Word of the day

30/09/2020

Doyenne – the most respected or prominent woman in a particular field; the oldest, most experienced, and often most respected woman involved in a particular type of work; a woman who is the senior member, as in age or rank, of a group, class, profession, etc.


Helen Reddy 25.10.41 – 29.9.20

30/09/2020

Australian singer and feminist icon, Helen Reddy has died:

The Melbourne-born Reddy, whose trailblazing life was dramatised in the recent bio-pic I Am Woman, was regarded as the queen of 1970s pop with her hits including Delta Dawn, Angie Baby, Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress) and Ain’t No Way To Treat A Lady.

After arriving in New York as a 24-year-old single mother of a three-year-old with just over $US200 to her name, she overcame years of struggle in the US to become the world’s top-selling female singer in 1973 and 1974.

She won a Grammy for I Am Woman, had her own weekly prime-time television variety show and branched into an acting career on screen and stage that included a Golden Globe nomination for Airport 1975.

The stirring anthem that became her best-known hit turned her into a feminist icon. . . 


Rural round-up

30/09/2020

Storm reminiscent of 2010 mega-storm that killed hundreds of thousands of lambs, say Fed Farmers – Bonnie Flaws & Rachael Kelly:

Farmers in the Otago and Southland regions of the South Island say any lambs born overnight on Monday could not have survived.

Federated Farmers Southland vice-president Bernadette Hunt said it was beginning to look a lot like 2010, when a nasty storm followed by days of rain left an estimated 250,000 to one million lambs dead.

“Before this event started, the province was already wet, now there’s this ongoing event with snow and wind, and there’s a wet forecast to follow.

“Farmers were well-prepared, but as this drags on, the sheltered areas are turning to mud, making conditions awful for lambs and ewes. Coupled with the windchill, this is tough even on lambs that are several days old, and on ewes whose milk production will be affected,” she said. . . 

Think rural mental health while drafting policies – Sudesh Kissun:

The effects of government policies on rural communities and farmer wellbeing must be considered when drafting them, says Federated Farmers dairy section chair Wayne Langford.

“As we move from a quantity to quality form of agriculture, having a clear mind is key and will result in amazing increases in productivity, profitability and passion for farming,” he told Dairy News.

Langford made the comments to mark the Mental Health Awareness Week in New Zealand last week. He joined other sector leaders in urging rural mental health to be a priority.

Langford, who farms in Golden Bay, says mental health support for farmers and others working in agriculture has improved immensely over the last ten years. However, he says there is an opportunity to increase training through inter-personal skills and personality profiling. . . 

Tough times called for tough decisions – Sudesh Kissun:

Retiring Fonterra chairman John Monaghan steps down from the cooperative’s board, satisfied at leaving behind a business in good stead.

Monaghan took over as chairman in July 2018, right in the middle of Fonterra’s financial struggles and just months before the departure of then-chief executive Theo Spierings.

After two years of financial losses, Fonterra this month announced a $659 million annual profit, turning around a $605m loss the previous year.

Regarded as a safe pair of hands, Monaghan –backed by a management team led by chief executive Miles Hurrell – steered the co-op back to profitability.

Complex family legacy – and name – continued on farm – Mary-Jo Tohill:

Scottish lairds and ladies, ancient deeds, unimaginable wealth, the slave trade.

The Glassford family history reads like an episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, the British genealogy documentary series on the BBC.

Central Otago farmer Antony William Gordon Glassford chuckles at the suggestion that his descent from a Scottish tobacco lord could make him “Tony the Toff”. No silk frockcoats for this fifth-generation New Zealander, who farms near Omakau.

Tony Glassford’s family have farmed Dougalston, the name taken from his ancestors’ long vanished Scottish estate, at Drybread for 156 years. They have been recognised twice in the Century Farm Awards, which is given to properties in continuous ownership for 100 years, or in their case for more than 150 years. . . 

FarmIQ appoints chief executive officer:

FarmIQ is pleased to announce the appointment of Will Noble in the role of Chief Executive Officer, starting in late September 2020.

Mr Noble is an experienced strategic and operational leader. He is a strong all-rounder with a background in a range of areas such as digital, software-as-a-service, niche market, management consulting, advisory, and project management. His most recent role was as the Client Services Director at Fujitsu New Zealand.

FarmIQ’s Chairman John Quirk says, “Mr Noble is a customer-orientated New Zealand business leader with an entrepreneurial spirit and solutions-focused approach. Will has demonstrated he can transform organisations to achieve growth in complex environments through a focus on innovation, customers and his team. . . 

Farmers warned to check fuel tanks after driver seriously injured:

Farmers are being warned that poorly maintained tripod tanks are a serious health and safety risk to fuel users.

The safety alert from the Fuel Distributors Industry Safety Committee and WorkSafe New Zealand follows a recent incident where a fuel tanker driver was seriously injured on a farm where a tripod overhead tank collapsed while he was filling it.

The root cause of the collapse was significant rust corrosion on one of the tank legs. Farm implements close to the tank also contributed to the driver’s injuries.

“No farmer wants to be responsible for an incident like this happening on their farm,” says Al McCone, WorkSafe Agriculture Lead. . .


Sowell says

30/09/2020


Yes Sir Humphrey

30/09/2020


Nat’s SFO announcement happy coincidence

30/09/2020

National is promising to do more to stamp out corruption:

A National Government will back the Serious Fraud Office to do more to stamp out corruption, National Party Leader Judith Collins says.

“New Zealand’s most successful crime fighting agency will get the resources it needs to deliver on its stated role as the ‘lead law enforcement agency for investigating and prosecuting serious financial crime, including bribery and corruption.’

“National will double the Serious Fraud Office’s budget, from its present total budget for the 2020/21 financial year of $12.7 million to $25 million a year.”

Ms Collins says it doesn’t make sense for the lead agency battling fraud, bribery and corruption, with the greatest legal powers to uncover those things, to be playing second fiddle to other government agencies working in this area.

“The SFO will continue to work alongside the likes of the NZ Police’s Financial Intelligence Unit, but it will have the funding it needs to do the job it was established in 1990 to do.

“The SFO has statutory powers that other New Zealand crime fighting agencies do not, including powers to compel the production of information and to require witnesses and suspects to answer any questions put to them without the right to silence. But these powers aren’t being given enough opportunity to be used.

“The SFO takes very few prosecutions, not because there isn’t fraud, bribery and corruption in New Zealand, but because the office doesn’t have the resources to do its job properly. The office needs more investigators and more resources to work with its domestic and international counterparts.”

Ms Collins acknowledges New Zealand is regarded as one of the least corrupt countries in the world, but says that’s no reason for complacency.

“The SFO says the threats to our reputation as a relatively corruption free country ‘have probably never been greater today than any other time in our history.’

“National agrees, and we’ll resource the office properly to do the job New Zealanders expect it to do.

“In a way it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; if you aren’t searching for something you’re unlikely to find it.”

New Zealand is usually at or near the top of lists for less corruption but being less corrupt than other countries doesn’t mean we have no corruption.

Maintaining our reputation and stamping out corruption must be taken seriously, and financed properly.

Ms Collins says National will also change the office’s name from the Serious Fraud Office to the Serious Fraud and Anti-corruption Agency.

“We would change the office’s name because we think New Zealand needs to better understand the types of crime fighting it is responsible for.

“Over many years the SFO has developed a reputation for targeting the private sector, in part due to its self-publicised focus on ‘white collar crime.’ Many people think this means the big end of town, but that’s far from the office’s only focus.

“We want people to know the office’s mandate and focus goes well beyond the world of investment, accounting and banking. It also tackles fraud, bribery and corruption in local government, community entities and iwi trusts.

“It prosecutes wrongdoing in infrastructure contracting, project tendering and central Government, including ministries, Crown agencies and political parties.

“In many ways corruption in the regions has the greatest impact on New Zealanders, by eroding small communities’ trust in institutions they deserve to believe in, and depriving them of resources they desperately need.

“We think the name the Serious Fraud and Anti-corruption Agency makes it much clearer what the office’s business is, and why anyone thinking about trying to circumvent the laws of New Zealand should be aware that an agency exists to stamp out that behaviour.”

By a happy coincidence this announcement came yesterday when the SFO announced it has filed charges against two people involved in the New Zealand First Foundation investigation.

The SFO has filed a charge of ‘Obtaining by Deception’ against two defendants in the New Zealand First Foundation electoral funding case. The charges were filed on 23 September.

The defendants have interim name suppression and so cannot be named or identified at this time. We note, however, that neither defendant is a Minister, sitting MP, or candidate in the upcoming election (or a member of their staff), or a current member of the New Zealand First party.

The SFO has no further comment.

The announcement comes just in time.

The SFO said it would make an announcement before the election. Overseas voting begins today and early voting opens on Saturday.

The announcement would have been a little earlier had Winston Peters not taken the SFO to court:

. . . An SFO spokesman said NZ First brought proceedings against the office to stop it issuing a media release, on September 23.

The court ruled in favour of the SFO, the spokesman said, and released a statement on Tuesday when the timeframe for appealing the decision lapsed.

The statement was amended after the court challenge, due to the upcoming election, “to reflect the categories of people that were not charged”, he said. . .

That it has taken the SFO so long to file charges supports National’s policy to better resource it.


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