Tuesday, June 30, 2015

China Airlines Back Next Summer

China Airlines' first commercial flight into Christchurch, Dec.2014
Taiwan's leading airline, China Airlines, says its first season of flying into Christchurch was so successful, it will expand the service by nearly 50% for the entire upcoming summer.
The airline says the increased services - and thousands more seats - are a direct result of a successful three-month service operated last Dec.2014, Jan.and Feb.2015.
China Airlines NZ Branch General Manager, Shirley Yang: "Our inaugural service last summer was a huge success. The Taipei-Sydney-Christchurch service was our most successful sector on our global network at that time, so it was an easy decision to expand the service next summer."
The service will operate three times a week from Taipei-SYD-CHC, and return the same way.
Estimates put the value of the Taiwanese visitors carried last summer by China Airlines at $15m+, so the increased service is great news for the regional economies of the South Island.
Christchurch International Airport has seen passenger numbers over the recent summer months grow well above the national averages. Statistics show more than 70% of the passengers on the China Airlines service are from North Asian markets, or further afield, highlighting the significant interest in the South Island from long-haul markets.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Could They Somehow Be Related #7? - NZ Taxpayers House The Boys

Gerard and Alex: do these lads have anything in common???
NZ taxpayers have shelled out almost $11 million on a luxury NY apartment for Our Man at the UN!!
Da Man is Gerard van Bohemen (previously dep.secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade - yeup, one of McCully's Mob), appointed NZ's permanent rep at the United Nations. And hey, when the job includes this pad, wouldn't YOU wanna be there permanently TOO??!!!
The NZ$10.9 million/US$7.9 million pied-a-terre in Manhattan was signed-off by our ineffectual Foreign Munster 'Womble' McCully, who justified his decision by claiming the new property's cost will be offset by the sale of the old residence...and anyway the new property would be a working space as well as a residence. Riiiiight!!
Opposition foreign affairs spokesman David Shearer calls the purchase outrageous: "Two years ago McCully gutted the best staff out of the ministry and now he's using that money to splash out on a flash NY pad." Green Party spokesman Kennedy Graham: "This is just another case of wasteful spending by a ministry already under fire for its use of the public purse."
Which lad gets which room? No fighting now -
they BOTH have working space AND accomodation!
...meanwhile, another hi-flyer is being housed by the taxpayer.
This week, 'Heart of the City' founder Alex Swney was sentenced to 5 years 7 months in jail. The disgraced former Auckland boss stole millions of dollars from the business group...because he felt he was not paid enough.
Ha, maybe he should have chosen a career in the Diplo Service!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Sea Shepherd Begins Faroes Action

"Vell done, Lars! Brigetta vill be pleased!"
Conservation group Sea Shepherd has dispatched a vessel from Bremen in Germany to the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic to campaign against it's traditional whale hunt.
The vessel Sam Simon will try to prevent hunters from killing pilot whales. The ship is expected to arrive in the island archipelago today (...meanwhile the annual slaughter of the whales began on 07 June).
A SS spokesman says: "Denmark allows the Faroe Islands to continue the barbaric practice of the grindadrap, despite being a signatory to the Bern Convention, which outlaws the slaughter of cetaceans."
Readers of this blog will know that, during the annual whale hunt, the 3-6m pilot whales are driven by a flotilla of small boats into a bay or the mouth of a fjord before being hacked to death with hooks and knives - a "grind" that many locals defend as a cultural right.
The whale meat and blubber are consumed by locals and considered
Don't ya just DIG that blood lust!
Sam Simon crew will join fellow SS members on a fast-interceptor vessel donated by the Brigitte Bardot Foundation (an animal rights group founded by the former French actress) which arrived in Faroese waters last Wednesday. Another ship Bob Barker will join them shortly.
The SS campaign will run until 01 October. The timing of the killing depends on when the cetaceans are spotted offshore, and SS activists have intervened in the Faroes several times in the past.