Cunliffe wins leadership but not caucus

September 15, 2013

David Cunliffe is Labour’s new leader.

David Cunliffe was elected by a majority in the first round of a preferential three-way Electoral College contest also involving Grant Robertson and Shane Jones. . .

The votes from the caucus, members and unions were:

Caucus 40
Cunliffe, David 32.35% 47.06% 18.82%

Jones, Shane 20.59%

Party 40

Cunliffe, David 60.14% 67.79% 27.11%

Jones, Shane 13.15%

Robertson, Grant 26.71% 32.21% 12.89%

Affiliates 20 Cunliffe, David 70.77% 78.01% 15.60%

Jones, Shane 11.92%

Robertson, Grant 17.30% 21.99% 4.40%

Final result

Round 1

Cunliffe, David 51.15%

Jones, Shane 15.88%

Robertson, Grant 32.97%

Robertson, Grant 47.06% 52.94% 21.18%

Cunliffe won on the first round, albeit with 51.5% of the vote.

However, he got only 32.5% of first preference votes from his caucus colleagues and 47.06 of their second preferences.

He’s won the leadership with only minority support from his caucus colleagues  – 11 of 34 giving him first preference – in spite of strong indications that members and unions were backing him.

Winning the leadership might have been the easy bit, getting his caucus colleagues on side will be his next and bigger challenge.

Word of the day

September 15, 2013

Kench – a bin or enclosure in which fish or skins are salted; beer belly; to laugh really loudly.

Rural round-up

September 15, 2013

Getting low riding out the big blow – Tim Fulton:

Tom Kearney, his wife and family hunkered down in a bedroom and rode it out when the nor’wester whacked their farm near Ashburton.

The Kearneys’ home at Winslow was well sheltered but it felt for a while like the windows might blow in, Kearney said.

“We’ve got a young daughter and another one on the way in about three weeks time so it could have got a bit frightening if it (the baby) decided to turn up a bit early.”

The sheep farmers expect they lost up to 1000 trees in the gale, about half the trees on the property. Some of thee shelter-belt trees were 50-60 years old. . .

Response needed on black grass – Annette Scott:

The black grass damage is done and the focus now must go on establishing a robust response plan, Methven cropping farmer Ian Letham says.

Letham farms along the route the contaminated seed took on its journey to a Methven seed-dressing plant.

“I’m extremely concerned about this issue,” he said of a biosecurity breach that resulted in the spillage of the noxious weed black grass in Mid Canterbury. . .

NZ-linked Chinese dairy firms rank highly – Jamie Gray:

Chinese dairy companies Yili and Mengniu – both of which will soon have factories in New Zealand – now rate among the top 15 of the world’s biggest dairy companies in terms of turnover, rural lending specialist Rabobank said.

Rabobank said Yili is now ranked at 12th, up from 15th last year, while Mengniu went to 15th from 16th.

Yili has plans to manufacture in South Canterbury while Yashili – which is in the throes of being taken over by Mengniu – is building a factory at Pokeno, on the southern outskirts of Auckland.

The top five rankings – with Fonterra at number four – remained unchanged from last year. . .

Genetics programme critical for improving productivity – Allan Barber:

Two complementary programmes have just been announced which promise to deliver improved sheep traits which will compensate for lower production and generate greater profits.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics is a proposed new partnership between B+LNZ and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) which will combine existing levy payer funding of $2.9 million with $1.5 million of third party investment to be matched by $4.4 million from MBIE.

B+LNZ currently invests its share in the activities of Sheep Improvement Limited, Central Progeny Test and Ovita which has been a joint venture with AgResearch for the last 10 years. This will now be wrapped up into B+LNZ Genetics, while AgResearch will provide major input into the new programme which will broaden the historical breeding excellence focus to determine breeding values and genetic ability to perform on hill country. . .

Vision projects #4 – Credo Quia Absurdum Est:

I see agribusiness biotechnology startups in the news every week.  They usually have the words “Massey University”, or occasionally the school for backward farm kids “Lincoln” attached to them.

There’s no reason why they shouldn’t have Invercargill attached to them.

But we have had decades of wasteful spending on airport runways, pastoral land at Awarua and other ridiculous projects that are not going to create community wealth or jobs.

Invercargill needs to play to its strengths. . .

Pāua Data Logging to Better Manage the Fishery:
Commercial pāua diving is entering the electronic age with logging of every shellfish taken.

When the new season opens on Oct 1, every diver in the Pāua 2 fishery will be wearing a data logger that will record each captured pāua’s location, depth, weight and the water temperature.

The small electronic boxes strapped to wetsuits unload their data on the supporting dive boat, which will provide a reef by reef picture of what is happening in the fishery.

“This will allow us to spread the catch effort, ensure an area is not over exploited and better manage a sustainable fishery,” Tony Craig, Pāua 2 Management Group chairman, said. . .

How To Live A Life

September 15, 2013

How to Live a Life - Story of the Day</p> <p>How To Live A Life (or at least what I know so far...) 1. You already are. Now, when are you going to choose to enjoy it? (How's that for clearing up the clutter?)</p> <p> Story People by Brian Andreas.

You can sign up for an email which delivers a daily dose of whimsy like this by clicking on the link.

Importance of purpose

September 15, 2013

Julia GIllard has broken two months’ silence to write in The Guardian of the pain – personal and political – of losing.

In it she, criticises her party’s rule change which could entrench a leader, even though under it she would still have beaten Rudd the first time and been able to see off his challenge which unseated her.

But the piece which resonated most with me was this:

. . . Above all else, in politics, in government and in opposition, purpose matters.

Voters do not reject political parties because they believe they do not know how to read polls or hold focus groups or come up with slogans.

Purpose matters. Being able to answer the question what are you going to do for me, for my family, for our nation, matters.

Believing in a purpose larger than yourself and your immediate political interests matters. . .

Our government has a purpose. It’s a positive and aspirational one – to make New Zealand better for everyone.

It’s a purpose not achieved easily or quickly.

It’s a purpose which includes reducing the burden of the state, providing the environment for sustainable growth and helping those who need help to look after themselves to do so, while ensuring those who can’t are looked after.

Contrast that with the purpose of Labour’s three aspiring leaders. They’ve learned nothing from past mistakes and their purpose is to get elected through pork barrel promises  with no thought of the cost in financial, personal or social terms.

Their purpose is power at any cost, not progress at a sustainable price.

Poor listeners, slow learners

September 15, 2013

The Labour leadership circus has given members a chance to send messages to MPs.

Labour leadership contenders say the main message they have got from rank and file party members is that they want the caucus to stop bickering and work together. . .

Anyone with even a passing interest in politics knows the damage done by disunity and that a party which shows it can’t run itself will not be trusted to run the government.

People inside and outside the Labour Party have been saying this since very shortly after Phil Goff took over as leader after the 2008 election loss.

The message got even stronger as David Shearer’s grasp on the leadership was weakened by slings and arrows from his caucus.

If it’s taken the aspiring leaders this long to get that message about unity they’re very poor listeners, very slow learners or both.

If it’s taken them this long to get the message, will they and the various factions in the party heed it?

Irony or hypocrisy?

September 15, 2013

Is this irony or hypocrisy?

Grey Power has been campaigning against the partial privatisation of a few state assets, among which are a couple of power companies.

It fronted the petition to get a politicians’ initiated referendum on the issue.

But it chose a private company with which to negotiate a deal for its members.

There’s both irony and hypocrisy in that.



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