Politics Daily

05/06/2014

An abbreviated round-up today, I’ve had other priorities.

You’re welcome to leave links to other stories de jour in comments.

Immigration

David Farrar @ Kiwiblog – Labour in full retreat on immigration

Cameron Slater @ Whale Oil – Labour’s Immigration policy this week looks quite different to last week, and different to the week before that

Election

TVNZ – which issue matters most to you this election?

Fracking

David Farrar @ Kiwiblog – PCE final report says no to a fracking ban

Beehive

NZ to invest $1.25 million into tourism and energy in Niue

Coat Tailing

Pete George @ Your NZ – Coat tailing isn’t the problem

Inventory2 @ Keeping Stock – Idiot/Savant on Labour’s Electoral Act flip-flop

Inventory 2 @ Keeping Stock – Dirty Deals

John Armstrong @ NZ Herald – Cunliffe’s tough stance on coat tailing could backfire.

Housing

Inventory2 @ Keeping Stock – Still more good news.

David Farrar @ Kiwiblog – The Labour curse strikes again

Unions

Inventory2 @ Keeping Stock – Two unions – polar opposite reactions

Labour

NZ Herald – Labour open to Internet Mana deal

Cameron Slater @ Whale Oil – David Cunliffe is talking out of both sides of his mouth again

 


Word of the day

05/06/2014

Dianoia – the capacity for, process of, or result of discursive thinking; perception and experience regarded as lower modes of knowledge.


Banks guilty

05/06/2014

John Banks has been found guilty.

John Banks says he is surprised and disappointed by a guilty verdict against him delivered today.

The MP, found guilty of filing a false electoral return, gave a brief statement outside court today about the verdict delivered by Justice Ed Wylie.

Unless he is discharged without conviction he will lose his seat and the government will lose its majority.

This confirms National’s wisdom in inviting the Maori Party into government.

It votes against a lot of legislation but can be relied on for confidence and supply.

The reasons for the verdict are here, the full judgement is here.


Rural round-up

05/06/2014

 Flock House sold to local iwi:

Flock House farm near Bulls has been sold by AgResearch to Rangitikei iwi Nga Wairiki-Ngati Apa for an undisclosed sum.

The 1100 hectare property has a 332ha dairy unit and a 768ha sheep-and-beef unit. . . .

Synlait profit forecast dips again – Alan Williams:

Synlait Milk’s latest profit downgrade raises the possibility it might not meet last year’s prospectus forecast leading up to its NZX listing, after at one stage expecting a result up to 70% higher.

The dairy product manufacturer and exporter’s latest after-tax profit range is from $17.5 million-$22.5m, compared with its forecast of $19.8m for the year ended July 31. . .

Spotlight on farm safety – Sue O’Dowd:

Health and safety will be the focus of more than 100 rural contractors when they assemble for their annual conference in New Plymouth later this month.

The conference, Stay Alert on the Dirt, is being held in New Plymouth from June 23 to June 26.

Representatives of WorkSafe New Zealand, the Ministry of Transport and New Zealand Transport Agency will address the conference and answer questions around new legislation affecting the contracting industry. . .

Flour Producer Gets Grant to Develop Nutrition Focussed Products:

Farmers Mill is the first independent grower-owned and operated flour producer in the country to receive funding from the Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust (AGMARDT), for the specific development of nutrition focussed flour and baking products.

Farmers Mill, which has partnered with Lincoln University and the Food Innovation Network, will receive support from Agmardt aimed at exploring market opportunities and encouraging innovative ideas within the agribusiness sector. . . .

New Online Fertiliser Store Launched To Cut Costs for Kiwi Farmers

 The cost of buying fertiliser in New Zealand is about to fall substantially thanks to a new online store which will save farmers as much as $85 per tonne on standard products.

FertDirect launched its new website over Queen’s Birthday weekend (www.fertdirect.co.nz) and supplies both New Zealand-based and import-to-order products.

It’s the first online service of its kind to be offered nationwide and FertDirect Business Manager Rob Williams says it’s designed to save farmers money without compromising on quality. . .

New president for Federated Farmers Manawatu-Rangitikei:

Federated Farmers would like to welcome our new Manawatu-Rangitikei provincial president, James Stewart, who is replacing Andrew Hoggard, following their Annual General Meeting.

“James joined the Federation three years ago as Manawatu-Rangitikei’s dairy Chair, and we are thrilled to have him on as provincial president,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers National President.

“We are in a year of change within the Federation, with leadership changes throughout the organisation both nationally and provincially, James is an incredibly passionate advocate for the farming community and I know he will do a fantastic job,” said Mr Wills. . .


Moral bankruptsy

05/06/2014

Quote of the day:

Election year has already been a rather bizarre one. . . .

But we kind of crashed through the looking glass last week with the anointment of Laila Harre as leader of Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party. It is possible, back when she was an ardent campaigner for feminism and against capitalism, racism and corporatism, Harre foresaw the day she would sign up to front a party funded by a convicted German fraudster who made much of his money from pornography and who also has a fetish for racist, not to say outright Nazi, humour. Harre wasn’t even elected: she was anointed by the aforementioned convicted German fraudster who has trafficked in pornography and who thinks n-word jokes are hilarious.

There are many terms for this sort of thing, none of them complimentary. We will avoid the ‘h’ word – not just because MPs are not allowed to use the term hypocrisy in the House, but mostly because hypocrisy is part of the human condition. All of us fall short of our ideals. But this is not mere hypocrisy, not a minor falling short. This is moral bankruptcy of a particularly shameless kind. Trans Tasman

These are strong words – they’re also right.


Graham Smith Feds new CEO

05/06/2014

Federated Farmers, has named Graham Smith as its Chief Executive Officer designate to succeed Conor English.

“Federated Farmers is thrilled to announce Graham Smith’s appointment to lead the Federation in its next phase of growth,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.

“Graham is a highly accomplished Chief Executive who joins the Federation from Soda Inc, an organisation facilitating new technologies, including agri-tech and company start-ups. Prior to this, he was Chief Executive of the Crown Research Institute ESR (Institute of Environmental Science & Research) for almost three years. 

“Graham understands the strategic context Federated Farmers operates in and is no stranger to the primary industries, having been a former General Manager at AgResearch.

“The Board is especially impressed by Graham’s commercial and people leadership skills as well as his background in science and innovation. He has managed an international technology commercialisation organisation and worked for several overseas food companies.

“Graham has relationships across the political and primary industry sectors, which extends across the Tasman, as Graham is Australian by birth but has lived in New Zealand since 2001. 

“Graham holds an MBA from the University of South Australia and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Adelaide.  

“Federated Farmers is a strong and respected voice, both in Wellington and within New Zealand’s vibrant provincial hinterland.  We are passionate about the positive role farming plays in New Zealand and we know Graham shares this outlook.

“With a focus on evidence based policy, Graham will be instrumental in achieving policy outcomes, which strike the right balance between our economy and our environment.

“Graham Smith will formally take over the role of Chief Executive Officer in July.

“We wish to thank Conor English for a highly successful six years.  Federated Farmers and the agriculture sector owe him a huge debt of gratitude and we wish him all the best for the future.

“Graham is a worthy successor and he will work closely with the new Federated Farmers Board to continue the invaluable work we do for New Zealand’s farmers and the wider economy,” Mr Wills concluded.

As farmers, and rural people in general, decline as a proportion of the general population the need for strong advocacy from Feds becomes even more important.

Wills and English have been a very effective team and have left a solid foundation on which the new leadership can build.

 

 


Thursday’s quiz

05/06/2014

1. Who said:The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.?

2. Which animal said All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.?

3. What feature differentiates fish from other water-dwelling creatures?

4. What is a redd?

5. Fish, feathers or fur for a pet?


Which issue matters most?

05/06/2014

TVNZ is asking which issue matters most this election?

It is always the economy.

Only with sound economic management can we afford sustainable investment in education, health and anything else we expect the government to provide to a first world standard.

 


Dairy price down, dollar down

05/06/2014

The GlobalDairyTrade price index fell 4.2% in yesterday’s auction, the eight fall in a row.

gdt4.6.14

 

 

 

 

That’s a reflection on increased supply of milk here and overseas.

gdt4614

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not a reason for panic.

Fonterra’s opening forecast for this season of $7 is the fourth highest.

The value of our dollar declined after the announcement which might be of comfort for those who think it’s too high.

That’s all of the opposition, most of whom are at best not very enthusiastic about dairying.

A conspiracy theorist might think their antipathy to dairying is, at least unconsciously, linked to their desire to erode the value of everyone’s earnings by devaluing our currency.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fracking okay with safeguards

05/06/2014

Environment Commissioner Dr Jan Wright has given a qualified okay to fracking – with safegaurds:

. . . In her 2012 report into fracking, Commissioner Dr Jan Wright found that much of the concern about fracking was associated with the expansion of the industry. The technique of hydraulic fracturing – fracking – could be used to extract ‘unconventional’ oil and gas from many parts of the country outside Taranaki. In some parts of the United States and Australia, this has led to oil and gas wells multiplying so rapidly that regulators have found themselves “scrambling to catch up”. . . .

Dr Wright has made six recommendations in the report. They are:

• The Government should develop a national policy statement paying particular attention to ‘unconventional’ oil and gas.

• Revision of regional council plans should include better rules for dealing with oil and gas wells. Most council plans do not even distinguish between drilling for water and drilling for oil and gas.

• Wells need to be designed to minimise the risk of leaking into aquifers.

• Processes around who pays if something goes wrong need to be improved. Abandoned wells need to be monitored – the older a well is, the more likely it is to leak.

• Regulations on hazardous substances at well sites need to be better enforced.

• The disposal of waste from wells by spreading it on farmland needs review. There have been instances of farm animals grazing these areas before the breakdown of hydrocarbons is complete.

Although she has found that the local environmental impacts of oil and gas drilling can be managed, Dr Wright said that she does not want the report to be seen as giving a big tick to the expansion of the industry in New Zealand.

“I would much rather see a focus on ‘green growth’ because my major concern is the impact of the burning of fossil fuels on the global climate.” . . .

The full report is here and the Q&A is here.

One of the questions is why the Commissioner didn’t call for a moratorium, the answer is:

Commissioner has identified a number of problems that need to be fixed by Government and councils. The Commissioner has found that a moratorium is not justified because New Zealand has laws in place that can be used to prepare for a rapid expansion of the industry.

The usual anti-growth groups are using the report to call for a moratorium, but that isn’t the Commissioner’s recommendation.

She is very firm on the need for better regulation but she’s not arguing for fracking to stop.


H is for . . .

05/06/2014

H is for hurry and that is what David Cunliffe appears to be in.

He wants to scarp the coat tail rule that enables parties which win seats to bring other MPs in even if they don’t get 5% of the vote, and he wants to do it within 100 days of getting into government.

Why the rush?

There will be nearly three years until the next election when the law change would apply. That’s plenty of time to draw up legislation, open it to public submission, let it go through the select committee process, report back to parliament and gain the cross-party support which any change to electoral law should have.

H is also for hypocrisy and that what Cunliffe is exhibiting.

He was part of successive governments which were supported by Jim Anderton against whom Labour didn’t try to compete to win the electorate and who, at least in the early days, brought other MPs in on his coat tails.

He was part of successive governments which benefited from Peter Dunne’s support and those of the MPs who came in on his coat tails – even though he won the seat through the votes of National Party supporters.

He was a senior member of the party which didn’t try too hard to win the Coromandel seat which enabled Jeanette Fitzsimons to win as insurance should the Green Party not reach the 5% threshold.

He didn’t worry about the coat-tailers then and is only making a fuss now because of the Internet Mana deal.

Yet he’s not sufficiently worried to take a stand and say he won’t enter a coalition with them which is an equally blatant example of hypocrisy.

While I agree the IMP deal is a perversion of MMP, democracies don’t change electoral law to get rid of potential rivals for power.

They leave it for the voters to exercise their discretion at the election.

I hope there will be more than enough who do that wisely and foil the IMP plan to gain power by manipulating MMP.

If they don’t, so be it.

Cunliffe can cobble together a coalition of GIMPs and try to introduce changes to the electoral law which would sabotage at least one of the parties on whose votes he’ll depend for a majority.

H is also for help and that’s what we’ll all need should that be the sort of government we get.


June 5 in history

05/06/2014

70  Titus and his Roman legions breached the middle wall of Jerusalem in the Siege of Jerusalem.

1257  Kraków received city rights.

1305 – Raymond Bertrand de Got became Pope Clement V, succeeding Pope Benedict XI who died one year earlier.

1723 Adam Smith, Scottish economist, was born (d. 1790).

1798 The Battle of New Ross: The attempt to spread United Irish Rebellion into Munster was defeated.

1817 The first Great Lakes steamer, the Frontenac, is launched.

1829 HMS Pickle captured the armed slave ship Voladora off the coast of Cuba.

1832 The June Rebellion broke out in Paris in an attempt to overthrow the monarchy of Louis-Philippe.

1849 Denmark became a constitutional monarchy by the signing of a new constitution.

1851  Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery serial, Uncle Tom’s Cabin or, Life Among the Lowly starts a ten-month run in the National Era abolitionist newspaper.

1862  As the Treaty of Saigon was signed, ceding parts of southern Vietnam to France, the guerrilla leader Truong Dinh decided to defy Emperor Tu Duc of Vietnam and fight on against the Europeans.

1864  American Civil War: Battle of Piedmont: Union forces under General David Hunter defeated a Confederate army at Piedmont, Virginia, taking nearly 1,000 prisoners.

1866  East Coast military leader and prophet, Te Kooti, was deported with Pai Marire prisoners to the Chatham Islands.

Te Kooti deported to Chathams

1878 Pancho Villa, Mexican revolutionary, was born (d. 1923).

1879 Robert Mayer, German-born philanthropist, was born (d. 1985).

1883 –  John Maynard Keynes, English economist, was born (d. 1946).

1888 The Rio de la Plata Earthquake took place.

1898 Federico García Lorca, Spanish poet, lyricist and dramatist, was born  (d. 1936).

1900  Second Boer War: British soldiers took Pretoria.

1905 Jock Cameron, South African cricketer, Wisden COY 1936, was born (d. 1935).

1915  Denmark amended its constitution to allow women’s suffrage.

1917  World War I: Conscription began in the United States as “Army registration day”.

1932 Christy Brown, Irish author, was born (d. 1981).

1933  The U.S. Congress abrogated the United States’ use of the gold standard by enacting a joint resolution (48 Stat. 112) nullifying the right of creditors to demand payment in gold.

1936 Connie Hines, American actress, was born (d. 2009).

1939 Margaret Drabble, English novelist, was born.

1941  Four thousand people were asphyxiated in a bomb shelter during the Bombing of Chongqing.

1942  World War II: United States declared war on Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania.

1944  World War II: More than 1000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries on the Normandy coast in preparation for D-Day.

1945  The Allied Control Council, the military occupation governing body of Germany, formally takes power.

1946 Freddie Stone, American guitarist (Sly & the Family Stone), was born.

1946  A fire in the LaSalle Hotel in Chicago, Illinois kills 61 people.

1947 Tom Evans, English musician (Badfinger), was born (d. 1983).

1947  Marshall Plan: In a speech at Harvard University, United States Secretary of State George Marshall called for economic aid to war-torn Europe.

1949 Ken Follett, Welsh author, was born.

1956  Elvis Presley introduced his new single, “Hound Dog“, on The Milton Berle Show, scandalizing the audience with his suggestive hip movements.

1959  The first government of the State of Singapore was sworn in.

1963  British Secretary of State for War John Profumo resigned in a sex scandal known as the Profumo Affair.

1963 – Movement of 15 Khordad: Protest against arrest of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini by Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. In several cities, masses of angry demonstrators are confronted by tanks and paratroopers.

1964  DSV Alvin was commissioned.

1967 Six-Day War began: The Israeli air force launched simultaneous pre-emptive attacks on the air forces of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.

1968  U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California by Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan.

1969  The International communist conference began in Moscow.

1975  The Suez Canal opened for the first time since the Six-Day War.

1975 – The United Kingdom holds its first and only country-wide referendum, on remaining in the European Economic Community (EEC).

1976  Collapse of the Teton Dam in Idaho, United States.

1977 A coup took place in Seychelles.

1977 – The Apple II, the first practical personal computer, goes on sale.

1981  The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that five people in Los Angeles, California have a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems, in what was the first recognized cases of AIDS.

1989 The Unknown Rebel halted the progress of a column of advancing tanks for over half an hour after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

1995  The Bose-Einstein condensate was first created.

1998  A strike began at the General Motors parts factory in Flint, Michigan, that quickly spreads to five other assembly plants (the strike lasted seven weeks).

2001  U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords left the Republican Party, which shifted control of the United States Senate from the Republicans to the Democratic Party.

2001  Tropical Storm Allison made  landfall on the upper-Texas coastline as a strong tropical storm and dumps large amounts of rain over Houston. The storm caused $5.5 billion in damages, making Allison the costliest tropical storm in U.S. history.

2003  A severe heat wave across Pakistan and India reached its peak, as temperatures exceed 50°C (122°F) in the region.

2006  Serbia declared independence from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro.

2009 – After 65 straight days of civil disobedience, at least 31 people were killed in clashes between security forces and indigenous people near Bagua, Peru.

2012 – Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker became first U.S. Governor to survive a recall election.

Sourced from NZ History & Wikipedia.


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