10/10 in the Nz Herald’s politics quiz (though one answer was a slip of a finger with a guess so maybe I should claim only 9).
Federated Farmers is justifiably unhappy about a photo the NZ Herald used to illustrate a drought story.
We understand from inquiries that the animal shown had suffered a major injury. A vet had attended and a decision was taken to end its suffering; this was appropriate, humane and has absolutely nothing to do with the current drought.
Members of Federated Farmers are rightfully concerned the photo is in bad taste and lacks context.
Federated Farmers feels the NZ Herald has made a story fit an image. It wrongly creates the impression there are widespread animal welfare issues when in fact there aren’t.
We have asked the Ministry for Primary Industries and they report the condition of stock coming through for processing is no different now than it was before the various drought declarations.
Farmers are responsibly sending stock away while they are in good condition. Furthermore, livestock have to meet all animal welfare requirements on the transportation of stock. For the occasional animal that has suffered a debilitating injury or illness, then humane slaughter on-farm may be appropriate under the animal welfare code.
The story, headlined, drought takes deadly toll on farms is topped by a photo of a farmer about to shoot a cow.
But the cow isn’t a victim of the drought.
But Federated Farmers spokesperson Willy Leferink says the cow was not suffering from starvation and was euthanised in the presence of a vet because of a major injury.
“This was appropriate, humane and has absolutely nothing to do with the current drought.”
Mr Leferink says farmers cannot just kill stock if they cannot feed them because it is against the law.
“A farmer has to get in contact with the authorities and ask for help if they cannot feed their cows. They cannot just shoot them, that is against our laws,” he told 3 News.
“NZ Herald has made a story fit an image. It wrongly creates the impression there are widespread animal welfare issues when in fact there aren’t.”. . .
Farmers are permitted to humanely slaughter an animal on their farm if is it is justified by severe illness or injury.
That’s what the photo shows but the headline and story would lead readers to think it was being shot because of the drought.
It is an out of context photo that tells the wrong story and sensationalises a serious issue of drought which is not one of animal welfare.
Bonza, mate – 20/20 in the Australian citizenship quiz.
The NZ Herald reports that New Zealanders taking the test for real average only 72.6%.
The Attorney General, Minister for Treaty Negotiations and now acting Minister of Labour, Chris Finlayson is number one in the NZ Herald’s ministerial rankings.
Chris Finlayson has emerged as one of John Key’s most valuable ministers in National’s second term. He has scored the highest rating of all ministers in my report card on the Executive prepared with colleagues in the Herald press gallery team. . .
Mr Finlayson is Attorney-General and Treaty Negotiations Minister. He is also Labour Minister since Kate Wilkinson resigned after the royal commission’s damning report into the Pike River disaster.
On the face of it, that may not seem a natural fit – and it may be just a temporary appointment until the next reshuffle. But Mr Finlayson’s skill set may be the right one to keep the job for the rest of the term. He gets results. He has a big intellect and has a good head for detail. But he is also emotionally intelligent, and was a good choice to send to the West Coast to discuss the report with the Pike River families.
His achievements in Treaty Negotiations are the most notable. Who would have imagined two years ago the Government concluding a deal with Tuhoe?
I think this is well deserved. He doesn’t make a fuss but gets things done. The number of Treaty negotiations successfully concluded is in deed notable
Health Minister Tony Ryall and Justice Minister Judith Collins scored highly as well. The Opposition has been able to inflict few dents on the Government in health, such is Mr Ryall’s control after four years in the portfolio. Labour has had three spokespeople over four years. . .
At the other end of the ranking, education Minister Hekia Parata scored only 3.
The education portfolio is always a tough one. That it is tougher for National ministers in part shows the difficulty of effecting change in the face of strong unions which are ideologically opposed to the party regardless of the policy.
In spite of that and opposition from teacher unions at every step,the Minister has kept an unrelenting and sorely needed focus on improving standards, particularly for the long tail of underachievers.
Her work appears to have been handicapped at times by the Ministry of Education which seems to have learned nothing from the debacle over school closures under Trevor Mallard in the last Labour government’s first term.
School closure is always emotionally fraught. In Christchurch in the wake of earthquakes there was even more need for great care. The announcement and some really silly suggestions, such as merging Avonside and Christchurch Girls’, and Shirley and Christchurch Boys’ was, as Hekia Parata herself says crazy.
The loss of more than 9,000 pupils and earthquake damage to school property necessitated change, and major change at that, but a Ministry which handled such a sensitive issue so badly and says it didn’t give schools all the information because it was too complex needs major surgery.
The Herald’s rank (in ministerial order) is:
John Key – 7, Prime Minister, Tourism, SIS, GCSB
Bill English – 8, Finance
Gerry Brownlee – 7.5, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, Transport
Steven Joyce – 7, Economic Development
Judith Collins – 8.5, Justice, ACC
Tony Ryall – 8.5, Health, State-owned Enterprises
Hekia Parata – 3, Education
Chris Finlayson – 9,Attorney General, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Labour
Paula Bennett – 7, Social Development
David Carter – 8, Primary Industries, Local Government
Murray McCully – 7, Foreign Affairs
Anne Tolley – 7, Police, Corrections
Jonathan Coleman – 8, Defence, State Services
Tim Groser – 8, Trade, Climate Change issues
Phil Heatley – 5, Housing, Energy and Resources
Kate Wilkinson – 4, Conservation, Food Safety
Nathan Guy – 6, Immigration, Veteran’s Affairs, Associate Primary Industries
Craig Foss – 6, Commerce, Broadcasting
Amy Adams – 7, Environment, Communication and Information Technology
Chris Tremain – 6, Internal Affairs
Maurice Williamson – 7, Building, Customs, Land Information
Jo Goodhew – 6, Senior Citizens, Women’s Affairs
Chester Borrows – 6, Courts, Associate Justice, Associate Social Development
Simon Bridges – 7, Consumer Affairs, Associate Climate Change, Associate Transport