Pillars of the Community by Susan Grimsdell

We’ve been hearing about fraud in the insurance industry lately.  Do you remember way back in the distant past when the trusted insurance guy would come to your house and tell you which insurances were best for you? Did it ever enter anyone’s head to suspect for one minute that the one he chose for you was the one that gave him the highest commission? Well, the insurance headlines are saying – look again.  The folks dealing in insurance aren’t quite the decent people they seem to be. Don’t bank on it… Read More

Trivial Hirsutes by Emily Smart  

Now, I know that looking at me you wouldn’t think that personal grooming would be at the top of my priority list, but I’m afraid you would be wrong. Whilst I seem to have missed out on the ‘female gene’ when it comes to having an interest in men, shopping, clothes, make-up and The Batchelor, I have always been somewhat preoccupied with hair, both growing and removing it. During my teenage years, I experimented with everything from Sun In – natural hair highlighter that was great if you like orange streaks in… Read More

Seriously though by Trevor Plumbly

The gift to be simple Having passed the allotted biblical span, I find my field of entertainment has narrowed quite dramatically. In the interest of good taste, I won’t itemise activities that gratified me in my younger days. Instead, I’d like to indulge myself in the time-honoured pastime of the elderly by having a bloody good moan. 2018 in New Zealand promised a great deal, but delivered little. We had a young, charismatic prime minister with a strong social conscience, a reasonable bank balance and a weak political opposition. It should have… Read More

Truth versus opinion by Susan Grimsdell

When did opinion take over from truth?  I’ll give you an illustration. Warrants of fitness Recently, it has been found that some garages in NZ who are authorised to issue warrants of fitness (WoFs), certifying the car is safe in all respects, have been doling them out to drivers without actually checking cars. NZ has an enforcement agency tasked with visiting garages to make sure regulations are being followed.  It seems that in some cases, these enforcers have very “kind” hearts, and have been turning a blind eye to breaches, merely reiterating… Read More

Systemic stupor by Trevor Plumbly

Manna from heaven A recent news report from Canberra announced that some lucky Aussies could now get their groceries delivered by drone. To add a bit of credence to the piece, they included an interview with a grateful mother, who seemed to regard this technological turd as a lifeline. I’d like to say my heart went out to the poor creature, but it didn’t; I find that she’s rather pathetic compared to the women who work at life, instead of sitting around and expecting it to arrive. Millions of women cope with… Read More