Category archive: Viewpoint

Reviews, Reviews, Reviews

This week CYF social workers will be muttering, ‘another bloody review.’ But they’ll take it in their stride because new directions have become so characteristic of the department that old timers don’t even count them anymore. (I sometimes wonder if public service departments with a high political content would be better off if run by a version of Pharmac).

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Tax Haven? What – us?

Watching the Government defend the indefensible is often more comedy than drama. Revenue Minister Michael Woodhouse tells Newshub that New Zealand has ‘a sound tax system on par with the rest of the world’; Health Minister  Jonathan Coleman tastes woeful hospital fare at Dunedin hospital after a blizzard  of complaints  about its quality but only  after barring media….  So for all we know, the good doctor might well have dined on caviar.

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How to Move Beyond Your Comfort Zone

To-be-outstanding-get-comfortable-with-being-uncomfortable.You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself  “I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. You must do the thing you cannot do.”

Been out of your comfort zone lately? Can you recall how you reacted how it  influenced  making the right decisions?

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False Prophets

Donald_Trump_August_19,_2015_(cropped)

My brother, an Australian citizen, was once a strong trade unionist and Labour supporter.

When he retired he maintained his interest in politics and trade unions. In earlier days on the building sites he worked on, he rubbed shoulders with some of the young men who would later lead his union and other unions and eventually become public figures.

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Should We Worry About Surveillance?

Bansky_one_nation_under_cctvSurveillance is back in the news again, now that the government has received the Independent Review of Intelligence and Security Services by Sir Michael Cullen and Dame Patsy Reddy. Later this year there may well be a new law in place with enhanced surveillance capacity for our intelligence agencies.

So, what is ‘surveillance’? Why should we be concerned about it?

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Seeing ourselves more clearly…

For a long time, my friend, a former journalist and writing pro used to be on my case.

Every few months we would catch up for a coffee at the local and have a rant and rave about all things that either fired us up or depressed us including injuries and accidental mishaps!

That is what you do with your friends, right?

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Unfinished business

Ohau cyclewayI met a group of fellow cycling tourists at Lake Ohau Lodge, a stopover between Twizel and Omarama on the Alps to Ocean bike trail. One of them wore an exasperated frown when she said, “Why do New Zealanders not tell the truth about the standard of the trail? What are they afraid of?” I was taken aback, as much by the irony as the question.

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When neighbourhoods sleep

Where once four bungalows stood

They came when the neighbourhood slept – just after 2 in the morning. And though they were anything but burglars they took from our collective identity yet another valuable: an entire house.

Where once the street below us had two  rows of compact, well maintained bungalows, it now seems as if this was some suburban mirage.

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What do you enjoy about what you do?

Have you been asked a question recently – a simple one at that – which caused you to stop and think.  Your mind flicks into another gear as it goes through the search and inquiry process until it connects with some semblance of an answer.

But what is interesting is that long after you have responded, you find yourself still mulling over the question!

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