Telecom has become Spark, but its bosses should be fired if they can’t revive their internet services

September 6, 2014


Good luck, Grumblers.

Catching up with Alf’s latest profound observations on the life, the universe and everything could be somewhat hit and miss today. At least, for some readers.

That’s because Telecom, nowadays operating as Spark, is not firing on all cylinders.

Here at the Grumble household we have been turning routers on and off, and turning computers on and off, and trying to get through to Spark via telephone to find out what’s up.

At last we were able to bring up the NZ Herald’s website where one of the first news items told of the country’s biggest telecommunications firm scrambling to fix an internet meltdown after an unexplained surge in internet traffic last night.

But when we clicked on to learn more we got the same old same old…

Firefox could not find the server.

Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s hear it for the PPTA – whether we privatise a school or nationalise one, they are opposed

September 26, 2013

The PPTA is opposed to charter schools – one of its discussion papers claims – because they pave the way for privatising the state school system.

The very same PPTA also opposes the application by a private school to join the state system.

Go figure.

If these tossers added 2+2 the answer would be …

Anything but four and probably something that needs taken to eight decimal points.

Read the rest of this entry »

The French have missed out on Dover – so why not whet their interest in Auckland?

December 24, 2012
But wouldn't we rue its sale?

But wouldn’t we rue its sale?

The Brits don’t have the bottle for it, obviously.

But we Kiwis do.

Accordingly we should do what the Cameron Government shied away from doing, which was sell the port of Dover.

We couldn’t sell the port of Dover, let’s be clear.

But we can take a cue from the British, insofar as the idea was to get a nice return from selling the port made famous by Dame Vera Lynn.

And we have lots of ports. Read the rest of this entry »

Bugger the ballot box, bro – just bring in the barristers to beat the bastards

February 7, 2012

Alf is braced for race relations to become somewhat strained when Kiwis tumble to the implications of the Maori Council’s latest initiative.

The council is prepared to take the Government to court if it does not act in good faith over its Treaty of Waitangi obligations, a spokesman says.

According to the latest intelligence on this matter from Stuff-

The council will today lodge two claims to the Waitangi Tribunal over the Government’s plans to partially sell four state-owned energy companies.

Acting in good faith presumably means acting in a way that will pass muster with the Maori Council.

Hence it is likely to require the Government to do things that risk pissing off other citizens.

Read the rest of this entry »

Why “Waitangi” Day? The shit-stirring calls for a more appropriate name

February 3, 2012

Welcome to the marae, John...

Dunno why we bother calling it Waitangi Day.

It has become an occasion – in the Far North, anyway – for unseemly shit-stirring.

Accordingly we should think about calling it something more appropriate, like Maori Malevolence Day.

Hone Hawawira’s gaggle of malcontents is promising another dose of aggravation this weekend.

The Mana Party is warning Prime Minister John Key will get a hostile reception at Waitangi this weekend as anger among Maori grows over the potential removal of Treaty rights and cutbacks at the Maori Affairs Ministry, Te Puni Kokiri.

Mana spokesman Malcolm Mulholland said this morning Key was walking into “a perfect storm”.

Read the rest of this entry »

God is still great but pastoral workers in Mt Eden prison have been Serco-sized

January 29, 2012

A headline in the Herald on Sunday today exposes the bugger who wrote it as seriously heathen.

It says God locked out of Mt Eden prison cells

But God is omnipresent and can’t be locked out of anything, especially prisons from which mere mortals of the criminal persuasion can and often do escape.

The HoS’s impiety is compounded in the first sentence of the story.

God has been remanded without a chance of appeal at one of our toughest prisons.

As Alf’s astute constituents will have observed, that first sentence shows the HoS hacks are profoundly confused about what exactly has happened to God, because it implies He has been locked in, not out.

But if you bother to read on to find what God might have been banged up for, you find his omnipresence has not become flawed and he has been locked neither in nor out.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lefties and greenies should look beyond asset sales to find the defining election issue

November 25, 2011

What happened to these privatised state assets? Oh, yes, they finished up in public ownership again.

Buckets of bollocks have been uttered about sales of state assets during the election campaign.

Labour’s Phil Goff – for example – has been banging on about them being gone for ever, once they have been sold.

So how come taxpayers are still pouring money into our state-owned rail company?

Alf was among the enthusiastic supporters of the Bolger government’s privatising New Zealand Rail Ltd back in 1993.

The bloody outfit went through a few name and ownership changes – Tranz Rail, Toll NZ – and continued to bleed money.

In May 2008 the Clark Government agreed to buy Toll NZ Ltd (less its trucking and distribution operations) for $665 million.

It has not been a nice little earner for taxpayers since then.

But it has shown that once an asset has been sold, it it is not necessarily gone for ever.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pita and partnership: it boils down to approving Nat policy if Maori get preferential treatment

November 21, 2011

A thought crossed Alf’s mind, while he was sipping on his favourite tipple in the Eketahuna Club.

Why not ensure white people are given the first option when it comes to buying shares in state companies?

People of a different colour can get the left-overs.

Hmm. Any problem with that?

Actually, there is – a glaring one. It’s racist.

And racism, as we all know, can never be countenanced.

So what are we to make of Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples’ thinking on asset sales?

Read the rest of this entry »

Oh look – Ngai Tahu have cashed in on forestry land by selling it to foreigners

October 4, 2011

We hear a lot of stuff about Maori having this world view that differs from the non-Maori world view and includes very different attitudes to land and resources.

Tukoroirangi Morgan, from Waikato Tainui, is among those who would have us believe Maori manage their assets differently from the result of us.

A few weeks ago he was in full blather about his plan to form a consortium of iwi, land trusts and incorporations to buy stakes in any state-owned enterprises that may be part-privatised if National is re-elected in November.

Read the rest of this entry »

DoC takes a knock over the smart idea of having someone make a buck from its camping grounds

January 16, 2011

But the experience would be safer with a police station nearby.

A couple of camping stories grabbed Alf’s attention this morning.

First, he notes that campers are expressing outrage that the Department of Conservation is thinking about handing over camping grounds to private companies to run them at a profit.

The second is a beat-up about a couple’s unfortunate experience while camping down south. They obviously had a rough time, being abused by a bunch of nearby campers who – so far as Alf can work out – were having a good time.

Because these nearby campers were roaring pissed, by all accounts, a condition in which Southlanders often find themselves, and because the harrassed couple felt threatened, they should have buggered off much sooner and camped somewhere else.

Read the rest of this entry »