Sunday, April 8, 2012

Payback for a miserable summer

It might be something of a payback from the miserable November, December, January, February and early March that we endured, but you would have to say the last month has been incredible weather.

Top of the list in value was a few days spent in the far south visiting Queenstown, Gore, Mataura, Invercargill and driving back through Central via Raes Junction.

Not a drop of rain to be felt, temperatures warm and Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu at their colourful best.

And then returning to the north, the welcome blast of humidity embraces you like a familiar blanket as you walk out of the airport.

But a few days in Mount Maunganui was just as pleasant although disappointing to see specks of oil still obvious on the beach from the wreck of the Rena on Astrolab Reef.

Here's hoping the Indian summer lingers a little longer.

The Great Kiwi rip-off

Another holiday period of the great New Zealand rip-off has been completed.

Yes, the now all-embracing holiday surcharge at cafes and restaurants throughout the land.

What a miserable tax on the general public the surcharges have become.

They are a cop out on the part of owners and it is well worth hunting out establishments who refuse to jump on the gravy train (pun deliberate). There are plenty of them out there and they are deserving of support.

Costs involved in trading on public holidays should be built into charges made during the rest of the year and any half-decent employer should ponder that when claiming staff on the job on public holidays need to be paid. Of course, they do, but those charges should be built into year-round trading instead of being foisted on the long-suffering Kiwi public.

A few cents spread over the year soon builds up.

The other option for these traders is not to trade on public holidays at all. They can't have it both ways.

As it stands the surcharge is a complete consumer rip-off and the sooner the greedies are targeted the better.