Iain boosted

Have started using a walking stick when I g into town, to help me get about when the sciatica is bad. With the long grey beard, I really look like some old grandfather!

Dealing with Vodafone to get broadband connection to new house is a major hassle. String of people who don’t know what’s supposed to happen, or who make promises that aren’t kept. Don’t trust what anyone says anymore, although now relying entirely in young technician who visited yesterday to return Friday to do the job.

The bus company blew the PR battle badly. "It is quite difficult to unite GWRC (Greater Wellington Regional Council), the mayor, his councillors, the Tramways Union, the Combined Trade Unions, the minister of transport and the vast majority of the city’s highly annoyed bus commuters – but NZ Bus has done it."

OPINION: Wellington bus commuters have suffered because of driver shortages so know the union is not the problem. Incentives are needed, not lockouts.

stuff.co.nz/opinion/124948828/

There’s a lot more of this exploitation in New Zealand than we like to think. Many of our industries have come to rely on migrant labour, and are rife with this appalling treatment of people.

‘When a temporary migrant worker queried his $8 an hour wage for an 80-hour week job, his employer told him, "We are the citizens here, you can't touch us." ‘

newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand

A new piece of art made by Kate’s talented cousin Storm Davenport, gifted to us by the in-laws for the new house. “The Goddess”

The right decision and widely supported across the community. NZ Bus has lost the PR war here, but seems detetmined to keep digging itself deeper into a hole of its own making, despite the Regional Council offer to increase its funding for services to cover the extra costs!

NZ Bus lockout: Employment Court rules in favour of drivers

rnz.co.nz/news/national/441152

Of course, this is no reason to not criticise China. You don’t have to spend long there to realise you are in an anti-democratic, police state, no matter nice and friendly the locals are.

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As the Dominion-Post said in its political wrap up this morning,

“Thing was, New Zealand’s position hasn't changed while a bunch of power and status hungry securocrats from the other Five Eyes countries seem to want to turn the intelligence-sharing agreement into quite something else altogether: bigger, with more prestige, and no doubt more spooks.”

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This is an example of the overseas sabre rattling directed at NZ this week.

Major UK newspaper doesn't hold back in a scathing attack on the New Zealand Government’s reluctance to support Five Eyes statements criticising Beijing. stuff.co.nz/national/politics/

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It’s a situation many small countries can find themselves in. Having to strike a balance between competing powers without damaging local society and economy. Having an ‘independent’ foreign policy means there’s always someone who’s disappointed in you.

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NZ’s been in the gun this week for not falling into line and talking tougher about China.

“New Zealand's chief diplomatic aim with both China and the US has been to avoid having to make any sort of meaningful choice between our biggest trade partner and security guarantor. In this vein issues are dealt with case by case.”

OPINION: New Zealand's position on both China and the Five Eyes hasn't changed. So why do some of our friends-in-espionage think that it has?

stuff.co.nz/national/politics/

However, entirely selfishly, the bus I normally take on Friday is run by another company, so I can still get to work.

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Outrageous response by employer. The drivers have a good case. Shifts are a real problem and very disruptive for workers - eg, split shifts that make it virtually impossible to work if you don’t live near the depot. Cost of travel to work for drivers is a huge bite into their wages. Their pay and conditions need to reflect that.

Shock and concern after Wellington bus drivers locked out

rnz.co.nz/news/national/441047

Just listening to Judith Collins (opposition party leader) talking on Morning Report about emergency housing in motels. Her solution: more shitty houses for poor people to rent, and landlords being able to continue to exploit screwed up housing market for massive capital gains. Crocodile tears don’t wash, Judith. The system you favour and are part of makes the situation worse. Government isn’t much better in its inability to find a solution.

Predictably, farmer say they aren’t happy. But it makes up a tiny proportion of NZ’s agricultural exports the nation isn’t going to suffer. Although, some businesses will have to change.

New Zealand to stop exporting livestock by sea

theguardian.com/world/2021/apr

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A very good decision for animal welfare.

Government to phase out live exports by sea | Beehive.govt.nz

beehive.govt.nz/release/govern

Shock, Horror News! Government spends money doing stuff during global pandemic!!

Includes Radio NZ’s annual trawl through govt accounts, looking for how many communications people (aka ‘the enemy’) agencies employ.

“Police, Defence Force and Transport Agency contractor spending up by at least 15%”

rnz.co.nz/news/political/44027

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