Politics Daily

June 15, 2014

This is an attempt to replace Dr Bryce Edwards’ daily political round-up while he’s taking a break.

I’m not pretending to be balanced.

While I link to a range of news stories, the blogs I link to are usually from the centre to the bluer end of the political spectrum or the more reasonable or witty bits of the pink to red end.

You’re welcome to leave links to other news and blogs in comments.

Election

Torben Akel @ TV3 – The new breed of career MPs

TV3 – National too hard to beat – Craig

TV3 – Patrick Gower interviews Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig

Danyl  Mclauchlan @ Dim Post – The awful choice

Vernon Small & Josh Fagan  @ – No easy ride on the Shore for Craig

Cameron Slater @ Whale Oil – Why Colin Craig is a political fool

Scott Palmer @ Interest.Co.NZ – Election 2014 – Party Policies – Party Philosophies

Craig Simpson @ Interest.Co.NZ – Budget 2014 – Spending plan

Scott Palmer @ Interest.Co.NZ – Election 2014 – Party Policies – Immigration

Tim Watkin @ Pundit – Dirty deal dancing – when Colin finally meets Key

Peter Dunne – UnitedFuture candidates announced

Beehive

Paula Bennett – Are you that someone – let’s stop sexual violence campaign

Paula Bennett – Work and Income support pays off

Gerry Brownlee – New start for Re:START mall

Nikki Kaye – 500 schools connected to Network for Learning

Jo Goodhew – Inclusive communities help prevent elder abuse

IMP

Rodney Hide @ NZ Herald –  Hilarious Dotcom drama is riveting

Trade

TVNZ – Groser – Government may not seek bipartisan support for TPP

Education

TV3 – Patrick Gower interviews Education Minister Hekia Parata

Social Media

Inventory 2 @ Keeping Stock – Another SMOG from guess who?

Matthew Beveridge – 2014 Election Campaign Social Media Awards

Inventory 2 @ Keeping Stock – Whatever happened to Tamati’s tweet?

Matthew Beveridge – It isn’t the crime, it is the cover up: Tamati Coffey

Matthew Beveridge – Twitter Stats: 13 June

Matthew Beveridge – Twitter Stats 13 June

Team NZ

NZ Taxpayers’ Union – Government Should Say No to More America’s Cup Money

Kerre McIvor @ NZ Herald – Eyeing cup again? Go fund yourselves

Alf Grumble – Grant Dalton should forget about taxpayers puffing more wind into Team NZ’s sails

Winston Peters

David Farrar @ Kiwiblog – Winston’s $158,000 and the Susan Couch trust

Brendan Horan

David Fisher @ NZ Herald – Horan’s half-brother instigated changes to mother’s will

David Fisher @ NZ Herald – Horan: our side of the story

David Farrar @ Kiwiblog – Horan’s side

Labour

The Veteran @ No Minister – Blood sports – better than the ABs (or Cs) even

Crime

David Farrar @ Kiwiblog –

Forestry

Inventory 2 @ Keeping Stock – Another crisis averted

Cameron Slater @ Whale Oil – Looks like Labour’s forestry crisis is over

Other

Cameron Slater @ Whale Oil – If you are an MP, the small laws are really just suggestions

The Veteran @ No Minister – On The EU and the Common Agriculture Policy madness

TV3 – Lisa Owen interviews Professor Jonathan Boston and Children’s Commissioner Russell Wills


Sign of the day

June 15, 2014

EXCELLENT FOOD FOR THOUGHT by Moutere JAB at Awarua Park.


Rural round-up

June 15, 2014

Breeder takes on challenge – Tony Benny:

When Gerald Hargreaves took over the family farm from his father in the 1970s, he wasn’t very interested in the Angus stud his father had established in 1954. But a comment reported back to him by a friend fired him up.

“My father gave me some cows and I wasn’t really interested in the stud to be honest and I sold them, but thought I’d better not sell my father’s,” Hargreaves says.

“One of the opposition breeders said, ‘He probably doesn’t know what he’s doing, he should have sold the lot’. I said, ‘stuff you’ – it took someone to challenge me.” . . .

Kiwifruit growers upbeat at Fieldays:

Kiwifruit marketer Zespri has noticed a remarkable turnaround in the mood among growers coming to the national agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek this year.

Zespri grower and government relations manager Simon Limmer said a lot of kiwifruit growers were calling into its site, and the contrast with the past few years as they battled the PSA bacteria scourge could not be more striking.

“The mood is very positive, very optimistic, and on the back of three years of real uncertainty and a certain sense of desperation as to where this industry was heading – it’s a really good place to be,” Mr Limmer said.

“Growers are feeling positive the PSA situation looks to be manageable, we’re seeing volumes of gold kiwifruit recovering heading into the market – market returns are up across all varieties. . .

New graduates strengthen biosecurity frontline:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says 29 new biosecurity graduates will further strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system, and help safeguard our primary industries from pests and diseases.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) today welcomed 24 new quarantine inspectors and five new dog handlers at a ceremony in Auckland.

The new quarantine inspectors will be based at Auckland (15), Wellington (3) and Christchurch (6). Five new biosecurity detector dog teams will be split between Auckland (4) and Christchurch (1). . .

Forestry company fined after worker hit by log

Forestry company HarvestPro has been fined $80,000 and ordered to pay reparations of $40,000 after one of its workers was hit by a log weighing more than a tonne.

Tau Henare was working on a logging operation at Whakaangiangi on the East Coast when the incident occurred in September 2012. His job was to attach strops to fallen logs, which were then dragged up a hillside to be prepared for transport away from the forest.

Mr Henare was hit by a log that had come lose from the jaws of a loader on a landing above and slid down a steep hillside. He suffered fractures to his arm and leg that have required multiple surgeries and left him unable to work. . .

How to calculate the maximum number of hours an employee can work during calving and mating –  John Brosnan:

Over the last year or so there has been a lot of discussion in the media around farm practices in relation to keeping wage records, hours worked on farms and in particular employees not earning minimum wage within their pay period.

This was not helped by rumours that MBIE (the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment) were going to treat an accommodation allowance as a part of salary/wages differently from how IRD have traditionally viewed it. . . .

Goodman Fielder plans $27M upgrade of Christchurch milk factory to meet Asian demand – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – Goodman Fielder, the Australian food ingredients maker, will spend $27 million to expand its Christchurch ultra heat treated milk plant, giving it additional capacity to meet increased demand for its Meadow Fresh brand in Asia.

Work to extend the existing UHT building and install a new pasteurising, sterilising and palletising line as well as a new 250ml high-speed filler is expected to be completed by October 2015 and will boost production at the site by 50 percent, enabling it to process an extra 32 million litres a year, Sydney-based Goodman Fielder said in a statement. . .

Fun side of farming:

In just a few short weeks rural youth will be out in full force trying to prove they’ve got what it takes to be the 2014 AgriKidsNZ and TeenAg Champions.

Close to seven hundred primary and secondary aged students battled it out in the seven Regional Finals across the country earlier this year. The top three teams from each region progressed through to the Grand Finals, set to be held alongside the ANZ Young Farmer Contest in Christchurch, 3-5 July.

“These students have been preparing for months,” said Josie Hampton AgriKidsNZ & TeenAg Project Leader. “They pour everything they’ve got into this competition and it’s quite an honour for them to represent their schools at Grand Final.” . . .

Wool.i.am the star of new campaign for Cavalier Bremworth:

Long established New Zealand carpet maker Cavalier Bremworth has launched a quirky new ad campaign which focuses on its unique ability to manage the quality of its wool carpet from the farm right to the floor. It’s also a celebration of having Kiwis on the job every step of the way.

View here at: http://goo.gl/FNqV97

The hero of the campaign continues to be its animated sheep (Wool-i.am) who takes a journey with the wool from the farm to its tufting plant in Auckland. Cavalier Bremworth, as part of parent company Cavalier Corporation, is the only carpet maker that owns and controls the whole process for wool carpet production – it owns a wool buying business, a half share in the country’s biggest wool scours in Canterbury and Hawke’s Bay, and then its own dyeing and spinning plants in Napier, Wanganui and Christchurch. . .

 


Eric Hill 7.9.27 – 6.6.14

June 15, 2014

Children’s author and illustrator Eric Hill has died.

Eric Hill, who has died aged 86, was one of those unusual and fortunate people whose first book was not only an immediate success but also became a staple of children’s bookshelves for decades. Where’s Spot?, a simple lift-the-flap picture book with a lovable puppy at the heart of every picture, was published in 1980. Within weeks, it was a bestseller, taken to the hearts of pre-schoolers and their parents across Britain. . .

Not just across Britain, or even the English-speaking world.

I know a wee girl in Argentina who also loves the books.


Perfect Place

June 15, 2014

Open large picture

 

Perfect Place ©2014 Brian Andreas – published with permission.
The kind people at Story People will send you a daily does of whimsy by email if you sign up on the page linked to above.

H is for . . .

June 15, 2014

Rodney Hide reminds us that H is for Harawira, Harre and hypocrisy:

I used to think politics was all about achieving good government. That proved invariably disappointing. These days, politics is no longer my responsibility. I’m happy if it just proves interesting.

That’s why I am for the Internet-Mana Party. They’re the best entertainment in years. If they were a parody they would be too improbable to be believed.

Maori nationalist Hone Harawira calls Pakeha the rudest of names and the wrong colour to date his daughter. But he’s jumped into bed with whiter-than-white Kim Dotcom.

Harawira trumpets Mana and His People but that’s not stopping him using his electorate to coat-tail Dotcom’s party into Parliament. His price? $3 million.

It’s easy to accuse Harawira of hypocrisy but he has a ready reply: it’s a lot of money. At $3m his double standard is good and high.

That raises two questions – could he be bought for less and what would he do for more?

Laila Harre wasn’t elected leader of the Internet Party. She was hired. She’s been selected and paid for by Dotcom. The former coffee picker for the Sandinistas is New Zealand’s first corporate-hire political leader.

A mate rang after Harre’s appointment splitting his sides, “All they need now is Pam Corkery”. Corkery was appointed press secretary that day.

Willie Jackson considered standing but wanted $250,000. That’s his price for standing up for his principles. . .

That raises a question about principles that can be bought – if the buyer doesn’t like them, would the seller come up with others that might attract the right price?

And what will happen if the buyer isn’t satisfied with his purchase?

. . .  Dotcom set out to destroy Banks for not rushing to rescue him from Mt Eden Prison. He expected a minister to jump for a $50,000 political donation. That’s his character. Imagine what he expects for $3m.

And imagine how he will perform when he doesn’t get it. Pure entertainment.

Entertaining?

It would be if the potential consequences weren’t so serious.

The election outcome is on a knife-edge and the country will be left cut and bleeding if Dotcom and his hired hypocrites have any power.


28 -27, phew!

June 15, 2014

Dunedin’s Octagon was a sea of black with a very few splashes of red and white before last night’s game.

The sell-out crowd at the Forsyth Barr stadium was also showing its true colours were mostly shades of black.

Before the kick-off the mood was buoyant. The crowd quietened somewhat as England scored the first points and by half-time with the score at 10-6, with the All Blacks behind, there was a fair degree of nervousness.

However, it looked like a different team in the second half and when Ben Smith touched down for his first try as an All Black in front of his home crowd, and put the ABs in front.

He’d been equally as impressive in the first half with sprint half way up the field which ended in a try-saving tackle.

Tries by Ma’a Nonu and Julian Savea followed and with minutes to go the score was 28-27 but England managed a late try.

The All Blacks have already won the three-match series, the Steinlager Cup and the Hillary Shield.

 

abs

 

 

 

 

 

 

But if this is the second-string English team it was described as before the tour, the All Blacks have a lot of work to do.

They won’t be wasting time admiring the silver-ware, they’ll be preparing for another hard test next week.

And that one won’t be played in nearly as good conditions for the teams, or spectators, as last night’s thanks to the stadium roof.


Production enables protection

June 15, 2014

Jacqueline Rowarth brings some much needed balance, and science, to the question: economy v environment: is fewer cows really the answer?

New Zealand’s future depends on production and protection – but the latter is not necessarily the same as preservation. These ‘P-words’ are getting as muddled as the ‘E-words’ of expertise, experience and enthusiasm.

Economics and environment are also part of that picture. . .

Too often the debate is polarised in favour of one and against the other when they are not mutually exclusive.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment released the 2014 Regional Economic Activity Report last week. The Canterbury region is the largest in New Zealand, and contributes 13.4% of national GDP, 13.4% of national employment and is home to 12.7% of population. The report states that:

“There are a range of opportunities to sustain the growing economy. The dairy farming sector could still increase productivity, particularly through sustainable water management, adapting new technologies and expanding into new markets. There is also opportunity for more added-value processing of rural products.”

While the dominance of the primary sector in the export economy is known, the importance in Gross Domestic Product is often overlooked. Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing has 6% of employment and 7.2% of GDP (in the MBIE report). Dairy farming alone has 1.5% of employment and contributes 3.2% of GDP. In some contrast, Horticulture (including viticulture) has 1.3% of employment and 0.6% of GDP.

In the Manufacturing sector, Food and beverage has 3.1% of employment and 4.2% of GDP.

The primary sector is vital.

And the primary sector acknowledges that it has had an impact on waterways. The dairying industry, for instance, is aware of its impacts and working towards mitigating them. DairyNZ spends 28% of its income levied from farmers (currently forecast to be $61 million for the 2013/14 season) on on research and development to increase farm profit and productivity. Other significant expenditure is to consulting officers and demonstration farms (12%) and training, education and leadership (10%).

This means approximately $25 million is spent on research, development and extension.

Independent evaluation of DairyNZ’s investment portfolio by NimmoBell rates “research on farming with environmental limits” as the most valuable project, returning $96/ha/yr for the average farm. . .

That’s a lot of money with the potential to do a lot of good.

She goes on to discuss nutrients and the limitations and constraints of models – and the significant uncertainties in any modelling exercise.

. . . Using technologies such as barns, loafing areas, feed pads at certain times of the day and year, nitrate leaching from dairy cows can be reduced – even halved as suggested by research at Massey University.

Feeding supplements such as maize or palm kernel expeller also reduces the amount of N in the urine, allowing more to go into higher production of milk.

When farmers have a profitable business, they can invest – and fence and plant waterways as well. Increasing productivity from their land, which might mean changing type of stock (from beef, sheep or deer to dairy, for instance), or might mean increasing stock numbers, often makes business sense. Land that is suitable for dairying but is currently under beef and sheep has been estimated to bring in at least four times as much if converted. Water storage, and irrigation, is key.

Analysis in 2010 by NZIER estimated the economic impact of 14 irrigation schemes predominantly in the Canterbury, Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa regions would be an increase in GDP of 0.8%, and value of exports of $4 billion.

Land-use change would generate a net revenue gain of approximately $6,000 per hectare in Canterbury and $1,300 per hectare in Hawkes Bay at the farm-gate.

With economic growth driven by the regions, more can be invested in research and development to support the environment – to protect the 32% of New Zealand that is already in the conservation estate, and enable farmers to implement new technologies to reduce the impact of producing food.

Calls for a return to fewer cows and all grass-farming as in the 1980s overlooks the fact that water quality then was considerably worse than it is now.

That isn’t the impression you’d get from much of the media, the anti-farming fraternity and many opposition politicians.

Considerable improvements have been made in stopping city effluent getting into rivers, enabled by economic growth, taxes and rates.

Facts, evidence and data make the logic clear: production enables protection.

How refreshing to get an alternative view, and one based on science.

 


Sunday soapbox

June 15, 2014

Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse.
Right may be http://9gag.com/gag/aVO96my?ref=fbp


June 15 in history

June 15, 2014

23 Battle of Soissons: King Robert I of France was killed and King Charles the Simple was arrested by the supporters of Duke Rudolph of Burgundy.

1184 King Magnus V of Norway was killed at the Battle of Fimreite.

1215 King John of England put his seal to the Magna Carta.

1246 With the death of Duke Frederick II, the Babenberg dynasty ended in Austria.

1389 Battle of Kosovo: The Ottoman Empire defeated Serbs and Bosnians.

1520 Pope Leo X threatened to excommunicate Martin Luther in papal bull Exsurge Domine.

1580 Philip II of Spain declared William the Silent to be   an outlaw.

1623 Cornelis de Witt, Dutch politician, was   born  (d. 1672).

1667 The first human blood transfusion was administered by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys.

1752 Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning was electricity.

1775 American Revolutionary War: George Washington was appointed commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.

1776 Delaware Separation Day – Delaware voted to suspend government under the British Crown and separate officially from Pennsylvania.

1785 Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier, co-pilot of the first-ever manned flight (1783), and his companion, Pierre Romain, became the first-ever casualties of an air crash when their hot air balloon exploded during their attempt to cross the English Channel.

1804 New Hampshire approved the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratifying the document.

1808 Joseph Bonaparte became King of Spain.

1836 Arkansas was admitted as the 25th U.S. state.

1844 Charles Goodyear received a patent for vulcanization, a process to strengthen rubber.

1846 The Oregon Treaty establishes the 49th parallel as the border between the United States and Canada, from the Rocky Mountains to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

1859 Pig War: Ambiguity in the Oregon Treaty leads to the “Northwestern Boundary Dispute” between U.S. and British/Canadian settlers.

1864 American Civil War: The Siege of Petersburg began.

1864 Arlington National Cemetery was established when 200 acres (0.81 km2) around Arlington Mansion (formerly owned by Confederate General Robert E. Lee) were officially set aside as a military cemetery by U.S. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.

1867 Atlantic Cable Quartz Lode gold mine located in Montana.

1877 Henry Ossian Flipper becomes the first African-American cadet to graduate from the United States Military Academy.

1888 Crown Prince Wilhelm became Kaiser Wilhelm II and is the last emperor of the German Empire.

1896 The most destructive tsunami in Japan’s history killed more than 22,000 people.

1904 A fire aboard the steamboat SS General Slocum in New York City‘s East River killed 1000.

1905 Princess Margaret of Connaught married Gustaf, Crown Prince of Sweden.

1909 Representatives from England, Australia and South Africa met at Lord’s and formed the Imperial Cricket Conference.

1910 David Rose, American songwriter, composer and orchestra leader, was born (d. 1990).

1911 W.V. Awdry, British children’s writer, was born (d. 1997).

1911 Tabulating Computing Recording Corporation (IBM) was incorporated.

1913 The Battle of Bud Bagsak in the Philippines concluded.

1916 U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill incorporating the Boy Scouts of America, making them the only American youth organization with a federal charter.

1919 John Alcock and Arthur Brown completed the first nonstop transatlantic flight at Clifden, County Galway.

1920 Duluth lynchings in Minnesota.

1920 A new border treaty between Germany and Denmark gave northern Schleswig to Denmark.

1934 The U.S. Great Smoky Mountains National Park was founded.

1935 Jack Lovelock won the “Mile of the Century“.

Lovelock wins ‘Mile of the century’

1937 A German expedition led by Karl Wien lost sixteen members in an avalanche on Nanga Parbat. The worst single disaster to occur on an 8000m peak.

1943 Muff Winwood, British songwriter and bassist (Spencer Davis Group), was born.

1944 World War II: Battle of Saipan: The United States invaded Saipan.

1944 In the Saskatchewan general election, the CCF, led by Tommy Douglas, was elected and forms the first socialist government of North America.

1945 The General Dutch Youth League (ANJV) was founded in Amsterdam.

1946 Noddy Holder, British singer (Slade), was born.

1949 – Simon Callow, British actor, was born.

1949 – Russell Hitchcock, Australian singer (Air Supply), was born.

1954 UEFA (Union des Associations Européennes de Football) was formed in Basle.

1955 The Eisenhower administration stages the first annual “Operation Alert” (OPAL) exercise, an attempt to assess the USA’s preparations for a nuclear attack.

1959The Chinese Gooseberry was renamed kiwifruit.

Chinese gooseberry becomes kiwifruit

1963 Helen Hunt, American actress, was born.

1971 Nathan Astle, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1973 Pia Miranda, Australian actress, was born.

1978 King Hussein of Jordan married American Lisa Halaby, who took the name Queen Noor.

1982 Mike Delany, All Black, was born.

1985 Rembrandt’s painting Danaë was   attacked by a man (later judged insane) who threw sulfuric acid on the canvas   and cut it twice with a knife.

1991 Birth of the first federal political party in Canada that supported Quebec nationalism, le Bloc Québécois.

1992 The United States Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Álvarez-Machaín that it was permissible for the USA to forcibly extradite suspects in foreign countries and bring them to the USA for trial, without approval from those other countries.

1994 Israel and Vatican City established full diplomatic relations.

1996 The Provisional Irish Republican Army exploded a large bomb in the middle of Manchester.

2002 Near earth asteroid 2002 MN missed the Earth by 75,000 miles (121,000 km), about one-third of the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

2012 – Nik Wallenda becomes the first person to successfully tightrope walk over Niagara Falls.

2013 – A bomb exploded on a bus in the Pakistani city of Quetta, killing at least 25 people and wounding 22 others.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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