Let’s get together

October 14, 2010

Something good has come out of a united from the unification of Auckland already – South Island mayors are getting together to take a co-operative approach to ensure the Mainland’s voice is heard.

There’s around 800,000 people in the South Island, we’ll achieve much more with a united stance from our leaders than a competitive one.

Waitaki Mayor Alex Familton was a guest on Afternoon’s panel yesterday afternoon when this was discussed.


More light but less heat

September 27, 2008

The clocks don’t go forward until 2am tomorrow but already the weather is proving it’s too early.

Yesterday we had a nor-west spring day with temperatures around 20 degrees, but today it’s less than 10 and it’s raining.

No Peter Dunne  I will not appreciate another hour of darkness a week earlier than it used to be. I’m grumpy already and that’s before I lose an hour’s sleep tonight and have to get up in the pre-dawn chill. Mutter mumble.

Tumeke! suggests two time zones with the North Island clocks going forwards a few weeks before those in the South.

But I’ve got a better idea, why don’t the people in the north be like the birds and fly south for the summer – it’ll be light until around 10pm here in late December.

Update: One of our men just called in to say he’d stopped working a paddock on a hill block at Waianakaru because it’s snowing!


United Future not interested in Sth Island

September 8, 2008

The first South Islander on United Future’s list which was announced yesterday is Robin Loomes in Port Hills at number 11.

He’s a statistician so no doubt he’ll be able to work out that at current polling  which puts UF at .5% the odds of him getting in to parliament and his party having a South Island MP are well below the margin of error.

Given that polling I suppose it’s irrelevant because they’re unlikely to have more than one MP anyway. But the party’s best ever result was eight MPs (in 2002) so it would have been a better look to have a token South Islander in the first eight.

People who say MMP is more representative obviously aren’t talking about geographical representation.

The complete list is:

1. Hon Peter Dunne MP, Leader – (Ohariu)
2. Judy Turner MP, Deputy Leader – (East Coast)
3. Denise Krum – (Maungakiekie)
4. Graeme Reeves – (Wairarapa)
5. Pulotu Selio Solomon – (Mangere)
6. Murray Smith – (Hutt South)
7. Neville Wilson – (Mt Roskill)
8. Frank Owen – (Palmerston North)
9. Janet Tuck – (Epsom)
10. Karuna Muthu – (Rongotai)
11. Robin Loomes – (Port Hills)
12. Greg Graydon – (Tamaki)
13. Damian Light – (North Shore)
14 Vanessa Roberts – (Wigram)
15. Aaron Galey-Young – (Auckland Central)
16. Ian McInnes – (East Coast Bays)
17. Kelleigh Sheffield-Cranstoun – (Waimakariri)
18. Brian Ward – (Rangitata)
19. Vaughan Smith – (Wellington Central)
20. Jim Stowers – (Manurewa)
21. Bryan Mockridge – (Papakura)
22. Jayati Prasad – (List only)


Labour list version 3

August 31, 2008

The Labour list is now on version three (the first one had Judith Tizard at number 1; the second had Lesley Soper at 77 when she’s at 44 – still almost certainly not likely to be back in parliament but not as insulting as 77).

The Hive has a prediction of who’ll be in and who’ll miss out here.

Inventory 2 from Keeping Stock left a comment on the previous post pointing to a correction at No Minister : Sir Ronnie Flanagan is not the British Home Minister.

Keeping Stock also linked to the analysis on Kiwiblog which includes this summary based on public polls and not knowing which electorates will be won or lost:

So what will Labour’s Caucus look like? Well on the current public polling scenario giving them 45 MPs, it would be:

  • Only 8 MPs or 18% from the South Island
  • 38% female, which isn’t bad at all
  • 49% would be aged in their 50s though
  • They would have only six Maori MPs – the same number as National! They would be Horomia, Mahuta, Jones, Ririnui, Mackey, and Davis
  • Four Pacific Island MPs – Laban, Sio, Chauvel and Sepuloni
  • Three Asian MPs – Choudary, Prasad, and Huo

What does it say when they’ll have just 8 Labour MPs in the South Island?  

It’s a sad reflection on the party’s view on the importance of the mainland. Although we may well be better off without more of them 🙂

Apart from that this list means the Labour caucus will have fresh blood at the expense of several sitting MPs who now face a life outside parliament. If their idea of their importance is higher than their list placings indicate that will not make the Labour caucus a happier place to be.

What does it say about democratic selections porcesses too? That’s eight new propsective MPs who have been selected by the party elite rather than members at large.


Fewer lambs but still enough chops for bbq

August 10, 2008

The t-shirt which proclaimed New Zealand’s ewenique – 60 million sheep can’t be wrong is well out of date with the national flock now down by more than a third from that number according to Meat and Wool New Zealand’s report on the year to June 2008. 

 

Breeding ewes dropped by 9.5% from 26.063m to 23.59m; and total sheep numbers declined 11.2% from 38.461m to 34.150m. This is the lowest number of breeding ewes since 1952 and the lowest total of sheep we’ve had since 1050.

 

The estimated lamb crop was 31.836m in June last year and declined by 13.4% to 27.599m.  Hogget numbers are estimated to have decreased 16.2% with a drop in the North Island of 7% and 26.6% in the South,

 

The sharp drop in numbers is attributed to concerns about the profitability of the sheep industry, last season’s drought and more attractive alternative land uses, especially dairy and dairy support.

 

Ewe condition at mating was poor because dry weather led to inadequate flushing feed and consequently lower rates of conception.

 

Scanning shows a lot of variability but the decline in ewe and hogget numbers mated and a lower expected lambing percentage is expected to lead to a decline in the total lamb crop of 4.2 million or 13.4%. 

 

Beef cattle are estimated to have decreased by between 0.3and 19.6 per cent although this was partially offset by herd rebuilding in Gisborne and of Hawke’s Bay.

 

These figures will be sobering reading for the meat industry. Kill numbers are expected to be down by 9 million in total throughout New Zealand. To put that into perspective a plant like Alliance’s Pukeuri works would kill about 2 million sheep a season.

 

That would indicate that closing of freezing works has not finished. However, Frogblog draws a long bow in concluding summer’s bbq chops are at risk because of dairy conversions. The 34 million sheep left will still provide enough chops and sausages.

 

The Frog is also wrong in asserting:

 

It’s funny how short term economic decisions, like the mad rush to industrial dairy, have long term economic, environmental and social consequences like climate change, water pollution and, it seems, diet.

 

There is nothing short term or purely economic about the decision to convert from sheep farming to dairy. It is a huge investment which is not undertaken lightly and has to be for the long term.

 

There are many positive social consequences from dairying which requires more staff and so leads to an increase in population, a boost in school rolls and the creation of jobs in servicing and support which flows on to rural towns.

 

Dairying doesn’t automatically lead to water pollution either. Regional Councils are taking a very strict approach to breaches of consent and the pollution of waterways and there are a lot of proactive approaches to safeguarding the environment from farmers, irrigation companies and dairy companies.

 


Increase for Doc weed & pest control

June 13, 2008

The Government’s decision to boost spending on weed and pest control on public land is welcome, if overdue.

The extra $5.3m promised sounds good but it’s over four years and I don’t know if that’s enough. Neighbours of Doc land (and we are) have long compalined about the poor level of weed and pest control and the complaints have got louder as tenure review has increased the amount of land under Doc control.

Figures released last year show Doc manages 6.5 million ha, or 42%, of the South Island land mass, and two million ha of the North Island, or 17%.

Overall, 31% of New Zealand is managed by Doc, an estate that was growing. Linz figures released last week reveal Doc had gained an extra 178,000ha of the South Island high country to manage as a result of tenure review of Crown pastoral lease land, or 48% of land that has gone through the process.

The argument over whether Doc would be better concentrating on current responsbilities rather than stretching shrinking resources – staff and capital – over more land is continuing.


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