Posts by Paul Smith

Bike – freedom!

What’s your favourite memory of Christmas? somebody asked and I knew in a flash. It was a Rudge. Barely recognisable as a brand now, almost comical – rhyming as it does with fudge (almost as good but more readily available) and more unfortunately, with sludge…

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Ghostly memories

Long ago and faraway we hitched a ride to Queenstown. It was 1960 and we two 16-year-olds walked down the road to the township and the glittering waters of Lake Wakatipu. We expected to see a township but this was really a little burg, like all the small towns we’d passed on the way South.

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Miscellany – November

Man hurries into the Auckland airport’s domestic terminal and stops.  It’s just not the place he once knew so well. Not many airport officers around to ask for directions but he does spot a tall Polynesian officer standing nearby. Man thinks he should know and so he stops and asks:

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Jacinda’s enduring legacy

What will be the most enduring legacy of PM, Jacinda Ardern? Will it be the fact that she and her party won in a landslide in this year’s election? Well yes, that’s now history. The fact that she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize? Close – it indicates the regard held for her internationally.

But none of this goes to the core of what she stands for. And a large part of the answer to that lies in two little words she uttered when we first entered our first lockdown: ‘Be kind’ she said.

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A concrete relationship

Lately I’ve been cementing a close relationship with concrete – not that I enjoy hitting the hard stuff. But it is  becoming more of an  unwelcome habit.  But how and why are we such pals at all?

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Miscellany October

‘The coronavirus pandemic marks the end of our romance with market society and hyper-individualism. We could turn toward authoritarianism. Imagine President Donald Trump trying to suspend the November election. Consider the prospect of a military crackdown. The dystopian scenario is real. But I believe we will go in the other direction.

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NZ Dementia Action Plan

  This extract from the NZ Dementia Action Plan, prepared by Alzheimers NZ, the New Zealand Dementia Foundation, and Dementia NZ, with the voices and input of over 300 individuals and groups is the proverbial canary in the coalmine. It points to inadequate services especially to the elderly, those with disabilities and minorities among others:

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Journalism in crisis

Sometimes when you begin the belated business of de-cluttering, you find something precious. Much of the other files contained the trite and trivial along with boring ministerial statements and these were binned for they were no longer relevant.

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