It looks just like a long ribbon of flowing water – but don’t offend it, or it might sue you

August 31, 2012

No longer just another river…

So, Chris Finlayson and a bunch of Crown negotiators have breathed life into the Wanganui River.

This chicanery – according to the Stuff report here – has turned the river into a legal entity with a legal voice.

According to a spokesman for the Minister of Treaty Negotiations, it will be recognised as a person when it comes to the law – “in the same way a company is, which will give it rights and interests”.

No magic was required. This miracle has been performed under a preliminary agreement signed between Wanganui River iwi and the Crown.

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John Hayes and Tim Groser are mentioned but someone (shamefully) again is cold-shouldered

August 30, 2012

The bloody press gallery hacks whose reportage appears at Stuff have done it again.

They have failed to mention Alf – not even in the smallest of fonts – in their coverage of events in the House (in one case) and Rarotonga yesterday.

The Manawatu Standard (here) today reports that three of the five MPs who represent the wider Manawatu in Parliament have voted in favour of gay marriage.

How wide they have spread their Manawatu net is a matter of serious disappointment.

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Bias in favour of breasts is understandable, but not when it discriminates against the bottle

August 29, 2012

“Make mine a double.”

Dunno why a mum named Claire Sword should be grizzling to news media about being hard done by.

It seems to Alf she has been done a big favour. She has been given the opportunity to spurn hospital tucker.

But the media have gone for the discrimination angle.

The story (here) is about her being denied a free meal in hospital while she sat beside her infant son’s hospital bed.

Other mothers were given a free feed. But Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) rules denied her the same thing because they breast-fed their babies.

She bottle-fed her son.

How come the board’s bias against the bottle in favour of the breast?

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Link is shown between using dope and becoming one – does this explain the left and green vote?

August 28, 2012

Alf took special interest in the news item about cannabis and intelligence. Or lack of it.

The account at Stuff (here) says new research has found people who start using marijuana before the age of 18 and keep using it for years can cause lasting harm to their intelligence.

But those who did not start using pot until they were adults did not show similar mental declines.

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How many attended United Future’s conference? Too many for a phone box (but not by much)

August 26, 2012

News of United Future holding a conference at the weekend had Alf musing on how much it would have cost to rent a phone box for the occasion.

He now concedes he was being ungenerous in harbouring that thought.

United Future needed a bit more space than that.

But not much more. At a squeeze, they could have held their conference in the Grumbles’ bathroom.

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If you must make a meal of your money, it’s smarter to do it in a country with hyper-inflation

August 26, 2012

It’s a pity Alan Bollard has done a splendid job of bringing annual inflation down to an almost negligible 1 per cent.

Alf makes this observation on learning (here) that…

A 5-year-old girl has become the guinea pig in her own science experiment as she tracks the progress of a silver coin through her digestive system.

Niamh Aageson was playing with the coin in her mouth two weeks ago when she breathed in and accidentally swallowed the 50- or 20-cent piece.

An x-ray showed the coin had gone down her oesophagus and lodged at the entrance to her stomach. Since then, the family have been tracing the coin through her stomach and into her lower intestine, using a metal detector.

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Crime doesn’t pay? It could do, depending on how well a miscreant invests his (or her) plunder

August 25, 2012

Leo Gao may well be on a nice little earner, while he cools his heels in the slammer (although if this be so, he is keeping quiet about it).

For starters, we taxpayers will be housing and feeding him for the next few years.

Meanwhile – depending on the whereabouts of a few million missing dollars and the prudence with which it has been invested – he may well be making a mint from the missing lolly.

According to the NZ Herald (here), if that money – a sum of $3.8 million – were to sit in a term account at 3 per cent for Gao’s entire term of four years and seven months, it would earn an extra $540,000 by the time he is released in early 2017.

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It’s more than a mouthful but sign writers will do a brisk business as we adopt new Maori place names

August 24, 2012

How te reo can be enriching for sign writers…

What’s in a name?

Don’t ask Alf. Ask Auckland Mayor Len Brown.

The bugger has come out all warm and fuzzy in response to news that Rangitoto Island could be in for a name change.

Rangitoto is a word most of us can handle without too much trouble.

But why make things easy for the majority of the population when you can make them much more challenging?

And so Rangitoto may officially be known as Te Rangi-i-Tongia-a-Tamatekapua as part of the Crown’s deal to restore Maori ownership of volcanic cones and some Hauraki Gulf islands.

It’s also part of a growing fashion for favouring the complex over the easy.

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We could be more understanding by learning te reo, but it’s hard to modify your ethnicity

August 23, 2012

Dunno if Vernon Small has been learning te reo.

But he thinks New Zealanders generally should spend public money preserving it.

His reasoning (on page B5 of the Dom Post but not online) is simple –

It is a taonga guaranteed by the Treaty – perhaps the pre-eminent taonga.

Well bugger, Alf muttered on reading this.

Don’t remember that bit of the deal.

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A ban on burning coal in Reefton? Preserving their lungs will be cold comfort for the locals

August 21, 2012

When it gets this bad – then you can think about a coal ban…

Alf’s award for tossers of the day goes to the West Coast Regional Council, because the buggers are considering a complete ban on burning coal in Reefton.

Reefton has been built on coal.

The ban is being considered to tackle air pollution in the township.

Air pollution in Reefton?

Betcha whoever decided Reefton has a pollution problem has never been to Beijing or Buenos Aires or Mexico City.

Betcha, too, they have not thought too much about the implications of their thinking for the next greenie challenge to mining on the coast.

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