Editorials 4 June 2010

June 4th, 2010 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald wants some trams to play with:

On a broader canvas, cities such as San Francisco and Melbourne are closely identified with their trams.

Auckland chose another route when it removed trams from its streets.

Now, more than 50 years later, they are being readied for a comeback on the city’s waterfront in time for next year’s Rugby World Cup.

They can be successful here as well, but only if other developments in the Wynyard Quarter provide a suitable underpinning. …

The Press focuses on :

The granting of final approval this week to the Central Plains Water irrigation scheme should now let the proposal finally get under way.

The process by which the decision was reached has been long and impassioned and has wound up costing about twice what was originally estimated.

But along the way, the scheme has been rigorously scrutinised. About 2000 submissions were considered by the independent planning commissioners.

It has been much modified in the light of criticism that was made of the original proposal, and it is now much less ambitious than first intended.

In the end, though, the potential benefits have now been weighed by the planning commissioners against any adverse effects it will have on some people, and the final assessment is that the scheme will be good for Canterbury.

The Dom Post talks promises:

Mr Key has now been burned twice in a matter of weeks for taking positions he cannot defend.

The first was the Crown’s negotiations with Tuhoe. Whatever the Government is saying publicly, it is obvious Tuhoe was led to believe that ownership of Te Urewera National Park was up for negotiation. As Mr Key belatedly realised, it should not have been. But the fallout from Mr Key abruptly removing the park from the table has soured relations between National and the Maori Party and created a fresh source of grievance for Tuhoe.

Mr Key’s second false step – actually it was his first – was his pre-election promise, given both to this newspaper in response to a question from a reader and during a TV3 leaders’ debate five days before the election, that Kiwibank would never be sold. The promise conflicts with National’s policy on state-owned enterprises – that none will be sold during this term of government but that sales could be considered in future.

Key has now restated that Kiwibank will not be sold – not just during this term. He had little choice once he realised that his pre-election statements about sale were not just about the first term.

Key has gone to great lengths to keep faith with the electorate. What he is finding now though is that he should have been more careful with what he said pre-election. It is my belief that no leader should ever give a permanent guarantee on an issue. They should give commitments for the upcoming term of Parliament, but should always retain the right to campaign on a different policy at a future election.

The ODT asks if is a hero or a victim. Some might say neither!

It is possible to feel strongly opposed to Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean yet uneasy at some of the actions taken in opposition to it.

That’s me. I joke that the only people I hate more than the whalers are Sea Shepherd.

He continues to blame the captain of the larger vessel for a sudden change in course and a direct attempt to ram Ady Gil, such that a collision became unavoidable.

The exact sequence of events – who did what to whom – remains masked in confusion amid claim and counterclaim, the only certainty being there was a collision and, consequently, the unsalvageable Ady Gil later sank.

It was no surprise. The whalers have never had a collision with Greenpeace or other protest ships. Only Sea Shepherd who have a long history of trying to ram other ships.

It is hard to know at this distance the extent to which his tearful supplication to the Japanese judiciary on Monday was for their benefit – or that of the world at large.

Many activists tread a fine line in their efforts to invoke sympathy for the cause, often teetering but a small mis-step from achieving precisely the opposite.

Nobody, least of all those who believe Japan’s “scientific whaling” in the Southern Ocean to be bogus and unacceptable, would wish a prison sentence on this singular activist; but there might be those prepared to concede he appears, by his actions, to have asked for one.

I hope he does not get a prison sentence, because that is what he wants.

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16 Responses to “Editorials 4 June 2010”

  1. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    I think he is NOT a hero but a pirate.
    Let him have what he wants 2 yrs or more for piracy and assault.
    then let other nations ban his passport for violent offending and our Marinetime board rescind his masters ticket.

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

    Cities like Melbourne that have tram lines (or light rail) have wide streets in which there is room for vehicle lanes, parking lanes, and rail lanes..
    Auckland is a city of narrow streets.
    and half of them have bus lanes now leaving only one lane of traffic each way.

    Bung in light rail lanes and you have no room for vehicles at all.
    Mind you for the anti car folk in ARC that is the whole idea.

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  3. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    I hope he does not get a prison sentence, because that is what he wants.

    Well I hope [Bethune] does get a prison sentence. A long one. It won’t be anything like NZ either I should think. Perhaps a decent stretch of hard time might knock some of the victim remorse from his pinko-liberal brain. But we’ll see.

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  4. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    I don’t know about trams.. but South Auckland is full of Prams.

    Central Plains Water irrigation scheme… I bet when its finished it will be costing about twice as much as now estimated on top of the twice as much as was originally estimated.

    Key promises: did someone mention no GST changes.

    Bethune is Butane… Toast.

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  5. trout (939 comments) says:

    A good take on the nonsense that has been promoted by Al Gore and other warmest re Tuvalu. Gee whizz, the Pacific Islands are not sinking after all; they are growing.
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/theories-fail-to-take-atoll/story-e6frfhqf-1225875224751

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  6. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    @trout – as an aside, had a giggle at this.. from the guy who published a paper showing that Tuvalu was not slipping beneath the waves:

    Over the years since I published my paper, I’ve taken a lot of heat for my claims. I’ve gotten plenty of irate emails from folks in Tuvalu and around the world, emails castigating me for suggesting that the rising sea levels won’t drown the atolls, emails impugning my ancestry, emails saying we’d soon see thousands of “climate refugees” from Tuvalu, emails proposing that I perform anatomically implausible acts of sexual auto-congress [KK :)], and mostly emails saying that I was clearly wrong, that it was patently obvious that rising sea levels would inevitably drown the atolls, duh, so there.

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  7. backster (2,171 comments) says:

    “I hope he does not get a prison sentence, because that is what he wants.”

    In that case lets hope he gets a few strokes of the rotan, or a round or two with a Samurai warrior.

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  8. gravedodger (1,566 comments) says:

    RKBee, In my reasonably wide knowledge of Irrigation schemes none have been other than very successful and that includes the one at Waipara, built in the early 80s, that I was forced to walk away from, as we could no way in hell have implemented, due to an already highly geared debt load.
    Now land there, that struggled to be profitable even in so called good years is truly a garden of eden with mainly grapes but also with some very successful alternatives.
    I do have reservations with the old border dyke schemes that have a potential to drain water, at the head end of the border, to the aquifers due to the over watering that enables water to reach the end zone but as more efficient delivery systems are employed ie pivots and other sprinklers, this is eliminated and the taken water can cover substantially larger areas of land.
    When one considers what the Israelis can do with small quantities of water we havn’t scratched the surface yet.
    Read some of “Home Paddock’s” posts on this, particularly when she promotes the “Canterbury is not running out of water,Water just runs out of Canterbury themes”.

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  9. MT_Tinman (3,186 comments) says:

    I too hope Bethune is not in jail long – just long enough to get the hang-man warmed up.

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

    I thought there were heaps of Chinese in the Super sewer, why worry about trams, just import a shit load of rickshaws.

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  11. Viking2 (11,469 comments) says:

    Key has gone to great lengths to keep faith with the electorate. What he is finding now though is that he should have been more careful with what he said pre-election. It is my belief that no leader should ever give a permanent guarantee on an issue. They should give commitments for the upcoming term of Parliament, but should always retain the right to campaign on a different policy at a future election.

    Key is rapidly showing what a political clown he really is. The Lehman banker is now coming to the for and we are now at the tipping point of “its my country I’ll do what I want” shit that we have heard before from the previous lot of bankers that tried to rule NZ.

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  12. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    I don’t care about the politics of whaling and have no issue with them being fished if it is sustainable. I am not a tree hugger.

    My knowledge of the situation is that there is an agreed sanctuary in the Southern Ocean that Japan disputes. It seems that Japan bypasses this by saying they are whaling for scientific research. Also Japan regularly bribes smaller nations into supporting them at whaling commission reviews held every ten years. Apparently the political wrangling has been going on for many years with no resolution seemingly possible.
    Based on this info I admire what Sea Shepherd do. They take action, not dribble on like Greenpeace do. Chaining yourself to a fence and singing “We shall overcome” is not exactly a feared method of protest and even though the song is pretty grating, hardly likely to change anyone’s policy.
    I reiterate, I am not a tree hugger and do not necessarily agree with the politics of Sea Shepherd. let’s just say I admire their balls.

    Now based on that, this video showing how the movie Star Wars might have turned out if the Greens or Greenpeace had been in charge of making it is quite funny but emphasises the point that sometimes you have to actually do something to make your point. Love the bit where the environmentalists manage to get to Darth Vader and stick a vegan custard pie in his face!

    Anyway, “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” and all that.

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  13. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    And a link to the video I was referring to would be handy too………duh.

    Star Wars if produced by the Keith Locke/environmentalists.

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  14. ben (2,379 comments) says:

    Nobody…would wish a prison sentence on this singular activist

    I do. The man is a menace, has behaved very poorly. Sinking and ramming ships on the open seas is a very serious act. That’s true however good the cause. I happen not to believe ends justify any means. I therefore believe he should be punished in proportion to the harm he has caused to others, which is plenty.

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  15. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    Kiwi Bank needs capital to continue, where is it to come from? –

    A continuing drain on taxpayers as has currently been going on via the PO?.

    Excellent article from Brian Gaynor in Herald this morning as to why some shares should be sold to the NZ public in order to stop draining the taxpayer and support the Bank by increasing its capital that way.

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  16. backster (2,171 comments) says:

    “Key has now restated that Kiwibank will not be sold – not just during this term”

    Well if Kiwibank is never ever going to be sold in accord with the joint Policy of Goff, Anderton, and Key and a drain on taxpayers, administration should be consolidated under one set of directors, and then perhaps it should be renamed, what about ‘Post Office Savings Bank’.

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