Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Random observations while in NZ

In my time back in NZ, I have noticed a few things:
- Hysteria over Swine Flu the moment I arrived at the airport, forms to fill out so my location could be identified (yawn);
- Continued banality of so many drivers, tailgating me while I drive at 85 km/h on a windy road in pouring rain behind a truck I can't pass wont get you there faster, but it will be a bloody mess if I have to stop quickly (but I forgot physics isn't cool in Aotearoa);
- TVNZ must be the worst state owned broadcaster in the semi-free world. News that is more banal, brainless and celebrity oriented than any US TV news, with factual errors dotted throughout items. It shouldn't be privatised, it should be shut down, the frequencies sold and the equipment, broadcasting rights and other assets flogged off. It is second only to the education system in promoting the dumbing down of the broad mass of the population;
- Watch the teaching unions be scared shitless about the publication of the results of pupil performance at primary schools. Scared of providing information because parents are too stupid to know what to do with it, but the largely closed shop friends of the Labour Party know best what is good for your kids. School league tables wont make a big difference, and no they don't tell you what schools are best - but they do give an indication of the levels that schools aim for with students. Teachers' unions are scared of nothing more than performance pay and teachers being held accountable for the results of their pupils, and will do everything they can to obfuscate this issue;
- Local government is scared of Rodney Hide, this is a good thing;
- The recession has yet to seriously hit NZ. Sorry there are not shoots of a recovery, tourism is in for a long cold period of stagnation. Aussies may come to ski, but nobody from the northern hemisphere will be coming soon;
- Labour MPs don't know what to do. I briefly saw Chris Hipkins, MP for Rimutaka, rip into ACT MP Heather Roy for introducing a bill on motor vehicle dealers because it wasn't a bill about creating jobs. Even though Labour was supporting the bill, this junior retarded MP believes governments create jobs;
- Many Wellingtonians fear redundancies, but some of the smart people in the state sector are leaving, so the generically average will remain. It's like voluntary redundancy programmes, which generally incentivise good people to leave (because they always find other opportunities), but the deadwood remain;
- Nowhere is anything busy;
- Thanks to the Labour government, the telecommunications sector is now addicted to regulation. Now there is talk about the state regulating what existing mobile phone operators sell their own network capacity to resellers - apparently because it is unreasonable to expect new entrants to build their own networks, even though in the last 22 years Telecom has built 4 mobile networks and Vodafone 2;
- New Zealand also remains one of the few countries where Sunday papers are worse than weekday papers;
- Why does the NZ Herald National News section have a sub section called Child Abuse? Is it an indictment on the Commissioner for Children position that this is the case, and why are child abusers continuing to live off the back of taxpayers?
- I could buy Lurpak butter and Laughing Cow cheese in a NZ supermarket and the NZ dairy industry doesn't collapse, so why can't NZ dairy products enter European supermarkets at market prices (yes it is a rhetorical question);
- Does Air NZ charge full fares for young children in premium economy class and if not, why not?
- More women are wearing skirts in Wellington (in mid winter) than before, it this just pure coincidence with the disappearance of Helen Clark?
- For the last 5 years the highest priority road project in Wellington has been the Kapiti Western Link Road, a project led by Kapiti Coast District Council. The money exists to build it, and has for some time, but isn't the constant scope changing and the iterations between council, property developers, community organisations and central government symptomatic of the general incompetence of so many in local government to get anything useful done?
- The speed limits in downtown Wellington are now a ridiculous 30 km/h, was this because too many dopey people were being killed, or is it part of a creeping agenda against road transport?
- Why is Phoenix Cola no longer sweetened by honey?
- Why is it damned hard to get pressed fruit juice, not juice made from concentrate, except orange?
- How is it I can phone a GP in NZ and get an appointment the next day, with a small fee, having not lived here for years, but in the UK it is a big deal?
- Why isn't Richard Prebble hosting a news discussion programme on TV, it could be called I've Been Arguing?


Sally said...

Excellent post Liberty Scott. Unfortunately those in high places will not face up to the truth. Key will just keep on pushing the problems under the rug.

I wonder when we will be the next California?

The Older Kid said...

TVNZ - brainless, banal and bloody booring - why bother to turn it on?
But why do we put up with it? Is NZ so dumbed down that it doesn't realise how dumbed down it is - and that's not just TVNZ!

StephenR said...

More women are wearing skirts in Wellington (in mid winter) than before, it this just pure coincidence with the disappearance of Helen Clark?

What the hell?!

ZenTiger said...

The KCDC are now boasting that the maximum speed will be 50kph on the link road, and it will not take a direct route, but wind along in keeping with new suburban concepts.

And another meeting is going ahead on if KCDC needs a swimming pool, even though there is massive support for it, and many private donors on hand to make it happen.