March 2011

The poor wee mite

At 19:30 Mrs Whale and I went out for our usual 10km walk. Tonight was a little different though.

As we walked down the road we heard the patter of small feet behind us and noticed a small boy…no idea of his age but probably between 5-7 years old. He was running towards us and clearly in a  distressed state.

When he got to us he stopped and stared up. He obviously was in need of help.

He didn’t say much and what he did say didn’t much make sense. It wasn’t until I mentioned a child’s name at his school did he start to open up a bit. We stopped and tried to work out who he was, where he was supposed to be and what we could do to help. His school bag was soaking wet, the “reader” inside was soaked, he hadn’t eaten his lunch except for a packet of chips.

He said he lived somewhere around here, but didn’t know where, he said he didn’t know his last name, or his telephone number but he did say that he walked to school and home again. We asked him if he would come with us to the dairy up the road so we could use a phone to try an get some help. He agreed and fair clutched my hand as we crossed the road.

The dairy owner was very helpful, and after several questions we worked out his name…we think..because there was no listing in the phone book. I then rang the mother of the child who he said was in his class. I know her well and her son. She knew who the boy was but had no contact details but did give me the school teachers name and details.

At this point two constables from Howick Police happened to drop in to get some refreshments and so we spent 15 minutes briefing them about the situation. Then a lady walked into the shop and she told the Police that she knew where he lived. The woman police officer by this time had the boy int eh back seat of the Police car, while we were giving a statement. i spoke with her and she told me that there was no “job” in the system for a missing child.

Remember this was some 4 and half hours after school was supposed to finish and dark. The police took him off and I don’t know what has happened since.


Txts from New York

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Txts from New York: Helen and Phil chat


Txts from New York: Helen and Phil chat

Oh dear Lord!

This is hitting the news stands right now in the lastest issue of the NZ Truth.

Truth Page 03 Apr1

Have Labour given up completely?

Have the Labour Party given up completely? Are they really behind their leader or are they just pretending they are until the election is over? It would appear so.

On First Line (TV3’s breakfast news show) Duncan Garner said that he spoke to a senior MP about the Goff/Hughes debacle and whether or not there would be a leadership coup.

What was the senior Labour MP’s response? “Phil can take the bullet for this in the 2011 election.” (So much for everyone being behind him)

Wow! What a bunch of gutless wonders.

They are completely failing at their job as an opposition and are not even trying anymore.

What kind of defeatist attitude is this? Why would anyone want to vote for a party that has given up, let alone with such a crap leader.

The whole caucus are a bunch of wimps. They have a chance to roll Goff and try and claw back some credibility and yet they are too gutless to do so. It is time that they grew some balls and did what was necessary to show they can one day govern again. If the last two weeks are anything to go by, we will have a National-led government (no matter how incompetent it may become) for a long time. Phil needs to quit, or the gutless wonders of the Labour caucus need to push him now.

To just sit back and lose the election, saying “Phil can take the bullet for this in the 2011 election” is a cop-out of the biggest kind.

It would appear that despite trying to say they are all united behind Phil Goff they aren’t. What they are really united about is losing the election and letting Phil take the fall for it. In a way this is more ruthless than a coup because Phil will forever be remembered as the Labour leader that lead Labour to an embarrassing defeat rather than a Labour Minister who served the Labour party for over 30 years. His legacy will be to be known as Phil “the fill-in” Goff who was destined to lose from the beginning.

Txts from New York

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Txts from New York - Darren and Helen chat


Txts from New York - Darren and Helen chat


Txts from New York - Darren and Helen chat


Txts from New York  - Darren and Helen chat

Webb’s Auctions – NOT Mates

The man who donated a Don Binney painting for sale to raise funds for Christchurch earthquake relief is disappointed the auction house took a $16,200 commission from the sale.

Dick Scott’s Kotare over the Ratana Church, Te Kao, which he had owned since 1964, sold for a record-breaking $270,000 at Webb’s auction house in Auckland on Tuesday.

Spokeswoman Renee Tanner confirmed Webb’s had taken a commission from the sale but would not reveal how much it was.

However, Mr Scott said it took 6 per cent, or $16,200, instead of its usual 10 per cent commission.

“I was disappointed they didn’t even go halfway. I thought it was a bit of a poor show, but there you are.”

He had hoped to raise $250,000 for the Christchurch appeal after costs and, although he hadn’t done the maths yet, hoped to still be close despite the auction fee.

Webb’s auction house aren’t doing their bit for Christchurch, instead they are profiteering. The are NOT Mates. They can join Qantas and Jetstar as businesses that should be blackballed.

Dick Scott meanwhile is a true mate of Christchurch. Good onya mate.

UPDATE: The DominionPost withdrew the original post rather than correct their error. Webb’s and the owner of the painting passed through 100% of the hammer price – $270,000, Beyond this Webb’s have raised a further $65,000.


The Double Standards of Jacinda Ardern

This Hughes affair has exposed a number of Labour MPs as having double standards.  Phil Goff is of course top of the list with his hypocrisy in terms of the Worth case.

But here, Jacinda Ardern sticks the boot into Key for saying little about the Worth inquiry after the police had started investigating – yet defends Phil Goff’s secrecy in the face of the police investigation.

Of note is that Trevor Mallard and Pete Hodgson really put the boot into Key in Parliament and they’ve both remained very quiet on Darren Hughes.

Txts from New York

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Txts from New York - Brian and Helen chat


Txts from New York - Brian and Helen chat

Why doesn't National have a decent spin weasel?

Some farming program on the radio asked “Brown Envelope” Carter about what the spending cuts meant to the farming industry. As minister of agriculture Carter gave some weasely excuse about not sacrificing government spending on farmers. This is just typical of the farming sector, New Zealand’s biggest bludgers, always with their hands out for more.

I really wonder about why a centre-right government doesn’t have a decent line about cutting government spending to grow the economy. This is a simple argument to make, and any spin weasel worth their salt would have followed the Tea Party and the United States mid-terms last year and had endless arguments about getting the government out of the economy to help the economy grow.

Instead we have ministers defending their departments, and not saying outright to business people, “if we cut government spending it means your business and New Zealand will grow faster than it would with the dead weight of massive government spending”.

John Key should ring DoC to see if they cant get him a few DoC 200’s so he can weed out his current spin weasels and replace them with some that can look more than 48 hours ahead and teach ministers how to sell spending cuts as a good thing.

Take that Qantas

Remember Qantas and Jetstar and their appalling behaviour in the wake of the earthquake in Christchurch. I labelled them NOT Mates.

The incompetent fools that run Jetstar are now cutting back on flights to Christchurch, claiming the earthquake has cost them A$15 million!

Quite how they have managed this, when the armies of insurance assessors, humanitarian workers, displaced people and government officials are struggling to get on to the Air NZ flights is hard to comprehend. The Whale warned them of their major blunders in regard to Christchurch.

Clearly the earlier plea of The Whale was not heeded and they have managed to destroy their brand. A loss this big means executive job losses, heads are going to roll.

I have previously given strategic advice on this issue for free and I am willing to take on the task, with access to his team of elite marketing experts. They use techniques that have not been available to the current team. These amazing, cutting edge marketing strategies of “a bit of commonsense” and “being good to your community, wins over the customers and builds the brand” are highly complicated obviously so the fee will be high.

A great business case study for an aspiring MBA here.