Yes, other blue seats could be at risk because of economic neglect – eg Tolley’s East Coast patch

March 31, 2015

One of Alf’s mates, who has been reading some analysis by NZ Herald political hack John Armstrong, was unduly concerned about his political pal’s future.

He has been assured that Alf is safe and secure in his National stronghold.

The concern was raised by Armstrong’s observation that Winston Peters had cut a swathe through the wealthier parts of the Northland electorate in Saturday’s byelection.

This secured him the most votes in the National bastion of Kerikeri and matched the number cast for the ruling party in Wellsford.

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Twosome from St Bede’s (with litigious dads) fail to make list of lads who will row at trials

March 30, 2015

The newspapers are relishing reporting the updates on two boys who were banned from competing in the Maadi Cup rowing regatta after riding on the baggage carousel at Auckland Airport.

These are the boys with over-protective dads who went to court to prevent school authorities from punishing them by imposing the rowing bans.

Now – it transpires – they have missed out on being named for the national rowing trial at Lake Karapiro near Cambridge from April 12-18 or the South Island trial from April 10-12 at Lake Ruataniwha near Twizel.

Alf understands these rowing trials have something to do with boats and oars rather than heated argument.

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The Joys are bent on having libraries ban a book that has been linked to child abuse

March 29, 2015
Smile, kids - we want to make a good impression on Alf.

Smile, kids – we want to make a good impression on Alf.

Outrage is the emotion one feels about something that strongly offends, insults, or affronts us.

It’s the condition that afflicted Alf last night as he was gathered with fellow Nats at the Kerikeri Golf Club when the results of the by-election were flowing in and it became all too apparent a calamity had happened.

The result meant the 9300 majority chalked up by Mike Sabin in September had been turned to a 4000 majority for (and here Alf must brace before spelling out the words) Winston Bloody Peters.

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Crumbs – bakers learn the hard way that when gays want something, the law will give it to them

March 28, 2015

Maurice Williamson, a splendid fellow in many respects, got offside with the Grumbles on the matter of gay marriage.

During the debate on that subject he set out his opinions in an article in the Howick and Pakuranga Times.

The general flavour from those opposed is the world is about to fall apart if the Marriage Amendment Bill is passed.

Some think its passing will somehow devalue their marriage. I can tell you this now – it won’t.

I’ve had a Catholic priest advocating that I’m supporting something that’s so unnatural – interesting from one who has vowed to be celibate for his entire life.

In the mid 1980s, people claimed the same thing of the homosexual law reform.

At that time some of the most ghastly outcomes were prophesied. Fortunately, none of those outrageous consequences came to pass.

Fast forward to 2013 and some of the rhetoric being bandied around now about the Marriage Amendment Bill is simply absurd.

Let’s boil the Bill down to its simplest form – it will allow consenting gay couples to get married.

You would think from the way some people are carrying on that politicians are trying to make gay marriage compulsory for everyone. We’re not.

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If it’s cultural care you need then get yourself to Hawke’s Bay – but what about the medical care?

March 27, 2015
Alf will let St Peter know about the cultural competence of his hospital carers...

St Peter will be asked to take note that Alf’s arrival is somewhat premature but his cultural care in a Hawke’s Bay hospital was top-class. 

Alf read with some bemusement a newspaper report that “Maori representation of the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s (DHB) workforce continues to increase…”

This seems to be a roundabout way of saying the board is lifting its quota of Maori staff.

The figures certainly are there to show this is so:

At the end of January, 12 per cent of the workforce described themselves as Maori, up from 11 per cent for January 2014, a report states. The DHB, Hawke’s Bay’s largest employer, aims to help increase its engagement with Maori through a more representative workforce – Maori comprise 25 per cent of the region’s population – as well as staff training.

Alf would like to think the board aims to help increase its engagement with all people.

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It looks like an ill-considered break with tradition, but some rules around royalty have been changed

March 26, 2015

A lot of people won’t have noticed, but legislation modernising the rules applying to Royal succession to the throne came into force today in New Zealand and in the 16 Realms that share the Queen as Head of State.

Alf reminded Justice Minister Amy Adams about this earlier today. She duly put out a press statement to say the Royal Succession Act makes three specific changes to the Royal succession rules:

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Low muster for referendum in the Far North tells us iwi leaders didn’t drive many Maori to the polls

March 25, 2015

Alf was bemused by a Radio NZ report that the Far North District Council was accused of bypassing iwi in a vote on creating Māori wards

He supposes the iwi are smarting because two thirds of those who voted rejected the proposal for dedicated seats.

This means, of course, they voted in favour of maintaining a democratically elected council rather than debase the idea that all votes should carry equal weight.

Now some outfit called Te Runanga Nui o Te Aupōuri has popped up to complain there was poor promotion of the poll and few Maori knew about the ballot.

Whether the portion of Maori who didn’t know about the ballot is any different from the portion of non-Maori who didn’t know about it is unclear.

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Golly – the people at Pak ‘n’ Save have learned to duck for cover against PC disapproval

March 24, 2015
You can appear naked on TV these days ... but -BBC censors bridled at this spectacle.

You can appear naked on TV these days … but -BBC censors bridled at this spectacle.

Can Alf talk about the Black Death?

Probably not. At least, not in polite company.

However it’s labelled, it was real, a devastating pandemic that resulted in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people which peaked in Europe in the years 1346–53.

Just as it was wise to try to avoid encountering whatever plague it was that caused all those deaths, it is wise nowadays to give a wide berth to golliwogs. Indeed, it is best you not even discuss them.

Pak’n Save has just been apologising that one of its supermarkets made an “error of judgment” in selling the dolls, and has apologised to customers.

Some aggrieved plonker presumably posted a photo of a black “Happy Gollies” children’s toy, retailing for $21.99, and this inevitably attracted a storm of opprobrium on social networks Twitter and Reddit.

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Misbehaviour by two St Bede’s boys called for stiff punishment but protective parents stick an oar in

March 23, 2015

School discipline and the punishment of delinquent lads suffered a setback today.

As a consequence two St Bede’s College students from Christchurch were enabled to row with their school’s Maadi Cup rowing team instead of being given six of the best on their bums with a cane, which is the punishment Alf would have meted out.

They can thank a judge and their parents for the leniency they have encountered (a family who apparently does not subscribe to the view that sparing the rod will spoil the children).

The two boisterous lads have been named as Jordan Kennedy and Jack Bell.

According to this report from the NZ Herald, they were chucked off the rowing team after breaching Auckland Airport security on Friday.

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House building is expensive when lizards must be considered – but taniwha would make it even costlier

March 22, 2015

Duncan Garner is being coy about naming names.

He tells a  fascinating story nevertheless about the abuse of the Resource Management Act and local council planning rules. The council said this must include “subcontracting a lizard specialist to assess whether a lizard management plan would also be needed”.

A lizard management plan?

How do you manage lizards?

At great expense.

Garner’s story is about “a decent hard-working guy” who is merely trying to build a house bu is being gouged financially as part of the planning and consent process.

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