With regards to the Kiwiblog, Pundit, PA connurbation I think the thing to realise is that political discourse and debate works best for democracy as a whole when both sides of the debate talk to each other.
I know that every now and then Russell turns up on Kiwiblog (not sure about vice versa) but in general this is healthy. I know that David also posts to The Standard - which is also good. David himself is always completely polite an inclusive to everybody so notwithstanding his differing political views I cannot see any harm in a bi-partisan political discussion advertising network
Thanks Alastair for your informative post.
I am in complete agreement regarding political discourse working for democracy by being able to talk to each other, but as I say, Kiwiblog has to severely lift its game.
David's links to Mr Cameron Slater, that fine purveyor of 'commentary', and David's ability to attract wing-nuts to his site are the two main reasons why I question Kiwiblog being in the ffunnell lineup.
It is merely my observation of course and all parties to the agreement are entirely free to do whatever they like.
Unfortunately, due to Auckland City Council zoning restrictions, it is not viable to use our original preferred venue which was Grey Lynn Primary School on Surrey Crescent, Grey Lynn.
I've just checked the zoning on this site; it is zoned Special Purpose Activity Zone 2, which provides for Primary, Intermediate, Secondary and Tertiary educational purposes.
However, on reading the objectives, rules, polices and methods, there's nothing in there that explicitly prohibits a farmer's market. So I'm not sure what is preventing a farmers market from operating at the Grey Lynn Primary School.
It may simply be a case that they are facing stiff fees to argue their case to a hearing. In which case the injustice is quite something; developers can *pay* their way past problems, whereas something good and genuinely beneficial to the community is denied.
If anything this demonstrates how the RMA works in favour of the money god, but not the community god.
Kiwiblog needs to severely increase its intellectual rigor and standards somewhat - it is the odd website out in that ffunell arrangement.
You're not always going to get it 110% right, but another thing adults are supposed to do is own their shit.
I had to re-read this sentence twice - perhaps an emphasis on own would make the meaning clearer?
sigh - where's that edit key?
Serious question: What do you define as a 'community of interest' because if it boils down to 'I don't want to be associated with that clot of dole scum' I've got my doubts. A (more or less) equal number of electors at least has the advantage of being relatively clean. Or am I totally missing something?
This is a somewhat neblous area, but generally the Local Government looks to things like;
- natural and manmade boundaries
- school zones
- areas of homogenous housing values / stock
- historical features / stories
- cultural viewpoints gleaned from 'common knowledge' i.e. the 'its knowledge bro' approach
- statistical mesh areas
- real estate ads (fabulous house in South Remuera! or West Epsom!)
- shopping centres / townships
and other things I can't think of but probably are there - to define communities of interest.
Running your eye over a map, you can generally pick out communities of interest, mostly because they suggest themselves to you, but the real problem lies in boundaries - easy with manmade / natura onesl, difficult with streets - i.e. is that street part of West Epsom or simply Sandringham?
I don't think the 'I don't want to be associated with those people over there' problem really rears its head, mostly because these areas are distinct from each other, and form their own community of interest.
However, groups of communities are generally 'lumped' together in a geographical manner in order to make up a ward e.g. Mt Albert, Kingsland, Owairaka, Sandringham, Balmoral, Morningside, St Lukes, Epsom south, Mt Eden, Eden Tce, Upper Symonds St are all distinct communities, but together form Eden Albert Ward.
Doing things by 'number of electors' is a clean process, but can lead into anomalies i.e. the Mt Albert Electorate includes Mt Albert, Owairaka, and Point Chevalier - but as Russell noted, are there signs up in Point Chevalier?
There are two kinds of 'seats' under discussion here. There are electorate seats, used to elect people to parliament, and ward seats used to elect people to Community Boards / Council.
Electorate seats are primarily population driven i.e. each parliamentarian has to represent a certain number of electors, while ward seats are primarily 'communities of interest' driven i.e. local government members represent communities and their interests (which makes sense).
Electorate seat boundaries change as the population waxes and wanes in any given area. They are more prone to being changed in response to population movements.
Ward seats have also a population consideration in that each local government rep advocates for a certain number of people, but the main driver of boundaries is along communities of interest lines. These lines change less frequently. The Local Government Commission looks after ward boundaries, and pays close attention to the boundaries of communities of interest.
The raison d'etre of local government are communities so it makes sense to use that as a basis for ward seats using communities of interest, and not a 'equal number of electors'' basis.
It was put to them that the Auckland electorates could be the basis for the community boards, that these could also be the electoral wards for the councillors for the supercity council, that this would help develop able local body politicians, that the Mayor could be selected from among the council, and would then be more effective.
These ideas were regarded as new by them, and they wanted anyone that said anything there to make a submission, to make these ideas less new I guess.
Disingenuous. It's not a new idea to them - there are plenty of policy wonks in the sea of government (well, actually a small team) who have developed variations of this idea based on a theme - ward based elections i.e. no at large, Mayor elected from ranks - which has been discussed at cabinet level I'm sure.
I don't dare go down the whisky-snob path because of how much my gin-snobbery is costing me. But if you want to ruin your life, make yourself two g&ts (your existing method meets with approval) - one with Gordon's, and one with South. Drink some of the South first.
If this doesn't make the Gordon's taste like second-hand lighter fluid, you're probably okay and you don't need to worry about gin snobbery.
Choose a hot summers day to carry out this rigorous test. Make sure you taste carefully then taste some more to confirm impressions. Get some friends over to assist with the measuring and pouring of the tonic water. Remember to have some music on as well. Kinda Motown meets R'n'B diva supremes style. And throw in a disco ball while you're at it too.
This test is robust and will give you the results you are looking for.
It perhaps did seem that way after the huge shitfight that it turned out to be, but I don't think that was apparent in advance.
I guess someone should have suggested (it wasn't done) that we think back to the Homosexual Law Reform Bill days - I wasn't out then, but from my understanding the shitfight that happened was worth every ounce of freedom... I guess in a way I would prefer to engage in the greater effort for equal civil rights, rather than reach a compromise.
Civil unions had the virtue of having been party policy for several years, so there could be no accusation of springing a surprise. And CUs had majority support in nearly every public poll, while marriage didn't (although attitudes were notably age-related on it).
True enough, although I personally would have argued along the lines of equal civil rights in marriage, not gay marriage.
I've said it often enough there's no such thing as gay rights / gay marriage, there's only equal civil rights for LGBTT members of society .
This distinction is lost on members of our community, I've observed, and so we find ourselves bogged down in 'gay rights' (meaning special rights), not equal civil rights for LGBTT citizens - which is much harder to deny.