365 days of gratitude

October 18, 2018

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters. – Albert Einstein

Tonight I’m grateful for family and friends who can be trusted with matters of importance great and small.


Word of the day

October 18, 2018

Barm – the froth on fermenting malt liquor; yeast formed on malt liquors while fermenting.


Mad, bad or both?

October 18, 2018

Is Jami-Lee Ross mentally ill, just behaving really badly, or both?

Amateur diagnosticians are using terms like manic depression, bipolar and narcissism to describe his behaviour.

Former colleague, Mark Mitchell, who is in a better position to know spoke to Mike Hosking yesterday about mental illness and said: “He has to take responsibility for his actions, but he must look after himself first.”

That was before the release of the tape that didn’t appear to be the smoking gun Ross said it would be, but did needlessly insult other people, all of whom responded with dignity.

Maureen Pugh tweeted:

Chris Finlayson said:

“Any suggestion that I am upset about the tape is just wrong,” he said.

Finlayson noted he had said plenty of nasty things about people himself over his career that thankfully had not been taped.

“I can wound with my tongue at 100 paces,” Finlayson said. . .

David Carter was equally untroubled:

Mr Carter also said he was not in the slightest bit bothered by comments made about him by Mr Bridges.

Mr Carter said Mr Bridges was clearly set up by Mr Ross in the phone call.

“Looking at renewal that’s inevitably needed by all political parties, I take no offence at all about what was said by Simon Bridges.”

Mr Carter has confirmed he will not be seeking re-election as a list MP.

“He’s made two contacts with me, one before he was leader and one after, on both occasions he actively encouraged me to stay – he said I was very valuable contributor to caucus discussions and particularly in a mentoring role to many or our new MPs.

“I have told him I will stay and complete this term but have no intention of standing beyond the election of 2020.” . . 

These are just three of many needlessly dragged into the mess Ross has made. David Farrar writes of the terrible personal cost:

. . . This self-inflicted scandal is taking a terrible human toll. I’ll focus on the politics in another post, but I find it really sad the damage that has been done.

  • Jami-Lee’s career is destroyed and he may not even be employable in NZ. He’s gone from being a newly promoted front bencher to a pariah
  • His wife has the humiliation of what should be private matters between them laid out in public
  • His children will grow up with articles on the Internet about their father’s relationships with other women. As a father this upsets me greatly. No kid should have to endure that.
  • The four women in the article have obviously been through a horrible experience. I’m not the most sensitive soul out there but I found it hard to read the article. It impacted me emotionally. Forget politics. Those women have had a terrible time.
  • In at least one case, a marriage has split up and you’ll have a husband and children hurting
  • Simon Bridges has had someone who was one of his closest mates in caucus secretly tape record him. That is a huge betrayal of trust. Forget the politics. How would you feel if one if your mates did that to you?
  • Maureen Pugh has been humiliated by the release of the tape with a harsh description of her. She is incredibly upset, as is her family. And those who have campaigned for her and supported her are also upset. Maureen’s public response has been magnanimous and classy. But’s let’s not pretend how terrible she must feel.
  • 40,000 National Party members and supporters are upset. The vast majority of these people don’t want to be MPs. They don’t expect to gain anything in return for their hard work door knocking, donating, delivering etc. They just think that New Zealand does better when National is in Government. They feel betrayed and disappointed that this fiasco undermines their hard work

So there is a terrible personal cost to all this. It is very sad and I hope it stops. . . 

Mental illness might explain the behaviour but it doesn’t excuse it nor justify the hurt inflicted.

As a party member I am appalled that any other member, let alone an MP, could behave in this way and inflict so much damage.

If memory serves me correctly, my electorate donated money to help Ross win the seat in the by-election through which he entered parliament.

The party is strong enough to withstand it and winning the by-election will prove that.

Ironically Ross’s actions have also strengthened Simon Bridges’ position. Even if there was some disquiet about the leadership – and I have no knowledge of any –  everyone in caucus knows they must show 100% discipline and unity so as not to reward Ross.

He may well try to release more of what he sees as ‘proof’ but the media needs to ask itself, if it would be in the public interest and safe for his mental health, to carry on publishing it.

Much of what we has become public was not.

Modern media is in a very difficult position, knowing that if they don’t publish something, it can still become public through social media but that doesn’t justify hurting those who will become collateral damage and there is even more need to tread carefully if someone’s mental health is at risk.


Rural round-up

October 18, 2018

Courses help women add value – Annette Scott:

Demand from women for new skills and confidence in their farming businesses shows no sign of abating with a national programme set to scale up for the third successive year.

Funded by the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) and delivered by the Agri-Women’s Development Trust (AWDT), the Understanding Your Farming Business (UYFB) programme builds financial and communication skills that empower farming women to contribute more strongly to their businesses.

RMPP chairman Malcolm Bailey said the programme supports women in their role as critical farming partners by building on their business knowledge, skills and confidence. . .

Hard-working family on Greenvale farm since 1907 -Sally Rae:

Stud breeding is in the Paterson family’s blood.

Waikaka Station is home to the fourth and fifth generations to farm the Greenvale property — Laurie and Sharon Paterson and son and daughter-in-law Ross and Steph — while a sixth generation is looking promising.

Young Ollie (8) cannot wait to get on his motorbike while Emmie (6) is aiming to ride around the stock with her grandmother on horseback this summer.

Leo, the toddler of the family, has his boots on in the morning before his father, Ross quipped. . . .

Founder of stud mentioned in WW1 dispatches – Sally Rae:

Back in 1953, Matthew Kirkpatrick founded the Hereford stud that is now Waikaka Hereford.

One of Laurie Paterson’s earliest recollections of his grandfather was him driving an old, white, badly-dented Dodge car ‘‘rather like a tank’’.

‘‘So much so that one of the contractors always parked his car on top of the loading bank as he reckoned it was the only place safe from the boss.’’

Mr Kirkpatrick’s wartime experiences resulted in him being mentioned in dispatches for his work in the Imperial Camel Corps. . . 

Skills day and bark off planned by North King Country Young Farmers:

North King Country Young Farmers is on a mission to double its membership.

The active Te Kuiti-based club has a diverse member base of shepherds, dairy farmers and local rural professionals.

“Our aim is to help connect people and provide opportunities to socialise and upskill,” said member Christin Bentley. . .

Farmers play a pivotal role in fertility research success:

Dozens of scientists and more than 2000 farmers have been working together to improve cow fertility in New Zealand dairy cows. DairyNZ’s Jane Kay explains how this exciting four-year project is producing astounding results, with further studies planned in the future.

The North Island-based fertility project began in 2014, under the ‘Pillars of a New Dairy System’ DairyNZ-led research programme. This programme – funded from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), New Zealand dairy farmers (via their DairyNZ levy) and AgResearch – aims to provide management and genetic solutions to improve cow fertility and lifetime productivity. DairyNZ scientists Chris Burke and Susanne Meier headed the project, working with geneticists from New Zealand Animal Evaluation Limited (NZAEL), Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC), CRV Ambreed and AbacusBio. In 2014, farmers provided 2500 cows, contract-mated to selected sires, to produce two groups of heifers with extreme differences in their fertility breeding values (Fert-BVs). . .

New Zealand Winemaker awarded World Pinot Noir trophy for the second year in a row:

New Zealand winemaker Andy Anderson has again beaten wines from the best in the world at London’s prestigious International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) to take out the World’s Best Pinot Noir Trophy.

Anderson was awarded the world’s best Pinot Noir trophy for his 2014 Takapoto Central Otago Pinot Noir. The win continues a 12 year long winning streak for New Zealand taking out the IWSC World Pinot Noir trophy. . .

Labour shortages, hours of paperwork and uncertainty lead farmers to push for new ‘ag visa’

Fruit and vegetable growers say a lack of workers is keeping a lid on industry growth and leaving hundreds of tonnes of fruit at risk of being left on the ground every year.

Many are hoping a promised ‘agricultural visa’ for foreign farm workers will solve industry labour woes by allowing farms to hire a dedicated overseas workforce on a temporary basis.

In late August the National Party promised the visa would be delivered in “days, not weeks”, forcing senior Liberals to put the plan on ice saying it would cause diplomatic problems with governments in the Pacific. . .


Benefits of foreign ownership

October 18, 2018

What a very generous donation:

Secretive American-born billionaire Ken Dart plans to donate the popular and sprawling Wairoa Gorge Bike Park, near Nelson, to the Crown.

It will be managed by the Department of Conservation, with public access run through the Nelson Mountain Bike Club (NMTBC).

He has also sold South Canterbury’s 4046-hectare Lilydale Station, which includes the land used by Fox Peak Ski Field, to local conservationists.

The 860-hectare Wairoa Gorge will be donated to the Crown by the end of the year, to be managed as a conservation reserve. Dart bought the land in 2010 through his company RHL Holdings and had more than 70km of mountainbike trails built through the mixed native beech and plantation pine forest. . . 

Would this have happened had the land been owned by a local?

I suspect not but sadly this won’t be enough to change the minds of xenophobes who are opposed to any and all foreign investment.


Quote of the day

October 18, 2018

The mark of great sportsmen is not how good they are at their best, but how good they are their worst. – Martina Navratilova who celebrates her 62nd birthday today.


October 18 in history

October 18, 2018

1009  The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem, was completely destroyed by the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, who hacked the Church’s foundations down to bedrock.

1016 The Danes defeated the Saxons in the Battle of Ashingdon.

1081  The Normans defeated the Byzantine Empire in the Battle of Dyrrhachium.

1210  Pope Innocent III excommunicated German leader Otto IV.

1356  Basel earthquake, the most significant historic seismological event north of the Alps, destroyed the town of Basel.

1386  Opening of the University of Heidelberg.

1561  Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima – Takeda Shingen defeated Uesugi Kenshin in the climax of their ongoing conflicts.

1599 Michael the Brave, Prince of Wallachia, defeated the Army of Andrew Bathory in the Battle of Şelimbăr, leading to the first recorded unification of the Romanian people.

1648  Boston Shoemakers formed the first U.S. labour organization.

1748 The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ended the War of the Austrian Succession.

1767 Mason-Dixon line, survey separating Maryland from Pennsylvania was completed.

1775  African-American poet Phillis Wheatley freed from slavery.

1851  Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick was first published as The Whale.

1860 The Second Opium War  ended at the Convention of Peking with the ratification of the Treaty of Tientsin, an unequal treaty.

1867  United States took possession of Alaska after purchasing it from Russia for $7.2 million. Celebrated annually in the state as Alaska Day.

1893  – Sidney Holland, New Zealand lieutenant and politician, 25th Prime Minister of New Zealand, was born (d. 1961).

b&w portrait photo of a man aged 60

1897 – Isabel Briggs Myers, American author and theorist (d. 1980)

1898  United States took possession of Puerto Rico.

1912 TSS Earnslaw’s maiden voyage from Kingston to Queenstown.

TSS Earnslaw

1912  The First Balkan War began.

1914  The Schoenstatt Movement was founded in Germany.

1918 – Molly Geertsema, Dutch lawyer and politician, Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands, was born (d. 1991)

1918 – Constantine Mitsotakis, Greek lawyer and politician, 178th Prime Minister of Greece, was born.

1919 Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 15th Prime Minister of Canada, was born (d. 2000).

1921  The Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic  was formed as part of the RSFSR.

1922 The British Broadcasting Company (later Corporation) was founded.

1924  Amateur radio operator Frank Bell sent the first trans-global radio transmission from Shag Valley, East Otago to London were it was received and replied to by amateur operator Cecil Goyder.

First trans-global radio transmission to London

1925  The Grand Ole Opry opened in Nashville, Tennessee.

1926 Chuck Berry, American musician, was born.

1927 George C. Scott, American actor, was born (d. 1999).

1929  Women were considered “Persons” under Canadian law.

1929 Violeta Chamorro, President of Nicaragua, was born.

1934 Inger Stevens, Swedish actress, was born (d. 1970).

1936 Adolf Hitler announced the Four Year Economic Plan to the German people. The plan details the rebuilding of the German military from 1936 to 1940.

1939 Lee Harvey Oswald, alleged assassin of John F. Kennedy, was born (d. 1963).

1944 – Adolf Hitler ordered the public funeral procession of Nazi field Marshall Erwin Rommel, commander of the Deutsches Afrika Korps

1945  The USSR’s nuclear programme received plans for the United States plutonium bomb from Klaus Fuchs at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

1945 – A group of the Venezuelan Armed Forces, led by Mario Vargas,Marcos Pérez Jiménez and Carlos Delgado Chalbaud, staged a coup d’état against then president Isaías Medina Angarita.

1952 – Patrick Morrow, Canadian mountaineer and photographer, was born.

1954 The New Zealand Opera Group (later renamed NZ Opera Company) had its first opening night when it performed The Telephone in Wellington.

New Zealand Opera Group's first opening night

1954  Texas Instruments announced the first Transistor radio.

1956  – Martina Navratilova, Czech-American tennis player and coach, was born.

1967 The Soviet probe Venera 4 reached Venus and becomes the first spacecraft to measure the atmosphere of another planet.

1968 – Lisa Chappell, New Zealand actress and singer, was born.

1968 Bob Beamon set a world record of 8.90 m in the long jump at the Mexico City games.

1977 – Ryan Nelsen, New Zealand footballer was born.

1978 – Mike Tindall, English rugby player, was born.

1989 East German leader Erich Honecker resigned.

1991  Azerbaijan declared independence from USSR.

2003 Bolivian Gas War: President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, was forced to resign and leave Bolivia.

2007  Karachi bombings: attempted assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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