D is for

March 27, 2014

Kim Dotcom plans to launch his iNternet Party today.

He has money, though some of it is owed to creditors.

He doesn’t have any of the 500 members he’ll need to register the party. Given he’s launching an app to encourage people to sign up for a very small sum, it might not be hard to recruit them.

But it takes a lot more than money and members who pay pennies to win voter support.

Vernon Small writes that D is for Dotcom, desperate and dateless:

. . . Despite Kim Dotcom’s schmoozing of MPs from most Opposition parties at his mega-mansion, the last chance for a significant tie-up – at least with a party that can be confident of holding a seat after September 20 – seems to have faded to black.

Without that, the Internet Party is facing the reality of its pledge to fold the tent and endorse another party if it is not polling more than the 5 per cent threshold before the election campaign.

Would it be too cruel to mark a party’s death on the day it is born? . . .

Hone Harawira won’t do anything unless Dotcom refuses to entertain any deal with National and has several other reasons to stay clear of the dotbomb party:

They don’t have a real membership base.

They don’t have clear policies.

They don’t have recognisable political leaders.

They don’t have any candidates.

Time is short to prepare for the election and to organise the campaign.

Asking members to put election prep on hold “while we wait for the Internet Party to decide what they stand for is just not an option”.

If that’s not bad enough Whaleoil has allegations about Dotcom’s admiration for Hitler.

If that’s true then let’s hope D is also for doomed and the Internet Party will follow many others that fail.

 

 

 

 


Not the workers’ friend

March 20, 2014

Kim Dotcom has taken court action to gag a former body guard.

. . . Dotcom made a successful application for an interim injunction against Wayne Tempero in the High Court at Auckland yesterday. The action came soon after the Herald reported that Tempero was set to release “secret revelations” about Dotcom’s “mindset and megalomania”. . .

That hasn’t stopped other staff talking to Whaleoil who has a story of slave wages, bullying, intimidation and the sheer effrontery of a man spending literally millions on himself but short-changing his most loyal staff.

Labour, the Green and Mana parties like to think they’re the workers’ friends.

They and New Zealand First have all been courting, or courted by, Dotcom in the hope he can help them defeat National.

The enemy of their enemy could be their friend but do they want to be friends with someone who appears to be anything but the workers’ friend?

And will the media which have given Dotcom a pretty easy ride, start asking some harder questions now?

P.S. Former Labour president Mike Williams, just said on RadioNZ National’s panel that he’s on Dotcom’s side with the gagging order.


Are Hone and Dotcom up to something?

March 19, 2014

Hone Harawira has admitted he met Kim Dotcom:

“Last year I was invited to meet with Kim Dotcom, but I declined because I didn’t want to get swamped by the Labour, Greens and NZ First pilgrimages to the mansion,” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau.

“But when the invitation was extended again earlier this year I decided to accept, but not at Coatesville. I met with Dotcom at my mates place on the Shore where we discussed a number of issues: . . .

“We clearly have common interests, but for the record, I didn’t ask him to fund MANA, and he didn’t offer to either. I didn’t ask him to join MANA, and he didn’t ask me to join his party.”

“I haven’t spoken publicly about the meeting because I haven’t yet spoken with the MANA Exec about it. That’s set for later this week.

“There are no further meetings planned.”

He says nothing about the allegations Whaleoil made about plans to circumvent electoral law.

Are the pair up to something and if so have they found a hole in our electoral laws through which they’re planning to bulldoze?

Blogger faces death and rape threats

January 29, 2014

The Whale Oil site has been off-line following a cyber attack and he has received threats against himself and his family on social media.

Cameron Slater’s is the most widely read blog in the country and almost certainly the most inflammatory.

He upsets and enrages people.

His posts can be irrational and he sometimes uses a scatter gun approach which hits the innocent as well as the guilty.

Nothing he writes justifies threats to his life and the safety of his family.

The Facebook post I saw is probably actionable and definitely stupid.

It gives him more publicity and will increase readership which will upset and enrage the people attacking him even more.

 


Another depositary for disenchanted left-leaning votes

January 16, 2014

The Internet Party hasn’t even been launched and it’s already getting headlines for all the wrong reasons - Whaleoil has a scoop revealing its strategy:

The strategy paper (below) reveals that Martyn Bradbury is working for Kim Dotcom and is charging him $8000 per month plus GST for political strategy, on top of a $5000 payment to allow him to upgrade his computer, cellphone and tablet devices. . .

Further, the strategy document, which Trotter so clearly expands upon, shows that Martyn Bradbury intends to stand in Auckland Central as the Internet Party candidate, and be paid for the privilege of doing so. His strategy document outlines the need to establish an office.

The media compromise:

However the subterfuge is deeper than that. Sources have revealed that Scoop Media’s General Manager Alistair Thompson is to be the Party Secretary and has already registered the domain names under the Scoop Media banner. Scoop Media is also the name server registrant for the domain name and also that of internetparty.co.nz . . .

Summary:

  • Martyn Bradbury to stand in Auckland Central
  • Martyn Bradbury on payroll for $8000 per month plus $5000 advance payment for technology upgrades
  • Graeme Edgeler produced a report, allegedly for $3000
  • Plans for so far unnamed candidate in Upper Harbour, reputedly a broadcaster.
  • Focus on Auckland Central and Upper Harbour
  • Plans to win at least 3 seats

If I was drawing up a long list of people to attract votes from the right in general and National in particular, Bradbury’s name wouldn’t be on it.

If he stands and gets any votes he’ll be getting them from the left.

This isn’t a party that is likely to threaten the right, it’s another depositary for disenchanted left-leaning votes.

It’s also one that can’t even get it’s launch right:

https://twitter.com/KimDotcom/status/423307834827100160

https://twitter.com/KimDotcom/status/423307985939492864

Presumably someone told Dotcom about that the party to launch his party would be considered treating which is an offence under electoral law.

The scoop though, is great for Whaleoil who has already  collected another scalp with it:

Journalist Alastair Thompson has resigned from internet-based news service Scoop this afternoon in the wake of claims he was to be Internet Party general-secretary and had registered a domain name.

Scoop’s controlling shareholder, Selwyn Pellett, confirmed he had not previously been aware of the extent of Thompson’s involvement with the party.

After the blog became public, Thompson tendered his resignation.

Pellett said that while he understood Thompson’s passion for internet freedom, there was a clear conflict of interest with his journalism. . . .

Cameron Slater is defending a judgement that he isn’t a journalist and therefore doesn’t have the protection journalists do in not revealing sources.

If publishing a scoop like this isn’t journalism, what is it?

Update: – tweet of the day on this issue:

https://twitter.com/robhosking/status/423290461747306496


The importance of homework

January 15, 2014

Last year in the same week a Bill passed its third reading in parliament and another didn’t make it to its first.

The Bill which did pass was the Conservation (Natural Heritage Protection) Bill, sponsored by Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean who had done all the homework necessary to get unanimous support for it.

The next day a Bill sponsored by Labour’s Jacinda Ardern was rejected by the House because she didn’t do enough  homework to get it past first base.

SCOTT SIMPSON (National—Coromandel) : The sponsor of this Care of Children Law Reform Bill, Jacinda Ardern, has nominated the Justice and Electoral Committee to scrutinise the bill should it pass this first reading. Therefore, as chairman of the committee it falls to me to have a first go at what can really be described only as a very sloppy and lazy member’s bill by this member. . .

This bill is a very light piece of work. Essentially, it requires the Minister to ask the Law Commission to review the law relating to the care of children and update its September 2000 report on adoption. It requires the Law Commission to report within 12 months with a report, recommendations, and, indeed, a draft piece of legislation, and, further, it requires the Minister of Justice to introduce that bill as drafted by the Law Commission without amendment within 7 days—without amendment within 7 days. So there are significant constitutional flaws in this member’s bill. There are absolutely shabby constitutional issues that the member clearly has not addressed or even thought about. . .

So the problem is that the member sponsoring this bill is essentially trying to use her member’s bill to get the Law Commission to write her bill for her. That is sloppy. That is lazy. It is a lazy approach. It is politically lazy—it is politically lazy—and it is intellectually lazy. . . .

You’d think that would be a very good lesson on the importance of doing homework, but she’s done, or more to the point, not done it, again.

This time over the issue of prisoners flying on commercial flights.

It was nothing more than union grandstanding and Cameron Slater did the homework that the journalists who broke the old news should have to expose that.

That didn’t stop Jacinda Ardern rushing to get in the news – but the Waikato Times knows a tempest in a prison teacup when it sees one and opines:

. . . The Corrections Association was not so reticent, accusing Corrections of putting public safety at risk with what it called “secret” flights. Association president Beven Hanlon said repeated inquiries among prison officers found no one who had been aware of the flights until late last year. In his 16 years as an officer and a decade as head of the union, he had never heard of a maximum security prisoner being put on a plane with the public. He was shocked.

Really? But he had commented publicly about a raft of recommendations in an Ombudsman’s report on an inquiry into the transportation of prisoners in 2007. The report said transporting prisoners by air was common and both charter flights and scheduled public flights were used. The numbers of escort officers were increased for maximum security prisoners. The report found no systemic problems with prisoner transport by air and made no recommendations about them. “Few incidents occur during air transport, and we were given no reason to believe that any systemic problems exist,” it said. Labour’s Jacinda Ardern, now demanding answers to the union’s claims, should first have taken time out to read the Ombudsman’s report (tabled in Parliament under a Labour government). Kicking up a fuss would be in order only after she was sure that Corrections practices, indeed, are endangering public safety.

It’s not uncommon in election year for unions to chase headlines in the hope of helping their Labour friends.

But MPs need to do their homework before joining them otherwise they just add to the picture of an opposition which hasn’t yet got its act together rather than the government in waiting it wants to be.


What’s news?

December 2, 2013

Cameron Slater who runs Whaleoil has been ordered by a judge to reveal his sources because his blog “isn’t a news medium”.

But media law expert says he has a good case to appeal.

. . . Media lawyer Steven Price says he appears to have a good case because the act defines a news medium as one that disseminates news, which he says Whale Oil does.

And he said, a recent Law Commission report talks about bloggers being important to free speech.

A paper on media law at university while studying journalism more than three decades ago doesn’t make me a media law expert.

But I went to the dictionary and found the definition of news:newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent events.

Whale Oil breaks a lot of stories which appears to fit that definition.

 


Right and wrong not left and right

October 23, 2013

A former Labour MP who worked with people from across the political spectrum on a local body campaign said he’d come to the conclusion that left wing people were far more likely to see things through a political lens than those from the right.

Some people are trying to turn Len Brown’s affair into a right wing conspiracy.

It’s not.

Cameron Slater, who broke the story on his blog Whaleoil, is from the blue end of the political spectrum.

But he doesn’t let that get in the way of his posts. He’d have run the story regardless of the mayor’s political affiliation.

That’s one of the reasons his blog is so popular. Like David Farrar on Kiwiblog, he’ll give praise and criticism where it’s due regardless of the subject’s politics.

Other people from the right had some involvement with Bevan Chuang but Jane Clifton points out:

There’s been much tut-tuttery about the fact that the source of the story was Cameron Slater’s Whale Oil, one of the country’s best-read blogs, which is aggressively pro-National Party to boot. Slater’s father ran the campaign for Brown’s closest mayoralty rival, a campaign Brown’s inamorata was close to through her friendship with another campaign activist. This has brought claims she was secretly working for the other side. Which just goes to show there’s plenty of hypocrisy, paranoia and self-delusion to go around. It’s common for journalists and political junkies in the twittersphere to denounce Whale Oil as “gutter” blogging. But not for the first time, the gutter-shunning media have piled onto Slater’s ruck without a second’s hesitation.

Allegations that this is a deliberate smear campaign generated from within the National Party to destroy a left-leaning mayor are somewhat ambitious. To the best of my knowledge, the National Party cannot make a married man have an affair. For two years. Or trick him into sending silly texts that might be kept and used against him. Or force him to conduct how’s-your-father in the Ngati Whatua conference room of the council chambers.

There’s also the inconvenient fact that the blog did not run the story till after the local body elections in which Brown was safely re-elected. He is unsackable. . .

But the political views of those involved in the affair and its exposure is irrelevant anyway.

This isn’t about right and left, it’s about right and wrong.

Andrew McMillan provides a timeline of events which show:

Brown, who portrayed himself as a loving family man  and committed Christian had a prolonged affair.

He had a sexual trysts in council premises on council time.

The woman with whom he had the relationship was on a council advisory board. That’s not a direct employee but as mayor he was in a position of power and she could be considered to be vulnerable.

He wrote her a reference, and as a side issue he admitted writing worthless references:

Was it an abuse of power to provide a reference for Bevan Chuang?

It was the very early stages of us knowing each other. I have provided many references in supports of lots and lots of friends and people that I know. The letter of support I wrote was a reasonable letter. I tend to be quite positive in my writing for the many people I write references for. It wasn’t a reference that was requested or provided for that was out of the norm. It was, for me, a fairly typical reference done at a time when, quite frankly, we hadn’t known each other all that long. . .

A reference from the mayor would carry considerable weight but his words suggest he dashes them off frequently and in this case without knowing the subject all that long.

Whether that is appropriate for a mayor might be moot but the impact on his family from his infidelity and what it says about his character is not.

Whatever his politics and those of the people who exposed him, he is in the wrong.

Whether or not it will require a resignation will depend on the outcome of a council inquiry.

But whatever it determines won’t make his behaviour right.


New media breaks news

October 20, 2013

The main stream media is attempting to turn the exposure of Len Brown’s infidelity into a left-right political conspiracy.

One angle it hasn’t looked at is it was a blog which broke the news.

Stephen Cook, a former Herald journalist broke the story on Whaleoil.

It’s not the first time a blog has been first with a story but it is, at least in New Zealand I think, the first time for such a big story.

Is that significant?

I don’t think it signals less importance for the old media but it does point to more significance for the new.


Slater Snr not part of story

October 18, 2013

Brian Rudman’s column in today’s NZ Herald is headlined sex, blogs and right wing plots.

It deals with the revelations about Auckland mayor Len Brown’s affair but only in a peripheral way.

It’s main target is John Slater who chaired the campaign team for Brown’s main rival, John Palino, and is the father of blogger Whaleoil who broke the story of Brown’s infidelity.

It is personal, nasty and completely unwarranted.

I’ve known John for more than a decade from the time he was president and I was an electorate chair in the National Party. I’ve never had any reason to doubt his integrity and I am sure he is often less than impressed by the tone, language and content of some Whaleoil blog posts.

But he can’t be held responsible for what his adult son does nor for not knowing about what he might be doing.

He had nothing to do with the story or the issue and it’s bizarre to attack him for concentrating on a positive campaign rather than rumours and mud slinging.

The column is despicable and reads as if the writer is using the affair to settle a personal score.

It’s the sort of nasty rubbish you might expect to read in a British tabloid, not in what seeks to be a serious paper.


Is private affair public business?

October 16, 2013

Whaleoil broke the story that Auckland mayor Len Brown had been having an affair with a former council advisory board member.

He’s asked people to respect his family.

“As I go through this and deal with this, I want the community and media to respect my family. I have caused my wife and my children harm and shame and humiliation and I want the media and community please, as much as they can, to respect my family as I go through this time of addressing these issues with them, with Shan [Inglis] and the girls.”

My immediate reaction to the news was sympathy for them.
It must be difficult enough to cope with the pain and anger of private betrayal in private and much more so when it’s so public.
But does he understand the irony in that he’s asking people to show more consideration for his family than he did?

He also wants to continue as mayor.

He’s not the first public figure to have private misdeeds exposed.

President Clinton carried on as head of the USA after similar revelations.

But one question Brown might ponder is, would he have been re-elected had this story broken before the election?

His betrayal of his wife is between them.

But if you can’t trust someone not to wrong the one he’s supposed to love the most can you trust him at all?

That is the one justification for a private affair becoming public business.

I can’t think of any others.


Rural round-up

September 12, 2013

Sheep farmers’ support essential for Invermay – Simon Hartley:

Southern sheep farmers are being urged to get vocal in efforts to have AgResearch drop its proposal to gut Invermay of more than 70% of its staff, and move elsewhere.

With southern lambing fully under way and the decision on Invermay’s future looming, there appears to be an air of complacency about some farmers. . .

Speed limit signs on school buses in trial:

Mid Canterbury motorists will have no excuse for speeding past school buses stopped to pick up or set down pupils.

Special illuminated flashing lights have been fitted to the front and back of 30 buses operating in the Ashburton district as part of a national trial.

The signs carry the 20kmh symbol – the legal speed for passing a stationary school bus picking up or dropping off children. . .

Funding helps farmers – Carmen Hall:

The Government is investing heavily in the red meat and wool sectors to try to make it a $14 billion industry by 2020.

It’s rolled out funding for a Primary Growth Partnership scheme that encourages major players to team up, share knowledge and build a more profitable future.

The latest organisation to join is Beef + Lamb New Zealand, which partners Alliance Group, ANZCO Foods, Blue Sky Meats, Greenlea, Progressive Meats, Silver Fern Farms, ANZ, Rabobank and Deloitte. . .

Farmlands rolling out single brand – Tim Fulton:

The Farmlands Co-operative Society hopes to have a single Farmlands brand across the country by this time next year.

A change from CRT Fuel to Farmlands Fuel brand is the latest sign of the merger of the namesake co-operatives taking shape.

The Farmlands label will apply soon to the company’s 80 branches as the new focal point for its 54,000 shareholders and 1000 staff.

The Farmlands name has already appeared at some of the old CRT offices and the new image for the fuel business is part of the trend, but southern field vehicles are still tagged CRT. . .

Bad fences cause trouble – Leandra Fitzgibbon:

In rural New Zealand, wandering stock are a serious public safety risk. They can also cause costly damage to other people’s property.

Farmers have a duty to ensure their farms are adequately fenced to contain their livestock and they’re liable for any damage their wandering stock cause.

An adequate fence means a fence that, as to its nature, condition and state of repair, is reasonably satisfactory for the purpose that it serves or is intended to serve, says the Fencing Act 1978. . .

Fox nails top title:

GISBORNE’S Matt Fox is New Zealand’s Young Viticulturist of the Year 2013.

The 25-year-old decided to have a second try at the title this year after coming close in 2010, and this time won it at the Romeo Bragato Wine awards in Marlborough. Matthew Duggan from Marlborough came second.

Mr Fox will go on to compete in the grand final of the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition being held on November 13 and 14.

He made it to the final after winning the regional final in Hawke’s Bay earlier in August. . .

Lactose hotspots (Hat tip Whaleoil):

lactase_hotspots


Quality or quota?

July 4, 2013

Whaleoil has a  final edited list of proposed rule changes for the Labour Party which includes this gem:

New Rule 289A.  For the 2014 election the Moderating Committee shall, in determining the list, ensure that for any percentage of party vote likely to be obtained, and taking into account the electorate MPs likely to be elected with that level of Labour support, the resultant Caucus will comprise at least 45% women.  For the 2017 and subsequent elections the percentage shall be at least 50%.

And this one:

New Rule 248A. An LEC may request that NZ Council determine that only women may nominate for the position of Labour candidate for their electorate. Such approval overrides the right granted in Rule 251 for any member to be eligible for nomination.

Don’t laws against discrimination by gender work both ways?

There are also proposals for the list:

Amendment (deletions and insertions) to existing Rule 287.  The Moderating Committee shall examine the Regional lists and consider the representation across all lists of tangata whenua, gender, ethnic groups, people with disabilities, age and youth, sexual orientations, and the geographical spread and range of skills.  …….

Amendment (deletions and insertions) to existing Rule 290.  The Moderating Committee shall be bound by the need to arrive at a list which:

a)          fairly represents tangata whenua, gender, ethnic groups, people with disabilities, sexual orientations, and age and youth.

Electoral law requires party have a democratic process for list ranking.

I’m not sure if this dictatorial approach would meet the requirement.

Even if it does, this is another lurch to the left which will do nothing to improve Labour’s chances of leading the next government.

When all else is equal there might be grounds to choose a candidate who adds balance to a caucus.

But quality should come well before any quota for the sake of good government.


Campaigning with our money again

June 28, 2013

The left haven’t managed to get public funding of political parties but that hasn’t stopped them campaigning with our money.

Whaleoil spotted Labour and Green Party  soliciting votes for their candidates in the Ikaroa Rawhiti by-election on material which bears the parliamentary crest that signifies it’s been paid for by us.

You’d think they’d have learned from the pledge card rort.

All parties found to have misused funds in the investigation following that had to repay that money and these two parties should be required to repay all money misspent on the by-election too.


Rural round-up

April 8, 2013

ANZCO loss at $26.5m – Alan WIlliams:

ANZCO Foods made a pre-tax loss of $25.6 million in the year ended September 30, 2012.

The year was the toughest the meat processor and marketer has had, managing director Mark Clarkson said.

ANZCO maintained its revenue at about $1.2 billion and importantly also achieved positive operating cash flow of $35.2m, after focusing strongly on managing working capital when it realised early in the year trading would be difficult. 

The level of receivables and inventories were lower than at the end of the modestly profitable 2011 year, when the operating cash outflow was $22.4m. . .

Adveco see ‘huge potential’ in China – Sally Rae:

A shipment of fertiliser manufactured in Mosgiel from raw materials mined in Otago and recently dispatched to China has been hailed as having ”huge potential” for future export opportunities.

Mining company Featherston Resources Ltd, which has more than 3000sq km of permits in Otago, produces carbon and silica based fertilisers and Enzorb spill control products. . .

Clinton manager to represent Otago – Sally Rae:

Clinton herd manager Ben Sanders will be Otago’s sole representative at the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards in Wellington next month.Mr Sanders (25) won the Otago dairy trainee of the year title at the Otago Dairy Industry Awards dinner in Balclutha on Saturday night.

A lack of entries in the regional competition forced a revamp of the contest format, and only the dairy trainee winner has progressed to the national final. . .

Methven arable farmers scoop water efficiency award:

Methven farmers Craige and Roz Mackenzie have been recognised for their water efficient practices at the recent Canterbury Regional Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

The couple were presented on March 21 with the Environment Canterbury Water Efficiency Award by Environment Canterbury Chair Dame Margaret Bazley at an event in Christchurch.

The award recognised the couple’s excellent use of technology to ensure crops’ specific water requirements are met. . .

Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) supports eucalypt forestry initiative:

A national forestry initiative with roots in Marlborough has again been successful in its bid to the Sustainable Farming Fund.

The New Zealand Dryland Forests Initiative (NZDFI), which is establishing forests of genetically improved durable eucalypts in New Zealand’s driest regions, will get $216,000 of SFF funding towards a three year programme worth over half a million dollars.

Project manager Paul Millen said the “fantastic” news would see the five-year old initiative extended to new landowners and regions, with a focus on species specific management of the existing and new blocks. . .

Nominations sought for Racing Board chair:

Minister for Racing Nathan Guy is calling for nominations for independent Chair of the New Zealand Racing Board.

“This is an important position as the head of the governing body for racing in New Zealand,” says Mr Guy.

“The New Zealand Racing Board is responsible for the promotion, organisation and development of the racing industry, and also provides racing and sports betting services through the TAB. . .

And with a hat tip to Whaleoil:

FILE7753


Rural round-up

March 12, 2013

2013 Glammies victor crowned:

Beating out over 180 entrants, Mangapoike Ltd, represented by Pat Sheriff from Gisborne, has been crowned the 2013 Glammies Grand Champion.

Their Composite lamb, processed at Silver Ferns Farm Takapau, took out the title at the final taste test, after being tasted next to 20 other finalists. 

The final was judged by Iron Maidens, Sarah Walker and Sophie Pascoe, food writer Lauraine Jacobs, Beef + Lamb ambassador chef Darren Wright and head judge and chef, Graham Hawkes. 

Hawkes noted the high level of quality this year, saying it was a step up from last year’s competition. . .

Drought conditions perfect for grape growers:

Grape growers say the hot, dry weather which is wreaking havoc for farmers could produce one of their highest quality yields in years.

Gisborne grower John Clarke who is also New Zealand Winegrowers deputy chair said Gisborne’s growers have been enjoying the highly favourable conditions.

Mr Clarke said the weather means there is no disease pressure and grapes which have been harvested in Gisborne in the last couple of weeks are displaying excellent flavours.

He said the weather conditions around the country have been favourable for wine and growers have their fingers crossed the vintage this year will be fantastic. . .

DOC, Green Taliban, everyone take note. Cows are good for the climate [must watch] - Whaleoil:

Antony Watts at Watts up with That? says

Imagine, shooting 40,000 elephants to prevent the land in Africa from going to desert because scientists thought the land couldn’t sustain them, only to find the effort was for naught and the idea as to why was totally wrong. That alone was a real eye opener. Every once in awhile, an idea comes along that makes you ask, “gee why hasn’t anybody seen this before?”. This one of those times. This video below is something I almost didn’t watch, because my concerns were triggered by a few key words in the beginning. … I want every one of you, no matter what side of the climate debate you live in, to watch this and experience that light bulb moment as I did. The key here is to understand that desertification is one of the real climate changes we are witnessing as opposed to some the predicted ones we often fight over.

I like to add my recommendation that this is a Must See video, no matter what you think about Climate Change currently. . .

Now that is interesting – Gravedodger:

Several blogs are embedding a video featuring a 23 min lecture part, of an hour full length effort on combating desertification by Allan Savory who in the early years of his study advocated culling elephant herds to combat desertification on the vulnerable fringes of the deserts of Africa.
He has now worked out what many graziers have known for years but has remained hidden due to an unpopular perception stance in great debates on denuding of soils contributing to degredation.

Most farmers I have encountered in over 60 years of life are basically environmentalists if only because they understand a poorly maintained machine will eventually fail often with devastating outcomes. Yes there are some tossers in farming, there is at least one in every bus. . .

BOP Dairy Awards Winners Progress:

Winning the 2013 Bay of Plenty Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year title has proved a natural progression for Russell and Nadine Meade.

The couple won the2010 Bay of Plenty Farm Manager of the Year title and set about developing innovative and flexible investment opportunities to achieve farm business ownership.

Now 50% sharemilking 220 cows for Barbara Sullivan at Whakatane, the couple took home cash and prizes in winning the top prize worth $16,600 at the awards dinner held at the Awakeri Events Centre last night. . .

Organic certifier points to producers and consumers for double digit growth:

The latest organic market report launched on Wednesday (6th March) at Parliament confirms double digit growth of organics in New Zealand over the past 3 years and comes as great news for organic certifier BioGro, its certified producers and consumers.

The organic sector has grown 25 per cent in the past three years – from $275 million in 2009 to $350 million in 2012. The export and domestic market for New Zealand organic products has grown on average 8 per cent a year at a time of global recession.

BioGro’s CEO Dr Michelle Glogau says the report, funded by the organic sector umbrella group Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) is a really positive sign of the increased demand for organics amongst consumers. ‘It supports the trends we are seeing with dramatic growth in certified wine and extension into health & body care products’. . .


Critics have had logic bypass

November 22, 2012

The people complaining about New Zealand’s 100% pure marketing campaign have had a logic bypass.

Most advertisements use slogans, many are hyperbolic, and few are meant to be taken literally.

Of course New Zealand isn’t 100% pure, nowhere is nor could it be.

As a gust poster at Whaleoil  points out:

 . . .100% Water is sterile and nothing lives in that because it is, well, umm, sterile. . .

But under the hyperbole is the fact that we have a beautiful country which compares well by world standards.

Some of that is down to luck, some to good management.

Can we get better, should we? Of course.

Will that be achieved by criticism based on selective facts and dark green hyperbole? No.


From black dog to editor’s desk

October 31, 2012

Blogger Cameron Slater has made no secret over his battle with the black dog of depression.

Mind you, he doesn’t make a secret of much. That includes hs disdain for much of the mainstream media and now he’s joining it.

Internet shock jock goes mainstream

“Wellington, you’re on notice – be afraid.”

New Zealand’s number 1 news and opinion blogger Cameron Slater has today been appointed Editor of the Truth.

Truth is New Zealand’s last remaining Kiwi-owned national newspaper which this year turns 125 years old.

Slater has been brought on board to fundamentally change the way newspapers deliver to their audiences. Newspapers worldwide are in decline, due, Slater says, to a tired old business model that no longer works.

“We’re not going to spend $4 million on a paint job and then deliver the same tired old paid-for shit.

“Most of the media in this country is weak, and it’s paid for. The integrity in news went ages ago.”

Slater is adamant that the backbone of New Zealand – the people who work – are not getting a fair shake from government or the system. He aims to change that.

“Each and every one of us has got an investment in NZ Inc, and the majority of the people in charge of the place are taking the piss out of our investment.

“We’re going to keep the buggers honest. There’s no better disinfectant than sunlight.

“To use a tired phrase – if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear, so Wellington, you’re on notice – if you’re having a lend, we’re coming for you!”

Changes will be rolled out over a period of months and will include both print and a 24 hour news website to support the paper. Slater aims to alter the approach to news presentation significantly.

“We took the pulse of the nation, and it had nearly bloody died.

“No bastard wants to read old news – they can get that online. We’ll be more of a views-paper that promises to deliver REAL news, REAL opinion.

“The people are numb from the eyes down with the diet of PR’d crap they get now. I will not do it to them anymore – it’s not right.

“I assure you – the little paper that could still can!”

There will be further announcements regarding contributors and editorial direction.

Slater’s first issue will hit newsstands on Thursday 8 November 2012.

This won’t be an easy job but you don’t get to be the country’s most-read blogger by doing the easy things.

And surely nothing he’ll meet in the editor’s chair will be harder to deal with than depression.

 

 

 

 

 


Where’s the Wally?

May 23, 2012

Labour list MP Andrew Little is cyring foul over the way he was served defamation papers.

It’s hard to have any sympathy when he and fellow MP Trevor Mallard who is also being sued were silly enough to say they wouldn’t co-operate:

The MPs said they wouldn’t cooperate because the proceeding were vexatious, politically motivated and lacked principle.

They are inviting Collins to employ ”thuggish characters” to serve proceedings on them.

That is conduct unbecoming of MPs. They’re supposed to be making laws, not providing examples of how to avoid it by playing a silly game of “where’s the wally?”.

Photo from WhaleOil


Forgiveness

February 5, 2012

When coming to terms with the short lives and early deaths of our sons it helped that their problems were almost certainly genetic.

Even if they weren’t, no-one had caused their brain disorders and there was no-one to find fault with or blame for them.

It would have been harder had their profound disabilities been the result of a deliberate act or even an accident. Then we would have had to forgive the person responsible.

It would have been harder still if one of us had been responsible because then we would have had to forgive ourselves.

Whaleoil writes movingly about how difficult that is, showing we are often far harder on ourselves than on others.

As for forgiveness, I think Catherine Ponder has a point when she says:

When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.

However, that is much easier in theory than practice and who could blame anyone who was the victim of an act of evil if they couldn’t forgive the perpetrator?

Apropos of that I am in awe at the generosity of spirit shown by the family of the wee girl who was attacked so viciously in Turangi.

This afternoon, the girl’s family announced they had donated $20,000 to go toward buying equipment for a new children’s’ playground in Turangi, paediatric surgical instruments and items for the Waikids Ward 26 at Waikato Hospital and support for ECPAT Child Alert NZ Ltd and Victim Support Hamilton.

“We were amazed at New Zealanders’ generosity. We in no way blame the Turangi community for what happened and so we wanted to give something tangible back,” the girls’ parents said in a statement released on their behalf by Waikato District Health Board. . .

. . . One day we want to return to New Zealand with our family – we want our son and daughter to see what a beautiful country this is and realise how much love, care and attention your country gave us.

It would have been understandable had the family been put off the whole country and its people and wanted to keep as far away from here as possible.

The compassion and open-heartedness they’ve shown by this gesture auger well for their daughter’s healing in which a loving and supportive family will play a very important part.


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