Posts by Paul Smith

Moving on…

paIt’s been a year since he passed on, lying in the sunshine of his bedroom,  grinning as he pursed his lips and persuaded the ladies watching over his last moments, to give him a kiss.

Continue reading

Quality TV? Fly to Oz

Friends joke that they knew we’d come home crowing about Oz; how much sunnier it was – and all those beaches.

They were right – and wrong: Eight days in Melbourne and we saw the sun only when our Air New Zealand flight lifted off the tarmac. Beaches? Sort of. Great long strips lacking the intimacy of ours, with their Pohutukawa blossoms  and streams meandering their way into the sea.

We did however return with something unexpected – memories of a vibrant  public broadcasting industry.

Continue reading

June Miscellany

oth 4jpgSince 2001 JAFAs have quite rightly called it None Tree Hill. Some even grew accustomed to the sight of the shorn iconic cone in their midst. Most people assumed that a tree would be planted soon after the Monterey pine was attacked for the second time in 1999 by Maori activists. Not so. All it took was a mere 15 years of PC tip-toeing over protocols and types of trees.

Continue reading

For Boomers – a journey to the HOP:

2007:

‘The Super Gold Card recognises the valued contribution our seniors and  veterans have made, and continue to make to New Zealand society’.   Ahh…  warm fuzzies.  Makes you feel proud doesn’t it? Included. Accepted. Institutionally respected  and acknowledged at the highest levels. Free to roam, off-peak that is.

Gold card2016:

 ‘Why you’ll love your AT HOP card…’ says the AT handbook about the change from Gold to HOP card in Auckland. You can simply tag on, helping everyone board faster, and tag off.  This speeds up the bus journey too, helping to make the service more punctual….(at a price).

Continue reading

An average democracy…

Just after he’d won the  last  election, John Campbell interviewed Prime Minister John Key who  was  humbled by the result.  He told Campbell that arrogance  would not be a characteristic of his government or of his ministers…   And at this stage some years down the track, we’re entitled to a little giggle.   He might just as well have said that shame would not characterize them either. And he would be right.

maternity-leave-map

(On the map:

red = no paid leave;

orange = < 14 weeks;

yellow = 14-25 weeks;

pale blue = 26-51 weeks;

dark blue 52 + weeks.

Continue reading

Ali and the Bard…

ShakespeareThe other day we trotted off with the other greys, the tinted, the bald and the in-betweens to see the film Shakespeare Live, marking his death 400 years ago.

Like some of the Bard’s plays it grabbed us from the start with Leonard Bernstein’s opening to West Side Story and its compelling choreography, to the close with Prokofiev’s menacing Dance of the Knights from Romeo and Juliet…

Continue reading

The gorilla in our living room…

winston-peters-feb2014-getty-images

There’s an 800 lb gorilla sitting in our living room. It’s called immigration and the scale of it influences almost every issue from education to housing and infrastructure. But only New Zealand First leader  Winston Peters is drawing attention to the limitations of an open door immigration policy.

Continue reading

Water, water everywhere…

What happens if you’re in the middle of Auckland with its 60-plus ethnicities and  want just a sip, not a bottle of water?

Linguistic confusion. It’s born out of the locals taking their lingo for granted – and new arrivals interpreting what they say,  just a little too literally.

Continue reading