Immigration fraud investigation

October 17, 2008

Internal Affairs Minsiter Rick Barker says an investigation is underway into immigration fraud.

He made the statement after media inquiries following a teaser post on The Briefing Room about a story in TGIF.


Sanlu sunk?

October 17, 2008

The Shanghai Daily reports that Sanlu in which Fonterra has a 43% stake is “facing bankruptcy”.  

Industrial experts told the newspaper that it is unlikely a single company will be able to take over Sanlu as its debts total more than 700 million yuan ($NZ169 million) -not counting massive compensation claims.

Chinese newsagency Xinhua said yesterday that 5824 children were still receiving hospital treatment for kidney diseases caused by milk contaminated with melamine, and six children were in serious condition.

Macdoctor reckons Fonterra will have to put this down to experience.


Planting Spuds

October 17, 2008

The first new potatoes are appearing in the supermarket but I’m not tempted because they’re from the North Island and always a disappointment in comparison with the far tastier, but slightly later ripening, North Otago ones.

 

Until the local spuds are available I won’t be buying, but the thought of them prompted the choice of this Friday’s poem.

 

It’s Planting Spuds by Brian Turner from Footfall published by Godwit in 2005.

 

Planting Spuds

 

You were reading where a man planting spuds

in his garden saw it as his ‘sovereign prerogative’

a phrase both lofty and daft, possibly outrageous.

 

It’s hard to decide. As is, if what one does could ever

be worthy of such belief. And it’s difficult to know

if you’re a certain sort of person, what one has

 

a right to do, or whether one should even be troubled

by the question. I can easily imagine working in a bee-loud

corner of a glade, a lost domain, humming happily

 

or watching a rabbit unnoticed yet ever alert,

nibbling grass perked by rain. But what one

chooses to do next is governed by more than

 

one’s own prerogative. You should be ready to run

like a rabbit, no matter what. It’s got something

to do with who’s part of the food chain, and which

 

way the wind’s blowing. What do you reckon?

How deep in the ground would you put spuds

if you didn’t have the requisite advice printed

 

on the bag they came in? And would it help to

plant them before the sun goes down and the bees

return to the hive? Does anyone know that?

 

– Brian Turner –


Taxpayers need return

October 17, 2008

The Timaru Herald makes a very good point about taxpayers’ largesse to students:

Under Labour, students have done well. Nearly $2 billion in interest charges have been written off, there is zero interest providing certain conditions are met, and now allowances could become universal.

This is all at the expense of the taxpayer, and perhaps it is time we asked for something in return. A requirement on students to perform satisfactorily or forfeit the allowance would be one way of ensuring the investment was not wasted; another could be bonding the graduate to work in New Zealand for a certain period rather than instantly gallivanting overseas. Such moves could also dilute the label of cynical vote-catcher from Labour’s policy.

Both these suggestions have merit, especially the idea of bonding.

I’d prefer most of the assistance to students to be given to graduates rather than at undergrads who may or may not finish qualifications and if they do qualify, may or may not work in New Zealand. That way the country gets a return from the very generous investment in their education.


No need to bother with policy

October 17, 2008

“Show us your policy,” they’ve been saying for months.

But does policy really matter?

Leighton Smith played this tape on his show yesterday which demonstrates people not only don’t know what McCain’s and Obama’s policies are but they’d vote for their preferred candidate even if he had the other’s policies and deputy.

Yet more evidence that some people would be performing a public service if they didn’t vote.

Hat TIp: SOLO


Bill’s patch

October 17, 2008

An ODT look around the Clutha Southland electorate found that Bill English has worked hard for his constituents and that’s reflected in their support for him.

The reporter expressed surprise that no-one spoken to could name any other candidate but that doesn’t suprise me.

The size of the electorate and the constraints of the Electoral Finance Act make it very difficult for candidates to raise their profiles, but on top of that no-one else is really trying to win the seat.


Do as I say not as I do

October 17, 2008

Winston Peters’ advice to students:

*  Grab each day as it comes along and enjoy it. You never know when it could be your last.

* Always read books – any books but especially novels.

* Go fishing whenever you can. Apparently God does not deduct fishing time from our lives.

*  Be loyal to your friends.

* Keep laughing.

* Don’t keep filling your heads with useless information.

* Don’t eat too many carbohydrates.

* Save yourselves and save Grandma – vote New Zealand First.

In the last few months, Mr Peters has shown he has been living his own advice.

He certainly has been grabbing each day as it comes along, battling through a privileges inquiry, surviving a Serious Fraud Office investigation, which found no fraud had occurred, and awaiting the results of a case laid with the police.

No-one could be sure that it would not be his last day in politics.

But he does not always seem to read books, especially receipt books or those issued by trust accounts, otherwise he would not have had to see off all the various inquiries.


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