It wasn’t quite Sunday in the park, that dawdling day it used to be. No, this was the last gasp of the working week - yet thousands poured into Cornwall Park making for the pink blossoms  shimmering above them in the park’s Cherry tree grove. Some came with bamboo parasols splashed with the colours of Spring, others arrived in national costumes – but they all came to celebrate this seasonal rebirth.  

“Spot any Pakeha?” a local remarked wistfully. No, but we did see a joyful gathering of new Kiwis.

 

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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Eyes (too) wide open

Eye strainJeff’s a junkie, Mary’s an alkie and Angela has something called a smartphone addiction.

Seems like everybody out there has an addiction of one kind or another so I’ll join the crowd and announce mine. It’s not anywhere near as interesting as say, sex addiction, but millions around the world share it. It’s Computer Vision Syndrome.

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Delaying Tactics

Airport wait“Attention Please: We are a safety-conscious airport. Please do not let your children play near the escalators.”

The first time I heard this message over the PA system at Christchurch Airport I was impressed. The woman spoke in dulcet tones and I agreed wholeheartedly with the message. Unsupervised children and escalators can be a lethal mix.

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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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