Paul Henry returns

October 24, 2013

Paul Henry is returning to television – at a different time on a different channel:

Covering everything from the erudite to the outrageous, The Paul Henry Show brings the irrepressible broadcaster back to New Zealand television screens in 2014, in a brand new show screening weeknights on TV3.

Expect Henry’s trademark blend of news and entertainment as he shares his unique take on the world. Insightful, satirical, and always truthful, Paul Henry will call it as he sees it, five days a week. Love him or hate him, The Paul Henry Show will be appointment viewing.

The announcement doesn’t say what time the show will screen.

Whenever it does it will make a pleasant change from the sugar and sanctimony that currently screens at seven.


Smith vindicated

October 24, 2013

Speaker David Carter has dismissed Labour’s breach of privileges complaint alleging Conservation Minister Nick Smith interfered in DOC’s decision-making over its submission on the Tukituki catchment project.

“The Speaker’s dismissal of Labour’s complaint confirms that the accusations of political interference were unfounded and untrue. Labour and the Greens should apologise because they got it wrong,” Dr Smith says.

“The truth of the situation is as I have said all along. There were differences of opinion within DOC over whether the Tukituki catchment proposal would have beneficial or adverse effects for water quality. A decision was made by senior managers, after meeting with the regional council and scientific advisors from NIWA, not to pursue a critical submission because they were satisfied NIWA’s science was robust and because it would take considerable resource to challenge and overturn the science before the Board of Inquiry.

“DOC’s Deputy Director General Doris Johnston has also said on the public record that she made the decision not to submit the critical leaked draft submission, that I did not play any role in her decision-making, that she did not know my view, and that I never saw the document.

“The untrue claims about political interference in DOC’s submission has been a distraction from the important work of the Board of Inquiry into the pros and cons of the Tukituki proposal. My hope is that the Greens and Labour will drop their silly conspiracy theories and let the board get on and hear the submissions and evidence in order to make well-informed decisions on this significant project.”

In attempting to hurt the Minister Labour was also questioning the integrity of the senior civil servant who repeatedly said the decision on the submission was hers without any knowledge of his view.

Whoever leaked the report was on a crusade, Labour joined it in an attempt to discredit the Minister and they’ve failed.

He’s been vindicated.

His letter to the Speaker is here.


Word of the day

October 24, 2013

Hooliganism – vandalism; wilful wanton and malicious destruction of other people’s property; rowdy, violent, or destructive behaviour;  the actions and behaviour of hooligans; an “average gravity” crime in Russia.


Rural round-up

October 24, 2013

Many avoiding discussions on meat industry – Sally Rae:

Wider meat industry discussions over its structure are involving too small a group and there are ”a whole lot of people” not bothering to attend, Alliance Group chief executive Grant Cuff says.

Addressing a shareholders-suppliers meeting in Oamaru this week, Mr Cuff said it seemed an ”awfully big chunk of the industry just doesn’t want to discuss it any further”.

”Those of us that are willing and trying to talk still do, but you can’t do it in isolation,” he said. . .

Critical deadline for Central Plains Water scheme:

For the Central Plains Water Ltd irrigation project to proceed, it needs a minimum shareholder commitment to irrigate 18,000 ha of Stage I of the 60,000ha scheme by October 31.

After 13 years of development, CPWL aims to raise $45 million from shareholders of which $35 million will be used to construct Stage I of the scheme and the remaining to fund the design for Stage II and Stage III and also to contribute to the building of extra capacity in the Stage I headrace to allow for the future stages.

“The deadline is 5pm on October 31 to commit to Stage I Construction Shares and Stage II & III Pre-Construction shares. We need this commitment not only for the viability of the project but also to get on with the tendering process for the scheme construction,” said CEO, Derek Crombie. . .

Even in bad dairy news there is good – Willy Leferink:

Part of my volunteer work at Federated Farmers is handling some tricky stuff from time to time and there’s none trickier when one of our guys let the side down.  I mean of course when a dairy farmer takes the wrong fork in the road and rightly gets nabbed for it.  I’ve heard heaps of stories that farming is like some secret society in that, nudge nudge, wink wink, we look after one another and look the other way.   That view is wrong.

We have a good story to tell given water quality is trending in the right direction according to the Ministry for the Environment.  There are plans to light the after burners on what we do environmentally given positive payout forecasts.  I’ve also read that a group of scientists writing in Nature say pastoral agriculture helps to form clouds.  Given clouds reflect the sun’s energy and trap moisture they help to keep the earth a temperate place to be.  Could our cows, sheep, goats and crops be climate heroes; that’s effectively what one environmental professor at Auckland University wrote in the NZ Herald.

But you cannot shout from the rooftops about what we do well without owning what we don’t do so well.  . .

Radio NZ journalist takes Rongo Award:

Radio New Zealand’s Country Life programme came up trumps at this year’s Agricultural Journalism Awards.

Susan Murray won the TBFree New Zealand Rongo Award for two programmes that featured in Country Life.

That’s the top award for agricultural journalists in the country. . .

Primary Growth Partnership delivering major results:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy is welcoming more success stories from the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) scheme, with five major projects announcing breakthroughs this month.

“The programme ‘Transforming the Dairy Value Chain’ is helping to develop a patented technology for developing frozen mozzarella cheese in one day rather than the previous two months. Last week Fonterra announced a new $72 million investment into its Clandeboye plant near Timaru to expand production of this cheese.

“It has also helped DairyNZ and Rezare Systems, with support from Beef and Lamb NZ, to develop the ‘Pasture Growth Forecaster’. This is an online tool to predict pasture growth up to 15 days and two months ahead, which will be a great tool for many farmers. . . .

Forrest Wines recognised in Asia for outstanding quality:

The John Forrest Collection Waitaki Valley Pinot Noir 2010 has added another accolade to its name receiving a gold medal at the Decanter Asia Wine Awards.

Co-chaired by Jeannie Cho Lee MW, the first Asian Master of Wine and a Contributing Editor to Decanter, and Steven Spurrier, Chairman of the Decanter World Wine Awards and Decanter’s Consultant Editor, the Decanter Asia Wine Awards aims to recognise quality wines and provide consumers across Asia with a trusted source of recommendations.

The John Forrest Collection range celebrates the best of New Zealand wine from family owned land in key wine producing regions, made from carefully selected grapes and only in the best years. The Waitaki Valley in North Otago is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with for premium Pinot Noir production, offering a unique style. . . .

Amisfield Wine Company Pinot Noir Wins Top Asia Trophy:

Queenstown’s Amisfield Wine Company has beaten stiff competition to take out a top trophy in the largest wine competition in Asia.

The company’s 2010 Pinot Noir has been awarded the New Zealand Regional Pinot Noir Trophy, Best in Show and a prestigious Gold Medal in the Decanter Asia Wine Awards (DAWA) announced today (October 23).

Judging took place in Hong Kong late last month, with over 40 top wine experts from across Asia joining the judging panel.

DAWA is the continent’s largest wine competition in its second year running with over 2,300 entrants from all over the world. . .

Cattermoles Butchery in Kaiapoi has won the Supreme Gold Award in the 100% NZ Ham Competition:

Just in time for Christmas New Zealand’s finest ham has been revealed following the 100% New Zealand Ham Competition. Cattermoles Butchery in Kaiapoi, Canterbury has taken out the supreme award for their sugar cured, leg ham on the bone.

The competition celebrates the finest bone-in and boneless hams crafted by New Zealand butchers using only 100% New Zealand pork. The four judges of the ‘Grand Final’ round were unanimous that Cattermoles delivered the most “ham-tastic” experience of aroma, texture, taste and all-important colour.

With nearly twenty years as Cattermoles Butchery owner, Chris Beach is absolutely delighted to step up to the supreme award, after coming away with Silver in 2012. . . .


Trashing family silver

October 24, 2013

The opposition harps on about selling the family silver when criticising the partial sale of a few state assets.

They’re wrong these energy companies are not national treasures.

They are however, investments for the state and individuals and Matthew Hooton points out that Labour and the Green Party are damaging them:

. . . No doubt as intended by Green/Labour, there has been vast destruction of value in these four companies and it is likely only to get worse if the polls continue to trend towards Green/Labour. Ironically for parties who tell us they want to save the family silver, the main loser from the destruction of wealth has been the state. All the wealth destruction so far in Meridian and Genesis has been suffered by the Crown and at least half of it in the case of MRP. Even with Contact, both ACC and the Cullen Fund are among the top 20. . . .

Labour and Greens regard SOEs as family silver but they’re not only trashing them they’re devaluing public and private savings.

It would also damage other companies:

If Labour and the Greens imposed their proposed power policy Contact Energy would be forced into a complete restructure, chief executive Dennis Barnes says.

Earlier this year, the parties announced plans to set up a single buyer, NZ Power, to buy all electricity generation at a fair price, promising to cut the average New Zealander’s power bill by up to $330 a year.

Speaking to The Press after the company’s annual meeting in Christchurch today, Barnes said the policy would require a structural change for Contact’s business and the electricity industry.

It would “change the face of Contact from a risk manager and a retailer to a business which has got the Government as its customer”, he said.

“It’s likely that a lot of the people we have working in the risk aspects of our business wouldn’t be needed anymore. I believe that innovation would stop and the Government would have to fund that.

“The biggest change is that the Government then becomes responsible for security of supply development of the industry rather than the market; that’s a whole different dynamic.”

Barnes indicated that power price increases in the last couple of years did not come from generators and retailers such as Contact Energy.

“A lot of the prices increases that you experience as a whole are transmission and distribution and charges that the generators and the retailers are not responsible for.” . . .

 

The threat of the policy is already doing damage, it would do even more damage should they try to implement it.


Paddock to Plate

October 24, 2013

Green Meadows Beef has produced an animated clip to take viewers on the journey from paddock to plate:

 . . . “More people want to know the story of where their food comes from,” explains Green Meadows Beef Director, Nick Carey. “We wanted to tell our own story in a fun, colourful way that helps New Zealanders understand what we’re all about and how our beef reaches their table. As well as being informative, the feel of the video really fits in with the Green Meadows Beef personality. It’s down to earth, a little bit humorous and quirky and totally focused on ensuring our customers have access to the best quality beef possible, as well as great service from us.”

. . . The Carey family founded Green Meadows Beef after realising that the best New Zealand beef is exported and never made available to the local market. All animals are reared ethically, fed their natural diet and allowed to roam freely. They receive the best of care, which includes drinking household quality water from troughs filled by the local Cold Creek community water scheme.

The Green Meadows Beef cuts have already been met with approval from New Zealand chefs, home cooks and food bloggers with the beef scoring praise for its superior taste, texture and colour.

Green Meadows Beef can now be purchased through gourmet food stores, Farro Fresh in Auckland, Moore Wilson in Wellington, The Farm Shop in Hamilton and Fresha in New Plymouth with further retail partners due to be announced soon. Beef can also be purchased through the Green Meadows Beef website, with free delivery nationwide.

There’s a fine line between enough information and too much when it comes to reminding people that somewhere between happy animals in the paddock and a fine steak on the plate  there’s an abattoir but the clip glosses over the bloody bit.


Doesn’t have to be either-or

October 24, 2013

The Vote on November 6th will ask is it clean and green or black and gold:

New Zealand faces a stark choice on its path to prosperity. Do we protect our 100% Pure brand and ride the wave of a global clean-tech revolution? Or do we back a growing energy industry that will create jobs, raise wages and keep some of our best and brightest from seeking a better life across the Tasman? Is it clean, green or black gold? . . .

It doesn’t have to be either one or the other.

We can exploit our mineral resources with safeguards that will protect the environment.

It has been done in other countries:

 . . . Who pockets the profits? Is the return worth the risk? And is the risk to our land and sea as bad as some claim? Are we missing out on the chance to become the Norway of the South Pacific – a country known for its pristine environment but still rolling in petrodollars? . . .

The 100% Pure Brand was never meant to be taken literally – that would be impossible even without people.

We’ve already got mining and drilling which isn’t threatening the environment or tourism. It is providing jobs and export income and there’s potential for more:

Taranaki is heading into the country’s busiest ever period of oil and gas exploration, which may create 1700 jobs in the next six months.

Three massive drilling rigs will be sinking almost 30 wells offshore in the next 12 months, while onshore up to 70 wells are planned. . .

Greenpeace has produced maps showing the damage an oil spill could do but it forgot to add that the risk of that happening is very low:

The Prime Minister says it would be more likely another container ship would run aground on a reef than a catastrophic oil spill in New Zealand waters.

John Key says a report commissioned by Greenpeace New Zealand which models a number of oil spill scenarios is “scaremongering”.

The modelling analysed the likely dispersal of oil following a deep-sea spill using an oil flow rate of 10,000 barrels per day for 76 days.

“The reality is that there have been 50,000 wells in the Gulf of Mexico in the 1960s and they had a problem with one so any risk [of a large oil spill] is miniscule – there’s probably a much greater risk we’ll have another Rena in New Zealand – another ship that hits a reef,” Mr Key says.

He says the Government has made sure any company involved in oil drilling follows world best practice and the regulation and technology has “moved on dramatically” since the destructive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges says the report “fails to recognise a significant oil spill is exceptionally unlikely”.

. . . “I’m not glib about the risks, but they are exceptionally small and we manage them very well indeed.”
 
There are risks in everything, including doing nothing.
 
We can be too scared to do anything and go backwards or to do something, carefully, following best practice and go forwards.

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