Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The bushfires in Australia---- hang in there, my friends, and family.

The terrible bushfires in NSW, Australia are worrying to say the least. The fact that some of them could join up to form sort of super fire causes even more concern. Living in the ‘bush,’ has always presented difficulties and one must always be ready to respond when the ‘season’ comes around. It feels like that season is becoming increasingly dangerous and elongated. Is it that the spread of Sydney into the ‘bush’ is contributing to the latest examples of nature ruling? The Blue Mountain Region has always been a popular haunt for visitors and Australians but this year it looks like a disaster area.
The pictures of the smoke, smog, pollution; call it what you will, coming out of Sydney remind me of the pictures we see of cities in Asia with their massive pollution problems.
I do not know what the answer is. Does Australia need to look at where it is best for people to live, safely? Yes, the ‘Original’ people could live with ‘nature’ in all its forms, but modern day living just does not suit that particular environment. The resources need to fight these massive fires are almost beyond Australia alone. We in New Zealand have and will always help, but ultimately Australia has some very important questions to face in regard to increasing its population beyond the main cities, into the ‘bush.’ Mother Nature will always be the winner against ‘humans’ puny efforts. We wish you well, Australia.

Aucklanders' average pay now NZ$1135 per week---just what does that mean?

It was reported in the NZ Herald that the average pay for Aucklanders is now $1135 per week. That sounds like a lot of money in NZ terms but there are a few things to consider before you all clap your hands in glee as we also hear reports that unemployment is significantly down.
Firstly,’ average’ can be a very misleading term. It is slanted by the fact that top incomes are included and those numbers skewer the figures to make them appear unreasonably optimistic. There are many people earning well below that figure and it is in this group that the announcement held little in the way of hope. For those in the hospitality, food and beverage and caring industries, along with other occupational groups, the figure are all but a lie. Yes, cold hard facts can be interpreted to make the scene far rosier than it actually is.
Take the higher cost of housing and transport, just to mention two factors re living in Auckland and combine that with the above extrapolation and you get a more realistic picture about what it is likely for so many people living in Auckland. Their chance of ever owning their own homes is poor at best.
So, before the Government begins its inevitable crowing re these figures, just take a breath and have some thought for the reality so many Aucklanders face every day. For those who don’t care about Aucklanders, just remember how deeply they stuck their hands into their pockets when it came to helping those in the southern city that ‘shook’ so badly.
Figures and statistics be dammed. Tell the truth, but yes, be hopeful for a better future.