Posts by Paul Smith

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).

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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Art class – day one…

drawingYou’ve wanted to paint for years  –  but  always  filed it away as  a nice thought, one that can  wait until  say…  you were  older?  Until  you realise you’re already there.     And once you’ve declared  your interest in the craft  to an old  friend over coffee, you’ve already painted yourself into a  corner,  because friends being friends, listen.

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Another round of applause

Mike Moore

The first time I heard an audience stand and applaud a film, it was for Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine,  an indictment of a mass shooting and  America’s gun laws.

The second time I heard it was last week at the first screening of his  film,  Which country should we invade next?

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Babyboomer on board…

auckland-northstarDay 1:  Slightly lost. Ask an old derro if the 277 bus goes past here.

“No Sevens here!” he shouts and I move away just a little. “No mate,  not here. Only Sixes come past here” he yells.

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