settling in

Photo (cropped) taken by Gwynneth Jansen
Since I’ve been back, apart from sleeping, I’ve been catching up in a mild sort of way with events here.

Alarmingly there’s a plan put forward by Act (and Labour I see too. How can this be?) that we raise the retirement age until 67 to save money. Hmmm and what about the costs of losing volunteers in the community, youth who can’t get jobs? Day care for children when Nana can’t help out. Hospital care for those of us who have brittle bones, get stressed. It’s not that 65-67 years olds can’t work, it’s more that the simple accounting may not be as simple as it seems.

There’s also a plan mooted to put Community Law Centres out to tender. These provide advice (free) to people with legal issues. They are valuable and well used. This, along with a plan to reduce Legal Aid funding will have an effect on how people challenge legal decisions and get good legal aid.

Oh, and we are cutting our Ministry of Foreign affairs funding and reducing numbers in Te Puni Kokiri (Ministry of Maori Affairs) and then there’s the asset sales. Surely we learned our lesson from the sale of Kiwi Rail and power generating businesses. Kiwi Rail got sold, ran into trouble and we bought it back.

Sigh. The image, taken by friend Gwynneth says it all. It’s from a protest march about the assets sales.

And I’ve sat at domestic airports 4 times since being back and the question is: why do we wear so much BLACK?

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