Mayor Sideshow Bob Parker and his eleven councillors have approved a massive TWENTY-FOUR percent increase in council rents.

City council tenants are largely on low and fixed incomes – low waged jobs, pensions, welfare benefits, etc.

One councillor, Chrisse Williams, has spoken out about the increase:

"Twenty four percent in one year is too great. We're talking about people who are in our housing units who are on low incomes and on fixed incomes."

Sideshow Bob- a man driving around in a $90,000 Audi sports car - argues that if previous councils had not continously sidelined the issue then such a massive increase would not have had to occur.

This was more Bob bullshit but more on that later.

What Sideshow didn’t say is that all but one of his present councillors were on the previous council that failed to address the issue.

One such culprit is Councillor Barry Corbett – but that hasn’t stopped him from pompously defending the massive rent increase.

"If we do it in two years time it's going to be even worse, so let's bite the bullet and do it now," said Corbett.

One wonders what Corbett has been doing for the past three years.

And what is all this about us ‘biting the bullet’? Corbett, who is on a salary of some $83,000, won’t be biting any bullet. In fact, he’s off to China in a fortnight (along with Sideshow Bob) on a $20,000 jaunt – paid for by the Christchurch ratepayer.

Councillor Sue Wells told the council meeting that she was 'struggling' with a 24 percent increase - but still voted for it. More empty words from the lazy Councillor Wells.

The increase is seven times the rate of inflation.

As the former Alliance MP Dr Liz Gordon has pointed out this decision was an insult to local democracy. No alternatives were explored and only the 24 percent increase proposal was presented at the meeting - indeed the first councillors knew about this proposal was a week ago.

In fact Sideshow deliberately orchestrated procedures to prevent any alternatives being presented.

Council housing pays for itself but money is apparently required for maintenance and upgrade work. Sideshow claimed there was nowhere else the money could come from - but money is available for housing through central government.

No, this decision was also ideologically-driven because the right wing Sideshow Bob believes in such monetarist dogma as 'users pays' - a dogma that continues to screw working class New Zealanders. Sideshow Bob wouldn't know about that though - he counts among his 'friends' well-heeled property developers.

This attack on some of Christchurch's most economically disadvantaged citizens was steered through by Sideshow Bob backed by cronies like Corbett and Wells.

As an aside, Barry Corbett said his 'conscience was clear' because council tenants would still pay a smaller proportion of their income in rent than he paid for his mortgage.

Corbett lives in one of the more 'select' areas of Christchuch and his house is valued at well over $300,000. He also owns a holiday cottage on Banks Peninsula. Is Barry Corbett a wanker? Yes, he is.

If you want to tell Sideshow Bob what you think of him you can contact him here:


Despite the fact that New Zealand youth don’t listen to it, Kiwi FM is still occupying the three FM frequencies that the Labour Government has supposedly reserved for a non-commercial youth radio network.

The former Minister of Broadcasting Steve Maharey said that the station manager Karyn Hay would be given a year to see if she could make the station work.

This was in May 2006.

Nearly two years later, Kiwi FM still occupies the three frequencies - broadcasting to a tiny audience.

The March 2006 ratings showed that the station – which broadcasts in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch –had just a 0.1% audience share.

Kiwi FM’s ratings actually halved in just over a year. In April 2006 the station attracted 43,000 listeners – by October 2007 that audience had shrunk to just 23,000 listeners.

Clearly Kiwi FM has not worked – but Maharey, despite saying he would, took no action.

There is now a new Minister of Broadcasting - Trevor Mallard.

I understand that Mallard doesn’t regard Kiwi FM as a ‘priority issue’ which means that Kiwi FM will still be broadcasting on the three reserved frequencies once a new government is sworn in.

National criticised Maharey for ‘playing favourites’ with Kiwi FM but at the same time, National is not a supporter of a non-commercial youth radio network – which has long been championed by such notable New Zealand music luminaries as Neil Finn and Arthur Baysting.

The end result may be, thanks to Labour’s total mishandling of this issue, three FM frequencies being auctioned off to the highest bidder - which will be a overseas-owned media conglomerate.

Meanwhile Kiwi FM station manager Karyn Hay, along with partner Andrew Fagan, (picture) is now doing an early evening talkback show on another Mediaworks station, Radio Live.


While the Chinese regime have been trying to prevent information getting out about what is happening Tibet, some media organisations in New Zealand appear to have no problems in allowing the Chinese regime to push its propaganda via their media channels.

Take the small local Christchurch channel Canterbury Television (CTV) for instance. It regularly broadcast programmes from CCTV International, which is the 24 hour news channel of Chinese Central Television.

CCTV is merely a mouthpiece for the Chinese regime - nothing broadcast contradicts the 'party line'.

In recent times, CCTV has been describing the Tibetan independence activists as a 'mob' and 'criminals'. On one programme, China Daily, CCTV even suggested that the protestors had been killing fellow Tibetans - although no evidence was presented to back up this claim.

CCTV has also been peddling the line that the Tibetan uprising is the work of the Dalai Lama and his followers - what the 'news' channel refers to as 'the Dalai clique'.

No attempt has been made to address the legitimate political concerns of the Tibetan people.

But Canterbury TV appears to have no problem in broadcasting this propaganda.

These programmes clearly breach the standards set down by the New Zealand Broadcasting Standards Authority and are which set down in the Free-To-Air television code.

Under Standard 4: Balance, it states:

4a Programmes which deal with political matters, current affairs, and questions of a controversial nature, must show balance and impartiality.

I have written to the CTV Programming Manager, Ross Burdett, outlining my concerns and asking why CTV is broadcasting these programmes which are clearly nothing more than Chinese state propaganda. So far, I have received no response.

In the meantime I have lodged a complaint with the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

Canterbury TV is owned by the Allied Press (which publishes the Otago Daily Times) and two local Christchurch businessmen, Murray Wood (Magnum Mac computers) and Christopher Smith (South Island Gourmet).


While the world watches and protests against the violent oppression of the Tibetan people by the Chinese regime, some people just don't care.

Take Christchurch Mayor Sideshow Bob Parker. He, along with at least 95 business 'leaders', is off to Beijing next month to attend the signing of the disastrous free trade agreement with China.

Sideshow Bob, along with his wife Joanna Parker, is also going to Wuhan and Gansu. The trip will cost the Christchurch ratepayer over $12,000.

Also going to Wunah for ten days is the morally-challenged Christchurch councillor Barry Corbett. Corbett's travel and accomodation expenses wil bring the total bill to approximately $18.000.

This proposed Chinese jaunt has provoked outrage.

Tibetan exile Yongten, who has lived in Christchurch for eight years, had this to say about Parker's proposed Chinese adventure:

"I want to know if the majority of New Zealanders have a clear conscience on moral grounds supporting Bob Parker having a handshake with people that have stains of fresh blood from Tibet.'

Christchurch pro-Tibet peace rally organiser Keran Tsering, who is married to Tibetan exile Ngawang, said Parker should reconsider travelling to China.

"Anybody who is going across there -- they need to rethink their priorities," she said.

"They are putting business ahead of humans."

Barry Corbett, who recently supported the alleged murderer of an Auckland teenager, refused to comment on the moral implications of the trip. Given his recent track record, he probably didn't understand the question.

The Audi-driving Parker is the only mayor from the four main New Zealand centres to attend the signing.


While the New Zealand government is quick to criticise oppressive government regimes in countries like Zimbabwe or Fiji, its an entirely different story when it comes to China.

When you are looking to sign a free trade agreement with the Chinese Stalinist regime, you turn a blind eye to the more 'unpleasant' aspects of the Chinese government.

Like the continued violent oppression of the Tibetan people.

Prime Minister Clark's response to the current Tibetan uprising is political and moral cowardice on a grand scale.

According to Clark her government has said nothing about the current Tibetan situation because 'she 'wants to find out the full story behind the riots'.

As Green MP Keith Locke has commented these are just 'weasel words'.

This government will say nothing and do nothing as it seeks to sign a disastrous free trade agreement with the Chinese regime.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters in Parliament last week also failed to condemn the Chinese government. Questioned by Locke, Peters would only go as far as to say the government had 'concerns' about the Chinese government's human rights record.

More than 1.2 million Tibetans have died as a result of the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1950. The Chinese regime have destroyed and looted over 600,000 Buddhist monasteries. At the present time more than 4,000 Tibet political activists are are being held in jails and labour camps.

Last year PM Clark described the Zimbabwe regime as 'appalling' and in 2005 she commented she 'would not be seen dead' in that country. Its a pity Clark can't find it in herself to make similar comments about the Chinese regime.


So Andrew Little, head of the Engineering, Printers and Manufacturers Union (EPMU) has decided not to put his name forward as a Labour candidate in this year's general election.

With some people suggesting that he could be a future Labour leader, Little has decided that perhaps being a member of the losing team would not be an auspicous start to a glittering parliamentary career. He may also be waiting to see how the political dominoes fall before making his move.

Little says he thinks he can continue to contribute to helping the working class which will be news to the working class given the EPMU's lousy track record.

The EPMU bureaucracy is to the right of the Labour Party and has consistently sold out its membership. The EPMU focuses on making deals with employers rather than defending the interests of its members.

Here's how one worker describes the EPMU:

'They don't want to shake the boat, just work with bosses and lobby the government. They go on and on about collaboration with the boss - they call it "partnership", support the Labour Party to the hilt, and don't really give a shit about workers in the EPMU,apart from collecting their dues.

Hardly a glowing reference for Andrew Little, the 'champion' of the working class.


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