Hong Kong

Cry-Babies of the Week

It’s been a while since we featured a cry-baby, but we couldn’t really go past this story.

An American couple says the confiscation of chutney and jelly from their luggage at Queenstown Airport has tarnished their holiday.

Jonathan and Tiffany Sturman and their two children were passing through security screening before a flight to Sydney this month when the condiments were confiscated from their carry-on baggage because they were deemed a ”gel” under aviation security rules.

The Hong-Kong-based couple contacted the Otago Daily Times to express their disgust at the experience, which had left a ”very unfavourable mark” on their holiday.

They say the rules are heavy-handed and security staff should have the discretion to pass items that do not pose a threat to safety.

The Aviation Security Service (Avsec) says the rules have been in place for years and are clearly communicated to passengers.

Mr Sturman said they were told the items – a jar of apple jelly and two jars of cherry chutney bought at a Cromwell store – should have been packed in their checked-in luggage.

The rules needed to be more clearly explained to passengers.

”This type of behaviour is bully-like and does not help to promote tourism to your country, nor does it help to keep the skies safe.

”It is a sad day when cherry chutney is deemed a threat to air travel.”    Read more »

‘Trapped’, ‘barred’, ‘stranded’, Really?

To show how bizarre the NZ Herald is these days they have run a hit piece on Cathay Pacific for the plane with 250 passengers that had to divert to Ohakea.

The emotive language used is appalling and suggests it was all a deliberate plan or something…or that the passengers were hard done by.

More than 250 people were trapped on a plane at a military airbase for more than six hours after wild weather and thunderstorms forced the landing in Auckland to be aborted.

‘Trapped’? Really?

Does the NZ Herald not respect our immigration, customs and bio-security laws? There is no way those passengers could disembark as there are no facilities to process them at Ohakea. It isn’t like they were being water boarded though with refreshments being served throughout the delay.

The pilots and cabin crew were then barred from flying because they’d been in the air too long, forcing the airline to charter an Air New Zealand eight-seater plane to ferry a replacement crew for the return flight to Auckland.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo: OSHA Words "BYE BYE" and drawings in oily residue on the tail of a United Airlines 747-400 prompted 13 flight attendants to refuse to fly from San Francisco to Hong Kong on July 14, 2014, until the plane was thoroughly searched for explosives. United fired the flight attendants and cancelled the flight. The Flight attendants are asking the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for reinstatement, back pay and other damages. [Via MerlinFTP Drop]

Photo: OSHA
Words “BYE BYE” and drawings in oily residue on the tail of a United Airlines 747-400 prompted 13 flight attendants to refuse to fly from San Francisco to Hong Kong on July 14, 2014, until the plane was thoroughly searched for explosives. United fired the flight attendants and cancelled the flight. The Flight attendants are asking the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for reinstatement, back pay and other damages. [Via MerlinFTP Drop]

‘Bye, Bye’

The Flight You Would Not Want To Be On

Read more »

Hong Kong Debates Calling Mainlanders “Locusts”

The hot debate in Hong Kong at the moment is the question of whether Mainlanders should be protected from racism by local Hong Kongers.

As anyone who has travelled knows, Mainlanders are generally unwelcome in every country at the moment including other Asian countries and cities like Hong Kong.  Everyone has the same problems with them – blaming high property prices, pressure on social services when they move in large numbers, asset bubbles, lack of milk powder availability, overcrowded streets from tourism and general rude social behaviour like hoiking and using the streets as a toilet.  New Zealand is not alone in anti-Chinese sentiment.

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 9.58.58 pm Read more »

Hong Kong, Macau and China are all China, yet you need a passport to travel between them

Restrict sale of Kiwi properties to foreigners, says Australian Russel Norman

There are two people I wish we never let into the country in the first place:  Kim Dotcom and Russel Norman.  The latter is just such an astounding hypocrite, it hurts my brain.

Being an immigrant from Australia himself, he now wants to stop non-New Zealanders from buying Kiwi properties.  He wants to decide who you or I can sell our stuff to.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says home ownership is declining because prices keep going up.

“In countries like Singapore there are controls on foreigners buying homes to take the pressure off the market. It’s the same across Asia and it’s a sensible policy,” he told reporters.

“If you took 10 per cent out of the demand side you’d go a long way to stabilising prices.”

Finance Minister Bill English says prices are going up because there aren’t enough houses.

“Houses are just too expensive and we have to increase supply,” he said.   Read more »

Tweet of the Day

Cactus Kate is of course commenting on the news that Auckland is now second only to Hong kong for unaffordable housing.

Hong Kong is of course land constrained, Auckland is not except by design.

The NZ Herald reports:

Housing is increasingly out of Aucklanders’ reach as incomes drop and house prices rocket, an annual global study shows.  Read more »

From the Hong Kong correspondent

Last night our Hong Kong correspondent was entertaining some visitors from NZ when this happened to arrive at the table next to theirs.

Apparently it was Popcorn’s 8th birthday.

A birthday for a dog...only in Hong Kong

A birthday for a dog…only in Hong Kong

Popcorn is lucky it isn’t a fox otherwise it would be on the menu as donkey.


McKay too smart for Brown

Word on the street around Auckland is that Len Brown is looking for a lawyer who will agree with him that Doug McKay improperly called for the investigation.

The report by all accounts is dreadful for Brown but his camp feel confident that they can try to marginalise the process by which McKay initiated then prosecuted the inquiry.

They may even try to injunct the report coming out which would be truly stupid, but then again he conducted a two year affair inside the mayoral office, so I guess stupid is as stupid does.

However Fran O’Sullivan explains carefully how Doug McKay has appeared to outsmart Len Brown by keeping the Auditor-General informed of every step.

Auditor-General Lyn Provost is keeping a watching brief on Auckland Council chief executive Doug McKay’s review of Mayor Len Brown’s possible use of council resources during his two-year affair with Bevan Chuang.

Impeccable sources have confirmed to me that Provost has been in frequent close contact with McKay since he appointed top accounting firm Ernst & Young to undertake the review on his behalf.

It has clearly been a testing brief for McKay to effectively investigate his own boss. Insiders have correctly described the process as involving a good deal of “negotiation” between the mayor’s office and McKay’s executive suite to gain access to the information necessary for Ernst & Young to do a credible job.

McKay has been receiving advice from Crown Solicitor Simon Moore, whose warrant covers the greater Auckland area. Brown has his own legal adviser.   Read more »

Len Brown’s office bullying Taxpayers Union with threats of legal action

This morning the NBR reports of bullying from the Mayors office over support for the now discredited unitary plan.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown is ordering council-controlled organisations (CCOs) to fall into line over the controversial unitary plan.

Mr Brown’s office released the text of a November 15 letter yesterday after a request by NBR ONLINE.

Not only does the letter demand the CCOs resolve issues behind closed doors – not always to the satisfaction of those bodies – but he also wants their representatives to appear together before the unitary plan hearing panel and to show a united front.

The tone of the mayor’s letter has been described as “quite threatening” by one person on the council payroll and comes amid Mr Brown’s review of the CCO structure, which the re-elected mayor says is necessary to ensure ratepayers are getting value for money.

In his letter, Mr Brown says the council has an internal process to identify and resolve issues over the council’s submission to the plan.

Most issues are expected to be fully resolved, he writes, but he warns there may be matters “that the council cannot agree to in the exact way that a CCO may wish.”

They will be subject to ongoing discussion and resolution, the letter says, with the ability for issues to be escalated to chief executive level and, if necessary, to Auckland Development Committee chair and deputy mayor Penny Hulse.

“I do not think it is appropriate for a CCO to make a formal submission to the hearings panel independent of the council’s submission,” Mr Brown says.

“In bringing together the eight councils of the Auckland region, there was a clear public expectation that the days of councils using ratepayers’ money to have lawyers and planners fight each other in court were over – we do not need to replace this with the council and CCOs following a similar process.”

NBR ONLINE invited Mr Brown, through chief press secretary Glyn Jones, to explain why it was necessary to write the letter but he has not responded.  Read more »