Posts by Christopher Dempsey

  • Hard News: Communications breakdown,

    It's really hard communicating, even between two people who know each other.

    As I've pointed out elsewhere, Council (and I mean Council whanau) communications fall into two main areas;

    - the statutory, legal stuff. Rates. Meetings. Bylaws. Submissions, Civil Defense etc.

    - the non-statutory stuff. Events. Heritage items. 'Did you know' columns, facts about council operations, parks etc.

    Council does the statutory stuff really well, because it's law.

    The non-statutory - broken water mains - not so well. Perhaps we need to think of what kinds of important stuff needs to be moved to the statutory area so that it is done well?

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Sneaky…,

    Thanks for this Russell. I got new hearing aids that have bluetooth capability, so I stream music direct to my ears! Magic. I can pick up a lot more now, for example, different instruments being played. So your recommendations will be getting a bit more attention now!

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report

  • Hard News: Meth houses and stigma,

    In the HNZ blocks where I live, there were three and possibly five, apartments that were 'contaminated'. By that, meth was smoked in the apartments. HNZ kicked the tenants out (one of them has returned to the streets, I see him around from time to time, and I think he's had a raw deal), and stripped the apartments of all linings. Completely. Then boarded up the apartments. It's been like that for 6 - 8 months now, maybe a year, but in the last month thankfully two apartments have been 'rebuilt' i.e. lined, and made habitable.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report

  • Up Front: I Never Been ta Borstal,

    Thanks for writing this post Stephan. It provoked some thoughts, and one of the thoughts that popped into my mind was Foucault's conception of power - power is omnipresent - that is, it exists everywhere, at all levels, and all places.

    I'm just thinking aloud here; violence, as a thing, is independent of person doing it. It is a discrete 'thing', a tool that is picked up. It, along with power, exists everywhere, at all levels, and all places. Additionally, the exercise of violence has significant adverse effects in a significant majority of cases (in some cases, violence can have positive effects).

    Power doesn't have a gender, and neither does violence. It just is. However, our society has gendered violence in a way that highlights male violence against women, because rightly, that is an issue that affects society enormously as a result of its effects, and needs to be curtailed. But that gendering blinds us to female violence against men,and male violence against men, not because it doesn't exist (it does, if violence is omnipresent), but because society has deemed it a lesser issue. Equally, there are effects of that violence.

    If we approach violence as a concept without gender, that it is a thing that exists regardless of gender, and is deployed between all genders, then perhaps we might start to make the argument that we ought to pay attention to the means and ways of dealing with violence as a thing that needs curtailing, irrespective of gender.

    I'm just thinking aloud here, and throwing my thoughts into the mix. FWIW I am a victim of both male and female violence, but thankfully not physical, and not to a significant degree.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report

  • Hard News: The Unitary Plan and grown-up…, in reply to Angela Hart,

    It is deeply worrying. If it is any consolation, the notion of universal design is creeping into resource consents, through officers questioning how the proposed design incorporates universal design principles (of which, they form a non-statutory guideline to the RUP, IIRC).

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report

  • Hard News: The Unitary Plan and grown-up…,

    And it's worthwhile to note that sometimes independent commissioners get it wrong, horribly so and to a degree that begs questions. For example, in face of a well organised and resourced community group that demonstrated a feasible (not fanciful) development that was fully compliant with the underlying mixed use zoning (big box retail, apartments on top), commissioners, lead by Mr G Hill granted discretionary consent to a non-complying big box retail development (Bunnings, Great North Rd). My point here is they could have said no quite legally, and indeed were given every chance by the residents association to do so, and yet they did not.

    This was astounding. If Commissioners were given every chance to say no by a suite of perfect conditions, and they chose not to, what hope is there for a well designed city? Instead, we get a big box car orientated retail development on Great North Rd, that is simply a big box, adding nothing to the urban fabric of this inner city site.

    What is equally puzzling is that Bunnings has experience of designing and operating in mixed used developments in Australia, and there are examples of big box/residential mixed developments by the dozen overseas, the famous one being of course the Canadian Tyre development in Vancouver.

    Given this example, I'm super happy that at least the IHP hasn't buggered things up when there was opportunity to do so.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report

  • Hard News: The Unitary Plan and grown-up…,

    The rhetoric has changed; witness Granny's headline this morning. Instead of the sky is falling and the world is heading to hell in a hand-basket headlines, they now say thousands of homeowners will reap billions in up-zoning. What a difference a USB stick makes.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report

  • Hard News: Strange times with Starboy,

    Least I understand the issues a bit better now.

    But the elephant in the room that was trumpeting very loudly when Dunne was speaking? Legalisation. Good grief.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report

  • Hard News: Media Take: Three decades on…,

    I've been thinking a bit lately about how brutal AIDS deaths were then. It's hard to grasp.

    Brutal. I came out in 1986. I moved to Wellington in '88 where I was scooped up by the generation ahead of me and taught safe sex. They were frightened, and meticulously worked to make sure we knew about safe sex. I remember being 'hired' along with my flatmate to be waiters at a post service function of someone I knew who had died. His partner lives in Auckland today. I was taken to visit someone dying of Aids (he was straight - he got it through needles - he was a lovely Scotsman). Older men who traveled told me about the men, in their 20s / 30s in NYC that were hobbling around on canes. People I knew died - a man who graced the cover of Pink Triangle died. This backdrop of Aids functioned as a part of my life - when I moved to Vancouver, my initial host died of Aids some months later. He was from French Guiana. On and on, men died. It just became a blur really - so and so died, and so and so was sick (on his way to death). I found out about Arthur, who died on the night of Devotion (a gay dance party in Wgton) through a story by Peter Wells, when I was living in Montreal. Arthur was lovely, and I understand part of his ashes were sprinkled on the dance floor at the following year's party. When I moved back in '96, still more men.

    Til roughly about 2000, when things started to change, and men were no longer dying. You know, growing up in a time when your fellow gay citizens were dying does something to you. I don't know what, but it is something.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report

  • Hard News: About the King's Arms (updated),

    Note; anyone can apply for consent over any property. In reality, one would never do it unless you had reasonable prospects of exercising that consent.

    In that vein, anyone can make a submission on a District or Regional Plan about any property. Which is where we got our 'out of scope' (a mis-nomer) debacle from.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report

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