January 2012

Txts from New York

via the tipline:

You want to play like that, then how about a referendum on Maori seats?

The Maori party is playing like they are important over the government’s mixed ownership model:

The Maori Party is considering breaking from the National-led Government over asset sales.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the party will consider walking out of its relationship with the National Party if a Treaty clause is not extended to those state owned enterprises tagged for partial sale.

Ms Turia said today that the issue was similar to the foreshore and seabed issue for Maori.

“If it comes down to the wire, the Maori Party will have to consider its position with the Government.”

Yep and if it comes down to the wire the Government would have to consider a referendum on the continuation of race based seats in parliament.

It isn’t like Maori aren’t already selling land when it suits them.

Mental Health Break

On David Farrar

Raymond Huo has blogged about David Farrar:

Now that David Farrar is holidaying in South Africa and sending us pictures showing how big the turtles are there and how Hyenas are eating dead baby elephants. I wish to take his holiday spirit and send him this letter as my Christmas present.

His Kiwiblog is powerful and I hope this letter plays a small role in helping make his blog a bit fairer on some issues.

While on a roller-coaster over the past three weeks of being in and out of Parliament, I was told that Mr Farrar, rather indirectly, blogged on me by saying more than once that to the effect that: “It will hurt Labour. While not a huge contributor to Labour within Parliament, I understand he is a relatively large fundraiser for Labour”.

It is unfortunate that David Farrar made this sweeping comment without delving deeper into the subject.

Blah, blah, blah whatever….Scott Yorke at Imperator Fish sums it up nicely:

Labour Party MPs are said to be red-faced, after discovering that prominent blogger David Farrar is not the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Mr Farrar has been the target of numerous attacks by Labour Party MPs over the last couple of years.

A source inside Labour has confirmed that party officials identified Farrar as the leader of the country shortly after the 2008 election, despite being given evidence to the contrary. Rumours that John Key was the actual leader of the National Party as well as the Prime Minister of New Zealand were dismissed at the time as mere speculation.

But this morning, in a shock announcement, Mr Key revealed that he is in fact the Prime Minister, and that David Farrar is merely an enthusiastic National Party member with a popular blog, a couple of newspaper columns, and only moderate political influence.

Commentators have observed that Labour’s obsession with David Farrar has been a distraction that has turned off many left-leaning voters.

Labour MP Trevor Mallard admitted today that the party had made an “embarrassing but understandable error” over the identity of the Prime Minister.

However, he was unrepentant over Labour’s policy of giving free publicity to David Farrar by attacking everything the commentator writes or says.

Mr Mallard also vowed to keep piling the pressure onto Mr Farrar.

“He’s not fit to hold office. He’s certainly not fit to be in Cabinet,” said Mr Mallard.

“When Parliament reopens we’ll be piling the heat on David Farrar, and holding him to account. This Farrar-led government has been a disaster for New Zealand.”

Trotter on Christchurch City Council

Chris Trotter has blogged about the Christchurch City Council. He sounds very much like he is a gnats whisker from endorrsing action to remove the council:

But to meld a council of strong-willed and opinionated individuals into a united team of citizens’ advocates requires leadership of the highest order. Unfortunately, this has not been forthcoming. Neither the Mayor, Bob Parker, nor the Council CEO, Tony Marryatt, appear to have grasped the urgency of transforming the Council into the principal advocate of – and for – Christchurch’s battered citizens. On the contrary, both men seem to have scant regard for the three principles indispensable to the construction of unity: transparency; consultation; and accountability.

Local democracy is not about gathering together a bare majority of compliant cronies whose sole contribution to local government is to rubber-stamp the joint recommendations of the Mayor and his CEO. And it is certainly not about the Mayor’s cronies, puffed-up with pride at their insider status, heaping scorn upon those councillors denied admission to the magic circle of power. Indeed, nothing is more calculated to breed disunity, disaffection and defensiveness: the very feelings that cause politicians to resort to that time-honoured response to secrecy and exclusion – the leak.

Of all the many sins capable of arousing the fury of administrative authoritarians the leaking of privileged information is the most egregious. Their invariable response is to double-down on the secrecy while setting in motion a witch-hunt for the person or persons responsible. The “Us versus Them” mentality is thus transferred from the council table to the council bureaucracy. In consequence, the political and administrative dysfunction, far from being reduced, intensifies.

Sounds like Nick Smith really needs to act with alacrity.

The Mayoress’ Office

The tipline has had a number of messages and calls about the Mayoress of Christchurch, an unelected position, having its own office in the city council building.

Can anyone out there confirm if the CCC has a mayoress’ office, and confirm if any other mayoress in the country has their own office at council headquarters?

Did she get caught out by National Standards?

Looks like another school’s parents have voted with their feet:

Rotary Park School in Dunedin began its 2012 year with 13 pupils yesterday, down about 80 per cent from the 66 enrolled at the end of last year

About half a dozen parents gathered outside the school for a “solidarity march” to highlight their concerns about principal Carmel Casey, who has been the focus of allegations of incompetent teaching practices and staff bullying at the school.

It would be interesting to know the National Standards results for Rotary Park School. A commissioner has already been appointed at the school.

Disappointment for Brian Rudman

Some legacy technology theatre isn’t getting public money to rebuild.

At least someone on the Christchurch City Council is thinking sensibly. When your city is rooted you don’t need multiple theatres. As it is the place is infested with them, and all suck the life blood out of rate payers and tax payers.

Papali’i’s paper recommends approving grants of $100,000 to the Court Theatre and $250,000 for the rebuilding of The Loons’ Lyttelton theatre.

Haven’t the people of Christchurch worked out that silent movies where the technology that took over from theatre, talkies took over from silent movies, TV took over from movies and those of us in the modern world use HDTVs and stream shows over the internet. Theatres where only a small number of people can watch are a very expensive way of showing drama. Especially when the bigger drama is all the poor people who have lost their love ones – or houses in the the earthquake.

Talking Backwards

Move over Socialist Cindy, this girl is so good at talking backwards she could lead the Labour party:


The Skylark Drone

The Israeli Army is developing some pretty cool technology:

Nowadays, UAVs are controlled from a remote location (even thousands of kilometers away), while others fly autonomously based on pre-programmed flight plans. They are optimal for surveillance and reconnaissance but have other purposes as well, like transport, search and rescue and even commercial uses such as firefighting.

The drone featured in the video is the Skylark I-LE, specially modified by the IDF and chosen for its lightness and extraordinary stealth. Read more about the Skylark I-LE.

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