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It’s cold in Christchurch

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, July 26th, 2011 - 69 comments
Categories: accountability, Gerry Brownlee, housing - Tags: ,

It’s cold in Christchurch. Yeah I know it’s cold in lots of places, but Christchurch is of particular concern, with so many houses, and so much infrastructure, trashed in the quakes. So WTF is going on here?

Bizarre’ delay in Christchurch heating programme

The Government’s decision to delay Phase Two of Christchurch’s heating programme for two months is bizarre and unbelievable, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Waimakariri MP Clayton Cosgrove.

“It’s snowing heavily down here. It’s freezing cold. Yet I have been advised by a large heat pump installer that the Government has put the winter heating programme on hold until virtually the end of August and given no reason. The decision leaves me completely baffled,” Clayton Cosgrove said. …

“The installer has pointed out to Mr Brownlee that the industry was geared up for the programme, with many companies taking on more staff. But some, he said, will now struggle to survive, and will have to put off staff. …

“As the installer says to Mr Brownlee, ‘many older people and families (are) still living in near third world conditions with only one heat pump in a freezing climate. Many people have had their 20Kw long burner or fire replaced with a 5-9 Kw heat pump and they need more than the one heat pump to keep warm for the colder months ahead’.

“As the snow falls, and the region battles freezing temperatures, Mr Brownlee must revisit this extraordinary decision and explain what he was thinking of in the first place.”

The disinfectant of sunlight caused the Nats to acknowledge their shabby treatment of the Crete veterans. The same sunlight needs to be shone on this outrageous situation. Brownlee needs to do two things and do them fast.  First, explain this apparently perverse decision, and second, fix it, fast.

69 comments on “It’s cold in Christchurch”

  1. Man if this can be confirmed and linked to Brownlee he has just lost Ilam.

  2. Deadly_NZ 2

    Maybe Brownlee figures that it will be cheaper to let the weather do what he and the rest of the NAct cant do, and get rid of a lot of opposition voters.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    These heat pumps are all a nice idea for now. But in 5-10 years time they’re going to start crapping out en-masse due to poor installation or lack of maintenance.

    My aunt and uncle have a heatpump that appears to have been incorrectly installed. It was put into the garden on a concrete pad that wasn’t properly compacted, so over time one corner has sunk. This has resulted in water (from rain, and condensation from unit operation) pooling in the drip tray which is tilted so that the corner with the compressor/pump was constantly immersed in it. It rusted through and broke down.

    When talking to the installers (and finally getting them to admit liability), he found out that part of regular maintenance you’re expected to clean the tray out every 6 months. But when questioned, they never actually told customers this, and it’s generally not mentioned in the manuals that come with them.

    • bbfloyd 3.1

      who cares whether they crap out in 5-10 years time… it’s NOW that it counts… for gods sake get a grip lanth.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        1. Leaky buildings, part deux? Who cares if we have thousands of heat pumps flaking out in a decade, let’s just do a rush job now because the future doesn’t matter.

        2. In 5-10 years time, we may be on a sharp downwards slope thanks to peak oil. Better to do a proper job now so when crunch time comes this isn’t yet another problem that has to be dealt with.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          Not to mention heat pumps in a city that periodically loses its electricity supply in big storms. That’s likely to get worse over the next few decades too.
           
          I do agree something urgent needs to be done, but heat pumps should be a long term solution not a short term one, and they don’t work in the long term.

          • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1.1

            I don’t think Christchurch is particularly more susceptible to power outages from storms more than any other city is. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever lost electricity in any of the houses I’ve been in, and I’ve lived my entire life in CHCH. Maybe once when I was a kid for an evening, but that would be it.

            • weka 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Didn’t the power go out yesterday? There was a big snow storm a couple of years ago that took out the power in parts of Chch for a few days (and many other places in the SI). It’s not that Chch is more susceptible, it’s that Chch is rapidly replacing a sustainable and future proofed source of heat (woodburners) with one that isn’t sustainable and future proofed.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Wood burners aren’t sustainable. Heat pumps are.

                • weka

                  Heat pumps aren’t sustainable.  Wood burners are.
                   
                  :-p
                   
                  Actually woodburners themselves aren’t sustainable because you still need oil to make them, but if well built they will outlast the lifetime of a heat pump. Windfarms and hydro on the other hand… what do you think will be used to build and maintain those?
                   
                  Further, wood for heat fuel is the most carbon neutral source we have. It has multiple flow on benefits that go with forestry (assuming that it’s mixed forestry not monocrop).
                   
                   

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Windfarms and hydro on the other hand… what do you think will be used to build and maintain those?

                    Wind farms and hydro of course.

                • Lanthanide

                  That comment really boggles my mind. Your definition of “sustainable” is very twisted.

                  Wood burners, vis-a-vis, burning wood to produce heat, has existed for millenia.

                  Heat pumps, relying on electricity that has only been produced for a few hundred years, also rely on a huge manufacturing base to dig up the metals, refine and process them, finally stamp them into the right shape for assembling a heat pump. Don’t forget all the PCB and electronics required to operate it, as well as the refrigerant required to make it work.

                  By comparison, you can grow a tree in your yard and cut it down to burn it up. I’d like to see you build a heat pump in your yard.

                  The only way in which a heat pump is more sustainable than a wood burner is that the energy to drive it can ultimately come from a hydro dam or geothermal plant. But the hydro damn and geothermal plants themselves rely on high technology, not even mentioning the electricity grid and thousands of kilometres of power lines required to get the energy to your house…

                  • weka

                    It’s the problem with how the word sustainable has been coopted. Very little of what humans do now is sustainable. But in the heat pumps vs woodburners comparision, when you take into account the whole picture, it’s a bit of a no brainer.
                     
                    I think people like heat pumps because it means less work for the end user. But someone has to do the work to get the energy and in the case of heat pumps it’s oil and nature. I also have a problem with cities expecting to source power from nature destroying hydro that’s out of site.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Very little of what humans do now is sustainable.

                      Actually, quite a lot of what we do now can be sustained if we move from a profit driven consumerist economy.

                      But someone has to do the work to get the energy and in the case of heat pumps it’s oil and nature.

                      But it doesn’t have to be you moron.

                      I also have a problem with cities expecting to source power from nature destroying hydro that’s out of site.

                      I’ve decided that I’m looking forward to the time when we knock down the hydro dams and putting in place inflow generators, wind farms and passive solar heating.

                    • weka

                      But someone has to do the work to get the energy and in the case of heat pumps it’s oil and nature.

                      But it doesn’t have to be you moron.
                       

                      That piece of abuse seems completely unnecessary.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Wood burners, vis-a-vis, burning wood to produce heat, has existed for millenia.

                    Yep, right up until they run out of wood.

                    • Lanthanide

                      You can plant more trees for firewood. I’m not sure if you’ve bought firewood before, but quite a few places advertise that they use sustainable timber, that is, trees specifically grown as fuel. The paper industry works the same, and generally plants at least 1 tree for every tree they chop down – sustainable.

                      Getting it to rain on demand for your hydro station isn’t quite as effective, as we’ve seen with the various winter power shortages in this country.

                    • Vicky32

                      Yep, right up until they run out of wood.

                      That’s completely illogical! Running out of coal, I can see that happening, obviously. But duh, trees are by their nature, a renewable resource. I currently have a huge problem with trees (the first tenant in this house, over 50 years ago) was a nice old guy, whose hobby was gardening. He planted trees all over the section. Lovely for him, I am sure. He’s long dead, the trees block the sun and make this steep section with no drainage, even more of a swamp than it would otherwise be. I would gladly chop down the lot of them if I could, and HNZ won’t – until I move out, then you can bet the damn things will be pruned or cut down! If I could, I’d cut them all and donate the wood to whoever wants it. After literal years of my begging, one of them was pruned 15 months ago, and guess what, the fraking thing has grown back and blocked the front windows again, so I have to have lights and heater on all day – and I am on $190 a week UB…

              • Lanthanide

                Like I said, I’ve never lost power in any houses I’ve lived in, except maybe once as a child.

                • lprent

                  I have. Unfortunately I moved into my new apartment, and the following month Vector found that 50 year old cables weren’t up to the task of supplying Aucklands CBD. I joined the rush to get UPS’es for my server and other computers.

                • weka

                  I’m not sure what your point it Lanthanide. Are you saying that because you’ve never lost power it hasn’t happened elsewhere in Chch?

                  • Lanthanide

                    You originally said this:
                    “Not to mention heat pumps in a city that periodically loses its electricity supply in big storms. That’s likely to get worse over the next few decades too.”

                    I’m saying this:
                    “I don’t think Christchurch is particularly more susceptible to power outages from storms more than any other city is.”

                    And now you’re talking about the consequences of losing power. But that’s not what you initially said – you initially talked about losing power itself.

                    • weka

                      Chch (parts of it) *has had power outages due to weather events (as have other places in NZ). That is likely to get worse in the coming decades due to more weather extremes and failing infrastrucutre post-peak oil. So yes, Chch isn’t any more susceptible than anywhere else in NZ, but the reason I singled out Chch is because it’s currently replacing woodburners for heat pumps much faster than other places.

                    • Lanthanide

                      I completely agree with you weka.

                      Simply my pedantic and logical programmer brain saw you specifically refer to “[the] city” when you didn’t need to, so I assumed you were somehow suggesting that CHCH was more susceptible than other players to power outages. Hence my reply.

                    • weka

                      Cheers :-)

        • freedom 3.1.1.2

          Lanthanide your words are a prime example of the devious and malicious intent being expressed on threads and in the media all over this country. The bare-faced malevolence of your red herring is nauseating. People will die without adequate resources for heating. Are you so bloody self-important that you believe there is any justification whatsoever to delay the immediate and complete installation of heating for any and all who need it in ChCh.

          Fuckwit of the day award goes to you.

          • The Voice of Reason 3.1.1.2.1

            Nah, I think Lanth’s on to it. If it’s immediate heat that is needed, then waiting for a heat pump to be installed is not the answer. King Gerry should be dishing out fan and oil heaters to those that need them now and booking the installation of heat pumps later on down the track.

          • Lanthanide 3.1.1.2.2

            Nowhere did I say I support Brownlee delaying the installation of heatpumps. In fact I didn’t even try to suggest that the reason I gave is why Brownlee is doing this.

            I simply raised it as an issue with this whole scheme that needs to be properly addressed otherwise we’ll just be facing an echo of this problem in the future.

            If Brownlee has delayed the programme specifically to deal to these issues, I would suggest the more appropriate course would be to throw more money and people at it to get it sorted sooner. Really they’ve had since September to get this sorted and I’ve heard that they didn’t start installing any heating anywhere until January of this year, 3 months down the drain. Of course it was the February quake that really threw a spanner in the works, but most chimney’s that came down, came down in September.

            • Puddleglum 3.1.1.2.2.1

              Hi Lanthanide, I think you’re right that the heat pumps need to be properly installed. It should not be necessary to create a longer term problem in order to solve an immediate one.

              But it sounds to me as if the sloppy installation and unclear/lack of maintenance instructions are something that Gerry Brownlee, as Minister of Earthquake Recovery, can ensure through some ‘fast-tracking’ that he has been enabled to do. He could also set up an instant, independent checking system of their installation and provision of maintenance instructions (e.g., require they be inspected within two days/five days or whatever of installation and that no payment will be made to contractors until they are given the ‘tick’).

              If this isn’t a case in which his exceptional powers (I mean his legal ones) could be put to good use, what is?

              If he hasn’t arranged an alternative for this winter (I hope, even presume, that he has) then this would be very negligent.

              Has he responded yet?

  4. Jodie 4

    Make sure you all wrap up warm! I’m also taking Hi Dose Vit C to help boost my immunity as we are bound to all get sick!! I just won some off the Clinicians Facebook Page :)

    • Mac1 4.1

      http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/DSH/colds.html

      It seems, Jodie, that high doses of vit C don’t do much, as Linus Pauling once alleged (and from which he has now resiled, if I remember clearly.) Anyway, the above link is worth considering.

      I’m surprised that the clinicians are pushing vit C over and above consumption of a little citrus fruit.

      • wtl 4.1.1

        Or kiwifuit, which I believe has even more vitamin C than citrus.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.2

        One or two NZ families reckon that high dose intravenous vitamin C saved family members from intensive care level Swine Flu.

        Once they could convince medical staff to stop marking off time until the respirators were turned off and try something non-traditional.

        Worked a treat. Even had a trial design where the dying patient acted as their own control, as the doctors tended to change their mind about the vitamin C even as things were improving, withdraw it, and the patient worsened again.

        However in general, getting nutrients from fresh foods beats supplements hands down.

      • ianmac from Turkey 4.1.3

        Agree wıth you Mac1 that the vıtamın C ıs largely a myth. All thıngs ın moderatıon.
        Seems strange to be concerned about the coldness whıle Turkey ın the 30s the problem ıs the opposıte. Mınd you the rules here a bıt dıfferent. (Went on a 12 seater mınıbus 40 mınute trıp thıs mornıng wıth 21 adults and 1 chıld on board.)

  5. vto 5

    Just another case of this National government directing money away from areas it will not win votes in and towards its supporters, such as irrigators in Canterbury.

    It is all there in black and white..

    If you are an irrigator then you get money thrown at you and if you are living in the ice and brokenness in eastern Chch then you get money taken away from you.

    Similarly, early childcare vs, say, the holiday highway.

    Fuckers this lot are.

    At least it is beautiful blue sky day today, melting the ice and snow and tempting me out on the beach. Very pretty too it is. Gotta take what good there is eh …

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    New Plymouth District Council is pressing ahead with a new art centre at a proposed cost of $10 million (for overseas tourists who will never arrive, due to peak oil) and is looking to the government for half the funding. As far as anyone can tell the government is very happy to contribute $4 or 5 million towards something that serves no useful purpose. The same with the f***ing rugby, of course. (Sone say it all about keeping Jonathan Young in position.)

    I believe Nelson has similar plans for an absurd performing art centre that just wonl’t die.

    It’s all a matter of priorities. And for corporate sociopaths the priority is the transference of wealth upwards.

    (see the last entry on How Empires End for the Rothschild connection)

    • freedom 6.1

      you should do a little more research before spouting off wildly innaccurate bs.

      The contribution is towards the Len Lye Museum. An internationally supported project that will celebrate the single most important and influential artist NZ ever produced. Yes even bigger and more important than Colin McCahon Katherine Mansfield and Kiri teKanawa combined. ( though you may never have heard of him does not diminsih his impact on 20th Century Art)

      i am not going to begin an art history lesson but in future give your reactionary statements a little fact

      • Lanthanide 6.1.1

        AFKTT rails against anyone who doesn’t immediately fall into line with his world view and do everything he thinks is best.

        • freedom 6.1.1.1

          afktt ???? what is that please
          more importantly, the fuckwit comment earlier was harsh and unwarranted and i blame an aggravating morning spent dealing with an on-line banking issue that has coloured my outlook somewhat today. so i retract the award comment and ask for consideration due a temporary absence of calm.

          i still believe the immediate needs of people living in a damaged and harsh environment outwieghs the longer term concerns in this instance. though you are correct that there are plenty of other options that should have been addressed for this temporary problem.

          i am not sure why you replied here though. My comments about Len Lye are in no way me wanting the world to fall into line. I was stating an absence of facts in the authors statment, nothing else.

          • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1.1

            AFKTT – A Few Know The Truth.

            I replied here because you said this:
            “you should do a little more research before spouting off wildly innaccurate bs.”
            “i am not going to begin an art history lesson but in future give your reactionary statements a little fact”

            I’m just pointing out AFKTT’s modus operandi – to attack anyone who doesn’t immediately agree with his point of view (in this case, that the gallery is a waste of time and shouldn’t be built). That’s not to say that I disagree with his point of view, in fact I agree with most of it most of the time, but that’s just his typical style of commenting here. I usually just ignore his posts because I can predict everything he’s going to say.

      • Vicky32 6.1.2

        i am not going to begin an art history lesson but in future give your reactionary statements a little fact

        Whoop-de-freaking-do! I am with AFKTT on this.. I believe the art lovers should fund their own hobby, just as I wish the thugby lovers would do likewise. Who gives a toss about Len Lye? Let Jenny Gibbs, patron of the arts, part with some of her cash. Precious pretenders with their expensive wine, cheese and paintings neither deserve nor need public funding.

  7. vto 7

    Requiring homeowners to take out their fireplaces and install electrical heating is just dumb. I am glad it has recently changed.

    Forcing people to rely on electricity when it is unreliable and when the heat is a life and death issue is fundamentally flawed.

    It is a fundamental ‘right’ to be able to burn something to warm yourself at night. It is as fundamental as the air that we breathe.

    And on top of that, what happens when foreigners get to own even more of our power system? Will they not attend to maintenance and upgrade like happenned with those crooks Fay and Richwhite with NZ Rail? They just looted the company of cash and did no upgrades or even basic maintenance. Is our power system fated to follow in NZ Rail’s footsteps? And what happens to our electrical heating in those circumstances?

    Keep your fireplace. Fuck the electricity goons.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      I don’t think it’s “recently changed”.

      You always had the option of installing a wood burner. The wood burner must comply with the new standards however. Note that the new standard limits you from turning down the air on your fireplace as much as the older standards did because low air flow = smoky fires = more smog.

      However if you properly tend to your fire, low air doesn’t produce more smoke, it simply means the fire burns slower and therefore longer, requiring less re-fuelling and better heat moderation in your home. A far bigger culprit for smoky fires is people burning inappropriate material or wet wood. This is another case of ineffective regulation – limiting air intake will only moderately reduce the pollution problem while harming those who know how to use a fire properly, as well as generally increase fuel consumption, but it doesn’t do anything about people burning the wrong things.

      • vto 7.1.1

        True. What was meant re “recently changed” is that as I understood things its used to be that your old fireplace had to come out and a ‘pellet’ fire or some other strange thing, not woodburner, was required to go in, and/or electrical. Which again required being joined at the hip to some other organisation supplying the pellets etc. Fail.

        We have a newly installed woodburner which cannot be turned down as low as the old one. Although I notice that a couple of minor adjustments to this unit and voila, the fire can be made to burn slow again. It is so easy that I do wonder whether the technos who designed and, especially, made these fireplaces secretly allowed this simple adjustment to be incorporated so that the people could later make their own adjustments. Warms the cockles of me belly thinking that ….

        And mmmmmmmm how lush is a fireplace for warmth, especially when the snow is as low as it can go.

        • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1

          Woodburners have always been a possible heating option for new installations in Christchurch. The new standards did push prices up and reduce supply for a while.

          I think wood burners didn’t used to qualify for subsidies for a while, or not as large subsidies as pellet fires or heat pumps. But I think the subsidy change to encompass wood burners was a couple of years ago now, rather than something particularly recent.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      It is a fundamental ‘right’ to be able to burn something to warm yourself at night. It is as fundamental as the air that we breathe.

      No it’s not. Unnecessarily burning wood is bad for the environment which we rely upon to live and thus you have no right to destroy the environment. If the power distribution system isn’t reliable, which it should be, then that needs to be looked at ASAP.

      And on top of that, what happens when foreigners get to own even more of our power system?

      Well, the best we can do is ensure that the politicians don’t sell off more of the power distribution system. Would be nice if they renationalised that which has been sold off as well.

      • vto 7.2.1

        Yes it is. New Zealand grows ample wood for burning to keep warm. The effects of that on the environment is a matter of numbers of people not the warming. The bad effects on the environment can be remedied by banning the combustion engine first. The world can handle the people warming by burning wood.

        It is also fundamental because of the consequence of the risk of the power system failing. Death. Like being denied air to breathe.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.1

          New Zealand grows ample wood for burning to keep warm.

          Actually, I think you’d find that it doesn’t although it would be good if to see any actual figures.

          It is also fundamental because of the consequence of the risk of the power system failing. Death.

          Which just means that the power distribution system needs to be better maintained with all power cables underground.

          • weka 7.2.1.1.1

            Which just means that the power distribution system needs to be better maintained with all power cables underground.
             

            You’re assuming we will for the forseeable future be able to maintain and replace such infrastructure, and that people will be able to afford the power company prices. What makes you confident of that in the face of peak oil and climate change?

            • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.1.1.1

              It’s called an economy. It has nothing to do with the monetary theory that presently passes in the halls of academia and politics as it’s actually based around the resources we have and can renew and not greed.

              • weka

                I don’t follow. Are you saying that we will have an economy that will overcome the challenges of climate change and peak oil? I don’t see how you can talk about resources we have when trying to argue for increasing electricity use in a peak oil age. The point is we won’t have the resources to replace and maintain the levels of power consumption you are talking about.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I don’t see how you can talk about resources we have when trying to argue for increasing electricity use in a peak oil age.

                  Since when have I ever argued for increasing electricity use?
                  I have, over the last few months or so, argued for Passive House standards on new houses, solar water heating, passive solar heating for buildings, bringing existing buildings as close to Passive House standards as possible and the use of heat pumps as they’re the most efficient heating available. All of this will significantly reduce electricity consumption.

                  Throw in a population cap and an understanding of what our Renewable Resource Base is and we’ll be able to maintain close to the same living standard we have now and that includes having computers and the internet. About the only thing we won’t have is cars and aircraft but I don’t really see that as a loss. Also you’d be looking at keeping that PC for about 10 years.

                  BTW, electricity generation is not dependent upon fossil oil.

                  Are you saying that we will have an economy that will overcome the challenges of climate change and peak oil?

                  Not Climate Change but certainly Peak Oil. Our present “economy” uses far more than what we actually need to and so a reduction to use only what we need to will bring us into sustainable resource use.

                  Please Note: I’m talking NZ here. The rest of the world’s fucked.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Please Note: I’m talking NZ here. The rest of the world’s fucked.

                    +1.0e^6

      • weka 7.2.2

        I’m not sure what you mean by unecessarily Draco. Burning wood doesn’t harm the environment (unless as Lanth points out it is being burnt incorrectly, or trees are being grown unsustainabley or felled without being replanted – all currenlty big issues). There are whole ecosystems (ones that have sustained themselves for tens/hundreds of thousands of years) that run based on burning wood, it’s a very natural thing.
         
        Here’s an outline of the issues comparing firewood to electricity and gas, by David Holmgren (one of the leaders in climate change/post-peak oil/sustainability issues).
         
        http://permacultureprinciples.com/downloads/41_firewood.pdf
         
        Note the paragraph on the bottom page where he says that heating only requires low grade sources of energy like wood or passive solar and that high quality sources like electricity should be reserved for lighting, communications, and electric motors.
         

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.2.1

          And how many millions of people did you say was in these utopian villages?

          • weka 7.2.2.1.1

            What utopian villages?

            • Colonial Viper 7.2.2.1.1.1

              man/nature ecosystems have indeed used burning wood as a fuel renewably for millenia…with tiny population numbers and low industrial use.

              Only then is it sustainable.

  8. It seems to be a thing right-wingers do . Build monuments and white elephants with their name all, over. Tory dominated Waipa is now with the blessing of Upton (I love Banks, Richardson and Shipley) considering ,against public opinion; building a velodrome on the grounds of an eletist public school costing millions .Also a museum costing millions. Yet the rates are becoming un-affordable for many of the lower income ratepayers . The answer from the Tory Mayor when challenged is to say “you can always move . Once when told some ratepayers would find it hard to pay the increase , well its only $5 a week. I should add he’s a very wealthy man.

  9. Richard 9

    It comes down to money… by delaying the putting in of heating, money is saved

    crappy decision tho

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      Whose money is saved?

      Certainly not those who have to rely on inefficient standard electrical heaters instead of efficient woodburners, heat pumps or gas fires.

  10. MrSmith 10

    I’m no rocket scientist but anyone with half a brain and 8 plus months could have sorted the mess out in chch by now ‘for fuck sake’.
     
    First you make sure the people are alright, who gives a shit about the buildings, people first, but you may as well be talking in another language to Gerry he just doesn’t care about people.
     
    Brownlee should’ve been sacked months ago, I have been dealing with these imbeciles and we are talking stupidity on a large scale here, it’s like getting put through to a call centre in india/wherever and then trying to explain stuff to them, why should they care all they care about is getting you to stay on the line so they don’t have to talk to the next unsatisfied customer .
     
    Why would you put Brownlee incharge he couldn’t organize a piss up in brewery, unless it was his piss up, the man is an incompetent fool; he should be thrown on the fire at the first chance we get, at-least chch may get a little heat out of that blubber.

    • vto 10.1

      ha ha yep blubber burns well. May have to adjust the burner before heading into the cool cold Pegasus Bay on oar to lampoon next passing whale.

  11. Drakula 11

    HELPFULL HINTS TO KEEP WARM! !

    Emergency double glazing ok measure up your window and get some heavy duty sheets of polythene and tape them on the frame around the window. It does work I have tried it and it works even better with bubble pack. I may not look good but who cares!!

    Do the same with cracks on the walls. buy extra rugs etc.

    This should have been King Gerrys’ priority
    (1) Oil heaters and bar heaters for homes that are munted (2) Heat pumps that are properly installed and (3) allow residents to keep log heaters that are not stuffed.

    I think the main thread of this blog is the emergency action that needs to be taken care of in Christchurch due to the appauling disregard of the government. Therefore I don’t think the sustainability of hydro vs solar or Heat pump vs log burner is pertinent in the above context.

    Mr. Smith; My sentiments exactly!!!

  12. mik e 12

    Another easy way to insulate is ti buy if you can afford sheets of polystyrene 2.4m/1.2 cover windows completely at night cut to shape put up at night and take down during the day if you can,t afford that @ $25 a sheet . use polystyrene freezer boxes or grape containers cut them out to fit windows or gaps stick down with packing tape !
    Brownlee doesn,t care because the worst effected areas are Labour strong holds
    The only news media reporting the mess Brownlee is making is Campbell Live!

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  • A whiff of a new biosecurity scandal?
    A pest which could create havoc for New Zealand’s horticulture and agriculture sector must be as much a focus for the Government as hunting out fruit flies, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “While the Ministry for Primary Industries is… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Government shrugs off health sector crisis
    Despite new evidence showing that cuts to health spending are costing lives the Government continues to deny the sector is struggling, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Health services in New Zealand are in crisis. ...
    2 days ago
  • Parata lowered the bar for failing charter school
    When Hekia Parata became aware that the Whangaruru charter school was experiencing major problems her first action was to drop standards by reducing the number of qualified teachers they had to employ, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins has revealed. “Hekia… ...
    2 days ago
  • National not being straight about the economy
    John Key and Bill English need to be straight with New Zealanders about the damage their failure to diversify the economy is doing, after new figures show export growth plunged due to a collapse in dairy exports, says Grant Robertson.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Mind the Gap
    This week the International Monetary Fund released a report on the wider economic value in closing the gender pay gap. When even the bastions of free-market economics start to raise concerns about gender pay gaps, we have to realise how… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Labour will hold National to parental leave promise
    Labour will hold National to its promise to increase the support given to new parents of premature, multiple birth and babies born with disabilities, Labour’s paid parental leave campaigner Sue Moroney says. "I am naturally disappointed that after battling for… ...
    2 days ago
  • It was all just pillar talk
    Steven Joyce’s confession that he can no longer guarantee a pillar-free design for the New Zealand International Convention Centre shows the Government has abandoned its dream of creating an ‘iconic’ ‘world-class’ structure, says Labour Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “Steven… ...
    3 days ago
  • Australians move on offshore speculators
    John Key might want to have a quiet word with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott about Canberra's just-announced crack down on offshore speculators when he visits New Zealand this week, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says."Tony Abbott's centre right government… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government at odds on overseas driver crashes
    National backbencher Jacqui Dean has spoken out about overseas driver crashes, putting herself at odds with Prime Minister John Key who is on record as saying it’s not a big issue, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “I’m not surprised… ...
    3 days ago
  • Human Rights and the Palestine Crisis
    Last week I heard two Palestinians speak at Wellington events about the ongoing crisis in their country. Samar Sabawi spoke to a full house about the history of Palestine and gave us a lucid and disturbing account of the situation… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    3 days ago
  • Time to take real care of our kids
    An Amnesty International report has once again criticised New Zealand’s track record on looking after our kids, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. The annual report, which looks at global human rights abuses highlights not only the fact that high… ...
    3 days ago
  • John Key wrong about Labour’s war vote
    John Key’s desperate claims that the former Labour Government didn’t put combat troop deployment to a Parliamentary vote are simply wrong, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “It was disgraceful that the Prime Minister ran rough shod over democracy and… ...
    3 days ago
  • Māori language bill needs work
     It is clear that the first draft of the Māori Language Bill was about structures and funding rather than the survival of te reo Māori, Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.  “Labour is pleased that the Minister of Māori… ...
    3 days ago
  • Report proves troubled school shouldn’t have opened
    The long-awaited release of an Education Review Office report into Northland’s troubled Whangaruru charter school proves it should never have been approved in the first place, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This report identifies problems with absenteeism and disengaged… ...
    4 days ago
  • Reply to PM’s statement on deploying troops to Iraq
    “The decision of any Government to send troops to a conflict zone is a very serious one, and it is right that this House takes time to consider it, to debate it, and, ideally, to vote on it, but we… ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister must take action on death trap slides
    Workplace Relations Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse must take urgent action to ensure inflatable amusement rides don’t become death traps for children, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway says. “No one wants to stop kids having fun, but horror stories… ...
    4 days ago
  • Manus Island and the New Zealand Government
    This week the Greens have participated in awareness activity about Manus Island, the refugee camp on an island in Papua New Guinea where Australia dumps asylum seekers. John Key says that he has every confidence in the Australian Government’s claim… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Election Inquiry – Getting accessible voting on the agenda
    James Shaw has been doing a series of blogs on the Election Inquiry into last year’s general election.  I thought this was a great opportunity to raise an issue very dear to me – accessible voting. Last year’s general election… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 week ago
  • RMA changes no solution to Christchurch housing
    Housing will continue to be a big issue in 2015. The latest Consumer Price Index, released last month, shows both good news and bad news on the housing front. After years of being the most expensive place to build a… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Saving kokako in South Auckland’s Hunua Ranges
    It is amazing that you can hear the song of the endangered North Island kokako in South Auckland’s Hunua Ranges, less than 50 kms from the central city. A heavy schedule of policy workshops at the Green Party’s Policy… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s not turn a blind eye to human rights
    The Cricket World Cup has just opened in New Zealand, and it’s an opportunity for us to shine on the world stage. International sport can be a chance for us to build relationships with other countries, and examine what it… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Its Just Not Cricket
    This week it was my privilege to work with Sri Lankan Tamil communities in this country and host Australian journalist and human rights advocate Trevor Grant. I knew a bit about Trevor from his biography but I didn’t know just… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for NZ to #BeCrueltyFree
    The Government is about to progress the final stages of the Animal Welfare Amendment bill. This will be our last opportunity to get changes made to improve the bill to ensure a better outcome for animals. I have put forwards… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • We want access!
    Access to buildings is a big issue for many New Zealanders. It looks like that, due to the hard work and persistence of people in the disability community, the Government may finally be starting to take access to buildings seriously.… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call on Super Fund to divest from fossil fuels
    The Green Party today called on the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (the Fund) to divest from fossil fuels, starting immediately with coal. The call was accompanied with a new report, Making money from a climate catastrophe: The case for divesting… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Kiwis’ housing crisis
    Shelter is a fundamental human need along with food, water and clean air. All humans need adequate shelter; it’s a human right. Warm, safe, stable accommodation is critical for young people to be able learn and grow and just be.… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • On the River Patrol in Te Tai Tokerau
    Last Wednesday, I went on a tour of some of Northland’s rivers with  Millan Ruka from Environmental River Patrol as he monitored water quality throughout Te Tai Tokerau. The dry conditions meant we couldn’t use the boat but we visited… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Opening of Parliament 2015
    Russel NormanOpening of Parliament Speech February 2015 Tēnā koutou Tēnā koutou Tēnā koutou katoa. A brief history of climate change What a summer! It's been hot, even here in Wellington, hotter than any summer I can remember. All… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    3 weeks ago

  • Politicians’ pay increases
    “An increase of 3.5% in the minimum wage compared with 5.5% increase for politicians is appalling. It is another example of the wealthy looking after themselves and showing no regard for the poor” says Peter Malcolm, National Secretary of Income… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Invade Mexico for Guacamole Reserves Instead
    #WagePeaceNZ, founded yesterday, along with all 7 of its Twitter followers, demands that New Zealand invade Mexico for its Guacamole reserves in lieu of sending 143 troops to Iraq. ...
    13 hours ago
  • Australian Prime Minister to thank New Zealand fire crews
    The contribution of more than 400 New Zealand firefighters in helping battle bushfires across the Tasman over the past 14 years will be acknowledged tomorrow during a visit by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to an Auckland fire station. ...
    13 hours ago
  • A simple question for Winston Peters: Where do you live?
    "Winston Peters has set a new record, being economical with the truth only hours into his campaign," claims Northland ACT candidate Robin Grieve. ...
    14 hours ago
  • Northland doesn’t need yesterday’s man
    "It's great that Winston Peters is finally taking an interest in Northland. But frankly we don’t need yesterday’s ideas from yesterday’s men in our region," ACT Northland candidate Robin Grieve said today. ...
    14 hours ago
  • Children’s Day – 365 days a year
    Barnardos wants New Zealanders to celebrate Children’s Day on 1 March, and to recognise the effort it takes to raise great kids over all 365 days of the year. ...
    15 hours ago
  • Will MPs Put Taxpayers’ Money Where Their Mouth is?
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling the bluff of MPs and has written to each one asking whether they will be accepting the backdated pay increases announced yesterday. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: ...
    17 hours ago
  • Fonterra Sneaks Round The Corner
    Fonterra’s subsidiary Glencoal has put its plans for an open cast mine on SH2 at Mangatangi on hold indefinitely. The local community is celebrating. They worked very hard with submissions on all the impacts of coal mining that you are… ...
    17 hours ago
  • How Free Is Free Speech?
    How Free Is Free Speech: Do we recommend unconstrained freedom of expression? The Chief Human Rights Commissioner, David Rutherford, will be In Conversation with Noel Cheer at St Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington on Tuesday 3 March 2015 from 12:15pm… ...
    18 hours ago
  • No military deployment in Iraq: Nationwide peace vigils
    Peace vigils calling for increased humanitarian assistance and diplomatic support for Middle East peace processes, and opposing the military deployment to Iraq, will be held around the country at 5pm on Thursday, 5 March, coordinated by Peace Movement ...
    19 hours ago
  • Message of Nationwide Day of Action :‘TPPA? No Deal!’
    “An amazing 22 towns and cities across New Zealand have rallied to the call for a nationwide day of action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 7 March”, according to Chantelle Campbell who is coordinating the national events ...
    19 hours ago
  • New Group Against Amalgamation
    A group of Wellingtonians have launched a campaign to resist the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s scheme to amalgamate Wellington’s existing councils. The group, Best Little Capital, has been formed by Wellingtonians Michael Moughan and Digby ...
    20 hours ago
  • Stark contrast between benefit increase & MPs’ pay rise
    Stark contrast between benefit increase & MPs’ pay rise Media release Friday 27 February 2015 Earlier this week Social Development Minister Anne Tolley announced that benefits will increase by 0.51% on 1 April. Yesterday MPs were granted a 5.5% ...
    20 hours ago
  • Sensible Sentencing challenges MPs to refuse pay rise
    “I realise this will take courage and we extend an open challenge to all MPs – or any MP from any party – to have the courage to be the first to stand up and publicly denounce this nonsense and… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Labour Party President Elected
    Labour Party President Elected Nigel Haworth has been elected as Labour Party President following a vote conducted among the constituent organisations and elected representatives of the Party. This follows the resignation of Moira Coatsworth in December 2014. ...
    21 hours ago

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