Fonterra has a heart

08/05/2019

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

28/01/2014

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

15/11/2013

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?

30/09/2013

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

04/06/2013

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

03/06/2013

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


Fair enough?

22/11/2012

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?


Some questions best left unanswered

30/07/2012

One of the first rules journalists learn is that good news stories should answer all the Ws – Who, What, Where, When, Why and hoW?

The ODT has a story about rangers rescuing a seal in a G string at Lovers Leap.

Two questions it doesn’t address are whose G-string it was and how it got from the owner to the seal.

But there are exceptions to every rule and there are some questions best left unanswered.


Another potential Darwin Award

21/07/2012

A train ran into a car which had been abandoned on the railway line in Oamaru:

 

Officers tracked down the man’s address through his car’s registration number and found him at home.

They say he told them he had been taking a shortcut home along the train tracks, as he often did, when the vehicle became stuck.

A short cut along the train tracks in a car?

Definitely a potential candidate for a Darwin Award.


Candidate for Darwin Award

07/07/2012

A Masterton ma n lost sight in one eye  after trying to find out if a nailgun could pierce bone.

Ever wondered if a nail could pierce bone? A Masterton man apparently did, so he placed a nailgun against his forehead and pulled the trigger to find out.

The nail shot into his skull, pinned his beanie to his head and came to rest behind his nose.

“He actually walked himself into the hospital and was laughing about it,” said Vicki Hookham, charge nurse manager at Wairarapa Hospital’s Emergency Department.

“It turned out they were seeing if it would go through the bone,” Ms Hookham said.

“Needless to say, there wasn’t a lot of brain function going on before or after that decision.”

 

Definitely a potential candidate for a Darwin Award.


Which century is this?

13/01/2012

The surname Beer could well give you a penchant for brewing but it doesn’t guarantee you entry into a home-brew competition:

Rachel Beer, 36, this week tried entering her home brew in a competition at Saturday’s upcoming Lake Hayes A&P Show only to find out it’s a “blokes only” contest.

“Who cares if I have or haven’t got balls?” Beer fumes. “At the end of the day a home brew is a home brew.”

Beer, whose tipple is called ‘Beer’s Beer’, was told by the chief steward she could enter but wouldn’t be judged.

Someone needs to tell the show committee it’s the 21st century.

Hat Tip:Credo Quia Absurdum Est


Which century is this?

06/09/2011

The third comment left on David Farrar’s Stuff column starts:

Diversity is important but women need to understand that the majority of hard, business decisions are necessarily made by men, and this applies to Parliament as well.

There are several things I could say about that but it’s time I got back to the kitchen.


Earthquake prediction reporting another nominee for Bent Spoon

29/08/2011

NZ Skeptics awarded their 2011 Bent Spoon for journalistic gullibility to all media outlets and personalities who took Ken Ring’s earthquake predictions seriously.

The Bent Spoon was awarded telepathically by those gathered for the annual NZ Skeptics Conference which, appropriately given the winner was held in Christchurch at the weekend.

And there’s already another nominee for the next award. TV3 is reporting Ring’s predicting another big earthquake for Christchurch at the end of September.

He does qualify the prediction:

On his website, he says there is a “potent” lunar alignment in the last week of September, same as the one that existed at the time of the September 4, 2010 quake.

“Indeed, it may not happen, and we all hope not, but the main players will be in position,” he says. “For example we might observe that Dan Carter and Ritchie McCaw are on the field, but that does not guarantee a win.”

And the report does include this:

A 3 News analysis of Mr Ring’s predictions earlier this year failed to show any evidence he was able to accurately predict earthquakes, and even his long-range weather forecasts did no better than chance.

Given that, why bother reporting this latest prediction? There is no news value in further predictions from someone whose predictions have been proved inaccuarte and even with the qualifications giving the prediction coverage is taking it seriously.

The Herald report is even worse, it doesn’t bother to report the unreliability of his previous predictions.

All media should ignore his predictions as the unscientific guess-work they are and anyone with any doubts should read, or re-read, David Winter’s scientific evaluation of the predictions.


Rules are rules

09/04/2011

Just a few miles into a train journey a wheel bearing became overheated and melted, letting a metal support drop down and grind on the rail, creating white hot molten metal droppings spewing down to the rail.

An alert crew member noticed smoke about halfway back in the train and immediately stopped the train in compliance with the Rules.

The train stopped with the hot wheel over a wooden bridge with creosote ties and trusses.

The crew tried to explain to higher-ups the danger this posed, but were instructed not to move the train.

They were told that the Rules prohibit moving the train when a part is defective.

They did as they were told and stayed put on the bridge. It caught fire and burned down, taking the train with it.

REMEMBER, RULES ARE RULES!
Don’t ever let common sense get in the way of a good disaster.

This came in an email, I have no idea if it’s true but a knowledge of rule-bound organisations makes me think it could be.


It’s a truth universally acknowledged . . .

29/10/2010

. . .  that a farmer in possession of gelignite is in want of somewhere better to put it than the steps of the Balclutha police station.


Supermarket silliness

16/04/2010

They had been for a run and called in to the supermarket on their way home so one could buy a bottle of wine.

They were both 25, the one buying the wine had a licence to prove that but the woman serving her wasn’t going to let her buy the wine because her friend didn’t have any proof of age with her.

Surely, if she’d been going to supply someone under 18 with alcohol the minor wouldn’t have been at the counter with her.

And what happens if parents are buying alcohol with their children in tow?

Is this what the law requires or is the supermarket being over cautious?


Taking easy a bit far

07/04/2010

The relative easy access we have to public figures, particularly politicians, is something we take for granted.

But wanting to stick your tongue in the Prime Minister’s ear is taking easy a bit far.


Reading by example

14/11/2009

A few weeks ago Rural Delivery on TV1 had a story about a dairy farmer who had gone organic.

What the story didn’t say was that the farmer had recently become a director of a fertiliser company.

My farmer reckoned that would be a bit like a sheep and beef farmer going vegetarian or a dairy farmer who didn’t eat cheese.

Examples of industrial irony aren’t confined to farming. Quote Unquote has spotted it in literary circles in a post on the formation of the NZ Book Industry Alliance

It’s an alliance between the National Library of New Zealand and the Publishers Association of New Zealand, Booksellers New Zealand, New Zealand Book Council, New Zealand Book Month and the New Zealand Society of Authors.

“We formed the alliance to establish closer working relationships and to work together to promote and celebrate books“ Penny Carnaby National Librarian and Chief Executive, National Library of New Zealand.

In support of the protocol Wellington head librarians have pledged to read a book every month and challenge all kiwis to do the same.

People whose work involves books who have to pledge to read need to ask themselves if they’re in the right job.

They might also want to contemplate the poster on the wall of Otago University’s English Department which said I read, therefore I think.


On the moooove

02/11/2009

He(a)rd about the cows found wandering round North Shore?

There are 25 which were supposedly dumped on council land near Torbay.

Where did they come from?

How did they get there?

Who helped them get there?

Did nobody notice them getting there?

I hope they’re not overdue for milking.


Dopey

15/10/2009

A woman called police to report her marijuana had been stolen.

Is this why they call it dope?


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