It’s not about us

September 9, 2017

We understand that being in government isn’t about us, it’s about what we do for people, making a difference to their lives because National is a party that cares about people and gets things done. I strongly believe that if we can build on our current success we can offer better opportunities for everyone.” – Bill English.

In my time in Parliament I have learned and grown a lot, often from the people and communities I’ve met with all over NZ. You have always shown me how unique New Zealand truly is.

When I look ahead, I am still inspired by just how far we have come as a country together. We worked through the GFC, we banded together after the Canterbury earthquakes, and we will continue to face future challenges with determination and optimism.

This election is important. Our campaign is for every New Zealander who wants to bring their dreams to life. It’s a campaign for Kiwis who are prepared to work hard and back themselves. It is a campaign for you. – Bill English

Bill’s resilience, his intellectual grunt, and his great capacity to get things done is why he is the right person to lead the government and our country. NZ National Party.

Government needs the right leader with the right team.

Bill English has proven he is that leader with that team.

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Hindsight

September 3, 2017

I didn’t listen to him because he was my father & wouldn’t know anything until I was much older….  © 2014 Brian Andreas – posted with permission.

You can buy books, posters, cards, ornaments and more and sign up for a daily dose of whimsy like this by email at Story People.

Chosen for Fathers Day and dedicated to all the good fathers who are patient enough to wait until their children are old enough to know enough to listen.


PM Dad and daughter

August 30, 2017

Prime Minister Bill English was interviewed by his daughter Maria live on Facebook this evening.

You can see it here.

Apropos of Maria, she sang the National Anthem a capella at the National Party campaign launch on Sunday.

You can hear her here.


Keep running the right way

August 26, 2017


Rural round-up

July 5, 2017

Rangitikei dairy farmer Stu Taylor changes the way he employs dairy farm staff –    Jill Galloway:

The social lives of workers are changing and dairy farmers must change the way they employ dairy staff, says a Rangitikei dairy farmer.

Dairy farm owner near Santoft Stu Taylor said he aimed for a roster of five day on and two day off for the 30 staff employed at his farm.

At the DairyNZ ‘People Expo’ in Palmerston North, he said he was committed to a better way of working for dairy farming. . . 

Rural women ‘in crisis’: Letter reveals dark side of farm life – Ruby Nyika:

Rural women struggling with mental illness have been neglected for too long, a Waikato woman says.

In a pleading letter sent to Rural Women NZ, Mary Anne Murphy calls for more mental health support and funding specifically for rural women.

Murphy, who no longer lives rurally, felt compelled to act after government ministries announced at Fieldays that $500,000 would be committed to Rural Mental Wellness, targeting struggling farmers. . .

New father Richard Morrison wonders what is ahead in farming for his young son:

Thirteen weeks ago I entered into a new venture: fatherhood. I try and imagine what the future may have in store for little Henry but that task is challenging and a little daunting.

I think about the change we have seen the last 35 years, since my childhood, and even the last 17 since I entered the workforce. The world is a bigger place and it moves a lot faster: I was able to attain a university degree without using a computer – now some toddlers seem to be attached to them.

The prospects for one little person is hard to foresee in this big, fast moving world but there is one thing I do know. Growing up in New Zealand on a farm, in a tight knit rural community, with access to quality local schools prepares you incredibly well for life. This is as true today as it has been for the last 100 years. . . .

Kiwi farmer wins Australasian business management award:

New Zealand sheep and beef farmer Jonny Elder has taken out the 2017 Rabobank Business Development Prize, a trans-Tasman business management award for up-and-coming farmers.

Selected from a group of New Zealand and Australia’s most progressive young farmers, graduates of the 2016 Rabobank Farm Managers Program (FMP), Mr Elder, from Northern Southland, was recognised for his management project – which demonstrated how he had utilised the learnings from the program to create and implement a business plan to maximise the potential of his farm. Designed for emerging farmers, the FMP focusses on the development of business management skills, with an emphasis on strategic planning, leadership and self-awareness. . .

Dairy farmers moving to ‘good returns’ from beef calves – Andrew McRae:

Demand for beef calves is driving down the number of bobby calves being processed and providing a lucrative side business for dairy farmers.

On dairy farms, where 70 percent of all calves are born, those not needed as dairy replacements have traditionally been sent for slaughter.

But that’s now changing, according to Doug Lineham, from Beef and Lamb’s Dairy Beef Integration Project. . . .

Pacific Alliance FTA negotiations hailed:

Federated Farmers says it’s excellent news that New Zealand is underway with free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with the Pacific Alliance countries of Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia.

The announcement by trade minister Todd McClay that the five nations will strive to improve market access and level the playing field is an important step in the New Zealand Trade Agenda 2030 strategy. It also represents the ongoing commitment from four members of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) to improving the trade environment in the Pacific region. . .


Anything not everything

June 19, 2017

Mine was probably the last generation of girls who grew up thinking we’d get married and have children – and in that order.

We were encourage to have jobs or even careers, but the expectation for most of us was that, sooner rather than later, family would come first.

Younger women have grown up with different expectations, many based on the exhortation that girls can do anything.

The trouble with that line is that it’s taken to mean they can do, and have,  everything – career, relationship, family . . .

But as Deborah Coddington says in commenting on Holly Walker’s Memoir The Whole Intimate Mess:

Walker admits she saw it as a chance to show women could have it all. Isn’t it about time someone, somewhere, blazed across the sky: if you choose to do one thing you are, ipso facto, forgoing something else? . . 

Coddington has been criticised on Twitter for her view, but she’s right.

Anyone might be able to do anything, but that is very different from being able to do everything, or at the very least being able to do it all at once:

Undoubtedly changes could be made to the system in the behemoth, but raising a baby is one of the most important things a mum or dad can do. Should it be slotted between points of order, supplementary questions, constituency meetings, select committees? Certainly not when a woman ends up badly mentally and physically hurt, no matter who is inflicting the abuse.

Perhaps I’m just old-fashioned. I had my first child five days after I turned 22, 42 years ago, and I loved raising babies. But at the same time I watched with envy as my journalism colleagues soared up the career ladder while I felt abandoned in Wairarapa teaching a little one to talk, garden and cook playdough. But when my four children were at school I could claw my way back up to the top in journalism, full time, then look at those same colleagues, now in their late 30s, early 40s, struggle with IVF, difficult pregnancies and exhaustion as they juggled early childcare and jobs.

My point is you actually can have everything; but maybe not at the same time.

Definitely not at the same time, and not always when you want it.

By the time young couples have completed their education, travel, and are well on their way up the career ladder, conception might not come easily, if at all.

As a friend commented during a discussion on infertility,  Our parents worried we’d have babies too soon, our generation worries our children are leaving it too late.

A point Amanda Gillies made on the AM Show:

“I say to girls, particularly young girls, have your children early if you can. I waited, I shouldn’t have, and so I say to them: Career you can always come back to it – children you can’t,” Gillies said.

“So do it early, it’s so much easier. I’m now 40, it’s probably not a happening thing and it’s a heartbreaking thing because as a woman you do feel like a failure.” . . 

If these busy career people do manage to have children, the idea that life can go on as it did pre-parenthood seriously underestimates the demands even the healthiest and happiest of babies make, ignores the almost certainty that no baby is 100% happy and healthy, and shows little if any appreciation of the time, energy and commitment it takes to bring up children.

In most young families today, men play a much more active parenting role than their fathers did and women are much more likely to be in paid work than their mothers were.

Parents sharing the caregiving and wage-earning can be better for them and their children.

But the message that girls – and boys – can do anything needs to be tempered with the caution that if they try to do everything at once something will give and if having children comes later on the to-do list, they might find it’s too late.

 


H&S no excuse for stupidity

June 18, 2017

When our daughter was young I would very, very occasionally say it’s a matter of safety.

She knew that meant I wouldn’t be budged and because I used it so rarely, she accepted it.

Unfortunately safety, or more often health and safety has now become an excuse for stupidity like this:

Emily Broadmore wanted her two young twins Hugo and Connie left buckled in their pram on the train from Wellington to Masteron, but was told she couldn’t because of health and safety reasons.

“When I inquired where I could put the pram… I was yelled at and told that you shouldn’t even be travelling with two babies,” she said. . .
She had been told she could put her pram in the designated wheelchair space if it was available, but train staff refused citing health and safety.

Hugo and Connie were seated and the pram was stored away.

“I turned momentarily to Connie and he just dived about a metre and a half.”

Transdev Wellington, the company who run the service apologised to Ms Broadmore, but the Multiple Birth Association say it should not have come to this. . .

Of course it shouldn’t have come to this and, because of this incident, the company has clarified with staff what they expect so it shouldn’t come to that again.

But it will, not necessarily with this company, on a train, nor with a parent of twins.

But somewhere there’s someone with more authority than common sense, compassion or care who will trot out health and safety, whether or not his or her directive, as it did in this case, actually endangers health and safety rather than promoting it.


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