Collision course


MAF gives up on bee mite


Biosecurity New Zealand has revoked all movement controls on beehives after the varroa bee mite was found in North Canterbury.

It will now focus on funding research and help bee keepers live with the mite.

Federated Farmers bee industry chairman John Hartnell said he doubted the mite could ever be killed off.

“We can manage the beehive but what we can’t manage is the feral population,” he said.

Hartnell said he hoped that by next autumn an organic treatment option would be available.

“The timing might be OK because most beekeepers, apart from those with high infestations, won’t be required to treat their hives until autumn, when the numbers (of mite) start to build up,” he said.

Chemical treatment costs between $40 and $50 a hive, which could cripple some beekeeping operations.

It is much easier to stop incursions at the border than to eradicate them once they’re established and the spread of varroa reinforces the importance of vigilence in airport and port inspections of inbound luggage and freight.

ANZ calls for redundancies


ANZ is calling for voluntary redundancies.

Staff were told that over the counter transaction had fallen by 10 percent and that it was facing challenges as a result of the global financial situation.

Voluntary redundancies aren’t necessarily a bad thing if they provide an incentive for people who were looking for a change anyway.

But this is another sign of recession and if not enough people volunteer there is the risk the redundancies will no longer be a matter of choice.

Staying true to herself


In 1998 someone I knew, who knew my National  links, approached me about a young woman who was interested in seeking selection for the party. I made a few suggestions, said I’d be happy to speak to her if she rang and heard nothing more until I was asked if I’d be part of the pre-selection committee for a potential candidate.

The woman we were interviewing was Katherine Rich. My first impression was very positive and she more than lived up to my hopes.

She immediately attracted media interest and it helped that she was young and attractive, but there is a lot more to Katherine than a pretty face. She is intelligent, dedicated, hard working, compassionate, loyal true to her beliefs and herself.

When we lost the 2002 election National had only two MPs in the southern South Island, Bill English and Katherine, and she became buddy MP for Otago where I was National’s electorate chair. Several times in the next three years I said, and still believe now, that she was a better MP for the two Dunedin electorates and Otago than the three Labour MPs who held the seats put together.

Even though she had a demanding workload as a senior spokesperson, commitments in Dunedin and a very young family, Katherine went many extra miles, literally and figuratively, to serve the people and help the party in Otago. 

Like many others, I was sorry when Katherine announced she would be resigning from parliament at the end of this term, but I understand and support her reasons for doing so. As she said in her valedictory speech politics isn’t just a job it’s a life and she chose to put her family before her career.

While her resignaiton is a loss to National and to parliament I don’t think it is a loss to New Zealand because I am sure that Katherine will put the skills and personal attributes which made her such a good MP  to good use in other ways.

Colin Espiner’s report on Katherine is here.

 The NZ Herald’s farewell interview with Katherine is here

TV3’s report on her valedictory speech is here.


Policy Blog has the You Tube video  of her speech here.

Adding Noughts in Vein comments here.

Sales and prices down


A real estate agent tells me that property sales in Wanaka are down around 65%.

The average sales were about 30 properties a month but they haven’t got to double figures for months.

Prices have fallen about 15%.

Another agent tells me Wanaka real estate is booming and opportunities abound.

I think the pessimist is more likely to be right.

Katherine Rich’s valedictory speech


The ODT has an edited copy of Katherine RIch’s valedictory speech. Some highlights include:

When I announced my retirement, one of the first emails received said “good riddance, you’ve said nothing, done nothing and stood for nothing.”

Harsh I thought, but typical of many political letters to MPs.

Funny thing was a week later I received another email from the same man.

It said: “Mrs Rich, my heartfelt apologies. Comments from your colleagues, the media and even your opponents seem to have been uniformly positive. I can only conclude that I’d got you mixed up with someone else. Sorry about that. Mistaken of Petone.”

It was a strange exchange, but in a way it sums up politics.

Leaving here is hard at such an exciting time and after the hard graft of opposition, but it’s the right decision for me.

Being an MP isn’t a job. It is a life.

Political service is all consuming and the New Zealand public deserves nothing less.

I leave at a time of my own choosing, positive about Parliament, my party and our democracy.

More follows the break.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jeanette wanted us to subsidise consumers…


. . . when the milk pay out was high.

Will she offer to subsidise us now the pay out has dropped?

44 more sleeps . . .


. . . until the election and just when you think Labour and New Zealand First have got as low as they can go, they go lower.

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