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

 


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