Velodrome business case
On Monday August 10 the Chronicle front page article (Economist doubts case) included my name as being a “business case event promoter”.
Whilst I applaud the construction of a roof over the stadium, if for no other reason than to provide year-round usage and to preserve the current structure, I have had no part in the lead-up to the current proposals, other than to indicate that a roof would enhance its usage for concerts similar to the big concert the New Zealand Opera School staged on the river two years ago.
When asked about a concert in the stadium, I agreed that it was highly possible certainly not every year, but perhaps once in every three years.
I took no part in calculating the visitors suggested in the article and whilst as an interested citizen and possible user of the velodrome I am not now, nor ever have been a member of the business case promotion.
Executive Chair New Zealand Opera School
Give us a break
I am fed up being labelled a racist – just for the colour of my skin. I have received silent glares for no other reason.
I’m classified as European on government records but to be more precise I am a Pom, by quirk of birth, an East-London Cockney actually.
So, going by New Zealand media records in the 60s and 70s, I was told “go home Pommie bastards” and “Bash a Pom a day”.
Sailing into Wellington harbour as £25 immigrants (Australia was only £10 – huh!) in August 1968 was a picture for sore eyes: blue skies, no wind and dolphins escorting the Rangitoto into dock.
We had just finished five and a half weeks on the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and were eager to start our new life in Auckland.
As we approached the dock we saw large white letters: Pommie Bastards Go Home. We naively presumed that it was left there from the 1950s when boatloads of moaning Poms “escaped” war-torn Britain.
Three weeks later in my new job, with Tattersfield Bedding in Grey Lynn, I had a compliment from the lady who was showing me the ropes in office procedures: “Do you know” she said “you’re not too bad for a Pom”.
In those early years I told many moaning Poms to go home – or words to that effect. They were giving me a bad name!
Now, 52 years later, I still feel ostracised, not for my accent but through my pale skin.
Give us a break. I’ve paid New Zealand taxes and helped many people over the years – all races, all colours, and dare I say, all sexual preferences. Who am I to judge?
When Captain Cook sailed the seven seas, little did he know that he lit the fire under the stewing pot. It must have been a gigantic cauldron, the stew is still being dipped out.
Okay, I admit I’ve been moaning – but I think we’re allowed to voice our thoughts now and again.
The Swedish method
With negative responses Stephen Rostron has received for his … views of Covid-19, he doubled down (Letters, August 3) on his contention that lockdown was wasteful, citing Sweden as a country with success, preserving its economy without a lockdown.
How successful is 82,323 cases and 5763 deaths for a population of 10 million, just twice ours? Sweden’s economy, dependent on exports, is set to contract by an estimated 8.5 per cent. Norway, its near neighbour has locked their shared border.
With these facts widely available in exchange for 10 minutes on Google, it’s hard to believe Mr Rostron is not simply trolling …
One of his suggestions is particularly odious. He thinks the vulnerable, presumably the elderly, should be isolated in “rest homes” so that the rest, the productive can get on with their lives … How does he plan to move those so affected? Will he import a “raptor strike force from Oz? Because some of the oldies I know, my feisty neighbours, won’t be going quietly from their peaceful homes, anytime soon. [Abridged]
Let’s focus on our unique aspects
Thank goodness the lid has been lifted off the business case for roofing the velodrome.
This project has always proceeded on optimism rather than hard-headed analysis of its economic returns. Not only are the projections for hosting large concerts way over the top, they would be competing with existing Whanganui facilities.
In any event, this cool little city will never compete with New Zealand’s major population centres when it comes to hosting major international acts.
Better we focus on our unique attributes and amenities, such as the beautiful and underutilised river flowing through our midst.
Good on the promoters of the roof who have certainly given the proposal a good crack.
But it’s time for cool heads and realistic assessments.
There are many smaller scale projects in Whanganui which can significantly enhance our events capacity.
It appears my friend KA Benfell is all excited again because President Trump answered another difficult cognitive question … how to differentiate a rhinoceros from a hippopotamus.
Mr Trump instantly spotted that the rhinoceros had a horn on his head and the hippopotamus did not.
Everyone was amazed and said it was a brilliant answer!
Questions don’t get much harder than that, so it’s only a matter of time before President Trump’s face adorns Mt Rushmore.
The results of a recent Massey University Survey (Chronicle, August 5) showed the majority (70 per cent) of New Zealanders want a clean and green Covid-19 economic recovery plan.
The only way to ensure that happens politically is to party vote Green so a Labour/Green coalition forms the next government.
Some political commentators doubt Labour will achieve 50 per cent support and have suggested that Labour supporters could strategically party vote Green to ensure that a Labour-led coalition achieves a clear majority rather than gamble on Labour having enough support to govern alone.
Such a coalition will ensure a truly transformational government is able to future proof New Zealand and move our society on to a sustainable pathway.
This will require policies that are both innovative and delivered urgently to eradicate inequality and poverty, environmental degradation, and rapidly reduce our carbon footprint.
I write in response to the recent barrage of letters from FR Halpin on the changes to the abortion legislation passed by a free vote in Parliament.
Your writer however chooses only to attack those politicians of the left of politics who supported the amendments conveniently omitting to mention those on the right of the chamber who voted in support. These include a cross section of the Parliament, NZ First, Act and of course National shadow ministers and the Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins who voted Yes.
So to advance your argument if you must, please be honest in your criticism of all sides of politics and not just select those you name to suit your narrow political agenda. A similar tactic was used by our local MP who failed to mention her own leader’s support of the Bill when criticising those who voted Yes.
For several decades now we have been inundated with claims of discrimination of every conceivable type against Māori. Nine times out of ten, this has been categorised as racism perpetrated by non-Māori (I refuse to use the ‘p’ word as I consider that to be racist).
We have all seen and heard the words “over-represented, disproportionate and under-represented” depending on the subject being addressed. These descriptions of Māori involvement are battered to death by activists seeking to advance their issues and they will invoke any reference to events from centuries ago, but selectively. They are fortunate that the wording of Te Tiriti is being upgraded from the original meaning and intention in 1840 to a 180-year language update that enables individual nuances to be given as proof of intention and thus create dissension.
Last time I looked, New Zealand was a democracy where people were elected to positions of authority in a democratic manner. I can see no reason why Māori should be afforded a direct path to membership of committees, boards and local government, etc, just because of their skin colour. It amazes me that people whiter than me can dredge up historical “colour” to influence opinion when it suits.
Today’s Chronicle (August 12) contains yet another “report” about under-representation of Māori and Pasifika, this time in scientific positions around the country. Surely, the reason for this is that they have been beaten to appointments by better qualified persons regardless of ethnicity. I cannot envisage a situation where an employment committee decides that they will appoint a lesser qualified applicant because of their skin colour or heritage …
In my day, jobs were allocated on the basis of suitability and experience, not to meet some fanciful racial criteria. [Abridged]