Back to work again.

I’ve been sick for the last four days – coughing up phlegm and blowing my nose. I went to visit my doctor and I was advised that the best he can suggest is so get some rest, drink lots of water, get fresh air and make sure that I eat some good helpings of vegetables. I’ve been taking it easy which include working from home – avoid the cold air in the evening given that even in September the night temperature is getting below 5°C. There appears to be four viruses doing the rounds out there so it is probably best to avoid exposure by working from home where possible particularly when one considers that the shifts being done are at night where the cold air can aggravate the lungs.

I’ve finally got my act together and voted this year in the local government elections – I had until the beginning of October to send it away (it is done via postal voting) but I thought it would be best to get it done now before I end up losing track of my voting papers. I did some Googling to find out who each of the candidates were and what their positions are. Personally I think that the established parties should play a larger role in local government to avoid the sorts of ‘independents’ who have been hiding their crankery but thank goodness Stuff, Newsroom, The Spin Off and others have been exposing candidates hiding their links to those behind the occupation of the parliament grounds. The benefit of having the established parties involved at the local government level will provide the venting process and endorsement which will encourage more people to vote in local elections – if voters don’t necessarily 100% know the candidate they can feel rest assured that the party that they support at the central government give them enough confidence to vote for said candidate at the local level.

Work was ok – not too busy but new changes are being introduced in the next couple of weeks. It is amazing how getting a new CEO results in the company getting its ‘a into g’ results in improvements coming out in a mater of months if not weeks rather than the many, many, many years of procrastination. I’ve been employed with the organisation for almost 5 years and in the last year and a half there have been more things done to improve the customer experience than the previous years. There is a lot of great talent where I work – lets hope that the talent is given free rein.

Looking forward to seeing what happens in the next few months regarding inflation but I think it is foolish to believe that our inflation woes can be fixed by increasing interest rates given that it is a supply issue not a demand – the capacity is under-utilised rather than it being a situation of demand being too high and the economy is operating at peak utilisation. I think the bigger question that needs to be asked is what the long term plan will be to avoid this sort of issue in future – to avoid a situation where we have turned China into the workhouse of the world which has simultaneously created a single point of failure for the world. There are also environmental reasons – is it really the smart to take fish caught in New Zealand, export that fish to China and hen reimport the processed product back to New Zealand? thousands of carbon miles – yay the efficiency of the capitalist system.

Welp, never going to do that again.

Well, after working all day I thought “I’ll treat myself to some KFC delivered” so it I ordered it online, it arrived 20 minutes late and half of the order was missing and was cold, I sent it back with the driver and the replacement arrived with it missing the coleslaw and drinks. During the time I rang the store six times – no answer. I rang the 0800 KFC KFC but because it was after 10pm it had closed – the last order was at 10pm, wouldn’t it make sense to be open past 10pm to address scenarios such as what I experienced? Well, I sent through a complaint – I want my money back. To wait 1 1/2 hours for a meal that was completely incorrect I think that is the least that they should do. Yeah, it sounds kind of Karenish but it really was beyond a joke particularly when you consider the driver was also stuffed around because the expectation is that when he picks up delivery everything should be in the bag ready for the driver to drop off.

My iPhone is acting pretty buggy at this stage – random applications freezing such as Reddit app suddenly failing to load a subreddit then I force quit it then launch it again with it suddenly working. The other issue with the screen waking up but I’m unable to press any of the buttons on the scree – when the alarm goes off in the morning I press the ‘stop’ button and it doesn’t register my touching of the ‘stop’ butt with my finger. I thought it may have been the software but this issue never happened until recently so I thought I might as well give DFU reset a try to see whether a clean install will fix it. Then I thought maybe it is the software with that brand if iPhone but nope, the problems were unique to my phone. I’m going to hold onto the phone until it I’ve got the money saved but so far there is will be announcement at the 7 September Apple has planned where they’ll announce their new iPhone. Then there is the Pixel 7 and hopefully that’ll mean more markets that Google is selling into but not optimistic then there is the presentation early next year when Samsung announces the refresh for the Galaxy S range of phones which will have Android 13 preinstalled along with probably OneUI 5.1. I guess it’ll be a situation of “wait and see” because it is the sort of investment you only make every 3-5 years so you want to make sure you make the right decision.

I had the unfortunate experience of coming across yet another individual who embraces the aesthetics of the left but in process push reactionary politics under the guise of being ‘anti-revisionist’ (link). Left wing politics isn’t in conflict with liberalism, it is the natural evolution that builds upon liberalism, a realisation that the phrase ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’ rings rather hollow when you’re struggling to survive – how are you going to enjoy your freedom when you’re not free (due most of one’s time spent merely surviving) to being develop yourself and be more than just a interchangeable cog in the capitalist machine that is hell bent on ‘make line go up’ at all costs? As Noam Chomsky pointed out (outlined in many videos on YouTube where he is giving answers to questions put to him by students), such an individual (the writer of the linked essay) see themselves as the van guard who will whip the population into shape or by hell or high water send the ‘misbehaving types’ who display ‘bourgeois immorality that is incompatible with socialism’ (aka members of the ‘alphabet mafia’ such as myself) to gulags to ‘straighten up and fly right’. When your understanding of the proletariat is a characterture that you’ve conjured up in your mind based on stereotypes and second hand information then don’t be surprised that very few people are interested in following the particular ideology that you’re pushing.

It’s more complicated than that.

There was an interesting ‘Brooks and Capehart’ discussion on PBS regarding the issue of abortion with David Brooks raising the issue that although European countries have more restrictive abortion access laws, Europe also have more comprehensive ‘wrap around’ services in the form of welfare.

This makes me wonder about the issue of gun violence n the United States and the focus by many on passing more restrictive laws on the basis that restrictive laws keep the public safe. That being said, if we follow David Brooks line of thinking that maybe the issue is more complex than what people make the gun issue out to be, that the complimentary nature of having a public healthcare system with well funded mental health facilities married up with reasonable gun regulations results in better public safety rather than it solely being a matter of just passing gun regulations alone. I thought it was an interesting way of having a look at an issue that uniquely plagues the United States in terms of the number of mass shootings that take place in the United States.

A good weekend.

Well, that was a good weekend. There was the Australian election and Labor (yes they spell Labour as Labor for the centre left party in Australia) won although they’ll need to work with independents and the Green Party to get things moving. What I hope is that not only do they setup an ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption) they also work to break up media concentration in Australia – break up News Corp, Channel 9, ban cross media ownership and more. If Labor failure to deal with media concentration then it is highly likely that they’ll be a one term government. They have been able to take on the Murdoch empire and win but I wouldn’t get so sure that it can be repeated.

Chrome 102 was released recently so I updated the Chrome installation on my devices. Although I keep oscillating between Safari and Chrome, I keep coming back to Chrome because a) the content blocking extension is available b) I don’t have to deal with the constant website breakages such as video playback not working properly, the ability to use the payroll website that I used for it and lots more. Google does a pretty good job at delivering a stable and reliable browser which is another reason why I keep using it.

Another tragic shooting has occurred in the United States and call me cynical but nothing will change (legislatively) as a result of – the congressman representing the area is Tony Gonzales (a Republican) and a strong 2nd amendment advocate so there isn’t even the political momentum within the community for change given who they voted to represent them at the federal level. I’ve seen this occur time and time again, the wailing, the crying, the gnashing of teeth then 12 months later the event becomes a distant memory with the gun reform legislation dying in some committee somewhere on capitol hill because no one has the stones to do what is required. At this point I’m numb to it all – at some point you stop holding out hope that things will change when it is clear that those involved and those who enable aren’t interested in pushing for change.

On more positive news, four more days until I start my long annual leave. That first week I’m finally going to get myself organised and drop my laptop off to the Apple repair place in town to get the keyboard sorted out. While I’m in there I might pick up a few things – New World on Willis Street is an wonderful bakery which is where I’ll want to pick up a few tasty goodies while I’m in there – I might even pick up some fish ‘n chips too while I’m there from ‘The Chippery’ (the Thorndon one being the easiest to access).

Chip shortage, manufacturing disruptions and inflation.

I’ve been looking at the the delivery times of computers – I was shocked at how much the chip shortage has really hit the sector. For example, if you jump to Apple and check out their shipment dates then for the MacBook Pro has a 7-9 week lead time, a build to order (BTO) iMac will take 7-9 weeks but if you take a standard model then it is available to ship immediately. In the PC world things aren’t too much better with Dell’s lead time being around a month although they have the legitimate excuse that they are dependent on the 12th Gen Intel SoC which is a relatively new chip when compared to the situation with the MacBook Pro which was released in October 2021 (link) and still suffering from high lead times. It’ll be interesting to see whether Apple also start pushing their production outside of China because part of the delays whereas Dell has assembly facilities in Taiwan, Brazil and other countries which insulates them to a certain extent from the cycle of city lockdowns that are taking place in China.

Springboarding off that into the bigger issue of inflation, the frustrating thing has been the way in which the issue has been politicised where those parties out of power try to blame the party in power all while ignoring that the biggest factor is outside of their control such as supply chain disruptions or that the solutions require long term investment not buzz word laiden press releases – see National and ACT talk about ‘value for money’ and ‘reduce waste’ but never give specifics. The other problem is that both parties are beholden to the same neoliberal ideology meaning that for them to do a proper diagnosis it would require them to admit that their assumptions made about trade haven’t panned out – that would create a more open, liberal and eventually a democratic China.

The reality? well, the reality has been that China has gone backwards rather than forwards, that given the dependency that many countries have on trade with China that access to the Chinese market is being used as leverage, that there has been an emergence of a cult of personality around Xi along with the ‘wolf warrior diplomacy’. The greatest issue though has been the creation of China as the ‘workhouse of the world’ which has driven down the cost of living (at the expense of the environment, health and welfare of workers in China) but at what cost? it has created not just a dependency but single point of failure within the supply chain, when there is a lock down in China the consequences reverberate through the global economy.

What is the solution? reduce ones dependency on trade when it comes to core or strategic essential products or commodities where possible, trade compacts with countries of like minded values and most importantly a focus on an economy that is centred around resilience rather than simply centralisation at all costs for the sake of economies of scale. Take the US meat processing market – heavily centralised meat processing plants resulting in a situation of one person getting sick then it spreads like a contagion through the abattoir only to find it is closed down and now the supply chain for meat is disrupted. The result? limited inventory is then bidded up resulting in inflation – supply based inflation not demand based inflation, something that isn’t going to be fixed by jacking up interest rates. The argument regarding demand based inflation would make sense if there were low rates of personal debt but given that any money injected into the economy is used to pay off debt, it isn’t a situation of people are flush with cash and the vast majority of people are ‘living it up’ because if it were the case then how do you explain 12 years of low inflation numbers even while running large deficits with most of it being monetised (or as the kids say these days ‘money printer go brr’)?.

Yes, we can do things in the short term such as half price public transport (I’d prefer it to be permanent but that’s just me I guess) but longer term there needs to be a plan to make the economy less dependent on oil, to ask what appears to be the blatantly obvious which is, “is it really all that smart to catch fish in New Zealand, ship it to China for processing and then importing it back to New Zealand?” putting aside the carbon miles associated with the whole process, does it really make sense at least from a food security point of view? losing the capacity to manufacturer our own food all for the sake of saving a few cents?

Laptop keyboard, Australian election and hypocritical self righteous indignation.

Another week has come and gone – getting closer to the couple of weeks off I’ll have in June but so far the weeks are speeding up with time feeling as though it is flying at lightening speed. I’m still deciding whether I should wait until June to take my laptop in to get the keyboard replaced or whether I should take it in now to get it out of the way – I’ll make that decision I guess when I get there, when I wake up and feel in the mood to ride my scooter into Wellington.

There was a South Australian election recently with Labor sweeping to victory but it’ll be interesting to see whether that’ll translate to success for Labor in the federal elections. As much as I want to be hopeful for the Australian Labor party I can’t help but feel that the Australian public will be once again be duped into voting Liberal thanks to the carefully tuned BS manufacturing that the Australian media has – if it isn’t the outright distortion of Labor’s track record then it is game of false balance aka “both sides are as bad as each other” nonsense.

Regarding the election here, there is still 18 months which can be an eternity in politics and many things can occur between now and then especially when one considers the fact that there is a pandemic still raging. That being said, Labour cannot rely on it’s COVID success, they need to take control of the narrative by putting forward a bold long term vision for New Zealand that focuses on key areas and how, when all combined, they work together to reading the end goal. A long term vision for New Zealand isn’t just about ‘winning elections’ but about setting a level of certainty to the business community can plan around, in particular around training a new generation of skilled tradespeople so that they can engage in what I call nation building.

Chris Wallace, a leading anchor on Fox News decided to leave Fox News back in December 2021 but apparently it was the election and Tucker Carlson’s monologues on a variety of subject matter that broke the camels back:

Really, after 18 years and the train wreck of propaganda that he finally drew the line then? I’m sure many people remember the egregious stuff said by various other presenters in the past but he has only just decided to leave? Maybe I’m too principled for my own good but I tend to want to work for an organisation where I can lay in bed at the end of each day knowing that what I did at work wasn’t damaging society.

UDM updates, Apple display rumours and political wrangling in the US.

Starting into the first week of the holidays and Ubiquiti has release an firmware update for their UDM 1.11.0 which introduces bug fixes, optimisations such as improved PPPoE throughput, making WPA3 available for mainstream adoption and lots more (link). A nice little early Christmas present which, as of the time of this writing having used it for a few hours, is absolutely rock solid so far with setting up the UDM (I did a factory reset as part of the upgrade to 1.11.0) going a lot smoother than in the past. The big upcoming update will be when the Unifi AP AC HD firmware moves from the 5.x series to the 6.x series which has a whole new wifi firmware ‘binary blob’ that it’ll be using hence all the testing, testing and more testing that has occurred in over the 6 months or so.

There are rumours that Apple is going to get back into the display market (link) which will be at a more mainstream accessible pricing. When thinking about this rumour and the lack of a 27inch iMac I am wondering whether we’ll eventually see a 27inch iMac or do Apple see the market for the 27inch iMac being the more power user and/or enthusiast area where maybe a Mac mini Pro or even a Mac Pro mini combined with an Apple display would fill the gap between the mainstream 24inch iMac and the Mac Pro at the high end. Although I have an iMac 27inch I am strongly looking at getting maybe a Mac mini but maxed out as my next device with either an Apple display one one from Dell particularly if the price is a lot better than going with an iMac 27inch (or what ever the size screen Apple decide to go with – assuming they ship a bigger iMac with Apple Silicon).

I’ve been following US politics regarding the whole ‘Build Back Better’ with the media pointing out how Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are the source of why Biden’s agenda is blocked but let’s remember it wasn’t too long ago where a report came out that there are 10 senators who oppose it. The reason why it hasn’t passed is because there are more Ethan just those two who want to upend build back better, it just so happened to be that it is Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema turn to be ‘villains of the week’ which will provide the other 8 senators plausible deniability. For me, I’ve pretty much turned off from US politics because really is depressing how very little has been accomplished within a year due to the lack of discipline within the Democratic Party.

Getting back to New Zealand politics, it is one thing for the opposition parties to critique the government in areas where they believe they have a weakness but what amazes me is how the rest of the world is having a fifth wave yet journalist are inward looking navel gazers demanding the borders be open. What this goes to show is that the media in New Zealand is the embodiment of the phrase “the media is the mouthpiece of the capitalist class” – god forbid the New Zealand media remind the New Zealand public that there is a pandemic raging overseas and maybe the focus is should be on keeping in New Zealand rather than fetishising the potential to make a few extra dollars (at the expense of human life).

My dissatisfaction with the licence changes in New Zealand.

After much moaning and groaning by me regarding a poorly thought out law change pushed through over 7 years ago by the National government it appears that the Labour government has come come to sanity and reversed the decision (link). What was the poorly thought out decision that I am referring to? the decision to put a 2 year limit on learner/restricted licence on the along with the erroneous basis on which the decision was made. The erroneous decision was based on the notion that allowing people to say permanently on learners or restricted would serve as a disincentive to move to a full licence – and what basis did they make that? feedback by those who benefit from making an easy profit off people being pushed to have a full licence (regardless of whether they needed it or not) and ‘feel facts’ (‘which aren’t technically facts but feel true’, a term I borrowed from SNL (link)) made up by lobby groups whose narrow focus blinds them to the many possible scenarios that they haven’t considered.

The frequently asked questions pretty much goes into detail addressing why people never actually move on beyond either a learners or a restricted licence with the question: Why don’t licence holders progress to a full licence?

  • the cost of theory and practical tests
  • the cost of renewing the licence
  • no adequate supervision/training
  • no access to a road legal vehicle to be trained in, or to take to a practical test.
  • only needing a learner licence to ride a moped
  • only wanting a driver licence for identification
  • having other transport options
  • no access a vehicle to learn to drive
  • in the case of a restricted licence, only needing to transport children or a spouse.

When it comes to ID, there is the 18+ card now known as the Kiwi Access cad but the problem is that identity verification requires it to be used in conjunction with a birth certificate where as a drivers licence in almost every case is sufficient enough for ID. Then there is the scenario of given in the public submissions, for example on page 7 one submitter said their 78-year-old Grandmother has had her restricted for a long time and complies with conditions as she only drives by herself. (link) There were submitters also felt they should not be required to retake a theory test upon renewal for a licence they have already passed – a test would have to be reset every 5 years if one wishes to simply renew a learners licence. Then there is the biggest group I would say which are many university students, young adults and others who only have an interest in riding a moped and we can do so with a standard learners – so why force them to move to a full licence? thank goodness the government made the right decision in the end that’ll go back to the status quo.

Does the quality of drivers need to improve? yes, but limiting the length of time one can remain on learners or restricted doesn’t benefit anyone and certainly won’t improve the quality of drives. If these organisations were serious about improving the quality of drivers then I suggest they put their ‘feel facts’ to one side and focus on an alternative to the current model that focuses on ‘can the person put on a good show to pass a test’ in favour of a more exhaustive regiment over a set number of weeks. The goal with such a change would result in a restricted licence issued based on a regiment of the first week being the base line and the last week being an indicator as to whether the mentoring that the instructor has provided has been taken on board by the student via a visible improvement 6 weeks later (thus demonstrating a degree of humility by demonstrating that recognise they’re a student and take on board the feedback the instructor provides) vs 6 weeks later there is no improvement thus indicating they need to remain as a learner for longer (thus also demonstrating that they’re not willing to take on board advice and improve – they’ve convinced themselves that they’re already the expert and don’t need to improve thus it is doubtful giving them a restricted licence will result in them improving long term).

Reviews of the new MacBook Pro 14″ and 16″ are out and the plague of disposable products resulting in an ewaste mountain.

I’ve been watching videos reviewing the new MacBook Pro 14″ and 16″, even after all this time I am astonished at how well the Apple GPU is scaling given the tendency of GPUs designed for lower power tend to have an upper limit in terms of scalability (architectural decisions made to reduce power usage can inhibit the ability to scale) so I was expecting them to maybe work with AMD on a discrete GPU but it appears I have been proven incorrect (keeping in mind the post I made in the past was pure speculation rather than making definitive statements facts). It’ll be interesting to see the performance in the upcoming larger iMac and Mac Pro – rumour has it that it might end up scaling up 2 x M1 Max in lieu of putting more on a single SoC which will result in a 20 core SoC; 16 high performance cores, 4 efficiency cores. What I hope is that because they control the hardware and software that we’ll see a better graphics experience – greater use of Metal optimisation as Apple moves more of its underpinnings from OpenGL to Metal.

The other part of the equation is where the Windows world will fit into this when one considers Qualcomm’s recent purchase of Nuvia which will hopefully give them to people power along with their expertise to bring about some silicon that can cater for the laptop, tablet, desktop and workstation market that Microsoft appears to be hinting at having an interest in moving Windows for ARM from merely a box that needs to be ticked to taking it seriously particularly when one looks at the investments being made by MIcrosoft to bring their middleware to the platform.

On Another topic given the recent discussion about ‘right to repair’ and dealing with the amount of electronic waste that is building up, if we’re going to get serious about the environment such as using electricity more efficiently and reduce our e-waste then we need to, as consumers, demanding products that prioritise convenience over all things else.

A good example of this would be the rise in wireless earbuds where the batteries are dead after 2 years max even with moderate usage then add to the recharging which is wireless which is inefficient – on a small scale that wouldn’t be an issue but on a cumulative basis it would cause a problem in those countries whose power generation is dependent upon burning fossil fuels. Then there is the ‘right to repair’ movement regarding the ‘right to repair’ ones devices by getting access to the information and parts required to do so. I think it is a good start but the biggest component in this war on electronic waste is the issue of planned obsolescence where there needs to be requirements – either the OEM is forced to provide x number of years security and bug fixes (rather than the current situation of Apple not providing all security fixes to old versions of iOS) or the alternative being that the source code for drivers etc. are merged back into a public Android tree that allows people to keep updating their Android phone beyond what the OEM is willing to provide (maybe a third party business model could develop around providing a long term supported version of Android that one can install after the OEM has abandoned it).

This is one of the reasons I get frustrated when I hear people go on about how electric vehicles are the future – no they’re not, the future is better unitary plans that stop and reverse urban sprawl, focus on dense housing, shared green spaces, greater use of telecommuting, greater use of staggered start times, investing into mass transit and fully electrifying the rail network, building more renewable energy generation. Why aren’t electric vehicles the future (in the sense of it being a ‘silver bullet’ to solve all of life’s problems) – consider the full life cycle from start to finish when building a car including the battery, when you consider all that you quickly realise that although it is better than a petrol car it’ll never be as good as mass transit, it won’t fix congestion not to mention all the maintenance costs of supporting and upgrading urban motorways and state highways.

What the National Party need to do to win me (and others) over.

With the downward spiral of the National Party I thought it would be best to collate my views as a single blog entry rather than the flurry of tweets I’ve made on the matter – don’t worry, it isn’t gong to be a multipage dissertation where I roll out complex theories to explain an otherwise straight forward situation that National have found themselves in. Before I start it is I important to recognise the the reality that elections in New Zealand are won from the centre – never the extreme left or the extreme right. As much as I would love a glorious revolution to overthrow capitalism I also recognise the fact that I am a minority voice and as such I have to keep my expectations at the appropriate level given the circumstances. National in the past has tried to run to the far right when they had Don Brash as leader – he crashed and burned which then opened up opportunity for John Key to enter who branded himself as a centre right candidate who wasn’t some wild right wing lunatic but a moderate who would make some tweaks but not upend the whole apple cart. Were there things they did that I disagree with? sure but I’ll cover that in a future post.

The first thing that National need to do is to stop fixating over the governments response to COVID because the reality is that if National were in charge with Bill English it is highly unlikely that there would be a radical difference and what it appears to be today is hair-splitting by National over minutia for the sake of differentiation rather than positioning themselves as the government in waiting. and conducting on a day to day stuff Labour does and focus on putting out a bold vision of a post COVID future. The COVID response by Labour was good and although it would have been nice to have the vaccination roll out done quicker the reality is that we’re going pretty damn good when compared to other countries. When you look at the economic position we’re in where our economic growth will be the fastest in the region (link) not to mention low unemployment, growing exporting, imports being successfully processed and distributed and a decreasing budget deficit – all contrary to the claim by John Key that New Zealand was some how a ‘hermit kingdom’ (link).

I also believe that focusing too much on “replacing Judith Collins as leader will fix the problem” ignores the fact that she is a symptom of a larger problem in National and when you look at what the alternatives are, they’re steeped in the same reactionary nonsense that Judith herself engages in. For National to get back on track they need a ground up replacement of the neoliberal orthodoxy, to reject the market worshipping that far too many politicians engage in because it allows them to always have a convenient scapegoat when they don’t get the result they want – in much the same manner of someone shrugging their shoulders and resigning themselves to ‘fate’ rather than stepping up to directly intervene to achieve the end goal that they wish.

The solution for National is to eat some humble pie, admit that Labour handled the pandemic well instead of sniping at their ankles to instead focus all their energy on developing a bold positive vision for New Zealand post COVID. When you’ve lost the battle, move on, in much the same way that when Satya Nadella became CEO of Microsoft the focus was to stop the bleeding and focus on the future, stop fighting past battles that were long ago lost and instead focus on new markets that are emerging and how Microsoft can leverage their strengths along with partnering with companies (see partnership with Samsung). In the case of National they need to focus on building more social housing so that Housing New Zealand can become the public housing provider in much the same vein as what is seen in Japan, Singapore and numerous European countries.

The next focus should be able expanding the rail network in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch (Hutt Valley line connection over to Wainuiomata by taking advantage of the incomplete tunnel that exists which will open up Wainuiomata as great place to build another 50,000 homes for starters, in Auckland expanding out to the north shore by replacing the bridge with a tunnel and tunnelling to the north shore for rail, building out a light rail network in Christchurch to connect the airport to the CBD by going up memorial drive – yeah, I lived in Christchurch around the Bryndwr area) but also fully electrifying the network on 25Kv (convert Wellington from 1500DC to 25Kv) along with upgrading the Auckland to Hamilton connection with modern high speed tilt train so that there can be a 130kmh connection between Hamilton and Auckland (reducing the trip down to 1 hour which would be faster than the Wellington to Masterton train which is chock-a-block on a regular basis).

Supporting councils in the form of funding infrastructure if the council focuses on dense urban development. The focus for sustainable development is predicated on ensuring that we use the existing land efficiently rather than sprawling and sprawling because sprawl ends up this sort of mess.

I really wish that MPs in the New Zealand parliament would watch a few of those videos just to see what sort of nightmare we should be avoiding when it comes to how we plan our cities. As you’re heading into Auckland when driving up from Wellington the sprawl is endless and unsustainable – that is something needs addressing and needs addressing fast. There also needs to be a focus on putting side land for light rail – it might not get laid down straight away but at least if there are land corridors there is the ability to either lay down light rail or even have bike paths or maybe even do a ‘cut and cover’ for light rail with subway entrances and bike paths that follow the route.

I’m going to stop there because at this point I think I’m using the National Party as an empty vessel for all the things I wish the Labour Party would do but if National did adopt those policies and build upon them with the same general vibe it would give them the potential of being able not only win back those who ‘protest voted’ for ACT but also win back those who voted for Labour because National were so dysfunctional. When there is a healthy productive tension between the two major parties with the focus on producing the best policies with the best outcomes then we the voter benefit from that. If there is going to be a change it will require more than just new leadership.