Will Fonterra suppliers get a little more?

September 10, 2009

The NBR has heard a whisper there will be a little surprise for suppliers when Fonterra announces its annual result this month.

The story is in the subscriber-only content  section on the website.

I’m not going to reveal the details because of that.

I thought the content justified paying to view before this and getting access to this story confirms that paying up was worth it for us.


Is it because they’re female, successful or both?

September 10, 2009

Trans Tasman makes an interesting observation on Labour MPs’ attitude to National Ministers Paula Bennett and Anne Tolley.

We have noted before Labour’s viscerally venomous attitude towards National Ministers Paula Bennett and Anne Tolley. This goes way beyond the normal tensions of political conflict. Labour MPs – especially their women MPs – appear to find the very existence of Bennett and Education Minister Tolley infuriating. You can almost see the wall of red mist descending over Labour’s front bench every time those two Ministers get up to speak.

 . . . The attitude is actually an odd kind of snobbery. There is an unspoken “how DARE you?!” from Labour’s front bench towards Bennett and Tolley. It is a rage these women, who in Labour’s eyes should be, firstly, on a benefit themselves somewhere and, secondly, loyally supporting Labour as a consequence. They don’t like the fact the two have made rather more of their lives.

This antipathy to National women MPs isn’t new. In her autobiography, Making A Difference, Ruth Richardson wrote:

. . .. . .  Jonathan Hunt, the Chief Opposition Whip, himself a bachelor, had shown both kindness and understanding to me when I was pregnant by promising me a pair . . . But Jonathan had not counted on the cattiness of his female colleagues. Apparently I had failed the political correctness test in their eyes; failed to conform to some sisterhood code of which I knew not.  . . . My pair was withdrawn, much to Jonathan’s abiding embarrassment . . .

Whether it’s because they’re women, successful or both it’s appalling behaviour.

You’d think people who wail about the glass ceiling which keeps women down might practice what they preach.

If we judge them by their actions rather than their words, we could be excused for believing that they are only interested in women having careers if they sing from the same political song sheet as they do.

Trans Tasman is a weekly political and ecnomic newsletter. You can subscribe here.


Are you a political junkie?

September 10, 2009

Not sure?

Check out the Dominon Post’s political quiz.

I got 9/10 which resulted in a response asking if I worked in parliament.

Hat Tip: Kiwiblog


Faster connections better for business

September 10, 2009

Communications and IT Minister Steven Joyce says getting fast broadband to the 25% of us who live outside cities is a priority and has set targets for the roll out of rural broadband.

Within six years he expects:

*  93% of rural schools to  receive fibre, enabling speeds of at least 100Mbps, with the remaining 7% to achieve speeds of at least 10Mbps.

* more than 80% of rural households to have access to broadband with speeds of at least 5Mbps, with the remainder to achieve speeds of at least 1Mbps.

Those numbers mean little to me but I understand enough to know it will be an improvement on what we’ve got now. We have wireless broadband which is better than dial up but not nearly as good as we get with WiFi here and overseas.

The internet is an integral part of our business. We get killing sheets from the freezing works and reports from our managers  by email; check milk quality and quantity on-line each day; pay wages and most bills and receive most invoices electronically.

Increasing the speed of our connection will save time and reduce frustration in our business leaving time and energy to devote to more productive activities than waiting for downloads.

Providing fibre to the vast majority of rural schools will effectively deliver the capacity to provide faster broadband to the communities they serve. Fibre backhaul is currently the primary limiting factor in the delivery of rural broadband and getting fibre to schools will address that.”

Getting fibre backhaul into rural communities will also allow other technologies such as wireless and cellular to play a larger role in rural New Zealand.

Enabling rural cell phone towers to be connected to fibre will also improve mobile phone services in rural areas.

That will be a much needed bonus which will make doing business easier and also increase safety.

Our staff carry mobiles but reception is variable which is frustrating for those wanting to make calls and people wanting to call them.

Better cell phone coverage will improve communication and also make it easier to locate people and summon help in an emergency.

Improving internet and mobile phone connections will not just benefit existing rural businesses, being able to communicate faster and more reliably with the rest of the world will also provide opportunities for new ones.


OCR unchanged

September 10, 2009

The Official Cash Rate remains at 2.5%.

Federated Farmers and other exporters have been caliing on Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard to cut the rate again in the hope it would put some downward pressure on the value of the dollar.

But if an OCR at 2.5% isn’t lowering the attraction to the New Zealand dollar another small reduction would be unlikely to have any effect.

Bernard Hickey gives his view on Bollard’s statement at interest.co.nz


RMA simpler

September 10, 2009

The RMA (Simplifying and Streamlining) Amendment law was passed last night.

If it works as it is intended the time, costs and uncertainties  involved in going through the consent process will be reduced while still ensuring that the environment is protected.

Among the changes are:

  • Removing frivolous, vexatious and anti-competitive objections that can add tens of thousands of dollars to consent applicants
  • Streamlining processes for projects of national significance
  • Creating an Environmental Protection Authority
  • Improving plan development and plan change processes
  • Improved resource consent processes
  • Streamlined decision making
  • Strengthening compliance by increasing penalties and proving for a wider range of enforcement
  • Improvements to national instruments

Public focus has been on the change which means Aucklanders will no longer have to get consent to trim or fell their own trees, unless they are protected, which what happens in most of the country.

As Nick Smith points out:

A flawed assumption by opponents of this law change is that only councils and bureaucrats value trees. And that given half a chance selfish landowners will chop them down.

In essence, this law change is about changing the onus between councils and landowners. At the moment, councils are in the box seat and property owners must seek permission to trim or remove any tree on their property.

What the Government’s amendment bill does is ensure councils consult landowners before putting restrictions on their trees and reflects a greater respect for property rights.

I haven’t noticed treeless suburbs anywhere else in New Zealand where property owners have the right to do as they wish with their own trees.

Trusting people might be a risky concept for people who think councils know best, but surely if the rest of the country can be trusted Aucklanders can too.


Take only photos leave only footprints

September 10, 2009

The environmentally sensitive way to travel is to take only photos and leave only footprints.

But some freedom campers are leaving something more   and farmers are kicking up a stink about it.

Ben Aubrey farms Glencairn Station above Lake Benmore and says the freedom campers who flock to the area are leaving so much human waste behind it ends up on his sheep.

“It’s just unpleasant handling sheep with human whatever all over their feet, legs and things. It puts you off work a bit!”

Quite.

A friend has a dog which likes to roll in smelly things, it also likes to leap up and sit on the back of his motorbike . . . 

Another friend has come across used condoms.

This explains why farmers are very wary about allowing unfettered access to their properties. It’s not just concerns over what people might do while they’re there, it’s also fears about what they might leave behind.


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