Friday, October 31, 2014

Still married

Today Nigel and I have been married for one year. Guess that means the honeymoon’s over, eh? Well, falling just shy of our 19th anniversary together, I’d say we already passed that milestone years ago, right? And yet, here we are.

We have so many anniversaries to mark our relationship, as most gay couples do. But the anniversary of when we legally married—when we became the legal equivalents of our heterosexual siblings—is special in its own right. This anniversary will always lag behind the others in number, but its significance outshines them all because on this day one year ago, we became family in every legal sense of the word.

Sure, we were together long before we were married, and long before we had our less-than-marriage civil union, but by marrying we became more closely joined than had ever been possible before.

We wanted to exercise our new right to marry, sure, but we also wanted to set an example so that young LGBT people could see a future that we couldn’t even have imagined—certainly I never did. And that’s why we acknowledge the anniversary of our marriage, even though it was the better part of two decades after we were a couple: Marriage matters.

So, here we are, married one year. And they said it wouldn’t last! But, what did they say for the 18+ year before then? Oh, the same thing. Good we didn’t listen to the naysayers, eh?

And, I have to say, I’d marry my Nigel again any day—every day, if I could. My life with him is so exponentially/logarithmically better than it could have been without him that there simply is no other choice. That’s good!

Husband and husband
Just one more

Despite it

All politicians are human beings—even if some of them occasionally make us doubt the truth of that statement. This fact, though, is the main reason I don’t usually mock politicians who stuff up: We all do sometimes. Then, there’s also the politics to keep me in line.

In hyper-partisan places like the New Zealand Parliament (or pretty much the entire USA…), one side will mercilessly mock the other. Sometimes folks deserve it, but most of the time, mocking politicians come across as mean-spirited bullies.

We see that right now here in New Zealand.

Green Party List MP Steffan Browning did something really, really dumb: He signed a petition that called on the World Health Organisation “to end the suffering of the Ebola crisis by testing and distributing homeopathy as quickly as possible to contain the outbreaks.” Much merry mockery ensued.

Homeopathy is an “alternative medicine” based on the assertion that “like cures like”. So, they take something that causes illness and dilute it until there are virtually no molecules of the pathogen left. Believers claim the water—which is all that’s left—has the “memory” of the pathogen and is actually more potent than if there were still pathogens left. Understandably, it is regarded as pseudoscience and peer-reviewed studies have found it to be no more effective than placebos.

Obviously, people are free to believe any dang fool thing they want to, and if they want to place their faith in homeopathy that’s their right. After all, we don’t forbid faith healing either, despite lack of scientific evidence.

The problem here is that when Browning signed the petition, he brought his caucus—and his party in general—into disrepute and opened it up to mockery. He made opponents feel justified in dismissing the Greens as a party of nutters. The Greens have worked hard, and largely successfully, to improve their public image (I haven’t seen video of them Morris dancing at party functions in many years). So, by touting homeopathy and saying that he was “not opposed to homeopathy”, that he’d used it himself, and that it had “seemingly been effective in treating one of his children in the past,” Browning did the Greens no favours whatsoever.

I rolled my eyes when I read about this, but I didn’t join in the mockery. Part of the reason is that what he did was incredibly stupid, but it had nothing whatsoever to do with how he does his job as an MP. If the Green Party feels otherwise, they can—and should—deal with it.

I’m annoyed, certainly, when an MP promotes fairy tales as true (not for the first time, but that’s another story). I’m also annoyed because the Greens are a logical coalition partner for Labour—my party—and when someone makes the Greens look nutty it makes the potential coalition seem nutty, so, yeah, I think that Steffan was a moron who didn’t think beyond himself, and so, probably shouldn’t be an MP. But, like I said, that’s for the Greens to decide.

So, while I’m incredibly annoyed at Steffan Browning and the immense damage he did to a Labour-Greens coalition, I’m not dumping on him further because of the National Party: I don’t want to do their bidding.

Jonathan Coleman, who in his best days, it seems, is a smug, arrogant bully, said Steffan’s actions were "very, very dangerous" and he was promoting "a wacko idea". In typical Coleman kindness, he added: "I think he really needs to engage his brain, it's a really stupid and dangerous idea."

Jonathan Coleman wouldn’t know subtly if it came up and bit him on the bottom. Maybe he’ll consider his own behaviour more carefully the next time he’s in a corporate box at a sports event. Just for example, of course.

But consider Jonathan’s boss: John Key called Steffan.s proposal "barking mad". It may very well be so, but it sure doesn’t sound very “statesmanlike” for the current prime minister to attack rather than distance. John Key controls government, so he has no need for personal attacks.

So, even though I know homeopathy is silly, and even though I’m incredibly annoyed at Steffan Browning, I won’t condemn him precisely because that’s what John Key and Jonathan Coleman want me to do. They can suck it. There’s a legitimate argument to be made here, but I’m waiting for John and his lackey Jonathan to make it without sounding like pre-teenage schoolyard bullies.

Personally, I don’t think John and Jonathan are capable of rising above the schoolyard. Certainly I’ve seen nothing to make me think they can. Regardless, Steffan should NOT have given them the ammunition to shoot him

And now I’ve said all I will.

Everyday is Halloween

The graphic above was posted to the Facebook Page of Mrs. Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian. I think it makes a good point. And, no, I don’t think something is missing.

Betty Bowers is, of course, the comedic alter (altar?) ego of actor Deven Green, who has portrayed the white, upper middle class, self-satisfied, smug, self-righteous Betty for many years now. Her parody videos have often been spot on, while others have pointed out the hypocrisies of the ultra-religious, as well as their ignorance of what’s really in their holy book. No wonder I’m such a fan.

The graphic above is typical of what “Betty” posts to Facebook and Twitter, and many are taken from the Betty Bowers videos. Personally, I think the graphic related to her video “The DOs and DON’Ts of PRAYER” is one of best ever of these sorts of Betty Bowers graphics.

Betty’s previous Halloween graphic said “Halloween: The day that Satan introduces your child to the gateway drug to homosexuality: CONSTUMES!” And this is why, I think, the graphic above doesn’t include gay people: She already made the point. Betty frequently mocks homophobic religious nutters, so I think that including us in that graphic up top might actually have crossed the line into mocking gay people rather than those nutters, particularly since many of the things on the list of scary things really are scary to people, while gay people should never be. In other words, I think leaving gay people out of that one was definitely the right call.

I’m a huge fan of Betty Bowers partly because the parody and mocking is obvious, unlike those who engage in what I’ve called “Deep Cover Parody” in several posts. I think Betty Bowers doesn’t risk raising Poe’s Law, unlike all the deceptive deep cover parodies out there, and so, I think Betty Bowers makes points far, far more effectively.

And, of course, “Every Day is Halloween” made me think of this Ministry song.

Roger Green provides lots of interesting Halloween linkage.

Happy Halloween to those who care about it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fighting the good fight

The New Zealand Labour Party is fighting a move by Prime Minister John Key to take away workers’ rights to breaks. John Key is determined to do this and is rushing it through Parliament, but Labour is opposing him, as it should.

John Key’s spin is that workers and employers can “negotiate”, but that’s impossible for low-wage workers who have to accept whatever their employer offers. But, come to that, how many workers EVER “negotiate” basic terms and conditions? For most wage workers, employment contracts are almost always presented as a done deal—take it or leave it. I personally don’t know any wage worker who has ever negotiated basic terms and conditions, like breaks. Maybe some have, but it’s not nearly as common as John wants us to believe.

So, as is usually the case, John Key is being dishonest with New Zealanders. Most ordinary workers will lose the automatic right to breaks, and that’s the reality that John and National are either lying about or utterly unable to comprehend.

The Labour Party has set up an online petition with a goal of 50,000 signatures by tomorrow. This evening they promoted it on Facebook with the graphic above and said they needed 2500 signatures to meet their goal. When I looked (and signed) a little while later, they needed just over 800. Ultimately, John Key will do whatever he wants to, but it’s good to make him—and the news media—aware that he has opposition. Labour will no doubt repeal this bad law when it is next in government.

That graphic, by the way, is one of the best I’ve ever seen. It presents the issue in clear, easy to understand and relate to terms, and provides a simple, low-commitment action. It’s exactly what you’d want to see in a web graphic of this sort.

Taking away workers’ rights to meal and rest breaks is only one of the things that John Key is doing TO New Zealand. Unlike many of his other attacks on ordinary New Zealanders, this one began before the election. So, since New Zealanders voted for John Key’s government, I guess Kiwi voters are okay with giving up their rest and meal breaks on a company’s whim because John wants them to do so. I won’t say “I told you so,” because John actually did that months ago.

Instead, I’ll say the obvious: It’s going to be a VERY long three years.

Update 30 October: John Key has successfully passed his bill to take away breaks from workers. This was predictable, of course, but it says quite a lot about John Key and his National Party that the VERY first bill they passed is an assault on workers. That's no surprise, of course, but it says a lot. The graphic below posted to Facebook by the New Zealand Labour Party pretty much sums it up.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Unions Matter

Today is Labour Day in New Zealand, the day in which everyone basks in the benefits that unions helped create, without ever acknowledging it, or maybe even being hostile to unions. I wasn’t always so strongly pro-union, but I’m pretty staunch now.

Rightwing rhetoric is filled with talk about how “awful” unions are. The rightwing says they’re “greedy”, that they’re “thugs” and that they rob workers of “choice” and “liberty”. In every case, the opposite is the actual truth.

Unions exist because capitalism is not friendly to workers. That’s not a slam, just a fact. Pure capitalism is pretty much anti-worker by definition, because it’s not its job to care about workers or working conditions.

Capitalism exists (now) to return maximum profits to shareholders, and nothing else matters. In order to maximise profits, businesses must keep costs to a minimum. Labour is always a big part of the cost of doing business, and so, workers are likely to feel the squeeze.

So, it’s not that businesses are necessarily run by inhuman monsters (even if sometimes there are…), but, rather, it’s simply managers’ jobs to contain ALL costs, including labour. Unions exist to balance companies’ drive for profits with humanity.

Unions fight on behalf of working people who otherwise wouldn’t have a voice or power. Sometimes they’re low-skill workers at the bottom of the economic ladder, but other times they’re well-skilled workers who realise their employers are looking to squeeze them.

I was a member of a union for a couple years, and we joined to protect ourselves. I worked for Independent Newspapers Limited (INL) at the time, and the company started massive reviews of its operations throughout the country, most of which resulted in staff cuts. I showed the terms of reference for the review to a trusted person, a senior manager in another industry, who told me, “they’re going to do you.”

So, I organised for us to join the Advertising Guild. The idea was that if INL really intended to eliminate our jobs, we’d have someone fighting on our side. In the end, INL sold out to Fairfax, an Australian company that was reasonably okay, but it was later acquired by another Australian company that’s always been notorious for anti-worker policies. By then I was long gone, and no longer a union member, but I was glad to have had union protection as an arrow in our quiver to fight against corporate bosses who didn’t care about humans. At all.

This was a revelation to me. I’d grown up buying much of the Republican Party’s anti-union propaganda because I didn’t know any working class people. When I met real working people who needed unions, my opinions changed. When I became a victimised worker, they change even more quickly.

In the overall scheme of things, not much has changed in the years since then, except to get worse for workers. Here in New Zealand, our current government under John Key is openly hostile to unions and to workers. Their hostility to workers is exemplified by John Key’s determination to end guaranteed tea breaks and meal breaks for workers. Less noticed is his similar determination to end collective bargaining and the right to strike in many cases.

That’s the now that matters. Yes, it’s important to remember that collective bargaining is what gave us the eight-hour day we celebrate today (despite the utter nonsense of rightwing propaganda). And it’s also important to remember that organised labour is what gave us the workplace rights and protections that ALL workers—working class and middle class alike—take for granted, whether they acknowledge their debt or not.

The most important thing to know is that the importance of unions exists as long as big corporations seek to exploit workers. As long as companies think that they can treat workers like serfs, we’ll need unions. As long as we have politicians, as we do now, who promote the interests of the wealthy and businesses and reject workers’ rights, we’ll need unions.

Unions almost always give far too much deference to business, even with little in return. That’s because despite the rightwing propaganda (well, lies, actually…), unions see their role as forging a partnership between business and labour. More often than not, it’s only adversarial when business chooses to make it such.

We ALL need unions. Some of us need them more than others, and some of us know that more than others.

Happy Labour Day!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

That’s our tucker

My previous post today talked about different food in different countries, specifically, what I found as an American expat in New Zealand. There are even more differences, as I was reminded today, that can turn up in unexpected places. Like fast food places.

I had McDonald’s for lunch today (deal with it!) and chose the Angus Kiwiburger, an updated version of McDonald’s NZ’s classic burger, now celebrating its 25th anniversary. They said of it:
The Kiwiburger is back. It’s packed with a 100% NZ beef patty, a freshly cracked egg, beetroot, tomato, crispy lettuce, cheese, onions, mustard & ketchup on a sesame seed bun. Reunite your mouth with the old school taste.
The burger was first trialled in Hamilton, then added to the menu nationwide in 1991 with TV commercials with a catchy jingle. You can see the original commercial online, or a later version that accompanied a limited return of the Kiwiburger is below:

The jingle mentions 46 different items of Kiwiana, which is interesting since the Kiwiburger itself hearkens back to classic takeaway burgers—making it Kiwiana of a sort itself. The lyrics of the original version are:
"Kiwis love Hot pools, Rugby balls, McDonald's, snapper schools, World Peace, Woolly Fleece, Ronald and Raising Beasts. Chilly Bins, Cricket Wins, Fast Skis, Golf Tees, Silver Ferns, Kauri Trees, Kiwi Burger, love one please... [spoken] McDonald's KiwiBurger. The classic New Zealand burger. [song resumes] Cause We Love All blacks, Thermal Daks, Egg & Cheese, Walking Tracks, Beef Pattie, Marching Girls, Tomato, Lettuce and Paua shells, Gumboots, Ponga Shoots, Floppy Hats, Kiwifruits, Beetroot, Buzzy Bees, Moggy Cats, Cabbage Trees, Onions, Kakapos, Kia oras, Cheerios, Jandals, Sandals, Ketchup, Coromandels, Swanndris, Butterflies, Mustard, Fishing Flies, Hokey Pokey, Maori Haka… Kiwi burger That's our tucker!"
The resurrected commercial in the video above has a longer spoken part which means the lyrics don’t pick up until “Swanndris”. All the lyrics are printed on the tray liners they’re using at the moment (detail photo up top of this post), and that’s actually where this post began.

“I’d have a tough time explaining to Americans what a lot of that is even referring to,” I said to Nigel after I’d scanned the list. He suggested I post about it, and even went to get me a pristine tray liner so I could scan it (it turned out to be too big to scan, hence the detail photo).

First, I have to say that as a new immigrant, the idea of egg and beetroot (slices of beets) on a burger seemed frankly appalling. I was used to the bland burgers that McDonald’s and Burger King sold in the USA at the time, and, well, the idea just seemed weird.

But a new immigrant has a duty, I think, to delve into the local culture, so I tried the Kiwiburger and quite liked it (for the record, the Angus version is even nicer—worth every cent extra it costs over the original version). That wasn’t the first time that happened to me, and it still happens.

As an aside, I visited Australia for about a week before I arrived in New Zealand as a tourist, and there I found a burger chain called “Hungry Jack’s”, which is what Burger King is called in Australia. They had a burger called The Aussie, which is very similar, except they add bacon and BBQ sauce. McDonald’s Australia for a time had a burger they called the McOz, but it didn’t include an egg and was eventually discontinued.

Back here in New Zealand, a local chain called Burger Wisconsin (of all things) has a burger called the Kiwi Classic which sounds like a cross between the Kiwiburger and The Aussie. I’ve never had it, but it sounds nice.

Aside from explaining a burger with beetroot and an egg, and assuring that it’s quite nice, there are other things mentioned in the jingle that may not be obvious to overseas folks. Here are the ones I think may need some explaining: Chilly Bins (coolers or eskies), Thermal Daks (basically warm, usually floppy pants often worn by farmers), Beef Pattie (note the spelling…), Gumboots (rubber boots), Ponga Shoots (refers to the koru of the ponga, a new frond of the silver fern), Kiwifruits (the fruit is ALWAYS correctly called “kiwifruit,” and never just “kiwi”; the “s” isn’t actually used to denote plural, btw), Buzzy Bees (children’s toy), Moggy Cats (mixed breed cats), Cabbage Trees (Cordyline australis), Cheerios (small saveloy sausages, especially popular at children’s parties; also known as little boys and, apparently, cocktail sausages, though I can’t remember having heard them called that.) Jandals (flip flops or thongs; derived from “Japanese Sandals”), Coromandels (refers to the Coromandel Peninsula or ranges), Swanndris (a brand of warm outdoor clothing), Hokey Pokey (technically honeycomb toffee, but actually refers to hokey pokey ice cream, which is popular in New Zealand).

As with everything else in a nation, some things are open to differing interpretations (as for example, cheerios). I’ve included what I’ve learned the words to mean; others can disagree in the comments.

One last thing: “tucker” is, basically, food. The word’s used, one way or another, in several slang phrases, but I think that’s enough Kiwi language and culture education for one day.

Besides, I seem to be strangely hungry right now…

Hold the mayo

Roger Green recently wrote about “Mayonnaise and other important topics”. Mayonnaise isn't really important, of course, but it reminded me of one of the finer points of adjustment to expat life: Food choices. And mayonnaise choices.

When I arrived in New Zealand, the brand of mayonnaise used by most people that I knew was from Eta (a brand of Heinz-Wattie’s). I thought it was too sweet and too runny, so I didn't use it. Awhile later, Hellmann’s mayonnaise suddenly showed up in our grocery store, replaced soon after by Best Foods Mayonnaise (it’s the same product with different names). This was probably after Unilever bought Best Foods in 2000. It was the sort of mayonnaise that I liked.

We eventually settled on the Light version because it had half the fat of the regular version. One day, I happened to see a jar of it and a jar of Eta side by side and I compared the labels. It turns out that the Light version of Best Foods had about the same fat and sugar content as the regular version of Eta. That reminded me how different countries can have very different tastes.

Time passed, and we drifted away from mayonnaise. I later tried—and liked—Heinz’s “Seriously Good Mayonnaise”—in fact, there’s a jar in the fridge at the moment, though it may be a bit elderly by now. Mayonnaise, it’s fair to say, isn’t much of a "thing" for me anymore.

When I was growing up, my mother used Kraft’s “Miracle Whip” (though I have no idea why), and it was all I knew. Because of that, I don’t dislike it as Roger does, but, then, I haven’t had it in many, many years, so who knows? Things may have changed. I could get it from Martha’s Backyard, though I never have. I could also get Velveeta there, but haven’t done that, either. Some things are perhaps best left in the past.

As I’ve said previously, when I first arrived in New Zealand I had to find substitutes for products I knew and liked, though many of the ones I liked in the USA later showed up here, thanks to the brands’ multinational owners. Best Foods Mayonnaise was one such product.

I’ve also said that my tastes have changed over time, and I don’t necessarily still like the products I did when I lived in the USA. That’s probably inevitable as we adapt to our surroundings, and as our tastes change over time, which happens to most people.

I think that the globalisation of food product brands can make things easier for expats trying to adjust, but I wonder if it really serves us to have the same things in nearly every country. If variety is the spice of life, then the world is becoming a pretty bland place.

Obviously mayonnaise isn’t an important topic (for me or Roger), but it IS an example of how things have changed over time. When Best Foods Mayonnaise arrived in New Zealand, I was thrilled to have something I'd liked in my homeland. Now, I wonder if maybe it’s emblematic of the slow “banalisation” of the planet.

Whatever, mayo like all other condiments is a matter of personal taste. I couldn’t possibly care less about what someone else likes or doesn’t—just as long as I can say “hold the mayo” if I want to.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

NZ the best country for LGBT tourists

Lonely Planet has issued a list of the top ten “most gay-friendly places on the planet”, and New Zealand is ranked second. New Zealand is the only country on the list—all the others are cities—so that makes this the best country in the world for LGBT tourists.

I mentioned this to someone recently, and they joked, “that’s because most Americans wouldn’t know the names of any New Zealand cities.” Funny, and probably true, but not actually the reason our entire country is on the list, and not just one city. Lonely Planet says of New Zealand:
The Land of the Long White Cloud has long been lauded for its inclusive and progressive behaviour toward the LGBTQ community. In 1998 New Zealand was the first nation to adopt the label of ‘Gay/Lesbian Friendly’ when referring to businesses and accommodation – an initiative now recognised globally. The country offers a brilliant network of gay- and lesbian-friendly homestays which run the length and breadth of the country from the top of the semi-tropical North Island to the depths of the glacial South. Since passing same-sex marriage laws in 2013, New Zealand has actively promoted same-sex marriage tourism to the likes of Australia and other Pacific nations where equality laws are less progressive. [the link was in the original]
So, it was that NZ is welcoming of LGBT travellers throughout the country that put the nation on the list, and I think that was the right thing to do: While there are regional variations, with some places offering more to LGBT travellers than others, there’s nothing like the vast difference in tolerance levels one would find in, say, the USA. This is partly because New Zealand is a small country, but it has more to do with how laid-back Kiwis are—even those who aren’t particularly personally LGBT-friendly are unlikely to be hostile. It’s simply not possible to make that same statement about a lot of other countries that have LGBT-friendly cities (including some on the list).

Earlier this year, Lonely Planet also named Queenstown as sixth on a list of the world’s “Top 10 gay wedding destinations”. For those into weddings overseas—gay or straight—Queenstown would be a spectacular place to have it.

Last year at this time, Lonely Planet ranked Auckland 10th on their list of "top 10 cities" in the world, as part of their "Best in Travel 2014" series. Later in that same series, they also ranked the West Coast of the South Island as eighth among the "top 10 regions" in the world. I mentioned both in a post last year.

New Zealand has a lot going for it as a destination for all travellers—there’s so much to see, do and experience in this beautiful country. But it’s the specialness of New Zealanders and our culture that makes this country an outstanding choice for LGBT travellers. It's nice to see that recognised.

The image accompanying this post shows New Zealand on December 27, 2004, and is from NASA's Visible Earth team.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

‘The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made’

Air New Zealand is back with yet another Hobbit-themed safety video. However, this time I think they nailed it: It’s cheeky as their best of these videos are, not taking itself or the source material too seriously. Great job.

Below is their Hobbit-themed safety video from two years ago, “An Unexpected Briefing”. All their Hobbit-themed videos can be seen on their YouTube Channel.

Related posts about Air New Zealand safety videos:

Fit to fly (2011) about the safety video “Mile-high madness with Richard Simmons!”

Betty White and Air New Zealand (2013) about the safety video “Betty White – Safety Old School Style”

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Santa is gone

Forget the elections (in New Zealand or the upcoming ones in the USA). Forget wars and rumours of wars. Forget poverty and inequality. Today it was announced that Auckland will not have Santa this year.

The Santa, displayed for the past 15 years on Whitcoulls at the corner of Queen and Victoria Streets in Auckland’s CBD, is privately funded through the business promotion group, Heart of the City (usually abbreviated, somewhat inappropriately, as HotC). They’ve announced that due to lack of funding, Santa will not appear this year.

HotC is in financial difficulties for a variety of reasons, and has said they can’t afford the $180,000 it cost to put the Santa and reindeer up and take them back down. I do think that cost sounds a little over the top, but I have to take their word for it that that’s the actual cost. Since ratepayers/taxpayers won’t cover the costs (nor should they), if the business promotion group doesn’t have the money to display Santa, well, I guess he’ll just have to stay in his workshop at the North Pole.

Still, this doesn’t sound very imaginative for a business group, does it? Could they not come up with a way for ordinary people to donate to “Save Santa”? People use online fundraising for all sorts of causes, big and small, so was it inconceivable that they just might raise the needed funds?

I dunno, maybe it’s just me, but if HotC is really so incapable of creative thinking, so inept at looking for solutions rather than slashing budgets and a beloved icon—honestly, the only truly visible thing they do—well, maybe they’re really not very good at what they do. If so, they could save the businesses who fund them heaps by winding up the organisation altogether.

Oh well, what can you do? Santa is gone thanks to the brick-brains in HotC, and that’s that. Maybe we’ll just have to fight poverty or something instead of railing about the loss of Santa.

Update 23 October: Santa is saved! According to the New Zealand Herald, some private businesses have come forward to assure that Santa is back this year. That’s great, but I have to wonder: Why the hell didn’t HotC think of that? They could have issued a public appeal and—gasp!—fundraised for it instead of just cutting their budget and walking away. "We are overwhelmed and delighted by the public interest and support for the iconic Santa. The generosity of these businesses in guaranteeing that Santa and his reindeer ride again is a fantastic outcome for Aucklanders and Heart of the City,” HotC said in a media release. Yeah, but no thanks to them.

I know that HotC is still dealing with the repercussions from firing their CEO earlier this month amid allegations of tax evasion and “issuing false invoices”, but that doesn’t excuse the complete lack of vision from HotC.

I took the photo at the top of this post for a post in November, 2009.