Posts by Mark Graham

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  • Hard News: Park Life, in reply to Peter Haynes,

    Thanks for engaging, Peter, and giving out a bit more information.

    Just a point on the trees on Gt North Rd - are we still really losing these? In spite of the public outcry?

    I thought it was possible to retain them with a small tweak to the design. If so, why are they going to be removed and how can we stop it?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 211 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Garbage in, garbage out,

    The modern approach to political management. It doesn't matter how bogus are the numbers used to provide support for your policy because by the time the true numbers are revealed, we've "all moved on...nothing to see here''... bullshit prevails.

    Most people who are engaged with politics rely on media to inform us and the fourth estate has a responsibility beyond just making money but is clearly compromised when the making money side favours government policy (whether as an employer or as a means to better headlines) and seems to be increasingly overruling the (once-upon-a-time) independent journalist side.

    I fucking despair.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 211 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: TVNZ: Emptied out,

    There are $18m good reasons to keep it I would say, although it would be nice to see some of that money going back to fund another TVNZ7-type channel.

    Fat chance, of course, with this current govt who hide a scaly ideological bent behind an affable shrug and a 'don't worry, we have this under control' approach to social and economic management.

    There's no doubt TVNZ, as ever other media organisation out there, has to adapt to new realities post-GFC and internet impacts. Funny, one would have thought they would have been better prepared for the internet given I remember going to internal seminars on the coming changes way back in 1994.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 211 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: An Open Letter To David Cunliffe,

    Nicely articulated, though as person the same age as Cunliffe and Key (and Obama, and I think Russell, too), can we tone down the 'new generation' rhetoric? I'm not convinced a 40 year old or a 30 year old will necessarily do any better. It's not an age thing, it's a charismatic thing. As someone who's thinking I greatly respect put it, "if you want to defeat Slytherins, you must become Gryffindor." Also, you need a Harry Potter (male or female). But any specific age is not a prerequisite.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 211 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: But seriously, drug policy,

    But doesn't the research just illustrate the problems we have with drug eduction here? Prohibition has never been the answer. All we end up with is young criminals perpetuating the 'get smashed' approach to drug use (including alcohol).

    Surely it's time we had some proper education on how best to consume drugs in safe ways.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 211 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: New Mana,

    yes - issues with Apple TV - even with good download speed. True Detective giving me the gyps. (have US account running - rather good I have to say).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 211 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Auckland's future: Keep calm,…,

    But are you seriously calling for central government to try directly influencing local government decisions over their own affairs?

    You're joking right Craig? Central govt,, especially this one, has been openly meddling in local govt and not in a good way. Look at the Canterbury Water Board, the Chch Council (albeit there were some issues there), Auckland transport plans, asset depreciation impacts on council finances. For God's sake, we now have a $10m dollar tent (!) that is slowly ripping apart and is useless for pretty much any event that has been left us by central govt.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 211 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Auckland's future: Keep calm,…,

    This financial crisis beat up reminds of the one John Banks manufactured upon taking over the Mayoralty in his first term in order to create an opportunity for his mate, Bill Birch, to come in and delete all sorts of services out of the Council budget.

    Firstly, it's a lie. Secondly, the crisis actually lies in underinvestment in infrastructure which Standard & Poors noted five years ago, or so, in its report on Auckland's credit rating and upon which it flagged a credit watch on the city because it was going to have to pay for it at some stage.

    I'm really not sure what it is Brewer, Wood, Quax, etc., want for this city. I'm sure East Berlin had trains (!) that ran on time but I doubt there was much fun to be had there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 211 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dotcom: Further news of the unlikely,

    Sad to say but I suspect the wider electorate will still not care a whim. Do they have a job, is the economy 'booming' (perceptually, at least), is NZ 'on the right track'? they will see Kim Dotcom as a buffoon and Collins/McCully/Williamson's misdemeanours notwithstanding, Key's prevarication, Ryall/Bridges/Brownlee's incompetence - none of these have any impact so long as things seem to be heading right. As Clinton said, "It's the economy, stupid."

    Unless they can catch Key out with a direct lie. And he's too smart for that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 211 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Why a renter died from turning…,

    There are greater issues around building and building maintenance here than just those of being a landlord. The govt has made significant changes to the Building Act which moves responsibilities away from councils and to homeowners and builders. Builders should know these but there has been limited education campaigns to the trade. And none to consumers. There is confusion around electrical work. There should have been none around gas - this guy doing his own work shows what a moron he is and it seems the punishment is on the light side.

    The fact is, renting or buying a house carries significant risk for your health: asbestos, meth labs, dodgy DIY work, limited insulation, leaky homes. The state of our built environment is often appalling. But there's no political commitment to sorting it out because not enough people make enough noise and when we build, we're happy, for the most part, to abdicate responsibilities to our building professionals, who are often not.

    I publish education guides for homeowners who are building and I remain frustrated at the number of people who willingly choose ignorance when it comes to spending half a million dollars on building themselves a house. Shortsighted and stupid.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 211 posts Report Reply

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