I lost all data on Friday and was first alerted by turning on the TV at 5pm. After a minute or two I went and told my teenagers that it looked like there may have been a school shooting in Christchurch (TV1 was interviewing students from Linwood College which had been in lockdown). It took at least 10 minutes before I understood it was a mosque that had been attacked, maybe 20, after returning from telling my fairly disinterested older boys.
I used to live around the corner from the mosque when I was 21 and further down Riccarton road as a 19 year old and seeing these scenes has been fairly inexplicable.
I got the internet back on tonight.
The usual right-wingers who troll me - mainly old and existent friends - had some incredible takes on what had happened. Jacinda was virtue signalling by wearing a scarf was the one that gutted me most. I think she has been so outstandingly creditable that it really affected me that we can't at least agree across the divide that our response and that of our representatives has been brilliant. All party leaders have worked together, seemingly for the first time EVER! Thank goodness for the exodus of John Campbell to TV1. What heart felt reporting, along with crusading journalism by reporters I've never noticed before. The announcement about the families awaiting bodies wanting a 24 hour deadline for return was the scoop of the year. Why didn't 1 fly Hillary Barry down? Simon was great under stress, but looked stressed and hasn't her provincially brilliant mannerisms. No-one is echoing to Simon the Mother of the Nation calls after her incredible work during the Christchurch earthquakes.
But he did a great job under huge stress and his efforts should also be applauded as he continues on site.
Where was Hayley Holt this morning? The fact Jack Tame went back to his old school was a great piece this morning but Daniel and the weather guy with a woman I've never seen before (but she seemed okay) seemed a bit weird in the biggest news week in NZ's recent history. I mean overseas websites and TV news still rate this as their three biggest stories.
I'm glad I went offline. The Weekend Herald had a fact page from 1.40pm Friday. It included up to date figures but part of you did think that it may have been written at that time yesterday. The Herald on Sunday gave more context. I cried for the first time Sunday afternoon and have so since. I used to live round the corner. Long term friends live there still and having gone online tonight I read their messages about being teachers at neighbouring schools and what to do with the parents locked outside, (and agreeing to bring them all in), to friends who play sport and do business with those affected, sharing their grief.
What a sad sad week. For all of us.
Even the pro-Trump lobby at the AM Show had to back down over his ludicrous assertion the Crusaders was a good name. Mark Richardson narrowly avoids egging, I'll read next weekend.
Grant was one of the most influential leaders of a movement that radically changed New Zealand's culture. Your place in that pantheon is also assured. I used to buy Planet religiously and living in Christchurch and Wellington it was akin to reading The Face in 1987. World class. The music was also ahead of its time. RIP Grant.
What a loss to all of us.
I can attest to Russell's brilliance as a speaker, MC, interviewer or raconteur, available to hire at great rates. If you're thinking of calling Celebrity Speakers, contact Russell. It is crazy that someone so talented should have gaps in his schedule.
I think this was the year that the Maori word for work attained mainstream usage, along with a few others. You'll now hear mahi uttered on prime time news, often still followed by a translation to English, just in case.
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