How Waikato could steal a march on Auckland


If I were a planner or a politician at the Waikato Regional Council I’d be sizing up the opportunity to seize on the ineptitude of Auckland Council.

And I’d do so by announcing plans to rezone more rural land around Pokeno and along SH1 for housing and commercial activities.

Auckland’s pain is someone else’s gain. And at Pokeno the town is expanding so quickly that its hard not to notice. That speaks enormously to the sales potential that it presents. Lots of people, wanting affordable housing that is still within commuting distance from Auckland. ?? Read more »


Severe Waikato chemical scare

Posted by Waikato Regional Council on Friday, January 1, 2016

A 30-year-old hoax has hit the Waikato, forcing the regional council to reassure people that Dihydrogen Monoxide, or water, is not harmful.

A picture warning people of a spillage of hundreds of litres of Dihydrogen Monoxide into the Waikato River has been shared over 482 times.

The post says Environment Waikato, now called the Waikato Regional Council, were informed of a large spillage into the Waikato River last night.

“Estimated to be hundreds of thousands of litres, and growing. Dihydrogen Monoxide was seen spilling out on industrial overflow pipe into the Waikato River, south of Hamilton, and reports claim the spillage is continuing.”

It goes onto say that Dihydrogen Monoxide can be highly dangerous and used in the chemical manufacturing industry.

“If breathed into the lungs, it can kill a grown adult in seconds.”

I’m quite a fan of?Dihydrogen Monoxide myself. ? It is, in fact, one of the world’s most powerful solvents and I use it readily in my laundry, kitchen and bathroom. ? Read more »

Lessons for Auckland from Sao Paulo

S?o Paulo is in trouble this week as it looks likely to be dangerously close to running out of water to supply its residents.

It’s the 12th biggest city in the world and a place smart growth advocate’s like to tout from time to time of our intensive cities can work.

Except it has a big problem.

The city of Sao Paulo is home to 20 million Brazilians, making it the 12th largest mega-city on a planet dominated by shortsighted humans. Shockingly, it has only 60 days of water supply remaining. The city “has about two months of guaranteed water supply remaining as it taps into the second of three emergency reserves,” reports Reuters. [1]

Technical reserves have already been released, and as the city enters the heavy water use holiday season, its 20 million residents are riding on a fast-track collision course with severe water rationing and devastating disruptions.

But this isn’t a story about Sao Paulo; it’s a report that dares to point out that human societies are incredibly shortsighted and nearly incapable of sustainably populating planet Earth. In numerous regions around the world — including California, India, Oklahoma, Brazil, China and many more — human populations are rapidly out-growing the capacity of their local water systems. Even though keeping populations alive requires food… and growing food requires water… almost no nation or government in the world seems to be able to limit water consumption of local populations to levels which are sustainable in the long term.

Read more »

Perhaps if he cut down the beersies he might be able to afford Christmas [UPDATED]

UPDATE: ?The missing headline:


Some people really are too stupid to save themselves.

Check this article from Fairfax where a poor hard done by farmer has decided to cancel Christmas in his household because the forecast payout from Fonterra is projected to be low.

Dairy farmers Liam and Louise Zander won’t be giving each other presents this Christmas after learning that Fonterra’s downward revision of the milk payout will strip hundreds of thousands of dollars from their income.

Dairy NZ figures released yesterday showed the revision from $8.40 per kg of milksolids last season down to a forecast $4.70 this season would remove $1.8 billion from the Waikato economy and hit the average dairy farmer’s income by $500,500.

“No Christmas presents for us this year,” Louise, who has two young children, said. “But that is just life as a dairy farmer.

“I will also have to look for a part-time job to help.”

Liam was more philosophical about the cut.

“You can’t really do much. You just have to keep chugging along. It’s one of those ups and downs in dairy farming.

“I try not to let it affect me too much. There’s no point dwelling over things you have no control over.”

Read more »

Butt… butt…

Nancy El-Gamel is a Wintec journalism student having a go at the crime of the century on behalf of the Waikato Times.

No ashtray is safe as desperate smokers turn to swiping cigarette butts from porches and verandas across the Waikato.

Social media is abuzz over the mystery of the disappearing ashtrays, after several were stolen from homes in Hamilton, Te Awamutu and Taupo.

The crime wave follows a trend by most smokers to take their habit outside, often leaving cigarette butts neatly piled in ashtrays visible from the street.

One theory circulating on Facebook is that the ashtray thefts are collateral damage – nicotine-crazed thieves are actually after cigarette butts to roll into second-hand smokes.

Among those hit is Te Awamutu resident Lisa Manaia, whose prized crystal ashtray was pinched from her porch last Friday.

An angry Manaia said she now has nowhere to stub out her cigarettes.

“I was smoking as usual outside, it would have been just before the sun went down that I noticed the ashtray was gone.”

Lovely. ?Not only do they want your buds, but the blighters are taking off with people’s ashtrays. ? ?How widespread is this problem? ? Read more »


Another crisis that wasn’t

Remember Labour and their union mates claiming cut backs at the?Huntly East Coal?mine would be the end for Huntly

Labour Leader David Shearer described the cuts as “an absolute disgrace”.

Well it turns out -?Huntly’s doing just fine… so good in fact they’re running out of land to home new industry.

Huntly is fast running out of land suitable for industrial development, so the Waikato District Council and business owners are having to look north – to Ohinewai.

And Auckland businesses are also eyeing the rural community because the current north Waikato boomtown of Pokeno, just south of the Bombay Hills, is also rapidly reaching capacity.

PLB Construction owner Philip Leather said he desperately wanted to expand his Huntly business, but he had nowhere to go.

“I would move tomorrow if I could. There’s a chronic shortage of spare land in this town.” ?? Read more »

More good news, regions are growing

It just keeps on rolling in, much to the chagrin of the lefty blogs and opposition politicians.

All but one region posted a lift in economic activity in the last three months of 2013, with Auckland falling backwards by the barest of margins, an ANZ Bank report shows.

The economy is getting a boost with higher business and consumer confidence, a better job market and a lift in consumer spending.

And economic growth has been speeding up across most regions, especially around the main cities, in the past year.

In the December quarter though, the West Coast and Northland shared top spot in the quarterly growth stakes, increasing 2.4 per cent.? Read more »

Map of the Day

The Southern part of the Province of Auckland

The Southern part of the Province of Auckland – 1867




The dog dies

I don’t understand the hand wringing when it comes to dog attacks.

Dogs that attack people die. ?Immediately.


unrelated to this story - from an attack in the UK

unrelated to this story – from an attack in the UK

Chris Gardner at Stuff writes

The Temple View community is worried about a large rottweiler which mauled a young woman so badly that she required more than 100 stitches and a four-night stay in Waikato Hospital.

Shimmal Ngawaka, 20, was hospitalised after the dog savaged her in Temple View Reserve last Thursday afternoon.

The Waikato University accounting student from Dinsdale was walking with friend Raquel Murray when she saw a small, white dog, know as Lulu, come under attack by the large uncollared rottweiler. Both dogs were loose without owners.

Murray went to Lulu’s aid while Ngawaka went after the rottweiler.

“She grabbed the big dog and it grabbed her on the face,” said mutual friend Lauren McCarthy. “It bit her on the left side of the face, all her top lip was missing, and some of her right cheek was missing. She could not speak because she was so shaken.”

The dog dies, and the owner is instantly fined a substantial amount. ?I’m thinking, $10,000. ? ? Read more »

A true tragedy

Belinda Feek at Stuff reports on another life that was snuffed out before its time

A former Waikato woman has admitted causing the death of her newborn baby after getting drunk and falling asleep while breastfeeding her.

The nine-week-old’s death happened just six days after she was released from Waikato Hospital after another incident, in which her mother had arrived home to find her daughter smothered with a blanket and struggling to breathe.

In the Hamilton District Court yesterday the 28-year-old mother, who was granted interim name suppression by Judge Barney Thomas, admitted a charge of failing to provide the necessaries of life for her daughter by omitting to provide the child with a safe sleeping environment, therefore causing the child’s death on February 19, 2012. ? Read more »