The Daily Blog Open Mic – Sunday – 3rd May 2020

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Announce protest actions, general chit chat or give your opinion on issues we haven’t covered for the day.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/415689/cabinet-approves-fast-tracking-of-shovel-ready-projects

    This morning on Radionz. The Government acts – to take away our ability to have a say on anything that goes on around us. A big seizure of power by central gummint from the local bodies and people en masse. Some people will do okay, and some will have work, and what will be purloined on the way?
    The new act, due to be passed in June, would take away the ability of the public and councils to have an input in to whether projects proceed and instead hand this power to small panels of experts, chaired by an Environment Court judge.
    There is a list of sensible suggestions but why not work with the locals instead of taking dictatorial steps?
    Fast action is required to get things moving – but Councils themselves will have wants that they consider needs and let them have their say first.

    And a couple of blokes weary with their burden of financial knowledge and repetition, were putting forward their panaceas about the economy. One talked about the huge personal debt that citizens carry I think 180% of something which sounds crushing, and as usual, promoted more land availability for housing which presumably would increase supply and meet demand and bring down prices. (A sweet, hopeful little thought which doesn’t include considerations of countervailing pressures from policies the government is wedded to, which everyone who actually takes an interest in housing and the economy will know about. Those who don’t, won’t!)

    The other talked about something that sounded like stuff I’d heard before, and also I didn’t like his voice. Some of these money-men and economic gurus have a querulous squeak when they speak, something like an old record with a worn-out needle which we knew about in the old days.
    Probably these blokes – International economist and author Steve Keen and former Reserve Bank economist Michael Reddell
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2018744947/top-economists-back-trans-tasman-bubble-concept

    On possible ‘shovel-ready’ projects (apart from those we might like to see of well-suited bottoms of politicians being scooped up and dropped into a distant pool in a distant valley somewhere in the wilderness of NZ where they would undergo a life-changing experience).
    To digress; The book of the tv show First Crossings has a couple of guys tracing the steps of intrepid mad adventurers in NZ in the early days. It’s amazing and very character-building which is what our faceless hollow men and women especially on the right-wing, need. I think this is a summary. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/news/article.cfm?c_id=7&objectid=11115026
    Television series was made in 2014 but NZ TVonDemand shows this – ‘Unfortunately First Crossings isn’t available to watch right now. Add it to your favourites and we’ll let you know when it becomes available. In the meantime, check out one of our suggestions.’

    One possible infrastructure project that has cropped up this morning – https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/ldr/415677/resoration-of-rail-link-high-risk-kiwirail
    NZRail has said that it can’t justify a Gisborne to Wairoa line (Cleangreen can give us chapter and verse about that). But the government could decide to fund it so it is there to transport trees ready to be harvested etc. And then when the next crop of trees is growing, it could be a tourist attraction, be a branch line where people could tour the countryside in personal jiggers and also have a cycleway built beside it so a lot of fun and outdoor activity in open green wooded country for the shuttered people from big cities overseas.

    Imagination is funny, it makes a cloudy day sunny – song. (It helps to bring in the money…my words!) Ella’s melody tells all about it. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kldt5NPcBYs

    • GreyW
      Thanks for those links, though there’s a lot to process there; so I will confine myself to the NZRail topic for now. But I have to say that I do have good (if not exactly pleasant) memories of watching; “First Crossings”, back when I had a screen that got broadcast TV.

      The Green Party rail plan does include the; Wairoa to Gisborne section of track (their proposed map is a lot more accurate for the North Island than the South, which thus seems to be a much lower priority). However, the RNZ piece you link to, does mention storm damage dating back to 2012, which compounded by neglected maintenance may indeed mean that reopening that section of track entails more costs than BERL was aware of when conducting it’s analysis.
      A comparative analysis of both the economic and environmental impacts of; rail, trucking, and coastal shipping (mentioned briefly at the end of the RNZ piece) seems necessary. Of course, the problem with coastal shipping is that you need to have a port on the coast to access it.

  2. I haven’t seen any discussion on TDB about the new Gibbs/ Moore documentary: “Planet of the Humans”. Though I haven’t been on-site as much with catching up on the flesh-world with level 3 loosening of restrictions, so may have missed it.

    It’s available to watch free on YouTube (and other places, but this is the easiest link to find). An hour and forty minutes long, and definitely worth a second view; to see past the tricks of the video presentation, to the more substantive points. I have my own assessment of it, but don’t want to spoil others’ first experience for now. May get into more detail on next week OMs:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk11vI-7czE

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