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Open mike 18/03/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 18th, 2023 - 34 comments
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34 comments on “Open mike 18/03/2023 ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Consequences of the collapse of local democracy #63478:

    "…Williamson, a former IT executive, MP and cabinet minister says he is capable of analysing millions of data points rapidly to identify trends, and had demanded micro details of expenditure…"

    This is boomer arrogance taken to the point of insane delusion, enabled by a complete collapse in democratic participation at a local level.

    • Incognito 1.1

      We can safely ignore that reply to Williamson & gang because it broke the strict rules of political neutrality. So, nothing to see here, please move on.

      Anywho, 14,544 Howickians voted for Maurice Williamson and 181,810 Auckies for that other boomer Wayne Brown (https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/elections/elections-2022-results/Pages/default.aspx). That gives them a mandate to do whatever they like & want for the next three years. That’s democracy for you – just ask well-renowned democracy expert Mr Moss (https://thestandard.org.nz/daily-review-16-03-2023/#comment-1939362).

      • Anne 1.1.1

        I fear your scantily disguised sarcasm re- democracy expert, Mr Moss will not be comprehended by the gentleman in question.


        • Shanreagh

          Having been involved in the formulation and review of multi million dollar budgets this line by line stuff is of limited value unless you have

          1) established a way of reviewing by template or first cut percentages to bring possible areas for review up to the surface.

          2) already done an overall review,

          3) looked at specific areas where, using the template you have already designed, 'things' stick out

          4) looked at the sticking out things, and

          5) then and only then and only in the dive down into the line by line stuff.

          Working with external and internal reviewers helps.

          Actually the very best way to to adopt a greenfields approach.

          But as a boomer experienced in these things who am I to give advice?

          Williamson will have a wodge of ideas and use a wodge of time doing it the way he is doing. I am not sure he is up to speed with this.

          While there is no doubt that Williamson et al have been democratically elected that does not really give them the cred or ability to do these things especially as he has already received unprecedented pushback from the head of the staff. To me to have this kind of puch back indicates

          1. history of possibly being harsh on staff
          2. history of remonstrances about being harsh on staff not being acted on by Wiiliamson et all, when these are done privately by the leader of the staff ie Chief executive

          We do not often see public views from Chief Executives, when they do it is highly indicative of 'all is not well'. I think we knew this with the calibre of the Mayor and the calibre of his private office.


  2. Stephen D 2

    For the science nerds.


    Artificial intelligence company OpenAI this week unveiled GPT-4, the latest incarnation of the large language model that powers its popular chat bot ChatGPT. The company says GPT-4 contains big improvements — it has already stunned people with its ability to create human-like text and generate images and computer code from almost any a prompt. Researchers say these abilities have the potential to transform science — but some are frustrated that they cannot yet access the technology, its underlying code or information on how it was trained. That raises concern about the technology’s safety and makes it less useful for research, say scientists.”

  3. Sanctuary 3

    Interesting twitter thread on cultural reasons as to why the housing crisis is most acute in the anglosphere….

    • Sanctuary 3.1

      And a link to a story about our apartment exceptionalism….


    • Belladonna 3.2

      Thanks for this – it is interesting – some form of cultural difference which goes deep.
      Forming the underlying principles of our planning legislation as well as our personal preferences over where/how to live. Kiwis still regard apartments as a 'stage' in life, rather than a space to live out their days.

      In NZ, apartments have to overcome several significant hurdles in the minds of the occupiers:

      • Leaky building syndrome (and other things, like earthquake strengthening in Wellington). So many people know someone who has been badly burned by the poor quality building standards, and the ineffective way that the government dealt with this issue (and continues to deal with it – because they're still happening).
      • Cost. Why does an apartment (at about 1/2 the size of the living space, and 1/20 of the size of land) cost just about the same as a stand-alone dwelling? This seems entirely counter-intuitive – especially when most Kiwis aspire to a stand-alone house.
      • Body corporate fees and ownership structures. The vexed issue of maintenance and upkeep – and how people can afford to pay for it (if you're going through a poor patch in your life, you can defer painting your house for a couple of years, or do a rough DIY job – not an option in an apartment building)
      • Ongoing issues with neighbours. Yes, you can have noisy neighbours across the fence – but it seems a lot worse when they share a hallway and walls with you. And the KO tenancy management has not made them any friends in the apartment dwelling community.
      • Security. So many people comment on the risks associated with living in apartments buildings, especially in the CBD – anyone can get in and lurk. This may be greater in people's imagination, than in reality – but it's a factor in why people don't want to live there. Halls of residence in Auckland are now advising students *not* to walk back in the evenings – as the risk of assault and mugging is so much greater.
      • Poor quality builds and lack of space. Poor sound-proofing, cramped inadequate little shoeboxes of apartments (yes you can get premium ones with space – at a vast cost – they're out of budget for an ordinary family). Where are the affordable apartments with 3-4 bedrooms, 2 living spaces and a couple of bathrooms along with a decent balcony. Families can find this in stand-alone houses in the suburbs – so why would they choose to live in a comparatively inadequate apartment.
      • Lack of amenities. Where are the pools, BBQ areas, parks, playgrounds within the grounds or a 2 minute walk away. If you don't have a backyard – this is what you need as a family. Again, some of the higher quality developments have these – I'll be interested to see how they work in practice as a shared space.

      Of course there are answers to all of these. But, if we want to encourage people to want to live in apartments, then we have to be prepared to take them seriously and address them – by some method other than affordability.

      • Shanreagh 3.2.1

        Belladonna these are excellent points. Having lived for a little while in apartments in Europe, and loved them the reasons you have brought out are reasons why I am not yet attracted to apartment living here in NZ.

        The main difference I found was in the sound proofing. Many were stone/brick and you could not hear next door neighbours. I think being able to isolate oneself, out of hearing has a lot to do with the feeling of safety and stress.

        I looked at an apartment the other week. It was over several levels which was probably not practical for ageing but what I did like was

        1 that the lounge was separate from the kitchen/dining /living area. The lounge was separated from the kitchen etc by a bathroom and stairs to the next levels (there were three levels).

        2 there was lots of storage

        3 the entrance came into a lobby off the lounge, as well as having access from the garage

        4 the kitchen/dining/living was actually the size of two reasonable sized rooms. There was a nook for PC or sideboard.

        5 Four good sized bedrooms.

        6 two bathrooms one with a bath.

        This was built in 2000.

        I was very impressed and have tucked away the separated lounge etc idea should I ever get to build. Actually I would have the kitchen in a corridor with large pass through or separation from the living/dining area. This meant that family could be working away in kitchen/living area & if a visitor came and they could stay in the lounge.

        When I looked at this, on a Sunday afternoon, there was a group having a picnic on some of the grassed space between blocks of units and on another paved part an earnest toddler was trying to zoom on his Mocka bike.

        This is the only one that appealed to me, was affordable, was spacious.

  4. Phillip ure 4

    In the discussion yesterday on nuclear power as the answer to lowering our emissions..(which we all agree must be done)…the focus seemed to be on looking outwards for big solutions..

    Wheras I would contend that the solution/path to lowering emissions lies also very much with the individual…

    And I support that contention with an example.. namely me..

    A little while back I did one of those online work-out-your-environmental-footprint questionnaires..(an exercise I can recommend to all..)

    And it told me that I make 4.5 tonnes of the bad stuff..each year..

    I was quite shocked by that… but then I read on..

    And I saw that the global average is 18 tonnes…

    (But get this..!) The nz average is 23 tonnes…

    So how do I get this low score..?

    I have been on the road/homeless for about five years now..(living in a small caravan. .not in a doorway)…

    I get my electricity from the sun..but other aspects of my life aren't so green-good ..in that I cook with gas..and I own an ice-vehicle..

    So I can only conclude that my low emissions score is (and this where it gets awkward for many)..because I don't eat animal-flesh or byproducts..nor do I wear any animal-skins…

    So it would seem that the most effective way for the individual to play their part in this emissions-imperative..is to cease and desist their carnivore ways ..eh..?

    I have managed to get mine down to one sixth of the nz average..by doing just that..

    So the/a solution to this very real existential threat we all face..is clearly down to the individual…

    We don't need to be demanding of solutions from others/big nuke plans..

    We can do it ourselves…

  5. tsmithfield 5

    Another century for Williamson.

    Three reasons why I think he is the best batsman in the world at the moment.

    1. He bats at number three. Many of his contemporaries such as Smith and Root bat at number 4.
    2. For that reason, and the fact that our openers tend to be a bit more unreliable, he often comes in a lot earlier therefore usually facing a much newer ball than his contemporaries.
    3. He scores a lot of his runs in NZ where we tend to make our pitches green and spicy.

    If I needed someone to bat to save my life, Williamson would definitely be my choice.

    • yes agreed. Williamson is great.

    • Craig H 5.2

      Hear hear, has been a pleasure following "live" via online scores. Seems reasonably likely that he will surpass Taylor as NZ's record international run-scorer at some point as well.

    • Shanreagh 5.3

      Oh heavens too many Williamsons……after having just responding above about Maurice Williamson I could not believe it when parsing TS post I came across

      'If I needed someone to bat to save my life, Williamson would definitely be my choice'.

      Nooooooo I thought. smileyPerhaps M Williamson would be too busy to lift his head from the line by line work he is doing or perhaps saving a life would not make the cut as something he or ACC might want/need to do.

  6. SPC 6

    Honestly, if the GOP was a person, it would have the honesty of George Santos, the brains of Lauren Boebert, the compassion of Marjorie Traitor Greene, the morals of Matt Gaetz, the integrity of Lindsey Graham, the spine of Kevin McCarthy and the personality of tRump.

  7. Phillip, We did that for ten years. (I grew herbs lettuce and mini tomatoes in two pots.)

    We did eat meat 3 times a week, (but the amounts have shrunk as more interesting vegetables and fruit became available.) We did fishing foraging and Farmer's markets.

    We made many friends on the road through NZMCA and house sitting.

    One pair so happy to have coupled up were eighty, which at our sixty years told us we could look forward to many happy years.

    I shared our blackberry bucket and with 3 granny smith apples I made apple crumble for their tea, cooking the top under the gas grill. She confided it was more moon than honeymoon lol.

    We did house sitting (Kiwi House sitters), which allowed contact with pets and longer stays between trips.

    We purchased a small 2bed unit and put in a walk in shower after we lost my Mum who had been our favourite POP (park over property).

    We were lucky to have a warm dry place for 70 to 81. Our travels ended with my hip replacement and Norm's ailments worsening.

    Good luck to you Phillip. It is a great life, and yes with careful management it lowers the carbon footprint, and you also meet others who are happier with the simpler life.

    • Phillip ure 7.1

      Thank you for that patricia..and I agree about the joys to be had from living a simple life…I do have a television..but have not watched it in all this time ..(I actually tried it again recently…heh..!…it lasted 20 minutes before I turned it off again..)

      I have rediscovered the joys to be had from reading books/librarys..

      Also good to live more in the rythmns of nature…rising with the sun etc..able to be in bare feet most of the time…

      And music/music/music ..my go-to being the nashville babylon archives on the rnz website..

      You can dip in there anywhere.. it's all good..

      • Matiri 7.1.1

        Yes I second Mark Rogers!

      • Our "Travel TV Story"

        We were talked into a "Boat TV". It was supposed to take the travel and bumps.

        Just as well, for after removing the high tech bungy cord, we watched the news and the weather, then set up for our nightly scrabble or chess game.

        The next morning off we went, and first corner centrifugal force saw our tv clatter from the shelf.

        We thought "Well that was that"(having forgotten our bungy cord).

        It went fine. Like you though we were doing our own thing or meeting others, tv was for news and weather, lol. Norm actually said our wee transistor radio was more reliable and had better music choices.

        Enjoy, yes and libraries are great Phillip.

  8. SPC 8

    A study shows workers were more productive with a 4 day week. South Korea has a 40 hour week and up to 12 hours overtime and the government moved to increase it to 69 hours.

    52+17 = 69. 52-17 = 35.


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