Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cycleways

More information is emerging about the much vaunted cycleways. I have to say I am keen to see more. I love cycling, but it can be really dodgy on our roads. I get sworn at regularly for being on the road. Drivers are an angry and impatient lot. I was really surprised by the negative reaction of some people to this. Lazy people, unfit people, wedded to their cars. I am looking forward to seeing this emerge, and am looking forward to persuading Bonnie to have a go at some of these for a holiday!!

Key told the Hotel Industry Conference in Auckland this morning that $50m would be allocated to the project over the next three years.

"I see the national cycleway developing from a series of "Great Rides" through some of New Zealand's most beautiful scenery. Our long-term goal is to create a network that links these "Great Rides" into a uniquely New Zealand set of cycling experiences that connects and passes through our cities."


I was worried it would get watered down to much, but I still hold out hope.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Christine Rankin

O please. How am I supposed to take this government seriously. Christine looks out for one person, Christine. She loves being in the lime light. But her track record is not good. He appaling dress sense shows that she really can't make appropriate decisions for the situation. To say "no one can tell me what to wear!" while clearly telling all her staff what to wear. and saying it to men who have no choice but to wear a suit and tie is just silly. That same lack of judgement was shown in how she led her Department. Better yet we have an advocate for beating children with hose pipes and 4x2 (extreme I know, but that is what let to that peice of law) on the Families Commission. An advocate for violence working for a group which is working hard to erradicate violence from the home. Even that great liberal (not) Peter Dunne is upset, and this is his baby. National have shown their trur colours. Thanks to all those who voted for them for their $10/wk.

Monday, May 11, 2009

It is time to call a spade a spade

Should I even write this? I am not sure. Anyway. It seems that the General Secretary of our church is quite determined to shut TORU: The Anglican Centre for Youth Ministry Studies because we have overspent our budget for the last two years and as far as she is concerned is it not working. Instead this advocate for our three Tikanga Structure would like to see the money redistributed among the three Tikanga. This of course is being done with no consultation with the Youth Networks. Surprisingly (not) I am somewhat annoyed. But it has helped me come to realise that we will never be one church expressed in three Tikanga. And that is because no one really wants that. So why keep working for it!

And this makes me think. General Synod last year cost over $170,000, a beautiful hand holding exercise that achieved nothing really. The meal at Parliament was nice though. Our General Synod Office struggles to contain its expenditure (not it’s fault I hasten to add), so that this year the money we were hoping to use from the three Tikanga Youth allocation from last year for one of the few three Tikanga events in our church is this year (this month) is not there. Gone on other cost overruns.

Applying the General Secretary’s rationale (as applied to TORU) is this three Tikanga Structure working I ask? And the answer is no!! Instead it soaks up considerable resources, money, people’s time, energy and focus. I actually would suggest it is counter productive. I think it stops Tikanga Maori and Pakeha building relationships and working together. Tikanga Pacifica is always there and keeps muddying the waters. That is not their fault. They are equal partners and deserve to be there. But it gets in the way all the time. This three Tikanga edifice is sucking the life out of our Archbishops. It is consuming time and energy trying to keep it afloat. And yet we are as distant and uncaring of each other on the ground as we were 17 years ago when it came into being. It is not working!!!

After 20 years, (since the PYC in Fiji first dreamed this whole thing up) I think it is time to call a halt to this expensive experiment. We need to scrap General Synod and the General Synod Office and all those committees which meet and achieve so little and cost so much. Even the youth stuff maybe. We need to free Polynesia to be its own Province, with adequate resources, and to remove its Episcopal presence in Aotearoa-New Zealand. And Tikanga Pakeha and Maori need to be freed to have some honest conversations about how we might structure our relationship as treaty partners here in Aotearoa – New Zealand in ways that consume little time, people, resources, and allow us to truly meet and work together where we might want to do that. It is time to call a spade a spade and bury this experiment. It was worth a go, but it is not working, and it is time for something new!!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Bye bye Boston Legal

Last night I watched a “Best of Boston Legal” It was great, and yet poignant. Poignant because my favourite TV show has finished. I wonder what it was about Boston Legal that tickled my fancy.

Well, for a start it was funny. Really funny. The characters were so different and quirky. And over the years they took themselves less and less seriously. In the last season they made references to themselves as a TV programme all the time.

But it also offered serous social commentary. The character of Alan Shaw is central here. His court room rants were full of social commentary, usually from the left. You could not ignore what it was saying. And Denny Crane offered a conservative opposing standpoint to keep things in balance. Within the office, issues around sexual ethics were raised, Denny’s Alzheimer’s, Gerry’s autism, even Chinas human rights (which always intrigues me that Americans worry about that given their domestic and international track record)

Finally, I will miss the final scene of Denny and Alan on the balcony with their whiskey at the end of each episode. The sense of such friendship, of love between two people. There was something inviting about that.

And I wonder vaguely, what if church was like that, fun, not taking itself too seriously and yet full of gospel centered social commentary, and inviting through the strength of relationships. Hm...

So, for now I watch re-runs, and wish more were to be made, and mourn that none will be.