Volunteers like firefighters and Community Support members form much of the civil defence strategy around dealing with pandemics in NZ, but you wonder how this would work over a period of months instead of days or weeks when they would still have to pay the rent while looking after events like fires and MVAs as well.
There should be no way to make it up with Samoa. Doing so, to an extent, must be one of Helen Clark's biggest legacies..
I used to buy The Face religiously throughout the late 80's and always felt that by doing so I was at least six months to a year ahead in the culture stakes than non-readers. When I lived in Christchurch in the early 90's, Planet magazine filled this role.
One of my first news memories was of my dad's cousin, NZ's Ron Holland designing the yacht Eygthene, and winning the 1973 Quarter Ton Cup. Since this was obviously a much-discussed win in our household, I can remember this from when I was 3 or 4 years-old. Wings releasing Band on the Run. The 1974 Commonwealth Games, especially Dick Tayler winning the 10,000 metres. Norm Kirk passing away and the arrival of Rob Muldoon the next year in 1975. Queen releasing "Bohemian Rhapsody" the same year. The Viking program to Mars in 1975 with the first colour photos. The Thrilla in Manila in 1975 between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. The 1976 All Black tour of South Africa with Beegee Williams and the 1976 Olympics with John Walker, Dick Quax and Rod Dixon. And Nadia Comaneci. I can remember almost all local and international events from then on in - I was a compulsive newspaper reader and TV1 News viewer.
I think that all benefits should be means-tested and the pension is a benefit. Why should we pay hundreds of thousands of well-off oldies a benefit they don't need? Shouldn't we pay more to elderly with no resources? Over 140,000 over-65's are very wealthy. We pay that group about the same in pensions than we do all other beneficiaries combined. All other beneficiaries are, of course, treated in a rather draconian fashion, with entitlements hidden from them and photo ID required to even enter MSD offices.
The media are ignoring means-testing with a vengeance. I saw a poll on Stuff (I think) the other day asking if the status quo should reign or the age be lifted to 65, 67 or 70 years of age. No mention of means testing in the poll or the lengthy article attached. It is the elephant in the room, with all parties having seen what happened last time adopted it as a policy.Apparently it is too expensive to administrate means testing of old people but not young people on benefits. Why?
Swimmigration - when you are swimming in new migrants
Her passing is very sad. She came across as a bitter hardened campaigner until her cancer was announced. She will now be remembered as a caring patriot. RIP.
The biggest losers in all of this are the Chinese. Maybe they'll still try to retrospectively change our FTA with them based on the fact our government ratified the TPP at our end? Nothing would surprise me when it comes to our bulk steel supplier / real estate purchaser.
I've heard Fairfax have made all of their sub-editors redundant now, with journalists required to sub their own stories and Editors the last line of proofing.