Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: SpinCity

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  • Ross Mason, in reply to Peter Shaw,

    Premature 400 PPM fail-a-bration

    Gosh...who would have "predicted" that happening. Wow!! it will head down for the next 6 months.....proof CO2 is dropping.....

    Sorry. 400ppm will be reached on the next cycle and will probably drop below it for a few cycles and then......whoa..... it will stay above 400pmm and then.......lets head for 500ppm!!

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to BenWilson,

    The costs no doubt will be borne by society. But the usual suspects, of course, will keep insisting that it won't be a problem because there’s no such thing as society.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

  • Gabor Toth,

    I've probably entered the Auckland casino about a dozen times since it opened. If I'm visiting Auckland and happen to have some spare time while in the CBD, I find it a curious and weirdly interesting place to drop into and look around. The only gambling I have ever done there was to drop a $2 coin into a five-cents-a-spin pokie (I had no idea what all the flashing lights meant and got bored very quickly). Anyway... despite visiting on different days of the week and at different times of the day and night (including what I would assume to be the peak periods of casino gambling late on Friday and Saturday nights) I can honestly say that I have never seen the casino even remotely full. Dozens upon dozens of pokie machines sit unused (whole rows of them at times) and there are always several tables not operating. I'm certainly not denying that there is a serious issue of problem gambling associated with the casino, but I'm curious as to how Sky City think they are going to fill the place with more punters with another 200+ machines and 11 more tables. Perhaps they are taking the "if we build it they will come" approach, though the place is hardly heaving at the moment. Is there perhaps some strange time like 3.15am on a Tuesday morning when everyone visits and the place looks busy?

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 137 posts Report

  • Islander, in reply to BenWilson,

    Yes, good analogy. If you get caught drinking and driving you lose your right to drive for a time. No such thing happens with disastrous life-wrecking gambling.

    Except a drunk driver can kill other road users...

    "disasterous life-wrecking gambling" is emphatically harmful but seldom results in death,

    I buy Lotto tickets.
    I am not involved in any other kind of gambling.
    And - aside from my
    mother's enjoyment of a very occaisional pokie session (majorly with one of my sisters in Ozzie-)
    nor is any of my family.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report

  • DexterX,

    The Sky City Deal - Helping Corporates help themselves whilst bearing "their" buttocks at democracy.

    There are a lot of things that a government can do in the pursuit of economic growth, jobs and the well being of the nation - in the long run this "deal" is not one of those things.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report

  • Sacha,

    I'd caution anyone with little experience of problem gambling against minimising its impact.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • DexterX,

    There are so many things that Auckland needs more than this - odds on the Con Centre will be completed well before the Christchurch rebuild seriously makes in roads - is it the third winter out of sorts and with out a settlement or certainty for many people - a matter of priority?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to DexterX,

    Helping Corporates help themselves whilst bearing “their” buttocks at democracy.

    Oh that we had, handed them their ass, and sent 'em packing!
    :- )

    the Christchurch rebuild ... the third winter out of sorts and with out a settlement or certainty for many people – a matter of priority?

    Not to Gerry B and the Place Makers...
    their songbook has no Fanfare for the Common Man!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to Sacha,

    Well aren't you going to kill a lot of internet discussions with that sort of attitude.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report

  • George Darroch, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Well aren’t you going to kill a lot of internet discussions with that sort of attitude.

    I hope so.


    Giovanni Tiso has come up with a practical solution to this problem.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to George Darroch,

    what's the Italian for rickroll?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • bronwyn, in reply to Richard Aston,

    It's not quite correct to say only Sky City can cope with conference groups of 400+ - the new Viaduct Events Centre, the Aotea Centre, Auckland Showgrounds, and Vector could all easily accomodate a group of that size. There's also a lot of other spaces such as churches and school auditoriums that rent out their spaces, again many of which can accommodate at least 400, when available.

    The issue the conference industry has constantly proclaimed is that there is a trend towards very large conferences catering to around 3000 delegates, and there's no space able to accomodate these; the largest our current facilities can manage is about 2000. However, I'm not convinced of the "build it and they will come" mantra; why would you spend the extra dollars and time to fly to NZ when for most conferences it will be easier and cheaper to go to Australia if you're looking in this part of the world? Additionally, the Sydney and Melbourne conference centres have the attraction of being situated on waterfront sites with much greater visual appeal - who's going to want to sit overlooking Nelson Street instead of Darling Harbour?

    tamaki makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 86 posts Report

  • Islander, in reply to Sacha,

    I’d caution anyone with little experience of problem gambling against minimising its impact.

    a) Dear Sacha know-all - you might notice I didnt mention my friends?
    for the very good reason that 2 of my friends (NOT family) are problem gamblers, and have done harmful & hateful things to their friends (not to mention their own families.)
    b) Sacha KNOW-LITTLE - dead is dead. People who kill people on roads (or however) ARE MUCH MORE FUCKING CULPABLE that people who -*merely WRECK LIVES*
    A long time ago, learning to deal with my families' history of alchoholism (goes back at least 8 generations) I learned that
    *while you are alive you can change. Forgiveness is eminently possible, and real healing.
    *when you're dead, you're dead.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report

  • Martin Lindberg,

    It is possible that more than one thing can be bad.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Islander,

    Do some learning about problem gambling and suicide, you silly old woman.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    It is possible that more than one thing can be bad

    you'd think

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Emma Hart,

    Could we knock off the name-calling slightly? By which I mean, completely and always, starting about now-ish? Ta.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report

  • DexterX, in reply to Emma Hart,


    The problem, IMHO only occurs, if the name calling takes place instead of advancing an opinion, position or argument - then it is purely a personal attack and unreasonable.

    I find the -


    closes things off as a measure of culpability and is unwarranted - however - if someone chooses to present their position while, also looking to belittle someone then that says to me more about them than any opinion, position or argument they wish to advance.

    Where someone gives one a serve it is up to one to chose to respond - and where the response is measured - I don't have a problem with it – it is human.

    The above "exchange" is mild order on the scale of namecalling - it is not as if they called each other "fuckwits".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report

  • Islander, in reply to Sacha,

    Sacha – that is a crude response and belittles you -will not continue any engagement with you ever again.

    In fact, given the sway of this site, wont ever come back.
    Bad cess to those huddling wee – closed minds.
    Thanks Russell, for being-
    byebye to all the people I enjoyed interacting with- nighty ra-

    Am just eradicating the PA site from my computers.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report

  • Mackie Bruce,

    Russell, presumably there is hansard or policy manifesto references to the Casino Control Authority approval of the existing convention centre and being the rationale for the Gambling Act?

    The absence of references would seem to suggest bias and/or spin.

    Since May 2013 • 2 posts Report

  • Mackie Bruce, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The CCA decision could have been appealed by the DIA or whatever government department was overseeing the Casino Control Act under ministerial instruction or sanction - maybe it was the Ministry of Commerce as casinos were first pursued and introduced in NZ by a Labour administration as an economic driver.

    Again show us the hansard cabinet papers where this decision affected the legislation. I have no idea if it exists or not. If it does fair dues.

    Since May 2013 • 2 posts Report

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    Sorry to see Islander wants to go. One of the things I have generally liked about PA is that dissenting views are usually welcomed.

    On the convention centre debate, I think there are a number of issues.

    On problem gambling, I would be interested to see any available data which shows the extent of problem gambling in our country over a long period of time, and the sources of problem gambling. While casinos are one source now, I think it would be fair to say that NZ has always had a fairly active gambling culture and has always had a lot of outlets for that urge. Is it worse now?. I can certainly remember that a lot of pubs, going back decades, had an in-house and extremely well-frequented TAB, and I can also remember working at a large factory in the days when people were paid in cash, and seeing the large-scale card schools springing up after work with people squandering their pay before they even got home. Not to mention the modern day ubiquity of state lotteries and pub pokie machines. Its a terrible analogy but I'm reminded of the perceived difference in attitudes between responsible drinking in some countries (Europe being the most common example used) and binge drinking in NZ. It's not what we gamble but how we gamble?

    On a large scale convention centre - disclosing an interest as I used to work in the tourism sector - I genuinely believe that this is a significant gap in our tourism infrastructure and would deliver material economic benefit, not especially to a convention venue (which to be honest are always hard to run as viable commercial entities on their own), but to all the associated businesses, particularly hospitality, who cater for high-spending delegates (who are on average much higher spending than other tourists). I am aware of large international conventions that have wanted to come to NZ in recent years but couldn't, and am also aware that NZ has not been able to actively pursue and sell into the large convention sector without having the infrastructure in place.

    I think the fact that getting a large convention centre has needed to involve a range of (not always mutually beneficial) interests also highlights - along with some of the big Auckland transport projects - that major infrastructure investment in NZ is tough for either the private or public sector to tackle on their own.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,


    Do you see what I see?
    Out on the edge of darkness,
    looking in towards…

    A town cauldron*
    As soon as you come over the Bombay Hills you can’t miss it, seething and hissing on the plain below, I pulled over to watch this portentous sky, as the 2013 Budget spread its dark pall over Joyce’s Folly, and the country at large…

    Such a wasted land, a salutary lesson to us all about carefully checking the fine print, when the devil is in the deal, he’s in the detail, too…

    The covenant was signed. ‘t’s crossed and ’i’s dotted. The self-acclamatory proclamation rang out through the land.

    The Brighter Future was dawning.

    Who knew that ’bettering the outcomes going forward’ really meant creating a city of Government sanctioned pokie fodder!

    Then almost immediately things started hotting up in town…

    In a compact with the Devil, the House never loses, the deal may not be what it seems, The Nats thought they were getting a Convention Centre on the cheap, a simple slip can make all the difference.

    Anyone could have missed it.

    Right there in plain sight.

    That fateful first paragraph:

    "…agrees to build a Community Convection Centre (herein after referred to as the Convention Centre)…"

    The Devil’s Community Convection Centre makes the most of its Vulcan underpinnings.
    The Auckland cone field is now truly a smelting pot!

    …and still the gold and silver runs in rivers down from the suburbs to bubble and boil, in an all-consuming glowing vortex, tantalisingly out of reach amongst the rubble and roil of its callous corporate caldera…

    We are now truly a land of consonant sorrow.

    (apologies to Jackson Perry for repurposing his stunning image and cross-threading it while this Government screws our most vulnerable...)

    *Ok, I’m just Shuteing my mouth off!
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Islander,

    So long, and thanks for all the bones...

    byebye to all the people I enjoyed interacting with...

    Islander, the story above is for you.
    Sorry to see you leave, I know the feeling and have been there before. I always end up coming back though, it is after all my favourite local salon, sure occasionally some of the regulars have bad days and behave intemperately, we all do.
    Detente can be achieved...
    Hope to see you back with more of what you have to offer, otherwise you have my email.
    Go well...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Geoff Lealand,

    I am with Ian: be not in haste. We need both Islander and Sacha here, to brighten our online world. I have a sense that PAS is in a bit of a trough at the moment, so it needs all the contributions it can gather.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report

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