About Homepaddock

What: news and views from a rural perspective, with a blue tint, that might also include musings on other matters which amuse, bemuse, entertain, interest or irritate me.



Why: when I was a child if you didn’t live on a farm (and I didn’t) you probably had family or friends who did. That is no longer the case. New Zealanders are now predominantly city dwellers and the media reflects that so the rural voice is weaker and consequently the urban-rural divide is growing. I’m also a political tragic, and blogging is fun.



From: a North Otago sheep, beef and dairy farm (that’s the view from my kitchen window above).  



WHO: I am a journalist by training and a bitser in practice. I do a little freelance writing, am North Otago correspondent on Newstalk ZB’s The Country, used to have a regular spot discussing blogs and other internet sites on RadioNZ National’s Afternoons; used to teach Spanish night classes (with the very necessary assistance of a Uruguayan friend porque mi español está oxidado) * am a registered marriage celebrant and also a funeral celebrant.


I am a media junkie with a particular interest in rural issues, politics (I was National’s Southern Regional Chair for six years and am still active in my electorate); health (my daughter has low grade serous ovarian cancer and I was deputy chair of Waitaki District Health Services) and disability issues (as a result of the lives and deaths of my sons who had degenerative brain disorders.) 


I enjoy reading, walking, tramping, swimming and chocolate.


Ele Ludemann

You can contact me at: ele at ludemann dot co dot nz

*  The night classes ended when funding was cut. I regret that personally – and not just because without the classes my Spanish is even rustier – but  I agree that it wasn’t the best use of public funds when so many people lack basic literacy and numeracy skills.

37 Responses to About Homepaddock

  1. Grahame Thorne says:

    Really enjoyed you with Andy Thompson yesterday. We Blues must stick together!!! Get all your mates to tick ACT and the Nats will rule. Otherwise Helen will have a Rainbow Coalltion MMP can be manipulated.
    Grahame Thorne
    03 3552368


  2. homepaddock says:

    I’m pleased you enjoyed my chat with Andy, Grahame but I disagree with you about ticking Act.

    Only National can change the government. If you support Act’s philosophy and policies then give them your vote but don’t fool yourself that you’ll be helping National by doing so.

    It’s the party vote that counts and National must have the most party votes if it’s to be able to lead the next government.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ele, Your talks on the RadioSport Farming Show are always interesting and enjoyable to listen to. So now I find you WRITE with similar clarity and flair. 🙂

    Keep it up!


  4. homepaddock says:

    Thank you Ian, it’s good to know I’m not just talking to the ether.


  5. Adolf Fiinkensein says:

    Here for your entertainment are the possibly deluded ramblings of a grumpy old goat.


    Love your blog


  6. Hi Ele,

    This is more a way of getting in touch with you rather than a comment, so please feel free to delete this!

    I just wanted to let you know that about a little directory of NZ blogs called Kiwiology. We’ve just added your blog to it and would like to make sure you’re happy with the listing! Maybe you’d like to pop over and have a look at it, then let me know if you’d like any changes to be made (http://kiwiology.co.nz/politics-economy/homepaddock/). Of course you can also remove your listing if you like! Just give us a yell with any problems or feedback you might have.

    Thanks and happy blogging.

    Corinne Davies


  7. John Ansell says:

    I think you might find ACT just helped National form a government.

    You’re quite wrong of course. It was the National + ACT + United total that counted (and possibly the Maori Party too).

    So there were three or four ways to change the government. But only a vote for ACT could change the direction of the country. John the trader traded most of National’s differences with Labour away.

    A great victory though, and congratulations for your part in it!


  8. homepaddock says:

    John – I’m delighted with the result, and congratulations for your contribution – those billboards are brilliant.


  9. Alan Meaney says:

    Hi Ele,

    We’re currently working on an exiting new rural/farming project and I was looking to get in touch. I just want to run the idea by and see what you think.

    This is the only way I could find of contacting you so feel free to delete comment and contact me on my email address.



  10. barry says:

    Hi there – why do you have that utterly annoying sort of snap preview page come up all the time???

    Its a pain for the eye and a pain in the arse. Cant you get rid of it. Its a bit af fancy techno that does nothing at all


  11. homepaddock says:

    Barry – it’s nothing to do with this site, it’s on your computer, if you click on the top right hand corner of the snap preview you should be able to disable it.


  12. thomclarke says:


    I just wanted to invite you to participate in a brand new political blogging and social networking tool called http://www.PollBooth.com

    The site is currently closed to the general public, only politicians, journalists and bloggers such as yourself will be invited to join for the time being.

    If you wish to participate prior to the public launch just add pollbooth.com to your links on your wordpress blog then send an email to request.invite@pollbooth.com including the webaddress of your current blog and if approved I’ll send you an official invitation code allowing you to register on the site.

    I hope to hear from you shortly and if not apologies for contacting you.



  13. Deborah says:

    While I wasn’t looking, you’ve changed your header (I think). I mostly read your posts via my feed reader, and only click through when I want to read the comments, or add one myself, so I guess it might have been a few days ago. It’s lovely.


  14. homepaddock says:

    Deborah – thanks. I posted on the change last Sunday: https://homepaddock.wordpress.com/2009/06/21/old-view-or-new/

    The old view was from the kitchen window at dawn, the new one is same view on a spring afternoon.


  15. Deborah says:

    From Kiwiblog

    Also have to mention the well deserved awarding of the Sir George Chapman trophy for service to the party went to our own blogging Homepaddock – Ele Ludemann. I won’t even mention how she was alseep in her room when they awarded her the prize 🙂

    Congratulations, Ele!


  16. homepaddock says:

    Thanks Deborah – there is an explanation for why I was having a siesta when the award was presented which I’ll explain in a post soon.


  17. Angela Radford says:

    I’d like to send homepaddock information on Christine Fernyhough & John Bougen’s new book published by Random House, 2 October, titled Ben & Mark, Boys of the High Country. Can you please email me contact information to send a review copy.
    Warm wishes,
    Angela Radford
    Freelance Publicist
    09 5797351 or 0275 401104


  18. Adele Wilson says:

    Thank you for the wonderful tribute to Bill King. He was an amazing man and with a very capable wife alongside him – Loris – achieved a life well lived in Wanaka. They strived for a community that was informed and committed. RIP Bill King.

    Adele Wilson
    49 Dungarvon Street


  19. Hi Ele,

    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Family is from Central Otago and Invers. I have fond memories of visits there.


  20. adam2314 says:

    So you think that I maybe of the right !!..

    I would make Maggie Thatcher look like a Communist..




    YOU PAY..

    It would be a very minor percentage..

    NZ is in the best position in the world to bring in a cashless society..

    Some one has to be the first.. Why not us ??

    Think of all those thousands of educated people placed out of work.. ( make them think for once )

    No pencil pushers..

    No offices needed ( Apartments )..

    The savings in A4 paper.

    You will hear so many argeuments against..

    From those that have a pecuinary interest..

    Building owners. Insurance companies. Tax Consultants. Lawyers et.al.

    Government departments..

    Why would we need the Tax Department ” Auditing “..

    You spend… You pay..



  21. adam2314 says:

    Must add..

    It has been a pleasure to come across your Blog..

    The History ..

    The common sense …

    Even if you are Blue :-))


  22. homepaddock says:

    Adam – I was writing with tongue in cheek in response to you saying you’d gone centre left: https://homepaddock.wordpress.com/2010/05/23/political-compass-2/#comments

    Re transaction tax, Bill Englsih was asked about that at the weekend. I’m not sure of his exact answer but I think he said one problem was the electronic transactions based overseas.

    Thank you for the compliment, I enjoy Inquiring Mind too – the cartoons, the quotes, the music, the dry wit, the inquiring mind.


  23. Karl Barkley says:

    Hi We need your Help to Save The Kingston Flyer Railway New Zealand’s Most Iconic Tourist Railway.
    Please have a Look @ our Web Site
    http://www.motorsportevents.co.nz Click on Trains
    also we can be found on Facebook
    “Saving The Kingston Flyer Railway”
    … Twitter “Steamingmaddd” Can you please pass this on to as many as you can for them to do the same
    Thanks Karl Barkley Southern “F” Locomotive Trust
    cell 027 5940090
    Email : karlsouthern-f-locotrust@hotmail.com
    We only Need $100 from 25000 Kiwi’s
    “Not Your Life Savings”


  24. Lindy Nelson says:

    Really wanted to catch up with you. We are the newly formed “Agri-Women’s development Trust” It has long been recognised that we have un-tapped talent in our rural women, their wealth of experience, abilities, knowledge and expertise- developed within the context of their rural lives. The Agri-Women’s Development Trust (AWDT) was created to bridge the gap that exists between these women and their potential- with a particular focus to, encourage and assist them to become more involved in the areas of governance, leadership with a commercial focus. In providing this support the Trust becomes an enabler for rural women, identifying and nurturing talent to contribute positively to their communities and rural agri-business. The ripple effect will enhance not only rural communities; but ultimately New Zealand as a whole. Hope we can contect about our work and vision. Lindy


  25. Jeremy Harris says:

    Hello my name is Jeremy Harris and in response to the CERRA I’ve created a facebook group looking to keep pressure on or hopefully, ultimately, amend this very troubling (from a democratic standpoint) Act.

    Here is the group’s link:


    I’m asking if those of you in the blogoshpere could write a quick post linking to it and ask your readers who are worried about our democracy to please join.


    Jeremy Harris


  26. Lindy Nelson says:

    Good grief where have the last few months gone! I see I blogged you back in July Ele and we haven’t managed to catch up for a chat. Am keen to talk, are you able to contact me. The Agri-Women’s development Trust Website will be up and running soon so I will join the ranks of the cyber space.
    Regards Lindy


  27. adam2314 says:

    HP .. You said you were fascinated when Osama was being taken down ..
    More to the ref about Team six i think because the name was not known..

    The chopper that was downed a couple of weeks ago with SEALS aboard had no member of team six aboard..

    Now we hear.. after NATO said ” No boots on the ground “..

    The SAS is in Lybia .. Just helping to co-ordinate..

    I will now state… From personal knowledge..

    Will be questioned from some on here ..

    They have had their boots on the ground ever since it started..

    NEVER forget England has always been known as

    PERFIDIOUS ALBION…. Since how long ???..

    Bloody proud to be English !!


  28. Ralph Boardman says:

    The night classes are even more important now! High unemployment, higher underemployment and unless you want to be a Canterbury drainlayer- no work prospects (unless of course you want to be a guest of the Aussies) AND nothing worth watching on the box! In the case of a second language, the research shows a second language study is a great help to learning English.


  29. homepaddock says:

    But none of the students were unemployed, almost all were at least middle income, often wanting to learn some Spanish before travelling ie not people in need of taxpayer help.


  30. […] Anyway, thanks guys I am chuffed! I thought 100 views was pretty good until I saw Ele’s homepaddock website, the women has had 5000 views in the last month! Well done Ele! […]


  31. Every time I come to your sit Ele, I find something else that’s fascinating… thank you so much for your mention…still haven’t managed to sort why I don’t get your posts, even though it proudly says following at the top – so I come over manually at intervals to catch up !!!!!


  32. homepaddock says:

    Thanks Valerie, I enjoy my visits to your blog too, particularly your food for thought at the end of each post.

    Sorry I have no idea why you don’t get posts but am pleased you pop in to catch up.


  33. Philgwellington Wellington says:

    Thanks for the blog. It gives me a good understanding of how nice and clueless people can be. How can you keep cow poo (and nitrogen) from getting into the beautiful aquifers of the game Canterbury plains? How will you restore democracy to the Canterbury regional council? That was the action of a dictatorship and anti democratic. Shameful in my book. Killing off our only commercial free public broadcaster, TVNZ7. Shameful dictatorship. Enjoy dictatorship and private wealth while you can isolate yourself from the grim reality of many Kiwis.


  34. For several weeks now I have thought, “Why is this person posting ‘This day in history’ a day early?”…… now I see that for you, it is not a day early! Derrr. I really enjoy them though 🙂


  35. homepaddock says:

    Thanks, as you’ve worked out I’m in New Zealand, one of the first country’s to see the sun each day.


  36. Thom Hickey says:

    Thanks Ele. Interesting blog topics. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox.


  37. […] to communicate with people anywhere else in the world, whether it be near or far. Take for example, https://homepaddock.wordpress.com/about/ This is a blog all about someone’s personal experience in New Zealand. I can access this […]


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