The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law by Susan Grimsdell

The NZ Herald reports a South Island mayor urging farmers who have claimed the government wage subsidy  during the shutdown, to repay the money.  Prices have held, there has been no actual loss.  One farmer with a conscience has given back $177,000 he said he had claimed “just in case”. The letter of the law The policy states that money is available if the claimant experienced an actual or “predicted” loss of revenue of one third in any month over the 6-month period January to June compared with last year. This is… Read More

Acts of kindness by Susan Grimsdell

A couple of weeks ago two police officers from Hastings showed all of us how to help make society a better place in every way. Shoplifting to feed family They were called to a supermarket where a mother, with three small children in tow, had been caught stealing $50 worth of meat.  She at once admitted taking it, and began to cry.  She said she’d never done anything like that before, and she only did it because she just didn’t know any other way to get food for the family. The officers… Read More

Coronavirus by Susan Grimsdell

There’s a new scourge invading the earth.  Coronavirus or Covid-19 to give it its new name. Many thousands of people have got it, and hundreds have died.  It’s brand new, so none of us has any immunity to it.  It’s causing havoc everywhere.  People are stuck in China, prevented from flying home, shipments of products to and from China are grinding to a halt threatening whole economies, stockmarkets are falling. People are afraid, very afraid. Masking the problem Chinese authorities’ response has been to make the wearing of facemasks compulsory.  People elsewhere… Read More

Carbon footprint by Angela Caldin

I’m getting increasingly concerned about my family’s carbon footprint which is fast assuming the proportions of a giant’s imprint. Yesterday we took our younger daughter and her partner to the airport for their journey back to Brisbane after a brilliant family Christmas here in Auckland. They took with them, as well as the usual suitcases, two mountain bikes in enormous cardboard boxes and a surfboard with its cover stuffed with all sorts. They’ve set up in Australia after two years in the UK. Our elder daughter lives in Auckland and our son… Read More

Get it together and get it right by Susan Grimsdell

Sometimes I think different parts of the NZ government live on different planets. One part is always warning of the risk to the economy of New Zealanders’ high level of indebtedness. We’re told we’re deeper in debt than almost anyone else in the world: Fitch Ratings (whoever that is) reports that this country has one of the world’s highest household debt levels, at 93% of GDP. Save or spend? By the same token, we’ve also been told time and again that we need to save more. Consumer advocates urge us not to… Read More