Saturday, May 31, 2014

Kim Dotcom's new alliance with Mana is an unquantifiable presence as yet!

This election is shaping up to be an unusual one, given some of the 'players.' In  the background to the new 'boys and girls ' on the block we have the spectre of the big German guy with an allegedly 'questionable past.' Other wannabe politicians have had to weather the storm when skeletons have come out of the closet, so he too needs to face that challenge. What is different about his situation is the manner in which the Government and its 'departments' have attacked him. His fight against the 'injustices' have resonated with some NZers, but who knows just how this will play out in the upcoming election, one in which he can not stand because he is not a NZ citizen.

Next we had Hone Harawira  dancing a strange pre-nuptial Tango with KDC and the emergence of an old (well not so old but very experienced) player from the Alliance days in politics, the party of that definitely old veteran, Jim Anderton. For a week or so we were left to goes and project who the partner for Hone would be and what that would mean. Laila Harre emerged, a choice that bemused some and confused others, me included. I have always admired this woman as a fine politician; one who without a doubt, talented, experienced and possessing a strong social conscience. I would have placed her firmly in  the Mana Party field of politics or even the Greens, but not with KDC, in  any form.

Now, I have to reassess my position, but I will do so with great care, because I find it so hard to move beyond some of the unanswered questions re KDC. The issue of him spending millions worries me about the influence he will exert in the background; a concern that is only partly lessened by the fact that Laila  is not in the pocket of any group or individual. Perhaps it comes down to perception, but the next few months will be critical in my view. I shall listen to what I hope is informed debate and expect a whole lot of the usual platitudes from others opposed to her and I shall try to sort through those 'predictable' utterances.

The political geography of New Zealand has either had a new 'bit player' added or a force to be reckoned with,  but one that needs to project some 'truths.' If the latter happens, then watchout Key and cohorts.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Let us drive you, tourists or pass a driving test! NO more deaths.

Is it time to seriously concider putting some restrictions of foreign tourists driving on NZ roads? The tragic death of yet another tourist, probably unfamiliar with NZ driving conditions, which may be a combination of driving on the 'wrong side'  of the road or not managing our narrow country roads.
We do not want to see any more deaths, either of the tourists or NZers who needlessly die because  the visitor has crossed to the other side of the road.
No doubt the hirers of rental cars and campervans will object to a tightening up re foreign drivers, but there is another way of looking at this: see an opportunity! Perhaps a whole new employment venture could arise for good 'Kiwi' drivers, escorting tourists or giving  driving lessons to those who insist on 'self-guided' tours. Either way the carnage must not continue. We do not wish to welcome people here, only to have them kill themselves --or us--on roads that do not suit the driving habits of our visitors.

Border Control finds several Kilos of 'precursors for 'P' (methamphetamine) manufacturing--the scourge continues.

The NZ customs department is very active in finding the precursors for 'P' manufacturing as the criminals try to bring it in to NZ, much of it unfortunately from China. These people attempt many ways to achieve their aims and no doubt a great deal still gets through. The low life people behind the trade, both in New Zealand and China will go to great effort to hide the red pellets that are necessary for the process. New Zealand Chinese officials cooperate to try to minimise the trade, but we would be foolish to assume that that we are even close to stopping it completely. Those caught in China face extremely harsh punishment and it would not be difficult to find New Zealanders who would agree with that 'ultimate price.' Whilst I can't quite go that far in my thinking, I do abhor the activities of these criminals who destroy so many lives in NZ.
In New Zealand, those 'precursors' are used to 'cook' the final product that then sells for a huge profit for those who are engaged at different levels of the illicit trade. There would not be a suburb, town or area in New Zealand where one of these 'P' labs could not be found. They could be next door, in in the flat you rent out as an investment or even in upmarket penthouse apartments; no where is free from this evil scourge.
For those who enter this dark world, life changes, sometimes for ever. The users put the family business, their actual families and relationships at risks. The desire to get that 'fix' takes over their lives; nothing else matters. That their children can be left without a parent matters little as they sink to new depths.
Read about such an experience in my book, ROSKILL.
It is now live on Amazon, both in EBook format and hard copy. For those buying the hard copy, the Kindle download (or other reading App) is FREE!
Go to my website
or to the link
Enjoy and please pass on the links and share with your circles.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Stoning to death and sentencing a mother to die---in the name of religion!

No one can convince me that it is the ‘correct’ thing to do---to stone a women to death in Pakistan (While the police stand by and do nothing!) and to sentence a young mother to death, once she has ‘nursed her child for two years, because she married a man from another faith; this is Sudan-----nothing and no one will bring me to the conclusion that such practices belong anywhere. What can we do as individuals or a nation to change such a sad state of affairs? Does our Government remain silent? Does the world community carry on delivering aid to these countries that allow inhumane ‘religious’ practices?
Sure many voices around the world and even within those countries cry out in indignation, but still, there are deaths. Sometimes they are called ‘honour killings,’ and in others an interpretation of a ‘book,’ is put up as justification, with bearded men standing by encouraging the ‘murders, usually of women!
The UN is a toothless organization n if it allows these abhorrent actions to continue. It has it within its power to cut off all humanitarian aid, to withhold all forms of developmental assistance, until there is a change.
‘But, you are hurting those who need the help most, you say! Yes, I agree that in the short term this may be so, but this has been happening, along with the corrupt practices of the leaders of many countries that practice abuse of human rights---it has always been so. BUT---at what point do we draw a line in the sand and say—‘until you bring about change, then you are on your own.’
I have a great deal of difficulty in coming to the above conclusion, given that there will be a continuation of suffering while the UN enters into endless rounds of negation, while the major ‘players’ use the debate to push their own agendas, while rich industrialists and business men compete for contracts, creating yet more tensions.
 It feels like we have not gone beyond the early days of the League of Nations and then the UN and its lofty ideals---it seems that nothing has changed. Why is it that human greed and political rivalries always gets in the way of real change; ones that benefit the majority of people and nation states?
Is it that base human behaviours underline all political actions but on a much larger scale than between small groups of individuals? Can we ever transcend this given human trait---to compete, to divide and to take over?
In the meantime the Pakistans and Sudans of this world will continue to ‘murder’ their citizens, sometimes via the political ‘machine’ and at others using a ‘book,’ to justify their actions.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Reach for the ---sky!

OK, dramatic exaggeration of the facts but that's how it feels when I come home everyday, to witness yet more progress on my little office in the garden; my future and also a damned nice space. What can I say other than---bring it on, my wonderful neighbour. Great job.
You are doing a superb job, John!

Destiny Church to open City of God while Anglicans self destruct over gay marriage issue.

Times are indeed tumultuous in the ‘spiritual world’’ with the Anglicans splitting into two groups; those willing to adjust to the ‘new world’ and those wishing to stick with a more ‘as they see,’ literal interpretation of the Bible. Then  we have the spectre of the ‘glitz and glam’ of the good old Destiny Church led by that ‘icon’ Brian Tamaki, as he launches a huge venture named, ‘The City of God,’ paid for by his dwindling number (According to the Herald) of followers.
The comparison could not be starker. On the one hand we have the traditional, some would say, ‘founding church of NZ,’ struggling with this dilemma---‘what to do about the gay issue?’ The latter is a genuine debate, casing a great deal of angst, both amongst the hierarchy of the church and the congregations. It seems that in the bigger cities, the more liberal the interpretation, but once you hit the suburbs and smaller cities and towns, things go the other way. In the meantime the membership bleeds. An answer will be fund and the church may look a little slimmer re the numbers, further enhancing the position of the ever growing Catholic faith. Perhaps that church is being well served by the ministrations and views of the new Pope and some would say, a little unkindly, the views re contraception, as always espoused.
Destiny has always been controversial; some labelling it as little more than a modern-day cult. It tried to enter politics but the public would not have a bar of that. It has launched various social programmes that I cynically label as nothing more than attempts to ’grow the church.’ It has also had to close many ‘branches’ as finances an internal splits surface. In a last ditch attempt to regain the fold, Tamaki is about to celebrate 30 years of ministry, by opening his ‘City of God.’ Time will tell if he can manage to save his empire, by spending up large (much of the money coming from his ‘poor’ followers,’ who he demands pay $1000 from each family; the very people who cannot afford such amounts.
So while the Anglicans beat their cheats about gays, Destiny launches an Orwellian community, aimed at providing spiritual control and power to one man! (Not God)  Yes, a stark difference indeed.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mana and KDC---'With this ring, KDC, I thee wed,' said Hone.

Many pundits will be speculating on whether the new alliance between KDC and the Mana Party will gain any traction at the election in September. In many ways we are entering into new territory. Without a doubt the big man has an ‘allure,’ (as that lady on Miranda says so often!) but to who? If one believes what the more optimistic of his supporters purport, then he should see his ‘minions’ ensconced in Parliament in numbers only dreamed of by other struggling fringe parties.
Perhaps they are missing an important point; those so-called supporters may only exist in the ‘cloud’ that is the internet. Maybe I am making the mistake of assuming that the typical supporter of the KDC party is a nerdy backroom or bedroom enthusiast who spends his (mainly ‘his’) time on the net and interacts with the world via avatars and fictitious characters when he is not trying to hack into an American arms network be involved or some other spurious online activity. OK, that is a terrible exaggeration, but it was fun to make. That’s my point: How serious are these ‘supporters’ and how much effort are they going to put in to the actual campaign and getting people out to vote in the real world.
Wow, I expect at least some sort of reaction to my burble and I suspect that once people start to realize that now Hone Harawira has the money behind him in the form of KDC (Who himself cannot stand as he does not qualify under the rules) things may take a turn for the more traditional pathway for the candidates. IF KDC can attract real voters and get the ball rolling and all the indications are there that he is going to throw money at the battle, then we are in for one of the most ‘interesting’ campaigns in NZ’s political history.
Of course there will be and has been casualties, the most obvious -----Sue Bradford, who is well known for her straight talking and honest political demeanour. She will not be the last as others within Mana find the marriage of political convenience is one that just does not stand up to their heart-felt values systems. In the long run the alliance is one that will not stand the test of time and once a ‘divide’ is felt, it will gather momentum, leaving both parties stranded in the political ‘bad lands,’ as voters struggle to make sense of this unholy union. Watch this space, as it may be filled with intrigue and backroom battles as the two main protagonists try to smooth over the cracks that have already appeared. A war is not won by one battle.

Monday, May 26, 2014

And on the third day--there was ---'floor.'

Yes, that's a floor in the picture; almost finished and lined underneath with insulation, so my not so tiny office that is bigger than my one at work, will be as snug as a bug in a rug, only I won't have any bugs.
My neighbour is so good at his work and apparently even Perdy was amazed. She sat on the bed inside the house and watched John as he worked. She is obviously impressed by his excellent work or maybe she is planning the opening, wondering who she will invite---OMG---all those dogs!
The floor, the floor! 

The Mana Party and Internet Party merge---Sue Bradford takes a stand!~

Is it a comical or satirical statement or just a bit of political convenience; a marriage that is doomed to failure because the participant probably don’t like one another. One of the bridesmaids, Sue Bradford, ran from the alter, rather than go through such an obvious charade. Perhaps she is the only honest member of the ‘proposal.’ I wonder what John Mino is feeling as he muses upon the direction of this new ‘Party.’
Politics does throw up strange alliances; just look at the National party/Maori Party ‘arrangement;’ ‘one that will possibly doom the latter to political oblivion. Does integrity always have to be sacrificed in the name of political expediency? I am sure that Sue can hold her head up high as she looks back at the destruction of a party she once held high in her thoughts.
How can a party be managed in parliament by a puppet master from the outside. OK, some would say that the National Party and Labour have their masters too, but things are not so simple these days. Kim Dotcom will cast a shadow across the caucus room, if the unification of ‘unalike’ get to place their feet under the desks of that sanctified establishment we call Parliament. He may even have to achieve that feat from afar, if the USA gets its way re the pending moves to have him removed from his new kingdom. What a fiasco. It leaves Alice in Wonderland looking like a true history of the funny creatures who inhabit its pages. Oh well. I guess it also brings a whole new meaning to our claim to be ‘Middle- Earth.’ I leave you to designate who the various players in the new party most resemble. Election 2014 is shaping up to be a most memorable one!

China is closing in on Germany!

Yes it’s true---China now has 386 hit on my blog and Germany, 437, but each day the gap is narrowing. It won’t be long before China overtakes Germany and heads up the readership board to close on the UK! I do not know why this is happening but I am very pleased. What I would like to know is---are you downloading my book, ROSKILL, China? Just click on the link:
That will take you straight the Amazon bookshop and to my book. You can also do the same by hitting my website:   ROSKILL comes in hard copy and in EBook format. If you buy the hard copy you get the EBook version free!
Happy reading---- and please do a review of my book.

The housing 'crisis and foreign buyers.

Without a doubt, ‘housing and access to it is going to be a major election issue. That John Key is even entertaining the possibility of putting it on the agenda speak loudly and clearly that he has ‘heard.’ But---the debate must be ‘informed.’ We are hearing all sorts of anecdotal figures for just how many houses are being sold to ‘rich foreigners and it is the ‘Asians who are copping the flack. Everyone seems to have a story from a ‘good source,’ and it this ‘information that is most suspect when it comes to having a real debate.
Before we change laws and spout platitudes, please let us find out what is actually happening out there in ‘hosing land’ at the auctions and mainly in Auckland. Without that information we are at risk of a knee jerk reaction; one that will only taint NZ’s good reputation.
OK, having said that, there is no denying that housing, particularly in Auckland and some other areas of NZ is fast receding as a possibility for most NZers. That one needs at least NZ$600,000 of r a very average house is just crazy and my figure is on the low side. Even a hard –working couple on more than the average wage cannot do any more than dream of getting onto the housing ladder.
Even without actual figures for those guying our houses, there still needs to be some protection from racketeers and investors form overseas who have no intention of living in NZ or becoming residents, from buying up our precious homes, thereby possibly forcing out domicile NZ citizens and residents who just cannot compete on that very ‘unlevel’ playing filed.
Now that several opposition parties have jumped on the bandwagon, probably only because they see votes in such positioning; fine---it means that we can get to the bottom of all the lies and half-truths. Once we know the figures, ones that many real estate agents are not necessarily happy to give, because they may see less money in their pockets by doing so. The figures must somehow come from trusted sources.
At that point, we can discuss how we can safeguard NZ homes and land for NZ citizens and residents. We must close the loopholes that have appeared on other countries who have gone down a similar pathway. Whatever we find—we must act, because as NZers, we must look after ‘us’ first. Too bad, if a foreign greedy speculators get their knockers in a twist. Yes, debate with facts and then make fair policy.

Chocolate Baron wins Ukraine's top job

It seems that billionaires rule in Eastern or ‘Slavic’ Europe. Now that Ukraine all but has a new president, a chocolate billionaire, there seems to be commonality between him and his nemesis in Russia. If Putin wasn’t a billionaire before he came to power, he most certainly is now, so I guess it’s just a question of when the two gained their wealth.
I am not totally knocking the right  of such rich men becoming leaders, and let’s face it, many of the world’s top leaders are in that category or soon become so once they can manipulate ‘conditions’ in their countries so that wealth accumulates in their manes. Every continent has such examples.
The new president elect of Ukraine probably has more in common with his rival in Russia than he cares to admit. Time will tell as he tries to stamp his mark as a leader. His first task is to unite his strife-torn country and to find ways to stop the fragmentation of Ukraine. He has made it clear where his stance is re those regions who dare to take themselves back to ‘Mother Russia.’
If Ukraine is allowed to work out its ‘issues,’ without the influence of Russia on one side and the USA/EU alliance on the other, then perhaps there is hope, but even that pathway is not without dangers. There is a huge number of Ukrainians who have ‘hit the streets, perhaps the large majority, who just want to get on with their lives, going about looking after their families and wishing for the very same things that the rest of the world wants—peace and prosperity. It is the ‘other players,’ both within Ukraine and outside who are the main impediment to this goal. Let us hope that the newly elected president can achieve that precious state of ‘peace’ for his country. SO—back off ‘big boys—on both sides of Ukraine’s borders.

Steal it, we will 'get it' and then use it to get ya!

It seems that the New Zealand police are using the proceeds of crime to turn the tables on the crooks who make our lives miserable. Whenever they take the ‘winnings’ of criminals away, often from the dealings around the drug trade, the police use that to go after the same criminals and their associates to further dent their ‘activities.’ They should also use that money, and it is a lot, to help those who have been hurt by criminal activity, even helping those miscreants to return to the real world and away from the ‘twilight one.’
What better use of the money returned to the taxpayer than stopping the criminals and to help victims, especially those who have been the ‘prey’ of drug lords? This should keep happening and --- so that the message gets out there that the ‘long arm of the law’ is also one that takes back what you have stolen and then turns that ‘resource against your insidious activities.
Restorative Justice is a good concept, but this practical version of it, one that is not ‘voluntary,’ may well be more effective. So NZ Police, play that Robin Hood game with a twist, if it helps to restore some balance to our world. Don’t tell john Key though, or he will insist you make a profit!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

If Rome was built in seven days, then my new office is n ot far behind!

The floor frame is down!
Yeah, I know that is probably not the correct description from a 'builder's' point of view, but that's OK because it is real progress and I will need to start advertising for a few more clients to help pay it off. At this rate I shall expect to be having my opening party very soon/ Hell, this is bigger than my office at work. Maybe they should employ my neighbour to build a few there, cause I'm damn sure it's cheaper than what the Ministry pays their contractors! Once its done---then the decorating and furnishing. I can save $30 a month too, because I buggered if I need to get the lawn man in any more---there will be no lawn once I put down the white stones and water feature. As Miranda's Mum said---'such fun, such fun,' while Miranda puled faces in the background.

The right to bare arms! What is it that is so special about the American psyche that 'propels' this belief?

It seems that we hardly go a week without hearing of yet another ‘assassination’ type episode where multiple deaths occur because an ‘angry man’ has taken to the streets and slaughtered anyone he can see, starting with those he perceives as having caused him ‘harm.’ The weapon of choice is often reported as a ‘military’ style weapon and regularly, the perpetrator is later reported to have had ‘mental health issues.’ That does not surprise me, because even in a much smaller population as in New Zealand, such small-scale events occur.
What is hard to believe is that this terrible situation has been apparent for many years and despite calls from those at the highest level for some sanity to prevail, nothing has really changed. It seems that such is the strength of the lobby groups who appeal to some base ‘sprit’ within the USA population, that it is an ‘inalienable right to bear arms’ and as a result, it is almost impossible to challenge the present  state of affairs.
The pleas from the father of one of the victims who was gunned down in the most recent case would have been heard by most Americans, yet his words will soon be forgotten as the next group of victims takes the place on the screens of TVs and computers. The NRA will remain silent and the politicians who could bring about the necessary debate; one in which the USA leaves behind its historical ‘love affair’ (and many would say a necessary one in the past) and seeks new solutions. Is it possible to have this debate in a rational matter, or are politicians of both political parties to afraid to go near what is seen as a sacrosanct and ingrained belief? Is the bottom line about losing votes if the question is even raised? Is it only going to be the parents and loved ones of the victims who are going to shout loudest?
I am sure we will see an almost tearful Obama speaking out about the loss of so many innocent lives, but then he will back off, because he knows that unless there is a huge groundswell of opinion, one readily measured in polls, that the issue will remain ‘there’ but untouchable.
I know the explanation for this dilemma is to be found in the history of ‘nation forming,’ for the USA but surely that time has passed. In this modern day of spectacular technological advance, is it not possible to ‘be safe,’ using the new developments? NO---because another lobby group will emerge that will challenge the right of the Government to ‘protect us’ from the ‘Big Brother is watching you,’ scenario. The bottom line is the ‘fear for ones safety and life’—and so far, all the USA (and other countries) can offer is to keep the ‘status quo,’ because other solutions do not guarantee their hold on power.
In the meantime, the carnage continues.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Roast your chicken and next day----do this with the leftovers.

In my house a roast chicken is not actually consumed by one person in one sitting. Surely people don't do that you say---well yes---they do. I have plenty of leftovers these days and I like to find tasty cheap ways to use them. Here's one:
Shred the leftover chicken onto a bowl and combine it with the gravy you may also have saved. If not, then make up an instant version; it's OK to cheat! I added some tinned peas to the mix and some quinoa flakes to thicken it. I just did that because I like typing the word quinoa! You could also use oats or cooked rice,  but they are not so interesting for me to type.
OK--go and get some filo pastry. Using that makes the dish a little more healthy, but as I don't eat so much these days, it sort of is not quite so important.
I used three sheets of the filo and brushed them lightly with olive oil and cut them in half. I lined a muffin tin with the filo and made little baskets because sometimes I feel like I am a basket case. Once again I brushed the filo baskets before filling them with the mixture from the bowl of 'chicken whatever you want mix.'
 I put some cheese (your choice, but NZ cheese is wonderful!--any sort) on top of the mix and then closed the baskets with the overhanging filo. Then I brushed some melted butter into the closed baskets and baked them in a 170C oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown.
Take them out and see if you can 'not' eat them before whoever is dear to you comes home. Of course you could consume them and say--'where shall we go for dinner, dearest?' As long as you have had the extractor on, they will never know and will wonder at your restraint when eating out.
ENJOY!--whichever pathway you chose.
The baskets before filling.
Could you eat them all?

This is my future!---not my 'resting place.'

'What---you are making a large grave?' you say. That's what it looks like, but in reality it is the ground work for my new office; a small, 3mt by 3mt structure that comes within the new rules allowing such buildings on a small site. I am very lucky to have a skilled neighbour who is capable building it for me. I hear that he has brought the materials needed and spent the day, pre-painting some of the timber.
In a few weeks I shall have an opening celebration for my new 'work from home' space and will begin advertising for more clients. For the next few years, I shall keep that number relatively small; it is more about making plans for the future, when travelling 23 kilometres each way to work becomes a bit of a pain. In the meantime the 'office' can also be used for the occasional overnight guest, but don't get too excited, because I need to keep it very Spartan in appearance  as I need it to be 'client friendly--who wants other peoples luggage taking up the space---certainly not my clients.
I shall advertise soon for some clients---they will consist manly of counsellors seeking 'supervision,' and now that I have my qualifications and some clients, I feel confident enough to 'grow' my little business.
A year ago, I would never have considered the possibility of entering a new phase in my career; I did not see a future, as my weight and the related health issues were pointing me in a very different direction; more like the one that I opened my blog with. Now, 45 kilos lighter since my Bariatric surgery and a life that has many more possibilities---well you can read about it in past blogs, things are looking up.
I shall stick up more pictures as the work progressed, bringing my plans for a future full of promise so much closer. Thank you to family and friends who have supported me on my journey---we shall celebrate the new office in an 'appropriate' manner.

The beginning of my new 'beginning,'---my office.

Bullying is pervasive---from the schoolyard, to the police and in polictics.

Bullying takes many forms and reaches the highest levels of society; the latter being up for discussion as to what that represents. How many young peoples' lives have been ruined  or at least 'limited' by an experience that some parents (and teachers) say is just part of life and that the recipient should 'toughen up?' Move up the food chain a bit and you will find work-based bullying, where victims are hounded out of a job, or are forced to live miserable lives because their options re finding another job are either limited or stunted by the experience, having had their confidence bashed against the wall of indifference on the part of their employers.
'But it's against the law,' you say. Well, yes it is and there are laws around work place health and safety, so you would expect to see solutions based on good work practice and a response from the police in certain situations. Then you read about the latest example of 'in-house police bullying, because yes, it exists within our esteemed police force. There too it takes all the forms witnessed in society as a whole. After all, the police reflect the values of society in general.
One does not have to look too closely into the 'halls of power' to see the same old devil playing out its ugly game. I leave you to ruminate in a non-gastric manner to find examples of such scenarios in that 'dog eat lesser dog' playing field.
If bullying exerts such negative influences on so many 'stages,' then why are we not paying more attention to it? Of course there many initiatives within schools, to combat bullying and we read about success stories from time to time, but how many of those shining examples become enmeshed as the 'norm,' before they unravel, due to lack of funding and the positive effects watered down, because the students go home (and the teachers) to houses of horror, where it all begins again.
My point is that no 'one sector' of society can take bullying on in a vacuum, be it schools, the workplace or the house of power--Parliament. We must have a all-embracing approach, be willing to constantly talk about the scourge of bullying, having a common practise to expose, educate and seek solutions. Until bullying is recognised as one of the biggest issues facing our nation, then we will continue to spoil lives, indeed 'end lives, and leave those who make decisions merely continuing what has always been. Surely we can raise above our past and kind a 'Kiwi' way of both excelling but without leaving the carnage that success can sometimes bring when it is accompanied by a 'need to putdown or damage our fellow citizens,'  Check out the link to explore another form of bullying.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

China faces a terrible dilemna; one that much of the world faces too.

China has been hit with several acts of ‘terrorism’ of late, the latest being the attack on a market where many died. It has been obvious for many years that there is tension in the far west of China and that an ethnic/Islamic group is trying to either maintain some sort of independence or outright nationhood. This tension has increased as many more Han’ Chinese move into the area; one in which oil abounds. The inhabitants of the region are now in the minority and the tensions have led to a response that we have seen in much of the world where Islam runs up against state authority. In their defence the Chinese have pointed out that they have poured resources not the area to bring about economic growth and in infrastructure. The Chinese Government is very nervous about the possibilities within China as a whole, because of the ramifications it knows it now faces re terrorism’ within its borders.
That’s the nature of the world now; one in which the major powers are showing little cohesion in facing this world-wide threat. Of course there is always a precedent, going beyond religion for most the terrorist flashpoint in the world, namely fed by people who have been marginalised either from the democratic process or lack of access to resources.
In China’s case the warnings have been there for a long time and now that the USA and NATO are pulling back in Afghanistan, we can expect more focus to go on other regions. Hopefully, China will join the struggle to contain or address ‘terrorism’ and the issues that feed it.

Australia needs a 'level head' leading at the moment!

There are many issues facing the leadership and people of Australia at the moment, including the economy and illegal entry by various groups of people. No one doubts the seriousness of the latter problem and country with such a massive coastline the issue is daunting. It is a problem that is not Australia’s alone as its northern neighbour, Indonesia, also has to deal with the dame issue, but with far less resources.
It is going to be very difficult for Australia to deal with both issues if its present PM continues down the same arrogant and insensitive pathway he has exhibited so far. It is time for a broad-based approach to Australia’s future and time for a recognition that leadership is not merely about showmanship and personalities. Australia needs a leader who can unite and for the past few years that has not been the case. That ‘special quality’ is lacking and it will not be ‘discovered’ while factional infighting occurs on the scale we have witnessed of late. Perhaps Labor’s loss in the last election will have ‘honed’ the lesson for that party, but there must be many in the ‘Coalition’ who are wondering what they have let themselves in for now that they are witnessing the ‘witless’ response of their leader. I wonder if he feels an itch in is back!
Australia deserves so much more and must strive to achieve the right balance if it wishes to be portrayed as a major nation on the world stage.

Abbott, you insensitive, cynical and poor excuse for a leader!

Tony Abbott, the new PM of Australia showed us his true colours the other day when he exhibited a crass and poorly judged ‘wink,’ possibly knowing the camera was on him. He was speaking on radio talk back to a ‘retiree,’ who was having difficulty making ends meet and subsequently was working on an adult sex-line. When asked a question while on air, he did that now notorious ‘wink’ earning him a place in history as yet another ‘gate’ affair, meaning in this case---‘winkgate.’ He seriously misjudged any potential reaction to his response and to make matters worse, yesterday he came out with what can only be described as an even more cynical response---he compounded his position by saying that he had learned from the mistake and wouldn’t be making the same mistake today. Not his exact words, but certainly a portent of what we can expect from him in the future.
Coming on the back of his budget and the fact that he has made one of the biggest nose-dives’ in the polls in recent years, he is indeed lacking a political brain, never lone a speck of genuine contrition. His arrogance will be remembered and I very much doubt he will survive long before the knives come out, within his own party.
Oh well, such is the nature of politics!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Prince Charles says what many of us think, but ---should he?

Prince Charles is very much like dis dad—he says what he thinks, often causing embarrassment to those who easily succumbed to that state. The fact that he is heir to the British throne doesn’t seem to come not it—he keeps on keeping on. IN ay ways, that is what I like about him. Yeah—I know—one in his ‘position’ should be a little more diplomatic’ and swallow his real feelings. I say—no. Maybe we need to hear what someone in a high position really thinks and to hell with all the ‘aspects of diplomacy’ that often hinder honest discussion. Putin is a bully and he does keep the lid on any new-found-short-tem-freedoms,’ in Russia. He is a leader on a mission to re-invent the old Soviet Union, at least as far as its reach went! So---good you Prince Charles—tell it like it is. Putin is behaving in a similar manner to Hitler, minus some of the more extreme bits. He is fermenting a situation whereby he can go in and rescue those’ Russian-speaking minorities,’ all in the name of Russian expansionism.  Keep up the good work, Prince Charles and if we are lucky, the next in line to the ‘throne’ will carry on in the same manner. This is the real world—not the imaginary ‘Game of Thrones’ as seen on TV!

Tony Abbott underarm bowls the most vulnerable and scores an 'own goal!'

Is Tony Abbott an insensitive creep or just plain stupid? Are Australians so fickle that they vote in a leader on a ‘broken promise’ ticket but don’t see behind the fa├žade of that person who now leads them into---what? Have the days of ‘digging another hole’ to manage the Australian economy gone forever or this phase just that—a short term blimp for the ‘lucky country?’
Whatever the case, time will tell, but his ridiculous ‘wink’ to God knows who that was caught on camera speaks volumes about the man. What gets me is that Australians voted for him, believing that he was going to be a better option than the team he sent to the political ‘outback.’
Isn’t it incredible what a short period of time can do in politics—it seems that a few months is indeed a time when anything can and usually does happen. After just one budget delivery, the ‘man’ has become the enemy of far more people than he ever believed possible. If the polls are to be believed, he has lost the lead he had and would suffer a huge defeat if an election was held today, but then again, polls are not real unless they---are---an election one!
Australians were pretty much peeved at the shenanigans of the former Government, with leadership battles and mishandled policies like the ‘insulation fluff debacle’ and various other silly and possibly arrogant responses to issues of concern. That attitude seems to come to all who have been in power for long. Australia is not alone in that ‘political public perception trap.’
But---how can a leader so quickly have the tables turned---after a few months; to need to cancel appearances because his ‘journey’ so far in Government’ is so cast in controversy? I guess his own party and coalition partner see him as some sort of ‘brave hero,’ willing to take the ire of the public in the interest of the ‘country.’ That he seems to care little for those who did not vote for him is more than a little cynical; it is in the style of some other world leaders who also care little for what ‘anyone  thinks.’
Well, Mr Abbott, that wink may come back to haunt you. No one likes a bully (even other bullies!) and that is how you are perceived—as an uncaring and cynical bully. I think you have reinvented the ‘underarm bowl’ and presented it in a whole new light; a self-goal and one that no amount of smug ‘selfies’ will help. You must have been hanging around John Key, way too much.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

When fanatical religion destroys a nation, we are all the losers! God help Nigeria.

 The vast majority of Nigerians are no different to the citizens of most other nations: They too just want to get on with life, to look after their families, to love, to enjoy life and to have the freedom to believe in whatever form of faith they choose. They wish to be free from persecution; that of the State and of the extremes within their midst.
Today we hear of yet another crime visited upon the people of Nigeria, once again from the criminal group that goes by the name---Boko Haram. Nigeria is in danger of being torn apart by a minority that wishes to take this nation back to the a time that History has long consigned to those epochs that we would rather forget. Perhaps we should not---because we need those lessons to inform us of what 'humans are capable of,' when they sink to such levels.
Boko Haram is an abomination; a mixture of hate, ignorance and exclusion of all that most people hold as truths. Now that Africa and the world, including the Islamic World, are raising their voices against this 'throwback,' perhaps there is a glimmer of hope. They cannot be trusted to negotiate a peace, because there is nothing in their belief structure that would contribute anything positive to the future of Nigeria. Nigeria cannot do this alone.

Coastal Yarns | The blog and website of author Neil Coleman: Who is reading my blogs?---some figures.

Coastal Yarns | The blog and website of author Neil Coleman: Who is reading my blogs?---some figures.: Here are some figures as of today about who is reading my blogs. USA------------------69208 New Zealand---------35175 Russia-----------...

Who is reading my blogs?---some figures.

Here are some figures as of today about who is reading my blogs.

New Zealand---------35175
South Korea----------174
Plus many other countries very close behind---Ukraine, Malaysia, Japan, Brazil. In fact there are now more than 30 countires reading the blogs.
Don;t forget to read my books too. Go to my websire---  or direct to Amazon

Greed and the love for money rear their ugly heads for our cricketers--we are not immune in NZ

Corruption is and endemic fact of life in every country to a varying degree. It may take what looks like on the surface, a fairly benign appearance and not be actually observable at all in some economic and political structures, but it is there. We in NZ have often taken the high moral ground, readily casting aspersions on other countries, yet we too are finding that such practices we read about elsewhere, are alive and well here. Don’t look to politicians alone for this; I shall leave that for you to decide as to the level that exists in my country, but the emerging scandal around ‘fixing’ in cricket is both embarrassing and timely. There needs to be a complete clean-out of the practises being alluded to re one of our national sports. One must ask---‘is this also happening in other areas of what New Zealanders love---our other teams? One would hope not. Now is the time to expunge all vestiges of illegal and immoral practices within cricket and elsewhere and until we do---we should not be judging other countries for what we know is so obvious. Time to pull our heads from the sand fellow NZers!

China reads New Zealand blogs and stories...great!

I am intrigued t see the increasing number of readers from China, now overtaking Russia and all other nations except New Zealand (which is of curse my base) and the USA. ON a monthly basis, China is now third on my reading list. I put this down to several factors: Firstly, China has a huge population and more people are now speak and read English. Secondly, China is increasingly engaging with the rest of the world, both in terms of trade and culturally. It comes as no surprise that China s reaching out at all levels; individually, at Government level and on trade and economic links. It is my belief that this can only be a good thing as the more we are all ‘connected,’ the less chance there is of communication being ‘controlled.’ I therefore welcome this new level of contact between the citizens of China and New Zealand.
I would love to see China downloading my latest book, Roskill, or ordering the hard copy version from Amazon. If that is not possible, just contact me direct at Alternatively, use the website to place your orders.   You can also go straight to the link
Go for it China---and of course my other many loyal readers.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

'Big brother is watching you'---is that all bad?

The NZ Herald published an article today about the fact that there are several thousand CCTV cameras around the city and suburbs and that there is a link between them and the police, giving the capacity to observe huge areas of territory. The Civil Liberties organization is uncomfortable about this and I suspect many NZers in general have some discomfort, however the question needs to be asked---is this necessary and would it not constitute, during ‘normal times’ an erosion of our freedom to go about our daily (Lawful) business, without the spectre of being observed 24/7? Therein lies the dilemma---‘normal times.’ What if at some future date a situation arises where people decide that they do not like the direction of the Government of the day; to the extent that actions are taken that transgress our laws? One only needs to look back the chaos of the Springbok Tour of the 1980s to see how close we came to a dangerous situation re citizens challenging the Government of the day on a daily basis. If the technology that exists now had been available then, I suspect that it would have been used to curtail the actions of the many protestors. Thankfully that time has passed, but we can never assume that such conditions would revisit us.
A balance needs to be observed and that brings up the question---who decides where that sits? Ask someone noisily protesting about one of ‘todays’ issues and I am sure they would hardly put their trust in the Government or police to keep that balance.
Then there is the question of the safety of our streets, particularly at night and especially in Central Auckland. Many Aucklanders above a certain age avoid the crazy night-time behaviours that are often alcohol and drug driven. Without a doubt, having the cameras available to monitor those abhorrent behaviours, is a plus in most peoples’ books. Similarly, the ability of these cameras, with their clear pictures and ‘face recognition’ capabilities, there is a strong possibility to solve crime and indeed to prevent it before such criminal actions actually happen. Protecting people and property is a paramount reason for favouring the CCTV presence, New Zealand wide.
I support ‘feeling safe,’ but I am slightly uncomfortable re the possibilities for this technology, if it is used  to limit our freedoms, but then again, one has to ask---which is more important? I leave that to you to decide and your answer will be informed by your personal feelings and experiences

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Cook your own nuts---much cheaper!

Every time you go to the corner shop and buy salted peanuts to have with your favourite drink or just to satisfy a craving, you are paying at least twice much as you would if you do what I do. This is a case of 'do what I say, as it is what I also do!' Make sense?  ---Go and try this!
Purchase some raw peanuts from a bulk bin at the supermarket or better still, try one of those Indian spice shops---they can be even cheaper. I got about a kilo.
Stick some oil in the wok or big pot and throw in the nuts. Keep stirring them and after a minute or so, put as much salt as you like, 'to taste' and in my case I added chilli flakes, a teaspoon of sugar and some paprika. Keep stirring until they become a gentle brown. Remove the wok or pot from the heat and set them aside to cool. Add more salt if they are not to your liking. When totally cool, stick them into an air tight jar and----bring them out impress, or hide them away for those 'special moments.' Yes, Perdy, my Jack Russell, somehow manages to eat them!
Just a little browner, maybe!

Danger lurks in a deepest dark forest, somehwere where you live---beware of more than the trolls!

Well maybe it will just be in the park down the road, but when you take your pooch for a walk (mine was at the park in Blockhouse Bay) just stay clear of the trolls under the bridge and other Middle Earth characters and when you enter the darkest regions of the forest, watchout for the enticingly coloured fungi, because the are capable of sending you to realms unimagined. Even the fairies avoid such 'trophies,' preferring the more mundane but still slightly exotic faire. It was the witches and sorcerers who claimed the golden prize that Perdy warned me of, using them for concoctions for the creation of pure evil. Thankyou Perdy, but I did know about those orange  'perils,' and I shall pick up some harmless little delights from the supermarket and make us a nice omelette for lunch. Your reward?----why another walk this afternoon of course.
Stay away from these!

Walking the dog chicken pasta bake------part 2

I am back from my walk with you know who (Perdy, of course). The chicken cooked previously is beautifully succulent and easy to shred. That done and the leftovers well and truly dealt to by Perdy, it is time to assemble the chicken pasta bake.
Firstly though I need to cook the pasta spirals. I used Quinoa gluten-free ones, but any pasta would suffice. I used the wonderful; stock from the first phase of the project (see previous blog). To that I added some NZ Spinach to add yet more vitamins. The quinoa pasta is superb in that it is high protein. Go and Google Quinoa and you will know what I mean.
Easy as process: Stick the chicken in a large baking dish, along with some capers, a cup of grated cheese, a tin of cherry tomatoes, a little salt and pepper and some rosemary or any other herb you have. I layered some sliced mushrooms on the top and added some more parmesan cheese. The mixture appeared to be quite 'wet' because I had added a cup of extra chicken stock from the pot. I assumed that the pasta would absorb most of this----it did, during the 30 minute baking time on about 170C.
While the meal was cooking I put some flat mushrooms with peanuts in the cup and a grating of parmesan cheese and a little olive oil, into the small bench-top oven. The result for the two dishes---bloody wonderful; and cheap. If you want to make it even cheaper, just use ordinary pasta and cheaper cheddar cheese.
Chicken doggie walk pasta bake with mushrooms stuffed with peanuts. Absolute Freedom baking.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Walking the dog, chicken pasta bake..(part one)---to be continued.

'Is this recipe one if your Freedom Cooking, examples?' you ask. Of course it is. It can be varied in a myriad of ways and in this case it is gluten-free, but I shall let you know how to do the non-gluten-free version.
'But In don't want to eat the walking the dog, one,' you say as you think of your pooch and all the love he gives you.  That's OK, just use your cat then. Here's how it works.
Go and buy a whole chicken you choose, but make sure it can fir in our slow cooker. You could of course just poach it gently for about an hour but remember it is a walking the dog recipe. Whish ever way you decide, put the chicken on the pot, chuck in some carrot, roughly chopped, and inion cut in quarters, leaving the skin on, a clove or two of garlic, unpeeled but smashed a bit, any left over goodies like a chopped capsicum, some dried herbs of your choice, a teaspoon of sugar, a little salt (leave it out if you wish to express your freedom) and this things that take your fancy.
Now, cover it all with boiling water from the kettle and turn the slow cooker on low, put the lid on and take your dig for a very long walk. I went to Orewa for about three hours. Have fun, like a 'big breakfast' that naturally you will share with your dog.
On arriving back home, feeling like you have contributed to your health by indulging in physical activity, turn the chicken over in the pot and turn it off. Leave it to cool a bit, before taking out. Next, pour the 'stock' into a big pot and boil to reduce by about one third. You now have the best chicken stock you have ever made. Once it's cooled completely, you could lift some of the fat, if you decide to make an even healthier version. I left it in.
Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, get your hands in and shred it into bite sized pieces, reserving the bits (not the bones!) for your pooch. You will have enough to make a massive 'chicken pasta bake,' and some left over to chuck in an omelette to any other recipe that can benefit from this juicy succulent and very tasty chicken.
Right, I have a client coming and after I have completed that appointment, it's ---yes you guessed it---I shall take Perdy down to the Bay, whereby she can create mischief (hopefully the sort that DOES NOT INVOLVE PUKEKOS!) with her hairy mates. I shall continue the walking the dog pasta bake, when I return. Such is the definition of Freedom Cooking; Do what you want, when you want with whatever you want! Lubricate with a good NZ wine. In my 'post-bariatric state, that means about one standard drink to make me chuckle.
TO BE CONTINUED-------------

Cell phones and driiving don't mix. Arrogant business owner or ignorant driver! Take your pick.

The New Zealand Herald   (Saturday version) published a picture of a young man driving, texting and smoking; all at the same time. He was one of many 'captured' in just an hour. NZ has a small fine for such endeavours, but it also has a significant number of injuries and deaths resulting form such practices.
The scene described is bad enough but the attitude of the young man's employer is deplorable. He was reported as saying that he too would do the same, because the fine was small, he didn't want to lose business and that 'hands-free' appliances echo, therefore of little use. He puts money ahead of safety. What right does he have to promulgate disobeying the law; one designed to protect the rest of us from people like him and his driver? How can he say that such practices are safe? His selfishness and those of his ilk are beyond belief but the sad fact is that such attitudes are common. It is time for the police to come down hard on these people, for the sake of us all. It is tantamount to driving drunk, because the result is so often tragically the same. Mr business owner---you need a brain transplant; preferably one with a conscience. Your attitude is not so very differently from those who used to sell so-called 'legal highs.' Will it take a massive public campaign to alter your thoughts and the government's response?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Healthy fruit bars and then quince and apple crumble---all gluten-free!

There is no need to be too fussy with these two ideas---just play, but then again, some of you are hooked on being 'exact! I feel for you.
Healthy fruit bars:
Go find your favourite big bowl. Found it yet? Just kidding you, cause who the hell cares what bowl you use!
Put between a half cup and a cup (The more you use, the more 'product' you will have, so consider how much space you have on your baking trays before you get too generous.) of the following ingredients into the 'bowl:'
Desiccated coconut
Chopped dried apricots
Chopped nuts and seeds of your choice---go choose about three different varieties---OK --you want me to spell it out!===yeesh! Sunflower seeds, sesame, cashews, almonds--get the picture?---it's over to you and what you have in your cupboards and items from the bulk bins. Use whatever combinations you like. Reserve about half to one cup of the whole seeds and nuts for sticking on top later. This is a freedom recipe.
Now, in your food processor (or bash the hell out of them between the clean folds of a dish towel) process about a cup and half of some of the above 'dry' ingredients, not the 'wetter' but strangely described dried fruits like raisin, craisins, blueberries and the like. Mix them with the other ingredients and then use your hands to work in three ripe bananas. Have much fun and pretend its your boss. Note---there is no added sugar as there is plenty of 'sweetness' in the dried fruits and bananas and of course your wonderful sweet self! If you feel adventurous, add as much ground ginger or allspice or even cinnamon but if you have still not hooked on to freedom baking, then stick to my confusing instructions. If you think the squishy mix that is no doubt coating your fingers (yes I licked mine!) looks too dry, don't worry--it's OK---but who says you can't slosh in some booze---like a favourite liqueur.
Now line a tray or trays with baking paper, depending on how big your mixture has grown, and spread the mixture evenly onto the said tray(s). Press the reserved seed sand nuts on top and gently press.
Bake at about 160-170C for about 20-30 minutes. Check to make sure it doesn't burn. If it does, ice it and give it to someone who's peeved you off.
Let it cool and then cut it into bite sized pieces and place in a tin and hide it. It's way to good to share.

Quince and apple crumble:
If you didn't read my post on FB, that's OK. You can use any fruit in this yet another example of freedom baking. If you can find quinces, peel about three and cook them with a few apples (I used Ballarats, but who's checking what you stick in?) in a slow cooker---yip leave them cooking all day on low if you wish. I added a clove or three and only about three tablespoons of sugar.
Remember the lovely healthy fruit bars above? Grab a big handful or two from the hiding place, crumble them up and add about cup of 'any' gluten-free baking mix of rice flour and a little sugar to taste (if you must, because there is sweetness in the bars) plus a generous two teaspoons of ginger or as much cinnamon as you love and then work some chilled butter ( I used about a tablespoon) into the mix. Spread it gently on the top of the fruity mix in the baking dish that your mum gave you. Bake at about 160C for as long as it takes for the crumble to go a lovely brown.
You can serve it hot or cold, with or without your favourite ice cream or yogurt.
Did I write this blog with the help of one of New Zealand's best wines?---go figure! Now my sister knows what's for 'pudding' tomorrow night. Damn, now I can't eat it tonight!

Ataturk's vision and Kamalsim are in danger through the actions of the present PM.

The vision Ataturk had for a secular modern democratic nation that is Turkey is increasingly under attack by the present Turkish leader. The terrible tragedy in the mine and the huge loss of life is an example of the modern state ignoring basic human rights. Ataturk liberated women from long-held beliefs and improved the lot of many Turkish workers and peasants, but the lack of regulations on the 'private' owners of the mines' and their woeful safety standards is an example of how the present leadership is hell bound on returning Turkey to something resembling a 'clerical' state. The rights of women, workers and those opposing the government are being trodden on.
One only has to look back at the last 6 months top see this process in action. The arrogance of the leader is readily observable through his response to criticism of him in social media and his attempts to close much of that down.
His inaction re the safety in the mines and his media purge mirror the  direction his neighbour, Russia is taking. Whether this blog can still be seen is a moot point, for now, perhaps. but very soon, given the direction he is taking Turkey---well time will tell. Turkey is indeed at a modern day cross road.

National takes a leaf out of Labour's policy book.

It's election year. Why do we known that, apart for the obvious? For starters we have the prospect of a cynical National Party; you know the one that was not going to move on policies around 'paid parental leave', or for lowering doctors fees for young people---yes they have announced changes that go some way to addressing these important issues.
The question has to be asked---would they have moved at all if Labour had not come out with policies that actually go much further re the health of our kids and supporting families? Maybe their research indicated that Labour's policies were gaining some traction amongst the voters; because all their utterances from the past would point us in the direction of the thrust for the rest of the budget---that is to give payoffs to their mates in the top 30% of the electorate.
Any move however in the two examples I have given is welcome, but take the news with a little bit of bemusement and expect more of the same. In the meantime Labour, keep the policies coming and at least influence NZ politics for the betterment of all New Zealanders and act as if you really are the Government in waiting and not some fractionated group of wannabes. So far, so good. Keep those policies coming and if National wants to steal some of them--well that's just a sign that you are getting under their skin.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Turkey mine disaster: PM says 'accidents happen'

Many people in Turkey would be feeling more than a little angry on hearing their PM, Erdogan, saying that Accidents happen.’ When one has just lost a loved one, that is an extremely callous and insensitive statement to hear. Sure he was defending the Government’s lack of action re the safety in mines in Turkey, but to utter such words in a time of national grieving, indicates a man divorced from feeling and reality.
There is no doubt that the PM is popular with many of the voters in Turkey but perhaps power has gone to his head, as happens in so many cases with leaders who have been at the helm for too long. Those countries like the USA and Indonesia, who have finite terms for their leaders to hold the top job can maybe avoid the excesses that we have witnessed in both Turkey and Russia of late.
People will let the PM of Turkey know their feelings and he of course will respond in the manner we have unfortunately seen over the years—an increasingly ugly fall into the abuse of despotism. I am sure the people of Turkey will awake soon as to the true intentions of their PM!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

An open letter to Mr Peters. Let's have an end to this 'drip feeding' of the dirt on Judith Collins!

Dear Mr Peters,
I have often admired your style re, presenting issues that need to be exposed in Parliament. You have done this for many years and sometimes hit pay-dirt, but your latest attempts to deal the death-blow to Judith Collins leave me wondering if you actually have the ‘goods.’ You have drip-fed bits and pieces of information that are usually already ‘out there.’ What are you trying to achieve by drawing out this messy process? I am no supported of the said lady and I too would like to see her and the rest of the government well and truly consigned to history.
BUT---the way you are trying to achieve this is not hitting the mark. Please---either present or give up. Get back to the real job of presenting new policies that can help New Zealand become the fair nation we once recognised; one in which more people had access to education, jobs, good health care and safe housing. Let’s talk about regional development so that Auckland stops being a huge cauldron, sucking the life-blood out of the rest of NZ.
The games that politicians are playing, and you are very good at that (but thank you for the great work you have done re the Gold Card etc.) are not helping New Zealand progress. Yes, I accept that politics can be dirty and that the National Party will take every opportunity to denigrate anything about you they can find, but would you not gain more respect if you returned to a style that presents new possibilities to New Zealanders to consider? Do that, and you might even get my vote.

Monday, May 12, 2014

China--- are you able to access

I hope so, because my book, ROSKILL, is now available  as hard copy and also as a download to your reading App. Do you want to read an authentic New Zealand story? ROSKILL, by Neil Coleman is a tale for our times, an unfortunate one, but also a very funny one at times. Every country has a problem with illegal drugs and the damage done to society is soul-destroying.
What would you do if a family member became involved in the 'underworld of drugs? Who would you turn to if your wife, husband or one of your children became enmeshed in the world of drugs?
ROSKILL  is a book every parent should read so that they can understand what happens when their children see tier parents doing what they tell their children NOT to do. ROSKILL is a story of hope.
Go to my website or directly to
Hopefully someone will reply form China to let me know.
Neil Coleman

New Zealand is having an election this year but so far all we have seen is a circus!

I have ‘survived’ many election cycles in my lifetime; my memories going back as far as the election of the late 1950’s when I remember the ‘Black Budget,’ and the consequent loss by Labour in the following election. I guess I have always been aware of the ‘ups and downs’ re political fortunes; the winners and losers,  but what I find the hardest to stomach is the manner in which politicians ‘take it to one another,’ whereby the biggest loser is honesty and the promulgation of policies.
2014 is shaping up to be an election fought on personalities and insults; on ‘finding the dirt’ on political opponents. Voters are already weary of what they have heard so far. Amongst this there is some policy emerging and it is this that we as voters want to see more of; not the childish never-ending accusations of political graft, influence and name-calling. There can never be a winner in such battles, because the loser is always going to find ways of getting back at those who have thrown the ‘filth’ at them. I know that such actions have always been part of the political battlefield but New Zealand is at a crossroad where we need to look at many serious issues; nit the least being the increasing gap between rich and poor, the effect of climate change and the old perennials like health and education.
How do the stupid scenes we witness every night on TV, whereby various parties are trying to diminish the ‘worth’ of their opponents,’ contribute to a better NZ? They don’t! They are merely diversions from the real questions. It is not too late for our politicians to bring the debate back to something resembling a forum in which  New Zealanders can decide who is best equipped to answer the questions  and address issues that matter.
Let us see a little more dignity in what will be a battle---but let it be a battle of policies, not one that should be consigned to a rubbish bin!

I want a new cell phone---but which one?

Do I want or need a new cell phone? It is easy to say yes, I need one because my present Samsung Galaxy is getting a bit tired. It has been OK, well used but has reached a point where I will need a new battery. Let’s face it the cost of a new battery, is a fair proportion of the cost of a new phone. It has served me well enough and I have not needed many of its features, so when I consider a new one, I suspect that going to the top end of the phones on offer is a waste of time for someone like me. It takes me long enough to familiarize myself with just the basic functions so---well you get the picture. As long as I can talk, text, take pictures, check my emails and a few other functions, I am happy. Hell, a few years ago it was just the first two!
I do not want or need a top of the line phone, so how about you respond with some ideas. IN New Zealand, phones are not cheap, although they have gone down in price. Being a small market is a factor in pricing in NZ.
I saw a write up in the NZ Herald this morning about an LG phone—the L70 that looked good and seemed to have everything I wanted. It has a RRP of NZ$225---I can live with that and this tie I will not be persuaded to get a free one, no matter what the phi=one if that means going onto an expensive contract for two or more years. Last time I did that and never used the data that I received and paid for the phone several times over via the monthly bill. I want to have a cheap contract and from what I have seen, the amount of data etc. that I use should come in at about NZ$30 a month. At present I pay NZ$72 and I just don’t need that.
SO---I am ready to hear your suggestions. Am I on the right track re the LG L760?

Friday, May 9, 2014

In a house, apartment, motel unit or even in a mini-bus parked in your neighbour's section, something dangerous may be happening!

Have you witnessed those distressing scenes on TV when the police raid a home near you, where the drug, 'P' (methamphetamine) is being 'cooked.' There  is nothing culinary about the process; it is one that ends up enslaving its users and the people pushing this poison are often putting their young children who live in the same house at extreme risk, from the chemicals used and the possibility of an explosion.
New Zealand has been fighting this scourge on society for the last decade and we are nowhere near bringing the evil practice to an end. The recent furore re the so-called 'legal highs,' is also part of the problem. I know that people have always looked for ways to escape, experiment and push away their problems. Society has legal substances that many of us use, and the damage done by these is huge. 'P' and the now 'illegal highs' are similar in the way they take over the behaviours and lives of those using them. I work with young people, every day and I see the damage that either their use of those substances does to them, those near them, often family members, that result from their exposure to the use, production and selling of 'P.' Businesses are lost, families split and the health and welfare of the young people in the families is put at risk.
I have written a book, ROSKILL, that explores the effects on a family when the father enters the dark world of 'P.' This nook is for all parents who do what they tell their kids not to, and for young people, so that they can seek out help when those who should no better, follow dangerous pathways. Go straight ton the link at Amazon to buy your copy.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

China---do you like New Zealand stories---the real ones, not the 100% pure stuff

To my many readers in China---if you want to read a real New Zealand story, not the glossy touristy ones, then go and check out my website and buy a copy of ROSKILL, my hard-hitting novel of what can happen when a family member enters the dark world of 'methamthetamine' (we call it 'P' in NZ). You can either buy my book via my website or through Amazon. Just search for ROSKILL BY NEIL COLEMAN. After next week you will be able to download the e-book version and if you buy a hard-copy you will get the e-book version free. Go to or to Amazon and do the search. I hope you enjoy my book and pass the links on to your friends. You can also go straight to the link
 Neil Coleman

ROSKILL is alive and well. Hard-copy available on Amazon.

Finally-----ROSKILL is available after a great deal of hard work from the team. It reads better, it feels better and it totally looks better. Now, I need you to buy it and later in the week to download it. If yu buy the hard-copy ($US 15) you will get the E-book version as well for free (After Friday). You can go to Amazon and search for the book (ROSKILL BY NEIL COLEMAN) or get it via my website  Just go to the 'book' page and you will see the link. Please review the book and pass the links on to your circles.  Thanks for your suppport. This time!

ROSKILL is live again--the new/improved edtion Use this link to Amazon

It has takne a while but Roskill is finally back in its much improved format. Just go to the link
  GO order and enjoy. The freebie donwload for the Kindle will happen when you order hard copy---that will happen in a few days, but the hard copy is available now. Ignore that 'used price ($61)  Just look to the right and you will see US$15. Much cheaper.

Boko Haram---what does it take to bring an end to their brutal actions?

Yet again, Boko Haram murder and plunder, this time in a village where many are dead and the village destroyed. Where is it in their book, the same one that most Muslims read, that justifies such actions? We know their position re females; one that is at odds with most Muslims, and we know that they hate any education for girls that is seen as anything approaching the ‘western model,’ but the hate, fear and murder that they inflict is totally beyond understanding. The Taliban have acted in similar ways but even they seem to be trying to present (unsuccessfully, so far) a more human side. Who is leading BH? What do they want?
Nigeria has acted slowly in response to the kidnapping of the girls three weeks ago and even now, that they have invited the USA to help (The UK has also offered to help) it may be too late to return the girls home to their families. Given the latest attack on a village, it appears that BH is intent on turning Nigeria into an ungovernable failed state. I very much doubt that the vast majority of Nigerians will accept that fate and they are letting their Government know. The world watches but it must act.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

China's need for food. A dilemma.

As China becomes increasingly affluent, there seems to be a change in what this huge nation ‘eats.’ Whilst the ‘traditional’ and extensive cuisine still retains a massive following, there is also an emergence of a wish to ‘eat from other cultures,’ along with the accompanying ‘beverages.’ New Zealand is well placed to take advantage of this movement as the rich and middle classes seek out new culinary experiences. This is good for New Zealand and draws us together as nations. New Zealand continues to import large amounts of Chinese manufactured goods and in return exports to China. Overall, most seeing this two way trade as a ‘win win’ situation.
I have read reports that as more and more Chinese move to the cities the rural population is becoming smaller, often leaving behind the elderly and the very young. This imbalance will have huge implications for China in the future. The agricultural base is now very different from that of just a few decades ago and for China to be able to feed itself, there is going to be a need to import more food or for China to become heavily involved in ‘joint-ventures,’ with other countries. Some would see this as a negative. For me, it depends on the relationship. I am not in favour of ‘any’ nation buying up huge amounts of land in developing countries and then imposing a ‘monoculture’ on that country. Unless the local farmers are part of the deal, I see more negatives.
China must feed its people, and the way forward is going to be fraught with difficulty; ones I hope that New Zealand plays a part, re a solution rather than creating other unforeseen problems around pollutions and unequal economic sharing.  China has ‘arrived’ as one of the most significant economies in the world, and NZ must take advantage of this, but on ‘equal terms.’

Boko Haram strikes again, in the 'name of God.'

At various times in history, many people have suffered at the hands of ‘extremist groups or megalomaniac despots; just take Hitler, Khmer Rouge, the Taliban and Boko Haram. There have also been times in history whereby the actions of profit seeking movements have caused havoc to societies or even huge regions of the world. Take the terrible translocation of millions of Africans from the various parts of Africa; a movement that was fed by greed on the part of the ‘suppliers and the buyers and middlemen who made vast profits.
Most people think that slavery no longer exists but they would be wrong in that assumption. Modern day slavery is alive and well and the actions of Governments around the world have not stopped the illegal traffic and the human suffering it continues to cause.
When Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of young women from a school in Nigeria it took a while for the ‘Western’ world to react. Yes, there was the original reporting of the actions of that extreme group that labels all ‘Western education as a sin,’ hence the name of the group, but it was only when prominent British politician entered the fray that the world sat up and noticed. That this group uses religion to ferment and justify its actions is repugnant, to Islam and to all other religions, except for the most extreme of adherents. Unfortunately the minority groups that promulgate such belief hold a power that far exceeds their numbers. Moderates may speak out but not with the ‘conviction’ that Boko Haram and the Talban do. Of course history is littered with examples of minority groups who have gained and held power, simply because they go to extremes that more moderate groups fear to tread.
The Nigerian Government is in disarray re the kidnapping of the young women, only recently even acknowledging that it even took place, making claims that they will find the victims of this heinous act. They have even accepted the help of the British and USA to help find and return the young women to their families. I fear that it may well be too late as the girls have already been transported across the border to face sad and terrible futures.
The issue is not one that the Islamic world can resolve on its own. This is a ‘world’ issue, an extension of what can happen when extremist groups are able to flourish. Yes, we have heard that such groups only operate because conditions exists which they can fed into discontent, but in this example and that of the Taliban, there needs to be a united approach, backed by all nations as it cannot be contained within a small geographic area—it affect all nations, one way or another. The place of the UN has never been more urgent in finding a solution to both finding the young women and also to curb the excesses of extremists throughout the world. When one major player tries to play various segments of their populations against another or ignores what is happening even within its own borders, or helps a group in a ‘competitors’ area, then we are all the losers as further atrocities are committed against the citizens of the ‘world.’
Nigeria is an example of what can happen if we do not face this threat together, all religions, and all nations.