By Leslie Clague
Coal is something I didn’t give much thought to until a friend of mine began a genealogy search into her ancestry which included coal miners. Matthew Wright’s book, Coal: The Rise and Fall of King Coal in New Zealand then caught my eye in the library.
Coal is treated like a living entity in Wright’s history. It could be called a biography of the mineral here in this country. It traces the story of coal in set historic periods but also discusses its impact on the various cultural aspects of New Zealand’s development. read more…
Kiwis star in a wide range of sports
By Roger Childs
New Zealanders are known to punch above their weight in world sport, but not in boxing. Below are ten top performances over the year in ten different sports; no particular order.
‘Throughout the entire tournament he provided a devastating mix of organising the New Zealand side and producing moments of individual brilliance himself. Sports journalist, Gareth Walker
It was always going to be Australia winning the Rugby League Four Nations Trophy. Well let’s face it they are traditionally the world’s best and never lack the confidence. Getting beaten in the first round by the Kiwis 30-12 was just a blip, although some Aussie fans were getting nervous. The Kangaroos made the final and this would be different. read more…
There are a number of safety accessories available, such as indicators, lights, horns, reversing beepers, warning flags and rear view mirrors. New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA)
Taking out Colin Craig
By Roger Childs
With the arrival of summer, more mobility scooters are emerging from Retirement Village gates. But are they safe? Accidents can happen and maybe it’s time, in our safety conscious society, to beef up the regulations for the wheeled geriatrics.
Back in September, a beautifully dressed elderly voter from a nearby retirement village had just deposited her ballot paper at the Paraparaumu Library and was returning home on her mobility scooter.
Unfortunately she collided with a Conservative Party billboard in Rimu Road and ended up down a bank against a fence. She was unharmed, apart from a small loss of dignity and a scratch on the scooter, and she was soon back in the driver’s seat and tootling home.
Meanwhile Colin Craig look-alike was left sprawling on the footpath. read more…
Public health and the Trans Pacific Partnership
By Viola Palmer
(Dr Viola Palmer is a retired GP living in Otaki who advocates for health, especially a healthy alcohol policy. She’s been studying the TPP for the past 4 years)
But all this is now at risk because of the Government’s obsession with the planned Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Just think of past health issues —
~ lead in paint and petrol
~ asbestos in buildings
~ ozone depleting refrigerants
~ smog over Christchurch.
All these health problems have been dealt with by leglislation — all could have been neglected if the TPP had been in place. read more…
A ‘near perfect storm’ of events that led to a triple-fatality air crash at Paraparaumu Airport in 2008 could have been prevented if authorities had paid more attention to safety standards, a coroner has found.
In 2008, trainee pilot James Taylor, 19, was taking his final flight test with examiner David Fielding, 30, when their helicopter collided midair with a Cessna 521 flown by 17 year-old schoolboy Bevan Hookway. read more…
Operation Vintage: Murder charges laidBy Alan Tristram
Police say three people have now been jointly charged for the murder of Matthew Stevens, whose body was found near his white Corolla sedan near the summit of the Paekakariki Hill Road on November 28.
Police involved in the murder inquiry called ‘Operation Vintage,’ say a 27-year-old male and a 27-year-old female have had their charges upgraded from previous accessory charges.
The third person charged is a 24-year-old male who is already in custody on unrelated charges. read more…
John Key in no mood for Christmas giving
By John Murray
What will our Prime Minister – aka Santa Claus – give us New Zealanders for Christmas? No more housing for the homeless until he has sold off lots of State houses. No new policy to reduce the crying poverty of a quarter of a million of our children. He does not believe the OECD report on our social “inequality”. So what’s left?
Perhaps, in keeping with the “message of the angels” he will give us peace? read more…
It’s an unusual story, vividly and intelligently told, and one that leaves you with a stirring sense of joy, injustice and hope. — Dave Calhoun, Time Out London
An Irish setting for a quality film
By Roger Childs
This Ken Loach movie is set in Ireland in the early 1930s. James Gralton returns home after 10 years in the States and reopens a hall he and his friends had built in earlier times. It is the middle of the depression and “Jimmy’s Hall” becomes a focal point for, chatting, teaching, craft work, and, above all, dancing. Unfortunately, the establishment doesn’t take kindly to the venture. Led by a formidable local priest, battle commences. Four stars. read more…
With Christmas just around the corner, SAFE has again exposed the grim reality of factory pig farming. Surely, everybody wants to know how their expensive Christmas ham was produced? Or is ignorance truly bliss?
Featured on Campbell Live, the footage of faeces-covered pigs in dark concrete pens, sows in metal crates so small they can’t turn around and plenty of dead and dying piglets shocked many people. What is even more shocking though is that all practices shown are completely legal and allowed under our own Animal Welfare Act. Never has a law been so out of step with public expectation. read more…
Enjoying Handel on Waiheke
By Roger Childs
My last Messiah prior to the weekend, was at Easter on Waiheke Island. It was held, in these days of greater Christian cooperation, at a church shared by the Catholics and Anglicans. To my dismay, our group was ushered to the front seats where I could have picked the pocket of the conductor!
There was a choir of about 30 and the only accompaniment was a piano played with striking verve and wonderful timing by a large Polynesian gentleman. The soloists were from mainland Auckland and included a bass whose tight grey suit and skinny black tie was more suited to a night club. However his voice was superb and he was probably also in demand at the Waiheke Jazz Festival on that weekend. The island’s small scale Messiah was a great show enthusiastically enjoyed by the 100 strong audience. read more…