Yes, Hone could be a minister and given the job of sending malcontents back home

February 21, 2011

Maybe a Maori flag should look a bit more like this.

Alf has more in common with the stroppy Hone Harawira than he had imagined.

Hone – it transpires – wanted to become a minister when the Maori Party first went into coalition with National in 2008.

Alf wanted to be one too.

But whereas Alf has made plain his thwarted ambition from time to time in this blog, Hone hasn’t made much noise about his disappointment, although he makes a great deal of noise about all sorts of other things.

Now his ministerial aspirations have been flushed into the open by the leaking of a confidential statement by Hone’s caucus colleague, Te Ururoa Flavell.

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The outfit that hates poor people alas has just lost NZ’s first-ever Sikh MP from its membership

February 20, 2011

Life is a matter of making the right choices.

Alf is somewhat astonished to learn that Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, the first Sikh to be elected to our Parliament, is backing away from giving folks the impression he might regard beneficiaries as “freeloaders”.

Alf’s astonishment is that many citizens similarly have a dim view of beneficiaries.

And so they would be sympathetic about his membership – but only until Friday – of the Facebook group “I hate poor people”.

It seems he had been signed up to the group since 2009.

The group has 398 members, according to the Sunday Star-Times.

This makes it a somewhat sad little outfit, woefully lacking in good organising skills, bearning in mind it was set up to express displeasure at those on benefits and low incomes.

Alf reckons he could whip up 398 new members in a 30-minute stroll through a suburb like Remuera or Khandallah.

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Oh look – $12.5m spent on a boat shed, but one of the boats is too bloody big

February 19, 2011

The farce of Welllington’s Maori boat shed gets more hilarious by the day.

It’s the shed Wellington ratepayers overwhelmingly did not want to fund.

The council’s spending – remember? – disregarded a poll that showed 84 per cent of respondents opposed the expenditure and said it was “outrageous.”

Oh, and it’s the shed that has cost taxpayers millions of dollars, too.

And it’s the shed that was opened with lots of Maori ceremony, but with ceremonial waka shipped in from somewhere elsewhere in the country because one bunch of Wellington Maori wouldn’t surrender the local ceremonial waka to another bunch of Wellington Maori on the other side of the harbour.

As if that wasn’t farce enough, it’s a shed designed to house two waka but (as we learn today) it is not big enough to house one of them.

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Switching from milk to whisky sounds like a good idea – unless it catches on and Scotch prices surge

February 18, 2011

Alf notes with some bemusement that his good mate David Carter, our Minister of Agriculture, is seeking advice from his officials about the cost of milk.

He has been prompted, it seems, by complaints that milk is now more expensive than soft drinks, even though milk is supposed to be good for your health and soft drinks bad for it.

Alf is not convinced by this. He has spent a lifetime giving milk a wide berth, and he remains in good nick (for his age).

When he reaches the age of 100 and is asked for the secret of his longevity, he will say a wee dram every day (of Scotch, obviously) did the trick.

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Maybe the neighbours from hell would find paradise in a colony on Disappointment Island

February 17, 2011

Disappointment Island...a prospect for development by Housing NZ.

Spare a thought for Housing NZ as it tries to deal with complaints about neighbours from hell.

It can respond to those complaints by shifting the hellish neighbours.

But that simply creates the hell of litigation. Housing NZ has been trying to evict tenants from a suburb of Lower Hutt, only to be thwarted time and again by time-consuming (and costly) appeals to the courts.

Another consideration, of course, is that in some cases the neighbours from hell are Maori and therefore are regarded as “special” under a United Nations deal which we have signed.

Housing NZ accordingly has cause to be chary as it deals with the complaints from the Bell Block neighbours of a woman convicted of harassing them.

According to the Taranaki News, Housing New Zealand has promised it will find a new home for the neighbour who has been giving them grief.

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If Metiria were PM (perish the thought) she would have told Gillard to get pedalling

February 16, 2011

The Government's VIP fleet in the highly improbable event of our having a Green Party Prime Minister.

The Greens didn’t take long to get back on top of Alf’s grumble list.

The buggers were up there two days ago, for their antics over Julia Gillard’s address to Parliament (which Alf has attended).

And they are there again today for kicking up a fuss over the Government’s ordering of a fleet of brand new BMWs.

Green Grinch co-leader Metiria Turei says this shows the Government is divorced from the needs of the public.

Radio NZ (and others) are reporting the details in a way that is bound to arouse public hostility.

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Democracy be buggered – the Treaty means we should try to do things by halves

February 15, 2011

The anatomy of a constitutional partnership, Kiwi-style.

Uh, oh. So who is picking up the tab for the the Maori Statutory Board’s High Court challenge after the Auckland Council decided to reduce its budget?

The council did its ratepayers a favour when it eased their burden with that laudable decision, albeit by just a tad.

But the statutory board had been given the whiff of a bigger budget the previous week, and when you give folks the whiff of a bigger budget, they are apt to spit the dummy if they feel they have been short-changed subsequently.

Never mind that – as things transpired – last week’s decision was reached through a process of dubious validity.

Now the lawyers will be hired to do their thing, which typically they do at enormous expense, and it’s odds on the ratepayers will pick up the tab for both sides of the argument.

It just goes to demonstrate, as Alf has always suspected, that when you build a super city you are sure to get super stuff-ups

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