Thursday, 28 July 2011


This morning’s Dom report of 160 passengers allegedly wrongfully detained in Wellington airport by Pacific Blue is a shocker. The same situation occured on a Qantas flight I was on from Deli a few years ago. Let me tell you, I have never flown Qantas again. Adding insult to injury to affected passengers, they only detained those in economy class. Fortunately, I was flying business class on that occasion but was horrified on behalf of my fellow travellers. The poor buggers looked and smelt like the living dead when we were finally all herded onto an available plane the next day. I understand India has tidied up its act in recent times with regard to its treatment and processing of travellers. New Zealand appears to be going backward. It’s unacceptable in an OECD country so dependent on its tourist industry. Pacific Blue appears to regard its passengers as cattle. An airline to be avoided. And, where were Wellington Airport's staff and systems.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011


Today was fraught with a few challenges. Firstly was getting to Christchurch because of the snow. We thought we were cunninger than a cunning thing when we booked our flight for 1.15 today - expecting the ground would have thawed enough to land. It was and we did while some colleagues who booked on early morning flights were bounced to fly at the earliest - on Thursday.

We had packed enough stuff for three weeks - we are here for 3 months - so 3 weeks seemed to be a good stint before we went home to the Wairarapa for some R and R.

We got our rental car and then realised with horror that the only bag left on the carousel looked like ours in every detail apart from a padlock and a wispy ribbon on the handle. Someone picked up my bag. Duh.

When we bought the bag we picked the ugliest one we could find. Maroon with an ugly maroon and white tartan front. It looks like something a bottle tanned pom would buy for a week at Butlins holiday Camp

So Airnz says they will hold the bag of the other woman. but we have to go back out to the airport to pick it up as "its not their fault its lost" was the reason given. We have had our bag delivered in the past but it was the Airlines fault so thats fair enough.

- We think the woman who has my bag is Mrs Susan (poss Sue King.) I found that out looking over the shoulder of the nice lady at lost baggage at chch airport.

And i think she had come from overseas via Auckland but it was hard to decipher the abbreviations.

So we are parked up in a nice motel and have had to wash our one set of clothes doing a Don Brash washing them in the handbasin - which leaves us a bit - exposed...

Lucky there is a good heater in the room. So missing in the suitcase are all the expensive potions and lotions that fill in the cracks of our 51 year old face. So tomorrow we reckon our countenance will resemble earthquake damaged Bealey Ave.

And we have no cell charger - so phone is going flat so if Mrs King does come to light I wont get the message until we can charge the phone.

We had to buy a toothbrush, and all the other girly toiletries.

But for the first time since we have been in Christchurch we are praying there will be no quake tonight. If we are forced outside the only thing we will be wearing is a big red coat and we will be commando underneath and its chillier than a Labour caucus after the latest poll result -out there - There is snow still piled up all over the place.

So please - please if anyone knows Susan King, who has seriously crap taste in luggage - tell her to ring airnz urgently.


The Ministry of Economic Development has now, seemingly, ventured into the business of movie making. It’s made a little movie, apparently aimed at private industry, about how to tender on GETS, the Government Electronic Tendering System. Michael Osborne, Senior Procurement Analyst features in the little movie. He has the screen presence of a radish. The little movie, embedded here for your viewing convenience, is deathly boring, is aimed at a very low level, and is unlikely to circulate widely on that basis. In any event, the same information should be on the GETS website, in text, without the expense to taxpayers of MED’s rather uninspiring movie efforts. Tendering through GETS is an onerous, time consuming and complex task at the best of times. If you need to view a How To video you are excessively unlikely to have the capacity to win a government tender. Perhaps MED would be better to make a movie on the efficient use of taxpayer funding.

Monday, 25 July 2011


Actually it was a bloody close game but at the end the Stags tossed aside the Cantabrians . and the Shield went south. 

Southlanders love their rugby  - just as much as Cantabrians we reckon and they will make good use of the shield to whip up a bit of southern patriotism. 

Well done boys..  

Sunday, 24 July 2011

The Arbitrary Vector

When I was in the Middle East I asked my Arab friends why they do not do more to control their terrorists. They looked thoroughly pissed off and asked why we in the West do not do more to control our criminals. It’s a fair point and one I had not pondered until then. We don’t know yet if Norway’s gunman is a lunatic, a criminal or a terrorist. And, it won’t matter to his victims how we define him. What we do know is that efforts to control such horrors are Sisyphean by nature. How do you find a solution to an arbitrary vector with no boundary conditions specified.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011


Its bloody obvious that Don Brash has jumped the shark by concentrating on Maori issues this election.

The number one issue is the economy and Brash has put just one elongated piece of Perigo waffle out yesterday about inflation. Thats the big brain hit. Or miss. Today he's back on his eurocentric, paternalistic monologue on whats good for Maori. And instead of telling Maori to look forward he has told them to look back.

Maori don't vote ACT, they don't want to stand for ACT and they definitely don't want to be associated with Don Brash.

We reckon a lot more vote National now but thats cos National has frilly pink knickers on these days.

In fact Brash is so hated that Willie Apiata could be #1 on the ACT list and Maori still wouldn't vote ACT. Instead they would just lift their skirts or drop their trous and give Brash a look see at the hairy brown eyeball.

So in the interests of political enlightenment I gave Cactus a call about the Brash's latest stunt. I wanted to know what she thought about Brash hugging the crap out of Apirana Ngata's tombstone.

Ngata died in 1950 so he's Brash's perfect Maori running mate for ACT. He can't talk back cos he is dead. He wont tell Brash he is wrong and we know Brash likes being associated with Brown people - his wife is Asian and as Winston Peters reckons Asians are just Maori who stayed north of the equator. So Brash the living cadaver - wants to resurrect the corpse of the great man and because Brash has made so many cock ups -a dead person is all he has left to offer up as a candidate.

Cactus has been prickly lately because she's having to say "no comment" to journos. When Cactus refuses to comment on issues we are pretty sure it means she is livid.

I've known Cactus long enough to be one of the few people in the world with permission to call her before 10am. So I did and told her of Brash's latest stroking of Ngata's tombstone. "Too fucking busy" was her muted answer.The ungrateful bitch hung up in my ear.

We suspect in Dorothy Parker fashion that in fact she aint busy unless you count finding nubile men to entertain her at 2am in the morning as busy.

Brash claims Ngata would be Leader of ACT if he was alive today.

Cactus I know can't comment but reckon she will be all alone in a foetal position clutching a teddy bear for comfort in response to this latest fuckwittery by Brash.

Brash is right - to a point - Ngata loathed the fact that Maori had become addicted to welfare. He did believe in self reliance but he also had some pretty lefty views as Michael Bassett points out in his review of Ranginui Walkers book on Ngata.

Hell WTF??? Special state funding for development schemes ? That would go down a treat in the ACT manifesto.

So Brash finally thinks that he has found the perfect running mate - but it seems that he has picked the wrong dead Maori to epitomise ACT ideals of minimal state intervention.

Brash has to go. And we will be counselling Cactus against having anything to do with the the crazy batty old coot.

Saturday, 16 July 2011


Floyd and I went for a stroll round the neighbourhood today. the sun was shining and we set off at a good pace. After about an hour it got dam cold so we headed back and it was then that we spied this sign which would indicate that someone has some shortcomings in the spelling department.

We also spied this lovely villa with splendid views across the valley.

Floyd also has a new light saddle which now means he isn't bucking at all - which , when you are 51 is a little disconcerting. The comfy saddle cost us $95 and is a real bargain.

Friday, 15 July 2011


We have had a rethink on Hones affirmation speech to parliament - note to self - dont blog til have all the facts.

We only saw a snippet of the telecast of Hone's swearing in and thought that it was because he was speaking Te Reo that got Lockwood all grumpy. But it wasn't he was trying to swear allegiance to the Treaty and the dispossessed.

Anyway we watched Te Karere this morning and Scotty asked Hekia what she thought of Hone's grandstanding.

She put it simply - Marae all over the country have different protocols and its respectful to abide by them. Parliament is a big Marae. There are protocols and Hone should follow them as he would expect people to follow them on his Marae.

and Tariana said the same

However, she did not condone Mr Harawira's actions. She said she would be deeply offended if someone visited her marae and sought to impose their own tikanga [customs.]

"It was a deliberate act. I think it's called stunt politics - you do it because you know you're going to get attention from it."

So Hone expects us to be be nice in his house but is content to shit in ours.

Thursday, 14 July 2011


We , like so many others where gobsmacked we we learned that our oldest and most revered soldiers were not treated with the respect that they have hard earned.

We have a lot of respect for Wayne Mapp - he is a deep thinker and a gentleman.   So we are delighted to see that he is going to ensure that things are made right for our oldest warriors 


Her clarity of thinking and and understanding of the shameless way Labour has developed policy to keep its own voters sweet is the standard that all other ACT candidates should aspire to.

No tax on gambling and no tax on baubles.. How fucked up is that!


What a debacle - There was something oddly spooky when poor old Hone Harawiras korowai cloak fell off as he walked into parliament.

Shows his shoulders aren't big enough.

It is an emblem of status and quite frankly we reckon the Gods have spoken.

As for him saying his affirmation in Maori - who gives a shit? Maori is an official language of this country. That no lee way was given just shows how archiac the institution of parliament really is.

Hone didnt fit the Cloak and he doesn't fit in parliament.

But Parliament needs to change to be more reflective of who we are.


tesiting to see if feedburner working 

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


We knew that Cactus is a dead cert to end up on the ACT party list. Yesterday, the party used a time worn strategy to shift the focus away from a steaming heap of crap - aka the Ansell bash a Maori campaign. That is the: "hey look over here we have this cool dude who everyone likes who is going to stand for us at the next election called Don Nicolson" strategy.

Today ace reporter Derek Cheng started asking questions about the possible inclusion of the blondes Cactus Kate and Christine Rankin and former ACT president Catherine Issac on the candidate list.

We hope Isaac will stand but her bloke is a bit crook so we will understand if she doesnt but Rankin is narcissistic enough to want to have a crack.

She has an enduring belief in her own self worth that cant be dented.

So what will Rankin bring? Well not a lot of intellectual rigour - smarts aren't her strong suit - unlike her amazing legs- but she does have an ear for what is bugging the public and the courage to carry through with a cause.

She is sort of a scoldy old lipstick and gin slinging aunty version of Gareth McVicar.

But if there are any marriages that a bit wobbly in the Act camp then look at - she has seen more roots than a Pakaranga salon on a Saturday.

Still if they bring on the blonde troika of Odgers, Rankin and Isaac they will carry the day for ACT and it means that ACT can get rid of that awful ginga - Hillary Calvert.

Blondes are good - we like blondes at Roarprawn - the Brunette is brown on top but she is brassy underneath. And she knows a good blonde when she sees one.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


So Don Nicolson gets the nod as a flash harry candidate for ACT. He is a Southlander - solid and dependable. And unlike just about every other swinging dick in ACT his ears aren't painted on. He listens to wise counsel.

However ACT needs young vibrant go getters of the ilk of Cactus Kate aka Cathy Odgers, if they have are to have even a nanosized chance of being back in the round house again.

Monday, 11 July 2011

bloody blog feed

for some reason the blog feed is not updating  - can anyone tell us what we need to do ? 



Well when people like Hooton call time on ACT - they are pretty stuffed. Hooton's face book.

Until this weekend, I was (as an Epsom voter) a dead-cert for Brash/Banks. Now, I am a dead-cert for John Key and Bhatnagar/Simpson/Donald Duck/Goldsmith or whoever National puts up. Not too happy about this because Key is a wet and voting National means implicitly voting Nick Smith, but there you go. May even give a donation and deliver leaflets for Bhatnagar/Simpson/Donald Duck/Goldsmith.
Then there is Whale .. He thinks Act is toxic We have to agree Act is toxic as Fukishima but not likely to share the nuclear plants longevity.

No Minister is gobsmacked by their complete silliness.

And Home Paddock has taken a womans view of the ACT vileness.

Now the thing is, apart from Homepaddock who doesn't left the house without blue nana knickers on, the rest of us in the VRWC had a fondness for ACT. We liked them because they could chuck a bit of borax at National if they went a bit wet.

But it looks like again we are all thinking the same thing. Sadly, it seems apart from Cactus, - who if she is wearing knickers at all , they will be yellow with blue lace, is still in there supporting ACT. National are too full of economic pussies for her. But we reckon even she will be pissed at Brash - she will be keen to see the party get back to its core messages around tax, and law and order and reduction of business costs.

So its clear to see that the VRWC has lost patience with ACT.

Brash is simply a fuckwit.

And in the nicest possible way thats what Rodney Hide called him on the Tele tonight as well.

Come back Rodney - all is forgiven!


The New Zealand Seafood industry gasped in shock when Sealords announced it had sold its mussel farms to Sanfords for 34 mil back in 2009. The price was considered a steal and Maori worried that the company was selling off the family silver.
The company like many others in the industry retrenched.
Today the new manager of Sealords Graham Stuart reckons that its time to get back into Aquaculture.

Maybe. We are pleased to see the man at the wheel of the good ship Sealord speak so positively and set the course for some new acquisitions.

However there is a still general concern over the Moana Pacific deal which would see MP folded into Sealords . That essentially means that Sealords partners Nissui would end up with a good portion of New Zealands innovative inshore industry for 2 tenths of bugger all.

So we will continue to keep a weather eye on Maori Fisheries interests as should all iwi.


Good on the Maori Party - they have given Hone an clear and unequivocal "Haere Ra" - the Maori "bums rush". The big - "piss off" , the "DCM", The "eeew you smell. " - and why ? Because he speaks with a forked tongue - he is a loser - on so many fronts Hone is just Hehe

There is one striking difference between the Maori Party and the Mana Party - Integrity.

Its going to be an interesting election.

Sunday, 10 July 2011


Don Brash needs a better minder.

All we want to hear from Act is :

Lower Tax - more lower tax and even more cuts to tax.

Maybe a bit about law and order

And some more about reducing the cost of doing businesses.

But this silly shit will not get them over the 5%.

One thing they really need and fast is candidates of the calibre of Cactus Kate.

Saturday, 9 July 2011


Its been blowing a gale out in the Wairarapa - not the day to be riding a horse - and besides poor old Floyd had enough trouble tucking into lunch today. We  put the hay down one end of the paddock but it blew down the other end against  the fence and a forlorn  Floyd had to pick it out of the fence in the driving rain. so far we haven't lost any trees and there have only been a few random thunder plumps.

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We have never treated our soldiers as well as our Australian neighbours. Our ancestors fought side by side in many battles over the decades but somehow we are reluctant to pay homage to the men of another time who fought for freedom.

So yet again we see our nation fall short of what we would expect to be given to our living heroes.

Our oldest soldiers whose memories still burn bright with the terrible tragedy and heartache of war have been treated as second class citizens on a trip to Europe to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the battle of Crete.

We do not feel any animosity towards Wayne Mapp who traveled on the trip as a Minister should . But there is no excuse for not according the old soldiers the same respect and status as Australian soldiers.

We would have been glad to see some of our hard taxpayer earned dollars going to the soldiers to make the trip a good memory.

There are so few left who fought in those great battles, so the cost would have been piffling.

They are our nations heroes - they were great men of their time and even today the least we owe them is our gratitude for the sacrifice they made for us.

May this insult never happen again. While they remain proud - we feel the shame of our country that has not shown these great but humble men the respect they deserve.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


What sort of fuckwittery is this? Garrett may have escaped being charged with perjury but he is a complete arse. If ACT wants to get respect then bringing Garrett back into the fold is not the way to do it. We expected ACT to seek out candidates who were good and true citizens. But no - they appear to want to include misogynistic arrogant no account creepy bastards like Garrett.

Brash needs to get his political radar out of his arse.


I talked to the Refugee and his wife last night. She is a hijab wearer. He doesn’t think it’s necessary but doesn’t interfere with her decision which is in respect of her religion. They had read my Burqas on Buses post. They had some thoughts. Interesting enough, I thought, for a follow up post. Their thoughts paraphrased by me are as follows.

Burqas are silly and not worth discussing. Niqab obscures peripheral vision. Women wearing Niqab should not drive on the basis that they cannot see properly and would be a danger to themselves and others. Niqab wearing women are not suitable candidates for many jobs on the same basis. Niqab wearing women cannot expect to be included in New Zealand society if they choose to wear a garment that is designed to separate them from society. The Refugee thought it was cheeky of the Saudis to approach our government on the issue when in Saudi Arabia, New Zealand women almost certainly wouldn't be allowed on a bus and could be in trouble for wearing shorts in 40 degree heat. A woman can be flogged in Iran for failing to cover her hair in public, not merely rejected by a bus driver. Burqa and Niqab enable and enforce gender apartheid. New Zealand doesn’t practice gender apartheid. Niqab and burqa flout the letter of New Zealand law with regard to courtroom appearances, banks and other secure forums. And, they certainly flout the spirit of New Zealand’s human rights legislation. The Refugee's family know that New Zealand was the first country to adopt universal suffrage. I had told the children about Kate Sheppard when I was in Lebanon and given them a ten dollar note to keep. The Refugee's wife brought it up. "They should respect your heroine", she said. Fair enough, I replied.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


New Zealanders don’t know a burqa from niqab and hijab. A burqa covers the whole body, Afghani style. Niqab is the eye slit jobby and hijab covers only the hair and neck. I have worn hijab myself along with jeans and an ordinary shirt. It’s no different than a light hat and scarf. Young Palestinian girls dressed me up in it for a bit of fun and I wanted to know what it felt like. I wore it round for half a day in the refugee camp where I was staying. It certainly blended you into the crowd and it was not uncomfortable. I went jogging first, then walked down to the beach and visited the graveyard near the beach. Nobody took a blind bit of notice of me. That had not been the case the day before, when I wandered around the camp without Hijab. The camp has a population of around 30,000. You can’t get in without a permit. The Lebanese army guard the entrance at an initial checkpoint. The PLA guard a secondary checkpoint. Everyone knows everyone, at least by sight. Without Hijab I was a stranger and was immediately recognised as such. Hijab gave me anonymity. It can look very pretty. I attended a wedding near Tripoli in Northern Lebanon – not Tripoli in Libya. The women looked fabulous. Palestinians take wedding cakes very seriously – see the photo. I was told the Quran directs that men and women dress modestly. They told me there was nothing in the Quran that dictated burqa or niqab. And, I never saw anyone in Lebanon wearing niqab or burqa. We do not ordinarily allow people here to enter banks, courts and various other forums with their faces covered, and quite rightly too. If I went to Saudi Arabia (friend of the US) or Iran (enemy of the US) I would have to wear what their law directs on pain of serious punishment. I recommend that Muslim women here respect our law and our culture. Hijab is quite enough. It identifies you as Muslim, it is modest and it adequately fulfils any constraints that might be inferred from the direction of the Quran.

Monday, 4 July 2011


It was an ugly sight -even in the dark. We arrived home to dozens of deaths - carcasses strewn over a big patch in the paddock with evil abandon. Our 3 bloody cows got out of their paddock and ate all the beetroot, brussel sprouts, cabbages, broccoli, cauli and then had the temerity to frolick in the strawberry patch.

After they had their fill they went for a wander down the road for about a mile until some kind farmer shoved them in a paddock. After all that - when we found them, the buggers had the nerve to trot up to the fence and bawl to be fed . One wonders if they didnt do it as a protest for the steer on the left n the pic being all cut up in the freezer. In fact his mince was the base for tonights lovely bolognaise.

The upside is we have two new black as pitch lambs and the Mad Rooters blood runs thick in their veins - the down side is they are both rams who will be named - Frenchie and Rack.

Whose fault that the cows got out?? We aren't telling - other than to say I will get a new rotary hoed garden...

Never a dull day in the country..


A vegetable that evokes in us some misty memories of a wonderful childhood has been given its own festival.

We grew up on the Southland Swede. The maroon banded yellow swede that has been livestock fodder since farming began in the south is also a welcome addition to the southern dinner plate.

However, our favourite memory of eating swede was not at the kitchen or dining table, it was in the paddock. As kids we grew up on family sections cut from my Grandfathers farms. So as soon as the sun rose we would be off over the fence to our playground. In the cool months of swede growing we would grab our ponies chuck on a bridle and head to the swede paddock armed only with a pocket knife.

Every kid had a pocketknife.

Then we would wander the swede rows to find a good sized one - not too big or too small and haul it out of the ground. Then we would rub the sticky dirt off on the nearby frosted grass and sit down and carefully peel off the hard outside layer to get at the sweet frost crisped inner glory of the swede and we sit and chomp on it as we would plan our day.

If we did forget our pocket knife we would peel the outer layer off with our teeth. And sometimes the frost rendered our fingers useless for welding a pocket knife so teeth were the only solution.

Our favourite accompaniment to muttonbirds is a baked spud and a big mound of mashed boiled swede seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper and crowned with a big dollup (actually a massive amount) of butter. You need to make a wee well in the swede mound fill it with butter and when its all melty fold into the mash and eat the sweet swede meat.

They also enhance mashed spuds - a dish combining both is known in Scottish parlance as "Neeps and Tatties"
There is nothing like a southland swede even though it is a culinary favourite elsewhere in the world often known as rutabaga - it yumminess probably has something to do with the rich southern earth and hard frosts. We have tried the northern varieties from the supermarket but they are dry and woody and lack the crunchy moist texture of our beloved southland swedey.

So good on Mataura for paying hommage to such a wonderful vege that has played a very significant part in the agrarian landscape of the south.

Sunday, 3 July 2011


Today we took Floyd out for a ramble around the countryside. The Rangitumau Valley is typical of the Wairarapa with soft glowing hills framed by the beautiful snow kissed Tararua Mountain Range. We sauntered up James Road and met two elderly people out for a walk. They looked like they had seen a good 80 years each. She was aided by a walking stick and sir was on a sturdy push bike. Sir was a visitor from Wellington who had arrived on the train.

He chuckled as he explained his good fortune at being able to come over on the train for free on his gold card and the fact that his friends had looked after him as it was a terrrible weather on the day of his arrival in the Wairarapa but he only had to bike for 7km before he was picked up!

Today there was not a cloud in the sky and Floyd set out with a no nonsense spring in his step and his eye bright and ears pricked up for interesting things on our journey.It was a lovely ride. The top picture is of our place tucked under the ridge between Kopuaranga and Rangitumau. The big silver shed.The bottom pic is of the fine view of James Road from on top of Floyd.

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July, thirty years ago the Springboks came to New Zealand. My then husband and I had a sheep and cattle farm in the Takitimu Mountains in Northern Southland. That’s the heartland. You can’t get anymore heartland than Northern Southland. People there were, and still are, rugby mad, me included. To me, the whole sad mess was never about the rugby. It was all about other things: ignorance, paucity of mind and poverty of spirit. The average age of the farming population then, before the southern dairy boom, was quite high, around 45 I guess. And archconservative. I did not support the Springbok tour. As far as I knew, I was in a minority of one. I was physically attacked in the pub by a six foot, thirty-something, Christ's College educated neighbour for voicing my support for the ANC and their request that the tour be cancelled. Let me tell you, money and a privileged education are no guarantee of an open mind. If there is anything more repellent in this world than a hick with money and influence, I don’t want to know what it is. With hindsight it was foolhardy to voice such views in such a time and place, but, I was 18 in 1981. My husband brought members of the Red Squad to our house to drink beer and revel in their tales of brutality. I was forced to feed them, serve them beer and suffer their pumped up contempt for people with views like mine. It was humiliating. Taking a stand against the Springbok tour damaged me socially. I paid a price for it locally for most of my twenties. I was pleased when we left the district in my thirties for a new farm near Gore. Don’t laugh. Gore is a good place to live. Some of the best people I know live in Gore. But that’s another story.

With the 30th anniversary of the Springbok tour there will undoubtedly be a rehashing of events. I hope it doesn’t spoil the rugby again. I expect there are hundreds of stories like mine. Stories of the damage the tour did to us. We grew up then and we shouldn’t forget it. But, I hope with all my heart that the Crusaders win the Super 15. It’ll be great for Christchurch. Great for us all.