A property near Queenstown, New Zealand, designed by Mason & Wales Architects.
‘How New Zealand became an apocalypse escape destination for Americans’, July 16, 2020, cnn.com
“In Queenstown — a picturesque ski spot that often attracts comparisons to Aspen, Colorado — rumors about foreigners investing in apocalypse-proof bunkers have been swirling for years.
Queenstown residents are skeptical about whether the secret, underground hideaways are actually as prevalent as such allusions would suggest. Unlike in the United States or Europe, where bunkers are frequently photographed and written about, there’s scant evidence to prove that any bunkers have actually been installed.
A floor plan of one Rising S bunker
“For years, Queenstown has been an attractive destination for elite foreigners who may have reason to seek out a metaphorical bunker, safe from major political turmoil thousands of miles away. Notable US-based homebuyers include Silicon Valley billionaire and political firebrand Peter Thiel and disgraced former NBC News anchor Matt Lauer.
Now that the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc worldwide, Queenstown is once again sparking interest as the perfect place to escape catastrophe — with or without a secret bunker.”
From forbes.com, July 3, 2008: ‘Southern Sanctuary; Want to be far from terrorism threats and have Bill Gates as a neighbor? Then New Zealand may be the place for you’
A lengthy list of elite buyers, locations, prices, and so on, but how cool is this for the toffs?
“Unlike Australia, New Zealand does not levy transfer taxes on residential properties. New Zealand abolished death taxes in 1992. There are also no property taxes, and land sales other than by people in the real estate business are exempt from capital gains taxes.”
‘Microsoft seeks new datacenter region in New Zealand; Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she welcomes Microsoft’s announcement to establish a datacentre region for cloud services in New Zealand’, May 6, 2020, rnz.co.nz
“With the development of this new datacenter region, Microsoft aims to fuel new growth that will accelerate digital transformation opportunities [cashless society? contact tracing?] across New Zealand,” the statement said.
“This means job opportunities in the near term for our construction industry and, in the longer term, for our ICT industry and local innovators. This also serves as a signal to the world that New Zealand is open for business and quality investment,” he said.
“Today’s decision by Microsoft means that the government, and New Zealand businesses and people, will be able to access the scale and security of Cloud services offered by a major global provider in ways we haven’t been able to before.”
Where will the wage slaves live? And on the right sidebar, a few Gates and Microsoft ads:
‘Bill Gates steps down from Microsoft to focus on philanthropy’, 14 March 2020
‘Microsoft has pledged to remove “all of the carbon” from the environment that it has emitted since the company was founded in 1975’, Jan. 17, 2020
And Microsoft goes full amerikan kinte-cloth:
‘Microsoft announces it will “double the number of Black and African American people managers, senior individual contributors, and senior leaders in the United States by 2025’, June 23, 2020
Heard on the street in Aotearoa: a disgusted, but unnamed Maori male said to his friend:
‘There goes the neighborhood!’
Speaking of NZ long-beleaguered indigenous Maori’s, I thought I’d poke about a bit to see how they’re faring under Jacinda Ardern’s adminstration, and found: er…not so well.
‘Jacinda Ardern faces Māori wrath over ‘inhumane’ treatment of families; A damning report into child removals by Oranga Tamariki sets the stage for tough Waitangi visit for New Zealand PM’, theguardian.com, Feb. 2, 2020
“There’s been unprecedented breaches of human rights,” said Naida Glavish, the head of a Māori-led inquiry into the practices of New Zealand’s child services agency, Oranga Tamariki.
The investigation, which began six months ago, is one of five being conducted into the organisation, sparked by a documentary in 2019 that depicted social workers’ repeated attempts to seize a Māori baby from its mother shortly after birth.
The report details what families describe as racial profiling, widespread fear among Māori families that their children will be taken away, and abuses of power by social workers. It details incidents in which armed police, with dogs, were sent to seize babies from their families.
It also accused the agency of not allowing extended Māori families to care for children – an established cultural practice – when relatives thought that was the best option.
That meant challenging Ardern on her pledge to do better by Māori, and her urging of Māori leaders to keep track of her progress, that she made in a 2018 speech at Waitangi marae.”
On the left sidebar: ‘We must dismantle our colonial system and rebuild it with Māori at the heart; Waitangi 2020 is the year for us to prepare for a national discussion on power in Aotearoa, and rights for Māori on Māori land’, Feb. 2, 2020
Now it’s hard not to imagine that these new draconian measures are related to the Elites moving in, including #1 contributor to the WHO, thus the new director general) Bill Gates [the most important Doctor on the Planet) nor does it take much imagination to think that it’s again the poor and indigenous who will be first to go to the camps…
‘Coronavirus: All New Zealand’s confirmed COVID-19 cases to be put in quarantine facilities from now on’, 13/08/2020, newshub.co.nz
“Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced the change at a press conference on Thursday, moments after revealing there are 13 new cases of coronavirus linked to an outbreak in south Auckland.
The use of quarantine facilities marks a major departure from how positive cases were managed by health officials when New Zealand was last at level 3, as cases earlier in the year were told to simply self-isolate in their homes.
Dr Bloomfield says the mandatory quarantine will apply to both new cases and, if necessary, close family members who might be at risk.
“[It] shows how serious we are about limiting any risk of ongoing transmission – even in self-isolation and including to others in the household,” he added.
“A reminder, these facilities have been set up specifically and have excellent processes and resources in place to look after people with COVID-19, including health staff on site at all times.”
Jacinda says that polling shows that 80% of the public agrees with this decision.
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)
Sorry, wendye, I am so far off the radar I haven’t seen it’s politically correct to write “Māori” instead of just plain “Maori”, and thusly the same for “Pakeha” (good grief). Must be all those wealthy bunker builders are phonetically challenged. (It’s actually a pretty easy language to pronounce, syllabically speaking. ) But as to having anything pertinent to contribute, that counts me out for any reasonable comments, except I did think in the photo you presented those were very pale looking Māori chaps and none too healthy either. Of course, it is winter still there, though a very mild one, fortunately. (Necessary point of confession – I cut and pasted those correct notations. Would need to reset computer to do the one for white folk, and being one not gonna bother.)
I guess our own covid stats have been occupying most of my attention – that plus the heat. Maybe my brain will function better once we dip down temperaturewise, tho I wouldn’t count on it!
I will comment that with sea level predicted to be on the rise, maybe those underground bunkers end up undersea as well? When we were down there, near Auckland we visited an undersea aquarium built in a no longer used sewage pipe out into the ocean. Riveting experience comes to mind and I didn’t even hunt up the pun – my Dad would be proud.
But continuing the bunker image, even on high ground, earthquakes , thermal issuances …Still, with tourism way down, the inflow of funds will be appreciated, no matter who is in power.
Or not. Who knows on anything these days? At least the days are shorter. Here, not there. That I can report accurately.
mr. wd and i had both wondered about the guardian’s maori photo, and whether if was close to accurate as to ‘white balance’, as the folks looked far too pale. i had put a couple haka videos in over yonder, as well as a long, long eposé on gates’ sort of cavalier philanthro-capitalism in the global south written by two authors at the grayzone. it was even uglier almost beyond belief, and that f’er is lauded universally.
i’d also added this tweet that pretty much confirmed my intuitive belief in the OP about gates, microsoft, covid, cashless society, and vaccinations.
dunno where that long a thingie in maori came from. i’m not even sure if they use it themselves.
but yes to the rising oceans, volcanoes, and earthquakes. but they are convinced that they’ve found their Safe Spaces in NZ. the smoke from so many forest fires has greyed our air for days and days, and it can be a bit disconcerting, as can the heat.
so nice to see you as always, ww. hope your garden’s doing well. in the end, although germination was so poor, we did grow great basil, and a hella lot of remarkable flowers. ; )