I wonder why Cameron Brewer doesn't want to focus more on politicians being too close to corporates like Sky City ...
Someone I know who works for SkyCity pointed out the other day that handing out free upgrades is so ridiculously common, it's not something most hotels even keep a record of. Cheaper rooms tend to be overbooked, so moving people to more expensive rooms for free makes sense.
There are plenty of people in the public eye who have benefitted from gifts from SkyCity in the last few years, and honestly those gifts far outweigh a few free upgrades.
Ceiling Cat is an apparatchik of the Nanny State, obviously.
There's certainly a strong argument to make that Cameron Brewer is a self-serving knob with no basis for his complaints, but Len Brown's interview on Morning Report really didn't make that argument. It was a weird excursion into prepared phrases and corporate speak, in ways that were honestly unnecessary. Was he still half asleep and on autopilot, or was this the result of some ham-handed crisis management training that has sapped his ability to speak normally?
Will those 15,000 young people vote at all? If Kim had 15,000 old people turning up, that would signal large-scale change
It's a function of the industry I work in that I meet dozens of young, straight, pākehā men who can best be described as "cyberlibertarians" (as Craig describes above.) They're not, strictly speaking, politically apathetic, but they don't vote currently because they don't care much about (for example) marriage equality, but they do care about civil liberties, narrowly defined as anything that would affect people like themselves. (That's how they see it, anyway.) They could easily get behind this party.
Does it necessarily follow that thinking smacking is wrong, or potentially (or always) harmful means that the solution is found in the criminal law?
Craig's argument is, literally, that NZ's "anti-smacking law" increases child abuse. That's a much stronger claim than you're making, and one that is rightly being pilloried.
I'd love to know how many NZ First voters Craig is hoping to steal from Winston. This is a red meat issue for them (and they're impervious enough to facts to be swayed.)
I'm not particularly impressed with Mayor Brown's conduct through all this, although I think the question of what happens from her boils down to "Can he still work effectively with the rest of the council?" At this stage, I've seen little evidence that that relationship is threatened. That may change in the future, but I guess most councilors are just happy to get to this point without finding any evidence of actual fraud.
I do think NZ's tolerance for this kind of "freebies for VIPs" culture has to go. This isn't a new thing (Winston's scampi meals, anyone?) but as the amounts of money in NZ politics increases, we should be taking steps to avoid even the appearance of impropriety on the part of our elected officials.
For context, my cat-gifs-and-bad-jokes Tumblr had the following in November:
7,236 page views
6,013 unique visits
5,563 first time visits
450 returning visits
The majority occurred on a single day, when BuzzFeed linked to a post I reblogged (with a little more from a French online magazine called Brain the next few days.)
Typically my stats are much less impressive (probably about 10% of those above) but getting traffic from a megasite like BuzzFeed can skew anything.
ETA: Maybe I should get into cat scandal reporting? "Maru's lovechild!" "Lil Bub: Racist or Revolutionary?"
My first free concert was John Farnham in a paddock at the AMP Showgrounds in Hastings in the late 80's. His parents lived in Havelock North and he was visiting them so decided to put on a show for the locals. I was about ten or eleven and only remember that there was a lot of sheep poo on the ground.
First paid gig was Smashing Pumpkins at the Super top in 1995 or 1996, after Mellon Collie was released. My family had just moved up from Hastings to Auckland, and I didn't know anyone here, but damn it I wanted to see them play. I remember the gig as being great: stripped back and straightforward, almost certainly because the Supertop was a dump. Jimmy Chamberlain got rained on when the roof leaked, but kept playing, and Billy Corgan just rode the wave of ten thousand kids having a great time at a rock show. Bullet with Butterfly Wings was a major highlight.
FFS, Kundera writes about the cultural disassociation of expatriates and exiles, and you somehow get a paean to political and social orthodoxy out of it?
ETA: Sorry about the tangent, but others are tackling the important issues up thread. I'm mostly just here to defend Milan's rep in the face of wilful misinterpretation.