Posts by Hilary Stace

  • Access: National Standards and the…,

    Shocked (although I shouldn't be by now) to hear that primary schools receive NO resourcing or materials for school music. Apparently nothing since 2010. Yet we have this proud history of encouraging and supporting the arts and creativity. So sad.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Help needed! Deciphering the…, in reply to Sacha,

    I can't get in via that link but I often see printed copies of NZ Doctor and it has some good articles and writers. I have also caught up with the TV pieces on Funded Family Care last weekend. Mike Wesley Smith's piece on the Nation last Saturday was excellent and shows the skill he brings from his legal background. I look forward to his future investigations. The item on Sunday about one family was also good but not as explanatory of the context.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Some aspects of New Zealand’s…, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    I didn't get an invitation to the launch. Rosemary, did you?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Access: National Standards and the…,

    News today that NATIONAL STANDARDS HAVE FAILED!

    Radio New Zealand reports that NZ kids are not improving in international league tables, are instead slipping in relation to other countries, and the gap between the highest achievers and the 'tail' has grown since the National Standards regime began.

    Please can we have an apology from the Government for this failed experiment. I would hope for some strong media condemnation of the National Government and its education ministers - but don't expect it.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: #eqnz: Okay?, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Vaguely. There were also large 'democracy is under attack' banners throughout the term of the last Labour-led government on a certain building in a prominent location.

    Will be fascinating to see what the inquiry uncovers.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: #eqnz: Okay?,

    The post earthquake situation is showing up the power of the large private building owners. A name I recognise was one who opposed the election of new mayor Justin Lester, with a monster attack banner on one of his buildings.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: #eqnz: Okay?,

    Interesting how the earthquake(s) has badly affected one particular area of Wellington - generally around Pipitea Point, while the more risky area of Cuba Street seems to have escaped unscathed. From Centreport, to Asteron House opposite the Railway Station and the Pipitea Campus of VUW, along Featherston Street, up Molesworth Street and Mulgrave Street and along Pipitea Street - there are numerous buildings affected, and most are relatively recently built. Some are slowly reopening after major clean ups but some are structurally damaged and will be out of action for months. Even the enormous historic organ in the Cathedral was smashed. There must have been a lot of very vigorous twisting and shaking in that area. The lower part is on reclaimed land but higher up it was considered safe enough to build the Regional Civil Defence Centre in Murphy Street about 20 years ago. Pipitea Point came through the 1848 and 1855 earthquakes OK. Interestingly the Railway Station, built in the 1930s, is fine.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: #eqnz: Okay?, in reply to Sacha,

    Or more accurately on the Wellington or Wairarapa fault lines. The 1848 earthquake was a 7.5 based in the Awatere Valley, Marlborough, and the 1855 8.2 in the Wairarapa. Duration and aftershock reports seem similar to Sunday's. The 1855 one caused the huge uplift of land around Wellington, and the water in the harbour sloshed around like a basin.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: #eqnz: Okay?, in reply to B Jones,

    Last night I went to a fundraising movie at the Paramount. Courtenay Place was buzzing like a regular Friday night. There was a notice on the cinema door that it had been checked for safety, but everyone there probably had a plan about what to do if one of the ongoing aftershocks got a big bigger.

    There are a few cordoned off buildings around the city and the odd street but otherwise things are going on as normal. There are now 17,000 people living in the CBD and many of them are in high rise buildings. The people all survived the big quake(s) on Sunday night, as did the utility services (although there was obviously some water and other damage from sprinklers and flying furniture). There are specific areas where buildings were damaged - mostly out of the main CBD. So red zoning Wellington would mean evacuating an enormous number of people and businesses and basically cutting off Wellington.

    Wellingtonians like me have generally been preparing for earthquakes all our lives. Many of us have always had earthquake kits and stored water. Following the last big ones in 2013 all sorts of systems were improved and now, for example, there are good email communications for building occupants. So from Monday morning, for example, the university had regular emails to staff about the state of its buildings and the checking and cleaning up process and estimates about when they will reopen.

    The City Council and first responders also seem to have pretty good systems. The new Mayor's communications - mainly through social media - have been excellent. He has been very hands on around the town, including standing in the rain praising those clearing slips, doing impromptu videos, and dealing with a surprisingly hostile media. There has been extreme weather and well as earthquakes this week and he has done very well in only his second month in the job.

    So far we have been pretty lucky as the main earthquakes on Sunday night could be considered the big one we have been waiting for, and we survived. But just as there has always been, there could be a bigger one around the corner. This latest experience has encouraged us to improve our own systems even more.

    This is not Wellington smugness. As a Wellingtonian I have always made assessments, probably every day and wherever I am, of what would I do if a big earthquake hit in the next 5 minutes. We've now had a chance to practice. But panicking about closing the city now is not helpful. I also now realise how annoying it must be have been for Christchurch with people out of the city making judgements about what they should do.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem,

    It is Dirty Politics on a global scale. The problem is how to counter it by being even even more astute with technology, psychology, education etc, but also ethical. If you believe that most people are inherently good and moral beings (and I suppose I mostly do) then ethical behaviour is more powerful than dirt and hate.

    I think we will see a whole range of citizenship resistance, local and global, over the next few years. Some new, some old methods. Probably led by courageous young people.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2935 posts Report Reply

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