Word of the day


Morphological – relating to the form or structure of things; relating to the branch of biology that deals with the form of living organisms, and with relationships between their structures; relating to the patterns of word formation in a particular language, including inflection, derivation, and composition.

Andrew Falloon’s maiden speech


Rangitata MP Andrew Falloon’s maiden speech:

Thank you Mr Speaker. Congratulations on your election, and congratulations to your fellow presiding officers.

I stand here today the proud son of Shirley and John, and grandson of Ron and Joan, Arthur and Eva.

My family have sacrificed much for me to be here.

My paternal grandfather contracted polio as a child, making farming a struggle for my father’s family on their farm just outside of Waimate.

My maternal grandfather passed away at a young age, leaving my grandmother to raise three daughters on her own.

Gender equality was borne out of necessity – she did the work of two men, and raised three strong and independent women.

She was a formidable woman, and had a huge impact on me growing up.

My father spent much of my childhood growing his small business, so much of the heavy lifting of raising my sister Anna and I fell to my mother.

On top of looking after two kids, holding down a job, and being involved in a variety of worthy causes, she made the time to go to night school.

She’s always been an example to me of the importance of education, and of lifelong learning.

I’m a firm believer that we are products of our environment.

That the people we meet, and the experiences we have shape who we become.

In that sense, I recognise my privilege.

I come from a loving family. Two parents, still together.

I was born and raised in Ashburton, at the northern end of the Rangitata electorate, the sort of place you wouldn’t have thought twice about letting your kids stay out kicking a ball around the local park until sunset.

The Rangitata electorate I’m proud to represent spans much of Mid Canterbury and South Canterbury.

Unlike the 20 or so Auckland MPs who have to share a pretty average rugby team, I’m spoilt with two strong Heartland teams.

In the west we have the Southern Alps and Mt Hutt, rising high above the Canterbury plains below, with picturesque communities like Methven, Mount Somers, Staveley and Mayfield not far away.

Travelling south, the electorate cuts in to the east when you reach the Rangitata River, tracing the outskirts of distinct and diverse communities like Temuka, Orari, Winchester and Pleasant Point.

Timaru, where my wife Rose and I live, lies at the southern boundary.

Home to a thriving port, major food processing and manufacturing plants, artisan cheese, craft beer, excellent coffee and of course Caroline Bay, the Riviera of the South.

If you haven’t visited yet, to quote a questionable Australian marketing campaign: “where the bloody hell are ya?”

Further north, the coastline turns rugged, with hut settlements looking out over the ferocious South Pacific Ocean.

You’ll often find me at the Rangitata Huts, outside of mobile phone coverage (my apologies in advance to the Senior Whip), hiking the coastal trails, or trying to catch some dinner.

Further inland are the towns and settlements of Fairton, Hinds, Wakanui, Winchmore and Ashburton Forks, all surrounded by rich and fertile soils, which help make Mid and South Canterbury a food basket for the world.

In all of these communities you’ll find the friendliest and most welcoming people you’re ever likely to meet.

I am honoured and humbled to be their servant in our House of Representatives.

I went to my local Primary, Allenton School, where my mother worked in the office for twenty years.

After being sent to the Principal’s office just once I quickly learned that the growling I’d get from him would pale in comparison to what I’d get from her.

While I was at Ashburton Intermediate I became a keen rugby player for my local club Allenton, and with dreams of becoming an All Black, I enrolled as a boarder at Christchurch Boys’ High School.

Known as one of the most prolific producers of All Blacks, Christchurch Boys’ have produced 46 at last count, sadly my talent and training only got me as far as the mighty third fifteen.

By that time my attention had turned elsewhere.

I started studying economics in Year 10, 20 years ago, and haven’t stopped since then.

I credit this, and some exceptional teachers, with encouraging an early interest in politics.

More than anyone I thank Doctor Bruce Harding, my Year 13 English teacher, for fostering debate, treating us like adults, and goading me into arguing with him daily.

He was a staunch Alliance supporter, so I’m not sure he’ll appreciate my thanks, or that I’ve gone on to become a National Party MP.

I had a year off, pulling pints in London and backpacking around Europe, and came home to study Political Science and Economics at the University of Canterbury.

Coming from Ashburton, these years in Christchurch, and stints in London and later Wellington were quite a shock.

I’m still not entirely comfortable in big cities.

Throughout High School and University I was home in Ashburton every chance I got.

Working on dad’s cousin’s pig farm.

I learned more there than I’ve learned anywhere else.

The value of hard work.

An entirely new and colourful vocabulary.

I’m still trying to unlearn it.

But above all it’s given me an understanding of the huge importance of our primary sector, for jobs, for exports, and for what we eat and drink.

Following university I came to work in this place, never expecting I would be here nearly a decade.

I worked on some fascinating issues.

Auckland governance reforms.
Foreign charter vessels.
The International Convention Centre.
I visited some incredible places: India. Colombia. Indonesia.

But what I’ll remember most are the people.

My colleagues I worked with, all of whom were here because they wanted to make New Zealand a better place.

Mr Speaker, traditionally maiden speeches are a time for new MPs to talk about what they want to achieve during their time in Parliament.

I recall once reading a speech by Roger Douglas, the architect of free market reform in the fourth Labour Government.

In it he called for the state-backed construction of carpet manufacturing plants across the length and breadth of New Zealand.

I can only hope my vision for our country stands the test of time a little more.

New Zealand is a wonderful country, but I believe our best days are ahead of us.

I’m here because I want to contribute to making that a reality.

I’m not here to eat my lunch.

I want to see New Zealand continue to develop into a small, confident, outwardly focused country.

A country that remembers its history, but looks to the future.

A country that overcomes challenges rather than becoming consumed by them.

As the world grows smaller and as technology advances, the things that once held us back, like our distance, become less important, and for biosecurity and our environment, become our strengths.

Our population, too small for a sizeable domestic market, means that we have to trade.

To quote one of my colleagues – New Zealand companies are barely out of nappies before they have to start selling offshore.

That’s why I’m a strong supporter of free trade – we cannot hope to become prosperous and successful as a country of 4.7 million people trading with ourselves, and turning our back on the world.

The benefits of trade are enormous.

Where that’s most felt, isn’t Ponsonby or Panmure, Khandallah or Karori; it’s in regional New Zealand.

On the back of the China Free Trade Agreement, trade with China has tripled in the last decade.

Half the pizzas in China are topped with mozzarella from Fonterra’s Clandeboye plant in my electorate.

We now need to redouble our efforts in new and growing markets like South America and the Middle East, and do much more in Africa.

I’m incredibly nervous about talk of cutting migrant numbers.

The local economy is growing strongly in my area.

We simply don’t have enough people to do the jobs that are available.

A large cut to work visas would stall growth in the regions.

We have to move away from blaming migration for the social ill of the day.

Mr Speaker, the world is changing rapidly.

It’s important we continue to offer an education to our young people that will help prepare them for a future we cannot today imagine.

We have world class schools and universities.

But I am concerned there is a notion prevalent in too many of our high schools that their role is solely to train kids to go to university.

Farming and the trades have to be given a far more equal weighting when educating our young people about their career options.

Mr Speaker, we have much to be proud of.

We are a vibrant, multicultural society.

We are addressing past injustices.

But we can’t rest.

In the last year more than 600 New Zealanders took their own lives.

There’s no single answer, no silver bullet to fix that.

I was pleased that the last Government set aside $100 million as part of Budget 2017 to investigate new approaches – we have to accept what we have now isn’t working.

When 600 of our fellow Kiwis are dying at their own hands we have to say this is unacceptable.

When I was in my late teens and early twenties three of my best friends took their own lives in tragic circumstances.

I’m sorry that I couldn’t do more for them.

It’s a feeling that doesn’t go away.

I was fortunate that it was about this time, when I was at University, I met someone who helped me through it.

I wouldn’t be here without her.

Her name is Rose, and the best moment of my life was when she agreed to marry me.

Mr Speaker, before I end I have a few people to acknowledge.

No campaign is run by one person and the most successful campaigns have too many people to thank.

But there are a number of people without whom this wouldn’t have been possible.

My family are here in the Gallery today, and they’ve been nothing but supportive, despite I think a healthy degree of scepticism about politics and politicians.

Thank you for your support, and for listening to me prattle on for years about stuff you couldn’t care less about.

The three Ministers I worked for: Rodney Hide, Phil Heatley and Steven Joyce.

Thank you for your guidance, your patience, the opportunity and your friendship.

Thank you to my campaign team: Jess Letham, Mark Oldfield, John Hunt, Colin Truman, John Driscoll and Allan Booth.

My campaign chair Alison Driscoll, still not a single disagreement in seven months, a pretty remarkable achievement, particularly for me.

Fellow Rangitata candidates: Olly, Jo, Tom and Mojo; thank you for a good natured campaign.

I learned something from all of you.

It’s great to see Jo here as a Labour list MP, but incredibly sad that Mojo Mathers wasn’t high enough on the Greens’ list to return.

To my predecessor the Hon Jo Goodhew.

Thank you for being a constant source of advice and guidance, and for the job you did as our local MP for many years.

Finally, to my wonderful wife Rose.

Thank you for joining me on another journey.

Thursday’s quiz


You are invited to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual bunch of peonies.

Rural round-up


Irrigation water flows at Sheffield as new scheme starts – Heather Chalmers:

Sheffield arable farmer Damon Summerfield expects to double his production following the arrival of water from the massive Central Plains Water irrigation scheme, writes Heather Chalmers.

If Central Canterbury arable farmer Damon Summerfield is acting like an expectant farmer it’s no surprise. This “baby” has been 10 years in the making.

He’s even talking about a christening which is apt when the “baby” is irrigation water as part of the Central Plains Water community scheme. . .

Farmer vigilance helps keep sheep measles at low ebb:

New Zealand recorded its lowest lamb prevalence level of sheep measles in ten years, says the project manager for Ovis Management Ltd, Dan Lynch.

He says 0.59% of lambs processed in the season ending October were detected with sheep measles versus 0.64% last season.

Lynch believes this low prevalence reflects continuing onfarm control being exerted by farmers across NZ. “This is a great outcome.” . . .

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chairman James Parsons not seeking re-election:

James Parsons, Chairman of Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ), announced today he will not be seeking re-election in the organisation’s director elections in March.

Mr Parsons, who farms a 478-hectare hill country farm in Tangowahine, Northland, has served as the Northern North Island Director on the B+LNZ Board for nine years, including four as Chairman.

“Although I am still very energised as the organisation’s Chairman, another three-year term would mean 12 years on the board and seven years as Chairman,” says Mr Parsons. . .

Beef + Lamb New Zealand invites director nominations and remits/resolutions for Annual Meeting:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) today announced nominations have opened for two B+LNZ director roles and one position on its Directors’ Independent Remuneration Committee (DIRC).

Under the requirements of the B+LNZ constitution, two electoral district directors and one existing DIRC member retire by rotation at the annual meeting.

This year, directors Phil Smith (Northern South Island), and James Parsons (Northern North Island), and DIRC member Derrick Millton will be those retiring by rotation. They are permitted to seek re-election. Mr Parsons announced this week he will not be seeking re-election as a director. . .

Rabo NZ chief Daryl Johnson resigns after less than two years in the job – Sophie Boot:

(BusinessDesk) – Rabobank New Zealand chief executive Daryl Johnson has resigned, less than two years after taking over the reins of the rural lending specialist.

Johnson’s resignation will take effect on Dec. 22, and Rabobank NZ has commenced a process to appoint a new chief executive officer, chair Henry van der Heyden said in a statement to the NZX. Johnson joined the bank in July last year, having previously led National Australia Bank’s Asia business. . . .

Water scientist hits back at claims around Waimea dam plan – Cherie Sivgnon:

The Waimea River, near Nelson, will be dry most summers if more water is pumped from the aquifers under the plains without augmentation, according to Landcare Research water scientist Andrew Fenemor.

If minimum flows in the river were to be maintained and seawater intrusion avoided, there needed to be limits on water taken from the aquifers, he said.

Fenemor is a former Tasman District Council environmental manager and a member of the newly formed Community Water Solutions Advisory Group, set up to advise the council and its proposed joint-venture partner in the $82.5 million dam project, Waimea Irrigators Ltd. . . 

Canterbury A&P Show: ‘Amazing’ weather and crowds for day one – Oliver Lewis:

Bryce Black has been described as the “chief stirrer” and “ring entertainer” during his long tenure at the Canterbury A&P Show.

The 87-year-old has almost never missed a show and has presided over the movement of horses into the ring for the past 70 years.

On Wednesday, the opening day of the 155th event, the Tai Tapu local was in his caravan right on the edge of the Main Arena. . . .

There’s more farmland in the world than was previously thought – Megan Durisin:

There’s more agricultural land in the world than previously thought, and India rather than the U.S. or China is now believed to have the biggest acreage of any country, according to new study aimed at improving food and water security.

Global cropland totals 1.87 billion hectares (4.62 billion acres), 15 percent to 20 percent higher than earlier estimates, according to a map released Tuesday by the U.S. Geological Survey. The increase is due to the assessment of areas previously mapped inaccurately, or left unmapped, the USGS said in a statement. . .


Higher spending, tax, debt


Economists are warning that the Labour-led government’d Debt will be billions more than planned.

. . . In Opposition Labour laid out a fiscal plan which would borrow around $11 billion more than National had proposed, but still cut debt as a share of the total economic output from 24 per cent to 20 per cent by 2022.

The plan formed a major point of contention during the election campaign, as National finance spokesman Steven Joyce was widely mocked for his claim that Robertson’s plan had a major “fiscal hole”.

This is a very good argument for independent costing of party policies before an election.

But bank economists, who monitor the likely issuance of government bonds, are warning of pressure for Treasury to borrow billions more than Labour had signalled because of new spending promises.

ANZ has forecast that Labour will borrow $13 billion more than Treasury’s pre-election fiscal update maintained the former Government would over the next four years, although around $3b of that would go to the NZ Super Fund.

Borrowing to contribute to the super fund is as reckless as borrowing to play the share market instead of paying off a mortgage.

This would see net Crown debt at 23 per cent of gross domestic product, 3 percentage points higher than Labour’s plan.

Outgoing ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie said the estimates for new spending were “conservative”, including an assumption that the new $1b a year regional development fund would come entirely from existing budgets. . . 

BNZ senior economist Craig Ebert said the figures were hard to determine so early in the term, but borrowing “could amount to a number of billion dollars” more than Labour had outlined. . . 

During question time in Parliament on Tuesday, Robertson maintained that the Government was sticking to its pre-election debt plan.

“But what we’re not prepared to put up with is a situation where we do not have enough affordable homes, where we have not made contributions to the [NZ] Super Fund, and where an enormous social deficit is growing,” Robertson said.

“In those circumstances a slower debt repayment track is totally appropriate.”

A much more disciplined approach to spending would be wiser.

National took office when the kitty was empty and Treasury was forecasting a decade of deficits.

In spite of the GFC and natural and financial disasters, it returned the books to surplus without a slash and burn approach to social spending.

This government has taken over with plenty of money in the kitty and forecasts of continuing surpluses.

With careful management, it should be able to

Labour and many on the left talk about the “failed policies of the 80s”.

They never look at the cause of the problems which precipitated those radical policies – higher spending, higher taxes and higher borrowing.

Those were the failed policies.

Unless the new government takes a much more careful approach, it will take path New Zealand down that path again.

Quote of the day


It is the duty of a good shepherd to shear his sheep, not to skin them. – Tiberius who was born on this day in 42 BC.

November 16 in history


42 BC – Tiberius, Roman emperor, was born (d. 37).

1272 – While travelling during the Ninth CrusadePrince Edward became King of England upon Henry III’s death, but he will not return to England for nearly two years to assume the throne.

1491 – An auto de fé, held in the Brasero de la Dehesa outside Ávila, concluded the case of the Holy Child of La Guardia with the public execution of several Jewish and converso suspects.

1532 – Francisco Pizarro and his men captured Inca Emperor Atahualpa.

1643 – Jean Chardin, French-English jeweler and explorer, was born (d. 1703).

1776 – American Revolution: The United Provinces (Low Countries) recognised the independence of the United States.

1805 – Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Schöngrabern – Russian forces under Pyotr Bagration delayed the pursuit by French troops under Murat.

1806  – Mary Tyler Peabody Mann, American author and educator, was born (d. 1887).

1821 – Missouri trader William Becknell arrived in Santa Fe, New Mexico over a route that became known as the Santa Fe Trail.

1840 – New Zealand officially became a separate colony of Britain, severing its link to New South Wales.

NZ officially becomes British colony

1849 – A Russian court sentenced Fyodor Dostoevsky to death for anti-government activities linked to a radical intellectual group; his sentence is later commuted to hard labour.

1852 – The English astronomer John Russell Hind discovered the asteroid22 Kalliope.

1857 – Second relief of Lucknow. Twenty-four Victoria Crosses were awarded, the most in a single day.

1863 – Battle of Campbell’s Station near Knoxville, Tennessee. Confederate troops unsuccessfully attacked Union forces.

1869 – Hamiora Pere was executed for treason.

1885 – Canadian rebel leader of the Métis and “Father of Manitoba”, Louis Riel was executed for treason.

1896 – Joan Lindsay, Australian novelist, was born (d. 1984).

1897 – Choudhry Rahmat Ali, Indian-Pakistani academic, created the name for Pakistan, was born (d. 1951).

1907 – Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory became Oklahoma and was admitted as the 46th U.S. state.

1907 – Cunard Line’s RMS Mauretania, sister ship of RMS Lusitania, set sail on her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York City.

1914 – Eddie Chapman, British World War II spy and double agent, akaAgent Zigzag, was born (d. 1997)

1914 – The Federal Reserve Bank of the United States officially opened.

1916 – The first conscription ballot was held in New Zealand.

First conscription ballot

1916 – Harold Baigent, New Zealand actor, was born (d. 1996).

1938 – LSD was first synthesized by Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel.

1940 – The Royal Air Force bombed Hamburg.

1940 – The Nazis closed off the Warsaw Ghetto from the outside world.

1943 – American bombers struck a hydro-electric power facility and heavy water factory in German-controlled Vemork, Norway.

1944 –  Operation Queen, the Allied thrust to the Rur, was launched.

1944 – Dueren, Germany was destroyed by Allied bombers.

1945 – Operation Paperclip: The United States Army secretly admitted 88 German scientists and engineers to help in the development of rocket technology.

1945 – UNESCO was founded.

1953 Griff Rhys Jones, Welsh comedian, writer and actor, was born.

1965 – The Soviet Union launched the Venera 3 space probe toward Venus, the first spacecraft to reach the surface of another planet.

1973 – NASA launched Skylab 4 with a crew of three astronauts for an 84-day mission.

1973 – U.S. President Richard Nixon signed the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorisation Act into law.

1979 – The first line of Bucharest Metro (Line M1) was opened from Timpuri Noi to Semanatoarea in Bucharest.

1988 – The Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR declared that Estoniawas “sovereign” but stopped short of declaring independence.

1988 – In the first open election in more than a decade, voters in Pakistan elected populist candidate Benazir Bhutto to be Prime Minister.

1989 – A death squad composed of El Salvadoran army troops killed six Jesuit priests and two others at Jose Simeon Canas University.

1989 – UNESCO adopted the Seville Statement on Violence at the twenty-fifth session of its General Conference.

1997 – After nearly 18 years of incarceration, China released Wei Jingsheng, a pro-democracy dissident, for medical reasons.

2000 – Bill Clinton became the first U.S. President to visit Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War.

2010– Prince William and the Kate Middleton announced their engagement at Clarence House.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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