SNAFU at HQ? Our troops are being sent to fight with short-sighted weaponry

August 30, 2011

Hitting the Kiwis is a piece of piss ... especially when they can't hit us.

It could be a load of bollocks, but it seems to have come from a bloody good source.

And if it’s not bollocks, then Wayne Mapp will have some explaining to do.

It’s a report at Stuff today that – bugger me – says our troops are having to fight with old and obsolete weapons.

Read the rest of this entry »

Link between binge drinking and job uncertainty is made by … a nervous Labour MP?

August 5, 2011

Alf is predicting a burst of binge drinking among Labour Party politicians (notwithstanding the misgivings he expressed about predictions a few days ago).

He is confident about this prediction because it is based on solid information from inside the Labour Party itself.


Yep. Really.

Alf triumphantly brandishes his evidence.

It’s a Stuff report about Labour’s explanation for the Navy’s binge-drinking culture.

Read the rest of this entry »

Better late than never, the taxpayer will stump up for war veterans

July 12, 2011

The German taxpayer picked up the tab for flying these blokes into Crete.

Alf could see this one coming: The Boss has stepped in to clean up a PR embarrassment over the way we treated a bunch of elderly war heroes.

The Herald at the weekend reported the veterans – some in their 90s – ended up paying to attend commemorations in Europe while the taxpayer funded the Defence Minister’s luxury travel, personal assistant and top hotels.

The treatment of the veterans on the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Crete shocked observers, who had expected to see them treated as the centrepiece of the New Zealand contingent.

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp spent more than $26,000 on flights and top hotels for himself and a secretary, in luxurious suites overlooking the Bay of Chania.

But New Zealand’s war heroes were forced to pay out of their own pockets, arrange their own itineraries and stay in modest accommodation, with just $2000 Government support – less than a return airfare.

Australian veterans – in contrast – were flown over by their Government and cared for by provided doctors.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dear Crusher: If it’s good enough for zoo keepers to shoot to kill escapers, why not prison escapers too?

May 7, 2011


Is this Crusher popping down to the shops?

Mrs Grumble has just typed a letter for Alf to sign and send to the admirable Corrections Minister, Crusher Collins.

Alf was tempted to raise the matter of Crusher’s petrol expenses, but decided that would be counter-productive.

It would be apt to get her back up, and when Crusher gets her back up she can become more than somewhat shrewish.

But more of that later.

Alf’s purpose was to recommend the hiring of Paul Horton for a job in the Corrections Service, to look after our more dangerous prison inmates.

Read the rest of this entry »

The real triumph is that Canterbury remains afloat after her American encounter

April 15, 2011

Te Kaha... rebuffed after a bit of speed dating.

A parliamentary scribe by name of Martin Kay is banging on today about a United States navy helicopter landing on the deck of the New Zealand navy ship Canterbury.

Wow. Let’s stand up and salute.

Obviously we are supposed to regard this as some sort of triumph because Kay warbles that this is

… the most significant sign yet of the thaw in military relations.

The word “significant” gets lots of use.

Read the rest of this entry »

Strong action is needed to deal with the Mt Eden larrakins – but should it be Willie or Wolfgang?

November 8, 2010

Is it a job for Corporal Willie Apiata and his mates - or this bloke?

Sending in the SAS is one way of restoring law and order at Eden Park. Alf prefers another option – sending in Mozart.

He was disappointed to hear of the need to beef up security and police presence at the park to prevent a recurrence of the weekend mayhem created by drunken louts. But he was by no means surprised.

He regards Auckland as an uncivilised city and Aucklanders as an uncouth bunch (with some admirable exceptions), an opinion reinforced by their choice of a mayor for their Super City.

What happened at the weekend accordingly should have been foreseen, but the Herald reports –

Read the rest of this entry »

But if the Air Force isn’t strong enough to exercise, how will it get in shape for combat?

July 5, 2010

Don't wait for Mapp ... he hasn't finished cleaning his carburetor.

It’s a bloody good thing we don’t have to fight the Battle of Britain or its Kiwi equivalent in the foreseeable future.

At least, so far as Alf knows (and he gets his intelligence on these matters from discussing defence and foreign affairs policy at caucus meetings), no such battle is in the offing just yet.

He makes his observation about our fitness for combat on hearing that the Royal New Zealand Air Force has had to pull out of two international exercises this year because of a lack of planes.

An Air Force without enough planes to take part in exercises?

Yep. That’s what it boils down to, which explains why we call on God to Defend New Zealand in our national anthem.

Read the rest of this entry »

Forget about Crusher Collins – let’s persuade her to become Slugger with this tasty idea

February 23, 2010

Alf has an idea for our Corrections Minister, the admirable Crusher Collins. Our Defence Minister, Wayne Mapp, is smart enough to see the possibilities, too.

Alf’s fertile mind was activated by news that Mapp, wearing his Research, Science and Technology hat, is thinking about coughing up good public money to help study toxic sea slugs.

As the NZ Herald reports today, scientists want to know how far the highly poisonous slugs have spread and why they have suddenly become toxic. But the Environment Ministry and other government departments have so far refused to pay.

Toxic snails? How toxic?
Read the rest of this entry »

Auckland a world-class city? Fat chance

September 18, 2009

(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)

Gotta say Alf’s colleague Wayne Mapp deserves some brownie points for enthusiasm.

In a press release from his office today, he is banging on about the passage yesterday of the Local Government (Auckland Council) Bill.

Fully implemented, it will help deliver on National’s commitment to making Auckland a world-class city. We will get better value for our rates, and community control of what matters in our neighbourhoods.


Alf reckons it’s fair enough for Mapp to anticipate better value for rates.

But he’s highly sceptical that anything could turn Auckland into a world-class city, including a miracle.
Read the rest of this entry »

Salinger’s sacking not a ministerial matter

April 29, 2009

Jeanette Fitzsimons is on the wrong tack, trying to embroil Wayne Mapp in the fuss over Jim Salinger’s sacking.

In Parliament yesterday she asked Mapp, our Minister of Research, Science and Technology, if he stood by his statement in the Dominion Post last Saturday that the dismissal of internationally renowned scientist Dr Jim Salinger from his position at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research is “an employment dispute, which must be handled by the chief executive and the board”?

Mapp stuck to his guns: “Yes, I do.”
Read the rest of this entry »