Word of the day

November 15, 2017

Fructify – bear fruit or become productive; make or become fruitful.


Hamish Walker’s maiden speech

November 15, 2017

Hamish Walker, Clutha Southland MP delivered his maiden speech yesterday.

Mr Speaker, it is the greatest privilege to be standing before you today as a Member of Parliament, elected by the people of Clutha-Southland, to represent their views, hopes and dreams for their region and for New Zealand.

People in Clutha-Southland are pioneering, hard-working and community-focused.

The rest of New Zealand can learn a lot from Clutha-Southlanders.

It’s a place where people still look out for each other, people still know each other, and most importantly people still talk to each other whether it be across the fence or in the supermarket aisle.

It’s where I regularly see carefree kids riding their bikes around their neighbourhood, and where local people still rally together to support a good cause.

I intend to be a strong voice in Parliament for Clutha-Southland.

I believe in the core National Party values of strong families, caring communities, personal responsibility, individual freedom and choice.

These values form the basis of my own philosophy.

I was motivated to stand for Parliament by a desire to uphold these values.

I believe the government’s role is to get out of the way and let our people get ahead, and be rewarded for effort.

My experience in life has shown me that it is attitude and hard work that is the key to succeeding.

The Clutha-Southland electorate and previous forms has an extremely proud history of leadership and contribution to New Zealand over the years.

It has included:

The Honourable Adam Hamilton
The Right Honourable Peter Gordon
Sir Brian Talboys
Sir Robin Gray
and of course our Leader and former Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Bill English
I want to take this opportunity to thank Bill for his leadership, and to congratulate him on the policy development that he has led throughout his years in Parliament.

His social investment approach to complex social problems and its long term dividends for New Zealand makes him the most gutsy politician of his generation.

I’d also like to acknowledge current Mayors in my region – Jim Boult, Bryan Cadogan, Tracy Hicks, and Gary Tong.

These individuals stitch together the fabric of our Clutha-Southland communities and provide excellent leadership.

I look forward to working with them to progress the interests of our people.

Clutha-Southland doesn’t just produce some great people.

It is one of the most productive regions in New Zealand.

It is the largest general electorate in the country, it runs from just south of Dunedin to the north of Invercargill, and spans from the Pacific Ocean to the Tasman Sea.

I have learned that many people in Clutha-Southland are not afraid to call a spade a spade.

You cannot pull the wool over the eyes of a Clutha-Southlander, even if it was grown and shorn there.

It is an honour to represent an area that is part of my heritage and identity.

I am proud of my established family history in Clutha-Southland.

My great, great, great grandfather, John Barr, was a Balclutha businessman who leased the Government ferry across the Clutha river, and built the first store and bakery in the township.

Today, I have family members throughout Clutha-Southland.

My late grandfather, Ronald Walker, often spoke of how it is ultimately up to the individual to determine the path they take in life.

The seeds of working hard and taking personal responsibility for oneself were sown early in my childhood by my grandfather.

He helped put hundreds of Southlanders through university running the Otago University extension program for a number of years and also helped establish the Young Nats in Southland in the 1940s.

And I better not forget to say hello to my nana Ngaire who is watching from Invercargill today.

My urban-raised father Alan, and rural-raised mother Barbara taught me that everyone deserved a chance, and that we all should contribute back to our community.

I’d like to thank my father, who continues to dedicate his life to helping others.

Thank you, Dad.

I’d also like to thank my mother who has sacrificed so much to raise me and my siblings.

Thank you for all that you do Mum.

If you were a taxi driver, you would be a millionaire by now given the fetching and carrying that you have done over the years.

I’m sure you would have done almost as many kilometres in your car 20 years ago as the Clutha-Southland MP at the time.

I respect my urban heritage.

This will hold me accountable to the needs and concerns of the urban areas within the electorate.

Encouraging growth in small towns and responding to the challenges of growth in larger towns will be one of many issues that I face.

I also have an obligation to my rural heritage which will hold me accountable to the needs and concerns of the farming communities within the electorate.

I have many fond memories working on my grandparents farm during my teenage years

Coming from a family with four siblings, I learned early to listen to those around me and to respect their views.

I also learned that working with others achieves more than working independently, a lesson that I have put into practice throughout my life.

I was born and raised in Dunedin and attended Māori Hill Primary School and John McGlashan College.

Like many young people, I wasn’t too interested in learning.

To complicate things, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 14.

Going from leading a normal life to half a dozen injections a day was tough.

I eventually left school early and got a job.

I understand first-hand that some people may not achieve on a typical educational timeline, but they still can succeed in education and contribute to their community.

My early education and health experiences have made me passionate about these areas, especially in regard to our youth.

I didn’t experience typical school success for many reasons.

Perhaps an alternative learning environment may have suited my learning style.

That’s why charter schools are vitally important, and yet another achievement of our previous National-led government.

I was the kid who some might argue, ‘slipped through the cracks’.

But I still managed to experience success, and I want to help ensure youth have meaningful education options with relevance to the real world.

My first role after leaving school was as a commercial fisherman.

I look back on my time as a fisherman with pride.

It was my first real experience of what hard work is all about.

Long hours on the boat were challenging.

I also learned the importance of the primary sector to New Zealand.

It’s important we give these producers every possible chance of success.

In addition to my fishing days, I have worked as a voluntary community patrol member, and later as a Police jailor.

I always had a desire to become a Police Officer, but was unable to apply to Police College because of my diabetes.

This was a huge disappointment for me, but it taught me that when one door closes, another opens and you need to be willing to move on and learn from life’s lessons.

After a few other jobs I decided to study for a degree in accounting.

Instead of incurring a significant amount of debt by taking out a student loan, I decided to work in the mines of Western Australia to save some money.

Six months of hard work allowed me to save enough to pay the fees.

It was during this time I also took up refereeing rugby.

A few years later I made my first class debut which is achieved by less than one per cent of rugby referees.

Rugby refereeing is a lot like life.

To learn, you need to listen.

To succeed, you need to simplify your processes and focus on just one or two key issues that have the greatest effect.

In business, you also need to focus on the one or two things that matter.

Rugby refereeing was the perfect training ground for politics.

Graduating with an accounting degree was also a huge confidence builder for me.

I had come a long way from dropping out of school.

Looking back, I know I wouldn’t have gained the skills I have now if I had gone straight to university from school.

I needed those years to mature.

Since then I have set up, franchised and sold my own business, worked at a big 4 accounting firm and have been a business adviser to others and served on the Boards of the Otago Rugby Union and the local Lotteries Distribution Committee.

As someone who has benefited from our public health system, I am a firm believer in primary care being easily accessible, close to where people live.

Travel times can impact on primary care in rural areas.

Failure to gain early treatment or intervention from primary care providers can add huge costs for the New Zealand taxpayer.

I will fight hard to maintain services in the electorate, and fight for fair funding of rural health.

I first joined the National Party several years ago after advice from John Key to stand in a red seat, cut my teeth and learn.

I have always been inspired by others to do something significant, to make a difference – because life is short.

I was fortunate to have known Jonathan Keogh, who was tragically killed by a repeat drunk driver.

Jono’s legacy inspires me to make a difference and his name will never be forgotten.

I commend Jono’s sister Megan MacPherson and his family for directly helping to change drink-driving laws.

I, like many others, miss Jono and he is often in my thoughts.

There are multiple challenges ahead.

Right now in Clutha-Southland, we should not be cutting off the hands that literally feed us, from farmers in Gore, to hospitality workers in Queenstown.

The government must ensure immigration settings allow business owners in Queenstown and primary producers across Otago and Southland to have the workforce to process goods.

Clutha-Southland has around two per cent of the population and produces over 15 per cent of the country’s GDP.

We need to keep our workers to produce the goods from the region, and to keep the people flowing through our small towns like Lumsden, Lawrence, and Nightcaps.

Our immigrant workforce contributes to our diversity and keeps our towns afloat.

I recently visited a rest home in Tapanui, and asked a 96-year-old gentlemen and Returned Serviceman for advice.

He told me to continue to learn.

Learning indeed is for life, and is life-long.

My biggest hope is to make Clutha-Southland proud of the contributions I can make to our country.

I hope that by taking this gentleman’s advice, I can achieve this.

I promise to listen to my constituents, and I thank them for the advice they have given me to date.

There are many people I’d like to pay tribute to for being in my life, and although I cannot name them all, you know who you are.

I want to thank the people who have enabled me to stand here before you today.

To the more than 1000 Clutha-Southland National Party members, thank you for placing trust and confidence in me.

To Bridgette Smith, Margo Hishon, Rachel Bird, Tim Shiels, Richard Soper and the rest of the executive and campaign team, your dedication to the party is energizing and the sheer distances you have to drive for meetings is remarkable. The electorate is in safe hands in your care.

To Mark Patterson, great to see you here as a List MP.

To Kate Hazlett, Andrew Hunt, Roger Bridge, Alastair Bell, president Peter Goodfellow and the rest of the regional executive and National Party board, thank you for your hard work.

To the Young Nats for the weekend campaigning in Queenstown, you all rock. I learnt a good lesson… not to start days that involve the Young Nats in Queenstown before 11am.

Grant McCullum for the phone calls offering advice, thank you.

Michelle Boag, your wise words are really appreciated.

Eric Roy, thank you for the good solid advice in a Southland way.

National’s strong result is a tribute to you all.

To the ladies who run my offices …. And life…. Rebecca, Paula and Alison thank you for keeping me going.

Sarah Dowie, Mike Woodhouse and Jacqui Dean, Team Southern let’s go!

To Donna & David, thank you for being here today.

Penny, you’re an inspiration to me and words cannot express how much your support for me throughout the selection process, campaign and since being elected has meant. I wouldn’t be able to do this without your support.

I admire the contribution you make to society in your role as a clinical psychologist and yes, you often remind me you did beat me to Parliament as you were Eric Roy’s Youth MP.

Mr Speaker, the privilege of serving in this Parliament is one that comes to very few.

I didn’t come here to eat my lunch, nor to “be” a Member of Parliament.

I came here to DO things as a Member of Parliament, to help make change that benefits all New Zealanders, and to help to enhance the lives of the people of Clutha Southland.

I will probably make mistakes in this House – I have made many already in my short life – but my respect for the Institution, my loyalty and my commitment are solid; my philosophy is honest and true, and my compassion is infinite.

I hope that everything I do in this Parliament, and in my time as a Member of this Parliament, is a tribute to those who have gone before me, those who have helped me and to those whom I love, and who love me.

Thank you Mr Speaker.


Rural round-up

November 15, 2017

Fine wool prices soar while coarse remain in the doldrums – Gerard Hutching:

Prices for fine wool are on a high, in complete contrast to those for coarse crossbred wool which make up 90 per cent of New Zealand’s clip.

PGG Wrightson South Island sales manager Dave Burridge said the present demand for merino fine wool harked back to the 1990s period of “micron madness”, when it was then wanted for high-end suits.

After 18 months the boom ended in a bust, from which the industry took decades to recover, and large stockpiles built up in Australia and New Zealand. . . 

Putting off succession planning could cost Taranaki farmers:

outh Taranaki dairy farmer Andrew Tippett believes starting early is the key to tackling farm succession planning.

Andrew and his wife, Lisa, run a 400-cow autumn calving farm at Okaiawa near Hawera.

The couple, who have five daughters, jointly own the 165-hectare property with Lisa’s parents, Dennis and Diane Bourke.

“Lisa and I couldn’t afford to buy the farm by ourselves,” Andrew said . . 

Foods of the future to boost brain:

New Zealand foods of the future could not only have more flavour and texture, but also boost our brain functions.

AgResearch scientists are working on programmes that have been awarded more than $21 million from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Endeavour Fund.

”The future for New Zealand food exports to the world is premium quality and adding as much value as possible to our products,” AgResearch science group leader Dr Jolon Dyer said.

”This cutting-edge research will look at how we can help deliver premium foods by taking the eating experience, and the health benefits of the food, to new levels.” . . 

A2 Milk, top-performing stock on NZX 50 in 2017, cites ‘pleasing’ start of 2018 financial year –  Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – A2 Milk, the best performing stock on the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index this year after its annual profit tripled, signalled that growth has continued into the current financial year.

The company, which markets milk with a protein variant said to have health benefits, outlined positive developments in its Australia and New Zealand, China and other Asia, US and UK markets in presentation notes for delivery at a UBS Investor Conference in Sydney today, although it stopped short of providing detailed figures noting it would give an update at its annual meeting of shareholders on Nov. 21. Its shares rose 3.1 percent to $7.64 and have soared 248 percent this year. . . 

New Zealand’s best farm yarns being sought by Blue Wing Honda:

This November marks 45 years since Blue Wing Honda began operating in New Zealand. And to celebrate the milestone, they’re asking farmers to share their favourite farm memories. The best farm yarn will win a brand-new farm bike worth over $5,000.

New Zealand’s official importer and distributor of genuine Honda motorcycles began selling road bikes and off-road bikes in 1972. By the late 1970s, All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) were being bought in large numbers by the nation’s farmers.

The locally-owned company has been heavily involved in the farming community ever since and consistently enjoys the number one market position for ATV sales. . . 

High tech manufacturing turning old tyres into better irrigation systems:

It seems unlikely that discarded tyres could help valuable crops grow but that is exactly what the work of two Geelong based joint high-tech manufacturing companies is making happen.

Polymeric Powders and Austeng, are using end-of-life tyre crumb combined with polyolefin plastic, in a ‘world’s first’ process to manufacture a high quality composite material for the manufacture of high quality pipes for uses that include irrigation, drainage and sewerage. . . 


Who knows best?

November 15, 2017

The last Labour government was criticised for nanny-statism and the new one is already in danger of courting the same criticism:

Parenting 101 from your friendly Labour Government.

New parents may relish the idea of both parents being home together, able to bond as a family in those first few weeks of a newborn’s life.

But the Government advises “no”, that’s not necessarily in the interests of your baby.

That’s why it intends to vote down a National Party amendment to the Government’s paid parental leave extension, that would let both parents take their paid leave together.

“Our concern with that is the likelihood it would reduce the amount of time that baby has to bond with their primary caregiver,” said Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway.

Who knows best what’s best for babies and their parents – the parents or the government?

If both parents were off at the same time, it would reduce the total amount of time that baby’s parents would be on leave. National’s amendment would allow for parents to make a choice – it does not compel them to take leave at the same time.

There’s no compulsion, no we-know-best. It would just give flexibility to parents who could choose to take none, some or all of the leave at the same time, depending on what suited them and their babies.

In all likelihood, Labour doesn’t really believe it knows better than parents what suits them.

So they’d put politics before parents, and babies and risk the accusation of nanny-statism because it’s not their idea.

That’s simply pettiness.


Quote of the day

November 15, 2017

Controversial means somebody who makes people think. And if you are afraid of people who will be against you, you might as well stay home and do nothing.Daniel Barenboim who turns 75 today.


November 15 in history

November 15, 2017

655 – Battle of Winwaed: Penda of Mercia was defeated by Oswiu of Northumbria.

1315 – Battle of Morgarten the Schweizer Eidgenossenschaft ambushed the army of Leopold I.

1515 – Thomas Wolsey was invested as a Cardinal.

1532 – Commanded by Francisco Pizarro, Spanish conquistadors underHernando de Soto met Inca leader Atahualpa for the first time outside Cajamarca.

1533 – Francisco Pizarro arrived in Cuzco, the capital of the Inca Empire.

1708 William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1778).

1777 – American Revolutionary War: After 16 months of debate the Continental Congress approved the Articles of Confederation.

1791 – The first U.S Catholic college, Georgetown University, opened its doors.

1849 – Mary E. Byrd, American astronomer and educator, was born (d. 1934).

1854 – The Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, was given the necessary royal concession.

1859 – The first modern revival of the Olympic Games in Athens.

1861 The first issue of the Otago Daily Times was published.

First issue of <em>Otago Daily Times</em> published

1864 – American Civil War: Union General William Tecumseh Sherman burned Atlanta, Georgia and started Sherman’s March to the Sea.

1889 – Brazil was declared a republic by Marechal Deodoro da Fonseca and Emperor Pedro II was deposed in a military coup.

1891 Erwin Rommel, German field marshal, “The Desert Fox”, was born (d. 1941 1944).

1903 – Stewie Dempster, New Zealand cricketer, was born (d. 1974).

1905 Mantovani, Italian-born composer, was born (d. 1980).

1916  – Nita Barrow, Barbadian nurse and politician, 7th Governor-General of Barbados, was born (d. 1995).

1920 – First assembly of the League of Nations was held in Geneva.

1923 – The German Rentenmark is introduced in Germany to counterInflation in the Weimar Republic.

1926 – The NBC radio network opened with 24 stations.

1932 Petula Clark, English singer, was born.

1935 – Manuel L. Quezon was inaugurated as the second president of the Philippines.

1939 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt laid the cornerstone of theJefferson Memorial.

1942 Daniel Barenboim, Argentine-born conductor and pianist, was born.

1942 – First flight of the Heinkel He 219.

1942 – The Battle of Guadalcanal ended in a decisive Allied victory.

1943 – Holocaust: German SS leader Heinrich Himmler ordered thatGypsies be put “on the same level as Jews and placed in concentration camps”.

1945 – Roger Donaldson, Australian- born New Zealand film producer/director, was born.

1945 Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad, Norwegian-born singer (ABBA) was born.

1948 – Louis Stephen St. Laurent succeeded William Lyon Mackenzie King as Prime Minister of Canada.

1949 – Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte were executed for assassinating Mahatma Gandhi.

1951 – Greek resistance leader Nikos Beloyannis and 11 resistance members, were sentenced to death.

1966 – Gemini 12 splashed down safely in the Atlantic Ocean.

1966 – Pan Am Flight 708 crashed near Berlin, killing the three people on board.

1967 – The only fatality of the X-15 program occurs during the 191st flight when Air Force test pilot Michael J. Adams lost control of his aircraft which was destroyed mid-air over the Mojave Desert.

1968 – The US Air Force launched Operation Commando Hunt, a large-scale bombing campaign against the Ho Chi Minh trail.

1969 – The Soviet submarine K-19 collided with the American submarineUSS Gato in the Barents Sea.

1969 – 250,000-500,000 protesters staged a peaceful demonstrationagainst the Vietnam War, including a symbolic “March Against Death”.

1969 – In Columbus, Ohio, Dave Thomas opened the first Wendy’s restaurant.

1971 – Intel released world’s first commercial single-chip microprocessor, the 4004.

1976 – René Lévesque and the Parti Québécois took power to become the first Quebec government of the 20th century clearly in favour of independence.

1978 – A chartered Douglas DC-8 crashed near Colombo, Sri Lanka, killing 183.

1979 – A package from the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski began smoking in the cargo hold of a flight from Chicago to Washington, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing.

1983 – Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded. Recognised only by Turkey.

1985 – A research assistant was injured when a package from the Unabomber addressed to a University of Michigan professor exploded.

1985 – The Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed at Hillsborough Castle by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald.

1987 – Continental Airlines Flight 1713, a Douglas DC-9-14 jetliner, crashed in a snowstorm at Denver, Colorado Stapleton International Airport, killing 28 occupants, while 54 survive the crash.

1987 – In Braşov, Romania, workers rebelled against the communist regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu.

1988 – In the Soviet Union, the unmanned Shuttle Buran was launched on her first and last space flight.

1988 – Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: An independent State of Palestine was proclaimed by the Palestinian National Council.

1988 – The first Fairtrade label, Max Havelaar, was launched in the Netherlands.

1989 – Sachin Tendulkar made his debut as an international cricketer.

1990 – Space Shuttle Atlantis launched with flight STS-38.

2000 – A chartered Antonov An-24 crashed after takeoff from Luanda, Angola killing more than 40 people.

2003 – The first day of the 2003 Istanbul Bombings, in which two car bombs, targeting two synagogues, explode, killing 25 people and wounding about 300.

2005 – Boeing formally launched the stretched Boeing 747-8 variant with orders from Cargolux and Nippon Cargo Airlines.

206 – Al Jazeera English launched worldwide..

2007 – Cyclone Sidr hit Bangladesh, killing an estimated 5000 people and destroyed the world’s largest mangrove forest, Sundarbans.

2012 – Xi Jinping became General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and a new 7-members Politburo Standing Committee is inaugurated.

2012 – Four people were killed and 16 others injured in the Midland train wreck after a Union Pacific train struck a parade float in Midland, Texas.

2016 – Hong Kong High Court banned elected politicians Yau Wai-ching and Baggio Leung from the city’s Parliament.[1]

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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