Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gay Marriage in NZ

This article has been published in a local news paper in Wanganui.

My point of view:

The origin of marriage is not as dreamy as it is portrayed now. It used to be an economic union, with or without love involved. I think a lot of people do not like homosexuals to have this 'right' to marriage because it is a mockery of its religious origins, value system and its belief of sacredness (as in holy matrimony). Homosexual or heterosexual or bisexual, why would anyone else want to be in a dreamy state? What are their reasons for wanting to be married? I think the validity, sustainability and strength of any union of 2 people (homosexual or not) can only be evaluated based on their motivation on why they want to enter a contract/union. Otherwise, Marriage is exactly how it's described in the article - a dream. Many young girls and boys dream about it. And a dream it remains. Everyone has a right to dream.

--- Good commentaries below:

Andrew Sheldon
Wanganui Central
Sep 20, 2012 8:51Suggest removal

This is an utter rationalisation. Its about a relationship, or family, if you take that to mean the same. Which you seem not to - at your convenience. A relationship based on human values, whether heterosexual or homosexual, child to adult, adult-adult, or child-child. The entire intent of your rationalisation is not to make your conception 'special' but to deride that which you regard as illegitimate. Your attitude to homosexual's illegitmacy is the issue at point; not your sanction. Your sexual discrimination, not your tolerance.
I personally have no idea whether homosexuality is a efficacious relationship in the sense that it is optimal for the counterparts. I don't know because every inquiry I have made to find out encounters some sensitivity because of the lack of empathy conveyed by Conservatives. I'm not critical of people judging; as live requires judgement, because it entails choice. The problem is the Conservative dogmatic standard, and an intent to impose those standards upon others. You imply 'why marriage'; but the question is 'why not'?
Your attempt to posit this issue as mean legalism is a blatant evasion.

Andrew Sheldon
Wanganui Central
Sep 20, 2012 9:00Suggest removal

John Tripe asks: "Why on earth is public opinion, on the one hand, sceptical of marriage; and on the other, wanting to dignify another kind of relationship with the name?"
The reason is that people can be both and either at any time depending on their perspective. This is public policy, not personal policy. It is not a question of personal taste, but principle. I personally believe there is no distinction, but I don't retain a dogmatic value system detached from the facts of reality.
It is truly interesting that a businessman would entertain such ideas in a public forum in a company name. Was it because:
1. It was a requirement for publishing
2. You thought this article would be popular with prospective clients
3. You really believe these values
If I was a homosexual I think I would want my client to embody my values...but more important that that, I would want them to possess a quality of empathy. I'm not seeing it. I'm not sure I'd so readily show it.

Andrew Sheldon - Author, Critical Thinker -

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Holden Combo Camper Van for Sale $4000 free delivery Christchurch to Auckland

*** This car has now been sold to a nice new owner. Before selling we spent close to $1000 fixing it up and removing the rust :-) We love this car and it has been good to us!

We are looking to sell a nice vehicle well-suited to campervanning. We used this vehicle for campervanning as well as mountain biking. Its a really good vehicle for these purposes because:
1. Short wheel base
2. Handles really well
3. Good size for camper and off-road
4. Not a conspicuous camper
5. Its a relatively new model (2001) - with low 145,000kms
6. Hanging points - you can easily fit the vehicle out - we will tell you where to go. 

This vehicle has around 145,000kms at present; its a manual 5-transmission, it goes really well mechanically. It has a lot of rust in the 'hood' over the drivers compartment. This is not a problem for obtaining the warranty of fitness because it is classed as an accessory which can be removed. WOF scheduled 8/22/2012. The car is almost due for new tyres, and that will be about $380-400, so we have discounted it as much. 

I am travelling to Asia in the next few days so I am looking to sell this Holden Combo. Its currently at Christchurch, however I intend to move some homeware to my house on the North Island. Ultimately we will likely fly out of Auckland Airport, however we have still to book flights. 
Anyone flying into Christchurch or Auckland looking for a campervan could not be happier than with this vehicle for several reasons. It is not as conspicuous as a camper - because it's a delivery van. Its a 1600cc engine, so low petrol consumption. Its short wheel base makes it suitable for off-road use. i.e. We take it off-road for MTB trails. The vehicle comes with a roof-rack as well.
We are looking for $4000 for the vehicle, or $4500 with new tyres (negotiable). If we cannot sell the vehicle we will look at selling it through Turners. We would however prefer to give a discount to a direct buyer than a commission to Turners. We can deliver the vehicle to a person at Queenstown or Auckland airport. Auckland is preferred, as we need to take our bikes to the North Island. Email us at shouganai1 at

or Call 027 916 0128 (NZ) camper van for sale

I'll deliver from Christchurch up to Auckland. Let me know.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Value Pack Renewal, Telecom Promotion

For those who got a new phone this Christmas and chose to have the Telecom SIM card offering a Value Pack promo that entitles you to free texts, free voice calls etc every month within the first 6 months of purchase -

The value pack promotion will only be renewed if you have at least $1 credit on your phone.

I have asked the question - how much is the minimum credit needed for the value pack to be renewed per month. The answer is $1.

The reps will not give you the answer directly... they might be told to do so... and I had to ask this question more than 3 times over the phone. When your credit is less than $10, you will get a notice from Telecom saying your value pack will only be renewed if you have "enough" credit. But they don't tell you how much. So without much thinking, you'd likely top up another $20.

So if you do not intend to use your $10 before the renewal, then just remember if you have at least $1, you will get renewed - free texts coming.

20 c per text if you have to pay.

More details below.

Merry Christmas for the next 6 months

This Christmas get yourself supercharged on the network built for Smartphones.

When you buy a prepaid mobile this Christmas you’ll get one of two Christmas Value Packs (redeemable online) for FREE every month for the next six months - worth over $120 in total.

  • If you purchase a Smartphone you'll get a Value Pack of 100 texts, 15 minutes and 15 MB for FREE every month for the next 6 months worth $200*
  • If you purchase a standard mobile you'll get 50 texts and 15 minutes for FREE every month for the next 6 months

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Internet connectivity in Queenstown

It amazes me how technology can be so restrictive. I am concerned that Telecom and Vodafone broadband do not allow customers to connect directly from their computers through to the splitter. It seems that these internet providers assume that computers are likely to use wifi these days that nobody does broadband cables anymore. This setup offers no back up solution in case there's no available cable or modem. It makes me feel as if these providers force the price of the modem into the package... which is most likely manufactured overseas for less than $10 each.

When Vodafone offers just $50 setup, remember, they have a $199 disconnection fee as you are obliged to enter a contract.
When Telecom offers no contract terms, cancel anytime setup, note that you have to pay $150+ connection fees. (note that this may not be the latest figures, it may have already increased)

Queenstown offers different, highly-priced, internet hot spots - HQwifi for example offers $40/gb as one package... running at 256kbps speed - great for checking email. Sure there are other options...

If intend to stay longer, and decide to sign up for a broadband contract, then expect service to be available within 3 business days - if you are within 5k radius around Queenstown CBD. The reps of Telecom and Vodafone are trained to say 10 to 15 business days activation to prevent issues and lower expectations. However, simply, the process is:
1. You sign up - over the phone or through a shop, this takes 10 minutes if you do not have to wait in queue
2. Your form gets submitted - entered to their database which takes 5 minutes
3. Your form gets approved if you're located within an area where service is available - within 4 hours, you will get an email. Nobody works on Saturdays and Sundays or holidays.
4. By the 2nd business day, you will get notification on when to expect your package. Pay attention to the details of this email as it includes the estimated time of activation (usually within 1 to 2 days maximum).
5. By the 3rd business day, a technician comes around your home to check your phone's dial tone. Then he informs the internet providers that he's been around and checked and request for broadband activation.

The courier requires a signature so you need to be home... waiting patiently. If you miss it, call them and arrange for redelivery or you can pick up your modem from the local sorting center.
I hope you get connected easily in Queenstown!


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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Season of Joy in Queenstown - best bargains

Tourism in Queenstown is buzzling. Compared to 2010, the city is more congested, flocked by international tourists, taking photos, enjoying the views, eating, dining, eating, dining!

Perhaps the hospitality industry will be the biggest earners this year. People enjoy food much more than over priced adventure tours.

A lot of people choose winter to go to Queenstown but it seems that a lot more summer visitors are having tons of fun.

As a regular tourist in Queenstown, I can recommend the following tips to make sure you do not spend more than you should.

1. There's no free wifi in this town. It's painful. So if you need wifi in Queenstown, you have to go to McDonalds in Frankton. You have to order more than $5 to get 1 hour free wifi - limited capacity so if you consume sooner, you lose connection.

The Patagonia chocolate place offers free wifi. The problem is you can really only stay 1 hour... mostly due to the embarrassment of occupying their limited tables and chairs for a long time. Since it's popular free wifi zone, so many people are using it which may explain the slow connectivity. It almost seems like it's worthless to try connecting. Hoewever, I must say even during less busy times, it seems the connection is still excruciatingly slow.

The other better place to get free wifi is Joe's Garage cafe - They also occassionally have coffee and cake promotions - just $5. Joe's garage free wifi is only up to 1 hour as well.

There is also the OVERPRICED HQwifi service which is only recommended if the connection is a matter of life and death! $40 / GB if you are stupid enough to get that plan. That's what I did... so I am telling you that if you even have to purchase wifi services through HQwifi - then get the $50/10 gb plan. To be fair with HQwifi, I have no idea why ther e isn't any other service provider that can provide more competitive rates.

New Zealand in general has very expensive internet connection anywhere you go.

2. The healthiest meals when traveling on budget which will keep you full would be the following options:
a. Subway - $5 for a 6 inch sub - very filling, fresh salad ingredients, there's own in the town center of Queenstown
b. Make your own sandwiches - drop by NEWWORLD at the Remarkables shopping center and buy 2 loaves of grain bread $3 each, some ham ($5 to $10) and sliced cheese($3), salad greens ($3), small sized mayo ($5), ketchup ($5), mustard ($5) and you can create yourself a real good sandwich. Total price for all of these would be around $30  1 loaf would be like 20 servings. Plus I'm sure there'd be a lot of ketchup, mayo and mustard left for other meals.
c. If you need water, bring your own water container. Every drinking-fountain in Queenstown provides clean water to drink. You will not die from it! So do not waste any more money buying 'bottled' water and pay $4/bottle that you can really get for free. If you didn't bring water bottle, then just buy 1, keep it and refill it with drinking fountain water. Drinking a lot of water while walking around Queenstown will guarantee that you will have less sore muscles the next day...
d. If you intend to prepare for a bigger meal for a group or for your family, you can simply buy $10 whole/roasted chicken from Newworld, add $3 basmati rice and make some salad.

Some less healthier, but great value options are:

If you "have" to have coffee, then go to McDonalds cafe. For 2 years in a row now, they offer $5 coffee and cake - the coffee is decent actually and they have different pastry options.

Since Hamill's restaurant is selling (as in the business is for sale on for around half a million NZD), they are boosting their revenue and offering 2 gourmet pizzas for the price of 1. Yes this is just awesome value! They are located in Remarkables Shopping center. Their gourmet pizzas are so unique and tasty. Indicative price would be $22 for 1 pizza normally but since they have a promotion, you get 2. If you have not tried adding a banana on your pizza this is the time to challenge your taste! Prepare to be blown away!

In terms of Queenstown Accommodation - great value at Queenstown Motel Accommodation, new facilities, comfortable beds, very clean - they are located walking distance to town and offer accommodationa at $135 per night for 3 people. Other hotels would charge at least $155.

The beauty of Queenstown is you do not really need to spend on any tour packages with adventure trips. Here are free things to do in Queenstown:
1. Walking Trails - Queenstown has at least 14 walking trails! Enjoy views from all over the city - different views each trail, different experience. If you have your own mountain bikes, great but walking is good enough.
2. Walking around the CBD, the Wakatipu lake walk way are both great options. There are a lot of shops to visit (window shopping).
3. Rose Garden - Queenstown CBD - beautiful roses in bloom in summer and delightful cherry blossoms await you in Spring.
4. Picnic at Glenorchy - free to go to Glenorchy and enjoy a picnic with the familly. In summer, the lupins are there to amaze you - how can such a weed be so delicate...
5. Have a swim at the lake! Summer can be intensely hot in Queenstown and there's no stopping you from having a quick dip in the very clean lake! Great access to the lake from the Frankton arm and the Wakatipu area - in town.
6. Walk around Arrowtown - take photos, read about the history of early settlers!

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Lovely Surprise in Rotorua, MALFROY motor lodge

Rotorua is a buzzling city! Voted several times as the best city in New Zealand, I can now clearly say why. Rotorua has more than 16 lakes - a burst of fantastic nature! It has established walking trails and mountain bike routes. Busy Shopping district! Competitively priced, great holiday accommodation! Unique cultural adventure as well. The Bath House Rotorua is a place to visit! Wonderful flower gardens, mud pools! Yes and a smell that sticks to you even if you've already left ;0) Need I say more? This is a must-see town in NZ.


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Sunday, October 23, 2011

What the All Blacks Win Meant to Me

I never really understood Rugby. As ignorant as it may seem I do not know the rules, don't know the players and don't understand the reason why people watch it. I was initially irritated at the media hype about rugby in NZ for 1 year before the Rugby World Cup which just ended last time.

The epic win - New Zealand 8 to 7 French. Some people said, if the All Blacks sucked a bit more, they would have lost. Really?

Let me tell you what the All Blacks win meant to me... as a worker, as an contractor, as a person living in a small country at the edge of the earth.

The NZ Rugby team is known to be one of the best in the world. However it has never won the world cup, number 1 spot for at least a decade. New Zealand invests a lot in this sport. The players seem really capable. And this time, this time they got the glory.

It seems to me that small business owners, employees, Kiwis all over the world who felt the harsh effects of recession, job loss, Christchurch earthquake, Pike River disaster have finally seen the light at the end of the tunnel... Yes there is something to be joyful about. Yes there is something NZ is good at, very capable of, and yes New Zealand can win.

After several years of drought, hard work and just living each day, hoping they can go through another day and wake up the next day, stronger.

Yes the All Blacks could have very well lost last night. The French team was passionate, raging. They were charging against NZ. For a moment, I thought they would win!

New Zealand won by just 1 point. Commentators on TV said it doesn't matter. They are right. Not because it's a token gesture but because New Zealand has been consistent. No loss in this season. I think their nerves got to them tremendously last night. I thought the French team was fantastic. I thought NZ could have done better. But NZ won - amidst all the pressure, the high expectations, the potential last minute self-doubt, the NZ team won.  All through their hard ships, all through their debacles, as a team, as a country, as a people - New Zealand won. It is a great feeling. Officially, New Zealand has the cup.

Congratulations All Blacks and may your victory serve as inspiration to the rest of us.

Highlights of the Game Rugby World Cup New Zealand Vs France 2011

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