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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Hypocrite Gets her Comeuppance

Well well well. It turns out that those who use the law to shut out competition have trouble complying themselves.

A new coffee caravan at Piha Beach has been shut down by the Waitakere City Council because it has no food licence and may need a resource consent.

It was launched at the weekend by camping ground operator Fiona Anderson, who said it would fill a public need, at the north of the beach during the day and at the camping ground down the road after 4pm.

But her move upset supporters of a resource consent bid to build a cafe nearby led by television celebrity Marc Ellis and his surfing mates.

Yesterday, council environmental compliance manager Alan Ahmu said Ms Anderson could not trade without a food licence.

He said a resource consent might be needed for the caravan, which has been dubbed “The Big Wave” because of its shape.

It could be regarded as a stall rather than a mobile shop if it were parked all day on one spot, Mr Ahmu said.

You can also read more here, this woman is a piece of work.

Below: A conveyer Pizza oven in the Big Wave Cafe –  “Piha is well served by licensed outlets, the rest of the Community are happy with what we have and don’t consider themselves too ‘High End’ to meet at the RSA, Surf Club or Bowling Club”
“Why on earth would you go to a ‘High End Cafe’ for a takeaway?  You can get that at The Store or Blairs”
“I request that both WCC & ARC decline this application in full and thank you for your time”

Resource Managment – Yea Right

Imagine this.

You’re trying to open a business.

You’ve spent a 6 figure sum on building up a proposal for a cafe that will benefit the community. But there are objectors. There’s even a group setup to oppose you. One of the foundation members states in their submission:

“a cafe would make Piha less unique, less restful, and bring more traffic and noise”.

Then, you turn around and find that the person behind that statement is starting their own cafe, but not a fixed location with amenities for the community. Rather, they simply have an enormous and ugly caravan from which they will sell coffee and go, freeloading on existing facilities and skirting the law.

Disgraceful, and still no shame whatsoever.

“This is more like the Piha thing: it can go to all the big beach events and be put away. It’s not intrusive, there’s no one pulling in in their cars and no roadside advertising.”

Ms Anderson said she believed Piha did not need a built-in cafe like that proposed by Ellis’ company Preserve Piha.

“And let’s not forget the biggest thing for me is my home and my campers – Marc is a likeable chap but how would you like him opening a business 10m from your bedroom window? Well, I don’t.

Huh. What would you want in your community?


No contest.

I love this comment.

Thanks for doing this Fiona, it not only proves that the appeal of you and your PPH friends to the Environment Court is not only vexatious but hypocritical as well. You actions have surely assisted us in our endeavour to attain a civilized place to meet and eat in Piha. Bring on The Boy’s cafe.

Spotless – No Sympathy from Me

If a company agrees to increase the pay of the workers, it has to fork out. If you can’t pay an increase, you just don’t agree to it in the first place.

It’s unimaginable that Spotless is now backing out of a signed agreement. I’ve never heard of such a thing before, it’s an incredible act of bad faith and it disgusts me.

So I’m with the workers on this one 100%.  If the company employs people, they have to stick to the agreements they sign. So what if their costs are not covered, that’s the problem of Spotless, not the DHB, not the employees. If there’s a problem with the DHB, go to them, but keep the agreements you’ve signed.

Absolutely disgusting. These people deserve to get kicked out of their contracts. Let’s hope they do.

More on Bunnings

Firstly, Andy points out that their quality is crap. If you agree, go to Mitre 10. Most stuff I’ve bought there is ok, so I’ll keep going.

Frog Blog point out a few things.

Bunnings workers, who belong to the National Distribution Union, and their boss have been negotiating now for nearly a year.
Well, clearly Bunnings is doing something right. If
Sue Bradford hosted the workers at the Beehive this afternoon and is calling for a prompt and fair resolution to their dispute that delivers decent kiwi wages that workers and their families can live on.
I wonder if they told her what they thought of her anti-smacking law?
At the meeting she got to hear how Bunnings workers were offered free pizza if they stayed on site during lunchtime rather than attend their union meeting,
Of course what really happened is that the company just put on free pizza. If the union was smart, they’d have changed the meeting time and had both.*
and Auckland workers were granted there first ever mufti day today (so they would not be identifiable as Bunnings workers when they went out to the public during their union meeting).
Or identifiable to customers! There’s a good reason why retailers like Bunnings have uniforms.

On the upside (for the union), people like Mia who enjoy raising trouble at other people’s labour disputes could just slip into the crowd without any hassles…

After their Beehive meeting the workers headed over to the Australian Embassy to pass on their message to Kevin Rudd via his embassy down the road.
More like apply for visas.
Bunnings pays some of its New Zealand workers less than $12 an hour (this will be the minimum wage in April) while the lowest it will pay its Australian workers doing the same job under their new agreement starting later this year is AS$16.85 (NZ$18.19). Many other retail workers in New Zealand, such as those at Woolworths, start on $13.59 per hour.
Which is the real irony – if you have no skills, why would you apply for a job at Bunnings when Woolworths are paying more?

*Yes, I know they couldn’t actually do that.

Don’t Work at Bunnings

NRT has a post entitled “Don’t shop at Bunnings“.

Apparently, I should show my disapproval by not shopping there.

I love his reasoning.

 In Australia, it pays well above the minimum wage – NZ$18.44 / hour, which will increase to NZ$19/hour in July (the Australian minimum wage is A$13.74 or NZ$15.80 / hour). The reason for this difference? In Australia, they stil[sic] have unions, whereas in New Zealand collective bargaining was stifled by National’s Employment Contracts Act.

Given the ECA is ancient history, I suspect that the real reason that Bunnings New Zealand offers such low wages is that there are people who will work for them. If someone offered me those wages in a contract, I’d look at the guy, laugh and walk out the door. The question is, why have their employees not done that?

Since there is not a single person working at Bunnings who is forced to work there, and I strongly suspect that most could quite happily work in Australia if they so wished, I will decline the offer of a boycot and continue to enjoy the low, low prices that Bunnings provides. Maybe next time I’m there I’ll ask someone what he’s paid.

Who knows, maybe he’ll change my mind?

Skirting around the Supermarket Duopoly

I always gape in wonder every time the left open their mouths of monopolies. Here they praise the ability of the open market to provide choice.

Today and tomorrow many thousands of New Zealanders will be visiting their local farmers markets around the country, neatly skirting around New Zealand’s supermarket duopoly, and trading directly with the people who grow their food.

Cameron says farmers’ markets are giving people more control over the food they eat:

Supermarkets threaten to engulf other forms of retailing by combining the scale of the market with the convenience of the shop, but in recent years there has been a quiet counter-revolution. One of the driving forces is the increasing demand for better food and information about that food, by increasingly discerning consumers.

Huh. I guess in this case giving people discretion is ok. I’d have thought they’d want to ban “Reasonable Choice” when it comes to food, since they seem to think food supply is so critical.

What about public food supply – isn’t the private system only providing profits for greedy farmers? How many people are loosing their jobs at the wholesale and retail level when farmers sell directly? Are those farmers properly trained in food safety? Have they certified their food as organic/GE free? Are they undermining the ability of peanut farmers in Zimzanea to make a profit?

I’m not sure that I will ever understand the left – the Greens are here promoting something when they are the only party in parliament that would ever support legislation banning it!

The Rules Change When You Cross the Border

It’s amazing to me just how many people don’t understand simple facts about life – like foreign roaming costs.

Upper Hutt mum Natalie Reid is warning parents to be careful about guaranteeing the payment of their children’s mobile phone bills without making sure they know the costs involved, after she was billed $2296 for text messages sent by her 14-year-old daughter.

Ms Reid agreed to link her Telecom home phone account to her daughter’s mobile while her daughter was visiting her father in Melbourne.

She says neither she nor her daughter was told texts sent in Australia would not qualify for “$10 Text” and would be charged at 80 cents each.

“I assumed this would mean I would pay $10 or $20 a month. Telecom definitely did not tell me it would be 80c a text. That is not something I would forget or agree to.”

Without actually having checked one today, I’m quite certain that all $10 text ads say exactly that – this applies only to NZ to NZ texts.

If in doubt, double check. I assume anything on my mobile is going to cost me an arm and a leg unless someone tells me otherwise. It’s not like the telcos are making buckets of money from landlines is it?

Gutherie Bowron – 35% off from now on!

35percentoff.jpgGutherie Bowron must be closing down. Well, if they weren’t before, they are now (and before they do, they need to kick the idiot who approved this very, very hard).

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s no date expiry on this add. That means that anyone with a copy of this add can walk into the shop for evermore and demand their 35% off Colour Your World paint, or wallpaper for ever. That’s a great way to get long term customers, but not a good recipe for long term profitability.

I guess their best idea would be to run some sort of rolling specials system, where everything is always on some sort of special.

I’d give an even chance we haven’t heard the last of this one.

PM up in arms over… ???

The Prime Minister is targeting wastage of taxpayers money.

The Independent obtained Paris hotel records that it said showed up to 39 people in the official tour party.

“They can’t be all physiotherapists, can they?” Clark said.

The trip had cost taxpayers, she said.

“Clearly, if it was sponsored by Air New Zealand, that is in effect free seats or subsidised seats that come off the bottom line,” she said.

“It is something that should now be formally referred to the Speaker for consideration as to whether Parliament should take a view on this.”

She questioned why Air New Zealand sponsored the team but without making the sponsorship widely known, “especially when they won the cup”.

When the PM starts picking hairs like this, when she keeps corrupt MPs on staff for months, and covers for ministers for weeks, you know something is up.

In this case, it could not be more transparent. Air New Zealand is a publicly listed company. It’s money is it’s own, not the sole property of the largest shareholder. It can make it’s own decisions as to what to do with it’s sponsorship budget, and it can decide how much it publicises it.

It may surprise the socialist PM that not everything a company does is for profit. Not that she would ever believe that.

Reality is, the PM wants to kick up a fuss here and has found a small molehill that she thinks she can talk into a mountain. I’ve a few guesses as to what her purposes are here, but who cares. She’s up to no good, what else is new?

Government Messing in Business

Looking at the business pages, I realised just now that all three top stories are to do with companies the government has screwed with, most quite recent.

  1. Auckland Airport – the government put the skids on the buyout deal.
  2. Telecom – Gattung left because the government suddenly decided to unbundled the local loop, knocking billions off the value, and Mum and Dad investors’ portfolios.
  3. Air New Zealand – where does one start!

Not a good look.

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