News that a Hamilton woman was successfully prosecuted for animal cruelty, specially delighted me. Why? Because the victims were gold fish in a tank which she apparently murdered while throwing a tantrum.

Our relationship with animals is full of awkward inconsistencies. But one thing’s evident and that is our irrational differing responses are based singularly on size. Elephants and whales are admired and protected. Fish and insects evidently don’t count. Sizeism is the illogical determination.


There’s no doubt God loves me as evidenced by the results of a recent body scan at a Harley Street specialist’s premises, this an appointment made unasked by an English mate worried about me.

The reason I was there were terrible pains in my right upper chest which as it turned out, my Sydney‑based ex‑wife, still very much part of my family who was with us, correctly forecast were gall stones, not life‑threatening and easily fixed.

But she almost dropped dead with shock, when running over the survey the specialist reported my liver was in first rate condition. So after half a century of a daily two bottles of red and a recent years hammering from all and sundry about the probable state of my liver, leading to an unpleasant moderation period, normal consumption has now been resumed.

On that topic the ex’ made an interesting observation to me in Sydney a month back.

“You must have the most unusual office in the world,” she remarked, referring to our Wellington headquarters. I should point out that she regularly comes over to stay and when here, always pops into the office to say hello to everyone while I only go in occasionally to get my typing done.

“You mean the artwork and lavishness,” I responded.

“Well yes, that’s special but it’s not that,” and she went on to say how weird she finds it to say turn up in early afternoon, greet the receptionist and go from office to office and literally everyone including the receptionist are beavering away with a glass of red in hand and an open bottle beside them.

“What, everyone?” I asked surprised.

“No, no, but quite often,” she replied.

I was delighted to hear this as while it’s contrary to received thinking I genuinely believe it’s a huge factor vis a vis our results. I reminded her that our principal bank claims we’re the most efficient company of any on their books in New Zealand.

So the anti‑alcohol prudes can stick that in their pipe and smoke it, indeed on that note my lungs also passed with flying colours, doubtless God’s influence again considering my 65 years of smoking.

So why is God favouring me in this fashion? That’s easily answered. For half a century, at every opportunity, I’ve ridiculed religion. In response I’ve literally received hundreds of letters from the faithful, saying they’re praying for me. Plainly it’s worked.



On my! Winston Peters must have rued the day he distastefully Trump‑like, publicly gloated at the death rattles of TV3. For what a brilliant serve he copped from the talented Sunday Times, editor Tracey Watkins.

Acknowledging the collapse of traditional media under the free electronic assault in which Tracy wrote, “fake news flourishes, power is unchecked and creditable, trustworthy news sources no longer exist; a world in which those who wish to abuse their power and position can do so with impunity,” she used Winston as an example.


We’re being hammered in the media about the lack of business confidence in New Zealand. While there’s no doubt conventional retailing is tough, thanks to increasing internet sales, that’s only one segment of the economy, albeit a sizeable low wage sector.

My company is the country’s largest provider of prime CBD location quality office suites, with nigh on 900 tenancies in Auckland and Wellington. Over the past half century experience has taught us we’re an accurate barometer vis a vis demand, as to business confidence. Well frankly, we’ve never had it so good, our chaps daily turning down office space seekers. Rental rates are surging, yet another pointer to business confidence.


In London a week back I contemplated visiting the National Gallery’s, five years in the planning, Gauguin exhibition. There was an underlying sentimental reason behind that, namely the first painting I ever bought, at the age of 17, was a Gauguin print. A decade later I bowled into the Louvre and there was the original which was not nearly as nice as my print.

In the event, caught up in an all-day lunch with an old mate, I didn’t go and thank God for that as I’d have doubtless made a scene and bawled the clowns out for their ignorance.