Posts by Steve Withers

  • Speaker: TPP, eh?,

    I think it might be within the letter of the TPPA to require the buyers of homes to be resident in NZ.....but anyone from a TPPA country can buy such homes "without restriction" - whatever that means - provided they are resident in NZ. I don't see the residency requirement as discriminatory or restrictive. Aren't we allowed to make any distinction at all between citizens and non-residents? If we can tax them - as the government has suggested - how is that any different?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The government's Rules…, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    They certainly sounds like Gerry. I've always thought of him as the archetypal arrogant, corrupt Nat bully boy. It's a stain on Key's record that he put such a person in charge of the rebuild.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The government's Rules…, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Wow. Despite all the precautions it (disaster) still happened. Amazing....

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The government's Rules…, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    The problem I’ve seen is you might find a good builder, but he’s subbing to a gang of Afghans or indeterminate Asian folk who can’t speak English…..and you really have NO idea what’s going. Unless you know what you’re looking at, even if you’re standing right there watching there’s a lot they can get away with.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The government's Rules…,

    I'd like to a see a lot more GOOD rules.

    I discovered this year that the breeze blocks on lower part of a house I own had never been properly sealed. This allowed the lower flat to be damp. This meant I had a heater on down there to keep it dry....which lead to the extension cord catching fire (induction - don't coil those things) and the lower floor was gutted by fire.

    They discovered the damp problem during the fire repairs. No problem, dig out the foundation by hand and clean / recoat the wall, replace the novaflow....and fill it with scoria. Done

    Now connect it to the drain under the downspout. Oh.....there is no drain under the downspout. It's just concreted in to look like it goes to a drain. The rain water was just getting pushed up the old novaflow towrd the unsealed wall that was always damp. Now I need a drain.

    $20,000 later and I'm all sorted....fixing problems that were entirely the result of shonky builders cutting corners.

    My other house only cost me $17,000 to fix a couple of months later. The developer had moved my house (1987) - and my water connection - then built several houses over top of my water connection. No one knows where it (the pipe) actually is to this day. Eventually - it leaked. before my times, but the previous owner dodged that bullet by selling it to me. I paid the $300 / month water bills until that got to $700 . month and I *just* got an entirely new water connection from a different street (the one I actually live in) connected as the monthly bill hit $3550.

    Bring on those "loopy rules". They might have saved $37,000 this year.....alone.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The epitome of reason,

    I know my own values pretty well. I understand what values tend to be supported by which political party.

    As such.....I'm more or less immune to Crosby-Textor. That makes me unusual / exceptional, I guess.

    I think the core of the problem lies right there: a huge number of voters can no longer coherently articulate their own values or compare / contrast them accurately with the political parties.

    How do you fix that?

    Don't know.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Will the grown-ups ever…,

    I first ran into Bob Jones back in the NZ Party days. He was often funny, but I rapidly found he tended to be an arrogant, petty, disrespectful misogynist. His columns are worth reading only because they provide insight into the minds and values of people like him. It's not pretty.....but it is good to better understand how they (often don't) think.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Look in the Mirror, New Zealand,

    Its a tough question. Do you give safe harbour to people who could later introduce into their new country the conflict that displaced them from their own country? Do we allow thousands of people from countries virtually destroyed by corruption and violence to live freely among us? Sure, we can deport them if they do serious wrong....or imprison them for decades if we can't send them anywhere.

    But this is a serious question about immigration generally. How much of other peoples' trouble do we want to import?

    How much is too much? This week saw two huge drugs busts with millions upon millions of dollars worth of meth-amphetamine in the pipeline. The people named appeared to be mostly Chinese speaking, but of Vietnamese extract. Perhaps children of the wave of refugee boat people to Hong Kong in the mid / late 70s?

    Refugees come with baggage and there are consequences. Let's not ignore this fact. It explains much about why we haven't increased our refugee quota for decades. You can't tell the good from the bad. We don't want or need the bad.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: To defame and deflect, in reply to Adam H,

    Modern conservative parties are essentially fascist....though they lack the historical understanding to see themselves that way. They aren't Hitler, after all! (As though that makes any difference).

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Sky is the limit,

    The “business friendly” party has demonstrated over and over they aren’t very good at business.

    For example: The partial privatisation of public assets returning rates higher than the cost of the debt they planned to retire with the sale cash. D’oh. That completely unnecessary and counter-productive process cost over $100m to boot. Add that pile of wasted cash to this one…and let’s not talk about roading vs public transport.

    Billions wasted there on several roads with dubious rates of return.

    If these aren’t mistakes, they are a crony-cash lolly-scramble at our expense.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 290 posts Report Reply

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