Typewriter talent

March 16, 2011

Happy birthday Jerry Lewis, 85 today.

That’s very funny to someone like me who learned to type on a portable typewriter and battled with an ancient monstrosity when I first started work. It was a well known brand, familiar in newspaper offices but I’ve forgotten what it was.

People younger than mid 20s may not understand what he’s doing.

Chch loses RWC games

March 16, 2011

Christchurch will not be hosting any Rugby World Cup Games.

Had it been safe and practical to hold the games at Jade Stadium as scheduled it would have been a symbol that the city was up and running again.

But earthquake damage not only to the stadium building and field, but also the city’s infrastructure and buildings are too great to cope with the tens of thousands of people the games would have attracted.

The quarter finals are going to Auckland but RWC Minister Murray McCully said it is hoped pool games will stay in the South Island.

Dunedin was keen to host a quarter final but doesn’t have enough accommodation. The city was often full for big events, the new stadium will increase demand and also provide an opportunity for those willing and able to increase supply.

Word of the day

March 16, 2011

Odditorium – place for displaying oddities; a miscellaneous collection.

The worst job in the world

March 16, 2011

Leading the Opposition is never an easy job.

It’s even harder when your party lost power after nine years and the Prime Minister’s popularity is at record levels.

You can see just how difficult it is when you look at Phil Goff – last month his hair was brownish-red.

Phil Goff

 Check out the YouTube vidoe at Kiwiblog showing him on Monday  – just five weeks later he’s gone grey.

globalDairyTrade auction price down 8.2%

March 16, 2011

The globalDairy Trade trade weighted index dropped 8.2% in Fonterra’s fortnightly auction this morning.

The price paid for anhydrous milk fat went down 4.5%; skim milk powder was down 4.6% and whole milk powder dropped 11.4%.

The fall is the first drop for three months and follows several consecutive increases. Prices are still well above the long term average.

Take market approach to green issues

March 16, 2011

Don Nicolson, Federated Farmers national president, said in his address to the Act conference:

. . . Some believe we ought to be the Rolls-Royce of agriculture. But having been on farms around the world, these artisan like Rolls-Royce’s already exist.

We should instead be the Toyota of agriculture. Trusted food and fibre with an integrity built from excellent animal health delivering safe, reliable and wholesome products. . .

. . . Let’s find out what truly motivates our consumers instead of overlaying the desires of local policy analysts upon them . .

This is why I believe there is scope for a political movement to tackle green issues from a disciplined market approach.

Do you know that led by farmers, 111,000 hectares have been voluntarily protected under QEII National Trust covenants since 1977. If that was a country, it’d be the 184th largest on earth. Who started it? Among others, Federated Farmers.

Being a Scot by descent I can’t abide waste. I know market principles and farming can vastly improve environmental and biodiversity outcomes.

Look at Roger Beattie, Mr Weka Weka Woo.

His weka programme massively out performs DoC’s because he uses farming principles. No farmed species I should add has ever become extinct.

You’d think he would get a trial license to sell weka to high end restaurants or at this weekend’s Hokitika Wildfoods Festival. No siree. Weka could be our turkey but is DoC interested in increasing its numbers by way of commercial farming? No siree.

How about trout? Sanfords has said to us that if the ban on commercial trout farming was lifted Monday, they’d start farming trout on Tuesday.

At US$5.00 a kilogram exported, it could be a US$50 million export within five or so seasons but are we farming trout? No siree, because the funding for a certain lobby group comes from a license ticket. Is its Chief Executive interested in exports? No siree.

This is despite faring would lead to much larger and exciting wild trout under catch and release. Farming salmon hasn’t stopped people from buying licenses to catch a wild one.

While trout is largely farmed in sea cages, it being a member of the salmon family, it can be farmed in artificial ponds that in turns demands water with nutrients. It’s about integrated farm management because our food export potential is vast. . .

Green initiatives and economic progress aren’t mutually exclusive. In general wealthier countries have better environmental standards.

Providing it’s done carefully, lifting the prohibition on farming some native species and introduced ones like trout could create jobs and contribute to economic growth without harming the environment.

Most parties support most clauses of MaCA

March 16, 2011

 Politics is usually reported as black and white with differences highlighted and areas of agreement ignored.

If you’d listened to yesterday’s debate on the Marine and Coastal Areas legislation and read stories about it you’d think that only National and the Maori Party supported any of it.  But Audrey Young reports that most parties support most of the bill’s clauses:


All parties, and Hone Harawira support the repeal of Labour’s Foreshore and Seabed 2004 Act.

All parties support the right of Iwi to go to court – Harawira doesn’t because he thinks they already own the area in contention.

National and United Future support the proposed test; the Maori Party thinks the test should be easier; Labour thinks the test should be left to courts; Act and Green want it left to the courts and Harawira opposes this clause.

National, the Maori Party and UF, support allowing Iwi to negotiate directly with government instead of going to court; Labour agrees but want the decision ratified by the courts not parliament; the Green Party supports this but under tests outlined by the courts and Harawira opposes it.

All parties and Harawiara support the ban of sales of areas under customary title.

All agree that public access to these areas should be guaranteed.

National, the Maori Party, UF, Act and Labour don’t want to do anything about the 12,500 private titles that include parts of the foreshore and seabed. The Greens want these titles treated the same way as customary title (ie public access and no sale) and Harawira wants them all under Maori title.

National, the Maori Party and UF support the MaCA Bill, the other three parties and Harawira oppose it.

The most vehement opposition from outside parliament is from people who think they’ll lose access to beaches.

Legislation doesn’t apply to beaches – it applies to the foreshore and seabed, the bit from the high tide mark to the 12 mile limit – and everyone in parliament agrees that public access should be guaranteed.

So why all the fuss when most parties agree on most clauses and public access will be guaranteed by all of them?

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