Slater Snr not part of story

October 18, 2013

Brian Rudman’s column in today’s NZ Herald is headlined sex, blogs and right wing plots.

It deals with the revelations about Auckland mayor Len Brown’s affair but only in a peripheral way.

It’s main target is John Slater who chaired the campaign team for Brown’s main rival, John Palino, and is the father of blogger Whaleoil who broke the story of Brown’s infidelity.

It is personal, nasty and completely unwarranted.

I’ve known John for more than a decade from the time he was president and I was an electorate chair in the National Party. I’ve never had any reason to doubt his integrity and I am sure he is often less than impressed by the tone, language and content of some Whaleoil blog posts.

But he can’t be held responsible for what his adult son does nor for not knowing about what he might be doing.

He had nothing to do with the story or the issue and it’s bizarre to attack him for concentrating on a positive campaign rather than rumours and mud slinging.

The column is despicable and reads as if the writer is using the affair to settle a personal score.

It’s the sort of nasty rubbish you might expect to read in a British tabloid, not in what seeks to be a serious paper.


Rural round-up

October 18, 2013

Flagship dairy farm showed off – Sue O’Dowd:

Maori incorporation Parininihi ki Waitotara (PKW) showed off its flagship dairy farm near Matapu in South Taranaki to the board of directors and senior managers of DairyNZ yesterday.

The organisation, which is funded by levies on dairy farmers’ milksolids, is holding its annual general meeting in Hawera today. It’s the first time DairyNZ has held its AGM in Taranaki since it was formed in 2007.

PKW chief executive Dion Tuuta said the DairyNZ visit was an endorsement of the excellent practices the incorporation was demonstrating. . .

China meat sales boom comes with warning – Gerald Piddock:

Meat Industry Association chief executive Tim Ritchie has warned the country’s meat companies against becoming too reliant on the booming Chinese export market.

China is now New Zealand’s largest single market for sheepmeat by volume and value, but the industry had to try to have a balance of trade outside of China, he said.

“It’s about getting that balance right.”

He feared a repeat of New Zealand’s dependence on meat exports to Iran in the 1980s. . .

Cattle grazing stockmen take a stand – Sue O’Dowd:

Long-time grazier Ian Marshall relies on his reputation rather than contracts when he grazes heifers and weaners for Taranaki dairy farmers.

Ian and Julie Marshall have owned the 550ha Wild Stream Cattle Station near Ratapiko for 20 years and now share-farm it with son Alec and daughter-in-law Clair, who have been managing the property for four years.

The Marshalls graze 1150 friesian, cross-bred and jersey yearling heifers and weaners for 16 dairy farmers each year and run steers and sheep as well. . .

Whanganui farmer praises flood warning system:

A Whanganui farmer has praised the regional council’s river warning system which she says gave farmers plenty of time to prepare for this week’s flooding and move stock out of harm’s way.

Manawatu-Whanganui regional council installed the automated monitoring system after the disastrous 2004 floods.

And Kirsten Bryant who farms at Fordell and also has hill country farms in the upper Whanganui catchment, says it’s been invaluable. . .

Share the wealth – Willy Leferink:

While there’s been a right brouhaha over asset sales something big has slipped under the radar. I am not talking about the Trans Pacific Partnership, awesome though that will be. I am not even talking One Direction hitting New Zealand. What I am talking is the dividend which recently hit the bank accounts of fully shared up Fonterra shareholders.

Alright, dividends aren’t exactly new to Fonterra shareholders but what is, is the way many farmers are now active players on the NZX sharemarket.

Since the Fonterra Shareholders Fund kicked off some eight months ago, the unit price has surged from $5.50 to a high point of $7.30. It’s now trading at $6.92 despite a drought–affected season and that false alarm involving the whey concentrate WPC80. Danone is lining up for compensation across many markets and I suspect they won’t be alone. That the Shareholders Fund is still about 26 percent up on the listing price tells me ‘the market’ believes any compensation won’t sink the coop. . .

New traps could be key to kiwi survival:

Revolutionary new traps that can hold up to 24 dead predators at a time are being touted as the possible saviour of the kiwi.

The traps use a mixture of gas and toxic sprays to wipe out the pests and do not have to be cleared as often as the models they are replacing.

There are roughly 70,000 kiwi left but 27 die each week. . .


Friday’s answers

October 18, 2013

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: Nothing is more noble, nothing more venerable than fidelity. Faithfulness and truth are the most sacred excellences and endowments of the human mind.?

2. Whose law begins with the expectation to be trusty, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind . . . ?

3. It’s fidèle in French; fedele in Italian, fiel in Spanish and piripono in Maori, what is it in English?

4. What and where is Old Faithful?

5. Are exposures of private misbehaviour in the public interest of just something in which the public might be interested?

Points for answers:

Gravedodger got four and a congratulatory bonus for his golden wedding.

Alwyn wins an electronic asparagus roulade for a clean sweep. You quoted the scout and guide motto, the trusty, loyal . . . . is the scout and guide law the motto requires them to obey. No points for your extra answer, it should have been go Otago!

Andrei also wins an electronic asparagus roulade with five right.

Answers:

Read the rest of this entry »


NZ Day – let’s celebrate

October 18, 2013

We ought to have a proper celebration as Australia and many other countries do on their national days.

This statement is often made and now someone’s acting on it:

NZ Day is being celebrated on Saturday December 7th:

NZ Day.
It’s a good day to…do good.

New Zealand is pretty damn great. NZ Day can help make it even better. It gives all us Kiwis the chance to roll-up our sleeves and do some good, while celebrating just how bloody lucky we are.

Simply search for events to join in your area and on Saturday 07.12.13 get involved. You can also share your ideas on how to make it a good day and then create your own personal events based on those ideas.

If you know of a cause or group that would be interested in creating a public event then please tell us about them.

What’s it about?

NZ DAY IS ABOUT BRINGING COMMUNITIES TOGETHER TO
DEMONSTRATE & CELEBRATE WHO WE ARE.

New Zealand could really benefit from appreciating and projecting our shared values. As we witness more and more Kiwis yearning for ways to significantly and positively contribute, and to voice through action what is important to them.

TOGETHER WE CAN CREATE A UNIFIED CELEBRATION OF WHO WE ARE AS KIWIS BY FOCUSING ON OUR GALVANISING SPIRIT OF GENEROSITY.

NZ Day offers the awesome opportunity to demonstrate this spirit by encouraging and supporting Kiwis to do good acts in their communities. It’s a day on which we can all be the very best we can be for ourselves, each other and our environment.

NZ DAY IS PLANNED FOR THE FIRST SATURDAY IN DECEMBER, 07.12.13.
IT’S A GOOD DAY TO… DO GOOD.

SO, WHAT EXACTLY DO KIWIS DO ON NZ DAY?

It is an open opportunity to do some good for something that is important to you. The only prescribed element is the “doing of good”, the rest is up to each individual. Some Kiwis might elect to do a beach clean-up, others might help plant a community garden or host a BBQ for their neighbours.

The New Zealand Day Trust is focused on coordinating, profiling and promoting events and activities that are charitable, of benefit to a community, or benefit other existing charitable/community groups.

You can also share your own ideas and initiatives on how to make it a good day on the IDEAS page.

If you know of a cause or group that would be interested in creating a public event then please tell us about them.

add a group LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Many hands make light work and the success of NZ Day will be based on the collective effort of many. We are confident we can help inspire a great day, but we need other passionate Kiwis to get behind it and to get involved.

They’ve got a Facebook page where you can get a badge like this:nz day badge

(It comes in a variety of colours but I have a penchant for blue).


Sir George Fistonich wins Rabobank leadership award

October 18, 2013

VIlla Maria founder Sir George Fistonich has won the 2013 Rabobank Australasian Agribusiness  Leadership Award.

Fistonich, the son of Croatian immigrants, grew up with wine on the table at lunch and dinner every day.

He founded and owns Villa Maria Estate and was knighted for services to the wine industry in New Zealand.

Now he has been recognised with an award celebrating outstanding achievement in the food, beverage and agribusiness sectors in Australia and NZ.

The award, established in 1999, is an annual peer-nominated award for an industry leader who creates sustainable growth and prosperity at corporate and industry levels while demonstrating commitment to society.

At a dinner at the Melbourne Cricket Ground last Thursday night Rabobank Australia and NZ group managing director Thos Gieskes told guests good leaders didn’t just materialise spontaneously.

“The winner is not just from NZ, he is so highly regarded I think he would be considered one of their national treasures,” Gieskes said in announcing the award. . .

The story gives some background on Sir George and his achievements and there is more on VIlla Maria’s website.

The inaugural award for an emerging agribusiness leader was also presented last night.

It went to Georgie Aley, 28, managing director of the Grains and Legumes Nutritional Council.

You can read more about her here.

 

 

 

 

 


Left won’t accept socialism failed

October 18, 2013

Quote of the day:

The big, bad thing is that large parts of the Left have never faced up to the failure of socialism. The nicer Leftists, often very belatedly, deplored Stalin and Mao – the purges, the Gulags, the famines, the invasions. The more intelligent ones detected certain (let us put it gently) problems with state ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange. Yet when, in 1989, the Berlin Wall was knocked down by the citizens in whose name it had been erected, few could admit that this was a defeat for socialism as fundamental as that of Nazism in 1945. Charles Moore.

Would it be too much to hope that the Labour and Green parties could admit this and drop the socialist policies which are doomed to fail in the future as they have in the past?


Does Cunliffe prefer NZ First to Greens

October 18, 2013

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman was de facto leader of the opposition while David Shearer led Labour.

Under David Cunliffe the party is lurching to the left, crowding the Greens and leaving them with less of that political oxygen which comes from media exposure.

Trans Tasman makes an interesting observation about this:

There also seems to be a closer rapport between Labour under Cunliffe with NZ First’s
Winston Peters.
This suggests Cunliffe wants to follow Helen Clark’s tactics, when he gets the chance of forming a Govt, of embracing NZ First, and leaving the radical Greens with little choice except to back him from the sidelines. The difficulty with this is Labour’s own policy of raising the age of eligibility for NZ superannuation from 65 to 67. A bottom line for NZ First is no tampering with the age of eligibility for superannuation.
That’s a policy a lot of Labour supporters won’t be happy with either so it wouldn’t be too big a dead rat for Cunliffe to swallow in coalition negotiations if it meant he could leave the Greens out of a coalition.
That would of course depend on Labour being in the position to form a government and the easiest way to prevent that is to keep National in power.

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