The burgeoning support for the continuance of Western Springs speedway racing is probably not unconnected with a desire to compensate for the failure of the proposed V8 race in a different part of town to get planning approval. But the creation of some wickedly funny campaign virals probably hasn't hurt either.
As Brian Rudman pointed out this week, the argument for the speedway, which has been merrily exceeding noise guidelines since they were agreed eight years ago, isn't quite as straightforward as its cheerleaders maintain:
Upholding Western Springs speedway's right to continue polluting the surrounding neighbourhood with noise because it's been getting away with it for 75 years is hardly a rational argument.
It's like defending the use of lead paints to redecorate adjacent villas because that's what was used when the houses were first built.
We are now much more aware than our grandparents' generation were that noise - and lead - are serious health issues. Unfortunately, as health issues go, noise has always been a bit of a cinderella as far as enforcement is concerned.
No one would, of course, countenance maintaining a major rubbish tip nearby (which there was) just because there's always been one there and it was handy to the western suburbs. But the speedway is a colourful Saturday night fixture of very long standing, and no one wants to be a party-pooper. So everyone's in favour, most especially if they don't actually have the bother of living next to it nearly every Saturday night through spring and summer.
I'm certainly not near enough for it to actually be a bother, although we can hear it two kilometres away in Pt Chev on an easterly wind - but it does seem that the long-term solution is surely to find a more sensible place to race. It's not like the issue is going to go away.
Anyway, the council last night unanimously agreed to support the speedway - whatever that means, given that the noise guidelines will actually remain.
At time of posting, DogBitingMen was promising a post on Tim Selwyn's sedition charge. I mean, sedition? Huh?
Karl Simpson was in touch with comment yesterday:
I thought I should try to clear up potential confusion around Gordon Campbell's Listener article regarding re-registration of TVNZ under the Companies Act 1993.
As a junior corporate lawyer in the mid 1990s, I worked on a number of company re-registrations. Companies registered under the Companies Act 1955 had from 1 July 1994 until 30 June 1997 to reregister under the Companies Act 1993. Many companies waited until near the end of this period to effect the change, using the opportunity to tidy up company structures and write a new company constitution to replace the old Articles of Association. This process usually took some time as it generally required director and shareholder approval.
Many companies did not re-register at all, and were instead deemed to have reregistered at the close of the transition period. In this context TVNZ's re-registration on 3 July 1996, a year in advance of the end of the transition period, is neither inept nor particularly noteworthy.
On the other hand, I think the fact that TVNZ's salaries automagically shot up in that three-year period is noteworthy.
The Dom Post is running a McCully special this morning: shock-horror, TVNZ pays $4m in bonuses. On the face of it, this is a non-story. Performance bonus components in salary packages are perfectly conventional, and in a year when TVNZ made a record profit, it's hardly surprising that they were paid - especially to sales staff. (A much more interesting story would be a look at the sign-on bonuses and please-don't-go sweeteners forked out this year by the two big newspaper chains.)
A different Karl also had some comment, this time on Sean Plunket:
As I was reading the second-last paragraph of your post Sean Plunket popped into my head. And serendipitously, you mentioned him in the next line.
Earlier this week he interviewed Chris Carter over a road-block set up by Maori preventing campers getting to a DOC campsite. It was really quite appalling. Carter, at the start, at least tried to suggest that negotiation might be an effective way to resolve the issue (i.e. ask them, what's your problem, let's try and solve it).
I was very disappointed that Plunket carried the standard opposition line to boot them out. His questioning seemed to solely consist of "will you force them out", not listening to anything else Carter said.
I was saddened that Carter eventually relented to this line. The State is unique in its ability to use force on citizens. A responsible State should exercise that sparingly. It is always distressing to see the State use force in inappropriate ways (e.g. the arrest of media covering bypass protests in Wellington before the protesters arrive).
Plunket increasingly seems to want to bully the Government into inappropriate responses to issues.
What was heartening in the end was the way the process was resolved: DOC went to the protesters, asked them what was wrong, said they'd try to address the problems that were outlined, and the protesters went home happy.
Nice one DOC. And I'm now back to listening to Active 89 in the mornings.
Hmmm. I was looking to be jocular yesterday, but, as a punter rather than a commentator, I was genuinely annoyed about the prisoner compensation interviews. I wanted to make my own judgement, but I couldn't, because I couldn't hear what Phil Goff had to say. Still Anne Hercus seemed to have the key this morning: maximum imperiousness.
Adam Hunt sent Act's Muriel Newman an email about the Civil Union Bill, and got this in return:
Thank you for contacting me and sharing your views on the Civil Union Bill - in a democracy it is very important that people have their say. In that spirit, I have taken the liberty of sending you my weekly opinion piece. If you would like to be taken off the list, please reply to this email with "unsubscribe" in the subject line.
Aarrggh! I hope the Minister for Spam has stopped flicking on email addresses to her husband's business ventures …
Juha Saarinen pointed out this story, which suggests that Microsoft has been thinking along the lines of "Blogging! Great idea! Let's own it."
PS: If you didn't read the current Great New Zealand Argument, Robin Hyde's The Singers of Loneliness, you should. It's brilliant.