Posts by Steve Withers

  • Hard News: The miserable archive,

    In the absence of any legal standard for safety around meth contamination (other than the Ministry of Health report in 2010 which sideswipes the question), what was the Tenancy Tribunal supposed to do prior to revised numbers in late 2016? Serious question. I’ve seen the grenades tossed, but what was this Tribunal supposed to do in *legal* terms? They can’t just make stuff up.

    The other issue I don’t hear mentioned much is liability. If there were no baseline tests than landlords would have no way of knowing for sure if their house was OK or not. If it was found to be unsafe, then remediation would be required. Who pays for that?

    Most of the stories I’ve read on this fail to deal with either of these questions.

    Clearly there was a failure at the political level. This left many officials to be thrown under the bus later for filling the void. HNZ certainly appears to have pandered to the National govt’s agenda, but the Tenancy Tribunal seems, for the most part, to have made a prudent, good faith effort to adjudicate decisions based on the best information available with even a shred of legal standing, however inadequate that information may have been.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: The Future,

    I guess it shows how deep into streaming media and specific news sources I have gone……

    I used to watch Media7 consistently. I watched Media3 a couple of times but the scheduling didn’t fit for me. I’ve never even heard of Media Take….and now it's over.


    It’s hard to stay connected to the things you might like to stay connected to.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A thundering clash of, in reply to Nick Russell,

    The best the Herald could do was that English had legal advice it was OK.....

    So if you want to commit fraud, just pay a lawyer to tell you it's OK. Then the judge will know you made an effort to comply and it just didn't work out. Your butt is covered.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A thundering clash of,

    I may have occasionally driven over the speed limit. I've may have parked my car illegally for a few moments to get an errand done.......

    If I confess to any of this . What next?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: From Zero: Weed,

    Legalising dope is one of those issues that polarises people. It's not hard to see why. If you go to small towns around NZ (the north of the North Island, in particular) and walk their main streets at the quiet times, you frequently see some pretty stoned people walking around. Usually very fat and brown. Often unclean and malodorous.

    This is the public face of dope smoking for many people. They don't like it and won't vote for it.

    Never mind drug policy as put forward by the Greens is rational and founded on solid evidence. Doesn't matter. It just can't compete with these images from everyday life.

    To that extent, it's a shame that progress on every OTHER policy should be crippled by public attitudes to this one. A party could be forgiven for simply refusing to do anything about this because it's a loser issue.....and they have other priorities. I'm thinking of Labour here.....but they won't be alone.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Obscuring the News, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I rarely read either Stuff or the Herald now. They are either so fluffy it’s a waste of time or so brazenly biased (Auckland local bodies vs Bernard Orsman) as to not be worth the irritation engendered. I used to be of the view I refuse to pay for such nonsense… I’ve evolved to the point where I simply refuse to even read it.

    I read and listen (and watch) RNZ. I read and donate money to Scoop. I subscribe to Bernard Hickey’s “Hive News”. I put some money into The Spinoff War for Auckland. I’ve occasionally donated money to Public Address when you’ve asked. I’m happy to pay for media that’s actually doing a credible job and doing it with some semblance of intellectual integrity.

    That doesn’t include Stuff or the Herald most days…..with special exceptions for Matt Nippert and a few others. But I’ll have to catch those links on Twitter or elsewhere. I don't see them on the Herald unless they are encountered somewhere other than the Herald.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: "Meth contamination": the…, in reply to BenWilson,

    I own a few houses. I have no idea what might have occurred in them in the past. In one case, there is a lockup under the house with no windows, lined with plastic sheeting. The previous owner was a builder who ran out of money.

    To remove all doubt about what may have occurred in the past I wanted these houses tested for meth. It's a prudent precaution to determine both risk and possibly liability. I'm not worried about low readings due to (possible) use. But I wasn't going to be all "she'll be right" and ignore the possibility of contamination. I simply did not know. I wanted to know.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The unstable Supercity, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I've seen this sort of thing before. The top guy does something apparently crazy and takes the fall for it......but he was actually working to an agenda. It's worth looking at what happened next for the individual concerned. What was the reward for doing something apparently crazy, but which had some obvious beneficiaries?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The flagging referendum, in reply to Craig Young,

    Me, too. The new flag is a better beach towel than the old one. The UJ is worse than the fern. I’m no Key fan (as anyone who knows me will attest), but I do actually try to take every issue on its merits….which still ends up lopsided against Key and National because their values often simply do not align with mine, but on THIS occasion, I prefer the fern to the jack.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Footpaths, not manifest destiny, in reply to Patrick Reynolds,

    Correct. First Past the Post is the problem. Just as it recently gave 100% of the seats on the AECT to C&R, it allowed many Council members to be elected with barely a 1/3rd of the votes cast….in both 2010 and 2013.

    I looked at this at the time. and again 2013.

    I posted about it pretty much everywhere I could think of, including here, but there wasn’t much interest the fact that well over 50% of votes cast didn’t elect anyone at all (over 62% in 2010).

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

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