Word of the day

June 30, 2019

Ergophobia – an abnormal fear of work or finding employment; a morbid fear of returning to work; an aversion to work.


Counting down

June 30, 2019

David Farrar has been doing a regular count-down on what’s required for the government to keep its KiwiBuild promise:

I don’t usually gamble, but am confident to wager they’re not going to make it, even with all the new ministers.


Milne muses

June 30, 2019


Rural round-up

June 30, 2019

Bovis takes a human toll – Sally Rae:

Next month will mark two years since bacterial cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis was first confirmed on a South Canterbury dairy farm. Agribusiness reporter Sally Rae speaks to Waimate farmer Carl Jensen, who has first-hand experience of the outbreak.

“As soon as you get that phone call, ‘hi, it’s MPI’, the anxiety journey has started.”

Carl Jensen has traversed that road – with many twists and turns – since becoming caught up in the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak in April last year.

The Waimate farmer has come out the other side; restrictions to his farming operation have been lifted, compensation has finally been paid and his business is back on track. . .

‘M. bovis’ anguish: ‘frank’ feedback helping in long process – Sally Rae:

For those farmers most affected by Mycoplasma bovis, the cure may very well seem worse than the disease, programme director Geoff Gwyn says.

“We all need to do everything we can to support them, and that starts with us continuously making sure our systems and processes are working well, and then working in partnership with farmers to get this job done,” he said.

MPI regularly talked to the likes of Waimate farmer Carl Jensen and other farmers, who gave “frank and robust” feedback on how it could improve and that was a very important part of making the programme work. . .

Rat numbers are at a 48-year high and the environment is suffering – Leah Tebbutt:

Rat numbers have exploded across New Zealand and it is no different in Rotorua with some saying numbers are at a 48-year high.

Pest controllers’ phones are ringing off the hook due to an outbreak caused by a mega mast Forest and Bird say.

A mega mast is an over-abundance of plants that have a high seed production, in turn providing food for pests.

The problem began close to four months ago and there are ways to avoid a problem like this in future said Alpeco managing director Heiko Kaiser. . . 

Robust process vital in DIRA review – John Aitkinson:

A robust review process is needed for the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA), writes Rotorua/Taupo Federated Farmers Dairy Section chairman John Atkinson.

DIRA is a major part of dairy farming.

It is an important tool in the food chain that allows you to enjoy your cheese, your latte or if you’re partial to it, New Zealand made dairy milk chocolate.

The Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA) was a special Act passed by the Helen Clark-led Government enabling the formation of Fonterra in 2001. . . .

A tractor for every day of the week – Samantha Tennent:

Manawatu farmer Reuben Sterling would much rather be behind the wheel of a tractor than at the shed milking.

His preference for tractors goes back to when he was growing up on the family farm at Rangiotu. He would often head out with his dad Rob and sit next to him while he mowed paddocks and did other jobs.

“I guess every farm kid wants to be like their dad and drive the tractor,” Sterling says.

“I remember being about six and going to get the cows in for milking on my own with the four-wheeler. . . 

Shearing and Woolhandling World Championships: Meet the Kiwi team

The 18th World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships are being held at Le Dorat, France, next week.

Teams from around the world, including New Zealand, will compete. The competitions take place on July 4-7.

The Allflex New Zealand Shearing and Woolhandling Team will be there. Check out their profiles below. . . 

‘Our small towns are toppling like dominoes: why we should cut some farmers a checkRobert Leonard and Matt Russell:

How we address an expanding list of crises related to global warming is the most demanding question of our day. So far, our approaches have been piecemeal, enormously costly and largely unsuccessful.

A common denominator for many of these crises is in how we use the land, and that is where we will find the solution. A simple, cheap and relatively quick fix is to pay farmers and ranchers for environmental services. Not traditional government cost-share programs; we mean cut them a check when they provide measurable environmental services. It would cost Americans pennies per meal.

We already provide enormous taxpayer support for farmers to stabilize our food supply. The Trump administration’s trade bailouts for farmers to the tune of $28 billion in 2018 and 2019 are examples. Unfortunately, right now, farmers who invest in conservation practices are at a competitive disadvantage to those who don’t.  . . 


To those too busy on farm

June 30, 2019

A sad story, unfortunately not uncommon, but one with important lessons about what really matters and the message that tough men talk, they don’t hide their feelings.

z


Sunday soapbox

June 30, 2019

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, but not abuse.

Image result for thomas sowell quotes

Nobody is equal to anybody. Even the same man is not equal to himself on different days. – Thomas Sowell


June 30 in history

June 30, 2019

350 Roman usurper Nepotianus, of the Constantinian dynasty, was defeated and killed by troops of the usurper Magnentius.

1422  Battle of Arbedo between the duke of Milan and the Swiss cantons.

1520  The Spaniards were expelled from Tenochtitlan.

1559  King Henry II of France was seriously injured in a jousting match against Gabriel de Montgomery.

1651 The Deluge: Khmelnytsky Uprising – the Battle of Beresteczko ended with a Polish victory.

1688  The Immortal Seven issued the Invitation to William, continuing the struggle for English independence from Rome.

1758  Seven Years’ War: The Battle of Domstadtl.

1794 Native American forces under Blue Jacket attacked Fort Recovery.

1859  French acrobat Charles Blondin crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

1860  The 1860 Oxford evolution debate at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

1864 U.S. President Abraham Lincoln granted Yosemite Valley to California for “public use, resort and recreation”.

1882  Charles J. Guiteau was hanged for the assassination of President James Garfield.

1886 The first transcontinental train trip across Canada departs from Montreal.

1905 Albert Einstein published the article “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”, in which he introduced special relativity.

1906  The United States Congress passed the Meat Inspection Actand Pure Food and Drug Act

1908 – Winston Graham, British writer, was born (d. 2003).

1908  The Tunguska explosion in SIberia – commonly believed to have been caused by the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet fragment at an altitude of 5–10 kilometres (3.1–6.2 mi) above the Earth’s surface.

1912  The Regina Cyclone hit Regina, Saskatchewan, killing 28.

1913 – Alfonso López Michelsen, Colombian lawyer and politician, 24th President of Colombia, was born (d. 2007).

1914 – Francisco da Costa Gomes, Portuguese general and politician, 15th President of Portugal, was born (d. 2001).

1917 –  Susan Hayward, American actress, was born (d. 1975).

1917 – Lena Horne, American singer and actress (d. 2010).

1930 – Thomas Sowell, American economist, philosopher, and author, was born.

1934  The Night of the Long Knives, Adolf Hitler’s violent purge of his political rivals took place.

1935  The Senegalese Socialist Party held its first congress.

1936  Emperor Haile Selassie of Abbysinia appealed to the League of Nations for aid against Mussolini’s invasion of his country.

1939 The first edition of the New Zealand Listener was published.
First issue of <em>New Zealand Listener</em> published
1941  World War II: Operation Barbarossa – Germany captured Lviv, Ukraine.

1943  Florence Ballard, American singer (The Supremes). was born (d. 1976).

1944 Glenn Shorrock, Australian singer-songwriter (Little River Band) was born.

1944  World War II: The Battle of Cherbourg ended with the fall of the strategically valuable port to American forces.

1950 Leonard Whiting, British actor, was born.

1953 Hal Lindes, British-American musician (Dire Straits) was born.

1953  The first Chevrolet Corvette rolled off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan.

1956 – A TWA Super Constellation and a United Airlines DC-7 (Flight 718)collided above the Grand Canyon killing all 128 on board the two planes.

1959  A United States Air Force F-100 Super Sabre from Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, crashed into a nearby elementary school, killing 11 students plus six residents from the local neighborhood.

1960 Murray Cook, Australian singer (The Wiggles) was born.

1960  Congo gained independence from Belgium.

1962 Julianne Regan, British singer and musician (All About Eve), was born.

1963  Ciaculli massacre: A car bomb, intended for Mafia boss Salvatore Greco “Ciaschiteddu”, killed seven police and military officers near Palermo.

1966  Mike Tyson, American boxer, was born.

1966  Marton Csokas, New Zealand actor, was born.

1968  Credo of the People of God by Pope Paul VI.

1969  Nigeria banned Red Cross aid to Biafra.

1971  The crew of the Soviet Soyuz 11 spacecraft were killed when their air supply escaped through a faulty valve.

1971 – Ohio ratified the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, lowering the voting age to 18, thereby putting the amendment into effect.

1972  The first leap second was added to the UTC time system.

1985 Thirty-nine American hostages from a TWA Flight 847 jetliner were freed in Beirut after being held for 17 days.

1986  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Bowers v. Hardwick that states can outlaw homosexual acts between consenting adults.

1987 The Royal Canadian Mint introduced the $1 coin, known as theLoonie.

1990 East Germany and West Germany merged their economies.

1992 Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher joined the House of Lords as Baroness Thatcher.

1997  The United Kingdom transferred sovereignty over Hong Kong to China.

2007 A car crashed into Glasgow International Airport in an attempted terrorist attack.

2009 Yemenia Flight 626 crashed off the coast of Moroni, Comoros killing 152 people and leaving 1 survivor.

2013 – – 19 firefighters died controlling a wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona.

2015 – A Hercules C-130 military aircraft with 113 people on board crashed in a residential area in the Indonesian city of Medan, resulting in at least 116 deaths.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

June 29, 2019

Fescennine – vulgar, obscene, scurrilous; lewd, or licentious.


Thatcher thinks

June 29, 2019


Rural round-up

June 29, 2019

Success from the ground up – Luke Chivers:

Future Post is leading change in on-farm sustainability with its new environmentally friendly fence post that won the top Agricultural Innovation award at this year’s Fieldays.

“It came as a huge surprise,” Future Post founder Jerome Wenzlick said.

“We weren’t expecting to win, that’s for sure.” . .

Here’s my beef with the entitled and pampered fat cats – Phil Quin:

Whereas I’m not exactly persuaded by James Cameron and Sir Peter Jackson that New Zealand can or should go meat-free, I’m pretty sure we could manage without three more Avatar films.

“What we need,” Cameron told us last week, “is a nice transition to a meatless or relatively meatless world in 20 or 30 years.”

Even for a filmmaker better known for special effects than human-seeming dialogue, this is a clunker. 

To be fair, though, when you’ve made a couple of billion dollars from blue aliens on a fictitious planet, and when you have come to regard New Zealand as your personal movie set, what’s so hard about replacing dairy and meat with plant-based alternatives?   . . .

Grain sector sees bold future – Annette Scott:

New Zealand is behind other countries in developing and investing in plant-based food ingredients and it’s time to bite the bullet, Plant Research managing director Adrian Russell says.

Agriculture and the world food supply are in the biggest revolution in history, Russell told the Grain and Seed Industry Forum at Lincoln.

“There’s incredibly exciting times to get into as an industry, things are changing and we need to change with it.

“The rise of the flexitarian consuming less meat is predicted to quadruple global pea protein demand by 2025.  . .

Rural boards changing – Brent Melville:

Rural New Zealand boardrooms, once the exclusive enclave of the old boys’ club, are becoming more diversified.

It is not happening quickly. But it is happening.

Women account for only about one in four board members of the large primary sector co-operatives. Two are on the 11-strong Fonterra board and they comprise two of seven on the Silver Fern Farms board, two of nine on the Board of Alliance Farmers Produce and three of 10 on the Farmlands board. . . 

New job helps with title aspirations – Sally Brooker:

Alan Harvey’s new job is proving great preparation for his tilt at the Young Farmer of the Year title.

The Aorangi region representative in the grand final has moved from being an agricultural consultant for Agri Planz to operations manager for North Otago dairy farming company Borst Holdings Ltd.

After winning the Aorangi competition in February, Mr Harvey said he would have to work on his knowledge of the dairy sector before the national final in Hawke’s Bay on July 4 to 6. So he is filling the gaps in his knowledge while enjoying the variety his job brings. . . 

Egg Industry introduces first industry-led trace programme:

A locally developed, industry-led source assurance programme will set the bar for consumers by enabling them to trace their eggs back to the farm they came from to verify that the eggs they want to buy are the eggs in the carton, says New Zealand’s Egg Producers Federation (EPF).

“True source assurance comes from authenticity across multiple platforms, and for that reason, we see this as the most ambitious primary industry-led programme available,” says EPF Executive Director, Michael Brooks. . . 

The slow welcome death of GMO panic – Abe Greenwald:

In the United States, the public panic about the dangers of genetically modified foods is fading fast. This is an amazing—and rare—triumph of reason and science over public hysteria and political posturing.

On Monday, for example, the New York Times published an article by Knuvul Sheikh detailing recent advances in genetically modified crops without offering a single word about potential health dangers or environmental concerns. In fact, it seems there’s a rebranding effort on the left to hype GMO foods as a vital response to climate change.


A Hell of a mistake

June 29, 2019

Tricking customers into eating fake meat is a hell of a mistake:

Hell Pizza denies misleading customers by covertly serving fake meat, despite a lawyer’s warning the company may have breached the Fair Trading Act.

Thousands of Kiwis unwittingly sampled Beyond Meat after Hell quietly added the product to its menu.

The New Zealand-owned chain launched its burger pizza last Friday, with ingredients including “medium-rare burger patty”.

After selling thousands of the pizzas to customers around the country, Hell revealed on Wednesday the patties were a plant-based creation from US company Beyond Meat.  
Marketing lawyer Rae Nield said there was a high risk Hell was in breach of the Act, which protected consumers from being misled.

“What does a reasonable consumer expect if it says “burger” and there’s no qualifier – it doesn’t say “veggie” or “meat-free”. A reasonable consumer is going to think that means meat.” . . 

A pizza burger combo doesn’t appeal to me, but if I did order it I’d want to know what I was eating and people with allergies need to know what’s in their food.

But what really gets me is the sanctimony from company general manager Ben Cumming:

“We care about the planet and want to start a conversation and raise awareness about sustainable food choices.

“A lot of people are instantly put off by the idea of fake meats, so we made the call to not reveal its meat-free origins to [people] eating it because we were so confident they’d enjoy these patties,” he said. . . 

Customers aren’t children to be fooled into eating something new by companies that think they know best.

If Hell wanted people to try the fake stuff, they could have offered bite-sized tastes.

Besides whether or non-meat alternatives are better for the planet is up for debate, and whether something so highly processed made in a lab from so many ingredients, is healthier than paddock raised, grass-fed meat is also moot.

I don’t know which of the above is dog meat, I’d prefer a chop or a steak rather to any of them.

The answer follows the break.

Read the rest of this entry »


Saturday soapbox

June 29, 2019

Saturday’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, but not abuse.

Image result for antoine de saint-exupéry quotes

The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them.  – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


June 29 in history

June 29, 2019

1149 Raymond of Antioch was defeated and killed at the Battle of Inab by Nur ad-Din Zangi.

1194  Sverre was crowned King of Norway.

1444 Skanderbeg defeated an Ottoman invasion force at Torvioll.

1482 – Maria of Aragon, Queen of Portugal, was born (d. 1517).

1534  Jacques Cartier made the European discovery of Prince Edward Island.

1613 The Globe Theatre in London  burned to the ground.

1644 Charles I defeated a Parliamentarian detachment at the Battle of Cropredy Bridge, the last battle won by an English King on English soil.

1659  Battle of Konotop: Ukrainian armies of Ivan Vyhovsky defeated the Russians, led by Prince Trubetskoy.

1749  New Governor Charles de la Ralière Des Herbiers arrives at Isle Royale (Cape Breton Island).

1786  Alexander Macdonell and more than five hundred Roman Catholic highlanders left Scotland to settle in Glengarry County, Ontario.

1849 – Pedro Montt, Chilean lawyer and politician, 15th President of Chile, was born (d. 1910).

1850  Coal was discovered on Vancouver Island.

1850   Autocephaly officially granted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to the Church of Greece.

1861 William James Mayo, American physician, was born (d. 1939).

1862 – The steamer White Swan was wrecked on the Wairarapa coast.
Wreck of the <em>White Swan</em>

1864  Ninety-nine people were killed in Canada’s worst railway disaster near St-Hilaire, Quebec.

1874  Greek politician Charilaos Trikoupis published a manifesto in the Athens daily Kairoi entitled “Who’s to Blame?” in which he laid out his complaints against King George.

1880  France annexed Tahiti.

1895  Doukhobors burned their weapons as a protest against conscription by the Tsarist Russian government.

1900 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, French writer, was born (d. 1944).

1901 Nelson Eddy, American singer and actor, was born (d. 1967).

1914  Jina Guseva attempted to assassinate Grigori Rasputin.

1916  Sir Roger Casement, Irish Nationalist and British diplomat was sentenced to death for his part in the Easter Rising.

1922  France granted 1 km² at Vimy Ridge “freely, and for all time, to the Government of Canada, the free use of the land exempt from all taxes.”

1925 Canada House opened in London.

1926  Arthur Meighen returned to office as Prime Minister of Canada.

1927  First test of Wallace Turnbull’s Controllable pitch propeller.

1928 The Outerbridge Crossing and Goethals Bridge in Staten Island, New York opened.

1937  Joseph-Armand Bombardier of Canada received a patent for sprocket and track traction system used in snow vehicles.

1943 Little Eva, American singer, was born  (d. 2003).

1945  Carpathian Ruthenia was annexed by Soviet Union.

1972  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the death penalty could constitute “cruel and unusual punishment”.

1974 Isabel Perón was sworn in as the first female President of Argentina.

1976 Bret McKenzie, New Zealand musician, (Flight of the Conchords) was born.

1976  The Seychelles became independent from the United Kingdom.

1990 Dr Penny Jamieson became the first woman in the world to be appointed an Anglican bishop.

World's first female Anglican bishop appointed

1995  Space Shuttle program: STS-71 Mission Atlantis docks with theRussian space station Mir for the first time.

1995  The Sampoong Department Store collapsed in Seoul, killing 501 and injuring 937.

2002  Naval clashes between South Korea and North Korea led to the death of six South Korean sailors and sinking of a North Korean vessel.

2006  Hamdan v. Rumsfeld: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that President George W. Bush’s plan to try Guantanamo Bay detainees in military tribunals violated U.S. and international law.

2007  Two car bombs were found in the heart of London at Piccadilly Circus.

2007 – Apple Inc. released its first mobile phone, the iPhone.

2012 – A derecho struck the eastern United States, leaving at least 22 people dead and millions without power.

2014 – The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant self-declared its caliphate in Syria and northern Iraq.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

June 28, 2019

Firtle – fidget or move distractedly; mess around; waste time; look busy despite doing very little.


Sowell says

June 28, 2019


Rural round-up

June 28, 2019

More good farmland lost forever:

News that two large New Zealand farms have been sold off-shore, largely for forestry is depressing according to 50 Shades of Green spokesman Mike Butterick. The same owner has purchased both properties.

One farm is 734,700 hectares at Eketahuna that sold for $3.35 million. The other is 1037,000 hectares in Wairoa sold for $6 million.

“It’s bad enough having the land sold to foreigners but having good productive farmland sold for forestry and subdivision is criminal,” Mike Butterick said. . .

Decision time at Westland for Yili bid – Keith Woodford:

The time has come when Westland’s dairy farmers must make their decision. Do they want to take the money and go with Chinese mega-company Yili, or do they wish to struggle on as a co-operative?  We will know the answer after the July 4 vote.

If farmers vote to take the money, it will then be up to the Government to agree or refuse to accept Yili as the new owner. I will be surprised if they disallow the sale under the relevant OIO provisions. The ramifications of that would be severe.

Also important is whether or not the approval from Government is quick or drawn out. It is in no-one’s interest that it be drawn out, but OIO approvals can be remarkably slow.  Yili could step away if approval is not forthcoming by 31 October. . . 

NZ First is not alone in worrying at the implications of a Westland Milk sale to Yili – Point of Order:

Is   Westland  Milk   one of  NZ’s  “key  strategic assets”?

NZ  First  is adamant  it is and believes the government  should be a  applying a  “national interest test”   to the proposed  sale of the company  to the Chinese  dairy giant Yili.

Those  who  see  heavily indebted  companies  like Westland Milk struggling to  make a profit and  not  even  matching  Fonterra’s payout  to its suppliers might take a  cooler view  to  the proposed  sale. . . 

Minister heaps more costs on farmers:

The Minister of Agriculture has confirmed he hasn’t bothered asking his officials the costs farmers will face as a result of the high methane target the Government is imposing, National’s Agriculture spokesperson Nathan Guy says.

“When questioned in Primary Production Select Committee Damien O’Connor scrambled to confirm he’d seen no specific advice for costs per farm, nor has he even asked for any.

“Cabinet have blindly cooked up a methane reduction target of 24-47 per cent, despite scientific evidence suggesting this is too high and without knowing the costs per average farm and the impact it will have on rural communities. . .

Downsizing opens gate to A2/A2 farm:

He’s a dairy farmer with a passion for breeding, striving to be “at the front of the game.” She’s a converted city-girl who fell in love with the dairy farmer, despite her aversion to typical milk.

It doesn’t agree too well with my system,” Stacey White says.

“I used to have soy and almond milk and I’ve tried both them and rice milk; nothing’s really appealed in terms of taste, and baking with those substitutes doesn’t really work either.” 

So when Stacey became aware of A2/A2 milk 18 months ago, she tried it out and found it tasty, creamy, and, crucially, easily digestible.*  . . 

LIC migrates to NZX’s Main Board:

Herd improvement and agritech co-operative LIC will move to the Main Board of the NZX (NZSX) next month, transferring from the Alternative Board.

This comes as NZX announced it will move to a single equities board from July 1 and close the NZAX and NXT.

Of the companies migrating, LIC is the largest by market capitalisation, at approximately $109 million.

There are around 14 agritech companies featured on the NZX Main Board and only one other farmer-owned co-operative (Fonterra). . . 

How NZ farming is like a Steinway piano – Glen Herud:

I wonder if we rely too much on our pasture-based farming or our beautiful scenery or our clean image.

What if the things we think are our strengths are actually weaknesses?

Steinway and Sons had been the leading maker of grand pianos since 1853 when their business was crippled by Yamaha.

Professor Howard Yu explains how Steinway held on to their main strength for far too long and it eventually became a weakness. . .

 


Commonsense emergency

June 28, 2019

The Queenstown Lakes District Council has joined several others in declaring a climate emergency:

Queenstown-Lakes District Council’s ‘climate emergency’ declaration is the country’s most absurd yet, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.

New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “This is absurd hypocrisy from Councillors who, in different meetings, are trying to choose between expanding an airport and building a new one. Almost the entire district’s economy is dependent on emissions-spewing international air travel.”

“Even the Council itself spent $125,000 on air travel in the previous financial year.”

“Credit is due to the four Councillors who voted against the declaration, choosing not to insult the intelligence of ratepayers. Councils should stick to their knitting, and use their limited meeting time to identify efficiencies and improve core services.”

It’s time to declare a commonsense emergency.

There’s a distinct lack of it among the councillors who don’t seem to understand the hypocrisy in this virtue-signalling when the council spent so much on flights last year, owns the airport, and whose rating base is largely dependent on tourists, most of whom fly in and out.

 


4 – A formula failure

June 28, 2019

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes announced the findings of an investigation into  Gabriel Makhlouf and the Budget debacle:

. . . • Mr Makhlouf acted in good faith, reasonably and without political bias in relation to the advice he gave the Minister of Finance

• Mr Makhlouf’s decision to refer the matter to Police was made in good faith, was reasonable and showed no evidence of political influence

• Mr Makhlouf did not act reasonably in relation to:

o his use of the phrase “deliberate and systematically hacked” in his media statement issued at 8:02pm on Tuesday 28 May

o his use of the bolt analogy in media interviews on the morning of Wednesday, 29 May

o in his media statement on the morning of Thursday, 30 May, continuing to focus on the conduct of those searching the Treasury website rather than the Treasury failure to keep Budget material confidential.

• In relation to Mr Makhlouf’s other written and oral media statements, Mr Ombler found Mr Makhlouf acted in good faith, reasonably and in a politically neutral manner.

The Commissioner said he accepts Mr Ombler’s investigation report and all his findings, which were reviewed by former Solicitor-General Mr Michael Heron QC.

Mr Hughes said his expectations of chief executives when things go wrong is very clear: they need to own it, fix it and learn from it. And stand up and be accountable. He was disappointed Mr Makhlouf’s actions on this occasion fell short of those expectations given the fact there was a breach of the Treasury’s information security, which was his responsibility.

“The breach of security around the Budget documents should never have happened, under any circumstances,” said Mr Hughes.

“The right thing to do here was to take personal responsibility for the failure irrespective of the actions of others and to do so publicly. He did not do that.

“As the investigation found, Mr Makhlouf focused more on the actions of the searchers of the Treasury website rather than his own personal responsibility as Chief Executive for the failure of the Treasury systems.”

The investigation found Mr Makhlouf’s decision to refer the matter to the Police was in good faith, reasonable and was not politically influenced. But Mr Hughes said Mr Makhlouf should have sought more advice before issuing a media statement about the referral.

“In my view it was not managed well by Mr Makhlouf,” said Mr Hughes. “It was a clumsy response to a serious issue and is not what I expect of an experienced chief executive.

“I have concluded that Mr Makhlouf failed to take personal responsibility for the Treasury security failure and his subsequent handling of the situation fell well short of my expectations. Mr Makhlouf is accountable for that and I’m calling it out.”

The Commissioner said the investigation report is very clear that there are no grounds to support allegations that Mr Makhlouf’s public statements or actions were politically biased. . . 

The correct response to mismanagement of this magnitude is the 4-A formula: Admit the mistake, Accept responsibility, Apologise and if appropriate and possible, make Amends, none of which was evident in  Makhlouf’s reply:

Mr Ombler’s investigation was conducted thoroughly and fairly. I have read the report carefully and encourage others to do so. I apologise that Budget information was not kept secure. The inquiry that I asked the SSC Commissioner to undertake will help us understand exactly how that happened and how to stop it happening again.

The report confirms I acted at all times in good faith and with political neutrality. It also confirms that I acted reasonably, other than in my descriptions of the incident. I am pleased that my honesty and integrity are not in question.

It has been my privilege to have had the opportunity to serve New Zealanders and I’m very proud of what my Treasury team has achieved over the last 8 years.

This is a 4-A formula failure and theTaxpayers’ Union is understandably unimpressed:

Responding to the release of the State Services Commission’s findings into Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf, New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says:

“The State Services Commissioner deserves credit for an investigation that made clear and damning findings. The report finds that the ‘deliberately and systematically hacked’ statement, plus the bolt analogy, were not accurate, and that Mr Makhlouf failed to take personal responsibility for the security failure. In other words, Mr Makhlouf has failed in his first responsibility: to the taxpayers who fund his salary, and who deserve accuracy in the public statements of one of the country’s most highly-paid bureaucrats.”

“Mr Makhlouf’s complete lack of repentance in the face of these findings insults the public, and it is a stunning failure of process that his departure from the job today is allowing him to escape the full wrath of accountability. The Government must order him to face up to the media and public in the next few hours. If he doesn’t have to do this, he’ll be laughing all the way to Dublin.”

“The timing of the announcement of these findings looks cynical; it’s the same day and Makhlouf leaves his job and the Government announces a high profile reshuffle. If he plans on going into hiding for his final few hours, it is the job this Government and the media to flush him out of the woodwork, lest we see a bitter failure in accountability. The public are entitled to expect more accountability than Mr Makhlouf reading the report as he jets off to Ireland.”

The damage done by the initial unreasonable response has been compounded by the lack of repentance by Mackhlouf and the inability for Hughes to do anything about it.


Quote of the day

June 28, 2019

The only real failure is the failure to try, and the measure of success is how we cope with disappointment. – Deborah Moggach who celebrates her 71st birthday today.


June 28 in history

June 28, 2019

1098  Fighters of the First Crusade defeated Kerbogha of Mosul.

1389  Ottomans defeated Serbian army in the bloody Battle of Kosovo, opening the way for the Ottoman conquest of Southeastern Europe.

1491 Henry VIII was born  (d. 1547).

1519  Charles V elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

1577 Peter Paul Rubens, Flemish painter, was born (d. 1640).

1635 Guadeloupe became a French colony.

1651  Battle of Beresteczko between Poles and Ukrainians started.

1703 John Wesley, English founder of Methodism, was born (d. 1791).

1712 Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Swiss philosopher, was born (d. 1778).

1776  American Revolutionary War: Carolina Day – commemorates the defense of Fort Moultrie during the Battle of Sullivan’s Island.

1776  American Revolutionary War: Thomas Hickey, Continental Army private and bodyguard to General George Washington, was hanged for mutiny and sedition.

1778 – American Revolutionary War: Battle of Monmouth fought between the American Continental Army under George Washington and the British Army led by Sir Henry Clinton.

1807  Second British invasion of the Río de la Plata; John Whitelock landed at Ensenada on an attempt to recapture Buenos Aires and was defeated by the fierce resistance of the locals.

1838  The coronation of Queen Victoria.

1841 The Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique in Paris premiered the ballet Giselle.

1859  First conformation dog show is held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

1865  The Army of the Potomac was disbanded.

1880  Ned Kelly the Australian bushranger was  captured at Glenrowan.

1881 – Elizabeth Robinson of Christchurch became the first woman to register as a pharmacist under a registration system established by the Pharmacy Act 1880.
First registered female pharmacist
1881 – The Austro–Serbian Alliance of 1881 was secretly signed.

1882  Anglo-French Convention of 1882 signed marking territorial boundaries between Guinea and Sierra Leone.

1895  El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua formed the Central American Union.

1896  An explosion in the Newton Coal Company’s Twin Shaft Mine in Pittston City, resulted in a massive cave-in that killed 58 miners.

1902 Richard Rodgers, American composer, was born (d. 1979).

1902  The U.S. Congress passed the Spooner Act, authorising President Theodore Roosevelt to acquire rights from Colombia for the Panama Canal.

1904  The SS Norge ran aground and sank.

1909 Eric Ambler, English writer, was born (d. 1998).

1914  Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and his wife Sophie were assassinated in Sarajevo by young Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip, the casus belli of World War I.
Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

1919  The Treaty of Versailles was signed in Paris, formally ending World War I between Belgium, Britain, France, Italy, the United States and allies on the one side and Germany and Austria Hungary on the other side.

1919 – New Zealand Prime Minister Bill Massey’s was the 17th signature on the Treaty of Versailles, the implementation of which formally ended the war between the Allies and Germany.
New Zealand Prime Minister signs Treaty of Versailles

1922  The Irish Civil War began with the shelling of the Four Courts in Dublin by Free State forces.

1926 Mel Brooks, American filmmaker, was born.

1928  Harold Evans, English journalist and writer; editor of The Sunday Times, was born.

1934 – Bette Greene, American journalist and author, was born.

1936  The Japanese puppet state of Mengjiang was formed in northern China.

1940 Romania ceded Bessarabia (current-day Moldova) to the Soviet Union.

1948  Cominform circulated the “Resolution on the situation in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia”; Yugoslavia was expelled from the Communist bloc.

1948 – Deborah Moggach, English author and screenwriter, was born.

1948  Boxer Dick Turpin beat Vince Hawkins to become the first black British boxing champion in the modern era.

1950  Seoul was captured by troops from North Korea.

1951 – Lalla Ward, English actress and author, was born.

1954  A. A. Gill, British writer and columnist, was born.

1956  Protests and demonstrations in Poznań.

1964  – Bernie McCahill, All Black, was born.

1964  Malcom X formed the Organization of Afro-American Unity.

1967  Israel annexed East Jerusalem.

1969  Stonewall riots began in New York City.

1971 Louise Bagshawe, British novelist and politician, was born.

1973 HMNZS Otago sailed for the Mururoa nuclear test zone.

1973  Elections were held for the Northern Ireland Assembly, which led to power-sharing between unionists and nationalists in Northern Ireland for the first time.

1976  The Angolan court sentenced US and UK mercenaries to death sentences and prison terms in the Luanda Trial.

1978  The United States Supreme Court, in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke barred quota systems in college admissions.

1981  A powerful bomb exploded in Tehran, killing 73 officials of Islamic Republic Party.

1983  The Mianus River Bridge collapsed killing 3 drivers in their vehicles.

1986  ¡A Luchar! held its first congress in Bogotá.

1990  Paperback Software International Ltd. found guilty by a U.S. court of copyright violation for copying the appearance and menu system of Lotus 1-2-3 in its competing spreadsheet program.

1992  The Constitution of Estonia was signed into law.

1994  Members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult released sarin gas attack at Matsumoto, 7 persons killed, 660 injured.

1996  The Constitution of Ukraine was signed into law.

1997 Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield II – Tyson was disqualified in the 3rd round for biting a piece from Holyfield’s ear.

2004  Sovereign power was handed to the interim government of Iraq by the Coalition Provisional Authority, ending the U.S.-led rule of that nation.

2005 War in Afghanistan: Three U.S. Navy SEALs and 16 American Special Operations Forces soldiers were killed during Operation Red Wing, a failed counter-insurgent mission in Kunar province.

2009 – Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was ousted by a local military coup following a failed request to hold a referendum to rewrite the Honduran Constitution. This was the start of the 2009 Honduran political crisis.

2016  – A terrorist attack in Turkey’s Istanbul Atatürk Airport kills 42 people and injures more than 230 others.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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