TradeMe tractor auction helping sick child too

May 21, 2009

The latest bid on the old International 574 tractor for sale on TradeMe is $233,032 – nearly $230,000 more than it’s worth but still not quite at the QV for the 8 hectare farm that’s been thrown in with it for free.

The auction has attracted 229054 views – and climbing by the second. It’s also helping a young boy who suffers from a rare medical condition.

His mother tried to auction a section on TradeMe but the auction was pulled. She then left a comment about this on the ask-a-seller for the tractor auction:

Good Luck – Trade Me pulled my listing similar to this – I was trying to fund raise for my son’s medical treatment in America and did an auction with a buy now that would include some land by the beach – its listed on Trade me so i had already paid the real estate listing fee – but they wouldn’t allow it – Hope you get what you need for the land.

She then left a further comment:

Still fundraising – relisted my auction (218925767) without the land bit – was tempted after seeing how successful this one is going – but I live rurally and Trade Me is how I get by when i can’t get into the City to get what I need… so better not annoy them.

Someone then asked for a bank account so they could donate money and it’s turned into a fundraiser to help pay for the enzyme repalcement therapy her son needs.

Jim Mora’s panel interviewed his mother yesterday (a bit more than half way through part 1).


100 days on the run

May 21, 2009

If you’re old enough you might remember George Wilder  the escaped prsioner who evaded police for a couple of months in 1962 and gained the status of folk hero.

William Stewart who escaped from custody in February has now been on the run for 100 days.

He’s suspected of the theft of several vehicles and burglaries in Canterbury as he’s continued to evade police.

He’s been called a folk hero too but the farmers who’ve been victims of theft aren’t amused. One suspects that Stewart spent several days in his woolshed,  surviving on meat taken from a freezer and cooked in a microwave.

Women’s refuge, also rejects any use of the term hero for the man who’s been convicted for violence against women.


Brash requests Commission of Inquiry into email investigation

May 21, 2009

Don Brash has requested a Commission of Inquiry into the way the police handled the theft of his emails when he was Leader of the Opposition.

Dr Brash has proposed to the Prime Minister and Minister that the Commission inquire into and report upon the integrity of the police investigation into the theft, and their behaviour since publicly announcing the investigation was closed; and satisfy itself that the police acted at all times professionally and without political bias or interference. It could not and should not seek to reopen or reactivate the investigation into the theft itself as that could be seen to cut across the role of the police or the role of the courts in determining criminal or civil liability.

“This is not about Don Brash. There are important issues relating to every New Zealander’s privacy and the integrity of our political system that deserve resolution,” Dr Brash said.

“Everybody has a right to expect their correspondence will not be illegally intercepted or read by people it is not intended for. That includes private individuals but it also includes political parties, business groups, trade unions and NGOs, all of whom need a degree of privacy in planning and discussing their ideas and strategies.

“In a democracy, everyone therefore has an interest in being assured that the police take such issues seriously.”

The time taken to undertake the investigation,  the way it was conducted, delay in releasing information when it was requested and the extensive censoring of what was eventually released all raise questions which ought to be answered by an independent inquiry.

This isn’t about the content of the emails. It’s about the right for correspondence between people to remain private , be they private individuals or public figures and whether or not the police handled the investigation properly.

Keeping Stock  noted the contrast between the release of the email report and the release of a “large and graphic” file on the Tony Veitch investigation.

Hat Tip: Kiwiblog


Kate De Goldi wins award with 10 PM Question

May 21, 2009

 Kate De Goldi won the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards with The 10 PM Question.

That book was also the winner of the Young Adult section.

The other winners were:

Non Fiction: Back & Beyond New Zealand Painting for the Young and Curious by Gregory O’Brien.

Junior  Fiction: Old Drumble by Jack Lasenby.

Picture Book: Roadworks by Sally Sutton, illustrated by Brian Lovelock.

Picture Book Honour Award: Piggety-Wiggety Jiggety Jig by Diana Neild, illustrated by Philip Webb.

Children’s Choice Award: The Were-Nana by Melinda Szymanik, illustrated by Sarah Nelisiwe Anderson.

Best First Book: Violence 101  by Denis Wright.


A few questions about the Families Commision:

May 21, 2009

1. What do we know about the other family commissioners?

2. Does it matter?

3. What do they do?

4. What have they achieved?

5. How much has it cost?

6. Would families have got greater benefits if that money was spent elsewhere?

7. Would the taxpayer get a better return on the investment if that money was spent elsewhere?

8. Do we need a Families Commission?

If you’re struggling with any of the answers, pop over to Cactus Kate for assistance.


Chief Science advisor key appointment – Updated

May 21, 2009

John Key has appointed Professor Peter Gluckman as the Prime Minister’s chief science advisor.

Mr Key says Professor Gluckman is one of the country’s leading scientists and he will make an important contribution in the newly created part-time role.

“This appointment delivers on the Government’s goal of including science at the heart of our decision-making.

“I campaigned on creating this role because I recognise that New Zealand’s prosperity rests on our ability to make full use of the expertise that our scientists can contribute.

“Professor Gluckman will provide me with a direct line to advice when I need it. He will be an independent voice that will complement existing channels of advice such as government departments and the Royal Society.”

. . . “This role is one of vital importance that demands not only a high level of science expertise, but also the utmost integrity to fairly represent the state of science knowledge.”

This is both a Key and a key appointment which indicates the government’s high regard for science.

Prof. Gluckman was founding director of the Liggins Institute. He’ll relinquish that position but continue his employment with Auckland University.

He was the NZ Herald New Zealander of the Year in 2004.

AgResearch chief executive Dr Andrew West welcomed Prof Gluckman’s appointment:

“This is an important step in the reinvigoration of science within New Zealand’s culture from being nice-to-have to being essential. The Prime Minister’s message in this appointment is that scientific contribution must once again be a significant component of New Zealand’s well-being and prosperity.”

Dr West and many in the scientific community have long been adamant that recognition of the importance of science to this country has declined in the face of scepticism about the contribution it can make. Such sentiment has been reflected in the stubbornly low priority placed on investment in science and technology when compared to the much greater commitment to S&T in other OECD economies, expressed as a percentage of GDP. This erosion of trust has resulted in short-term focus and excessive compliance expectations. Coinciding with the appointment of Professor Gluckman, there finally seems to be proper attention being paid to recovering trust in scientists and scientific institutions through a recent start to simplifying funding systems.

The announcement of the appointment coincides with much gnashing of teeth about changes to science funding, but as Macdoctor says, the facts on the canning of the Fast Forward fund don’t support the emotion.


The Mint Chicks – Sleeping Through The Day

May 21, 2009

Day 21 of the tune a day for New Zealand Music Month Challenge.

It’s the Mint Chicks with Sleeping Through The Day:

Over at Inquiring Mind The Herbs were singing Homegrown

Keeping Stock was listening to Always On My Mind by Tiki Taane


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