Posts Tagged ‘ NZ ’

Kordia should come clean or face consumer boycott

This isn’t some bleeding heart leftie appeal, the military dictatorship in Burma (they call it Myanmar) is the most vile repugnant dictatorship around, probably worse than Zimbabwe.

Captain Orcon, walking all over the 'little' people, destroying democracy, abusing human rights, and treating humans like scum.

Captain Orcon, walking all over the 'little' people, destroying democracy, abusing human rights, and treating humans like scum.

The people in power have no intention of giving up their positions which allow them to systematically loot what is a resource rich country of it’s riches and pocket them.

Once upon a time Burma was the richest country in Asia, by the time these scum bags have finished with it it will be poorer than Cambodia. In connivance with the Chinese (who block any attempt to bring the dictatorship into line) they are raping the countryside of it’s rich mineral, gem and timber resources.

Aung San Suu Kyi has spent 11 of the last 19 years in prison for wining a democratic election.

This week, she was, once again due out, and yet again the generals have found a pretext to throw her back in prison.

Why aren’t more people pissed off about this? The people of Burma deserve better than to be ignored. There may not be some trendy pop star backing a concert or a kindly man in robes to travel the world raising awareness of the people plight. Burma has been forgotten.

In New Zealand, we should be appalled and demand more action, and that could start with an enterprise we own, Kordia. Kordia owns Orcon which is busy pushing it’s broadband products. You and I as taxpayers own Kordia and it’s subsidiaries through the Government. Kordia has done business in Burma and it should stop now.

Kordia needs to come clean about it’s involvement in both Burma and Laos (another Communist country with a piss poor human rights record). It should immediately cease any business in these countries or face a full consumer boycott.

It’s not good enough for a tax payer owned business to be doing business with the Government of Burma.

Chinese propganda right here in NZ

You’d probably think that when someone immigrates to a new country, that they will in some way embrace the life style and culture of that new society – otherwise they would have been better off staying at home.

So with Chinese immigrants you’d naturally think they would be willing to embrace the freedoms both political and economic offered by immigrating from a Nationalist Dictatorship with Communist trappings, to a liberal democracy in NZ.

But maybe this isn’t what’s happening.

Anne-Marie Brady is an expert in Chinese propaganda and is such a high level expert that she has given a presentation to a United States security commission.

Unfortunately she says, and this is not difficult to confirm, that in fact many ‘local’ Chinese immigrants and still heavily influenced by the Chinese regimes propoganda.

There would be an easy way to counter this, starting in schools, and all NZders have something to learn from it. Start teaching history, make it compulsory and include Asian history in the curriculum.

China is going to be an important player in our area in the next decade, better we start teaching our young about their history and what has happened, and immigrants offspring the truth, so that they are able to make informed decision without being influenced by the Chinese regime.

The last we we need in NZ if we run into difficulties with the Chinese is a sizable domestic population in thrall of wrong headed and untrue propaganda!

Telecom hasn’t changed. Vodafone 3G vs Telecom XT

I got a bit of heat for my criticism of Telecom’s ‘new’ 3G service. I contend that while it does show a bit of an improvement on Vodafones (and I’m just as critical of them), it’s really a slightly improved service many years too late – and anyway, Vodafone is about to release it’s ‘new improved’ service so customers will gain little by shifting.

Like some others I had noticed problems with Vodafones service for a while, I had put it down to the fact that despite these services being hyped as fantastic, actually they are just OK – a bit like running Windows on a PC, there is a gap between the level of service promised, and the actual service. I’m an IT expect by any means, using a Mac simply because you don’t need to understand much about how it works. Sometimes you have a gut feeling something is shonky with an IT service or product, but proving it is time consuming and requires you to become an expert, life’s too short for most of us!

Now it transpires that despite Paul Renyolds contorted spin of the latest clash with Vodafone over 3G, in fact Telecom’s service has been stuffing up Vodafones. It appears in their haste to get the product to market before Vodafone, Telecom cut some corners with filters to stop interference with Vodafone’s network.

Mr Reynolds somewhat disingenuously says he only became aware of the problem in the last 48 hours. This really means one of two things, that Telecom is completely disorganised and someone forgot to tell Mr Reynolds exactly how they were going to beat Vodafone to the start line, by cutting corners, and this means that Mr Reynolds isn’t really in control of the company at all, it just stumbles along. On the other hand if we are to assume that Mr Reynold’s is getting paid a huge salary because of his management skills, we could then draw the conclusion that he has miss-spoke and did indeed know about the problems all along.

Whatever the case, it looks like once again Telecom is behaving in a very traditional way – arrogant.

I maintain that in fact the corporate culture hasn’t changed from the State Owned days. Shaking such an ingrained culture probably takes generations of management changes, and maybe sometimes it’s just impossible.

Whatever has gone on consumers can be sure of something. That despite all the spin and posturing from both companies, the service, when it arrives will not be as good as they make out. It will be an opportunity to milk customers of more money for something that promises much, but will under delivers. The service to back it up will be average to poor, with staff in call centers not knowing whats going on and you will have to wait for ages to speak to someone, and when you do, chances are they won’t be in NZ and won’t be much help. Like you currently do, you’ll feel frustrated, but in the end you’ll accept it because that’s how thing have been with Telecom for years, many many years.

Mac’s Ginger Beer & Green Apple… drinks are delicious!

green-apple-straightIn my (somewhat cynical) eye’s Mac’s can do no wrong. They have put out a string of very nice beer, they don’t feel the need to use preservatives and they’re advertising is clever.

Their latest products – non-alcoholic – are Ginger Beer and Green Apple.

The Ginger Beer is really like “your mother used to make it” in fact it’s a bit like the last batch of home brew stuff I made (except mine had alcohol in it – great for young nephews and nieces). It’s not as sweet and fizzy as Bundaburg Ginger Beer. It’s ‘clean’ and refreshing on ice with with a slice of lime. I also noticed that even left until the next day opened it was still fizzy so it must still have the natural yeast busy working away in it – so it is authentic.

The Green Apple drink is really nice too. Not sweet or cloying. It makes as great mixer – as winter suddenly arrived over the weekend and cool drinks are not required, but alcoholic ones are.

Try this…

  • Martini Glass (or similar)
  • Bottle of Mac’s Green Apple
  • Roses Lime Juice ‘concentrate’
  • Bacardi (or vodka if you don’t have white rum)
  • Some ice

Pour a couple of shots of rum into glass onto about three or four ice cubes, if it’s been a tough day, add a couple more.

A dash of lime, if you have fresh limes then use those.

The pour over the Mac’s Green Apple juice… ahhhhh! Knock that back and make another one.

I know what you’re thinking. The ice will dilute the drink, and yes it will. But unless you’re organised and have everything pre-chilled, then this is the only way to do it. Whatever you do, do not try mixing this all in a shaker (thus being able to strain out the ice), that is, unless you what to make a green apple fire extinguisher, and wiping it off the walls is a pain… a mate told me that could happen, I’d never be so stupid.

Next time your’e in the supermarket check these two latest Mac’s additions, well worth it!

Cheers.

Paying ‘more’ for Water in Auckland

I see Rodney Hide with usual honesty and frankness, has said that water rates will go up for some people under the new ‘super city’.

The anti Watercare group and other who think water should be ‘free’ will be performing their usual tantrums.

Water, as in the stuff that falls out of the sky, is free of charge.

We have a water tank, we collect water from the roof, store it in a tank and use it. If we run out because there’s no rain, we have to buy it. No problem with that because someone has to truck it out to us. There’s also a cost to us for the infrastructure we own in tanks, pipes, pumps, and I guess, even the roof, plus maintenance involved. The water isn’t treated, we don’t bother and have never been sick (touch wood). I’ve never done an analysis on it, but I’d guess over the long term it works out cheaper than a reticulated system. Of course, if there’s a power cut, the pump won’t work so no water, also if a rat fell in the tank, then there’s a lot more fuss and cost involved.

no service is free!

no service is free!

It’s also worth noting that we are very very careful with our water usage, no bath only showers etc etc, this way we have only ever had one ‘externally’ provided tank fill in five years. I guess we treat the water supply with a lot of respect, it really is a precious commodity in February when it hasn’t rained properly for weeks!

As you can see there are costs involved in collecting water and using it. No different in Auckland city on a reticulated service. With this service you get treated drinking water, as much as you like, 24/7, you can water the garden with it, have 50 baths a day if you like, it will be there 99.99% of the time, it’s safe, clean and convenient – it’s on tap!

Hell, out of most service utilities I’d bet in Auckland it’s the most reliable, more so than electricity and much more so than telecommunications – both of which could be regarded as equally important.

So, that people get upset about paying for what is an excellent, world class service, which is taken for granted, puzzles me. It’s not cheap to achieve, and like anything there is a cost that has to be recovered somewhere, which brings me to the next point.

In an increasing number of countries, water is now a scarce commodity. It’s so scarce that they buy it in by the super tanker load from other countries, or ration it’s use. This of course means that the cost, or if you like, price, of water is increasing as a commodity internationally. It’s not just that the infrastructure to collect, treat and get the water to your tap is expensive, it’s just that there is only so much water to go around and the demand in some countries, outstrips the supply. It’s predicted that wars could be fought over water in the future, and in fact it could be argued that in the Middle East and Africa, they already are.

So next time you have a gripe about your water bill, consider that the service in Auckland is among the best in the world, and it’s cheap for something you only think about when you get the bill. If you don’t want to pay for it, use less or get a water tank to supplement supply – but you may find the costs outweigh the benefits which again makes your service look pretty cost effective.

Remember, you’re not paying for the water, you’re paying for the service of collecting it and getting it to your tap, the water itself is still ‘free’.

Telecom launches 3G… 6 years too late

I see Telecom are apparently going to launch their 3G service “early”… in May.

I don’t know how this can be described as early when Vodafone rolled out theirs way back in 2004.

That’s 6 years ago.

6 Years too late Telecom… well done… again!

I see they are also hyping their “exclusive” Samsung 3G handset with… wait for it…. drum roll…. a touch screen.

Whoopdeedoo! I can hear the cries of admiration at Telecoms stunning marketing victory!

So, they have a 3G service 6 years after Vodafone did, and they now have a touch screen phone almost 2 years after Vodafone launched the iphone, and I guess they will now be able to finally offer global roaming too.

In what seems to be a dig at Vodafone, Telecom  CEO Paul Reynolds said they would provide  “best genuine coverage across New Zealand”. Oh I see, yes, right. This is in contrast to the imaginary 3G network that Vodafone launched years ago, along with the imaginary touch screen phones?

You have to admire the cheek of Telecom’s CEO to stand up and spout marketing PR such as this with a straight face.

So folks, you now have a choice, you can join Telecom and get the same service Vodafone’s offered for years. I guess you’d probably pause for thought though and consider that you may get stuck with a lemon considering Telecom are likely to be light years behind Vodafone when the next change comes along, and that’s just around the corner.

Telecom New Zealand, ‘Connecting New Zealanders with yesterday’s technology’.

Military Review – scrap the Air force?

I won’t go into the armed forces review National is carrying out as I expect there will be ample opportunity down the line to do so.

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more of this...

I do, however strongly disagree with David’s suggestions on Kiwiblog that we  scrap the RNZAF. His reasoning is that because it no longer has a ‘strike capability’ (Thanks Labour) that is serves no purpose and the existing srvices could be folded into the Navy and Army.

In itself this seems to make sense.

However, if one takes a step back and thinks about what our priorities should be you could take a very different view.

If our sole intention is to contribute to the UN, then David’s suggestion makes sense. But these are supposed to be our defense forces, you know, defending NZ. Treking off on some UN jaunt, no matter how well intentioned and fitting to Labour’s and Helen Clark’s strange view of the world, it doesn’t protect our shores.

It’s our shores and NZ we should be worried about. 

For example, take fisheries. Fishing resources internationally are declining or indeed have collapsed. We still have some fisheries left and increasingly overseas interested and just coming in and helping themselves as we haven’t the resources to police our territorial limits. The pressure is only going to grow as China expands it’s influence in the Pacific in it’s hunt for food resources.

 

... and less of this!

... and less of this!

We need a defense force capable of insuring the continued viability of our natural resources for our own benefit.

 

An Air force with a strike capability is exactly what is required, and a stronger Navy. In fact if you consider that is a country decided to invade NZ our current Army would be wiped out in a couple of days, maybe it’s the Army we should be folding into the Navy and Air force. An expanded SAS within the Air force and a Marines force within the Navy. This way we can still participate with our allies, but we have a force that recognises we are an Island, thinly populated with a large coastline.

The quickest way to get around NZ is by air, the best way to patrol our coast is by boat. The Army in fact isn’t much help, apart from maybe being able to help in a civil emergency. 

If the Government wants to save some money it should fold the Army into the Air force and Navy, and use the saving to bring back the strike capability and buy more helicopters and boats.