Political story of the day

19/06/2014

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 won’t necessarily be the most important one, and today’s isn’t:

Politics. It just IS cricket: Sports diplomacy at the UN – Audrey Young:

The United Nations hasn’t seen so much fun in ages.

The Palestinian chief diplomat at the UN tried out his first game of cricket.

The Prime Minister told risqué jokes about his wife.

And Foreign Minister Murray McCully was stumped, possibly for the first time in his life.

Cricketing legend Sir Richard Hadlee was the draw card on the East Lawn of the United Nations at an event to promote the Cricket World Cup next year jointly hosted by New Zealand and Australia, starting February 14. . .

Make cricket, not war?


Facebook down, back up

19/06/2014

Facebook went down this evening.

Emergency services report no major problems.

However counselling services report a rush of calls from people seeking advice on communicating with people face to face.

Media were also busy with photo opportunities of people talking to each other, reading books and even working.


Word of the day

19/06/2014

Timon – one who hates or distrusts humankind; a misanthrope.


Valedictory roster

19/06/2014

Parliament’s Business Committee has released the roster for valedictory speeches from retiring MPs:

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

(At the conclusion of the General Debate)

4.00pm – 4.15pm Dr Cam Calder

4.15pm – 4.30pm John Hayes

4.30pm – 4.45pm Chris Auchinvole

4.45pm – 5.00pm Colin King

5.00pm – 5.15pm Hon Chris Tremain

5.15pm – 5.30pm Hon Kate Wilkinson

Thursday, 24 July 2014

4.45pm – 5.00pm Dr Rajen Prasad

5.00pm – 5.15pm Darien Fenton

5.15pm – 5.30pm Hon Dr Pita Sharples

5.30pm – 5.45pm Hon Tariana Turia

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

(At the conclusion of the General Debate)

4.00pm – 4.15pm Dr Paul Hutchison

4.15pm – 4.30pm Hon Phil Heatley

4.30pm – 4.45pm Eric Roy

4.45pm – 5.00pm Shane Ardern

5.00pm – 5.15pm Hon Tau Henare

5.15pm – 5.30pm H V Ross Robertson

5.30pm – 5.45pm Hon Tony Ryall

The Herald opined that valedictories should be the preserve of “deserving” MPs:

No fewer than 14 National MPs are retiring at the coming election, plus a couple from other parties. While the turnover is refreshing for public life, it carries a cost if every departee gives a valedictory address. . . .

Few voters could name many of those retiring this year. Many are leaving because they have not been able to make much impact and accept that they should give others a chance. More credit to them, but valedictory time should be reserved for those who have made their mark and will be missed.

That is very ungracious and also shows a depressing level of ignorance about the role of MPs.

Most of the good work MPs do never makes the headlines, much of it can’t because it’s helping people over matters which must remain private.

Maiden speeches and valedictories are among the best speeches given.

All MPs deserve the opportunity to do one and in doing so show their work and parliament in a far better light than it’s normally portrayed.


How democratic was the selection process?

19/06/2014

The Internet Party has selected 15 candidates.

““We ran a rigorous, merit-based selection process, with rankings reflecting a combination of party membership input, using digital technology, alongside executive consideration.  . . “

Does that process, particularly the weight given to executive consideration, fit the rules?:

The Electoral Act requires registered parties to follow democratic procedures in candidate selection, which should be set out in the rules. 

Was the Internet Party process democratic?

I feel a Tui ad coming on.

 

 

 

 


Rural round-up

19/06/2014

Researcher reveals dairy soil benefits – John Gibb:

Spreading cowshed effluent on fields and and undertaking irrigation are improving soil quality on dairy farms, a University of Otago PhD student, Bonface Manono, says.

Mr Manono recently completed his PhD research, which involved studying soil quality at 41 farms in the Waitaki district, most of them shareholders in the Morven, Glenavy, Ikawai Irrigation Co (MGI).

MGI funded the study, along with the Agriculture Research Group on Sustainability (Argos), and Otago University. . .

Upper Hutt’s vital role in protecting New Zealand:

Upper Hutt will remain central of New Zealand’s biosecurity thanks to a new $65m high-security bio-containment laboratory, to be built on the existing site at Wallaceville.

“The Ministry for Primary Industries’ animal health laboratories play a pivotal role in responding to animal disease outbreaks, protecting public health and assuring our trading partners about our country’s animal disease status,” says Dr William Rolleston, Federated Farmers Biosecurity spokesperson.

“This vital investment is not only necessary but will be welcomed by all parts of the primary industries, particularly those of us in the pastoral sectors. . .

Device improves safety :

An Invercargill-based forestry management company has taken a device marketed for outdoor recreationalists and adapted it as a safety tool for staff and contractors.

Over the past six months, IFS Growth has successfully trialled 10 spot trackers – electronic devices that allow their wearers to send pre-loaded text or email messages to selected cellphones or computers. It plans to buy another 20 over the next year. . . .

Red meat farmers ‘on their own’ to sort out sector crisis – Sally Rae:

Plans for a red meat industry summit appear aborted with Meat Industry Excellence chairman John McCarthy saying farmers are ”on their own” if they want to sort out the industry.

In March, MIE called for an urgent summit to address what it described as a crisis confronting the sector and the country.

But, having canvassed some stakeholders seeking support for a summit, it became quickly apparent it was ”going nowhere”, Mr McCarthy said this week.

”Whilst we have not spoken to all stakeholders, from our initial approaches it was obvious that we were unlikely to get sufficient buy-in to attract government support, let alone get a positive and enduring outcome.” . . .

Scheme for farmers needing a break:

A group of homestay venues is putting up prizes of accommodation for farmers in need of a break away.

Julia Charity, of the New Zealand Homestay Network, said farmers under pressure anywhere in the country, for whatever reason, could be nominated.

The campaign was launched at at the national agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek last week, and Ms Charity said some of the nominations received so far were heartbreaking.

“It’s the people suffering from major trauma, often around a partner dying, and I have been surprised by the number of woman trying to cope farming on their own and often with children,” she said. . .

Synlait Milk realigns senior team:

Synlait Milk has appointed Mike Lee to the newly created role of General Manager Sales reporting to the Managing Director Dr John Penno.

Dr Penno says the appointment follows a decision to combine the previously separate Ingredient and Nutritional sales teams in order to better serve its customers.

“Over the past year we have made significant business development progress particularly with our tier one multinational customers. We are increasingly selling a range of products to them and we need to provide a single point of contact to better manage these relationships. The change to the senior team structure will also increase accountability and reduce operating complexity for us going forward,” said Dr Penno. . . .

Top animal health executive joins Simcro Board:

Former Merial VP adds international experience to aid market expansion

 Simcro has appointed a top animal health executive, Dr. Jorge E. Solé, to its Board.

Dr Solé has worked for more than 30 years in the animal health and crop protection chemical markets, where he has gained extensive experience in global business operations and mergers and acquisitions.

His most recent position in the animal health industry was vice-president of International Business Operations for leading animal health company, Merial, where he was responsible for the Asia, Latin America, Canada and Oceania markets. . . .


Thursday’s quiz

19/06/2014

1. Who said, And God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light, but the Electricity Board said He would have to wait until Thursday to be connected.?

2. Is it Thursday already, if so where did the rest of the week go.

3. How do you say Thursday in three other languages?

4.  What’s the derivation of the word Thursday?

5. If you could change Thursday to another day, which would it be?


Meanwhile what matters more

19/06/2014

Political sideshows might excite political tragics.

But what matters far more are what affects people directly.

One of the biggest of those is the economy and there’s good news on that front today:

Strong growth in construction led to a 1.0 percent rise in gross domestic product (GDP) in the March 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today.

Construction activity grew 12.5 percent, due to large rises in residential and non-residential building. Growth in construction activity was strong in Canterbury and in the rest of the country.

“Construction was responsible for two-thirds of GDP growth this quarter,” national accounts manager Gary Dunnet said. “This is the largest increase in construction in 14 years.”

This is the third consecutive quarter in which GDP has grown by 1.0 percent or more. GDP growth for the year ended March 2014 was 3.3 percent.

The expenditure measure of GDP rose 1.3 percent in the March 2014 quarter. Growth in construction activity was reflected in a 2.1 percent rise in investment. Rises in residential and non-residential building were partly offset by falls in plant, machinery, and equipment and intangible assets.

Spending by New Zealand households was flat, while spending by tourists increased 7.7 percent. Higher tourist spending also drove an increase in exports of travel services, which contributed to a 3.1 percent rise in exports.

The size of the economy (in current prices) was $227 billion for the year ended March 2014.

The third consecutive quarter in which GDP has grown by at least 1% and annual growth of 3.3% – that is a remarkable turnaround in the wake of the GFC.

While earthquake recovery work is helping, growth in construction is not confined to Canterbury.

This reflects the good work led by the government, but Finance Minister Bill English says there is still a big challenge:

. . . “This is the latest in a run of encouraging economic indicators,” Mr English says. “Our challenge is to ensure this growth continues over the long term, because that’s the best way to deliver more jobs and higher incomes for New Zealanders.”

“Business and consumer confidence remains high, manufacturing activity has been expanding for almost a year and a half and the current account deficit is less than half of what it was five or six years ago.

“However, we still have plenty of work ahead of us to ensure these positive indicators continue to translate into real opportunities and progress for New Zealanders and their families.”

The solid growth was widespread across the economy in the March quarter. Construction made the largest contribution, with mining, agriculture, retail trade and accommodation also making positive contributions.

“This confirms businesses are investing for the long-term to support productivity and higher wages,” Mr English says. . .

“We are making good progress but our long-term challenge is to make the enduring structural changes needed for New Zealand to reach its economic potential,” Mr English says.

That will require more of the policies that are working now and none of the anti-growth, higher-tax, higher spending policies the left want to inflict on us.


How many parks does a small car need?

19/06/2014

Spotted this photo last week, taken on Thames Street, Oamaru on Facebook:
FROM TROUBLE-MAKER STEPHEN CARTER OF WESTON WHERE THERE ARE NO FOOTPATHS. I wonder if 45 South TV would be interested in running one of those Worst Driver type programmes, If they ever consider it, I nominate the driver of this car, and suggest we start the show with Parallel Parking..

It’s not my car – wrong colour to start with.

But I do have some sympathy with the driver.

My car is a similar shape and I can’t seen where it starts and ends.

If I had better spatial awareness, no doubt I’d be able to work it out.

As it is I rely on the beeps the car makes when going backwards and the reflection in shop windows.

The parking in the photo hasn’t much to recommend it but two of the shops beyond the car do.

People come from all over the Southern South Island to buy fabric from Silk Centre and shoes from Neat Feet.

They by-pass cities to the north and south to shop at these two stores which do a roaring trade in the wedding and school formal seasons.

That’s something for a small town to celebrate.

 


It’s about trust

19/06/2014

The focus has gone on a letter David Cunliffe wrote 11 years ago.

That he couldn’t remember having written it – when probably all he did was sign it – is not surprising.

That his staff couldn’t find the letter suggests their record keeping isn’t as good as it could be which is bad.

That someone knew about the letter, and didn’t tell anyone in the party suggests the party has enemies within, which is worse.

But the issue of the letter is trivial.

What is far more significant is the money Donghua Liu donated to the party which wasn’t declared.

If he donated more than the limit for disclosure then failure to disclose it is an electoral offence.

What will be equally concerning for the party is that Cunliffe and other MPs have wasted weeks tying to damn National for links with Liu when they too had received money from him.

Someone in the party was giving Cunliffe a large amount of rope which has tripped him up and may yet not just hang him but strangle the party too.

Trust matters.

If there’s such abuse of trust inside Labour, they can’t possibly expect trust from outside.

There will be absolutely no comfort for Labour, or the left in the latest Stuff.co.nz/Ipsos poll:

Labour’s support has slumped to its lowest level since the 2011 election, with leader David Cunliffe battling for survival after it emerged he intervened in a residency application for Chinese businessman Donghua Liu.

In the latest Stuff.co.nz/Ipsos political poll, the party has dropped 6 percentage points to 23 per cent. National is soaring on 56 per cent, which would allow it to govern alone. Click here for full graphics. 

Cunliffe has failed to stop his party’s slide in the poll since he took over as leader in September, and is now facing election humiliation. His support as preferred prime minister slipped to 11 per cent, down two points. Prime Minister John Key edged ahead, up three points to 51.4 per cent. . .

stuffpoll

 

 

 

 

 

The polling was done before the Liu allegations were made public.

However, there is no cause for complacency from National when you look at the response on whether or not it’s time for a change in government.

change

 

 

 

 

 

There are more people thinking it’s not time for a change than thinking it is, but there’s enough people who aren’t sure to tip the balance.

All this mud Labour slung failed to make a hit on National but it has dirtied itself and it has also added to the disenchantment many people have with politicians and politics in general.

Rather than getting the so-called missing million who didn’t vote last time to turn up this time, Labour’s stupidity is likely to result in even fewer people bothering.

Trust matters and people who don’t trust the people or the process aren’t likely to vote at all.


In need of unity

19/06/2014

The Labour Party changed its rules to give unions and members the power to choose its leader.

The result of last year’s three-way contest was a sort-of win for David Cunliffe.

Sort-of, because he had the support of unions and members but not the majority of the caucus.

The result of that has been disaffection and disunity in caucus and tension between MPs and members and unions.

Caucus has, from Saturday, a three-month window to elect another leader.

If they do what will the members and unions think?

They are vital for funds and people-power in the campaign.

But if they think that caucus has at best not supported their choice of leader and possibly sabotaged  him, why would they support the leader those MPs choose?

Whether Cunliffe stays or goes, Labour is a party in desperate need of unity.

It’s also one with a caucus who could stick with the leader they’ve got or get another chosen in desperation, thwarting the members’ and unions’ right to vote for him or her.

Neither would be a recipe for unity.

 

 


June 19 in history

19/06/2014

1179 The Norwegian Battle of Kalvskinnet –  Earl Erling Skakke  was killed, and the battle changed the tide of the civil wars.

1269 King Louis IX of France ordered all Jews found in public without an identifying yellow badge to be fined ten livres of silver.

1306 The Earl of Pembroke’s army defeated Bruce’s Scottish army at the Battle of Methven.

1566 King James I of England and VI of Scotland, was born  (d. 1625).

1586 English colonists left Roanoke Island, N.C., after failing to establish England’s first permanent settlement in America.

1770 Emanuel Swedenborg reported the completion of the Second Coming of Christ in his work True Christian Religion.

1807  Admiral Dmitry Senyavin destroyed the Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Athos.

1816  Battle of Seven Oaks between North West Company and Hudson’s Bay Company, near Winnipeg.

1821  Decisive defeat of the Philikí Etaireía by the Ottomans at Drăgăşani (in Wallachia).

1846 The first officially recorded, organized baseball match was played under Alexander Joy Cartwright’s rules on Hoboken’s Elysian Fields with the New York Base Ball Club defeating the Knickerbockers 23-1. Cartwright umpired.

1850 Princess Louise of the Netherlands married Crown Prince Karl of Sweden-Norway.

1861  Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, British Field Marshal and Commander of British forces in WW I, was born (d. 1928).

1862  The U.S. Congress prohibited slavery in United States territories, nullifying the Dred Scott Case.

1865 Dame May Whitty, English entertainer, was born  (d. 1948).

1865  Over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves in Galveston, were finally informed of their freedom.

1867  Maximilian I of the Mexican Empire was executed by a firing squad in Querétaro.

1870  After all of the Southern States were formally readmitted to the United States, the Confederate States of America ceased to exist.

1875  The Herzegovinian rebellion against the Ottoman Empire began.

1896 Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, was born (d. 1986).

1910  The first Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington.

1915  The USS Arizona (BB-39) was launched from the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York..

1929 Thelma Barlow, English actress, was born.

1934  The Communications Act of 1934 established the United States’ Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

1940 The trans-Pacific liner Niagara was sunk by a German mine off the Northland coast..

Niagara sunk by German mines off Northland

1943  Race riots  in Beaumont, Texas.

1944  World War II: First day of the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

1947 Salman Rushdie, Indian author, was born.

1953  Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed at Sing Sing, in New York.

1961  Kuwait declared independence from the United Kingdom

1963 Rory Underwood, English rugby union footballer, was born.

1964  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was approved after surviving an 83-day filibuster in the United States Senate.

1966 Shiv Sena was founded in Mumbai.

1970  The Patent Cooperation Treaty was signed.

1977 Rebecca Loos, Dutch model, was born.

1981 Moss Burmester, New Zealand swimmer, was born.

1982  In one of the first militant attacks by Hezbollah, David S. Dodge, president of the American University in Beirut, was kidnapped.

1982 – The body of God’s Banker, Roberto Calvi was found hanging beneath Blackfriars Bridge in London.

1987  Basque separatist group ETA committed one of its most violent attacks, in which a bomb is set off in a supermarket, Hipercor, killing 21 and injuring 45.

1990 The international law defending indigenous peoples, Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989, was ratified for the first time by Norway.

2006  Prime ministers of several northern European nations participated in a ceremonial “laying of the first stone” at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Spitsbergen, Norway.

2009  British troops began Operation Panther’s Claw, one of the largest air operations in modern times, when more than 350 troops made an aerial assault on Taliban positions and subsequently repelled Taliban counter-attacks.

2009 – Mass riots involving over 10,000 people and 10,000 police officers break out in Shishou, China, over the dubious circumstances surrounding the death of a local chef.

2009 – Pakistani Armed Forces opened Operation Rah-e-Nijat against the Taliban and other Islamist rebels in the South Waziristan area of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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