Monday, August 28, 2006

The Future for Taito Phillip Field

Things aren't looking good for the Labour MP for Mangere, Taito Phillip Field. Prime Minister Helen Clark's gone from describing his behaviour as an error of judgement a month ago, to unacceptable now. It's a pretty marked shift in attitude all things considered. When your boss says you should carefully consider your career it's a sure sign your number's up.

Resignation is the only way he can go in the short term. The PM only has the power to dismiss ministers. It's up to the party to get rid of MP's.

However you can't simply boot out an electorate MP because you don't like him as he's been voted in by the electorate. If he's convicted of a criminal offence carrying a jail term of two years or more then there is the means to give him the boot. However no-one, as yet, has laid a criminal complaint.

What is likely to happen is that his nomination for the seat won't be renewed when the candidate selection process is worked through ahead of the next election. It'll be interesting to see if Labour brings that process forward.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

In Ya Face.

Earlier this week Prime Minister Helen Clark made a view comments about the public attitude to the Taito Phillip Field affair. The ongoing allegations of misdemeanour and corruption against the MP for Mangere weren't resonating outside of the beltway.

Well it seems, according to my Molesworth Mole, the good people at the Dominion Post are treating the PM's commments with the respect they deserve. I give you the door to the Dom's offices in the Press Gallery.

Finally for those who want to learn a little more about the UK judicial system I suggest you go here and, for balance, here as well. They're well woth the visit.

Monday, August 21, 2006

In Breaking News .....

Day 5.

The Maori Queen is still dead.

'nuff said.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Well I think I am in love! Not with a woman, but with a mountain biking park I've just discovered in Wellington.

Mkara absolutely rocks and has renewed my passion for mountain biking. A passion which had faded somewhat after a steady diet of the Port Hills, Bottle Lake, and varying trails near Oxford, over my long sojourn in Canterbury.

This is a section of the Koru trail. It's classed as easy and is a great way to get to the top of the Makara Hill. A nice steady climb and the trail is well maintained.

What I really like is the variation they have. For example this is a view from the Sally Alley. It's classed as average (a bit muddy today and slippery on the descent), but still is very manageable. It's hard to pick up in this phot but across the valley you can make out even more single trails. The tracks go for miles, and if you time it right you can manage to make your way without meeting a single soul.

The best thing about getting to the top ... the downhill. Gnarly stuff.

I think I'm starting to change my opinions about Wellington. Maybe it isn't such a bad place after all.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Slip Sliding Away

Never mind the Kelson landslide as it looks as Thorndon has one of it's own in the making.

For reasons best known to themselves the Wellington City Council undertook a mass trefelling exercise on Tinakori Hill in March 2005. The reason given was that the trees were hazardous.

Now Tinakori Hill is very steep and also over a major earthquake fault zone. So it's safe to say it's not the most stable piece of geography in the country. When you take away the trees it becomes even less so.

Anyway I was wandering around one of the walking trails up there about four weeks ago and noticed this.

Today I went back along the same track and this is what has happened.

Now there's a fair bit of housing (most of it pretty pricey) below this slope. Among the dwellings is Premier House, the official residence of the Prime Minister. (it's the green building about half way down on the left hand side of the picture below). I wonder if the PM knows what's hanging over her head.

Now my knowledge of geography is limited to what I learnt at University more years ago than I care to remember. However am I alone in finding this slightly un-nerving?

Asking For Trouble.

She’s going to kill me for this but I’m going to post it anyway.

My partner of three years has left NZ (and me) to do a long term OE in the Northern Hemisphere. She’s been gone a week now and I’ve been mulling over her absence and trying to come up with an analogy to describe it.

It’s not like losing a leg. When your leg goes your aware of it all the time, and being on a lean is a constant reminder that something’s missing. I think it’s more like losing an index finger. It’s a bloody important part of you, however you don’t tend to realize that until you need it. Such as when trying to pick up a glass or a pen.

The very laboured point I think I’m trying to make is that we tend to take our partners for granted and don’t grasp their importance until they’re no longer there.

Anyway her travel timing has been impeccable. I, for one, would not fancy flying from the US to the UK given this week’s events. I’m sure she's having a real blast (no pun intended).

Make Your Own Rules.

Here’s a scenario for you. Imagine your political party is just weeks away from Election Day and the result is likely to be close. In fact there’s an even chance you could lose. Any little thing you can do to sway the voters could be of crucial importance.

So someone comes up with the idea of re-running the pledge card ploy that had been so successful in the past. The only problem is the Party’s used all the money allowed by electoral spending rules. How to overcome this? Well a bright spark suggests using the pledge card as an educational tool. We’ll be educating the voters on policy, not electioneering, so we can take it out of another budget. Hmm think the party apparatchiks … sounds like we’ll be sailing close to the rules here, but if we can play a few semantic games perhaps we can get away with it?

Then a blow, the Chief Electoral Officer says your plan goes against the rules and is an inappropriate use of $447,000 worth of taxpayer money. Here’s a real conundrum; heed his advice and lose the election, or ignore him and have a chance at clinging to power. Option one consigns you to the opposition benches, something you want to avoid at all costs. Option two could see you back in Government, yet with a breach of electoral spending rules hanging over you. A breach you can use your power as the Government to confound, confuse, ameliorate, and legislate away.

Do you reckon that’s a risk worth the taking? Well it seems someone within the Labour Party did.