Thursday, October 11, 2012

A time for all to grieve and hope for a better time.

To see all religions, working together, showing tolerance and understanding in Bali on this special day--- what more can I say?

Bali--ten years on--extremism at its worst

Today is the day to remember the tragic events of ten years ago when so many Indonesians, Australians and people from other countries lost their lives. The culprits behind this attack have all either lost their lives or are in prison. That does not make it any easier for those who lost their loved ones.
The world in 2012 is no safer from the ravages of acts of terrorism and no amount of military action by the USA and its allies will make it so. If the causes that feed terrorism are not addressed then we will continue to witness acts of violence against the West and anyone perceived to be supporting the USA.
We will have more Afghanistans and we will equally be unable to win those wars. The USA and its allies will throw huge resources at the terrorists and the Muslim world will be unable to control those elements within their societies that are willing to lay down their lives for their cause.
The sad fact remains that ‘moderates’ do not undertake extreme measures to protect their faith of maintain ‘order.’ History, both from the point of view of Christendom and the Islamic world has shown us that such struggles do not result in lasting peace.
Islam is supposed to be a tolerant religion, just as Christianity in its moderate form is, but both religions (and others) contain elements that are hell-bent on following a pathway that threatens world peace. That they are fed by despotic regimes and inequality for many of the populace is a given fact. That is where the USA should look carefully at its foreign policy. That policy in itself is a root cause for much of the hate that fundamentalist groups use to wage the wars of hate.
If the majority of people in both religions communicate and create deeper understandings and tolerance, then only that will bring some hope. But will the majority speak up---? ---- Like that wonderful young Pakistani girl did? I wish that could be so.

Hone Harawira's latest ---well, what was it?

I do my best to try to see Hone Harawira as a sane and passionate politician and defender of the Rights of his people (and others now that he has tried to widen the base of the Mana party). He has sort of softened some of his actions of late and apart from the odd outburst or two, he has gone along with most of the traditions of Parliament.
I am not at all sure what he was trying to achieve by sitting in his car last night, ‘listening to music,’ while supporting the rights of the residents of State Homes in Glenn Innes to stay put. I would have thought that he would have been a bit more ‘vocal’ and put himself a little more to the front of the action. Maybe he was tired.
Either way, he became the target of police action and his front window was broken and he was arrested--- what for? Was his car obstructing the work of those wishing to ‘move the house?’ I don’t know why he just didn't get out and lambast the people and police who were intent on taking the house away.
I would like to know about what is driving Hone’s and others’ actions. My understanding is that Housing NZ is completely changing the area where the homes are being removed from. It is pretty obvious that the area is going ‘upmarket,’ and that the former residents are being moved on. That their community is being torn apart is an accurate description of the actions of Housing NZ. What I don’t know is what plans are being made to re-house the residents? This is where I may lose some friends about what I say next.
Many of us have to move form time to time, for a variety of reasons. It can be for work, for financial (like we can’t afford the rent or mortgage) and for a myriad of other factors. Some would say—‘get on with your lives like the rest of us do.’ The underlying reasoning here is that—why should one sector of society (i.e. State House residents) be able to expect preferential treatment?). I feel for the residents and acknowledge that some of the residents do not have as many choices available to them as most of the rest of us do. I also ask the perennial question—‘Do State House residents have the right to expect that they will be housed for life, in the same house, or should they have to take the same choices we all make as life changes and socio/economic considerations change around them. For example; the needs of other people to have the same access to State homes and therefore a juggling of that resource to accommodate these new residents, must be taken into account.  
So, the answers are not simple. What Hone was really doing, only he knows?
I do have  a nasty taste in my craw though about the 'profiteering' that is driving this.' The land these homes are on is 'gold' to developers. Perhaps they should pay for the new homes that the residents will need. They would still make a profit and the residents would be housed. OK, so the world doesn't work like that!

Looking for a job?--- Then get out of Auckland!

The Herald report that there are jobs in places other than the ‘Queen’ city is a little piece of news that many people should take seriously. In nearly all regions of NZ there were advertised jobs, mostly in the highly skilled and skilled areas.
I doubt that one would be surprised that Christchurch leads the pack and some of the advantages of leaving Auckland may not be present in that city; for example cheaper rents. Given the need to attract skilled workers to that city, the pay may make up for that factor. The needs for workers in Christchurch will increase as the rebuild ramps up.
Other areas also need workers at many levels. In these cases, families could well benefit from making the move. Housing (rentals and buying) are cheaper and lifestyle factors are most definitely an attraction. Take Napier, which boasts rush-hour traffic as being only 10 minutes in length.
Taranaki and New Plymouth in particular offer jobs and a lifestyle that makes one wonder why so many of us reside in Auckland. As in most of New Zealand’s regions, good education is available well into tertiary level. The wide open spaces and climate are factors to consider too.
So, Kiwis, ‘Go North, South and further South and don’t forget to veer a little to the East and West as you consider your move.
If you have a home in Auckland, then rent it out, just in case you decide to return. Somehow, once you have made the move I suspect you may be cheering for the local teams and quickly dumping your loyalty to the Blues.
Think about what you want for yourself and your family and you may well decide that Auckland is a great place to visit, just occasionally.