Hi folks.

Just a note to say  that this issue  has been beset by - of all things - a cuppa. (Teach  us not to mix a laptop with sugared tea! ) It's  now on its last legs  in a sweetened  end ,  so  RIP  ThinkPad.  Back to normal  next month  - we hope!)

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Who would be National’s leader when an election is scheduled for next month? Who would be that leader for the years ahead? National has chosen Judith Collins, and let’s just for a moment dismiss the Trumpian nickname ‘Crusher’ Collins. Nicknames like that tend to backfire when your opponent is PM Jacinda Ardern.

Just this month, adding to Arden’s already formidable reputation, the latest accolade came from Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stigler, who rated New Zealand’s response to the pandemic as the world’s best. And in the same month, the UK Prospect magazine listed her as second in a list of world thinkers. Collins is a battler. National needs that. Ardern doesn’t.

Musical mayhem…

Bob strolls to the new coffee house not far from his home. The sun’s out, shadowed now and then by fluffy white clouds. He’s on his way to meet his old friend John and despite the weather he wears his faded raincoat – because, as he always  tells everyone in summer and winter,  you just never know with Auckland weather.

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All I want for Christmas is…

First I must declare that I’m involved with Better Public Media, so it is very apparent what I want from television in New Zealand.

But I also want more for other sectors of the media, for I have drifted away from mainstream (linear, scheduled) television and have joined the Netflix generation.  When I drift back to Television New Zealand or TV3, these channels seem like foreign places, where narratives are jarringly interrupted by extended breaks of increasingly banal adverts.

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Christchurch today – wreckage, and renewal

Standing on the fourth-floor balcony of Tūranga, Christchurch’s recently opened library sited on Cathedral Square, I gazed down onto the sagging ruin that is the post-earthquake Christchurch Cathedral. From this angle the decision to restore makes even less sense than it did three years ago when I viewed the wreckage from behind a ground level wire-mesh safety fence.

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Kiwi TV when it was full of promise…

It will seem mean to those who think the demise of TV3 is a shame, but I’m glad it’s gone and gladder still to see the beginning of the end of all television as we have come to know it. The dying distorted remnants of what was once an entertaining, informative and artistic public service has had its day after far too many years in expelling noisy, lingering death throes.

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Rainbow tickery…

Rainbow Tick is a business, like the halal certification business, it gives organisations a tick for behaving in the manner the certifier approves. The Muslim Islamic Council provides certification to businesses that kill their animals with a single cut, that are thoroughly bled, and have not come into contact with animals (pork especially) that have been stunned before being slaughtered.

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People before planes

When you land at an international airport it’s as if you’re still in the one you left. What they also have in common is a building programme that’s been going on for decades with no end in sight. Airports are goldmines. Which is why Queenstown Airport Corporation has Wanaka in its sights and Auckland is eyeing up Whenuapai.

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Impeachment piffle…

The day  Congress decided to begin an impeachment inquiry into President  Donald Trump,  cable  news network MSNBC ran a  documentary  on  world-wide protests  by  millions of young people.  It featured the real life impacts of  climate change  almost everywhere in the world –  from  Paris where a  prolonged heatwave   had killed dozens,  to  Kabul, where determined  women marched (with  men guarding them),  and most pitifully, in little Guatemala.

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