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Pike River: A big hole in the ground we are throwing money into


Andrew Little’s Pike River mine promise is going to cost more than expected. Is anyone surprised?  Quote:

The plan to re-enter the Pike River mine could cost up to $12 milllion more than the $23 million budget, Stuff understands.
Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced on the West Coast today that he is set to sign off on the re-entry concept plans for the mine.
The Government had budgeted $7.6 million a year for three years, totalling up to $23m, for the Pike River Recovery Agency and re-entry to the mine.  End of quote.

So that’s 35 million dollars of proposed spending to locate 29 bodies that are in a hole in the ground, and move them to a different hole in the ground.  Months, possibly years of ongoing trauma for all of the families of the miners, whether they want their loved ones remains disturbed or not.  Quote:

An explosion ripped through the West Coast mine on November 19, 2010, killing 29 men. Their bodies have not been recovered.

The agency had completed a concept plan for re-entry and it is now before Little for approval. He said his independent advisor, former Air NZ chief executive Rob Fyfe, had approved the process and the concept plan.

Little wanted to update all the Pike River families before signing off on the concept plan, which had been developed by the agency after two workshops with technical experts. All 29 families were invited to a briefing on the plan at the agency in Greymouth on Saturday.[…]  End of quote. 

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

– Martin Luther King

Wellington free-speech rally: Plus a dummies’ guide to free speech

Photo supplied to Whaleoil by Deb

It was a stunningly fine winter’s day in Wellington today: no wind to speak of (yes, yes… it happens) and the sun was shining. A picture-perfect day to hold a free-speech rally in our nation’s capital city – the seat of government.

Roughly a hundred people gathered in the grounds of parliament to listen to our speakers: Lindsay Perigo from the Free Speech Coalition, Rachel Poulain from the Free Speech Coalition and Tim Levchenko-Scott from Right Minds NZ.

All three spoke very well, and we are grateful for their time and effort in coming on the day to share their thoughts with us.

AWB’s comment summed up the crowd pretty well. Quote:

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

– Martin Luther King

Shhhh, we’ve cut funding for cochlear implants, don’t tell anyone

The man who didn’t make it into medical school, who is in charge of our Health Ministry and who became the Health Minister because he “wanted to make a difference” has canned funding which would help New Zealanders to hear.  Quote:

The Government has quietly cancelled extra funding for cochlear implants, despite a successful campaign for publicly-funded devices for every Kiwi who needed one.

Levin surf lifesaver Danielle McKay spearheaded the campaign after she waited three years for the surgery. She said the decision to slash the $6.5million funding boost was “shocking” and “disappointing.”

Health Minister David Clark refused to comment on the cut. But a spokesman confirmed that extra funding was not extended in this year’s Budget.[…]  End of quote.

Well, that’s “making a difference”, just not in a good way. It’s bad enough that they have cut funding, but to refuse to comment suggests that they are trying to be sneaky about it and are hoping no one will notice. I guess he doesn’t want to answer any tricky questions. Like how this decision fits with his criticism of the previous government and their “nine years of underinvestment” in health.

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

– Martin Luther King

A Deputy police commissioner who once had political aspirations

ROSS GIBLIN/STUFF

The recent appointment of Wally Haumaha as Deputy Commissioner of Police has caused some ripples, and Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters has announced an inquiry into how he was appointed.

Part of the reason for the concern is that Wally spoke out in support of his mates Clint Rickard, Brad Shipton and Bob Schollum, saying they were good men and he stood by them. It’s never a good look for Police to publicly support mates that have been convicted of rape, as Shipton and Schollum had been at the time.

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

– Martin Luther King

PPPP: Public private political parenting

Credit: Jacinda Ardern/Facebook

We have a new acronym to add to the vernacular, PPPP: public-private political parenting.

This is what I’m calling the purposely paraded progeny photo-op that was used to push the political proclivities of the progeny’s parents.

Do they want publicity?  Do they want privacy?  You could forgive us for being perplexed.

From the announcement of her pregnancy on social media to answering questions from journalists on the steps of their Point Chevalier home, Jacinda and Clarke have given mixed messages about their personal privacy. Asking for privacy in one breath, while in the next, releasing some news story or other that keeps their private life in our faces.

A cynical person could be forgiven for thinking that the baby is being used to elicit the maximum political benefit possible.

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

– Martin Luther King

Phil ‘hopes’ prefab houses will rescue KiwiBuild

Housing Minister Phil Twyford says he hopes more than half of the Government’s 100,000 KiwiBuild homes will be made by prefabrication.  Image Whaleoil

Quote

Housing Minister Phil Twyford says he hopes more than half of the Government’s 100,000 KiwiBuild homes will be made by prefabricationEnd of quote.

Hopes? Given the not-inconsiderable salary we are paying him, I would expect the minister to have firm plans, not just “hopes”.  Quote:

Twford has asked companies in New Zealand and overseas to express their interest in setting up, or expanding, off-site manufacturing factories to make KiwiBuild homes.

“Cabinet has decided the Government will seek interest from both local and overseas companies to come forward with their plans,” Twyford said.

“One of the challenges for Kiwibuild is there isn’t the scale and capacity in the construction sector to build the number of houses New Zealand needs.”

On Saturday, Twyford told The Nation he could not currently put a number on the number of prefab houses built under Kiwibuild, but within a few years – when the Government was building about 10,000 houses a year – “a substantial proportion” of the houses would be built in a factory using high-tech, high-precision gear.  End of quote.

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

– Martin Luther King

The difference is striking

credit: New Zealand National Party

A picture speaks a thousand words.  Quote:

[…] National leader Simon Bridges claimed that the new Government had seen more strike action than the previous National Government experienced in nine years.

“After less than nine months of this Government 32,000 workers have been involved in industrial action, or signalled their intention to be – compared to just over 27,000 that undertook strike action in the entire nine years of the previous Government,” Bridges said.[…]  End of quote.

The latest to strike are the Inland Revenue Department and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.  Quote:

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

– Martin Luther King

Guys, don’t lose control of your sperm

Watch out guys, your swimmers are not safe! Even after you have died, they can be harvested and used to conceive a child, whether you want that or not. Quote:

A woman in Queensland, Australia, has won the right to use her dead boyfriend’s sperm to have children.

Brisbane Supreme Court justice Sue Brown handed down her landmark decision on Wednesday.

She determined Ayla Cresswell should be able to use Joshua Davies’ reproductive tissue but said it was up to the particular medical clinic to decide if it was satisfied to go ahead with the procedure.  End of quote.

Really? A medical clinic is that entity that gets the make the final decision on this?  Quote.

The decision will set a legal precedent in Queensland for women seeking to use the sperm of their late partners to have children.

It is currently illegal in Queensland to take, store, transport and use in IVF a man’s sperm, without his written consent.  End of quote.

As it should be.  What sort of a world are we living in when we can take a man’s sperm and create a child that is half his when he has absolutely no say in whether it happens or not.  Quote

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

– Martin Luther King

The school run: Can we just grow up?

credit: Kevin Stent/Stuff

The nightmare of the school run appears regularly in the news.  Here’s the latestQuote:

Parents are clogging up the capital – stopping their cars in the middle of roads, causing delays and creating safety concerns during school pick-up and drop-off periods.

The frustration this creates has gotten so bad in Wellington that one parent has even threatened to run over the principal of a city school.  End of quote.

Unbelievable.  Some people just need to take a giant chill pill and calm the heck down.

Others need to grow up a little and stop behaving like entitled children.

How sad is it that there is such a problem collecting children from school?  First world problems all right.  Forget how am I going to feed my child today, or where will we sleep tonight.  Really, the problem is how close can I get to the school gate so that my little darling doesn’t have to walk more than is absolutely necessary.

When mature adults, who should be setting an example and raising their children to be responsible human beings, cannot even manage the school run without resorting to death threats, you know things are just a little out of whack.

But now the council is involved.  That can only be bad.   Quote:

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

– Martin Luther King

Swimming in a burka: It’s just not Kiwi

Porirua City Council is considering permanently scheduled women only swimming lessons.  Read the full story hereQuote:

There’s nothing more Kiwi than a dip in the pool and Porirua’s Muslim women want to jump right in.  End of quote.

In their burka’s and hijabs.  Doesn’t sound Kiwi at all to me.  Quote:

Permanent, women-only swimming sessions have been floated in a submission to the city’s council by members of the Islamic community keen to hit the water.

It’s a way of embracing the New Zealand lifestyle while adhering to religious requirements that prevent men seeing their bodies, Esra Qatarneh said.[…]  End of quote.

You know, the way to embrace New Zealand lifestyle is to do what kiwi’s do.

Go swimming in togs.

New Zealand does not have religious requirements that prevent men from seeing their bodies.

You have chosen to come to our country, and you need to fit into our way of lifeQuote:

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

– Martin Luther King