30 July, 2008

Is National trying to be Labour?

With the latest announcement of National now keeping the working for families tax credit as well as the promised increases in October I am beginning to wonder.

Yet another flip flop for the parliamentary jandel factory.

As for the weather.....

To put it bluntly it is soggy, very soggy. Not cat weather at all.

I don't know if this has anything to do with global warming but it has gone from being a rather nice winter to monsoon season in the last couple of weeks. The weathermen haven't even bothered to name this weeks two big storms.

As much as I would prefer to be outside visiting the neighbourhood, the grass may look green but I dislike the mud moccasin effect on my paws. I do not wish to have brown socks even if they do look fetching on my friend Cinnamon along with the matching nose and ears.

I prefer to wait it all out in front of the fire. The carbon emisson police can go to hell, or outside for that matter.

Meanwhile ponder this;

If someone invented cat gumboots would I wear them?

26 July, 2008

The election is when?

The short answer is .... dunno

It you thought that the election campaign and policy announcements have been more than a bit lack luster so far now you know why. We haven't got a date for the election yet.

By law the term of any NZ government can only last 3 years, not one day more.

Since the last date for Parliament to sit following the 2005 election was 18 November 2005 (6 weeks after the last day for the return of the writ declaring the election of electorate MPs...yawn). The current parliament will expire on 6 October 2008.

There are a few legal processes that have to take place, details here, all of which mean that the earliest possible date is 6 to 8 weeks from any day between now and 6 October.

The last possible day is 15 November 2008.

24 July, 2008

Another one going down the gurgler

The finance company meltdown claimed its 25th and biggest scalp yesterday when Hanover Finance froze repayments to 16,500 investors owed more than half a billion dollars. more...

I am starting to wonder how many finance companies there are left.

21 July, 2008

Is checking ones facts out of fashion?

First there was this report of the kidnapping of 5 year old Ma Cina. It looks to be very accurate to start with, unless you are familiar with North Shore City.
I am a North Shore kitty so my first question was not how or why but where?

Harrowglen is not a suburb.
There is a Harrowglen Drive in the suburb of Northcross but that was not mentioned in any of the reports I heard. The nearest they got was near Albany, Northcross lies between the suburbs of Fairview Heights, Oteha, Browns Bay and Torbay. That information emerged well after the time one could have been expected to spot the silver car with little Ma Cina in.

Fortunately there was a happy ending - abet 5 days later - when Ma Cina was found in a house nearby alive.

OK that misinformation may have come directly from the police reports in that case but how do you explain this?

It is just a fluff piece about the 50th anniversary of North Shore Hospital but it should be easy to get the facts completely right.

Opening a year before the Harbour Bridge, the hospital's initial bed plan included 44 maternity beds and six casualty beds.

Casualty patients were given early treatment before being ferried across the Waitemata Harbour.

At night, when the ferries had stopped running, patients needing to be transferred to Auckland had to endure a two-hour journey through Greenhithe, around the top of the harbour.

All well and good except for the patients enduring a two hour journey through Greenhithe at night.

Unless they went by ferry or private boat they would have had to swim - the Greenhithe bridge wasn't built until the mid 70s. In order to stay on dry land they would have travelled via Riverhead not Greenhithe. It still would have taken a good two hours.

Semantics I know but it makes you wonder what else is misreported.

14 July, 2008

$10 petrol? - Nah

Petrol to hit $10 a litre within a decade - report
12:25PM Friday July 11, 2008
An Australian report released today says the price of petrol could hit A$8 ($10) a litre within the next 10 years. more here

5 reasons why this won't happen:
  1. Petrol will be too expensive to buy so demand will drop. Same goes for diesel and av gas.
  2. Food transported using petrol, diesel or av gas will be too expensive for most to buy so again demand will drop, anybody with access to a patch of land will grow what they can for their own or local needs. This is starting to happen already.
  3. Just about any other form of fuel or transport will become more popular.
  4. The response of Joe Bloggs to such a rise will make the recent truckie protest look like a church picnic.
  5. Basically the country as we know it would cease to function so alternatives will be found. The alternative would be something like Zimbabwe - we don't want to go there.

1 reason why $10 petrol might happen:

Inflation - lots of inflation

08 July, 2008

Them Truckies (Labour fumbles again)

Annette King really dropped the ball this time.

Without warning the Road User Charges (RUCs) paid by all owners of diesel fueled road vehicles were put up, by 7%

For a small diesel car, it will cost $32.80 more for 10,000 km. A larger vehicle, such as a three tonne SUV, will cost an extra $49.20 per 10,000km. A typical five tonne truck will pay an additional $53.80 per 10,000 kilometres, while a 23 tonne four-axle truck can expect to pay an additional $198.

This is the first increase since 1989 so on the face of it, not too bad an ouch but add that to the ever rising cost of diesel and that the truckies thought they had an agreement that there would be some advanced warning... didn't the highways and motorways look interesting as trucks from all over pretty much blocked off the CBD by moving at 20-30km/h.

Every CBD that is, not just Auckland and Wellington.

For just 2 days organising the truckies produced this amazing spectacle with only 2 traffic tickets (for a pair of truckies who totally blocked SH2 by parking their trucks) to show for it. Well Done!

Of course it wouldn't have happened if Annette King and Co thought to increase the RUC by just 1 cent per kilometre annually over the last 5 years or over the next 5 years for that matter just like the government has done for petrol tax since the time of Rob Muldoon.

Or given the promised one month warning for that matter.

Of course last time they gave only 1½ days warning and lost $17 million worth of tax due to rushed prepurchasing of RUCs.

All that wasted diesel was last Friday's news. The price of diesel and petrol has gone up again since then.

At $1.919 per litre my earlier prediction of $2 per litre by Christmas looks a bit too optimistic now.

So will it rise to that price before the end of the month or by September?

04 July, 2008

New Zealand politicians finally discover the internet

Satire satire everywhere - there are a multitude of cheap shots at Labour including several complete web pages like this one.

National has finally noticed You tube. Of course many have been there before as well. I particularly liked this one.

The electoral finance bill is being shot to ribbons by all and sundry.

The big question is: Will the political party spin doctors be able to come up with anything as funny?

02 July, 2008

Kiwi Rail - Iconic or Ironic

Definitely 100% Pure New Zealand - satire that is.

Jim Bolger is the new chairperson of Kiwi Rail, a company that was once a government department/corporation/state owned enterprise known as NZGR, NZR and Tranzrail among other things.

Jim Bolger was also the Prime Minister of the National led government that sold the railways off to private enterprise in the first place.

Further proof that here at least reality is just bad fiction.

The icing on the cake has to be the new livery.

The top picture is the old "flying tomato" livery once used by NZR (the "fruit salad" livery was the same without the grey cab sides).

The bottom picture is the new Kiwi Rail livery.

The more things change the more they stay the same.