Sir Howard Morrison – Hine E Hine

September 24, 2009

Neill new Ecan chair

September 24, 2009

Alec Neil has replaced Sir Kerry Burke as chair of Environment Canterbury.

Councillors voted 8-6 to oust Burke in a no-confidence motion.  

Alec Neill has been voted in as the new chairman, 8-6 with Jo Kane retained as deputy.

Neill was a lawyer in Oamaru until he entered parliament as MP for Waitaki in 1990. He lost the seat on election night 1993 but was returned after special votes were counted – putting National back in government by one seat.

When Waitaki became part of the bigger Otago seat under MMP, Neill was beaten in the candidate selection by Gavan Herlihy who wont the new seat in 1996. However Neill was the next one on the list and returned to parliament later in the term. I’m hazy on the details, but it must have been when a sitting list member resigned. (I’m sure David Farrar will know).

By then he had moved to Christchurch and set up his own law firm. He  continued in law after he left parliament and won a seat on Ecan in 2003.

An urban-rural divide which Burke was unable to bridge was one of Ecan’s problems. I hope that Neill,  a former MP for the southern part of Ecan’s area and a Christchurch resident, will be more successful.


Sir Howard Morrison – How Great Thou Art

September 24, 2009

Sir Howard Morrison entertained New Zealanders for five decades.

The Howard Morrison Quartet on the radio is a backdrop to childhood memories and I met him once.

He was a guest at an IHC conference dinner.

He charmed us with a speech, he charmed us more with his singing and then he charmed us most by working the room, taking the time to speak to everyone.

I was sad to learn he died this morning, aged 74.

TVNZ has a tribute here.

Youtube has several clips of him in concert.


Another reason 500 members too few for party

September 24, 2009

The Veteran at No Minister has performed a community service by requesting that the Auditor General investigate payments made to  Jim Anderton as leader of the Progressive Party which is a party in name only.

This supports my contention that 500 members is too low a threshold for a group to enlist before they can register as a political party.

MMP lets wee parties into parliament where they cost us a lot of money and potentially into government where they can wield considerable power as well.

If they can’t get at least a couple of thousand people to agree with their principles and philosophy and pay a sub they’re not parties they’re lobby groups.

If the few remaining members are told to sign up to another party which leaves the group with just a leader, they’re not parties, they’re one-man vanity vehicles.


Spot the flaw in logic

September 24, 2009

Staff at a McDonalds drive-through refused to serve a motorcyclist on health and safety grounds.

Mr Martin, who has been riding for more than 30 years, has blasted the policy at the Otford fast food restaurant.

“It’s just nanny state gone mad,” said Mr Martin, who works in health and safety himself.

“They’re afraid I’ll go driving up the road clutching a bag of McDonald’s. I’ve got this huge boot under the seat the food goes in.

“In my more than 30 years of riding a motorcycle I can’t imagine anyone trying to eat food on the handlebars. You couldn’t get it past your visor for a start.”

Will they now stop serving people in cars in case they sip their coffee or eat their burgers while driving?

Do they check people wash their hands before they eat?

How soon before staff at fast food outlets start checking blood pressure and giving lectures on diet before they serve their customers?

Hat Tip: Adam Smith Institute.


Brrrr #2

September 24, 2009

k line frost

This is what happens when the temperature drops over night and you get a frost while  irrigating.

The cloudy sky means it probably won’t warm up much all day.

It was chilly yesterday – I was in Dunedin and the temperature was only 9 degrees.

Have  I mentioned that the end of September is a wee bit early to move the clocks forward for daylight saving?


More good milk news

September 24, 2009

Two good news stories from Fonterra this week – this season’s forecast payout went up 55 cents on Tuesday and yesterday the co-operative announced the final payout for last season of $5.20.

This will do more for moral than anything else.

It is unlikely to lead to a spending spree because many dairy farms were budgeting for losses this year but the increased payout will allow more of them to break-even now.

It won’t lead to a return of the white gold rush of a couple of years ago, but it will take some pressure off seasonal lending and there will be a flow on effect through rural communities and the wider economy.


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