Word of the day

September 23, 2013

Corrigendum – an error to be corrected, especially in a book; revision of a printed or published document.

Not wanted on voyage

September 23, 2013

David Cunliffe’s reshuffle sends a message to some of those he might call stale and pale, though not all male, that their time is up.

Unranked are:

-Ross Robertson Assistant Speaker, Racing, Associate Disarmament and Arms Control
-Trevor Mallard Internal Affairs (including Ministerial Services), Sport and Recreation, America’s Cup, Associate Finance
-Ruth Dyson Conservation, Senior Citizens, Disability Issues, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, Land Information
-Clare CurranCivil Defence and Emergency Management, Open Government, Associate Regional Development, Associate ICT, Associate Economic Development (Procurement)
-Rajen Prasad Immigration, Associate Ethnic Affairs, Associate Social Development (CYFS)
-Raymond Huo Statistics, Associate Ethnic Affairs, Associate Education (Export Education), Associate Justice, Associate Building and Construction
-Rino Tirikatene Customs, Associate Maori Affairs, Associate Forestry, Associate Small Business
-Meka Whaitiri Water, Associate Regional Development, Associate Local Government, Associate Primary Industries

Tirikatene and Whaitiri are new enough to have time to go up and Ross Robertson is retiring at the next election.

But Mallard, Dyson, Rurran, Prasad and Huo have been sent a pretty clear signal they’re not wanted on the voyage while Cunliffe’s running the ship.

The MPs ranked are:

1 – David Cunliffe Leader, Security and Intelligence, Regional Development, ICT
2 – David Parker Deputy Leader, Finance, Attorney-General
3 – Grant Robertson Shadow Leader of the House, Employment, Skills and Training, Tertiary Education, Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage
4 – Annette King Health
5 – Shane Jones Economic Development, Maori Affairs, Forestry, Building and Construction, Associate Fisheries, Associate Finance
6 – Jacinda Ardern Children, Police, Corrections, Arts, Culture and Heritage
7 – Clayton Cosgrove SOEs, Commerce, Earthquake Commission, Associate Finance
8 – Chris Hipkins Education, Early Childhood Education
9 – Nanaia Mahuta Treaty Negotiations, Maori Development (post settlement issues), Associate Regional Development, Associate Innovation, Research and Development
10 – Sue Moroney Senior Whip, Social Development
11 – Phil Twyford Housing, Auckland Issues, Associate Environment (Cities)
12 – Maryan Street State Services, Associate Foreign Affairs (ODA/Human Rights), Disarmament and Arms Control, Caucus Secretary (nominee)
13 – David Shearer Foreign Affairs, Energy and Resources
14 – Su’a William Sio Pacific Island Affairs, Local Government, Interfaith Dialogue, Associate Social Development
15 – Phil Goff Defence, Trade, Ethnic Affairs, Veterans’ Affairs, Associate Foreign Affairs
16 – Louisa Wall Youth Affairs, Community and Voluntary Sector, Associate Social Development, Associate Auckland Issues (South Auckland), Associate Sport and Recreation
17 – Andrew Little Justice, Labour
18 – Moana Mackey Environment, Climate Change, Associate Health, Science
19 – Damien O’Connor Primary Industries, Fisheries, Biosecurity, Food Safety
20 – David Clark Revenue, Small Business, Associate Finance, Associate Health
21 – Iain Lees-Galloway Junior Whip, ACC, Associate Health
22 – Kris Faafoi Broadcasting, Associate ICT, Associate Pacific Island Affairs
23 – Carol Beaumont Women’s Affairs – Consumer Rights and Standards, Associate Labour, Assistant Whip
24 – Megan Woods Innovation, Research and Development, Associate Transport, Associate Tertiary Education, Associate Education (Christchurch)
25 -Darien Fenton Transport, Tourism, Associate Labour, Associate Immigration, Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage.

In spite of Labour’s script that they’re kinder to beneficiaries, Ardern hasn’t managed to make any headway against Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, has lost that portfolio and dropped a couple of places in the rankings.

Rural round-up

September 23, 2013

Rural contractors ready to help:

Farmers around the country hit by devastating storms last week are being reminded that rural contractors are available to help them with any clean-up work.

“Canterbury was hit by its worst wind storm in 40 years, which has caused major damage on farms throughout the province,” says Steve Levet, president of Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ). “There are also reports of a fair bit of destruction in the North Island as well.

“This has been a tough time for landowners with many needing to carry out big clean-up jobs on their properties. If the farmers don’t have the time or the resources to clear up storm damage; they should contact their local rural contractor and ask for help.” . . .

Northland farmer Parsons named B+LNZ chair-elect – Hugh Stringleman:

New Beef + Lamb New Zealand chair-elect James Parsons, of Northland, has left on his first market access and trade relations trip to Southeast Asia and Europe.

He has accompanied chairman Mike Petersen to Japan, South Korea, and Europe for a meeting of the sheep-meat forum.

Parsons has been appointed by fellow directors for six months as chair-elect before Petersen retires in March.

Rather than have deputy chairmen, in recent times primary sector organisations like Fonterra, Alliance, Ballance, and now B+LNZ, have used a nominated heir approach to transition. . .

New chair for Awards trust:

The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards Trust has a new chair- Mid-Canterbury dairy farmer and DairyNZ director Alister Body.

Body says a key focus of the Trust under his leadership will be to ensure the awards and its three contests – the New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year and New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year – retain relevancy and competitor interest.

“The competitions are improving and evolving and that’s really important. They also provide a great showcase of the dairy industry and give tremendous promotion of the value and benefits to be gained by participating in the dairy industry,” he says. . .

End of drought boosts prospects of NZ land prices – Agrimoney:

The ending of New Zealand’s drought has handed the country’s farmland market a “strong platform” for the important spring season, real estate professionals said, amid bright hopes for the important dairy sector too.

Economic data on Thursday highlighted the impact to New Zealand agriculture from one of the worst droughts on record, with the sector seen shrinking 4.8% in the April-to-June period from the previous quarter, thanks largely to the impact on dairy farms of poor pasture conditions.

“Dairy production was the biggest contributor to the fall, while sheep and cattle farming also fell,” the official statistics office in New Zealand, the top milk exporting country, said. . .

Golden harvest puts industry back on track:

THE WINE industry is seeing the first signs of renewed interest in new vineyard development, showing there is new optimism in the industry, says New Zealand Winegrowers chairman Steven Green.

Five years ago the New Zealand wine industry suffered a supply imbalance as producers made more wine than they could sell. Grape prices slumped and vines were ripped out.

But a record 345,000 tonnes of grapes were harvested this year producing 250 million litres of wine. The 2013 crop is up 28% on the small 2012 harvest but up only 5% on 2011. . .

My father’s succession strategy worked a treat – Stephen Carr:

My great farming hero, the late Hampshire farmer writer and broadcaster John Cherrington, used to maintain that if you wished your son or daughter to follow you into dairying you should “break them in” before they knew any better.

To delay an introduction to the mind-numbing routine of the milking parlour beyond the age of 12 was to run the risk that the adolescent will discover there are easier ways of earning a living than being tied to the tail of a dairy cow 365 days a year from 4am each morning.

My own father inducted me into farming with ruthless single-mindedness. We didn’t have dairy cows, but he introduced me to the delights of beef, sheep and arable farming without me realising that a subtle brainwashing was in progress. . .

Don’t vote for peole you don’t want

September 23, 2013

Stephen Franks has good advice for people confused by STV:

. . . Vote only for people you would be happy to see winning. Stop there. Do not rank candidates just to show who you least prefer. Do not rank candidates to help make sure that at least a dog beats the genuine idiot.

Remember – all vote rankings are positive. It is a no brainer. Your vote will be transferred if your favoured candidate does not win. Only vote as far down the sequence as you actually prefer. Stop so that you do not give any votes to candidates who should not be elected at all, even if they’re better than the worst. . .

The number of councils using STV is declining:

STV was used by 10 councils for the 2004 local authority elections. Eight councils used STV in the 2007 elections, six councils used STV in the October 2010 elections. Seven councils will be using the STV in the October 2013 elections.

But all District Health Boards are required to use the system.

In spite of this being the fourth election in which the system is used a lot of people still don’t understand it. Many don’t realise they don’t have to rank all the candidates nor that if they do that preference could elect someone you don’t want on a council or health board.

Franks’ advice i sound – vote only for people you want and stop ranking once you’ve done that.


Remind me again . . .

September 23, 2013

. . . why we’re going to have to put the clocks forward for summer in just six days when it still feels like winter?

We had an unusually mild winter but we’re having a not unusually cool spring.

met service

The highest temperature forecast in the next week is 16 degrees today then we’re expecting 12 tomorrow and Wednesday, 14 on Thursday, 13 on Friday then 12 on Saturday, Sunday (when the clocks go forward), Monday and Tuesday.

Policy reversal would be broken promise

September 23, 2013

If National was to break an election promise opposition parties would have a field day.

But, Rodney Hide points out that is what they are asking the government to do in seeking an end to the a partial float of a few state assets:

. . . Now we are all to vote on whether or not we support selling a part of five Government businesses. The trouble is that National won the last election promising to do just that. The opposition parties campaigned against the sale and lost.

For National to reverse its policy on asset sales would mean breaking its election pledge. . .

Not everyone who voted for National supported the policy but other factors in National’s favour outweighed their feelings on the partial floats.

Some people who voted for National would have done so because of that policy.

Anyone who paid attention to the campaign would have known the party’s intentions and that they had a very clear choice between National and the opposition parties which made it the biggest election issue.

A reversal would be breaking an election promise.

It would also affect other pledges because the government would have to stop new investment and/or cut spending elsewhere to compensate for the large hole that stopping the partial floats would make in its Budget.

LabourGreen think support for the referendum has reduced the government mandate for sales.

It hasn’t done that but it has shown that referendums are a waste of time and money.

John Key has made it plain that the referendum won’t affect Government policy. Besides, the referendum doesn’t present the trade-offs involved in not selling state assets. The asset-sales referendum has one advantage over the others: we know it’s a waste of time before we vote. It won’t make one bit of difference.

The Greens and Labour will huff and puff about democracy.

But neither party took any notice of the smacking vote. Labour and the Greens only agree with the results of referendums when they suit them and, to date, they haven’t.

The 20-year citizens’ initiated referendums experiment has proved a flop. The asset sales vote should be the nail in its coffin. The next vote should be to get rid of the referendums act and to save the money and the trouble.

That’s a referendum I would support.

Do we need DHB elections?

September 23, 2013

Voting papers arrived on Saturday and much as I value the right to vote I can’t muster much enthusiasm for this process.

I don’t like postal voting. It drags the process out for too long and makes it too easy for someone to vote for someone else.

I don’t have a vote for the regional council because the only candidate in our ward, Doug Brown, was elected unopposed.

There’s a choice of seven people standing for mayor.

If the grapevine and an Oamaru Mail poll are to be believed only two of them are in the race, Jim Hopkins and Gary Kircher.

We get to vote for two candidates in the Corriedale ward and have seven to choose from. I’m pretty certain which two I’ll choose but won’t fill out my form until after tonight’s meet-the-candidates forum just in case.

Then there’s the Otago DHB.

The council elections are all First Past the Post but the DHB is STV and last time, if I remember correctly, I ranked only two.

Thirteen people are standing for four places this time and I don’t know enough about any of them to make an informed decision on ranking even that few.

I could ring a couple of people whose opinions I respect and who are likely to give me a good steer but I suspect I won’t get round to it and will leave that paper blank.

We sued to have wards but now four are elected from Otago and three from Southland which means candidates from Dunedin and Invercargill are most likely to get greater support than anyone from outside the cities.

Regardless of how we vote, I really wonder if electing board members is necessary.

Each board has seven elected members and up to four are appointed by the government to fill in any gaps in expertise.

Would the boards be any worse if all of the members were appointed?

I’ve never ranked all the candidates but quite a few do and it would be safe to bet many do so with insufficient knowledge of the candidates and at least some in the mistaken belief they have to rank them all.

In a past election, if memory serve me right, someone got on the board because of the 19th preferences.

That doesn’t strike me as a strong endorsement.

Someone who went through a rigorous appointment process would give me more confidence than someone who clambered aboard on through 19th preferences.

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