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Local Alcohol Policy

 
Why are councillors focusing on turning Christchurch into a nanny state while there are still giant holes in the footpath of the central city? OK I didn't expect this tone, but here we go...

Hi, I fell into a hole a few weeks ago, not impressed. This is something you'd expect from India, not a developed country like New Zealand. It's been at least two years, why can't the council fix the holes???

Instead they're turning Christchurch into a nanny state via the Local Alcohol Policy. This was the primary reason I voted against Jim Anderton when his campaign proposed something similar, it's a mistake I regret.

I am against any restrictions on bars including the current 3AM one way door policy. It was refreshing when I could come and go into Family Bar in Auckland anytime I wanted. Auckland doesn't have one, why do we?

I understand that alcohol related crime is the second highest in the country, and I understand the need for solutions. I am unconvinced that placing restrictions on young (and old) people going out is a terribly good one. First it makes other cities more attractive. Secondly it impacts the city's abilities to host all night events. Again making other cities more attractive, because they have more events. While this change may help, it also impacts people's freedom which I am generally against.

Some people (like me) are only here because family is here. This does nothing to incentivize them to stay.

Here's a really simple solution: If the police are failing to keep up, put more police on. Help pay for it by raising the price in supermarkets, liquor stores etc. This will also help combat preloading since the price would narrow. Two birds, one stone. The LAP also does nothing to prevent supermarkets from selling booze as a loss leader. This should also be addressed. Argueably supermarkets shouldn't be selling booze in the first place, let alone really cheap. Do you wonder why there is a problem? I agree with restricting hours that booze can be sold in liquor stores etc.

Bottom line: I don't think that this policy is targeted to the right things and will possibly drive people away.
 
Posted at 23/06/2013 00:50:00 UTC 0 comments
 

Budget 2013: Housing, Food, Disabilities

 
Here are my thoughts on the budget.

Snore... Snore... Snore...

This budget is boring. The only thing I think is worth mentioning apart from the food in schools programme and a disability issue is the housing issue. It's interesting how their solution appears to be overruling the councils; basically dictatorship. Not that I am terribly surprised. It's their answer for everything! Christchurch earthquake? Let's make it a dictatorship! Auckland SuperCity? Dictatorship! Housing crisis? A touch of less red tape and a dictatorship!

The government wants to introduce free food in some schools. This is a good thing, credit where credit is due. However this is an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. A much better response would be to work to reduce poverty by stimulating the economy and lifting wages. The government has massively failed in this regard. Wages are so low masses of young people are heading to Australia in search of 30% higher wages. The government needs to do something about this. This will have a dramatic effect on the economy. Anything else is won't solve our problems, but the programme is a step in the right direction.

The government is increasing funding for families that care for disabled people, note the only reason that they are doing this is they were forced to by the courts. However the government has rushed through legislation so families of disabled families can't challenge some decisions through the human rights process. This is a terrible move. Let's hope that this does not spread to the other sectors of government. Still, a somewhat victory on the issue.
 
Posted at 12/06/2013 03:01:23 UTC 0 comments
 

The leak was staged! (or not)

 
I have a very strong dislike for conspiracy theorists. Last election I insisted the polls were massively wrong, I regret doing that, I listened to the wrong people. I sounded as crazy as Fox News before the 2012 election. I can freely admit to being wrong. I don't know if I posted about how I thought that the polls were wrong here.

I don't go into crazy conspiracy land very often. The "leak" however is an exception.

A major red flag was the report being released a week after it was leaked. In fairness apparently the released report was going to be a watered down version. This takes some of the sting out of my argument. Still, if it was "leaked" by Peter Dunne I find it very hard to believe that Dunne has suddenly grown a backbone, he has been Key's lacky for four years. I think people are giving Dunne too much credit.

I think this is a right wing stunt to prevent people from talking about the issues, similar to the 2005 election with the race card and Don Brash. People are talking about what's in Dunne's Emails instead of the illegally spying, taking away rights from families with people with disabilities, a dodgy deal with SkyCity and implementing a type of school that has proven to be a failure.

The police were all over the teatapes, if it was a genuine leak, the same would happen. Although, again playing devil's advocate the there were probably other arguments for the crackdown on the teatapes. However it's unusual for authorities not to be all over government leaks.

Wiston Peters was also all over the teatapes which were later released on YouTube, they came to absolutely nothing. He said Key and Banks were talking about people "dying off". You couldn't make out what was being said, at all. He was full of absolute rubbish and on reflection the media hype was not justified at all.

For a conspiracy theorist, you have to admit I'm the most reasonable conspiracy theorist in the world. I firstly admit to being wrong about the very few past conspiracy theories I engaged in. I also present facts to counter my argument. What other conspiracy theorist does that? I also want people to stop talking about this, other conspiracy theorists constantly bark on and on and on about their looney conspiracy theories which can be very easily disproven, at least the facts are not in on this one.

Look, if I am wrong. Nothing will happen to Peter Dunne anyway. You're absolutely delusional if you think otherwise. They won't prosecute Dunne! Did they prosecute John Banks over the donations? No. So Wiston Peters can do his incredibly pointless exercise, but can the rest of the opposition focus on something sensible?
 
Posted at 12/06/2013 02:04:36 UTC 0 comments
 

Aotearoa IS for sale

 
Rant time!

So I just saw a graphic by The Greens saying "Our gambling laws are not for sale". Again with the "not for sale" rubbish. "Aotearoa is not for sale" Yeah I have news for you: We have a right wing corporatist government. OF COURSE THEY ARE FOR SALE!!! If you didn't want them to be for sale you shouldn't have voted the most corporatist parties in. Perhaps like me you didn't vote them in, this doesn't change the fact that you're just plain wrong. Aotearoa is for sale, period. Stop saying that it isn't for sale, because it is. You're incorrect. If you're going down that road: What you meant to say is that it should not be for sale! Please use correct wording or I will class you as crazy people completely in denial about the fact your country is for sale. Labour laws, power companies, gambling laws... Yup, this country is for sale. Advertising something that is clearly false is bad marketing. Stop doing it.
 
Posted at 19/05/2013 00:00:17 UTC 0 comments
 

FYI: Labour party membership not renewed.

 
I got a letter last week saying that my membership expired in January and telling me to renew. I won't renew; here's why:

Despite being ultra liberal/progressive in my politics. I am also ultra conservative with my own money. I don't need the expense.
I am voting Green in the next election. The only circumstance that would make me reconsider voting Labour is if they replace Shearer with Cunliffe. I'll still recommend Labour to my more centrist minded contacts.
I like running this site as independent and unbias. I haven't shunned away from this attitude at all while I was a Labour member. I am loyal to good intelligent ideas, not political parties, which includes the Greens.

Side note on David Shearer, I don't get the impression that things have changed. The public, at least in my circles still view him as useless. He simply hasn't made an impact. Time is running out.

On the other hand Labour clearly needs more voices from the left so perhaps I should have stayed. I also could have provided advice for political strategy, but I still can from this blog. If they choose not to listen just because I am not a party member, well, they'd be very stupid.

As stated before I like running this blog as independent and unbias, so I probably will not join anymore political parties, but I appreciated the encouragement when I did.
 
Posted at 24/04/2013 02:00:35 UTC 0 comments
 

Shearer in Christchurch and my suggestions for related policies

 
Last Saturday I went to a forum with Young Labour and David Shearer. These are my thoughts.

First thing I notice was Shearer likes to push his slogan and the fact that he was a humanitarian. While things don't really work for me, it was obvious these things connected to the crowd. I think that he could have been more subtle about the introduction of the slogan. Apart from that, which is my own personal preference, Shearer does know how to work a crowd.

Final ideas of the crowd. I thought that some were good, but there was also room for improvements. I personally would have emphasized different points which I will explain below.

One more criticism of Shearer before I explain my ideas. A big thing for me, he was very agreeable but lacked any practical ideas to implement the ideas of the crowd. I would have said something like "You don't like the dictatorship in Christchurch? Labour will consider repealing CERA legislation so democracy is restored to the people". This approach is useful because it gives the crowd something to take away with them; to tell their friends what Labour will/may do and excite people. This opportunity was largely missed. I know it was an ideas forum with a strong emphasis on community input but quick practical policy suggestions would have improved the experience.

So here are my suggestions if Labour is elected.

Housing
Buy run down houses, fix and secure them, convert many into state houses and also sell some off at no profit.

Education
Ditch National Standards and Charter Schools. This wasn't really emphasized but I think they're critically important. Both of these have proven to be absolute failures overseas. I blogged about Charter Schools last week. If Labour doesn't repeal these things, they'll be failing us. I'd work on keeping kids in education and encourage a path way to further education or a career in the later years of secondary school. It is also worth exploring ways that schools can improve critical thinking skills among young people. As for higher education, undo the changes National have done with paying the extra percentages. I'd also lower the percentage for workers who choose to stay in New Zealand, this could even be a temporary measure until other problems relating to the migration problem are fixed. Also I'd find additional ways to subsidize higher education, like an investment fund. Also I personally, in an ideal situation would make all forms of education free, but that's not for current Labour.

Democracy
Repeal CERA legislation and give the most power that is reasonable back to the people.

Speed of Rebuild
Disestablish the Fletcher monopoly, open projects up to other builders and firms. Encourage the new guys to take on apprentices. Additionally offer free training to a big batch of people that want to be builders etc, 20-30% could be out of city who will only temporarily work in Christchurch. This must be done at the start of term. Make sure the buildings are accessible and really secure. Reform the building act, its current state is absolutely laughable.

Innovation, invest/encourage investment in green energy and carbon capture technology. Big money will be here.

Finally jobs and the economy, encourage investment in industries that have long term job possibilities ie not replace easily by machines. Work to reduce poverty drastically by raising the minimum wage and benefits by an equal amount. The economy performs better when people that have the least, have more. The Employment Contracts Act also must be looked at.

On a total side note, the forum gave me an idea that I could do with my own Christchurch oriented site. I'll work on this over the next month.
 
Posted at 16/04/2013 02:25:16 UTC 5 comments
 

An open letter regarding accessible transport in Auckland

 
I will be sending the below letter to Auckland councillors, it is posted as an open letter on this site.

I'm from Christchurch and find the transport system in Auckland for disabled people disgusting.

First taxis, you can't just call up and get one on the same day. If people have a spare of the moment gathering how are people supposed to get there? This can be at somebody's house or in town. If they do get a taxi they're stuck to a set time which impacts their freedom. More taxis should be on the road so that people can order one 1-2 hours in advance.

What about buses? Well many parts of Auckland are hilly so traveling to bus stops won't be exactly fun for people in manual wheelchairs. I have an additional complaint, what's up with inaccessible buses? How can you call something public transport if members of the public can't get on it? It's nothing short of discrimination and a possible human rights issue. If a person waits for a bus and it's inaccessible it could be extremely annoying, then they have to wait for another bus. All buses should be accessible and you should move to do this.

Thanks for reading and you should take action.

Thane Pullan

Facebook Campaign
 
Posted at 11/04/2013 01:55:08 UTC 0 comments
 

National disasters in education

 
Novapay is a disaster. The new payroll system was designed to save money because it uses less staff to maintain but the system is faulty and contains hundreds of errors, some major. The system is a lemon. I'm a web developer, if I released a faulty product with hundreds of errors, I'd probably be sued, and rightfully so! This was exactly what the government did, it was irresponsible.

My question is why do we need a third party system to handle payrolls? Can't we just expand Parliamentary Services to include other government employees or get KiwiBank to create a solution? Surely KiwiBank could handle paying people, it's a bank! A bank that we own, there would be less corporate profits and less corporate profits almost always makes things cheaper on the taxpayer.

It looks like the government is thinking about dumping Novapay, which would make this whole exercise a waste of time.

Charter Schools are another disaster. National is implementing them because of the Act party which is just a convenient excuse to implement them anyway as firstly they didn't really need Act to form a government and secondly they gave their other partners virtually nothing, they could have done the same with Act wasn't going to side with Labour and would have voted for right wing legislation regardless of being in government.

Charter Schools, like National Standards do not improve the education system. Only about 20% of Charter Schools perform better than public schools, about double perform worse and the rest perform no better than the public versions. Charter Schools that perform better only do so by accepting only the best academic students and/or expelling the non performing ones. This also gives the impression that state schools are worse. Charter Schools are a poison on the education system.

Charter Schools are in reality just a way to funnel taxpayer money to corporations. They are a scam. They usually have very high administration costs and offer no benefits to the people at all. If you're truly concerned about getting value for money with taxpayer money like I am, then you would want nothing to do with Charter Schools. Tech companies are also lobbying for more Charter Schools in America so they can get the schools to purchase their products.

I find it sick and disgusting that they're using the earthquakes to implement Charter Schools in the effected areas. "If you're not angry, you're not paying attention."
 
Posted at 10/04/2013 02:09:54 UTC 0 comments
 

Prison Labour

 
John Key's plans for increased prison labour are terribly misguided but does have some up sides.

It's helpful that prisoners develop skills to use outside of prisons, this does help with rehabilitation, I'd prefer to see an alternative rehabilitation plan. Using prisoners as a source for cheap labour at the time when the incompetent economic policies of this government have risen the mainstream unemployment rate to 7.3% is simply madness.

If the jobs were minimum wage jobs, after the economy is better, then we could have that conversation. From what I know about prisoner jobs overseas they pay the prisoners much less than minimum wage and deduct "accommodation" expenses. I don't get the impression that our local scheme is any different. Prisons have become the local version of China in many parts of the world. I think that China has worse safety regulations, but in terms of pay, companies can now just outsource to prisons.

John Key should be focusing on optimizing high wage employment for mainstream New Zealand instead of creating low wage jobs for prisoners. This, combined with the counter productive "Starting Out" wage makes it clear he's living up to his 2008 statement of "We would love to see wages drop"
 
Posted at 31/01/2013 01:05:05 UTC 0 comments
 

The War On Cats

 
Gareth Morgan is waging war on cats; fun for everyone!

Despite reports he doesn't want people to kill their cat. Although by using phrases like "Cats To Go" and "NZ Without Cats" It was inevitable that some people would jump to the wrong conclusion. I don't know if this was done deliberately to gain attention to the issue, I certainly hope so otherwise this is a massive miscalculation.

He is still using the same language. This language must be working, but I still think the branding is all wrong for this campaign. It should be more educational based and use less anti-cat language. "Cats To Go" - Must go!

The problem with cats is they kill large amounts of wildlife, especially native birds. If a species is nearing extinction we must consider capturing some and putting them in a safe haven.

I don't know how effective education will be as people are people, some won't little, others won't care.

If all else fails we should consider legislation like they have in Australia. I think that this option should be used as a last resort and education will reduce the problem by a certain percentage. I don't know if the percentage will be enough. We should also consider having cat licenses and deal with the stray cats.

With this said I'm not sure an economist time is spent wisely on wars with the SPCA.
 
Posted at 31/01/2013 00:56:27 UTC 1 comment
 
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