Tuesday, 20 November 2012

These are just silly, but I guess a system where people are just entering data etc. mistakes do happen.


Tuesday, 28 February 2012

I am in Korea

I have just spent 21 hours in planes and airports and shanghai and am now in Korea. Looks a lovely place.

Was talking with the Guy from Footprints and he told me that he really did not want North Korea joining South Korea.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Price of Milk

Whale Oil is suggesting a way to decrease the price of milk.

Milk powder. I think this is an ingenious way of cutting the milk bill if there is a way of decreasing the number of lumps in the milk which always seem to occur when I use it.

Secondly the milk powder is cheaper than regular milk because there are reduced storage costs (no refrigeration) it lasts longer and takes up less space.

Still how does one get rid of the lumps.?

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Good Ad

I am not going to vote for them, but it appears that they are all high or something.

This is quite good.

Source: Whaleoil

That is stupid

The French have found that Google maps is anti completive. Now what evil anti completive activity did they engage in?

Making it available for free.  Their competitor claims that they will conquer the market and then start charging. And it is not as if they are the only free mapping software company online. There are also Bing (Microsoft) Maps as well.

Have the French not heard of a little thing called advertising?

Friday, 20 January 2012

The problem with re-new able energy.

Solar - free energy from the sun, no moving parts, and no carbon emissions.

Sounds great except for the downsides as they are finding out in Germany

Eight Billion Euro a year in subsidies which are paid out for 20 years. Along with a system which generates only 3% of national demand and only works half of the time or in this case not at all during winter.

I like all the benefits of wind and solar energy but the big downside is this. A lot of the development is because super large subsidies. I hear the subsidies for solar water heating are massive and even then somebody only gets a small gain.

I hear people claiming that a wind farm will generate so many Kwatt of energy. Yer Right. Only when the wind is blowing - although we do have lots of hydro in NZ which means that we can store energy here.

In NZ we have the luxury of a small population and lots of land area to dam for electricity. If we had 40 million more people we would have a very different attitude about nuclear energy.

The thing I do not like about all the arguments from the Greenies is that often the ideas they put out will either
provide very little benefit, cost a lot, or is completly impracticable and ignores the reality. I like this quote from Speigal.

To avoid a ton of CO2 emissions, one can spend €5 on insulating the roof of an old building, invest €20 in a new gas-fired power plant or sink about €500 into a new solar energy system.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Port of Auckland

The Herald is reporting that POA is about to start mass redundancies.

This is sad for the workers who will lose their jobs, however this was going to happen. By taking on the Port and keeping on striking they ran the risk of losing their own jobs. This will now be occurring.

The Port's productivity is vital for an exporting Nation, and we can not simply just ship everything down to Tauranga (despite the benefits for Kiwirail). The council signed the Unions death warrant when they asked for increased profits. The only way of generating this is to increase productivity and when you have workers on shift even when their is no ship in the port to unload it begs the question why are they still paying them.

However it is great news that the Unions do not run New Zealand considering that in the 1950s they tried to bring New Zealand to it's knees. And as there will be fewer Union members this means that Labour will have less funding.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Teacher Performance

Oh my God the sky is falling in. This is the last straw. We must put a stop to this. To the picket lines comrades. There is no such thing as a bad teacher.

I say this should have been introduced years ago.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Port of Auckland Dispute

It is never nice when the boss and the staff are at war. Everybody loses out especially when you go on strike. But sometimes strikes and lockouts no mater how un-desirable are required.

The Port of Auckland is losing out every day this strike goes on. The offers they are making are very generous. But their problem is the Port's poor productivity and the port knows this. Something has to give.

If I were the port this is what I would do.

Tell them that in 14 days time all staff will be locked out forever.

The new offer would be terms and conditions which would make the Port more productive. It would completely ignore the current terms and conditions on the table or the current contract. Grandfather in all non-union staff and non striking staff as a good will gesture to loyal employees.

Then start taking CVs for the new positions. In addition hand out redundancy payments to the staff members who will not be required due to the losses of current contracts.

This will force the union back to the table, either they keep their jobs or find other jobs. If they do not do a deal then then the port will just send out redundancy cheques in the mail or leave them to stew on lockout (since it is cheaper to employ a previous employee rather than a new employee).

There are those who may ask will this kill the buisness. In the short term it could. But the rewards are very good, you get improved productivity and cheaper costs. New Zealand is too far away from the rest of the world to have pricey ports.

To finish I want to quote the following from CEO Tony Gibson:

Labour utilisation here is about 65 per cent compared to more than 80 per cent at Port of Tauranga, meaning that for every 40 hours a stevedore is paid, they can work as little as 26 (and let's remember that average remuneration for a fulltime stevedore is $91,000)

 This dispute can not go on it must end, New Zealand needs productive low cost ports. We are too far away from the rest of the world to have expensive ports.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Verse for the week

Luke 6:38

“Give, and it will be given to you.
A good measure, pressed down,
shaken together and running over,
will be poured into your lap.
For with the measure you use,
it will be measured to you.” 

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Leaving NZ

The media are going ape over the fact that people are leaving the nation in droves. 

In once sense we should welcome this. Less competition for jobs (higher pay rises), more space for us and improved buisness links with the rest of the world (Just ask any Chinese Immigrant - they still keep in touch with the home land).

But then there is the Human cost. The loss of all of significant investment in training and education. Furthermore we have to find immigrants to replace the lost skills.

Finally there is the social cost. My mother is quite happy having me back at home for Christmas from Ireland.

So what are we to do about this?

Firstly we must accept that we will never stop emigration. People always want to leave and see the world. 

Secondly we must grow the economy. 
This means cutting government spending, getting people back into work and balancing the books. We also need to create more opportunities for people in Kiwiland by encouraging buissness start ups. It is a nasty fact that many good buisness ideas are promptly snapped up by overseas investors because of a lack of local funding. This means introducing compulsory Kiwisaver and getting to grips with the poor savings in NZ. While Dairy/Sheep farming will always be the old reliable we need to expand our product offering and thus provide further opportunities for people to work here. 

Thirdly we must recoup the cost of the educational investment from those who do not return to NZ. We need to bond students to NZ, not by charging them interest when outside Kiwiland but recovering the full subsidy. Student fees only pay part of the cost of the education, we need to recover the whole cost for those who take advantage of the free education but then leave the country (like I have done).

Fourthly the productivity commission is currently undertaking a review of shipping into Kiwiland. If we cut the costs of getting out goods to market then we can sell at a cheaper price and/or get more profit. Along side this we need to deal with the empty container issue. NZ exporters require large numbers of containers thus empty containers must be shipped to NZ at a loss to somebody.

Number 5: Have more free trade deals. We all benefit from this. 

Sixthly we need to increase skilled and educated immigration. Smart people find ways of making money. Smart people have educated children and thus giving NZ an educated workforce. They come with links to their homelands which can be used to create new economic ventures. For example my old landlord in Ireland was looking at importing solar water heaters to Ireland which would have saved Ireland energy. In other countries it is hard to get your foot in the door with western sales methods (In Korea it is who you went to school with and who you personally know) this is one way of breaking down the barriers. 
In addition we are having a large number of baby boomers retiring we will need to replace this skill loss and we will need to pay for their pensions. Paying somebody $14000 or so a year is not cheap. 


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Warm up the riot police

With the order by the High Court for the Occupy Auckland group to move out it is time to get the riot police ready.

Good bye hippies, you have made your point, now please move on. 

Monday, 19 December 2011

The Dear Leader is Dead

The recent death of Jim Jong Il has resulted in a number of obituaries.

Those outside Korea will be noting his bad behaviour and his despotic rule.

But along with the North Koreas who like him there is somebody else who will be sad that the has died.


God does not want bad people to go to hell. He wants them to repent god loved Jim Jong Il despite all the bad things and even at the last moment would have granted him forgiveness. The same would apply to Hitler, Stalin and any other guy/girl you want to rot in hell. God has taken no joy in somebody going to hell.

I can not Judge but I can guess he his in Hell. Poor guy he got the whole world (or at least North Korea and lost his soul).

Monday, 12 December 2011

So David Won - now what

David Shearer needs to undertake a clean sweep throughout his party to do this requires two things.

1) A root and branch review of why they have lost touch and hemoraged votes to the Greens and Winston.
2) A brand new fount bench. Throw out most of the old guard and let them know it is time to go. Otherwise the back bench will be wanting to know when they will get promoted. It also allows for a new look and a new evaluation of policy because people defend their old polices.

Then go through their policy manifesto and throw out any promise to repeal popular National party policies like three strikes or national standards.

After this lay off the unions. Let them go. Remove them from the power structure of labour and get ordinary members in.

Finally find an issue to take the public attention for the next few years. I recommend asset sales. Start a citizens initiated referendum which will then force the government to defend the issue for the next year or so. Keep the issue in the public mind. 

Un-intended consiquences

It is one of those oddities in life. While I am sure that Len Browne did not vote for Act and does not really want them in power, Act will have done Len a nice service. It has put John Banks back into parliament. Who was the runner up last time in the council elections for Mayor? John Banks. 

Monday, 5 December 2011

Charter Schools

Act got very lucky with their deal with the Nats. Charter Schools or Free schools as they are called in the UK.

And now the Unions are un-happy. How sad they are thinking of their members rather than themselves. Still that is their job. I heard somewhere that more teachers are removed by the police, than fired by their principal.

We must have competition in schools, if the state school model is so great, then the charter schools will fail. But I fear that they will fail because the Unions will demand that Labour kills them off when they get back in.

The unions claim that they take funding from the state schools. Well that is the idea,  how else do you you pay for them.

Cancel the trial and open as many as possible before the teacher unions get back in to kill them.

That said the fine print will be important.

A charter school must;

  • A non discriminatory enrolment policy. I could easily see a charter school put in fine print saying that they are for high achieving students (i.e. rich kids only), or give preference to children of previous parents.
  • Respect the religion of the students. I have watched how the church schools in Ireland have forced parents to send their kids there because there are no other schools around. 
  • National Standards or another good assessment criteria 
  • A requirement to admit a student if there is no local school around. I do not want a kid locked out of a school or mum and dad turning up at 1 am in the morning to guarantee their daughter a place.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

National United Future Agrement

I like the look of the National United Future Agreement.

The big things I like about it are as follows

1) Not to sell Kiwibank (why do people join it - good deals and they like the owner)

2) And this which is the best part:

The government notes that United Future has been committed to its “FlexiSuperannuation” proposal as a key part of its retirement policy and agrees that a government discussion document investigating this issue will be developed

This will give people flexibility in their old age. Some folk just can not work much after 60, whereas others hit 70 without their body telling them to pack this in.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

What now for the Blues?

Despite everything National only just won the election on the weekend. They only got 60 seats and require 5 from the other three parties to govern. They are also facing problems in 2014 as who to go with. Act will only ever go with National so we know that so long as Act stay in the house they will vote for the Boys in Blue. The Centre is held by the man we will not name so what should the Blues do?

1) Give the Act/United/Maori parties more media and more success. They need to get party vote so that they will do deals with National. Especially for United and Maori who will do deals with National and will bring across voters who may otherwise voted for the man we will not name. 
2) Invite the Conservatives to a cup of tea. If they had won Rodney they would have brought in a few MPs. They would have acted as a vote stealer from the Reds and also brought across votes from the man we will not name. 
3) Do not let your guard down, Labour will be back and they must be kept under control.
4) Keep refreshing the party. Do not get left with far to many MPs who have been there far to long. In Singapore the PAP select people who are already successful and thus are not in power for the money (unless they are in Cabinet). PAP MPs are people who can pay their own way and thus are not relying on the job as an MP as a job for life. 
5) John should step down well before his use by date (sometime after 2017 and before late 2020), and around the time of his best by date. This will be good for the party and good for him. It will give his successor time to run up to the next election, and he gets to go out on a high. I well recall what occurred to Finna Fail in Ireland when they did not re-new. 
5b) Have 25% new faces in Cabinet. Ministers must perform, sack the worst. A Job as a cabinet minister is not a job for life.
6) Stay in the centre right. Selling assets are right wing policies the result they got this time will not occur again until they have thrown the Labour party out of power again. They must avoid hacking of the floating voters. They must continue to work the policy of doing all major policies with an election mandate. 
7) Do not do anything stupid. Best way of losing the next election. Best way of scaring people into voting for the Red people.

Love it or hate it National will lose one day. If National does not re-new now (before it is to late) and develop  National Friendly parties who it can do deals with it will end up like Labour is now or worse like National was in 2002.