Merry Christmas to all my readers. Hope you have a peaceful day with family and friends and a relaxing holiday break.
Merry Christmas to you all.
The HMNZS Te Mana is spending Xmas on anti-piracy controls in the Gulf of Aden and off the Somalian coast. May they and their loved ones have a great Christmas Day despite the distance between them.
Merry Christmas everyone.
That’s a very cool thing to do. The real spirit of Christmas.
Sent to me by e-mail:
Subject: Update on Mr Claus – fyi
The Treasury Secretary had an appointment last week marked Santa Claus. As is normal, Treasury staff provide a briefing note for all of his external meetings.
Briefing Note for Meeting
We see the Treasury Secretary plans to see Mr Claus next week. This note sets out some issues the Secretary should be aware of;
1) Economics. Mr Claus is very keen on distributing the effects of strong growth, but much less convincing on how we should meet the conditions for growth. For example, his freight proposals require extraordinary logistical management, right at the leading edge of the discipline. He would well advised to go down the drone route, as the US military has, than to continue with a manned aircraft. Multiple drones would go a long way to ensure success in his annual endeavour. The CAA advise us that the risks of airborne pollution from his existing craft are high, and could be dangerous to citizens.
2) Social cohesion. Mr Claus has an unusual trait of using loud laughter to make a serious point as in “Merry Christmas Ho Ho Ho”. Some may misunderstand his penchant for having little children sit on his knee, but he’s passed all police checks with flying colours (and flying reindeer, which concerns Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and animal cruelty advocates).
3) You might want to ask him why a one-horse open sleigh provides such enjoyment. MSD’s view is that it is a pretty dangerous activity, and MPI note that a horse pulling an open sleigh through snow would need considerable pastoral care. It is possible that it should be licensed under MoT’s planned regime for quad-bikes.
4) Other jurisdictions have reliably informed us (pse protect) that Mr Claus has been discovered stuck in compromising positions in chimneys in foreign capitals.
5) Given the possible disappearance of his current home, Mr Claus may be looking for your support on climate change initiatives. So far, of course, there is no compelling evidence that climate change has occurred, or if it has, that it is the fault of people like us. It’s just as likely that the enormous expansion of his manufacturing operation, required to deal with the growth in children numbers around the world, has led to the somewhat reduced ice coverage. So it’s all his fault, really. And what is he going to do about it?
Mr Claus may want to provide a briefing on his proposed JV with the NZ Govt. Our understanding of what he might propose at present is as follows;
The GFC has had a serious impact on his Trust funds. The interest on these funds is what underpins his business model. The initial source of these Trust funds is murky ( to say the least).
He has had to re-engineer his business, to get greater efficiencies. So he has a jv with Apple, which can deliver music, books and games world-wide electronically.
As you know, the intelligence on whether children have been good or not has been a drain on all our intelligence activities, with Waihopai spending up to eighteen hours a day on this at peak times. Mr Claus proposes now to use social media, which will allow for major budget cuts in our Vote: Spooks.
Many toys are now supplied by China, and are much cheaper than those from traditional dwarves and elves. We have a relative over abundance of this race and with the finish of the filming of the Hobbit,we are concerned at the potential unemployment increase amongst this vulnerable section of society
The proposal he wants to put to the NZ govt is that NZ should be the base for Southern Hemisphere Claus Inc. This would lead to marked efficiencies in his operations, and would allow NZ to brand itself as Santa’s summer home with all the spinoffs that would provide. He evidently has a business case supplied by Warner Bros which shows a significant benefit to cost ratio.
Views across Treasury are as follows :-
Economic Policy note that NZ already relies on hirsuite gentlemen and hobbits for its brand identity, and aren’t sure how Santa would fit into that. (Maybe a cross between Gandalf and Frodo?)
Tax policy think Claus’s business model is a classic in tax evasion (trust holding shares in a company which employs one of those providing the endowment) and could be the subject of international dispute.
Regulatory Quality note that there is no competition for Mr Claus, and NZ would in effect be supporting a multinational monopoly.
Commercial Monitoring has baggsed the first ride in the sleigh, given their new more active monitoring role.
Macro could see a small one-off positive impact on GDP, but note that this will be offset by changes in monetary conditions, so it should be ok, sort of, you know.
The Chief Economist thinks that this idea is BEAUTIFUL (and we think he is beautiful too).
Immigration note that we receive few migrants from the North Pole, and considerably fewer now that the Arctic is ice-free for some of the year. It would be helpful if Mr Claus could find support from local entrepreneurs. Toymakers are not at present on Immigration’s skilled shortage list.
International think this could see NZ as a competitor for Singapore, with very large but seasonal trade flows.
The accounting people think the JV would probably need to be a Crown Entity, and in any event, will require close monitoring.
The Vote team think we’d probably need an appropriation, and a Minister for Claus.
The Treaty team think we should celebrate Matariki, not Christmas, and bright red clothes are culturally inappropriate. Ministers strongly agree with this point. Better colours might be, oh, teal blue, or, say, Pacific blue.
MPI aren’t keen on reindeer – HASNO issues – but could see sense in a team of sheep, with a fetching ewe in front of a team of stout Romneys. A couple of collies could help with navigation.
TPK think a waka is more appropriate than a sleigh. It would certainly float better, in the event of a sheep-out.
Our Corporate Centre partners are keen. SSC think the public service has a lot to learn from Mr Claus’s strong ethical foundations. DPMC can see clear and visible opportunities for a Minister for Claus, who would need to be a very senior Minister.
Talking points – express interest, note the proposal’s close fit with our living standards framework, and get a team together to look at a PPP.
Have a great Christmas.
It uses all the correct jargon, so I suspect must be the work of a bored Treasury staffer!
New Zealanders have donated more than $8000 to the 5-year-old girl who was brutally violated in Turangi.
The girl was asleep with her three-year-old brother in a caravan at Club Habitat holiday park when she was attacked between 10.10pm and 10.40pm on Wednesday.
She needed four hours of surgery after receiving “heart-wrenching” injuries to her face and body in the sexually-motivated attack, Detective Inspector Mark Loper said.
Hundreds of people dropped off presents at Waikato Hospital yesterday and thousands more emailed or phoned with messages of support.
Police said the girl’s parents, believed to from Belgium, were incredibly appreciative of the generosity, but there was no capacity to take any more presents.
The family would only be able to take so much back to Europe and the surplus would help put smiles on the faces of a lot of sick children at the hospital.
Police said the family were reading all of the cards and messages being sent through the Waikato DHB email and they have been a huge support.
“We are very touched by the reactions of New Zealanders,” the parents said in a statement.
I was sickened and ashamed when I read of the barbaric assault on the five year old from Belgium. But this response from hundreds of total strangers epitomises the Christmas spirit, and is a wonderful reflection of most New Zealanders.
I just hope the Police catch the man responsible, and he is jailed indefinitely. Anyone who would do this to a five year old, with sexual motivation, can never be trusted out in the community again.
Merry Christmas to all readers, and may you have a peaceful day with your family and/or friends.
This is very well done.
West Wing fans will recall Kirstin Chenoweth as the tiny feisty press secretary whose romance with Leo is strongly hinted at. Well she can sing beautifully also.
Reuters names their top ten:
- Bethlehem, West Bank
- Santa Claus Village, Finland
- New York City, USA
- Bondi Beach, Australia
- Midnight Mass, Vatican City
- Dublin, Ireland
- Nuremberg, Germany
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Tokyo, Japan
- San Juan, Puerto Rico
A great classic.
And a more modern song.
Merry Christmas everyone.
Hope everyone is having a Merry Christmas today. I am heading to Marton to my sister-in-law’s farm for a couple of days.
A take-off of the Mariah Carey hit – All I want for Christmas is You.
Hat Tip: Dave Gee
A very politically incorrect christmas carol from last year. Has been viewed over 15 million times!