Word of the day

September 12, 2019

Tika – to be correct, true, upright, right, just, fair, accurate, appropriate, lawful, proper, valid; to be straight, direct, keep on a direct course; correctly, directly, fairly, justly, straight – indicates a direct path; truth, correctness, directness, justice, fairness, righteousness, right.

From the Maori Dictionary for te wiki o te reo Māori – Maori Language Week.


Thatcher thinks

September 12, 2019


Rural round-up

September 12, 2019

Nurture our nature workers – Dr Tom Mulholland:

Over the past 20 years I have had the pleasure and privilege of working as a doctor in rural communities and, more recently, in my mobile ambulance. From D’Urville Island to the Chathams, Kaitāia to Bluff on remote sheep stations and arable farms I have seen how farmers toil and, more recently, boil at the ever-increasing pressure put on them.

None was more evident than on a recent trip to a remote valley that must be one of the most beautiful places on Earth. It was picture-perfect, completely surrounded by snow-capped mountains under a crisp blue sky and with gurgling azure rivers. The air was clean and, with not a person or car in sight, it was the antithesis of urban life. I relaxed instantly as I  took in  the vista,  my lungs filling with mountain air.

However, the humans trying to  make a living in this stunning but harsh environment are far from relaxed. Scanning ewes, compliance and pastoral chores dealing with stakeholders, and the ever-increasing demands of conservation and people’s opinion make it an even tougher life. . .

Taming the black dog – Luke Chivers:

In the past year 685 people died by suicide. But the number of Kiwis affected by those deaths is almost immeasurable. Elle Perriam, 22, knows what it’s like to lose a loved one. She spoke to Luke Chivers.

The last memory Elle Perriam has of her boyfriend Will is of him laughing, making jokes and creating plans for the weekend.

Days later, he died by suicide. He was just 21.

It was a loss that came out of the blue for everyone who knew him, with aftershocks of grief and loss that rippled from his immediate family and through the wider community. . . 

Struggling youth ‘didn’t want to be judged‘ – Sally Brooker and Gus Patterson:

If Sam Robinson had his way, talking about your feelings would be a school subject.

The 29-year-old who grew up on a farm near Methven is itching to get his message across to mental health professionals and educators, as well as the rural people he spoke to during the recent Will to Live Speak Up tour.

Sam joined Will to Live founder Elle Perriam on the tour of 17 towns throughout the country.

Agricultural worker Elle established Will to Live last year to boost awareness of rural mental health issues after her boyfriend, shepherd Will Gregory, took his own life.

Sam told the Kurow gathering he had battled depression since 2008 but kept it to himself for a long time. That just compounded it.

”I was head boy, in the First XV and First XI – on the outside it looked like I had it all. . . 

Sustainability audits are next – Alan Williams:

Beef farmers will increasingly have to prove their farming systems meet sustainability rules, Rabobank says in its latest quarterly report.

The last 12 months has seen a noticeable step-up in the number and variety of mostly market-led initiatives as beef production comes under more scrutiny over the impact on animals and environment.

The impetus is coming from food retailers, food service companies, processors and producers in response to the changing dynamics, it said. 

And the pace of change will increase further. . . 

Fifty farms to take action:

New nitrogen-reducing project protecting waterways in Canterbury has nationwide relevance.

In the next two years, it is hoped 50 Canterbury dairy farms will be playing a leading role in some key research to further reduce nitrogen leaching into waterways.

Along with all the work dairy farmers are doing to look after their waterways, farmers nationally will be able to follow the project, called Meeting a Sustainable Future, which will focus on how farmers in Hinds and Selwyn can meet nitrogen loss limits and maintain profitable businesses under the Canterbury Land & Water Regional Plan (LWRP).

The project will build on sustainable farming initiatives many farmers have already begun and an official project launch event was held recently on a Canterbury dairy farm.

Under the LWRP, Selwyn farmers must reduce nitrogen losses by 30 per cent by 2022 and in Hinds by 15 per cent by 2025, 25 per cent by 2030 and 36 per cent by 2035. . . 

Hawke’s Bay: Rockit apple’s China store takeover earns top accolade :

Innovative Hawke’s Bay apple company Rockit Global Limited has received top international honours at the Asia Fruit Logistica Expo 2019.

The company, recognised across the world for its miniature Rockit apple variety, went home with the Asia Fruit Award for Marketing Campaign of the Year from the Hong Kong event last week.

The company’s general manager global marketing Sandi Boyden said it was a huge thrill to have been acknowledged for the impact Rockit has had within Asia’s fresh fruit and vegetable sector, principally in China, which now accounts for around 50 per cent of Rockit’s global sales. . . 

Kempsey high school students go on farm for work placement –  Samantha Townsend:

At a time when dairy farmers are faced with low milk prices and high input costs due to the ongoing drought – there is a ray of hope.

High schools students at Kempsey are opting to do work placement on farms including dairies where they see first-hand where their food comes from.

According to 2019 figures from Education Minister Sarah Mitchell’s office there are 3835 year 11 and 12 enrollments for agriculture, 1903 for marine studies (including aquaculture) and 2727 studying primary industries. . . 


A question of competence

September 12, 2019

The resignation of Labour Party president Nigel Haworth could have put the lid on the controversy over serious allegations against a staff member in the Prime Minister’s office.

But it won’t when so many questions remain over the handling of the complaints which started the saga and the ongoing claims that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern didn’t know that the allegations were of sexual assault.

The Spinoff gives a timeline of the inquiry and Paula Bennett used yesterday’s general debate to  speak on it: (You can watch and listen to the speech here.)

The Prime Minister says she did not know there were sexual assault allegations against one of her staff members until Monday. I could go through the various media reports since 5 August and my own representation since being contacted by victims to show the inconsistencies in this, but they have already been well traversed in the last 24 hours.

If the allegations were serious enough to hire a QC, were they not serious enough for the PM to need, and want, to be fully informed?

Even if the allegations weren’t about sexual assault, surely they were serious enough for the PM to be fully informed about them?

Even if she wasn’t going to speak to the complainants, as she should have, surely allegations serious enough to warrant an investigation warranted someone senior talking to them and reporting back to her?

Back in 2016, Jacinda Ardern wrote an op-ed about the scandal surrounding the Chiefs rugby team. She said that a resignation is not enough: “It’s the PR quick fix—usher the source of the controversy away. But that solves nothing. After all, apologies followed by silence changes nothing, and change is what we need.”

The resignation today of Nigel Haworth cannot be, in the Prime Minister’s words, “the PR quick fix—usher the source of the controversy away.” Yes, Mr Haworth needed to go, and it should have happened weeks ago, but what is also known is that the Prime Minister’s own senior staff and a senior Minister have known the seriousness of the allegations but have not acted.

The complainants were members of the Labour Party. They genuinely believed that the party would listen to their complaints and deal with the alleged offender appropriately, but nothing happened. It clearly has taken an incredible sense of frustration, disappointment, and disillusion for these people to come to me, a National Party MP, to try and see their complaints addressed.

These are serious allegations. The Prime Minister cannot keep her head in the sand and pretend like it is happening somewhere far, far away. It is happening in her own office, in her own organisation. She is the leader of the Labour Party. The alleged perpetrator works in her leader’s office—he works for her.

Less than a year ago, the Prime Minister was in New York at the UN, trumpeting “Me too should be we too.” Well, who knew that that meant her own office was following the path well trod by all those companies who drew a curtain over sexual misconduct and inappropriate behaviour.

I have been told by the complainants that Jacinda Ardern’s former chief of staff Mike Munro knew about the allegations, her chief press secretary, Andrew Campbell, knew about the allegations, and the director of her leader’s office, Rob Salmond, knew about the allegations. I have been told by two victims who work in Parliament that they went to Rob Salmond around Christmas time and made a complaint about the alleged perpetrator.

That’s a lot of people who would normally report to the PM who purportedly didn’t on this very serious matter.

The Prime Minister has constantly said her office did not receive complaints and, in fact, encouraged the victims to speak to their line managers. They did. They have told me they went to Rob Salmond and nothing was done, and we are expected to believe that none of these men in her own office told the Prime Minister about the allegations—all of this in the aftermath of the Labour summer camp scandal, when the Prime Minister made it very clear she expected to have been told. And are we really expected to believe that she didn’t know that her chief press secretary, Andrew Campbell, embarked on a witch-hunt to try and find out who in the Beehive was talking to the media about the allegations? The complainants certainly felt hunted and scared that he was trying to shut them up and stop them from talking to the media—classic bullying of victims, and hardly a victim-led response.

A victim has told me that the alleged perpetrator has deep alliances to Grant Robertson, that he was involved in his campaign for the Labour Party leadership, and that Grant Robertson has known the seriousness of these allegations. It is unbelievable that he hasn’t discussed this with his close friend and his leader.

This all smacks of a cover-up. This goes straight to the top: to the Prime Minister, to senior Cabinet Ministers, and—

SPEAKER: Order! The member’s time has expired. . . 

Haworth’s time has expired, will anyone else follow?

This debacle does go to the top and at the top we have a woman whose brand is that of compassion, empathy and caring; one who we are expected to believe is a capable leader, who is, like Prime Ministers ought to be, is fully in control.

All of that is at very grave risk as a result of the mishandling of this situation and all the questions that remain over it.

One of those questions is that of competence: if the Prime Minister, her senior colleagues and staff can’t be trusted to run her office properly and safely, how can they be trusted to run the country?


September 12 in history

September 12, 2019

1213 Albigensian Crusade: Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester, defeated Peter II of Aragon at the Battle of Muret.

1575 Henry Hudson, English explorer, was born (d. 1611).

1683  Austro-Ottoman War: Battle of Vienna – several European armies joined forces to defeat the Ottoman Empire.

1812 – Richard March Hoe, American engineer and businessman, invented the Rotary printing press, was born (d. 1886).

1814 Battle of North Point: an American detachment halted the British land advance to Baltimore in the War of 1812.

1818 – Richard Jordan Gatling, American inventor, invented the Gatling gun, was born (d. 1903).

1846 Elizabeth Barrett eloped with Robert Browning.

1847  Mexican-American War: the Battle of Chapultepec began.

1848  Switzerland became a Federal state.

1852  H. H. Asquith, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1928).

1857 The SS Central America sank drowning a total of 426 passengers and crew, including Captain William Lewis Herndon. The ship was carrying 13–15 tons of gold from the San Francisco Gold Rush.

1880 – H. L. Mencken, American journalist and critic, ws born (d. 1956).

1888 Maurice Chevalier, French singer and actor, was born (d. 1972).
1889 – Ugo Pasquale Mifsud, Maltese politician, 3rd Prime Minister of Malta, was born (d. 1942).

1897  Tirah Campaign: Battle of Saragarhi.

1897 – Irène Joliot-Curie, French chemist and physicist, Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 1956).

1898 – Alma Moodie, Australian violinist and educator, was born (d. 1943).

1902  – Marya Zaturenska, Ukrainian-American poet and author, was born (d. 1982).

1906 The Newport Transporter Bridge was opened by Viscount Tredegar.

1907 – Louis MacNeice, Irish poet and playwright, was born (d. 1963).

1910 Premiere performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in Munich (with a chorus of 852 singers and an orchestra of 171 players).

1913 Jesse Owens, American athlete, was born (d. 1980).

1914 – Forty three miners were killed in an explosion at Huntly.

Forty-three miners killed in explosion at Huntly

1919  Adolf Hitler joined the German Workers Party.

1928 – Muriel Siebert, American businesswoman and philanthropist, was born (d. 2013).

1930  Wilfred Rhodes ended his 1110-game first-class career by taking 5 for 95 for H.D.G. Leveson Gower’s XI against the Australians.

1931 – Ian Holm, English actor, was born.

1933  Leó Szilárd, waiting for a red light conceived the idea of the nuclear chain reaction.

1940   An explosion at the Hercules Powder Company plant in Kenvil, New Jersey killed 51 people and injured over 200.

1942  RMS Laconia, carrying civilians, Allied soldiers and Italian POWs was torpedoed off the coast of West Africa and sankwith a heavy loss of life.

1942 First day of the Battle of Edson’s Ridge during the Guadalcanal campaign.

1943  – Michael Ondaatje, Sri Lankan-Canadian author and poet, was born.

1943  Benito Mussolini was rescued from house arrest on the Gran Sasso in Abruzzi, by German commando forces led by Otto Skorzeny.

1948 Invasion of the State of Hyderabad by the Indian Army on the day after the Pakistani leader Jinnah’s death.

1952 Gerry Beckley, American musician (America), was born.

1952 Strange occurrences, including a monster sighting,  in Flatwoods, West Virginia.

1958  Jack Kilby demonstrated the first integrated circuit.

1959  Premiere of Bonanza, the first regularly-scheduled TV programme presented in color.

1964 Canyonlands National Park was designated as a National Par

1966  Gemini 11, the penultimate mission of NASA’s Gemini programme.

1974  Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was deposed following a military coup by the Derg, ending a reign of 58 years.

1977 South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko was killed in police custody.

1979 Indonesia was hit by an earthquake that measures 8.1 on the Richter scale.

1980 Military coup in Turkey.

1981 Flour bombs ended the rugby test between the All Blacks and Springboks at Eden Park.

'Flour-bomb test' ends Springbok tour

1983  A Wells Fargo depot in West Hartford,was robbed of approximately US$7 million by Los Macheteros..

1988  Hurricane Gilbert devastated Jamaica.

1990 The two German states and the Four Powers signed the Treaty on the Final Settlement With Respect to Germany in Moscow, paving the way for German re-unification.

1992  NASA launched Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-47 which marked the 50th shuttle mission. On board were Mae Carol Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, Mamoru Mohri, the first Japanese citizen to fly in a US spaceship, and Mark Lee and Jan Davis, the first married couple in space.

1992 Abimael Guzmán, leader of the Shining Path, was captured by Peruvian special forces.

1994 Frank Eugene Corder crashed a single-engine Cessna 150 into the White House’s south lawn, striking the West wing and killing himself.

2001  Ansett Australia, Australia’s first commercial interstate airline, collapsed due to increased strain on the international airline industry, leaving 10,000 people unemployed.

2003 – In Fallujah, US forces mistakenly shot and killed eight Iraqi police officers.

2005  Hong Kong Disneyland opened.

2007 Former Philippine President Joseph Estrada was convicted of the crime of plunder.

2008 The 2008 Chatsworth train collision between a Metrolink commuter train and a Pacific Union Freight Train killed 25 people.

2011 – The 9/11 Memorial Museum opened to the public.

2014  – Oscar Pistorius was found guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

2015 – A series of explosions involving propane triggering nearby illegally stored mining detonators in the Indian town of Petlawad in the state of Madhya Pradesh killed at least 105 people with over 150 injured.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Quote of the day

September 12, 2019

If you wait for the perfect moment when all is safe and assured, it may never arrive. Mountains will not be climbed, races won, or lasting happiness achieved. Maurice Chevalier who was born on this day in 1888.


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