New Zealand Fruit and Food Share Map

What an AWESOME idea.

Share in your bountiful crop. Don’t let your your surplus fruit go to waste. Add the location, type, time of year for harvest and any other instructions.

You need to login with a google account, then click Edit, then add a place mark (top left of map) to be able to add locations.

Add other interesting items like Community Gardens, markets, cycleways and Eco hot spots.

View New Zealand Fruit and Food Share Map in a larger map

For easy finding again later, I’ve set up a URL forward:

An Anthem for Everyone

As Kiwis, we all have the right to feel very lucky. New Zealand is a place of great cultural diversity and richness. Migrants from all over the world come to New Zealand to enjoy a peaceful, accepting and egalitarian lifestyle.

A key factor in New Zealand’s cultural success has been a willingness to embrace new ideas about equality very early. Indigenous relations are stronger in New Zealand than in any other colonised nation and we were the first country in the world to give women the vote.

In such a secular country, where the majority do not have strong religious views, having a national anthem that explicitly mentions one specific religion seems curiously old fashioned.
This is secular issue with real importance to our sense of national identity – to celebrate the rich variety of religious and cultural perspectives.

Since 1976, New Zealand’s national anthem has been the Christian hymn – ‘God Defend New Zealand’. Originally a Christian poem written by a Dunedin Freemason in the 1870s, it was given a melody shortly after that. However, more than 100 years passed before it was officially accepted as New Zealand’s national song. It currently holds the same status in this country as ‘God Save The Queen’.

Unlike the flag, which has a long history in our country, ‘God Defend New Zealand’ has no such heritage. If such a song were submitted as our national anthem today (only 34 years later) it would almost certainly be rejected on the basis of religious favouritism.

According to census statistics and trends, more than 40% of people in New Zealand do not identify with the Christian God. Their beliefs vary from agnostics and atheists to the devoutly faithful of a multitude of religious beliefs. As we move forward shaping our culture and identity, it is becoming even more important to hold strongly to our diverse and secular ideals.

In 2007, a government initiative was set in motion to ensure our diversity was embraced and protected. It was called the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme, and it brings together any organisations taking practical steps to:

  • Recognise and celebrate the cultural diversity of our society (diverse)
  • Promote the equal enjoyment by everyone of their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, regardless of race, colour, ethnicity or national origin (equal)
  • Foster harmonious relations between diverse peoples (harmonious)

Diverse, equal and harmonious: those three words encapsulate what society in New Zealand should be. To demonstrate that no one would be left behind, the government publically state that New Zealand is a nation that has no official religion.

It is time for us to have our National Anthem changed.

It is time for us to have a song that represents all New Zealanders.

It is time for the New Zealand government to honour their own words and put no single faith ahead of other beliefs.

We need a song we can all sing with pride, connection and a sense of belonging… an Anthem for Everyone.

Supercity Concerns

Lots of noise starting to be made around the structure of both the Transition Agency and the eventual form the super council will take with regards to CCO’s. This recent post by Russell Brown and the opinion piece from Michael Barnett that pre-empted it cover some of the concerns pretty well:

I’ve heard from several people involved with the ATA’s work that they’re concerned about the lack of accountability in the agency, the apparently unchecked costs of its work and the sweeping mandate accorded to the ATA’s head, Mark Ford. The agency has been described to me as “a de facto ministry, with Mark Ford as the Minister.”

Where the comparison falls down, of course, is that we elect ministers.

Until you get to the council-controlled organisation, or CCOs, which are being developed under a different – and, as Barnett noted, much less accountable – process.

CCOs will carry out various of the forthcoming Auckland Council’s functions. The ATA’s current thinking is that there will be seven CCOs, three of which — Watercare, Transport and the Waterfront Development Agency – will be established under the Local Government (Auckland Law Reform) Bill, the third of the three super-city bills.

The accountability of the three key CCOs to the forthcoming, elected Auckland Council is extremely questionable. And this isn’t trivial. Watercare will control Auckland’s water resources and set user charges. The Auckland Transport Agency, will have control of Auckland’s transportation contracts.

It’s pretty much a given that there will be power struggles between the Auckland Council and these CCOs. But the ATA has particular advantages here: it decides where the assets of current council CCOs go. It can veto the decisions of the councils, including those on spending. And it has a free hand to run up debt in the name of Auckland ratepayers.

There’s more: Watercare, Ford’s previous employer, has a fairly extraordinary deal in the third bill. It will not officially become a CCO until mid-2012. Until then it will be largely beyond the reach of the elected council – and it has the power to propose bylaws to the Auckland Council, which, with a few exceptions, must accept them.

In all this, the ATA is accountable to only one Auckland voter – the Minister of Local Government, Rodney Hide. So you’d better be trusting Rodney.

Meanwhile, the ATA needs only the approval of Rodney Hide and Bill English to raise debts that the Auckland Council will own henceforth. Potentially, the ATA could raise the $100 million that Murray McCully wants Auckland to spend on his World Cup waterfront project and pass the money to the Waterfront Development Agency, whose directors will be appointed by Rodney Hide on the recommendation of the ATA.

Brown reflects my feelings pretty well – I’m in support of the supercity, think it’s the only way forward, but the structure leaves much to be desired, the fact that it will be FPP opens up problems in the future, and the simple fact that too much of it seems to be coming out of Wellington. As it stands, there is NOTHING stopping McCully and Hide getting together, building the $100m Queens Wharf option against the will of Aucklanders, and then sticking Auckland ratepayers with the bill.

Orakei Point Development

Click for large

The proposed development of the peninsula is a partnership between the Redwood Group, the Equinox Group and Auckland City Council.

The vision for this area is for a mixed use community, anchored by a new transport hub consisting of a state-of-the-art train station served by a dedicated neighbourhood shuttle bus service and car drop off.

The proposal includes generous public open space and waterfront access available to all Aucklanders as well as on-site residents. A mix of apartments, offices, cafes, shops will also feature including a public board walk encircling the point.

Current state - Click for large

Big train station upgrade, Park N Ride, waterfront, plazas, retail, apartments, recreation areas – all based around the idea of building up density around public transport corridors. 7 mins on the train to Britomart? Sweet deal.

A district plan change is currently going through Auckland City Council with regards to this, with public submissions open until March 1st. Looks like Orakei Residents Society is running a campaign against it, which I think is sad. I’d like to see a lot of development around Auckland starting to move to this kind of model.

A similar concept is planned for Hobsonville Point except instead of a train it will be focused around a 20 minute ferry run into the CBD, and being a short hop down the under construction upper harbour highway to either Westgate or Albany. Otherwise, being a largely planned, contained community with retail, schools, waterfront and marine industry. Not quite as good as Orakei’s more urban, PT focused scheme, but a massive improvement on shonky bullshit miles from any major transit routes (public OR motorway) like Stonefields, or, well, much of far east Auckland. Death to spread out suburbs!

Not Always Right – Cutty Out The Attitude

Kindergarten Class | New Zealand

(I am working in a kindergarten where over half of the kids are Maori. The Maori word for scissors is ‘kutikuti,’ which is pronounced ‘cutty cutty’.)

Me, to a child: “Can you pass me the kutikuti please?”

Mother: “What did you say to my child?”

Me: “I asked her to pass me the scissors.”

Mother: “Don’t talk baby to my child. She’s smart enough to use adult words.”

Me: “I wasn’t. I was using the Maori name for scissors.”

Mother: “No, you said cutty cutty. That’s not Maori. I’m Maori, and I think I know Maori when I hear it.”

(The child interrupts. She grabs her mom by the hand and drags her off to a poster on the wall which has a few art objects and their Maori names under them.)

Child: “Mum, why do you always have to pick fights with people? I’m very disappointed in you!”

(When her mother left I gave the kid the biggest sticker I could find to put on her good behaviour chart.)

Not Always Right | Funny & Stupid Customer Quotes » Cutty Out The Attitude.

Super Simple Cover Letter

I sure like the look of where this interview is heading.

I sure like the look of where this interview is heading.

I always have people asking me for help with cover letters. I don’t know why, since I’ve had maybe 2 formal interviews in my life, but here we are. This is my quick and simple cover letter. Don’t ask me if it works or not, but it will save me typing it out again in future.

Dear $RECRUITER/$HR/$BOSS (Use real name here if available)

I wish to tender my application for $ROLE, advertised in $PUBLICATION on $DATE.
I believe I am a suitable candidate for the role because of my experience in $PASTROLE1 and $PASTROLE2, give me strong skills in $AREA1, $AREA2 and $AREA3.
Attached is my curriculum vitae with further details, I look forward to hearing from you with regards to an interview.