New Zealand’s Silliest Local Government Spending Competition

Fenton "Jong-un" Wilson

Fenton “Jong-un” Wilson

Last year we ran a competition to identify New Zealand?s silliest local government spending. We got some great entries with some breathtakingly stupid spending, highlighting how many plonkers run our councils.

Some of the highlights were Napier?s MTG, which Mayor Bill Dalton managed to build following exceptionally dodgy logic. ? Read more »

Eleanor Catton carries on her leftist tirades

Eleanor Catton sounds like she is standing for public office, rather than dipping her well trained snout once again into the trough.

She has an opinion piece in the Sunday Star-Times and once again rants on about political things.

She will of course get mightly upset when she gets smacked around the ears for it, you see free speech is only for the left, everyone else has to shut up.

As is usual she thinks because she is a tenured liberal academic elite that what she says, no matter how wrong, is the gospel truth.

Imagine the ?sudden dissolution of all sports stadiums, fitness centres and recreational facilities in New Zealand, rationalised by the argument that if kids want to learn about sport they can watch it on TV. Such a proposition is absurd.

But sitting on the couch, watching a game of rugby, bears as little relation to actually playing the game as clicking through websites does to reading a book – especially when that book has been requested, sourced, or chosen according to the individual interests of the child.

The notion that online content is ‘interactive’ in a way that reading books is not is absolutely backwards. Physicality is immensely important to children, as is the enormous sense of achievement that comes when you check out a book from the library, when you finish it, when you return it, when you find it on the shelf again.

A book has dimension. It is a doorway.

A screen is all surface. How many adults can sit at a computer terminal and read diligently and immersively, for hours? How many can then retain what they have read?

Read more »

It’s Saturday, let’s blow some things up

Expensive way to open a bottle of Cristal

Read more »


Face of the day


Alice Wylie

Hi Cam
Merry Christmas to you and the team at Whaleoil.

A follow up from your post 20 November about my neighbour Alice Wylie.
We visited shortly after the incident and I showed her the post on my Ipad as she is not Internet connected.
She was ‘tickled pink’ with the write up and also the comments.
I got the post made into a Christmas card.
Here is a photo with Alice holding her ‘hard copy’ of your post.
SB may consider her for a face of the day?
I can report that Alice has made a stunning recovery and has been overwhelmed with the community support.
Have a good break.


I just want to report that we all here at Whaleoil were grinning from ear to ear when we received the above e-mail.

What a lovely photo.


New Zealand’s Silliest Local Government Spending, Ctd

The dodgy socialist ratbags in Hawkes Bay want to use ratepayer and tax payer money to build their dodgy socialist dam.

This is getting out of hand, with two deals that don?t really pass the smell test coming through the tip line.

The first deal is the Central Hawkes Bay District Council lead by Mayor Peter Butler is deciding to spend an awful lot of money to replace the town water supplies in Otane, Waipawa, Waipukarau and Takapau from the dodgy socialist dam.


CHB Urban Water Supply From Ruataniwha Scheme

Central Hawke?s Bay District Council today decided that it would source its urban water supply from the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme once it is in operation.

The resolution from Central Hawke?s Bay District Council today is ?Council agree to take water from the RWSS for Municipal Supply subject to favourable contract terms.?

Currently the District Council takes water directly from the Tukituki River to supply households and commercial enterprises in Waipukurau, Waipawa, Takapau and Otane. ?? Read more »

New Zealand’s Silliest Local Government Spending Winner

Shane wins the latest iPad for this exceptionally silly prosecution of oldies in Kapiti.

This is a second nomination for Kapiti, after they got nominated for their exceptionally silly electric green rubbish truck. As we pointed out then the former mayor Jenny Rowan got the arse at the last election so maybe things are on the improve.

I would like to nominate the Kapiti Coast District Council for New Zealand’s Silliest Local Body Spending Competition.

The council laid charges against Peter and Diana Standen, 77 and 74,? Keith and Lorraine McLeavey, 72 and 68, and a local business last year for modifying naturally occurring native trees on their properties.

From memory, Peter and Diana were relatively new to the area last year when they contracted Monkeyman Tree Services to trim or remove 6 diseased and rotted trees at the bottom of their property.? They were concerned the trees posed a hazard so called in an expert to take care of the problem.

Shortly after, the council turned up at 9am with uniformed police to investigate the matter.? The police left (somewhat embarrassed, I think) after establishing the septuagenarians were not going to pose a threat.

The council pursued prosecutions against the couple until an Environment Court judge dismissed the charges against the Mcleaveys as “trivial offending”. ? Read more »

New Zealand’s Silliest Local Government Spending Competition

Thanks to all the readers who voted and commented on yesterdays post on our competition to find New Zealand?s silliest local government spending.

We have looked at the results and have decided on the following.

  1. Judges prize decided once a fortnight
  2. Readers prize decided once a month
  3. The prize can be for Silliest Spending or Biggest Waste of Money
  4. The credit goes to the mayor and the council

Read more »

Labour should’ve looked overseas before launching their loans for ipads policy

Ever since Labour launched their free…what?…It’s not free?…oh ok…loans for iPads policy the evidence has been pouring out that the policy is hopelessly flawed from the get go.

They lauded it as something innovative…except of course it has been done to death around the world and mostly to death, as schools are finding out.

For an entire school year Hillsborough, New Jersey, educators undertook an experiment, asking: Is the iPad really the best device for interactive learning?

It?s a question that has been on many minds since 2010, when Apple released the iPad and schools began experimenting with it. The devices came along at a time when many school reformers were advocating to replace textbooks with online curricula and add creative apps to lessons. Some teachers welcomed the shift, which allowed their students to replace old poster-board presentations with narrated screencasts and review teacher-produced video lessons at any time.

Four years later, however, it’s still unclear whether the iPad is the device best suited to the classroom. The market for educational technology is huge and competitive: During 2014, American K-12 schools will spend an estimated $9.94 billion on educational technology, an increase of 2.5 percent over last year, according to Joseph Morris, director of market intelligence at the?Center for Digital Education. On average, he said, schools spend about a third of their technology budgets on computer hardware.? Read more »

iPads in schools cost Los Angeles schools over a $1billion and now they are ditching the project

Labour launched their schools policy and one of the key planks was their free loan scheme for iPads.

Sounds good right?

I mean nowhere else in the world has ever tried doing this have they?

Labour really cracked out an innovative policy this time didn’t they?

Nope on all three counts.

The Los Angeles Unified School District’s plan to give every child an iPad?at a cost of $1 billion to taxpayers?drew universal criticism after numerous problems arose. For one thing, when the devices were broken, lost, or stolen, it wasn’t clear whether parents, the schools, or the kids themselves were responsible. Tech-savvy?students easily broke through the firewalls administrators had installed to keep them from using the devices to visit social media websites. This prompted some schools to prohibit the use of the iPads at home, when students are away from teacher supervision, even though one of the major intended functions of the iPad program was to give kids a homework aid.

The entire thing was an unmitigated disaster?a clear example of real life trumping the good intentions of bureaucrats

But LAUSD has clearly learned its lesson, right??Wrong:

Read more »


Labour’s education ipad policy backtrack has begun

Yesterday it was free ipads for all school kids. Then Davide Cunliffe went on The Nation and gave a rather confusing answer to questions about the policy that was seeded with media as being free.

PG: Let?s turn now and talk policy, education, a policy out today you want every student from intermediate upward to have a tablet, to have an iPod?

DC: Absolutely, from year 5 to 13 under a Labour led government, every student will have their own personal digital device, it will be subsidised for parents to get into and there?ll be a very low cost payment plan with a hardship fund for those larger families who perhaps couldn?t afford it.

PG: So how will that payment plan work?

DC: You get a hundred dollars up front from the government, you buy a very low cost device which we are able to purchase in bulk, you pay based on the?Manaiakalani?model which is working in Point England in Auckland at the moment, about $3.50 a week for which you get service, insurance and out of school access to the Internet.

PG: So how many tablets are you talking?

DC: Oh, we?re talking enough for every student in the country.

PG: Do you know how many?

DC: We?ve based it on an estimate of 70-percent of pupils taking this up.

PG: So how many?

DC: I?ll come back to you with the exact numbers. I?m not going to give you an exact number-

PG: And how much is it going to cost?

DC: It?ll cost 19-million dollars in the first year, 41-million of operating expense in the second year and then cruises down to about 30 million a year after that.

PG: Because looking at this, this is universal isn?t it, iPads basically?

DC: They?re not necessarily iPads. In?Manaiakalani?they?ve used chrome books or notebooks.

PG: Every kid gets a tablet, son and daughter gets a tablet.

DC: Not necessarily a tablet. You want the best learning device at the best cost.

PG: Everybody gets a computer

DC: Everybody gets a computer. Some kids will have their own.

Read more »