Archive for the ‘Everyday Stuff’ Category

Kuia by Kevin

This mural on the wall behind the Crowne Plaza, near The Piano, is by Kevin Ledo.  The kuia is Whero Bailey, a Parihaka elder who died in 2016.  I haven’t seen Ledo’s work before, but I like it.

“The portrait theme, I understand
is all to do with peace in hand.”



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Motor Memory

In Sydenham I spied this Austin A35.

My first car was a similar A35, although mine was a two-door.  I think it was a 1958 model.  I do remember that when the law came in making it compulsory to fit seat belts my car didn’t need them because it was too old.  What was your first car?

“Fond memories of my first car
it meant that I could travel far.



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Voting with Values

I’m pleased that Vote Compass is again available to help us check which parties’ published policies best align with our own opinions and values.   This website has been developed by political scientists and is hosted by TVNZ.  It’s quick and easy to answer some questions about your views on various issues.  The site analyses your answers, then tells you how your views line up with the published policies of political parties.  I’d encourage everyone to try it, especially those who don’t have the time and energy to thoroughly check policies before they vote.

This year I found my views matched the Green Party 89%, Labour 80%, Mana 78%, and TOP 70% (down to Act 31%).   I can no longer access my Vote Compass results from the last election, but I do remember that my Green alignment then was over 90%, and Mana was the next closest.  Obviously something’s changed.  Not sure whether it’s the parties’ policies, the Vote Compass process, or my own ideas.

“Vote Compass helps an informed choice
so voters all can have their voice.”

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‘Dorable Daisy

This cute car named Daisy caught my eye.  It reminded me of the Austin A35 I had in the 1970’s  She too was decorated with flowers and we named her Floribunda.  Sadly I don’t have a photograph – no digital cameras then.

Daisy’s owner told me she was shipped here from Tasmania, and her husband refused to disclo9se the cost of freight.

“I love a car with character
am glad the owner’s stuck with her.”

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I’ve been a member of the Green Party and its Values predecessor for more than forty years.  Their commitment to a society that is just, sustainable, and community-based is the most likely to bring about the world I hope for.  In the past I’ve given much time, money, and energy to this cause (including twice standing as a parliamentary candidate), but these days my activism is restricted to delivering pamphlets, hosting an election hoarding, and voting Green.  I cannot imagine that I would ever vote for a different party.

I am saddened by recent events.  Metiria Turei took a tremendous personal risk for the good of the Party.  Her revelations led the general media and public to finally realise that social justice has always been important for the Greens, despite efforts to label us as ‘environmental’ only.   Subsequent events, and the resignations of two Green M.P.s mean Metiria’s effective and inspiring political career is now likely to be cut short.  The Greens have always been admired for their integrity, personified by such leaders as Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald.  That integrity has now been called into question.  Civil disobedience is acceptable when you’re protesting in a picket line or during a Springbok Tour, but not when it happened quietly decades ago.

I will continue to support and vote for the Greens.  I pray that Metiria will find a way through this situation that gives her comfort and peace of mind.  I await with great interest, and some trepidation, the outcome of this year’s general election.

“Despite the changes in the scene
I hope that many will vote Green.”



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“Micromanagement stifles creativity” said film-maker Ken Loach in a recent interview with Kim Hill.

Teacher friends have been enjoying a new book “Disobedient Teaching” which has a similar message.  It points out that teaching students how to pass tests can actually narrow the options for learning.

I’ve spent many years in the voluntary sector where it was noticeable that as new regulations were introduced and more form filling was required it became harder for the spirit of volunteering to flourish.

Have you noticed examples of creativity being stifled?

“Bureaucracy can be a pest
sometimes our intuition’s best.”


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How many of us have paid or received cash in an ‘under the counter’ transaction?

Years ago I employed women to clean my house.  Two were on benefits and another was a university student.  I never asked them for an invoice, and I certainly didn’t deduct PAYE.  While the amount would probably not have been enough to affect a benefit, I doubt whether they declared the income.

I remember being strongly challenged at a Women’s Studies seminar by a woman who castigated me for employing another woman to “clean up my shit”.  It hadn’t occurred to me I might be offending feminist sensibilities,  I thought I was helping a woman on a low income.

If you’ve ever paid cash for an undocumented service it’s quite possible you have committed or been an accessory to a tax and/or benefit fraud.   Think about it!

I’ve been reading Fleur Sullivan’s memoir, and she says of the 1970s: “No solo parent can live honestly on the DPB.”  How much more difficult is it now?  I’m glad to see that Metiria Turei’s revelations have increased interest in the Green Party.

“Sometimes a parent has to lie
so that they can simply get by.”

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