Posts by Hebe

  • Up Front: Cui bono?, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Fucking hell.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2803 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take 2016: the new…,

    Te Korero Karoro: the chattering of the seagulls (also the name for the Southshore Spit in Christchurch).

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2803 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: The Up Front Guide to Plebs, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Something I discovered today. In England, adultery is grounds for divorce if you're married, but not for dissolution if you're in a civil partnership. But if you're in a same-sex marriage, you can only divorce your partner for adultery if they sleep with someone of the opposite sex. So if your husband sleeps with another man, that doesn't count as adultery.

    That is bizarre.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2803 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The flagging referendum, in reply to Russell Brown,

    If there’s a tribal element to my response, it’s not really political, but cultural. That flag seems to perfectly embody the mediocrity of recent years. The idea of enshrining that into an enduring symbol gives me the screaming shits.

    Pretty much this. Pig-ugly versus boring. Choose pig-ugly and the country is stuck with it.

    Choose boring (with some resonance, albeit only of the recent colonial past) and there’s a good chance that in the next generation this rapidly changing country will be able to have another, but considered and more inclusive, nation-wide discussion about our nation is and aspires to be.

    I see the flag referenda as a cack-handed attempt to drag New Zealand into the 21st century. It has been badly handled – from the making of the baseline campaign assumptions through to the design selection. The spinners erred badly in believing changing an emotive symbol could be pushed through in one of the standard lassoo-process-and-reach-desired-outcome manoeuvres.

    I welcome a discussion about ditching the remnants of colonialism and growing up as a nation That will be the real legacy of the flag referendum: it’s the start of the conversation that will move us towards substantive change and redefining ourselves as New Zealanders.

    I can’t be dismissive of the referenda for that reason – and because even 20 years ago the howls of outrage from the England-uber-alles brigade would have stopped any prospect of changing the flag. That is a win in itself.

    The Stars stay for me.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2803 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Five, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Call me crazy, but when people are still waiting for their insurance to be settled and the rebirth of the central city is on hold because central government can’t make work the grand plan it imposed, and when the earth is still shaking, I think we’re well within acceptable parameters for grieving.

    Glad you said that Russell, or else I might have told the the old nun to get fucked.

    Beloved and I went to Queensland for a week to meet our first grandchild and it was a revelation: people living lives, being happy and sad, and going to the beach. The first day we were there, we went for a paddle at Kirra, and it was glorious.

    We literally stepped off the sand and the phone went: son in Christchurch saying there had been a 5.7 two minutes ago and the earth and our house (5-8km away) was still shaking, scarily. After talking him down for 10-15 minutes, we sat stunned in the foreshore shelter and I wept from the bottom of my being.

    There is no easy escape: 2500km away and it’s as raw as being there. The cortisol surge is back, unbidden, a cellular memory that I don’t know if I can ever undo.

    While spending an amazing time with our son’s new family, we were on the phone or Facebook every few hours checking on the teenagers (thank goodness – despite the derision – I insisted both had the contacts and cash on their phones, much food, and back-up adults around).

    How can you stop that SMG? It doesn’t end, no matter where we live right now.

    If we left, our kids would stay for their final year at school. Greg’s widowed-last-week mother would have few people to visit in the rest home. Our insurance claims – still with minor cosmetic damage assessed – would be paid out in a tiny amount of cash and our house would be unsaleable because it is in fact colossally damaged and the land is poked.

    We have choices and we are not totally powerless. But waking up two nights ago at 3.30am to the house shaking like a dog killing a rabbit from another severe shake 2.5km away is not easy and reinforces the complexity of most people’s situations.

    That’s not grieving. That’s real life, right-now situations.

    I can only assume, SMG, that you never have had to run for your life from your home with your children. I hope you never have to.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2803 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Five, in reply to Lilith __,

    A quote that spoke to me was,
    “They’ve taken control of rebuilding our city. They’re like: ’We’ll tell you when it’s ready for you to use.’”

    That overt huh? Recorded it last night but was in no brainspace to watch.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2803 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Five,

    NZ Institute of Professional Photographers members capture my hometown five years on. Lovely.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2803 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Five, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I’ve felt something like that too. In a positive sense, it has reconnected me with the city where I grew up.

    I think the fact that Public Address was able to be a space for Christchurch people to talk is the most important thing that’s happened on the website.

    Public Address has indeed been awesome. I arrived after the February quake sometime, and I’ve got to know some great people locally and elsewhere via PAS. It was a forum for us when there were few places to meet physically, and even if there were I didn’t want to leave my then-young teenagers while aftershocks ripped through our rocky house. Coverage here has also helped prod public opinion, particularly after the floods of 2014.

    You all have nothing to feel guilty about: this natural disaster and its aftermath has been a short straw for what seemed like the safest and most unchanging – boring? – city in the world. It is what it is.

    The earthquakes have shaken up that entropy, and the demographics are undoubtedly changing: to a younger, more international and mixed-race city. That is all for the good and I enjoy the diversity every time I step outside the door.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2803 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Five,

    Meanwhile back to mental health, the NZNO details the problems in Canterbury services

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2803 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Five, in reply to Isabel Hitchings,

    we have just learned that, as of next term, we are losing access to the building that currently houses half our year 7 – 10 students.

    Oh fucking fuck no. Why? (Message me?) There's not space for PBL study as it is.

    My two teens go to that school; they love it and their academic results are great. I understood that the roll was at capacity this year.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2803 posts Report Reply

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