Paul Hutchison won’t seek re-election

October 25, 2013

National’s MP for Hunua, Dr Paul Hutchison has announced he won’t be seeking re-election next year.

“It has been a privilege to be part of a strong team led by John Key. He has overseen New Zealand emerge from the global financial crisis and the Christchurch earthquakes to become one of the strongest economies in the OECD,” Dr Hutchison said.

“I advised the Prime Minister over a year ago that I would not seek re-election next year. I look forward to spending more time with my family, including my two younger girls aged 12 and 13. I am also excited about the prospect of future professional opportunities in New Zealand or overseas.

“Until the election I will continue to work hard for the people of Hunua. Important projects include health – such as better secondary care in our local community – education, agriculture, and reaching a fair and just settlement with Ngāti Te Ata.”

Dr Hutchison was first elected in the seat of Port Waikato in 1999 and has increased his majority each election from 3915 (43.2 per cent) to 16797 (64.3 per cent) in 2011.

“I’m proud to see policies I have worked on and initiated come to reality,” Dr Hutchison said. “These include the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes, more support for scientists, science innovation and its commercialisation, a research centre to reduce on-farm greenhouse emissions, and the appointment of a Chief Scientist. If New Zealand is to move forward sustainably, we must keep lifting our game in science.

“I started select committee inquiries on disability services, immunisation, prostate cancer, clinical trials, and innovation. These have seen positive policy changes. I hope to continue as chair of the Health Select Committee for the rest of this term. I’m pleased we have cross-party support to see our inquiry into improving children’s health outcomes and preventing child abuse (with a focus from preconception to three years) impacting on future policy.

“It is a great pleasure working with and for the people of Franklin/Hunua. I’d like to thank them for their on-going support. Their community spirit and service to others is the finest I have seen anywhere in the world.”

 Paul has been a popular and effective MP.
His announcement opens up an opportunity for a new MP in a blue seat.
As I said about Cam Calder’s announcement this morning that he won’t be seeking re-election,  this provides an opportunity for rejuvenation which is healthy for the party.

Rural round-up

October 25, 2013

Meat quality in restaurants constantly improving – Allan Barber:

The quality of domestic red meat supply both to the retail and catering trade has improved out of sight in the last 20 years because of stricter food regulations and the introduction of the Quality Mark. It has moved up another notch over the last five years or so, particularly since the global financial crisis.

Back in the 1980s and early 90s the term ‘export quality’ was supposed to provide a guarantee of excellence as distinct from meat destined only for the domestic market which was considered to be of inferior quality. That has all changed because today almost all meat plants are export licensed regardless of whether they mainly supply the export or domestic market. Food safety regulations are much stricter than they used to be and all meat processors must comply with stringent hygiene and health requirements, audited by vets employed by the Ministry for Primary Industries. . .

MIA gives honest assessment of industry’s challenges – Allan Barber:

The Meat Industry Association has recently published its 2013 Annual Report which contains an honest assessment of the challenges of the past year and a summary of the positive initiatives under way.

The 2012/13 year took place against a background of unsatisfactory farmer returns and heavy losses by processors during the previous season. Although the total value of exports actually increased compared to the previous year, this was mostly because of drought-induced slaughter volumes. This of course will have a depressing effect on future sheep and beef numbers.

The report acknowledges the volatility inherent in the meat industry and highlights a number of factors which influence this, including weather conditions, their impact on timing of supply and production numbers, mismatch between supply of livestock and sale of product, uncertainty of supply and market returns, competition from cheaper proteins, changing marketing environment, New Zealand’s small global scale, and the need to sell the whole carcase at a profit. . .

Dairy Women’s Network growth continues:

The growth of the Dairy Women’s Network continues with another 900 women joining the organisation between 1 June 2012 and 31 May 2013, increasing its total membership from 3100 to 4000.

At its annual general meeting tonight (Wednesday, 23 October) Dairy Women’s Network Trust Board chair Michelle Wilson said alongside its membership growth, the year had been an exceptionally busy one with several highlights including being a key partner in developing the Strategy for Sustainable Dairy Farming, securing a $180K grant from the Sustainable Farming Fund to develop Project Pathfinder – the country’s first leadership programme for dairying women, and welcoming Ballance Agri-Nutrients as a major sponsorship partner.

Like all businesses she added there were also challenges. . .

Lucerne text messaging service passes 500 subscriber milestone:

More than 500 people are now subscribed to Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s lucerne text messaging service – getting free real-time updates on how to get the best from this drought-tolerant pasture.

The collaboration between B+LNZ and Lincoln University was initiated early last year. It is facilitated by plant science specialist Professor Derrick Moot.

B+LNZ chief executive, Dr Scott Champion says: “The text messaging service is a way for farmers, whether they’re new or experienced with lucerne, to get tips and tricks delivered straight to them in a way that’s easy to use.”

All public texts are also posted to Twitter, so people can go back any time and look through the library of lucerne information. . . .

Time almost up in hunt for top rural consultants:

Time is running out for rural professionals to enter the inaugural Farmax Consultant of the Year Awards.

Award nominations close on November 1.

Top North and South Island rural consultants who use Farmax pastoral farm support software will be named in the awards, boasting an approximate $5000 prize pool. . .

Chinese experts judge Marisco wines best with Chinese food:

Marisco Vineyards wins two trophies at Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition

Marlborough winery Marisco Vineyards has been awarded two prestigious trophies for the wines best matched with two iconic Chinese dishes—Cantonese Dim Sum and Braised Abalone (Paua)—at the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition.

The Ned Pinot Gris 2013 won the trophy for the best Cantonese Dim Sum match because it pairs equally well with steamed, deep-fried and stewed savoury items from the traditional dim sum trolley. The King’s Bastard Chardonnay 2012 won the best Braised Abalone match for its resolved tannins, complexity and concentration of flavour. . . .

Farmer Brown Gets Cracking With Colony Eggs:

Kiwis nationwide now have a greater choice of welfare-friendly, affordable eggs with the launch of Farmer Brown Colony laid eggs in supermarkets this week.

Farmer Brown is the first egg producer in New Zealand to offer Colony laid eggs to New Zealand shoppers throughout the country. At the same time, the company has also launched a Free Range option to provide consumers with access to a full range of quality eggs.

Colony is an improved caged housing system which gives hens more space and increased ability to behave naturally and do the things hens love to do – nesting, scratching, perching and stretching their wings. It has been scientifically evaluated by New Zealand’s National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC), as meeting the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act along with Barn and Free Range systems. . .


Thursday’s quiz

October 25, 2013

Yes, I know it’s Friday but I didn’t realist it was Thursday yesterday.

1. Who said: The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.”?

2. In her book Superwoman Shirely Conran wrote Life’s too short to stuff what?

3. It’s occupé in French, occupato in Italian, ocupado in Spanish and toritori in Maori, what is it in English?

4. Who left a note on his front door saying:  GON OUT BACKSON  BISY  BACKSON?

5. Does tempus fugit faster as we age?


Calder not seeking re-election

October 25, 2013

National list MP Cam Calder has announced he won’t be seeking re-election next year.

“It has been a huge privilege to serve in the National-led Government,” Dr Calder said.

“Under John Key’s leadership, New Zealand now has one of the strongest economies in the world. We have made significant progress in improving the lives of New Zealanders in vital areas such as law and order, health, and education to name but a few.

“It has been an exciting and extraordinarily varied experience, and I still relish every day, but after two terms in Parliament there are a number of projects, both in New Zealand and overseas, that I wish to consider in the years ahead.

“I am proud of what the National-led Government has achieved. I have been a strong advocate for reducing the incidence of rheumatic fever, particularly in Manurewa where I am based. I have also been a vigorous proponent for an awareness campaign highlighting the need for men to take responsibility for their prostate health. I am delighted the Government is making significant progress in these areas.

“My member’s bill, the Summary Offences (Possession of Hand-held Lasers) Amendment Bill, is before the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee. I am hopeful I can shepherd it through the House during the remainder of my term.

“I shall continue to devote my energies to the Manurewa community and to my many Parliamentary duties through to the General Election next year.”

Cam entered parliament on the list in 2009 and is well regarded for his work as an MP.

Napier MP and Minister Chris Tremain and list MP Chris Auckinvole have already announced they won’t be seeking re-election.

Some retirements are healthy for the party, providing the opportunity for new talent.

 


Made in Christchurch

October 25, 2013

Does it matter if a candidate for an electorate is a local?

All sorts of factors are taken into account by parties in selecting a candidate and voters when they consider which to support.

One of those is the knowledge of and commitment to the electorate.

One measure of that is whether or not the candidate can be considered to be a local – someone who has lived in the area for a long time, knows the people and understands the issues not just academically, but personally.

When Labour chose its candidate for Christchurch East they obviously thought other factors mattered more when they picked a newcomer to the city.

Whether or not they’re right is up to the voters but it has given National’s candidate Matthew Doocey a strong point of difference on which to campaign:

My Campaign advertisement on Page Two of this week’s Pegasus Post.


Mine gets go ahead

October 25, 2013

The Environment Court has given Bathurst Resources resource consent for  application for their Escarpment Mine on the Denniston Plateau.

The green light has been welcomed by Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges.

“The Escarpment Mine and associated works are expected to create 225 direct jobs and approximately $85 million each year will go to employees, suppliers, contractors and transport providers,” Mr Bridges says.

“This is great news for the West Coast. The mine will inject almost $1 billion into the New Zealand economy over six years, and provide $30 million each year in royalties and taxes,” Mr Joyce says.

“This is a significant injection into the local economies of Buller and the West Coast.”
“Unlike what opponents might say, this is exactly the type of business investment New Zealand needs to create more jobs and higher incomes for New Zealanders,” Mr Bridges says.

Mr Bridges says the Escarpment Mine is expected to produce around 1 million tonnes of high quality coking coal annually for the life of the mine, and includes plans for related infrastructure.

The economic and social benefits are obvious and there’s significant mitigation for environmental impacts.

The Escarpment Mine Project is almost entirely in the Mount Rochfort Conservation Area, which is deemed “stewardship” conservation land and therefore is not protected from mining.

As part of mitigating its impact on the environment, Bathurst’s access agreement with the Department of Conservation involves a $22 million, 35-year predator management programme over 25,000 hectares of the Heaphy River catchment in the Kahurangi National Park and a 50-year predator management programme over 4,500 hectares on the Denniston Plateau.

Bathurst has established an Environmental Reference Group to monitor and guide the environmental performance of the company’s operations.

Bathurst has been through a protracted and expensive consent process.

The company can now spend its money more productively providing work for people and income for the country.


There are alternatives

October 25, 2013

The Opposition continues to carp about the partial floats of a very few state energy companies but they won’t commit to any of the alternatives which Associate Finance Minister Steven Joyce outlined:

Hon STEVEN JOYCE: There are three main alternatives. One would, of course, be to not invest in new schools, hospitals, or ultra-fast broadband. I doubt that anybody is suggesting that. Another option would be to borrow the billions of dollars from overseas lenders to invest in these new public assets. Some in this House appear to favour that borrowing option, including the Hon Annette King—

Mr SPEAKER: Order!

Hon STEVEN JOYCE: —and Grant Robertson. A third option is promising to buy back the minority shareholdings in these energy companies and borrowing billions of dollars from overseas banks to pay for them. But nobody in this House is proposing to do that, so I can assume only that the opponents of this share programme do not have the courage of their convictions, but I have to say—

The Minister had to withdraw and apologise for suggesting the opposition lacked the courage of their convictions but he was right.

They won’t commit to alternative, viable policy to the partial floats so their opposition is just empty rhetoric.

 


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