News Worthy - 21 July 2006
21 July 2006 - No. 80
The alleged love affair with trains in Auckland
The year-end train patronage figures just released by Auckland's transport agency, the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA)show that train patronage growth in Auckland has been climbing significantly since October 2005 and recent figures show a further increase in growth.
For the financial year ending 30 June 2006 there were over five million passenger journeys recorded on the region's rail network. This compares to 3.8 million for the equivalent period last year a 32.5 per cent increase. Of these journeys, 1.91 million were made on western line services (compared to 1.35 million last year) and 3.12 million passenger journeys on the southern and eastern lines (2.45 million last year)."
Annual patronage is calculated by ARTA from ticket sales.
The ARC has quadrupled its public transport spend over the last five years from $35.7 million in 2001/02 to $145 million for 2006/07.
Justices of the Peace - should they be paid?
The Justices of the Peace Amendment Bill was referred to a Select Committee for public submissions following its first reading this week. The Bill makes a number of significant changes but it does not deal with the vexed question as to whether those justices who sit in court should be paid.
A clear distinction needs to be drawn between ministerial and judicial justices. Ministerial Justices unquestionably perform a voluntary community service and will always continue to do so. Judicial justices are obliged to perform a service to professional standards (within their jurisdiction) equal to a District Court Judge.
The issue is whether those who sit in the courts should receive a daily sitting fee. There are many precedents for lay people undertaking judicial functions to receive such payments.
The illustrations include Disputes Tribunal referees, members of the Land Valuation Tribunal, Tenancy Tribunal Adjudicators etc. The going rates range from $400-$460 each day within ranges prescribed by the Cabinet Fees Framework.
The 11 Rules of Life
The following rules were said to have come from a speech by Bill Gates to high school students. In truth they were taken from the book "Dumbing Down our Kids" by educator Charles Sykes who believes that feel-good, politically correct teachings have created a generation of children with no concept of reality.
Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!
Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3: You will not make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.
Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.
Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.
Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.
Rule 10: Television is not real life. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.
Political Quote of the Week
"No one has a finer command of language than the person who keeps his mouth shut."-- Sam Rayburn - US Speaker of HOR
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