56.6% old 43.2% new

March 24, 2016

A small majority of voters has opted to stick with the old flag.

Silver Fern Flag915,00843.2%
Current New Zealand Flag1,200,00356.6%

Informal Votes  – 4,9420.2%

Total Valid Votes  – 2,119,953100%

This is the preliminary result, the final result will be declared on March 30th.

That result is a lot closer than polls indicated but sadly, in my opinion, not close enough.

However, by the time you take people who voted for the staus quo because they didn’t like the alternative, the cost or the process, or for partisan political reasons, rather than genuinely voting for it, this shows there is a mood for change.


Word of the day

March 24, 2016

Occaecation – the act of blinding or going blind.


Dean Rabbidge wins Zanda McDonald Award

March 24, 2016

Dean Rabbidge, a 30 year old sheep, beef and dairy farmer from Wyndham, and the Vice Chairman of the NZ National Young Farmers Contest,  has won the 2016 Zanda McDonald Award.

The award was presented last night (23rd) in Wellington at the ‘Capital Connections; Winds of Change’ Conference by NZ Minister for Primary Industries, Hon. Nathan Guy.

The prize, valued at over $30,000, includes:

An expenses-paid, tailored mentoring package whereby Mr Rabbidge can spend time with three-four relevant PPP members in Australia and/or New Zealand.

A place on the 2017 Rabobank Farm Manager’s Programme.

$1000 cash.

Access to the 130 of Australia’s finest producers and agri-business people who make up the PPP Group.

This year, the prize package was extended to include the use of a Pilatus aircraft – a PC 12 jet – for the winner to visit their mentors.

Mr Rabbidge, who competed against fellow finalists – New Zealand’s Erica van Reenen, an environmental and agricultural consultant with AgFirst and Western Australia’s Wesley Lefroy, a soil scientist – said he was humbled to have been chosen.

Shane McManaway, Chairman of the PPP Group, says: “Dean is an exceptional young man.

His intelligence, his enormous sense of responsibility and his natural people skills will take him far. And I believe he will relish the mentoring opportunities that winning the Zanda McDonald Award will provide”.

Mr Rabbidge and Mr McManaway has been invited to have lunch with the Prime Minister and Minister Guy.

The Zanda McDonald award is a PPP initiative which aims to preserve the legacy of the late Zanda McDonald, a strong leader in the Australian cattle industry – as well as assist young agri-business people on their chosen career path.

We were at the award ceremony last night having spent three days at the PPP conference with the three finalists, all of whom have already achieved a lot in, and given a lot to, agri-business and their rural communities.

It is encouraging to know there are young people of this calibre in the industry.


366 days of gratitude

March 24, 2016

The flag I ordered got delayed then we had to reinstall the flag pole.

That’s done and the flag which is distinctively New Zealand’s is now flying.

flag

We’ll find out whether enough people share my preference for this rather than the old flag at about 8.30 this evening.

Whether or not they do, I’m grateful that we’ve had the opportunity to choose a flag and that we are free to have differing views on this and other issues.

 


Thursday’s quiz

March 24, 2016

This is your chance to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual batch of hot cross buns.


Can you describe the flag?

March 24, 2016

One of the reasons for changing our flag is that it is too easily confused with Australia’s.

It has intrigued me during discussions on the referendum that a lot of people, including most who support the status quo, aren’t able to confidently describe our flag and differentiate it from Australia’s.

Everyone has been sure both are blue with a Union Jack in the upper corner and that both have stars.

But when I asked how many stars each flag has and what colour they have most falter.

So, can you describe our flag and say what makes it different from Australia’s?

If you’re with others, please ask them too, and let me know the results.

 

 


Dairy industry left with costs for 1080 blackmail threat

March 24, 2016

The man found guilty of threatening to add 1080 to infant milk formula has been jailed for eight and a half years.

. . .Jeremy Hamish Kerr (60) previously admitted two counts of blackmail and the High Court at Auckland this morning heard the cost of the crime to the country was more than $37 million. . . 

By March 2015, police had 36 full-time staff on the case, resulting in a $5 million bill for the taxpayer. . .

Fonterra managing director of people, culture and safety Maury Leyland said the company lost more than $20m because of the threats and subsequent response. . .

And the Ministry of Primary Industries’ deputy director-general regulation and assurance Scott Gallacher discussed the “significant impact” on the country’s entire economy.

The ministry’s bill came to $4.2m as a result of Kerr’s actions.

“It was one of the most challenging responses MPI . . . had ever staged,” Mr Gallacher said.  

“Complex interactions and negotiations were required on international and domestic fronts.”

Had those negotiations not been successful, it could have seen a $7.5 billion reduction in GDP in the 2015 calendar year, he said. . .

LOSS TO THE COUNTRY

Fonterra – $20m+
Other dairy companies – $47,000 – $1.9m
Federated Farmers – $100,000+
Foodstuffs and Progressive Enterprises – $1.7m
MPI – $4.2m
Police – $5m
TOTAL = $37m+

Most of those costs have been and gone.

The cost of added safety checks and on-going security at all milk processing plants is continuing.

The only good thing about this whole saga is that New Zealand’s reputation for producing safe food has been strengthened.

 

 


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