Jono Naylor seeks Nat candidacy for P Nth.

May 13, 2014

Palmerston mayor Jono Naylor is hoping to swap the council chamber for the debating one.

Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor has announced that he is seeking the National Party’s nomination to contest the Palmerston North electorate at the 2014 General Election. The Party’s Palmerston North Pre-selection Committee has accepted Mr Naylor’s application and confirms it is the sole application.

“National runs a fair and democratic selection process and Mr Naylor’s nomination will still be voted on by a selection meeting of local party members later this month,” confirmed Regional Chair Malcolm Plimmer.

Mr Naylor’s involvement in local body politics spans the past 13 years. He served as a City Councillor for six years before his election as Mayor in 2007.

“It is a privilege to serve Palmerston North as Mayor, and while this is not a decision I have made lightly, I firmly believe that I can better serve the interests of the city through representation at a central government level. I believe that the best future for all New Zealanders will be achieved through the re-election of a National-led Government,” said Mr Naylor.

“During my time as Mayor we have seen a significant positive shift in the perception people have of the city, and what had been a previously divisive council has developed into a cohesive group that have seen positive outcomes for the city.

“I have worked to help the city move forward and capitalise on its competitive advantages.

“Our city is growing, with population growth that has exceeded the national average for four of the past five years, and the establishment of a successful model for attraction of jobs and investment into the region including overseas investment.

“We’ve restructured the Council’s financial policies to ensure we are now repaying debt – something that had not been achieved in the 14 years prior – and refocused community funding models to ensure they are delivering on outcomes rather than giving handouts.

“We have successfully resolved the boundary issues with Manawatu District bringing our communities closer together and have developed a Regional Development Strategy that has set a blueprint for the development of the region based on key economic drivers.

“Under the leadership of John Key and National, Palmerston North is seeing the benefits of a stronger economy, more investment in research and development, and a Government which understands the crucial role of education for our future.

“If selected I hope to gain the support of Palmerston North to give our city a strong voice in Parliament after 20 September.”

“If elected to Parliament in September, I intend to resign as mayor of Palmerston North.”

Palmerston North is a red blot in the North Island’s blue hinterland and a strong, popular and well-known candidate like Naylor will have a good chance of turning it blue.

 


Looking and learning

May 13, 2014

Discussion with Simon Mercep on Critical Mass today was sparked by:

* Look Up – a YouTube video on social media which isn’t social. (I posted hte clip a couple of days ago – well worth a look and listen).

* Important life lesson from older people

And

* How to overcome regret


Word of the day

May 13, 2014

Tosh – rubbish, nonsense, bollocks.

Hat tip – Peter.


Rural round-up

May 13, 2014

Environmental manager’s job an ideal fit – Sally Rae:

When Beef and Lamb New Zealand decided to create a new environmental extension manager position, it was an ideal job for Erica van Reenen.

The role combined two of Ms van Reenen’s passions – agriculture and the environment.

It was established earlier this year to support farmers wanting to achieve environmental best practice on-farm, while maintaining profitable businesses.

Ms van Reenen (29), who grew up in Wanaka, has had a long-standing love of farming, which was coupled with an equal passion for conservation and the environment. . . .

Nominations open for 2014 agribusiness leadership awards:

Nominations have opened for this year’s prestigious Rabobank Leadership awards – recognising the contribution of outstanding leaders in New Zealand and Australia’s food and agribusiness industries.

The annual awards, which are now in their ninth year, acknowledge the important role played by senior leaders in New Zealand and Australia’s agribusiness and agri-related industries with the Rabobank Leadership Award, which was last year won by New Zealand wine industry luminary Sir George Fistonich, the founder and owner of Villa Maria Estate.

A second award category introduced for the first time last year, the Rabobank Emerging Leader Award, recognises up-and-coming young leaders in the sector. In 2013, this award went to Australian grains industry advocate Georgie Aley, the managing director of the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council. . . .

National Ploughing Champs prove challenging – Dave Goosselink:

Soggy ground conditions have proved a challenge for competitors at the National Ploughing Championships in Blenheim.

Clydesdale horses and vintage tractors added to the spectacle, with all competitors aiming to plough in a straight line.

It’s a hard row ploughing the perfect field, but competitors at the 59th National Ploughing Champs are happy to take their time.

“It’s certainly not a speed event,” says Palmerston North ploughman Eddie Dench. “We’ve got 20 minutes to do what we’ve just done. And then after we have lunch and make some adjustments, we have two hours 40 to finish the plot.” . . .

Perendale breeders’ work recognised – Sally Rae:

The Mitchell family, from Clinton, have been highlighted as an example of what the ”Perendale spirit” is all about.

On Friday, Rae Mitchell was made a life member of the Otago Perendale Breeders Club, during the Farmlands Perendale New Zealand national conference in Otago.

During a conference tour visit to the Mitchell family’s farm, home of the Hillcrest Perendale stud, PerendaleNZ chairman Tim Anderson said it was a family farm, working together and producing top sheep.

Mr Mitchell was ”very humbled” by the presentation, saying involvement with the breed had played a major role in his family.

There had been ups and downs, but also a lot of highs, and they had made many friends. . .

Americans want what we’ve got – Stephen Bell:

More Americans want safe, sustainable, pasture-fed, free-range meat but the biggest threat to the opportunities there is ensuring continuity of supply, Lamb Co-operative chief executive Shane O’Hara says.

O’Hara, a Kiwi who has worked in the American meat industry for 26 years, said New Zealand produces what a new generation of Americans is increasingly looking for but keeping products in front of them 52 weeks a year is a struggle.

Domestic lamb production in the United States had been declining since subsidy removal in the 1970s though total consumption had remained stable, he told the opening session of the AgInnovation conference in Feilding by video link from Connecticut. . . .

Drone speeds up wheat selection – Kim Honan:

It would be hard to miss the large helium-filled tethered balloon, floating above the wheat fields in Mexico’s Yaqui Valley, near Obregon.

However, you could be forgiven for thinking a bird is buzzing in the airspace around it, but it is a drone.

Both the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and the 8-metre long blimp, are fitted with cameras by researchers, at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT).

The instruments are used to measure the physiological properties of the thousands of wheat lines in the trial plots at the Norman E. Borlaug Experiment Station. . .


Take care on grades

May 13, 2014

It’s an old message but the message is still important.

It applies to quad bikes these days too.


Back in black

May 13, 2014

This Thursday’s Budget will be one that takes us back to the black.

We are locking in the gains of a growing economy.

Our focus has moved from managing our way through a recession, to managing a growing economy. When we talk about the economy, we’re talking about jobs, wages, and the costs people face when raising a family. So it’s hugely important to continue the progress we’re making, with incomes rising faster than the cost of living and thousands of new jobs.

That means:

  • Responsibly managing the Government’s finances
  • Helping business grow and create jobs with our Business Growth Agenda

Budget 2014 will continue this work. It will forecast an economy growing faster than most in the developed world, more jobs and lower unemployment, and wages continuing to rise faster than inflation. . .

This is a significant achievement.

Labour’s last Budget forecast a decade of deficits.

Careful management by National under the very careful stewardship of Finance Minister Bill English has turned that around in spite of the mess Labour left, the global financial crisis, Christchurch earthquakes, droughts and floods.

In doing so, National has continued to look after the most vulnerable people.

In some cases that has meant spending more now to save more in the long term. An example of this is the focus on helping people to help themselves to reduce long term benefit dependency.

It has been a team effort by a Cabinet which is focussed on what matters with the support of a united caucus.
Photo: Positive mood in Cabinet ahead of the Budget on Thursday. The Budget will focus on getting back to surplus, boosting health and education, and helping families. http://ntnl.org.nz/1sCYDoh

New Zealand led the world down – going into recession before the GFC as a result of Labour’s mismanagement.

It’s now among those leading the world back up thanks to National’s stewardship.

This gives a very real choice at the election.

We can continue with the centre right, moderate prescription with National building on what’s helping us now and will continue to do so in the future or the radical left LabourGreen which will do more of what hurt us in the past.


No choice re Taurima

May 13, 2014

The Labour Party had been delaying the selection of a candidate in the Tamaki Makaurau electorate in the hope that Shane Taurima would be cleared of wrong-doing at TVNZ.

He wasn’t which left them with no choice but to disallow his nomination.

The former TVNZ manager and presenter was forced to resign from the broadcaster because of his involvement in Labour party campaigning.

The party’s ruling body met last night and decided not to grant a waiver to Mr Taurima, meaning his nomination cannot go ahead.

Mr Taurima needed the waiver because he’d been a party member for less than a year when he was nominated for the seat. . .

The report into his conduct found no bias but it did find misuse of his employer’s resources.

An independent review has found the former General Manager of TVNZ’s Maori and Pacific Programmes department did misuse company resources for political activities with the Labour Party.

But the panel cleared Shane Taurima of any political bias in his interviews and the editorial content he produced for TVNZ programmes. . . .

In the  full report released today , the panel said it scrutinised Mr Taurima’s first interview with National MP Paula Bennett on TVNZ’s Q + A programme in March 2012 in particular, after critics claimed he “browbeat the Minister”.

Mr Taurima said the interview was not his best work, but the panel found “it did not show evidence of bias”.

The panel also said the three other staffers involved had an “extremely limited ability to influence editorial content” and there was no evidence they had tried to do so.

‘Inappropriate use of resources’

The panel did find that TVNZ resources “were used inappropriately” for Labour Party political purposes by Mr Taurima and three members of his staff – none of whom are still employed by TVNZ.

The panel said the “financial cost was negligible but, aside from this, it should not have happened.”

The panel cited an instance where TVNZ funds were used to transport a TVNZ staff member to a meeting at Mr Taurima’s house “to establish two Labour Party branches”. The panel said it recommends TVNZ seek reimbursement for this expense.

Mr Kenrick says: “What happened was completely unacceptable. It’s an absolute necessity for our News and Current Affairs service to operate free from political influence.” . .

The sum of money might not be large but the blatant misuse of employer’s money in that way would be bad enough in itself.

That is was for political purposes when the employer is a a state broadcaster is far worse.

. . . Mr Kenrick says he accepts “that there were shortcomings in our management of Shane when he returned to TVNZ, and that won’t happen again.”

He says the company already has a number of checks and balances in place to protect the integrity of news coverage. But he says TVNZ will immediately take steps to tighten internal protocols, as recommended, to protect the editorial independence of its news.

The report has identified roles in TVNZ’s News and Current Affairs division where the review panel believes political party membership and active support for a political party is untenable. These are roles that carry significant editorial influence and include political reporters, senior content producers, editors and news managers, and the Chief Executive as Editor in Chief.

“We won’t be asking our staff to tell us who they vote for. But we think it’s reasonable to ask anyone who reports, edits or produces political content to be upfront with us if they’re a member of a political party. Anyone who creates news content for TVNZ should disclose any political activity beyond passive party membership,” Mr Kenrick says. . .

Freedom of association is important but so to is balance and fairness in a state broadcaster.

Active membership in a political party would give the perception of bias – whether or not it was real – and that is untenable.


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