Le Grange. Localised banking. Upstart. RMA

Who is Phillipe le Grange (guessed spelling)?  Nat radio quote him as a British economist and writer, says we shouldn’t ease up on immigration. OK, who brought him here guys? Roger Kerr’s mob? Bringing an overseas ‘expert’ in, and letting them loose on a ‘pr’ receptive media, is something which should always ring alarm bells. Did we bother, folks?


– if the European report is true, political pressure is coming on banks to support their country-of-origin first. Bodes not well for kiwiland, it wouldn’t only be the boomerangs which went back. I think the bigger problem will be hyperinflation. Given a long-term lack of anything to underwrite/pin loaned money, money won’t be loaned. To let it get loaned, it will (regardless of method) end up getting devalued. Probably by an easing in supply. Our real worry is what happened in Germany in the ‘twenties – go to town with a wheelbarrow of money, come back with a loaf of bread. Maybe Mugabe is a dummy run.


There is an outfit in Otago called Upstart – helps budding/fledgling businesses to start flying. It is now asking for public monies, and an increasingly desperate Local Government scene will clutch at the straw. This despite the glaring example of Fisher and Paykel Appliances, heaps of assistance (via Council with public money) and then: goodbye we’re off to Thailand.

The other problem is that we now need to identify the ones which will survive the coming years – the long descent, or as Kunstler (James Howard Kunstler /Typepad / Clusterfuck Nation) says, the long emergency – and the likes of fashion houses probably don’t qualify. (Solar panel manufacture would). At the end of the day, this is just like the staduim, an upward soak of wealth. The rich get richer, and the poor get the (empty) pitcher….


It looks like they will spin out the ‘trash the RMA’  saga for maximum continuity of support. It doesn’t look like a total trashing – such is probably not do-able, not at least with straight face, and there must still be the odd conscience-burdened legal eagle, with a touch of integrity and not too bound up in increasing the value of the assets of their family trust. Eh?

The biggest issue will be that Local Authorities always (nearly) kick for touch, or actively support, or hussle on behalf of, development. Reasons are: small people (usually men) feeling bigger, rubbed off glory, and names on foundationstones. Nudge nudge wink wink cronyism with those who stand to gain. Personal gain, even if one or two stages (or relatives, eh?) removed. And lastly, the only one even vaguely excusable – the genuine belief that growth is good. Dumb, wrong, demonstrably disprovable, but yeah, it still is genuinely held.

Which left safeguarding against impact and degradation in the hands of self-funded, voluntary members of the public. The agencies you would expect to advocate – Doc and Min of E, either kick for touch, fall over their politically-correct bootlaces, or get paid to withdraw, perhaps not even to appear. Make it fiscally too threatening for the public, and there is no Lorax.

The only fall-back position is that the diggers will be silent by 2020, but that will be too late for lots of species, lots of landscape, lots of public space. Including the sea. This time the Maori vote won’t be with the conservation vote – it will be after the wealth – dancing with the pounamu and mana in their eyes. It will be a long rearguard action. Horatio never had to contend with a dam downstream of the bridge…


It’s cold out. The fridge (it’s a freezer carcase, set outside the south wall, only the lid protruding into the house) doesn’t need help tonight – it’s doing it naturally. Jen is scanning her baby photos (mirror mirror? too late for that) for some school thing, I’m scanning the world, patting the dog, and listing future article topics. Why I end up sharpening them with 48 hours to deadline, when I have a topic list good for more than a year ahead, I can’t tell you. Perhaps a fear of the digital pix fading. Or the memory. Where did I put the camera?

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