington but it’s nuts that engineers want to spend billions on filling Auckland buildings with steel and kicking out parishioners.

The NBR reports:

Wellington risk consultancy Tailrisk Economics is warning against the country’s estimated $10 billion earthquake-strengthening policy, saying it could have “detrimental effects” on the economy and communities.

The consultant’s just released report Earthquake strengthening policy formulation in New Zealand 2003-2013: A study in failure claims there are serious flaws in the way earthquake-prone buildings are designated.

The report’s author, Ian Harrison, says New Zealand’s attempt at an earthquake-strengthening policy will cost more than $10 billion but produce benefits of less than $100 million.

“No other country applies across the board national earthquake strengthening standards because it is economically illogical to do so,” the report’s author Ian Harrison says.  Read more »

What is going on here? Is Auckland part of north Korea now?



Wayne Thompson reports on an absurd story in Auckland

New Zealand’s first environmentally sustainable public “third pipe” scheme, planned to serve thousands of homes with recycled storm water, has been plugged.

Rain falling on Stonefields – a redevelopment of a former East Auckland quarry – was to be fed to a storm water retention pond and treated to feed a plumbing network to toilets and garden taps.

Sounds like a smart use of free water to me.  No need to use potable water to flush toilets or water the lawn.  So what’s the problem here?   Read more »

It isn’t going away Len, poll says naff off Noddy

Len Brown thinks that his problems have gone away and that in his mind most Aucklanders want him to carry on in the job.

The NZ Herald/Digipoll busts that little misconception this morning.

Bernard Orsman delivers the bad news to Len Brown.

Len Brown will find it tough to be re-elected Mayor of Auckland, according to a new Herald-DigiPoll survey.

Only 22.7 per cent of the people questioned in this month’s poll said they would vote for Mr Brown in the 2016 elections; 57.7 per cent said they would not. The other 20 per cent said they did not know or did not vote in local body elections.

The poll suggests women and the elderly were particularly upset by revelations about his extramarital affair and undeclared hotel stays.  Read more »

This House Should Be Very Affordable

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 11.08.00 pm


You know the market has gone a wee bit mental when agents are now openly advertising the fact permits and consents have not been obtained by naughty owners.

Herald poll vs Whaleoil poll

The Herald-Digipoll results came out this morning.  As you may recall, we ran our own survey a little while ago so we could compare.

The Digipoll had 750 responses


March 2014 Herald-Digipoll

Read more »

Granny scares Mayor out of the Chair

This nice old lady asked Len Brown some questions, but he didn’t like where it went and so he bolted.

It seems that his claims that the majority of Aucklanders actually don’t believe his claims that they just want him to move on and get with his job.

What a coward. Look at the fear in his eyes.

Aucklanders don’t want this man as mayor, they are over him and his wasteful ways, and his profligate spending.

Pimping the Poor

Photo / Dean Purcell - via NZ Herald

Photo / Dean Purcell – via NZ Herald

Yet more from Simon Collins, Poor Pimper extraordinaire

“This is our living space at the moment,” says new dad Tali Harrington, indicating the small bedroom he lives in with his wife Joan and their 4-month-old baby Leila.

They share a six-bedroom Mangere state house with Harrington’s mum, his two brothers and sister and their spouses and children and four other nephews and a niece – 17 people in all.

“It’s quite stressful for us,” says Niue-born Harrington. “I need a healthy environment for my daughter, because a lot of them are smokers.”   Read more »

Wrong again Len, just go already

Len Brown continues to massage his public perception issues by constantly claiming, erroneously, that the vast majority of the people of Auckland wahim to get on with his job.

What he doesn’t understand is that the vast majority of Aucklanders didn’t vote for him….and now don;t want him.

He is a creepy, sneaky, little ratbag that most people don’t want a bar of.

Ask anyone who goes to functions that Len Brown is also at and they will tell you of a man that stands alone shuffling around looking for someone to talk to. He is shunned and he knows it, but his narcissism means he will continue to inflict himself on the people of Auckland.

Even his claims of his happy reconciliation with Shan Inglis are a fantasy despite the photo opportunities.

Auckland mayor Len Brown believes he has won back the support of the public and his fellow councillors following last years revelations and subsequent furore over an extramarital affair.

Brown has faced repeated protests and calls for his resignation as a result of the affair with Bevan Chuang and he was roundly booed when he spoke at the recent Auckland Nines tournament earlier this year.

In spite of the public pressure he has steadfastly refused to resign and told TVNZ’s Q and A this morning that believes he is back on track.

“Most people are over it and they want me to get on with the job and that’s what I’m doing,” he said.

He said he spent a lot of time in the community and the recent feedback, especially since the start of the year, had been “Len get on with the job”.

“So one, yes I am totally over that, and on with the job, and secondly the community wants to see our city continuing to flourish as it has been over the last six months.”

He also believed his fellow councillors were getting behind him.

Only because they are as venal as him…or too gutless to challenge the creepy little man.

Brown said the scandal had not diminished his enthusiasm for the role.

“Despite the challenges, I’m absolutely loving it [the job] and that conviction and that commitment is there as much as it was the first day that I stepped into that office three-and-a-half years ago.”

He also denied he was shirking public appearances.

“I’m everywhere I need to be, I can’t be at everything. I get 80 or 90 invites a week. I share those invites around our councillors, local board chairs. I’m out there, I’m in the face of the public of Auckland and I’m on the streets.  They see me there they come up, they give me their view.  Sometimes it’s not positive.”

Yes you are in our face, and it isn;t a good look.

But hey, Len Brown can go on deluding himself…wait until he stands again, or gets caught again in the back of a slapper…then see how he gets on.

Meet Helicopter Hater #2 – Anita Killeen


Helicopter hater Anita Killeen (with husband Simon Vannini), leaving Auckland District Court in December 2012 after pleading guilty to forgery but being discharged without conviction on grounds of temporary insanity.

You couldn’t make this up!

The second instalment of Whaleoil’s exclusive “meet the helicopter haters” features, introducing the members of Judith Tizard’s Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board, was charged in November 2011 with forgery, damaging a computer system and two counts of using a forged document … and was only discharged without conviction in December 2012 after pleading guilty on grounds of temporary insanity!

She’s Anita Killeen.

That’s right.  One of board members who decide whether the Auckland Philharmonia needs money for a new Double Bass or the Auckland Rescue Helicopter needs it for spare parts only escaped up to 10 years in jail because she told the court she was irrational, forgetful and obsessive!  Read more »

Meet Helicopter hater #1: Candis Craven

Helicopter hater Candis Craven (that is her real name), second from right, with partner, arts critic John Daly-Peoples, at a gala evening of the New Zealand Opera, funded by the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board

Helicopter hater Candis Craven (that is her real name), second from right, with partner, arts critic John Daly-Peoples, at a gala evening of the New Zealand Opera, funded by the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board

Len Brown’s henchmen have sent Victor the Cleaner into the offices of Judith Tizard’s dodgy arts funding board, the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board.  The secret register that would tell us which arts luvvie has taken how many free tickets to which string quartet, new-age play or high-pitched opera is getting the acid.

But the mayor’s people aren’t stopping there.  Already arts luvvie and helicopter hater Candis Craven (that is her real name) has been forced from left her roles at the New Zealand Contemporary Arts Trust and the Auckland Arts Fair Trust.

The tipline tells us that the announcement was made just before rescue helicopter chairman, Blues owner and all-round good bloke Murray Bolton made his accusations of corruption at the funding board’s meeting this morning.

Of course, the funding board still hasn’t released its secret register of gifts and inducements.  It is now saying no register of gifts and inducements even exists.  That’s probably true now Victor has turned up.  But it still doesn’t explain why the funding board has cut the rescue helicopter’s funding by $1 million and put the money into the orchestra.   Read more »