THIS week's column takes the form of a quiz.

Tick the answers and see whether your confusion is delusion or simply the tricky truth.

1. Auckland's outrageous house prices are caused by:

a) Foreigners buying houses


b) Foreigners having lots of money

c) NZ selling their houses to foreigners for lots of money

2. Should we shut down the railways?

a) Yes - haven't been on a NZ train for years, although I/we loved riding the fabulous trains between Europe cities. So comfy, clean, efficient blah, blah, blah.

b) Get rid of the trains and we could all get about on the tracks using those hand powered little Jigger things (which would keep us fit) or have our cars fitted with those special wheels that run on the rails like those railways trucks do.

c) Apparently Treasury say it is too expensive to maintain the network of tracks and there is no money to be made in rail so applying this logic we should instead close roads as they are expensive to maintain and they don't make any money.

3. What will the spacecraft circling Pluto find?

a) A speed camera - it is going 34,000mph


b) That there is nowhere to park

c) That a real estate agent has got there first and put up a billboard offering cheap property to foreigners.

4. Should New Zealand offer Greece the opportunity to become part of our nation in exchange for being able to nick the best bits off their flag?

a) Yes - Greece has olives, wine, sheep, goats, sunshine, tourists, a sort of ocean (if the Mediterranean can be counted as one when it has no actual tide).

b) No - New Zealand has olives, wine, sheep, goats, sunshine and ocean with proper waves, tides, driftwood and tourists.

c) Greece probably has cheaper houses right now than Auckland and we still have a currency that is worth something, so it would be a fair exchange.


5. Is it fair that NZ, a great rugby-playing nation, should go play a game in Samoa and then say they won't do it again as it is difficult to fit this into the schedule?

a) But always expect Samoa, Fiji and Tonga to come here to play international games?

b) Is this simply post-colonial snootiness of the worst kind?

c) The All Blacks go around the world to play other countries " is there something wrong with the Pacific neighbourhood?

6. Treasury should not give up on the kiwi (the bird not the dollar although it could be argued that both are an endangered species).

a) If kiwi do become extinct we could have it on the new flag so we can remember what they looked like.


b) Saving kiwi, like tackling social inequity, requires a long-term plan and Treasury seem unable to do the sums.

c) Treasury may find it has become extinct due to loss of its natural habitat on The Terrace in Wellington when foreigners buy the building mistaking it for a state house.

7. The recent freefall in the price of milk powder is no cause for concern because;

a) All those who decided that huge debts, big farms and milking hundreds of cows was the way to untold riches will sell their farms to foreign buyers who see the potential for apartment blocks.

b) We are on the verge of finding a way to power cars with milk powder (why not - we do that now with beer).

c) Although the latest survey shows business confidence is down, that is nothing new. It is always down unless business is trying to sell us something " then they are excited and confident.


-Terry Sarten is a writer, musician and seasoned satirista - feedback: