Wednesday, November 27, 2013

$100 million windfall for the Auckland City Council from the airport---a message for the Government maybe?

The news today the Auckland City Council is going to receive a $100 million windfall from its share of the dividend paid from the airport profits is good news, for the airport and the Council. That money can go quite a way for infrastructure and to helping to keep the rates rise to a minimum for those who hold that as a holy grail.
It also sends a clear message to the Government, who have either sold or are about to sell (despite any strong message they get from the current referendum on the issue) Sate Assets. The airport has and will probably continue to be a convenient cash-cow for the Council, even when one takes into account the cyclic nature of such profits. Sure State Assets can be seen in the same light. In good times such assets pay strong dividends and when things are not so good, they can act as a cushion to the negative aspects of pricing when it tends to head upwards.
It is short sighted, merely a short term quick fix by a narrowly fiscally driven and social irresponsible Government, that listens only to its allies in big business. If we wish all NZers to benefit from our economy then we should spread ownership of strategic assets, not concentrate them in the hands of an ever shrinking pool of ‘sharks.’
If you live in New Zealand, you would have received your chance to say ‘NO!” in the form of the referendum papers.’ If you do not vote (or worse, vote in favour of the Governments plans to ‘corporatize’ NZ, then you are selling us all down the tubes. Get that paper out now and stick your tick in the NO box. It only takes a few seconds to make sure that future New Zealanders do not look back on this time in our history and condemn us for our lack of action and our allowing a Government to ride roughshod over us. Take a good hard look at those who favour selling off that which we have all paid for. Let’s keep ownership in New Zealand hands and believe nothing that the National Government tells us about ‘Mum and Dad investors. ‘
Let the Auckland Airport success story be a shining light and lest make sure that no more of that Asset is sold off---that too is just around the corner!

Hey 'oldies,'---let's go flatting!

So you are approaching the magic age (for now!) of 65 or maybe you are a great deal older. Perhaps you have recently lost a loved one and facing the prospect of living alone after all those years with a partner who you loved but sometimes drove you nuts. Albeit, you just don’t want to live on your own. There are plenty of options out there re ‘retirement villages,’ most of the ones you would consider to be ‘your style,’ are just out of your range, financially. The last thing you want or those kids who live overseas or way too far away to be of any constructive help to you in your twilight years, is to move into some of the residences within your price range, but just don’t stack up. You have read the Herald reports on some of them and you know that the ‘carers’ who work in them are underpaid and overworked. There’s got to be a better way.
You cast your mind back to your youth and remember your student days. If you were in your late teens or early twenties in the 1960’s ‘flatting’ became the thing to do. Are you smiling as you remember the parties and the terrible cooking and less than appropriate cleaning standards? Perhaps your flat was better organized and maybe you have conveniently forgotten the ‘down side’ of that precarious existence, but a twinkle has just appeared in your left eye; the right one trys to maintain a balance as to how it really was.
Today you read the article in the NZ Herald about flatting for ‘oldies,’ and you start to wonder. Is this for me? Could I possibly throw away that dammed tendency to ‘have things my way?’ Could I revisit those crazy halcyon days? Do I in fact need to?
 Well, no you don’t but in a sense you can. Sure the late nights may be driven more by insomnia than the need to ‘party up big time, and the ‘flatmates probably won’t be quite as ‘pert’ as they were in the old days and your taste in TV programmes reading and all the other aspects of your lifestyle will not be the same, but you still have an intense interest in life. Hey, we all change and now that you have seen much of life, perhaps you can make an accommodation and find a way of living with a group, in a semi-controlled fashion, with the back-up of a nice young man or woman who gets rent a bit cheaper and who is around at night when so many oldies worry about security. Such a person could also be quite handy at reaching for the light bulbs and a few other monotonous tasks that you don’t fancy anymore.
Is flatting for the oldies a viable solution to the growing need to look after our elderly? Why not. Get the formula right and have the appropriate support handy and it could well solve many issues for us oldies. Company is assured and flexible, depending on the level of contact one would like. IT would be good for the community as a whole, not to have vast numbers of older people locked away in huge retirement villages that for all purposes are ‘gated.’ The examples are out there and they are going to grow as people chose to live with others similar to them, but not isolated from one another; just choosing to have their own space if and when they need it. Financially, it is a good option; one that would cost the taxpayer less than some existing models.
I say---go for it and check it out. There will be many variations on the theme and life is too short (especially at the plus 65 level) to worry about paying exorbitant fees to some profit orientated business that may or not meet your real needs. Jeeze---have I just put myself in the category of those who are thinking about their more advanced   years?