Shane Jones’ valedictory

May 21, 2014

Shane Jones is delivering his valedictory to a packed gallery.

You can see where to watch it here.

Radio New Zealand broadcasts the House in session live on the AM Network:

 

Radio New Zealand region Channel
Auckland AM 882 Khz
Waikato AM 1494 Khz
Bay of Plenty AM 657 Khz
Napier AM 909 Khz
Wellington AM 657 Khz
Christchurch AM 963 Khz
Dunedin AM 900 Khz
Southland AM 1314 Khz

 

https://twitter.com/CJTremain/status/468986907628933120

 

 

 

 

 

 


Word of the day

May 21, 2014

Wonted – habitual, usual.


Petition gives wrong impression

May 21, 2014

When I saw a Facebook post asking people to sing Labour’s petition to save the Poison Helpline I thought it was being axed.

That is no doubt the impression Labour wants to give, but it’s not the right one.

The Ministry of Health, which funds the service isn’t planning to axe it, it is proposing merging it with a range of other triage, advice, counselling and referral services.

This integrated service will provide consistent, high quality advice across the country sign posting callers to appropriate services and care.

The service will provide a multi-channel approach including telephone triage and phone advice; text; email; phone applications; social media and web-based services. The enhanced telehealth service is expected to:

  • reduce the pressure on after hours primary care (ie ambulance services, doctors and emergency departments making good use of local health and injury services across the country)
  • be integrated to improve effectiveness in the development, monitoring and advertising of these services.

Services are currently delivered by a mix of commercial, university, and non-government organisations that together handle around 2 million calls by the public per year. The included services are: Healthline, Quitline, Poisonline, Immunisation advice for the public, Alcohol and drug helpline, Depression helplines and Gambling Helpline. . . .

Having one number to call would make it easier for people to the right help sooner, rather than ringing one, finding it’s not the right one and having to call another.

For example people might call  Healthline now instead of the Poisonline and even a very few minutes delay in getting the right advice could have very serious consequences.

A single number might make it easier for people who feel embarrassed about calling a drug or alcohol helpline too.

If the triaging under the new system works well, people will get the right help and get it sooner.

Instead of no service which the petition suggests, the merger should provide better service.


Rural round-up

May 21, 2014

Finding alternatives to dairy – Keith Woodford:

New Zealand dairy production has increased by 80% since Year 2000. This has come almost equally from both more dairy hectares and more production per hectare. However, the limits to pastoral dairying in New Zealand have largely been reached. Where do we go from here?

First, there is a need to recognise the two reasons why pastoral dairying has largely reached its limits.

The most important reason is that society is no longer willing to accept the effects of cow urine leaching from pastures into waterways and aquifers. Huge progress has been made in fencing off livestock from waterways, and in tree planting alongside the streams, but that does not solve the problem of the urine patch. This 2013/14 year is therefore the last year of large-scale conversion of sheep and beef farms to pastoral dairying. New environmental regulations have effectively closed that door. . . .

Nominations & entries open for South Island Farmer of the Year:

Nominations and entries are open for the 2014 Lincoln University Foundation South Island Farmer of the Year competition, and organisers are hoping for another record year.

“Last year we had entries from throughout the South Island, the quality of which were such that we were obliged to select six finalists instead of the usual four,” says Lincoln University Foundation Chair Ben Todhunter. “This, plus the very successful winner’s field day at Yealands Wine Estate, generated a lot of interest.

Todhunter says that one of the attractions of the competition is that size really doesn’t matter and is not one of the criteria for judging.

“We’re looking for leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship, which can be found equally in a small family-owned farm business as they can within a large commercial agricultural entity. . . .

Central South too wet to drill:

CROPPING FARMERS in Canterbury and North Otago face a soggy battle to get winter cereals sown after another belt of rain swept the region this week.

Paddocks had only just become passable after an unusually wet April and now some fear they will not get back on again until spring. Where crops have been sown agronomists say slugs are having a field day.

“Slug pellet use has gone through the roof,” Mid Canterbury agronomist Roger Lasham told Rural News.
“Where people have gone on with pellets before any damage has been done it’s not too bad but if they’re late they’ll never get those plants back.”  . . .

Fresh look for Fieldays partnership:

A mutual interest in contributing to – and growing – New Zealand’s agricultural sector is behind an enduring strategic partnership between two iconic regional organisations.

The University of Waikato is into its eighth year as a strategic partner of the National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek and Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says it is an important partnership for both organisations.

“The University has a shared interest with Fieldays in the agricultural sector, from our research which we will be showcasing on our stand, to our students who undertake internships with many agricultural organisations and our graduates who are employed in the agricultural sector,” he says.

The University and the New Zealand National Fieldays Society signed their latest strategic partnership in March and Fieldays Chief Executive Jon Calder says the relationship has developed well over the years “to the point where we now have a true partnership”. . .

Deal to develop wine tourism:

New Zealand Winegrowers and Air New Zealand have signed a deal which will see them jointly promote the country as a destination for wine tourists.

They believe that more than a million visitors have toured the country’s vineyards and wineries over the last five years and the sector has tremendous opportunity for future growth.

Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan said the North American and Asian markets will be targetted in the promotion. . .

Giesen single vineyard first release wins international recognition:

Giesen Wines has won international plaudits with its first release of premium single vineyard wines from Marlborough.

Three different single vineyard selections have won gold at two prestigious UK competitions. The Brookby Rd Pinor Noir 2012 and Clayvin Pinot Noir 2012 were awarded gold in the coveted Decanter competition while Giesen The Fuder Clayvin Chardonnay 2012 captured gold at the International Wine Challenge (IWC).

Theo Giesen, of Giesen Wines, says this is the first time its wines have been awarded gold at either of the UK competitions. . . .


Civilian Party goes live

May 21, 2014

The Civilian Party is now live:

borderedadstroketest 

 

 

 

 

 

. . .  The Civilian Party is a real political party, but it is not a political party like any you have seen before. It is not a left-wing party or a right-wing party. It is neither left-of-centre, nor right-of-centre. The Civilian Party is up-of-centre, because we believe in moving upwards toward a brighter future, like a moth to a flame. We don’t want to move the country sideways; we want to move it forward. . . .

 It’s policies include:

Declare New Zealand’s independence from Hamilton. (Read more)

Establish a space program, and become the first nation in Australasia to send a man to the moon; not to explore it, just someone we don’t like.

Reform the tax system so that it rewards success and punishes failure. Ensure that the bulk of taxes are aimed at the greatest source of poverty in New Zealand: the poor. (Read more)

Remove the monarchy and become an independent banana republic. (Read more)

Close the pay gap between men and women by working to reduce men’s wages.

Alleviate poverty amongst children by giving every poverty-stricken child a llama as a means to a basic income.

End discrimination against social majorities. No more special services just for Maori; no more car parks just for disabled people; no more hip operations just for people who need hip operations.

Relegalise illegal legal highs. The recent government crackdown on these products was overzealous, and there is no reason that perfectly legal substances should be illegal. (Read more)

Make Wellington airport safer by moving it to Christchurch. . . .

If the Mcgillicuddy Serious Party still exists it has a rival, if it doesn’t it has a successor.


Dust

May 21, 2014

A farmer’s daughter is singing for Aussie farmers:

HESTER Fraser may have been too young to remember the drought in the ‘90s but she does remember how special it felt when it rained.

And while the 25-year-old musician, currently living in Sydney, felt half the world away from her family’s farm at Armidale, seeing photos of the drought spurred her into action.

Hester is a pianist, singer/songwriter, and performing under the name Goldheist she’s written song “Dust” to raise awareness of drought and the plight of farmers but also money for drought appeals.

“I knew it (the drought) was bad but it was overwhelming when you realise the scale of what it means to live through it,” Hester said.

“The manual labour that goes into keeping stock alive – I hadn’t understood the financial cost.

“I wanted to write about the issues but I also wanted to create a message of support.”

Hester said she was further inspired when she saw the work of volunteer group Aussie Helpers, who deliver hay and visit farmers in need.

“The most powerful thing Aussie Helpers do is help farmers realise they’re not forgotten,” she said. . . .


SNAs set traps for farmers

May 21, 2014

Farmers who’ve allowed wetlands to be surveyed are upset they face restrictions less conservation-minded landowners don’t.

Conservation-minded farmers are annoyed about being penalised by agreeing to wetlands and other natural assets being surveyed, when other Hurunui farmers don’t have rulemakers coming down hard on them.

Members of the Hurunui SNA Group says the Resource Management Act (RMA) disadvantages them, and the group is urging farmers to not allow any more surveys on private land, trapping them in the RMA system, until the legislation is changed.

The group’s farmers say they have to apply for resource consent to fertilise around listed Significant Natural Areas (SNA), when non-surveyed landowners are free of these requirements.

Interested farm buyers have shied away from at least one farm because of its SNAs, and other farmers are worried that this will lower their own land values.

Group spokesman Jamie McFadden said landowners had chosen to leave and care for native bush on their land when they could have easily cleared it.

“These landowners feel aggrieved and angry that seemingly because of their generosity in protecting native bush on their land, they are then trapped in a compulsory regulatory system that does nothing to help them continue to look after these areas.”

McFadden is a Hurunui farm- raised landscaper specialising in planting native plants on farms.

He said QEII Trust covenanting was a much better system, as landowners agreed to conditions that could not be changed without their agreement, and the trust helped with fencing and weed control.

“With the RMA-SNA regulatory system, landowners have no choice, there is no flexibility on rules – one size fits all – and the rules can change at any time, even without the landowner’s knowledge or approval.”

McFadden said that when landowners worked with the Hurunui District Council on a biodiversity strategy for the district, they never expected that Environment Canterbury could come over the top and apply its rules to SNAs on private land, such as not applying fertiliser within 10 metres of listed natural assets.

The regulations were counterproductive, because native shrubs and trees were being cleared by landowners unwilling to be caught in the system or by future rules, he said. . .

When farmers see registering SNAs have this perverse outcome it puts them off doing the right thing and it’s not just with bush and wetlands.

A farming couple had a request from a student who wanted to look for evidence of a rare insect species on their property.

They were happy to do so until neighbours warned them not to.

They’d allowed a student to do something similar on their farm then had restrictions placed on what they could do as a result of what was found.

When conservation conflicts with property rights it’s the latter which comes second and landowners pay a high price which puts them off  trying to be conservation and community minded.


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