Twelve children stranded on a ledge kilometres within a Thai cave; more sludge from The White House Swamp; the Soccer World Cup - and much more. So which story drew us together most? Those kids. Their rescuers. And from the beginning, the strength of altruism while most of us can only watch and hope.

The day I met my birth mother (Part two)

‘William, your birth mother has approached our department and asked us to try and trace you. How do you feel about that’?

That was the beginning of Bill Paget’s foreshadowed reunion with his mother.  This is the second part in which he described how it all went…

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March miscellany

About to visit Auckland? Read on…

If you’re thinking about visiting Auckland anytime soon, think again. The place has been overrun by the Hi-Viz Brigade, men and women whose weapon of choice is the orange road cone. These little pointy heads narrow lanes everywhere, block them in some cases. They choke traffic just about everywhere you drive in central Auckland.

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The day I met my birth mother (Part one)

‘William David Paget’ began the address on the envelope. Whoever could be addressing me in such a formal way?

Ministry of Social Development.

Then I noticed the sender’s address the exterior of the envelope – Department of Social Welfare. Surely no-one was alleging that I might be the father of her child.

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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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Three free years…

students in lecture roomWhat a can of worms Labour has upended with its policy on tertiary education. It promises to turn the clock back to the conditions most of our current politicians enjoyed when they were students; a free university education.

But how will the thousands of student with huge debts feel about this proposed policy? Bitter, is my guess, and with just cause. On the other hand the parents of young, achieving teenagers will be relieved, possibly to the point of considering changing their vote at the next election.

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Rangi Walker – visionary

Rangi WalkerIn the protest decade of the 60s and 1970s, my reporting beat covered Auckland University where, being the Sixties, full-time students were also part-time protesters.

Their activism embraced everything from feminism and environmental issues to the most riveting of the time – the growing protests against the Vietnam War and Apartheid.

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February miscellany

You just know things are getting dire in the change-the-flag camp when its promoters have to rely on the candlelight of celebrity.

Richie McCaw supports the change. Wow. Well that’s a must-vote for the new one then. And Dan Carter too. Double wow – it’s pretty much a done deal, but some obstacles remain.

Like the quasi celebs who are also in their camp – Mike Hoskings, TVNZ newsreader Peter Williams among others. They’re all flag-happy and flapping behind the PM, our flag change leader-in-chief (he sometimes sports the new version as a badge – subtle huh?)

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Beware Greeks bearing gifts….

130207-billboard-morning-hold-2A bus strike in Auckland  – how strange that  was  when  media  reported little in the way of carpooling,  the tactic which served locals well  in the oil shocks of the 1970s.   Another hint of the collapse of community?  Aucklanders  were warned  about the obvious traffic jams ahead – as if there aren’t any most other days.   The city’s woeful dependence on cars is its major failure and in Wellington that hasn’t been helped by a lack of vision.

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