Letters to the Editor

Posted on 22nd September, by JimYoung in Letters to the Editor. No Comments

Here are some of my letters (latest first) to the editor mostly published in The Dominion newspaper (Wellington, NZ), but not all because this paper does not agree with all of my right-wing views. If you’re not from Wellington several of these letters won’t make much or any sense.  I try to put a fun spin on topics of the moment, although the letters may suggest that I’m a bigoted reactionary, but in fact I prefer to think that I’m a harmless, somewhat cynical humorist who has some interest in politics and time on my hands.

1 April 2017. The Wellington Town Hall is an anachronism.  Its past use is irrelevant.  Sell the building for apartments and use the proceeds together with the rapidly escalating amount of ratepayers’ money seemingly available for the refurbishment of the Town Hall to roof the Cake Tin.  The Opera House, St James Theatre and TSB Arena will continue to thoroughly cater for those who need to attend concerts.  Failing this, use the money to extend the runway, but please no more cycleways.

30 March 2017. Seems like the Greens would legalise weed before tobacco is banned.  Apparently the anti-cancer properties of cannabis will help protect their voters against the cancer-causing compounds in cigarette smoke.  Smart thinking.

26 March 2017. What’s this call from some self-appointed purveyors of righteousness, including an opportunist law firm, to “restore public confidence in our SAS” by holding an inquiry, when absolutely no confidence has been lost.  Must be election year.

18 March 2017. Jacinda Ardern is now Labour’s deputy leader and champion for social justice.  Yet, the only two comments of a social justice nature that I recall her making were when told us that there was no link between poverty and drug abuse contrary to the US National Bureau for Economic Research findings, and some months later, that low wages and the cost of housing were the main reasons for child poverty, despite statistics that clearly show sole parenthood is the key factor.  Such flakey outbursts seem to have done her no harm, but given the quality of contenders for the suddenly vacated deputy job, entirely understandable.

6 March 2017. Given the government’s policy to raise the eligibility age for super we now know for sure that Winston’s NZ First will support a Labour-Greens’ government, which conjures the image of a mad scientist stitching together a monster, which if we let loose will reap havoc.

1 February 2017. Has Winston Peters gone down that mine yet to discover the shameful cover up or has he forgotten it’s election year?

31 January 2017. Andrew Little is promoting himself as a fighter having been successfully treated for early prostate cancer.  Other leaders will be hard-pressed to beat this one.

31 January 2017. Chris Nicholls suggests, among other things, we now boycott American films (Letters 31 January) and presumably help put this already failing industry in free-fall. This suggestion might seem unfair given all that anti-Trump rhetoric at the recent Hollywood Screen Actors Guild event, even if their opinions mattered.

27 January 2017. According to Dolores (Letters 27 February) Trump protesters were concerned about women “losing access to healthcare, education, rape and domestic violence.” Probably of no comfort, but statistics suggest that these last two items at least remain in abundant supply.

26 January 2017. Trump is clearly a novice politician; he’s immediately started to deliver on his campaign promises! Is nothing sacred?

23 January 2017. Seems that Jacinda Ardern, Labour candidate for the Mt Albert by-election, believes the media-induced anti-Trump hysteria and that women worldwide will now be stripped of their rights.  Or is she merely scare-mongering to distract attention from her deficient vision for the hapless voters of this Labour-safe seat?

17 January 2017. Tuesday’s McCaw wedding cartoon was hardly anti-National.  Has Tom Scott at last forgiven Rob Muldoon?  If so, the Labour-Greens’  desperate “joint but separate” state of the nation event should be ridiculously easy to ridicule and will doubtlessly provide plenty of exceptional cartoon fodder.

16 January 2017. Columnist Bob Brockie tells us that good-looking people get all the breaks (Dom, 16 January), and a few pages later Jane Bowron’s rant describes the US President-elect’s appearance as “freakish, bloated and alien-like”.  Given this new paradigm of beauty, it’s little wonder that Hollywood celebs are anti-Trump, although their cosmetic surgeons will prosper dispensing this new look.

9 January 2017. Duh – does Labour leader Andrew Little really not understand why our PM wishes to skip the verbal and physical abuse at Waitangi?  Bravo Bill – I like this new precedent.

14 December 2016. Already asleep at the wheel, Bill English has been PM for over 24 hours, yet Auckland still has a housing shortage.  I trust this shortage won’t linger into next week.

13 December 2016. Bernie Monk tells us that all the Pike River protesters want is to be listened to.  Phew – we’ve all been listening to them for six years.  Perhaps the road block will allow the protesters a quick shifty, possibly lead by the publicity-seeking Winston Peters who senses another wine box conspiracy, to find the evidence they seek, if they haven’t already done so.  Failing this, Andrew Little tells us that we taxpayers will fund the venture once Labour is in government, by which considerable time he knows everyone involved will have moved on one way or another.

12 December 2016. Despite John Key’s resignation, I predict that Andrew Little will remain National’s most potent weapon.

18 November 2016. Could Robert Perry (Letters 18 November) be a little too precious about the so-called mispronunciation of Kaikoura by Pakeha presenters?  He would rather “endure ten more massive earthquakes” than hear any repetition of this apparently heinous linguistic offence.  Unless the presenter was non-Pakeha, surely one harmless minuscule after-shock would be the tolerable equivalent?

14 November 2016. Given Bernie Monk’s assurances that all is now safe, perhaps the Pike River protesters could just sneak into the mine’s drift and cut short this tiresome drama please.

8 November 2016. Surely the All Black loss to Ireland was simply a ploy to boost sales for the return match and excite interest in next year’s Lions’ tour?

18 October 2016. Roy Barry, who wants an international airport at Paraparaumu (Letters 18 October) might be a taxi driver mesmerised at the prospect of $175 fares from Wellington passengers.  Roy, my advice is trade the taxi for a deposit on a car park near the possible site of your new airport. An airport car park is an amazing cash cow, probably earning more revenue than comes from landing fees let alone from driving taxis.

3 October 2016. Would it be possible (or perhaps too controversial or political) for your paper to publish Hobson’s Pledge arguments and also the arguments in favour of continuing the preferences currently given Maori please?  The Hobson’s Pledge website seems to provide some compelling arguments for equal rights, but I’m sure your readers would also like to see a similarly well-argued case for the continuation of the current separatism.  Let’s read the clearly expressed opposing views, rather than a sensationalised TV slinging match.

27 September 2016. Now that Losi Filipo’s unprovoked and enormously violent assault, or “off-field incident” as Wellington Rugby prefers to call it, has become public, with local elections in the offing is it mere coincidence that Wayne Guppy has hastily withdrawn his support for this criminal.  On the other hand, the credulous Judge Davidson must feel relieved that he is appointed and not elected and that his knighthood prospects presumably remain intact.

19 September 2016. It’s unfair that Labour’s huge student debt write-off bribe would ignore those students who recognised their legal, moral and social obligations and have already repaid or are repaying their loans, whose taxes would then help out the defaulters.  Furthermore, it seems that loan-defaulters would get preferential employment under Labour in a much-expanded government bureaucracy.  Ironically, debt-free students might need to go overseas for work.  A left-wing triple whammy.  Meanwhile, would Labour recommend that students now default on their loan repayments in the unlikely event of a Labour-Greens election victory?

14 September 2016. Andrew Little is surprised with Labour’s poor polling despite their efforts to talk up the housing shortfall.   The sobering truth is that there are more home-owners than there are renters or car-dwellers. However, should we get a Labour-Greens’ government, we’ll soon have a surfeit of houses as immigration evaporates and disaffected Kiwis flee the country – problem solved.

10 August 2016. Presumably under Labour, student loan-defaulters, many returning from overseas, would get preference for jobs in a doubtlessly expanded and enormously expensive government bureaucracy.  Non-defaulters would need to go elsewhere – perhaps overseas!

10 August 2016. Andrew Little proposes that a Labour government could write off billions of student loan debts.   A huge bribe, except for those students who recognised their legal, moral and social obligations and have already repaid or are repaying their loans. Meanwhile, would Little suggest that students now default on their repayments and declare themselves bankrupt, as indeed the country will soon be under Labour’s sqandership.

8 August 2016. It’s a win-win for Wellington.  Not only did the Hurricanes win the Super Rugby trophy, but thankfully Mayor Celia Wade-Brown is on her bike, leading one hopes to a more business-focused Council.

7 August 2016. It’s win-win for Wellington. Not only is the Super Rugby crown ours, Mayor Celia Wade-Brown has thrown in the towel.  Life is good.

3 August 2016. One useful lesson from the David Bain saga is learn to write reports. Whether flawed or not, they’re a gold mine, but first become a retired judge.


2 August 2016. Is it really over? David Bain’s “full and final” payout has the ominous ring of a never-ending Waitangi settlement.


28 July 2016. I’m sure there are plenty of buyers happy to purchase Metiria Turei’s properties for half their current value.  It’s gratifying to see her taking such a personal lead on this issue or was she referring to other people’s properties?


27 July 2016. Career advisors in schools – wow how revolutionary!  Labour might also consider raising the school leaving age to 16 or introducing free breakfasts in low decile schools.


9 July 2016. Labour leader Andrew Little will soon reveal the details of Labour’s cunning plan to deal with their “housing crisis”.  It’s difficult to imagine what further might be done beyond the government’s current initiatives, but given that Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said “nothing is off the table” and the situation needed “bold action and creative thinking”, I suspect that Labour has been in discussions with Australian-born Ken Ham who built a seven stories’ tall 155 metres long Noah’s Ark.  For the huge housing spend-up that Labour envisages, they could have several such massive arks moored at Onehunga and Lyttelton to cater for our homeless.  Of course by the time any Labour-Greens’ government have their housing solutions up and running the issue will have evaporated as a result of tax-motivated emigration.


30 June 2016. In her June 30 column Rosemary McLeod admits no one’s perfect, and rambles on to accuse Mike Hoskin of being “pale-skinned, privileged, and snug” – supposedly the characteristics of a racist and perhaps a pretty apt description of herself if she cared to look, to which we might add egotistical, pompous, judgmental and opinionated – all essential credentials for top journalists surely.


29 June 2016. Those who predict that Moko’s killers won’t serve 17 years are right.  They killed the son of a doubtlessly vengeful Black Power gang leader.



21 June 2016. Predictably, opposition parties have criticised the government’s decision to keep our troops in Iraq until 2018.  This negative reaction comes as no surprise given that government policy changes are usually greeted as u-turns as if such changes are somehow broken promises, dishonest and detrimental, and evidence of hoodwinking the public.  The truth is we live in dynamic times when policies need regular review and revision as circumstances change.  Fortunately, we have a government that can properly respond to such changes and in this instance recognises our accomplishments and our need as a free nation to maintain our military presence in Iraq, hopefully until the job is done.  Andrew Little would have been sensible to continue Labour’s “no policies’ policy” rather than advocate our withdrawal from Iraq.  But perhaps Labour is now directed by the Greens?


16 June 2016. Given Teina Pora’s lawyers’ supposedly humanitarian-motivated reaction to his $2.5 million compensation, I assume, like Auckland real estate agents, they charge on a percentage basis.


12 June 2016. Labour list MP, Jacinda Ardern, who last year told us that there was no link between poverty and drug abuse contrary to the US National Bureau for Economic Research findings, now wants us to believe that low wages and the cost of housing are the main reasons for child poverty, despite statistics that clearly show sole parenthood is the key factor in child poverty. Our Children’s Commissioner said Kiwi children were four times more likely to be living in hardship if they were being raised by a single parent.  Such flakey outbursts do Ardern and Labour no favours.


1 June 2016. At least the evacuation caused by a Labour-Greens’ government would quickly solve Auckland’s housing shortage.


25 May 2016. Surely, Lower Hutt trumps Blenheim as an undesirable place name.  While it’s degrading enough to be referred to as a shack or hovel, being “lower” only compounds the sad impression.  Could we swap names with Blenheim please?  Apologies to Mr Hutt.


23 May 2016. The government will be quaking with fear as Labour’s pre-budget platitudes-bribe-o-meter goes berserk.  Andrew Little remains National’s most potent weapon.


18 May 2016. Where we share “footpaths”, pedestrians should have right-of-way, otherwise let’s be the first city to declare ourselves both nuclear and bicycle free.


13 May 2016. Why do Labour keep trying to besmirch our good international reputation and constantly accuse us of being a global laughing stock.  While most of the world wouldn’t know we exist, the practice is nevertheless a very peculiar substitute for policy, akin to breaking all the toys in an attempt to deny every other kid their use.


12 May 2016. Andrew Little who seems affable enough, can be confident that the loss of his chief press secretary will not affect his credibility or charisma.  These things can plunge only so far.


9 May 2016. Yes, we require trust disclosure, not as yet automatic disclosure, and certainly not a ban on all trusts as Andrew Little advocates. Fortunately, Nicky Hager’s involvement will doubtlessly put an end to the whole beat-up. Although to label our country “The Switzerland of the South Pacific” would be understandable given our stable economy, sound government and world-class tax system. Presumably, Little’s credibility will again subside as he awaits the next car to bark at.


7 May 2016. With new-found morality, opposition parties are working hard to exploit any suggestion that New Zealand is a international tax haven despite our full disclosure policy and that such investments don’t affect us New Zealanders one iota. I suggest that more accurately, we might be labelled a safe and legal haven for those wishing to protect their legitimately acquired wealth from corrupt governments, kidnappers, fraudsters and the like.  Although, to be labelled “The Switzerland of the South Pacific” would be understandable given our stable economy, sound government and world-class tax system.  But perhaps the whole irrelevant beat-up is already boring?

3 May 2016. I read that a Pennsylvanian couple recently tortured their three year old boy to death.  They face 15 charges including first-degree murder and the prospect of the electric chair or life in prison without parole.  However, in New Zealand, similar prolonged and systematic brutal torture causing a helpless three year old child’s painful death is called manslaughter and will probably attract some minimal jail time or possibly only home detention, given our feeble judiciary and the usual mitigating factors such as the perpetrators own sad childhood, and of course the dramatic effects of colonisation.  Perhaps torturing a child to death, whether their death was intentional or not, warrants a new offence with punishment beyond that for mere murder.


2 May 2016. Bruce Utting (May 2) rightly suggests that if New Zealand was wiped out there could be an infinitesimal reduction in global carbon emissions.  Unwittingly, Utting has now identified a new Green’s climate change initiative, presumably justifiable by their “greater good” philosophy.



28 April 2016. Have our female opposition MPs who some six months ago dramatically revealed they had been sexually abused yet reported these incidents to the Police, lest their silence protects rapists, suggests complicity, and deters others from reporting such violations?   Assuming it wasn’t a political stunt, perhaps they’re still gathering evidence? Can we have an update please?


26 April 2016. It’s predictable when Government ponder legislation with which Labour basically agrees, such as a land tax, that Labour will label such a proposition as a flipflop, too little too soon, wait for the small print, too hard to administer, or there are better options such as CGT, which ritual belittlement I assume is Labour’s political code for “Oops – we’ve missed the boat on this one!”


25 April 2016. If China wants our milk it should assume our emission’s target, or would the Greens prefer that our dairy farmers convert to growing “medical” marijuana.  Of course neither option will affect global climate change; a phenomenon that started well be before the first animal broke wind.


22 April 2016. Visitors consume much more fresh water than we propose to export.  Should they bring their own?


19 April 2016. Labour leader Andrew Little seems to bark at every car.  His sanitised tax summary stunt was hardly a winning strategy or compelling reason for voting Labour, but will it now be Labour’s policy to publish all our tax records? Is this what Little meant by “opening new doors for all our people”?


19 April 2016. If this great weather is due to climate change, maybe flatulence is to be encouraged?


2 April 2016. Metiria Turei, presumably the first MP who has never deceived or exaggerated, accuses John Key of “lying by omission” over the jihadi brides issue.  A lie is “a false statement made knowingly and deliberately” and isn’t something we don’t say. It’s just something left out and usually because it’s irrelevant. If you are testifying in court, for example, you have no obligation to answer a question that is not asked. It’s unlikely that any politician’s comments would ever be complete enough for everyone.  Of course, the whole issue is storm in a tea cup, and that’s a metaphor, not a lie of commission or omission.


2 April 2016. I’m waiting for our ever-vigilant Greens to capitalise on John Key’s most ominous admission that “NZ isn’t completely nuclear free.” Radium watch dials today; an arsenal of nuclear weaponry tomorrow.


2 April 2016. Are the Greens saying that it’s ok for NZ citizens to become jihadi brides, and even return here, providing they travel via Aussie?


2 April 2016. Despite the Government’s intended emergency intake, the Greens want to increase our annual refugee intake by 250. That could be 18 extra misogynistic queue-jumpers of alien culture for each Green MP to house, integrate and find work for – every year.  Good for them.  Should work.


29 March 2016. DOC should remind us why plants are more important than are the healthy Kaimanawa horses they intend to slaughter.  As introduced mammals, perhaps DOC also needs to be culled.


25 March 2016. Sound process and close result, but opportunity squandered. Incredibly, our colonial symbolism remains. It’s now up to Aussie.


21 March 2016. Is it stretching credulity that Bradley Ambrose of teapot tapes infamy, accidentally left his concealed microphone switched on causing a private conversation to be transmitted to his also live camera for later release to the press?


18 March 2016. The proposed NZ Land Wars Commemoration Day will doubtlessly become another Waitangi Day of racial hatred and violence.  Perhaps we could transend political correctness, combine both occasions, and simply have an official “Maori Protest Day” possibly with prizes for the most bizarre new claim or wrong.


11 March 2016. Would our political flag-change naysayers settle for a compromise solution – remove the now inappropriate Union Jack and retain just the Southern Cross?  Even a child of five can draw stars, if that’s a selection criterion. Future generations could then argue ad nauseam about what or if more items such as the John Key-favoured silver fern need be added.  But one thing is for sure, the Union Jack must go. Wake up folks – we are an independent sovereign nation and no longer a British colony.  It’s most peculiar that we still have another nation’s flag on our flag.


5 March 2016. Is it stretching credulity that Bradley White of teapot tapes infamy, accidentally left his concealed mic switched on causing a private conversation to be transmitted to his also live camera for later release to the press?   His appeal for funds to sue the PM seems fanciful, but I guess as a photographer he knows about limelight.


21 February 2016. Surely current DHB budgets would be more than sufficient if those who injured themselves as a result of their crimes, including drug abuse, had to pay for their own hospital treatment and that of their victims.  I’m sure Labour’s health spokesperson, Annette King, would prefer this to the staff redundancies she predicts.  It might also reduce crime and win votes from hapless tax payers, particularly those innocents on hospital waiting lists.  Also, it may be timely to reconsider the free medical treatment we provide overseas visitors who are injured while in New Zealand.  But, then again, a Labour-lead coalition government would have unlimited largesse.  Silly me.


19 February 2016. Congratulations to our Prime Minister for getting the Aussie citizenship deal for Kiwis living across the ditch.  I predict the opposition’s ritual belittlement of this break-through achievement with the usual too little, too late, wait for the small print rhetoric – political code for “well done – damn it!”


18 February 2016. One wonders what survey Trevor Tofts is quoting or has personally undertaken to absurdly conclude that “New Zealand is the laughing stock of the world” as a consequence of a silly woman throwing a dildo at one of our cabinet ministers (Letters, February 18).  Trevor and others may be comforted to know, it’s much more likely that the world doesn’t care about such trivia or even know we exist, although some anxiety might be warranted had this minor assault occurred in John Oliver’s United States, where the thrower would probably have been shot.  However, back here we can chuckle at Trevor’s silly assertion and Labour leader Andrew Little’s naivety and new-found sense of humour when he punned the whole pip-squeak episode as “a slap in the face” for our fine international reputation.


17 February 2016. A recent survey found that about half of us Kiwis think we will be a cashless society within a decade (Dom, February 12).  At first glance, I thought the article meant we would all soon be impoverished, but no, it predicted the total replacement of our physical currency with the electronic variety, which some predict is as likely as the paperless office. Imagine this scenario – our wishful thief reconnoitres the target bank, recruits a team, builds muscle at the gym, studies “Dog Day Afternoon”, “Ocean’s Eleven” and other educational movies, and confidently plans the job in admirable detail, including how to lug the loot to a tropical island.  The team then finds a getaway car, a sawn-off shotgun and stocking masks, has several dry runs, and on the day expertly disables alarms and cameras, and subdues non-compliant staff, patrons and security guards, while eventually breaking open the vault to find not a solitary cent.  The damn bank went totally cashless yesterday, and only minutes before the attempted heist, some wimpy cyber thief, operating from Nigeria, had cleaned out the bank’s entire digital account – zap we’re paupers! Will the Robin Hood-like aura that once accompanied the image and persona of bank robbers now be lost forever?  Will modern thieves be reclusive nerds who hide behind computer screens?  Not entirely.  Hollywood shows us that even in a cashless society some physical confrontation will still be necessary to remove our cyber implants, eyeballs, smart watches, fingers and finger prints in order to illegally access accounts, all of which seems mighty unsavoury and lacks the romanticism of our good old fashioned stick ‘em up bank job. The idea of waving our micro-chipped hand to effect a transaction may seem appealing, but the huge downside of cashlessness is that banks and government will find it much easier to take our money.  There will be a stealthy IRD coup as they start taxing buskers and beggars.  And garage sales, cash jobs, flea markets, and “discreet” transactions will no longer be tax-free.  Unless bartering is revived, it will be impossible to avoid the taxman, but at least government will miss out on seigniorage – the profit from printing money.  Meanwhile, hacktivists will become smarter, better-funded, and harder to detect. Unfortunately, activating more iPlods is likely to be at the further expense of our more visible pcPlods screaming round in their fast cars, and our emergency calls to the police might be answered thus: “Kia ora. Your call is very important to us. I’m sorry, but all our operators are permanently busy dealing with cyber crime…”


11 February 2016. Britain has now applied a health surcharge on Kiwis.  How ordinary must our relationship with Britain become before we ditch the Union Jack from our flag?


9 February 2016. Some anti-TPPA protestors are just kids.  That youngsters can analyse this huge and complex document shows prodigious mental ability to the great credit of their parents, whanau, and early childhood educators.  Either that or just possibly they haven’t the slightest clue what’s going on, in which case painting their faces and chests with slogans and having them wave placards seems unethical if not abusive.  Nevertheless, a haka might remedy such concerns, unless recent overuse has diminished its healing potency.

1 February 2016. As Donald Trump continues his pundit-defying march to the White House his rivals hope he will eventually need to address the real questions.  But the only real question is are there enough struggling, resentful, xenophobic white people in the US to constitute a national majority, sufficient to win a presidential election?  Meanwhile, Trump is great politically in-correct entertainment, much more interesting than our own dull and sensible stuff.  Although Labour leader Andrew Little believes he too has a “trump” card called fee-free teritary education – surely an unnecessary and unaffordable gimmicky promise of US-Mexico border wall proportions.


26 January 2016. Your Opinion article (January 25) asked “How will Wellington revive its (sevens) carnival?”  Assuming that this isn’t a rhetorical question, one make or break solution would be to mandate streaking by spectators between matches, possibly in the uniquely Kiwi form of naked bullrush with security guards employed as catchers. Should work – particularly for our voyeurs.  Worth a shot?


27 December 2016. Incidents of rape and sexual abuse typically increase during our Xmas/New Year period, which reminds me to ask if our female opposition MPs who last month dramatically revealed they had been sexually abused reported their complaints to the Police, lest their silence protects rapists, suggests complicity, and deters others from reporting such violations?   Assuming it wasn’t a political stunt, perhaps they’re still gathering evidence, or are worried that the Police will not take their complaints seriously, or the perpetrators are intimidating, or think they will be blamed or disbelieved, or maybe they’ve been distracted by Xmas festivities, but fortunately there’s no statute of limitations in New Zealand for such crimes. They could report the offences at any time and the Police will doubtlessly undertake their investigations in a professional manner and treat the victims with courtesy and compassion. Given that these MPs didn’t seem scared, unsure or confused about their experiences, and doubtlessly wish to set an example, maybe seeking justice is on their to-do lists for 2016?


20 December 2015. In addition to Tom Scott’s “cartoon”, last Friday’s Dominion Post was saturated with anti-Key articles.  Even his son was demonised for being too popular.  And I thought that the Grey River Argus was the last Labour daily!


20 December 2015. Bluster leading the bland is how I would describe Paul Henry’s recent interview with the dour Andrew Little.  It’s hard to believe he will lead Labour out of the wilderness.  The Labour platform remains bare, but here’s my best quess – they are for TPP, a new flag, free sex-change operations, means-testing super, non-resident foreigners will be banded from buying our houses, and their MPs who were raped will seek justice.  And despite denials CGT will be resurrected.


17 December 2015. Jacinda Ardern, a Labour list MP and Children’s spokesperson tells us that it is “outrageous, unwarranted and irresponsible” to link poverty and drug abuse, despite a recent study by the US National Bureau for Economic Research finding that there is indeed a positive relationship between poverty and drug abuse, and that both issues feed off each other.  Less outrageous would be to suggest her outburst is an attempt to regain some profile having been overlooked for the Labour deputy leadership job.

28 November 2015. Is Barry Baxter in his confusing letter ((28 Nov) suggesting that a kiwi logo on our new flag will ensure the bird’s survival or the prime minister’s immortality?


26 November 2015. Labour leader Andrew Little and his heir apparent Kelvin Davis seem to be trying to out-buffoon each other over the rights of Kiwis living in Aussie.  I’m picking that when Little says he received a “good reception” from some Australian politicians recently that at least one them appeared to be awake.  But more importantly, when will NZ police interview our female opposition MPs, who dramatically revealed that they had suffered sexual abuse, lest their further silence “protects rapists”?


24 November 2015. I’m for bells on bikes, otherwise let’s slightly alter the pathway signage to more realistically read  “Share with scare”.


23 November 2015. If dysfunctional Auckland wants more of the same, Labour MP Phil Goff will deliver.  Although even less inspirational and more loquacious, Goff is a Len Brown clone.  Already in anticipation of his free-ride retirement job he has promised to keep Brown’s policies, management team and political advisors.  Surely Auckland and New Zealand deserve better?  Meanwhile, Goff must resign from Parliament to avoid double-dipping taxpayers’ money.


13 November 2015. Should it concern National that as a consequence of the Christmas Island issue Labour has likely secured the vote of sex offenders and their supporters?

12 November 2015. Will Labour’s (Australasian) corrections spokesman and Labour leader heir apparent, Kelvin Davis, now visit our criminals who have been relocated to Perth?  If so, I suggest that most taxpayers would be happy to fund his air trip – economy class and one-way only of course.  Meanwhile, his excitable Labour colleagues could practise a welcome home haka for the eventual arrival of these liberated offenders, some 80% of whom will offend again statistics suggest. But apparently all will be remedied when Labour leader Andrew Little visits Canberra in a couple of weeks.


10 November 2015. One wonders to what extent excitable Labour MP Kelvin Davis’ unwelcome Christmas Island intrusion and his advice to Kiwi inmates has contributed to the riots that have produced the current disaster zone.  The biggest worry for New Zealand domiciled law-abiding citizens is that these convicted criminals are now more likely to be “repatriated” to New Zealand.  Frankly, we don’t need them back.


9 November 2015. The Labour conference produced no policy, but who needs divisive policy talk when everyone feels focussed, energetic and enthusiastic as they reflect, rebuild and reorientate.  One positive prediction is that Andrew Little’s “jobs, jobs, jobs” speech presumably means Labour will now support National in amending the RMA to improve job creation in the provinces.


1 November 2015. Wow – dream fulfilled with All Blacks now world champions for the third time and first team to retain the trophy.  To quote George Gregan “Four more years”.


28 October 2015. Labour MP Kelvin Davis, of Christmas Island fame, tells us that he would enjoy a beer with the inmates.  Davis, of course, is an authority having got the unvarnished truth direct from the mouth of these poor victims, all of whom have committed crimes serious enough to warrant at least 12 months of imprisonment.  To achieve such prison sentences is no easy feat in Australia where the legal culture is as lenient as our own.  Davis, who presumably hasn’t reviewed any of the convictions handed down by the Australian judiciary, believes these detainees just want to get back to their homes and jobs.  What jobs?  They’ve been in prison for at least 12 months.  Nevertheless, it is ironic that a country whose forebears were convicts is now in the criminal deportation business itself.


28 October 2015. Allen Heath has identified in his Letter (October 2015) sufficient renaming propositions to keep our Geographic Board drawing their salaries for many more years.  If those aren’t sufficient there are no doubt many naughty names on tombstones to be expunged, such as Arthur “Darkie” Addison after whom is named Darkies Creek, Westland.  And apparently the Wallabies now refer to our “All Blacks” as the “New Zealaland Rugby Team”, although their motivation for doing may not due to any newly found racial sensitivity.


26 October 2015. The RWC final will be a cracker, but to have an edge should Steve Hansen now check with the Springboks if Suzie the waitress is still in business?

23 October 2015. Peter Waring is right – his memory is faulty (Dom 23 October).  A Colmar Brunton poll on the preferred PM, more than a year out from the 2008 election, saw John Key overtake Helen Clark. She was a spent force as it seems is the present Labour leader.


19 October 2015. Given they are unelectable the Greens may as well promise that half their cabinet ministers will be goblins or garden gnomes, assuming they merit it of course.


9 October 2016. Professor Macaulay tells us that bribery is legal in NZ (Dom October 9).  True, but more precisely, bribery after a purchase decision is a facilitation fee designed to expedite an already agreed procurement, whereas bribery before a decision seems much more likely to prejudice impartiality.  Maori call it kohl and Samoans call it loaf.  Does the professor suggest we ban such cultural practices?


9 October 2015. Should Air NZ passengers be concerned when David Shearer tells us that visiting a war zone in Iraq is safer than flying (Dom October 9) or is this simply his attempt to somehow belittle the PM’s recent visit?  Hard to say!


7 October 2015. Including Red Peak is a brilliant strategy to ensure we vote at the referendums, least this wretched logo wins by default.


25 September 2015. Rather than be castrated, educated or require a parenting WOF, given current trends, it seems that the abusive breeders of delinquent children may soon be able to sue CYFs.


24 September 2015. The Red Peak flag, now a possible option, looks like a road accident warning triangle.  Given our national road toll this is surely a more plausible explanation than the mythological codswallop being generated about this flag’s meaning.  It is much more obvious what Peak Engineering had in mind when they originally designed this logo.


11 September 2015. So Murray is to get at least 10 years in prison.  Would a gang member’s death during a vicious street brawl attract so much press if his partner had not been the adopted daughter of the late broadcaster Sir Paul Holmes?  One wonders to what extent the  judge and jury were intimidated by a High Court full of gang “mourners.”  Given the escalating threats from gang members such as “Murray, your day’s coming”, a closed court may have helped ensure a fair trial. The verdict should have been manslaughter or self-defence, but I’m confident that this miscarriage will be rectified on appeal, which may frustrate those gang members currently in jail waiting for this particular head to hunt.  Meanwhile, I assume gang members have resumed their usual drug dealing, intimidation and other criminal practices, be they currently free or incarcerated.


21 August 2015. Thank you Graeme Barlow for your letter in support of our Government (Dom 21 August).  We do need some balance.  Yet, our left-leaning cartoonist Tom Scott must find it frustrating that his works no longer appear to have any appreciable effect on National’s and John Key’s popularity.  Scott desperately needs another Muldoon to revive his increasingly boring and predictable repertoire.  Either that or perhaps it’s off to Aussie where PM Tony Abbott could be a prolific source of material for Scott’s lampoonery.


5 August 2015. Would a gang associate’s death during a vicious street brawl attract so much and such sympathetic media attention if his partner had not been the daughter of the late broadcaster Sir Paul Holmes?  And I trust the judge and jury will not be intimidated by a High Court full of gang “mourners.”  While the bid for name suppression by the accused was unsuccessful, given the escalating threats of retribution, a “closed court” may help ensure a fair trial or is it too late?  Then again with gang members confined in the court there could be a welcome lull in crime and an another opportunity for police to raid gang premises.


4 August 2015. Doubtlessly puffed-up with righteous indignation and anxious to save the planet, Diane Cope warns that having to wear helmets is keeping cyclists off our roads (Dom Aug 4), in which case let’s urgently legislate for mandatory full body armour for our lycra louts and have their bikes adored with large illuminated registration plates front and rear please.  Such measures might encourage the remaining few to keep off footpaths, ride in single file, and resist cutting through stopped traffic and running red lights to then restrict traffic to a snail’s pace.  And why don’t they tug their forelock when we overtake them?


21 August 2015. Thank you Graeme Barlow for your letter in support of our Government (Dom 21 August).  We do need some balance.  Yet, our left-leaning cartoonist Tom Scott must find it frustrating that his works no longer appear to have any appreciable effect on National’s and John Key’s popularity.  Scott desperately needs another Muldoon to revive his increasingly boring and predictable repertoire.  Either that or perhaps it’s off to Aussie where PM Tony Abbott could be a prolific source of material for Scott’s lampoonery.


5 August 2015. Would a gang associate’s death during a vicious street brawl attract so much and such sympathetic media attention if his partner had not been the daughter of the late broadcaster Sir Paul Holmes?  And I trust the judge and jury will not be intimidated by a High Court full of gang “mourners.”  While the bid for name suppression by the accused was unsuccessful, given the escalating threats of retribution, a “closed court” may help ensure a fair trial or is it too late?  Then again with gang members confined in the court there could be a welcome lull in crime and an another opportunity for police to raid gang premises.


4 August 2015. Doubtlessly puffed-up with righteous indignation and anxious to save the planet, Diane Cope warns that having to wear helmets is keeping cyclists off our roads (Dom Aug 4), in which case let’s urgently legislate for mandatory full body armour for our lycra louts and have their bikes adored with large illuminated registration plates front and rear please.  Such measures might encourage the remaining few to keep off footpaths, ride in single file, and resist cutting through stopped traffic and running red lights to then restrict traffic to a snail’s pace.  And why don’t they tug their forelock when we overtake them?


30 July 2015. Perhaps disgraced US trophy hunter Walter Palmer would consider poaching Blesilda Gotingco’s killer Tony Robertson who will doubtlessly be roaming free again all too soon.  There would be no fee.


30 July 2015. Perhaps disgraced US trophy hunter Walter Palmer would consider poaching Blesilda Gotingco’s killer Tony Robertson who will doubtlessly be roaming free again all too soon.  There would be no fee.



3 November 2014.  Will the doomsters allow us to pollute in peace once irreversible climate change is achieved. 

3 November 2014.  Your editorial (November 3) tells us that one in five Kiwi children live in poverty.  However, Pareto would tell us that 20% of our children will always live in relative or comparative poverty, unless of course UNICEF statisticians were to agree a global definition for absolute poverty, which ironically would likely place us as one of those 20% of nations free of poverty.  Was it Mark Twain who warned us about lies, damned lies and statistics?

1 November 2014.  In answer to Frank Glover’s question (Dom 1 November), deliberately and dramatically videotaping the torture and beheading of POWs and innocent reporters as a terror and propaganda tactic is rather different than the accidental death by drones of noncombatants who are often used as human shields.  While Frank seems to prefer the “do nothing” option, it may comfort him to know that jihadist and human shield casualties, well the males anyway, apparently bypass purgatory and go directly to carnal paradise.

31 October 2014.  It seems that Labour has sensibly done a U-turn on their confused capital gains tax proposition.  Presumably they now recognise that rather than punish the naughty rich it would simply have provided extra income for tax consultants and lawyers.  Although an expanded IRD may have helped reduce unemployment, but only for those with a honours degree in taxation.

29 October 2014.  Auckland police have rejected suggestions an inquiry into the bragging “Roast Busters” was affected by any police cultural impediment, their lack of industry or by the involvement of a police officer’s son. Yeah right. Surely, in these murky circumstances the police needed to prosecute and let a jury decide.  However, 12 months’ police prevarication shouldn’t prevent a private prosecution. There’s a video, there is facebook, no time limit, and even a complainant despite earlier police denials.

29 October 2014.  Forget Buck – bring back Irene!

26 October 2014.  Given the recent Canadian incident and recalling the 2007 Mallard-Henare punch-up, perhaps we’re now fortunate to have a pugilistic Assistant Speaker, but would we trust this bad boy with a Glock? 

18 October 2014.  Even if the rigorous exercise regime that David Johnson apparently advocates (Letters, October 18) doesn’t prolong our life, with all that pain we would surely seem to be living longer.

6 October 2014.  Perhaps I’m losing my sense of humour, but it’s hard to understand what prompted the Ebola cartoon (Dom 6 October). The current outbreak in west Africa is the largest and most complex since the virus was first discovered.  It has caused more deaths than all other outbreaks combined.  Admittedly, there may be some over-reaction in the United States where the biggest threat is not Ebola, but buffoons spreading fear like Donald Trump.  However, I haven’t noticed any local paranoia, although your thoughtless cartoon my trigger some.

6 October 2014.  Steve Braunias’s October 5 column on “The secret diary of David Seymour” mentions David’s recent conversation with his mother.  This new MP clearly has some amazing abilities, including talking with the deceased.

2 October 2014.  It might now be timely to extend our parliamentary fixed term.  Labour would welcome the extra time to sort themselves out and surely no voter would object after the fiascos leading up to the recent election.  Three years seems just too soon to repeat all the nonsense and four or five years might give the government a fighting chance to achieve something useful. Only political journalists would oppose the proposition.  Let’s have the referendum.  

1 October 2014.  On September 24 both The Press and The Dominion resurrected a one-page article that to my knowledge was first published in Peter Hensley’s Sunday Star-Times financial column during October 2006, claiming compound interest to be the “eight wonder of the world.”  But is this claim fair?  Consider $1,000 invested at a 4% flat rate of interest for 12 months.  This investment would earn $40 interest before tax, but the same $1,000 invested at 4% interest compounding monthly for 12 months earns $40.74 interest before tax.  While interest on interest has some appeal, 74 cents hardly seems to be of “world wonder” proportions.  Also, local interest rates seem set to dive and some banks overseas now pay no interest at all.

1 October 2014.  If, as “The Pendulum of Power” article (Dom October1) suggests, Labour will be out until 2020, now might be a suitable time to extend our parliamentary term.  Surely no party or voter would object?  Imagine that – “Five more years!”

16 September 2014.  I’m surprised that Labour leader David Cunliffe hasn’t noticed the obvious.  The controversial data harvesting tool is codenamed X-KEYscore, which must warrant yet another full and independent inquiry surely?

15 September 2014.  Hopefully, Dotcom’s extradition occurs before his cardiac arrest and thus saves us from further conspiracy theories.

15 September 2014.  Tom Hunt’s Flashback article (Dom 13 Sep) suggests that New Zealand and South African rugby has progressed considerably since the eventful Eden Park test 33 years ago.  Yet, there has been no change in rugby fortunes as the All Blacks again beat the Boks by the same three point margin.  And it seems that from next year the Boks will again be selected by race rather than merit, since the South African Rugby Union now wants at least five non-white players or not more than ten white players on the field at all times, which can only promote our World Cup retention prospects.  Perhaps that’s the progress that Tom refers to?

14 September 2014.  Dotcom’s moment has already caused Labour leader David Cunliffe to promise yet another desperate, pointless and no doubt expensive “full and independent” inquiry.  I’ve lost track of Labour’s inquiry count, but it seems unlikely that those extra taxes will now cover the inquiry cost.  Fortunately, we’ll never know.

11 September 2014.  Roger Hedley says “no thanks” to a tax cut in three years’ time (Letters 11 September) and would apparently prefer five new taxes immediately should Labour lead the next government.   Maybe National should trump this offer and win Roger over with six new taxes?

10 September 2014.  During the leaders’ debate David Cunliffe revealed Labour’s belief that there is “no relationship whatsoever” between wage increases and employment levels.  This seems to be a peculiar assertion given that for many small businesses, wage increases would mean closure, which means unemployment – a very clear correlation surely?  And most New Zealand businesses are small and operate on minimal margins.

8 September 2014.  Could Labour’s expert financial advisory group please predict by how much rents would rise to compensate for their proposed CGT?

8 September 2014.  Stymied – couldn’t find any mention of Positive on the voting papers!

8 September 2014.  Could we please have organised streaking at half time to avoid disruption to the game.  More importantly, unpredictable streaking can catch out us keen observers.  Streak candidates could be preselected on age and appearance, and as with bullrush,  stewards could still be involved..  And providing the event was not televised, extra gate revenue would be assured. In fact, the rugby might become incidental. 

6 September 2014.  Seems under MMP that we can tolerate more MPs and even parasitic List MPs.  But with NZ First leader Winston Peters’ increasingly anti-National rhetoric, MMP might also give us a government lead by a Labour party with as little as 20% of the vote and a Prime Minister who some 90% of voters don’t want.  It’s enough to have one lament the loss of democratic rule.

4 September 2014.  Since Labour’s CGT proposal is proving to be a total train wreck despite a multitude of “explanations”, can the misled public now change their early vote?

3 September 2014.  Would you prefer to explain Labour’s proposed Capital Gains Tax or Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity?  No contest and I can hardly spell physics.

3 September 2014.  I notice that early voter David Cunliffe was electioneering in the polling booth.  Given he pulled a similar trick last elections, I suggest his vote be discounted. 

3 September 2014.  The Greens tell us that their promised big increase to the minimum pay rate would make for happier workers, but of course with the consequential business closures, down-sizing and redundancies, the many more unemployed may not be so happy, unless there is also a huge increase dole payments – hey, other than finding the money, problem solved.

3 September 2014.  Vote early before the Greens-Labour spend-up promises are completely discredited.

1 September 2014.  Former Green MP Sue Bradford blames National for the murder of the WINZ employees.  Seems like Labour has been beaten to the smear.

1 September 2014.  Did Norman pee in the Mohaka?

1 September 2014.  Ironically, while David Cunliffe’s sanctimonious smug reading is off the scale, it’s probably only Winston who will benefit from Judith Collin’s ministerial demise and the prolonged left-wing smear campaign.  Nevertheless, Cunliffe is fortunate that many of his MPs probably can’t compose an e-mail and that this drama has diverted attention from discussion about the economy and other relevant issues.

30 August 2014.  Labour-Greens shouldn’t get too excited about Judith Collin’s resignation as a Minister, since it helps clear the way for a National-New Zealand First coalition government, but it seems unlikely that Winston would settle for a mere Minister of Justice portfolio.

25 August 2014.  Would Labour accept a Dotcom bribe for Julian Assange’s safe sanctuary in return for a government-changing “bombshell”?  Likely we’ll never know.

25 August 2014.  Possibly due to the threat of a Greens’ financial audit, Labour has cancelled some “undisclosed” but expensive policy announcements to “save” us taxpayers $300 million per year.  Who says these guys aren’t financially astute?  But why not propose and then cancel policies that cost a few thousand times that sum and thus have the nation wallowing in surpluses?

22 August 2014.  Should our political parties and media agree to smear-free political campaigning leading up to the elections with a focus on the real issues?  Don’t be daft, the country’s now in good shape, so we deserve the fruits of any deprivation and belt-tightening – some good old bickering and sleaze. 

21 August 2014.  Is it true that former Labour party president Mike Williams is in Hawaii desperately searching for the John Key doppelganger?

20 August 2014.  I know that Nicky’s “revelations” are enormously distressing for you Laila, but keep it together, Dotcom needs you to front the five-day “king hit” Auckland town hall soap opera – yawn.

20 August 2014.  By my rough reckoning the Labour-Greens’ election bribe-a-thon has now cracked $30 billion.  Our tax take would need to double to service the loan.  Either that or lease the South Island to the Chinese.

15 August 2014.  Do we need the GCSB with ‘Hacker’ Hagen on the job?

13 August 2014.  Is Nicky Hager’s book a dirty trick designed to derail Labour’s positive campaign?  With such “evidence” will David Cunliffe now revert to type?  Watch this space.

10 August 2014.  A recent promo shows David Cunliffe the “outdoorsman” catching an undersize fish.  Remember David Shearer’s dead snapper stunt?  What is it with Labour leaders and fish?  Is there some biblical connection here – an evangelistic metaphor perhaps?  More likely it simply portends Labour’s election fate.

7 August 2014.  Phew – the video clip of that manic crowd persuades me that sugardaddy.com has well and truly overstayed his welcome and that the Internet-Mana party seems to be united only by their pathological hatred of our prime minister.  Laila Harre must be very well compensated to endure such idiocy and the destruction of her political credibility.

31 July 2014.  I strongly endorse Jane Clifton’s Teleview comment (Dom, July 31) that the opinionated Nigel Latta and Gareth Morgan should stick to their knitting – the pseudo sciences of psychology and economics where like astrologists their pontifications might seem plausible.   

31 July 2014.  Kerry Wood tells us that modern cities have stripped out inner-city motorways (Letters, July 31).  I’m not sure what Kerry defines as a “modern” city, presumably one without motorways, given that he cites Seoul, which with a 2,000 year history is hardly a recent development.  Seoul also has the world’s largest subway network serving the world’s second largest metropolitan area of some 26 million people.  Cities are complex and any “one size fits all” approach to transport is likely to fail and any comparison between Wellington and Seoul is wildly misplaced. Best we view congestion as a useful mechanism for coping with excess demand.  Kerry mentions “triple convergence.”  This principle doesn’t mean that expanding a congested road’s capacity has no benefits.  After expansion, a road will carry more vehicles per hour than before, congested periods are shorter and alternative routes become more attractive.  An increased capacity and new equilibrium is achieved.  Let’s accept some congestion, but also practise “triple diversion” – expand and improve our road systems, adopt strategies to spread peak demand, and further develop other modes of transport.  Meanwhile, us commuters might invest in comfortable air-conditioned cars, each fitted with a radio, TV, CD player, hands-free phone, fridge, microwave oven and massage seats.  And commute with someone we like.  Peak-hour congestion is here to stay.  It’s a tolerable consequence of our population growth and increasing economic prosperity.

26 July 2014.  While the Gerry Brownlee incident reminds bomb-carriers to fly turbo-prop, surface-to-air missiles and lasers are a greater problem, up there with cancelled flights, lost luggage, drunk pilots, reclined seats, airline food, shared arm rests, and muffled announcements.

25 July 2014.  Matt McCarten is hoping for a much subdued and compliant Mike Hosking for the leaders’ debate, or better still, a Labour-friendly replacement.  David Cunliffe tells us he will not be distracted by such inconsequential stuff.  He’s now determined to focus exclusively on the really big issues that face the country – well momentarily anyway, until the Gerry Brownlee airport security incident occurred.  But I suggest that Brownlee’s harmless slip-up was simply a cunning ploy, with CAA complicity, to test Cunliffe’s “real issue” resolve.  Even Winston recognised this tar baby.  One wonders if McCarten still relishes his minder role?

24 July 2014.  Robert Bryan, a Birchville visionary, wants a tunnel under the harbour to link Eastbourne with the city (Dom July23).  Unfortunately, quite apart from earthquake concerns, geography dictates that the community at Eastbourne is unlikely to ever reach sufficient size to warrant such huge expense.  And at the other end of the visionary continuum we have a short-sighted board of inquiry who have scuttled the Basin flyover project to the detriment of our capital’s progress and prospects.  Perhaps board members were persuaded by the seemingly confused Green Party transport spokesperson, Julie Anne Genter, who earnestly maintains that a flyover would have been a recipe for “urban decay and crime.”  She might prefer a tunnel?

23 July 2014.  American polymath Steven Pinter claims that world violence is diminishing and we are living in a period of unprecedented peace (Dom July 21).  This revelation may be of cold comfort particularly to many in China, Gaza, Israel, Ukraine, Nigeria, Egypt, Afghanistan, Syria, Mali, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Congo, Honduras, Eastern Burma, Southern Philippines to name a few of today’s many trouble spots.  Fortunately, these conflicts are apparently mere aberrations – blips on humanities march to universal harmony.  And we thought the world was in a state of chaos.  Feel better?

21 July 2014.  Paradoxically, the best way for Labour leader David Cunliffe to become more effective may be to spend even more time on the ski slopes.  A new and growing body of research shows that strategic renewal — including daytime workouts, short afternoon naps, longer sleep hours, more time away from the office and longer, more frequent holidays — boosts personal productivity and job performance.  But realistically, there’s no urgency for a holiday.  All Labour MPs will have a huge holiday after the elections, particularly if they don’t make the 5% threshold as their prospects go downhill faster than their leader can ski.

15 July 2014.  David Shearer is back fronting the issues for Labour – presumably an inspired Matt McCarten strategy to boost David Cunliffe’s popularity.

10 July 2014.  Tania Billingsley, allegedly assaulted by a Malaysian citizen, draws a very long bow when she then concludes that New Zealand has a rape culture.  And given the Dominion’s front-page spread (10 July), it seems that the burden of proof is already shifting to the accused.   Green MP, Jan Logie’s naive encouragement for Tania to become a political pawn may inflame public opinion, but will likely persuade Malaysian authorities that a fair trial is now unlikely.

6 July 2014.  Seems as if the raison d’etre for the Greens largely evaporated when Trevor Mallard declared de-extinction of species inevitable.

4 July 2014.  David Cunliffe shouldn’t be too worried about being a man – it’s hardly noticeable.

22 June 2014.  Haven’t heard Hone Harawira rave on about the prime minister’s “rich mates” recently.  Curious?

9 June 2014.  Tired of looking bad in OECD statistics?  The latest being we have the fourth fattest people in the OECD – a shameful and truly appalling record for an otherwise very successful country.  We can better this if everyone eats up large and stops exercising.  Let’s give it go.

6 June 2014.  Despite Left-wing agitators’ ecstasy, it’s hard for us average punters to get overly concerned about Dotcom’s two cheque rather than one cheque attempted residency bribe.  Meanwhile, Labour MPs are doubtlessly rehearsing “Amnesia”, which may be the first time Dotcom hasn’t uploaded a copyrighted song.

2 June 2014.  MMP has given us a bizarre left-wing collation, united only in their pathological hatred of our popular prime minister and funded by a vindictive capitalist with a $3 million war chest who seems manically keen to deny John Key another term, presumably in the hope of avoiding extradition to the United States on racketeering charges.   More positively, we are now less likely to hear MANA leader Hone Harawira raging on about “rich people” and the prime minister’s “wealthy mates.”  But imagine Labour leader David Cunliffe, given his own fractured party, trying to control that lot should they ever come to power.

21 May 2014.  NZ First leader Winston “pop gun” Peters has had a great run in politics, often kept us amazed and amused, and has had plenty of the media attention he seeks.  However, since the Wine Box controversy and his career-peaking Gold Card achievement, he seems to have settled for making crazy and baseless allegations under parliamentary privilege. In his latest outburst he likens former NZ First MP Brendan Horan to disgraced British entertainer Jimmy Savile, this presumably with Peters’ obligatory “more to come.”  How much more credibility will vanity allow Winston to sacrifice before he capitulates politics?

21 May 2014.  Why haven’t opposition parties yet blamed the government for the current cricket match-fixing shemozzle?  Asleep at the wheel?

15 May 2014.  It’s simple – Koha given before a decision is a bribe; koha given after a decision is a gift.

14 May 2014.  NZ First leader Winston “pop gun” Peters has had a great run in politics, often kept us amazed and amused, and has had plenty of the media attention he seeks.  However, since the Wine Box controversy and his career-peaking Gold Card achievement, he seems to have settled for making baseless allegations under parliamentary privilege.  And now that he is starting to babble incoherently and faces the prospect of a tiring campaign trail or trial in an unlikely attempt to reach the 5% threshold, perhaps it’s time he left politics.  How much more credibility and health will vanity allow Winston to sacrifice before he capitulates?

14 May 2014.  Given recent poll results, National must hope that Linda Clark continues to coach Labour leader David Cunliffe, conflict-of-interest or not.

13 May 2014.  Presumably Union fees will be much reduced if us hapless taxpayers have to fund Labour’s election campaigns.  Yeah right.

13 May 2014.  One might wonder how a Labour government, with a much less active economy, could possibly achieve 4% unemployment other than by vastly expanding the public service.  Heard of the 4 hour workday?

12 May 2014.  NZ Sign Language Week brings to mind the sign-language interpreter who talked gibberish during the hushed-tone reverence of Nelson Mandela’s memorial service.  Has anyone yet determined what it was that the ANC didn’t want the deaf to know?

12 May 2014.  It’s not correct for Labour Women’s Affairs spokeswoman Carol Beaumont to suggest that New Zealanders aren’t doing anything to help rescue the kidnapped girls in Nigeria.  Along with US First Lady Michelle Obama, many of us are tweeting furiously. It is an appalling situation, but what can Beaumont realistically expect – a task force of Kiwi do-gooders wandering around a huge near-impenetrable jungle looking for gun-totting killers? And whether we intervene or not, the Nigerian government needs to step up or be replaced. Fortuitously, our shadow-Labour government is likely to be at a loose end for at least the next three years.

8 May 2014.  GSCB has no capacity for surveillance of NZ citizens (Dom 8 May), yet a Labour-Greens’ government will wish to be assured of “full disclosure” by Ministers (Dom 22 April).  Ironically, here is an opportunity for our spy office to grow a KGB-like internal security arm, which might best be headed by either Winston Peters or Trevor Mallard given their amazing access to scurrilous information.

7 May 2014.  Judith Collins regrets the Oravida visit and joins us growing multitude who are also very very tired of this sideshow.  However, it is pleasing to see that she has now weather the latest crazy storm of baseless accusations that have distracted parliament at taxpayers’ considerable expense for some six weeks.  Yet, devoid of any positive policies, I suspect that Labour leader David Cunliffe will find it hard to move on.

6 May 2014.  Tired of TV’s safe driving Darth Vader voice-over ad yet?

6 May 2014.  Sensing blood, with barely concealed salivating glee, Labour leader David Cunliffe at his vindictive best complains that Justice Minister Judith Collins is to take a break from his six weeks’ taxpayer-funded tirade over the Oravida incident.  Along with these accusations, we ordinary punters are similarly exhausted and look forward to time out and even some return to more productive issues.

2 May 2014.  Media interest in Labour Finance spokesperson David Parker’s recently announced novel but risky monetary policy, for which Labour seemed to hold high hopes, is being eclipsed by his leader’s preoccupation with the Oravida dinner.  Perhaps it’s time he moved onto another topic?  For example, could more be rung from the synthetic drug issue?  Given that the best test species for humans is humans, there might be mileage if David Cunliffe volunteered his services and thus save the lab rats and stimulate his production of even further off-the-wall and game-breaking policies that Labour so desperately needs.

2 May 2014.  While Donald Sterling’s public excoriation alerts us to the dangers of “pillow talk”, how long before technology enables our politically incorrect, but unspoken thoughts, to be detected and censored by Thought Police as per George Orwell’s novel “1984”? Perhaps our omnipresent media has already assumed this role? Thank goodness we are all devoid of prejudices and biases.

29 April 2014.  Always keen to frustrate government initiatives, Labour leader David Cunliffe has jumped on the synthetic drugs bandwagon to reveal his recently discovered empathy for lab rats.  Given that the best test species for humans are humans, and if we haven’t already sufficient evidence, perhaps a call for test volunteers from Labour parliamentarians would help with their election chances, assuming they can find any drug-free placebo candidates.

26 April 2014.  Given the death of 16 Sherpas on Mount Everest, Peter Hillary suggests that rather than stop or restrict the number of climbers, which would deprive Sherpas of their livelihood, the solution lies in better management systems (Dom 24 April).  Maybe.  Meanwhile, Sherpas strike and grumpy climbers depart with their bucket lists unfulfilled. Sherpas risk life and limb lugging staggering loads to enable climbers with day packs to “conquer” the mountain, while jettisoning human excrement, equipment and occasionally team members in their wake, creating the world’s highest dump and obstacle course – all less tolerable with global warming.  “Climbing” Everest today with its handrails, steps, bridges and Sherpa support hardly confers bragging rights. A possible answer is to prohibit treks up the top half.  And while this maxed-out mountain recovers, entrepreneurs might develop a Las Vegas-like base camp, exclusively staffed by Sherpas.   And for those visitors who seek the vain glory of the summit, a pressurised helicopter service should suffice, with optional wing-suit return flights.  “Make the investment and the tourists will come” is the mantra. Could this be the solution that expedition leader Russell Brice has in mind that warrants his recent flight to Kathmandu for urgent talks? (Dom 25 April).

22 April 2014.  How might a Labour-Greens’ government ensure full disclosure by Ministers of the Crown? Will this mean salvation for our spy resources as they assume a KGB-like internal security role? What would Vladimir Putin do?

22 April 2014.  Once our Ka Mate haka gets copyright protection and assumes sacred Koran-like status, we might never prove its abuse, but I would be keen to join the first tax-payer funded, overseas fact-finding junket in an attempt to do so please.

21 April 2014.  I applaud Allan Kirk’s most innovative, cost conscious and public spirited suggestion (Letters 21April) that we catapult convicted crims into the southern ocean, except that cement shoes of the Al Capone variety would surely be more suitable attire than a leaky swim ring for three-strike missiles?  You can’t beat concrete for low maintenance, strength and durability, and there’s unlikely to be any four-time offenders.  It’s hard to see any downside, although our Left-wing politicians probably wouldn’t welcome private enterprise involvement.

19 April 2014.  The Blues’ dismal away performance may cause a logjam at depression dot org, and if so, would this embroil JK in conflict of interest allegations?

17 April 2014.  Justice Minister Judith Collin’s so-called conflict-of-interest over the Oravida incident is proving to be a very distracting tar-baby for opposition parties and our left-wing journos.  Even the grizzled NZ First Leader Winston Peters, ever anxious for some media attention, has now waded into this Oravida side-show with crazy allegations, “milking” the situation for all it’s worth under parliamentary privilege.  If opposition parties have anything else to move on to, this is the time to do so please, possibly even some policy pronouncements, since for us ordinary punters the whole petty issue is now a time-expired and very very boring irrelevancy.

11 April 2014.  With much contrived publicity and fanfare, Labour and the Greens tell us they don’t want to campaign under a coalition banner.  Presumably their desperate strategy is to maximise their individual support pre-elections hoping to achieve a post-election combined majority by stealth, knowing that their resultant agenda will bear little resemblance to their election promises.  But regardless of such compromise and obfuscation, and no matter how we slice the cake, NZ First, either working within or outside government, will again decide our country’s fate, while the National government struggles on.  Did anyone envisage such a mess when we voted in MMP?

8 April 2014.  An envious Opposition Leader David Cunliffe tells us that while he wants to keep politics out of it, Prime Minister John Key is getting more royal photo ops than he is.  Petty stuff, but perhaps the media coverage of this ill-timed rant will help even things up, although not poll results of course.

3 April 2014.  A recent Aussie High Court decision upholds the rights of people with non-specific gender to be something other than “male” or “female.”  What third options might we soon see on birth certificates, other official forms and possibly even on toilet doors to avoid these naughty oppressive gender boundaries?  Some possibilities are “indeterminate”, “indecipherable”,  “agender”, “undecided”, “androgynous”, “diverse”, “non-specific”, “neither”, “unknown” and so on.  And rather than “It’s a boy” or “It’s a girl” a mid-wife may need to settle for “It’s a baby.”  Stand by for a verbal tsunami from the politically correct.

21 March 2014.  Bereft of ideas, Labour wants to construct multi-story government buildings of wood to boost our forestry industry.  Certainly if Labour ever did come to power we could expect a rapidly expanded public service needing much more accommodation.  But why stop with wooden buildings.  What about a pinus radiata car industry?  Already built is a 700hp supercar, 90% laminated timber.  Hopefully it doesn’t have an ashtray.  While such cars still emit naughty exhaust fumes, their local construction could help with employment and maybe even Labour’s election chances, particularly when all those carpenters are freed up after the Christchurch rebuild in some ten years time.  Although, whether we’re constructing wooden buildings or cars, apparently suitable timber can be more cheaply sourced from Aussie.

19 March 2014.  The people of Crimea made their choice – some 83% of the population participated and an implausible 97% wanted to be Russian.  Yet, despite these suspect statistics, the very hasty referendum preparations, the military occupation and the doubtless fraud, I suspect there would still have been a majority result.  Voters proudly proclaimed their support for rejoining Russia as they stood in line in dreary weather to vote.  Also, independent reports of enthusiastic celebrations suggest this outcome genuinely reflects popular wishes and the process was at least crudely democratic.

So the Crimea is now part of Russia and, despite sanctions, I doubt Putin will give it back. And while I’m very much pro the West, this Crimean episode is somewhat reminiscent of the elections that were held when Iraq was occupied by US troops.  Those elections were declared to be a “triumph of democracy.”

18 March 2014.  Given that the latest poll results confirm that Labour is a cot case and should now be put on suicide watch, it’s amazing to hear Labour leader David Cunliffe trot out the old cliché “There’s only one poll that counts.” Despite being bereft of policy, with such optimism how could Labour fail?

15 March 2014.  Those who authored anti-super city letters (15 March) are right only insomuch as we don’t need Sir Bob Harvey’s opinion.

One hopes that Hutt Valley residents can plainly see for themselves that our region must have a stronger local government to keep up nationally and internationally if we are to succeed.  Currently, we have too many local bodies, most with different policies, procedures, priorities and approaches.   Amalgamation will make sense economically and financially, with the elimination of wasteful duplication, and politically with the extra national and international clout a single unified council will bring.  And if we aren’t persuaded by these advantages, perhaps a real super city clincher, surprisingly overlooked by Sir Bob, is the prospect of fewer shabby local body election hoardings that are  periodically scattered throughout the Hutt Valley featuring grinning nonentities and wannabes.

Meanwhile, Hutt City Mayor Wallace and some anxious allies are secretly plotting anti-super city strategies.  While it’s nice to see this new level of regional co-operation, albeit in the interests of self-preservation, one of these desperate strategies seems to be a big spend-up of rate-payers’ money to create a local authority debt that no super city would wish to assume, let alone us hapless ratepayers.  In their latest plan, Hutt City Council proposes huge expenditure on local infrastructure, including very expensive new Council buildings, presumably under the guise of progress or earthquake readiness.  I suggest that these “investments” be put on hold, at least until after a super city referendum, if one is held, and an objective cost-benefit analysis can be undertaken.

10 March 2014.  If Labour Leader David Cunliffe could rival Education Minister Hekia Parata’s dramatic improvement in public communications as evidenced in her recent TV One Q+A appearance, he might keep his job.  A few months ago I wouldn’t have given Parata’s political survival a snowball’s chance, but her recent Q+A interview was a very polished and most assured performance, contrasting with her earlier more abrasive approach that some teachers described as arrogant, rude and dictatorial – a style currently practised by our leader of the opposition.  In the interests of cross-party co-operation and parliamentary harmony, and given that Brian Edwards has lost interest, perhaps Cunliffe’s new minder Matt McCarten should ask Parata to help his floundering leader – preferably before we are subjected to the leaders’ prime-time one-on-one TV debates in six months’ time.

10 March 2014.  The Greens should stop playing to the gallery, bite the bullet and support the Remuneration Authority determinations.  When setting MPs salaries this independent body already considers, among other things, relativity with comparable non-political positions.  Some further points are worth reiterating.  One, if our MPs’ salaries stagnate or fall behind current benchmarks, the calibre of people entering politics will suffer to the eventual detriment of us all.  Two, with the hopeful exception of Green party MPs, given that today’s backbenchers are tomorrow’s ministers and prime ministers, realistic rates of pay will help attract and retain quality MPs.  Three, MPs can donate their pay increases to charity to the benefit of society’s less advantaged.  Four, those public servants who are decidedly overpaid and really do warrant the Greens’ fiscal scrutiny are our government department heads, several of whom are paid well in excess of $500,000 pa.  It makes little sense that they are remunerated as if they held top private sector CEO jobs when they are not required to generate income from sales at the mercy of competitive markets.

9 March 2014.  The first thing Matt McCarten, Labour’s newly appointed left-leaning henchman must do for this very confused party is sack time-expired MPs Goff, Mallard, Cosgrove and Dyson.  The second thing must be to persuade his boss to step down as party leader in favour of MP Jones or Robertson.  While these changes won’t mean election success they might help the party survive.

6 March 2014.  When dogs savage kids we seem to debate endlessly whether it’s the fault of the dogs and their owners, or the kids and their owners.  Regardless of who’s at fault, dog owners should be approved and made fully liable for their “pet’s” behaviour, and unless they’re working dogs, do we really need more than one dog per owner and one dog per property?  Also, there are some dog breeds we don’t need.  Their owners will tell us that their Pit Bull wouldn’t hurt a flea and that other dog breeds are more aggressive.  However, get savaged by a Chihuahua and we might need a plaster, but get savaged by a Pit Bull and we might need an undertaker.

4 March 2014.  Frank Macskasy’s and others’ concern about the royal visit coinciding with our election year (Letters 4 March) is easily remedied by postponing the elections, preferably by three years to also avoid any good-feel consequences of our prime minister’s proposed US visit next year.  While the royal visit may cost a million dollars, it will likely represent some 10 million dollars worth of marketing, whereas our general election stoush will cost over $35 million.  And given New Zealand’s improving economic growth and our flat-lining opposition parties, surely everyone would welcome the delay.  Seems like a no-brainer.

20 February 2014.  A political party’s culture and identity is the product of practised values. Given Greens’ co-leader Russel Norman’s fondness for personal attacks and defamatory comments, most recent being those about Conservative leader Colin Craig, perhaps the Greens should now review their seemingly unobtainable core value “Engage respectfully, without personal attacks.”   Presumably, such values are purely designed to seduce voters and otherwise have no relevance.

19 February 2014.  Greens’ co-leader Russel Norman’s raving personal attack on Conservative leader Colin Craig has me wondering if Norman is himself one of the “normal” minority and is about to “come out”, is desperately short of policy, or is just attempting to chase votes.  But even more likely, it seems that Norman believes a gay man’s place is in the kitchen and he is thus confused by Craig’s culinary skills.  Whatever the reason, Norman’s refusal to halt legal proceedings with an apology should see Craig comfortably secure the 5% vote threshold he needs to enter parliament.  Meanwhile, Norman must be bewildered that someone has the outrageous effrontery to call him out .

18 February 2014.  So North Korea’s young despot Kim Jong Un is guilty of Nazi-like atrocities.  This latest revelation and the recent machine-gunning of his mentor and uncle Jang Song-thaek who Kim described as “despicable human scum” and “worse than a dog”, tells us that dogs are not held in high regard by the regime and that the Swiss-educated ruler (and basketball fan) of this unfathomable nation is not living up to our early hopes that he might introduce even a modestly humane and progressive agenda.  Doubtlessly, these are not the last surprises we will see coming out of Pyongyang.

This nuclear-armed regime seems certain that the US “imperialist dogs” are conspiring to destroy them and that North Korea is the greatest country in the world, but in truth the only certainty about the new North Korea under Kim Jong Un is its unpredictability.  So fasten your seat belts folks as we await this brutal young Hitler’s next move with interest, not to say trepidation.  Incidentally, a more appropriate comparison might be with Stalin who killed more of his own people than did the megalomaniacal Hitler.

11 February 2014.  PM John Key has called Labour leader David Cunliffe an “idiot.”  Others would suggest he’s merely a cunning liar, well-versed at distorting facts.  Yet such distortions underestimate voters’ intelligence, so perhaps “idiot” meaning “foolish” is a fair assessment.

13 December 2013.  While our hearts go out to them, will nothing appease Bernie Monk and the Pike River families?  The issue is becoming tedious. They seem to have become perpetual victims with siege mentalities and an obsessive desire for revenge. There won’t be solace for the family by looking for someone to blame.  Perhaps now that the charges have been dropped against former Pike River CEO, Peter Whittall, it’s time to move on Bernie and if you don’t want the $3.41 million “blood money” please turn it down.

10 December 2013.  Your editorial (Dec 10) criticised that the 1981 Springboks were racially selected.  We Kiwis would never endorse the selection of our own national sports teams on that basis.  Yeah right.  And if I recall correctly, at the time there were some plausible arguments in favour of the tour such as the “bridge-building” proposition.  Some argued that rugby contact with New Zealand could promote change for the better in South Africa.  One view was that by getting the Springbok over here we could show them a multicultural society living in comparative harmony.  Also, others saw the defeat of the Springbok as a way of confirming apartheid was wrong.  To rugby fans, the epic struggle of a All Black-Springbok clash was simply a rare thrill brightening the dull routine of daily life. Protesters bent on denying fans this thrill were themselves getting the excitement many of them sought in their confrontation with the law.  Some would say that’s what most were in it for.  While the victory over apartheid lead by the late Nelson Mandela is without doubt an African success story, unfortunately the post-apartheid republic is far from perfect and not every citizen has embraced the new South Africa.

4 December 2013.  So Labour leader David Cunliffe “forgot” the Christchurch East by-election day no-campaigning protocol.  Given the promises he no doubt made the Greens for their support, they should be concerned about such convenient memory lapses.

2 December 2013.  Labour seemed inordinately excited about retaining the historically safe seat of Christchurch East  in the recent by-election.  Despite an attempt to exploit every conceivable issue associated with the Christchurch rebuild programme, presumably Labour still had well-founded reservations about their candidate and were probably anxious about the rising popularity of the Conservative Party.  However, Labour’s local supporters shouldn’t be too excited with the result – safe seats never benefit from government largess, no matter which party is in power.  Phew – imagine the over-the-top reaction from Labour if they were ever to win a marginal seat with or without the Greens’ support.

27 November 2014.  The local protest flotilla, failing to cause an incident or stop oil exploration, has given up within days of telling us they wouldn’t be moving and had enough food and supplies for two or three weeks.  Could it be that Greenpeace and our local Greens have lost direction and allowed commonsense and progress to prevail?

20 November 2013.  I’m feeling so very sorry for the sad little Greenpeace protest tub Vega, a bright star no less, as it seeks to save us, our anxious future generations, our ocean, our coastline and our climate from the terrifying might of the big bad oil industry set on destroying our world – yawn.

15 November 2014.  Perhaps National should postpone the Genesis Energy sale until after the elections to secure the iwi vote.  No sale – no likelihood of water compo.

12 November 2014.  Why were our taxes used to fund Green MP Jan Logie’s protest trip to Sri Lanka?  Imagine the sad state of our overseas relations and trade prospects should the Greens ever run the country, although a redundant MFAT and diplomatic corp should save a bundle.

12 November 2013.  Given that the sale of Genesis Energy may mean water compo for iwi, National will be assured of their vote.  Smart politics.

1 November 2013.  One of the more persistent proposals to be considered at the Labour party conference is the proposition that Maori language be compulsory in state schools and all teachers be competent in te reo.   This fluency should then help those pupils who become teachers to teach their students the language. Voila – the elusive perpetual motion for only a few million dollars per year.  Could there be any other justification for mandatory Maori?

31 October 2013.  Your editorial (Oct 31) seems to report that an ideal Labour candidate might be a lesbian or gay of youthful Polynesian appearance with disabilities.  Luckily for Labour candidates these ‘attributes’ can be readily fabricated, whereas ‘political ability’, which is probably beyond the help of medical science, apparently remains irrelevant – this perhaps to the comfort of seating MPs who presumably devise such checklists to weed out the duds.  Surely, it will be challenging for other parties to out-loony this specification?

29 October 2014.  Our government has hinted at more partial asset sales.  Predictably this prospect has upset Green Party co-leader Russel Norman who presumably still favours quantitative easing.  He should be thankful we’re not selling liabilities, given his party would head the list.  While it’s difficult to accurately dollarise all cost and benefits associated with a roading project, for Neil Woodbury to suggest that experts have “totally discredited” cost-benefit ratios as a means of assessing the appropriateness of such projects, is crazy talk (Letters Oct 28).

 28 October 2014.  I hope that Neil’s preferred alternative is not to apply what eco-activists call the “precautionary principle” whereby opponents of technological progress argue that just because there is no evidence of harm that does not mean that something is not harmful. We have to prove that it is not harmful before any project proceeds.

There is no such thing as a risk-free project. Imagine if we were to abandon creativity, innovation and progress just to be safe.  What we do need to avoid is the precautionary principle as a basis for evaluating prospective road projects.  A cost-benefit analysis is a well-validated tool – not perfect perhaps, but much better than the alternatives.

27 October 2013.  While our opposition parties have forfeited policy-making to a church warden who determined that $18.40 gross per hour is a “living wage”, it is somehow more reassuring to hear such a half-baked policy announcement from Labour leader David Cunliffe than it is from Greens’ co-leader Russell Norman; the difference being that Cunliffe is unlikely to believe it.  While it might win some votes, his Harvard education must tell him that this arbitrary increase in wages will also cause redundancies, price hikes and trigger expensive relativity claims, but of course only if and after a Labour-Greens’ government is installed.

9 October 2014.  Anyone yet managed to beat the rush-hour time for the “Lundy Circuit” with a rest stop at Palmy and no speeding tickets?

6 October 2014.  What would you expect if you invade a Russian oil drilling platform – a welcome aboard party?   Perhaps 15 years jail is a small price to pay for saving the Earth.  Should Greenpeace organise a world-wide hunger strike to break the will of the Russian government?  But then again, this is the same government that imprisoned a female punk-rock band for two years for criticising Vladimir Putin.  Actually, I’m beginning to like this Putin guy and I’m interested to see how this whole drama unfolds.  So far, I can’t see any downside.

23 September 2014.  If Super Wellington means fewer shabby bill boards featuring grinning nonentities, then bring it on.

22 September 2014.  So that’s Labour’s fired-up and enthusiastic shadow cabinet.  Nothing new or exciting there.  It’s more a utu yawnfest.  And given that key appointments are “long-term”, either Labour doesn’t anticipate a change of government or they think they can govern without the Greens.  Seems like the train has already stalled with most wagons still uncoupled.

22 September 2014.  What sort of reception do you expect when you invade a Russian oil rig?  I trust Greenpeace and not taxpayers foot any bail for this latest publicity stunt.

 23 September 2013.  So that’s Labour’s fired-up and enthusiastic shadow cabinet.  Nothing new or exciting there.  It’s more a utu yawnfest.  And given that key appointments are “long-term”, either Labour doesn’t anticipate a change of government or they think they can govern without the Greens.  Seems like the train has already stalled with most wagons still uncoupled.

22 September 2013.  So the “great navigators” propose a waka design for the next America’s Cup engagement (Marae Investigates, TV One, Sept 22).  This will confound the yachting world, and if taxpayer-funded will presumably make for another full and final Treaty settlement.  Win-win.

 21 September 2013.  What sort of reception do you expect when you invade a Russian oil rig?  I trust Greenpeace and not taxpayers foot any bail for this latest publicity stunt.

21 September 2013.  Miles Lacey (Letters, Sept 21) is right.  Psychometric tests invite people to describe themselves, which isn’t necessarily the real them or how others perceive them.  Furthermore, can we realistically put people into as few as four personality pigeon holes?  Of course they’re not scientific, although for some they might become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  At least that’s what the planets tell me.

 19 September 2013.  Thank you Philip Hayward for putting the record straight (Letters, Sept 19).  Earth’s most dramatic climate changes occurred well before the industrial revolution and even before humanity arrived, which is why I hesitate to blame CO2 as the culprit.  We need this stuff for our survival.  Without it plants die.  Perhaps the Greens should encourage us we to burn more fossil fuels.

18 September 2013.  Ad we might like to read “Work wanted. No job too small. J Spitall. Runner-up prestigious yacht race.”

17 September 2013.  It’s reassuring that Labour’s leadership squabble hasn’t distracted us from the real stuff – rugby test matches and yacht racing.

 9 September 2013.  Police say that the recent attack by priority immigrant Walter Tauatevalu on an Auckland police officer is as extreme as it gets.  Perhaps the restorative justice process, a good dose of home detention, medication, and some anger management training will help?  Fat chance. Tauatevalu has a long history of violence and is a habitual offender.  Imprisonment is the only way to temporarily stall this life of crime, preferably followed by deportation to at least ensure that his future offending occurs elsewhere. Yet, for first offenders there may be some benefit in restorative justice meetings, but surely only after sentencing.  Also, I suggest that the victim’s consent for such meetings is needed, the outcome should have no influence on parole hearings, and the victim’s statement isn’t edited to neutralise its impact, as is current practice with some victim impact statements.  While “restorative justice” seems like an oxymoron, given several caveats, it’s worth a shot, but would be a total waste for the likes of Tauatevalu.

7 September 2013.  With the leadership race too tight to call (Opinion, September 7) perhaps the solution for Labour is triple leadership.  Imagine too a ground-breaking innovative Labour-Greens coalition government with five prime ministers to share the workload.  Seems fair.  Should work.

 4 September 2013.  So Lucy Lawless and Sam Neil oppose exploratory oil drilling (Dom September 3) warning us it would have catastrophic consequences.  In panic I phoned the supreme authorities.  Phew – we can relax – the Kardashians support the drilling.

2 September 2013.  In our naivety we might think that more and bigger roads help reduce traffic congestion, but apparently not  (Dominion headline, September 2).  When road capacity is expanded, reduced congestion can be fleeting as expanded facilities soon fill up again with traffic, making things even worse. This prediction leads some observers to conclude that projects such as Transmission Gully and the Kapiti Expressway road are a waste of money, and liken these propositions to buying a bigger belt to address the problem of weight gain. Maybe we should see traffic congestion is an inevitable by-product of a culturally and economically vibrant and successful country, whereas empty roads are a sign of failure.  Our so-called love affair with cars is not an irrational addiction, but a rational response to the utility of private vehicles.  Unquestionably congestion imposes costs, but our cars bring enormous private benefit.  We forget how fast and flexible cars benefit us travelers. Yet, if delays are really so undesirable, perhaps we need to settle for higher prices for cars, registration, petrol and parking, redesigned cities, better public transport, more bus lanes, more passengers per car, and raise the age limit for driving.  But all this seems a lot of bother when all we really need do is close our roads.  Voila – no congestion, no traffic accidents, no road rage, no traffic offences, no traffic cops, reduced air and noise pollution, less stress for pedestrians and more grazing space.  Ok, the economy will grind to a halt, but surely that’s a small price.

2 September 2013.  I’m patiently waiting for one of the contenders for Labour leadership to gazump the “living wage” proposition with a “luxury wage” promise to ensure we all live our lives entirely free of financial concerns as we deserve.  Since raising the top tax rate and introducing capital gains tax won’t meet the bill, I can see merit in allowing individuals to print their own money as required.

22 August 2013.  What’s this rumour about the Labour leader resigning?  Last count Russell Norman was still there.

21 August 2013.  The GCSB bill is law.  Where now will the Greens lead desperate Labour?  Assuming that conservationists would be keen to preserve our snapper stocks,  I guess it’s back to the xenophobic issue of non-resident Chinese buying our houses.  Heaven help us if this loopy duo ever hold the Treasury purse springs.

18 August 2013.  Looks like new Wallabies’ coach ‘the great tactician’ Ewen McKenzie was taken in by the ‘Richie should just ease back into it’ Tui billboard as the All Blacks ran rampant with a six-try rout during Saturday evening’s Bledisole Cup match in Sydney.  Seems like an ignominious start to the hoped for bright new era in Australian rugby.   Or perhaps the new era starts when the two teams meet again this Saturday in Wellington? Yeah right!

18 August 2013.  Of course the British SAS murdered Princess Diana.  It’s outrageous that this blatant assassination has been spin-doctored and finessed into being widely accepted as an accident.  The no seat belts, drunk driver and excessive speed allegations were clearly cunning fabrications, and it’s just coincidental that the film “Diana” is due for release.  It was very timely to have Prime Minister, John Key appear on Campbell Live (August 14) and help dispel the confusion and unwarranted concerns about the GCSB bill, despite the irritating interruptions, misinformation and tired clichés provided by an ill-prepared John Campbell.   While I can understand his ratings concern, Campbell’s beat-up is laughable as is his citing Geoffrey Palmer as an unbiased expert. Given the terms of the bill, GCSB will not access our electronic communications unless the Commissioner and Minister are convinced we are a threat to the country.  Only then would a warrant for electronic surveillance be issued.  Thankfully most New Zealanders appreciate that the proposed legislation is in our best interests.

4 August 2013.  Congratulations to our Government on their prompt and appropriate response to the Fonterra milk powder contamination issue.  We are fortunate to have someone of Trade Minister Tim Groser’s cool-headed calibre to manage the crisis.  Labour-Greens seem comparatively sluggish with their customary shoot-from-the-hip accusations of Government neglect, too little too late rhetoric, and cynical offers of bipartisan help.  Perhaps they’re still conferring.

1 August 2013.  Given that Andrea Vance is as “mad as hell”  (Dominion, August 1), I trust that she has now been relieved of her swipe card and we don’t have to read any more dribble about this so-called privacy violation.

3 July 2013.  Given Karina McKenzie’s concern about a Maori takeover (Letters, July 14) and the minuscule percentage of ‘blood’ needed to be Maori, perhaps it’s time we allowed all Kiwis to decide their own ethnicity, Maori, Pakeha etc, regardless of genetics and ancestry?  We could also change our ethnicity as often as we might our name, marital status, religion, sex, skin colour and any other distinquishing characteristic depending on the flavour of the month.  This month, if you’re a prospective Labour candidate, a white male who is free of disabilities, is probably not the best option, but medical science can now remedy these cruel disadvantages.

10 July 2013.  Some Aussies believe that Wallabies’ coach Robbie Deans was a Kiwi plant, much like Labour leader David Shearer is becoming National’s most potent weapon and best chance for another term.

8 July 2013.  So Labour is to consider a “man-ban” for the selection of prospective MPs (Dominion, July 5).  What assurances will us hapless voters have that they will apply robust checks to weed out those otherwise competent contenders who tell porkies about their gender, age and ethnicity, or who feint their sexual orientation and disabilities?  God help us if fakes sneak through.  Other parties will be hard-pressed to out-loony this one.

5 June 2013.  I write in support of Dr Shearer’s letter (June 8) where he most appropriately questions former Marxist and Greens co-leader Russel Norman’s right to criticise the late Sir robert Muldoon.  Sir Rob entered parliament in 1960, six years before the arrogant Russel’s ignominious birth in Australia, and served as our Prime Minister from 1975 to 1984 as leader of the governing National Party.  He became Prime Minister with the largest parliamentary mandate in our history, something that the Greens are never likely to accomplish.  Sir Rob was a skilled politician who departed parliament in 1991, six years before Russel Norman emigrated to New Zealand.  Dr Norman, who is yet to escape his authoritarian socialist heritage and left-wing ideology, can be thankful that the man is not here to defend himself.

3 June 2013.  Greens co-leader Metiria Turel reckons breakfast-in-schools should be expanded to include in-school nursing services.  Why don’t taxpayers simply provide free boarding schools for deprived kids and thus allow their “care-givers” to mis-spend benefits without guilt.

2 June 2013.  Greens co-leader Metiria Turel reckons breakfast-in-schools should be expanded to include in-school nursing services.  Why don’t taxpayers simply provide free boarding schools for deprived kids and thus allow their “care-givers” to mis-spend benefits without guilt.

14 May 2013.  The excitable Labour-Greens’ leadership tell us that Auckland’s new convention centre will be funded on the backs of so-called problem gamblers.  How about some recognition too for the 99.9% of us non-problem gamblers who will also contribute to this much-needed asset.  Fair’s fair.

 9 May 2013.  Much more frightening than antennae sabotage at Waihopai was the recent parade of aging underpants-clad protesters and vigilantes, who presumably misunderstood the Greens’ whinging about cover-ups and lack of transparency?

8 May 2013.  Given we don’t know who the many invalid signatories are, perhaps there is a need to rerun the entire anti-partial asset sales petition to avoid even more duplication and confusion.  Or maybe just forget the whole thing.  This money-wasting venture has been a small taste of the shambles we might expect if we were naive enough to vote in a Labour-Greens’ government.

2 May 2013.  Given the recent jealous rant by former Judge Barry Lovegrove on Campbell Live and Campbell’s attempt to exploit this and humiliate the newly appointed Race Relations Commissioner, four things are evident – the hardly-modest, I know best Lovegrove would be a mediation disaster and is thus euphemistically “over-qualified”, Campbell is still a “sanctimonious little creep” , Dame Susan Devoy’s vibrancy and commonsense is much needed in the job, and TV One’s “Seven Sharp” is starting to look much better.

 29 April 2013.  If we’re foolish enough to elect a left-wing Beehive next year, their promise of cheap electricity and an estimated extra $300 in our pockets each year with luck might cause a temporary halt to those annoying double-glazing, insulation and other energy-saving telemarketing calls.  Otherwise, I see no benefits.  Recent convert to this nationalisation proposition, Labour List MP Shane Jones, tells us it will create jobs.  Yeah right – in much the same way as our old Post Office and Ministry of Works absorbed the unemployed.  But if a lurch to the left is the answer, let’s take over Australian-owned Wilson Parking please.  The cost of a week’s parking at Wellington airport now rivals my monthly power bill.  But I guess this plea won’t get much support from the Greens who would prefer I walk, bike or take public transport.  Yet, surely a higher price for electricity lowers consumption and thus reduces emissions from Huntly’s thermal power station.  Only a desperate Opposition could rationalise this contradiction.  Also, I’m not too happy with the increasing price of my latte.  Perhaps a government-run McCafe would help?  Relax, I’m just scare mongering.  We have nothing to fear – the promised $300 extra isn’t a bribe, it’s a fib, as time will surely prove.

11 April 2013.  Don’t expect innovation should we foolishly elect a Labour-Greens’ government next year.  They will be fully occupied implementing their most fervent promises and only platform – a bewildering list of resource-wasting investigations, masquerading as progress, to which we can now add a pointless inquiry into the GCSB.

4 April 2013.  Doubtlessly, Ian Fletcher will be a great spy boss, and presumably Helen Clarke-appointed ex spy boss Bruce Ferguson’s petulant outburst was because his own military nominee was most appropriately culled from contention.

22 March 2013.  At last, a refreshingly honest, proud and exceptional Kiwi with loads of commonsense and good judgement who calls a spade a spade.  Let’s hope that Dame Susan doesn’t succumb to the political correctness that neutralised her predecessors.  Of course burqas are disconcerting.  More so our hijacked Waitangi Day.

22 March 2013.  Pssss Mr Shearer sir – sorry, not 1,500 Telecom jobs to go, but 2,500 – fair dinkum.  Dave Cunliffe tells me that if you release that revelation the heat will be right off your US bank account oversight.

21 March 2013.  Will an emerging and lucrative Tuhoe Nation be keen to compensate those Maori tribes whose members they wilfully killed, tortured, ate or enslaved in pre-European times?

 12 March 2013.  Seems the number of people who have registered their interest in Mighty River Power shares in only a few days already rivals the number who signed the referendum against the sale over the last year, vindicating yet again the general election result.  Doubtlessly, those interested in the shares include Labour/Greens MPs and Maori Council members – only of course to prevent foreign ownership.

 5 March 2013.  The Mighty Power shares pre-registration website temporarily crashed due to a surfeit of applications.  Wonder how many Greens/Labour voters and Maori Council members contributed to this excess?

22 February 2013.  Wow – it seems so very unreasonable that Maori ownership of the radio spectrum has been rejected given the far-sighted and unequivocal mention of this item in The Treaty.  But the $30 million “development fund” koha might compensate.  Then again, there’s always the water.

11 February 2013.  In his letter (Feb 11) Rex Nairn tells me that a study of history will persuade me that Waitangi Day is a more appropriate national day than is Anzac Day.  We must be reading different history books.  Recent history suggests that Waitangi Day has been reduced to a platform for protest, sideshows and conflict.  It’s a lightening rod for racial division.  And the only place where the Crown-Maori relations are alive is in our Courts, dealing with increasingly extravagant Treaty claims.  It’s time to find a new non-political national day.

8 February 2013.  Seven Sharp is about as substantial, insightful and cutting edge as The Ridges, only less informative.  I gave it some slack and tolerated the trio’s puerile chatter all the way to the first ad break before resorting to Campbell Live.  I’m picking that Seven Sharp will be go within a month and be replaced with Sainsbury re-runs or another cooking show.

 5 February 2013.  Other than a few part-Maori thugs, mostly supported by our welfare and legal aid system to finance their racist fantasies, some feckless and appeasing politicians, and our sensation-seeking media, who isn’t totally over this repugnant Waitangi Day annual disaster?  NZ national day is 25 April when we properly celebrate our hard-won free, multicultural and democratic society.

4 December 2012.  Andrew Little, Labour List MP, tells us that no miners blew the whistle on Pike River safety issues because of today’s employment laws (The Dominion Post 4 December).   What opportunist claptrap.  There certainly hasn’t been any timidness shown by Pike River miners after the event.  The Inquiry was deluged with their complaints and finger-pointing, mostly accusing management of putting profits before safety.  But the miners were also complicit in this tragedy when they knowingly put their incomes before personal safety.   It seems that miners, as well as management, were silenced by the mighty dollar, more so than any concern about whistle-blowing legislation.

 25 October 2012.  Seems like the gangs have infiltrated the judiciary enabling the Red Devils to consistently escape prosecution.  Will Justice France now be appointed patron of this “social club”?

 23 October 2012.  If all forecasters were held to account as are Italian seismologists, our jails would bulge with NIWA scientists.

15 October 2012.  When a government seeks to trim a bloated public service, anonymous tip-offs from dissatisfied employees to hackers such as Keith Ng are predictable.  Although, even more predictable has been Labour’s knee-jerk shocked, staggered, appalled and astounded over-reaction to this WINZ cyber breach.

9 October 2012.  I’ve joined the dots.  Dr Russel Norman is Green Lantern on steroids, bestowed with otherworldly powers as he rushes from one crisis to the next to save the world.  I admire his energy, albeit that the crises are imaginary.

3 October 2012.  Why has a German IT entrepreneur who is wanted in the USA for facilitating major copyright breaches and internet piracy able to obtain haven in New Zealand by hiding behind his purchased residency while threatening to sue the country and distracting our attention with some allegation of political party donation impropriety?  This political and media-driven distraction is being financed by us taxpayers.  Let’s stop shooting ourselves in the collective foot, scold our GCSB for their seemingly improper behaviour and give Dotcom a free ticket to the USA where he can focus on clearing his peculiar name.  Innocent or guilty, l suspect he and his weird entourage will never return.  And to what extent could Green Party co-leader Russell Norman and Labour leader David Shearer further over-react to this political farce?

28 September 2012.  I assume that TV One will replace Close Up with another cooking show.

26 September 2012.  From where does Hezbollah source all those flammable US flags and should we exploit this opportunity?

 18 September 2012.  From where does Hezbollah source all those flammable US flags and should we exploit this opportunity?

9 September 2012.  From where does Hezbollah source all those flammable US flags and should we exploit this opportunity?

6 September 2012.  Perhaps those attending the hui on water could also address the abhorrent issue of Maori child abuse – time permitting of course.

2 September 2012.  I can’t recall voting for either the Maori Council or the Waitangi Tribunal, yet they aim to impose their water ownership aspirations on our country and thus derail asset sales.  Should they succeed, perhaps we should declare general elections redundant.

14 August 2012.  Perhaps Belarus should capitalise on its notoriety and host a separate Olympic Games exclusively for athletes on steroids.  A five metre high-jump would be spectacular viewing, as would a five second 100 metres sprint, although you wouldn’t want to blink.

13 August 2012.  “Justice Peters” has certainly given the expressions “oxymoron” and “wet bus ticket” new meaning.

6 August 2013.  Wow – the Mar’s landing certainly shows man’s monumental progress in studio simulation since the Apollo hoax.

20 July 2012.  Without doubt Maori has a close relationship with water, as do non-Maori, evidenced by practices such as baptism by water.  But given that water constitutes some 55% of our total body weight and is essential for life, perhaps we could all claim this close relationship, regardless of our race, culture or spirituality.

18 July 2012.  I thought it was the Sydney Morning Herald’s rugby column when I read Mark Reason’s unsporting diatribe about the Crusaders and his hope that they don’t win Super Rugby (The Dominion Post, July 18).  I assume Mark’s either emigrating to Aussie or believes he can outrun Todd Blackadder.

17 July 2012.  Maori Party options are not “mana or money” as our well-healed Maori Council rage about, but rather whether to “progress or placate.”  And neither choice should delay asset sales, which the Government won a clear mandate for on 26 November last year.

15 July 2012.  Dr John Munro’s own bunker mentality is convincingly demonstrated by his jealously-inspired personal abuse of the Prime Minister and his pompous fact-free diatribe (Letters, July 14) apparently in support of the Maori Council’s confused and fanciful water-rights claim.  Despite the craziness of this issue, some koha in the form of energy company shares will doubtlessly calm the proverbial troubled waters. More importantly, given the increasingly frivolous nature of such claims and the poor state of our Government coffers, perhaps a referendum seeking to dissolve the Maori Council and the Waitangi Tribunal is now due.  These parasites have outlived their usefulness and the money saved would surely exceed any revenue from the part-sale of energy assets.

11 July 2012.  When Maori water leaks into neutral water who then owns the mixture?  What about water vapour, rain, sleet, ice, snow and hail?  Given the water cycle, it seems unlikely that there is any pure Maori water anywhere.  The issue is a joke surely?

3 July 2012.  In a Scottish court the MacDonald verdict would have been “not proven.”

 19 June 2012.  What is it about our schools’ performance that teachers don’t trust parents to know please?

19 June 2012.  For those who remain apprehensive – even more profitable than buying asset shares will be selling them back should Labour come to power.

 27 April 2013.  Genesis Energy “Customer Care Team” proudly announces “We have replaced your meter with an Advanced Meter.”  It transpires that what has advanced as a consequence of this new marvel, is the power price by some 3 cents per unit.  For those 6,000 other households who received the same advice, I recommend www.powerswitch.org.nz.

15 April 2013.  Poor Lucy Lawless.  It’s one planet-threathening catastrophe after another.  Given her preoccupation with the oil industry, I’m picking she’s now peddling back to Taranaki to deal to the frackers.  Nothing is ever just an issue for our Greenies – it’s always a crisis.  Sadly, these folk heroes who fight the might of the establishment will have no rest until Earth is free of the mankind plague.

10 April 2012.  Labour’s proposal that the government increase paid parental leave is of course quite mischievous at a time when we are striving to balance the books.  Several European nations are now in debt as a consequence of such unaffordable social policies.  Their replacement generations have not benefited from a decade of handouts.   Also, “government” doesn’t pay for anything – us miserable taxpayers do – non-parents also in this instance.  Governments just redistribute our hard-earned money, less a significant handling charge.  Thus, any increase in paid parental leave would require either more taxes or less spending else where.  Perhaps cuts to the dole or DPB would work?

 30 March 2012.  Why, after PM John Key’s clear explanation of the Bronwyn Puller saga, does Winston Peters still want an investigation?  Elementary – as defacto opposition leader, Peters is miffed that he didn’t figure on Puller’s list of influential people.

 26 March 2012.  Excited with a media opportunity, Labour leader, John Shearer, tells us that the teapot tape incident was a huge waste of Police time and resources.  Whereas, I suppose the millions spent on the Labour-endorsed Police raid into Tuhoe territory, the subsequent legal expenses involved and the inevitable compensation claims will have been a sound investment.

13 March 2012.  Thank you Ken Carson for stating the obvious (Letters, March 13).  Labour has no mandate to continue the asset sales debate.  They gave the issue their best shot during the election campaign and lost, overwhelmingly.  Amen.

 1 March 2013.  Raurangi Marino’s mother tells us that her son “got into drugs too early” (The Dominion Post, 1 Mar).  One wonders at what age she would find the practice acceptable?  She might also know at what age it is acceptable to be the victim or perpetrator of rape?  And Rangi’s father laments “I’m not able to help him now” (The Dominion Post, 1 Mar).  It doesn’t seem that dad has been of much help in the past either.  Perhaps these parents should be serving the time by which the judge reduced their son’s sentence due to his dysfunctional upbringing.  Yet, there are many who come from similar circumstances, but live decent, industrious, law-abiding lives.

24 February 2013.  The Dowse Art Gallery has cancelled the Mexican exhibition to placate Maori cultural sensitivities.   I don’t recall Te Papa showing similar concern about the virgin in a condom exhibition that outraged the Catholic community, or is there no comparison?

15 February 2012.  As a list MP, Mojo Mathers loyalty is to her political party, rather than to us the voters.  Therefore, let her, or the politically correct Greens who promote her, pay for the additional help she may need.  If they don’t like this, there are plenty of other wannabees on their list.

15 November 2011.  While Brian Edwards, former Labour party candidate, calls for the clandestine tea tape’s public release, I notice that Labour leader Phil Goff has now backed off the issue.  This reversal is most unlikely to be because such snooping practices are immoral or illegal or even because he now knows the tape contents to be innocent trivia, but because the release of the tape would almost certainly set a precedent to Labour’s future detriment when their really naughty secrets are at risk of publication.  It’s a pity that Labour didn’t apply such risk management foresight to their recent shoot-from-the-hip policy pronouncements.

12 November 2011.  What further personal porky bricks can prime minister John Key expect from Labour leader Phil Goff in these last moments when there will be insufficient time to respond before election day?  I’m picking that Labour will “discover” another holiday home, backing again the trusty politics of envy.

10 November 2011.   Did anyone really understand or even read Jon Johansson’s article on our electoral referendum debate (Politics, 10 November)?  It’s an example of “linguistic tribalism.”   If your not in the political academic tribe, his article is meaningless.  What audience is he targeting when he writes  “Internationally, our former FPP system is classed as a majoritarian system, and such systems have an average disproportionality of 13.56 per cent…Using the same dataset, SM produces a disproportionality score of 9.54 per cent.”   I suspect most of us will vote for the status quo and mainly because we don’t properly understand the alternatives.  Johansson’s explanation doesn’t help.  Perhaps he aims to impress rather than express.

4 November 2011.  Labour leader Phil Goff continues to publicly refer to the Prime Minister as “John” and assures us that no disrespect is intended.  Appreciating that Goff wouldn’t tell a fib, either he is seriously deluded about the state of their relationship or he is very short on friends.  I suspect the latter given that his closest colleagues will doubtlessly dump him after the elections.

2 November 2011.  While Labour’s flip-flop on our age of eligibility for NZ Super might look bold, responsible or just plain suspicious, it is of course a non-issue.  Labour’s proposed eligibility age of 67 would not apply until 2033, by which time neither John Key nor Phil Goff will be in power, and those of us unable to work beyond the age of 65 would access full NZ Super in the guise of a ‘transition’ payment.  In effect, Labour endorses the status quo.

1 November 2011.   Labour leader Phil Goff is making some extraordinary promises, but given he knows he’ll never be in power to carry them out, are they really fibs?

 31 October 2011.   Peter Petterson asks why the sale of assets is a better proposition than is a capital gains tax (31 Oct).  The only winners with CGT would be tax accountants spending our dollars in an attempt sort out the compliance nightmare and exploit or plug the many holes already apparent with such a tax.  IRD would grow another limb. The administrative costs would considerably exceed the benefits, much like Labour’s selective GST proposition.  However, a partial sale of state-owned assets will enable us to unlock spare capital, some $5 to $7 billion, to upgrade state assets, starting with new hospitals and schools.  To do the same Labour would need to borrow, borrow, borrow.  Trust this explanation helps.

27 October 2011.  Labour’s policies are likely be so unpalatable that, amazingly, a leaders’ personality battle could now be Labour’s best strategy to minimise their election losses.  Oops – hold the billboards.

20 October 2011.  “Arise Sir Richie” seems imminent to me.

13 October 2013.  Is Labour leader Phil Goff still clearing the oil spill from Papamoa Beach?

 19 September 2011.  A beaming Phil Goff has promised more cheques for Christchurch voters.  Of course we can’t afford this, but hey it’s election year.

11 September 2011.  I was living in Aussie when their ‘white Australian’ policy was formally abolished.  It was widely seen as morally condemnable and socially unjust.  The same criticism must surely apply to Margaret Mutu’s ‘brown New Zealand’ ambitions.  Our universities shouldn’t tolerate racism or racist staff even under the guise of free speech.

23 August 2011.  Phil Goff tells us he does not believe our national interests are in Afghanistan.  Our SAS soldier was killed helping Afghans defend their fledging freedoms.  We are a proud promoter of social justice and as a trading nation we also have a stake in world security.  Where have you been Phil?

13 August 2011.  Experts blame our incipient health crisis on “cuts to obesity prevention programmes.” (13 August)  Yeah right.  Ever heard of self-control?

21 July 2011.  With the news media’s collaboration, Labour Leader Phil Goff’s fanciful, yet cunningly timed Israeli spying accusation has effectively kept the PM’s US visit off the front page.  Now surely that is a more plausible conspiracy theory.  It seems amazing that a political party’s main election promise would be yet another tax, and even more amazing that some voters welcome the prospect.  Are we crazy?  Think it through people.  The only winners will be tax accountants trying to sort out the compliance nightmare and exploit or plug the many holes already becoming evident.  IRD will grow another limb.  But what will a Labour-Greens’ coalition government do when the capital gains tax doesn’t deliver?  Given that private investment in state assets would not be welcome, and that the politics of envy would continue to dominate, the answer must surely be “means-tested super.”  However, by then “means” will indeed include our family home, since any Kiwi with real means will be in Aussie or even Turkey where its CGT-free economy is booming.

 12 July 2011.  If taxpayers’ legal aid is denied Rob Petricevic, we should bake cakes and have a public collection to fund his defence.  It just seems so unfair that a multi-millionaire should have to pay his own legal bills.  What’s the occasional missed meal if we can help?  Come on, let’s stump up for Rob.

5 July 2011.  “Burqa off” is my advice to those who torment our bus-driving maskophobians.

23 May 2011.  The Labour Party’s vote-buying budget proposition would be much more effective if they simply promised to abolish taxation.  Taxes have never been popular.  To clinch the deal, why not offer free housing, free student loans, triple our minimum wage, and increase all benefits and public service budgets?  I guess this expense could be offset by growing the economy through the sale of those BMWs, no repaint for Premier House, and some dramatic cutbacks to the diplomatic protection squad’s shopping list.  Tempting eh?

9 May 2011.  Judging by his recent incredulous comments, John Robinson’s doctorate has nothing to do with politics or even commonsense.  To suggest that our country would benefit from the dull leadership and failed policies that Labour offers, is simply absurd. Einstein rightly said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

 5 May 2011.  Photos of Osama bin Laden’s final moments will be released as soon as Hollywood finish the mock up.

2 May 2011.  Phil Goff welcomes the killing of Bin Laden, but condemns our SAS for an alleged revenge mission.  Funny eh?

11 April 2011.  Damien O’Connor has apparently been chastised, or about to be, for describing his parliamentary Labour colleagues as “self-serving unionists and a gaggle of gays.”  His leader seems to believe that this observation is untrue, unfair and discriminatory.  I agree – it neglects to mention the other culprits –  the hopeless, hapless and helpless who are also fumbling, bumbling, and now back-stabbing themselves to oblivion.

22 March 2011.  Given that Mr Goff’s one-off levy for the Christchurch rebuild isn’t practicable, why not persuade the Government to simply print the requisite sum of money? It worked in Alberta don’t it?

15 November 2011.  So it transpires that Pete Hodgson’s conscientious whistle-blowing was simply an act of collaboration with Pansy Wong, to further increase MPs’ pay.  This shouldn’t be a surprise given that historically pay increases for MPs is probably the only issue where we hapless tax payers witness genuine and fast cross-party agreement.

6 September 2010.  PM, congratulations on your decisive and entirely appropriate action, but you may need to postpone your UK visit, mostly because we couldn’t stand the Opposition’s inevitable attempts to exploit your absence during “Christchurch’s time of need”.  Please save us from their rhetoric.


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