Category: Wellington

Congratulations Air New Zealand

I’ve just flown back from Auckland and have two big ‘ups’ for Air New Zealand.

Firstly there’s a huge thankyou to the flight crew that painted their bodies and appeared naked for the Air New Zealand video safety message. It is absolutely brilliant and a better-than-perfect way at instructing passengers on the safety measures and procedures on board the aircraft.

Many times in the past I would slump in my seat and never even glance at the monitors while the video droned on about following the lights to the exit, or adopting the brace position.

Today when the video played I swear to God nearly everyone was watching that screen. It wasn’t just because the staff were naked (that was part of it I’m sure) -but it was more that they kept your attention and gave you everything you needed to know with good humour and good grace, and with a wry smile.

I even saw people turn and actually count the rows of seats to their nearest exit. That’s a stunning success. I know I’m late off the mark – more than 4 million people have viewed the clip on YouTube – but if you haven’t seen it here it is now:

YouTube Preview Image

My second round of congratulations goes to the flight deck of Flight NZ 451 which departed from Auckland today at 5pm.

We knew it would be a rough flight when the pilot told us he would be flying at a lower altitude because the wind at normal cruising altitude was blowing 250kph.

Of course we could expect some turbulence on descent into Wellington (it’d be unusual if this was not the case).

Anyway, ten minutes out of the capital the roller coaster began, and got worse. It was dark and the cloud was low, and we (the passengers) couldn’t see a thing. I knew we were getting close to approach when I heard the wing flaps go down and they switched on the landing lights.

Just before we touched down the pilot did an abort and we climbed at full power to 5000 feet. We were going around again as the plane had struck ‘dead air’.

Another 10 minutes of roller coaster activity, and I must say apparent calm from myself and the other passengers, as we went back around to make another approach.

This time – success! Thankyou pilots and crew of NZ451. I really didn’t fancy travelling on a bus from Palmerston North to home. This was our alternative if our second attempt had been unsuccessful.

Wagamama turns us away

There’s a recession on but the staff at Wagamama don’t know this.

Our family turned up there last night around 6.15pm for a quick meal. The place was buzzing and there were empty tables.

Excellent – no waiting.

Wrong – we were turned away.

A young woman told us, and the others waiting at the door, that their systems were down and (shock, horror) they were having to write everything down by hand. This meant they couldn’t serve us, or even seat us, or even take an order by hand and deliver it to the kitchen.

What is it with this reliance on electronic systems? If the maitre de had been 32 instead of 22, and had been able to add figures with a pencil and paper instead of needing to rely on a calculator then they might have been prepared to take our money instead of turning us away and leaving us with a bad taste in our mouth.

The kitchen was full of staff – are we to believe that they wouldn’t be able to cook a meal because the order was handwritten? Was management prepared to close the whole restaurant because their computer “said – No!”.

It was pathetic. We spoke to other potential diners who had also been turned away – they were from out of town. What sort of an impression did this leave them with? Being good Wellington citizens we made recommendations to them and found ourselves apologising for their bad experience.

As a result of our experience we headed to Cuba Street. I can highly recommend Rasa (next to Roger’s Tattoo Art) – an Indian and Malaysian restaurant. Small, filled with happy people, great staff (with the ability to count) and the most beautiful succulent fragrant food at very reasonable prices. And can I say how proud I am of our two seven year old boys – gobbling down butter chicken and lamb biryani like there was no tomorrow.

200 Cuba St
Phone: 04 384 7088

Why I love living in Wellington

Christine and Margo

Christine Rankin

Christine Rankin

I couldn’t understand why I was getting an extraordinary number of hits on my Margo McAuley blog post until I saw the Herald on Sunday.

A mainstream newspaper has finally revealed what many of us in Wellington have known for months – that Margo McAuley tragically took her own life in part because of her husband’s affair with Christine Rankin.

Six months after Margo McAuley’s funeral Christine Rankin is appointed a Family Commissioner.

Should we be concerned?

Christine Rankin confessed to Mark Sainsbury on the day after her appointment that after four marriages (the last to Margo McAuley’s ex-husband) she has “learned a lot”. The question would be, does whatever she has learned help her in any way to be a Family Commissioner?

Christine Rankin had an affair with the man that was married to Margo MacAuley, and in helping to break up that marriage, however under pressure that marriage was, added to Margo MacAuley’s grief that in turn led her into taking her own life.

Can Christine Rankin act appropriately as a Family Commissioner? Can National continue to support her appointment? Can National continue to support Paula Bennett who went behind Peter Dunne’s back to appoint her in the first place?

There will be more to come on this I’m sure.

Margo McAuley dies

Margo MCauleyMany many people in Wellington will be as shocked as I was to hear of the death of Margo McAuley.

She was a ‘celebrity’ real-estate sales woman who ran her own series of very tastefully designed and conceived billboards. And she was very very successful at selling real estate, which in turn helped to pay for the advertising profile.

For her friends and family who are no doubt hurting deeply it will be a mixed blessing to see her name associated with property still on the market. Just do a Google Search to see how many results come up.

Whatever you think of real estate agents Wellington and the real estate industry has lost a trailblazer and a vibrant enthusiastic go-getter.

My sympathy goes to all her colleagues and family.

Tim Pankhurst – Editor of the Dominion Post

Can anyone tell me what Tim Pankhurst is doing in America?Tim Pankhurst in America

He will say that he’s there as a recipient of a Jefferson Fellowship but to me it looks like:

  • he’s on a junket
  • he’s preventing a real working journalist from taking a place

To apply for this fellowship you must be a

“…working print, broadcast and on-line journalist with a minimum of five years of professional experience from the United States and the Asia Pacific region”.

I think that Tim is both over qualified (he’s an editor for gods sake – isn’t he supposed to be managing the DomPost?) and under qualified (he hasn’t done much of late for writing or journalism in general).

In accepting this Fellowship he’ll be out of the country for our own election – what sort of committment does that demonstrate to probably the most important new event in the last three years? I’ll tell you – none!

Grow up Tim. Accept the fact that you’re in management – at the highest level – and that these Fellowships and opportunities are more suited to the real workers on the ground.

Oh, I forgot, they’ll be too busy covering the General Election.

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