Sunday, December 9, 2012

Are New Zealand drivers really so bad that get our dogs to drive us?

New Zealand is famous for many things; its scenery and green image, wine, food, sporting achievements and lots of inventions. Unfortunately we come in for a bit of stick because of our casual approach to driving. Tourists often say we are dangerous but personally, I think that is just because, for most of them---we drive on the wrong side of the road.
Whether or not you believe such cruel claims about us---well that’s over to you. I must tell you about how we propose to change this widely held view about our driving habits. I guess many of you know about the agricultural back bone to our economy. We grow things and feed them to animals and that’s how we get much of our money to buy the things we no longer make, because most of those products are made in China.
We came up with a magnificent, yet daring plan. Why not let ‘man’s best friend’ help out. Yes---let’s get the help of our canine friends. Backed up by the SPCA, which has long made the claim that you don’t need some fancy breed that is related to the Queens dogs or the President of the USA, a new plan is in action. OH no, we can rescue a dog from the SPCA and train it to drive our cars. That is exactly what is happening in little old NZ. It won’t be long before you see dogs driving the kids to school and on the horizon there is a ‘Let doggy drive you home when you’re drunk’ service.
Yes, dogs are in and we will all have a couple of dogs, delivering us to our destinations and save billions in accident support payments (We call that ACC in NZ). It is rumoured that anyone caught driving drunk will be instructed to take on one of the dogs. Doggy driving schools are springing up all over NZ, even on our outer islands. There is even a move to export our clever little dogs.
Go to and play with the links if you don’t believe me. See, many fine things come out of New Zealand. Isn’t that just an extension of ‘New Zealand 100% pure?’ At least you can all believe this one!
By the way, Perdy, my Jack Russell watched the programme on TV and now she’s barking at me to take her for her first lesson!

And now ---let me introduce The Dominican Republic!

The Dominican Republic has joined the ranks of my readers. It is so good to have my first Caribbean nation join us. Maybe Haiti will be next. I would love to see some comments from you in The DR. There are few ties between New Zealand and the DR. Other Caribbean nations are linked to us by the Commonwealth and of course by the wonderful game of Cricket.
I hope you get a chance to see my website and perhaps wish to find out more about my books. If not, that’s cool. I shall pay close attention to any news items on TV about your island nation in the sun. Greetings from the South Pacific.

A never ending story---well I hope not!

This writing business can be so frustrating. Of course another way of looking at it is to just put it all down to experience. I have made a major decision about ‘Roskill.’ After consulting with a well-known editor, I have decided to place the book in the market it is best suited for; namely the YA (Young Adult) market.
That will mean pruning it down to a more YA friendly size. Very few young people want to trail through a long book, so the suggested word count is going to be between 50-70,000 words. That represents a good deal of editing and yet another ISBN number. OK---I’m up to it because I do not want to give up after coming so far.
I guess my upcoming holiday will be one whereby I cut and take as my guide, ‘less is more.’
I shall be back and of course, the existing copies of the longer versions are still available from my website or through me.

Is the best of New Zealand for sale to the highest bidder?

Are we going to wake up one day to realise that there is little in the way of affordable coastal land available to most New Zealanders? A scenario that stretches your imagination? Well think on. Take for example the huge 'residential' dvelopment on the behalf of one of Russia's men in Northland. Surleey that and other like it are forcing up the price. Yes, I know that in some cases the price of land on the coast had gone down but the long term trend is ever upwards. Why do we not see that NZers are being priced out of thier olwn heritage. Perhaps we are going to be in a position that the Tagata whenua (The first people of New Zealand) have long been in. A hard call----really? Don't blink---it will all be gone! The only difference between now and 'then'----we took it without paying for it fairly in the past.

Climate change--Will Mother Nature bite back?

Scientists and politicians disagree when it comes to their views on climate change. Some have their heads so deeply in the sand that when they do finally come up to breath it will be way too late. Can they not see the signs that prevail around the world?
Rising sea levels have been apparent for many years and it will be on the life time of even middle-aged readers that some islands will disappear. Think also of the low lying sites around the world, where high tides combined with weather events’ cause massive damage.
Put the signs together and the lack of action on the part of the world’s worst polluters (USA, China and India) and we are heading for a scenario where scenes of destruction and food shortages will be every night occurrences on our TV screens.
Politicians with their tame scientists refuse to see beyond their electoral terms or on the case of China, beyond the ‘hold on power,’ because that is their particular form of government. No wonder New Zealand has foolishly turned its back on supporting the moves we had been party to in the past. I guess our short sighted politicians have cynically shrugged off any commitment to future generations. For that stance, I despise them!