Mercury Energy

Nationalisation of power to save us $1.25 a week?

So let me get this straight…the Greens and Labour want to nationalise an industry so they can save us $1.25 a week?

Martin Johnston writes about power prices.

Home electricity bills rose by $63 on average in the 12 months to February, with the biggest increases generally occurring in some smaller cities and their large rural hinterlands.

Dunedin got off lightest, with an increase of $9, and Auckland came second at $13, a rise of just 0.6 per cent in the retail price, weighted by retailers’ market shares.

At the top end of the scale, families and other domestic power users in Nelson/Marlborough suffered the biggest increases, of $133 (6.2 per cent), followed by the East Coast on $128. The figures come from an analysis – done by small retailer Powershop – of survey data published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Powershop shows up in the ministry data as having imposed increases towards the upper end in some of the areas where it operates. In the Auckland area fed by the Vector lines network, for instance, Powershop’s retail price rose by 4.1 per cent in the 12 months, approaching double the 2.3 per cent increase of the area’s biggest retailer, Mercury Energy.? Read more »

Here we go again

Folole MuliagaThe family of Auckland woman Folole Muliaga plan to sue both Mercury Energy and Middlemore Hospital over the mother of four’s tragic death.

Legal papers are to be filed at the Auckland High Court seeking financial redress from Mercury and the hospital regarding Mrs Muliaga’s death, which followed power being cut to her Mangere home in 2007, Fairfax media reported.

Mrs Muliaga, 45, a morbidly obese woman, was using a mains-powered oxygen machine and died three hours after a contractor to Mercury Energy disconnected her power over an unpaid bill of $168.40.

Brenden Sheehan making a political comeback? Wants to further his career off the corpse of his relative? Who knows, he has done it before but here is my take on this.

See the attached wills checklist published in the latest LawNews (Auckland District Law Society) publication.

Usually these advertisements are placed a few months after the death if the law firm does not hold a current will of the deceased client.? They are also published if someone (usually a complaining beneficiary) thinks a more recent will is held somewhere, and they might benefit from it.

It is strange to find an ad 3 years after the person has died.

My pick is that some lowlife potential beneficiary has decided the lady had no assets and therefore no will.? But if they sue the Crown and win then there will be assets.? So this ad will be to see if a will exists that might give those assets to somebody else other than the person making the enquiry (probably the person pursuing the legal action).

I could be wrong, but that’s my hunch.

I wouldn’t give them much odds on winning either. Remember this is a case where a morbidly obese woman had been refused any further medical care due to her size, was sent home to die and went about doing exactly that, with her sons strumming the guitar and singing to her instead of picking her up (ok, that’s a stretch, wheeling her wheelchair) and taking her to the neighbours for some power, or even at the very least stringing an extension power lead. I do note that though they couldn’t carry her next door for some power they had no trouble at all carrying her coffin.

It is purely coincidental that the power man fortuitously arrived to coincide with her demise. The simple facts with regards for culpability for her death lies entirely with the dead woman who fed herself to death. Harsh but true. If she hadn’t scoffed up so much that the hospital refused to give her anymore treatment then she wouldn’t have needed an oxygen machine and wouldn’t have died when the power went off.

Coincidentally there have been three city wide power outages, that I can recall,? in the time since her death and not a single person died as a result of those mishaps.

Whaleoil's new toy

I got myself a new toy yesterday. Admittedly it is is secondhand, but hey it was a bargain.

It is an Apple Mac PowerBook, all nice and shiny and silver. Everything works fine including my Vodem and the Wireless card.

If you want great re-conditioned laptops you can't go past NZ Laptops. ?

Just perfect for my Aussie sojourn that starts Friday.?

Schools hit by Microsoft/Government intransigence

Microsoft are insisting that schools that use their Office product on Macs cough up for licensing and the Education department is saying nah as well.

Of course the stupid minister and echoing him is the even dimmer MSM who should know better are saying that they can use NeoOffice. NeoOffice is simply a port of OpenOffice, but why would you use a port when you can have the real thing.

You would think that the journalist press release copier would ahve walked down the hallway and spoken to the technology journalist and asked what alternatives their were to using Microsoft products on a Mac. If he had, he would know that there are very credible alternatives that cost nothing.

The best office applications are to be had at This is supported financially by Sun and provides everything you could actually want in an Office suite. I use this myself on a Mac. Sure it uses x11 to run but so what and doesn't have native Mac features but again so what, it works.

Of course there are now online alternatives such as Google Docs which provide a Word processor and a Spreadsheet. Again I use this fine product from Google, in fact far more than I do any other Office type product.

Then there is ThinkFree, which offers Desktop installation or online use with a free 1Gb of storage. The Desktop version costs but is a miniscule amount compared to Microsoft's bloated price and product.

Mariner Software also provide an Office suite of applications in their MarinerMac Suite. Yes it costs, but it is $199.95 USD. Compare that with Mac:Office Professional at $880 NZD!!!!?

OpenOSX: Office provides another opensource option with the added bonus of GIMP and Database support. At only $40 USD it again kicks the ass of any Microsoft product in terms of price/feature ratio.

As you can see there are many option available to the end user with out having to rely on Microsoft products. Anyone who says you can't get popular applications for a Mac is seriously deluded or deliberatly muddying the water.