Word of the day


Frore – frozen; frosty; extremely cold.

Not today


The headline said: November to be cooler than normal.

The story refers to a MetService forecast of frosts next week.

That may well prove to be true but it’s not a worry today – it was 27 degrees at lunchtime and is still very warm.

Nuk Korako’s maiden speech


National MP Nuk Korako delivered his maiden speech:

E te Mana Whakawa, tena koe

Tenei hoki te mihi atu ki a koe o Te Kaihautu o Te Waka o Aotearoa, e Te Pirimia, Rt Hon John Key, tena koe

Tena hoki koe te rakatira o Te Ropu Reipa – Hon David Parker, tena koe

Hurinoa Te Whare Miere nei, ka mihi ki ka mema katoa

Ko Kai Tahu, Kati Mamoe, Waitaha, Te Rakiamo tenei e mihi atu ki te manawhenua o Te Waha o Te Ika, Te Atiawa tena koutou i haere mai i ka waka katoa e tau mai nei, ki Te Whanganui-a-Tara

Ko Tutehounuku Korako ahau

Ko Aoraki mauka e Tu mai ake kei uta

Maringimai te awa o Waitaki raua ko Waimakariri ki Te Tai o Mahaanui

Ko Te Whare Mahaanui hoki raua ko Te Whare o Wheke kei Te Rapaki o Te Raki Whakaputa e tu ana

Hei ano

Tena tatou katoa

Mr Speaker: Like all others who have entered this house over the past 150 years I cannot hide or disguise my humility.  It certainly is a time to reflect upon family, my life experiences to date and those who assisted me on the journey to this House. Sir, 

I come from a working class background. My father Te Here Maaka Momo Korako was a World War Two Returned Serviceman and a Freezing Worker and my Mum, Hine Elizabeth Manihera Korako a gentle and loving person, who passed away when I was only 10 years old leaving behind nine children, me and eight sisters.

It was not long before we found ourselves in Cholmondeley Children’s Home, to give our father time to organise life without our mother. This sad event started a relationship with me and Cholmondeley Home that continues to this day. My father worked hard to keep us together and to ensure that we all understood and lived by our family values and instilled in me the significance of:



Education and Humility

He taught us to be proud of being who we were and the importance of being able to move seamlessly between the two worlds of the Maori and non-Maori.

Education was paramount in our family and I was lucky to be given the opportunity to attend St Stephen’s School in Bombay, Auckland.

Sir: It is fair to say that I did not expect to be standing here as a Member of Parliament and addressing The House of Representatives all these years later

Like many young Kiwis, the call of the OE, took me overseas on a much extended journey than was originally planned, where rugby and the tourism industry kept me offshore for over 20 years.

The hallmark of that journey however was meeting and marrying my beautiful wife Christine and a few years later with a family pending and a desire to raise our children as Kiwis we came home to Canterbury – more specifically to Christchurch and Ngai Tahu’s Riviera, Rapaki on Lyttelton Harbour.

Rapaki is one of the ancestral communities of Ngai Tahu. When you arrive, it is a little like being transported to another time. Our four boys, now aged between 17 and 22 grew up in this kainga or village, surrounded by our immediate and wider whanau. 

Growing up in Rapaki, in a safe and nurturing environment, gave them the pportunity to learn the tikaka of their home place and their marae and to enjoy and experience many adventures surrounded by mountains and sea. It is their safe haven and always will be.

It was not unusual for Chris to feed 10 children at lunch or dinner time or a family neighbour to do the same.  That very environment created lifelong values for our children, their cousins, and the friends they brought home.

Sir: My Uncle Ben Couch, a three term National Party MP, Minister of Police and Maori Affairs and a New Zealand and Maori All Black, was also raised in the same village.

In reflecting on my wider whakapapa I am reminded that some of my tupuna were familiar with the political environment.  Hoani Paratene, the first ever Southern Maori MP, was my great uncle.  My grandfather, Tutehounuku Korako, represented Ngai Tahu at the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in London in 1897 and at the opening of the Australian Parliament in 1901. My other grandfather James Duncan Manihera was the 1926 Maori All Black. 

Sir: These role models have instilled within me the idea that there is value in striving for something more than the mundane, more than the trappings of comfort, and to achieve something beyond myself, which is what I am doing in this special place.

Mr Speaker, I do bring a vision with me, and that is about where we are heading as a nation. I recently came across a National Party Manifesto from the Maori MPs in the late 1940s.

Quote: “New Zealand as a whole is under a great debt, one that has not always been sufficiently recognised, to the Maori people for the role they have played in the economic development of this country.  What you have received by way of social security and benefits is your due.  You, as a people have contributed to the pool from which come these benefits.

That is why we appeal to you to assist in the task of increased production… …it is our aim to expand and develop the Maori Land Schemes inaugurated in 1929 by Sir Apirana Ngata.

We know to what extent the human element is consciously developed along with work on such lands.  That must be taken into consideration if we are to secure the maximum results from such a policy – the promotion of a healthy, intelligent people, disciplined in the habits of industry and business practice, equipped by the economic resources of their lands to enter with full confidence in to the wider industrial life of this country.” Unquote.

Mr Speaker: This illustrates how much has not changed in terms of vision but how much has changed in terms of achievement. The Maori economy and Maori participation in our national economy has advanced so dramatically in the past thirty years and I have been honoured to be a participant in moving that forward.

I have operated my own businesses, worked on Maori incorporation and trusts, like Mawhera, the Board of Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation and represented my Hapu at the iwi governance level on Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu

The Ngai Tahu Settlement brokered by the Bolger-led National Government was a milestone for South Island development and I look forward to continuing to make a contribution to Maori economical advancement whilst sitting in this House, because that is our only pathway to long term prosperity and the betterment of ourselves, and it is not just for Maori, it is for all New Zealanders.

Mr Speaker: It is important, though, to acknowledge that I may move easily amongst Maori Communities but I also share a common set of values with all New Zealanders.

My recent Banks Peninsula and Port Hills political campaigns have clearly shown that many other New Zealanders believe that I have something to contribute to all of society.

Mr Speaker: I am deeply grateful to our people of the Port Hills for their continued support. Especially our National Party members, campaign team, army of volunteers and Young Nats. I want to acknowledge, our Canterbury Westland Regional Chair, Roger Bridge and my Campaign Manager, Cathryn Lancaster.

As most of you here will know there is something remarkably rewarding about getting amongst the community and engaging with a constituency.  Sure, some will slam the door in your face and some might be genuinely offended by your politics, but that is who we are.  We are not homogenous.  We are diverse, we are passionate and we are opinionated.  Thank God.

Sir: It would be fair to say that I have never lived in a suburb that is built upon privilege.  In fact for much of my life, I have lived in my traditional kainga.  My neighbours have been successful and struggling business owners, labourers and academics, bureaucrats and tradesman, beneficiaries and retirees.  These are my people.  These are National’s people.

Mr Speaker: I have lived The National Party philosophies most of my life, despite my family background, where many of my family were typical Labour Party supporters, who lived the old adage that Labour looked after the worker. I have taken a fair bit of “stick” especially on the front line in Lyttelton as a scrutineer for National in the Port voting booths, but that was my decision, and I stood by it.

The myth that National is simply there to look after the wealthy has been seriously challenged in this past election.  Thousands upon thousands of voters abandoned their traditional roots to give their party vote to National because there was a greater accord with what they wanted in a government.  Voters responded to the Quality of Leadership and have been drawn to a Unified Party that really did care and still does passionately, about what matters to New Zealanders.

Sir: I am sure that working New Zealanders have new expectations of themselves.  New generations certainly understand that the state is not here to provide their every need.  They genuinely believe that government is a partnership – us and them, and we each have to tow our own weight.

Mr Speaker: Labour may purport to represent the working New Zealander but a bevy of career bureaucrats does not reflect the aspirations of the young Checkout Person at the Ferrymead Countdown, or the Lyttelton Wharfie, or the Process Worker in Bromley who all want to better their lives with jobs, fair pay, home ownership and the likes. Preaching Working Class from Ponsonby, really does fall upon deaf ears.

I reject the idea that National does not represent those Kiwis struggling for a better life for their families and their communities.

That is exactly what we do.  That is why I am here.

Mr Speaker: There are 3 immediate priorities for me for this term.

One is to build the Brown Blue.  Many Maori have lost sight of the huge gains made under successive National-led governments and one only has to reflect on the Ngai Tahu and Tainui settlements, and more recently the ground breaking Tuhoe Settlement to get a sense of what is possible.  Whanau Ora and the under-privileged focused Partnership Schools have arisen under National and the modern Iwi Leadership engagements have given effect to an unprecedented partnership approach.

In the last election even without a candidate contesting the Maori seats, National still secured 14 per cent of the party vote within Te Tai Tonga and over the next three years I want to assist in building that, and not only in Te Waipounamu but also across Te Ika a Maui.

Mr Speaker: I want to Champion the Brown – Blue cause.

Mr Speaker: The second priority is the Christchurch Rebuild.  We all admire the incredible Earthquake Recovery and Rebuild work carried out to date under Minister Brownlee and I want to assure him that, like my years as a feisty rugby playing number 8, I am keen to put my tow shoulders behind the pack and add my weight as required.  I know taking us through the next few years will require a continued team effort and I want to be a part of that team.

Mr Speaker:  My third priority is that I will deliver on what I promised to the Port Hills constituents during my campaign, by continuing to work hard within our Port Hills electorate alongside our community leaders in developing vibrant communities, with plenty of opportunities, supported by great leadership.

Sir: I want to acknowledge my extended and immediate Whanau and Friends, including those who have travelled here today to share this occasion.

E ka whanauka, e ka hoa, e te hunga kainga, i haramai ki te tautoko ahau, Ko tenei te mihi aroha ki a koutou.

It is also the time to acknowledge these wonderful people who have stood to support me in place of my Taua and Poua, and Mum and Dad.

My Aunty Mamae Warnes who is here today, and was once a Young Nat in Wellington over 70 years ago.

My Aunty Rima and Charlie Subritzky and Uncle Dudley and Melissa Couch from Rapaki.  My father-in-law Derek Willard in Australia and Alec Graham from Palmerston North.  And my oldest and dearest mentor, Lachie Griffin, the unofficial Mayor of Governors Bay.

And to the person who has been there for me ever since we met on the Grand Canal in Venice, 24 years ago, who bore me four sons and saved the Korako name from extinction.

Chris, “I am because – You Are.” To my Sons, Maximillian, Michael, Nicholas and James Oliver:  He mahi Kai Hoaka, he mahi Kai takata: “Anything worthwhile will always require a considerable effort”: This is how I got here, today.

Finally Mr Speaker: It is difficult to stand here being humble when there is so much to be proud of. I am in this Parliament, however as a list MP representing the National Party interests. I cannot be other than a Maori and Ngai Tahu but it is my duty to address the needs of all New Zealanders and to concern myself with the whole spectrum of citizenship. Today, Mr Speaker I pledge myself to that task.

Huri noa Te Whare Paremata. E mihi atu kia tatou katoa. Mauri ora.

Knowing Right


Knowing Right Sculpture 

I’m not so good at taking my own advice, she said, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s right.

©2014 Brian Andreas published with permission.

If you’d like a daily dose of whimsy like this from Story People, you’ll find how to sign up for emails by clicking on the link above.

Todd Muller’s maiden speech


National’s Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller delivered his maiden speech:

Tena koe Mr Speaker,

Ko 1862 African te waka, ko mauau te maunga, ko wairoa te awa, ko pakeha te iwi, ko potuterangi te marae, ko Todd Muller ahau.

Mr Speaker, this afternoon I rise with immense gratitude to the people of the Bay of Plenty electorate, for their strong support of the John Key-led National Party and for placing their trust in me as their local MP. 

It is a realisation of a childhood dream, and I commit to work for all of you, to advocate without fear nor favour and for the good of all our community. 

To begin I wish to acknowledge the Borell and Bidois whanau of Te Puna who have given me this very special korowai to wear this evening. I am deeply humbled.

Mr Speaker, there are many whose love and support have enabled me to stand here before you today.

Firstly, my parents Mike and Trish Muller, who are here in the public gallery.  Thank you for your unconditional love, your values, and unerring belief in my potential. Thank you for showing me the power of fusing a loving family with hard work. The more I observe society, the keener my appreciation grows.

I wish to acknowledge my three younger brothers, Gavin, Craig, and Nathan. 

We were a tight family growing up who made our own fun largely around backyard cricket, rugby, and the kind of fierce hand-to-hand combat that only brothers of a certain age can understand.  Thirty years on, the hand-to-hand combat is now verbal and I remain blessed with the certainty of a family’s love.

To my wife Michelle.  Thank you for believing in me, for being willing to walk our life’s journey together and for being such a wonderful mum to Aimee, Bradley, and Amelia. 

To my darling children thanks for your understanding and acceptance that in coming to Parliament, Daddy won’t always be at home. 

Mr Speaker, my biggest work in progress remains being a loving dad and husband and I will continue to strive to be there for them when they need me. 

I wish to acknowledge my predecessor the Hon Tony Ryall. His extraordinary performance as Health Minister is well documented, but it is his integrity and work ethic for the people of the Bay of Plenty that is the benchmark I will seek to emulate.

I wish to thank the local Bay of Plenty National Party, campaign chairman Sean Newland, electorate chairman Mark Bayley, my campaign team, and the hundreds of volunteers for their tireless commitment to our cause.  I am humbled by your support. 

Finally, my thanks to those who have backed me throughout my career, often affording me opportunities that my experience did not justify, particularly the late Professor Lew Fretz at Waikato University, you Mr Speaker in my early days in the National Party, Doug Voss at Zespri, and Theo Spierings at Fonterra. 

In particular, I would like to thank the Rt Hon Jim Bolger who plucked me from party obscurity to be his executive assistant throughout his second term, a role that took me across the country to engage with the diverse families and communities that make up this extraordinary place.

Jim, I have always been extremely grateful for your support now spanning across two decades. You are a statesman of great mana and I am very honoured you are here today.

Mr Speaker, I was born in Te Aroha 45 years ago, but the Bay of Plenty is home.

Like many before us and particularly after us, our family moved from somewhere else to the Bay, 40 years ago for a better life. 

In my parents case it was a move from dairy to a new industry that was just emerging from the corners of citrus orchards in Te Puke and Te Puna.

I went to the local school at Te Puna, then Tauranga Boys’ College, then the University of Waikato where I followed my passion for public service and its contribution to history.

My passion stems from two great influences: the power of the written word and the fulfilling power of deeds.

Firstly, I want to acknowledge the unnamed salesman who convinced my parents to use their savings, such as they were, to buy the latest

World Book encyclopedias in 1978. 

I devoured those books, in particular the sections on American presidents.  It fired my imagination to such an extent that I saw myself as a future US President (constitutional challenges not withstanding).

I even wrote a book as a 10-year-old that saw me elected vice-president of the United States as a very young man in my twenties, become president upon the very unfortunate death of the then president, and then go on to serve 13 consecutive terms until I think I died of old age.  My Mum still has the story hidden away in our attic.  I suspect its best to remain there.

For the power of deeds, it was my grandparents Henry and Eileen Skidmore, former mayor and mayoress of Te Aroha, who gave close to 60 years to that small mountain-bound community and their impact on me has been profound.  Family, faith, and community were at the core of their lives and their example shines for me still.

They demonstrated how selfless service not only enriches those who receive it, but for those who give it, enables a life that has distinct meaning.

Mr Speaker, I have always wanted to serve my community, and for me the vehicle for that service is the National Party.

The National Party has been an integral part of my life since 1989, where I was welcomed into my first meeting with open arms, encouraged to speak, to contribute, and typical of National Party values, the more I did, the more opportunities opened up.

We are a party made up of ordinary New Zealanders, committing extraordinary levels of personal time and commitment to a philosophy that has anchored our own lives over many years, thereby proving its fit for the lives of generations to come. 

I believe the National Party philosophy speaks to the aspirations of the families of the Bay of Plenty and the values of our country.

Our belief in family. Though we are singular individuals, we are made complete through the shared effort and experiences that family brings.

Our belief in individual enterprise.  Hard work and application should be encouraged and rewarded, whilst acknowledging the need for resilience and perspective, because life is often unfair.

Our belief in the importance of constant self-improvement.  Education is a lifelong experience that is neither defined by or concluded with a graduation ceremony or certificate.

Our belief in the value of personal dignity, particularly for our elderly. Our elderly should be our most venerable, but can, particularly in their twilight years, become some of our most vulnerable.  We must get the balance right between supporting those who have much to live with those who have given much already.

Our belief in the right to personal security, be it in our communities, or in our homes.  Our commitment to public safety must be underpinned with tough deterrence for those who breach our trust.

And finally, our belief in a compassionate community that looks out for others and provides a pathway for improvement that is matched with expectations of self-motivation and individual responsibility.

These are the values of the National Party, they speak to the aspirations of the country and will be my guiding stars.

Mr Speaker, I am very privileged to represent the Bay of Plenty electorate.  It wraps around the city of Tauranga, and is made up of the small communities of Apata, Omokoroa, Whakamarama, Te Puna to the west; Kaimai, Oropi, Ohauiti to the south, and Welcome Bay, Maungatapu, Arataki, Omanu, Matapihi, and the future city of Papamoa to the east.

It was a very different place when I was a boy, when the regional population was just over 30,000 and the communities were mostly rural.

All my early childhood memories were about harvesting the bounty, in our case kiwifruit, and the sense of place and space that this remarkable area affords. 

And I can recall the families coming, year after year and the challenge and opportunity that growth brought.

In 1974 no-one, with perhaps the exception of local icons Roly Earp and Bob Owens, could imagine dairy, kiwifruit, avocados so developed, or a community city of our size, with the supporting roading and port infrastructure of the excellence we have.

Now we stand in 2014, a city of 120,000 people, a region spread from Katikati to Te Puke, of 175,000 and growing at over 3000 a year.

My vision for this community looking out to 2030, is a vibrant, diverse region that energetically and innovatively connects itself to the world confidently drawing on the unique talents and character that underpin our small communities of today.

Our region is one of the fastest growing in the country and we should welcome and celebrate that growth, be demanding of our city planners and of Government for the ongoing investment that is required for our region to thrive.

One in five Bay of Plenty locals are from offshore, and half of them from the UK.  Our growth story to date is one of warmly welcoming new people from around the country and around the world. Long let this continue.

Mr Speaker, I commit to the people of the Bay of Plenty that I will add my voice and efforts to theirs and always look to promote our natural advantages of climate, soil, vocational and tertiary education, innovation and manufacturing excellence, diversity of people and ideas, which together with our global port gateway is increasingly taking our uniqueness to the world.

Mr Speaker, throughout my career I have had the privilege of travelling extensively throughout our country.  

It has nurtured in me a fascination for people, a yearning to understand their stories, and to observe the power of place and belonging in their lives.

Mr Speaker, I believe our country will forever be defined by the land and its influence on the people.

Its abundance sustains families and communities, its physical beauty almost mythical in its scale and power, drives our collective creativity, and inspires our innovation.  A forever changing landscape, with brooding intensity and an energy that’s palpable.

Aotearoa gets under our skin. And the longer we have been here, the more intrinsic the connection to the land becomes.

Our tangata whenua have specific words that speak to the power of this place.

But you can see it in the 6th generation farmers who express kaitiakitanga in different words but showcase it on their farms.

You can see it play out in those who seek to protect it from others who wish to come and make a life here.

You can see it in those who wish to tame it, or in those who wish it forever locked in yesterday’s memories.

You can see it in our new migrants that shed tears when sharing the impact of moving here.  

Mr Speaker, the power of this place is real and it affords us as a people huge privileges and responsibilities.

We need to be careful that our innate and subconscious awe of our environment does not blind us from the opportunities that present us.

We have one of the largest economic zones in the world.  Close to 90 per cent of our water flows to the sea, we have a productive basin underpinned by sustainable practices that are admired by many around the world.

We have trading partners that see value in what we can offer and are willing to pay for it.

Mr Speaker, let’s use our natural resources to their fullest potential.

I am not advocating plundering New Zealand with 19th century tools and ideas, I speak of alloying the world’s best technologies and innovations to some of the greatest natural resources and talent in the world, for the betterment of our people.

Mr Speaker, there is always risk in any endeavour, but I firmly believe there is greater risk in inaction. 

Not only will we deny ourselves the opportunity to improve our standard of living for generations to come, but we are quite frankly denying history. 

Since the dawn of time, scarce and valued resources are rarely left untouched. We have the opportunity to use our natural resources and advantages for the benefit of our people, or know for certain that some other people of some other age, yet to come, will do the same.

The capacity of this country to imagine this future, one that leverages our natural resources with our people and for our people, in a way that acknowledges our genuine respect of place and space is one of the defining challenges of this generation.

It’s about fusing the environment, the economy, our education system with the values of our country and the values of the National Party.

Mr Speaker, Captain Cook’s Bay of Plenty is as good a place as any to start. Tena kotou, tena kotou, tena kotou katoa.

Nuffield scholars announced


A diverse group of rural New Zealanders has been chosen as the latest crop of Nuffield Scholars:

Nuffield New Zealand and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy have announced the scholarships at a function in Wellington for West Coast dairy farmer Bede O’Connor; Woodville dairy farmer Ben Allomes; Rotorua-based DairyNZ regional leader Sharon Morrell; Whanganui farmer, entrepreneur and conservationist Dan Steele and Fonterra employee Satwant Singh from Morrinsville.

The five new Scholars join more than 145 others who have been awarded Nuffield Scholarships in the past 60 years, which has been a substantial investment in New Zealand agriculture’s past, current and future leaders, says Nuffield NZ chairman Stuart Julian Raine.

“Only a handful are awarded each year so a Nuffield Scholarship is one of rural New Zealand’s most valuable and prestigious awards. To be a Scholar is a life-changing experience.”

The Nuffield NZ Scholarship offers the opportunity for overseas travel, study of the latest developments in a number of leading agricultural countries and provides an introduction to leaders and decision makers not accessible to the ordinary traveller.

One of the current 2014 Scholars is Palmerston North potato grower, agricultural contractor and equity dairy farmer Paul Olsen.

“It has been a brilliant experience for me, seeing other countries and a variety of cultures, mind boggling but also eye opening. New Zealand has a huge opening for the future, in terms of things like food proteins and niche products, it’s there for the taking. It’s a massive opportunity for us to take on the challenge.”

Olsen says the Nuffield name opened many doors.

“I visited some massive operations – people wouldn’t hold back. It was 100 per cent nuts and bolts business information you wouldn’t get any other way.”

He says the contacts made and networks formed will last a lifetime.

“I made some very strong contacts and friendships, especially through the UK, Ireland and Scotland. Many of them are coming to stay here in the next 18 months or so as well, either travelling individually or finishing their own Nuffield Scholarship travels.”

Nuffield Scholars travel internationally for at least four months in their Scholarship year (not necessarily consecutively), participate in a Contemporary Scholars conference with 60 Nuffield Scholars from around the world and attend a six-week Global Focus Programme with an organised itinerary through several countries with other scholars. They also have their own individual study programme with a research report due at the end of their travels.

The 2015 research topics are likely to cover issues such as the internal growth potential of China; recognising and utilising New Zealand’s greatest asset – its people; farming communities’ responses to changes in environmental regulations or other constraints; the potential of “Brand New Zealand” and how having communities involved in conservation will show value in looking after the environment; and farmer understanding of their financial and overall business health focusing around budgeting, risk management, stress levels for farmers, suicide levels and farming pressure.

The five 2015 scholars are:

Bede O’Connor, West Coast

West Coast dairy farmer Bede O’Connor is milking 340 cows on 170 hectares near Westport and is an elected director of the Westland Dairy Co-op. O’Connor, 43, has achieved a 25 per cent increase in production over the past three seasons after purchasing his family’s farm in 2011. He would like to develop a self-sufficient farming system to combat the influences of more frequently occurring climatic events. He is a member of the West Coast TB Free Committee, West Coast Rural Support Trust and the West Coast Focus Farm Trust. He was a regional judge for the Dairy Industry Awards Trainee of the year and is an active member of West Coast Federated Farmers.

Sharon Morrell, Rotorua

Sharon Morrell is a regional leader with DairyNZ in Rotorua. Her role is a mixture of direct farmer interaction and leading a small team running discussion groups, field days and workshops. She also works alongside strategic partners, including the BOP Dairy Stakeholders Group. After gaining a Bachelor of Agricultural Science Morrell worked as a MAF farm advisor. With husband Ross she has worked on farm and raised four children. She did some supervisory and consultancy work before moving to DairyNZ in 2010. She attended the Kellogg Rural Leadership programme in 2011.

Dan Steele, Whanganui

Dan Steele is a farmer and conservationist living and working on Blue Duck Station – a 1460 hectare sheep and beef station and conservation project at Whakahoro, surrounded by Whanganui National Park. After working with his parents on the neighbouring Retaruke Station for seven years, Steele built Blue Duck Lodge in 2005, started Blue Duck Station in 2006 and founded the Wild Journeys commercial jet boats partnership in 2010.

Steele is involved with the Ruapehu Regional Tourism Organisation (Visit Ruapehu), Ducks Unlimited, NZ Wetland Care and the Whanganui National Park Conservation and Historic Preservation Trust.

Satwant Singh

Satwant Singh works for Fonterra during the week and on the family dairy farm near Morrinsville at the weekends. Singh, 30 and her husband Sunil Krishna live in Auckland – during the week she is part of the Fonterra Commodity Risk and Trading team as an Originator. One of her achievements is the Guaranteed Milk Price programme for farmers. She became an area manager for Fonterra in Morrinsville (2008-2012) after working as a Service Specialist for Fonterra (2006-2008). Singh has a Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours (Majoring in Marketing and Human Resources) and a Graduate Diploma in Accounting from the University of Waikato.

Ben Allomes

Dairy farmer Ben Allomes and wife Nicky own a half share in an 850-cow farm at Woodville; are 50/50 sharemilkers on a 400-cow farm at Woodville and a 215-cow property at Ruawhata; and also lease two other properties. Allomes is a farmer-elected DairyNZ director and on their local school Board of Trustees. He has been heavily involved with NZ Young Farmers, Primary ITO, Dairy Industry Awards, Fonterra Network and DairyNZ. While president of Young Farmers, 2007-2009, he helped to restructure and reposition the organisation and jointly led the development of the NZYF leadership “Pipeline” programme now adopted by industry “Generate” Steering Committee.

You can read more about Nuffield here and find a lsit of previous winners here.

Sunday soapbox


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.

The Mind Unleashed's photo.

November 2 in history


1410 The Peace of Bicêtre between the Armagnac and Burgundian factions was signed.

1570 A tidal wave in the North Sea devastates the coast from Holland to Jutland, killing more than 1,000 people.

1755 – Marie Antoinette, Queen of France was born (d. 1793).

1783  US General George Washington gave his “Farewell Address to the Army”.

1795 The French Directory succeeded the French National Convention as the government of Revolutionary France.

1861  American Civil War: Western Department Union General John C. Fremont was relieved of command and replaced by David Hunter.

1868  New Zealand officially adopted a standard time to be observed nationally

1882 Oulu, Finland was decimated by the Great Oulu Fire of 1882.

1889  North and South Dakota were admitted as the 39th and 40th U.S. states.

1895  The first gasoline-powered race in the United States. First prize: $2,000

1898 Cheerleading started at the University of Minnesota with Johnny Campbell leading the crowd in cheering on the football team.

1899 The Boers began their 118 day siege of British held Ladysmith during the Second Boer War.

1913  Burt Lancaster, American actor, was born (d. 1994).

1914 Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire.

1917 The Balfour Declaration proclaimed British support for the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” with the clear understanding “that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities”

1920 KDKA of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania started broadcasting as the first commercial radio station. The first broadcast was the result of the U.S. presidential election, 1920

1930 Haile Selassie was crowned emperor of Ethiopia.

1936  The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was established.

1936 – Italian dictator Benito Mussolini proclaimed the Rome-Berlin Axis, establishing the alliance of the Axis Powers.

1936 – The British Broadcasting Corporation initiated the BBC Television Service, the world’s first regular, high-definition (then defined as at least 200 lines) service.

1938 – Queen Sofia of Spain was born.

1941 Bruce Welch, English musician and songwriter (The Shadows), was born.

1942 At El Alamein in Egypt, the 2nd New Zealand Division opened the way for British armour, allowing the Allies to force a breakthrough and send the Axis forces into retreat.

NZ Division helps Allies break through at El Alamein

1944  Keith Emerson, British keyboardist and composer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer), was born.

1947  Howard Hughes performed the maiden (and only) flight of the Spruce Goose; the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built.

1957 The Levelland UFO Case in Levelland, Texas, generated national publicity.

1959 Quiz show scandals: Twenty One game show contestant Charles Van Doren admitted to a Congressional committee that he had been given questions and answers in advance.

1959  The first section of the M1 motorway, the first inter-urban motorway in the United Kingdom, was opened.

1960  Penguin Books was found not guilty of obscenity in the Lady Chatterley’s Lover case.

1961  k.d. lang, Canadian musician, was born.

1963  South Vietnamese President Ngô Ðình Diệm is assassinated following a military coup.

1964 King Saud of Saudi Arabia was deposed by a family coup, and replaced by his half-brother King Faisal.

1965  Norman Morrison, a 31-year-old Quaker, set himself on fire in front of the river entrance to the Pentagon to protest the use of napalm in the Vietnam war.

1966  The Cuban Adjustment Act entered force, allowing 123,000 Cubans the opportunity to apply for permanent residence in the United States.

1974  78 died when the Time Go-Go Club in Seoul burned down.

1983 U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

1984  Velma Barfield became the first woman executed in the United States since 1962.

1988 The Morris worm, the first internet-distributed computer worm to gain significant mainstream media attention, was launched from MIT.

1995 Former South African defence minister General Magnus Malan and 10 other former senior military officers were arrested and charged with murdering 13 black people in 1987.

2000 – The first resident crew to the ISS docked on the Soyuz TM-31.

2007 – 50,000–100,000 people demonstrated against the Georgian government in Tbilisi.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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