Featured post

ROCKY BAY NEVER WAS OMIHA

A Waiheke Island Myth Part 1 On Waiheke Island, New Zealand, a myth has grown up among a handful of people in the Rocky Bay Village th...

Follow Waiheke Notes by email

Monday, 14 October 2019

WHAT AT SHOULD HAVE DONE

Auckland Transport (AT), like bureaucracies all over the world, loves codes. They like inventing codes--something that stands for something else--and of course they alone know all the codes and what they stand for, which makes them feel important. It is part of their lust to impose their vain notions on the real world. They do not understand that systems should be designed for real people in the real world, not that people and the world are there to be shoe-horned into their systems.

AT's bus-routes have codes. Why? Because they have designed their systems round them, particularly their website.

But what do people want to know? They want to know how to get from A to B, from a place with a name to another place with a name. Places have names, not codes. People know the A, because they are standing there. All they want to know is what bus/train/ferry they must catch to get to the B.

So the ideal system, the people system, the real-world system, would be based on the real world and people's place in it. It would therefore be based on a map. That is very easy nowadays, particularly because we have Google's maps to use as a wonderfully detailed foundation.

So you are standing somewhere, the A in question, and you want to get to whatever B is your desire. So the ideal system would display a zoomable map, and would have two red, labelled pointers in a box at the top. The box would say, 'Please drag these pointers to where you want them to be'. One would be labelled 'I am here' and the other 'I want to go here'. You would drag them to where you wanted them (and if you were on a cellphone the first one might suggest where it should be via GPS).

If you were catching a bus,when they were dragged to where you wanted them, a window would pop up showing the front of a bus, with the subtitle: 'You need to catch the bus that shows this in its destination window. The next one will be leaving in nn minutes at hh:nn. The journey will take about nn minutes.'

If you were not near the relevant bus-stop it would show you where you had to walk to get to it, and even what the streets along the way looked like if Google had that data.

If you had to catch a train or ferry the window would show where you would catch it and what would be displayed on the station/terminal screen, again so that you could look for the right thing in the right place.

So you would know where to go and what to look for when you got there, so you could get on board the right vehicle (or vehicles if transfers were needed, which would of course be shown).

No codes would be necessary, because, as already stated, places have names, not codes. Codes are for control-freaks who want to impose themselves on reality, not work with it.

The same images of destination windows would show above the printed timetables in bus-stop shelters and leaflets. Not silly codes; actual bus signs.

In short, AT's system should have been based on chaps and maps, not on pointless codes. AT failed, as always, to base its operation on the real world. And the ratepayers were forced to foot the exorbitant bill.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

INSANITY IS SPELT AT

To detail every aspect of the incompetence of Auckland Transport would fill volumes. But only a few few aspects of the recent changes they have made to the bus service on the island will suffice to prove that they are worse than incompetent, they are crazy, and they chuck vast amounts of ratepayers' money down the toilet of their profligate craziness.

'It's sabotage, mate, sabotage,'a bus-driver said to another passenger the day after AT's crazy changes hit Waiheke.

Waiheke's bus service was once managed by a very good man, Ward Climo. Wardy as everyone called him is one of those golden men, a man it is an honour to know, a straightforward, down-to-earth, profoundly-caring man, and he was very good at his job.

In those days the destination windows at the front of buses showed a roll of black cloth with the destinations in bold white letters, designed by common sense to tell you quickly all you wanted to know--which is of course where each bus is going (some of the older buses still have that). They showed one of two destinations: Onetangi (via Surfdale), Rocky Bay (via Palm Beach), and, going the other way, Matiatia Ferry. Very simple, very direct. When a bus was still hundreds of metres away you could easily see if it was the one you wanted, so you could get your luggage ready and signal the driver well in advance.

Then the cloth rolls were mostly replaced with panels of LED lights that could be programmed to spell out whatever was wanted. But still the signs were kept simple, with big letters, so they were still obvious hundreds of metres away: Onetangi 1, Rocky Bay 2; and Matiatia Ferry 1 or 2 the other way. The route-numbers were large with clear space by them so that they stood out. So still, the only question---'Is that my bus?'--was answered quickly, at a considerable distance. Fine.








Then the Auckland Transport crazies struck, and filled the LED panels with two lines, showing the destination in smaller letters with voluminous sideways scrolling underneath that attempted to show all the main stops along the way. All useless, because the timetables showed that. Cluttering the front of buses with it was stupid. It was not the basics of good system-design: KISS KID--Keep It Simple Stupid, Keep It Direct.

But the AT crazies had not finished. Now they have piled craziness on craziness. For no reason except to manifest their excesses of craziness, they changed the simple 1, 2... to 50A, 50B, 502, 503, 504, and they packed even more 'information' into the destination windows--thus creating so much LED clutter you cannot now be sure till a bus gets almost to the stop that it is the one you want. Only then can you collect your luggage and make a signal. Or if you are a visitor you can then annoy the driver by asking where the bus is going, because they clutter is so confusing that you cannot be sure. The bus might be going to see Little Green Men on Planet 3 round Alpha Centauri for all you can discern.

But the AT crazies had not finished. The timetable data in the information sign at my bus stop has been printed in small characters, down at waist-level, not in large characters up at eye-level. Waist-level!!!!!!!!!!! I have no eyes in my navel, small or large. Few people do--a fact that has escaped the notice of the AT crazies. And above that data the sign is mainly white space, except for a meandering route-map that fails to tell passengers what they most want to know--where they need to transfer to get from the Rocky Bay route to Onetangi or to Kennedy Point. So the data you need is treated as unimportant, and white space as most important, because it dominates the sign. Why not print the timetable in nice big letters, at eye-level, and also show all the transfer information so people know how to get round the island.


What they should have done, of course, was to have put the times bit up the top, in much larger print. And that snake down the right side, and added to it beside the Ostend stop a note to say, 'Transfer here to the Onetangi route', and beside the Oneroa stop a note 'Transfer here to the Kennedy Point ferry'. Because people want to know how to get round Waiheke; they are not just going along one bus-route to get from A to B on it. And, of course, they should not have put any of that crazy 502 nonsense. 2 is more than enough. There's other rubbish on this sign that should be scorned, but life is not long enough to go through it all. The only thing they got right was to adopt a 24-hour clock, but they have messed up how that is implemented and explained They can do nothing right even when they are right.

But the AT crazies had not finished with that sign. A couple of days later they paid someone to take it from inside the shelter and place it on a pole outside. So now to read the timetable you have to stand out in the rain, not in the shelter. It is a little higher; it is now for people with eyes in their nipples.

The AT crazies hit a zenith of craziness at another stop, the one opposite the supermarket. For ever and five days there had been a timetable fixed to that shelter. Good./ But now it has been removed and replaced by one fixed to one of the expensive, unnecessary steel posts that AT has caused to sprout all the over bus-routes. The post is 8 metres away from shelter, the expensive signs at the top are invisible because they are buried in the branches of a pohutakawa tree, which almost manages to conceal the timetable sign too Eight metres from shelter, instead of on it... Those fools are mad.

The AT crazies had not finished with manifesting their craziness in O'Brien Road. They decided to put yellow no-passing lines, single or double, at various points on the median of  the road to tell motorists not to pass. Motorists would have to be a whole bakery short of a picnic to try passing at any of those points, but bureaucratic crazies like to tell people the obvious because they are narcissistic  control-freaks who love themselves and like ordering people about. But they failed to put double yellow lines where between Te Whau Drive and Okoka Road, the only place where it could be argued that they were needed. But the crazies, being blind to the obvious, failed to see that. A little local knowledge would have told them, and told them why.

But those AT crazies were not finished. They put a huge red blob right across O'Brien Road just above the very obvious bend below Okoka Road, with 'SLOW' emblazoned across it in huge white letters, so that people would know that they had to slow for the bend. You see, without that blot on the road to distract them from the obvious they might not see the obvious: that there is a bend in the road. The road has been there for nearly a hundred years. Now it has a blob. [The 30kph signs were there only for doing the roadworks to put the blob and other things.]


But AT's profligate crazies were not finished. For years there had been a very adequate bus-stop shelter down at the Rocky Bay.  Not flash, but cute and rustic and all that was needed. But they decided to built a flash new one at great expense. So now there are two. They even had a new sign made for the new one; they could not bring themselves to recycle the old one.

In the week the craziness was started, down at Matiatia a Class 1 Control-Freak, a damned fool of an AT bod, was ordering the buses about in the week. No, not ordering, disordering--being a thuggish bureaucrat. Because for years the bus leaving for the number 1 route, to Onetangi, was always parked first in line outside the terminal and the one leaving for the number 2 route, to Rocky Bay, was behind it, second. Very good. So you always knew where your bus would be when you came off the ferry, it was always in the same place; you could go straight to it. But the damned fool was busy forcing the drivers to go to the first spot regardless of where they were going, so sometimes that would the Onetangi bus, now renumbered by AT craziness, and sometimes it would be the Rocky Bay bus, depending on which one happened to arrive first at the terminal. So now people had to hunt about for the bus they wanted.

AT's craziness also ordered bus-drivers to wave a greeting to each other when they passed in opposite directions. Which drivers have been doing for ever and five days. 'Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs' is an old saying and wise one. Don't be a narcissistic thug, is the blunt version. All bureaucrats are narcissistic thugs, which is why they are so egregiously stupid,

One could go on and on and on, but there is not enough space or enough life in which to detail AT's profligate, narcissistic, thuggish worthlessness.

But all this is worst than craziness. It is also thievery, because all this and a vast amount more has been done on ratepayer's money. Which explains that my rates are now ten times what they were when I came to the island twenty-two years ago but inflation has only multiplied by about 1.5 according to the Reserve Bank's inflation calculator. In one word it is chronic wickedness visited upon us by profligate fools.


As the driver said: 'It's sabotage.'
For which ratepayers pay, and pay, and pay, and pay, and pay.......................................

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

WATER RATES ON WAIHEKE

The detailed breakdown on the Web of island rates for a residence shows a somewhat surprising entry: 'Water Quality Targeted Rate - Non-business'.

'Somewhat surprising' because of Waiheke's DIY water-supplies and wastewater systems, so I called 301-0101 to upload a Level 1 Interrogation of the Inmates, and after the normal long-spoon wait was told by a First Respondent Inmate that Auckland Council only charges land-rates; it does not charge water-rates, that those are charged by Watercare (which is a kind of collection of Outmates), so I was transferred to them... but they, of course, do not operate a helpdesk outside office hours.

When I caught up with Watercare next morning they said: 'It's definitely not us. It's definitely Auckland Council.'

So, back to the Inmates, and now it was Level 2, bordering on Level 3. The response was an email a few days later from a Second Respondent Inmate, which over 'Kind Regards,' proclaimed: 'Water Quality Targeted Rate is to help fund an accelerated programme to improve water quality in our beaches, harbours and streams. This is a city wide targeted rate that applies in all areas [sic].'

Thus is Waiheke charged a 'city' water-rate. Hmmmm...

AT--WORSE THAN INCOMPETENT

A few weeks ago seven boys and girls from Auckland Transport (AT) came across to sort out the ignorant savages who live on Waiheke. We are, of course, ignorant savages in comparison with the Magnificently Superior Creatures from the mainland, who exist on an infinitely higher plain--somewhere above Alpha Centauri, at a rough guess.

The Magnificent Seven, stood about, armed with magnificent clipboards, and magnificently identified pressing problems that did not exist, then went away to the Magnificent Mainland to plan them out of existence. But... when you set out to eliminate problems that did not exist you bring into existence problems that were not there before and never should be.

But, being from the Alpha Centauri Mainland, they did not know that, so they did not see the real problems in the two bus-stops on either side of O'Brien Road at its intersection with Te Whau Drive. There had been two small problems. Two bus-stops, one small problem each.

First, there was a small problem at the stop opposite Te Whau Drive, because it was only the shoulder of the road. That was OK except in wet weather and days after it, because buses always pulled over to the shoulder so as to get off O'Brien Road as far as possible, and therefore kept digging a pothole when they accelerated away, which filled with muddy water, so passengers who had just alighted were likely to be deluged brown.

All that was needed to fix that was to seal or concrete the shoulder, then that pothole would never appear.

But the Magnificent Seven did not see that. No perception, no local knowledge, no concern for anything except to spend the Maximum of Ignorant Savages' money and thus feel Maximum Magnificent Important.

Therefore at huge expense a Magnificent Design was done, and a large gang of workmen and machines from Fulton Hogan were hired to spend several days turning that Magnificent Design into concrete, wood and pipe. They built a raised concrete pad, edged with a high concrete curbing, which certainly eliminated the pothole (very good) but also eliminated the shoulder that buses had been able to pull over to (bad, bad, bad). So now buses were obliged to block the road when they stopped. Magnificent!

And block it further up the road, making it impossible for vehicles to use the mouth of Te Whau Drive to pass the bus.

Second there was a small problem at the stop on the other side of the road, on the corner of Te Whau Drive and O'Brien. It had long had a nice little bus shelter, one of those cute rustic ones that fit the character of our village-rural environment. But because its concrete floor was significantly lower than the shoulder of the road, rain sent buckets of muddy water down into the shelter, so people then had to immerse their shoes in a muddy swamp. The obvious solution was to unbolt the shelter from its concrete base and pour a new base on top, thus raising it about 250mm. Then the floor of the shelter would be a bit above the shoulder of the road.

But the Magnificent Seven did not see that. No perception, no local knowledge, no concern for anything but how to spend the maximum of Maximum of Ignorant Savages' money and thus feel Maximum Magnificent Important.

Therefore at huge expense, a Magnificent Design was done, and a large gang of workmen and machines from Fulton Hogan were hired to spend several days turning that Magnificent Design into concrete, metal, gravel and wood. They built a raised curve of concrete curbing going right round the corner, and between it and the bus-shelter they laid down a wide swathe of deep gravel.

So now the floor of the shelter is even further below the edge of the road, which means that to get out of it and into a bus you have to climb a gravel slope and summit on a high curb; and low-slung buses have a problem pulling into that stop; and mothers with push-chairs are presented with an upward-sloping gravel obstacle-course that makes it hard to get a child and a push-chair into a bus quicker than jaunt to Alpha Centauri; and buses can no longer pull into the mouth of Te Whau Drive
to clear O'Brien Road, so are obliged to block O'Brien Road on that side too. Magnificent!

On top of all that, motorists coming out of Te Whau Drive into O'Brien Road now tend to swing wide to clear that curbing round the corner--so wide that as you stand waiting for a bus you see most of them crossing the centre-line into traffic coming up O'Brien Road. Magnificent!

O'Brien Road at that point was already narrow; it has now been narrowed even more.

All that is because the Magnificent Seven failed to see the real problems, and so they created problems that had not been there before. Well done, O Magnificent Seven! That's Progress!? Take a boo.

As a wise old bus-driver observed: 'They made a bad situation worse.'

If AT ceased to exist Waiheke would be better off. They don't know where it's at. But they do know how to wAsTe buckets of our money.

AT is worse than incompetent. Incompetence does badly a job that needed doing. Worse-than-incompetent does a job that did not need doing, never needed doing, and should never have been done or even contemplated--and does it badly. Very badly. That is AT.

In the matter of those two bus stops, AT, not content with being worse than incompetent, carried on and reached even greater depths of profligate stupidity. The bus stops had always been next to earth and bush, but after it had made such a damnable mess of them it decided that there was not enough earth on that part of the planet, so it hired people to buy some more out of ratepayers money and sprinkle it about.

But they were still not finished with being mind-bogglingly stupid and damnably wasteful. They erected a sign, spang in the middle of the grass footpath that leads to one of the bus stops, so now pedestrians have to dodge out on to the road at that point. All AT needed to do, and was told to do, was to keep the grass mown so that the verge was always a usable path. They failed to do that. Instead, they blocked it. With a useless eyesore of a sign on the edge of a beautiful forest reserve. and to underscore their stupidity the sign is a warning to motorists to watch out for pedestrians--the very pedestrians who are forced on to the road because of the sign.... !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Adding insult to injury, everything they have done at and around the two stops is ugly; it is out of keeping with the environment. They are not only worse than incompetent; they are also environmentally insensitive. And thieves, because they take public money to create their vandalism.

In the study of logic a term is used that is also used in mathematics: IFF. IFF is an abbreviation for 'If, if, and only if.' The fundamental dictum in logic is 'IFF the premise is true and the reasoning is true the conclusion must be true.' Or, as it can also be stated, in reverse, 'IFF the premise is false or the reasoning is false the conclusion will always be false, it cannot possibly be true.' All that can be put more simply: 'Unless you start with the truth and proceed by the way of truth you cannot possibly arrive at anything true.' AT has repeatedly proved by what it arrived at that it did not start with the truth or proceed by the way of truth. It ignored the fundamentals of good service. And it did it all on ratepayers' money. It is therefore chronically guilty of fundamentally bad service and public thievery.

------

AT's sunken bus-stop shelter at the intersection of Te Whau Drive and O'Brien Rd and the gravel ascent now needed to escape it--a well-nigh impassable barrier for push-chairs:








The thick pad that was installed by profligate AT instead of just fixing the puddle--where the puddle had been is marked. The pad has already been broken, obviously by a bus that got too close when the driver tried to pull over:



As Google Earth saw that intersection, both ways, before AT's blind machinations got at it:



Public servants are the salt of the earth. They care about people, they are thoughtful and prudent and behave as good stewards of public time and money. But bureaucrats are none of those things; they are the opposite. Scientific analysis of them, including a study back in the 1990s, shows plainly that they have the same psychological profile as individuals who commit crimes against the person--those who are guilty of the assault, rape, domestic violence, child-abuse and murder. They are thugs, but not with fists and physical weapons. Their assaults on people and the populace deploy their two favourite words: policy and process--either good policy invented by public servants, which the bureaucrats turn to evil, or evil policy that they themselves invented. They seek out positions of power in order to exercise their wicked thuggery. They vindicate themselves by covering their evil with cloaks of fine words, pretty logos and flash offices, etc., but the evil is always there.

In a word, they are insane. Not Section 8, barking-made insane, but psychologically dysfunctional with deep-seated sociopathic tendencies. The proofs of their sociopathy are plain, in the 'thinking' they manifest in their designs and bureaucratic rules, in the careless way they waste public money, and in the fact that they do not strive to do things in the ways that are the least-disruptive, carry the minimum of upset, have the lowest cost, and have the maximum careful attention to the people who will be on receiving end of their actions. A part of their madness is the self-delusion that they are not dysfunctional, a delusion inflated by their vanity.

Bureaucrats are thugs, they are evil, they are mad. AT has a plethora of them.


AUCKLAND TRANSPORT DOESN'T KISS KID

What on earth were they 'thinking' at Auckland Transport; they don't know where it's AT. What on earth were they 'thinking' when they came up with the new codes for the revamped bus-routes on Waiheke Island, the ones that start on October 13 2019? Whatever it was it had nothing to do with logic or the real world.

In systems-design there is an old, wise acronym: KISS -- Keep It Simple, Stupid. To that, I like to add KID -- Keep It Direct. And one of my favourite quotations for all aspects of design comes from an American designer, Saul Bass, who said, 'Design is thinking made visible. '

Signs, particularly signs for roads, should convey information concisely and speedily, real information, not worthless garbage.

The new codes designated by AT for the island's revamped bus-routes have been advertised as 50A, 50B, 502, 503, 504. There is no logical structure is that, no connection to the real world, and no thinking worthy of the name.

First, is that fiftyA, fifty2, etc., or five-hundred-and-A, five-hundred-and-two, etc.? And why 50 or 500 as prefixes? There are not 50 or 500 variations on the final destinations on the island and therefore not on the routes.

At the moment there are only two final destinations: Onetangi, which has long been Route 1 (very logical: One-tangi), and Rocky Bay, Route 2 (two words, again very logical). The new scheme adds one more final destination: Oneroa--for the new shuttles to and from the two ferries. Therefore, logic and reality and familiarity dictate Route 1 and Route 2, and adding Route 3 for the new shuttles. Route 3 is to have two variations, to Matiatia and Kennedy Point, and thus, logically, it should be 3M and 3K. Onetangi is to have two or three variations, going to The Strand or Waiheke Road and thus in simple logic becomes 1S, 1W, etc.

That is all firmly fixed to logic and the real world. It is eminently simple, it does not clutter bus-signs or timetables, it is easy to communicate to foreign visitors, even in hand-signs. And it keeps what is familiar; it does not throw it away to satisfy some bureaucratic whim.

Codes are not needed in an ideal system, but if they are used they should always be meaningful. Every character should give information, useful information. That 50A, 50B, 502, 503, 504 scheme fails that test. Remove the '50' and no information is lost. But remove any character from 1, 2, 3, 3M, 3K, and  useful information is lost.

And from a distance, with less than good eyesight, 50A and 504 look similar on the front of a bus, as do 50B and 503. All you want to know when you see a bus coming is is it the one I want. That '50-something' nonsensical trash tells you nothing.

1, 1S, 1W, 2, 3M, 3K pass the KISS KID test. AT's damnably silly setup fails it dismally. It is ridiculous, and deserves to be laughed at by everyone on the planet.

In the study of logic a term is used that is also used in mathematics: IFF. IFF is an abbreviation for 'If, if, and only if.' The fundamental dictum in logic is 'IFF the premise is true and the reasoning is true the conclusion must be true.' Or, as it can also be stated, in reverse, 'IFF the premise is false or the reasoning is false the conclusion will always be false, it cannot possibly be true.' All that can be put more simply: 'Unless you start with the truth and proceed by the way of truth you cannot possibly arrive at anything true.' AT has repeatedly proved by what it arrived at that it did not start with the truth or proceed by the way of truth. It ignored the fundamentals of good service. And it did it all on ratepayers' money. It is therefore chronically guilty of fundamentally bad service and public thievery.

Public servants are the salt of the earth. They care about people, they are thoughtful and prudent and behave as good stewards of public time and money. But bureaucrats are none of those things; they are the opposite. Scientific analysis of them, including a study back in the 1990s, shows plainly that they have the same psychological profile as individuals who commit crimes against the person--those who are guilty of the assault, rape, domestic violence, child-abuse and murder. They are thugs, but not with fists and physical weapons. Their assaults on people and the populace deploy their two favourite words: policy and process--either good policy invented by public servants, which the bureaucrats turn to evil, or evil policy that they themselves invented. They seek out positions of power in order to exercise their wicked thuggery. They vindicate themselves by covering their evil with cloaks of fine words, pretty logos and flash offices, etc., but the evil is always there.

In a word, they are insane. Not Section 8, barking-made insane, but psychologically dysfunctional with deep-seated sociopathic tendencies. The proofs of their sociopathy are plain, in the 'thinking' they manifest in their designs and bureaucratic rules, in the careless way they waste public money, and in the fact that they do not strive to do things in the ways that are the least-disruptive, carry the minimum of upset, have the lowest cost, and have the maximum careful attention to the people who will be on receiving end of their actions. A part of their madness is the self-delusion that they are not dysfunctional, a delusion inflated by their vanity.


Bureaucrats are thugs, they are evil, they are mad. AT has a plethora of them.



Wednesday, 26 September 2018

WHACKING THE PREDATORS

So $11 million is to be spent to rid Waiheke Island of rats and stoats, the nasty foreign predators making off with our bird-life in their voracious jaws.

But the regime has overlooked cats, the murderous moggies that have been set free or made off and have gone feral, and the still-domestic ones being let out every day or night to roam far and wide, both voraciously eliminating the same bird-life. The very least that should be done is to make it
mandatory to put a bell round their necks so they cannot sneak up on their prey. Big Ben would be a
nice size... ;-)

They have also overlooked the worst breed of rats: bureauc-rats, which, in contradistinction to true
public servants, are predators of the most wicked kind. They love to gnaw away at people's live with
their malign policies, processes and decisions, none of which have anything to do with natural
justice. The Pied Piper of Hamelin would need three flutes to get rid of them.

Or just chuck them off the wharf and let them swim back to Orcland, the most appropriate place for them....

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

HE DOES NOT BUSS SENIORS

Some of you may have seen this rubbish written by someone who obviously has no love for older people, and likes to shoot his mouth off before he gets his brain loaded with factual bullets.

The response to his diatribe is easy:

Your maths is all wrong.

$4087 over 22 months is $185 per month. That, at $38 a return, is 5 trips on average per month. That
is not a daily commute. It is once a week. Such as being an outpatient at the hospital. Or shopping
at the Warehouse in town to save money on the pension. Or to see a friend from time to time.

You have built a story out of your own invention, founded on your very obvious bias.

And your $200,000 divided by 100 is $2000, which at $38 a return is 52 trips. One a week. Even that
is not a daily commute.

Again, your own figures prove you wrong.

And you have not the slightest idea of how wealthy or not those travellers are. You are guessing.
Interviewing your word-processor.

....

And the plural of bus is buses. 'Busses' is the plural of 'buss', the old word for a kiss.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

FACEBUNK RULES THE BOARD!

[Recent News Item: The Waiheke Local Board decided not to support making Rocky Bay the official name of the village by having the New Zealand Geographic Board gazette it, giving as its reason a poll it ran on Facebook.]

Facebunk Rules! OK!
--------------------------

Oh goody! Progress! Stupendous progress! All de people-problems of the world is solved!

Yup! De Waiheke Local Board has shown duh way. Ev'ry democratic difficulty is now de thing of de
past. Yay! Triple yay!!!

The silly ole law wants community consultation, democracy and all dat stuff. But dat's a chore anna
bore and such a tedious waste uv time. Who needs it!?

Not us, not we de Waiheke Local Board. For we has duh new way. We has a wunnerful replacement for dat dumb consultation thingy.

Yes, we has. We jus' conduct a Facebunk poll. A Facebunk poll! Yes, den we knows for sure and sure
and sure what de community thinks and wishes its liddle heart for.

Doesn't matter two hoots dat enny bod on de planet, all de way out to Alpha Centauri, can use de
Facebunk poll, and dat dat's a tad or five past our bailiwick, and dat we can't check dem Liddle
Green Men 'gainst de local electoral roll.

We doesn't care about pesky details like dat. We jus' quote de Facebunk numbers and sign our
hieroglyphics on dem and it all looks all kosher. Yeah! Right!

Facebunk! Mush better than a bit uv silver on da palm of some ole gypsy in a tent. Yeah!

Democracy by Facebunk. Brilliant! Next we'll get Pallymunt to replace elections with Facebunk--and
it'll be Pollymunt! Yay! Duh Waiheke Local Board! Leading de way into de stun age!!! Hit 'em with
Facebunk. They'll never know the deference. Yeah!

Thursday, 27 July 2017

ROCKY BAY THE TRUTH IN BRIEF

To set the Rocky Bay record straight with true documentary provenance for those who may have been
misled by false assumptions, or misinformation, or mischievous stories, the original Maori name of
the land that became the Rocky Bay Village was Kuakarau (spelt Kauakarau in those days). It was a
subdivision of what had been a block of Maori land called the Kuakarau Block, Block 342, plus a tiny  bit of the Whakanewha Block in the southeast corner (see the map).


'Rocky Bay' as the name of the smallish bay where boats now bob on swing moorings first appears on a  Maori Land Court map dated 1865, and is affirmed on a Crown map dating from 1877.

When the village above Rocky Bay was formed placenames were only legal and official if they were
assigned by the Governor-General on behalf of the then Monarch, King George VI.

But 'Kuakarau' and 'Rocky Bay' were ignored by the two Europeans who subdivided the Kuakarau part of their farm. Instead, for marketing purposes, and without Royal authority, they deployed 'Omiha Bay' and 'Omiha'. And although they were 100% European they covered their marketing prospectus with Maori symbolism, which they had no blood right to.

The Maori Land Court map of 1865 accompanied a successful claim by three Maori men to
joint-ownership of the Kuakarau Block, its official name. They listed their genealogies, which the
Court carefully recorded. Nowhere is there any mention of an 'Omiha' or any name anything like it.
It was never the original Maori name; it has never been the official name; it is listed as 'Not
official' on the New Zealand Geographic Board's gazetteer.

See this blog for more details and other documentation. 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

BORED CHICANERY

Chicanery by those in positions of power is so boring. So predictable. So pointless. So wicked. When such people use rhetoric, or vanity of title, or overbearing character, or loud voice, or procedural diversion, or some other trickery to evade the truth and keep to paths of falsehood that have become habit in someone to whom they tug the forelock--when that is so they are not worthy of a public position, for they have betrayed the trust of those who voted for them.

A case in a point is a presentation made in the Public Forum segment to the Waiheke Local Board at its first meeting of 2017, At least it was meant to be a presentation, but it was very soon apparent to the chairman that the presentation was running swiftly towards the facts, and had already exposed a situation that was, very obviously, too obviously, a threat to public safety. As well as being very bad manners and chronically inconvenient to people. But he did not want those facts to be aired in public, he did not want anything to be done to correct the ill-mannered, inconvenient and dangerous situation--a situation whose constant potential was to be fatal.

So what did the chairman immediately the presentation began to expose the public danger? Under the gaze of everyone in the public gallery, he interrupted, he stopped the presentation, by very cleverly asking the presenter what he wanted. The answer from the presenter was that he wanted a resolution that would be presented to a government entity, a resolution supporting the permanent correction of the rude, inconvenient and dangerous situation.

'Under standing orders,' the chairman said, 'we cannot make a resolution based on a presentation made in the Public Forum.' Very, very clever.

If he had been honest he would have said to the presenter, 'Please present us with all the facts so that the whole board is fully informed, in public, so that the public is also informed, then with your assistance, keeping to standing orders, we can formulate a resolution that will correct the wrong situation. We want to act in the best interests of the community, as we are sworn to do.' That would have been honest.

But to cover his dishonesty before the public gallery he asked the presenter if he would meet with him the following week to present the facts. The presenter, innocent as the lamb led to the slaughter, agreed. 'Any time that suits you,' he said.

He was, by serendipity, tripped up, because the very next presenter, by nice coincidence, supported the danger that the first presenter had exposed. But that was ignored. Of course. The first presenter, whose case had just been proved, was not invited back. Because there was going to be a meeting with the chairman, wasn't there? Wasn't there?

But the following week came and went, but without a meeting, without the slightest contact from the chairman--not directly, not through the Relationship Manager from the Council. So the presenter asked, by email to the Relationship Manager, when the meeting would be. He was told that it would be on Tuesday the following week, and to name the time that suited. He did. But on Monday the meeting was cancelled, by email. The chairman told him the meeting was not necessary, because the Local Board had had a workshop the previous Friday and it had decided to do nothing. (None of those email communications were done directly by the chairman, it was all through the Relationship Manager at Auckland Council.)

So the Local Board, which had not had the facts presented, had managed to have a 'workshop' to make a decision. But why let the facts get in the way of a perfectly uniformed decision????????? A Local Board is a quasi-judicial body. Not being interested in the facts has nothing whatever to do with justice ('justice' comes from the Latin 'ius,' which means 'right'

All elected members of local bodies must under the Local Government Act 2002 swear this oath of office, swear it and sign it:

'I, AB, declare that I will faithfully and impartially, and according to the best of my skill and judgment, execute and perform, in the best interests of [region or district], the powers, authorities, and duties vested in, or imposed upon, me as [mayor or chairperson or member] of the [local authority] by virtue of the Local Government Act 2002, the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, or any other Act
Dated at: [place, date]
Signature:
Signed in the presence of:
CD, [mayor or chairperson or member or chief executive of local authority]'.

To suppress and evade the facts and make decisions in a factual vacuum is not faithful, and is not impartial, and has nothing to do with best skill and judgement. And failing to take the simple action needed to end a situation which at worst would be fatal is certainly not in the best interests of the community. Nor is it in accordance with any other Act, in particular the great ones that enshrine the immeasurable rights and freedoms on which New Zealand is founded and based. It does not, for example, fulfil the solemn promise made to us all in statute that 'we will not deny or defer, to any man, either justice or right', or the strictures to do all things according to due process of law, and that anything not done accordingly 'shall be void in law and holden for error.'

All those statutes had been brought to the attention of the chairman in 2016 so he cannot plead ignorance of the greatest statutes encompassed by his oath to adhere to 'any other Act.'

Those who wilfully fail to fulfil their oath of office have turned it into a lie. They have betrayed their duty to their community and to the best of the laws that govern us--and laid themselves wide open to some form of legal action to force them back to the straight and narrow. The only language they should ever speak is the truth, strongly, boldly, without hesitation. For that alone is impartial, that alone is public service. They should never sully their mouths, their thoughts, their actions with weasel-words, which are words so adulterated with wastewater that they stink to high heaven. (Note that the chairman alone went out of his way to swear his oath of office on the Holy Bible). They should stand strong for their community, especially when the situation has dangerous potential; milk-and-water spinelessness must be rejected. In this matter they failed. Abjectly.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

START PANICKING!

START PANICKING!
I am very, very, very worried. Because of the glowing articles about Waiheke in Lonely Planet and
other places that should have kept their big mouths shut, and because so many people are leaving
America to escape Donald Trump and Britain to escape Brexit and everywhere else to escape
climate-change, the island is being deluged with alien bodies and alien vehicles.

As a result it is sinking. I have been taking precise measurements, and on the busiest days, when
the island was alien flesh and metal from one end to the other, it was an astonishing 10 metres
lower.

I felt the supermarket shaking, so our bit of the Earth's crust is definitely being deformed  far
faster and more violently than that old myth called the rule of law.

So two imminent disasters are staring Waihekeans in the facials. Either the tonnage of alien flesh
and alien cars will suddenly be too much and the island will sink into the sea and we shall all
drown. Or when all the aliens go home the island will rise 10 metres in a big hurry and the
consequent earthquake will shake us all to pieces.

--

(Written on behalf of Chicken Licken who has been kidnapped and fried by KFC)
(So HE was right)

INCOMPETENT INORGANIC: PART 5

Although Scotty was reduced to ashes and shot into orbit in an urn long ago (Scotty of Star Trek for those to whom that means nothing) he is still beaming things up to the USS Enterprise and working wonders with seemingly dead machinery.

He must be. Because a few days ago the fridge-freezer suddenly vanished. One day it was there; the next it was gone. No goodbyes, no parting notes, no so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-fish, no word of any sort.

Its disappearance would be a big mystery, except that by a quirk of quantum entanglement I have learned that Scotty modified it and sold it to some intergalactic being with blue skin and retracting horns, who fitted it into a warp drive. Apparently old fridge-freezers from Earth can produce endless warp flux by adding a clever gizmo produced by the guys on the Fifth Rock orbiting Sun Four in the Orion system. Which must be the ultimate in recycling. If the Council only knew, it could be making enough intergalactic credits from piles of dead fridge-freezers to pay off the global debt.

So the Incompetent Inorganic Saga lasted only five weeks--enough time for a 1960s Apollo mission to have got to the Moon and back ten times over. That's progress for you...

Friday, 23 December 2016

INCOMPETENT INORGANIC: PART 4

The next step was to fire off an email about this shemozzle to the Mayor, Phil Goff. This was the response. It was not from him, it was from yet another bureaucrat.

RE: [Fwd: RE: [Auckland City] Allocated: Request 1832047  Priority 3: Rubbish Missed.]

Dear Mr Ceramalus,

Thank you for your email to the Mayor. This is an operational matter that the Mayor is unable to assist with.

As requested by Hazel Durkin, your permission is needed in order to carry out the collection of the item, as the contractor is concerned about potentially damaging your stairs. If you accept the potential risk, the collection can be arranged within the next week.

Please send your response to Lynda Totua, copied in.

Kind regards,
Alison

Alison Grant | Correspondence Manager
Office of the Mayor of Auckland
Level 27, 135 Albert Street
Victoria Street West, Private Bag 92300 Auckland 1142,
Visit our website: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Weasel words. Notice how bureaucrats minds work. They state a 'seems' or an 'is concerned' or a 'possibility' or a 'consideration' or some such term, based on nothing but bureaucratic imaginings. Next that groundless non-fact is treated as a hard fact.

Here, they have chosen 'concern'. Their contractor has a 'concern' that if he uses a trolley he will damage my steps (which they insist, wrongly, on calling stairs). To the other bureaucrats that 'concern' is then deployed as a fact. It ignores the real fact that the publicity about this stupid collection system says that items must be able to be 'carried by two men.' Carried is carried. But bureaucrats are like Humpty Dumpty: 'Words mean whatever I say they mean.' So now 'carried' is 'taken on a trolley.' But it is an unnecessary trolley, because this item can be carried 10 metres. Far further, in real fact, by two men. Real men. Men with muscles. Men who are not lazy and powered by bureaucratic mainsprings.

So having changed the English language they invent a 'risk' on top of it, and throw their brainless ball back into my court. I must take the 'risk' of 'damage' to my 'stairs' (steps, people, they are steps). So now they are happy. They have blamed me, so all the inaction on their part will be my fault.

Step 1: a groundless 'fact'. Step 2: Treat that as a fact. Step 3: use that to throw the onus off themselves on to the ratepayer. DONE!

The above email has established another thing. The Mayor is hamstrung, walled off by bureaucrats from the people who elected him in a landslide. He does not see an email addressed to him. It is diverted. He is prevented from doing anything.

It is not worth wasting any more life on this Empire of Mainliner Fools. The inorganic item in question can stay where it is. Unless I get it picked up by a commercial carrier, then take the Empire to the Disputes Tribunal to get reimbursed. Last time I took the Empire there I won.

Footnote: It has yet to be established that the Empire has the legal right to create this collection-system for inorganic rubbish in which they can demand access for their contractors to private property to ferret about for it. 'Warwick'. who is two rungs above Hazel Durkin says that making an appointment for them to come gives them that right, but that is a spurious argument, because the system is such that the 'appointment' is made under duress. If you want a collection you must give access, because the system they created demands it.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

INCOMPETENT INORGANIC: PART 3

Today--some time after I had sent an email on this bureaucratic nonsense to the Mayor, Phil Goff--I received this email from the incompetent outfit over on the mainland, which after a month has still not collected the small fridge-freezer  I put out for the inorganic collection (for 'mainland' read the depository of mainliner bureaucrats high on their own methamphetamine vanity and incompetence):

RE: [Auckland City] Allocated: Request 1832047 Priority 3: Rubbish Missed.

Dear Mr Ceramalus,

I am writing to update on your enquiry regarding the inorganic collection.

Please be advised I have visited the site to make an assessment and could agree 
with both your assessment and the contractors.

I have asked that the contractor returns with a trolley to assist in lifting the 
item up the stairs.

The contractor is concerned about damaging the stairs which are slightly loose.  
Please can you confirm you are happy to accept this risk?

We'll try to get back tomorrow, so please respond today if you are able.  
Otherwise next week is possible also.

Kind Regards,
Hazel

Hazel Durkin | Senior Waste Advisor (Contracts)
Waste Solutions - Infrastructure & Environmental Services
Mobile 021 716 516
Auckland Council, Level 1N, 24 Wellesley Street West, Auckland




This woman should be sacked. She says she agrees both with me and the worthless lazy contractors who refuse to collect this item. That is bureaucratic fence-sitting on steroids. They should pump those steroids into the muscles of their contractors; then they might be able to carry this thing.

First: the contractor does not need a 'trolley' to carry this. Two men--real men, with real muscles--can carry it. When it was replaced with a much bigger one, two men, one young, carried the replacement all the way down to my dwelling: 80 metres. This can easily be carried by two men--real men, with real muscles. The 'trollety' is and all the rest of it is just a plethora of excuse-making to cover all their collective backsides, it is just to reinforce the lying pretence that the thing cannot be carried by the 'two men' quoted in the leaflets.

Second: there are no loose steps. The stakes holding them go deep. Thousands of things, many heavy, have been carried over them over the years. She is inventing to cover her incompetent backside.

Third: this brainless, extravagant, incompetent, wasteful woman used ratepayers' money and time to come all the way out here on a ferry and a car/bus/taxi to 'visit the site'. That is a return trip of about four hours. The woman is a damned fool.

Fourth: when I tried to call her, she had of course had herself replaced by 'voicemail'. So had her boss. So had her boss's boss. They are meant to be public servants. That means being accessible to the public. That fact has obviously not entered their bureaucratic heads.

Fifth: that 'Kind Regards' is wicked hypocrisy. Weasel-words.

She is incompetent, a liar, a bureaucrat, a fool and extravagantly wasteful. She should be sacked, sacked, sacked. She does not deserve employment at public expense.

This lot couldn't organise its way out of a wet paper-bag with the help of nuclear weapons and a squadron of bulldozers. Would that we had our own council on Waiheke Island and no longer had to deal with dumb-as-a-brick mainliners like this!

If these arch-fools had been in charge of allied forces in World War II we would have lost the war, we would all be speaking Nazi German, and be worshipping the corpse of Hitler. No, I am not angry, I am livid that my rates and taxes are pouring in the pockets of creatures whose mental capacity and general competence is so rubbishy that they cannot carry out a simple rubbish-collection, either on the day appointed by them (which I was ready for), even when given a month since then to do it since then, even after repeated phone calls and emails, even when I did everything demanded by them in their false-hearted advertised rules. Such creatures are the scum of the earth; every single day they thieve time and money out of others' lives; they are mindless bureaucratic thugs. They are dysfunctional, they have a sub-functional mindset, they are incapable of acting in anyone's best interests. All such creatures should be sacked, sacked, sacked.

If the fools who run Auckland Council had a worthwhile neuron they would institute psychometric testing, and employ no one who failed. Then they would be employing public servants, not bureaucrats, who are sociopaths or psychopaths, and therefore they would save billions because they would not have to be employing anything like the number they do employ. Bureaucrats are egregiously wasteful. Public servants are efficient and prudent.


Sunday, 18 December 2016

INCOMPETENT INORGANIC PART 2

Eleven days after the appointed inorganic pickup date for my address, and after only two phone calls
to the Council--only two!!--I was honoured with a call from a bureaucrat at the high-and-mighty
Auckland Council--that bastion of mainliners perched on a permanent high of their own petty power--a woman who announced herself as Hazel in a Pommy accent.

Bureaucrats don't have surnames, see, because they likes to live in Anonymous Land so that people
can't get at them... They doesn't like people, see. People is a nuisance, see. Worse than blowflies
at a picnic, see.

But my VOIP phone automatically records every single word of every single conversation in an MP3
file, so modern technology neatly defeats them boo-rock-rat wishes. It was stamped 09:54:00 on
06/12/2016 if you wants de boo-rock-rat accuracy.

(Not even the Pied Piper of Hamelin can get rid of boo-rock-rats. That's a well-known scientific
fact. Even more factual than gravity and the unwelcome pulling of ponytails.)

'The item was left because of the stairs,' quoth Hazel, as the MP3 file silently recorded. 'It
wasn't safe to carry the item down the stairs. They've made that assessment.'

I told her that that was rubbish (perfect pun, notice), and asked how did she think I got the thing
in here in the first place. And how did I manage to take it 70 metres back up the hill, all by my
unaided thread-like self, so that the Council's weak and timid collectors would not have to exert
themselves and risk their lives.

Of course, in talking to her I didn't use terms like 'thread-like' and 'weak and timid', because
mainliners don't have no sense of humour, see. (Maybe the full stop in that last sentence should be
after 'sense'. Then it would be 'Mainliners don't have no sense. Of humour. See.' Yes, much better.
Editing is such fun.)

'I don't accept that,' quoth Hazel, our unwitting MP3 Star. 'We actually had our independent
auditors out with them at the time, and they agreed with the decision.'

Whaaaaaaaaaaat! They carry 'independent auditors' about with them in their collection truck! So now
we know that they mainline on an overweening mix of steroids and petty power. Wow! That's progress.
Yes, my favourite one-word joke. Again. I get so many chances to use it in this midden world. And
getting more midden by the minute.

Hazel continued with her quothing: 'I support their decision. I can't ask them to go and collect
something that they think is a health-and-safety issue.'

But not a common sense issue, or even uncommon sense, or any kind of sense. Weak and timid, see.

Hazel quothed on: 'If you can get the item down the stairs, we will collect it.'

Small errors, there, Hazel. First it is up, not down. And thems is actually steps, not stairs.
Stairs is wot you has inside a building, O Unwitting MP3 Star. Steps is what you have outside, in a
path, on the edge of the porch, outside Pallymunt, etc. The fridge-freezer is waiting at the foot of
the STEPS--the foot--so it had to go up. UP, Hazel, not down. Wot an accurate report the
'independent auditors' did for our MP3 Star. They know not their up from their down or their stairs
from their steps or their health and safety issues from a piddling liddle fridge-freezer that they
had to carry a mere 7 metres.

And they cannot read their own advertising. The Orcland Council website says; 'Items should be able
to be lifted by two people. Accepted: Large appliances--fridges, freezers, washing machines and
ovens'. Misleading advertising, see. AKA lies.

But if I were do wot the MP3 Star wants and take the 'item' up the steps I would be leaving it on
the side of the road. Because that is what is at the top of them steps. But the high-and-mighty
Auckland Council calls that illegal dumping, and fines you up to $400, and sends you to Guantanamo
Bay without the option of a surfboard so that you can chat with radical Islamists for the next fifty
years.

So I now have an ornament at the foot of the steps below my letterbox. A fridge-freezer. A very dead
one. Lying down. A bit of modern sculpture, some performance-art, entitled 'Death of Civilisation.'

Not everyone has one. But don't be jealous. You too can have one. You just put one out for Orc's
indigestible, incompetent, inept, infuriating inorganic-collection system. Which will leave it for
you, artistically positioned, and festooned with a note to say that it will not be taken.

Like boo-rock-rats, it's impossible to take.

Would that we could get rid of the Supercilious Supersilly and get back our own Council and run our own affairs, free for ever of the malign injections from those mainliners over the water!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

INCOMPETENT INORGANIC

The new system for collecting inorganic rubbish is wunnerful, wunnerful, wunnerful!

You sign up for it, they send you an email to tell you what day they will be coming, asking you to
leave the stuff out (but not on the edge of the road, 'cause that's dumping), and they will come on
to your property on that day, some time after 7am, to take it away.

Fine.

No, not fine. I put six items out, all of them ones on their approved list, and together nowhere
near the maximum volume ('no more than would fill a small trailer').

I arrived home at the end of the designated day to find that only five of the six had gone. What was
left was a small fridge-freezer, with a note to say that it was too heavy for them to take.

Of course I understand that. It was not too heavy for me to take--all by myself--the 70 metres from
my dwelling to where I left it for them--only 7 metres from the road. I did that, just me, using my
antique muscles, which are older than Methuselah (who is on record as having lived 969 years),
muscles only slightly stronger than a malnourished pipi running on flat batteries.

But it seems not to have entered the official skulls to employ a couple of hefty Maori blokes
capable of lifting the entire planet on the tip of one hand whilst scoffing a pile of chips with the
other one. No, their blokes cannot, even when there are two of them, lift a small fridge-freezer.

So I called 301-0101, went through the usual labyrinth on the phone, whilst listening at the normal
high volume to what someone brain-dead likes to call music, and was then put into the 'escalation'
process, which has a lead-time of five working days. Wunnerful!

Sadly, that will not give their weaklings long enough to bulk up so that they will be able to move 7
metres what my malnourished pipis could move 70. I can see this process going on for 969 years.

Which is yet another reason for me to call the word 'progress' a one-word joke.

The pre-collection advertising said that items had to be able to be lifted by two men. Obviously something that could be moved by only one did not qualify. Or perhaps political-correctness has redefined 'men'. It now means weaklings.

Update 1: Ten days after the original collection-time the fridge-freezer has still not been taken, despite two calls to the Council. The contractor has not yet even emailed me...

Update 2; It is now eleven days after the collection date. I have just had a call from a hyperbolically bureaucratic woman from the Council, who said that the fridge-freezer would not be collected, because carrying it up the steps to the road was 'a health and safety issue', and that that had been checked by 'independent auditors', and that she 'supported the decision.' Please! If those purblind fools at the Council insist on changing the system that has worked for years (we took our inorganic items to the side of the road), and replacing it with one in which collectors come on to our properties to collect it, that means that on Waiheke, which has a large number of properties with steep access, up and down, including some with flights of steps from the road that are many times longer than my short 7 metres, then they must accommodate a wide variety of situations. I told that very stupid woman that I have, by myself, carried heavy things up and down those steps many many times. There are only twenty-nine steps, in three short flights, with two landings on the way up for taking a rest. So their 'two men' should find it easy to carry a small fridge-freezer up. Two--me and another man--carried it down, years ago. Those people are intransigent bureaucratic fools, with a bad system and the attitudes of blockheads. To repeat, I moved the fridge-freezer, by myself, up the hill the 70 metres from my cabin, but those bureaucrats say they cannot move it the remaining 7 metres with two 'men.' 'Progess' is indeed a one-word joke.

Would that we again had our own Council and were not ruled by arrogant bureaucrats over the water!

Sunday, 30 October 2016

SELF-GOVERNANCE, MONEY, MARINE RESERVES

Those opposed to a Waiheke Council on the imaginary grounds that we could not afford self-governance are being blind to the colossal waste foisted upon us by The Empire Over The Water--by Rodney Hide's Supercilious Super-Silly. If we had our own hands on our own purse-strings we could cut out all of that. They are also being blind to the detailed, careful budgeting published by the Our Waiheke people. Of course we can run an island of 8200 on $24 million. In 2010 when the numbers were crunched the average rates were $1600; without Auckland they would have been $1300.

The hubristic Empire has a Rolls-Royce mentality and a waywardness with money that treats the
anguish of ratepayers with contempt. But it has to support its bloated staff of 11,000, and its
out-of-control 'Council-Controlled Organisations.'

Two large instances of waste out of many are easy to give. First the millions Waiheke missed out on
in NZTA subsidies for roads and footpaths, because for years they fell far short of applying for our
full entitlements. Second, the library. We needed a new one, yes, but it did not need to cost $9
million--after 'out of control spending' blew out an already exorbitant $5.4 million budget. A good
building with the same sort of facilities could have been built for a lot less than that $5.4
million, minus the fripperies and the huge waste in the planning stages. There was meeting after
meeting with expensive architects, making plans, plans, plans--which were inappropriate, and were
scrapped. So was the expensive newly-installed sign outside the old complex. The latter was an
example of failure to plan ahead. The Empire is incapable of planning a bunion.

Many small wasteful things add up to large waste. Small ones include the timetables in bus-shelters.
We used to put copies of the same timetables supplied on buses, which show all the bus and ferry
services all over the island, which is what people want to know. That was simple and cheap. But The Empire Over The Water decided to give unique numbers to all the shelters, and then to print numbered, customised timetables for each one, which of course must be reprinted and replaced every time there is a change. But each numbered timetable only shows the services from that stop, not all the services for the whole island. So now people do not get the information they need, but at far greater expense. Then there is manifold overspending on contracts, such as $3800 for four wood-faced steps in a bush track (which to add insult to injury were ill-made). That's about 6 metres of timber and some nails--roughly $30 worth. When I was on the Board I refused to sign it off. But they did it anyway. Rolls-Royce bureaucrats rule.

Auckland is a mess. An overspending mess. It is a overspending mess in its own backyard (look, for
example, at the number of times it has torn up and repaved Queen Street's footpaths). We do not need
that bloated mess in our backyard.

And to the people who have been running full-page advertisements about marine reserves demonising
some candidates. You are ignoring the fact that that would ONLY be done after an island referendum.
It would not be the decision of a few Board members.

Footnote: the 1989 takeover of the islands by Auckland City Council was illegal under the Local
Government Act. In the Act, three things must be true to be a city and a city council. When Auckland
took over the islands it lost two of them. Therefore from then on it was not legally a city. But no
one noticed so it was not challenged. We have the right in natural justice to get back was
unlawfully stolen from us in 1989.

AT AND THE BUSES

Oh, goody!, said the boys and girls at AT. We have a really, really brilliant idea. We'll get the
Waiheke Bus Company to paint its buses in nice flash colours. Think how much that will improve the
bus service over there where all them hippies and drug-addicts live. They will be SO happy. And it
only costs $90,000 per bus. Not much to us city-siders. So they gave the command: paint them silver
or silver-and-navy-blue.

Oh, goody!, said the boys and girls at AT. We have a really, really brilliant idea. We'll get the
Waiheke Bus Company to paint its buses in new flash colours. We've changed our minds about silver or silver-and-navy-blue. Now we want different colours, and 'Waiheke Link' and stuff splashed long the sides as well. And it only costs $90,000 all over again. Not much. Not very much.

Oh, goody, said the boys and girls at AT. We have a really, really brilliant idea. We'll change the
bus timetables. But we won't reprint them in advance so that everyone can look up the new times--and we'll make a mess of the website so that they will be hard to find there. And because we are very clever we'll put on the website that the buses leave the bays at two minutes to the hour instead of on the hour as they have for ever and a day. Think how much that will foul up the lives of all and sundry! Yay! Aren't we clever city-siders!? Oh, yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How wunnerful it is to have our lives ruled by mainlanders. You see, they have superior brains. Very
superior.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

CHOKED BROADBAND PIPES

I have just prepared to upgrade to VDSL from ADSL2, because Chorus said it was now available where I am (I only have copper available not fibre, so VDSL is the maximum speed I can get). That should give me a much faster download speed, up from a present maximum of about 7.5 megabits per second to something well over 20Mbps, even more than 30Mbps, depending on which article on the Internet you read. Some data gives 50Mbps as achievable by VDSL.

But the super-brain technical bod who reset my router remotely so it would handle VDSL automatically when Chorus connected my line to a different circuit was astounded to see that even under ADSL2 it was signalling to the Waiheke exchange at a massive 21Mbps (and ADSL2 is meant to peak at 10Mbps). So why, if it is talking to the exchange at that speed am I only getting 7.5Mbps from the Internet?

The answer he said is that the link off the island over to that place called New Zealand does not have
enough bandwidth to cope when we are all on line. Which means that all the upgrades on the island by Chorus to ADSL2 and VDSL, even to fibre where it is available, are being hampered by the size of the 'pipe'--the bandwidth of the link between us and the mainland.

It is about time Chorus gave us a better link so that we get the full benefit of whatever category
of line we have. Otherwise upgrades are like the Tooth Fairy–a lot of fiction and only a sixpence
under your pillow.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

ANOTHER GROSS MONSTROSITY PROPOSED

I wish these people and all ike them would give up and go away.

First they put the island through a long and expensive fight to prevent an ugly monstrosity of a marina in Matiatia Bay--a fight they rightly lost hands down. But now something even more monstrous is being proposed at Kennedy Point. Yet again it is over-the-top vandalism, this time of Anzac Bay.





Sunday, 22 May 2016

TO MAKE WAIHEKE RATES FAIR

The way our rates are calculated is grossly unfair, and in the end will kill Waiheke.
Under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 we have the right to a fair system, because section 27 tells officialdom that everyone has the right to the observance of the principles of natural justice, which the House of Lords has ruled means 'fairness writ large.' And the rights laid down in our oldest law, the Imperial Laws Applications Act 1988, makes it incumbent on authorities not to bring ruin upon individuals or communities.
To base rates on assumed property values—which are now only rateable values with little or no relationship to actual market values—is iniquitous. It means that someone with an old bach that happens to have been built in what the market now sees as a prime location will be rated an amount that is highway robbery. Robbery by a bloated mainland regime with a highway mentality and speculators for brains.
Many islanders are asset-rich and cash-poor, because that insufferable idol 'market forces' has bestowed a high value on their property that has no relationship to their modest or minimal incomes. So they are rated out of their homes, which are bulldozed and replaced by sprawling palaces, which further increase rateable valuations in that neighbourhood, and so the vicious process continues like a Canadian wild-fire, until wonderful Waiheke has been destroyed. That process is accelerated by the fact that the palaces are often only part-time palaces, just super-baches, so the permanent community is eroded.
We know all that, but are powerless to stop it under the present regime. If we had our own council we could institute a rating regime that really would be fairness writ large, writ very large. So more strength to Our Waiheke's fight to get us back to having our own council. (In the meantime we could try getting feisty with the Super Silly and press for a fair system, and when the SS refuses, as it would, add that to our case for our own council, pointing to the way the SS has not acted in our best social, economic, environmental and cultural interests.)
We need a way of creating rateable values that would not drive out those on minimal, modest and middle incomes, and would militate against the spread of sprawling palaces. A simple way of achieving that would be to use a formula to create rateable valuations based on floor-area (and they would be purely rateable valuations, made only for rating purposes, not exorbitant 'market' valuations). Income and floor-area are well related: poor people live in modest houses not palaces; the wealthy do not live in cabins.
In such a formula the domestic floor-area would be the basis of the calculation. It would exclude external garages, workshops, livestock accommodation, etc. It would be just the home and any sleepouts (the home-space would include integrated garage-space).
Under that way of calculating rates the annual general charges would also be calculated on the same floor-areas.
So the total rates on a property would be the combination of a rate and an annual general charge, and if the formula was such that it traced out a rising hyperbolic curve for the whole island (a curve that starts fairly flat and rises ever more steeply as it assesses the sprawling palaces), the result would be eminently fair to those on minimal, modest and middle incomes, and also to those on high and very wealthy incomes. Everyone's rates would be a close match to their incomes. A thousand dollars to a billionaire is like a dollar to a pensioner widow. The floor-area basis would also discourage excessive enlargement of houses, and could be tweaked to make ones above a certain size prohibitively expensive.
A very fair formula is the one below,  in which R is the total rates and F is the floor-area described above. The first part of the formula, the bit before the plus sign, is for reckoning the rates proper, and the second is for reckoning the annual general charge:
R = 0.0005*F³ + F/.5
In words, the rates on a property would be the cube of the floor-area multiplied by 0.0005, and the annual general charge would be the floor-area divided by 0.5 (the 0.0005 and 0.5 were arrived at by experimentation, based on arriving at reasonable figures for average homes, but the most important thing is that the steepening curve produced by the cube in the first part of the formula and also by the divisor in the second part, not what multiplier and divisor might actually be used; those two just found to be good ones).
That would mean, for examples, that properties with houses with floor-areas of 30m², 50m², 90m², 125m², 300m², and 1000m² would have these rates bills each year: for 30m², $73.50; for 50m², $162.50; for 90m² (a common size for a 3-bedroom house), $544.50; for 125m², $1226; for 300m², $14,100; and for 1000m², $502,000.
The council would first reckon a total for the island then adjust those individual rates to match the budget it had arrived at after public consultation. For example, it might be that using that formula the total for the island would come to, say, $15 million (to give a purely hypothetical figure), and the council budget might be $20 million (ditto). In that case all the above figures would be multiplied by 20/15, i.e., 1.333, making them: for 30m², $97.98; for 50m², $216.61; for 90m², $725.82; for 125m², $1624.36; for 300m², $18,795.30; and for 1000m², $669,166. For a widow on pension in a 30m² cottage $97.98 has the same sort of relationship to her income as $669,166 does to a billionaire's.

Most people would be in the lower, flat part of the exponential curve. Excessive houses would be in the upper, ever-steeper parts. (It is obvious that homes with huge areas would face rates that might be prohibitive even for billionaires, so a ceiling could be set at a certain area, at which the rates curve would flatten off.)

That system would end forever the rates regime which if left will corrode and kill our community and our way of life. That must not happen.


Thursday, 5 February 2015

TRIPLE THE RUBBI$H!

It has been reported that the Auckland Super-silly is to triple what Waiheke residents are charged for rubbish-collection.

If you think about it that is perfectly logical. Because from the point of view of the island the new, shiny, Hide-bound Super-Silly is at least three times the rubbish that the old council was, so it is perfectly logical that we should pay it three times as much of that inflated rubbish we optimists call money so as to keep it three times as rubbishly happy.

Obviously, therefore, if the logic is that impeccable, this latest 'highway robbery' by Overwater Bin Laden must be fair. I am surprised that anyone could possibly be in denial about that. ;-)

Thursday, 4 September 2014

OKOKA ROAD NOT OK, OK, A?

For decades Waiheke's friendly bus-drivers have obligingly used as an
unofficial bus-stop the foot of Okoka Road, a side-road off O'Brien Road
(the main road into the Rocky Bay Village). There is no footpath anywhere in
O'Brien Road, and never should be there, because it would be prohibitively
expensive and would ruin that lovely bush environment.

Most passengers want to go to houses in Okoka Road or in roads off it or in
the nearby part of O'Brien Road, but if they a forced to alight at the
official bus-stop further up the road they are then forced to use O'Brien
Road as a footpath, which means they will have to be walking on the other
side of the crest of the hill on a semi-blind bend, perhaps laden down with
groceries or parcels, which will make them a target a metre and a half wide.
There are no houses anywhere near the official bus stop, so few people want
it compared with the numbers who want to alight at Okoka Road.

Obviously, it is much safer to let passengers off at the entrance to a quiet
side-road, where for added safety they can wait for a while in a parking
spot at the side, than be forced to walk along the main road. And while they
are alighting at Okoka Road they are kept safe by the bus, because for those
20-or-so seconds it will be blocking both O'Brien Road and Okoka Road,
bringing all traffic to a stand-still.

O'Brien Road is so narrow that it does not matter where it stops it will
block the road, so it makes no difference to traffic in that road, but it
makes a great deal of difference to passengers, both adults and children
getting off school buses, particularly when it is wet, or dark, or both, or
when they have a lot of stuff to carry, as islanders often do.

The safe, considerate practice of using the foot of Okoka Road has been
going on for decades, but a new manager at the Waiheke Bus Company decided
for no good reason to prohibit it. So now people are forced many times a
day, every day, to be in the least safe situation. They are forbidden the
most safe one.

Why? Because some time ago an impatient fool of a motorist could not wait
for the bus to move on and pulled out on to the wrong side of the road to
pass it and nearly hit a cop car head on. But the cop (who is no longer on
the island), instead of going crook at the fool, threatened the bus driver
with a hefty fine, and disqualification for weeks if he ever did that again.
The cop had no right to say that, he was wrong in law, wrong in sense, and
wrong to let anger and his blue shirt dictate to an innocent bus driver who
was only doing his job in the best possible way. But the new manager,
irrationally, chose to side with that coppish wrong-headedness.

Worse, an Auckland Transport bureaucrat has since chosen for equally
spurious reasons to back that dictatorial manager.

Must we wait till someone is injured or killed before those people see
reason and let drivers return to best practice?

Thursday, 31 July 2014

NZ HERALD'S TAKE ON KIM DOTCOM

'Kim Dotcom joins Newstalk ZB's Tim Roxborogh and Tim Wilson in studio to talk about why he think he's a polarising figure, why he started up The Internet Party, also NZ's internet and Hollywood licensing and why he's waiting until September 15 to release his "bombshell" on John Key.'

For some reason they have edited it so that the second half of the interview comes first and the first half second.

But as always with public figures it is nice to see the real man speaking for himself, not the fictitious media constructs that we usually have rammed down our throats.

A rebel like him would be right at home on Waiheke, the island of rebels.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

CARELESS BUREAUCRATIC THUGGERY

A couple of weeks ago about twenty property-owners in O'Brien Road recieved an incomprehensible circular from Auckland Council. It was written in opaque bureaucratese, it gave no useful information, it talked about proposed changes in 'overlays' in our street that might affect us. That meant little or nothing to most people, because 'overlays' is a technical term used in computer geographical information systems (GIS). Worse, if we tried to get to the bottom of what was meant and went to the Internet and carefully entered the link given, it proved to be wrong. A second letter a week or so letter admitted that it was wrong and gave us a new one. But it too failed to take us to the right place. It too was wrong.

After the first one, when I called the helpdesk number given in the letter to find out what it meant, the person who answered said he had only started in the job that day, did not know, and would have to do some research to find out. A day later he got back to me, and after I had laboriously wended through a plethora of web-links at his prompting I finally found out what this 'overlay' was all about, and what it would mean if the Council's bureaucrats were successful in imposing it via their new Unitary Plan.

Here is a screenshot of the map:


As you can see, meandering through all the properties near the top of the bluish overlay, from a little below
the intersection of Te Whau Drive and O'Brien Road to about halfway down O'Brien Road, is a bluish dotted line. The area bounded by it is what the bureaucrats have determined is to have new zoning rules, and have applied for them in the new Unitary Plan. It covers the public forest (the Kuakarau Bay Forest Reserve), which is fine, but it also 'overlays'--read 'imposes'--draconian changes in the rules that govern what all those property-owners are permitted to do in 25% to 90% of their own properties. What they could do as of right would be slashed.

At present, under the existing District Plan, they are permitted, as of right, to build a dwelling with a floor-area up to 10% of the area of their section. So someone with 1000 square metres of land is permitted, without a resource consent, to build a 100-square-metre house, up to 8 metres high.

But if the Council's big blue becomes law, that would be slashed, regardless of the size of the property, to a 25-square-metre dwelling. A shed. No more than 5 metres high. Worse, that would apply only to the blue area. So one part of your property would have one set of rules, the other an entirely different set. That would obviously have a big effect on many lives, as well as seriously affecting values, and therefore mortgages.

A senior planner in another part of the Council empire said that under Section 85 of the Resource Management Act and the case-law arrived at under it, it is illegal to unreasonably restrict development on private land.

What is reasonable is obvious: it is what has been decided during the democratic process that arrived at the District Plan. Thus anything that kneecaps the District Plan is illegal, and therefore one part of the Council is trying to impose what another part knows is illegal.

How silly that line is is underscored by the fac that down the bottom it includes a chunk of the sea. So the most anyone would be permitted to build in the sea in that area would be a shed!!!

When I appealed to the bureaucrats to admit that that meandering line was a mistake, and to redraw it along the common boundary between the Kuakarau Forest and private properties, not through the properties, and to pull the submission so that we do not have to go through the process of making cross-submission, they refused. They said we have to go through the process. Therefore we have to waste our lives correcting a bureaucratic botch-up. That is bureaucratic thuggery piled on bureaucratic thuggery.

For those who affected who want to add their voices to fighting this folly, cross-submissions can be made online. The relevant Council submission is 5716-222. This link will take you to where you can select the form.