Blog 024 Missing Home

By Mana Williams. 5 Minutes

It’s true, I’m missing home. The epic feasts put on every Sunday, the coinless washing machines at home, the 8:30 pm movie nights, The Chase playing after work, Dad yelling at the dog to get out of the kitchen. This blog is in regards to shifting away from home and the adjustment of going into flat life.

Moving away from home is easy, some say. The daily phone calls from mum to check in and make sure you haven’t burnt the house down, the really persistent friends that Facebook message every day to have a cheeky catch-up session. Significant reminders that you are cared about. Pulling away at your home strings in some weird way.

As much as I enjoy resisting the urge to say that I miss home, blood is thicker than ego. There is an expectation that I remain in close contact with my parents, mum, in particular. From experience, it is seldom I am able to accomplish anything without my mum first putting in place measures to ensure that I don’t fall flat on my face. Perhaps with age and experience comes wisdom and independence.

The attachment you have with your family or your friends every time they call is like a small kick to the guts, usually hits when somebody says “okay, I’ll talk to you later, bye.” Generally, people have this urge not to enjoy ending conversations and only when they reach the goodbye section do they start to regret not saying what they really wanted to say.

So what do I do?

Looking forward positively, harden up, doesn’t quite cut it. We need other alternatives to address the gap. One of those things for me is blogging. It lets me express something that’s going on. A more potent way of dealing with family isolation is making compromises and socializing with people you are having differences with.  Flatmates, in particular, will have a huge impact on your daily life so it would be crazy not to show some connection with them and gradually build them up so that they can support you, even if that means compromising a little bit. It’s the first stage of building a solid foundation that counts. Make time for others and slowly building a new home.

This is today’s food for thought.
Thanks for checking in.

Day 023! TV Today?

By Mana Williams. 5-7 Minutes 

Plagued by unimaginative closed sourced business enterprises like Sky Television and Freeview, what does the future hold for Television? This blog chats about the progressive evolution of the TV and where it has come to and also the problems television is causing our generation today.

Sky television is a significantly stagnant business, unchanged by modern advancements, we are living in 2017 with television that is from ten years ago. Channels we can not access without outrageous prices, like sky box office on demand, and it all seems nonsensical to even think that it all still exists! Lest we forget about My Sky which allowed us to record shows. Remember the novelty of the first time you were able to pause and rewind a show if you needed to go to the toilet, or if there was someone at the door? It was like we earned the right to be able to do that when videos have always allowed us to do so.

Let’s talk quickly about the video world. We have gone through video tapes. The VCR situation where you would have to rewind for hours on end to get back to the beginning of the video. But it was immersive, people would have the ability to control their user experience. The expansion from this came in the form of DVD’s which were condensed disks of glass that would reflect light as an image and be projected onto a screen. This allowed us to quickly skip to any part of the film within seconds, improving our user interface. Post-current we see media sites online such as Netflix, Putlocker, Lightbox, 123 Movies, all assuming the roles of the DVD. The result from this is that we have the ability to skip across to different movies and watch different episodes all from our laptop. Once again media is made easier to digest and the user’s interface made more simple. Today we have the likes of Chromecast and Apple TV giving us uninterrupted access to use our online media sites like Netflix and Youtube whilst connected from our laptops to our Televisions.

It’s this last step that makes it all interesting because we are faced with a generation who has progressively stopped watching normal television. The exorbitant prices set out by companies such as Sky Television make the network unreachable. Needless to say, that Sky has a lack of new shows or new movies. Not to mention the poor user interface allowing people to skip ahead to their favorite show, or watch any movie without it costing $9.99 per viewing.

So what issue do you see?

We are living in a world where all of our media has become more and more user-friendly, so much so that often we come to a point where we realize how lazy it’s making us become or how antisocial we are when sitting in a lounge full of our friends or family. Television has become another way for us to dull our senses, to feel less and digest more. It’s food for our eyes and now we can put on the food that we like faster and more accessible than ever before.

How do we fix it?

An effort, which many people in my generation lack, is what is needed. To pull away from our devices and sit without bringing them to the table, at least for a while. The temptation of going to our phones or staying by our computer screen whilst others conversate for many people young and old has never been more of a chore. That’s sad. It’s almost like you could be considered old fashioned if you sat throughout an entire sitting with friends and never once pulled out your phone or immersed yourself into a television. This is not to say that it is entirely a bad thing that we have a television to divert our attention into. For some people, it is a place they can escape. Not everyone wants to have conversations all the time, but you need to ask the question, do the positive effects outweigh the negative ones?

But hey! Who doesn’t love a bit of explosive commentary during a Michael Bay film?

This was today’s little journey. As always…
Thank you for checking in.

Day 022. Sleeping in. 

By Mana Williams. 7-10 Minutes 

Today’s chat is about letting you let yourself have a decent sleep in. Who doesn’t love to sleep in? It’s liberating, especially if you have a job or someone is expecting you to be somewhere but you took that extra “ten minutes” (hour) to gain some more sleep hours and then you were late, all because you were busy reading blogs the night before, right?

It’s good for you. In a big way.

I think it’s super important to take time out for yourself. I’m not appealing to my inner procrastinator either, I genuinely feel that by taking the time to sleep in improves your daily attitude. By getting to bed at a reasonable time and starting off the new day a little bit off the beaten track is good for you.

So why do we routine so much?

The working 8 am till 5 pm workforce conditions people to align their schedules to an early wake-up and sleep pattern because they think that it will let them beat the traffic and give them enough time to have a cheeky cup of coffee in the morning. But you’re trying to beat societies flow, not your flow. If everyone slept in, would the roads be as blocked? We are all different and we all have different body patterns.

Five o’clock in the morning is my favourite hour. When everything is still and only a trickle of cars lick the feet of the motorway. Everyone’s resting, and there are no standards. Trudging down to Macdonalds in bum pants and jandals without giving a single McMuffin about what anyone thinks. The difference is, at five in the morning, nobody cares.

If we all sleep a little longer in our mornings, we will more likely grow up feeling more energetic, more enthusiastic, with a healthier outlook on matters of life, and we might probably be less grumpy in the morning.

How cool is that?

To improve our relationship with other people all we needed to do was sleep a little longer, wake when our body says wake, even if the compromise is being late to work, late for lectures, late for an appointment, just late for anything.

But let’s talk about being late. Late for who? You’re not late for yourself, go and apologise to the people who were affected by your apparent lateness but don’t take it out on yourself. It’s not helping at all by caving in on yourself whenever you are late to something, it just breeds more of a need for liberating. I’m not usually on time. That’s because I’m not stressing myself out trying to race through traffic just to go out for a coffee, just for a man to lecture me at the front of an auditorium, just for a customer to ask silly questions. I would much rather spend my time sleeping in.

That Sunday morning feeling, like Maroon Fives old song. “Driving slow on Sunday morning,” granted it’s a song about waking up in bed with someone on Sunday, but we all have those feels when we take time out for ourselves at least on Sunday, like father’s day! When we are well rested and wake up with a better attitude, incrementally more energy and have lower expectations for our day and thus lower standards.

What impact would that have?

Our relationships with other people would be less stressed, we would be more inclined to say yes to random opportunities, and we would be more productive.


That is this morning’s random thought for you.
Thanks for checking in.

Day 021. Shifting – Part Three. 

By Mana Williams. 10 Minutes 

The final segment of this trilogy looks at arriving in your new home. It also focuses on the unpacking as well as a lens on what next steps to take and looks at some anxieties that may persist in the process. It wraps up some of the blanket assumptions we make about the simplicity of shifting and places an emphasis on understanding self-requirements and thought.

A quick conversation about the time you made it. Off the boat, off the motorway, off the plane. Your first day in a new place as the old page rests beneath the shadow of the last, a new one is flipped over. Handed the keys to your new apartment to take a look, scope out your part of the house and get the lay of the land. A quick word with your flatmates before getting into unpacking.

When I think about all of the stuff I have when it’s splayed out on the floor, it makes me realise how much stuff I don’t need.

Have you ever packed too much?

After all of the condensing, after letting go of all of your emotional baggage, why is there still so much left? I’m not talking about your pink underwear this time either, I’m referring to the emotional stuff that was plaguing your sleep last year.

Relationships can create a belief system that makes us feel valued when we are with that person. Like a drug, we go through these vicious cycles of thinking about the person who made us happy and the resentment of losing touch with them. We disconnect from our own values and we stop thinking about what effects it’s having on us. The most illogical system ever. That even when we push that person away as hard as possible, there is residue left in our head that reminds us from time to time that we were worth something to someone else. The reminder that we were previously cared about sucks away at our motivation for change so we keep looking for it. A relationship with our girlfriend, a relationship with our parent or family member. Their relationship with us is difficult to quell, usually carried wherever we go.

Sub rant over. You need to adapt to survive. Personality assumptions that contain messages like “be who you are” just fail to mention that people have personality differences which clash in group living situations, like flatting. It can be really exciting to move to a new place, but out of courtesy for others, it’s important to recognise that everyone is struggling with baggage unresolved in at least some relationship.

Overwhelming new environments can force people to say and do things they don’t necessarily mean so it’s vital that you reach compromises and adapt to let bygones be as such. The word bygone meaning something that’s happened in the past.

As mentioned in blog two, people can be driven by their expectation that you are judging them that they put up walls to protect themselves. When everyone is moving into a new environment the stress can be tiresome, so naturally other makes sense that they will find reasons to assume the least from you. So why not prove them wrong by adjusting course and reaching personality compromises?

Just think of all the wars that wouldn’t have happened if one man cut another man some slack on statements made or comments withheld.By simply keeping things simple provides clarity that others don’t have to grapple with.

In effect, the shifting trilogy once again looks at understanding what to pack when shifting versus what needs to be left behind. We talked about the transition stage as you pack up all of your stuff on the last day. That you can see how anxious others were towards you by comparing the second week to the last day you spent with them. That finally the process of moving in can be really hard and exciting but a quick peek into the world of new politics and the importance of reaching a peaceful compromise when decisions are made.

At the end of the day, gauge the love you have for a person based on the balance between how much you would do for them and how much they would do for you. If there is an imbalance, then someone is being ripped off. The most important thing is to carry only the emotional bags that will keep you safe.

That concludes the shifting trilogy. Today’s blog was made late on priorities. Tomorrow I will post a couple of new insights which I’d cool. But there will be a real talk shortly. As always, however…

Thanks for checking in.

Day 020! Shifting – Part Two. 

By Mana Williams 7-10 Minutes 

In this segment, I want to look at the period before shifting, and no I’m not referring to the procrastination stage. But the time when you say goodbye to your loved ones and social groups. Beyond the normal routine where the guard comes down for a brief moment.

Do you remember the last time you finished something?

The time you finished school, finished a course, finished a project. The few days that lead up to the end where everyone starts treating others nicely. The time when everyone thinks about your positive characteristics. Like a plant coming back to life at the beginning of spring. When the guard comes down after they realise that you both will soon be going in different directions.

Why do people do that?

It’s sad that people will loosen up after they realise that you aren’t there to judge them. That you have no ulterior motives, that you don’t mind who they are… The, just in case, precaution. Just in case he’s perverted, just in case she’s weird, just in case he’s a drug addict, just in case they won’t like me. It’s sad that people build walls so that they can feel comfortable talking to you, it shows their insecurities and anxieties.  To which extent a person’s insecurity towards you can be is dependent on their ego and moderated by their trust.

You can see a person’s insecurity by how much they contrast between the last few days you spend with them versus the second week you first met them. When they feel more comfortable letting you know how they’re really feeling, when they will open up about their opinions. The final leg of a marathon, when they themselves let go of all of the baggage that they picked up when times were tougher, when it was winter. A destination mentality when they can see the end of the project. .

The sports break up of your last year as a junior, your last day at work, the end of a family reunion, the last day of school. As you’re heading back to University, overseas, to a different job in a different city, in the process of shifting, there are fewer standards and subsequently, less expectations of you.

What if that person was someone you loved? 

A family member who didn’t show the same treatment towards you the entire time you were around them. The consistent nagging about organising and always keeping busy. All of a sudden you come to the stark recognition that it was all set in motion so that emotions were rarely talked about between you two. When you realise that you weren’t talking the whole time… 

I guess in the process of shifting we are all so caught up in the small details that we stop to reflect on the things we could do better next, we continue to make the same errors of judgement with people who deserve our time and we fail to give it to them. As a result they feel disinclined to bring down their walls and gradually the cement sets and it becomes a chore to get them to say how they are really feeling. Only in those brief moments of transitioning do you actually see a glimpse into the crooked world of another person’s life. 

Just a thought. 

I accidentally deleted blog nineteen and can’t be bothered re-writing. I may do soon but stay tuned for part three of my shifting blog. 
Thanks for checking in! 

 

Day 019 ! What it’s like to live in Blenheim – Part Two 

By Mana Williams. 8-10 Minutes 

Please Note: This one’s a dense one. I tried my best to condense each section but there is much to be said here.


In my earlier blog about living in Blenheim, I began to discuss the wider aspects such as what the people are like, what the schools have to offer and what business opportunities exist. However, those wider generalizations don’t bring full grasp to the sun struck vineyard village.

What we need to talk about is what is wrong with Blenheim.

As I discussed before, with smaller towns and smaller populations there tends to be more manual labour and less time in a day to do the things that you want. From this attitude grows a need to lust more than what you already possess. Kids are kept wondering how they might stack up against others but have no way of gauging their interests due to lack of social groups/gatherings for the alternative stuff like martial arts and interesting hobbies. In this way, it is evident that there is little mischief teenagers can get into to find who they are and where they stand at an individual’s social development level.

So what really is it like to live in Blenheim?

When I was five years old I started a martial art. My brother was my instructor, my mother and my sister were both black belts and had pretty high expectations of their little brown counterpart, me. I was really fortunate to have this martial arts family exist right from the get go. Without this hobby, I couldn’t begin to imagine how difficult it must be to self-motivated and challenge yourself while remaining positive in such a claustrophobic environment.

Blenheim doesn’t offer a lot of things because it is so small. There isn’t a population to drive numbers for interest, subsequently, it becomes too expensive for people to hire out halls and gain access to equipment. Luckily for my family and I, there was already a community created for our chosen Martial Art. This ran in tandem with my families vested interests and camaraderie between myself and my peers.

For those who don’t fit into the cookie-cutter lifestyles of playing for the first XV rugby team, the farming/pig hunting lifestyle, the grape growing industry or the Rav 4 with a job in town, life in Blenheim can be equally as manual.

If you want to be or do something, you’ve got to go out and get it then fight for it. The cliche attitude applies in small towns like Blenheim. As aforementioned in Blenheim blog one, the likes of the tall poppy syndrome may persist when you achieve something and someone else doesn’t agree with it. The envious environment can drive spears into the hearts and minds of youth growing up in this community. The likes of hobbyists or the LGBT community struggle in these sorts of places. Lack of numbers, I could imagine, would make difficult the ability to meet someone in a place like Blenheim. Not to mention the judgment from the ‘everybody knows everybody’ gossip circles.

With strengthened hardness ensuing in matters of stereotyping and discrimination, generational indifferences compel many younger kids to react similarly when someone opposes their families beliefs. In turn, Blenheim is not really a place all about diversification. You can see this behavior spill onto the middle generations as well, usually justified by the oldest generations in a way that in itself describes Blenheim’s “just get on with it” social suffocating attitude.

So what for the cultural diversity?

Blenheim is home to nine Maori Iwi. All of which are actively operating at all times to retain their cultural heritage or the ‘kaupapa’ of their history. There is a huge support for the Maori community within the Marlborough region, with some Maori entities branding their own wine, their own foods, and exports from the region. The cultural diversity exists.

However, even within these communities, having lived in Blenheim and being a Maori boy, it is apparent that a percentage of Maori also share these same symptoms of the tall poppy syndrome. There is just as much politics, and the gossip circles are just as close as any other culture. There is a much deeper story that could explain the situation better but I will keep this for another time.

Is it money that makes small communities like Blenheim suffer from lower socio-economics?

Blenheim in comparison to Wellington, Christchurch and even worse, Auckland, is quite affordable. Depending on which lens you’re using. Housing is defined solely on location terms. But I am not qualified to comment on this marketplace. In terms of wages and costs of living there is, however, a considerable difference. Particularly if one is working in the Vineyards. This is because of contract work which is a way for the farm owners to force their workers, often from overseas from places like Vanuatu, to work harder for nearly no pay increase. This hard work combined with ever rising costs of food and other essentials creates an atmosphere where the socio-economy of Blenheim can suffer, yes.

After all that, Blenheim still is actually a really nice place to visit. The food is good, the sun is nearly always shining. They do make nice wine and the location in regards to other features of New Zealand is really good. Despite its habit of forcing people to merge into cookie cutting lifestyles, just get on with it attitudes, tall poppy syndrome mixed with cultural politics, Blenheim is actually still a really nice place… to visit…


Thank you so much for reading up on this blog! I really appreciate your support. Two blogs were sent out today because I was so happy with the responses!

“Your comments are my oxygen”- Gary Vaynerchuk.

Thanks for checking in.

Day 018. Shifting – Part One. 

By Mana Williams. 13-15 Minutes 

In three segments I want to explain the process of shifting. The first discusses packing up and leaving behind luggage associated with relationships. The second part focuses on a lens which looks into the transitioning process of leaving. The third looks at arriving somewhere completely new, and the connections you make in your new home. This blog is all in regards to my current situation of moving back to University, and looks into the conversation of psychological politics but also the aim is to be forthcoming and motivate people to try harder at being nicer, because it’s something I really suck at.

So where to start. 

Looking into it, the process of packing is all about taking with you only what is going to be necessary. Which means conversely leaving behind anything that is excessive and will cause difficulty in the great migration later on. The most important step is to let go of any baggage, and no we’re not talking about your pink underwear. I’m referring to relationships, unwanted grudges and personality anxieties. 

What good will it do for you in the long term? 

Happiness is overrated and often considered a destination when it’s a way of simply being you. When you are living in an unhealthy relationship, particularly at my stubborn age of nineteen, the unwholesome conversations at 3:00 am with your long distance partner can erode your days wake. If you can find a way to hang that old relationship up in your wardrobe then you are doing yourself a massive favour long term because you will have fresh shoes to walk in and what better way to turn over a new leaf than to leave all the crap behind.  

Don’t fret about the last chapter. 

The next step is to let go of the grudges you’ve been dabbling with for the last section of your life. The confrontations between family, friends, work colleagues, gets people nowhere in the long term. Refreshing your outlook so that you get a new perspective on what is. Even better if the angst you have is connected to your previous relationship with the other guy. You get two birds with one stone, without even throwing a punch. Letting go is hard work but the only thing is that you have to live with those decisions forever, so why not make the decision to bury the hatchet?

Anxious to say the least. 

If you experience an anxiety when you’re around somebody else with a personality, when I say personality I mean strong personality, then look no further. Beneath the same category as relationships, anxiety is like a book dipped in water, nobody needs that on a new day. If you can talk it out, do so. If you can’t reach a compromise, let it go. (Don’t start singing Let it Go either, talk about anxieties…) There’s nothing worse than resorting to small talk afree catching up with a person from your past and having nothing meaningful to conversate over. Like a shark, they’re probably more anxious to talk with you than you with them. So to ease the strain between you, relieve the pressure by treating yourself better, or coming to a compromise with that family member, ex best friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, gender non-specific friend, dog, shark, cat, cabbage tree or even maybe yourself. Once again, make the decision to bury the hatchet. 

Now that we have gone over the basic ties which have shackled you to your old home, you now have a key to unlock them. Tine to sort yourself out and start shifting. 

We should have a talk about love though. 
Because one paragraph is usually not enough to convince you that he/she/they are not worth carrying to the next place or these words don’t prove anything to suggest that they deserve second chances. I cannot argue that your previous relationship is anything similar to mine. But for me I know that it’s true that the love was real, but more so was the thought for my own self. In self reflecting selfishness you’ve got to put yourself at the top of your priorities list. When you care for something external you rely on it for support. Let me tell you, that never ends well, but it definitely ends. When your balance is internal you have more willpower to sustain yourself when things get tougher. When things get tough, and they will. When the seasons change, and the mood is darker. Things can get pretty foreign and sometimes you have to push shit uphill. But you’ve got to think is it worth pushing the buck next time. Can we be bothered carrying their issues into tomorrow? 

By letting go of unhealthy relationships, burying personal grievances with individuals, resolving anxieties with people that have strong personalities and appreciating how hard love can be during the varying seasonal changes is a great learning curb to consider before shifting. By leaving this luggage behind makes us lighter and more agile, amd more importantly we are happier. 

This is today’s thought. The conversation is in regards to my move back to University, and all of the personal business that needs to be dealt with in a way that I can feel more enlightened by my choices and know what I’ve done and done where I’m going and reflect on that better. So thank you for being and depart of this talk and as always… 

Thanks for checking in. 

Day 017. Why Is Everyone A Politician Now?

By Mana Williams. 8 Minutes 

With keyboard warriors attacking money loving economists about ethics. Environmentalists battling it out against businessmen with profit margins. Today we have more stuff than we had yesterday!

So why is everyone a politician now?

Politics are a non-violent version of catching someone outside, without all the rough stuff. Just words with no kick. Like how two armies a thousand years ago would come together in battle formations, ready to kill, ready to fight, with only their leaders coming together in a private domain, this was because it was a place where clarity could be met, that both parties could be on the same page. Now the whole army is in on the conversation!

I originally put it down to technology. But that was a thing of the past. For the first time ever it has become common ground for many generations to actively converse over politics, it has become a trend. A time when talking about Trump happens in every classroom, every lunch room, every meme, and on every bus. It has become cool for us to talk about politics.

Is that really the reason though?

With so many opinions, it is easier to become misconstrued with reality. When the words of someone are taken out of context and gain momentum on social media they become viral, but the triviality is not the problem, the problem is the confusion created. Effortlessly people see headlines without checking for factual evidence to suggest the contrary. We see what we want, a self-fulfilling prophecy. Not dissimilar to lawyers creating cases for themselves, businesses arguing that what they’re doing has many benefits but almost always forget to mention the down sides. What has happened is there is no longer only one complete truth to everything, there’s several. Created out of reasonable doubt, arguments can be made. Through these arguments people find a reason to believe in alternative facts, as US counselor for Donald Trumps administration, Kellyanne Conway used when interviewed about Sean Spicers comment about Trump’s inauguration.
Is it helpful?

The media has grown overtime to bridge the gap between society and those in a position of authority such as governing bodies, corporate entities, and noteworthy individuals.  But this gap has become less as the people become more engaged in their daily news and it empowers people to get involved with the talk. But equally it provides more room for interpretation. The concern is that from these fundamentalist interpretations, people perceive a lie when there isn’t one, or more concerning a truth when there isn’t one. So beyond the cloud that we perceive to be helpful politics, actually leaves plenty of space for corruption and room for spin doctors to exacerbate their propaganda by becoming conditioned to adapt to hide from a story, like a jewel thief dodging lasers. So it is both helpful but equally making matters more complex.

So what do we do to combat this instead of being politicians?

I’m glad you asked. The youth generation draws huge differences to any other generation before them. More so that they have a strong skepticism for stuff they hear on the news. With so many outlets available to them, kids simply don’t treat news like gospel anymore. What they might see on the news, on their Facebook, through their Instagram, on their Snapchat, on Youtube, on normal news sites, from word of mouth, all of these different sources have different angles to portray and it helps improve the image from multiple lens perspectives. Sometimes there might be conflicting evidence between what one person says versus what another person says and it carries with it this lust to be rightful about your evidence. This in my opinion is the best way to form your own view on a political matter. Gathering as many sources possible, comparing and contrasting and then forming a judgement.

Midday rant over – solid 8/10 Mana.
Blenheim- Part Two is coming soon.
Thank you for checking in.

Day 016! What is it like living in Blenheim?

By Mana Williams. 12-15 Minutes 

With 79 % of New Zealand’s wine produced in Marlborough, a plethora of bays to visit in the coves of the Sounds, a tiny population, and a bustling little town, Blenheim is really well situated. But this is a blog of truth. Having lived in this small community for over ten years of my life and having revisited as an adult, I can now bring to you a well-rounded account of living in small town Blenheim.

So what is it like living in Blenheim?

Blenheim is a little Christchurch. For those who don’t understand what I mean, I’m referring to its people. I could talk for days about the positive and negative effects the grape industry has had on the Marlborough region. But, like Christchurch, there are three golden rules that can be used to judge a place: People, climate, and affordability. Together, these three guidelines encompass the lens we use to decide whether a place is good enough for us to live. In essence, Blenheim fails to contrast in many ways to the likes of Christchurch and it’s people.

So what are the people like?

Blenheim has never been known for its snobbery. Because it’s the opposite. Like Christchurch, Blenheim has the “Just get on with it” attitude. This is standard with most places you would visit in the South island of New Zealand. South island towns tend to have fewer people and larger properties due to more space. Smaller populations naturally have fewer people, therefore fewer workers to do things for you. In comparison to city life where you don’t have a lawn or a garden or distance to travel to work to worry about, life in small towns can be more manual. Development is slower which means that more labour is required after a day at work. Therefore there is less time in a day to worry about vanity, snobbery and what colour shoes you’re wearing.

BUT JUST BEFORE YOU GO BACK INTO THE WATER!

In many places in New Zealand, particularly in places of small populous like Blenheim. There is an envy about the place. In a community where everyone knows everyone, outsiders are more judged. Even more so insiders! In a place where hard work is expected due to manual labour and a just do it attitude, it is easy to become envious of other people when they achieve something. Tall Poppy Syndrome exists, although many people are supportive, keep your wits about you.

For the young ones.

Academically weak, strong in sports. There is a wide variety of primary schools within Blenheim which are well rounded both academically and in their sports. There is an opportunity for development in many aspects. As you head through to intermediate years, options become more restricting and ultimately you learn to recognize that Blenheim is not a place for teenagers to experience very much, get into very much mischief or say very much without the entire town hearing about it. Reaching high schooling years, there is not a huge emphasis on intense academia. So if what you are looking for is to become the next Elon Musk then this is not the place to go. Musk is a billionaire American physicist, engineer, and entrepreneur. However, their sporting achievements from the likes of Marlborough Boys’ College blasts back decades. With a massive amount of support shown towards kicking a different region, namely Christchurch boys’ College, off of first places in cups and trophies. These sports include softball, first XV rugby, football, road cycling etc. Unfortunately, having grown up in small town Blenheim, I know there is not much for the young ones to do and see. But I’m sure they will appreciate spending more time with you.

Climate and Economy.

From a business perspective in the adult world, it really comes down to what industry you are working for. The region has a sunny climate which is why the wine industry does so well, namely Sauvignon Blanc. Due to the wine industry having such good success the tourism market has grown relatively. Tourists passing through from the likes of Wellington via Picton, Christchurch via Murchison, and Nelson via Nelson. There is also a strong Hospitality industry in Blenheim with small bars and restaurants. Other retailers like clothes stores also do well. There seems to be also a reconnaissance for nice European based restaurants in the town for the older generations to enjoy. The likes of Raupo with is French cuisine does a really nice platter. Gramado’s presents a really delicious pasta and is renowned for their Brazillian staff. Even Kiwi stuff does well! The semi-new Speight’s Ale House in Springlands also serves a good Blue Cod or a strong Kiwi steak. With its growing Hospitality industry combined with healthy Tourism, agriculture, viticulture, and horticulture, Blenheim boasts a strong economy.

Be sure to tune in for part two! I will be looking at the affordability of living in small town Blenheim! Thanks for checking in!!

Let’s talk. 

By Mana Williams. 2-3 Minutes 

Every once in a while it’s not uncommon for me to take on a new challenge. Something that at times makes me really struggle but equally is really rewarding. This blog has been designed to express how I feel about certain topics like family, politics, the economy, relationships and general daily events like Valentine’s day.

I have no ulterior motives.

There is no goal as of yet. One day there will be but I am still slowly getting used to the routine and learning the dos and donts of blogging. Every day I am becoming more and more enthused by this idea of blogging. For me, it’s something I can use to say what I want to say and have a response to that.

My First goal is 100 days, or just over 3 months, of consistent blogging. But I will develop and evolve in my ways of blogging overtime.

I want to say huge thanks to anyone reading this stuff! The support is appreciated.

Day 015. What is it like living in Christchurch – Part Two. 

By Mana Williams. 11 Minutes 

The South Island of New Zealand is better than the North Island. We have the private bays of Marlborough Sounds, two-thirds of the countries Vineyards, areas of unexplored land within the Fiordland, the largest military base in the country, the largest mountain in the country, rocks that look like pancakes in Punakaiki and a pancake shop built inside of the freaking rocks!

But we also have Christchurch… Now notice the use of the word Island when referring to the South being better than the North. I was referring to the land, not the people because it is land that makes the south island better than the North. When we rank places by the opinions of people in a way that is non-judgmental, Christchurch comes close to last place.

So why does Christchurch suck so bad?

When a place is swamped in fire, split apart in earthquakes, is home to a nightlife depressed with drama raged arguments and street fights. It makes me think about how an imbalance could have occurred so badly in a place as beautiful as the south island of New Zealand.

I got it down to the weather. When it is cloudy we feel bored and complain about it not being sunny enough. When it’s sunny we complain about it being too hot or too bright.. When it’s raining we feel comfortable but complain because the washing is on the line. When it is windy we complain because we lose a sock to the garden. Everywhere is like this but Christchurch is generally more inconsistent than the likes of Wellywood and Auckland. With four seasons everyday in the wrongly timed order, some Cantabrians complain till the cows come home.

People complain a lot about things not being in balance. We grow up dependent on the world around us being ideal as if to say that everything should be ideal no matter what. Then when things aren’t ideal we find ways in which to impose hardship into someone else’s life. When we see someone who is succeeding with their goals some people feel the urge to corrupt that growth or otherwise known as tall poppy syndrome.

Its funny how the definition of ‘ideal’ is the conception of something perfect. As to assume that perfection is a concept not a reality. That we imagine only that something is perfect or ‘ideal’. But if we look at it from a cultural perspective. The word ‘ideal’ is from the English language. A language designed to convince or appeal to the listener that what is being said is true. Does the English culture dampen people’s spirits? Does it have something to do with the first British settlers being prisoners, sailors and hard working people? I don’t know the answer to that question.

All I know is that there are  positive differences in other cultures such as Maori. Symbolically, fairness, love and compassion is something instilled within you at birth and is taken away from you through your life. ‘Mana’ and not me, is taken from a person out of unfairness. It cannot be resorted without difficulty. This process of restoring and providing support for the people of Christchurch who lost their Mana, or their balance, their feet, their prestige. The environment within post-quake Christchurch has become sour. Where love has been fighting with unfairness and upset. This in turn spills into business, into the adult world and subsequently pours into the way kids treat other kids.

Kids are our future. The kids of Christchurch will define the future of Christchurch. Having lived in Christchurch during four of my schooling years, I learned quickly some people are cut down at the knees as collateral of unfairness. That Christchurch suffers hugely from the illness that is tall poppy syndrome. Many minorities within Christchurch are generally the first demographic to receive heavy judgment. Gays, Muslims and Maori are some parties whom receive the back hand from the majorities within The Garden City.

And that’s pretty sad. But when you recognize that individuals are influenced in their way of thinking based on our biggest life-threatening force, the weather.

Thank you for ready Sundays blog! We will see you tomorrow.

Day 014. What is it like living in Christchurch?

By Mana Williams 7 Minutes 

With its undulating plains, it’s surrounding dormant volcanos and close vicinity to the southern alps. Christchurch is conditioned by its earthquakes, kept on its toes by its stark fires, kept cool by its 4 pm southerly wind change and made close by its clicky groups. Beyond these controversies, what isn’t recognized is how stoic their communities remain.

So what is it like to live in Christchurch?

Every place has its own set of challenges. There is a process of residing in a place. Three golden rules of people, climate, and affordability. When we look at a place in a lens we look at what it has to offer us.

Quickly within my first few months of living in the garden city, I learned of its culture. The cuisine of lycra dominated roadsides, Wilson parking lots where buildings once stood and an architectural perspective on restoration and recovery.

Like every city, there are good areas and not so good areas.  Those of a wealth status that are high in the hills of Cashmere and Huntsbury. Those with a more modest budget located just within the city limits.

There are all sorts of demographics. Christchurch is an older community. It’s England’s, Manchester, America’s, Los Angeles. Australia’s… no, it’s not that bad… A large collection of many different communities and suburbs. So many that I still don’t know the names of half of them, new ones every month. It’s a developed city where people mind their own business and definitely mind others’.

It’s no walk in the park. Unless you’re in Hagley Park. There is judgment in this cold pressed region. This is not a place to be falsely enthusiastic. A real kiwi city with the,” just get on with it,” attitude. You’ve got to stay positive, though. In the middle of winter it isn’t uncommon to reach 25 degrees (Celsius) nor is it equally uncommon to have snow in December (New Zealands summer).

There is a nightlife. I know, how surprising is that! Although there is a dynamic culture that exists with different clubs holding the popularity stick. Banter in general can be enjoyed over a class of Corona or a few shots of Absinthe. In general Christchurch operates under a hot spot concept due to its shear land size.

There is always a place for community! Family power dominates most events. The likes of Christmas in the Park draw tens of thousands of people. But what is noticeable are the sheer number of families that get involved with populating these events.

It’s not that expensive. Auckland is not comparable to Christchurch. Wellington City is contrasting to its out skirting suburbs with the likes of Porirua and the Hutt Valley. With Christchurch there is less variation in expense due to the size of the city and its connectedness.

Christchurch is a place you can work hard. Or not, if you want to be in construction. A place of culture a place of four seasons in one day. Like a restaurant, it depends on what you’re looking for.

Today’s blog is late, stay tuned for Christchurch part two tonight! Thanks for checking in.

Day 013. What really Matters, Part Two.

By Mana Williams.

As we grow we begin to learn the significance of family. We learn how important it is to look after one another. We might, if lucky, meet someone with prestige and learn to love that person even though they ask for nothing in return. Then when that person passes away, we are reminded how much they meant to us and the difference they made without even knowing about it.

Eight years ago, our family was torn apart. Taken to a place that I could not control, my sister couldn’t control, my dad could not control and my mum could not control. My brother passed away. But every day I am still influenced by his little nags. To eat my peas before everything else, to look after my sister like a hawk and to watch over my family without being too obvious.

This Monday, I went to a funeral of a family friend of ours. (See The Martial Artist Blog) It reminded me of the love and compassion that my brother shared with us. To come home and ask your dad how their day was, what their boss had said that was completely stupid and how your sister’s friend was coping in their new home… Taken for granted was the days of old but today is not the same day that came yesterday and we remember it in silence solemnly by getting drunk and creating havoc at the pub.

He was my instructor, taught ITF Taekwon-Do for many years and was a hard guy to dispute, was brother Shane. Every argument finished with, “Do you wanna walk home?” The sausage rolls, three-minute-late to the school gate apologies from me and the kick to the stomach in training tended to be about as brotherly as my brother publicly was to me. A fierce and cunning older brother, someone who didn’t take shit from nobody. But behind closed doors was a brother who made time for adopted little brownie (Me). I would do supermans by balancing on his hands and feet, whilst Goku was fighting Majin Buu on the TV. Would cry at training on a Thursday night after being told off and given a hug to stop mum from getting involved. There was a balance in our relationship that I can only appreciate now as an older brother to my younger sister.

February the 17th was a strange day, to say the least. It was a Tuesday, for martial artists Tuesday is a day of training. A day to kick and be kicked. To break stuff and break yourself. This was a Tuesday. I remember vividly the call we received from a paramedic on the scene. A lady asking for the mother of a 27-year-old male at our old residence. I thought my sister got arrested!

After biking down to our old home, I heard crying coming from the bushes. My dad and sister, talking out the events that had occurred whilst in the scrub. Biking through the old villa and sneaking along the porch I was searching for my larger counterpart. Quickly glancing past his bedroom window, a place where I would previously knock for attention. Where I would knock to be seen. Where I would knock to say I’m finished and need something else to do. My young disillusioned mind stopped being so that day.

But that isn’t important. So much as the 27 years that preceded before my brother’s departure. Every sausage roll, every command at training, he was a soldier of a brother and I loved him. He taught me and many other students the value of hard work and above all love for your own family.

The values you pass on to other people make a difference. How you take the lessons taught and apply them to your own bag of knowledge and pass it forward to the next person.

That Matters.

Something else I definitely need to work on! My Late Friday Evening thought for you! Thank you for checking in.

Day 012. Pretty Things

By Mana Williams

Colors have never been so vibrant, words have never been loaded with so much significance. We are in a decade of professionalism and corporate dominated marketing techniques. Marketplaces exist in places never before. From YouTube to Facebook posts. Marketing is all about satisfying consumer requirements. But we are all made consumers with this money never sleeps reality, where marketplaces are put on our cell phones charging up a meter away from where we sleep.

That’s okay for our older generation who are more content with reading a newspaper or sending out a Morse code. Their vintage culture is strong, spare a thought for our youngsters. What effects do these marketing ploys have on the minds of our younger more vulnerable generation? Things were bad enough when kids were comparing Yu Gi Oh cards in school fifteen years ago, but it’s got so bad that Paris has become the new candy shop for kids.

In a time where you could order a pair of Moccasins from a European Online store within thirty seconds, technology is getting more private and kids are evolving to hide beneath the blanket of incognito. What mediation does an older parent have over a tech savvy little person? But kids aren’t the only one’s to hide beneath the privacy of Google. Business advertisements live everywhere. Through their video games, on their cellphones, on their Facebook, in the news and it only takes a credit card to spend your hard earned money.

Now to talk about this idea of One Word Marketing. It is a tool used by businesses to add value to their brand. These terms are there to make us feel better about our purchases like a placebo is made to trick a person into thinking they’re better. If we had two pairs of shoes that were similar. One had the term “authentic” and the other shoes were plain. You would be more likely to pick the authentic shoes even if they cost $15 more. If we had two ice creams to choose from, both were vanilla flavored but one was “french” vanilla, we would be more inclined to buy the romantic sounding one, even if we knew there was no difference. Although we might tell ourselves that we are bigger than these cheap marketing strategies, we are not, because every week we might buy items from the supermarket with the “special” sign on the shelf or ‘super-saver.’

Our problems as consumers are that we need to feel better about ourselves as we know that many things are dysfunctional about the way we live. That nothing is ever perfect, glass is the half empty mentality. As a result, we need instant gratification from what we buy at a store. Out of our addiction, we have let our kids become spoiled by the desires of pretty things. One-line slogans and One Word Marketing.

Just a quick little rant this Thursday evening. Thanks for checking in.

Blog 011. What really matters? 

By Mana Williams

I may not have the credibility of a sixty-year-old married man when it comes to knowing what love is but Donald Trump doesn’t have the qualifications to be the president.

We all have a story to tell, but is it the journey that we care about or is it the view we had when we were at the top of the hill?

In conjunction with Valentine’s day, a large proportion of people tend to focus on being single, I guess today’s talk is succinct with this demographic. Although this is not a cliche about ups and downs if you are happily in love with someone, bare with us singularities for five minutes.

When I was in high school, I met a girl who was stubborn, fearless and really frustrating. She came from humble beginnings and knew how to argue her way into my not favorite books. Indeed a rocky Mountain to climb, in many ways, but we hit it off and kept it up for quite some time. To save the realists from a long unwinding memory, long story short we loved each other. But I ran away to university and she stayed living in our home city. This long distance stuff is like going off road on “the journey.” The only difference is that you’re driving blind and have no idea where it’s all going. Let me say it all goes pear-shaped very quickly. But when you take ten steps back from the rock slide of a relationship you had with a person you love. It’s still the same pleasant view and that’s the most frustrating part of all.

It’s funny because she is the wreck while I am the wonderful survivor but the best part is I can’t get in trouble for that last statement.

But there is a method of operation for all this madness…

When you meet someone who is real, who is there and who loves everyone equally. When that person has no ulterior motives but the one that puts your happiness up with there’s. Whose love is eternally well received? Whose life was set out before you were born? When you visit that person for the last time and see the undying love they share with their partner and the many children they had together. When you sit in their lounge and they are talking about cancer. The nitty gritty details about their funeral. When you walk up their driveway to leave and you can still see the immense love their husband still bares. When in that moment you know that this person will wait for their lover in the afterlife. That their entire journey, through every hill and over every terrain, they are destined to go home again. When that moment reaches your heart and you know that nothing else matters but the millions of moments they had with their loved ones in that journey, it all makes sense.

I was given a small taste of what love is like. I cannot begin to grasp what a lifetime of this must feel like. But I know that what my late friend felt for her husband and the love they shared was something eternally significant.

For me, that matters.

Just a Wednesday evenings thought for you guys. Thank you for checking in.

Blog 010! Valentines Day 

By Mana Williams.

Is it necessary?

Each year we reach this day in February. Each time we reflect on our loved ones. But what has changed about the day and is it all still necessary?

Love, the concept that romanticized music. In all its complexity and frustration we take one day a year to celebrate that we have someone to love. An invisible force or if you believe in the movie ‘Interstellar’ love is somehow quantifiable. That pull you get from the person you care about when they aren’t with you. Or a beloved family member you are close with and share many positive memories which create what the Bible refers to as spirit ties.

Valentine’s day was named the day of the feast of Saint Valentine. During the time of the Roman Empire, all Christians were persecuted for their beliefs. Saint Valentine was captured and whilst locked away in the cells he wrote a letter to the King of the castles daughter, with the end note stating,”Your Valentine.”

Although somewhat heartfelt is the story of Saint Valentine, with many historical legends we can learn from what we see today that the way history recalls situations is not always a good representation of the events that actually occurred. Take for example the inauguration or indeed the election of The President of the United States… History in many years time might remember a time when Trump came into power, but they won’t know about the FBI investigation undertaken against Hillary Clinton one week prior to elections closing or the real crowd sizes of his inauguration. These situations really raise the concern about having a healthy skepticism for everything you are told.

So was Saint Valentine the most romantic man in the world or something?

When I think of the term romantic and it’s origins, I am more inclined to believe in a different story than the one of his letter to a princess who’s dad imprisoned him, just a bit of a conflict of interest situation don’t you think?

The term Romantic or Romanticist originates from the Romanesque period. Which was in the late 17th up until the 18th Century.

But hang on a second… the period of the Roman Empire ended over 300 years earlier .. During the Romanesque period, art forms and creative liberalism allowed Christians more leeway with their faith. They would be able to practice their religion without the benevolence of a church. So they took it upon themselves to celebrate this day of Saint Valentine. To put it bluntly, it was a Christian trend that came about when people wanted to love the person who was special to them, without the domination of the church.

So why isn’t Valentine’s day a day dedicated to creativity and expression but is instead linked directly to love hearts, colorful cards, pretty bunches of flowers and confectionery?

Marketing ploys. Some cunning businessman out there many years ago would have sighted or perhaps exaggerated the story of Saint Valentine. A rumor between two people is no longer a rumor right? In effect, we have millions upon millions of dollars being spent on useless stuff during an occasion that was originally about feasting with family and loved ones.

Sounds a bit odd right?

Hope everyone is keeping safe this Valentine’s day, stay tuned for more!

Blog 009. The Martial Artist.

This is a tribute piece to our family friend and fellow black belt, Pam. 

A sport, for some people, might be a hobby or something to enjoy some banter with. For others, a sport might be a space for them to develop out of. A Martial Arts, on the other hand, can be a way of living…

Well, Martial Arts and Sports are distinctively different but they share common interests and exist on common terms. It’s not a kick of a ball versus a kick to the face. The meaning of the term is the protection of a system of combat and a way of living. Without getting philosophical like Jackie Chan from Karate Kid… A martial art is a way of appreciating the indifferences in people’s lives, not a place ONLY to kick and break stuff, although that’s fun too. It’s neither a place where you can treat others any less as we are all still human and deserve to be treated with respect.

To elaborate more on indifferences, why do people fight? Is it because they are drunk or is it because there was an underlying reason or conflict unresolved before they started drinking? They might also just be having heaps of fun and things got a little out of hand… But it is true, you learn to protect yourself in Martial Arts. Only in a situation that cannot be controlled through words and without reason.

Take the Black Belt. What weight does that hold? What knowledge do they possess that propagates an aura about them? Hard work and lots of it. Work in the sense of physical conditioning and mental strength. Conversely, the strength to be understanding and not to fight. To know when an injustice has occurred and be tenacious in dispersing it. The reason why the belt of black is significant and equally why the belt of white is significant is indeed symbolic as both represent a level of practicality. The word practicality can be broken down into the word Practical or alternatively Practice. Through practice, a student would start at white belt and work their heart into the grit through repetition to become a black belt. Through blood and hard work, a black belt is made.

But be sure not to rush… With this rank comes responsibility that is handed down from an instructor or a mum or a brother or a friend. A silent responsibility that even the most senior black belts are still bound by. The protection of a family and its values. This is not to say any one family, but the entire community as a whole. This is more significant within Martial Arts because we are taught self-defense in a physical way and also in a social and loving context. When you strip away all of the kicks, all of the punches and leave only a Martial Artist what are you left with? Someone who knows whats up… 

Sometimes in Martial Arts, you meet people who are capable of this tenacity and uphold these values. A person who has their own story and has traversed their own journey before you knew them. If you are lucky, you might cross paths with this person and receive the love, compassion, and strength that they can give. Someone who is humble, carries Mana (authority) and is capable of putting you flat on your back. This is a martial artist.


Rest In Peace Pam. 

Blog 008. You know what Grinds my Gears?

By Mana Williams.

Every morning at around 8:00 am I ride my bike to work. It’s not a far stretch between home and work but it’s a Tour De France sprint that’s for sure. Ever since I was a kid I’ve always loved riding bikes. From the cheap kid’s type to the bespoke fixie handed down from generation to generation. But something that has caught my attention over time is the necessity of cycling and the cheap marketing that businesses gain from it.

Like many sports, what drives professionalism is money. The way we look at sports today is significantly different to how we looked at sports ten years ago… While the technology is incredibly fascinating, it is also interesting to see how cycling has evolved as a sport into a science.

The lycra game is strong with this one, but it is tactical branding in the media and on the roads. With big brand names like Giant, Shimano and Specialized all getting their noses in the money with passive pedal strokes. You can be sure that marketing has grown in conjunction with the technology.

About four years ago I rode my bike between Christchurch to Akaroa in a sportive dubbed “Le Race.” A 6: am wake up ride to the starting line, got into the first hill, and all I clearly remember was bums flying all over the place. You heard it first folks, bums. But on most a gluteus Maximus’ were company names as aforementioned. Whose business is it to put sans serif font on someone’s backside?

Adopting the prejudice towards women cyclists, companies take it upon themselves to promote their brands in this way.

The psychological expectations set by these business modules is ridiculous! Born from this, of course, are standards in equipment. Like the world of motorsport, comes pedal sport? They deem “entry-level performance bikes” to be within the price range of $1000 – $2500 NZD… The term ‘entry’ as to insist that if you ever amount to anything you might one day have money for another engine-less marketing ploy with pedals…

A market exists where you could spend $20 000 for a standard issue pro team sports bike. Last year Italian-born company Pinarello sold their flagship road bike, The Dogma F8, for a meaty $18 999 NZD.  AND THAT WAS LAST YEARS BIKE! When you get to the crux of it, how is a twelve-year-old boy from a middle-income family supposed to catch up with the competition when they have a competitive advantage of $16000?

Each to their own of course! But when it comes to snobbery, cycling knows a thing or two on ways in which to grind people’s gears.

Just a thought… I hope you enjoyed the imagery…

Today’s blog was late as I attended a Funeral so am home tired.

Blog 007! The balance talk… 

By Mana Williams.
Today I want to talk about Balance. My experience with fighting for this idea of balance and trying to accomplish it in some form.

Take a seesaw for example. Some crazy optimists out there like to think that balance is a destination when it’s really a way of living.
What we lust is the desire to better ourselves in the hopes that one day we might come out three steps ahead of the next person. It is a form of competing against others when it shouldn’t be. This is a classic example of pushing others down to better yourself.

Jealousy is the end to a civilized humanity. The term civilized is to be civil or to work. Hard work is the access we earn to give us reason and pay us with purpose. Jealousy is the lack of purpose as a currency. It inhibits itself within a person who has lost their balance In some way. The greater the persona, the more significant their imbalance can be.

Take a friend for example, both In a night club on a Saturday. A person walks in with their friends and you notice they get isolated from their group. You quite fancy this person but your friend, at last minute, steps in front and offers them a drink. In that moment, this spike of Jealousy kicks in. This need to have the talking stick rips in and you don’t feel great about yourself. You decide to join in conversation rather than feel weak by showing that you’re hurt.

By fighting for balance, we exert a force. Like physics,  the conservation of energy rule states that “Energy cannot be destroyed, only transferred or transformed.” When we fight against Jealousy, we look to administer the blame on others. Like exhaust fumes from a car, when something isn’t going our way we feel the need to make ripples. These ripples can create ripples with others. By treating other people like shit, makes other people feel like shit. Jealousy is a by product of unfairness. It isn’t a natural emotion.

To put it simply. When we fight for balance we create imbalance elsewhere. We usually step on other people’s feelings when we have to compromise.

Social status is like a hierarchy without stripes or badges. We live in an age where social media is intertwined with our everyday lifestyle. A photo or tag can induce mixed emotions from a person you’ve never met who lives in India. Our acquaintance list has grown to the stage where we could probably only count our real friends on two hands. Yet so many people will fight to earn the honor of an invisible badge. Social status equally breeds people who feel they need to live up to the hype by buying the right clothes and using the right filters and hash tags. In effect we have an invisible hierarchy that informs us that we need to compare amd contrast ourselves to a common medium. If we blur the lines between normal and appear wobbly people say that we are weird or queer. People feel the urge to state their differences with other people by using themselves as being defined as “normal.”

“Being ordinary is a blessing.”

Looking at humbleness and self refuge, you can see that by living large or using energy on silly things like Jealousy and social status we lose out on what matters. When we set the table for dinner at a family reunion with all of our loved ones gathered, in today’s environment isn’t it sad that half of our family members are sitting on their phones, tablets or in some cases in their room playing Playstation? It matters that we can’t experience as many moments that are important when we fight battles that mean nothing long term.

It falls back to you how you respond to unfairness. The battle is not important, so much as the battle of love, compassion and experiencing life in a way that is meaningful without the benevolence of Jealousy and inequality being present. The fight for balance is insignificant when sitting at a dinner table with your family.

And that’s todays thought for you!

I was late to the party though so I’ll likely post a second entry this evening. Thank you for reading!

Blog 006! What makes a good meal?

By Mana Williams

Everyone has to eat. Some people don’t eat enough and others eat a little too much. Some people eat the right food, whilst others couldn’t care less. Some people love utensils, Tupperware, fine china and all of the snobbery. While others wouldn’t mind a Benedict Bagel burger at 4 am on a Sunday morning after a hard night out sitting down in the MacDonalds drive through. A clear message resonates, people have acquired tastes and preferences, but is there any sweet spot or common message that everyone can agree makes a good meal?

For a second, imagine this process of visiting a restaurant. Stood outside in a mediocre mood on a Thursday evening after work. It’s overcast and you could do with something good to eat. Walking along a busy street, you notice a small diner that has an open sign out front. Heading across to it you notice the inside isn’t hugely busy. You stop to check the outside menu for a glance into the price point of the establishment. As you walk in, you notice that the floor is a strong Rimu finish. The lamp shades blot out the direct light and the place smells of your favorite kind of food. The staff treat you well and greet you on arrival, but you notice as you are being escorted to your table that rain has started outside. The waiter extends his greeting by asking you if you would be staying for dinner, you reply yes based on observation of the change in weather. Since being sat you recognize the various groups of other families and people at other stages in their night. Some are on first dates with a glass of red, others bubbling in banter bathing in the crackles from a stone grilled Porterhouse. But none of them have taken much notice that you came in alone.

As you are presented with the menu, you notice that the meals are cheaper than you were anticipating. The waiter pours you a glass of water and asks how your day has been. Mid-conversation the waiter talks about your favorite sport and you light up because you know who won that game, that Federer is in top form, that Trump’s an idiot. You laugh and enjoy yourself, all the meanwhile the rain is thickening to blanketing hail…

Your order has been taken and you are waiting for your entree. As you head for the social cover of your phone, a person sitting along the same wall as you yells out your name. You light up as they are an old school friend you haven’t seen in many years. Asking how their parents are, they are delighted to chat with you. The banter train boards and you’re absolutely loving the time you’re having. Before you know it your first meal arrives, your friend and their partner are now sitting at the same table as you. Their meals just arrived too. You continue to chat and talk about people you mutually disliked in school. As you take the first bite of your food, you notice it’s really tasty.

Some time has passed and your main meal arrives. The storm is making a racket outside but is quelled by the laughter and socializing coming from inside this diner. A lady walks down the street drenched in her coat, visibly disgruntled with a blue scarf but you took no notice. Once again you take the first bite of a different meal and the conversation has turned to your old friend’s engagement to their partner. You talk about the duties of a serious relationship and the banter takes a twist because the waiter has joined in. While asking about the quality of the food your smile speaks words. The waiter, pointing at your friend, nervously says their name. To which your friend replies the waiter’s name. You begin to recognize the waiter as another mutual friend you both share. Memories fly as the taste buds are swayed by the main meal you’ve ordered. The waiter starts to reconnect and it’s been five minutes, his boss has noticed. He ducks down to hide from view and shows you a nicer way of eating your meal by adding some of the sauce on your table. Before you ate it you were skeptical, but afterward, you realize how good it is. After grabbing your number, the waiter continues his job.

As you pay for your meal and shake hands with the other parties, you notice it’s dark out and the storm has passed. After you’ve left, walked home along the waterfront and are just about to reach your bed, you receive a text message from your friend saying it was really cool to catch up. Immediately you remember the food you ate and the bizarreness of your evening… In a good way…

Looking into it, do you remember the lady with the blue scarf? She wore a trench coat and was being battered by the rain. While you were captured in that moment, right there when it all went down. You remember everything, from the Rimu floor, the weather outside, how much the meal cost but more importantly you remembered the food. Remembered it being good. Not often do you let other people touch your food, but you didn’t put up a fuss because you were, in that moment, enjoying life.

Food is a memory and we possess unlimited storage.

Too often people forget that food is perishable and only goes in one direction. We live in a modern world where we seldom appreciate the different flavors of food. An expectation often exists where we focus more on how much was on the plate, what it tasted like, how long the food took and how much meal was.

We neglect the conversation, by eluding to our devices or focusing on the weather.

This is applicable outside of the restaurant too. Think of a meal you prepared at home, your own cooking, took longer than you expected. Surrounded by family at the dinner table and it only takes one person to comment that something wasn’t cooked perfectly. Your response is sudden and you forget about what happened in your dad’s day or your aunt’s dog’s name and would likely feel more comfortable scrolling on Facebook.

More importantly, what makes food good are the genuine interactions you have with other people who care about you and want you to feel just as good as they are. Something I need to learn myself, thus my Friday afternoon thought for you guys!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT! Thank you for reading!.
Stay tuned!

Blog 005! What is Architecture?

So what is it? By Mana Williams 10-14 Minutes 

In my first year studying Architecture, I remember one of the first reports was to write about any building in the world that meant something to us. A Turangawaewae, or Maori for a place to stand, suggests an emotional response to a particular location that you hold most significant. Most people were all about beaches and Mountain passes, some more sentimental reports included backyards, grave sites and physical objects like boats because home is where the family is. From a distance, all of these different locations fall under the same umbrella and that is Architecture.

We learned the different segments of the Architectural society consist of:
-The umbrella ‘Architecture.’
-Landscape Architecture. Beaches, Mountain Passes, Grave sites etc.
-Interior Architecture. Homes, caravans, boats even Kombi’s fit into this category.
-Lastly is Building Science. The logistical construction and project managing of a site.
The four categories merge into a process that has been used for centuries way back to Prehistoric Architecture. The simple affinity with molding site into form, by taking one’s hands and carefully crafting a shape or object is a better way of explaining the process of Architecture. By taking an everyday space and changing its layout, its context, into an arrangement that is customized which makes that object Architecture.

But we already knew that… My Turangawaewae is an abstract concept that my work space was the place I stood. In the case of my old workspace, a supermarket inside of a small shopping mall within a city of New Zealand. A place where I could be effective and complete my tasks.

A tree grows in one place but it’s rooted outwards.

When you think of where you work, you know where things are, who the banter is best shared with, where the bosses office is, and where the boss is in regards to where the banter is facilitated. More importantly, when you work hard you feel productive, like a well-oiled machine, utilizing the space available to you.

But that’s all a part of the crafted space. Some of my Architecture Schoolmates will cringe at the name Vitruvius. Markus Vitruvius Pollio was a Roman Author who lived in the Century before Christ. He envisaged three golden rules in the design and construction of a building. Firmitas – Strength, Utilas – Functionality, and Venustas –  Beauty. Although his golden rules were due to his age in the days when The Roman Empire had an immeasurable consideration of wealth, many Architect’s today are still influenced by Functionality and Beauty (or aesthetics).

In the purposes of my workspace, the flow and efficiency are ruled by the proximity from one place to the next. This is where I elude more so to Vitruvius’ second law of functionality. It is not so much the Beauty or indeed the Strength or firmness of the site, but the functionality in regards to how well placed every area of work was.

I was growing. Branching outwards knowing where the funniest guys were working when they were working and where their respective departments were. Where their supervisors were stationed and how a ten-second gap near the avocados was all the allotted banter time required to have a great laugh. After spending three years, growing in this space, getting to know the flow, a weird sort of institutionalization occurred where I honestly felt more comfortable at work than in many other places…

Now I’m not cuddling up to my old work and there were no relationships, asides from the obvious work flirts. For me, Architecture is this umbrella that spans out to many different sentiments and that it means many different things to different people. However, this is where I stand. It is a space unrepeatable and a space where you grow.

Blog 004! Treaty Talks

A modern view on Maori. By Mana Williams. 10-15 Minutes 

Historically, there has always been an imbalance of power. In cases where the consideration for the individual is considered less important than the concerns of the many. But when you bring it back to its roots what does the Treaty of Waitangi really stand for?

Waitangi day could be remembered as a justification that Maori people, as a collective, were and still are an advanced and intelligent people. Otherwise, what would have been the point in having a Treaty? James Carroll would not have been the First Maori Prime Minister in 1909-1911 and Sir Apirana Ngata would not have been entrusted by Parliament to create a Maori Battalion in WW1 and WW2.

On February 6th, 1840, a collection of different ethnic groups came together in New Zealand to sign an agreement establishing a mutual relationship between Maori, British, French, American and other settlers. A common mistake is that people believe that only the British and Maori came to an agreement when it was actually a collective between many different walks of life. This entailed that British, French, and American settlers would be able to segregate land masses within New Zealand, owned by Maori chiefs. By gaining their signatures, lands would be purchasable from their respective Iwi land owners. More importantly, a friendship could be reached between the many different walks of life.

Like many social developments around the globe, many indigenous tribal colonizations possessed a lust for progression. Maori people felt that they had reached a climax with the other participating nations before signing the Waitangi Treaty, but not all of the Chiefs agreed with the declaration. Similar to a few different cultures, a few significant leaders believed that they could progress their tribe by participating in the treaty signing.

Hone Heke as an example, was a Maori chief of the Ngapuhi iwi who was a cunning leader and a skilled warrior and tactician. Some of his best-known works were the cutting of the British Flag Staff four times in the first Capital of New Zealand, Russell. A real nuisance, but equally a respected individual who was a great ambassador for Maori people. Out of the belief of progression and the advancement of his people, Hone Heke was the first Maori Chief to sign the Treaty of Waitangi. From his influence over other Maori Chiefs, Heke inspired the thought of other Maori Leaders to follow suit.

Although without the skill and advanced education surrounding Treaty wording, the authors of the agreement intentionally used vague terms and elongated translations to create loopholes within the Treaty so that they could later manipulate land claims and effectively control the majority stake of land in New Zealand.

This natural lean towards self-empowerment leads me to my next train of thought. What struck me this afternoon when looking out of the window on my break at work was actually the significant shift in power that has occurred over time in New Zealand history, particularly in the last four decades where we have seen the restoration of Maori equality within our communities.

However, you can be sure that when a Kaumatua, an elder person of the people, condemns the stately affairs of their own Marae. You can guarantee that there is dysfunction within the iwi. In recent years it has been customary for the Prime Minister of New Zealand to participate in Waitangi Day festivities at Titi marae. However, in the weeks leading up to this year’s Waitangi Day, a total media blackout was enforced by the Iwi of Titi Marae, Ngapuhi. This order was disputed by members of Parliament, such as Winston Peters who condemned the act as, “an abomination,” as well as Labour Party Leader Andrew Little stating that, “I won’t be, in the future, participating in the shutting down of the ability for New Zealanders to participate in this Waitangi Celebration.” Although Little’s claims are politically motivated in the wake of the resignation of Former Prime Minister John Key and the upcoming elections. It is still significant that Labour Party Leader Andrew Little includes All New Zealanders as a collective, because what it does do is it balances the proclamation of the original Treaty. When we look at the Treaty today, it is sad that we say that it is a day for Maori people to celebrate when in reality, French Governors were present on the 6th of February 1840.

When we stand back from politics we begin to respect that the need of a nation to satisfy their quarrels is understandable. But as with power and people of influence, it is more significant to consider the voices of the individual.

Blog 003! A Bitch or An Idiot?

Is it time for more structure? By Mana Williams. 13-16 Minutes 

Here goes…

When Senators and Judges come to a collective agreement on the misappropriated policy enforced by a governing administration, you know something is up. With global leaders rallying to dispute travel bans as ‘questionable’ and in more extreme cases ‘racist.’ You can imagine a democracy to disperse in chaos. So why doesn’t it?

At the end of 2015, the Republican Nominee received a mere 19 percent of the popular vote for office as The President of The United States. On the lead up to the election date, many people were left scratching their heads wondering how this “man” could have made such a dramatic comeback. “He speaks his mind,” and,”He tells things how they are.” Both common phrases when asked why supporters drew breath for the man. As the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was being battered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, about claims of her misplacing of 33 000 emails. Many of us outsiders were left contemplating the severe mistiming of an investigation at such a crucial time in her campaign. Come 9 pm on November the 9th 2016, New Zealand Time, a President was elected. Although there were millions of people around the world wondering how the hell this happened when you put it into layman’s terms it’s quite simple.

A Bitch or An Idiot.

I remember sitting at my cousin’s place on my birthday last year checking my Facebook for posts about the election. People posting, “How the heck did that just happen?” Walking around a small town in New Zealand that evening with people wandering the streets and coming home from restaurants we started to ask people how they felt about the new President-Elect.

One man responded, “He seems like the lesser of the two evils.”
A woman responded, “He is disgusting, he treats women with no respect.”

Fast forward three months and the Inauguration has occurred. One of the first decisions made was that The Secretary of Education would be Betsy DeVos, a multi-billion dollar women with minimal experience in dealing with the many concerns of a growing country. One Senator during the Secretaries Senate preliminary public debate on approval votes of DeVos listed the many concerns that the Secretary has to consider in this role. “Over one hundred thousand appeals have come in from all over the country regarding the disapproval of Secretary DeVos.” After explaining the intricate details of six individual letters sent in from the public, the Senator continued to express the many responsibilities that the new Secretary of Education would have to be accountable for. The Senator stated that “One in Five female students in the United States will or have received some form of sexual harassment while at school.” That The United States Education System is failing their children and that the new administration has a responsibility to control and lead their country by protecting their kids.

This is not dissimilar from the current difficulties New Zealand faces of child abuse and the failures of a system to act on and bring a stop to domestic violence. The difference being is that these afflictions are occurring in American schools BY OTHER STUDENTS!

The Senator continues to explain the responsibilities DeVos would have… Stating that Bullying is a severe concern within the United States. The Senator then continues by talking about the concern for the lives of the LGBTQ community, making mention of the rate of suicides within the United States as appalling. “A student who identifies themselves as being gay is statistically three times more likely to commit suicide in America and twice as likely if they are questioning, based on statistics from 2016.”

Living in a Millennial generation plagued by suicide is a sensitive and tentative situation that requires diligence and understanding from a Senator who is aware of the social isolation and is adjunct to being humane. Buried beneath the fortune and heightened social status that is supplementary to the multi-billion dollar name of DeVos, what humanness does Betsy really contain? This is a subject matter that we can also apply to the  President himself.

What is the most significant difference we see between ‘Him’ and Obama?

Humane-ness, the ability to apply experience to sensitive situations, to show inspirational leadership in cases of difficulty. If Betsy DeVos is appointed the position of Secretary of Education by congressional vote. She needs to install trust within victims of abuse and teachers of knowledge. If The President is going to act like a President, he needs to show every forum that he is willing to be sensitive to any situation out of understanding and Humane-ness.

In 2017, The President of The United States applied a travel ban to seven different countries for ninety days based on the prevention of Terrorism. Thousands of legal green-card-holding migrants were refused entry into The United States. Families and loved ones gathered at large airports, such as JFK International in New York, protesting their family members be let back into their countries. Law firms from the city of New York encouraged their employees to do some pro-Bono work… So they did… Some of whom were pleading for their own family members through legislative means. Others took more significant action…

I was amazed to learn that Judge James Robart, a federally life-appointed congressional judge by former President Bush, took action against the new policy enforcing that essentially the policy was racist. I was more amazed to learn that this particular judge also made headlines when he presided over a case of excessive force of a police officer against a black person. Stating that “Police shootings (in the USA) resulting in deaths involved 41% black people, despite being only 20% of the population,” and that, “Black lives Matter.” The significance of this is not the controversy of the issue but that this man has shown, to a certain degree,  a level of human compassion that does matter.

The President later tweeting, with his tiny fingers, “Blame Judges and Courts if America is attacked.”

So to what degree does a dog get to bite the hands of its people? If the President was elected by the people how is it a functional relationship if he neglects the very people he was placed in that position to defend? If a system collapses because you have a President overruling a democratically operating country’s Justice Department, then how can you be sure that he is acting in the best interests of The Secretary of Education when they are dealing with the protection of at-risk kids or one in five female students who are being sexually harassed at school?

I remember a time of disillusionment when I would build a tower and break it down without any larger scale implications that maybe just maybe philosophically everybody has those same desires. Until he was elected on my birthday.

Put simply, the United States is responsible for putting him there, dispute that how you want, he is there. It is now your job to make sure the tower, your Federal Governing body and all of its Departments, do not collapse. By showing humility in the face of appalling atrocities. It’s the small acts of humane-ness that support a nation, not the legislatures and policies placed there to force structure.

“You see, freedom has a way of destroying things.”
Scott Westerfeld

Blog 002! Green Ink

Why do people think the grass is greener on the other side? By Mana Williams. 10-15 Minutes. 

I remember having conversations with my fifteen-year-old sister, the age of closed bedroom doors and hoodies at the beach… She was wearing a navy blue shirt with the silhouette of the Eiffel Tower on the front and the title “P A R I S” in green ink. The typical hipster-town girl trend and an attitude to boot. The Doc Martens ripped jeans and Reggie-wear community versus the no sleeved white shirt with short black shorts and converses with ankle string bracelets. The Nike labelled shoes, socks, duffel bags, shorts, running shirts and probably even underwear…

I asked my sister why she loved Paris so much and her answer was because she “just does…” I wasn’t able to figure out what subliminal propaganda would have been administered through her lifespan to gauge a lust for escargot. A teenagers portfolio of life goals likely includes; becoming a trillionaire in three weeks, owning a mansion, having a French husband and living across the road from the Cathedral of Notre Dame De Paris. A generation I have grown in where the line between materialism and imagination have been blurred to grow an unhealthy expectation. Apart from its romantic undertones, three-star Michelin restaurants, a gigantic metal monument (Eiffel Tower), the end of a 21-day bike race and the Champs Elysees (Tour De France)… What does Paris actually have that out of any place in the world, a fifteen-year-old girl living in a small town in New Zealand would have any interest in?

Five-year-olds in school are questioned about what they want to be when they grow up. You would anticipate that they would say “Doctor, Artist, Fireman, Police Officer.” As they grow up to 12 years old they might say “Gymnast, Professional Rugby Player, Professional Video Gamer, Lawyer, Architect, Engineer.” So they are encouraged to set themselves up for a successful career by choosing the right classes, completing homework on time and having perfect attendance in class. They enter College with a pre-determined expectation that if they are able to complete university and gain a degree they will be guaranteed a job in their desired field and will have that instant gratification they desired and apparenty deserved…

So why do we do homework over the weekend?

The answer isn’t linear. In my high school years, I was torn between studying Architecture and Engineering. I had been informed by a family friend that there wasn’t a lot of money in architecture and that Civil Engineering was a better field to get into.

“A Senior Architect is capable of earning around $100 000 whilst a Civil Engineer is capable of earning upwards of $220 000 per annum.” – Said by a Jealous Nobody. 

Based on one man’s comparisons I was provoked into believing Civil Engineering was the better option. I changed classes to suit pre-requisite requirements to gain entrance into University under a Bachelor of Engineering. One of the courses I had to choose was Chemistry… Needless to say, my relationship with Chemistry was not all rosy or a positive enforcement of learning development. Worst of all I chose to do Chemistry because of one man’s comparison. Choosing to give up my dream for a reality that maybe the grass is greener on the other side.

After re-aligning myself to Architecture and wiping the shit, that was Chemistry, off of my shoe, apologies to any Chemist’s reading, I began studying with my hopes and expectations set high. Why does University present classes without stating the difficulty of learning and that the practical applications of learnt materials in University are actually minimal and in some cases irrelevant?

Students set out after the March intake orientation learning who they are and wondering how their career might pan out. Classes are set where for every credit you earn at University you are expected to complete 10 hours of study. When students turn into professionals who run businesses or have other priorities like family or relationships. They are not tutored on ways in which they can develop during the weekend because they are up to all hours of the night stressing out about study time.

“Imagine if students were treated like Professionals and tutors had appointments with students and would have to teach students within their allotted timeslot without failure or grading.”

During my year I visited a number of start-up businesses and Architecture firms through family and friend connections with an embedded interest in finding out what it was like being a professional. One Architect claimed that a typical working week would consist of the maximum of 40 hours because they were on Salary. He claimed that there was no overtime pay due to restrictions created by his firm. As a result, the Architect refused to work during the weekends. So why should we be forced to study during the weekend and equally why should school children have to complete homework projects during the weekend? This is not a plea to get out of work during the weekends. It is aimed at independent growth and time for self and psychological development.

What is the point in studying something you are passionate about if you lose your personal time to figure out what you are actually passionate about?

We drive safest when we are not fumbling with our phones or eating food. We focus better when we are not distracted. Obviously… If a student studies 40 hours in a week there should be nothing they cannot accomplish. Months into my degree there was not a single student studying architecture who was not buried in sketch books or CAD programs on Saturday evenings or Sunday mornings. That’s sad.

We are so consumed by the realities of the cost of our personal ambitions that we fail to see how we are losing out on significant moments and opportunities. But it isn’t our fault because we are blinded by social pressures from the age of five to perform and reach these expected levels. We are bred to feel that the grass is greener on the other side like a dog is bred to think food has magical powers. The consistent propaganda whether it’s through social media about how incroyable Paris is or through jealous word of mouth that Engineering is better than Architecture. We are all made to read green ink.

Develop a routine that prioritises YOU not what is expected of you. The expectation lies with somebody ELSE.

“Develop a can-do-spirit and be sure you are not suppressed by the naysayers whose daily actions are meant to discourage you from achieving what you believe.”
Israelmore Ayivor

Blog 001! Houses and Bananas

Why does stuff get more expensive? By Mana Williams. 8-12 Minutes

I remember when I was fifteen, wore Adidas track pants and thought Ninja’s were really cool. Applying for my first job nervously crinkling up my CV (Resume) with Lynx Africa spray on and a naivety for financial independence. It was not long after I received my first paycheck, an $86.04 cent flurry of minor purchases and retail therapies occurred thereafter. My parents were aware of my spending but held the attitude that it was better I made mistakes and spent my money on silly things when I was young and financially dependent than when I was an adult, had priorities that needed managing and bills to pay. I’m sure I speak for many people when I say I have nothing to show for 90% of my purchases. After working for a supermarket for two years I began to notice the significant amount of difference there was between how much I was earning and how much my employer was earning. A business module that operates with a soul purpose of profit margin and to benefit from capital gains taxes with employees under policies of, “for every dollar I give you, you give me ten.” The extra $9 covers the original payment made to the supply chain, logistics and store operating costs but is still left with a net “PROFIT MARGIN” in the end.

If you paid for a kilogramme of bananas for $2.99 in a supermarket produce department. The amount of money the employee would get would equal the about of labour done at roughly 30 seconds from placing the produce onto his trolley, entering the shop floor and taking the bunch of bananas from his trolley to the display. At minimum wage in New Zealand of $15.75, 30 seconds equates to $0.13 before tax.

If rising costs of inflation impose on everything purchasable in our country then why do we not have an equivalent pay increase? If we are supposed to get $1 for every $10 our employer earns then why do we earn $0.13 for a $2.99 kg of bananas? That’s $1 for every $23…

The answer lies with Steve, or trickle down economic hardship as I will explain.

One example was the US House Market Collapse in 2008 where 4 trillion dollars of taxpayers money was lost in investments made against default credit swaps for mortgages.

So how does the American Housing Crisis contribute to the long-term decline in ratio growth of pay rate to inflation in a New Zealand economy?

Or

What does one American’s problem have to do with expensive house costs and shit pay for me?

I’m glad you asked… Like a domino’s effect, a regular guy named Tom want’s to buy a house, a greedy businessman named Steve lends him a loan to buy a house without checking if the man can pay. A greedy banker, named Steve also, creates a “cunning plan” and buys the loan from the greedy businessman and sells it to investors. One of the investors is a government financial representative in charge of tax payers money, guess what his name was Steve too. One of the tax payers is a wealthy businessman who does trade deals internationally with low tax rates. One of the countries the wealthy businessman does deals with is in Oceania. (Australia, New Zealand and other nearby Islands).

Do you remember the man Tom from the beginning? The guy with not too much cash in hand, not dissimilar from myself actually, applying for a cash loan on a Mortgage for his house… He can’t pay… As well as thousands of other people. The greedy businessman Steve shakes his head with confusion and can not longer swap with greedy banker Steve because they are no longer receiving any cash flows from their purchases, the banker is unable to sell their product to investors because they recognise the fraudulence, the United States Government’s Financial representative Steve quits his job because he realises that he just lost 4 trillion dollars of retirement money. 12 million people lose their jobs, of them, hundred’s of workers were made redundant after the international Tax Paying Businessman could no longer afford to do trade deals Internationally because of increased tax rates imposed on export trade deals. The New Zealand house market is saturated by thousands of houses that were being sold for nothing so house prices in New Zealand dropped significantly. The New Zealand Government suffers from higher tax prices with the United States combined with a declining housing market in which they receive capital tax from and decides not to increase the minimum wage. House prices recover and grow with inflation whilst the minimum wage plateaus…

Businesses within New Zealand are plagued with ever rising operating costs through taxation and trickle down economic hardships of other businesses. Inspired by assholes like Steve, businesses will also look for their Profit Margin. That is why a KG of Banana’s was $2.49 this time last year and $2.99 this year.

With an influx of new tax levies imposed by Governing Bodies, organisations and businesses are increasing the prices of everything. But you can guarantee that there is a Steve in there somewhere, creating stupid deals with other stupid people who think they are intelligent. Whether it’s a House or a Banana, it all adds up.