Category: Wellington


I just made use of E-day – a day dedicated to recycling old computer equipment.

I dropped off two CRT monitors and an old Apple G3 (beige) that moved at glacial speeds and never without needing Disk Aid to start it up. Surplus to requirements.

The whole shebang was removed from my boot in less than five minutes. Bloody fantastic.

It’s a pity they didn’t take TV’s. We had a Sony 21 inch TV that completely died. I thought the landfill set items like that aside – but no, the chap on the gate told me to throw it straight in the pit.

How long is that going to take to ‘break down’?

Ranfurly Shield magic

Very good news: Wellington 27. Auckland 0.

I took the boys to the airport to welcome the team home. It’s the first time since 1984 that Wellington has held the Shield. Only four members of the current team were even born then.

Here are a few pics:

The back of the Ranfurly Shield

The back of the Ranfurly Shield…it’s not often you get to see this side…

The front of the Ranfurly Shield

The more commonly seen ‘front’ of the Ranfurly Shield…

Piri Weepu, Captain of the Lions

Piri Weepu, Captain of the victorious Wellington Lions…

A friendly Lion

A thumbs-up from an unknown player – someone please help me here…nice tattoo though…

the throng

The throng of cellphones – Score: Telecom 1, Vodafone 3…

Wild at Heart – here’s the proof

When Wellington Airport was re-branded several years back it’s new tagline became “Wild At Heart”.

Out-of-towners, and the more timid locals, think this is a ridiculous epitaph. Why would you promote flying in to Wellington as ‘wild’ and think that was a line that would attract tourists?

There are many hardy locals who love the wind. I’m one of them. I was seven years old during the Wahine Storm. It’s in my blood. It blows away lethargy. It makes riding a bike a bigger challenge than it ought to be.

But with the wind comes some responsibility. Like being careful and taking precautions. Like not even attempting to use an umbrella on Lambton Quay. Like never stopping your motorbike at the lights on the corner of  Waterloo Quay and Bunny Street (the worst wind tunnel in the capital). Wellingtonians know this.

Now pilots who fly with Pacific Blue know this too.

Footage has been revealed of a Pacific Blue 737 aircraft being blown away from the airbridge it was connected to.

  • The pilot apparently did not apply the handbrake
  • The rear wheels were not chocked

These two small actions are now, in retrospect, being classed as mandatory requirements when parking your jetliner.

[UPDATE 10 August: The YouTube video has been removed, probably because the person who posted it was likely to be a staff member at Wellington Airport and had no rights to the footage. I have only been able to salvage a still from the video.]

[UPDATE 18 August: Discovered the original video here:]

Wellington on a good day…

Saturday just gone I was out in the Hutt Valley dropping off a bike to a TradeMe purchaser. It had been snowing that morning in the central Wellington streets so the air had not only a chill but a bite as well.

As I came off the Petone off-ramp heading back towards the city the sun was low over the western hills. The sky to the south was black. It would be a great day to sit in the car on the south coast and wait for the storm to hit.

I raced home, grabbed a camera, bundled Sugar and the boys in the car and headed to Owhiro Bay to await the onslaught. Ten minutes before we got there the sun disappeared behind the approaching front. Nevermind, it still promised to be a dramatic show.Storm in Wellington

We sat and waited. Number one son was fast asleep and snoring. Number two was excited to be offered a digital camera to take pictures. The sea was dead calm. The Bluebridge ferry chased the Interislander through the Wellington heads, trying to keep ahead of the impending storm.

Well, after that build up you’d expect that we were lashed by gales, and thunder and lightening. Sadly, no such luck. The front approached gradually, without fanfare. In fact after 40 minutes we gave up waiting and headed back up Happy Valley. The rain started ten minutes later, big ponderous drips on the windscreen.

I went to the All Blacks Springboks test match that night. Free tickets mind. I refuse to pay $150 to watch a game. We all rugged up: polyprops (top and bottom); down filled jacket; raincoat; leggings; gore-tex boots and gloves; woolly hat…I took the train in from Ngaio – a $3 return Stadium ticket. I was there in 20 minutes.

Walking along Fran Wilde Walk the rain bucketed down. I waited for ten minutes for my ticket bearer, warm and dry underneath my drenched outer shell.

We sat in Row Z, Aisle 2. That’s as far North as you can get in the Cake Tin, and as high as you can get in the stand without the advantage of a corporate box. We were so far from the action the big screen at the southern end showed the players at exactly life size. I had taken 10x binoculars. I provided my own closeups and commentary.

The All Blacks win. Graham Henry maintains his 5 year winning streak at home – we never win the games we need to.

I hop back on the train with other freezing spectators. The few South African supporters are forced to listen to the de-brief from the patriotic New Zealanders. One old man tells the carriage “The ref was blind in one eye and couldn’t see out the other”. But we won, I thought.

A woman demonstrated to the strangers around her the joy of her pocket warmer. She’d gone looking for one that day, eventually tracking one down in Upper Hutt for $12. We all had a feel. It was warm.

And so ended another winter night in Wellington. The announcer at the game earlier told the crowd that the Rimutaka Hill was closed due to snow. Anyone from Wairarapa would need to stay in Wellington.

“Enjoy your stay” he said.

How could you not?

Newspaper marketing

The Dominion Post has been running an aggressive campaign in our neighbourhood…free newspaper five days a week for three weeks…the promotion has just ended.

Nearly every driveway in the local environs had the promotional paper – you could tell promotion from actual by the distinctive packaging.

Last night I got a call from the Fairfax call-centre: Did I enjoy my free paper? I did. Would I like to subscribe? Tell me more? We can offer you the Dominion Post for 14 or 26 weeks at half the price of the newsagent or dairy. That’s a good offer [pause]…[longer pause]…but, no thanks.

Well, I might be regretting it today, but whether I have let go of a good offer or not I couldn’t help wonder what this promotion was telling me about the current state of Dominion Post subscriptions.

I’m left with the impression that things are not great in newspaper-land. That was an offer almost too good to be true – it almost smacked of desperation. While retail spending is down and shops are offering a routine 50-70% off the RRP the same heavy discounting seems to be happening in the world of newspapers.

If it had been the NZ Herald I might have said yes.

Green Taxis

Green CabsSince coming back from our sojourn overseas I noticed a new taxi firm has started in Wellington.

Green Cabs runs a fleet of hybrid Toyota Prius cars. They have a very distinctive paint job so would be hard to miss on a cab rank. It’s not a new concept – from a Google search there are companies in London and San Francisco doing the same thing.

But already the new cab off the rank has raised the ire of the Taxi Federation . The Green Cab company claim that they are the first to run hybrid cars. This has prompted Tim Reddish (Executive Director of the Taxi Federation) to hit back.

Green Cabs has a highly visible profile and should appeal to punters who care about the environment. To celebrate the launch of the company they are ‘organising’ the planting of 10,000 trees in Honduras – presumably (I’m such a cynic) because it’s cheap to do so.

Either way, congratulations to a great idea.

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