Horowhenua Mail : December 22nd 2011
2 THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2011 Graeme Wright & Associates Ltd CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS Specialising in: * Accountancy Services * Taxation * Trusts * Business Advisory Services * Management Accounting "LINDALE" MAIN ROAD NORTH PARAPARAUMU Tel: 04 297 1536 Fax: 04 298 3227 2606613AA 3568310AM • Carpet • Tiles • Wood • Vinyl STORE TO DOOR SERVICE Free Measure and Quote Showroom at: 1-3 Parata Street, Waikanae Phone 04 293 4133 Need New Dentures? Sooner Rather Than Later Shelby Dentures Levin Phone (06) 367 8211 Cnr Omahi Street & Kapanui Road Waikanae Email: firstname.lastname@example.org "Our family caring for your family" Telephone (04) 293 6844 Loris & Graeme Rolston & Lloyd Dacombe Funeral Home Ltd CELTICSTAR Tarot & Rune Readings Live. Find out what the future holds Ph 0900 50 800 18 years or over. Calls cost $2.98+GST per min. Law States Entertainment only. Time: 9.00am - 9.00pm Not Tues & Thur Evening Phone: (04) 297-0967 TW105636 SEPTIC TANK SERVICING Craftsmen Plumbers -- Registered Drainlayers 0800 TANK PUMP 06 362 7464 24hoursaday--7daysaweek Drainage, Grease Traps & Trade Waste We are your Septic Tank Cleaning Experts 4104544AB Elephants top the list Mya Brown, 3, graces our first Summer Scene front page this season, pictured telling Santa her Christmas wishes. The man in red will be busy on Christmas Eve if he grants all the wishes of Kapiti children. Forget toy trucks, Barbie dolls and Xbox games, this year s present list includes elephants and helicopters. The Kapiti Observer spoke to a handful of children hanging out at Santa s workshop in Coastlands about what they hope to find under the Christmas tree. Joshua Eastwood, 3, said he would like a motorbike but his grandmother Judy Eastwood said Joshua was an optimistic child . Mya Brown is hoping to unwrap both an elephant and a telephone on Christmas Day. Not to be outdone, Ayla and Dylan Robson have also set the bar high for Santa and his helpers. Four-year old Ayla said she wants a princess, while her brother, 3, wants a helicopter. Ayla asked Dylan if he would really like two helicopters, to which Dylan replied, no, just one. The team at the Kapiti Observer and Horowhenua Mail wish all our readers, con- tributors and advertisers a very Merry Christmas. A year of earthquakes and World Cup wins Reporter Joel Maxwell looks back at key moments in 2011 and rediscovers a year unmatched in recent times for drama and sheer intensity. Tower down: The remains of Christchurch Cathedral tower after February's earthquake. Photo: FAIRFAX NZ The earthquake February s earthquake, for most in the Wellington region anyway, was a story that played out at a slow, awful, endless pace. Regular news of aftershocks following the September 2010 non-lethal quake had numbed most in New Zealand to coverage of shakes in Canterbury. So on February 22, after 12.51pm, when the very first stories told of a significant aftershock, many took it as just another quake story. If the response to the initial news was delayed, it wasn t helped by the fact that Christchurch media were them- selves scrambling to survive the initial shake before even getting round to cover- ing it. For many the first inkling of the quake s gravity came from texts, tweets, smartphone video that told of something much worse than September. Christ- church and its surrounds would not escape without deaths this time. In the end the 6.3 quake, centred near Lyttleton, claimed 181 lives and left swathes of the city damaged beyond repair. Many of the deaths happened in a handful of devastated commercial prem- ises like the Canterbury Television build- ing and Pyne Gould Corporation building. The cost has been estimated at between $20 billion and $30 billion, and its economic impact is still being dis- covered as New Zealand inches forward on rebuilding the city. The economic slump If the horror of the Christchurch quake was not immediately visible to the rest of the country, then the ongoing story of the global economic slump and its effects in New Zealand were even more agonisingly slow. The never-ending Euro zone soap opera with political decisions from indebted nations like Greece setting off financial panic, and a sluggish US economic per- formance, mean there is no single refer- ence date for this story. There is just a year-long malaise that includes New Zealand s double credit-rating agency downgrade -- in September -- and con- stant stories of the real estate industry recovering then backsliding. In Novem- ber, property sales were up nationwide but still tens of thousands behind on sales for the same time in 2007. Youth unemployment rates remained locked in the 20 per cents throughout the year. The trigger for the global slump might be found in the US subprime mortgage disaster: a glut of bad loans, bundled up and sold to unsuspecting investors; and simply too much spending using borrowed money. But that played out sev- eral years ago. No genuine recovery has happened and this year New Zealand felt the chill of constant economic uncertainty. The Rugby World Cup On October 23 the All Blacks won the Rugby World Cup. The victory against France at Eden Park halted a decades- long run of disappointments for fans and players since the last Cup victory in 1987. It also capped off the All Black coaching career of Graham Henry who had kept his job after his team was strangled out of the 07 Cup -- losing to France in the quarter finals. In the end, this year s win might have vindicated his reselection. After six years of Henry, the All Blacks beat a dismal, unsettled French side by a single point, 8-7, with the result hinging on a penalty kick from one of the most disliked first-five in New Zealand, Stephen Donald. Donald was the fourth-in-line for the job after star Dan Carter was injured out of the tournament. Carter s replacement was Colin Slade -- a questionable squad selection by Henry, stuck with a player who looked out of his depth in the tourna- ment. Then Slade was injured and himself replaced by Aaron Cruden -- who after missing Cup selection had played scintil- lating rugby for Manawatu. Cruden proved to be an excellent enforced selection for the All Blacks and the youngster also looked a promising eventual replacement for Carter. Then, in the final, Cruden was injured out of the game. Number four, Donald ran on and slot- ted the kick, sealing the match for the All Blacks. The victory like the tournament itself gave many New Zealanders a holiday from the gloom of the economic downturn, and the Christchurch quake. The election New Zealand s general election was a quick affair in 2011. Campaigning was squeezed between the end of the Rugby World Cup on October 23, and election day on November 26. The result was many things: an emphatic win for National and John Key, though not necessarily in that order; a crushing defeat for Phil Goff and Labour, probably in that order; and a very narrow loss for the Left in general. New Zealand s first celebrity PM, Key nearly carried his party to an outright majority under the MMP system, finishing with 59 seats in the 121-seat Parliament. He struck deals with ACT, United Future and the Maori Party to ensure a National Government for the next term. Goff was the Anti-Key. Despite appear- ing to be a decent, hardworking and knowledgeable politician, his leadership was so toxic it split the Left vote: pushing voters towards the Greens, who ended up with 14 seats. Goff s lack of appeal should have been no surprise to Labour -- but they must be ruing the lost opportunity to roll Key. The final results of the election showed the bones of a coalition of Left and centre parties ranging from NZ First to the Greens and Mana, that could have formed a -- fragile, admittedly -- govern- ment. Instead on December 14, Key was sworn in as PM, and David Shearer was enjoying his first day as new Labour leader after beating David Cunliffe for the job.
December 15th 2011
December 29th 2011