Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: The Prime Minister will see you now

324 Responses

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  • James Liddell,

    Thanks for that, DeepRed. I hadn't seen that. For once I find myself in agreement with Mr Ralston.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Bryan Dods,

    We can use this time to transform the economy to make us stronger so that when the world starts growing again we can be running faster than other countries we compete with.

    Nice concept. Words and wishes are not going to generate much of a spearhead for our attack. Could we hear some suggestions of direction now that our manufacturing base has been ripped apart through free trade with low wage economies?

    All hopes now appear to be hanging on dairy again. Suitable land has been gobbled up and exploited to the max. in a field (sic) that we were told was not going to create the type of diversification that our country needed for the future.

    Maybe if National reinstated the R&D tax breaks that he has just cancelled in another example of anti-Labour pique some of our better minds could be engaged on his wishful thinking.

    Could I, as one of the lesser minds, set the ball rolling by suggesting genetically modified double-decker cows to increase productivity? Or wouldn't they be able to run fast enough for what Mr Key has in mind?

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    All hopes now appear to be hanging on dairy again.

    But,Wait! there's more! Bryan, we are getting a cycleway!

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I'm not seeing people say that the downturn in profit is because it's mis-managed, I suspect the downturn in profits is because we're in a massive downturn in world trade. There's no sane reason for this to be in private hands

    There is no doubt that the "Recession" is man made but the question I have been asking, and have received no answer, is, was it deliberate and who stands to gain?.
    The "destruction" of billions of dollars worth to wealth was inevitable because that "wealth" was not real. The bad debt was palmed off on unsuspecting lenders and investors leaving those with the real wealth to pick up the spoils at well below market price. This is an ideal scenario for selling off state assets in the name of "helping the economy". The usual suspects are lining up at the door of the great New Zealand Fire Sale.
    If you think I am wrong don't bother telling me just yet, wait six months and then try and tell me.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    But,Wait! there's more! Bryan, we are getting a cycleway!

    I struggle to see why having a cycleway up and down the country is not a freaking fantastic thing. Really.

    If you want to pick on National for 'stuff', be my guest. But please, leave the cycleway alone, I've been hankering for something like this for years. Having seen the idea in operation on many other countries (and Otago) I can vouch for its goodness.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    Don,

    I don't think people are really shitting on the idea of the National Bikepath, it is the idea that it is somehow going to lead us out of recession that sticks, somewhat.

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Paul, it was because the industry said he should. Up until that point, there had been no suggestion that Key would take the portfolio. Lindsay Tisch was spokesman for Tourism in opposition.

    That's interesting and I didn't know however, every industry almost certainly wants the PMs ear/oversight I'm sure. My point is that how's he going to retool, to use his words, precisely, which industries will be the priority and benefit and which won't?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I struggle to see why having a cycleway up and down the country is not a freaking fantastic thing. Really.

    I think that really depends on the nature of the cycleway. If it's done on the cheap by simply painting lines on the road then it seems like a nutso way of appropriating commons that were used by many to only a few. If they actually make something new, though, then I'm all for it. Ideally, it would be physically separate from the road, and double as a pedestrian way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    David,
    it's interesting that in this case Thomas Friedman appears to be talking sense while Warren Buffett is talking complete bollocks. i despise Friedman but what he is saying in this case (i have only read the quotation you cite) is essentially true.

    When can you last recall so many hundreds of thousands of jobs vanishing so swiftly into thin air?

    the 1970s? 1982? we may be about to overtake those recessions on the straight as we accelerate towards 1933...

    I wonder if the local banks are playing hardball because they don't believe they will be able to roll over the billions that expire this year.

    re the Aussie-owned NZ banking oligopoly, your observation is very astute, imo. the dairy and housing bubbles from which they have profited immensely are collapsing by the day, and will continue to do so for quite a while yet, despite the daily pronouncements in the Herald that might lead one to believe otherwise. if dairy farm incomes keep falling and unemployment rises and wages stagnate while the exchange rate sharply pushes up import prices, the banks could get quite uncomfortable, i reckon.

    In so much of this, we are mere bystanders

    yes and no. we cannot change what is happening in the global finance and credit markets, but we can prepare ourselves psychologically and practically for "not business as usual".

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    Hon Jim Anderton: What items on the list of things the Government has made its higher priorities in Government will do the most to reduce the impact of global recession: bringing back knighthoods, a national cycleway, or privatising prisons?

    Hon JOHN KEY: All three can play a part in helping our economy to grow.

    eh?
    millionaire banker, you say? smartest guys in the room.

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    If you want to pick on National for 'stuff', be my guest.

    Why thank-you Don.I don't need to pick, I watch a bit of Parliament TV and they do it by themselves quite nicely and Stephen Walker made my point.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    Grant Robertson: What, given that answer, is the Minister’s definition of the core public service?

    Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: The bit that is not going to be cut.

    and 45% of people who bothered to vote voted for a party whose number-three-ranked MP has the intellectual prowess of a gumboot. well done, NZ.

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    You won't be allowed to diss him like that once he's Sir Gerard Gumboot.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    diss him? i thought i was being harsh on the gumboot...

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Holt,

    Gods... the election is sooo last year. Labour had 9 years and had more than their share of morons and moronic decisions (KiwiRail anyone?). Time to get over it Stephen. The Nats won, and are doing pretty well for the most part. Stop carping on about the politicians and offer something that actually looks forward.
    P.S. Gidday David.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    @Michael Holt

    Time to get over it Stephen

    thanks for the advice. going right into the top of my in tray!

    The Nats won

    thanks for the news. i'll put a post-it on my computer screen, just so i don't forget!

    and are doing pretty well for the most part

    thanks for the opinion. it is so reassuring to hear!

    Stop carping on about the politicians

    thanks for the order, sir! permission to ask what "carping on" means, sir!

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    (KiwiRail anyone?).

    see, the bastards are offering it to all and sundry already.

    Labour had 9 years and had more than their share of morons and moronic decisions

    Yup, we called National the opposition then and those decisions? Don Brash as a leader? a moronic decision if ever I saw one.

    Stop carping on about the politicians and offer something that actually looks forward.

    Well, we did have forward looking politicians for 9 years and now you have the Government you, no doubt, voted for looking forward to repeating what they did way back in the day. I suppose you're going to say the Job Summut was a success, were you the caterer or something?.
    You know what Mr. Holt, you're a hoot you are, that's what you are, a hoot.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Grant Robertson: What, given that answer, is the Minister’s definition of the core public service?

    Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: The bit that is not going to be cut.

    I can imagine the look on Grant's face when he got that answer. Half disbelieving, half "let me file that away in my brain and use it to screw you over later".

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • James Liddell,

    My point is that how's he going to retool, to use his words, precisely, which industries will be the priority and benefit and which won't?

    details, mere details. Don't trouble yourself with them.

    But look over there! A cycle way!

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    I don't think people are really shitting on the idea of the National Bikepath, it is the idea that it is somehow going to lead us out of recession that sticks, somewhat.

    Reeks of being a silver-bullet solution to me, but if we've got to find something for idle hands to do....routes in to and out of the bigger centres would be handy. Routes that are useful for everyday, ordinary cyclists would probably be more useful.

    Having cycle-toured a bit, NZ is great to tour not because of it's development, but because of it's lack of development, which actually makes NZ more than a bit special. As much as having a dedicated cycleway would improve the ease & safety of cycletouring, it also detracts from the challenge and unique-ness factors which for many touring cyclists seems to matter.

    I have to admit that I'm of the opinion that it's the natural environment that brings people to NZ, rather than development stoking people's desire to visit.

    And from what I've seen of cycle tourists, they tend to be happiest with their own tents, doing things for themselves (most of the time), rather than staying in swanky digs with it all laid on. (The Central Otago Rail trail with the charming old hotels is a bit a novelty) .

    Nice post Mr Slack!

    Belgium • Since Nov 2006 • 464 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    I was just thinking that it would be interesting to hear from Geoff Chapple, he who wrote the book 'Te Araroa - The New Zealand Trail'. Anyway National Radio has done exactly that. (in which Jim Moira sounds more than a bit like Paul Holmes in the intro...this is the first occassion I've noticed this and hope this observation doesn't ruin things for anyone).

    It was hearing about Geoff's book that got me thinking about walking the South Island a few years ago (perhaps 2002). I had even arranged a holiday to start a chunk of the process at that time, which was scuttled by breaking a bone in my foot 10 days prior to the planned start date. Subsequently having been introduced to cycle touring by some friends, cycling struck me as a more efficient use of time.

    Personally I'm not such a fan of cyclists and pedestrians sharing the same path because they don't tend to mix well. Also the terrain that is good to cycle (with a load) is a bit different from terrain people are inclined or interested in walking.

    It would be great to hear from people who've walked it, or done both.

    Belgium • Since Nov 2006 • 464 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Having cycle-toured a bit, NZ is great to tour not because of it's development, but because of it's lack of development, which actually makes NZ more than a bit special.

    I like that also Jon and I found the road quite safe and people along it quite friendly, in the countryside.

    I have to admit that I'm of the opinion that it's the natural environment that brings people to NZ, rather than development stoking people's desire to visit.

    Word
    Sadly they are now tarsealing the last 10km of road up to Cape Rienga and my heart sank at the thought of the top of the country crowded with tourist buses.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I can imagine the look on Grant's face when he got that answer. Half disbelieving, half "let me file that away in my brain and use it to screw you over later".

    As it happens, I caught up with Grant just recently and he made the point that having said they'd be no cut front-line services, that's exactly what's happened with, for instance, the TEC!

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    As it happens, I caught up with Grant just recently and he made the point that having said they'd be no cut front-line services, that's exactly what's happened with, for instance, the TEC!

    Why not filibuster the process via the Employment Court?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    DeepRed, you mean one of the affected workers?

    Brownlee's obfuscation is laughable. Like more and more of National's pre-election commitments, this one's increasingly hollow.

    I'm still waiting to hear how they'll entice all us expats back? I clearly remember the images of Key wandering about the Caketin lamenting the flow of PLT departures to Australia. It was never in his direct power to solve, other than at the margins, but the claim was oft-repeated including on those crappy billboards and yet not a peep about it when he was recently in Sydney for his meeting with Rudd.

    There's some things Key's doing better than I expected but that's no reason to exempt him from accountability for the false-promises of the campaign.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

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