PGW shares downgraded

September 23, 2008

Forsyth Barr has downgraded PGG Wrigthson shares from hold to reduce because they are not convinced about the returns from its $220 million investment in Silver Fern farms..

Forsyth Barr researchers were sceptical meat company Silver Fern Farms (SFF) would be able to capture all the synergies from the partnership without industry consolidation and were also concerned at the extra debt PGG Wrightson (PGG-W) was incurring to fund the investment.

Without additional industry consolidation, the PGG-W partnership with SFF was viewed as simply recapitalising SFF’s balance sheet.

There are 9 million fewer sheep and lambs to be killed this year and global demand for protein is growing. That means it’s a sellers market.

Farmers are expecting at least $80 a head for lambs in the coming season and if they can’t get that from one company they’ll be confident of getting it from another. This competition which will help farmers’ balance sheets will also make it much tougher for meat companies so Forsyth Barr is right to be concerned about PGW’s share price.

No grounds for trust

September 23, 2008

Michael Cullen reckons that regardless of whether Winston Peters lied about the donation from Owen Glenn, there were no grounds for his censure or sacking.

Would you trust a man with such a scant regard for ethical behaviour to be Attorney General and Finance Minister?

Adam Smith  doesn’t either.

Update: Nor does Keeping Stock.

Policy for woods not just trees

September 23, 2008

The Korean Society says there is a misperception that Koreans are only interested in immigration policy.

“We are very concerned about law and order, we are also worried about health, education, etc, . . .” says Kenneth Jeong, from the Korean Society.

This comment was made at an electoral forum in Auckland attended by hundreds of Koreans.

It’s a very good point which political parties over look at their peril. While every individual and group has issues which are of greater interest or impact on them more than others, the most important issues are those we have in common.

It is also something voters should consider because if what appears to be in the best interests of us as individuals or a group to which we belong is not in the wider interests of New Zealand then it probably isn’t something worth persuing.

We need to know about policy that affects our trees and our individual corners of the wood, but that is of secondary importance to the policy which impacts on the whole wood.

Ex-expat  looks at the same story from a different angle.

Media manipulation

September 23, 2008

Goodness me, how surprising that on the day the privileges committee report into Winston Peters and the donations debacle is announced there is a major announcement on progress towards free trade with the USA and a make-muck revelation about John Key’s family trust shareholding in Tranz Rail.

Colin Espiner exposes the not so subtle hand of Labour behind it all:

What an amazing coincidence that three big stories would all break on the same day. Wasn’t it?

Um well no, not really. Because it turns out that Labour fed the story about Key’s share trades to TVNZ late on Sunday night for use on Monday, knowing that the privileges committee report was about to blast Winston Peters to smithereens. And Trade Minister Phil Goff leaked details of the FTA announcement to selected media – TVNZ, TV3 and Radio New Zealand – five days ago, on the condition they kept it quiet until yesterday.

Espiner gives credit where it’s due:

Labour’s tactics are not dirty or underhand. They are smart, vicious, and calculated. It’s how you win election campaigns. But it’s still worth pointing out that there was nothing coincidental about yesterday’s yarns.

It wasn’t coincidental, but did the media have to swallow the lines they were fed?

All of the stories were newsworthy so there was nothing untoward about the media running them, nor about the timing, because they wouldn’t have wanted to delay and let their competitors beat them.

Poneke asks if there was anything untoward behind the Dom Post’s decision to put the FTA and share stories on the front page and relegate the Peters report to page three. I tend to go for incompetence rather than conspiracy when people raise questions of media bias here, especially given, as comments on Poneke’s blog pointed out, the Peters story might have been considered stale and the other two were fresh.

That said, had it not been for Espiner’s blog, we might have guessed but would almost certainly not had it confirmed, exactly how Labour manipulated the media.

Roarprawn acknowledges that by offering him a bottle of wine. Keeping Stock  said this exposes Helen Clark as a liar again and No Minister is searching for the quote that will prove that.

Newsflash: MP admits mistake

September 23, 2008

No, it wasn’t the neither right nor honorable Winstan Peters who was censured by parliament today.

No it wasn’t Helen Clark who signed art which wasn’t her own work, wouldn’t stand by police who sped her to catch a plane, and with Michael Cullen today followed their criticism of the Serious Fraud Office with an attack on the privileges committee.

No, it was John Key who admitted he should have given a full account of his shareholding in Tranz Rail earlier.

So who can we trust?

The people who have deliberately done wrong, will not acknowledge it and will not apologise, or the man who made a mistake, initially didn’t handle the situation well but then acknowledges it, accepts responsibility for it and apologises?

Kiwiblog contrasts Key’s behaviour with Peters’  and  Roarprawn rightly points out the issue was minor but Key should have handled it better.

Ski field for sale

September 23, 2008

The Southland Times reports the Cardrona Snow Farm and Park  are up for sale.

Developer John Lee said there were two reasons for selling: “I’m 72 — close to 73 — that’s No 1. No 2, we got consent for the gondola in early May and it’s bigger than us.” The planed $17 million gondola, the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere, would take skiers and snowboarders from the valley up to the two resorts, a distance of 3880m.

The project was too big and too expensive to undertake without outside investors, he said.

John and Mary Lee have made a wonderful contribution to the Cardrona Valley, Wanaka and the wider community. You can read a copy of an ODT feature on John here.

Principle before politics

September 23, 2008

Labour and New Zealand First put politics before principles in their failure to support the majority decision of the privileges committee to censure WInston Peters.

Politics and principle coincided for National and Act which enabled them to do the right thing. Their opponents will say they did it for the wrong reasons, supporters will dispute that but that makes no difference to the outcome.

However, United Future, the Greens and the Maori Party acted on principle when their political allegiance could have swayed them to vote the other way.

Kiwiblog asks if this principled stand will continue in a refusal to support Labour while he remains a Minister.

United and the Greens have already made it clear they would not want to work with Peters in the next government.

I can think of only two reasons why Helen Clark has continued to stick with Peters. either he has something over her or she’s doing it in the desperate hope he’ll enable her to scrape together enough support for a fourth term.

How ironic if by sticking with him she not only drives away her other potential partners for the next government but forces them to bring down this one and all because they put principle before politics when she wouldn’t.

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