December 10, 2018

December 08, 2018

Bunnings Pointless Exercise

Bunnings Hardware - hardly anywhere. I don't know why I do it to myself, every time I end up at Bunnings I find they haven't got what I'm looking for. Their website will say yes, their shelf says no. I'm not going back, write this outfit off, they're hopeless.

December 07, 2018

NZ: Education Shake-up

Finally, an admission that Tomorrow's Schools was a disaster. That's the way I read the proposed changes to the way schools in New Zealand are organised.

Read about it here: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12172927

What is proposed is essentially reinventing the wheel, putting in place the framework that existed before Labour destroyed education in NZ. I note the media are avoiding attaching blame. They're such suck-ups.

However, I'm not convinced scrapping Intermediate schools is a good idea. Many Intermediates do an amazing job. Likewise, year 1 through 8 primary schools already exist and they're often fine too. Where things could go badly wrong is having year 1 through 13 at the one school in urban areas. That's fine in Area Schools in the rural areas but it's misguided to allow it in urban areas. There are some schools already set up like this, we are yet to see if they work. I'm not holding my breath.

It comes down to how these changes are implemented. Given Labour's poor record on Education, I remain doubtful.

Jacinda Ardern and 2019

That was interesting, in just a couple of days since posting my prediction and why I think the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern will step down to move on, the post has become my number 1 most popular post of 2018. There must be something in this then!

My thinking, in short is that Jacinda Ardern must use the Xmas/New Year period to look for another job. If she misses out then the outlook is all downhill, being propped up by a ragtag bunch of minor parties and an often incompetent Labour party behind her. Who wants a former PM dumped by the electorate on their payroll? Surely it is far wiser to jump before the slide really kicks in. Watch this space.

December 06, 2018

Prediction for 2019: Jacinda Ardern

Don't be surprised if New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern decides to step down and takes up a UN job. It could happen and becomes highly likely if the Greens, Labour's partner on confidence and supply, start polling below the 5% threshold.

Think of it like this; Ardern has already finished the race in first. It was close but she got there. But she only gets the prize because two very minor parties support her and one of them has now dropped below that critical 5%. If the Greens go the same way, that means come the next election she's looking at being Leader of the Opposition and a former Prime Minister. That doesn't have quite the same cachet now does it. And then her record will be closely examined. Then finally, to have her leadership challenged would be very unbecoming.

So the way I see it, she has to step down and go out on top. To overseas markets she's much more valuable now. The future for her lies in cashing in overseas, if she sticks around in NZ, all that offers is uncertainty and a slide.

Back in 2017 I was the first to predict a Labour victory. Everyone else thought it couldn't happen. After I noticed a wave of people all saying they were voting Labour, and pointed it out, a few commentators and bloggers jumped on board. When the inevitable happened, they all claimed to have been first (surprise surprise). Well, note this prediction and if you use it and I'm right, kindly have the good grace to apply credit where it is due, and that would be me.

December 04, 2018

Film Industry: Geoff Murphy

New Zealand film director, Geoff Murphy has died. His most important movie Utu, was set during the frontier days of NZ. His wife, Merata Mita predeceased him, she made NZ's most important documentary, Patu! which was about the 1981 Springbok tour of New Zealand.

Snob's Guide to New Zealand ranks Utu second on its list of important New Zealand films, with Patu! third and the most important documentary. 

NZ U-17 Women Win Bronze

The New Zealand U-17 women did very well, finishing with the bronze medal in Montevideo after defeating Canada in the 3rd/4th place play-off, 2-1. The eventual winner of the tournament was Spain, the team that knocked NZ out.

https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/2018673906/young-football-ferns-take-bronze-at-fifa-under-17-world-cup

December 03, 2018

Labour on the Slide

The latest opinion polls have New Zealand's Labour government falling in the polls and their coalition partner has slipped below the 5% threshold. Not only that but the Greens who support the coalition on confidence and supply are right on the threshold.

But here's where it gets interesting: only a few hundred votes stand between Labour and electoral oblivion. If the Greens fall below the 5%, then Labour are no longer government, instead national would be. Watch for signs of desperation as Labour look to move the threshold down.

Time to start getting very nervous Labour, and you deserve to be nervous. These are the reasons:

1. Oil and gas exploration ban,
2. Being held captive by Greens,
3. Giving up the centre ground,
4. Not paying teachers enough,
5. Grandstanding around the world instead of looking after the knitting,
6. Incompetent ministers,
7. Shane Jones Bank.

And that's just for starters.

December 02, 2018

Olympics

I noticed boxing is coming under the spotlight and may be frozen out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. This is no surprise, boxing is rigged. But at least it is possible to win by knocking your opponent out. The same cannot be said for other sports subject to judging. Examples include race walking, diving, snowboarding and gymnastics.

Let's face it, if the contest does not involve transparent scoring, timing or distance measured, forget it as they shouldn't be at the event. This judging behind the scenes has to stop.

Walking would be easy to fix. Instead of issuing warnings, have a sin bin with the walker having to wait in place for a specified time when caught running. Make it 1 minute standing still on the first infraction, then 2, 4, 8 and so on. This way the audience gets to see what is happening and the race may end up being a head to head contest at the finish line.

December 01, 2018

Quick! Save the Planet: Stuff's Campaign

New Zealand media group, Fairfax are promoting the Quick! Save the Planet series through its newspapers and Stuff.co.nz website. It's meant to awaken concern and inform about climate change, and offer ways to effect change. In so doing, I assume they expect this will result in saving the planet from its imminent demise.

It won't do anything of the sort and campaigns like this are misguided at best, and at worst extremely foolish or even stupid. Okay, I accept they have to sell newspapers, they're largely failing and they'll all have to shut up shop within my lifetime, but the desperate will do anything to survive.

The problem with this campaign is twofold; the first is with the hysterical nature of the title. Any solution is certainly not quick, and the planet doesn't need saving. Most people intuitively know this and so when reading they're likely to skip. Only the converted will read, and so no progress is made at all.

The second problem is more serious and lies at the root. This sort of scaremongering results in polarisation of opinions and climate change extremism. Any not fully on board with the most extreme climate alarmists are instantly labelled 'climate change deniers.' Heretics in other words.

Of course there is no real debate about climate change being real, no-one with half a brain is debating it. What is up for debate is the extent to it and whether the effects are adverse at all. And if they are adverse, how bad exactly and can it be managed? What doesn't help is when someone enters the debate talking practical matters, and they're shouted down and accused of being a 'denier.'

What we are witnessing folks, is the development of a new religion; in my book Snob's Guide to New Zealand, I call the religion Eco. I describe how this new religion functions. It seems Stuff and Fairfax have adopted the faith. 

November 30, 2018

CO2 Capture Tackling GCC

This is the sort of thing I've been talking about, engineer solutions to Global Climate Change. Don't listen to the Greens, they want to destroy civilisation, returning us to the Middle Ages and transferring our wealth to others.


Shane Jones Bank

I laughed when the New Zealand ACT party leader David Seymour called the Regional Development fund, Shane Jones Bank. NZ doesn't have a good record with this kind of thing. Money is always diverted and any gains often remain illusory. The latest round of funding for the West Coast of the South island is a drop in the ocean compared to what the West Coast mining sector could generate in earnings on its own, and they wouldn't need government funding at all. But then most of the minerals that the West Coast is rich in, the NZ government is allergic to.

November 29, 2018

Rachel Stewart on TERF's

Rachel Stewart provides some interesting perspectives on the term TERF. One point is that Big Pharma stands to make a fortune out of changing basic biology. I'm not knowledgeable enough on the subject but would suggest this is one to watch, pharmaceutical companies may come into their own down the road.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12166957

November 28, 2018

Alternatives to Household Recycling

Thought of this the other day; instead of sending a large truck past every house in the country which then use a mechanical arm to lift half-empty recycling wheelie bins (it's the emptiness of the bins being put out that really kills any scheme like this), why not require all houses to install a home trash compactor? Then have a smaller general waste truck come around and pick everything up in the one pass, and take the load straight to landfill.

This would offer several savings; the first being it takes the large recycling trucks off the road. And the smaller rubbish truck is cheaper to run. That's because the waste stream is an issue of volume not weight. Then when at the transfer station, the waste brought in is already compacted and requires less compacting for final transfer to landfill.

Alternatively, do not send the rubbish truck past each house at all. Set up collection points and accept trash compacted at home first. Each day a very small truck then clears this collection point. This is a kind of surge pile and far more efficient.

What my idea does is save on the amount of energy being used disposing of waste. The flash recycling schemes and their wheelie bins are not energy efficient at all, they're damaging to the environment and expensive for ratepayers.

Now before someone says, 'Hang on, how do you get trash compactors in every home?' What could be done is require all home construction obtaining a building consent, to install a trash compactor as a condition of that consent. This would cover all houses being modified and new house construction. For the rest, take the first year's savings from running the large trucks and subsidise the installation. They'd sit in the garage, and can be free standing, you just plug the thing in at the wall.

November 26, 2018

EV's: Hypocritical Norway

New Zealand is being urged to embrace the example of Norway when it comes to electric vehicles or EV's. Norway has a fast growing EV fleet and it's claimed that's because they tax dirty forms of transport. Maybe they do, I don't care, they have a growing EV fleet, good for them.

But what gets my goat is that the money to live their comfortable lifestyles comes care of North Sea oil revenues. They dirtied the planet and did their part in contributing to Global Climate Change but now they're pontificating worldwide about how great their environmental credentials are. What Norway and their boosters are saying, in effect, is don't do what they did; stay in your mud huts and live off renewables.

It's the new form of European colonialism. Having plundered the planet, everyone else with similar ideas has to stop that immediately and learn to live in the Third World as noble savages. Well I don't buy it and they can shove their ideas.

Here's what should happen to EV's. They should be taxed heavily. Don't tax the liquid fuels transport markets. Why? Surely the user should pay for everything. In this case the user should pay a charge to add to the generation capacity required to power the fleet. EV's were never envisaged when generation capacity was installed in the first place, and so EV users must add to that.

The EV user is also leaving the existing infrastructure which has been invested in for over a hundred years. They leave behind jobs and the capital invested in oil by moving to a parallel electrical infrastructure never planned for their arrival. They need to pay for that as well, call it an exit charge if you like. These two charges would amount to a ban on EV's as the cost would dissuade any potential user. That's as it should be, EV's are a total waste of time apart from the rather obvious example of novelty items like Lime scooters or bicycles.