Word of the day

November 22, 2017

Aspectabund – having a very expressive face; of expressive countenance; having a face that shows emotions clearly.


Harete Hipango’s maiden speech

November 22, 2017

Harete Hipango, National’s Whanganui MP delivered her maiden speech last week:

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To the honourable Madam Deputy Speaker, greetings and congratulations. I open with a pātere composed by John Tahupārae, Whanganui elder and former kaumātua of this Whare Pāremata. Calling upon and inquiring of me, “Where am I from?” The wellspring of wāhi puna on the coastal riverbank lands to Matapihi, the window inland to Pūtiki Wharenui, my tūrangawaewae, my marae, Ngāti Tūpoho.

Climbing the hill of Taumata Kararo, the sacred hill and resting place of my ancestors, onward to Te Ao Hou, a marae of new horizons of a new world.

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I acknowledge my ancestral hapū and tribal collective. I am a descendant of you all.

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To my tribal elders, family, friends and relations from home and afar, my warm and sincere greetings.

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The National Party board and members, our campaign teams—headquarters and Whanganui electorate—championed the good cause. To all of you: Neil, Jan, and Warwick, enduring, tireless, and party-loyal. Our Hāwera hands and hearts: Cynthia, Ella, Gerard. Whanganui work-lot: Derek, Michael, Tony, Gordon, Robyn, and Ray, Jenny, Bernard, Charles, Andre, Annie, and Dean, with cake and sparkling delights. Mark and Steve who photo-ed me vote-able; our hoarding helpers and volunteers—a top billings team—and the Hon Chester Borrows, you saw something in me that I am yet to realise. To you all, indeed, I am indebted.

To the diverse communities of Whanganui, south and central Taranaki, those who voted for me, I will carry and represent your concerns and interests, as your elected representative in the general seat to this House, I am told, as the first elected Māori woman National Party representative. I will represent you to the best of my ability.

Her Excellency the Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy and Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias, I salute and acknowledge you as women of mana for your part in the commissioning of our 52nd Parliament, amidst which I now humbly take my place. To our House of Representatives, Prime Minister, and Deputy Prime Minister:

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To my party leaders, Bill English and Paula Bennet, and our party:

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To the members of this House: tēnā tātou katoa. Today, I embrace us all in this moment.

I speak for the first time in this hallowed House, cloaked with the support of many and the protection, warmth, and embrace of my ancestral kahu kiwi, worn by no less than six generations of Hipango. I’m cloaked with the immense expectation of many to carry and bid well their interests. I’m cloaked with a history of service—humbly yet honourably, proudly, and fiercely given—by many amongst my family who have gone before and many yet to come. I’m cloaked with the responsibility to serve to the best of my abilities, and I will seek to honour that.

I am the daughter of Hoani Wīremu Hipango, Ngāti Tūpoho, and Eileen Mary Shaw, third generation New Zealander, County Cork, Ireland. Today, I stand here not alone. My presence follows suit and service of my ancestors, and I reference them for they forged a pathway giving shape and passage to a nation, to the benefit of us all.

Rere o Maki, Pūtiki rangatira, mother of Te Keepa Rangihiwinui, Major Kemp: she was one of only five women who signed the Treaty of Waitangi; her name penned, commitment, and mana etched eternally, at Pūtiki on 23 May 1840. Her son Te Keepa—renowned, revered colonial military soldier, tactician, and leader of his mother’s Whanganui people—served and fought alongside his whanaunga Hoani Wiremu Hipango in many Whanganui and Taranaki battles in the 1860s. Hipango, with Te Keepa, were pro-Government Whanganui Māori, cognisant of the necessity for their people’s survival—their rangatiratanga in defence of people, lands, and realm. Te Keepa was awarded the Queen’s Sword of Honour, the New Zealand Cross, and the New Zealand War Medal in recognition of valour and service. Hipango was mortally wounded in battle in defence of Whanganui. Both died at Pūtiki, each accorded full military honours and buried there.

Flight officer Porokoru Patapu Pohe of Taihape, my father’s maternal uncle: the first Māori RNZAF commissioned pilot, flew a Halifax for No. 51 Squadron RAF, was shot down, and imprisoned in Stalag Luft III. Uncle Johnny was one of 50 escapees captured and, on Hitler’s command, executed in March 1944 by the Gestapo in Poland, his remains there immortalised immemorial.

Lieutenant Colonel Waata Hipango, my brother, served in New Zealand and overseas, including the Sinai, with the United Nations peacekeeping corps. He was captured, taken hostage by Hezbollah, to all too soon be killed on 6 February 1999 in hit-and-run car-bus collision while serving as the commanding officer of the New Zealand Defence Force, in Singapore. Accorded at Pūtiki a full military funeral and honours, his casket cloaked the embrace of this kahu, and Major Kemp’s Sword of Honour placed upon him, Waata is buried on Taumata Karoro alongside our tupuna, overlooking Pūtiki at the mouth of the Whanganui River. Waata’s son Tane, one of four, is here with us today.

Earlier this week at the State Opening, it was special to reacquaint with my brother’s peers and friends Lieutenant General Tim Keating, Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force, and the Chiefs of the New Zealand Navy, Air Force, and Army.

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I’m one of five children: the middle, born and raised in Pūtiki, a child of the 1960s, raised by a village. Life was simple, we worked hard, we made do and ends meet. Some would say we were poor. We were rich in the essence of family and community. I am the product of parents, extended whānau, and community, who nurtured and cared for me. My Pākehā Catholic mother, Eileen, staunch and stoic, valued the importance of education, ethics, and discipline. She instilled my love of art and opera. My mother recognised early in my life the challenges I would be confronted by, she prepared me, and she shaped me to resilience. My Māori Anglican father Hoani, charismatic and enigmatic, treasured people and the importance of relationships, enduring and intergenerational.

Over the decades, I was gently politicised to the issues of the day, accompanying him and his father Hori to many meetings of the late 1960s—from Whanganui Māori land incorporations and civic affairs through to Waitangi Tribunal Whanganui land and river claims in the 1980s and beyond. I was enveloped in the kōrero and whakaaro of the old people. How richly influenced I was, without realising.

My mother’s devout work ethic and discipline, with my father’s sense, spirit, and soul for community, instilled in me the ability to move with poise, humility, and confidence in the two worlds I was raised—Te Ao Māori and Te Ao Pākehā—and destined me, it seemed, some measure of responsibility to public service and scrutiny.

I come to this House from the privilege of whakapapa, whānau, relationships, and values, from the privilege of parents who cared to aspire, inspire, and perspire. I come to this House with diversity. I also come to this House shaped by adversity: judged for being Māori, but not being Māori enough; for not looking or sounding Māori; for being Pākehā—judged simply as a misfit at most times; treated differently. On my first day at law school I was told I was not good enough and would not graduate. I graduated in 1991, the first in my family with a tertiary degree and not the last, and embarked on a career of service in the law in the social, justice, and health sectors, helping and serving others in Whanganui for almost 30 years now.

As a maiden lawyer, I remember well the wise counsel of colleague John Rowan QC: “Harete, you must be fearless in advocacy.” And fearless I was. In 1995, I was a barrister, a young mother, and Whanganui Māori woman treading in the footsteps of those who had gone before, this time into the modern frontier of the court and justice system—a confronting assault to the senses and self by the power of the State, the police, and the justice system during the Pākaitore Moutoa Gardens occupation, a brutal, out-of-balance experience that was challenging, isolating, and hurtful. Advocating for others when no other would and serving in the courtroom as an officer of the court, targeted I was and isolated—a “hollow way” of police action—unlawfully detained, searched, and assaulted, strong-armed policemen imprinting my body DNA on a courtroom foyer wall. I was non-resistant, shoved down the stairs, and tossed out the courthouse front doors into full public view and dismissal.

Duty and service, fairness and resilience, mistreated by the colour of prejudice—this is a snapshot shared, simply that I bring to this House the personal experience of adversity. I have been yelled at, sworn at, spat at, punched, demeaned, ostracised, and abused in my role as an advocate, and with the experience of many others’ adversity from my years of advocating their plight before the justice system, the health system, and the social welfare system, I bring experience. The police cells, the court cells, the youth justice cells, the prison cells, the mental detention cells, the child welfare homes and aged-care homes, the domestic violence, child abuse, people abuse, drug addictions, mental health afflictions—I come to this House with experience.

My voice in this House is an elected voice to advocate fearlessly for those in need of that voice, and here I stand today to fearlessly speak that voice as a voice also for others. I shall advocate my electorate’s business, economic, and environmental issues, tasking and holding this Government to account. I shall also represent fearlessly and with force all issues affecting our Whanganui electorate and of Whanganui south and central Taranaki, for the protection of our coastal and fresh waters and life forces against unsustainable mining and other practices, for our ngahere, forests and trees, fauna, and river; Te Awa Tupua, the longest legal case in New Zealand history, an unwavering, enduring, unrelenting commitment of Whanganui hapū and the legislative innovation and fortitude of the Hon Christopher Finlayson, legally personifying to preserve and protect our life-force resource; and I shall never forget or lose sight of the vulnerable and their interests, our babies, our children, our families, our elderly, our afflicted—the importance of the quality and sanctity of life.

Duty and loyalty—they are the fabric of my family ancestry. Family and community ethics; sufficiency; independence from State dictate, control, oppression, and suppression; and reliance on the very worth, value, and efforts of each other in community to uplift and affirm, to educate and achieve, and to aspire, inspire, and perspire—these National Party values align with those I was raised with and, in turn, my children.

Mr Speaker, with some indulgence please, if I may, I now turn to my family—recognising that my time has lapsed. In conclusion, I acknowledge my husband, Dean, for your quiet, enduring patience and supportive commitment—37 years. We persevered. Our greatest collaboration was our three children. To this day and every other day, I’m quietly proud of who you are.

Paparangi, our firstborn, is fearless, brave, vivacious, and resilient. Like your ancestors, you navigated local and distant waters, at times swift and turbulent, and at others flowing and favourable. You have achieved New Zealand, American, and Australian honours, Papa, in their waters. Row and sail with a force, my girl, strong and sure of who you are and from whence you have come.

Keepa, you bear the name and, with it, the mana of your ancestor. You return briefly to your home shores, continuing to navigate nations united from your base in New York. Strive worthily for knowledge, intellectual acuity, national and international connectivity, and peace.

Roimata, our pōtiki, you oxygenate the home fires, our ahi kā, with thoughtful warmth and tenderness. You navigate your course always with a quiet, yet resolute, disposition. Make and find your way, with guiding support always near.

I share this simply because my children have shared and gained from the privilege and opportunity of purpose, full education and experiences rooted in the values and ways of whakapapa, connectivity, and community. One day, may these same opportunities be the norm for all children and families in our nation.

Finally, I come to this place after having plied and applied the law for 30 years, and am now to help shape the law. I represent Te Ao Māori, I represent Te Ao Pākehā, and this is who I am. Spoken now—a maiden no more—and with your support, I take my place. E timata—it begins!

 


20/21

November 22, 2017

How many new MPs can you name?

I got 20/21.


Rural round-up

November 22, 2017

A Kauri in the Forest – Michael Spaans:

Federated Farmers is extremely saddened to learn of the passing of DairyNZ chairman Michael Spaans.

Federated Farmers extends its condolences to the Spaan family at this difficult time.
Mr Spaans was renowned for his commitment and dedication to the dairy sector and held several key positions as a director at Fonterra and board member at DairyNZ between 2008 – 2015. . .

Taranaki young farmers take on NZ Dairy Industry Awards challenge:

Several NZ Young Farmers members look set to go head-to-head in Taranaki’s longest-running dairy awards programme.

James Holgate, 25, and Buddy Sharpe, 20, have entered the prestigious New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards.

They’ll both be vying to take out the title of 2018 Taranaki Dairy Manager of the Year.

James Holgate is in his second season as a herd manager on Tony and Lorraine Lash’s 350-cow dairy farm at Midhirst. . . 

Affected farmer criticises handling of cattle disease – Sally Brooker:

A dairy farmer whose herd is infected with Mycoplasma bovis feels let down by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Leo Bensegues revealed his situation at a packed public meeting in the Morven Community Hall last night.

About 200 people crammed into the venue for the sixth meeting hosted by the ministry since the bacterial cattle disease was  discovered  on farms near Waimate in July.

Mr Bensegues asked ministry officials if they would change their biosecurity protocols if he could show they were not working.

Technical liaison officer Victoria Barrell assured him they would. . . 

 

New Zealander nominated for top global wine role:

New Zealand Winegrowers welcomes the New Zealand government’s nomination of Dr John Barker as a candidate for the role of Director General of the International Organisation of Vine & Wine (OIV).

The OIV is the inter-governmental scientific and technical reference body for wine. Based in Paris, with 46 members accounting for more than 85% of global wine production and nearly 80% of world consumption, it is sometimes called the ‘UN of wine’.

“Dr Barker is an ideal candidate. He has deep understanding and expertise in the global vine and wine sector built on 20 years of experience,” said CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers, Philip Gregan. . . 

A2 Milk revenue, profit pushes higher in first four months of FY18 – Rebecca Howard:

(BusinessDesk) – A2 Milk, which markets milk with a protein variant said to have health benefits, says both revenue and net profit jumped in the first four months of the current financial year as it continues to benefit from strong demand for its infant formula.

Revenue climbed 69 percent to $262.2 million in the four months ended Oct. 30 from the same four months a year earlier, while net profit more than doubled to $52.3 million, the company told shareholders at today’s annual meeting in Auckland. Group earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were $78.4 million, up 120.8 percent on the same four months a year earlier. . . 

Synlait Auckland officially opened, doubles infant formula packaging capacity:

Synlait Milk has opened its new Auckland site, which is home to its second state-of-the-art blending and consumer packaging facility.

Located in Mangere, the site was officially opened today by Auckland Mayor Phil Goff at a ceremony alongside all staff.

“We’re expecting customer demand for consumer packaged products to increase significantly in the near term,” said John Penno, Synlait’s Managing Director and CEO. . . 

New Zealand ag-tech increases farm revenue and consumer appeal:

One of the greatest costs to farmers tending an estimated one billion sheep globally is in lost productivity from parasites and ineffective drench programs. The result of a three year R&D project, funded by Sainsbury’s – the UK’s second largest supermarket chain – has demonstrated use of technology developed in New Zealand can save farmers in their supply chain alone around $19 million annually.

Dunedin based ag-tech company Techion Group’s combination of an internet connected device, data management system and connectivity to veterinary expertise delivers an effective means to manage parasites and drenching programs which affect the health and growth of animals. . . 

‘First Wolrd’ disputes can cause ‘third world’ dliemnas – Jennie Schmidt:

The majority of Americans know very little about genetically modified food. They’ll even tell you so: In a poll by the Annenberg Public Policy Center last year, 63 percent rated their understanding of GMOs as “poor” or “fair.” Only 4 percent called it “excellent.”

That’s why Congress is investing $3 million in the Food and Drug Administration specifically to be used for an education campaign. Before the FDA spends the money, however, it’s asking the public for input: This month, it has held forums in Charlotte, N.C., and San Francisco. Online comments are open until November 17.

The skinflint in me worries about this expense: Does a government with a national debt of $20 trillion really need to use its limited resources this way?

The realist in me observes that the spending decision already has been made, so we might as well quit wondering about “whether” and start thinking about “how.” . . 

 


New strategic vision for dairy

November 22, 2017

The dairy industry has launched a new strategic vision:

The new strategic vision for the dairy sector will lead to a longer term conversation about what New Zealand’s future farm and food systems could look like, says DairyNZ Chief Executive Tim Mackle.

Today the dairy sector launched its new strategy ‘Dairy Tomorrow’, a joint sector-led initiative involving DairyNZ, Federated Farmers, DCANZ, and Dairy Women’s Network.

“We are proud of our achievements over the last decade,” says Dr Mackle. “It’s set us up to address the challenges and opportunities we now face as a result of the growth we’ve experienced over recent years.”

“Our shared vision is to improve lives with every drop of New Zealand milk, whether those are the lives of our dairy people, our communities or our consumers.

“We believe sustainable dairy farming has a critical role to play in New Zealand’s future prosperity and wellbeing- a future with a focus on farming within environmental limits while maintaining our profitability and success on the global market.”

The ‘Dairy Tomorrow’ strategy has six commitments and 22 corresponding goals. Dr Mackle says some goals have firm time frames in place while others are more aspirational.

“We want to begin straight away collaborating on strategies and actions toward achieving swimmable waterways and finding new opportunities to reduce or offset our greenhouse gas emissions. These actions will be ongoing priorities,” says Dr Mackle.

“At the same time we’ve put some deadlines in place for implementing new initiatives, including to develop cutting edge science and technology solutions and to implement a new framework for world leading on-farm animal care.”

Barry Harris, Acting Chair for DairyNZ, says the commitments and goals within the Strategy will help prepare the sector for the future. “Overall they reflect what is important to the farmers and stakeholders who contributed to the development of the Strategy.”

“We heard very clearly that farmers want options and solutions to help them farm sustainably. Maintaining our international competitiveness is essential, and leveraging new digital and other technologies will be essential to that,” says Mr Harris.

“We also want to ensure that New Zealand dairy remains a valued part of the diet. That requires us to be open and transparent about our performance. We know the demand for high quality dairy will always exist, so long as we can prove our production chain is sustainable.

“Another key theme is the importance of people to the sector. We need to focus on bringing talented people into the dairy sector, providing them with a great work environment, and helping them to develop their careers.

“We are already well on our way to being world leading due to our international competitiveness and the strong systems we have in place to ensure that our products are safe and of the highest quality.

“We want to ensure our sector is contributing to New Zealand- helping to make this country the best place to live, and for dairy to be a celebebrated part of  the National identity and the kiwi way of life.”

 You can read the strategy at Dairy Tomorrow.


NZ loses its way

November 22, 2017

For several years, New Zealand has received international attention and praise for its economic success.

Just a few weeks with a new government this commentary from Jared Dillian at Forbes is less than enthusiastic about its policies:

On September 23, the people of New Zealand elected 37-year-old Jacinda Ardern as prime minister, the youngest prime minister in New Zealand’s history. Ardern has brought youthful energy to New Zealand politics, but her scary rhetoric during the campaign (like calling capitalism a “blatant failure”) has some people wondering if she will take the country back to the bad old days of the 70s and early 80s.

New Zealand is a supply-side economic miracle. Not long ago, it was one of the most unfree economies that was not actually Communist in name. Most industry was nationalized, from telecommunications and transportation, to banks and hotels. There were strict capital controls and prohibitions on owning foreign assets. And of course punitively high tax rates, inflation, and extraordinary levels of government debt. . .

Those policies from the early 80s back are the ones which failed us.

The 1980s saw an enormous rollback in the size and scope of government, and the beginning of a supply-side revolution. Of course, economic liberalization was happening around the world at that time, but it was most dramatic in tiny New Zealand.

New Zealand enjoyed unprecedented economic growth, and leapfrogged to near the top of the economic freedom rankings, where it usually sits only behind Hong Kong and Singapore. It became one of the richest countries in the world. Part of New Zealand’s success was due to good central banking; the Reserve Bank of New Zealand was the first central bank in the world to institute a formal policy of inflation targeting, which other central banks have copied over the years, to everyone’s benefit. . . 

Inflation is theft. It steals the real value of money and it’s the poorest who are hit hardest by it.

It seems likely that New Zealand will experience a recession during Ardern’s term. Nobody is predicting a return to the bad old days of the 70s, but New Zealand will probably lose its status as one of the most open, free economies in the world. It takes decades to weaken an economy, just like it takes decades to strengthen it. But investors will probably want to avoid New Zealand for the time being.

This government has taken down the welcome sign to immigrants and inwards investment.

Richard Harman at Politik reports the Government is to put the approval of overseas purchases of farmland on hold as it gets advice from officials on how to carry out its coalition agreement with NZ First to strengthen the Overseas Investment Act.

The hold is likely to affect tens of millions of dollars of property sales and possibly hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business transactions.

POLITIK understands that the sale of one large South Island property and the potential sale of an iconic Wanaka station along with two large North Island dairy properties are likely to be caught up in the move.

It was not clear from the comments from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday whether the hold will also apply to overseas business investments – but if that is the case, there are proposed takeovers in both the oil and gas and private hospital sectors that could be affected. . . 

The sale of Icebreaker  to VF Corporation which needs OIO approval as will the sale of carpet maker Godfrey Hirst to global flooring manufacturer Mohawk Industries.

Uncertainty over the economy, the inflationary affect of a lower dollar and higher borrowing, and whether immigrants will be available to fill staff vacancies is denting business confidence.

Less confidence means businesses are less willing to take risks, including hiring more staff.

It’s very early days but if overseas investors are being warned off and local businesses are losing confidence, it’s a sign that New Zealand is losing its way.

 


Quote of the day

November 22, 2017

Age doesn’t make you sage, but it does help you relax in taking risks. And in recognising that you are never too old to adjust.  Jon Cleary who was born on this day in 1917.


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