Hospitals and the NZ Super Fund

This week I’ve been visiting the Critical Care Unit at the hospital again. Today, one person was dying. He had pulmonary fibrosis and was at the top of the waiting list for a lung transplant. He picked up a lung infection before he got the transplant. About 10 people were standing around his bed, waiting for him to die, including the doctor, and a dog came in to see him. I wanted to cry, and I didn't even know him- but I've talked with his daughter and his wife.

 So it’s with relief that I am moving on to a more frivolous subject- even though I would not normally deem it to be frivolous- and that is the New Zealand Super Fund and the fact that the government is now resuming contributions. In fact, NZD 500 million will be paid tomorrow.

 Here is the press release.

 The Board of the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, the manager of the NZ Super Fund, has welcomed the resumption of Government contributions to the $37 billion Fund.

The Government plans to put $7.7 billion into the NZ Super Fund between now and June 2022, with the first payment to be made on Friday, 15 December.

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Jared Kushner comes under the spotlight

There are two magazines, the November issue of Vanity Fair and the Fall issue of Columbia Journalism Review, which have articles about Jared Kushner, the US President's Trump favourite son-in-law. Actually, the title of the latter publication is entitled "The Trump Issue, Takeover, The Year that changed journalism" and contains a series of enlightening articles about how journalism has changed in the Trump era.

In one article, written by a former editor of the New York Observer, Kyle Pope, he talks about how his relationship with Kushner unravelled and how the Observer ended up a shadow of its former self, with an on-line edition only. He maintains that Kushner knew nothing about world affairs, and had never read the Observer before he bought it for $10 million in 2006. He writes: "..his interest in turning the business side of the Observer around seemed rooted more in bragging rights than in any commitment to the paper itself. He also made it clear that, compared to this day job of buying and selling real estate in New York City, this journalism stuff wasn't exactly heavy lifting; he treated it as sort of a hobby."

He also writes: "Other former editors of the paper have weighed in with their own stories about Kushner's attempts to use the paper to settle scores or reward cronies.." https://www.cjr.org/

Jared Kushner's life is explored further in the November issue of Vanity Fair (https://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/november2017) in an article that talks about his powerful father going to prison and that, as a consequence, he was given the keys to the family real-estate kingdom, at the age of 24. The fact that Charlie Kushner had disgraced the family and lost status meant that Jared was trying to acquire it. The purchase of the Observer was one way of doing this; the other way was the purchase of a 41-story office tower on Fifth Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Streets in Manhattan. The building was purchased in January 2007 for the huge sum of $1.2 billion, the plan being that the rents would cover the mortgage payments. They didn't. The tower is still 30% vacant.

As the author, Rich Cohen, writes: "Jared Kushner's life can be seen as a lark, an inheritance, a goof. Or it can be seen more grandly as an attempt to get back what was lost..."

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How you can detect a fake from the real thing?

The world is full of terrible natural disasters, especially earthquakes and hurricanes. (Being based in New Zealand, we know all about earthquakes). So it’s a change to be discussing something frivolous such as handbags and shoes, even if they are fake.

 Living, and shopping in Dubai, it’s assumed that nearly everything you buy is fake. Handbags, though, were more readily available before, than now. Maybe that’s because of two reasons: the authorities have cracked down on fake items, imposing some hefty fines if sellers are caught; and more goods are put on social media. (Movements are afoot to impose fines on buyers too).

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Can you avoid being scammed?

 Nowadays there are so many scams and it seems some are difficult to avoid. I have been a victim of an e-commerce con, which has gone on for about three years now. Clearly, I’m not the only one as Forbes magazine has outlined (see below). Unfortunately, it was not until I had parted with my money – twice- one for an upgrade, that I finally realised I had been scammed. Duhhh..

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The Anti-Cairo

I came across this article today and it fascinated me. What? Building another city to rival Cairo?  How is this possible? What is the government up to? I had so many questions and didn't really understand what's happening. Maybe you will too. Here is the article

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Trust and warmth matter most

It's interesting that trust and warmth matter more than competence when people first meet you. What does that mean for you?
A Harvard psychologist says people judge you based on 2 criteria when they first meet you
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Walking the Kepler Track

It's been a week since I last posted on here. Since then I've been on a 60km hike from Te Anau and back again. It's a hike known as the Kepler Track http://www.doc.govt.nz/keplertrack, one of New Zealand's Great Walks. It is a great way to get away from it all, without going on a retreat. No internet, no cellphones-  only freez dri food and lots of walking, with a full pack. 

For me, since my great grandfather was an early explorer around Lake Manapouri and I was born in that part of the world and spent my early years there, the information I found out was even more impactful. Here are some photos.

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