On CERA's extensive communication staff on Sunday I was speaking to someone in Cathedral Square from a market research company who was asking for people's opinions about the city centre on behalf of CERA. Her questions weren't structured but more around what more information would be useful. I spent about 10 minutes bending the poor girl's ear about how shocked I was at the lack of progress.
But this submission process is open to all New Zealanders, and I’m asking for your help.
I'm in. I was in Christchurch over the weekend and I was first shocked by what I saw and then angry. It was my first visit since November 2010 and when James is saying "we still have whole city blocks that look like something out of the Balkan conflict" it is no exaggeration. The city centre is akin to a vast parking lot with odd buildings dotted about.
My brother visiting from Northern Ireland was also stunned, the more so since he went to Haiti after its big quake. In his view what he saw in Christchurch was not worthy of a developed nation.
I appreciate that there is more going on than might meet the eye but the Christchurch rebuild is an ongoing scandal. Which, remember, all New Zealanders are paying for through taxation. We should, and must, get involved.
And then, at the end of the Hurricanes’ rugby match against the Reds in Brisbane, someone thought it appropriate to mark this time of loss with round of after round of machine-gun fire from an armoured vehicle. It seemed impossibly insensitive
It was truly gobsmacking. If I hadn't seen it I wouldn't have believed it.
'Shooting the messenger' is the first, second and third response of this Govt, so what happened to Nicky Hager is perfectly in line with that modus operandi.
Seriously though the police do seem to be either completely tone deaf about their actions or too willing to appear biddable. It's pretty disconcerting to put it mildly.
I was absolutely ropeable about the incident for the reason you cite Russell, it gives an enormous advantage to the home team. It sets a very poor precedent particularly as it opens the door to players appealing to referees as Kyle notes.
The fact it was a penalty, and a pretty stupid one at that shouldn't detract from the atrocious process. And it had to involve Wayne Barnes eh? Bloke can't catch a break. (FWIW I thought he did OK)
Things get missed all the time in rugby, it's a complicated game and a lot happens at high speed. Pollard's first try stemmed from a pass from Jean de Villiers to Willie le Roux which was at least a yard forward. No-one complained about it but I noted the TV director was a bit slow, shall we say, replaying the whole move.
Anyway on balance the better side won and it was a cracking game. Don't agree with those critics of McCaw turning down kicks - it built up the pressure on the Boks with two tries & 12 points a better return than the kicks declined. A real shame about TKB's injury he was looking sharp. Maybe Aaron Smith should join Ben Smith on the sideline for the Brisbane match.
Sensational post Keith, well said.
And the bulges in the Gallery’s pants were already starting to show in the Budget lock-up, which bodes poorly for the election
To be fair Keith, and probably to our equal surprise, the first question to Bill English in the lockup wasn't about tax cuts. (Brooke Sabin asked a number of quite pertinent questions about the impact of migration flows on housing).
When the question was asked what was interesting about the ensuing discussion was the admission that tax "cuts" could be accommodated within the $500 million extra operational spending.
Sneaky measure of the day: the suspension of inflation adjustments to the student loan repayment threshold for a further two years until 1 April 2017 effectively a tax increase for those with student loans. (This gets double points points for sneakiness as it was included in the announcements about boosting tertiary education and research, even though Student Loans are administered by the Inland Revenue.)
Great graphics, Keith, gee that must have taken some work.
Yeah. It’s one thing to feel that he came off as arrogant or disingenuous, but there is no way he didn’t have by far the better of that interview.
Agreed. I was an equal mix of rage at the arrogance and awe at how he controlled the interview. It was as impressive as it was unexpected.
Of more concern would be that Key probably has shut down for good any further debate on the GCSB Bill on the basis that he has "destroyed" the main public critic of the Bill. How do you feel about next Monday's meeting now Russell? I'm all for fighting the good fight but I'm now wondering whether it's time to flush the dunny and move on.
Well said Russell. It really beggars belief how the asset sales programme has been allowed to progress so far without the resolution of such a fundament issue.
"Quite where the current government derives its public reputation for stewardship is more of a mystery than ever" Indeed but they are masters of appearing competent, or at least sounding competent which apparently goes a long way.
We're now told this was just a "joke" but what I find dispiriting is that 1400 people like this on Facebook (double the number since noon on Tuesday when I last looked). Obviously a "joke" with broad appeal