New Year honours

December 31, 2013

Two dames and four knights have been created in the New Year honours.

Trelise Cooper has been honoured for services to fashion.

Alison Paterson has been honoured for services to business which includes significant service to agriculture.

She is chair of Crown Irrigation Investment and Farm IQ,  Stevenson Agriculture and New Zealand Formulary, which is developing markets for furnishing fabric made from wool and rice. She was a director of 
She is a director of Landcorp Farming, and PGG Wrightson.

The new knights are:

Dr Noble Curtis, of Rotorua for services to Māori education;  Archbishop David Moxon, of Rome for services to the Anglican Church, Bob Parker, for services to local body affairs and the community and Peter Vela, ONZM, for services to the thoroughbred industry.

The first link takes you to the full list at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s website.

Southern and rural people honoured include:

CNZM:

Former Southland mayor Frano Cardno who is profiled in the ODT.

ONZM

John Coles, former Waimate mayor.

Tom Lambie,  a pioneering organic farmer, former president of Federated Farmers, representedboard member of Trade Liberalisation Network,  New Zealand on the International Federation of Agricultural Producers, former chair of the Landcare Trust, and is Chancellor of Lincoln University and an ECan commissioner.

MNZM

Former Waitaki mayor Alex Familton.

QSO

Former Oamaru police officer and current scout leader Derek Beveridge.

Former Waitaki mayor Alan McLay.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Parker pulling out

July 6, 2013

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker has announced he’s pulling out of the contest for mayor of Christchurch in October’s local body elections.

As difficult as this decision is, I have decided that I am not going to stand for Mayor at the upcoming election in October.

I have to think of my own well-being, and those closest to me, and I don’t believe I have the energy to lead this city for another term. I feel exhausted having worked non-stop over the past six years in office and I know that I can’t sustain the pressure and stress of this job for another three. The people of this city need a fresh face to lead them over the next three years, when there will be so many great things happening with the rebuild of this city.

I really love the organisation I work for and I’m incredibly proud of this city and the people I work alongside on a daily basis. They’ve taken a pounding since the earthquakes and they have continued to perform outstandingly against much adversity. I’ve put my heart and soul in to this job, as I know they have, and I thank them all from the bottom of my heart for their loyalty and support.

It’s taken a great deal of self-examination to walk away from this job. The people of this city have stood beside each other since the earthquakes and have faced extremely demanding challenges. Their strength astonishes me and I know they now deserve to move forward with their lives with a new Mayor at the helm. Everyone deserves a fresh start and this city needs to be led by someone who has the energy and drive to take them on this journey.

The future is so bright for this magnificent city and I know there are many tremendous things already starting to happen here. I was born here and truly love this place, so I hope to find a new role where I can continue to contribute to the future of this city.

Extraordinary events require extraordinary leadership.

Polls showed Parker was likely to lose the mayoralty to Jim Anderton in 2009 but his performance after the September earthquake saved him.

He was again a voice of calm after the February quake.

But once the crisis was over,  the city and its people floundered.

The loss in the past week of the right to grant building consents and the news that some recently consented buildings didn’t meet building codes and the loss of insurance cover for claims which may arise under the Building Act reflected poorly on the council and its leadership.

How fair it is to blame the mayor may be moot, but the buck stops with him and not standing again is the right decision.

His standing down might make it easier for Lianne Dalziel but it might also open the door for another contender.


From MP to mayor?

June 19, 2013

The will-she-won’t-she ? question is about to get an answer:

Labour MP Lianne Dalziel is set to enter the Christchurch mayoral race, Fairfax Media understands.

The Christchurch East MP has long been rumoured as the favourite to challenge incumbent Bob Parker for the mayoral chains, following her high-profile role as Labour’s earthquake recovery spokeswoman, and criticism of the current council.

Her declaration is expected later this week. . .

Dalziel was a minister but now is ranked only 20 in the Labour caucus which makes the odds on getting back into Cabinet pretty low, even if her party wins the election.

She almost certainly feels she can do more for her city as mayor than an MP, whether or not Labour is in power.

She may well be right and it’s likely she’ll have at least a couple of running mates:

The rumour mill started turning again this month when Dalziel posted a picture of her with former mayors Vicki Buck and Garry Moore in a Christchurch cafe.

Buck and Moore were both said to be considering local government comebacks, and it emerged Buck and Dalziel had been meeting regularly.

Moore has since stepped back from that position.

When contacted yesterday, he declined to comment on record about his plans, indicating that he wanted to control the way he made the announcement.

The former three-term mayor has been a vocal critic of incumbent mayor Parker.

Anyone who’s listened to Moore on RadioNZ’s panel won’t be surprised by that. He often sounds as if he’s in campaign mode.

Had it not been for the September 2010 earthquake, Bob Parker would almost certainly have lost the mayoralty to Jim Anderton.

He was given a second chance and did well in the immediate aftermath of the February 2011 quake . But a lot has been  asked of the council since then, and whether it’s his fault or not, it hasn’t delivered.

The city is looking for a new mayor and Dalziel will be a very strong challenger.


CCC needs unity

January 24, 2012

We can’t blame the water – Christchurch is reputed to have the purest supply of any city in the country.

But something’s rotten in the city. ECan turned into ECan’t and matters got so bad the government stepped in and replaced the regional council with commissioners.

Now the city council is exhibiting signs of major dysfunction.

Councillor Tim Carter has called for a commissioner to replace chief executive Tony Marryatt and Councillor Sue Wells wants the government to sack the whole council and appoint a commissioner.

The idea of a unitary authority combining the regional council commisioners, CERRA and the city council has its appeal. The city is facing an extraordinary situation and the ordinary democratic system is showing the strain. But the government isn’t considering that:

The Government will not “interfere” in the troubled Christchurch City Council, says Local Government Minister Nick Smith.

Smith, who visited Christchurch today, said the Government had no plans to appoint commissioners to run the council, despite calls to do so from two councillors.

Problems at the council were “not entirely surprising”, given the scale of the challenge facing the council, but needed to be dealt with without government intervention, he said.

If central government isn’t going to interfere the local one must get its act together.

Polling before the 2010 local body elections indicated that Jim Anderton would win his challenge against mayor Bob Parker which was far from a vote of confidence in the latter.

But the September earthquake turned the tide and Parker was re-elected.

There were rumbles of dis-satisfaction about the chief executive but he was re-appointed in a decision supported by a majority of councillors.

Whether either of these decisions was in the best interests of the city is irrelevant. That’s what democracy delivered.

If councillors aren’t happy with what’s happening they have to persuade a majority of their colleagues to agree with them to get change or accept they’re in the minority and either shut up or resign.

Christchurch people have had more than enough trouble from nature they don’t need more from their council. The people and their city need unity and action any councillors who can’t deliver both should not be in that role.

 

 


Word of the day

December 19, 2011

Munted – broken, broken, bent, scraped, splintered, shattered, crashed, crushed, smashed, snapped, squashed, lascerated, punctured, peirced, cracked, destroyed, burst,  demolished, trashed, disintegrated, fractured, fragmented, pounded, pulverized, slammed, squashed, squished, or ruined; abnormal or peculiar  (of a person) ; drunk or intoxicated.

This was chosen as the Word of the Year by Public Address readers.

“The word ‘munted’ isn’t new,” said Public Address founder Russell Brown, “But it felt like this was the year it found its destiny. ‘Munted’, in spirit and in sound, was the natural word for what happened to parts of Christchurch in the February earthquake. And when Mayor Bob Parker told journalists ‘Our main sewer trunk is seriously munted. I believe that is the technical term,’ that destiny was settled.”

The top 10, chosen from 44, were:

1. munted

2. nek minnit

3. ghost chips

4. = #eqnz

= Occupy

6. liquefaction

7. Arab Spring

8. 99%

9. fuckeulogy

10. red-stickered


Local body inaction leaves many in limbo

August 6, 2011

Earthquake Recovery Minister has delivered a pointed message to Canterbury local authorities:

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government is unwilling to tolerate undue delays over resource consents for new Christchurch subdivisions.

Mr Brownlee says local authorities cannot afford to have a business-as-usual approach to consenting subdivisions.

It sounds like the Minister is losing patience and if what I’ve been hearing is true he is justified.

His comment is aimed at Christchurch City Council, the Selwyn and Waimakariri District Councils, Canterbury Regional Council and Christchurch Motorways. But the worst of the damage is in the CCC area and that appears to be where the least is happening.

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker did a very good job as the public face of the city immediately after the large earthquakes. But leadership requires more than reassurance.

People living in desperate situations are in limbo and council inaction is partly to blame for that.


We Remember

March 18, 2011

The front page of today’s Press is printed in Canterbury’s colours, red and black, and headlined WE REMEMBER.

It goes on to say:

Today New Zealand pauses to remember the lives lost in the Christchurch earthquake on Tuesday, February 22.

We ponder the broken homes, destroyed livelihoods and profoundly changed lives.

The greater anguish is the loss of treasured ones to a force of nature which highlighted the preciousness of human life.

Today we recall ordinary lives, valued people, those close to us. We persevere and in doing so we honour them.

A list follows of those who died in the quake whose names have been released so far.

Inside the paper has a programme of the service:

12:00 Woolston Brass Band.

12:10: Lament by lone piper.

12:15 Arrival of official party.

12:30 Putatara (conch shell) sounded by Ben Brennan to signal the start of the service.

Mihi Whakatau Ceremony.

God Save The Queen.

12:51 The silence led by Very Reverend Peter Beck, Dean of Christchurch.

Tributes: Bob Parker, Prince William.

Reading: Sir Anand Satyanand.

Address: Prime Minister John Key.

Song: Loyal by Dave Dobbyn.

Address: Phil Gff.

Reading: Ralph Moore, Deputy Taskfroce Leader, Christchurch Urban Search and Rescue team.

Psalm 23.

Song: You’ll Never Walk Alone – Dame Malvina Major.

The lighting of the Flame by Sam Johnson and Patsy Te Are.

Hymn.

Gathering prayers.

The Lords Prayer.

Readings by representatives of Christchurch Christian churches.

Prayers of many faiths.

Song Pie Jesu by Dame Malvina Major.

Reflection by Right Reverend Victoria Matthews.

Verses of consolation by various leaders.

Benediction by Christchurch Cathedral choir.

National Anthem led by Timua Brennan and Laurence Munday, Dame Malvina Major and Hayley Westenra.

Placement of floral tributes and Recessional.

Woolston Brass Band.

Ribbon borrowed – again – from Scrubone at Something Should Go Here Maybe Later.


Mayoral fund for people not property

October 11, 2010

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker said that the mayoral fund won’t be used to help people whose properties weren’t insured.

Speaking to Guyon Espiner on Q&A yesterday he said:

No, I think that we can’t replace insurance.  We have to be really clear about that, and the money that we’ve got in that fund, we’ve said that’s for people, not for property.  We’re using that money to help citizens, help families that are in difficult times, and that’s going to be needed for a long time ahead, Guyon, we’re going to need that for another 18 months or so as we work through these problems.  I don’t think we can solve all of the problems for everybody if you don’t have insurance.  Really, that’s the decision you’ve made.  There will be some cases of hardship, and we are the kind of community that will try to help, and work with people to solve those problems.

He’s right.

It may sound tough but it’s also fair. People who weren’t insured took a gamble and lost.

If they received compensation from the mayoral fund or central government it would send a message to people that they don’t need to worry about insurance.


Some old mayors some new in south

October 9, 2010

Two southern mayors lost their seats in the local body elections.

Central Otago District elected Tony Lepper, with sitting mayor Malcolm MacPherson coming in third place behind another challenger Jeff Hill.

Clutha District’s new mayor is Bryan Cadogan who beat the incumbent Juno Hayes who was seeking a fifth term.

Queenstown Lakes District has its first female mayor – Vanessa van Uden . Sitting mayor Clive Geddes didn’t seek re-election.

Waitaki District re-elected Alex Familton with a majority of 1183 over the only serious challenger and former Deputy mayor, Gary Kircher.

Invercargill people gave Tim Shadbolt a majority of more than 11,000 over challenger Suzanne Prentice.

Southland mayor Frano Cardno was returned for her seventh term.

Gore mayor Tracy Hicks was not challenged.

Timaru returned sitting mayor Janie Annear for a third term.

Mackenzie District elected Claire Barlow as its new mayor by only 30 votes.

Further north I’m delighted Christchurch voters returned Bob Parker as mayor – and not just because he defeated Jim Anderton.

Len Brown beat John Banks to be first mayor of the new Auckland council. Voters also delivered a left-leaning council which disproves accusations from the left that uniting Auckland was a right-wing plot.

I think this means Robert Guyton, a regular commenter here, won a seat on the Southland Regional Council. If so, congratulations.


Miracle it’s only a disaster

September 7, 2010

The sign at the supermarket told me there was no bread because of the earthquake in Christchurch.

I had a moment of irritation then I realised it didn’t matter at all. I have the ingredients, including clean, fresh water, and the power needed to make bread.

No doubt over the next few days, and possibly longer, we will find there are other gaps on the grocery shelves because a lot of South Island supermarket stock is produced in or distributed from Christchurch.

But we’ll cope with what will be relatively minor inconveniences as the people of Canterbury are coping with far more.

I spoke with a friend who lives in Merivale last night. She said it was terrifying on Saturday morning and repeated aftershocks are keeping them all on edge. She lost a few bits and pieces but her house is okay. They were without water for a day, people just a block away got water back on last night, others will have to wait days and maybe longer.

But, she said, it’s a miracle no-one was killed.

That’s a sentiment expressed by Christchurch MPs Aaron Gilmore and Nicky Wagner.

It’s also the message Christchurch mayor Bob Parker keeps repeating. He says everybody has lost something but no-one lost someone.

It’s a disaster. But it’s not a tragedy for which the city, the province of Canterbury and the whole country can be very grateful.

Compare that with the 1999 Athens earthquake, the anniversary of which is today. It killed 143 people and it was 5.9 magnitude compared with Canterbury’s 7.1 magnitude.

P.S.

Chris McDowall at SciBlogs has a chart of the quake and the aftershocks – he points out the tall line on the left isn’t the axis, it’s the first earthquake.


Q&A earthquake special

September 4, 2010

TV One is planning to broadcast an extra half hour of Q&A tomorrow to cover this morning’s earthquake.

The bloggerhead segment is still on the schedule:

TV ONE will feature an extended Q+A tomorrow from 9am – 10:30am looking at the issues arising from the Canterbury Earthquake.

 Paul Holmes will interview Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker live from the earthquake devastated central city.

 Prime Minister, John Key will join us in the Auckland studio to talk through the national issues arising from the worst earthquake to hit NZ since 1931.

 It’s been a tragic week for Canterbury – Guyon Espiner talks to Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard about South Canterbury Finance and his new book, Crisis: One Central Bank Governor & the Global Financial Collapse and his battle to save our finance sector during the worldwide meltdown. Was the deposit guarantee scheme that saved SCF this week well conceived? Did anyone see this coming? And what does he really think of the government’s efforts to counter the crisis?

 Dr Therese Arseneau is joined on the panel by 2025 Taskforce head, the former Reserve Bank Governor and National Party leader, Dr Don Brash and Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey, who’s soon to take over development of the Auckland waterfront.

 @ Bloggerheads, are Keith Ng from Public Address and Ele Ludemann from Homepaddock.


Greenstone Editorial Gone

June 22, 2008

The story of the pounamu  gifted by the Christchurch City Council to China which flew first class because it would be culturally insensitive to put it in the hold prompted an editorial in The Press. Private Bin in the NBR (which isn’t on-line) noted the editorial had disappeared from the website and it hasn’t reappeared so here is a copy from the print edition:

 

Ngai Tahu asserts that Christchurch’s gift to China is imbued with spiritual force. That is debatable, but the boulder certainly is imbued with farce.

Its journey from Fiordland to Wuhan provides the basis for a novel of the absurd, in which the voyage is preposterous, the characters pretentious and the implications portentous.

Fortunately for the reputation of Christchurch, this wacky combination will initially be laughed at and attributed to the city’s liking for crankiness. But underneath the nonsense is a city council losing touch with reality.

The request for an inanimate rock to have a partly ratepayer-funded escort and a seat in first class should have been vetoed before it had a change to develop legs. However serious the claims by Ngai Tahu about the boulder’s spirituality they are not supported by the large majority of Christchurch citizens, in whose name the gift was being made. A mayor in tune with his citizens would not have associated them with such hocus-pocus, let Ngai Tahu pay for the exercise of its religious beliefs and had the rock presented with typical Kiwi restraint.

 

But Christchurch has a council so in thrall to its sister-city relationships that its successive mayors and councillors repeatedly risk political demerits to cement the international contacts with visits, hospitality and gifts. So enthusiastic is city hall about these shenanigans that it now has a paid official with the title of international relations manager.

Part of her job, it seems, is ensuring Christchurch ratepayers do not get to know about things like the rummage in Fiordland for a rack, its luxurious passage halfway round the world, and the associating of the city with cultish beliefs. These facts were made public only because The Press forced them into the open by way of the Official Information Act.

Mayor Bob Parker need merely have remembered the public’s contempt for retiring MPs’ junketing on the Speaker’s tour to curtail the madcap greenstone trail. His lack of nous about such international skylarking will now require him to deflect a spectrum of critics: those unimpressed with Maori claims to privileged spirituality; those sickened by gravy-eating politicians; those intent on pillorying over-inflated city burghers.

The pounamu is now resting in the unkind keeping of the Communist Party of China. If the rock is consigned to the attic, as are most official gifts – even those received by totalitarian vulgarians – Christchurch’s spiritual out-reach will have been in vain. But there is hope of a more productive outcome.

China’s political bosses, driven into a corner by adherence to the unswerving olgic of dialectical materialism, might find the rock’s spirtiual immaterialism useful. An unquiet Tibet, a spluttering Olympic torch, a carbon-laden atmosphere, a political structure immune to renewal – these and China’s other gigantic problems seem so unlikely to be solved by Marxist administration that genuflection to a green stone could reasonably be tried.

On the other hand, Bob Parker, embarked on a mayoralty littered with gaffs, might need to reclaim the pounamu and beseech it for political advice. If he does, he would be wise to bring it home escorted only by recycled wrapping, protected by a butter box and placed in the belly of a plane.

 

The following letters to the editor were printed in response the following day:

Your editorial yesterday contained errors of concern to the Christchurch City Council.

The first of these is the implication that information about the gift of pounamu to Christchurch’s Friendship City of Wuhan, China, was discovered only through the Official Information Act.

The council issued a media release on April 22, detailing this gift and how it had travelled to Wuhan. Your newspaper received this release on this date, and published an article about the gift on April 26. The Star also ran the story on April 30.

At this time, no reporter called the council requesting any additional information, which we would have been happy to release.

The second point is that you inferred that the position of civic and international relations manager was new to the council. This position has been in existence for at least 10 years.

The manager’s role is not just to source gifts for our sister cities, as inferred in your editorial. She is responsible for identifying and developing international relationships that result in economic benefits for Christchurch – Tony Marryatt CHief Executive CCC.

The views expressed in your editorial yesterday displayed a remarkable level of insensitivity and ignorance, and are full of inaccuracies.

For generations pounamu has been central to Ngai Tahu culture and survival, with the gifting of pounamu an important Ngai Tahu tradition that carries with it our mana and protection. It is an act that has become commonplace, as was displayed in 2004 when the entire New Zealand Olympic team wore pounamu to Athens.

Your comments do your publication, the citizens of Wuhan and Ngai Tahu great disservice when one considers the spirit with which the gift is intended. Mark Solomon Kaiwhakahaere Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu

Yesterday’s editorial was intended to be tongue-in-cheek and whimsical. It ailed badly in making that clear and the intemperate, and in some instances offensive, sentiments are The Press’s editorial policy. I can only apologise. – Andrew Holden, Editor.

And:

New Zealand greenstone, a true jade, is pounemu. Bowenite – sometimes called greenstone by the geologically ignorant, and not a jade – is takiwai. Bowenite “greenstone” is not pounemu.

The addition of ‘stone” to pounemu, as pounamu is know in the south, is redundant.

This isn’t difficult nomenclature. How did your journalist get so muddled. (“Pounamu stone flies first class to satisfy protocol,: June 14)? Keri Hulme.


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