Rough Diamond a Little Smoother


I had a quick chat to Tim Shadbolt who was selling Southland’s attractions at the Farming In Southland stand at the Fieldays last week.

His grin was as wide as ever but I didn’t notice that he’d got botox injections.

It wasn’t vanity but charity which motivated him to endure the pain.

Believing it would take nitroglycerine to remove all the wrinkles on his face caused by his trademark grin, Tim Shadbolt said his first experience with botox was likely to be his last.

The Invercargill mayor received two botox injections near his eyes after volunteering for an extreme makeover competition organised by a local beauty clinic.

“It was excruciatingly painful, and luckily they gave me a rubber ball to squeeze while getting it.”

Tim showed off his new face at the Extreme Makeover Big reveal party in Invercargill yesterday. Proceeds from the event went to Look Good Feel Better, a charity which gives free beauty treatments to women who have cancer.

Meat & Dairy Boost Manufacturing Stats


The positive influence of primary production is evident in the latest manufacturing statistics from Stats NZ.

 Seasonally adjusted manufacturing sales volumes were up just 0.2 percent, during the March 2008 quarter but without meat and dairy product manufacturing industry, volumes decreased 1.4 percent.

The meat and dairy product manufacturing industry seasonally adjusted sales volumes rose 5.0 percent ($181 million) in the first three months this year while wood product manufacturing decreased 4.7 percent ($48 million), furniture and other manufacturing was down 11.0 percent ($46 million), and transport equipment manufacturing fell 6.3 percent ($36 million).

Seasonally adjusted manufacturing sales increased 3.7 percent, reflecting the contribution of increased prices. This is the third largest increase since the series began, and was dominated by the manufacturing of meat and dairy products, which rose 13.0 percent.

This follows the record 26.2 percent rise in the December 2007 quarter. Excluding this sector however, seasonally adjusted manufacturing sales decreased by 0.1 percent.
The total manufacturing sales trend continues to record general increases, however it has been stronger in the past year, up 12.8 percent, because of the influence of the manufacturing of meat and dairy produce.

Update on NZ First donations


Claire Trevett says NZ First divided $158,000 between nine charities.

Speaker Margaret Wilson confirmed she’s received the list but it was up to NZ First or the charities to divulge the names.

Surf Lifesaving NZ and the Sensible Sentencing Trust say they haven’t benefitted from the party’s largesse. There must be thousands of charities in NZ – given NZ First’s zenophobia I think we can ignore overseas charities 🙂 .

It’s going to take a long time to check them all and there would be no need to do so if NZ First paid its debt to Parliamentary Services because then the money would be the party’s not ours so the names would be irrelevant.

NZ First still owes $158,000


One criticism of MMP is that the wee parties have a disproportionate influence. Allied to that is that National and Labour sometimes hold back legitimate criticism of their actions just in case they need their support.

We’re seeing that now – has anyone seen or heard any of the other parties react to Winston Peters’ statement that NZ First has donated $158,000 to charities and has given a list of the recipients to Speaker Margaret Wilson?

That just happens to be the amount the Auditor General found NZ First spent illegally before the last election. The party can do whatever its members allow it to do with their money, but donating to charity does not discharge its debt to Parliamentary Services.

While other parties are shying from tackling Peters’ on this, several blogs are not:

Kiwiblog posts on it here   noting NZ First is the party of transparancy which receives secret donations that turns out not to be a donation and then makes its own secret donations. Kiwiblog also comments on Peters’ on Agenda here. He notes that the Speaker wants Parliament to be more open so in good faith should make the list available.

The Hive says shame on the charities and asks if they’d accept the proceeds of crime or theft? Queen Bee, prompted by Poneke, points out the speaker’s office is exempt from the OIA but urges National and Act to ask Wilson for the list.

Inquiring Mind ‘s  Adam Smith says:

No one seems to be prepared to hold Winston Peters to account.

Why is he being allowed to get away with not repaying the $158,000 of public funds that his party mis-used at the 2005 election? 

Why is he keeping secret what he has done with the money?

Where did the party get the $158,000 from?

NO, NO, NO and forever NO is what voters should be saying to this bullying popinjay.

Keeping Stock notes the irony in the noise NZ First made about transparency in political party funding, asks does it practise what it preaches,  and points out the hyprocricy because it doesn’t.

The Auditor General found NZ First illegally spent $158,000. That they then helped Labour change the law to make that illegal spending legal and has said they’ve donated that amount to charity does not excuse them from the need to repay the money.

Until they do that every cent the party spends on campaigning is a cent they have yet to repay to the public purse.

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