Editorials 23 April 2010

April 23rd, 2010 at 8:52 am by David Farrar

The Herald supports discounts for late consents:

The Government has now provided details of the stick intended to “incentivise prompt processing” of consents. If the process exceeds statutory timeframes, a council must apply a discount of 1 per cent per working day, up to a maximum of 50 per cent.

The initiative is highly welcome. Figures released by the Environment Minister, Nick Smith, illustrate how the problem has become progressively worse over the past decade.

During that period, late consents increased from 18 to 31 per cent, despite a ninefold increase from 3 to 28 per cent in consents where councils allowed themselves a 20-day extension. …

Before these regulations, councils had no incentive to process resource consents on time. Given that, it is probably unsurprising that almost a third of applications are being dealt with outside the statutory time limits.

Discounts may not deliver total satisfaction to ratepayers but, at the very least, they are a substantial step in the right direction.

I am confident the incentives to process on time will have an impact.

The Press talks volcanic gloom:

The nightmare the international aviation industry has feared for years has come to pass with the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull.

Iceland’s apparent isolation from the busiest air corridors in the world counted for little once upper-level winds conspired to blow the volcano’s massive plume of potentially damaging ash directly across much of the British Isles and on to parts of mainland Europe.

It seems preposterous for the whole world to be held to ransom by what, in geological terms, is a pipsqueak volcano.

The Dom Post looks at the UK election:

On May 6, they must decide if they want another five years under Labour, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown, or to throw in their lot with his rivals, the Tories’ David Cameron or the Liberal Democrats’ Nick Clegg. Until last week, opinion polls showed the Conservatives at or about 38 per cent, Labour about 31 per cent and the Lib Dems on about 20 per cent. Things changed markedly, however, last Friday.

That was when party leaders engaged in the first of three live TV debates, a first in Britain. Opinion polls since show a remarkable shift. This week, a Populus poll for The Times, for example, showed Mr Clegg’s party had risen 10 points in a week to 31 per cent, Labour down five on 28 per cent, and the Tories down four on 32 per cent.

The latest daily YouGov poll has Conservative 34%, Lab 29%, Lib Dems 28%. This would give Labour the most seats.

Even if the Lib Dems do not do major damage to the Tories on May 6, Mr Cameron’s party reportedly needs a national swing greater than any modern leader has achieved, in order to win even a single-seat majority.

It will be tough for them to get a majority, rather than just a plurality.

The ODT fights for Hospital:

The threats to Dunedin Hospital and consequently to Dunedin itself, the Dunedin School of Medicine and the people of the South keep recurring.

Dunedin regularly has to staff the ramparts and fight for its hospital’s advanced status and that battle might soon begin again. Neurosurgery services, so often threatened in the past, are under fire with proposals that all six South Island neurosurgeons be based in Christchurch. …

As Dunedin School of Medicine dean Dr John Adams said this month, the loss of neurology has the potential to affect the whole teaching environment.

The service deals with about 350 patients a year, including scheduled surgery and, most significantly, emergency treatment. In accident situations, for example, it is a very long way from Te Anau or Invercargill to Christchurch, even by helicopter, when half an hour can be crucial to survival.

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25 Responses to “Editorials 23 April 2010”

  1. BlairM (2,314 comments) says:

    Ugh. I do wish National would realise that the problem with the RMA is not the lack of efficiency, it’s the lack of property rights! Speeding up the process is not going to encourage development – quite the opposite.

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  2. Jeff83 (744 comments) says:

    The UK election is a perfect example of why FPP is a fucking horrible system. For a while there lib dems were on 30%, conserv 31% and labour 29%, labour had a majority and lib dems like 11% of the seats. The ones you give are even worse.

    Terrible system, and those who want it (I know you dont DPF) really need to wake up.

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  3. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    MMP is not without problems. E.g. how a party with 2.39% of the popular vote can get the government to sign a declaration which supports separate government on racial grounds.

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  4. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    Actually, the incentives are not working at all, for two reasons.
    First, while councils are processing consents within twenty days to avoid the penalties, they are just taking longer to process the conditions of consent. Indeed in order to boost their falling revenues during the recession many councils are taking much longer to process the consent from beginning to end and hence dragging in more fees.
    In Kaipara District Council a major surveyor tells me that while scores of resource consents have been issued over the last year NONE have progressed to issue of title. My own is one of them. The conditions of consent are so onerous I cannot afford to carry them out.

    Second, there is no process for low cost mediation/arbitration. Councils are never going to admit fault and hold all the power.

    So the only recourse will be to the High Court and who can afford that. We either need to bring the process within the ambit of the Small Claims Tribunal or set up a set of regional RMA Ombudsman.

    In the meantime things have actually gone from bad to worse, in spite of what the current statistics may say. They are measuring the wrong thing.

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  5. BlairM (2,314 comments) says:

    The UK election is a perfect example of why FPP is a fucking horrible system.

    Not really. It’s an example of why you should make all your seats roughly the same size instead of making them conform to local government boundaries, as the UK does. This ensures lower populated constituencies in larger cities are more numerous. As these tend to support Labour, it gives them an unfair advantage.

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  6. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    @malcolm – How indeed. We are a bunch of frogs basking the increasing warmth of the apartheid pot.

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  7. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    Yeah, I got really worried when I saw how excited Hone Harawira was.

    Will you give your party vote to ACT next time, rather than wasting it on National? If ACT had half of the “I support ACT but decided to give my vote to National as I didn’t want to waste it” vote, then NZ could be on a different path now.

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  8. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    “1 percent per working day up to 50%” now how do councils get around this little nuisance? Ah simple, increase costs by 50% and take 25 days longer to issue a consent and pocket the difference.

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  9. Repton (769 comments) says:

    It’s an example of why you should make all your seats roughly the same size instead of making them conform to local government boundaries, as the UK does

    Reminds me of the Auckland supercity..

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  10. eszett (2,396 comments) says:

    # BlairM (742) Says:
    April 23rd, 2010 at 9:45 am

    The UK election is a perfect example of why FPP is a fucking horrible system.

    Not really. It’s an example of why you should make all your seats roughly the same size instead of making them conform to local government boundaries, as the UK does. This ensures lower populated constituencies in larger cities are more numerous. As these tend to support Labour, it gives them an unfair advantage.

    It is not just a matter of sizes, BlairM.
    You can have all electorates of similar size, yet depending on where you draw the boundries you can have totally different results.
    Who gets to govern is determined not by the vote per se, but by how the electorates are cut up.

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  11. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Get used to it folks.

    The Press talks volcanic gloom:

    The nightmare the international aviation industry has feared for years has come to pass with the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull.

    Iceland’s apparent isolation from the busiest air corridors in the world counted for little once upper-level winds conspired to blow the volcano’s massive plume of potentially damaging ash directly across much of the British Isles and on to parts of mainland Europe.

    It seems preposterous for the whole world to be held to ransom by what, in geological terms, is a pipsqueak volcano.

    Preposterous indeed.
    But perhaps a sign of things to come:

    Rev 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

    And no doubt the “busiest air corridors in the world” will once again fall victim to more “preposterous” acts of God.

    Mar 13:8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
    Luk 21:11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

    Let’s be clear; we’ve had our fair share of ‘acts of God’ recently – tsunamis, (large) earthquakes, volcanic activity, famines, pestilences. Not to mention man-made civil/global unrest; the rise of Islam; rampant pedophilia/homosexuality within the Roman Catholic priesthood; and the general laxness of morality, and indifference to his creator, of the average man in the street.

    The one positive thing about all this is that it won’t go on much longer:

    Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

    While this verse is specifically addressed to the Jews still alive in the final chapter of human history, it is a warning to ALL humanity that time is indeed short. Those who know Christ can lift up their heads in the sure knowledge that their physical redemption is not far off. Halellujah! Come Lord Jesus!

    [I'm in a preachy mood today - no apologies]

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  12. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    @Kris K:

    An Islamic cleric also recently claimed that earthquakes are caused by boobies.

    Sorry Son, I don’t buy your superstition any more than I buy his.

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  13. BlairM (2,314 comments) says:

    Who gets to govern is determined not by the vote per se, but by how the electorates are cut up.

    Which is why people should be allowed to register to vote in any electorate they choose.

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  14. Pete George (23,437 comments) says:

    I really don’t understand those who long for catastrophe because they think it will bring ecstasy.

    It doesn’t make any more sense than the supposed multi virgin promise – that seems the same sort of lure on a smaller scale of intended catastrophe.

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  15. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Pete George [April 24th, 2010 at 9:14 am],

    I really don’t understand those who long for catastrophe because they think it will bring ecstasy.

    It doesn’t make any more sense than the supposed multi virgin promise – that seems the same sort of lure on a smaller scale of intended catastrophe.

    When I look at where we’re headed, Pete, and compare that to the creator’s perfection being reestablished, I have to say I prefer option two. I see these ‘signs’ as birth pangs prior to God judging the nations at armageddon, and His being enthroned as supreme ruler during the millennial reign.

    Man is simply reaping what he has sown; reject God and reap the alternatives. Man, by removing all recognition of God in his dealings, is/will be responsible for his own destruction. God is simply trying to get the attention of those who may turn to Him in repentance. Those who continue to reject God, and His offer of salvation through Christ, are responsible for their own eternal destiny. But as I’ve said before, Pete, while there is breath there is hope; after that the cards are off the table.

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  16. Yvette (2,768 comments) says:

    Each time, Kris, that you mention God’s offer of salvation through Christ, I wonder exactly what you mean by that – whether it is an acceptance in some form that Christ’s blood sacrifice wipes our sins magically away or it actually involves some effort: like endeavouring to follow Jesus’ teachings in our dealings with our ‘neighbours’.

    Paul, who never meet Christ, said that you are saved by His Name

    Jesus said –
    “Help the poor, support the weak, do ill to no one, and covet not that which you see belongeth to another. Show love, kindness, and respect to your mothers and wives, yet also your neighbour, and even your enemies. Works of love or piety should be done with an open heart and one’s actions should not be governed by calculation or the hope of gain for such action will not lead to salvation, but into a state of moral degradation.”

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  17. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Which is why people should be allowed to register to vote in any electorate they choose.

    Amen to that. Representation based on geography may have been needed pre-Internet, but clinging to it now makes zero sense and only proves that we’re stuck in a time warp. Why should I be forced to vote for one of the 6 dropkicks in my electorate where there are any number of other candidates around NZ who better represent my views, values and aspirations?

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  18. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Yvette [April 24th, 2010 at 10:07 am],

    Each time, Kris, that you mention God’s offer of salvation through Christ, I wonder exactly what you mean by that – whether it is an acceptance in some form that Christ’s blood sacrifice wipes our sins magically away or it actually involves some effort: like endeavouring to follow Jesus’ teachings in our dealings with our ‘neighbours’.

    Indeed salvation is only obtained by the individual’s sins being washed away by Christ’s shed blood. There is no effort on our part, just faith and belief. And rather than ‘magical’ I think ‘miraculous’ is a better descriptor of what occurred on the cross.

    The stain of sin is ONLY washed away by Christ’s shed blood, and by implication belief on His name:

    Heb 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
    Act 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
    Rom 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

    Paul, who never meet Christ, said that you are saved by His Name

    Paul did in fact meet the post resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus.
    It is only through Christ’s death that our sins can be forgiven. Only through belief on Him; on what He achieved on the cross – as embodied in His name, that we receive salvation. By believing on His name we implicitly accept ALL the claims made of the Christ as expressed in the scriptures.

    Jesus said –
    “Help the poor, support the weak, do ill to no one, and covet not that which you see belongeth to another. Show love, kindness, and respect to your mothers and wives, yet also your neighbour, and even your enemies. Works of love or piety should be done with an open heart and one’s actions should not be governed by calculation or the hope of gain for such action will not lead to salvation, but into a state of moral degradation.”

    Is that a paraphrase of a portion of scripture? – if so, then what?

    While Christians may exhibit some of the above qualities, they are not prerequisite to salvation. In fact there is nothing an individual can contribute towards their salvation. It is Christ’s shed blood ALONE which purchases salvation.

    Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    From these verses it is clear that salvation is through faith in Christ ALONE; salvation is a gift; salvation is not by our works.
    And while our good works should follow us (Christians) AFTER salvation, this is more the product of Christians being new creatures in Christ; of having a new Christlike nature.
    Salvation is not a ‘process’, but rather an instantaneous transaction which takes place at the time of believing upon and receiving Christ as ones Lord and Saviour. God looks on the hearts of men and knows those who have genuinely put their faith and trust in Him.

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  19. Yvette (2,768 comments) says:

    Unless a sinful man [separated from God by selfish actions] changes his ways to emulate Christ as best as he is able, what changes?
    “Paul and others would have you believe in a risen Messiah and use of the Lord’s name as almost a magical incantation, as well as insisting that the way is through him alone. This, I contend, is in total contrast to the teachings of the Lord himself, that the Kingdom of Heaven already is in you, and by your own actions can you know the truth: bear fruit, showing a change in heart, as even now the axe is aimed at the roots, for every tree or vine not bearing choice fruit will be cut down and tossed into the fire. This is the way.”

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  20. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    I think the Bible has copyright issues. The people who really wrote those stories remain unacknowledged, and their descendants are obviously owed a very large fortune. I suppose there is a small problem that all the most treasured stories are stolen form earlier or concurrent religions, but, let’s face it, it’s hard to prove copyright over oral history.

    How people call a lake a sea is beyond me!

    I guess one just has to hand it to Christians – fraud was their major strength!

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  21. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    from, not form, sorry. Edit on a go slow again.

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  22. Rufus (653 comments) says:

    Yvette – it need not be a “either/or” situation.

    Why can’t it be a “both/and” thingy?

    Acknowledging that we are only saved through Jesus’ sacrifice, AND that the proof is the way we lead our lives – see James 2 – esp “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. ”

    (ps. Setting up Jesus vs the rest of the Apostles, especially Paul, is a trendy thing to do, but not very Biblical)

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  23. Yvette (2,768 comments) says:

    “Setting up Jesus vs the rest of the Apostles, especially Paul, is a trendy thing to do, but not very Biblical”

    It may be trendy, but it is still true that Paul drove ‘Christianity’ through to what it largely is today, while Jesus’ actual teachings fall second place to the magical “blood sacrifice washes you clean” line.
    It can be a “both/and” thingy? But I am perturbed when it is one to the exclusion of the other and also I find it incredibly ironic that Jesus, who was against blood sacrifice, himself becomes one.

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  24. Rufus (653 comments) says:

    Luc Hansen 11:55

    not that it has anything to do with anything, but here goes –

    “How people call a lake a sea is beyond me!”

    Luc, try researching the origins of the english word “sea”. You’ll probably find that it came from a germanic/baltic origin, and simply means “body of water”.

    The words sea/see/zee and meer/mare were sometimes used interchangeably for either “sea” or “lake”.

    It’s Saturday morning, and coffee tastes good! Wish we had a decent newspaper in NZ…

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  25. Rufus (653 comments) says:

    Yvette – let’s leave it at that then. Let’s both do our best & follow Jesus our own ways, and let’s ask God for the answer when we meet Him.

    peace

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