AmeriNZ 243 – And relax

I’m finally back after a huge amount of work, and can finally relax. Time to update things! I begin with some updates about the podcast, including that I’m not going to do a live show in December or January and probably not after that, either. Then it’s on to updates about things in the New Zealand news, including the mine disaster. I have an update about us, too.

Nigel may do his The Third Colony show on Saturday, December 18 at 9pm EST (Americas; 3pm Sunday, December 19 NZDT).

Link for this episode
Farmers told to be ready for drought
The forecast: wettest summer in 21 years
A bob each way – my blog post about those two articles
Wellington quake could kill 1500

Please leave a comment, ring my US Comment Line on 206-666-5172, or send an email to arthur{at]

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One thought on “AmeriNZ 243 – And relax

  1. Hi Arthur!

    Greetings from sunny Dunedin on Christmas Evening. I hope your household had as good a time today as we did. I listened to your latest podcast while cleaning up the debris from our festivities, and find myself with so much to say I don’t know if the comment form will take it all! A great podcast indeed.

    You played two interesting comments from Kyle (?) in Maui. He touched on the ways in which we can stop seeing the humanity in others and treat them badly. This made me think about differing attitudes to the Pike River Disaster in New Zealand and elsewhere.

    I was at home in the US when the news broke, and my American father-in-law was staying with us. His immediate reaction to the news was to hope that the company would be punished for their misdeeds, possibly by being sued by the miner’s families. It was notable that at this early point none of the news stories I was seeing had even raised the question of blame for the disaster. Now that the matter is being raised and an inquiry is to be held, it’s still not the dominant theme in the coverage I am seeing. It’s not, I think, that the New Zealand people and media are naive about the fact that companies can and do behave irresponsibly, but rather that they don’t suppose that assigning blame will solve this problem – make anyone feel better, or make sure it will never happen again. I suspect that Americans are too quick to feel that anything can be Fixed by Action, and that Kiwis are too quick to feel that Shit Happens and there’s not much to be done about it. What do you think?

    You expressed interest in how I found things on the West Coast when I visited my sister in Greymouth this week. The disaster was hugely present to them all the time we were with them. They were not personal friends of any of the miners who died, but they have close friends who worked at the mine. Those friends are distressed, and now unemployed. Recruiters for Australian mines are in Greymouth and some of my sister’s friends are taking jobs where they will fly out to Australia for five days, work in the mines, then fly home for five days to see their families and kids, and then do it all again. It’s not much of a life, but they are thankful to be able to pay their mortgages. An ugly situation.

    A unexpected (to me) sideline is that the disaster has kept my brother-in-law very busy. He’s a tattoo artist, and thinks he’s done about fifty memorial tattoos since the disaster. The work is not technically difficult, but, unsurprisingly, he finds it emotionally draining.

    Greymouth was looking as prosperous as I have ever seen it. But with the mine closing, my sister thinks it’ll all be gone in a few months, and they are bracing themselves for some hard times with their tattoo business.

    Oddly, walking about the streets, Christchurch felt more depressed than Greymouth when we were there visiting my other sister. The rubble is all cleaned up and there are either empty lots or neatly fenced off buildings where the destruction happened, but you can see the damaged buildings all over the place, which is very disquieting. There were plenty of closed shops near the Square, and not many people out shopping for the weekend before Christmas.

    I have more to say on some other topics that came up, but perhaps I’d better go sleep off all those mince pies.

    More anon,


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