Friday, August 13, 2004

The Sounds of Silence

If there's anyone reading these ramblings that I post then they've probably noticed I've not written much of late. Part of that is technical issues with the blog. For some reason the body of the posts were getting lost in the internet aether leaving just the title for your delectation. I may be a man of few words but headlines with no explanation is just a little too much. Even for me.

All of the big news of late has all been pretty depressing in this neck of the woods. Three really depressing coroners hearings (2 infant deaths and a case of a mother and son dying in their home. He died of illness and she starved to death because she was agoraphobic and couldn't leave the house), a really gruesome murder depositions hearing, and to cap it off mid-week was that awful training accident on Banks Peninsula that killed those two soldiers.

Death, death, and more death.

Christchurch Polytechnic remains very much over its Cool IT scheme. In essence CPIT found a way to manipulate the system to score 14 million dollars in funding by signing up thousands of people to a very tenuous course which required no tuition, all they had to to was get a computer CD. Apparently by getting it they would boost their computer skills, though how this could be checked remains a mystery.

Muddying the waters is the fact former city mayor Vicki Buck is both a director in the company that provided the software (Brylton), and is contracted to CPIT as well. She says she declared her interests but no-one's been able to find any record of it. Vicki Buck claims a recently released report vindicates her (even though it never examined her actions, nor addressed the conflict of interest issue) but I think she'll be a bit nervous about what the Auditor General says when his report is finished.

Nominations for the mayoralty have to be in by the end of next week. So far there's no major competition for the incumbent Garry Moore. However last time round the cat was put among the pigeons when ex-broadcaster George Balani entered at the very last moment, so nothing's being written off just yet.

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