The rich get richer by Susan Grimsdell

Warning:  I’m in a particularly radical mood today.  This is because of a news item saying that rents in Wellington New Zealand’s capital have risen to above $600 a week on average (or mean, to use a more appropriate word).  This is so far above the affordability level of students, many of whom are working 20 hours a week as well as trying to pass a few exams, that they’re thinking of transferring to universities outside Wellington so that they can actually afford a place to live. The rent increase is way… Read More

Thoughts on the America’s Cup by Susan Grimsdell

I thought it was about time I watched a race in the lead up to the America’s Cup, having contributed to it by being a ratepayer and a taxpayer, and considering that a lot of people seem to think it’s something special. Lookalike craft The setting is lovely – Auckland Harbour, so they got that right.  However, the first thing that took away from it being interesting is that the boats are clones of each other.  They are painted different colours and have different words plastered all over them, but otherwise they… Read More

Historical bias by Susan Grimsdell

The British perspective Sometimes I wonder if kids in every Commonwealth country were taught the same history in school – British history.  I grew up in Canada and yes, we did learn a bit about Canadian history, mainly focusing on how brave the British were, to fight against the Indian “savages”, and how wonderful it was that they won and now look at our fantastic country.  Mostly we had to learn about the kings and queens of England.  It wasn’t until I left school that I learned the real history of Canada… Read More

Recognising excellence by Susan Grimsdell

There was an interesting story in the paper recently about one of the world’s greatest violinists and conductors, Joshua Bell.  He has played in the great concert halls of the world including Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Centre, from the time he was a teenager.  You will pay a lot of money to attend one of his performances. Subway blues Several years ago, Joshua took his 300-year-old Stradivarius violin for which he had paid $3.5 million, and found a good spot near a subway station in Washington DC.  For the next 45… Read More

Teamwork to defeat poverty by Susan Grimsdell

Every aspect of life and development of 6000 New Zealand children has been studied year on year since they were born.  They’re now 8 years old. The research entitled Growing Up in New Zealand, recently released its Now We Are Eight: Life in Middle Childhood report. The have-nots The results show that 25% of them have experienced poverty throughout their young lives. These children score higher on depression, they are behind in physical well-being and they are falling behind in many other respects as well.  More than one third of all children… Read More