Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

My mother-in-law has a great relationship with my sisters-in-law but not me.
She avoids me at family gatherings and is superficial when she talks to me.
I finally asked a sister-in-law why she won’t warm to me and she told me in strictest confidence how my mother-in-law  had never forgiven me for taking her son away from his previous fiancé and she still hopes they will get back together.
This is ridiculous as he dumped her when he caught her cheating and furthermore we didn’t know each other until six months later.
She is outright lying and I am so shocked and upset.
Should I tell my husband?

Aunty S responds

No I wouldn’t.
If she is cold and aloof when around you, your husband will catch on soon enough.
Just keep on being polite when in her presence and try not to be alone with her.
Many women have mother-in-laws from hell and they survive but survival depends on you outwitting her. Don’t let emotion rule.
I am sure she would love you to go running to your husband where she will deny being aloof and tearfully say you don’t like her blah blah blah.  Of course you can’t involve your sister-in-law.  That would be a betrayal of confidence.
If she doesn’t pull her head in, it’s far better for your son to see her in the act and trust me she will trip up.
Good luck my dear girl.


Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

My sister-in-law is a liar.
She recently told me how my husband says derogatory things about me when he visits his brother.
I believed her and confronted him and he denied it.
He insisted we visit his brother and wife immediately so we drove two hours when we got there she denied saying it to me.
But her husband, who I went to school with, hit the roof and told us how she is always lying so believed me.
Their marriage is now on the rocks and I feel guilty.

Aunty S responds

It is not your fault so there is no need to feel guilty.
Sadly you can never trust a liar and it sounds like your brother-in-law has dealt with quite a bit of drama throughout their short marriage.
She obviously needs professional help but in my experience liars never admit they have a problem.


Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

Recently I retired from the country to a suburb in a good part of my local city.
All the neighbouring homes are worth more than two million dollars so I assumed there would be nice neighbours so I didn’t direct any questions to the Realtor as to why the owners were selling.
I should have.
Now I know why they sold, my neighbours are loud, rude and abusive when drunk and this is all the time.
Their back deck looks into my backyard and the neighbour on the other side told me they cut the trees in my backyard when the previous owner were on holiday so they could look directly into it and hurl abuse at them.
When they returned from holiday they were devastated so decided to sell.
Now I am stuck with these obnoxious neighbours.
They told another neighbour how I sunbathe in the nude and I hang my washing out in the nude.
Of course I do not do either.
Hopefully nobody will believe them.
My children want me to sell as they don’t like me living beside them.
My son says he will move in with me until it sells, he doesn’t want me to be alone.
What do you think?

Aunty S responds

Listen to your kids my dear…sell up my dear….its not worth the stress.
And what a great son, take him up on his offer today.
This house will sell quickly as its in a prime position.
Your neighbours are nothing but vile bullies.
And use the same Realtor, tell him your life is a misery and you need to have it sold now.
He will get a huge commission so he will fall over himself to get a sale.

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Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

Last Xmas I had another miserable time at my parents house.
My sister is horrible and flaunts her wealth in front of my kids by taking her kids presents over to my parents house for them to open.
My kids open their presents at home.
My parents are sweet and have told me not to come this year, just visit in the evening after she has gone home which I am thrilled about as we will have a family Xmas at the beach.
There is a small problem, my husband  says I can take the kids to the beach if I want but he is having Xmas dinner at my parents.
He likes catching up with his brother-in-laws, they sit around and get rotten drunk.
The kids are fine going without their father but I am now feeling guilty.
What should I do?

Aunty S responds

Your husband is quite happy to go to your parents without his family so you have no reason to feel guilty.
Of course It is sad he prefers a drinking session to having a day out with his family but if you are okay with this there is no problem.
Have a fun-filled day at the beach.

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Dear Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

I have decided not to go to my in-laws this Xmas as I am over all the drama that happens year after year.
My kids are old enough to pick up on the fact they are being ignored by their cousins and Grandparents and of course there is always the snide remarks about how brown they go in Summer.
I am Maori and my husband isn’t.
His family have never forgiven me for marrying their son.
My husband is very supportive and always apologises after we leave their house.
I am the one who has insisted we go each year in the hope they would accept us.
My husband is glad I have seen sense and now wants to have it out with his parents.
I would rather we just ignore the elephant in the room and politely say we are busy this year but hope to pop over at some stage on Xmas Day, of course we won’t.

Aunty S responds:

I agree with you my dear.
Very wise.
You gave it your best shot to try to make them accept you, their behaviour is now affecting your children; time to end the Xmas horror but not in a confrontational way.
Have a great Xmas with your lovely family.

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Govt protection proposed for 90 per cent of bank deposits



People with money in the bank will soon have a guarantee of most of their money.

Kiwi households have around $170 billion on deposit with banks, but currently, should a bank fail in New Zealand, there’s no guarantee the Government would bail it out.

Under the Reserve Bank’s Open Bank Resolution scheme (OBR), depositors at a failing bank might have to take a “haircut” with some of their money being taken to recapitalise their bank, and get it open for business again quickly.

New Zealand is unusual by international standards in not having a deposit protection scheme for money in the bank.

The decision comes as part of phase two of the review of the Reserve Bank Act.

“Now is the right time to check we have the tools to make sure banks meet their obligations to New Zealanders, and the powers to enforce them,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said.

“The Government is also making sure New Zealand follows international best practice for promoting public confidence in our banking system, including on the issue of depositor protection.

“Our banks are safe and sound. However, the OECD and IMF have said that our banking system might be more vulnerable in a crisis because we don’t have a deposit protection regime. A deposit protection regime will increase public confidence in the banks.”

The Government is proposing a limit between $30,000 and $50,000 for the deposit protection regime. This would cover 90 per cent of individual bank deposits in New Zealand, which is similar to international schemes. It follows consultation with the sector.

“Overseas experience shows that bank failures can be the result of a few bad decisions that normal bank customers had no influence over and no idea about. A deposit protection scheme will help protect customers like a young couple saving a deposit for a house, people saving for their retirement, or the small business operator who keeps money aside for a rainy day.”

Banking expert Claire Matthews, of Massey University, said it was likely to increase costs for bank depositors.

Internationally, guarantees such as this were not free for the banks. “You can argue the big banks can cover that cost within their level of profit currently but I would expect them to pass it on in some way. Smaller banks don’t have that same capacity so that will increase the cost to depositors.”

She said, depending on which institutions were covered, it might prompt people to shift their money to those with the guarantee.

The Government is also making sure bank regulators in New Zealand have the right tools to hold the banks and their executives to account.

Phase two of the review will look at whether the Reserve Bank’s supervisory regime is sufficiently strong. It will also review the enforcement tools the Reserve Bank has, including whether penalties are tough enough to discourage certain behaviour.

The Government is considering adopting elements of overseas frameworks, which would increase the responsibilities and accountabilities of senior executives for the actions of New Zealand’s banks and licensed deposit-takers.

Australia’s Bank Executive Accountability Regime and the UK’s Senior Managers Regime are two examples of frameworks that assign duties to individual decision-makers at banks, so that if things go wrong the individuals directly responsible can be identified and held to account.

“These regimes go a step further than New Zealand’s current Director Attestation Regime for banks, by also holding senior managers to account for the prudent management of their bank within their area of responsibility,” Robert said.




This is disgusting

Concern mounting over common food additive linked to cancer, bowel disease


Concern is mounting over the safety of popular food additive 171, otherwise known as titanium dioxide.

The substance, which is used for food colouring, can be found in almost 1000 products on supermarket shelves, including mayonnaise, chocolate, toothpaste and even some lollies.

Now, research published yesterday by the University of Sydney suggests the additive could lead to bowel disease or cancer, Nine News reports.

Unlike other food colourings, which are chemical-based, titanium dioxide contains nanoparticles, which can also be found in anything from scratch-resistant sunglasses, car paint and medicines.

Associate Professor Wojciech Chrzanowski, a co-lead author of the study, said its consumption has been linked to “auto-immune disease, asthma, allergies and reproductive issues.”

“We’ve been exposed to nanoparticles all our lives. Mr Chrzanowski said. “However, we are sort of entering the stage where we are over-exposed.

“They should be aware of the potential risk associated with these (products) and maybe when possible limit the consumption of these products.”

France has announced it will ban its use as an additive from 2020. However, here are no current plans to ban the colouring in Australia.

This is a vital read

How dangerous is your painkiller?   

24 February 2018

This article can be found on:  https://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=12001230

Researchers have today revealed the exact risk of having a heart attack or stroke from taking several common painkillers.

The heart dangers of ibuprofen, celecoxib, mefenamic acid, diclofenac and naproxen – taken by millions worldwide to dampen pain – have been assessed.

Taiwanese experts have concluded that the five different tablets could all affect the heart within four weeks, but some are more dangerous than others, the Daily Mail reported.

They assessed the odds of a major cardiovascular event for each of the popular painkillers, using data from 56,00 adults with hypertension – high blood pressure.

They discovered, on average, one in 330 adults who have been taking ibuprofen will experience a heart attack or stroke within four weeks.

However, the drug, costing as little as 20c a tablet and available in supermarkets and dairies, was found to be three times less dangerous than celecoxib, which will lead to one in 105 adults experiencing a heart attack or stroke.

The scientists found mefenamic acid posed the least threat, with just one in 394 users expected to suffer a stroke or heart attack.

One in 245 adults will suffer a cardiovascular event from taking diclofenac, commonly sold as Voltaren in NZ. It was banned from sale over-the-counter in the UK three years ago due to its heart dangers.

However, as many as one in 214 adults taking naproxen – which can be bought from pharmacies without prescription, could expect to suffer a heart attack or stroke.

The findings, published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, highlight the known dangers of taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

An array of evidence has emerged in recent years, linking the widely taken drugs to heart attacks and cardiac arrest – which can kill within minutes.

But few studies published to date have been able to calculate the exact risk of major cardiovascular events between different NSAIDs.

Nearly 56,000 patients with hypertension – high blood pressure – were monitored by researchers at National Yang-Ming University, Taipei.

These patients are at an elevated risk of heart attacks and strokes, but are often unaware that taking common painkillers can boost their blood pressure further.

Major cardiovascular events were classed as when patients were hospitalised for stroke, heart attacks, TIAs and angina.

However, the scientists, led by Dr Yaa-Hui Dong, were keen to point out that there were no significant differences between the painkillers.

And they warned the only significant increased risk was observed when comparing celeocxib and mefenamic acid.

Dr Chia-Hsuin Chang, co-author of the study, said: “Our results provide important information about the comparative safety of alternative NSAID use in patients with hypertension in real-world settings.

“Under low-to-moderate daily dose and a short-term treatment period, most commonly used NSAIDs have similar cardiovascular safety profiles.”

Some cardiologists have called for far tougher controls on NSAIDs amid worrying trials delving into their true dangers.

Professor Gunnar Gislason, from Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, last year called for them to be only available in pharmacies.

He led a study that found people who take ibuprofen have a 31 per cent increased risk of cardiac arrest, researchers found.


Taiwanese researchers calculated the exact risk of having a heart attack or stroke from taking several common painkillers.

The dangers of ibuprofen and four other popular tablets, taken by millions of adults across the world to dampen their discomfort, were assessed.

IBUPROFEN: 1 in 330 adults
CELECOXIB: 1 in 105 adults
MEFENAMIC ACID: 1 in 394 adults
DICLOFENAC: 1 in 245 adults
NAPROXEN: 1 in 214 adults

Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

My boyfriend of a few months died a while ago and I cannot grieve for him in public because I was his secret girlfriend.

We only ever met up at my house once a week in the evenings  when my kids were asleep so nobody knows of our relationship, not my kids or my friends so I am sad and all alone. I want to tell everyone so they understand why I am so sad.

I know he would have left his wife.

My Counsellor has been cruel so I won’t be going back to her as she said he wouldn’t have left his wife for me and I should just move on.

I think I should tell his wife, what do you think?

Aunty S responds

Absolutely not.  

Keep right away from her and her family.

An occasional dalliance does not constitute a relationship so I am in full agreement with your Counsellor so please take her advice and return to her as you need assistance to regain control of your life.

Over and out.

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