Parekura Horomia 1950 – 2013

April 29, 2013

Parekura Horomia, MP and Maori Affairs spokesman and former Minister, has died.

In his maiden speech he said:

– I’ve been a fencer, shearer, scrub cutter and printer.
– I’ve also worked in the upper levels of bureaucracy in management roles.

As a Maori Member of Parliament I have a dual responsibility.
– I have a responsibility to my people and the wider public.

– Unfortunately, if we look at the statistics for the people I represent the picture is bleak. We feature disproportionately in negative statistics. . .

. . . – The future for Maori is about acknowledging who we are and determining where we want to go. . . 

– Not every Maori will reap the same success as Michael Campbell but we should be encouraging them all to swing that high.

– We have to set an example for the younger generation and I accept that challenge as a new Maori Member of Parliament.

– Let me take you back a few years to the time when I was a schoolboy. I vividly recall walking to school barefoot with my seven brothers and sisters.

– Everyday, whatever the weather, we walked five kilometres to school and back.

– While this may not have been unusual for Maori children, there was a certain irony about this journey.

– Everyday we would watch the empty school bus drive past us and other whanau to collect the pakeha kids that lived a half a kilometre from our school. This bus would pick them up, turn around, drive back past us and take those kids to the school in Tologa Bay.

– As a child the bureaucrats who made those decisions mattered little. All I knew is that I had to walk and the bus was leaving me and the rest of my whanaunga behind.

– I used to dream of being picked up by that school bus. But as I grew older we became more resilient. We went from wishing it would stop to pick us up …to thinking that if it did stop we wouldn’t hop on anyway.

– I relate that story now because Maori are often told we’ve missed the bus. And many cases Maori have not even had the opportunity to get on the bus.

– The irony in all of this is that I’m now the Associate Minister of Education, responsible for school transport!

– So now I’m not only riding the bus, I’m helping to drive the bus with my colleagues, Mr Samuels, Mr Mallard and Mr Maharey.

– As one of the drivers you can be damn sure I’m going to stop the bus and pick up as many Maori as possible. . .

He held the seat of Ikaroa-Rawhiti since first winning it in 1999. His death will force a by-election.


Word of the day

April 29, 2013

Louche – of questionable taste or morality; disreputable or indecent; dubious; shady; sordid in a rakish or appealing way

Rural round-up

April 29, 2013

Hydatids rule changes proposed:

The Ministry for Primary Industries is proposing changes to controls covering a disease that has not been seen in New Zealand since the 1990s.

Hydatids can infect humans, sheep and other animals, and is contracted from dogs which carry the hydatid tapeworm.

The disease killed more than 140 people in a decade between 1946 – 1956. Many more people had to have surgery to remove hydatids cysts.

After about 50 years of control efforts, including regular dog dosing, the Ministry of Agriculture declared New Zealand to be provisionally free of hydatids in 2002.

But regulations have remained in place aimed at preventing any future outbreaks. . .

Farmers back tradeable killing rights, says Beef + Lamb:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s chairman says he’s had strong farmer feed-back supporting tradable slaughter rights as one way of helping to rationalise the processing end of the meat industry.

Mike Petersen says the concept was first suggested in a consultants’ report 28 years ago, but never picked up.

He thinks it could be a circuit breaker to unlock the challenges of getting farmers and privately owned meat companies to work together.

Mr Petersen says a share of the kill would have to be allocated to each company, and from a set point in time companies would have the right to slaughter that percentage on an annual basis.

He says regular updates on the size of the kill would be needed. . .

Meat firms working on simple plan

Meat companies are working together on a plan to rationalise the processing industry and the two big co-ops are willing to work with the Meat Industry Excellence group, farmers at a packed meeting in Feilding on Friday were told.

The co-ops and up to 700 farmers endorsed the MIE group’s aims and put forward John McCarthy, Steve Wyn-Harris and Tom O’Sullivan to represent North Island farmers on the group executive.

Alliance chairman Owen Poole said the industry was putting effort into an improved model and a decision on whether it would go ahead could be expected within two months. . . .

North Island farmers back calls for meat industry reform:

North Island farmers are planning further meetings to keep the pressure on for meat industry restructuring.

An estimated 600 to 700 farmers met in Feilding on Friday, to support the Meat Industry Excellence Group campaign launched in the South Island last month.

It has a five step plan to overhaul the red meat sector to improve profitability for companies and farmers through more co-ordinated processing and marketing.

Spokesman John McCarthy says there’s a strong commitment from farmers to see meat industry reforms through this time, but it is important to take things one step at a time. . .

Federated Farmers feed operation may be approaching an end:

The Federated Farmers Grain & Seed led feed operation, which will have shipped some 220,000 small bale equivalents from the South Island, may soon be approaching an end. With demand beginning to slow, Federated Farmers is concerned some farmers may be over-estimating pasture recovery following rain.

“Federated Farmers Grain & Seed can rightly be proud of the contribution our members have made in helping our North Island colleagues out,” says David Clark, Federated Farmers Grain & Seed Vice-Chairperson.

“With winter upon us demand for feed is slowing right up and we don’t understand why. . .

A Beekeeper’s Story:

When he was just a young lad, Bill Bennett built his first bee hive from scrap wood.

Thus a lifelong passion for producing the best quality Manuka honey had its beginnings.

From its humble beginnings, SummerGlow Apiaries has blossomed to over 1600 hives, setting the standards for Manuka Honey production.

Bill and Margaret Bennett have been beekeeping for over 36 years in the greater Waikato area.

Summerglow Apiaries specialises in the production of high activity UMF Manuka Honey.

Back in the early days of SummerGlow, Bill and Margaret used to make their own bee hives. . .

Queenstown Biking Community ‘thrilled’ with New Rabbit Ridge Bike Resort:

Queenstown’s Rabbit Ridge Bike Resort got the thumbs up at the soft launch yesterday when members of the local biking community got to check out the newly-constructed trails.
Some last minute rain ensured the trails were ‘bedded in’ and locals of all ages and experiences took to the trails with vigour.
From experienced downhill bikers to families with children, everyone enjoyed the opportunity to test trails including the beginner ‘Bunny’ trail and intermediate Donnas Dually track.
The invitation-only event saw bikers, bike shop owners and front line staff experience the resort for the first time. Rabbit Ridge is a joint venture by local bike business Around the Basin and Gibbston Valley Winery and will be the area’s only year-round dedicated and serviced bike resort. . . .

Canada farm persecuted by gov., thankful for help: Tiffany’s non-blog:

For some background:

Apparently I am farmed and dangerous…

But I am not a criminal. I’m a shepherd, farmer and writer who has been preserving rare Shropshire sheep for the last 12 years, and farming various other heritage breeds and vegetables for the last 30.

Then the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) killed my beautiful ewes and their unborn lambs to find out if they were healthy. They were.

They were also rare and pregnant. Now they are dead. . .

There are always at least two sides to a story and a Google search led me to several others including these two:

Sheep flock is both rare and slated for slaughter – Suzanne Atkinson:

A Hastings’ woman’s desperate attempt to save her rare Shropshire sheep from the CFIA’s axe is ballooning into a fundraising and full scale social media campaign.

Montana Jones, whose flock of 44 Shropshires represents approximately 25 percent of the country’s inventory of the breed, is facing the decimation of her flock after Scrapies was found in a sheep which originated in her herd more than five years ago. While her entire herd has tested negative – a test considered 85 per cent accurate, the 44 animals have also been genotyped QQ and are considered less resistant to the disease.
While Scrapies is not a human health risk, it can affect the productivity of sheep and CFIA is mandated to eradicate it within Canada to enhance trade opportunities. . .
Rare sheep on death row – Alyshah Hasham:

Montana Jones loves her Shropshire sheep.

She raises the rare heritage breed at no profit in a bid to protect the bloodlines tracing back to some of the first sheep on Canadian shores.

But the fluffy romance of 12 years has become a nightmare, with more than half of her flock of 75 slated for the chopping block for no reason, says the farmer.

Her Wholearth Farm in Hastings, near Peterborough, was put under quarantine and listed as a possible source of infection after a ewe she sold to an Alberta farmer five years ago was diagnosed with scrapie. . .

How endangered are Shropshire sheep? – Agrodiversity  Weblog:

You may have seen stories in the past week or so of a flock of Shropshire sheep that authorities in Canada have threatened with destruction. The sheep belong to Montana Jones, who raises them at her Wholearth Farm, near Hastings in Peterborough. Five years ago she sold a ewe to a farmer in Alberta, and that sheep has been diagnosed with scrapie. As a result, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency wants to destroy other animals from the same flock who are infected or suspected of being infected.

One problem for Montana Jones is that the test “is only about 85% accurate”. So the sheep that tested positive may not have scrapie, although I have no idea what that 85% figure actually means. False positives? False negatives? What?

It is a long time since I last had to get my ahead around scrapie, the risks to humans (it is not “mad sheep disease”), the different breed susceptibilities, and the different approaches to eradication. All of those are important issues, I am sure. What concerns me about Montana Jones’ case is whether the appeal to the rarity of Shropshire sheep justifies not taking the precaution of slaughtering some of the flock. . .

In praise of VSM

April 29, 2013

Opponents of Voluntary Student Membership predicted the sky would fall if people weren’t compelled to join students unions.

It hasn’t and here’s proof of its benefits.

It enabled some Young Nats to choose to join the Otago University Students Association and then use the OUSA van to get to the National Party’s Mainland conference in Hanmer at the weekend.

Like a boss

They’re pictured here with two of the MPs who voted in favour of VSM – Prime Minister John Key and Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean.

MPI founding DG moves to LIC

April 29, 2013

The man who oversaw the creation of the Ministry of Primary Industries and became its first Director General, Wayne McNee,  has resigned to take up the role of chief executive of Livestock Improvement.

. . . After becoming the General Manager of PHARMAC in 1998, then Chief Executive of PHARMAC in 2001, Mr McNee became Chief Executive of the Ministry of Fisheries (MFish) in 2008. He was appointed as Chief Executive of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) in 2010 and then as Chief Executive of the Ministry for Primary Industries in 2011, following the merger of MAF and MFish. . . 

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said:

“I’ve enjoyed working with Wayne over the last two years. He has overseen the merger of MAF with the New Zealand Food Safety Authority and the Ministry of Fisheries to create the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in 2012,” says Mr Guy.

“The merger has resulted in savings of over $20 million a year and created a new strategy of ‘grow and protect’. MPI now has the ambitious target of doubling exports from the primary sector from $30 billion to $60 billion by 2025.

“Wayne has created great relationships with key stakeholders, both here and internationally. He knows that businesses are the engine room of economic growth.

“I’m sorry to see Wayne go but his new role as Chief Executive of the Livestock Improvement Corporation will utilise his skills, experience and knowledge. . .

MPI’s loss is LIC’s gain.

Labour is anti-growth party

April 29, 2013

What’s the difference between the National and Labour parties?

There are plenty but the most stark is their attitudes to growth.

National is pro-growth and has spent the last four years implementing policies which will promote it.

Labour has spent the last four years opposing those policies and is, aEconomic Development Minister Steven Joyce says fast becoming the Anti-Growth Party by pursuing polices that would hurt households and damage the New Zealand economy.

“What has become increasingly clear is that intentionally or unintentionally, Labour is promoting policy ideas that would stunt New Zealand’s growth. On top of that they are opposed to all initiatives that would create jobs and boost incomes. They are becoming the ‘Anti-Growth’ Party’,” Mr Joyce says, speaking today at the National Party’s Mainland Regional Conference in Hanmer Springs.

“They want to introduce a capital gains tax on every business and farm, print money to lower the dollar, force households to pay an extra $500 a year under the ETS and spend and borrow more money. In their rush to appeal to the political left and scratch every political itch, they are ignoring the economic impact of their ideas.
“Their latest ‘plan’ on electricity is playing politics with the value of New Zealand’s economic assets and they don’t care who it affects. They clearly haven’t thought through the consequences of discouraging investment and savings to both KiwiSavers and jobs, all for a policy that pretty much everyone agrees won’t work.
“It is becoming obvious that under the influence of Grant Robertson and David Parker – and the threat of the Greens – Labour has shifted further to the left. More middle-of-the-road MPs like Shane Jones are now isolated and forced to recite the new anti-growth party mantra of saying ‘no’ to every idea to boost growth.”
Anti-growth Labour policies include:
• Dramatically increasing the effects of the ETS on trade-exposed businesses and New Zealand households
•  Introducing a capital gains tax on all productive businesses
•  Abandoning sensible monetary policy in an attempt to force down the value of the New Zealand dollar
• Nationalising the power industry and discouraging investment in the New Zealand economy
• Borrowing more money rather than having the Government make savings and get back into surplus
Policies Labour has rejected that will boost investment and growth include:
• Resource management law changes to speed up investment decisions
• Plans to build an International Convention Centre in Auckland (despite supporting a similar arrangement in 2002)
• Oil and gas exploration on the North Island’s East Coast
•  Investment by Chinese companies, including the investment by Haier in Fisher & Paykel Appliances
• Encouraging more international investment generally
• Reforms to allow greater aquaculture development in the Marlborough Sounds
• Speeding up Bathurst Resources consents at Denniston
•  Increasing irrigation and agricultural intensification
“The National-led Government is encouraging more investment in New Zealand as we know that nothing creates jobs and grows incomes for New Zealand families better than business growth,” Mr Joyce says.
“Labour has talked a lot in the last four years about savings, jobs and growth.  If they are serious about those things they need to start showing it. They need to support sensible initiatives that will encourage investment, create jobs and help New Zealand families get ahead.
“Constantly adopting policies that discourage investment, and also saying ‘you can’t do this and you can’t do that’ shows Labour is fast becoming the Anti-Growth Party, joining the already anti-growth Greens on the far left of New Zealand politics.”

The Green Party has never made any secret of its disdain for economic development. Labour used to pretend it was interested in growth.

But in abandoning the centre ground and lurching leftwards it has given up the pretence it is economically rational and wants a growing economy.

Some commentators say this more united LabourGreen approach will help them look more like a government in waiting.

That might be so but it will also scare the moderate swinging voters in the centre. Given the choice between extreme-left, anti-growth Labour Green and moderate centre-right National they are much more likely to tick blue rather than red and green.

National would reverse LabourGreen power play

April 29, 2013

If LabourGreen win the next election and manage to implement their power play promise, it won’t be for long.

Prime Minister John Key told the National party’s Mainland conference yesterday that if National lost next year’s election the party would reverse the LabourGreen power policy as soon as it got back into government.

That means there is almost no chance of the monopoly wholesale model being implemented.

That will be a relief to anyone worried about the prospect of insecure supply, rising costs and investment flight.


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