Saturday, June 16, 2012

NZ First is a strange party-- Winston wants it both ways.

If Winston Peters and NZ First want to be taken seriously they really must stop this balancing act where they don’t actually commit to anything. Winny seems to want it both ways. He wants to keep what he see as his niche support on the political battlefield. He sees no reason to enter into a serious debate about where NZ goes with the superannuation eligibility age level. He cannot deny that we have a problem heading our way--- the population is aging and if we want to pay our elderly a liveable benefit, we have to plan for it now, not stick our heads in the sand like John Key.
We all know that NZ First gets a good deal of its support from those above 60, but don’t patronise this group, Winston. They have a vision for NZ too. They are not all selfish! They do not want to lumber the cost of a super scheme on the young any more than any other group. Yes they have paid their taxes and deserve the levels they get now’ we don’t disapprove that.
We have to see the bigger picture--- gradually get workers to pay higher levels into their Kiwi Saver schemes and ‘inch’ the age of eligibility up. Hell, Labour and the others who support this are only suggesting that it comes in easy steps so what’s the problem Winny and Johnny? Get real.
We also have to face the prospect of paying higher employee levels into Kiwi Saver or it won’t be worth stuff all when we collect it.
Please stop playing petty politics NZ First and National (read John Key in this case.) I do not want to burden the next generation with an unsustainable tax rate simply because we were too selfish to make the call NOW!

17,000 hits!

Maybe someone is hitting my blog over and over again because most postings get about 30 hits at the most with a few exceptions like the one on Manuka and Kanuka honey--- funny-- that one got over 60. I shall keep posting--- I think I'm addicted! The website is progressing nicely and the proofreading of all my books is proceding. I know there were lots of errors, so I spent the money to get them right--- then its over to the 'God of book buying.' They will be available directly through my website and also on Kindle eventuallyp-- that's a cheaper option.

The ACC (Accident Corporation Commssion) is heartless.

For many years the ACC (Accident Corporation Commission) used to be something NZers were very proud of. It enabled NZers, who through no fault of their own were able to either get back to work through the support of the State or to live a life with dignity if they could not work.
Gradually, over the years (since the 70’s) it has become a political football, with both major parties using it for their own agendas. It is the National Party however who has striven to make the Corporation pay its way and indeed divert some of the income gleaned through taxation (this money should have been earmarked for ACC purposes--- i.e.--- the clients wellbeing) to other aspects of their plans. Some may have agreed with this.
It is the cynical manner in which the present Government has approached the viability of the ACC that alarms me most. They have turned an operating deficit into a large surplus. They have achieved this by creating a culture of insensitivity when it comes to making claims through the ACC. Take for example their continual cutting and sometimes reversing, claims made under the ‘Sensitive claims’ division of ACC. That is for those who have suffered major trauma as a result of sexual abuse. They have also made it increasingly hard to make other claims. One only has to read the regular reports in our media about the downright nastiness with which so many claimants are met.
The Government is attempting to run the ACC on a profit orientated model. This is not what the original legalisation envisaged. It is not what NZ was made famous for, way back when we first introduced this wonderful piece of law and support for NZers.
Even foreign visitors have benefitted from it when they have been injured. How many other countries offer that for their visitors?!
 I lament the changes this Government is making or attempting to make. We need to maintain the same vigilance that we have exerted for the misplaced attempts to denigrate the NZ education system. Save our kids! Save our ACC!

I reckon I have almost got a green house!

My little house is almost a ‘green house.’ I have solar water heating, DVS and a heat pump. I did all this to keep my power bills down and to decrease my ‘environmental footprint.’ My friends will laugh at that statement and they are probably correct. I primarily made these decisions in order to save money. I will achieve that in the long run--- if I live long enough that is.
For example, the solar unit cost NZ$6000 and that will take 6 years to pay off. The savings I achieve through a smaller power bill (and that is significant--- about 40% less) make up for the payments I make so I guess I am neutral on that score.
The heat pump? If I use it sensibly, it does save money. I f I combine the use of the DVS system--- that is use the DVS on a sunny day--- I don’t need the heat pump until well into the evening in the Winter. I use it in summer, only to keep cooler on very hot days.
All I need now is to save rain water in a tank, for my garden (and if possible to flush the toilet--- is that possible?) I don’t think I can go as far as a ‘green toilet in the city and I doubt t that a wind turbine is possible either. Hell, Perdy would really bark at that and I piss off enough neighbours as it is when she gets through the cat door at 5.30 in the morning and barks her morning welcome to this green world.

RT (Russian TV) --- MMm interetsing

Many countries have an international service and RT is just one of them. I watch it from time to time, just to get a different perspective. It’s interesting taking another angle. For years we have been fed the news from our own services and the BBC and the USA ones. Apart from Fox, I am reasonably satisfied, so long as we get to see RT and Aljazeera. Of course in N Z we have the lucky position to be able to criticize them all.
I wonder if they RT service is totally free form Political influence , but having made that statement, is Fox, CNN the BBC and even our own service in NZ absolutely free. In the past we have had NZ politicians making statements attacking the integrity of our NZ service, but the resulting furore has sometimes been enough to make sure it remains independent.
Come on my lost Russian readers. Tell me what you think. I like RT. Is it the FRT (Free RTV)?

Nick Afoa---bloody legend!

I have had the pleasure to hear Nick sing twice on TV now. He sings for the start of the  Rugby games; at the World Cup and again last night. I think he may have been on before too. What stands out about Nick is that you never have the feeling that he doesn't know the words like some other unofortunates. If you are going ot to sing anyone's National Anthem, you must do it with the pride of that country behind you. Nick--- you deliver so well. I hope that we get to hear Nick in and on other forums. He has a beautiful voice and he so looks the part.
WELL done Nick. You compassion shows through in all of your endeavours.

The good and the bad of a wrong diagnosis

My heart goes out to a couple in Wairoa (NZ) who were led to believe that the husband had terminal cancer. When they came to terms with that, they decided to spend up large and satisfy a list on their (or was it his/) ‘bucket list.’
They had a great time, taking trips to Fiji, Australia and travelling around NZ. It seemed that everything the husband wanted, his wife obliged. One does wonder what plans they had for her, once he departed this world.
Things suddenly changed when they were visited by a carer from the local hospice who told them that she would not be visiting again--- there was no need in light of the fact that the husband was ‘clear of cancer.’
I wonder how I would have reacted if I was in this position. All their money was gone and their means of making more down the gurgler too as they had given away much of the ‘capital goods’ they needed for it to continue.
Life is special, but when it serves up something like this, one wonders. Someone made a booby here--- big time. It seems that others knew of the new prognosis, but didn’t tell the couple.
Part of me says they should be compensated and be reimbursed for at least some of their spending. I suspect that some of you reading this would simply say that they ‘should be celebrating their good news.’
I wish them well and hope that the more generous in our community will help them. Should we start a fund for them? Someone could help them write a book and then sell the movie rights. They deserve something.