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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...

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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.


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

VOIP SUPER SERVICE SLAYS PHONE-BILLS

As they say, it pays to shop around. It also pays to check and check on what you are told. For a long time the only access to the Internet available where I am was dialup, until by the grace of God ADSL broadband was made available in late 2012, about three years ahead of schedule. But when I investigated VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol--which means running your landline phone services over the Internet instead of on the traditional hardware, whilst retaining the same telephone number/s) I was told by what seemed a knowledgeable provider that ADSL was not fast enough. VDSL was needed. Which ruled out VOIP for me, because Chorus has not provided VDSL.

But when I refused to accept what that provider had told me and did some deeper research on Google I found a discussion site that seemed to prove it wrong. It also pointed to the cheapest VOIP provider in New Zealand: 2Talk. The discussion did put question-marks over 2Talk's service, but as one very satisfied person said, 'If it works you don't need support.' And in practice I found the support to be excellent.

I called 2Talk, and after waiting on hold for a very long time found out that ADSL is fast enough to drive VOIP, and helped by the helpful salesman I determined the best package for my needs. The prices were amazingly low, so if I swapped from Telecom I would save a lot, yet at the same time I would as a normal part of the deal be getting a huge range of services both basic and luxurious that Telecom cannot provide (or if it can it has never offered them to me).

2Talk referred me to one of its agents BanxSystems, a company that to my delight manifested superlative service, even in passing offering me other services, and far more capacity at far lower prices than other providers--such as ten times the storage capacity: a gigabyte instead of 100MB.

Even better they initiated all the switching-over for me while I was on the phone, and the VOIP hardware, a good British machine, was couriered to me the morning after I clicked on agreement. As the Courier Post lady said, 'You remember people like that.' You do indeed, and you keep dealing with them. When the transfer of the numbers actually happened it was a simple, smooth, error-free, worry-free change. Banx linked into my computer and did all the configuration for me, guided me quickly and professionally through a few queries, and I was away.

In these days when service is often so poor, or even non-existent, to it is a joy to deal with a company that gives excellent service, and even goes far beyond the extra mile. Take a bow Banx :-) You understand the basic of business: Look after your customers and the bottom line will look after itself; look after your bottom line and sooner or later your customers will look somewhere else.

Also take a highly-deserved bow Ben at 2Talk (a very service-oriented leader on their help-desk), because when 2Talk and Banx ran into a roadblock created by that band of knave$ called Choru$ (whose actions constantly show that it cares about money not people), he worked out a way round it--and thus provided what Chorus had refused to provide, despite the promises it had made years ago. Without his sterling efforts my transfer to VOIP could not have happened.

(The only broadband we can get in Rocky Bay is ADSL1, the slowest form of DSL. Chorus said years ago that its bottom line in New Zealand would be ADSL2, so no one should be on less, and by now most New Zealanders should be on VDSL or fibre. The 'roadblock' was that 2Talk provides its VOIP service only on ADSL2, but with a bend and tweak, some lateral thinking via a sister company and willing effort it can get past that and use ADSL1, and it did.)

On top of all that I was delighted to find that the performance of the broadband line was much better with 2Talk. Under Telecom the download speed was about 5.5Mbps on SpeedTest. But with 2Talk the test averages generally hovers round 7Mbps, plus or minus 0.1Mbps, with a best so far of 7.15Mbps, which is about the fastest you can expect from ADSL1. I have not seen it go below 6.5Mbps during the test. Not brilliant by international or even national standards, thanks to Chorus, but the best to be expected in the present technical circumstances.


As if that were not enough you get an amazing level of comprehensive, detailed control over your line/s via 2Talk's software, as well as options on your landline not available on the Waiheke exchange, such as Caller ID--all bundled at no extra charge. In fact, Caller ID is so clever that when a call is coming in it looks up the number in the White Pages and tells you who is calling. You also get as part of the bundle such things as hold music (the music of your choice), blacklisted numbers (so that people you do not want calling you can never get through), sophisticated forwarding options, multiple numbers on your one physical line with different answerphone messages for each, conference calls, all conversations recorded in full if you wish, call-history, a list of missed calls, and so on--the juicy list is long.

One small aspect of having a voip phone that I find a constant boon is having such wide-ranging and precise control over the incoming volume at my fingertips, because it enables me to shut down to a whisper the crass choices for on-hold 'music' made by the musically-challenged or damp down a loud voice or PABX whose output is too high.

My move to VOIP can be summed up by something the Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Auckland said to me many years ago when he was exulting over a new artificial-intelligence computer system that his department had just had donated: 'It's like having a Rolls-Royce when you only had a bicycle before.' I would never want to go back. I would upgrade his comment: 'It's like being beamed up from your bicycle to the Starship Enterprise.'

When you move to VOIP you do not have to chuck out your old analogue phones. You can use them as cheap, dumb extensions on your VOIP system. To do that you get an ATA converter (such as the inexpensive CISCO SPA122) from PB Tech (which is the best place to buy hardware and software in Auckland) and plug your old phones into it.

The $$$ bottom line? There are some one-off costs to set up VOIP--a phone, an ATA converter if you get one, and the cost of transferring your phone number and setting it up ($50)--but the savings every month will compensate for that, and the Rolls-Royce/Enterprise is a joy to use.

...

Footnote: It is amazing, given all the above, that Telecom (now calling itself Shark--whoops, Spark--for some peculiar reason known only to the snottiest little green men on Alpha Centauri's third rock) does not have a VOIP offering. Its staff think it will have one, sometime, but it does not have one now. How very odd! If it did it could be making a lot more money from the same number of lines, because if people now have, say, three physical lines, one for voice, one for the Internet and one for fax, they could put all three on one VOIP line, then Telecom could sell the other two physical lines to two other VOIP customers. Instead it is letting 2Talk and Banx and others walk away with its customers. And it is highly unlikely that it will ever get them back. It keeps blinding itself to the fact that it created and continues to create customers for everyone else. Every single customer with some other supplier is one that it created. It needs to change its mindset, not its name. Changing its name will only make things worse, because there is a lot of brand-loyalty attached to 'Telecom.'

Saturday, 29 March 2014

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 that both the village and the bay at its foot have an alternative name: Omiha. Or, worse, that Omiha is the 'real' name and Rocky Bay is only an alternative of little or no significance and not in daily use. That is at best an ignorant error or a mistaken falsehood, at worst a wilful lie.

It began as a blunder--the misreading of a government map of 1877--i.e., reading the name of a whare (a Maori hut) as the name of a bay. To that was added work behind the scenes outside due process of law by parties with a personal interest that they did not declare. Then to that has now been added misfeasance--wrongdoing by officials--blatant, egregious wrongdoing by officials who lied to the New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) and wilfully misled it into a wrong judgement.

In New Zealand law there is only one lawful way to put a name on the map, and unless that has been done any name does not have full legal status. You must apply to the NZGB, which must investigate the truth, and when it has established the true name, which should be very easy, it gazettes it. That is the due process of law. But in the case of Rocky Bay a few people worked illegally, behind the scenes, to 'establish' a falsehood--namely that 'Omiha Bay' is the original Maori name for the bay, and 'Omiha' is the original Maori name for the village above it. Their unlawful efforts have given rise to the 'Omiha' myth, because they created a bit of 'provenance', which looked like truth, but was and is entirely false. Their unlawful efforts were nothing but artificial insinuation, the seeding of illegal records, which were then copied by people who did not know better and assumed that the falsities were true.

As well as being unlawful the 'Omiha' myth is wrong: it is entirely untrue. The proof of that was established long ago. In 1877 the government, the Crown, did an extremely detailed map of Waiheke Island, a map so detailed that it even recorded the names of whares (Maori huts) as the names of those who owned them or dwelt in them (in those days roads were virtually non-existent and thus postal addresses had yet to be). That map clearly recorded the name of the bay as Rocky Bay. And in the area above it, which became the Rocky Bay Village, the map also recorded two whares: Ohinearei and Omiha. So Omiha was only the name of a whare, it was never the name of either the bay or the village.

The notion that 'Omiha' is the alternative name for Rocky  Bay is therefore an erroneous notion, a misreading of a map, a misreading that became wilful, a misreading given false provenance by force of personality, by mana, by endless self-reinforcing repetition, by the scornful rejection of all the hard evidence to the contrary, by pulling fictitious strings behind the scenes, etc. Worst of all, none of that activity employed due process of law, it evaded, avoided and ignored the process laid down in the New Zealand Geographic Board (Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa) Act 2008 and the equivalent  legislation that preceded it. 'Omiha' was illegally inserted on to the map.

There is not a skerrick of true documentary evidence for the notion that 'Omiha' was ever the Maori name for either the village or the bay at its foot. On the contrary. But the solid, independent evidence in official, Crown documentation done in 1877 is for Rocky Bay--and no other name--for both the village and the bay. But, unfortunately, repetition of any myth takes on the semblance of established fact, and in the case of 'Omiha' that has now reached such a state that anyone who shows the documentary proof that there is only name--Rocky Bay--for both the bay and the village is likely to be treated with contempt, pilloried, mocked and scorned, even abused (that included three members of the then Waiheke Local Board, who declined to uphold their oath of office and take a few minutes to correct the error). In earlier years what was then called the Waiheke Community Board appointed me as Rocky Bay spokesperson, which was perfectly correct, but then, to my astonishment, refused to have Rocky Bay gazetted.

Misrepresentation and falsification of history remain misrepresentation and falsification no matter how many times they are asserted. Assertion does not create fact. Fact is what fact is. Endless repetition of an unlawful falsehood does not make it true. The undeniable fact here is that Rocky Bay is the name of the bay and the village. Not 'Omiha.'

To repeat what bears repeating, because it is so often dishonoured, in New Zealand law no geographic placename in is official until gazetted by the New Zealand Geographic Board, as laid down in the New Zealand Geographic Board (Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa) Act 2008. Unfortunately, 10,000 New Zealand placenames have yet to be gazetted--including Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Waiheke Island, etc., etc., etc. Thus in the twenty-first century the map of New Zealand is a mess, because there are a vast number of names in everyday use, names that are well-established in free custom, but have no official standing in law. That includes Rocky Bay; for despite being recorded officially by the government, by the Crown, in 1877 it has still not been gazetted!!! Or even recognised. One hundred and forty years, surely, is enough time for a branch of modern officialdom to notice what the government laid down in the nineteenth century. For Crown employees to obey the Crown.

Unfortunately the bureaucrats who advise the NZGB, the so-called secretariat, has repeatedly lied to the Board--they committed misfeasance--by claiming that 'Omiha' is the original Maori name, which has misled the Board into making rejecting the truth: Rocky Bay. Original means first, that nothing preceded it, and that that is a demonstrable fact. None of the those qualifications apply to 'Omiha'. It is not even an original Maori name for the bay or the village, only for a whare that was there in the nineteenth century, and by 1922 had long gone. But, of course, bureaucrats cannot bring themselves to say 'We goofed; we'll fix it', so they still fight to maintain the 'Omiha' falsehood. Still, they are in effect rudely telling Rocky Bay people that they do not know where they live.

But the official vacuum of 10,000 has enabled unofficial, de facto 'standards' to multiply, and in the case of Rocky Bay they have added seeming credence to the Omiha myth by repeating it in ways that look official but are neither official nor lawful. Google Earth, for example, has picked up the error, as have other publishers of maps. But the worst of those de facto 'standards', and the source of many repeats of the Omiha error, is the unofficial system created by the New Zealand Post Office under the management of Mr Geoffrey Pearse, its Addressing Services Manager, because it not only perpetuates the myth it has gone so far as to enforce it rigidly. Its address-finder system refuses to recognise Rocky Bay; it only recognises Omiha; it threatens large organisations with the loss of bulk-mailing discounts if they do not comply with its system; and its online address-finder bluntly declares Rocky Bay invalid and only Omiha valid. That bureaucratic ignorance and instransigence means that the computer systems of entities all over the world which access the Post Office system to check the validity of New Zealand addresses are being wilfully and unlawfully misled; and in consequence when people in Rocky Bay fill in their personal details on paper or online they later find that the 'Rocky Bay' they put down has been altered to 'Omiha'--a place that does not in truth exist on Waiheke.

NZ Post/Mr Pearse points the finger of blame, excuse, justification--call it what you will--at other entities, including the Fire Service, Auckland Council, and Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), and LINZ's list of unofficial placenames, from which NZ Post has chosen not to select Rocky Bay-- despite copious evidence against that and many presentations of the truth. Officers in LINZ, which serves the NZGB, point a finger at the Council and, despite the indisputable documentary provenance, claim as truth what is only an arrant bureaucratic falsehood, namely that Omiha is 'the original Maori name' for the 'locality' (and then that wilfully foolish blunder is compounded by not putting it square on the village on its ungazetted map but off the side!). So a vicious horde of falsehoods circles the main unlawful falsehood, like crippled rats round a cache of rotten food.

One of the countless entities that have been boondoggled by the combination of the Omiha myth and the enforcement of it by the Post Office's unofficial system is of course the Electoral Commission. One effect of that was that not long after I arrived on the island many years ago I found myself disenfranchised--removed from the electoral roll--because my new address would not go into the electoral system. Since then the Electoral Commission has had to add a private area to its system, an area that only its staff can access, in which they can store correct information to counter whatever wrong information the Post Office might insist on. The Fire Service also has the wrong name for the Rocky Bay Village in its system, so New Zealand's national call centre for emergencies is likely to be confused. The police system is a little better; it has a mixture of the wrong name and the right one, because it too has extended its system so that 'commonly known as' can be added to street addresses, and there are some streets in Rocky Bay that have been given that annotation.

So if you lived in Rocky Bay and had an emergency, and only had time to gasp out your street and village, the service you needed would not be able to find you. Your big heart-attack would kill you, the thugs would invade your home, your home would burn to the ground. This artificial insinuation, outside law, is thus not just a chronic nuisance it is life-threatening.

The Earthquake Commission is another of the countless organisations that have the wrong information, thanks to the unlawful Omiha myth and Post Office's unlawful enforcement of it (which caused an EQC officer thinking that she could drive all the way to the island, because she thought the person in Rocky Bay who wanted an evaluation lived in Omaha, which is up north on the mainland, where the Prime Minister has a holiday home). A huge amount of time and energy all over the world is being wasted, because people are obliged by myth and bureaucratic Post Office intransigence to 'fix' computer data that was never wrong.

The unlawful Omiha myth and the enforcement of it by the Post Office can mean, and does mean, that items destined for a Rocky Bay address may not arrive. They go elsewhere, or you may be told that delivery is impossible so will never be collected, or they may be returned to the sender marked 'undeliverable'. I was on the verge of being accused of theft because a valuable item from Dell Computers, which was to be paid for on arrival, did not reach me. I finally tracked it down to a courier bin in Christchurch, and the courier company told me that there was an address very close to mine in that city, but it had not been delivered because everything in the address did not match there. In that case I knew something was missing, because of the close call with a serious accusation, but one wonders how many deliveries never reach people, which they never know about.

It is long past the time that the Omiha myth was acknowledged as a myth, perpetuated unlawfully, and dismissed and killed off. Only accurate information should rule. Inaccurate information always causes problems, major and minor, and it always wastes time--in this case the time of people responsible for computer systems all over the planet.

To get things right, Rocky Bay, and that name alone, should be gazetted for the name of the village and the name of the bay. It alone has the indisputable provenance; it alone has the indisputable evidence; it alone is indisputably the true name for both.

The statutes are crystal clear. The Imperial Laws Application Act 1988 says that when due process of law is not followed, when justice and right are denied or even only deferred, any decision made is 'void and holden for error' and 'shall be redressed and holden for none' (there shall be legal action and the wrong action will be made nothing). That specifically applies, amongst other things, to 'free customs', which that Act gives legal force in Crown low, and in this case 'Rocky Bay' has both government provenance, Crown provenance, and long-established free custom. 'Omiha', the whare, has neither. On top of that, the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 says that in official decisions 'everyone has the right to the observance of the principles of natural justice,' and the Privy Council has ruled that that means 'fairness writ large.' Thus any decision that does not support Rocky Bay as the name of the bay and the village, to the exclusion of anything else, is unlawful many times over. It is not just, it is not right, it is not natural justice, it is not fairness writ large, it has nothing to do with due process of law. And thus it is open to legal action--which should and must be taken against any wrongdoing--'shall be redressed'. This matter of the right names of this bay and village should have been fixed years ago with a simple please and a thank-you, but the unlawful actions and misfeasance determined to perpetuate a false name and give it legal claim have now escalated this matter to war. That is most regrettable. But take notice, all those who attempt to support the wrong names and refuse to support the right ones, you will face legal action. And statute and provenance and free custom will by the grace of God hand you defeat. Crown provenance of 1877 and the usage of free custom establish the truth; the 'Omiha' myth cannot stand against it.

(All those who by blood or by any marriage are related in any way, however distant, to the woman called Omiha whose hut is labelled on the 1877 map must declare their interest and stay out of the discussion. The same goes for any who seek, by whatever spurious excuse, to support the unsupportable, false assertion that 'Omiha' is the original name of the bay and the village.)

Behind the Scenes
Those responsible for this constant push behind the scenes to get Omiha as the name of the village is descended from the woman called Omiha who lived where Omiha Road now is. Strong feelings about an ancestor are very understandable, but that does not give the people who have them any right to trample on history, the truth, common practice, established practice and due process of law to get their own way. Perhaps the notion that 'Omiha' was the name of the whole village was originally a misapprehension coloured by desire, which then became an article of family faith, but the best way of keeping faith with ancestors--indeed, the only way--is to stick to the truth. It is certainly not keeping faith with forebears who erroneously blundered by blocking attempts to set things right.

One of the more recent attempts to set things right was again blocked by behind-the-scenes efforts.They are obliged to be behind the scenes because there are no facts to support them. That has been going on for years: unlawful manipulation behind the scenes to make falsely official the will of one family. Every attempt to get the truth installed has been invisibly killed off.

It is disappointing that a prime mover for that family deploys great mana to triumph over the historical facts. That person is most wonderful and admirable, truly most wonderful and admirable, but even great mana cannot make endlessly repetition of false facts into true ones. And in this case, to be true to what that person usually is--blindingly honest and manifesting great integrity--that person would change, side with historical fact, side with long-established common usage by the rest of the world, side with due process of law, cease getting at decision-makers behind the scenes with weight of personality, and admit the truth--namely, that all the places where 'Omiha' might look official are only false provenance arising from groundless repetition. Then that person would publicly support the only name that has true provenance for the name of the village and the bay: Rocky Bay.

The Facts, the Evidence, the Indisputable Historical Provenance
Again, the earliest provenance for the name of the bay being Rocky Bay is on the official government map dated 1877, registration number 1667, held by the Auckland War Memorial Museum, which shows 'land adjudicated by the Native Land Court, land sold under Sir George Grey's Regulations 1853, old land claims, penny-an-acre grants, grants under Auckland Waste Lands Act 1858, and land alienated to general government.' The entire map covers Waiheke Island. This is the bit that covers Rocky Bay:


As all can see, the name of the bay is Rocky Bay--and nothing else. In those far-off days there was no village, just a collection of Maori establishments on which there were four Maori names recorded, two for areas, two for whares. The two names for areas were Kauakarau (a misspelling of Kuakarau that was later corrected by the late Kato Kauwhata who was then Waiheke's Maori Elder, and was then confirmed by and gazetted by the NZGB), and Ko Hikapua. (Kaukarau is on the map twice, and circled between the repeats is what the librarian at Auckland Museum has identified as 342, which was a survey number associated with Kauakarau). The names of the two whares recorded were Onhinearei and Omiha. Omiha was a woman, who lived in the whare named after her. That spot is now the western end of  Omiha Road, so the name of the road, and only that, has excellent provenance.

(The big bay east of Rocky Bay, labelled Whakanewha Bay on the 1877 map, which is now the seaward edge of the Whakenewha Regional Park, is also misrepresented by the New Zealand Geographic Board's secretariat and by many uniformed printers of maps, which say it is 'Rocky Bay (Whakanewha Bay)', which is quite wrong, a fact underlined by the placement of 'Whakanewha' on the land above that bay, land that does not spill over to the land above Rocky Bay. Rocky Bay is Rocky Bay; Whakanewha Bay is Whakanewha Bay. Two separate names for two bays. That is also what modern usage has long established.

The documentation with the government's 1877 map, supplied by Auckland War Memorial Museum, states that the then government recorded the names of Maori whares. They were clearly marked with a small squarish dot beside them to differentiate them from other details. In the Rocky Bay area there are two names beside square dots: Ohinearei and Omiha. Omiha was a whare. A whare. A whare is not a bay or a village. It is a whare. A Maori hut. That makes a hee-haw joke of the  chronic false insertion of 'Omiha' as the name of the bay and the village.

Underlining that the definition of 'whare' in the on-line Maori dictionarywhare

Play

1. (noun) house, building, residence, dwelling, shed, hut, habitation, suit (cards).

Not village, not a bay, not a beach. But even if it did include any of those words the government map of 1877 does not plonk 'Omiha' in the bay or splat it across the village area. It places it on a spot that is now one end of Omiha Road.

Added to all that ineluctable provenance is Wise's Auckland Provincial Directory of 1950-51, 'containing the official list of over 1200 townships' extending from Gisborne to Whangarei. It had an entry for Rocky Bay on page 132 between its entries for Riverhead and Roranui, but between its entries for Omapere and Oneroa there is nothing--there is no Omiha. Indeed, there is no Omiha anywhere in Wise's, not just not on Waiheke Island. The listing for Rocky Bay did not show the names of every resident, only forty-nine of them, including the New Zealand Insurance Agent, J.F. McAuslin, and Mrs Annie M. O'Brien, after whose family Bush Road was changed to O'Brien Road, which is Rocky Bay's central main road and became the road into the village when it was extended up to the quarry later in the 1950's. Thus it is clear that the Omiha myth has been wrongly pushed upon us behind the scenes in far more recent years.





Added to those provenances is the note on this genealogical site (click on the link and search in the text on 'Rocky Bay'), which shows that the famous painter C.F. Goldie, who was born in 1870, holidayed in Rocky Bay in the early part of the twentieth century. There is also the undeniable fact that the Rocky Bay Regatta has been running since 1948, and is never called the Omiha Regatta.

In Islands of the Gulf by Shirley Maddock & Don Whyte published by Collins in 1968, she refers on page 280 paragraph 3 to 'the Hodsons at Rocky Bay'. ('Omiha' is of course not mentioned anywhere in the book--it is a non-fiction work).

Added to that is the fact that a local Rocky Bay society set up in 1933, which was persuaded to call itself after the woman called Omiha whose whare had been close to a parcel of  land it purchased, and so was persuaded to call itself the Omiha Recreational and Welface Society Incorporated (OWRS). But, despite that baseless oddity, it states clearly in Clause 3 of its articles of incorporation, dated the 19th of October 1933, that it is there for the Rocky Bay community; it makes no mention of any joint name; it is all Rocky Bay, Rocky Bay, Rocky Bay, and nothing else.


False Pillory
There may be some who see exposing the unlawful Omiha myth as an affront to the OWRS, even as an attack on it. It most certainly is not. The OWRS is not affected by establishing the geographic facts from solid historical evidence. Its name remains the same. A society in a village or town or city is not obliged to use the name of its locality, even if logically it should. It can call itself whatever it pleases, as did the OWRS--but as shown it clearly stated that the reason for its existence is Rocky Bay.

There may be some who think that exposing the Omiha myth is an attack on Maori and Maoridom. It most certainly is not. It is only on an error that happens to be a Maori word. If things were the other way about and the provenance were for Omiha and the myth was for Rocky Bay it would be the latter that would be attacked as wrong. I have successfully applied for the gazetting of three names on Waiheke Island: Te Akau O Hine, Tanerore Cove, and the correction of a misspelling--Kauakarau Bay to Kuakarau Bay. All are Maori names, and I was proud and happy to establish them in law.

No, the attack is on an error and nothing else. Certainty of nomenclature for our whereabouts is important and untoward consequences are always caused by uncertainty and error, particularly in this electronic, Internet age. This is all about setting the record straight.

Mr Jones has the right to be called Mr Jones and nothing else, because that is what his documentary record shows and proves. So does Rocky Bay, for the same reason. To persist in calling him Mr Smith because someone decided to prefer that is not just perpetuating a pointless myth, it is not just perpetuating a left-field 'mistake', it is wilfully perpetuating a lie. He is Jones, Jones, Jones.

In the real world the road-signs and bus-signs etc., have it right. It is long past time for everything else to do the same:










The graphic below is what the official map should show, and what the New Zealand Geographic Board should gazette--these names in these places, and nothing else. That is established local usage, long-established, and it alone should be respected above all else--not a name only used erroneously because of a blunder, a misreading of a map years ago.


Part 2: More Crown Provenance

Until recently what is in Part 1 was all that was known. But now even more forceful Crown provenance has been discovered, with the admirable help of librarians at the Auckland War Museum Library and three divisions of the Auckland Public Library. That multiple provenance adds further proof (not that any more was needed) first that Omiha has no claim to be on the Rocky Bay map as the name of the village or bay, second that to call it the original Maori name is arrogantly false; and third that the true name of Whakanewha Bay is exactly that.

The land that is now the Rocky Bay Village was in 1877 known to the Crown as the Kauakarau Block. It had of course been Maori land, and most Maori land became Crown land and private land, sometimes via the Crown and sometimes by direct negotiation with chiefs. ('Kauakarau' was found in 2004 to be a misspelling of Kuarakau, and that was corrected and gazetted by the NZGB, so the fully legal name of the bay to the left of Rocky Bay in the above map of Rocky Bay is Kuakarau Bay.)

A clearer copy of the 1877 Crown map of Waiheke Islan, showing only the Rocky Bay area and its immediate surrounds, is below. As can be seen, Kuakarau (to give it its corrected spelling) is on the map twice, once with dot beside it, which denotes a whare, and once without a dot beneath the claim number 352, which denotes an area. So it is obvious that the owner of the Kuakarau whare was also a major landowner.

When the land that is now the Rocky Bay Village was subdivided and sold to the public in 1922 by its then owner Judge O'Brien, it covered the Kuakarau Block and a small part of the Whakanewha Block (the bottom south-east corner of the village). So the only Maori words that have a Crown claim on the Rocky Bay locality are, primarily, Kuakarau, and to a very small extent, Whakanewha. The whares called Ohinearei and Omiha, which were on the Kuakarau Block, have no claim of any sort to be the name of the village or the bay. They were whares on Kuakarau land, and they are long gone.

The subdivision map shows clearly that the land was the Kuakarau Block. An excerpt is below, preceded by the clearer scan of the 1877 map referred to in Part 1. The first, to emphasise again, is a Crown document; it is Crown provenance, irrefutable. The second, the 1922 subdivision map, employs Crown nomenclature for the blocks of land involved, the Kuakarau and Whakanewha Blocks.



Before those 1877 and 1922 mappings, another map was done, in a survey from 1849 to 1855 by the Royal Navy, the Admiralty, a Crown entity, which mapped the approaches to Auckland Harbour, and that of course included a map of Waiheke Island. Its date of publication is 1857. It shows Whakanewha Bay labelled as that, which was perfectly fitting, because it was the seaward edge of the Whakanewha Block, which is now the Whakanewha Regional Park, and therefore the name has Crown provenance twice over, for land and sea, and has the name has also been in free custom since. This is that Crown map:


And close-ups of the relevant parts (Kuakarau is here misspelt as Kowhakarau):



In short, Whakanewha Bay is that, and nothing else. It is not 'Rocky Bay,' it is not 'Rocky Bay (Whakanewha Bay)', it is not 'Half Moon Bay', or anything else it might have been called in word or on maps that have ungazetted terms.

And Rocky Bay is Rocky Bay, both the bay and village. It is not 'Omiha Bay' and the village is not 'Omiha'. 'Omiha' has no factual or lawful claim to be a name for Rocky Bay, or any locality on Waiheke Island. Any map that says so is ignorant of Crown fact, it is unofficial and illegal.

Part 3: Fatal Consequence

The Post Office Address Finder, run by Mr Geoffey Pearse, is assumed to be both official and accurate because it is on the Post Office website under the Post Office logo. It is neither. It would be better called Mr Pearse's Address Mangler; it is not official, and is only as accurate as his thoughts. Its consequences can be fatal, and have been, because computer systems all over the world, public, private and corporate, are linked to it.

When people who live in a place called ABC, and call it ABC in free custom, particularly when their free custom is backed by long-established provenance on nineteenth-century Crown maps, but the correct ABC is replaced by an incorrect XYZ in Mr Pearse's Address Mangler, the first consequence is that they have been insulted. It is very bad manners. Because when the people in ABC fill out their address, a data-entry person somewhere in the world will find that that will not go in. No matter how hard they try ABC will be blocked by the Address Mangler, which will force them to enter XYZ. That means the people at that ABC are being treated as so stupid that they do not know where they live, and must have their ignorance and stupidity corrected by people with superior knowledge. That is an insult. And the time of countless data-entry people all over the world is being wasted.

Further up the scale of consequences is the inconvenience, wasted time and disruption caused by problems with mail and courier deliveries, because they are delayed, or misdirected, or lost, or people are told they cannot be delivered and must spend time making corrective arrangements. The envelope or parcel has ABC on it, but the delivery people are told by the Address Mangler that there is no such place, and they may, as has happened, send it off to some place that has a similar address.

Next up the scale is problems with the Electoral Commission, with the worst being that someone may be disenfranchised until the Commission can sort things out. That is on top of the Commission having to spend time and money adding a private part to its database in which it could record the ABCs despite having to print the XYZs on the rolls.

By far the most important computer systems linked to the Address Mangler are the ones at New Zealand's national call-centres for the Police, the Fire Service, and the Ambulance Service. When those services are called, people are not talking to local services, they are talking to the national centres. So when someone living in an ABC is faced with a criminal threat such as a home-invasion, or has a house-fire, or is having a heart-attack or some other medical emergency, and calls 111, they are talking to people far away in national centres. And those people know only what is on screen in front of them--which is fed from the Address Mangler, which does not have the ABCs. It has XYZs. So if callers only have time to scream down the phone. 'I live in HIJ Street in ABC' then hang up, the emergency services will not find them, or will take so long to realise the truth that they may arrive too late. 

That has happened. The worst consequence was fatal. For example, a young woman died on the west coast of Auckland because the emergency services were directed to the wrong place. The national call centre was not at fault. It was the Address Mangler.

In the case of Rocky Bay, even adding 'Waiheke' to the scream may not help, because there's a Waiheke [River] in the South Island, so time may be lost on that aspect of the confusion.

If Geoffrey Pearse gets it into his head that a place is called XYZ, because someone failed to look up an authoratative source, or lied out of a vested interest or a family interest, or exerted false political interference, or a LINZ official was ignorant, careless, stupid or misfeasant, etc., etc., then Mr Pearse will record XYZ in the Address Mangler--then will stubbornly resist all attempts by anyone in ABC to correct it, particularly if the same unlawful false information has also been artificially insinuated into some Council paper.

So all those responsible for illegally perpetuating the 'Omiha' lie and using it to replace the right name, Rocky Bay, the name long-established in Crown provenance and free custom, are all guilty of perpetuating a situation which at best is a daily insult; at middle is inconvenient, disruptive, time-wasting and anti-democratic; at worst is damnably dangerous, and could easily prove fatal. They have put a demonstrable falsehood above fact, above law, above human life. The lie is easily fixed; but they cannot be bothered. Gazette Rocky Bay, then Mr Pearse will be forced to correct his Address Mangler.

Those responsible for perpetuating the 'Omiha' lie in some way include Waiheke councillors, members of Waiheke Community/Local Boards, council bureaucrats, Geoffrey Pearse and other Post Office bureaucrats, and misfeasant staff serving the New Zealand Geographic Board.

The lie is on their heads; the chronic law-breaking is on their heads; the blood is on their heads.




Friday, 31 January 2014

NEW NEW ZEALAND FLAG

A national flag should be simple, it should have a bold design that is instantly recognised, even at at a distance, and it should say 'this is what we are.'

New Zealand is a long narrow country between two seas; its Maori name is Aotearoa, which means Land of the Long White Cloud; it is the home of a people who are known the world over as Kiwis, after their unique native bird; our head of state is the Queen, who uses royal blue.

This design for a flag combines all those elements.


Tasman Sea    Aotearoa/Land of the Long White Cloud   Pacific Ocean

It keeps a connection with the present flag by using the same deep blue, but here it represents the Tasman Sea on one side of the country and the Pacific on the other. In the centre the white panel represents Aotearoa, the Land of the Long White Cloud, and the green kiwi combines our national symbol--long known the world over--with the green that New Zealand is also famous for.

The kiwi could be less stylised than the one shown here, such as the one that has long been used in the roundels on RNZAF aircraft.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

ROUNDUP OF THE ANEMONES

Once upon a time there was a wonderful man called Marty. His full name was Marty Awe Tia, and he was well-named, because all the good folk were in awe of how wonderful he was and how much he liked people and how much good he did for them all day and every day.

But, sadly, Marty had anemones. Whoops! Hang on--enemies, which is not a nice flower at all. It is a sad fact of life that even the nicest people get them horrid enemy thingies, plus all the lies and nonsense and nasty attacks filled with loathing that go with that getting.

The anemones that loathed Marty Awe Tia had some very weird pinions. For example, they opined that anyone who loves something because it is beautiful is just an emotional prat. Which means that wot they really think is that we have to chuck love out of the windbag to make a good decision. Obviously, there's no weirder pinion than that known to science or anybody. No one can stand up straight on pinions like that.

But even that weirdness was not enough for Marty Awe Tia's anemones. They loathed him so much that they made up a cunning plan to stretch him something terrible, fill him with concete, and turn him into an oogly place for parking rich guys' boats, thereby making lots luvvly moolah and the anemones filthy rich.

Fortunately, all Marty Awe Tia's friends got together to buy a humungous amount of Roundup to spray on the anemones and thus save him from being transmogrified into a monstrosity of the moolah-and-concrete kind.

Yay!

We hope.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

UNFORTUNATE RHYMES AND BREEDING

Len Brown
Pants Down
Tup Town

It sounds like horse-breeding: TupTown out of SuperCity by PantsDown.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

NO TO MARINATED MUTILATION

When I was a Member of the Waiheke Community Board there were from time to time meetings of the Community Forum, in which the views of leading Waihekeans were canvassed as part of the Board's statutory duty to consult with its community.

At one of those meetings a woman perfectly expressed what Matiatia is to the island. She said, 'My home doesn't start at my front door or my front gate. It starts at the wharf.'

Matiatia is the front door to our island, the front door to our island home, the front door to every home on the island.

But now a select few want to take a third of it for themselves, they want to possess it, they want to exlude everyone else from it. They want to change for ever the look and special quality of our front door. They want to turn a public place into a private space. They want to mutilate our frontage for personal gain.

If they came and demanded a third of my front porch for their own purposes and to enlarge their income I would tell them to get lost. Scram: this is mine, this is my front door, this is my home. The island and the Council should tell these greedy narrow-minded people to get lost, we should tell them and the specious
arguments by which they vindicate their cupidity to get lost, we should tell them to get lost so completely that they will never again chuck this foolish, selfish, ugly proposal at us.

(If they are to get a marina, let them have a little bit of our back yard at Kennedy Point. Not spread over a large part of our front porch.)

Thursday, 16 May 2013

SUPER PAYDAYS ARE UNFAIR NOT SUPER


Many superannuitants are living payday to payday, and finding it difficult to manage. But if they were paid weekly instead of fortnightly they would find it much easier. And they would be getting paid more for nine months of the year.

Household bills arrive monthly and must be paid by certain dates, especially when there are discount-dates, and supermarket specials are issued weekly. But because New Zealand Superannuation is paid fortnightly there is a constant mismatch between income and expenditure.

If superannuitants work out what your monthly average is by dividing your annual total by twelve, you find that with fortnightly payments you are being paid below that monthly average for nine months of the year, and above it for only three--and those three good months are always a long way apart. This year, for example, the above-average months, the good months, are January, July and December. So there's five-month stretch to endure where you are below your monthly average. That situation is unfair and unjust because it makes it more difficult to manage--all because because the government and its bureaucracy cannot be bothered taking real human-beings and real life into account.

If superannuitants were paid weekly instead of fortnightly they would have a better, more even income, and there would be twice as many months in which their income was higher than their monthly average. For example, someone being paid $700 a fortnight would be getting a monthly average of $1517, if you divide the total for the year by twelve, but the actual monthly payments are $1400 for nine months of the year and $2100 for three of them. In 2013 those high months are only January, July and December. Therefore in
February, March, April, May, June, August, September, October and November the payments are $117 below the average, so there are long below-average stretches. But if that same person was paid weekly, the monthly income for January, April, July, October and December would be $1750, and the other months would be $1400, so there would be more above-average months and they would be closer together.

It would be much easier for elderly people to manage. But the Minister for Old Guys, Ancient Monuments, Greyheads and Other Advanced Specimens of Humanity (Hon. Jo Goodhew) and the CEO for the Ministry of Social Development claim that it would cost a fortune to change from paying superannuation fortnightly to weekly. But a brain-damaged earthworm with flat batteries and a spade through its gizzard could work out that it wouldn't cost anything to tell the super computer program to run twice as often. It runs weekly for the dole, so there's no reason it cannot do it for super. Or are unemployed bods worthy of the best treatment but wrinkly bods aren't?

If you agree, and want to put pressure on the government to do the right thing by superannuitants, please sign the petition

( http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/new-zealand-government-pay-superannuitants
-weekly-not-fortnightly-to-make-budgeting-easier ... is the address to cut and paste if the link doesn't work for some reason)

Saturday, 12 May 2012

WAIHEKE'S ANTIPODES

Click here to find the exact antipodes of where you live.


Waiheke's exact antipodes is in Spain. The illustration shows the exact antipodes of the Oneroa Post Office, so if you dug straight down from there you would come out in the Spanish countryside.

To get to the antipodes of your place, zoom out on the Original Map, move it your country, then zoom it  and move it about till you have the red pointer right where you want it.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

OPENING WALLETS WITH ZIPPY LINES

The really, really, really exciting headline in the New Zealand Herald announced with really, really, really breathless excitement that 'Ziplining is coming to Waiheke Island.' 

Wow!

What we have always called a flying fox is now being called a zipline. That makes it really, really, really new and really, really, really exciting. Double wow!


What it means is that three flying-fox cableswill be defacing the Waiheke sky on Trig Hill, all so that three pairs of people can ride, side by side, 'over vineyards and down into native bush' (says the Herald).

EcoZip Adventures is the outfit that wants to make a buck out of this. 'EcoZip', which sounds like something that closes the fly in your natural pants, is yet another silly notion from the buckaroo brigade. Just put Eco in front of a dumb idea and expect everyone to bow down and flock to you with their wallets wide open, showering you with their bucks.

After the suckers have trundled along the flying fox EcoZipper says there will be guides to lead people on boardwalks and tracks through the bush to its flash new visitor centre. They will teach them about Waiheke. All that will take about an hour and a half, says EcoFly/Zip/Quickbuck.

The Zip blokes say that what they are creating is a chance for anyone to get up close and personal with our native bush, to reconnect with nature.

On a wire? On boardwalks?

Have they never heard of feet? Nothing can beat walking through the New Zealand bush on the leaf-mould. Certainly not three flying foxes for two, or boardwalks. Or Zippy off-islanders telling us all about Waiheke.

Those zippies are shooting us a line. Zip it, guys.

Friday, 24 February 2012

BOOK OF WAIHEKE STORIES PUBLISHED ON AMAZON


The full twenty-six episodes of the The Lower Deck, the over-the-top stories about Waiheke Island history, both real and unreal, can now be downloaded in a single click to your Kindle or PC from Amazon, for a mere $US2.99 (or its equivalent in the Euro, the UK pound, etc.)

Click here to go the right place in Amazon.

Episode 1 remains on the The Lower Deck blog as a free sample.

Enjoy...

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

AIRPORT! A DUBIOUS DISASTER MOVIE

Please! A Brit with a Dubai mentality buying up for 'development' our airstrip, the so-called Waiheke Airport. We need that elitist greed landing on Waiheke, right next to a beautiful regional park, and a quiet bush-clad village, like we need a dagger in the heart.

A Big Thanks to the careless Overseas Investment Office with its right-wing anti-community mentality for giving its blessing to the purchase.

And an even Bigger Thanks to Denis Musson who dreamed up the whole filthy-lucre scheme in the first place and hocked it off for millions.

'The love of money is the root of all evil.'

Friday, 30 December 2011

MY BOOKS AND STORIES PUBLISHED!

Over the years, both living on Waiheke Island and before I came here (and wish I had come much earlier in life), I have written a huge amount--millions of words of one sort or another--ranging from professional writing in information technology, business and science, to children's and adult fiction, to legal opinions, to local-body reports, to design descriptions, to blogs, etc., etc. The fiction has covered a very wide range, from fantasy to horror, from romance to humour, from metaphor and environmental activism to classic tales reminiscent of Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm and Tolkien.

Some of my stories are very short, some are full-length books; they vary in length from a mere 360 words on one page to over 33,000 on 84 pages. But 360 words can be just as compelling as a much longer work. The length should be whatever it comes out to; it should fit the story. The 360-word work is a horror-story, whose brevity heightens the horror (and the black humour).

Creative Waiheke is of course an ideal environment for a writer, so they flourish here, but an unpublished writer is a perpetually frustrated being. And till now none of my stories have been published (on paper, I mean), either because I made no attempt, or as was the case with my first book, a fantasy written long ago called The Wing-Friends, because although the publishers liked it they declined it. They liked it because their reader, the famous Dorothy Butler, recommended it, but they did not think there was a big enough market in my native New Zealand to make it worth their while. The opinions of publishers are the bane of author's lives...

How many times in history have books been declined by publishers, or only published in very limited numbers, because publishers did not think they would be successful, but then were runaway best-sellers, never out of print? The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Lord of the Rings are two of myriads of examples. There must be many books that die in drawers and never see the light of day, but would be very successful if they were published.

To get round all that, the ideal is be your own publisher, but traditionally that has meant a large initial outlay because of the cost of a print-run and marketing. Print-on-demand publishing, in which copies are printed only when ordered, opened large cracks in that obstacle, but although the outlay was not anything like as large it was still not an easy road, especially if you had a number of works to publish.

In the past few days I have discovered, rather belatedly, to my chagrin, that Amazon has swept away all obstacles with free services, both ebook and print-on-demand. The ebooks are published via Kindle Direct Publishing; the print-on-demand are published via a part of the Amazon empire called CreateSpace. The Internet has radically changed the author's world. Yay! No longer do publishers have the whip hand, or any hand at all. Now the author is in charge, and has a direct line to readers. Which is how things should be. Chronic frustration can now be removed with a some uploading and a few clicks of a mouse.

So I have started publishing a number of my stories myself. The shorter ones are or will be in ebook format, for reading on an electronic reader or a computer. The longer ones will be in print-on-demand paperback format.

To find my stories go to Amazon and enter my name in the search box: Nobilangelo Ceramalus, or just Nobilangelo, or click on this link. As the days go more and more will be there. so far I have published seven ebooks. Soon I shall publish my first print-on-demand book, The Wing-Friends. I also plan to publish an environmental book, The Earth-Guard, via print-on-demand, as well as other things in both formats, about a dozen all together perhaps.

The exclamation mark at the end of the title of this posting is therefore an indication of my relief at being able at long last to get my stories out into the world where they belong.

I hope there will be people who will enjoy them.