Paul Foster-Bell MP to be?


A media release from  former MP Paul Quinn says he will not return to parliament when list MP Jackie Blue retires to become Equal Opportunities Commissioner in May.

With the resignation of my former colleague Dr Jackie Blue I am the next eligible member of the National Party list to fill the vacancy her resignation has created.

While I enjoyed the term I spent in Parliament from 2008 to 2011, I do not wish to take up the list place available to me. Since leaving Parliament I have been engaged in a series of commercial projects that are very absorbing and satisfying and I am now fully committed to my expanding business interests. . .

Paul Foster-Bell who stood in Wellington Central is the next person on National’s list.

Word of the day


Distrait – distracted or absent-minded; inattentive or preoccupied; divided or withdrawn in attention, especially because of anxiety.

Rural round-up


More North Island areas move out of drought:

Weekend rain has brought further relief to farmers in drought areas.

While some say it’s been enough to break the back of the drought for them, others say they are not out of trouble yet and follow up rain over the next few weeks will be critical.

Most of Bay of Plenty had moved out of drought last week before the latest rain which caused flooding in a number of areas.

Waikato and most of Taranaki have also had good falls. . .

Papakaio  sharemilker  pair winners – Sally Rae:

Farming and family go together for Morgan and Hayley Easton.

Mr and Mrs Easton, who are 50% sharemilkers at Papakaio, on the lower Waitaki Plains, were recently named the 2013 Canterbury-North Otago Sharemilker-Equity Farmers of the Year.

The couple have spent the past five years developing the 365ha property, owned by Mr Easton’s parents David and Clare, and have increased cow numbers from 450 to 1350. . .

Vet believes NZ sheep farmers deserve recognition for gains – Sally Rae:

South Otago vet John Smart reckons New Zealand sheep farmers have not had enough recognition for improvements made over the years.

Now in his 37th year in the veterinary profession, he said there had been ”quite massive gains”.

He believed New Zealand did it as well as, if not better, than most other countries.

He recalled the days when farmers were producing 13kg lambs and struggling to achieve a 100% lambing. There had been vast improvements since then. . .

Research bias has no sense – Jenny Taylor:

Anyone could be forgiven for thinking the only breed of dairy cattle being farmed in New Zealand is holstein-friesian.

A DairyNZ trial looking for the cows that convert their feed into milk most efficiently involves only holstein-friesian cows.

Can someone forward the memo which explains the mass withdrawal of other breeds?

The national dairy statistics for the 2011/12 season show jerseys make up 12.2 per cent, ayrshires 0.7 per cent and other breeds (which include brown swiss, milking shorthorn, guernsey) 8.1 per cent of the national population. Crossbred animals are 40.8 per cent which leaves holstein-friesian at 38.2 per cent. . .

Helping to ease country stress levels:

When the Scott Guy murder trial unfolded, Invercargill social worker Gavin Booth felt he had to do something to help farming families work through their problems.

Ewen Macdonald was found not guilty of killing his brother-in-law, 31-year-old Guy, outside his Feilding property in 2010, over tensions about the future of the family farm.

Farm progression and succession planning were a common trigger of stress and anxiety among farmers, particularly in the face of land use change towards dairying, Booth said.

“That’s huge. And it can break up families. It started me thinking I have to do something.”

Farmers are not only faced with changing land use but higher debt ratios, a drop in lamb prices, more complex farming systems, and weather-related issues. . .


Why are they doing it?


Why is LabourGreen powering back to the socialist 70s?

* It’s political – they want to sabotage the Mighty River Power float.

* It’s political – they want to differentiate themselves from National.

* It’s political – they want back in power and are prepared to put their ambition ahead of the country’s interests.

* It’s political – they don’t understand business and investment.

* It’s political – they don’t care about the consequences of plummeting share prices for Kiwisaver and other superannuation funds, ACC, community trusts, other institutional and private investors.

They realise that voters have accepted the sense of National’s insistence on getting back to surplus.

They realise that means they can’t spend their way back to power with our money and so they’re going to try to bribe people by taking over assets instead.

It’s political, it’s stupid and it’s wrong.

What are they doing?


For all the rhetoric about the failed policies of the 80s and 90s from Helen Clark and her caucus, they didn’t reverse them.

They made other mistakes as they taxed and spent the country into recession before the Global Financial Crisis.

But while they tinkered at the edges they made no substantial changes to the policies which got the country out of the economic mire into which we’d sunk.

That was partly because they couldn’t and partly because they understood the dire consequences of trying.

The LabourGreen power play walks away from that.

It ignores the hard lessons that were learned from the socialist policies which led to huge deficits, high interest rates, high inflation and low or negative growth.

It shows a woeful ignorance of the hard work the National-led government has done and why it had to be done.

It illustrates their disdain for investment and businesses confidence which are needed for growth and the jobs that follow.

What are they doing?

They’re abandoning the centre and  striding to the left.

Hopefully they’ll be scaring moderate, thinking voters to the right in the process.

Why not nationalise councils?


LabourGreen policy is to nationalise wholesale power in a misguided effort to control prices.

Quite how reducing competition will do that when they say that too little competition is one of the causes of prices rises, hasn’t been explained.

But if price rises is the problem, why stop at power?

Federated Farmers points out that power price rises have been eclipsed by run-away price increases in the less productive non-tradable sector, with near triple digit council rate increases since 1998.

If nationalising power will reduce the price, why not nationalise councils to bring down rates?

Either that, or replace them all with teddy bears.

Five years of blogging


Today is the fifth anniversary of the launch of this blog.

In that time there’s been: 12,431 posts and 25, 778 real comments.

There’s also been, sigh, 921, 144 spam comments. Why do they bother?

Thank you to all who read, to other bloggers who link to my posts and especially to all of you who join the conversation.

Give a little take a lot


The LabourGreen power play is supposed to save people money.

It is unlikely to do so in isolation and certainly won’t when other policies are taken into account.

Claims that households would save money on power under a Greens-Labour Government are demonstrably false, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.

“When National was elected to Government in November 2008, Labour’s Emissions Trading Scheme was estimated to cost an average family of four around $330 a year based on a carbon price of $25/tonne,” Mr Joyce says.

“The National Government amended the ETS and more than halved the cost to families and businesses. However the Greens-Labour coalition have stated publicly as recently as the beginning of this year that if they were the Government they would increase the price of carbon to $50/tonne.

“This would see a family of four paying $495 extra a year on electricity and fuel; which would more than wipe out any of their claimed savings from their plan to nationalise the power supply.

“They need to answer for their policy inconsistency before making any claims about power savings to the New Zealand public.

“The reality is that under a Greens-Labour ETS – or carbon tax – and the so-called power ‘plan’ it announced this week, households and businesses would be paying significantly more for electricity and fuel.

“And the worst part is that there would be fewer jobs for New Zealanders. As we already heard from firms like JB Were, investment in New Zealand would dry up as a result of government effectively nationalising such a big industry.

“What the opposition either doesn’t know, or doesn’t want to understand, is that savers and investors in this day and age can choose which country to invest in. This Government is working hard to attract investment and jobs for New Zealanders by applying good quality regulation that encourages competition, new investment and jobs. This sort of policy would do the exact opposite.”

Like many other socialist policies, the LabourGreen power play would give a little with one hand while taking a lot with the other.

April 22 in history


1451 Isabella I of Castile was born (d. 1504).

1500  Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral became the first European to sight Brazil.

1529  Treaty of Saragossa divided the eastern hemisphere between Spain and Portugal along a line 297.5 leagues or 17° east of the Moluccas.

1692 James Stirling, Scottish mathematician, was born (d. 1770) .

1707 Henry Fielding, English author, was born  (d. 1754) .

1724 Immanuel Kant, German philosopher, was born (d. 1804) .

1809  Battle of Eckmühl: Austrian army defeated by the First French Empire army led by Napoleon I of France and driven over the Danube at Regensburg.

1832 Julius Sterling Morton, Arbor Day founder, was born  (d. 1902) .

1836 Texas Revolution: A day after the Battle of San Jacinto, forces under Texas General Sam Houston captured Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna.

1863 American Civil War: Grierson’s Raid began when troops under Union Army Colonel Benjamin Grierson attacked central Mississippi.

1870 Vladimir Lenin, Russian revolutionary, was born  (d. 1924) .

1889 At high noon, thousands rushed to claim land in the Land Run of 1889. Within hours the cities of Oklahoma City and Guthrie were formed with populations of at least 10,000.

1898 Spanish-American War: The United States Navy began a blockade of Cuban ports and the USS Nashville captured a Spanish merchant ship.

1912 Pravda, the “voice” of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, began publication in Saint Petersburg.

1914 Jan de Hartog, Dutch writer, was born (d. 2002) .

1915  The use of poison gas in World War I escalated when chlorine gas was released as a chemical weapon in the Second Battle of Ypres.

1916 Yehudi Menuhin, American-born violinist, was born  (d. 1999) .

1923 Aaron Spelling, American television producer, was born  (d. 2006) .

1925 George Cole, English actor, was born.

1930 The United Kingdom, Japan and the United States signed the London Naval Treaty regulating submarine warfare and limiting shipbuilding.

1936 The alliance between the Ratana Church and the Labour Party was cemented at a meeting between Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana and Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage

Ratana and Labour seal alliance

1937 Jack Nicholson, American actor, was born.

1944  World War II: Operation Persecution was initiated – Allied forces landed in the Hollandia area of New Guinea.

1944 Steve Fossett, American adventurer, was born (d. 2007) .

1945  World War II: Prisoners at the Jasenovac concentration camp revolted. 520 were killed and 80 escaped.

1945 World War II: Fuehrerbunker: After learning that Soviet forces have taken Eberswalde without a fight, Adolf Hitler admited defeat in his underground bunker and stated that suicide was his only recourse.

1950 Peter Frampton, English musician, was born.

1954 Red Scare: The Army-McCarthy Hearings began.

1964  The 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair opened for its first season.

1969 British yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston completed the first solo non-stop circumnavigation of the world.

1970 The first Earth Day was celebrated.

1979 The Albert Einstein Memorial was unveiled at The National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC.

1992 Explosion in Guadalajara, Mexico – 206 people were killed, nearly 500 injured and 15,000 left homeless.

1993 The Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. was dedicated.

1993 – Version 1.0 of the Mosaic web browser was released.

1997 Haouch Khemisti massacre in Algeria – 93 villagers killed.

1997 – The Japanese embassy hostage crisis ended in Lima, Peru.

1998 Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened at Walt Disney World.

2000 – The Big Number Change took place in the United Kingdom.

2000 Second Battle of Elephant Pass, Tamil Tigers captures a strategic Sri Lankan Army base and held it for 8 years.

2004 Two fuel trains collided in Ryongchon, North Korea, killing up to 150 people.

2006 243 people were injured in pro-democracy protest in Nepal after Nepali security forces open fire on protesters against King Gyanendra.

2008 – Homepaddock blog was launched.

2008 The United States Air Force retired the remaining F-117 Nighthawk aircraft in service.

2010 – Deepwater Horizon, an oil rig owned by BP and Transocean, sank to the bottom of the Gulf Of Mexico after a blowout two days earlier.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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