Creative(s) growing

September 4, 2009

New Zealand farmers like to think they’re innovative, but I haven’t seen anything like this here.

I wonder if the cream of this creative crop would get biosecurity clearance if we tried to import them?


Uh oh 018 # 2

September 4, 2009

A message told me the number I’d dialed was no longer in use.

I phone 018 to get the new one.

I explained I wasnted an Oamaru number, gave the first and last names and said I didn’t know the address.

“Which suburb is it in?” the call-centre bloke asked.

“Oamaru is a wee town, it doesn’t have suburbs,” I replied.

He told me he didn’t have a number for anyone of that name in Oamaru.

I said “Oh”. Then I asked if he was sure.

He was.

“No-one by that name at all?” I asked.

“I do have someone by that name in Oamaru North,” he said.

Sigh.

This is what happens when you export services which require local knowledge.


The Smile

September 4, 2009

This Friday’s poem is The Smile by William Blake. 

          – The Smile –

There is a Smile of Love.

And there is a Smile of Deceit.

And there is a Smile of Smiles

In which these two Smiles meet.

 

And there is a Frown of Hate.

And there is a Frown of Disdain,

And there is a Frown of Frowns

Which you strive to forget in vain.

 

For it sticks in the Heart’s deep Core

And it sticks in the deep Back bone;

And no Smile that ever was smil’d

But only one Smile alone.

 

That betwixt the Cradle & Grave

It only once Smil’d can be;

But, when it once is Smil’d

There’s an end to all Misery.

     – William Blake –


Fish & Game fee rise refused

September 4, 2009

Associate Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson has refused a request from Fish & Game for an increase in licence fees.

She justified her decision on the grounds of the economic recession, and the zero increase in Department of Conservation hut fees and Lake Taupo fishery licence fees (administered by Doc).

Fish & Game appealed and she reviewed her decision but still didn’t approve an increase.

She acknowledged Fish and Game’s recommendations carried a great deal of weight, the increase was less than that sought last year and accepted some costs could not be controlled.

However, she said Fish and Game could rely on reserves to cover any shortfalls during the year.

Fish & Game’s chief executive Bryce Johnson was not impressed by this.

Mr Johnson said the 2009-10 licence fee was below that required to meet the real costs of managing the sport fishery.

“Erosion of reserves to a level where they no longer provide for good financial management will simply require greater fee increases in the future,” he said.

He also warned that key priorities, such as protecting habitat for fish and public access, could be affected.

I might have had some sympathy for this argument had Fish & Game not wasted their money challenging private property rights on pastoral lease land, against the advice of Crown Law.

Federated Farmers made this point in applauding the minister’s decision. Donald Aubrey, Federated Farmers game and pest management spokesperson said:

“It is refreshing to have a Minister that is prepared to stand up to this statutory organisation and demand a higher standard of performance.

“Over the years, we have seen Fish & Game undertake some reckless spending at the national level so I’m not surprised it is in need of further funding. I am only too happy that the Government has blocked its proposal to increase its licence fee from $105 to $109 for the 2009-10 season.

“Even though Fish & Game’s national office was in possession of Crown law advice to the contrary, the hunting lobby still went ahead with its unsuccessful challenge to high country farmers’ exclusive possession of pastoral leasehold land. This is a sure sign of how irresponsible Fish & Game has become.

“This failed attempt to by-pass all the work associated with walking access in the high country was a spiteful and damaging waste of the fishing and hunting license fee. . .

Quite.

It wasn’t only licence fees that were wasted, the Crown and pastoral lessees also wasted money defending the case.

They haven’t learned from this either.

After her initial refusal to increase fees, Fish and Game went to a public law specialist and she was “presented with a three- or four-page diatribe” asking her to review the decision.

She questioned why Mr Johnson had not discussed the issue with her directly instead of spending anglers’ money on a legal decision.

Fish & Game’s headquarters needs to forget get out of politics and lawyers’ offices and back to its core business which is where the licence fees ought to be directed. Having less money than they asked for might help them do this.


Let’s all get bolshie about bags

September 4, 2009

First it was Wellington, now it’s Auckland, what about the rest of us?

Foodstuffs dropped the 5c charge on plastic bags in Wellington when supermarket shoppers there got bolshie about them (i.e. went to competitors who didn’t charge them). Now they’ve dropped the charge in Auckland too.

It’s time for the rest of us to bolshie too.

I’ve got nothing against reusable bags, I was using them most of the time.

It’s not the charge per se.

It is being charged more than it cost so the supermarket could then donate the surplus to their choice of environmental charges.

It is also being charged for a bag I reuse when the supermarket wraps things which don’t need it in packaging which gets dumped as soon as I get it home.

And now it’s that they’re not charging people in Auckland and Wellington but they are charging the rest of us.

If I had a convenient alternative I’d be taking my business elsewhere.

I’m not going to drive out of my way for my groceries but if I get any tetchier about it I might get the courage to follow the example of a friend who leaves any unnecessary packaging at the checkout.


Statutory breaks legislation to change

September 4, 2009

The government will amend legislation to address problems over statutory meal breaks.

The amendment was prompted after the Airline Pilots Association and the Airways Corporation couldn’t reach agreement over flexible breaks at regional airports. This could have meant the closure of control towers with disruption to flights.

Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson said airports were not the only one which had problems.

“Pharmacies, schools, meat works and sole attendant operations such as petrol stations have also all raised concerns on how to implement the law.

“Parliament certainly didn’t intend for this law to create more problems than it solved.

“It would appear what was common sense in the past is no longer common sense under this legislation. The law is obviously too prescriptive to be workable and needs clarifying.

Several months ago Frenemy highlighted the advice from the Department of Labour on this legislation, which was introduced by Labour.

So what we have here is a law that is a complete and utter waste of time money and effort. The use of words and phrases such as “intent” “might” “level of connection” “it is best” are how the poor buggers in the DOL are describing the law and its implications. These people have been handed a hospital pass of the first order, as they will have to field calls from employers and employees who want to know whether the existing arrangements meet the requirements of this example of parliamentary ineptitude.

I haven’t heard of any problems on farms but I suspect that is because the law has been ignored common sense has been applied. It must be easier to do that in paddocks than at airports, pharmacies, schools, meat works and petrol stations.


September 4 in history

September 4, 2009

On Spetmeber 4:

1863 the brig Delaware was wrecked soon after leaving Napier.

1884 Britian ended its policy of transporting criminals to Australia.

1937 Australian swimmer Dawn Fraser was born.

1956 the IBM 305 RAMAC computer was introduced. It was the first commercial computer to use magnetic disk storage.

IBM 305 at U.S. Army Red River Arsenal
Foreground: Two 350 disk drives. Background:380 console and 305 processing unit.

1988 1998 Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin,

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.


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