A lesson in the art of hyphenating to create a new word with a special meaning for Maori students

November 30, 2013

When is a university not actually a university?

Perhaps when you call it an indigenous university, but to be really sure you aren’t deceiving anybody, you throw in a hyphen and call it an indigenous-university.

Alf bristles at this misuse of the hyphen and is tempted to lodge an official complaint about the serious debasing of his taonga, which – of course – is the wonderful English language.

But the temptation is a fleeting one. Whereas we are supposed to take great care to protect the taonga of our indigenous people, few people would pay any attention if Alf was to grumble about a mischief being done by anyone to his culture and cultural treasures.

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If Anne Tolley wasn’t such a plod, her Labour counterpart might now be locked up

November 29, 2013
"Oh dear, I can't find the key."

“And then I will throw away the key.”

It’s disappointing to say this about a colleague, but Police Minister Anne Tolley being much too blinkered about shadow police minister Jacinda Ardern.

What’s more, she seriously lacks imagination.

As a consequence of her somewhat plodding approach to denying her Labour opponent access to the country’s cop shops, Ardern has gained media coverage by bleating about being “banned” from visiting police stations.

If Tolley had allowed the visits to proceed, members of the public would have no cause to wonder if the Minister is being much too authoritarian and Ardern hard done by.

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Naughty goings-on at a preschool child centre – and it wasn’t the kids who had sticky fingers

November 23, 2013

Gotta say the lofty language used to described the offences committed by the licensee of a preschool childcare centre is somewhat opaque.

This woman apparently overstated funding claims, resulting in overpayment by the Ministry of Education.

As a consequence she is facing restrictions on her ability to undertake school managerial positions.

But what was her crime?

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Forget about the candidate who is already in jail and start worrying about those who should be there too

November 21, 2013

Gotta have a word with Chris Tremain, in most respects a splendid bloke who is doing a grand job as our Minister of Internal Affairs.

But he needs a bit of advice.

According to Radio NZ, he wants to know why a Northland bloke was able to contest the Far North mayoralty after being convicted of serious sex and violence crimes against his family.

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Professor’s advice to revert to a pre-colonial diet could result in Maori having the Grumbles for dinner

November 20, 2013

It was a radio item that put Alf off his breakfast, even though breakfast today comprised bacon, black pudding, fried eggs and tomatoes and a generous pile of chips, and these happen to be a big favourite in the Grumble household.

But the hoe-in was halted when Radio NZ started blatting the advice of a public health specialist who reckons Maori should go back to a pre-European diet to stop chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

Fair to say, this advice is disputed by a Maori health organisation.

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It’s a short cut to becoming an ex-law-breaker – you put your foot down and try to outrun the cops

November 17, 2013
I'll take the low road Fred, so you take the high road

I’ll take the low road Fred, so you take the high road and we’ll cut the speedster off at the pass.

Here we go go again.

The cops will be under fire for chasing a law-breaker, now an ex-law-breaker, who didn’t get the message about being unfit to drive earlier in the night when they took her car keys from her.

Hospital staff are helping to clean up the resultant mess.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has been alerted, too, and will be expected to find out what went wrong.

The answer is glaringly obvious to Alf.

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So what aren’t we being told about the Kiwi soldier who could be jailed for planting explosives?

November 10, 2013

Some idle thoughts on a news item today about our soldiers. Obviously we aren’t being told the full story.

A chat with our Minister of Defence next week might winkle out some much-needed answers.

But what the hell is going on at Defence HQ when a soldier can find himself (or herself in these enlightened times) facing a court martial for planting explosive devices in Afghanistan?

Or allegedly planting such devices.

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