Wednesday, September 26, 2012

We are going to see some strange 'bedfellows' over the Kim DotCom affair!

Imagine PM Key lined up with those opposing the misuse of ‘intellectual rights’ and Civil Liberties groups, which could include ‘Greenies, opponents of NZ’s involvement in Afghanistan, all supporting KIM Dotcom.
The whole crazy affair around the extradition of Kim Dotcom re his alleged transgressions is throwing together groups who would normally not give one another the time of day.
Think about some of the connotations: You may well have some fun with what is becoming a side how, taking away from more important issues. “What?!’ you say. What is more important than freedom on the internet? Well that depends on what role you play on the internet. I won’t progress with that in case I make unsubstantiated accusation.  
Look at John Key’s face lately. It has taken on a distinct look of—‘What the hell is happening here?’ It seems that real pressure is building on him. The question is being asked--- ‘How much has he or Bill English been influenced either by the USA Government or one of their agencies?’
This may be one of those affairs that build with time and myths become indistinguishable for fact. You get the feeling that something could break out at any moment and take on a life of its own. That is the ‘look’ that the two gentlemen have.
There are so many issues that relate to the Kim Dotcom (Bugger--- I keep spelling the name wrong) affair: Our rights to unfettered access to the internet, the question of ‘who we allow into our country’---not just the rich) and how much are we being watched or spied upon by our own Government?
Perhaps we owe Kim (let’s just call him that because I am writing heaps about him lately) a debt of gratitude, because he has brought to our attention some major issues. It is up to you to decide whether I really mean that.
Don’t be surprised if you see these strange bed fellows. Anything is possible on the Net after all. Perhaps we are just imagining all of this and it is al la world of Avatars.

How long should tennants stay in State Houses?

The possible sale of a $1.3 million State House in Auckland raises the question of a person’s right to tenant, long term, a home owned by the State. The original intention was to give a helping hand to a section of the community that found the cost of housing beyond their means. If that was still the definition, then we would need a great deal more State Housing.
It appears that our State Housing stock is actually heading in the other direction, so one of our most basic needs is receding even further for a segment of our population, especially in the big cities and some poorer rural areas.
How then can the State support those most in need? For those who have lived in State Houses all of their lives, there may well be an ingrained belief that the home they reside in is actually almost their own. Challenging that stance will be difficult. Governments have tried various schemes to encourage tenants to either move on or buy into the homes they live in, sometimes with quite generous incentives, yet most, when offered do not take up the opportunity. There may be quite valid reasons for this, including not being able to meet the ‘extra costs but the result has been the same. Most State House tenants tend to stay put.
There are a few options available to Housing New Zealand. Firstly, they should encourage those on reasonable incomes to move into the private sector. This has happened and there are top-up schemes to enable tenants to meet private sector rentals. There are also means whereby tenants can own a ‘portion’ of a State house, thereby giving them a stake on the ownership ladder. Once again, there has been a tiny take-up of this offer.
For those already in the private sector, either renting or paying off their homes, looking at some of the situations for Sate House tenants abusing  the system, may well bring quite strong feelings. If for example a State House tenant is ‘double dipping,’ as reported by the NZ Herald today, then they have every reason to vent their frustration.
There is also the question of tenants living in homes that have a high commercial value. Is it not expedient and responsible on Housing NZ’ s part to sell those houses and then use the income build several new homes to increase the housing stock? I have heard the argument many times, that this disrupts family stability. My reply is that for most of us, moving homes for economic or other reasons is just a fact of life. The former argument about stability for the family does not hold water when so many in the private sector (the majority) move quite regularly. They cope, so why not their counterparts in Sate Housing?
The bottom line is that housing is a basic need, and as long as access is increased for those who are not currently housed, then the methodology, be it through private initiatives, state top—ups or State Housing, is fine by me. I know rents are prohibitive and for that reason, the State must stay involved in meeting this most basic of needs. It just needs a bit of tweaking and some extra resources to meet that need and a variety of ‘delivery mechanisms’ applied.
We need to have a discussion about housing needs and ways to have all of our people in healthy, warm homes. The payoff is that we will all benefit, so all possibilities dhousld be considered.

Update---Hell, today the Herald said that some people are paying $50 a week rent for million dollar houses. OK, I know that they may well have a low income, but how many of us could have that luxury. I know there are people out there on minimum wages who have to pay market rents for crap  leaky cold houses. Where's the justice?
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The KimDotcom saga continues!

I am annoyed about how much useless energy is going into the on-going debate about Kim Dotcom (Hell, I’m probably feeding it too!). At a time when we should be trying to get our economy on a better footing, we are assailed each day about the goings on of this man and how he says he is challenging the Government re ‘our collective’ freedom.
That is all a smokescreen for some possibly serious actions on his part. He is appealing to our sense of fair play and constantly reminds us of the ‘threat from the security services of U.S.A and their links to our services. This is all to deflect the eye of the public from any alleged discretions on his part, both in the past and present.
He pays an emotional game with us and I am very uncomfortable. True, in NZ one is not guilty until proven so, but there is something ‘rotten in the state of NZ.’
He has highlighted some of the amateurish ways our Government has handled the whole affair and we possibly should be thanking him for that. A bit contradictory, you say on my part. Yeah well, that is one of the many ramifications his actions have thrown up--- we are all over the place in how we see his shenanigans.
What a bloody time wasting expensive affair, or as Mrs Brown would say---‘What a fecken load of shite!’

Philippines--great to see you.

Maybe I shall write some blogs about the Philippines now that they have joined my readership group. I am very pleased to have you aboard. Afterall, we are both part of the same region and we have many of your wonderful nurses working in our hospitals. I have only ever heard high praise about their caring and friendly attitudes. Check out my website for my books too.