I'm in the Waimakariri electorate, which has for the last few elections been comfortably blue in party vote, but returned Clayton Cosgrove as an electorate MP, until last election, when Kate Wilkinson won. This always puzzled me, because Kate Wilkinson is a charisma-free zone and is not half the electorate MP that Clayton Cosgrove is - sure, he may be polarising, but he does work hard for people in the electorate, and gets himself about and seen.
It will be interesting to see how it unfolds this year - Team Key's smug rich white man against Clayton Cosgrove, who has the labour party logo on his billboards, but no mention of "Party Vote Labour".
the Wage and Price Freeze of 1982-4
Which was very much just a wage freeze. I was 22 in 1984, working for one of the Think Big companies (New Zealand Steel). I voted for the Labour candidate in Franklin (Bill Birch's electorate) which was about as useful as voting for a tsunami on the moon.
I did not like Muldoon and his cronies at all, most of whom seemed to be in senior positions because they'd been there a long time and they would do what Rob wanted (it's taken the current National government to give us a worse Minister of Education than Merv Wellington for instance).
We really were an insular, closed, cut off little country in those days - I'm glad to see the end of those times, but the Douglas and Richardson years we could have done without....
Sausage curry with sultanas and cubed apple was a staple when I was growing up whenever mum felt like cooking something "exotic". I seem to recall the curry powder always being Vencat Curry Powder in the little red plastic pot, but that might be just my memory making things up. Sausage curry and curried eggs (which I still have an enormous soft spot for) were my introduction to curry, but it was my OE in the UK in the late 80s that really fostered the love.
When I was living in Shepherd's Bush, there was a takeaway curry shop under the Metropolitan Line Shepherd's Bush tube station that had a huge board listing all its curries - one section was Chicken, one section was Lamb, and the last section was just "Meat".
There was also a wonderful Nepalese restaurant on Uxbridge Rd that I just about lived in - it was also open before lunchtime on Sundays, so Sunday morning was a trip to the newsagents to buy the Sunday papers (including the appalling tabloids for the lols), then a takeaway curry from the Nepalese place, then back to the flat for brunch/lunch.
I bought a copy of The Curry Club's "Indian Restaurant Cookbook" when I left the UK, and it's been well-used since.
I wouldn't hold your breath for any particularly rapid response from the Ministry of Education. I was on the BOT of Southbrook School in Rangiora for about 12 years, and for probably 8 of those years the Ministry has been talking about creating a new primary school in Rangiora, to cater for the growth in population in Waimakariri in general. Over those 12 years, there has been two full rounds of consultation and surveying of school communities, rumours of half a dozen sites where the school could go, and a general tightening of school zones in Rangiora (every primary school in Rangiora has an enrolment zone, and every semi-rural school for about half an hour's travel in every direction).
The sum result of all this heat? Bugger all. No new school, no definite site purchase, increasingly full schools and, in Southbrook School's case, increasing pressure on the small amount of playground space they have available.
I signed up to iHug’s original “all you can download” dial-up plan in about 1995 (my now-Vodafone account number is so low I always have to repeat it when I ring customer service) – back when Mirsky’s Worst of the Web was relevant, because you could almost keep up with the number of pages on the web.
I always loved Hotbot as a search engine – better than Lycos and Alta Vista, and I never used Ask Jeeves either.
First School gig A local band made up of a few blokes a year or two ahead at school. Bass player sang most of the songs – a lot of covers of Police numbers. [this was around 1980-81.]
Dave Patrick, who comments up-thread, might remember this outfit – I think they were his his year.
Anyway, the bass player is still playing bass, and his outfit is doing rather well,
Peter Koopman - yes, he's managed to turn an excuse to get out of 4th form science (double bass lessons) in to a musical career. No idea who the others would have been in that band.
Loudest? That would be either Motorhead at Mainstreet or the Hoodoo Gurus at the Gluepot. Motorhead you could feel the bass in your bones, the Hoodoo Gurus I had constantly ringing ears for a couple of days and secondary ringing whenever something made any noise.
Best concert might just be the Mekons in some tiny little pub in White City in London, about 1987. There were almost more people in the band than in the audience, there wasn't a stage as such, just the band playing against one wall practically in the audience, and everyone just had a whale of a time. Or Joanna Newsom. Or the Pogues.
Concerts I regret missing: the Clash and the Members in Auckland in the early 80s, and Husker Du in London in 1987.
Never got taken to a concert by my parents – Dad was in to jazz and there wasn’t a lot of that around (or that he could afford on a minister’s stipend with 4 kids). We did see Godspell at His Majesty's in (I think) 1978 or possibly 1977 - and it was pretty damn good too.
First concert ever: Golden Harvest at school in 1978 or 1979. We watched because it was better than nothing – I’d just discovered punk, so Golden Harvest didn’t really do much for me.
First “I paid for this” and International are one and the same: Magazine in 1980. The Kiwi Concert Date archive says it was at the Auckland Town Hall, my memory says it was at Mainstreet. I trust my memory more.
First New Zealand music gig – any one of dozens of Mainstreet Friday and Saturday nights from 1981 onwards, or whichever Sweetwaters it was that Roxy Music headlined (1981 as well? – the concert archive concurs – and $25 for 3 days!!). The Mockers on Friday night were amazing – 3 guys on the massive Sweetwaters stage, Andrew Fagan totally owning the crowd.
I am SO not the target market for hip hop, but I always have loved "In the Neighbourhood" - it could only have been made in South Auckland.
I was in the centre of town that night, with a couple of friends - we hadn't gone to the concert, but were walking back up Queen Street to our car (parked somewhere up the back of Mainstreet) when we met the police line at the Wellesley Street intersection - there were about 10 police facing the crowd from the concert, and we saw the two baton charges. We also saw one person try to talk to the crowd and get them to disperse (basically walked up the no-man's-land between the police and the crowd, just trying to get people to turn around and walk away. It worked for a while, then someone threw something, and it was all on again - we left at that stage, while we could still get up Wellesley St and around back to the car.