If Warner Bros want to take their ball and play somewhere else – well, just let ’em go

February 8, 2013
They look like Labour supporters.

They look like Labour supporters.

It is probably economic treason to say so, and Mrs Grumble delivered a caution to that effect.

But Alf is bound to say he couldn’t give a toss for The Hobbit and won’t be going to see it. Among other considerations, he is of an age where a visit to the gents will be required some time between the movie’s start and its finish, and this means he will (1) miss some of the action and (2) disrupt the viewing of others when he pushes desperately past them to make that visit.

Oh, and he does not give a toss about what Warner Bros might think about this country as a location for making movies.

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Official information stand-off: defiant Maori could transform Crusher into Shredder Collins

July 28, 2012

Uh, oh. Auckland’s Independent Maori Statutory Board has bought itself a fight with Crusher Collins.

The buggers are playing the race card, claiming entitlement to special treatment when it comes to compliance with the requirements of the Official Information Act.

Dunno how the Treaty of Waitangi lets them off the hook, exactly, but you can be sure they can bewilder us with a profundity of fancy arguments on the matter.

Accordingly they are refusing to cough up some simple bits of information lawfully and reasonably sought by Crusher in her capacity as MP for Papakura.

This is in defiance of a recommendation of the Chief Ombudsman.

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With all the fuss about fracking and housing, Phil can be forgiven if he has become scratchy

April 19, 2012

Alf’s good mate Phil Heatley, back in Opposition days, enjoyed watching Chris Carter wriggle at Question Time in Parliament. Alf enjoyed watching him wriggle, too.

Carter, you might recall, was Housing Minister before he came unglued within the Labour Party hierarchy.

And on more than one occasion our Phil had the bugger on the back foot – for example, when he asked how come a person could be allocated a State house in Māngere while owning a holiday home in Russell.

If you are going to dish it out in Opposition, you have to be able to take it in government, of course.

And when he became Minister of Housing, it looked like Phil was a feller who did not mind hard questioning.

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It’s no bad thing to say sorry sometimes, but the cops are faster to apprehend than apologise

March 2, 2011

"And if the complaints authority says we shouldn't have done this, we might consider an apology."

Sports broadcaster Tony Veitch shouldn’t hold his breath on the matter of the apology from the police that was suggested by The Independent Police Conduct Authority.

The authority last week said the cops should apologise to Veitch – or rather, consider apologising – after a file containing unsubstantiated claims relating to his 2008 assault on Kristin Dunne-Powell (his girl friend at the time) was released to media.

But the cops don’t do apologies.

Not in a hurry, anyway.

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Let’s ask those bloody reporters who pays when they get into trouble with the libel laws

April 8, 2010

Alf has a simple question for the political hacks now engaged in a feeding frenzy over MPs’ legal bills.

If they write something defamatory and are sued, who picks up the tab for the legal bills and damages?

If they reply that they personally won’t pay – their company will carry those costs – then they will have gone a long way to explaining why MPs don’t meet the costs of their own transgressions when they say something as MPs that incurs a defamation suit.

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Property prices, poison and public rights

August 1, 2009

It looks like a bloody no-brainer to Alf: the public is entitled to know if a chunk of property might have been contaminated by chemicals. Providing them with this information is more important than any threat to property prices.

Perhaps brains are in short supply on the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

But it seems the buggers resisted revealing the locations of thousands of potentially contaminated sites.

Now the ombudsman has ruled that public safety is more important than the possible effects on property prices.
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Keeping expense details under wraps

June 8, 2009

Political historian Barry Gustafson doubtless is right, when he says people want to know the full details of MPs’ travel expenses, such as where or why they travelled. Alf would prefer they did not know.

Every Kiwi MP is entitled to an annual $14,800 expense account. But MPs’ expenses are not detailed and are not subject to the Official Information Act.

The great benefit of non-disclosure is that it keeps prying journalists out of our hair.

Think what the media would be doing with Richard Worth’s expense claims right now, if they could comb through them item by item.
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