Can’t write, can’t count

November 13, 2013

Facebook exchange of the day:

Retweeted Gareth Hughes (@GarethMP):

Nice to have dinner with my kids at Parliament & then they came in & watched the debate. Some of the rules from kindy might of come in handy

 

  • XXXXXX “have”

  • XXXXXX That was why I re-tweeted it.

    The Barbarians aren’t at the gate – they’re inside, tweeting illiterately about their kids.
  • XXXXXXX Green grammar.

  • XXXXXXXX Gareth Hughes demonstrates the need for National Standards in literacy. How much do we pay these clowns?

  • XXXXXX Never mind the grammar. They got the vote wrong on a Bill tonight too. Can’t write, can’t count – they need a good dose of national standards!

Word of the day

November 13, 2013

Sillage – trail left in the water by a boat, wake; scent that lingers in the air; trace of someone’s perfume; the impression made in space after someone has been and gone.

#gigatownoamaru is leaving an impression in its quest to be the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown.


Moral fervour

November 13, 2013

Trans Tasman opines:

Moral fervour has its place, but it is something not to be totally trusted. Self righteousness should never be allowed to become mob rule. Society’s norms should be enforced with a degree of legal detachment, lest righteous condemnation be allowed to turn into lynch mob justice.

So it was possible to feel a smidgeon, just a smidgeon, of sympathy for talkback hosts John Tamihere and Willie Jackson this week. They found themselves on the receiving end of a nationwide, social media wide storm of condemnation for their on-air antics in the wake of the “Roastbusters” rape allegations.

But any sympathy should be minimal. The pair are not exactly strangers to these types of  on-air controversies.

Fellow babyboomer broadcaster Bill Ralston  described them, in a friendly way, as some of the last bastions of 1950s male attitudes, but this is hardly an excuse. One would expect the two to have noticed one or two changes since then. Implicit in the way the two questioned one of the rape victims on the air – and also in some commentary elsewhere – is the notion the girls in some way contributed to their predicament.

Now, contributory negligence is a useful concept in civil law, but hardly applies to criminal matters such as rape – unless it is assumed, from the outset, men have as little control as, say, an out of control machine. Tamihere has form in the misogyny area: he famously called women in the Labour Party “front bums.”

Well, now he and his partner are off the air, for acting like a pair of total back bums.

Quite.


Rural round-up

November 13, 2013

New Zealand’s Primary sector must not tolerate its weakest links

•        Industry must be prepared to remove those not prepared to meet baseline standards
•        Regulation needs to be balanced to avoid overburdening a strategic sector of the New Zealand economy

The global reputation of New Zealand’s primary sector lives or dies on every participant in the industry doing the right thing each and every day.  In a connected world it only takes one person to fail in fulfilling their duty to the environment, their animals or the community for significant pressure to come to bear on the whole sector’s license to operate.

The message that the industry can no longer tolerate weak links is a central theme in the latest volume of the KPMG Agribusiness Agenda 2013 which is released today. The fourth volume of the Agenda, titled “Balancing the needs of the environment, communities and businesses” discusses the issues associated with building a world class, sustainable primary sector in New Zealand. . .

Rollover protection on quads a lifesaver – researcher:

Associate Professor Charley Lamb, of Lincoln University’s Telford Division, has backed Whangarei coroner Brandt Shortland’s recommendation for more research to be done in New Zealand into the protection devices.

Mr Shortland’s recommendation follows the release this week of his findings into five quad-bike related deaths in which he says the vehicles are a farmer’s best friend, and also their worst enemy.

His recommendations include the compulsory wearing of helmets, more research on roll-bars and more training for riders.

On average, five people each year are killed in quad-bike accidents on farms and a further 850 are injured. . . .

Shock tactics and scars suggested for quad bike safety ads – Abby Brown:

Tweeting farmers say there needs to be an educational advertising campaign that uses shock tactics and even scars to warn of the hazards of using alcohol or drugs before using a quad bike.

Some farmers also said there needs to be more research on roll-over protection, speed limits need to be considered and most supported the call for the use of helmets.

Colin Grainger-Allen (@NZcows) tweeted that authorities like ACC need to use shock tactics to run educational advertising campaigns about the hazards of using quad bikes after drinking or drug use like they do with the anti-drink driving campaign. . .

Van der Heyden shares ideas with MIE – Alan Williams:

Former Fonterra chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden is playing down his role with red-meat lobby group Meat Industry Excellence (MIE).

“I’m sharing my ideas and experience from what I’ve learned in my time in the dairy industry with a large number of farmers and MIE is part of that,” van der Heyden said.

“Over the past two or three years many folk in the red-meat sectors have contacted me.”

It is understood van der Heyden has spoken at “invitation-only” MIE meetings with farmers over the past few months, ahead of director elections at the two biggest meat industry co-operatives, Silver Fern Farms and Alliance Group, at their annual meetings in December. . .

Leadership Reaffirmed for Grape and Wine Industry

New Zealand Winegrowers, the national organisation for the country’s 1,500 grape growers and winemakers, has announced the re-election of Steve Green as Chair and John Clarke as Deputy Chair for a second year.

Mr Green is proprietor of Carrick, a boutique Central Otago winery; he has been involved in the Central Otago grape and wine industry since 1994, has previously served as Chair of Central Otago Winegrowers and has been on the New Zealand Winegrowers Board since 2005.

Mr Clarke is a Gisborne grapegrower with over 30 years’ experience in the grape and wine industry. Mr Clarke, who is a former Gisborne Mayor, has previously served for ten years as the Chair of Gisborne Winegrowers and joined the New Zealand Winegrowers Board in 2006. . .

Wine & Tourism – a Winning Combination:

 2013 is turning out to be an outstanding year for Hawke’s Bay winery Sileni Estates. Off the back of recent local and international award success for their wines, Sileni Estates have recently been awarded the coveted Hawke’s Bay Cellar Door of the Year at the Hawke’s Bay A&P Wine Awards.

Cellar Door of the Year recipients in 2010 and 2012, Sileni Estates are surprised and delighted to receive the award again in 2013. Owner and CEO Graeme Avery comments, “We are thrilled that the Sileni Cellar Store has been awarded Cellar Door of the Year in three of the past four years. It is a credit to our dedicated and hardworking Cellar Store Team – Anne Boustead, Emily Lay and Simone Hartley; and to Sileni’s long term commitment to promote Hawke’s Bay and its wines.” . . .

Quality of wine shines through at Air New Zealand Wine Awards:

New Zealand wineries have again impressed judges at this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards with wines of outstanding quality making up the 111 gold medal winners.

Pinot Noir was the strongest performer, winning 22 gold medals, while 20 gold medals were awarded for Sauvignon Blanc and 17 for Chardonnay.

The aromatics classes, consisting of Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Viognier and Albariño, also shone in this year’s competition, bagging a total of 25 gold medals. The judges were impressed by the sparkling class, which was awarded 19 medals, including six gold.

Chair of Judges, Michael Brajkovich MW, said New Zealand winemakers are producing world-class wines across an exciting and diverse range of varieties. . .


NZ Herald’s 150th birthday

November 13, 2013

The New Zealand is celebrating 150 years of publication.

Today we proudly mark 150 years of publication of The New Zealand Herald. We look forward with confidence to our journalism in print and on digital devices continuing to be a substantial and positive voice for the public interest and progress in this country. . .

With today’s paper and in a special interactive feature on nzherald.co.nz, we chart the Herald’s life and times through 150 years of great New Zealanders. These are the people who made the country; each day’s news columns being history in the making.

A warts-and-all appraisal of the paper makes clear how much the Herald has changed. The great issues of the day in 1863 were the ‘native rebellion’ just south of Auckland – and the threat to Auckland’s place as capital and leading centre of the colony. The Herald’s stridency in favour of the British forces and highly charged antagonism towards Maori fighters may have been true to the attitudes of ‘white’ New Zealand at the time, but are no less distasteful given the context of hindsight. That was then – over the past generation the paper has been a consistent advocate for confronting and righting grievances through the Waitangi Tribunal and other settlements. . .

The Herald has adapted many times to great change. We are at once a daily newspaper, instant news agency, video channel, website, smartphone and tablet app and presence on social media; the Herald is ‘consumed’ daily in seven distinct digital forms. . .

The Herald still holds a powerful position in covering the area with the country’s biggest population.

But technological changes and the increasing use of digital media will continue to challenge it.

Very few young people of my acquaintance get a daily paper now and an increasing number of older ones are opting to catch up on-line rather than with print editions.

One of the biggest challenges the Herald and other traditional media outlets face is how to generate the revenue to pay for quality journalism when so much on-line is available without cost to the reader, listener or viewer.

#gigatownoamaru is grasping new technology in its quest to be the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown.


Lorde & Ko most influential teens.

November 13, 2013

Two young New Zealand women are in Time’s list of 16 most influential teens.

Lorde:

The just-turned 17-year-old New Zealander rocketed to international fame this year with the release of her first album, Pure Heroine. Proof: New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who won the election on a message railing against economic inequality, walked onto stage to Lorde’s defiant “Royals.” The child prodigy—she signed with a label at 13—is already competing with pop’s biggest stars, surpassing Miley Cyrus in September for the top spot on iTunes with “Royals.” The singer-songwriter, whose real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor, is forging her own path, turning down an opportunity to join Katy Perry on tour because, as she said at the time, it “didn’t feel right.”

Lydia Ko:
A New Zealand golfer born in South Korea, 16-year-old Lydia Ko has multiple LPGA wins. She turned pro this year—the LPGA waived the age requirement for her to join—and she’s already fifth in women’s world rankings after just 23 tournaments. She’s the youngest person ever to win a professional golf tour event and the youngest person ever to win an LPGA tour event (and the only amateur to ever win two LPGA Tour events).

Bungy’s 25th birthday

November 13, 2013

Queenstown’s AJ Hackett Bungy celebrated its 25th birthday yesterday.

The leading tourism company celebrated the impressive milestone in style at the Kawarau Bridge, the ‘World Home of Bungy’, with a fun-filled day of laughter, action, balloons and of course Bungy Jumping and Zipriding.

People from all over the world came to take part in the birthday bash from Queenstown to Korea, from Australia to India and China.

They whooped and cheered as staff performed stunt jumps from the historic bridge, including a shopping trolley Bungy, a three-man Bungy and special Bungy Jumps from Streets’ Lion Man, Bungy Man and of course Superman.

It wasn’t all about superheroes though. Following in the footsteps of Queenstowner Jef Desbecker, the first customer to jump in 1988, today Australian William Nelson replicated the historic event as the first to jump exactly 25 years later.

Kicking off the day-long celebrations, 61-year-old William from Cairns said Bungy jumping at the Kawarau Bridge was “one of my main reasons for visiting Queenstown”.

“I’ve jumped twice in Cairns and loved it. I’m always a little apprehensive at first but it’s a huge adrenalin rush. I love it.”

Visiting New Zealand for the first time he said it “was fantastic to jump in such an incredible location”.

“This scenery is just simply stunning,” he said.

AJ Hackett Bungy co-founder Henry van Asch said this year’s birthday celebrations were “extremely special” as the company marked a quarter of a century in business.

“It’s been a great day so far,” said Henry.

“I love seeing all the school children here at the ‘Home of Bungy’, learning all about the history and just getting excited about it.

“That’s what inspires me seeing the next generation of Bungy jumpers excited and nervous about the experience. We know we’re doing something right when you see the excitement on their faces after their first ever jump.

“Watching the first paying customer jump today, 25 years after that very first jumper, is awesome.”

Henry and co-founder AJ Hackett spent the day mixing with children, staff, jumpers and watchers on, posing for photos, answering questions and joining in the party atmosphere.

The famous duo didn’t disappoint the crowds as the pair jumped together to celebrate the 25 year milestone.

Taking a running jump from the top of the Kawarau Bridge, AJ and Henry were cheered on by school children from Queenstown’s Remarkables Primary School, some of whom then stepped up to the plate to jump themselves.

One of the three lucky pupils taking the plunge was Matthew Bell who was “excited and stoked” to try his first ever Bungy Jump.

After braving the 43m drop Matthew said it was “the coolest thing I’ve ever done”.

“I’ve done every rollercoaster in the States – well almost – and this was just so much better than that,” he said.

“I’ve always wanted to jump from something very high like a bridge and have that feeling of free falling down. It was so awesome. I’m definitely gonna do it again.”

Children from all local primary schools joined the party throughout the day with pupils and a teacher from each school Bungy jumping in front of their class mates.

The youngsters were treated to a sausage sizzle, ice-blocks and class photos with AJ and Henry, and each took away a goody bag as a memento of their “big day at Bungy HQ”.

Visiting Queenstown especially for the birthday, AJ Hackett said the last 25 years had flown by and Bungy jumping was still “very much in its infancy”.

“Although we’ve been going an impressive 25 years, Henry and I feel like Bungy’s only just begun,” said AJ.

“It’s like jumping into a fast flowing river, it just goes so fast. You’ve just got to ride the river, take the corners as they come and get to the end.

Finishing each other’s sentences like the long-time friends they are, the duo said the last 25 years had felt like an apprenticeship in Bungy, just “dipping their toes” into what was actually possible.

“There’s so much more to come. We’ll certainly be here in 10 years and already today we’ve been brainstorming some new ideas,” they said. . .

Bungy jumping has made an enormous contribution to New Zealand tourism.

What’s more difficult to quantify is the impact it’s had on those who’ve jumped.

I did it five years ago.

I’m not sure I actually enjoyed the experience but since then when I’ve been faced with a challenge I’m not sure I want to accept I think to myself, if I can throw myself off a bridge, I can do this.

in #gigatownoamaru we’re all thinking we can do this in the quest to be the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown.


%d bloggers like this: