Home' The Wellingtonian : October 20th 2011 Contents 11
THE WELLINGTONIAN, OCTOBER 20, 2011
63 Cambridge Tce, CBD, Wellington • Ph: 385 1743 (Opposite Rutherford & Bond Toyota)
Valid until close of business
Wednesday 26th October 2011
CODY'S 8% CANS 18PK or
WOODSTOCK BOTTLES 5% 18PK
LO K OUT F R OUR "BLUE DOT" SPECIALS IN ST RE
STORM CROSSING RANGE
(EXCLUDES RESERVE RANGE)
SMIRNOFF BLACK 7%
PEPE LOPEZ GOLD TEQUILA
THIS WEEKS SUPER SONIC
700ML FLAVOURS & 1LTR
WHAT COULD THEY BE???
COME INSTORE &
CHECK IT OUT
WHISKY 1 LTR
OR 2 For $17.99
VICTORIA BITTERS BEER
CANS or BOTTLES 6PK
Save $5 .00
In Store this Thursday
We are opening with
Mills Reef range.
Tasting from 6pm please come
along First night FREE ENTRY
Please come in
store For Details.
Get a free Jack Daniels
glass While stocks last
While Stocks last
KRISTOV VODKA 3LTR CASKS
or 2LTR CRUISER CASKS
Save Up to $5.00
Shockwaves from the Rena disaster
The grounding of the Rena
container ship off Tauranga
did the impossible last
week, pushing the Rugby World
Cup (temporarily) off the top of
the news bulletins.
The Rena also rescued Prime
Minister John Key from his aston-
ishing bid to make political capital
out of the credit downgrade of the
New Zealand economy by the
Standard and Poor s rating
In Parliament, Key claimed the
agency had said a downgrade
would be more likely if Labour
won this year s election, but then
failed spectacularly to produce
evidence for his point, which S&P
flatly denied ever making.
Ultimately, Key was left waving
around an anonymous email, in
which his unnamed source had
inferred the meaning that Key
had boldly announced in
Parliament as an established fact.
The Prime Minister s personal
credibility is one thing, and by
week s end, the Government s
economic credibility was in no bet-
ter shape. The country is now run-
ning an $18.4 billion fiscal deficit
($2 billion more than forecast) and
the related discovery of a $1
billion shortfall between the cost
of the last round of tax cuts, and
the hike in GST that was sup-
posed to pay for them.
Initially, the Government must
have breathed a sigh of relief
when the Rena hit the reef, and
hogged all the headlines.
For now, the Government seems
to be treating the Rena incident as
being akin to an earthquake or
similar random act of God.
You play with the hand you ve
been dealt, was how Key
described the situation last week.
As with the Pike River disaster,
it may well take months before
the role played by deregulation
and the related lack of adequate
response facilities comes to the
So far, public outrage has
chiefly been directed at the slow
reaction time by central and local
government alike, and at the lack
of leadership from either Key or
his transport minister, Steven
Joyce. Joyce, in particular,
initially appeared to take a
bemused wait and see approach
after the ship ran aground.
The economic cost of the clean-
up will run into tens of millions of
In time, the Government may
be able to wring some populist
mileage out of chasing compen-
sation from the Greek billionaires
who owned and chartered the
Arguably, an incident like the
Rena grounding has been an acci-
dent waiting to happen since the
1988 Port Companies Act
absolved port companies from
their previous responsibilities for
safety and good navigation
standards, and told them to oper-
ate as a business.
Ever since, New Zealand s
coastal waters have increasingly
become deregulated, as this
country has virtually invited flag-
of-convenience shipping (with all
the related dubious safety and
maintenance standards and poor
working conditions) to dominate
coastal shipping trade in New
Two reports -- in 2001 and 2003
-- highlighted the inadequacy of
the existing resources to cope with
oil spills, to little or no effect.
For now, this chronic lack of
adequate oil spill contingency
plans -- to link local and regional
councils to Maritime New Zealand
and the relevant ministers -- is not
being sheeted home to the Gov-
ernment, or to a popular Prime
Even so, the Rena disaster
should have drastic repercussions
for coastal shipping, and for oil
drilling and exploration in this
country s vulnerable marine
The Wellingtonian welcomes
letters. Please supply name,
address and day phone number.
No pseudonyms. Preferred
maximum length 200 words.
Letters may be edited. Preference
is given to letters responding to
issues raised in The Wellingtonian.
Send your letters to PO Box 3740,
With limited ratepayers funds
available, we need to safeguard
our city s assets. Ratepayers
money should be prioritised here,
rather than on the wish list of
Councillors, let s get on with
Option A or B and get this flyover
built, and old buildings
strengthened, so that when an
earthquake strikes, hopefully
there will be little damage and
loss of life. LAURA NEWCOMBE
In praise of
John Key has indicated that once
the Rugby World Cup and the
Pike River Mine inquiry are over
the election campaign will begin.
Grant Robertson, Labour MP
for Wellington Central, has been
out and about for the whole three
years he has been our local MP.
He was out and about before that,
which is why he was elected.
In 2008 National put up a high-
profile former ACT MP against
Mr Robertson. The local electors
rejected that option.
They will probably use their
party vote to reject a former
National leader re-born as leader
This year s Labour Party
candidate in Key s electorate is
concentrating on building party
profile. National has obviously
decided that Wellington Central is
the same -- unwinnable.
Lamb refers to up to 12 months
old, then it becomes hogget, up to
becoming a two-tooth . After that
it becomes mutton.
I have some questions for the
sheep farmers, butchers and
retailers: When did lamb meat
become older than 12 months?
Why is hogget no longer
commonly (if at all) available?
Why is mutton (an old, no
longer required, ewe or wether) so
Wake up New Zealand. The
moneymen are firmly in control
and in John Key they have found
the perfect foil to carry out their
With the sale of more state
assets back on the agenda, don t
be fooled by the blokey manner
and soothing words of the Prime
When he tells us that mum and
dad investors will be given
priority and 85 per cent
ownership will remain in New
Zealand, that is nothing but a
hollow promise, as hollow as the
men and woman behind it.
Not only will these people make
themselves richer by transacting
the sales, but the assets will
inevitably end up in the hands of
offshore investors, the dole queues
will lengthen as the promised new
jobs do not eventuate, and laid-off
workers will remain on the
Government payroll as
beneficiaries of the state.
With the election so near, don t
let it become a beauty contest.
If the current Government is
allowed to continue along the path
it has taken, then as a nation we
risk becoming serfs to the
powerbrokers of the global
The dollar not
Curtis Nixon (October 6) calls for
action on the New Zealand dollar.
He appears to be a little
confused, blaming the high New
Zealand dollar for among other
things over-priced petrol and
crazy prices for wine.
Wine has never been cheaper
because of a massive oversupply
and a weak world economy, not to
mention how many vineyards
have gone into receivership.
Petrol, being a byproduct of oil
(which is a US dollar-
denominated commodity), would
skyrocket in price if the New
Zealand dollar was to weaken
Mr Nixon also says the Reserve
Bank has been spinning wheels
talking interest rates down .
I think he means the Reserve
Bank Governor has been talking
the currency down. He has said it
is overvalued several times.
However, why would it talk
down interest rates? Surely being
the body that sets the official cash
rate, it would just lower them.
heed the public
We have learned -- thanks in big
part to your coverage -- that there
is widespread opposition to a
Basin Reserve flyover, so I was
disconcerted that a councillor I
met by chance should say it was
unlikely council voting would
I emailed all councillors politely
calling for urgent attention. I
received six replies. Of the seven
who voted on October 6 for the
flyover (Ian McKinnon, Jo
Coughlan. John Morrison, Leonie
Gill, Simon Marsh, Ngaire Best,
Ray Ahipene-Mercer), only the
Mr McKinnon s silence after a
further cell phone request to
discuss it was maybe not
surprising given I had asked him
as deputy mayor why magnificent
heirloom trees in Bolton Cemetery
had been felled and found that he
was a volunteer there but did not
know they had gone.
If this is from the man who
advertises his availability/
approachability in rather loud
terms, then we have a pretty good
indication of many councillors
incivility and impenetrability.
Simply, too many councillors
lack conscientious concern for the
neighbourhoods they serve.
Mt Cook, Abridged
Links Archive October 13th 2011 October 27th 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page