Property rights 1 government 0

October 31, 2008

The High Court decision against the Crown’s attempt to transfer land occupied under pastoral lease to the Department of Conservation is a victory for farmers and property rights.

High Court judgement has ruled against the Crown for reneging on a deal to offer a special lease to a group of high country farmers.

In 2003 the Commissioner of Crown Lands (CCL) decided to grant a special lease on the expiry of a pastoral occupation licence to the group, known as the Soldiers’ Syndicate.

In 2005 the CCL changed his mind and decided to designate the land, comprising 4,400 hectares in the Hawkdun and Ida ranges near Ranfurly in Otago, as a conservation area. The syndicate appealed to the High Court and was vindicated by the decision released yesterday (30 October).

High Country Accord Chairman Ben Todhunter said:

“This is one of three court cases where high country farming families are defending their legal rights against the Crown, or Crown entities.

“Basically, you have a government determined to convert tussock grasslands that have been grazed by farmers for generations into high country parks and reserves. Because the government hasn’t been able to achieve this on the scale it wants through good faith bargaining, ministers and the agencies that report to them, have been abusing legal processes.”

The second case, challenging the government’s decision to charge farmers for amenity values, is being held in Dunedin. The ODT reports on it here, here and here.

The third case is a challenge to property rights by Fish & Game which contends that pastoral leases do not allow farmers to restrict access to their land.


Fonterra opens $4m US research centre

October 31, 2008

Fonterra has opened a $4 million research centre  at its USA base in Chicago.

The centre will work with North American customers tailoring innovations using New Zealand technology and ingredients to the needs of United States and Canadian markets.

The Chicago Technical Centre (CTC) situated near the O’Hare International Airport houses advanced processing equipment, a sample analysis lab and an ingredient supply site, and will use innovations derived from Fonterra’s other research and development hubs in Palmerston North, Melbourne and Hamburg.

Key customers will be able visit the centre and see the processes and taste the products, as food scientists develop cheeses, yoghurt, paediatric formulas, beverages and bars. “Our investment in the CTC reinforces Fonterra’s commitment to the US dairy industry and to innovation,” said Fonterra USA’s chief operating officer, Martin Bates.


All Of These

October 31, 2008

This Friday’s poem is All Of These by Denis Glover from Enter Without Knocking published by Pegasus Press in 1971.

 

                   All Of These

 

Consider, praise, remember all of these –

 

All, blueprints in hand, who slowly river

The intricate structure, handle, girders like feathers,

take the inert and formless cement, give it

meaning, rearing new alls against weather;

 

these, guiding surely the sky-swung cargo bales

yawning over black hold; against all gales

they steady with merchandise the rolling mast,

pack tightly the walls of a ship, storm-fast;

 

these, building together the parts of an engine,

till revolutions, sweetly tension-strung,

instantly answer as control sends in

message to metal, giving lovely tongue;

 

these whose laboured cunning plough

carves deeply the sweep of the hill’s brow;

now with horses clumsily swinging anew

they’ve creamed over the black earth, arrow-true;

 

hands, timber-tried, that round the vessel’s bow

to take the wave, know prematurely how

the unsalted hull will lift to breaking seas –

consider, praise, remember all of these.

 

Their easy partnership of hand and eye

divides them not; life they identify

with effortless use of tools, lovely, articulate,

striking clear purpose into the inanimate.

 

            -  Denis Glover -


Over or under?

October 31, 2008

Time for a discussion on what really matters: is it better to have the end of the loo paper coming over the roll or under it?

Andrew Hedges  put two new rolls into the loo at his workplace and discovered the one with the paper coming over the top was used much faster than the one where the end came underneath.

I have a theory as to why this is the case (this is where the usability part comes in). With an over roll, you can easily see where the end of the TP is. There is no ambiguity about where to grab hold. With under rolls, you’re lucky to see a little corner of the last square. Usually, you have to bend down, grope around, or spin the roll to find the last square.

He may be right, but what I want to know is, regardless of whether the end’s over or under,  why people use both rolls at once instead of using one then the other?

If one roll is used first as in the photo above then the empty core might remind someone to replace it with a new roll. If both are used at the same time chances are they’ll run out at the same time leaving none when it’s needed.

Hat Tip: Idealog Weekly


Anlene clean – Fonterra

October 31, 2008

Fonterra says independent tests  on its Anlene milk powder have found no traces of melamine.

Results today from the Health Sciences Authority in Singapore on samples from Bangladesh have come back negative,” said Fonterra’s director of group manufacturing, Gary Romano.

“There is no basis in fact for any speculation that Fonterra product sold under the Anlene brand is anything but the highest quality,” he said.

“We fully expect this to be confirmed by the Bangladesh government tests on our product which are expected to be released in the next few days.”

The Bangladesh Government is re-testing all major dairy brands in its market, after saying that a mix of negative and positive results from different laboratories on the same batches of infant formula had caused confusion.


Fizzer fallout

October 31, 2008

The rolling average of polls  still favours National so Labour needed something big to give them the momentum they’ll need to catch up in the last week of the campaign.

But the neutron bomb they dropped proved to be a fizzer and the fallout from it is hitting them in the face.

 

The Press editorialises:

 

The attempt failed ignominiously and the muck the party was trying to throw has wound up all over itself. Yesterday morning, every senior figure in Labour suddenly became uncontactable when journalists were trying to get hold of them, and all of them, from Clark down, were busily distancing themselves from it.

 

To add to their woes The Press  found:

 

. . . that Labour used its taxpayer-funded research unit to trawl through the documents, and also that its chief campaign strategist, senior MP Pete Hodgson, was also working on the story with Williams.

 

The paper also has a he said-she said contradiction between Mike Williams and Helen Clark:

 

Williams told TVNZ last night that the Labour Party had funded his trip to Australia a claim at odds with Clark’s version of events.

Clark told reporters in Christchurch yesterday that Labour had “absolutely not” paid for Williams’ trip, and that the money had come from his own pocket.

 

The Dominion has an explanation for that:

Yesterday Miss Clark said Mr Williams paid for the Melbourne excursion himself, but today said on Newstalk ZB that she had since been updated on the situation.

“He (Mr Williams) told me he paid for it, he now tells me he got reimbursed by the party…” she said.

 

Miss-use of taxpayers’ money is our business but whether Williams or the party paid for his trip is a matter for the them.

 

However, regardless of who stumped up the money it was not only a wasted trip, it could prove to be very costly for Labour.

 

I wouldn’t go so far as Matthew Hooton who reckons Labour’s delivered a fatal blow to their own election chances, but the Stuff poll is encouraging:

 

Do you think Labour’s attempts to dredge up evidence against John Key from a 20-year-old case the Serious Fraud Office says he was not involved with look desperate?

 Yes (1222 votes, 83.0%) 

No (251 votes, 17.0%) 

 

 

Stuff polls are not scientific and reflect the opinions of only those internet users who have chosen to participate.


Taking the Pulse of Tauranga

October 31, 2008

The ODT’s Dene Mackenzie has reached Tauranga as he takes the political pulse of the country.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters faces a voter backlash in Tauranga that could prove terminal unless his party squeaks across the 5% threshold and he can return to Parliament through the party vote.

There is a chance, albeit an outside one, that his law and order spokesman, Ron Mark, will win Rimutaka and take Mr Peters back into Parliament with him, but Mr Peters better not count on that.

At a meet-the-candidates night in Tauranga on Wednesday night, Mr Peters had to contend with hecklers calling out “baubles of office” as the stood-down foreign affairs minister tried to get his message across.

He was not above attacking National Party leader John Key either, attracting some hissing from people near where Taking the Pulse was sitting.

. . . Outside the election meeting, three retired farmers (you could just tell from a distance) were in earnest conversation.

“So, Winston did well tonight,” I volunteered.

The reaction could not have been stronger. Words that cannot be printed here were used to describe the MP for whom two had voted twice.

Richard (72) – he would not give his last name – believed he should give his vote to Act New Zealand this time, to get rid of Mr Peters once and for all.

When asked if he understood how to use the party vote strategically to change the government, he admitted he did not.

Neither did the other two. And that was part of the problem for other voters. They wanted National to win but were not going to vote National for the party vote, voting only for Mr Bridges.

Labour voters were on the money with their voting preferences. No splitting the vote for them.

. . . National-leaning voters believed that Tauranga voters were seen as supporting all the bad things that were happening in Parliament.

Labour voters disliked Mr Peters for dragging Prime Minister Helen Clark into the donations scandals and “forcing her to defend that b . . .”.

They hated the idea that Mr Peters could again be in Cabinet if Labour won the election.

At the RSA club, Mr Peters still had some loyal supporters.

The Gold Card had not proved too helpful for them, but the slogan “Seniors First” on Mr Peters’ election signs meant a lot to those voters.

Interesting that the policy he’s responsible for did little for them but they still trust what he says.

There’s little doubt that Peters will lose the seat. But he needs only 5% of voters to think like the people at the RSA to enable him and his party to crawl back to parliament and maybe into government.


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