Word of the day

September 8, 2014

Canaille – the common people, proletariat; the masses; mob, rabble; riffraff.


Greenpeace ad is electioneering

September 8, 2014

The High Court has supported the Electoral Commission’s contention that a Greenpeace advertisement is electioneering.

The High Court in Wellington has today released a judgment in two cases filed concerning decisions of the Electoral Commission (Greenpeace of New Zealand Inc & Ors v Electoral Commission CIV-2014-485-8997) and (Greenpeace of New Zealand Inc v Electoral Commission CIV-2014-485-8998).

In the first case, Greenpeace and others were seeking a statutory declaration that the Climate Voter website was not an election advertisement under section 3A of the Electoral Act 1993. The Court rejected Greenpeace’s arguments and said that the website that the Electoral Commission considered when providing its advisory opinion was an election advertisement for the purposes of the Electoral Act.

In the second case, regarding a Greenpeace website criticising Simon Bridges, the Court has declared that the website was not an election advertisement as it related to his role as Minister of Energy and could not reasonably be regarded as encouraging or persuading people not to vote for a candidate or party.

The Electoral Commission will need to carefully consider the judgment and discuss the implications of the decision further with Greenpeace and others.

No further comment will be made while the judgment is under consideration . . .

Of course the advertisement was electioneering.

It was clearly aimed at persuading people to vote the way Greenpeace and its fellow travellers wanted them to.


Harden up Hone

September 8, 2014

Patrick Gower says Hone Harawira needs to harden up:

Hone needs to stand up and stop the Internet Party from walking all over him on the cannabis issue.

Hone is staunchly anti-weed, but the Internet Party is pro-weed.

And even though Hone is the leader of the Internet Mana merger, he is being forced to adopt the pro-weed position.

As Hone himself would say: “This just ain’t right, folks”.

I actually feel sorry for Hone ending up in this position where he is being forced to buckle on his principles.

I know Hone Harawira well.

He is a man of principle. He stands up for what he believes in. He usually doesn’t back down.

But it seems the anti-weed Hone has been rolled. . .

Kim Dotcom managed to persuade Laila Harre to set aside many of her principles in agreeing to lead his party and now the puppet master is pulling Harawira’s strings over drug policy too.

The string pulling must have been painful because Harawira needed a break to get over it:

Hone Harawira denies any rift with Internet Mana co-leader Laila Harre.

Rather, he says he’s been taking a break at home during the election campaign.

Mr Harawira told The Nation programme today he’d been going “hard out” and had decided to take a break.

He was questioned about why he was the only politician to take a holiday during the election campaign.

“You don’t get a holiday even in the north – I stayed home,” Mr Harawira said. . .

How hard he’s working for his party is up to them and the puppet master who’s funding them.

But this man is also an MP, getting an MP’s salary to work for his constituents.

If he can’t cope with the work the taxpayer funds and campaigning it’s the campaigning that ought to stop, not the job he’s supposed to do to earn his salary.


Rural round-up

September 8, 2014

Ballance Farm Environment Awards Show Farmers Care:

Bay of Plenty dairy farmer Trevor Hamilton entered the Ballance Farm Environment Awards because he had a point to prove.

Trevor and his wife Harriet run a large-scale family business that spans ten farms – five in Canterbury, four in Bay of Plenty and one in Hawke’s Bay. The operation is on track to produce three million kilograms of Milksolids this season, with four million targeted for 2015/16.

Starting from scratch as a sharemilker in 1980, Trevor says his aim is to create an intergenerational dairy farming business. But he is acutely aware that the scale of the operation opens it up to claims that its growth has come at the expense of the environment.

Entering the Ballance Farm Environment Awards gave him the opportunity to prove this wasn’t the case. . . .

NZ possum hits fashion catwalk –  Sally Rae:

With apologies to Dame Edna, it’s Goodbye Possums.

New Zealand’s possum fur industry is estimated to be worth $130 million annually to the country’s economy.

Perino, a blend of possum fur and cashmere or merino yarn, recently featured on the catwalk in garments from the latest collections from Zambesi and The Noble Savage. . .

Lavender: The sweet smell of success – Sally Rae:

Two novice lavender growers from Central Otago nearly stole the show at this year’s New Zealand Lavender Growers Association awards.

In the oil competition, Joth Hankinson and Tony Culshaw, from Central Otago Produce, won two of the three trophies on offer – the Eoin Johnson Memorial Trophy for best lavandin oil, and the Ken Wilson Memorial Trophy, for best grosso.

Two particular types of lavender were grown commercially for oil – angustifolia or English lavender, and intermedia lavender – also called lavandin – a hybrid cross between an angustifolia and a latafolia, which grows in the wild at higher altitudes in the Mediterranean. . .

Drone big success on and off the farm – Rob Tipa:

A Southland family pioneering the use of drones on New Zealand farms believes there is a massive gap between the science, research and technology available today and its application on farms.

Neil Gardyne and his 14-yearold son Mark made television and news headlines internationally last year when they started flying drones over their 466ha hillcountry farms in the Otama Valley in Eastern Southland.

Instead of climbing on a quad bike twice a day to check on hogget lambing, the Gardynes programmed a drone to cover the same ground from the air. What took them two hours on a bike opening and closing 120 farm gates, took 20 minutes flight time for the drone. . .

No growth benefits shown with docking – Sally Brooker:

Docking lambs’ tails has no long-term beneficial or detrimental effect on lamb growth rates from docking to slaughter, a new study has found.

Alliance Group Ltd, one of New Zealand’s largest meat processing companies, Beef and Lamb New Zealand and the Ministry for Primary Industries Sustainable Farming Fund commissioned the research after farmers wondered if leaving tails intact improved lamb growth rates from docking to slaughter and British retailers had started asking about tail length.

AbacusBio consultant Jo Kerslake presented the results at a Beef and Lamb field day in South Canterbury last week. . . .

 Rustling must be stopped – but how?  – Jon Morgan:

    I suppose running sheep in a park in central Auckland is asking for trouble. The temptation of a week’s meals there for the taking is too much to expect the big city’s criminal element to ignore.

In the latest of a string of incidents, rustlers using dogs and traps targeted the 600-ewe flock in Cornwall Park.

Members of the public disturbed three men and three large dogs capturing new-born lambs. And last month rustlers stole at least six sheep – including two pregnant ewes and a large ram – from the park’s farm.

A heavily pregnant ewe was caught in a leg-hold trap but spotted by a member of the public before it could be taken.

Another ewe that was due to give birth to triplets disappeared two days earlier and three more ewes and a 110kg ram were taken a few months earlier. . .


Aye or noooo?

September 8, 2014

The ayes have it – just – in a poll on the vote for Scottish independence:

THE YES CAMPAIGN is ahead in the Scottish referendum battle for the first time, according to a poll, amid signs of infighting among senior figures backing the union.

The YouGov research for the Sunday Times found 51% supported independence, compared to 49% who wanted to remain in the UK.

The results are the latest evidence of a dramatic surge for the Yes Scotland campaign, which has seen the gap between the sides – once regularly in double digits – vanish in a matter of months.

The YouGov poll showed the Yes vote increasing by four points, while No dropped by the same number.

The headline figures exclude those who would not vote or are undecided. With those groups included independence was backed by 47% and staying in the UK 45%.

The two point gap is within the margin of error for such polls, meaning the contest, which climaxes on September 18, is effectively too close to call. . .

Scotland has a population of about 5.2 million people in an area of 78,387 km². Its GDP last year was estimated to be $US245.267 billion.

To give some perspective, New Zealand has 4.5 million people spread over 268,021 km². Its GDP last year was estimated to be $US1.81.1 billion.

One argument used by those in favour of independence is that Scotland would be better off keeping all the royalties from oil rather than sharing them with the rest of the United Kingdom.

Whether or not that would leave the country better after shouldering its share of the costs which are currently shared by the rest of the UK is debatable.

However, economics is only one consideration. Nationalism is another and that is based on a lot of emotion which usually trumps reason and that could be why more Scots polled are saying aye rather than nooo.


Stronger voice for Maori with National

September 8, 2014

Helen Clark called the Maori Party the last cab off the rank.

That comment soured relationships between Labour and the Maori Party.

John Key recognised the mana of co-leaders Tariana Turia, Pita Sharples and their party by inviting them into coalition in 2008 and 2011 even though he could have governed without them.

Although it voted with  National for confidence and supply the Maori party often voted against it on other legislation and it has said it could support either a National or Labour government.

But David Cunliffe isn’t prepared to offer them that opportunity:

. . . Speaking to Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking this morning, Mr Cunliffe said he intended to only include the Green Party and NZ First in any government.

Asked if he was also ruling out the Maori Party, he said he would possibly talk to Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell after the election but “I just won’t have them in Government.”

He did not believe Mr Flavell would opt to side with Labour if it was in a kingmaker position, despite Mr Flavell saying they were open to working with either side and would take their lead from what Maori voters wanted.

“People need to know before the election that a vote for the Maori Party is a vote for the National Party.” . . .

This is the man who earlier in the year was doing a Winston Peters in yeah-nahing over whether he’d work with Internet Mana because it was up to voters to decide.

Now he’s ruling out the much more moderate Maori Party.

He’s probably gambling that this will hurt the Maori Party but the message he’s sending Maori is that they’ll have a much stronger voice and more influence with a National-led government.

Tama Iti has already got that message:

. . .  Iti said he had always supported the Maori Party and had decided to stand to boost the party’s support and because he endorsed the work it had done in government.

“Not very long ago I wouldn’t have thought about it but I see there’s more achievement…with National in terms of the treaty settlements so we have come a long way,” he said.

Having a Maori voice in power had led to gains in areas such as health and social services for Maori and it was important for Maori “to be sitting on the table rather than across the road throwing rocks at each other”. . .

Labour took the Maori seats for granted for years and now it’s ruling the Maori party out of any government it would lead.


National working for and in the south #13

September 8, 2014

Fantastic Fact # 13:


NZ up 1 to 17th for global competitiveness

September 8, 2014

New Zealand has improved its rank on the Global Competitiveness Index and extended the lead over Australia, in the World Economic Forum’s annual survey.

The country is now ranked 17th on the Global Competitiveness Index, up one place from last year when it broke into the top 20 for the first time. This is New Zealand’s highest position to date, and represents an overall improvement of eight places since 2012.

In contrast, Australia’s highly restrictive labour markets continued to drag on the country’s competitiveness ranking, which slipped one place to 22 – well short of the 15th position it occupied in 2009.

A change of government here would reduce labour market flexibility, making it more risky and expensive to employ people.

The damage a Labour/Green/New Zealand First/ Internet mana government would inflict on the country can be seen by the damage the Australian Labor government did there.

Dr Oliver Hartwich, Executive Director of the New Zealand Initiative – which helped compile the survey data – said the continued improvement reflected the strength of the country’s institutions and regulatory settings, particularly in the education, health and labour sectors.

“The investments that this country has made over time into things like the rule of law, property rights and flexible labour markets are paying dividends now, and the results can be seen in our high rate of GDP growth,” he said.

Hartwich said the report emphasised the need to continue investing in the factors that contributed most to business competitiveness, and not to take the complacent attitude to economic reform seen in Australia over the past few years.

“This country has huge economic opportunities sitting right on our doorstep with the emergence of Asian economies such as China, Indonesia and Malaysia onto the world stage,” he said.

“If we want to grasp these opportunities and improve the lives of everyday New Zealanders, we need to not only double down on the areas where we are strong, but also focus on where we are weakest, such as the quality of our business networks and infrastructure investment.”

Hartwich said a number of other factors could also boost the country’s competitiveness, such as unpicking the restrictions of foreign direct investment, freeing up capital for investment by tackling the housing affordability crisis, and reducing bureaucratic red tape.

The annual Global Competitiveness Report is compiled from 111 indicators, categorised into 12 pillars of competitiveness in four main sub-indices: basic requirements, efficiency enhancers, and innovation and sophistication factors.

The next most competitive countries were Switzerland, Singapore, United States, Finland, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Sweden.

The full report is here.

Competiveness matters for the health of existing businesses and the jobs which depend on them and for attracting new ones.

 


Fool’s Paradise

September 8, 2014

Photo: David Cunliffe wants to hike the minimum wage - it's cynical politics and bad economics. Here's the reality. #keyvcunliffe


Greens to tax good farmers to clean up after bad

September 8, 2014

The Green Party wants to impose a tax on irrigation water and use it to pay for cleaning waterways:

“The Green Party will also put a charge on the use of water for irrigation in order to drive more efficient use of our precious freshwater resources,” said Dr Norman.

“The OECD, New Zealand Treasury and the Ministry for the Environment have all recommended water charging, yet National is sitting on its hands.

“According to Lincoln University’s Public Perceptions of New Zealand’s Environment 2010 study, New Zealanders, including farmers, are strongly supportive of commercial users being charged for the water they use.

“That’s because freshwaters is a common good, and the use of it for private profit should result in a direct benefit to both the environment and wider community.

Why only farmers then, why not all commercial users which would include power companies, food processors, restaurants and hair dressers?

“We will ring fence the money generated by the irrigation charge for water pollution clean-up initiatives.

Dr Norman said that his policies reward good farmers that are doing the right things, whereas National’s policies incentivise poor practice. . .

He’s wrong there.

The Green Party would tax all irrigators and use the money to clean up after the minority who don’t protect and enhance waterways.

There is no incentive for poor practice now and very expensive penalties for anyone who breaches conditions set by regional councils.

This is just another tax by another left-wing party that wants to fund its promises to spend more with other people’s money.

 


September 8 in history

September 8, 2014

70  Roman forces under Titus sacked Jerusalem.

1151 King Richard I of England, was born (d. 1199).

1264  The Statute of Kalisz, guaranteeing Jews safety and personal liberties and giving battei din jurisdiction over Jewish matters, was promulgated by Boleslaus the Pious, Duke of Greater Poland.

1331  Stephen Uroš IV Dušan declared himself king of Serbia.

1380  Battle of Kulikovo – Russian forces defeated a mixed army of Tatars and Mongols, stopping their advance.

1449 Battle of Tumu Fortress – Mongolians capture the Chinese emperor.

1504  Michelangelo’s David was unveiled in Florence.

1514  Battle of Orsha – in one of the biggest battles of the century, Lithuanians and Poles defeated the Russian army.

1565  The Knights of Malta lifted the Turkish siege of Malta that began on May 18.

1727 A barn fire during a puppet show in the village of Burwell in Cambridgeshire killed 78 people.

1755  French and Indian War: Battle of Lake George.

1756  French and Indian War: Kittanning Expedition.

1761 Marriage of King George III to Duchess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

1793 French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of Hondschoote.

1796 French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of Bassano – French forces defeated Austrian troops at Bassano del Grappa.

1831 William IV and Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen were crowned King and Queen of the Great Britain and Ireland.

1841 Antonín Dvořák, Czech composer, was born (d. 1904).

1863 American Civil War: Second Battle of Sabine Pass – on the Texas-Louisiana border at the mouth of the Sabine River, a small Confederate force thwarted a Union invasion of Texas.

1886 Siegfried Sassoon, English poet, was born (d. 1967).

1888 In London, the body of Jack the Ripper‘s second murder victim, Annie Chapman, is found.

1892  The Pledge of Allegiance was first recited.

1900  Galveston Hurricane killed about 8,000 people.

1914  World War I: Private Thomas Highgate became the first British soldier to be executed for desertion during the war.

1921 Harry Secombe, Welsh entertainer, was born (d. 2001).

1921 – 16-year-old Margaret Gorman won the Atlantic City Pageant’s Golden Mermaid trophy; pageant officials later dubbed her the first Miss America.

1923  Honda Point Disaster: nine US Navy destroyers ran aground off the California coast, seven people died.

1925 Peter Sellers, English actor, was born (d. 1980).

1930 3M began marketing Scotch transparent tape.

1932 Patsy Cline, American singer, was born (d. 1963).

1934  A fire aboard the passenger liner SS Morro Castle killed 135 people.

1941  World War II: Siege of Leningrad began.

1943  World War II: United States General Dwight D. Eisenhower publicly announced the Allied armistice with Italy.

1944  World War II: London was hit by a V2 rocket for the first time.

1945 Cold War: United States troops arrived to partition the southern part of Korea in response to Soviet troops occupying the northern part of the peninsula a month earlier.

1945 Ron Pigpen McKernan, American musician (Grateful Dead), was born (d. 1973).

1947 Benjamin Orr, American bassist and singer (The Cars), was born (d. 2000).

1951 Treaty of San Francisco: 48 nations signed a peace treaty with Japan in formal recognition of the end of the Pacific War.

1954 New Zealand signed the Manila Pact which established the South East Asia Treaty Organisation – SEATO.

NZ signs Manila Pact

1959 The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) was established.

1960  US President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicates the Marshall Space Flight Center.

1962  Last run of the famous Pines Express over the Somerset and Dorset Railway line (UK) fittingly using the last steam locomotive built by British Railways, 9F locomotive 92220 Evening Star.

1966  The Severn Bridge was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II.

1966  The first Star Trek series premiered on NBC.

1967  The formal end of steam traction in the North East of England by British Railways.

1968 The Beatles performed their last live TV performance on the David Frost show – singing their new hit “Hey Jude“.

1970  Hijacking (and subsequent destruction) of three airliners to Jordan by Palestinians.

1971 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts was inaugurated, featuring the premiere of Leonard Bernstein‘s Mass.

1974 Watergate Scandal: US President Gerald Ford pardoned former President Richard Nixon for any crimes Nixon may have committed while in office.

1975 US Air Force Tech Sergeant Leonard Matlovich, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, appeared in his Air Force uniform on the cover of Time magazine with the headline “I Am A Homosexual”.

1991  The Republic of Macedonia became independent.

1993 Chinese athlete Wang Junxia set a new women’s 10,000 m world record of 29:31.78, breaking the former record by 42 seconds.

1994  A USAir Boeing 737 crashes in Hopewell Township, Pennsylvania.

2004 NASA’s unmanned spacecraft Genesis crash-landed when its parachute failed to open.

2005 Two EMERCOM Il-76 aircraft landed at a disaster aid staging area at Little Rock Air Force Base; the first time Russia has flown such a mission to North America.

2013 – 11 people are killed in a train collision in Iași County, Romania.


%d bloggers like this: