Political story of the day

June 18, 2014

 

The round-up of political stories while Politics Daily is taking a break seemed  like a good idea but it was taking too much time.

Instead, I’ll feature a political story of the day and welcome you to add others.

My pick is: Can Cunliffe survive?

John Armstrong doubts it.

David Cunliffe is in deep political trouble. So deep that his resignation as Labour’s leader may now be very much in order. . . .

Andrea Vance explains that his caucus could dump him:

In only two days time, Labour MPs have a three-month window to get rid of David Cunliffe.

The party’s dismal showing in the polls would be reason enough for the leader to be nervous.

But today’s revelations about his dealings with wealthy political donor Donghua Liu should have Cunliffe contemplating a return to the backbenches.

From Friday, his caucus has a small window to dump the leader without triggering a primary-style contest that would require the Labour party membership to vote.

In other words, after having an unpopular choice foisted on them in November, MPs are back in control. . .

What will the majority of members and unions who made Cunliffe leader think of that?


Word of the day

June 18, 2014

Novaturient – desiring or seeking powerful change in one’s life, behaviour, or situation.


“Lius” truth?

June 18, 2014

David Cunliffe is in the news for all the wrong reasons, again.

Labour Party leader David Cunliffe says he did not lie about writing a letter on behalf of controversial businessman Donghua Liu.

A letter from the Labour leader to immigration officials on behalf of Liu was first revealed by the Herald after documents were released under the Official Information Act earlier today.

Mr Cunliffe – who said this week he had never met Donghua Liu or advocated on his behalf – told reporters he did not recall writing the letter.

He said that “I have not lied about anything to do with Mr Liu”, and he would not resign.

“I did not advocate for him. A letter has just come to my attention which is eleven years old.

I simply asked how long a processing process would take.”

Mr Cunliffe said he still had no recollection of meeting Mr Liu.

“I simply do not recall ever having met him.” . . .

There is nothing wrong with the letter.

MPs write this sort of missive frequently to help constituents who are having trouble with government departments.

There’s not necessarily anything wrong with him not recalling the letter.

Who would remember one of many such letters written 11 years ago?

The big problem is Labour’s record keeping.

Labour expended a lot of time and effort criticising National links to Liu when he had donated to Labour.

Someone in the party must have known that.

Someone in the party must have known about the letter.

That someone didn’t tell Cunliffe who now looks as is he’s been “Lius” with the truth.

That it might have been by omission rather than commission is irrelevant when it joins a list of other mis-steps and mis-spokes.


Rural round-up

June 18, 2014

N. Otago couple sell Angus bull for $55,000:

A joint record of $55,000 in this season’s bull sales has been achieved by North Otago Angus breeders Neil and Rose Sanderson.

Fossil Creek Hero H006 was purchased by Tangihau Station, near Gisborne, at the Sandersons’ recent on-farm sale at Ngapara.

Earlier this month, a Hereford bull from David and Rosemary Morrow’s Okawa stud, near Mt Somers, also sold for $55,000 to the Kokonga stud at Tuakau. . .

The world now produces more farmed fish than beef – Not PC:

You know, years ago when this blog first started, we had a discussion about property rights in fish, large and small, and talked about property rights as a way both to save the oceans, and to de-politicise them.

The solution to the imminent and watery Tragedy of the Commons represented by whale-harvesting and out of control fishing is similar to the problem solved by nineteenth century cattlemen by the imperfect means of branding, and eventually by the invention of barbed wire. It is one of recognising and legally protecting the property right in these animals.
    And no, it’s not easy to protect property rights in big fish, but then there was a time when it wasn’t easy to protect property rights in cattle either, particularly on America’s great plains.  But that was before barbed wire.
    Branding and barbed wire were inventions that allowed the cattlemen to identify “their cattle” and to ask the law for its protection for them. The solution for those who wish to protect “their whales” is essentially the same  — a technological advance that allows them to identify to themselves and others which whales are theirs, and which therefore have the full protection of law. . .

Awards recognise pride in property:

Taranaki sheep and beef farmers Robin and Jacqueline Blackwell have always taken pride in their property. That pride was publically recognised at this year’s Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

The couple took home four awards: the Beef + Lamb New Zealand livestock award, Hill Laboratories harvest award, Donaghys stewardship award and the Taranaki Regional Council sustainability award.

Blackwells farm Mangaotea, a 658ha mainly flat to rolling sheep and beef property at Tariki, north east of Stratford. It sits at 200-300m above sea level and averages 1800mm of rain annually. Mangaotea is about 20 minutes drive from the base of Mt Taranaki and includes some steeper ridges. It winters 11,300 stock units, with a cattle to sheep ratio of 90:10. The main focus is producing bulls for an annual September sale on the property and grazing young dairy stock for long-term clients. . .

Success for Plant & Food Research’s Seafood Team:

Plant & Food Research’s Alistair Jerrett and the team involved in the Precision Seafood Harvesting (PSH) programme had several reasons to celebrate at last night’s second annual KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards. Mr Jerrett’s 30-year career as an innovator and entrepreneur within the New Zealand seafood industry saw him collect the coveted Researcher Entrepreneur Award, before he and his team also collected the People’s Choice Award and runner up in the BNZ Supreme Award category.

The awards, held at Auckland’s Viaduct Event Centre last night was attended by around 250 people from throughout the research, business and investment sectors, including politicians Hon. Steven Joyce, Nikki Kaye and Grant Robertson, and New Zealander of the year Sir Ray Avery. The annual awards aim to bring together the people and technologies changing the research commercialisation landscape in New Zealand.  . .

Long shelf life for new type of pear:

Crown Research Institute, Plant and Food Research has bred a new variety of pear which will be grown in Australia.

The fruit has been released by Prevar, a joint venture between Pipfruit New Zealand, Apple and Pear Australia and Plant and Food.

A Prevar spokesperson said the new cultivar combined characteristics from European, Japanese and Chinese pears, which gave it a crisp, juicy texture. . . .

US visit focuses on duty-free access to TPP markets:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand CEO, Dr Scott Champion pressed home the need for comprehensive tariff elimination in the Trans Pacific partnership during a visit to the United States last week.

Dr Champion met with the leadership of several major US trade and farming associations, including Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s US counterparts, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the American Sheep Industry Association, as well as state and federal government agencies, members of the US Congress, and US and New Zealand businesses. . .

Comvita lifts cash component of $12.3 mln NZ Honey purchase:

(BusinessDesk) – Comvita, which makes health-care products and supplements based on honey, has lifted the cash component of its takeover offer for New Zealand Honey, the Timaru-based honey produce owned by the New Zealand Honey Producers Cooperative that operates the Hollands Honey, 3 Bees and Sweet Meadow brands.

The purchase price will now comprise $10.3 million in cash and $2 million Comvita shares issued at $3.50 apiece, Comvita said in a statement. The deal had originally been for $7.3 million of cash and $5 million of shares. The NZX-listed company last traded at $3.80. . . .


What kind of wife are you?

June 18, 2014

What kind of wife are you?

The peacemaker:

You’re the “yes” woman. Sweet, supportive, gentle, and very easy to get along with. Because of your personality you may be misunderstood, but once people get to know you, they realize how lovely and fascinating you really are. You’re perhaps the greatest supporter of leaders, and are very loyal and committed. You love your life and know that others envy you.

I’m not sure my farmer would regard this as entirely accurate.

 


Which men are violent to children?

June 18, 2014

The Parenting Place asks: which men are violent to children?

The news report of a 32 year old man arrested in relation to the death of an infant will not be the only incident of its type that you hear of this year – men assaulting children happens far too often. It’s tragic in many, many ways and one of the sad consequences of it is that stories like this tend to obscure a very important fact: men are good with children and good for children.

Not all men, obviously.

But not most men either, just as not all women are good with children and some are abusive.

Research shows which men are statistically likely to be safer and which are more likely to be a risk. By the way, it does not mean that a man with ‘risk factors’ will actually be violent to children, it is just the way the probability tilts.

A big factor: if a man is violent to women he is far more likely to be violent to children[1]. Even if he doesn’t physically harm the children, just witnessing the violence against their mother can create many of the same long term psychological consequences as actual physical abuse[2]. Sadly, one of those long term consequences is that those children, in turn, are likely to grow to be violent abusers themselves[3] in later life. It certainly is not their fault, but if you are looking for risk factors, a man who grew up in a violent, abusive home is more of a risk.

A third risk factor is the type of relationship the man has with the mother of the children. A child with married biological parents has less than a tenth the risk of abuse as child with a single mother with a boyfriend[4]. A 2005 study published in Pediatrics found that “[c]hildren residing in households with unrelated adults were nearly 50 times as likely to die of inflicted injuries than children residing with 2 biological parents.”[5] Why? It seems marriage makes good men better. A man willing to enter into a committed long term relationship with the mother and the child is willing to ‘settle down’, learn the skills and be attentive to children.

This doesn’t mean violence doesn’t happen within marriages, but the chances of it happening are reduced in committed long-term relationships.

I want to wade a little bit beyond the evidence and research and get into the deep water of conjecture and opinion – what is going to be our response to the idea that there are damaged, dangerous men in our world? “Mums: guard your hearts and homes! Don’t let them in and turn them out if they get in!” is too harsh, not just on men but on women as well. Just as these men are largely the products of circumstances they did not choose, so are the women who will be vulnerable to them. Their tragically low self-esteem stops them from seeing what might be obvious. For our little families to survive, our society needs to be a big family – look out for each other. Warn, protect, support.

Normal is different for different people and families.

For me it was parents who loved each other and their children. I was surrounded by adults who modelled good behaviour, set boundaries and enforced consequences when they were breached.

That taught me not just what was acceptable to and expected of me, but also what I could expect and accept from others.

Sadly this isn’t normal for those who suffer from violence and nor for many who inflict it on others.

That doesn’t excuse the behaviour but it helps to explain it and points to one of the ways of breaking the cycle – teaching people the importance of committed and relationships in loving homes where unrestrained anger and violence are neither normal nor acceptable.

That’s one prescription but it won’t be easy to administer.

 

 

 


Dairy prices up in GDT auction

June 18, 2014

The price index increased .9%  in this morning’s GlobalDairyTrade auction.

That’s the first price rise since February and follow eight drops.

gdt19614

 

 

 

 

gdt196

 


Who’s pulling IMP strings?

June 18, 2014

Who is pulling the Internet Mana Party’s strings?

This profile of Kim Dotcom gives some answers:

Using the hacker name “Kimble”, after the character Dr Richard Kimble in The Fugitive, Dotcom claimed in German media interviews in 1992 that he had bypassed Nasa, the Pentagon and Citibank security systems, as well as hacking hundreds of private branch exchange (PBX) systems belonging to US companies and selling the access codes for $200 (£120) each.

Dotcom was arrested in 1994 for trafficking in stolen phone-calling card numbers, and eventually convicted of 11 counts of computer fraud and 10 of data espionage. He was given a two-year suspended sentence since at 20, he was still under age when the crimes were committed.

Dotcom set up premium toll chat lines in Hong Kong and the Caribbean and then used a “war dialer” software program to call the lines using the stolen card numbers, which earned him €61,000. . .

2001 Dotcom bought €375,000 in shares in a nearly bankrupt company, Letsbuyit.com, a victim of the dotcom crash. . .

Dotcom declared his intention of investing €50m in the company and the news caused the stock price of LetsBuyIt to surge. Dotcom then cashed out, making a profit of €1.5 million.

2002 In January 2002, Dotcom decided to go into exile.

TÜV Rhineland and BMP went into damage control mode and Dotcom was cut out of management in all the companies, with the authorities starting to take an interest in a loan he had taken out when he started Monkey.

“Everything that has grown up around Mr Schmitz is, to say the least, somewhat dubious,” TÜV spokesman Tobias Kerchoff told the German business site Handelsblatt.com in June 2001.

The German hacking community had also turned against him, so Dotcom decided to “flee Germany“. He ended up in Thailand but was promptly arrested and sent back to Germany, where he pleaded guilty to embezzlement charges.

2003  He was sentenced to two years’ probation and fined €100,000 in Germany. After that he moved to Hong Kong where he registered several companies – Trendax, Kimvestor Ltd, Monkey Ltd and Data Protect Ltd.

2005 Dotcom changed Data Protect to Megaupload, and he started a file-hosting website, which is where he really made his millions.

Anyone could register to have an account with Megaupload, where they could host both their own legitimate files, as well as pirated movie and music content, which could then be shared with people on forums and file-sharing websites. . .

How could Hone Harawira, Laila Harre and their fellow travellers have allowed themselves to be bought by this man?

And what will having a political party led by people who’ve been bought by the man pulling its strings do to New Zealand’s reputation as the least corrupt country in the world?

 


How much, how often?

June 18, 2014

The plot thickens in the saga of Donghua Liu’s donations to the Labour Party:

A Labour Cabinet Minister presented a bottle of wine to the partner of businessman Donghua Liu at a fundraiser for the party.

The Herald has obtained a photograph of Rick Barker with Juan Zhang, who has two children with Liu, after he won an auction for the bottle at an Auckland restaurant in June 2007.

It is not known how much Liu paid for the wine – believed to be signed by then-Prime Minister Helen Clark – and Mr Barker said he presented auction prizes several times at Labour fundraisers. . . .

Two sources have told the Herald that Liu paid $15,000 at an auction in 2007 for a book signed by Helen Clark.

Labour general secretary Tim Barnett said a check of the party’s records showed no donation from Liu under his name.

However, he said it was possible he made donations at the local electorate level and had not been recorded by the party’s central administration. . .

It doesn’t matter at what level of the party the donations are made nor whether it’s a single donation or several.

Once a donor gives more than the disclosure threshold – which was $10,000 in 2007 – it must be declared.

At the very least this shows sloppiness in Labour’s record keeping and is yet another example of the party acting in the apparent belief that electoral law doesn’t apply to it.

We’re left wondering how much did Liu give to the party, how often and how much was given by who else that wasn’t disclosed as the law requires it to be?


Left and Right agree

June 18, 2014

Danyl Mclauchlan and Bob Jones both have a way with words.

Although they’re from opposite ends of the political spectrum they have come to a similar conclusion:

Mclauchlan opines at Dim Post:

. . . Labour are trending down, just like last time – but now their votes are (mostly) going to National, not the Greens. Which makes sense to me: we have no idea what National plans to do in its third term, but that lack of vision is still preferable to being governed by a collection of left-wing parties who all hate each other but want to run the country together. . .

And Jones at the Herald:

. . . If anything, his efforts will hugely harm the Opposition cause in Balkanising and confusing its message, thus presenting an electoral option with, on one side, a rabble of dissimilar, mutually antagonistic parties, all with unpopular leaders and wildly different messages, set against a stable governing party with the most popular leader in our history. . .

Yesterday’s Herald-DigiPoll, on which Mclauchlan was commenting shows National well above the combined left bloc which is swapping votes among parties at that end of the spectrum but not getting any closer to a majority.

However, the poll gives no comfort to National.

. . . And yet nobody in the National Party appears to believe they can win a clear majority of the vote on September 20. Though Labour and the Greens together have amassed not much more than 40 per cent in our latest poll, and New Zealand First are well below the 5 per cent threshold for contention, interest still centres on National’s need of viable partners. . . .

Gaining 50% or more of the votes under First Past the Post was rare, it’s never been done under MMP.

National is a victim of its own success, it’s strength has weakened potential coalition partners.

But while commentators worry about potential partners, the task for the party is to  maximise its own vote and ensure supporters aren’t complacent about the risk the left poses.

McLauchlan is wrong about National not having a vision, but right that the alternative is being governed by a collection of left-wing parties who all hate each other but want to run the country together. . .

And Jones clearly articulates the contrast between  a rabble of dissimilar, mutually antagonistic parties, all with unpopular leaders and wildly different messages, set against a stable governing party with the most popular leader in our history.

There’s a clear choice but the big difference between National and the left bloc which shows in successive polls is very unlikely to be maintained on polling day.


June 18 in history

June 18, 2014

618  Li Yuan became Emperor Gaozu of Tang, initiating three centuries of Tang Dynasty rule over China.

1178  Five Canterbury monks saw what was possibly the Giordano Bruno crater being formed. It is believed that the current oscillations of the moon’s distance from the earth (on the order of metres) are a result of this collision.

1264 The Parliament of Ireland met at Castledermot in County Kildare, the first definitively known meeting of this Irish legislature.

1429  French forces under the leadership of Joan of Arc defeated the main English army under Sir John Fastolf at the Battle of Patay.

1757  Battle of Kolín between Prussian Forces under Frederick the Great of Prussia and an Austrian Army under the command of Field Marshal Count Leopold Joseph von Daun in the Seven Year’s War.

1767  Samuel Wallis, an English sea captain, sighted Tahiti. He is considered the first European to reach the island.

1778  American Revolutionary War: British troops abandoned Philadelphia.

1812  War of 1812: The U.S. Congress declared war on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1815  Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Waterloo leads to Napoleon Bonaparte abdicating the throne of France for the second and last time.

1830  French invasion of Algeria

1858  Charles Darwin received a paper from Alfred Russel Wallace that included nearly identical conclusions about evolution as Darwin’s own.  which prompted Darwin to publish his theory.

1859  First ascent of Aletschhorn, second summit of the Bernese Alps.

1873 –  Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 presidential election.

1886 George Mallory, English mountaineer, was born  (d. 1924).

1887  The Reinsurance Treaty between Germany and Russia was signed.

1895  Minnie Dean’s trial for murdering a baby placed in her care began at the Invercargill Supreme Court.

Minnie Dean goes on trial

1900  Empress Dowager Longyu of China ordered all foreigners killed.

1904 Manuel Rosenthal, French conductor and composer, was born  (d. 2003).

1908 Japanese immigration to Brazil began when 781 people arrive in Santos aboard the Kasato-Maru ship

1908  The University of the Philippines was established.

1913  Sylvia Field Porter, American economist and journalist, was born  (d. 1991)

1915  Red Adair, American firefighter, was born (d. 2004) .

1920 Ian Carmichael, English actor, was born (d. 2010).

1923  Checker Taxi put its first taxi on the streets.

1927 Paul Eddington, English actor, was born  (d. 1995).

1928  Aviator Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly in an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean (she was a passenger,Wilmer Stutz was the pilot and Lou Gordon the mechanic).

1930  Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Franklin Institute were held.

1936 Denny Hulme, New Zealand race car driver, was born  (d. 1992).

HulmeDenis196508.jpg

1936 Ronald Venetiaan, President of Suriname, was born.

1940  Appeal of June 18 by Charles de Gaulle.

1940   “Finest Hour” speech by Winston Churchill.

1942 Paul McCartney, British singer, songwriter and musician (The Beatles, Wings), was born.

1945  William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) was charged with treason.

1946  Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, a Socialist called for a Direct Action Day against the Portuguese in Goa.

1953  The Republic of Egypt was declared and the monarchy abolished.

1953  A United States Air Force C-124 crashed and burned near Tokyo killing 129.

1954 Pierre Mendès-France became Prime Minister of France.

1959 Governor of Louisiana Earl K. Long was committed to a state mental hospital; he responded by having the hospital’s director fired and replaced with a crony who proceeded to proclaim him perfectly sane.

1965  Vietnam War: The United States used B-52 bombers to attack National Liberation Front guerrilla fighters in South Vietnam.

1972 Staines air disaster – 118 were killed when a plane crashes 2 minutes after take off from London Heathrow Airport.

1979 SALT II was signed by the United States and the Soviet Union.

1981 The AIDS epidemic was formally recognised by medical professionals in San Francisco, California.

1983 Space Shuttle program: STS-7, Astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.

1984 A major clash between about 5,000 police and a similar number of miners at Orgreave, South Yorkshire, during the 1984-1985 UK miners’ strike.

1994 The Troubles: the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) opened fire inside a pub in Loughinisland, Northern Ireland, killing six civilians and wounding five.

1996 Ted Kaczynski, suspected of being the Unabomber, was indicted on ten criminal counts.

2001 Protests in Manipur over the extension of the ceasefire between Naga insurgents and the government of India.

2006  The first Kazakh space satellite, KazSat was launched.

2007 – The Charleston Sofa Super Store fire resulted in the deaths of nine firefighters.

2009 – The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), a NASA robotic spacecraft was launched.

2012 – Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud was appointed Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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