Monday, December 21, 2009

Ennui Zealand

Mr Key says that, from an overall perspective, the talks fell well short of the hopes and aspirations that people went there with - but New Zealand's negotiators were seeking changes to forestry rules, and good progress was made in that regard.
"We want to have the rules altered that would allow us to harvest forests that are pre-1990 and replant them in other parts of the country," Mr Key says. "We'd also want to have the position where we can lock up emissions where wood is harvested but used for the production of furniture and the like."
Oh well, it could have been worse: the Copenhagen talks failed to produce a Carly Binding result, but at least we made some progress on escaping our obligations. It is just me, or is that nice Mr Key quite parochial?

No, it is not just me. Look at what Mr Key has lined up for the visit of the Prince William: a harbour cruise on a yacht, some rugger, a barbecue. In short, Virginia is for lovers; New Zealand is for dullards. In return the Prince William gets to open our new Supreme Court building. The establishment of our own final court of appeal is almost our final release from colonial bonds, so giving the job of opening the building to the future King of New Zealand is both singularly tasteless and utterly appropriate for Mr Key's vision of a New Zealand society of the spectacle.

It is to be hoped that the Prince will be provided with a ridiculous uniform and a pith helmet, of the kind that Lord Mountbatten wore when he declared India open for business or Chris Patten wore for the handover of Hong Kong to tyranny. The Prince William (whom nobody any longer describes as having his mother's alleged beauty, now that the genetic traits of his Saxe-Coburg-Gotha ancestry are making themselves apparent) will fix the locals with his empty eyes and say something vapid. He will then go to Australia. It is to be noted that the Prince wanted to go there, but is coming here at the request of our Government, which really wanted HMQ to do the job.

It is all rather sad. The next-but-one to the faded throne comes here because his granny told him to do the job. Nobody in Buckingham Palace, St James's Palace or Clarence House would have had so much as a thought about New Zealand, were it not for our Minister for Tourism, who doubles as Prime Minister in the same way that the cashier at a provincial cinema will also be the projectionist and the usherette. For reasons of his own, our over-friendly concierge thinks that having a Royal Visit would be a grand thing, in fact so grand that it is worth both Facebook and Bebo pages.

Incidentally, what is it with Mr Key and Bebo? Does he not know that if you are over 15, male and have a Bebo account, you fit a profile, that you are probably the sort of person whom the Sensible Sentencing Trust would like to have castrated?

Anyway, that is about it for New Zealand this year. We will be closing down for the Summer, just as we always do. Not much happens here at the best of times - that is why we live here; but in the Summer months, news stories are inconsequential and just tail off without any real ending or even proper punctuation


Samuel said...


Odd that you should have chosen that particular building as your image of choice - I look out at it from my window every single day. Always thought it was quite impressive; haven't really had the time to delve into its history (which I'm guessing is pretty chequered).

Paul said...

It is the Fay Richwhite building, by Peddle Thorp and Aitken; 1984-1988. If you want an icon of the 80s boom, that is it. I was looking at it yesterday and thinking that, to Auckland back in the day, it must have been like the arrival of an alien spaceship. It is rather lovely, though.

Uroskin said...

I bought a pith helmet in an antiques shop to wear when reading "Jewel in the Crown". I shall have to unearth it to greet HRH.

Sanctuary said...

We will hvae to pat ways on the building; I think it looks like an upmarket 1980's cigarette lighter.

Peter in Dundee said...

So does Mr Key have a means of powering the tools used to make furniture in a carbon neutral way? or are we supposed to go back to making stuff entirely with hand tools? Two guys with a pit saw cutting up the logs, a water wheel to drive the saw to reduce them further, then hand planing them, hand cutting them, hand sanding etc, etc? There is more to making furniture than wood.

I have hand planed roughsawn timber both smooth and square (too poor to own a planer/thicknesser) and it is bloody hard yacker. I recall I pulled the insertion of my right biceps doing it.

Anonymous said...

You may be interested to know that Key's office is running an under the radar social media campaign for the visit including a facebook page supporting the visit.

As I understand it there will also be a BBQ event featuring the prince, Mr Key and a few select all blacks. Mr Key will cook the sausages and thus demonstrate how he is at once down with the all blacks, royalty and ordinary hard-working New Zealanders.

I kid you not.

Anonymous said...

Talking of ignored news stories...