Kiwi legend


This mockumentary premiered at Tropfest NZ, the New Zealand contingent of the largest short film festival and wont he won the Viewer’s Choice Award.

It was produced by Tess Novak and features a star studded cast of Kiwi legends – Melanie Lynskey, Valerie Adams, Colin Meads, Dai Henwood, Steve Wrigley, Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, Beauden Barrett and Kane Barrett.

Colin Meads’ jersey could be yours


The All Blacks returned from a tour in 1957 to play, and lose  11- 9,  against Canterbury.

The All Black No 8 in that game was Colin Meads. He’s put the jersey he wore  up for auction on the Farming Show with the money from the winning bid going to the Canterbury earthquake appeal.

Dick Taylor spoke about the idea on the Farming Show on Tuesday and Sir Colin added to the story yesterday.

Jamie Mackay opened bidding at $1,000 yesterday and it had got up to $2,700 when the show finished at midday.

If you want to bid: Text 5009.  Put FS [space] your bid, name and where you’re from.

UPDATE: the highest bid is now $5,000.

Crossbred win makes some cross


Sex, religion and politics are not supposed to be raised in conversation at polite gatherings.

There’s many who would be happy for stock breeding to be added to the list.

People whoin the purebred business, have very strong feelings about the finer points of their favourite breeds and can wax lyrical about the genetics involved in breeding them.

It’s not surprising, then, that the annual Steak of Origin competition to find the best steak in the land attracts a fair bit of rivalry from beef breeders.

Imagine the consternation then, when the winner this year was not a pure beef breed but a crossbred, and a dairy cross at that.

Judges, Invercargill chef Graham Hawke, Minister of Agriculture David Carter and retired farmer and All Black legend Colin Meads (now aka Sir Pinetree), blind tasted 20 steaks. They awarded the title of Supreme Champion to a sirloin from a Piedmontese/Friesan cross entered by Catherine Withers from Rotorua who’s a dairy farmer not a beef breeder.

I’m told that good manners prevailed on the night but some breeders were a bit cross their purebred steak couldn’t quite cut the mustard in the competition.

The Steak of Origin link above will take you to the full results.

Sir Pinetree


Colin Meads has decided to accept a knighthood, but he doesn’t want to be called Sir.

I think of my great friends and guys who I have played under like Sir Wilson Whineray and Sir Brian Lochore.”
“But they were perfect gentlemen while I was a bit rougher,” he said.

That reminds me of this quote:  

Linesman to Referee: “You’d better count the players. I think Meads might have eaten one.”

From Good As Gold, Being A New Zealander, selected by John Daley, published by Godwit 2002.

No glory in being best of mediocre lot


Oh dear, Herald readers have voted Helen Clark the greatest living New Zealander which only proves we’re a very mediocre lot.

That is not just  because my political bias clouds my judgement of her, I wouldn’t have considered any of the top five finalists as great either. They were:

* Helen Clark – 3163 votes
* Willie Apiata – 2645 votes
* Sir Murray Halberg – 1467 votes
* Peter Jackson – 1340 votes
* Peter Snell – 1041 votes

Others to score well were All Black great Colin Meads, 1021 votes; Mad Butcher Peter Leitch, 514 votes; The Warehouse founder Stephen Tindall, 387 votes; and Louise Nicholas with 361 votes. Sir Roger Douglas, nominated by Don Brash attracted debate but not a lot of votes.

All have done something of note, some more than others in their fields, but great? No.

I agree with Clark who said that Sir Edmund Hillary would have won the title had he still been alive. That wasn’t because he was first to climb Everest but because of what he did subsequently, in particular in the way he used his achievement to help others.

I can think of no other New Zealander with the mana he had nor anyone who even approaches greatness.

The Herald has generated discussion, and traffic to its website, with the poll but the only thing it’s proved is that there is no-one worthy of the title greatest living New Zealander.

There are many good things about New Zealand and New Zealanders but none of us is great.

Would You Trust This Survey?


I was wondering how some of the people even made it to the list of most trusted New Zealanders when I read the fine print – respondents were asked to rate 85 well know people on a scale of 1 to 10 as to how much they trusted them.

The ranking which put VC winner Corporal Willie Apiata at number one (replacing the late Sir Ed Hillary) is here. Peter Snell, Colin Meads, Margaret Mahy and Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell follow him.

 The list of most trusted professions is here.

Farmers are the 13th most trusted occupation, between dentists and police officers in 11th equal place and scientists and chidlcare providers in 14th and 15th.

Journalists, sigh, are at 34; between taxi drivers and psychics/astrologers.  I’m not sure there is any comfort in ranking just above real estate agents, sex workers, car salesmen, politicians and telemarketers who take the 36th to 40th slots.

Clothes Maketh The Man?


No Minister  welcomes the news of money flowing through the rural economy and points to this story in The Herald.

I agree with the positve sentiments about farming but why do reporters mention the clothes?

If you passed him in the Fieldays’ crowds, chances are you wouldn’t have picked John Austin as someone who had just bought $800,000 worth of heavy farm machinery.

Dressed in a navy fleece jacket and open-necked shirt, Austin didn’t stand out from the record 131, 629 crowd who thronged to the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest agricultural hypermarket at Mystery Creek, near Hamilton.

Clothes also featured in this story on the sale of Colin & Vera Meads’ farm:

About 60 people trickled in to the auction, most of them friends and neighbours of Colin and Verna Meads. . .

So too was a low-key man from Piopio, who propped himself up on a stool beside a “leaner” table, directly opposite the auctioneer’s lectern.  He had taken his gumboots off at the door and was wearing only woollen farming socks, a rugged old pair of Canterbury rugby shorts, a Swanndri shirt that “you get for free with a bucketload of drench,” and a faded painter’s cap.

A few minutes later the unshaven man from the King Country backblocks had bought the farm for $1.425 million. Capital value was $1.615 million.

Were the reporters expecting a suit and tie? Or is there some sort of satorial snobbery which finds it difficult to understand that people who have to get their hands dirty at work are also successful business people? 🙂

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