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Apple deals for solar energy in Nevada

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Source: Greenpeace NZ – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: Apple deals for solar energy in Nevada

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People have always looked to Apple to know what the next big, new (and profitable) idea would be in the world of technology.

Today’s no different, as Apple is again leading the way to the future – now in solar power.

Apple laid out the details today of a significant new investment to power its data center in Nevada – one of several that store your iTunes, movies, photos and e-mails – with solar power.

Apple’s investment in solar energy shows that the company is making good on the promise it made last year to power its iCloud with 100 % renewable energy. The detailed disclosure that Apple gave today should give confidence to Apple’s millions of users that the company is powering its corner of the Internet with clean energy.

Apple’s new solar array shows some of the company’s hallmark innovation. Apple is using an advanced array that includes mirrors to concentrate sunlight up to seven times onto the photovoltaic cells. It’s also the first deal that takes advantage of a new “Green Rate tariff” in Nevada, which allows any customer of the utility there, NV Energy, to specifically buy renewable energy.

With Google, Facebook, and now Apple all announcing major new deals with utilities in recent months for new renewable energy to power their data center operations, the race to build an internet powered by renewable energy is clearly in full swing. Tech companies are showing they have the ability to use their influence and buying power with utilities to change their supply of electricity away from coal and toward renewable energy.

Microsoft and Amazon – both of which still power their Internet using the dirty electricity that causes global warming – ought to take notice. In the race for a clean Internet, Apple is leaving both companies in the dust.

The claims and opinions made in this statement are those of the release organisation and are not necessarily endorsed by, and are not necessarily those of, The Daily Blog. Also in no event shall The Daily Blog be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on the above release content.

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SOCIAL COMMENTARY: 12 step program – going nowhere special, for no real reason

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Standing at “World War Z” I noticed only 1 in 20 kids were using the stairs, generally these were the fit ones. Strange thing is no one appeared to see using the escalator as abnormal fitness behavior. Then on more reflection those using the stairs appeared for the most part to be using them because they were in a hurry or there was a cue for the escalator. The steps in question only numbered 12. The 12 step program – a new fitness craze powered through my little mind! Odd if it was an infomercial we would pay for it, when its free we avoid it. Fitness tip for the day “no escalators when there are perfectly fine steps to tighten that ass, abs and thighs”. Stepping burns calories tightens abs and bums and increases lung and heart capacity. Standing still on an escalator helps varicose veins

This month’s blog is from Thailand. Travel, is that magical elixir that frees the mind. I believe being on my own clears my head. What is life purpose as I move into a new phase? How does it look? Am I living for me or working for others? Whilst working for me am I actually wasting breathe. Like am running up 12 steps or using the escalator? I have the same response to that question I’ve had for years. The answer “sit back and breathe”, even though initially relaxation takes time, the breathing seems to let me chill and see perspective. Things that pop into my mind like “does what I wear really matter, I’m on holiday”. (I’m a clothes horse – love em, love design, textures, I’ll wear Zambesi and Lela Jacobs to a flea market! Love clothes… I think tourists and the country they are touring have a love hate relationship, especially when there is a “them and us” scenario when it comes to the ‘cultural exchange’. We want something, they want something. The thing is who is ever really satisfied? Is it the tourist who gets a bargain, a thrill, an adventure with the locals, or is the host country? It’s an interesting question with thankfully a zillion correct answers. I breath again “Om” have you ever done the “I don’t want to shop. There’s enough crap in the world. Why keep polluting it.” Only to find “OMG my sister would love that plastic Mickey Mouse teaspoon set”

A child laughs uncontrollably. It’s music to the universe. Everyone, well almost everyone laughs because a child laughs. So could it be that children are the reincarnated of the Buddha, the Jesus, the Mahuika and all those other godly forms. Perhaps that spirit stays with until puberty awakens them towards their innate purpose which is to breed more innocents into the universe.

Another wet humid sticky day. In a taxi going nowhere special for no special reason. Just going. Looking outside. I might as well be on mars. Everything is the same. But nothing the same at all. People moving like people do. In groups and clusters bonded at the hip. Packs roaming with their imitation Prada bags and sandals. Our innate need to be with someone, to be loved, to find love, to live, in the here and now. To be alive to share it all with someone. So why do some travel alone. I wrote all this at the same red traffic light I’ve been sitting at for almost 20 minutes. Just as well I’m going nowhere special, for no real reason. I can even feel my other logic self-wanting to ask can we go faster? Even when I find myself going nowhere special nowhere fast.

WHAKATAUKI
Everyone speaks te reo Maori! “Rotorua, Tauranga, Murupara, Timaru” it’s Maori language week, Te Wiki o te Reo Maori

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Kim Dotcom: New Zealander of the Year – why aren’t Kiwis furious at GCSB law?

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GCSB hearing: Dotcom faces off against PM
German internet tycoon Kim Dotcom says Prime Minister John Key is lying about what he knew about him before police raided his Coatesville home in January 2011.

Kim Dotcom has done more to highlight the Orwellian illegal spying of our rapidly expanding Intelligence Industrial Complex than any other permanent resident or citizen.

This soft spoken German online entrepreneur with the playboy branding has proven to be the undoing of Key’s carefully crafted facade of center right moderation. The new laws being rammed through for the GCSB so that NZ is a fully fledged narc for the NSA are so appalling, so over the top that they amount to the largest erosion of civil liberties since National retrospectively passed legislation allowing the Police to expand their surveillance powers.

Dotcom has done more than any other to shake us from our sleepy hobbit status, sadly for Kim, many NZers are just not listening.

For a country that went mental over the Government closing the legal loophole to stop abusive parents from using discipline as a defense from assault charges because that was apparently ‘Nanny State’, we have been virtually silent over Key enabling our spy agency to drift net whatever metadata they want from us.

Apparently the sanctity of a parent being able to physically strike their child is more precious to us as New Zealanders than the Government being able to spy on everything we do.

We do everything casual in NZ, including our fascism. This Bill represents casual fascism justified by nothing more than John Key shrugging his shoulders and saying, “I’m comfortable with that’.

Well, we shouldn’t be comfortable with this, we should be deeply skeptical. As this leaked 2004 cable shows, the NSA and the GCSB have been working closely together for at least a decade

the GCSB will provide the new NSA officer with office space; office furniture; computer, telephone and other equipment and supplies. NSA will fully fund the position and will pay for housing and purchase all residential furnishings directly. NSA will contract with the Embassy for the following ICASS services: Basic Package; Community Liaison Office services; Financial Management Services (medium level support); General Services (low level support); and Short-Term Residential Lease Building Operations. As a result of these arrangements, the resource impact of the new position on this Special Embassy Program post will be minimized, and can be fully absorbed within post’s current ICASS system.

These powers will not be used to protect NZ from terrorism. They will be used to spy on Unions, environmental groups, poverty protest groups, online activists. Having the PM appoint his childhood school chum to preside over an agency that can now spy on all his political opponents is a dangerous situation that would be concerning no matter what shade of Government was in power. This isn’t a left wing or right wing issue, no Government should have this level of corrosive power over their citizens.

We deserve the democracy we squander.

PS – Reviewing the Key/Dotcom select committee footage – isn’t it embarrassing watching our PM act like a sniggering schoolboy? I hope Kim wipes that smirk off his face in Court.

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Let’s be honest on why we banned prisoners from smoking

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Prison-Industrial-Complex

Prison smoking ban ruled ‘unlawful’
Career criminal Arthur Taylor has won a second appeal against the prison smoking ban – but Corrections says jails will remain smokefree.

Let’s be honest on why we banned prisoners from smoking shall we? It wasn’t their bloody well being (we have stripped Prisoners of their rights to vote, have passed draconian 3 strikes legislation to thrill the sensible sentencing trust lynch mob and have brought in private prisons – prisoner well being isn’t something we do much in NZ), we banned smoking because the Government was sent a report showing that National’s plan to double bunk could cost the State a small fortune in compensation payments from Prisoners who suffered any illness traceable to second hand smoke.

The Government banned smoking so they could get their double bunk program through because if they hadn’t banned it, they would be open for mass second hand smoking compensation claims. Every. Single. Word. Out of the Governments mouth defending smoke free is a lie and a false concern for prisoners. The real game here was pushing through double bunking.

It was the over crowded double bunking that caused the recent prison riot at Springhill. If we want to demand prisoners go smoke free, we should at least be honest with the reasons why we are doing it and then be prepared to pay the consequences when the riots break out.

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Will Maori Party/ACT & United Future meltdowns open door for cup of tea with Colin Craig in Rodney?

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the-nationalmobile
Nats look to 2014 governing options
Prime Minister John Key is mulling his options to form a Government after 2014 following this morning’s spill in the Maori Party, including claiming the largest party would have the “moral mandate” to govern.

What the Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election showed most was that the Maori Party peak vote has passed and that as a political force, their relationship with National has ended them.

For National, their relationship with the Maori Party was always political camouflage, it helped them look more moderate than they really were. The Maori Party’s demise however won’t just hurt National cosmetically, it hurts them in their ability to form a Government post 2014.

With ACT and United Future both on life support, and the Maori Party in meltdown, National have run out of mates. NZ First is now maneuvering to be National’s only possible coalition option, and National Party strategists can’t be happy with that.

So when does John Key decide to have a cup of tea with Colin Craig in Rodney as a nod and a wink to voters in that electorate to vote Colin in? With Conservative Party and NZ First as the two parties Key could play off against each other depending on the issue, Key could get his 3rd term and the means with which to serve it out.

I think 2014 will be down to the wire close as in it will either be Labour+Greens+MANA by a majority of one or it will be National+ACT+NZ First/Conservative Party by a majority of one.

The mass inequality that is tearing NZ apart now has created gated cultures who feel none of the pain the masses ground into poverty experience. Such extremes mean there is no political middle ground, the demise of United Future is symbolic of this and it will be the ends of the political spectrum that will decide the 2014 election.

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Audrey Young, Two Bains, old cars, and… cocoa?!?!

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Audrey Young on the GCSB…

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It seems that the Herald’s Audrey Young is the only journalist in the entire country who has not bought into the Official Party Line that the GCSB Act 2003 is “vague” or “flawed”.

The GCSB Act 2003 expressly forbids it from spying on the communications of New Zealanders.

But, by a series of snakes and ladders through the stated functions and objectives of the act, it convinced itself it was allowed to help the SIS and police spy on New Zealanders.

Acknowledgement: NZ Herald – Spying on NZ: More power to watch us

She’s 100% correct of course.

The law is about as explicit as it can get, without adding crayoned drawings for the terminally dense,

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Government Communications Security Bureau Act 2003 - section 3-14

Acknowledgement:  Parliamentary Counsel Office: Government Communications Security Bureau Act 2003

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Specifically,

Section 14 states,

Restrictions imposed on interceptions

14 Interceptions not to target domestic communications
  • Neither the Director, nor an employee of the Bureau, nor a person acting on behalf of the Bureau may authorise or take any action for the purpose of intercepting the communications of a person (not being a foreign organisation or a foreign person) who is a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident.

Which makes other journos look lazy or incompetant or both, when they repeat  government rhetoric about “vagueness” or “not fit for purpose” without checking the facts for themselves.

If  Audrey Young can present the facts, then so can every other journalist worth his/her salt.

Lift your game, people.

See previous related blogpost:  The GCSB law – Oh FFS!!!

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A Tale of Two Bains…

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The latest on the David Bain saga, and the Third Degree report on TV3 which presented damning evidence which showed Robin Bain as the most likely killer of the Bain family,

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Complaint laid against TV3 over 'biased' Bain report

Acknowledgement: NZ Herald – Complaint laid against TV3 over ‘biased’ Bain report

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Funnily enough, I cannot recall this group of obsessive-compulsives laying a similar complaint with TVNZ when Bryan Bruce (who I have much respect for, for his work on child poverty) hosted an episode on the Bain family, where he made it clear that he did not believe Robin Bain committed murder/suicide (see: The Investigator Special: The Case Against Robin Bain).

But I guess for these folk, that’s not bias, eh?

Over the years there have been many programmes presenting both sides of the case.

For one side to lay a complaint of “bias” is therefore just a little cheeky. More to the point, it illustrates a kind of growing “cult” mentality for some in the  Pro-Robin/David Did It camp.

They remind me of Creationists and Climate Change Deniers.

Not healthy.

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Old cars…

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Something that caught my eye last week was this item in the Dominion Post,

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Ageing-car-fleet-seen-as-added-danger-on-roads

Acknowledgement: Dominion Post – Ageing car fleet seen as added danger on roads

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It occurs to me that much like trucking figures are being used as indicators of  macro economic growth, our nationwide  car fleet can be an indicator of the economic well-being (or otherwise) of ordinary New Zealanders at street level.

In April, John Key boasted of “strong economic growth” in 2012,

We’re seeing some great results. We achieved 3% economic growth in New Zealand last year, which is higher than most developed countries, and business confidence is increasing. Over the weekend, I met Christine Lagarde from the International Monetary Fund while in China, who said she believes our economic plan is “very stable and it’s also very promising“.”

Acknowledgement: Scoop Media –  John Key: Growing our economy

Yet, if our car fleet is getting old, and fewer are being scrapped, then that indicates that the gains are not trickling down to workers.

According to Statistics NZ,

Annual growth in the labour cost index (LCI) salary and wage rates eased for the third consecutive quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today.

  • In the year to the March 2013 quarter, salary and wage rates (including overtime) increased 1.7%. This includes a 0.4% rise in the March 2013 quarter.

  • Private sector salary and ordinary time wage rates increased 1.8% in the year to the March 2013 quarter.

  • Public sector salary and ordinary time wage rates rose 1.5% in the same period. This rise in the public sector came from increases in central government (up 1.5%) and local government (up 2.1%).

  • In the March 2013 quarter, 13% of all surveyed salary and ordinary time wage rates increased.

  • Of the 13%, the median increase was 2.4%, the lowest in 12 years.

  • 56% of the surveyed sample increased in the year to the March 2013 quarter.

  • Of the 56%, the median increase was 2.9%, the lowest in 21 months.

Acknowledgement: Stats NZ – Labour Cost Index (Salary and Wage Rates): March 2013 quarter

Note the statistic buried amongst the fifures above: “In the March 2013 quarter, 13% of all surveyed salary and ordinary time wage rates increased“.

The corollary to that is that 87% had no increases to their  salary and ordinary time wages.

Little wonder that our car fleet is aging. People cannot afford to buy new (or even newer second hand) vehicles.

Wherever the wealth is going, it’s not trickling down to the 87%.

So much for Key’s pledges in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, to boost New Zealander’s wages. Add that one to his list of lies; broken promises, and dashed expectations.

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And we told them the wealth would trickle down

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The Price of Cocoa…

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Three cans of cocoa tell an interesting story.

Can A is the oldest, with an expiry date of April 2011. The can measures 110mm (H) x 75mm (D). It contained 200g net dry cocoa powder.

We purchased Can B sometime  in 2011 (?). The expiry date was March 2012, so it’s the second oldest can.

Interestingly, it also contained 200g net dry cocoa powder. However,   whilst the contents remained the same as Can A – the dimensions of the can inexplicably increased; 130mm (H) x 75mm (D). Same diameter as Can A – but 20mm taller. Contents remain the same net weight.

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KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

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A month ago we purchased Can C (expiry date, March 2015). The dimensions of this can is the same as Can B: 130mm (H) x 75mm (D). But this time, the contents decreased from 200 to 190g net dry cocoa powder. Ten grams less.

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KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

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So the up-shot? The can-sizes have gotten bigger – whilst the contents has reduced by 5%.

On 9 June, I emailed Nestle to find out what was going on,

Kia ora,

It has recently come to my attention that two cans of Nestle Baking Cocoa measure 110mm X 75mm, whilst the other measures 130mm x 75mm.

Both contain 200g net  cocoa powder.

The smaller can measuring 110 x 75 has a “best before” date April 2011.

The larger can, 130×75 has a “best before” date March 2012.

It appears that you have increased the SIZE of the can, whilst the contents remain the same.

Is there a reason why the size of the cans  was increased, by 20mm in height?

And can you confirm that the price stayed the same; increased; or reduced; when the change was made from a 110mm height to 130mm height?

(The email was sent prior to purchasing Can C.)

Perhaps not surprisingly, I received no reply from Nestle.

Unfortunately, I never retained the receipts for Cans A and B, otherwise I could compare prices. But what’s the bet that the retail price probably increased?

So next time Dear Leader stands before the Press Gallery and claims credit for his government policies resulting in  low inflation or a drop in food prices – just remember; there are lies; damned lies, Prime Ministerial utterings, and statistics.

Mix all four together and you get a “drop in inflation and food costs less”.

And thus it came to pass…

“As short a time ago as February, the Ministry of Plenty had issued a promise (a “categorical pledge” were the official words) that there would be no reduction of the chocolate ration during 1984. Actually, as Winston was aware, the chocolate ration was to be reduced from thirty grams to twenty at the end of the present week. All that was needed was to substitute for the original promise a warning that it would probably be necessary to reduce the ration at some time in April.” – George Orwell,  ‘1984’

Doubleplusgood!

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= fs =

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John Key faces Kim Dotcom

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John Key faces Kim Dotcom

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How much of an arsehole is Judith Collins on Twitter?

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How much of an arsehole is Judith Collins on Twitter?

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Save the Arctic from Shell and its Russian friends

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Save the Arctic from Shell and its Russian friends

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The GCSB website this week – not reassuring is it?

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The GCSB website this week – not reassuring is it?

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Beard Facts

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Beard Facts

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A message from our friends in Anonymous

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I spy with 5 little eyes something beginning with 1984

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Tampon vs. Mooncup Rap Battle

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Tampon vs. Mooncup Rap Battle

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Face TV listings Thursday 4th July

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AM
8.00 In Focus
8.45 Classic serial
9.00 Bloomberg
10.00 Nat Geo Live
10.30 Wellbeing A-Z
11.00 Aljazeera News

PM
12.00pm Beatson Interview
12.30 Paws for Thought
1.00 Korean News
1.30 Australia News
2.00 NHK Newsline
2.30 Chilean news
3.00 German news
3.30 French news
4.00 Dutch news
4.30 Made in Hollywood
5.00 Euromaxx
5.30 DW Journal
6.00 Aljazeera News
7.00 Let’s Talk
7.30 Citizen A
8.00 The McLaughlin Group
8.30 War Stories
9.00 Australia News
9.30 euromagazine
10.00 Speaker TV [PG]
10.30 Democracy Now
11.30 Blokesworld [AO]

Face TV broadcasts on Sky 83 & Auckland UHF

Face TV Twitter
Face TV Facebook

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Beware the cru$ader

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domestic-violence-400x258There is no doubt that New Zealand has a serious domestic violence problem, with statistics showing we’re one of the worst countries in the world in terms of its prevalence and severity. Therefore it is important to have leaders willing to front up and tackle the issues head on. Despite the pressing need, we unfortunately have a dearth of leadership in this area, with most politicians unwilling to do the hard yards required to initiate positive change.

That’s why it was heartening to hear about a wealthy businessman starting an inquiry into this terrible plague on our nation. Not only was this businessman going to provide substantial funding to allow a comprehensive inquiry, he also nominated himself to become a White Ribbon ambassador, a position the New Zealand Order of Merit recipient was likely to attain.

Sadly it has all now turned to custard, with the inquiry faltering under false pretenses, allegations and revelations Owen Glenn hasn’t a credible bone in his entire body.

This week it was revealed the so-called philanthropist was charged for physically abusing a young woman in 2002, a charge he didn’t contest apparently because of prohibitive court costs. Considering he’s worth an estimated $900 million this excuse seems highly suspect. The charge was later dismissed for reasons that haven’t been divulged but it’s not inconceivable that the multi-millionaire was able to use his substantial wealth to help clear things up.

Perhaps it was out of a sense of shame the anti-violence inquiry was started in the first place. By seeking to promote anti-violence perhaps Glenn was trying to absolve himself for the 2002 incident. Or did he have higher public office aspirations that require a track record of “good works”? Whatever his true motivation and in light of information about his recent past, Owen Glenn promoting himself as some sort of anti-violence crusader should be questioned.

Unfortunately Glenn has likely done more harm to the anti-violence campaign than good, with his ulterior motives causing half the inquiries 38-strong advisory panel to resign. He has undoubtedly wasted a lot of important people’s precious time and energy that could have been better spent elsewhere.

How much damage has been caused cannot be easily quantified, but really the writing was already on the wall. At the beginning of the year it was revealed the Glenn Family Foundation had decided not to make good on the founders promise to donate $80 million to various projects based in Otara. The excuse being the overseas trustees believed it was no longer appropriate to donate to New Zealand causes. This also resulted in a number of high-profile resignations from the Auckland-based organisation.

It’s not the first time Owen Glenn has reneged on a deal either. In 2011, he promised to donate at least $100 million to the government for education purposes but only if National and Act won the next election. Along with it being illegal to try and buy people’s votes, Glenn hasn’t stumped up with the cash. Of course the Police decided not to pursue any charges, even though the law had clearly been broken. I guess there are certain perks to being a member of the old boys club.

Despite these cases, the hypocrite still feels the need to be in the media spotlight talking about integrity and honesty, words that obviously have little meaning to Owen Glenn. He’s apparently far more concerned with promoting himself than actually helping struggling Kiwis break the cycle of abuse…he’s far more concerned with getting his name in lights than holding to his promises.

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