Rock solid

September 14, 2017

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This rock isn’t for moving. We stand by our plan. #backing bill #partyvotenational

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This is why we’re #backingbill

September 13, 2017

Prime Minister Bill English had a very clear message in Ashburton yesterday:

. . .”We want to achieve higher environmental standards and apparently no one’s thought of this until about six weeks ago. It’s all new, apparently, lifting the quality of water in our rivers – brand new idea,” he said.

“All that tells you is they [opposition parties] take no notice of you. They have no idea what you do, how you do it or why you’re so good at it.

“We’re backing you”.

Farmers were “being lectured” by people who did not understand the regions and National was committed to both raising productivity and environmental standards.

“Any politician who does not know about the intensive, difficult, critical, collaborative work that’s gone on around water quality must be living on another planet,” he said.

“It will be cash sucked out of your business, taken out of this region, sent off to Wellington and people who don’t even know what you do or how you do it will be deciding how to make you do it better. And that’s a ridiculous waste of time and money.” . . 

That’s so true –  it will be cash sucked out of your business, taken out of this region, sent off to Wellington and people who don’t even know what you do or how you do it will be deciding how to make you do it better.

This is what happens when parties don’t have MPs in the regions.

They are out of touch and have no idea what’s happening.

National knows, understands and values the regions.

But the PM and the party aren’t just pushing farming :

National leader Bill English has strayed from the expected message of cows and crops in regional New Zealand.

English hit the campaign trail in Palmerston North and Levin on Monday but there was more than just fancy farming promises in his bag of tricks.

The leader once again turned his attention to pressing social issues, saying it’s worth focusing on vulnerable people one-by-one. . . 

English started his day at Te Tihi in Palmerston North, where the staff brought him up to speed on Te Tihi’s clients: 95 Housing New Zealand households, 224 individuals – 43 per cent of which run out of food every week due to lack of money.

They also told English about their alternative resolution model pilot, which offered a pre-charge alternative resolution to non-serious offenders.

The programme, which launched in 2013, has included 39 local Māori. Between the 39 there was a total of 1039 offences, costing the community $14.25 million.

Of the 39, 22 continued to engage with Kainga Whānau Ora over the past few years and the total cost of their offending dropped from $663,000 in 2013 to $105,725 in 2016. Meanwhile, 16 of the 22 haven’t come back into the justice system.

In the past, Palmerston North man Rodney Wilson received up to 80 police callouts relating to domestic violence in a year. Since becoming part of the programme, Wilson has had one callout relating to domestic violence.

“If it hasn’t been for Whānau Ora, I’d be locked up in jail,” Wilson told English. “I live for my daughter and her children, and I can’t be with them if I’m in jail.”

Wilson was picked up by police after trying to pawn a stolen laptop and he was given the choice of joining the programme.

With the help of his navigator – similar to a case worker – he set goals for himself and put a plan into motion in order to achieve his aspirations. He now works as a cleaner and has a closer relationship with his family. 

English asked Wilson what was different about this programme.

“When you’re finished with the programme, it’s not over. They’re always here to help me.”

Then the National leader turned his attention to the staff: What works well? How is this programme different? What do you need from central government to get the programme to scale?

English was engaged with the clients, directors, navigators, police, Housing New Zealand staff, and DHB staff in the room.

He truly wanted to know how to help break the cycle for more New Zealanders in the same situation. . . 

But in each location he finished with social issues, sharing the story of what was happening in Palmerston North and a similar programme run by Life to the Max in Levin.

“If they can change 39 families, they can change Palmerston North,” he said.

These were families with the most challenging set of social circumstances, and English said National wanted to help them, and other struggling Kiwis.

“It’s worth focusing on them one by one.” . . 

“We’ve been in Government a long time but we still have a lot of things we want to do. We haven’t run out of steam and we haven’t run out of ideas,” English said.

Focusing on people one by one is National’s social investment policy in action, turning lives around.

This is why we’re #backingbill.

 


It’s only one poll

September 12, 2017

Newshub political editor Patrick Gower tweeted:

The poll showed:

Dramatic maybe, but not devastating if you want a strong economy and the sustainable social services and environmental protection and enhancement that depend on it.

It is of course only one poll, but a very welcome reversal of the trend of other recent ones.

 


Rural round-up

September 12, 2017

Every New Zealand has benefited from farming let’s not get divided – Alan Wills:

A couple of generations ago most New Zealanders had either come off a farm, had relations who were farming or knew people on the land.

We were a farming nation.

Everyone, including successive governments, understood this great country of ours was built on farming. Somehow this narrative has been lost over a relatively short period of time.

With diversification of our economy, urbanisation of our people, immigration and for a whole host of other reasons, farmers are now almost public enemy number one in the minds of some folk.

Certain political and environment groups are milking (no pun intended) that notion for all it’s worth. . . 

Rural-urban divide ‘encouraged’ by water tax policies – farmer – Alexa Cook:

Many political parties are using farmers as an easy target for emotive policies that appeal to urban people, a South Canterbury farmer says.

In the lead up to the election, RNZ Rural News is talking to farmers across New Zealand about what they think of the policies that have been put on the table.

Farming and environmental issues have been hot topics in the election lead up.

South Canterbury sheep and beef farmer Mark Adams, who is also the Federated Farmers president for the region, said farmers feel unfairly targeted. . .

Luddites are undermining society’s self confidence – Doug Edmeades:

 “Damn the dam,” I thought. This news from the Hawke’s Bay had me scurrying to my history books. Luddites, that’s what they are, these dam-stoppers. A bunch of thoughtless technophobes with an irrational fear of the future – “Stop the world I wanna get off.”

Luddites take their name from an early 19th century chap, probably mythical, called Ned Ludd. They were weavers whose skills were made redundant by the machines of the industrial revolution. They became activists and went on the rampage, smashing the new machinery that did their work better and at less cost.

From this experience an ideology has developed that believes progress is bad for society and probably the work of the devil. Today, Luddite simply means to be against technology. The Amish of the Midwest of America are Luddites when it comes to the internal combustion engine. . . 

Progress in high country issue: DOC – Sally Rae:

Progress is being made collectively to address the challenges in the high country, Department of Conservation partnerships manager Jeremy Severinsen says.

His comments followed a scathing attack on Doc by retired high country farmer Tim Scurr, now living in Wanaka, who said the high country had to be restored and replanted urgently.

Mr Scurr said he had grown up admiring the mountain tops of the high country “and all that they provide”, particularly water.

But management of those mountain tops had “fallen into the wrong people’s hands”.  They did not understand a balance of what was needed for sustainable land. Snow tussock  held snow back, shading and protecting, keeping the snow as long into the summer dry as conditions allowed, Mr Scurr said. . . 

2050 birdsong worth the wait – Mark Story:

It goes without saying that all that glitters, at this pre-election juncture, is not gold.

However, every time a public official suit mentions the initiative “Predator Free 2050” I get a warm feeling in the belly.

The traditional voter cornerstones of health, wealth and education seem to drift off into the ether when I sit and watch the kereru pair that this time each year feed silently in the plum tree at the dining room window.

The green-cloaked couple, dangerously oblivious to the threat my species poses, let me get to within a metre before branch hopping to a safer distance.

It’s true. The predator free goal is perhaps a tad aspirational. Many say it’s more about predator suppression than outright eradication. That could well be the reality. But I’m still excited by the push. . . 

Blame not all ours – farmers – Rebecca Nadge:

“It’s upsetting for farmers. We feel there’s a big divide between town and country – how did it get to this?” Matakanui Station owner Andrew Paterson lamented.

In response to Labour’s proposed water tax, Mr Paterson posted a video online challenging farmers around the country to test the water quality of streams on their properties. He said farmers were being unfairly blamed for poor water quality, but townspeople needed to take responsibility, too. . .

More offal to be processed:

Alliance Group is spending $1.7million at its Pukeuri and Lorneville plants in a bid to capture more value from its products.

The investment would improve the recovery of offal at Pukeuri,  with an upgrade of the beef pet food area and a new facility created to help boost the recovery of blood-based products for sale to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries.

The blood products were used in the development of vaccines, cancer treatments and drugs to treat neurodegenerative, haematological and endocrine disorders. . . 

Tea-strainers help fight ‘Battle for Banded Rail’ – Kate Guthrie:

Tracey Murray, Trapping Field Officer for ‘Battle for the Banded Rail’  recently bought 150 mesh tea-strainers online, importing them from a manufacturer in China. So what does anyone do with 150 mesh tea-strainers?

Tracey handed them out to her volunteer trappers at a recent ‘Trapping Workshop’ get-together – and not because her volunteers enjoy a good ‘cuppa’.

“You put the bait inside the tea-strainer,” Tracey explains. “We aren’t targeting mice but mice have been taking our bait and don’t set off the trap. The mesh stops the mice getting it so we don’t have to keep replenishing it as often Using the mesh strainers also prevents wasps eating the baits over the summer months when they are also a problem.” . . 

Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year nominations open 11 September:

Dairy Women’s Network is putting the call out for the next inspiring industry leader. Nominations open for the 2018 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year Award on 11 September.

This is the seventh year for the prestigious award which celebrates the outstanding leadership of women in the business of dairy.

Dairy Women’s Network chair Cathy Brown says the network has a proud history of celebrating the success of women and leadership in the dairy industry. . .


Snow can’t stop the message

September 10, 2017

Three years ago when Hamish Walker was campaigning for National in Dunedin South  he donned skis to continue door knocking when it snowed.

He’s now National’s Clutha Southland candidate and is showing he still won’t let snow stop the message:


Four engines firing or faltering

September 10, 2017

Poll after poll show that Prime Minister Bill English and National have the most trust when it comes to running the economy.

If that trust doesn’t translate into votes, people don’t understand the importance of sound economic management and the economic, environmental and social dividends that flow from it.

Nor do they understand what a poorly managed economy would deliver but John Roughan spells it out:

Until now the economy has been flying on four good engines: good government (which means above all controlled spending), business confidence, population growth and a strong currency. Loosen control of public spending and all those engines start to splutter. If business confidence drops, immigration drops and the dollar drops it is going to be ugly. Growth will stall, import prices will rise, interest rates will have to go up against inflation, house prices will tumble and heavily mortgaged owners are going to be in trouble. I hope this is not where we are next year.

Voters have a choice – we can keep four engines firing with PM Bill English and National or let them falter.


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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