Posts by Bart Janssen

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  • Hard News: Morning in Auckland,

    if Henry doesn't get the boot

    He won't get the boot. He is an employee and has rights, one of which is due process. That is, he f'd up and he has been formally censured and warned. If/when he f's up again then he can and will be fired. Until then TVNZ can't get rid of him without a lawsuit. They can, of course, take him off air but they would still have to pay him.

    he never lost a chance to make a buffoon out of himself even with Helen Clark

    Sadly much as I admire Helen Clark she fell short when submitting to weekly interviews with Henry. Henry was just as odious when interviewing Clark and she still turned up each week for the publicity. She was a politician not a saint.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3392 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Morning in Auckland,

    I think that's a little unfair to both Key and Goff. My impression was that they both disagreed with what Henry said.

    If only we had politicians with spine and values. But no our politicians care more about the exposure that being on breakfast TV gives them than in doing what is right. Clark was just as bad. You're right, Key would have had to think on his feet (heaven forfend that our PM be able to do that) Goff has no such excuse.

    No surprise of course.

    As for Henry himself, my opinion is unchanged, he is a disgusting stain on our society and it is abhorrent that he is given such a public stage. I know he isn't paid for by our tax dollars, he brings in more advertising revenue than he costs and so the accountants running TVNZ will keep him on.

    Now if only some advertisers displayed their disgust by withdrawing their business...

    Finally big ups to Ben G who showed that having a spine and real values is indeed possible.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3392 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Yet More Hobbit,

    With what I have read about this dispute it seems like several different disputes all happening at once.

    It seems there are aspects of working conditions that (some) actors are unhappy about. It seems very strange that those issues have not been raised with SPADA which appears to be the organisation that represents their employers. It seems very hard to get the actors to define their issues but they clearly are not happy.

    It seems that the Australian Union MEAA would like to have New Zealand actors all working under their union. But that would seem to be contrary to New Zealand law - or have I got that wrong. That could be read as a genuine concern for New Zealand actors or as a power play by the MEAA. Personally I am uncomfortable with an Australian union representing New Zealanders simply because it is likely to lead to conflicts of interest at worst and confusion at best.

    It seems as though SAG want to control film contracts worldwide. This would clearly benefit Californian members of SAG but I fail to see how that benefits any New Zealand actor (except for the few that are SAG members).

    One thing I find sad is that it's clear that The Hobbit is being targetted because it is likely to make big news. That's a pretty cynical and calculated move.

    Wherever this gets finally negotiated can someone please put Simon Bennett in the room. His comments have been pretty well balanced and he seems able to understand most sides of the arguments.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3392 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Yet More Hobbit,

    as pawns across the ditch

    When I first saw that I thought you wrote "across the bitch"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3392 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Yet More Hobbit,

    because I believe people are basically good

    As do I.

    But as I discovered much to my cost there are some people who really are not good. It is starting to look like Mr Whipp is at the very least acting mostly out of self interest and at the worst he could be extremely "not good".

    In that case extreme caution is not unwarranted.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3392 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Hobbit Wars,

    Yeah that all sounded measured reasonable and fine until

    Our members are simply seeking fair and equitable employment terms for New Zealand actors, in line with the terms and conditions that their colleagues elsewhere in the world enjoy.

    I know actors live in a slightly different world but here in New Zealand nobody gets paid the same as they do in the rich countries. Everyone here gets paid a bit less and some jobs get paid a lot less. I'd love to get paid what my equivalents do in Australia AND get to live in New Zealand but is isn't possible.

    To be fair actors and those who work on film sets actually do work overseas as well as in New Zealand and hence the argument can be made that they probably should be closer to overseas rates - but the same as?

    Such an aim is unreasonable (until NZ can double it's GDP) and if that is their bottom line they will be disappointed and will likely disappoint others in the process.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3392 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The GST Punt,

    Is it Ok to turn this into a food thread now?

    Meredith's is indeed very expensive but a memorable experience. The smaller places seem to often do one dish very well and the rest of the menu ... um ... less well. I like Zap2's green curry but the rest is not as exciting. I love Banzai at the Balmoral shops for sushi and Japanese food. I still haven't found a chinese place that I want to go back to every time, despite the plethora on Dominion Rd.

    There is a great middle eastern place near Hell's Pizza on Dominion road that has cheap supplies and nice hummus if you don't feel like making it yourself.

    Our local Fruit World is pretty good and is opposite Mt Roskill Grammer along with an Aussie Butcher store whose butcher now recognises me enough that he will cut me specific cuts and then ask me how I'm going to cook them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3392 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The GST Punt,

    ugh Sofie not Sophie, my apologies.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3392 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The GST Punt,

    Remind me again how this happened?

    long answer is long.

    But short answer is because costs to growers are much higher and supermarkets have found there is a reasonably high tolerance for inflated prices.

    One practice that is particularly unpleasant is supermarkets buy all the fruit and then store it. Only releasing a new batch when the oldest batch has sold. This means you never get fresh fruit and you have to pay for storage costs. The only plus is that you can buy fruit out of season.

    Even your local Fruit world is significantly cheaper than any supermarket. And if you ask they will probably get you boxes of fruit at stupidly low prices, especially if you develop a relationship eg Sophie

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3392 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The GST Punt,

    Amy you are raising good points.

    If you genuinely eat zero fruit and veg, then the rebate didn't do anything to make you eat them (would a GST reduction have been different?).

    Yes a GST reduction would be different. Lets agree that messing with GST probably isn't the best way to make the change. But every study done strongly suggests that changing prices actually changes buying patterns. If you believe eating more fruit is good for the population then making fruit cheaper will cause more people to buy it. And a lump sum rebate that people can choose to spend however they want will not do that.

    None of these do anything to improve access, which recent studies (linky) seem to indicate is the bigger problem anyway.

    Access to healthy food is not a problem in New Zealand. The US is different where you really can be 100 miles from a supermarket and yet have 5 fast food outlets within 10 miles. Or simply have no way of getting to a supermarket that is only 10 miles away, yet have a KFC on your corner.

    I agree defining healthy foods is not easy. But defining unhealthy is remarkably easy, at least in the most extreme cases. And if all you worried about was the extreme cases then you could keep it fairly simple.

    Sugar concentration would be my first. Anything over a set concentration of sugar (sucrose, fructose, glucose, maltose etc) gets a duty. Yes it would raise the price of honey and a couple of other "real foods" but it would also nail instantly a huge range of really unhealthy foods that are mostly sugar. Oh and since every processed food is required to list sugar content on the ingredients list anyway there is not extra cost in measuring. Actually I think honey would slip past anyway since it is an unprocessed food and hence doesn't have to list ingredients.

    So what if all that does is reduce the levels to just below the threshold. That's a good thing. It may not be a perfect thing but it is still a good thing.

    Trans-fats is another easy win.

    And so what if it is hard to do. The health of our population is kind of important and if it turns out that helping people make better food choices is hard, that's fine, sometimes doing things that are hard is worthwhile.

    Which all sounds holier-than-thou but isn't meant to be. The point is we actually could make changes that would make a difference. Exactly how to execute those changes in the most effective way is something worth discussing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3392 posts Report Reply

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