Kapiti council took a hard line against old folk but is keen to okay a cycling club’s tree-lopping

March 12, 2015

Some mad bastards are running freely around the country after threatening to poison infant formula. But the  news media have been just as enthralled by the antics of some tossers with a powerful urge to protect  trees.

Alf is not sure what has happened today but overnight – as you can see here – the owners of the Titirangi sites where a kauri and a rimu were scheduled for removal have released an open letter saying the kauri  can stay.

This sounds like discrimination against rimu, but Alf – to be candid – couldn’t care less.

Accordingly he thinks Environment Minister Nick Smith is looking dangerously like a greenie for saying he hoped the kauri would be saved.

“I expressed to the [Auckland] mayor [Len Brown] a preference for the 200-year-old kauri to be spared, if at all possible, but that the Government respected the fact that it was a decision for the Auckland Council.”

This fuss led Alf to recall the appalling way an elderly couple in Kapiti were treated last year for doing the environment a favour and letting in more sun by lopping a few trees.

The bloody council fairly obviously knew it was being unreasonably bloody-minded by sending in the cops to help deal to the couple because it apologised while persisting with prosecuting them. 

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Maori Party congratulates former co-leader – but she also is reminded she has retired from politics

January 2, 2015
Have they got one of these things for my mouth?

Have they got one of these things for my mouth?

A bit of political howz-yer-father within the Maori Party seems to have escaped the attention of the news media. This is not surprising, because the news media seem to be under instructions to ignore anything that happens unless it involves a road accident, a drowning, a mountain climb gone wrong, or some other form of tragedy.

Maori Party co-leaders, fair to say, joined others in congratulating Tariana Turia for the damehood thing that was bestowed upon her in the New Year Honours.

But they short-changed her in the whakapapa department by overlooking the papa side of her bloodline.

Hon Tariana Turia (Ngāti Apa, Ngā Wairiki, Ngā Rauru, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Whanganui) will forever be remembered in our nation’s history as the founding co-leader of the Māori Party. The Māori Party is the only indigenous party to be elected to New Zealand’s Parliament and to operate as an independent voice both in parliament and government.

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Bob won’t press on with his monorail project but iwi leaders can play the treaty card

May 30, 2014

Alf is wondering today what might have happened if Bob Robertson could wave the Treaty of Waitangi in support of his proposal to run a monorail through the Fiordland National Park.

As we all now know, the proposal has been scuttled by the government.

And Robertson has said he will not appeal against the decision or pursue any legal action.

He has taken it on the chin, after Conservation Minister Nick Smith turned down the application for the $240 million project, saying it didn’t stack up economically or environmentally.

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Murray McCully’s meddling at MFAT – might it bring about his ministerial demise?

March 22, 2012


It looks like your hard-working MP will have to wait to see if his formidable talents are appropriately recognised by The Boss with a long-overdue promotion.

That howz-yer-father about the ACC and the Pullar woman culminated in Nick Smith’s resignation from his ministerial portfolios.

Great (although Alf is not publicly displaying his approval).

Trouble is, Nick’s ministerial jobs have been given to others, at least for now.

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The sorry thing about Nick and the Pullar woman is that he won’t be sacked

March 21, 2012

"What else should I be saying sorry for?"

Just quietly, Alf has been struggling to suppress his urge to join the Labour tossers in demanding Nick Smith’s head.

They reckon he is not fit to lead the Government’s local government reforms and must be sacked.

This follows Nick doing something Alf would never do: he apologised.

The advice never to apologise was drummed into Alf by his dad.

Nick, obviously, was not blessed with such sound parental guidance.

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Let’s just have one council to make the most of the efficiencies that flow from a mega-merger

March 20, 2012

So who said size is cods?

Bigger is better.

Nobody puts it as baldly as that.

But that’s what drove the formation of Fonterra. It also drove the merging of four existing government agencies to create the new Business, Innovation and Employment Ministry.

This made Steven Joyce a genuine Pooh-bah, our Lord High Everything.

Some people wail about lots of civil servants being made redundant or something, which will swell the dole queues.

To the contrary, this will free them to wait patiently for proper jobs in the private sector, because – as we all know – governments don’t create jobs, private enterprise does.

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Climate change dogma is challenged by satellite data on the earth’s release of energy into space

August 2, 2011

Wow...it's not as warm up here as I was predicting.

The Greens are grouching again about climate change and all that carry-on at the same time as scientists are affirming that we are no good at forecasting anything to with the future.

Because forecasters only forecast something they reckon will happen in the future, this means we haven’t progressed much from the days when a pile of chicken guts would be consulted before decisions were made.

But the forecasters will keep on forecasting and getting it wrong because the incur no penalty for getting it wrong, which happens most of the time.

Well, almost nobody.

They’ve got the right idea in Romania where they have been considering legislation to keep witches from misleading the people.

A month after Romanian authorities began taxing them for their trade, the country’s soothsayers and fortune tellers are cursing a new bill that threatens fines or even prison if their predictions don’t come true.

The witches kicked up a fuss about this, saying they shouldn’t be blamed for the failure of their tools.

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It would be comforting to say there will be no quake in Christchurch today, but Alf is not a prophet

March 20, 2011

The white beard tells us a lot.

A huckster once read some tarot cards and predicted Alf would become Elizabeth Taylor’s umpteenth husband. This was a very grim prediction, because Elizabeth Taylor by then was well past her best-by date.

Joy, oh joy, it never happened, although this may be a consequence of Alf giving Elizabeth Taylor a very wide berth – just in case – and of Mrs Grumble making damned sure Alf gave the fading star a wide berth.

None of the huckster’s other predictions came to anything either, Alf established by checking among those whose futures similarly had been foretold at the time.

This experience prompted Alf to look real hard into the predicting and prophesying business, from horoscopes and tealeaf readings to economic forecasters.

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Yes, Nick Smith is taking a punt with climate change – but so did Rodney with the Super City

March 15, 2011

A sartorial turn-off - and he's blinkered about Auckland, too.

Those tossers at ACT have a bloody nerve.

Mind you, lots of nerve is needed when membership requires you to be led by a bloke who wears yellow jackets.

In this case, however, Alf is talking about the nerve of John Boscowen, who basks in the title of ACT Deputy Leader and Climate Change Spokesman.

He has got all huffy about climate change matters, and is demanding to know

… how Climate Change Minister Dr Nick Smith could propose to reduce New Zealand greenhouse gas emissions to 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 when he does not even know what effect this target will have on jobs and GDP.

The answer is simple.

You take a bloody big punt, you stand up and you propose it.

And if you don’t know what will happen as a consequence – well, that’s just too bad.

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Encountering Nick in the nick (well, almost) would be unedifying but shouldn’t induce trauma

March 11, 2011

Another layer of business suit would lift his image.

But Mrs Grumble would welcome this bloke to Eketahuna.

Dunno what the bloody fuss is about.

It transpires that Nick Smith has been spotted wandering through the Wellington suburb of Thorndon in his bathing trunks – our Nick in the near nick, you could say.

The thought of it is somewhat challenging for Mrs Grumble.

So far as she is concerned, someone like Daniel Craig could walk all the way from Thorndon to Eketahuna in his trunks, and she would make no fuss – at least, not of the complaining sort.

To the contrary, she would hope the whole trek was broadcast live on the telly.

And when he got to Eketahuna, she would be out there to personally welcome him to town.

But Mrs Grumble is grateful Nick Smith’s jaunt was not photographed, and that pictures of Smith in his togs were not posted on the web or on the front page of the Dom-Post, because she would rather not know what the bugger looks like without the protection of a business suit. Preferably two business suits.

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