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The Standard

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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      The ANZ Bank has a moral obligation to fully compensate farmers after the High Court today declared it breached the Fair Trading Act by misleadingly representing interest rate swap loans, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. The Commerce… ...
    2 days ago
  • Fairfax can’t use restructure to cut terms and conditions
    The restructure and upheavals at Fairfax should not be used as an opportunity to cut journalists’ terms and conditions, Labour spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Businesses have to adapt to new technologies and consumer demands and there is… ...
    2 days ago
  • McCully excuses unravel in Saudi sheep scandal
    Murray McCully has misled New Zealanders, Parliament and his Cabinet colleagues on the real reasons for paying millions of dollars in the Saudi sheep scandal – it’s time for him to clean, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David… ...
    2 days ago
  • Nats break health and education spending promises
    National has outstanding promises of almost $1 billion to be spent on health, education and agriculture from the Future Investment Fund but has only $536 million left in the fund, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “John Key and Bill… ...
    2 days ago
  • Manurewa youth leaders acknowledged
    The depth and breadth of leadership of youth throughout Manurewa, which has been recognized at the Youth Week Award ceremony held at Parliament this week, should make the community extremely proud, Manurewa Labour MP Louisa Wall says. “The 'Limitless Youth… ...
    2 days ago
  • Oi Auckland Transport: fare’s fair
    Auckland Transport should go back to the drawing board on its proposal to charge commuters for its park-and-rides, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “When we need to be getting people out of their cars and onto public transport, it’s… ...
    2 days ago
  • Is Nick Smith making it up as he goes along?
      Housing Minister Nick Smith must release the list of Crown land parcels which formed the basis of the Government’s Budget announcement, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “If the public is to have any faith the Government is not just… ...
    2 days ago
  • Norway moves first to dump coal investments
    The Green Party today called on the Government to secure cross-party support to sell its investments in coal mining companies.The Norwegian Parliament's finance committee agreed in a bipartisan motion yesterday to instruct the $1.2 trillion Government Pension Fund to sell… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 days ago
  • Fonterra payout $13b black hole over 2 years
    Fonterra’s dramatic cut to its forecast farmgate payout over this season and next will lead to a $13 billion black hole over two years, and shows the need for a plan to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour calls for select ctte inquiry into Rural Broadband Initiative
    Labour is calling for an immediate inquiry into the flailing $300 million rural broadband initiative, before companies and consumers are forced to pick up the tab for the new $150 million broadband tax, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “Rural… ...
    2 days ago
  • Public broadcasting takes big hit under National Government
    Public broadcasting funding has been cut by 25 per cent in real terms since the National Government took office in 2009, leading to the erosion of our once world-class news and current affairs culture, says Labour Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. … ...
    2 days ago
  • Hospital food plan hits another snag
    The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Doing away with local kitchens by… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hospital food plan hits another sang
    The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Doing away with local kitchens by… ...
    3 days ago
  • Wilkinson appointment wrong in principle
    The appointment of former Conservation Minister Hon Kate Wilkinson as an Environment Commissioner is wrong in principle, says Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker. “The doctrine of separation of powers requires judicial processes to remain separate and independent from the legislature… ...
    3 days ago
  • McCully doesn’t deny bribe in Saudi sheep scandal
    “In Parliament today I asked Murray McCully directly: Why is he the first Minister in history to back a multi-million dollar facilitation arrangement which in other jurisdictions is called a bribe? says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker.… ...
    3 days ago
  • National must back our future doctors
    National must support our future doctors and agree to the calls from the Medical Students’ Association and the Young Nats to lift the arbitrary 7 year cap on student loans for medical and dental students, Labour’s Tertiary Education Spokesperson David… ...
    3 days ago
  • Taxpayer the loser after Government folds
    Steven Joyce today admitted the main exhibition hall at the New Zealand International Convention Centre is 19 per cent smaller than what was described at the time other bidders were edged out of the process, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David… ...
    3 days ago
  • Govt’s lack of ambition for women
    Yesterday, the Government put out a media release entitled “Number of women leaders continues to grow”. It was to inform us that the percentage of women on state-appointed boards has increased to 41.7%, up from 41.1% in 2013. Well, woo-hoo… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Auditor-General exposes Key’s scapegoating of Council
    The National Government's blaming of Auckland Council for the city’s housing crisis has been exposed as scapegoating in the Office of the Auditor-General’s latest report, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Auditor-General says Auckland Council’s part in fixing the… ...
    3 days ago
  • Reform – not money – needed for meat sector
    The National Government continues to throw good money after bad at the meat industry instead of addressing the fundamental problem of its dysfunctional structure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The latest Primary Growth Partnership grant to the venison… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government cuts corners on school bus funding
    The safety of children – not cost cutting – should be the main objective behind the Government’s funding of school buses, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Buried in the detail of this year’s Budget are $19 million of funding… ...
    3 days ago
  • Women the losers under National’s cuts
    National’s poor performance in appointing women to state sector boards is set to get worse with funding cuts to the nomination service provided by the Ministry for Women, Labour’s Woman’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Minister for Women Louise Upston… ...
    3 days ago
  • Help sought by agencies now asked to help
    The organisation Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has tasked with setting up an emergency hotline for stranded Relationships Aotearoa clients has just lost a bid for a government contract to launch a new national helpline, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson… ...
    3 days ago
  • Wellington got loud again on climate
    On Monday night, in Wellington, I attended the last of the Government’s climate target consultation meetings. It was quite well attended with maybe 150 people, not bad for a second meeting with very little notice and, as far as I… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our economy can no longer rely on… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ramadi proves Iraq deployment high risk, low benefit
    The fall of Ramadi and the collapse of the Iraqi Army proves Labour was right to be concerned about the deployment of our troops to Iraq, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “The fall of Ramadi brings IS fighters within… ...
    4 days ago
  • English admits new taxes on the cards
    Eight months after pledging “no new taxes” at the election Bill English today admitted he would bring in more sneaky taxes along the lines of the border tax, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Not only did National bring in… ...
    4 days ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping methods. “The Board’s draft 10-year plan document forecasts a cumulative… ...
    4 days ago
  • Teachers turn backs on new professional body
      The fact that just 56 per cent of nominations for the Education Council came from registered teachers shows the profession has turned its back on Hekia Parata’s new professional body, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Answers to written… ...
    4 days ago
  • No spade work done on big building plan
      Only a quarter of the 500 hectares of Crown land the Government wants to use for new homes is understood to be suitable for building on, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This was National’s bold new idea to… ...
    4 days ago
  • National: Seven KiwiSaver cuts in seven years
    National’s campaign of KiwiSaver cuts has reached seven in seven years as it dismantles KiwiSaver block by block, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “KiwiSaver is critical to establishing a savings culture in New Zealand but National has taken a jenga-style… ...
    4 days ago
  • Tolley’s actions contradict reassurances
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has serious questions to answer following the forced closure of Relationships Aotearoa just days after her reassurances she was looking at ways to keep the service operating, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.… ...
    4 days ago
  • SkyCity downsize another broken promise
    The downsized SkyCity Convention Centre does not deliver on the promised iconic world-class centre and shows the true extent of Steven Joyce’s incompetence, Labour Leader Andrew Little said today. “New Zealanders were promised an iconic world-class convention centre that would… ...
    4 days ago
  • Te Arawa partnership model a step closer
    Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt… ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour mourns Dame Dorothy Fraser
    Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party is today mourning the loss of the youngest person to join the Labour Party, Dame Dorothy Fraser, who went on to be a stalwart of the Dunedin community and tireless worker for others.… ...
    5 days ago
  • The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax
    The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the… ...
    5 days ago
  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    7 days ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    7 days ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    7 days ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    1 week ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    1 week ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 week ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    1 week ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    1 week ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    1 week ago

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