Tuesday, November 24, 2009


New Zealand Wins!
NZL 2300 - ROW 2228

This beats the All Whites! It's a very rare event these days that New Zealand scores more kiwis than the rest of the world. Note where the big slide starts: November 2008 ;)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Some Brilliant Humour from Kiwiblog

This is great! bus sadly, far-fetched.

I’m looking forward to the following deal “informally mediated” by Joris:

  • 1. [Hone Harawira and the Maori Party] would write a personal letter of apology to [Pakeha New Zealanders]
  • 2. [Hone Harawira] would offer to meet with the [Leaders of the Pakeha community]
  • 3. The Race Relations Commissioner would be invited to address a seminar for [Hone Harawira and the Maori Party (and any other MP)] on race relations
  • 4. [The NZ Parliament and the Maori Party] would in general uphold the complaints it had received rather than contest them before [the NZ public]
  • 5. [The Maori Party and Hone Harawira] would continue to look at ways to promote positive race relations in New Zealand
  • 6. [The Maori Party] would adopt a new policy for its [MPs] who were in a position to lead and shape opinion, that judgments based solely on race, colour or creed were offensive and would not be tolerated.

  • I especially love the last one. It would effectively leave the Maori Party without any policies left.

$50 Million Photo Op?

At $50,000,000.00, is this the most expensive photo op in New Zealand's history?

tens of thousands of tourists he expects to visit long-term as a result of the initiative.

I'll believe that when i see it.

"That was really a big part of the idea behind the cycleway, to open up the countryside and bits of NZ that are harder to access and people hardly ever go to."

So it's going in places no one ever goes anyway. Great idea - no one will ever find out what a waste of money it is, because, although it will be empty, no one will see it.

Green Party MP Kevin Hague, who rode 30km from Cambridge for the sod turning, said[...] "If visiting overseas cyclists feel unsafe riding on our roads their enthusiasm for our cycle trail back home will be muted at best."

Except for people that already cycle on the road currently. For which the cycleway adds nothing a road wouldn't.

Mr Hague said cycle trail projects were highly successful overseas, with 386 million journeys recorded last year on the UK National Cycle Network.

Let's have a look at the UK network. From Wikipedia:

Many routes hope to minimise contact with motor traffic

So it isn't in places no one used to go. It is providing a facility for people who already were using the routes.

70% of them are on roads

Yes, you read that right. John Key's cycleway is being justified by how many people use Roads. I don't know about the NZ Herald's so-called journalists, but to me this says a cycleway is unnecessary, brings no benefits, and is totally the wrong way to go if you want to attract tourists and make life easier for cyclists.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

H1N1, Ukraine, Havoc and Elections

I'd like to point out this post at trancy.net. H1N1 is now well into its second wave in North America and Western Europe, and is hitting Belarus and Ukraine particularly hard. Parts of Ukraine are under quarantine, and there is a ban on public events in the entire western part of the country.

"The presidential election in Ukraine might be delayed by the epidemic of H1N1 influenza, a government official said Friday.

Igor Popov, the deputy head of the presidential secretariat, said candidates from opposition parties would not have a level playing field trying to campaign if the flu outbreak is not brought under control, Itar-Tass reported.

“The flu epidemic drastically changed the course of the presidential election campaign, and the equal possibilities of presidential candidates and voting rights of citizens were called into question,” Popov said. “The ban on public events affected opposition candidates, while candidates in office could still visit sites under quarantine and meet with their voters and the media. That is discrimination.”

The first-round election is now scheduled for Jan. 17, 2010, but Popov said it could be delayed until May 30."

Trancy is a very good resource for anyone worried about or interested in the pandemic, what effect it is having, or where it's headed.