Al Bundy and Marcy D’Arcy predict Trump and Hillary

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Trump is personally pleasant and a little boring

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Brush up on your civilisation types

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Game of Thrones, the bits you don’t know [SPOILERS]

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Daily Roundup

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“My people” and the politics of exclusion – Hide

Dusting off his megaphone, Hone Harawira echoed what has become commonplace for Maori MPs speaking of “Our People” as in, “the rights of Our People are important” and “We must always be guided by [creating a strong, Maori sovereign point of view within Parliament] because that’s what Our People want.”

When referring only to themselves, MPs employ the singular and speak of “My People”.

For example, when in hot water, Harawira declared, “I answer to My People, not to them or to anybody else.”

Bill English would be toast if he deployed the same affectation and spoke of “My People”. The reaction would be short and sharp. We would not tolerate it.

His colleagues would assume he had lost the plot and dump him.

English is prime minister, not some ancient king with royal rights over us.

And nor is Harawira. “His People” don’t belong to him.

Indeed, “His People” voted him out. And when he was an MP, the voters weren’t “His People” but rather he was privileged to be their representative. He was their servant, not the other way around.

Be that as it may, his people weren’t happy he had shacked up with a mischievous rich German who was trying to pretend he’d hang out with your average Maori from up north, because he understood their struggles against the government.  Hone’s mistake was that he laid bare his naked self-interest and it had nothing to do with “His people”.   Read more »

National are tired and fluffing around the edges

A major new campaign to stop people littering aims to change behaviour and to educate people, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Parliamentary Private Secretary Scott Simpson announced today at National’s Bluegreen Forum in Auckland.

“Litter is a risk to New Zealand’s clean green brand and the best solution is where everyone responsibly disposes of their waste. That is why the Government is investing $3 million in a behavioural change campaign, the development of education materials and a national litter survey to help ensure we keep New Zealand beautiful.”

“The environmental harm from litter is not just the aesthetics but the harm plastic, paper and cans can do our waterways, marine environment and to wildlife. There is also the risk to New Zealand’s clean green brand.”

The ‘Do the Right Thing’ initiative will be funded through a grant to Keep New Zealand Beautiful from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund. This is the most generous support the Government has ever given Keep New Zealand Beautiful. The criteria for the fund was changed in 2016 by the Government to included improved litter management. The education component will be run through the Enviroschools organisation and the information campaign aligned with the Packaging Forum.

“Keep New Zealand Beautiful is an iconic kiwi institution and it is fitting in its 50th year we back this trusted name and organisation with the job of getting Kiwis to ‘Do The Right Thing’,” Dr Smith says. Read more »

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Traffic lights on a motorway?

Surely, this is a joke?

Apparently, it isn’t.

Until a week ago I was looking forward to Waterview motorway connection like a kid waiting for Christmas. Correction: Like a kid who has been waiting 40 years for Christmas.

That’s as long as I’ve lived in Auckland and for all that time I have resented our ridiculous route to the airport.

Having to leave the motorway at Gillies Ave or Market Rd and wind through suburban streets has been a disgrace to a decent city. No wonder foreigners taking a taxi from the airport to the CBD start to wonder if they are being hijacked in Pah Rd. Ever since we were promised the Waterview connection would provide motorway all the way from the North Shore and central city, I have been counting the years and months until its scheduled opening, just a month away now.

Then last weekend, we heard it will have traffic lights.   Read more »