Fonterra has a heart

May 8, 2019

The world’s biggest dairy exporter shows  it has a big heart:

Fonterra’s milk tankers are Andrew Oliver’s favourite thing in the world and local tanker drivers have long known that Andrew won’t go to bed until they’ve been on the farm.

But when it became unmanageable for his 65-year-old parents, the world’s biggest dairy exporter stepped in to help.

They changed their milk tanker schedule in the entire district so that Andrew would go to bed on time.

Andrew Oliver is one of about eight people in the world living with Fryns-Aftimos syndrome – he’s the oldest known to have it and the only one in New Zealand with the condition.

The extremely rare syndrome is the result of a mutation in one of his chromosomes which means that, at 35 years old, he has the mental age of a 6-year-old and suffers many other symptoms.

For the past 15 years he’s had a special relationship with Fonterra tanker drivers.

Ken Oliver, his father, said Andy discovered the tanker when the farm went onto the night shift for milk pick up.

“[He] learned what it was, came out to see it occasionally and once in awhile would talk to a driver. But then with Andy, the normal thing is with something like this – it would become a habit. And so he had to be out to see the tanker. That became part of his nightly routine.”

Andy’s nightly routine consists of a list of things he has to tick off.

Every night he draws a picture to give to the tanker driver, he has to watch the weather report on the 6pm news, then he has dinner and a bath.

But the last thing to tick off – is the tanker.

Ken said that if the tanker hadn’t come, Andy wouldn’t go to bed. For him, waking up at 5am to tend the farm, it became a struggle.

“We simply didn’t know when the tanker was coming. You might get 2am in the morning or something like that and he wouldn’t go to bed until the tanker had come.”

For over a decade, Andrew’s parents managed his tanker visits until one day Ken says he came to a breaking point.

“Deirdre had just been diagnosed with having had a minor stroke, I was absolutely out on my feet trying to keep the farm going. Surviving on three or four hours sleep and I’d just run out. I’d hit the wall and so I phoned the call centre and actually started crying on the phone, I was just so shot.

“I just said look, my life has just become impossible and just explained what was going on. I need sleep and I can’t get sleep until this boy’s in bed.”

The person at the call centre decided to help. . .

The company changed its tanker schedule for the whole Te Rapa district so that Andy could go to bed on time.

Tanker drivers have also given Andrew a hi-vis Fonterra jacket and raised money to buy him a bike.

I’m delighted to be a shareholder in a company with employees who care.

UPDATE: TIm Fulton wrote about this in NZ Farmers Weekly several years ago.


This man earned a Speights

January 28, 2014

The archetypical Southern man is supposed to be tough – and this is tough:

James Grant had barely caught his first fish when a shark plunged its teeth into his leg.

He had just entered the water at Garden Bay near Cosy Nook in Southland on Saturday when the next thing he knew a shark was wrapping its jaws around his leg.

And he’s got the holes in his wet suit and his leg to prove it.

“It was pretty well latched on, I was just trying to get it off.”

But Mr Grant, 24, a junior doctor, gave as good as he got – stabbing what he believed was a type of seven-gill shark, with his diving knife as he tried to get it to unlatch.

“I sort of just fought the shark off. The shark got a few stabs. The knife wasn’t long enough though,” he said.

When Mr Grant managed to get rid of the shark he tried to get the attention of his three friends, who were spearfishing just around the bay. But his mates did not take him seriously.

“I thought surely he hasn’t been bitten, there’s no way he has been bitten, he’s got to be taking the p…,” Mackley Lindsay said.

But he wasn’t, instead he sat on the shore stitching his own leg.

His friends carried on fishing while Mr Grant tacked the wounds together with a needle and thread from his first-aid kit for his pig-hunting dogs.

“I’m pretty happy I had such a thick wet suit on too,” he said.

Friend Jim Robins downplayed the event at the time. “He was walking so it couldn’t have been that bad,” he said.

However, his friends did do him a favour – taking him to the tavern in Colac Bay before the hospital.

The pub at Colac Bay served him a beer alongside a few bandages to stop his leg from dripping blood on the carpet. . .

I hope the beer was a Speights, he’d earned it.

Is this a cue for Good on ya mate?


Childish people trying to play grown-up

November 15, 2013

Quote of the day:

”. . . As much of an attraction as the Moeraki Boulders are, I’m happy to lay a sizeable wager that when the first boat does arrive in New Zealand waters, it won’t be sailing past the West Coast, rounding Stewart Island, and making its way up to Oamaru.

”These are childish people trying to play grown-up. If they want to spend their days walking up and down the beach staring at the ocean, perhaps they could do something useful and bring a rubbish bag to tidy up while they’re at it.” Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse.

He was responding to reports that Right Wing Resistance New Zealand (RWR) had delivered pamphlets seeking men to form ”armed coastal patrols” to ”protect” the coast from ”people smugglers” and ”illegal foreign fishing”.

The Minister was supported by Waitaki Mayor:

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said Mr Chapman and his group were ”a joke” and the idea of armed boat patrols was ”just more idiocy from a group of people that are really not bright enough to know what they are doing”.

Quite.

If #gigtownoamaru becomes the southern hemisphere’s first gigatown  it will be even more attractive to immigrants but it is not in need of this sort of defence.


Which century is he in?

September 30, 2013

Quote of the day:

“If a woman drives a car, not out of pure necessity, that could have negative physiological impacts as functional and physiological medical studies show that it automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upwards,” he told Sabq.

“That is why we find those who regularly drive have children with clinical problems of varying degrees,” he said.

No specific medical studies were cited to support his arguments. – Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Lohaidan

He was reacting to a campaign by Saudi women who want to overturn the ban on them driving.


Dead parrot no joke for Defence

June 4, 2013

UK Ministry of Defence have paid out more than a million pounds in the last three years for damage from low-flying aircraft:

One of the 200 claims was from a parrot owner who got £2,200 in compensation because his pet fell off its perch and died after being startled by an RAF Hercules.

Nearly £300 was paid to two therapy groups disturbed by the roar of fighter planes while £900 was claimed for damage to a child’s trampoline in Lancashire. . .

The parrot death follows a similar incident in which a low-flying plane caused another bird to fall off its perch and break both legs.

Its owner received compensation to cover vet bills including the cost of two splints. . .

Come back Monty Python, reality is overtaking your comedy.

 


Hay man

June 3, 2013

Driving round and round a paddock gives you time to think, but few would think about doing this:


Fair enough?

November 22, 2012

If you stand up for free speech you have to accept people’s right to say something which you might find offensive.

But is this fair enough?

A Czech-born woman has been fined in England after calling her New Zealand-born neighbour a “stupid fat Australian bitch”.

I can understand a Kiwi being offended by being called an Aussie, but should it lead to court?


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