Hold your hat on, Dover – those kauri logs (carved or otherwise) are nice little earners for the economy

June 17, 2015

Alf is a bit bemused about this kauri carry-on.

Here’s how he sees it: enterprising people are doing Northland a favour by ridding its swamps of kauri.

But Dover Samuels, one of the region’s prominent citizens, is hollering for a halt to the clean-up, which – for good measure – is earning good export dollars.

These logs have been lying in the swamps for many, many years.

Now that someone is making a buck from them, Dover recognises them as a treasure and the export of them as “plunder”.

Obviously he disapproves of this treasure being turned into cash (although maybe he would be tempted to change his mind if he was given a slice of the action).

Read the rest of this entry »


Let’s hear it for Damien: the National Party coffers have done nicely from his giving officials the fingers

May 3, 2014

It’s not often Alf feels the urge to acclaim the decisions of Labour politicians.

He is happy to make an exception in the case of one decision made by West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor, the Immigration Minister who over-rode the advice of his officials to allow Chinese businessman Donghua Liu into New Zealand.

Firstly, Liu’s subsequent brush with the law triggered events that led to Maurice Williamson’s forced resignation in recent days after it emerged he called high-level police officers about an investigation into Liu.

This is bad news for Maurice, who happens to be one of Alf’s mates.

But – ahem, let’s confess to a bit of self-interest here – his resignation has created a ministerial vacancy.

Read the rest of this entry »


Sorry folks, but this is an occasion when we Nats have gone out to discourage slavery

April 17, 2014

Alf is inclined to resurrect Don Brash’s Orewa speech – the one that occasioned lots of angry people to call him racist when he railed against race-based privilege and championed the principle of one law for all.

The speech and the principle he invoked seemed applicable to a bit of brouhaha over the law governing the use of foreign fishing boats and the way their crews are treated.

Some Maori reckon their fishing operations should be exempt from this law, which means they would like to be able to maintain practices described as slavery at sea.

But there are some other Maori – those in trade unions, for example – who seem to think that permitting slavery is a bad idea.

This creates a dilemma for your long-serving member who is acutely sensitive when it comes to issues which affect our indigenous people. Which lot of Maori should he listen to?

Read the rest of this entry »


Give our iwi a break – privilege is for Pakeha and what Maori are fishing for is simply an exemption

July 27, 2013

John Banks just doesn’t get it.

He fails to recognise that our indigenous people are special and should be treated accordingly.

That goes for their business activities, too.

And so there should be no surprise to find a select committee has recommended that Maori fishing quota holders be exempt from legislation designed to protect migrant workers on foreign chartered vessels from exploitation.

But according to the Herald (here), Banks fails to recognise that this is no more than special treatment being properly recommended for our special people.

He calls it privilege.

Read the rest of this entry »


You only need pollsters when you’ve lost your grip

November 3, 2009

Must have a quiet word with Internal Affairs Minister Nathan Guy. The poor bugger should be getting out and about in his electorate much more – notwithstanding his ministerial workload – instead of paying bloody pollsters to find what people think of him.

Alf has no need for pollsters. He is in close touch with his constituents, and hence knows that the vast bulk of them regard him as hard-working and (for his age) good looking. That’s why electoral support for him is greater than Winston Peters’ ego.

Nathan, alas, doesn’t seem to know how he rates among his constituents.

And so he has organised a telephone poll to gauge Kapiti residents’ preferred expressway option – a highly contentious issue in that neck of the woods – as well as his own popularity.

Read the rest of this entry »