Northland

Rock Star Economy: what about those that can’t afford a ticket?

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I WROTE a letter to my main bro’ John Key about his rock star economy a while ago, and the reality of the regions mostly being about a rock and a hard place.

He never answered, but one of the best definitions of what a rock star economy actually means was an online comment by a Marc M. “Just wondered, by ‘rock star economy’ do you mean it’s likely to play a few choice tunes, trash a few hotel rooms, go on a drug binge then end up in rehab only to disappear into relative obscurity?”

Hilarious and accurate.

We’ve been hearing the choice tunes of neo-liberalism since the 90s and although the singers change, the lyrics of choice and freedom remain the same.

Tell the people sleeping in garages, despite their two jobs and three children, that they have chosen this.

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Northland mayor hates visitors and local Iwi just want cash

You can’t really believe some people. In Northland some local inbreds, including the mayor, have had a fit over a webcam that was in place for just one week at Shipwreck Bay.

It seems they don’t want visitors and local iwi are pissed off because they didn’t get paid.

The property owner who allowed a webcam to be installed at his holiday homes to broadcast a popular surfing spot, says he has received threats and didn’t expect it would cause such an uproar among locals.

Sports website Surf2Surf recently broadcasted live footage from Ahipara’s Shipwreck Bay for its subscribers.

The website owners approached the owner of three apartments which face the water in March, asking to install the webcam on his property. They offered him a free wireless connection in exchange.

But territorial local surfers not wanting to share the waves with out-of-towners allegedly used black spray paint to cover the lens of the camera and threatened the property owner.

Surf2surf director says he also received a threat, over Facebook, and has complained to police about it, as well as complaining about the vandalism of the camera.

The owner spoke to the Herald on condition of anonymity, out of fear of retribution.

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At last Winston has opened something in Northland

Dargaville might not be big enough.

Northland MP Winston Peters this week opened a new office in the town, famous for its kumara and where he attended secondary school.

A couple of weeks earlier and not far from the town’s racecourse, National Party members attending Field Days plotted his downfall.

“There were a lot of people coming to talk about potential candidates, and finding the right one and suggesting names,” said Cabinet Minister Steven Joyce. “There is a lot of interest.”

Tomorrow is the anniversary of Mr Peters’ stunning Northland byelection victory — campaign slogan Send Them A Message — which caught the Government off guard.

In a Parliamentary career that began in 1978, capturing Northland after the resignation of Mike Sabin rates as one of Peters’ great political triumphs.

It’s also serving as a blueprint for his party’s 2017 election campaign.

The same message used in the byelection — that the Government and Wellington bureaucrats had neglected Northland for years — is being applied to other regions.

The damage that Steve Joyce and Jo de Joux have done to National in Northland may in fact be still larger than we anticipated.  Read more »

What the New Zealand charter school debate boils down to

Distillation_by_Retort

Distillation_by_Retort

It is always interesting to distill down the arguments for and against charter schools in New Zealand. After watching a New Zealand debate on the topic I have now summarised for Whaleoil readers the key points raised by people from both sides of the debate.

These are not direct quotes but are accurate summaries of what was said.

 

AGAINST CHARTER SCHOOLS:

  • We want to see ALL New Zealanders succeed but we don’t think that charter schools are the answer.
  • Charter schools are an answer to a problem that doesn’t exist.
  • It is a solution for a problem we don’t have.
  • Poor schools and bad teachers and bad principals failing Maori students is not the reality.
  • The rise of charter schools is directly connected to the Maori failure rates.

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KiwiRail bails, Northland needs 150-200 more truckies, and this is bad why?

KiwiRail isn’t making any money…and so bails from an unprofitable line. So far so good.

KiwiRail is mothballing a Northland train line and locals fear the decision will force an extra 150 logging trucks onto the region’s roads to cope with the added freight demands.

Following enquiries about a leaked email seen by the Herald, a KiwiRail spokesperson this afternoon admitted the contract with the only freight customer on the Otiria to Portland line expires at the end of August and is not going to be renewed. This will render the track useless but the line would remain open.

“KiwiRail is not closing its North Auckland line.”

The leaked email from a KiwiRail manager said woodchip company Marusumi would instead build a roadway for its trucks.

Transport minister Simon Bridges said the Government has no intention on shutting any lines but there was little or no demand on the line at the moment.

“In that sense, we can understand KiwiRail’s perspective where they are seeking to run a commercial business.”

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Cunning Winston

Winston Peters knows how to get people talking about him, and there is no better way than to challenge the PM to a $100,000 bet.

Winston Peters has offered to pay $100,000 to the Prime Minister’s favourite charity if John Key can find evidence that the New Zealand First leader has been fishing in his Northland electorate.

The challenge was issued after Mr Key ribbed Mr Peters in Parliament over the amount of time the Northland MP spent in his electorate, describing him as the “member of fishing”.

Mr Peters was questioning Mr Key about the Northland Economic Development report and the PM responded: “I dare say that Minister [Steven] Joyce now knows more about Northland than the member does. In actually having been there once this year, he has probably been there more than the member has.”   Read more »

Why is Kelvin Davis not campaigning against this with all his energy?

Instead of pandering to criminals in Australian detention centres, or cuddling criminals in our prisons here, why isn’t Kelvin Davis campaigning against this feral behaviour in his own electorate?

Six Northland children were physically abused by their mother over an eight-year period, mostly for failing to complete household chores.

On one occasion, the Whangarei District Court heard, her pre-teen son fell to the ground and blacked out momentarily after he was beaten with a jagged stick that broke when she struck him.

The woman, who was granted name suppression to protect her children, had used a household needle and cotton to stitch her son’s wound, striking him when he flinched from the pain. A medical centre was just down the road.

The woman was jailed for four years and 11 months when she appeared for sentencing in the court yesterday.

She had earlier admitted assault with intent to injure, injuring with reckless disregard, assault with a weapon, wounding with intent to injure and seven charges of assaulting a child.

The children were abused from 2006 to 2014.

The eldest daughter and son received the worst beatings.  Read more »

Winston and Kelvin Davis need to get their facts straight

Yesterday in parliament Winston Peters and Kelvin Davis led a shameless and more to the point dead wrong attack against a local company in Northland.

They are trying to link Judith Collins into the attack and Nick Smith didn’t really help her with his hesitant responses.

Kelvin Davis : Has he discussed the issue of swamp kauri exports with Judith Collins, whose husband, David Wong-Tung, and good friend Stone Shi are directors in the chain of shell companies that owns the Ruakākā mill, the ultimate ownership of which is obscured by a lawyer’s nominee company?

Mr SPEAKER : In so far as there may be some ministerial responsibility.

Hon Dr NICK SMITH : I thought that this member was above getting involved in that sort of murk.

Kelvin Davis : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I did ask a question, and it was not addressed.

Mr SPEAKER : Yes, and I said that the Minister could answer it in so far as there was ministerial responsibility. There was very little connection there with ministerial responsibility. I allowed the Minister to answer it the way he did, and that is acceptable.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Is he denying what is well known to locals in Northland: that swamp kauri is being exported illegally and that his ministry’s lax enforcement of the law is because people high up in Oravida are major donors and players in the National Party, and there are the photographs of the logs, all being exported illegally?

Mr SPEAKER : Again, I will invite the Minister to answer if he sees ministerial responsibility.

Hon Dr NICK SMITH : The law in respect of the export of indigenous forests was passed in 1993, with that member’s support. It was softened in 2004 by colleagues adjacent to him, with his support. My advice is that the law is being followed.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. He cannot get up and accuse me of supporting a law when I was not a member of the Government. He did it on both occasions—1993 and 1994. We all know that. He is just telling lies.

Mr SPEAKER : Order! [Interruption] No, I do not need further help with that. That is certainly not a point of order. I will invite the Minister, if he wishes, to add further to his answer in order to complete it before we go to further supplementary questions.

Hon Dr NICK SMITH : I would invite the member to check the Hansard as to how New Zealand First voted in 1993 on the Forests Amendment Act, and, again, as to how the party voted in 2004 when the law was changed.

They are running off their mouths under the protection of parliamentary privilege.    Read more »

Simon tells Northland to build a bridge and get over it…oh wait

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A bridge was the undoing of Ted Kennedy at Chapaquiddick, Simon Bridges’ problems are far worse politically than a dead girl in the car.

National is giving Northland the middle finger for dumping them during the by-election.

National has no money for the bridges and is hoping the NZTA will help out…but unless they can magic up some deaths or safety issues quick smart those bridges are not going to be built this century.

Only four of the 10 bridges the Government promised to double-lane in Northland will be worked on in the next three years – and some may never be upgraded.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has announced a $13.9 billion plan for spending on roads and public transport across the country over the next three years.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges promised the bridge upgrades during the Northland by-election earlier this year and said the work would be done over six years.

He said today that NZTA had ruled out double-laning three of the bridges.

Those bridges are Hallahans Bridge, Lowes Bridge, and Darby and Joan Bridge, which is between two large kauri trees and which the agency says cannot be double-laned.

Mr Bridges said he was not breaking his by-election promise.

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Do you want a home for $200,000 or less?

Are there any affordable homes in New Zealand for $200,000 or less? I let my fingers do the typing and searched Trademe for properties for sale for $200,000 or less. Previously I have blogged about houses for sale for $100,000 or less.

Screenshot-Whaleoil.co.nz

Screenshot-Whaleoil.co.nz

A 20% deposit on a $200,000 house is $40,000.

The fortnightly payment on a 30 year table loan for $160,000 is $440.85

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