Claudette Hauiti’s maiden speech

June 12, 2013

Claudette Hauiti delivered her maiden speech this evening:

Ko whetumataurau me rakaumangamanga ngā maunga

Ko Karakatuwhero to awa me tangaroa te moana

Ko Tutua me Rāwhiti ngā marae

Ko Ngāti Ruataupare me Ngāti Kuta ngā hapū

Ko Ngāti Porou me Ngā Puni ngā Iwi

Mr Speaker,

Ehara taku toa, he taki tahi, he toa taki tini

I come not alone but accompanied by the many of those that have passed, those that are yet to breathe life on this earth, and those that are here with me today by thought and by presence.

I acknowledge my whānau and friends who have travelled to Poneke to be with me today. Ki aku whānau me ngā hoa tēnā rā koutou katoa.

This afternoon I rise before the House full of gratitude to the Prime Minister Rt Honourable John Key, the National Party Board and president Peter Goodfellow and past presidents Michelle Boag and John Slater, without whose support I would not be here today.

I come to the House with all that I have: My whānau. My Iwi. My People. My Life’s Experiences.

I am Ngāti Porou Ngā Puhi by birth and by blood. I am explicitly Māori, unequivocally a New Zealander.

I would like to acknowledge my whanaunga and colleagues the Honourable Tau Henare, the Honourable Hekia Parata, as well as the Honourable Tariana Turia and the Honourable Pita Sharples, the co-leader of the Green Party Metiria Turei. And to my Māori colleagues across the parties. Tēnā Koutou Katoa.

I come to this House in all humility as a descendent of Te Aitanga a Hauiti. And although one of our most revered rangatira has passed from this world, it is with the greatest of honour and humbleness that I can continue to carry the tribe’s name, and so I acknowledge the Honourable Parekura Horomia – e te rangatira haere haere haere atu rā.

My views have been shaped by the many people who have touched my life. My mother Josephine Lucus and father Jerry Teretiu Hauiti left their rural roots of Moerewa and Te Araroa for a better life.

In the late 1950s they migrated to Auckland along with 25,000 other Māori chasing their dreams of getting a job, buying a house, and seeing their children get the best education possible.

My parents lived in Māori boarding houses in Parnell, Ponsonby, and then in Harding Street in Auckland city. Friday and Saturday nights they ballroom-danced at the Orange Hall and Māori Community Centre and on Sunday’s got politicised at Tatai Hono Anglican Church on Kyber Pass Road. On weekdays my parents worked at lolly factories as machinists, on the wharf, at the freezing works, on the roads, and on the railways.

The more Māori migrated to cities from 1950 to 1970 the more they experienced socio-cultural upheaval. Many experienced a loss of language, a disconnection from papakainga, and a connection instead to alcohol and drugs. Some substituted traditional whānau for life with patched gangs.

Sadly we are still experiencing the fallout of that 20-year period where manual mahi went from boom to bust and inter-generational unemployment has taken hold. At the same time the seams of our social fabric was unravelling. Today too many of our babies are dying and too many of our wahine are being bashed and our tāne are in jail.

But for the grace of God… My Father turned his sights to education where he reinforced in us, his children, lay the answers to many of life’s challenges. A solid education would give you options; good results would get you opportunities; an education would allow you independence, freedom to choose, and the ability to make wiser choices.

Options, opportunities, independence underpinned by perseverance, determination, personal responsibility; these are the attitudes I have inherited.

Mr Speaker, there is a whakatauki: Whaia te iti kahuranga ki te tuahu koe me he maunga teitei. Strive for the highest peak … and if you must bow let it be to the loftiest mountain.

To me this means having a dream and following it. Backing yourself as a winner.

As a business owner working in the commercially aggressive television broadcast industry it demanded innovation, strategic acuity, and ingenuity. I am proud to say that my company was part of the $20 billion Māori contribution to New Zealand’s GDP. In fact, small to medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of the New Zealand economy. Small companies like the very successful start-up operation Kapu Ti Productions, run by Brent Iremonger and Michelle Lee, is an example of great product – simple, smart, durable. Brent, Michelle and Kapu Ti Productions is Kiwi know-how can do at work.

Mr Speaker, I come to Parliament rich in knowledge and wealthy in experiences working for, living with, learning from, and loving a diverse range of people.

With gratitude I acknowledge my colleague Louisa Wall Labour MP for Manurewa for introducing the Marriage Equality Bill to the House. Ki a koe e te Tuahine Tēnā koe. And to all those who voted in favour, I thank you.

The fundamental principle of equality is one law for all.

To the takataapui community – my friends, my queer family Rangitunoa Black and Mihirawhiti Schranke who taught me that the strength in being takataapui is in the knowing you are Māori. Michael Gullery who’s gentle nurturing of minds reinforcing our valued place in Aotearoa New Zealand and worthy of great celebration, you are my mentors.

I would like to take this moment to remember some of our whānau who have departed this world. Rangi Chadwick, Bossie Mana, Jason Rameka – loyal and trusted friends, all talented young men steeped in te reo me ngā tikanga. And Kuini Mihaere, a gifted and generous artist. Thanks to the takataapui community I bring to this House and my Government – strength of courage to overcome adversity, tolerance in the face of rejection, acceptance where there is love, and an ability to recognise diversity as being the fabric that makes up this young nation.

If we are to go forward as a nation united in our diversity then we do so with purpose and with passion. We may not agree with one another’s policies, processes, procedures. We are not a homogenous people but I respect the right for anyone to voice their opinion and I welcome the opportunity for robust debate.

The ability to challenge with vigour, with passion, and with authenticity all the while preserving the integrity of your opposition is what I learnt from my dear friend and colleague Willie Jackson – shrewd, witty, astute. I count myself fortunate to have worked with one of the sharpest political commentators in New Zealand.

My broadcasting career was launched through the generosity of Dame June Jackson, Willie’s mum. If not for her funding my very first television programme for TV3, my career may very well have floundered for several more years. In fact, Dame June Jackson assisted in the rehabilitation of some of the country’s most notorious criminals. She did it because she felt compelled, she did it because no one else would, she did it because they were whānau.

Strong whānau breeds strong communities and for me my Ngā Puhi cousins have given to me unconditionally love…my Nathan, Haunui and Komene cousins who showed me the beauty of eeling….the joy in creek swimming and the thrill of rat shooting at the Moerewa tip….to my Ngāti Porou girl cousins Jodi Ihaka, Erana Reedy, Nerina Howe and Kath Ākuhata-Brown for your grown up advise in business and on how to craft great stories, I thank you.

When asked why am I here, I think of my sisters Rosina, Loraine and brother Michael who’s honesty, hard work and integrity inspires me to contribute positively to growing this nation.

When asked why I am here, I think of my mother, my father, and my stepfather Pita Morunga – a generation of Māori who came to town for a better life, so that we children could prosper. I do not want their sacrifices to count for nothing.

When asked what do I have to offer, I say I can offer a strong sense of loyalty to my Prime Minister, my colleagues, and my Government.

When asked what do I wish to achieve, I say I wish to continue the legacy left by my father to work hard to build a strong economic future where business innovation thrives and ingenuity is celebrated and encouraged.

When asked what do I wish to achieve, I say I wish to continue building tolerance and compassion and to celebrate diversity as an integral part of this nation.

To my beautiful wife Nadine for 25 years you have given me I thank you for your unconditional love. Kiamana your perseverance is an inspiration to me while Te Ua your individuality is something to be cherished. And to our darling Little Manawa, you are the centre of our universe.

No reira

Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi

Tēnā Koutou Tēnā Koutou Tēnā Koutou Katoa.

You can see and hear her deliver the speech at Parliament Today.


Paul Foster-Bell’s maiden speech

June 12, 2013

Paul Foster-Bell delivered his maiden speech this evening:

E nga mana, e nga reo, e nga karanga maha e huihui nei, Tena Koutou Katoa!

Mr Speaker. Members. Family, friends and supporters.

It is with a mixture of exhilaration, trepidation and aspiration that I rise to make a maiden statement in this 50th Parliament of New Zealand.

I am delighted to be joining the parliamentary team of the National Party led by the

Right Honourable John Key. National is, I believe, the only party capable of leading the sound, stable, and steady government this country needs. This Government is delivering the increased economic growth rates, thriving and safer communities, efficient public services, and personal freedoms which all Kiwis want and deserve.

I congratulate the Prime Minister and his excellent ministers for their unstinting work in untangling the mess created by nine years of socialist misrule, and in leading this nation to a brighter future in years to come.

It is a real honour to serve as an elected representative of the people of our beautiful country. At the same time, it is almost impossible not to be awestruck by one’s weighty responsibilities as a new MP: enacting the laws of the land, scrutinising government expenditure, assisting constituents with their issues, and having input into the policy of the governing party must all be taken very seriously.

I intend to keep my head down and learn from older and wiser members. I am grateful to Hon Chris Finlayson QC, the Hon Judith Collins, the Hon Tony Ryall, the

Hon Nick Smith, and the National MPs of the 2011 intake in particular, as well as all the National Party team, for their advice and warm welcome into this House.

Mr Speaker, I particularly look forward to being a Member in this House when the National War Memorial Park is opened in Wellington, where I am based. The centenary of Gallipoli marks a momentous event in our evolution towards independent nationhood a hundred years ago – and the plaques in this chamber commemorating that campaign, and others in which New Zealanders have fought, serve as a constant reminder to members of the Kiwi lives lost to secure our democracy and defend our way of life.

As John Key said, the National War Memorial Park will be a significant legacy to commemorate the centenary of Anzac Day. It is a special gift to the Capital and will become a wonderful civic amenity as well as a focal point for national commemorations. Earlier plans for a National War Memorial park fell by the wayside through neglect by the previous government, and the current precinct remained divided by State Highway 1 – until Chris Finlayson and Gerry Brownlee set out to deliver on a vision for an upgraded Buckle Street area.

I look forward to supporting other initiatives which will contribute to Wellington remaining a thriving, wonderful place to live.

Mr Speaker, given a maiden speech is one of the very few occasions in this Chamber when a member may make reference to guests in the public galleries, I ask that you indulge me in mentioning a few special people who are here today.

I would like to acknowledge president Peter Goodfellow, the board of the National Party – in particular Lower North Island chair Malcolm Plimmer and the lovely Linda – and all the office holders, activists, and members of the party.

I am very grateful for the help of our wonderful people locally in Wellington.

I was most fortunate to have as my campaign chair Brett Hudson, who put in an enormous effort during the 2011 election. I would also like to thank stalwart campaign and executive committee members: Dr Pat McCarthy, Murray Radford, Richard and Elaine Westlake, Sir Christopher and Lady Anna Harris, Graeme and Judith Sugden, Peter Milne, Alistair Scott, Aaron Hape, Chloe Oldfield, Brian Anderton, Carolyn O’Fallon, Carsten Schousboe, Carina Aiken, Haimona Gray, Jim Guo, Dr Joe Rousseau, Bridget-Anne Fowler, Rainer McAlister, Victor Cauty, Lliam Munro, Dr Rosy Fenwicke, Julian Light, and Henry Williams – as well as Cameron Pickering who has come up from Christchurch and Lyndon Crabbe from Roxburgh.

Many thanks to the Super Blues, especially Nancy McDonald, Joan Farrance, Pam Finlayson, Bernie Poole, and Patricia Morrison for their kind assistance. Thank you David Farrar and Neil Miller for the useful guidance. We were also very well supported by an exceptional group at Party HQ: Jo, Greg, Cam, Liam, Donna, Beth, and Sean. And to the hundreds of volunteers who gave so much of their time, thank you all so much.

I want to make special mention of the Young Nats. This was the group that gave me my start in politics, and I am thrilled that they have never been in such good heart and strength on campuses around the country as they are today. I would like to acknowledge Daniel Fielding who led the Young Nats over three years up to this high point, Sean Topham who is capably chairing it today, Christian Hermansen who chairs the regional Young Nats, and Joel Rowan from our local VicNats branch.

The Young Nats have won some real victories on longstanding youth issues in recent years: lobbying successfully to remove compulsion from student unions, keeping the age for purchase of alcohol at 18, addressing teen depression and suicide, and supporting equal access to marriage for all Kiwis. I hope the Young Nats keep rattling cages, and keep me on my toes as a new MP.

To friends who could not make it today – Malcolm and Marian Cone in Temuka, Peter and Sarah Walker and Robyn Broughton in Dunedin; Ele Ludemann in Oamaru, Professor John and Jenny Leader in Blenheim; Emma Mellow-Sandford in Sydney; Tiffany in Canberra; Kezia in England; Geoff and Chris Pope in Seattle; the Cammock Family in Jakarta; Johnny and Chantal Rayner-Burt along with my godson Hugo in Italy – I am most grateful for the loyal support I have consistently received over the years.

And, most importantly, I would like to pay tribute to my family.

To my parents – Bob and Alyse – a child could not have had a better start in life than I got, thanks to you. The example set by you Dad – of putting your family above all other concerns, and working every hour of the day to provide for them – is an outstanding one.

And Mum, the lesson you taught us that learning is something to be treasured, and with a sound education the world is one’s oyster, is something that I hope – one day – every Kiwi kid will be inculcated with. I couldn’t be prouder that after more than 30 years of part-time study you are on the cusp of completing your PhD.

I would also like to send special greetings to my brother and sister, Greg and Shaan, my niece, Caitlin, and granddad Ayers Robert Foster Sr, who will be watching this on the TV in Whangarei along with Dulcie. And warm regards to my Aunty Eleanor Ashcroft, who will be tuned in along with Vic Reid, in Rotorua.

Mr Speaker, I have been privileged to have served our country both on and offshore in the foreign service over the past nine years. It was a real pleasure to work for some of the most capable and dedicated senior officials in this country’s public sector: ambassadors Hamish MacMaster, Brian Sanders, Rod Harris, Malcolm Millar,

Dr Jonathan Austin, Dr James Kember, and Wendy Hinton – as well as some absolutely first rate colleagues and workmates – both Kiwis and locally engaged.

I have also enjoyed a range of experiences overseas which few visitors to distant lands get – including seeing, from a behind the scenes perspective, how a number of other countries really operate.

Mr Speaker, of all the countries I worked in, none is as free as

New Zealand. Some, such as Iran, would actually fall at the opposite end of any objective scale measuring corruption, transparency, and rule of law.

Thankfully, it is the people of New Zealand – not the State – who have, to a larger degree than almost anywhere else in the world, power over their own lives and the ability to decide their own prospects for the future. This reminds me of a quote from the late, great Baroness Thatcher of our right “to have the State as servant and not as master … on that freedom, all our other freedoms depend”. This is just as true today as when the Iron Lady first said it.

We should be rightly proud of the advances towards freedom which we have made. But there are areas where further work is needed, in my view, if we are to retain our place as a country where liberty and freedom of speech, of thought, of belief and of action are most cherished. The abolition of blasphemy as a criminal offence, for which one can be imprisoned for up to a year, is one example of such an area crying out for reform.

Mr Speaker, of all the countries I spent time in, none is as clean, green and endowed with such a pristine natural environment and spectacular scenic splendour as

New Zealand. In demonstrating that economic growth and preserving environmental values can go hand in hand, and showing that good science is essential to high quality environmental decision making, New Zealand is leading the way.

I am glad that New Zealanders are able to enjoy our unique birth right, to access our special places: the beaches, rivers, lakes, and mountains for which our land is rightly renowned.

Mr Speaker, of all the other jurisdictions I have worked in, none is as well served by their public servants as ours. Across a range of departments from MFAT, the Treasury and MBIE, through to Defence, the security services, the Police and the Prime Minister’s Department, I have worked in a state sector which has seen increasing levels of resource shifted from bureaucracy and administration to delivering the services New Zealanders need; which is operating more efficiently than ever before; and which is carrying out this Government’s policies to achieve unprecedented positive results. Results like the lowest crime rate in a generation or record numbers of elective surgeries for those who need them.

Mr Speaker, of the developed economies I have visited, few are as well positioned as New Zealand to ride out the world’s current period of economic instability and to take advantage of the opportunities offered by exporting to a rapidly growing Asian middle class; or by servicing the food security needs of the prosperous but arid Gulf States; or by hosting increasingly high value tourists and students from abroad in our safe, tolerant, and welcoming nation.

None of this is to say that we have all the answers here in our island home. Quite the opposite. There is a lot we can learn from other successful smaller states, such as Singapore, or the UAE. And, of course, as a small trading nation we are utterly dependent on our trading partners and a stable, rules-based world order to ensure our own future prosperity.

Our first woman Prime Minister, Rt Hon Dame Jenny Shipley, tidily summed this concept up when she said that “New Zealand needs the world a heck of a lot more than the rest of the world needs New Zealand”. This sentiment certainly echoes my experiences, representing our country out in the field.

Mr Speaker, the National Party was founded 77 years ago as a coalition between sectors which were diverse in origins, but which had aligning interests and shared objectives.

National’s founders were those in the productive sector – whether farmers or urban manufacturers.

They were those in business, both employers and employees, professionals practising on their own account, or tradesmen.

They were those hardworking mothers and fathers who aspired to a better life for their children and equal treatment for everyone, irrespective of colour, creed or class.

They were those who valued property rights for themselves and others, and who wanted a limited government which encouraged free enterprise and rewards for effort.

National is still the bastion of equal opportunity and the rule of law. These timeless values are why the public has elected National to the treasury benches for 40 of the past 60 years. Our party continues to govern in the interest of all New Zealanders, and that is why I am proud to call myself a National Party Member.

Mr Speaker, I have come to this esteemed place to do more than simply occupy a seat.

Sir, I have come to this House to support sound economic management, growth, and sensible public spending. I stand firmly against ruinously high borrowing, inefficient public services, or incentivising irresponsibility through unfettered welfare.

I have come to this House, Sir, to back the Prime Minister and his Government. I am resolutely opposed to socialism and its overweening conceit that redistribution, and governmental meddling in private enterprise can deliver positive outcomes for our people. They cannot. In the words of Sir Winston Churchill, “for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle”.

I have come to this House, Sir, as a champion for trade, tourism, and closer linkages with other countries, and the transformative effects these can bring through higher incomes, and more employment. I repudiate xenophobia and protectionism, which damage our overseas relationships, our reputation, and our earnings.

Mr Speaker, I have come to this House to advocate strongly for our capital city, and for all the residents of Wellington Central and Hutt South.

I have come to this House, Sir, as a Blue Green. I want to see pragmatic protections for our stunning natural environment, balanced against the need to derive economic benefits from our natural resources where appropriate. I will criticise impractical and Luddite responses to environmental challenges.

I have come to this House, Sir, as a Blue Liberal, and a defender of diversity, liberty, and equal treatment by the State for all its citizens. I will be a trenchant enemy of any laws which seek to implement the hideous apparatus of the police state here in New Zealand. In the words of our National Anthem, “May our mountains ever be, freedom’s ramparts on the sea”.

I have come to this House, Sir, as a proponent of the Constitutional Monarchy which has served us so well for over 170 years. I will fiercely resist any measures which weaken this essential pillar of our robust democracy.

Mr Speaker, to paraphrase Alfred, Lord Tennyson – I have come to this House made weak by time and fate, but strong in will: to seek, to strive, to find, and not to yield.

I look forward to working with you, Sir, and all likeminded members to achieve these goals.

Thank you.

You can see and hear him deliver the speech at Parliament Today.


Points for trying

June 12, 2013

At last the media is calling Winston Peters’ bluff.

John Campbell did an admirable job of attempting to get him to show some proof and give a straight answer.

Campbell wasn’t successful but at least he showed Peters obfuscating.

And tonight Rebecca Wright did her best to get him to prove his comments on Auckland as sin-city.

Three weeks ago, Winston Peters made a speech to Grey Power in Takapuna, entitled “Auckland, super city or sin city?”

In it, he used the word “China” 21 times and he asked the question “who’s running things here, us or them?”

Is there any other immigrant group that gets singled out like that?

It was all in a speech that refers to corruption, crime, money laundering, shady dealing, pokey machines, sex workers, cheating Asian students, a slave trade, drug importation and the seven deadly sins.

So Campbell Live asked Winston Peters for proof. . .

The video is here.

Unfortunately the deluded who think he can do no wrong will probably think he’s in the right and that the media is treating him unfairly.

 


Word of the day

June 12, 2013

Canorous – pleasant sounding; richly melodious; tuneful; resonant.


Rural round-up

June 12, 2013

2013 New Zealand Wine Vintage Set to Be One of the Best:

The 2013 New Zealand grape harvest has been completed with high quality grapes picked in all regions. Winemakers across the country are heralding it as one of the best vintages in history.

“An outstanding New Zealand summer provided near perfect conditions for growing grapes across the country” said Philip Gregan, chief executive officer of New Zealand Winegrowers. “The result is that we expect the 2013 wines to be vibrant, fruit driven and complex expressions of our diverse grape growing regions. 2013 looks set to be a vintage to remember.”

According to the 2013 Vintage Survey, 345,000 tonnes of grapes were harvested. The 2013 crop is up 28% on the small harvest last year but up only 5% on 2011. . .

Fieldays: new forecasting service for farmers

A new weather and environmental forecasting service has been launched at the National Fieldays by NIWA today.

The service provides farmers with tailored information about weather conditions on their farm.

The web-based weather forecasting information service called NIWA forecast aims to help farmers and growers identify the right time to carry out weather-dependent operations like irrigation, spraying and harvesting.

NIWA chief scientist, atmosphere, Dr Murray Poulter said the new service takes forecasting to another level because different forecasts can now be created for properties as little as 12km apart.

“NIWA forecast can deliver valuable climate analysis and forecasts from the present to 15 days ahead direct to farmers’ and growers’ computers via the internet direct to their farm.” . . .

Meat Industry Excellence gets into the first gear of reform:

With the 2013 National Agricultural Fieldays now underway, so is reform of New Zealand’s red meat sector being championed by Meat Industry Excellence (MIE). MIE is shifting the gears of reform following intensive meetings held in Christchurch and Wellington last week.

“Having met with Beef+Lamb NZ Chairman, Mike Petersen and Federated Farmers’ Meat and Fibre executive, there is recognition and support among farmers for a truly sustainable red meat sector,” says Richard Young, MIE Chairman.

“MIE sees its role as shifting the gear for reform out of neutral. For an industry bedevilled by past infighting it is great to know that Federated Farmers and Beef+Lamb NZ want to work with us. . .

Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre works on reform:

Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre will follow up on a positive meeting with the Meat Industry Excellence Group (MIE) with a discussion on reform and farmer behaviour at its 2013 conference in Ashburton next month.
“MIE gave us an update on where they are at and some of the changes they are working on,” Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre chairperson Jeanette Maxwell said.

“We had a highly constructive conversation around meat industry issues and many areas of alignment emerged.

“Both organisations realise they have much in common and want to achieve the same goals. In the next couple of weeks there will be a lot more information to emerge from MIE. . .

Farmers to have equal say in Fairtrade:

Farmers from Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America are to have an equal say in running the global Fairtrade movement for the first time this week.

In a ground-breaking move, producers of tea, coffee, bananas and other goods will have half the votes at Fairtrade International’s annual General Assembly in Germany on Wednesday, 12 June 2013. . .

Fairtrade is the first major development organisation to pioneer such power-sharing between groups in the northern and southern hemisphere. . .


Two wins for common sense

June 12, 2013

Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye has today announced changes to the Food Bill that ensure communities will be able to continue fundraising that involves the sale of food.

“The changes ensure better balance in the legislation so that high-risk food operators have the appropriate controls, while unnecessary burdens are not placed on communities,” Ms Kaye says.

“They are designed to clarify aspects of the law where people have raised uncertainty.

“Since the Food Bill had its first reading, people have expressed concerns that it could have placed unnecessary regulation and compliance on community and fundraising groups.

“We have listened to those concerns and the relevant changes to the Bill will go back to Select Committee for consideration.

“The changes relate to community activities, including swapping food in non-commercial exchanges and engaging in fundraising and ‘Kiwiana’ activities such as sausage sizzles and school fairs.

“There will also be greater transparency of fees charged by local authorities and the addition of a ‘good Samaritan’ clause to better protect businesses that donate food in good faith.

“The changes to this legislation are to provide a flexible, risk-based food safety system that will accommodate around 85,000 food premises, which account for more than 250,000 jobs.

“Some of the definitions will be important to get right and that’s why I am sending the Bill back to select committee for consideration.

“The Food Bill is comprehensive and replaces the current legislation and regulations plus at least 34 separate sets of food safety bylaws around New Zealand.

“It is challenging to draw the line in the appropriate place on how much regulation will ensure safe and suitable food for consumers when dealing with the differences in scale from a community sausage sizzle through to a multi-national food producer.

“The Bill has significant support from industry and businesses and more than 6000 businesses have adopted transitional risk based programmes in anticipation of this new Food Bill.

“I believe this legislation is critical to protect the health of New Zealand consumers, improve the integrity of our food systems and support export-led economic growth.”

Food & Grocery Chief Executive Katherine Rich says the changes are sensible and timely.

“As a country so dependent on food production, New Zealand needs a modern food law, and this will achieve that.

“It’s not before time. The existing piece of legislation is more than 30 years old and has regulations that are nearly 40 years old. A lot has happened in food technology, science, attitudes, and thinking in that time. On that basis, with food laws that are very much out of date and overdue for a revamp, it is important New Zealand moves forward in this area.

“The changes proposed by the Minister are sensible and pragmatic, and improve the clarity of the law so there is less room for ambiguity.

“Many members of the Food & Grocery Council have risk-based systems in place, and the Food Bill will provide a clearer underpinning of those systems.

“The food industry will welcome the proposed changes.”

And in other news:

Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain says feedback from event organisers and members of the public shows overwhelming support for changes to the rules around spot prize draws which will remove unnecessary red tape.

Currently when spot prizes are used at events, such as fishing competitions and fun runs, they can be classed as gambling under the Gambling Act – which means organisers have to comply with a raft of rules.

“Public consultation on our discussion document showed the rules are too restrictive and the paperwork required onerous. Gambling is not the primary purpose of these events, so all these regulations are not required,” says Mr Tremain.

“However I don’t want a blanket exemption as this would potentially allow for events to be set up for prize draws where there is no community benefit.

“So the proposal is to exempt events from the Gambling Act events if they meet certain criteria such as the prize draw being secondary to the main event, the draw being only available to people participating in the event and the event having a community benefit.

“That will mean organisers will be able to offer spot prizes, regardless of the value of the prize, without needing to apply for a licence.

“The new rules will be in place in time for summer events this year.”

That’s two wins for common sense.


Spread the love

June 12, 2013

Boutique cheesemakers Whitestone Cheese have branched out into artisan butter and you can taste the difference.

“This butter is the freshest you can buy because it’s made from milk supplied by local Oamaru cows and produced in small batches by Whitestone Cheese, makers of award winning cheeses. It has a big, mouth-filling flavour – not complex, just pure, unadulterated creaminess. It’s wonderful on fresh bread, heaven on foods like asparagus and potatoes and gives baking a real richness of flavour. It’s good buttery butter that tastes of New Zealand.

My approach to food has always been to keep it simple, but above all, keep it fresh. Which got me thinking about butter. Why can’t we, in this food paradise of ours, produce butter that tastes like it should; like freshly churned better straight from the farm? I put this to my friends at Whitestone. Together we came up with a new artisan butter that’s fresher, creamier and full of flavour. If you love butter, I mean really LOVE butter, you must try this.”

Al’s right.
Whitestone has a caravan at the Oamaru Farmers’ Market.

Last time I was there they were doing taste tests and I had no trouble deciding which was the ordinary butter and which was the better butter.

The boutique butter was definitely better, so much so that I had to spread the love and added a block to the Whitestone brie and blue vein I took up to the friends in Auckland who were hosting us for Queens Birthday weekend.

There are three to choose from – salted, unsalted and a Manuka-smoked butter.

The salted and unsalted are pure creaminess with a big flavour. Fresh does that. Wonderful on fresh bread, heaven on foods like asparagus and potatoes and gives baking a real richness of flavour.

Our manuka-smoked butter is like a culinary Swiss Army Knife and will work with almost anything. It adds a subtle smokiness and delicious richness to all foods it seduces. A simple ‘lick’ of this over products like corn on the cob, fresh seafood and grilled meats will send them into another flavour stratosphere.

If you want to spread the love you can get it here.


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