The Eye of the Fish

Maximus
February 13, 2009

Stimulus package

Much as we’ve always enjoyed a good stimulus package up here at Eye of the Fish world headquarters (beaming at you tonight from way up on the Majestic Tower because, to be frank, we’re sick of all that cloud down there at ground level): we’re left a little unstimulated by the whip of our new master. He’s cracking, but I don’t hear no jumping. 

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Yes, today (well, actually, yesterday, today, most probably tomorrow too, and a fair bit of next week etc) Prime Minister Key unveiled the long-awaited stimulus package, featuring projects “vital to the construction industry”. Well yes, but no, but yes, but no…..

These are projects that have been sitting in line from Labour government times, about to be kicked off anyway, and just brought forward and announced with a whole lot of hooplah and just as much borrowed money as normal. I guess I was hoping for some new and exciting ideas, not just stealing someone else’s slightly stale lunch.

I mean, I was searching for something surprising, and exciting, like building a new Te Papa to replace the existing one, because let’s face it: the current one’s crap. Or if we can’t afford a whole new one, what about just ripping that awful brown facade off and replacing it with some whizzy computer screens and images of fractured glass?

Hold on, wait, that’s the National Library’s idea. Bother. Well, they won’t need it now – they’ve got unstable soil conditions. Right, good place to build a book depository then…  

So what stimulus have we got for Wellington? Well not much of course, because Key’s an Aucklander, and because, let’s face it, this recession thing hasn’t really landed full time down here just yet (still, you’re making your own lunch now, aren’t you? hmmm? thought so – you know it’ll drive that little corner shop out of business though, don’t you? better go back there and buy some chocolate. Just the one, mind, don’t want you getting addicted now, do we?).

Where was I? How to save the world! How? Like this?

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Hmmm, duped again. No, that just won’t work.

So: Wellington upgrades: No new schools (they go to Auckland, Northland, Tauranga), but upgrades to 4 Upper Hutt colleges. Yay!

No new roads for Wellington. They go to:

Kopu – much needed (planned to start this year anyway, just 20 years too late / behind hand already, so the bridge design is boring),

Christchurch Motorway (like they need more boy racers down there?),

Hawkes Bay Expressway (can’t be called a motorway, because the locals still drive at 60kph and stop and buy fruit), and hooray: getting rid of Muldoon’s Corner on Rimutaka Hill. No, I have no idea which particularly ugly little wriggle that corner is either, except that I do find it vaguely amusing that one of Key’s first key actions is to get rid of any last remnants of Muldoon. And – what’s that? Transmission Gully you say? You were joking weren’t you? You weren’t?!? You were really holding your breath, waiting for a billion dollars worth of roading for Wellington to appear out of a half billion dollars worth total for the whole of New Zealand, with a government very focussed on electro-shock therapy to Auckland’s lardy arse? I don’t think so. Actually, doesn’t matter what I think, of course: the Minister for Infrastructure, Steven Joyce says: “Don’t hold your breath.”

But what else do we get in Wellington? Well, good news at last for state house dwellers – the much awaited Green party / Labour party insulation proposal has been re-released under a Blue banner. We’re not quibbling – the main thing is that it is done. Good news anyway to tenant David Ormsby of Cannons Creek, who says “mould grew when it rained, covering the walls of the bedrooms, bathrooms and toilets.” Yuk. Although it sounds like they might just need some new Vim, or Bam, or Jiffy, or some such cleaning product applied a little more often perhaps – the main thing they need along with the insulation is to fix the spouting and get a decent extractor fan! And not one vented back into the ceiling! Outside! Away, out, Out, Damned Spot! Out I say!

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Sorry, got carried away with the housework. Where was I? Oh yes, Wellington’s stimulus package. No, hold on, that’s it. What? All of it?! Not quite: of the 69 new state houses, the Wellington region will get 5 new state houses to be built. Well that’s alright then. That’ll save all the construction industry in Wellington from going down the tubes then. 5 houses. In total. And the design is probably already done. So that’s 2 chippies and a plumber saved, for a year or so.

Bravo!  Carry on!   Business as usual! Mind the deck-chairs as we go down! Never mind the life boats – we’ll carry on singing!

Crikey! Speaking of singing – the Wellingtonista has done the unthinkable – not mentioned the war, no, but mentioned something else instead! You can’t say that! Heavens! You can’t be rude to the boofheads! Goodness! So they sing loudly, drink badly, puke on your doorstep and their mother dresses them funny. But they bring money to the city! And spend it on hookers! And then steal it back again! Oh, the saga goes on…  

Anyway, time to wrap it up for today. If you’re into a competition to save the world, and like urban planning, then check out this site over here. Go on: you know you’ll like it.