The housing crisis remains a stain on politicians of all colours. Last month, we didn’t test how big this crisis was – we simply visited open homes in affluent and not so well-off areas. In both, young people queued to see units, once grand homes and flash new townhouses. All they sought was a home of their own. But according to a 2013 stocktake, just under 65% of households owned their dwelling - the lowest rate of home ownership since1953. ‘Declining rates of home ownership have become a defining feature of New Zealand’s housing landscape since 1991’ said the report. 1991 was the year of the Mother of all Budgets…. Some mother.

 

 

Spokes in the wheel…

Cycle-path-photoIn Nelson, the City Council has appeared hell-bent on introducing shared pathways – where walkers vie with bikes.

Hell-bent? In February 2015 the editor of Nelson Mail in Don’t get carried away over cycle ways appealed for common sense.

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When robber bees invade a hive

beesI should begin by saying I am but a beginner beekeeper, so these are just my observations. I don’t keep them for honey, but for pollination, though my kids would tell me the joy of sticking their heads under a giant honey tap in harvest season is a hard reason to beat.

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Selling Godzone in Secret

Larissa_1Tens of thousands of Kiwis out in the rain over the weekend to protest against  the TPP which many thought had  been killed off  in the  last,  failed round of talks. But no.  In the collective race  from commonsense and responsibility to their peoples and institutions, governments are expecting the deal to be finalised later this month. Meanwhile  some Ministers have already dismissed the protests.

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Kalimera Corfu!

 Funny… it just didn’t seem like Greece. We’d been dazzled by the blue and white on Santorini, subdued by the mainland Greek’s grey and shades of olive and now Corfu looked like Greece’s bohemian cousin, in her green, orange and pink. But then maybe it was Corfu Town’s shabbiness, its charm and its palette of ochre that gave it the taste of Italy.

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Balmoral – Gateway to the East

I grew up in a village called Balmoral  where we wished, without a hint of masochism, that  the dentist’s drill  would  shriek; where we knew we were half-way to Hollywood when the cinema doorman took our tickets –  dressed in a tuxedo.

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Mt Eden’s Fight Club…

Chris HThe recent news about the violence in Mount Eden Prison has many elements. Political, naturally; Labour will be pleased to have been given the opportunity to rub National’s nose in the troublesome policy of privatisation. The Prison Officers’ Union will be equally pleased to say I told you so.

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