Sunday, September 16, 2007

The SuperGold Card Fiasco

Well after much debate we all agree that the SuperGold Card is a dead duck, it has been launched poorly with not many actual benefits that matter to over 65s and Winston Peters has come across, I feel, like he thinks we’re all idiots telling us that this card is card must make a "real difference" then demonstrating it makes very little, if any, difference to the over 65s that need it most.

State Insurance
The “No excess to apply for customers 55+ on their contents comprehensive policy for claims involving spectacles, dentures, hearing aids or contact lenses” benefit is available to all over 65s on this particular policy, SuperGold Card or not, it was available before the SuperGold Card came out which means…this is not a SuperGold Card benefit.

Auckland Regional Council Busses and Trains
The “40% off normal adult fare for most bus, train and ferry services after 9am Mon-Fri all weekend” is not useable with the SuperGold Card, you need to go to MAXX and get another card to prove you’re over 65, this also was in effect before the SuperGold Card which means again, this is not a SuperGold Card benefit.

There are some genuine benefits from the SuperGold Card, such as the guys at Kiwi Campers. These guys are obviously doing their part with a generous blanket 20% discount to SuperGold Card holders. However through Kiwi Campers, a mid range, mid season camper will cost retail $216 per day. Kiwi Campers has a minimum 5 day hire, which equals $1080, less the 20% discount would be $864. I ask you, those that need the SuperGold Card the most…will this help?

All this along with a patronizing advert telling seniors that “you’re worth it” and the final insult, from Winston Peters’ own speech on 29th August 2007 where he told us of the SuperGold Card, “it had to be more than a token gesture - it had to have tangible benefits that could make a real difference. And it had to take account of varied circumstances and be relevant for all lifestyles.”

This has been, and I believe will continue to be, a farce. It is a great idea; it has been executed poorly and without the promised benefits. How much did this card cost the taxpayers? Was that money worth it? Should that money just been given to the over 65s?

Winston has fulfilled his election promise, but it’s a bit like me, telling my sweetheart that I would buy her a ring for her birthday, then I give here one from the $2 shop…I have fulfilled my promise, but we all know it’s a piece of crap…

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Earth to TVNZ

Last night I saw the item on the news about the bridge collapsing in China during rush hour traffic, it was shown at 6.22pm. I was thinking “Gosh, doesn’t this sound a bit familiar?”

On 1st August a bridge collapsed into the Mississippi in Minneapolis at 6.10pm local time (11.10am 2nd August NZ Time), it was first reported that 7 people are believed to be dead. This news led the TVNZ news bulletin along with the Brauer verdict. The story was very in depth with pictures along with the story, then crossing to no less that two internationals correspondents TVNZ’s own Tim Wilson and ABC’s Andrew Colton, the live crosses took up a total of 3 minutes as well as everything else, the story may well have had 5 or 6 minutes coverage.

Jump forward almost two weeks, 13th August 4.40pm local time (8.40pm 13th August NZ Time) a bridge collapsed in Fenghuang, China, it was first reported that “more than 20 people had died”. This story came 22 minutes into the new bulletin and took up a total of 19 seconds….literally 19 seconds.

Let’s figure this out, both bridges collapsed in rush hour traffic, both had fatalities (American for deaths). So why does TVNZ put more focus on what appears to be the less important/serious event?

In the Minneapolis story TVNZ had less than seven hours between event and live 6pm news bulletin, in that time they organised two international correspondents and made the decision to lead with the story. In Fenghuang they had more than 21 hours before the next live 6pm news bulletin and we get a 19 second piece at 6.22pm.

So a bigger tragedy, with more time to organise a story gets less coverage than a smaller tragedy with less time to organise…?

Anyone care to offer suggestions as to why this is?

Let's be honest, this is not a case of Earth to TVNZ, this is a case of Earth to the NZ Media. I am sure all the others followed suit, so let’s not necessarily pick on TVNZ. Lets ask the people who decide what we see on our screens what makes news in this country...

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Nia Glassie

Cru and Chris Kahui - weeks old
Lillybing - 23 months old
Delcelia Witika - 2
James Whakaruru - 4
Coral Burrows - 6
Teresa Cormack - 6…and the list could go on…

What were you doing at 4.12 yesterday afternoon?

I was sitting on the couch watching the new series of Family Guy. Thinking about prep for tonight, emailing friends and family and generally wasting time.

What were you doing at 4.12 yesterday afternoon?

At 4.12 yesterday afternoon Nia Glassie’s name was added to the above list, at 4.12 yesterday afternoon after being taken off life support for a second time, 3 year old Nia Glassie died.At 4.12 yesterday afternoon with her natural father by her side, Nia Glassie’s fight finished.

I honestly don’t have a clue what to say about this, other than I am in shock, maybe it’s because I have a three year old, or maybe it’s because I just can’t fathom what we, the so called superior, most advanced species on the planet, do to one another…

I honestly don’t know what we can say, other than the innocent wee three year old never did anything wrong but she was dealt an unplayable hand of scumbags parents, family and caregivers.

We need to not forget Nia, as so many others get forgotten...until the next case.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The enemy of my enemies is my friend???'s official, the people in charge, the ones making the decisions for the American forces in Iraq have officially LOST THEIR MINDS!!!

Latest reports are that the U.S is now arming Sunnis in Iraq to battle their old Al Qaeda allies...who are now their enemies. The thought goes like this...

"The enemy of my enemies is my friend"

Check here for details

The Daily Show did a brilliant analysis on this by looking at who are their the U.S enemies, hence who could be their friends...went like this

Enemy of the US * Their Enemy/US Friend
Al Qaeda * Sunni Insurgents
Sunni Insurgents * Shia Death Squads
Shia Death Squads * Iraqi cleric Moqtada Al-Sadar
Iraqi cleric Moqtada Al-Sadar * Al Qaeda

Click here for the Daily Show clip

So obviously anyone who is an enemy, could also be a friend....just one thought comes to mind...In the past, didn't the US use this same technique for little groups like...The Taliban fighting the Russians, Saddam Hussain fighting Iran....oh, and Iran for figting Saddam Hussain...does anyone else think this may end in tears???

Friday, June 15, 2007

Pro Choice V Pro Life

I had a bit if a wake up call today reading the Newstalk ZB website and seeing this article...

"The number of abortions performed in New Zealand has increased slightly.

The latest Statistics New Zealand figures show 17,930 terminations were performed in the year ended December 2006. That is 400 more than in 2005, and follows a decreases of 3.7 percent between 2004 and 2005.Women aged between 20 and 24 had more abortions than other age groups. The median age of women having an abortion has remained stable over the past 20 years, at around 25-years-old."

It would seem that we are so flippant with numbers and statistics now that we can say that nearly 18,000 potential New Zealanders have been terminated and not think twice about it, well today I thought about it.

Check out the statistics here and here from the Statistics NZ website.

Long story short it says that since 1991 244,211 potential New Zealanders have been terminated.

What is the downstream effect of that, it's been over 30 years since abortion became legal, how may of those aborted babies would themselves be having babies now? What would our population be? How would our economy be with all those extra taxpayers, entrepreneurs, business people, inventors never experiencing life?

A quarter of a million people since 1991, if you say it quick doesn't sound that big does's only the approximate population of the Waikato.