DairyNZ attacks economic report – but has no problem with the NZIER’s work which dairy people commission

DairyNZ chief executive Ian Mackle should have done a bit more thinking about the implications before he dismissed an economic report as an inaccurate, trivial attack on farmers.

He was assailing the credibility of a recent NZIER report which (he said) trivialises the significant role the dairy sector plays in New Zealand’s economy – and fails to look at the specifics of the Government’s freshwater package.

He made special mention of the report having been commissioned by Fish & Game, Forest & Bird and Greenpeace.

And he huffed that it was less an economic report and more a high-level commentary on the dairy sector’s role in the economy – and painted an inaccurate picture. Continue reading “DairyNZ attacks economic report – but has no problem with the NZIER’s work which dairy people commission”

Cancer researchers – looking for the causes of survival disparities – should check out the role of “partnership”

A modern-day interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi – contentiously bringing “partnership” into considerations –  is encouraging Maori demands for equal representation on a new health agency.

The government has announced it will establish a national Cancer Control Agency by December as part of a 10-year strategy, which includes achieving cancer survival equity by 2030.

This triggered a Maori health leader’s insistence on equal representation within the new agency and her call for Maori to decide what this means in practice. Continue reading “Cancer researchers – looking for the causes of survival disparities – should check out the role of “partnership””

PGF provides for peanut processor Picot’s expansion project

The government has been splashing money around from an array of troughs in the past week.

Shane Jones was not the only minister to announce the handouts and the handouts weren’t peanuts, although a thriving peanut processor will be among the beneficiaries.

The Point of Order Trough Monitor has disclosed these projects for government spending and investment – Continue reading “PGF provides for peanut processor Picot’s expansion project”

Being advised to contact Fig might have a fruitful outcome but perhaps we have gone to the wrong translator

It looked – for a few moments – as if the government was again favouring something from The Bible when looking for Te Reo names for its agencies and programmes.

One thing they want to avoid, for reasons only they can explain, is to connect the name too directly with the actual work done.

In the good old days, a visitor to this country who saw a sign that said “Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade” could reasonably conclude this was the agency whose staff handled the country’s foreign affairs and trade activities.  Likewise, the prosaic but uncomplicated names of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health effectively and unambiguously signal the nature of the work undertaken by those state agencies.

In short, these are user-friendly names.

But if you are told you might benefit from attending a state-funded Piki programme – what help or service should you expect? Continue reading “Being advised to contact Fig might have a fruitful outcome but perhaps we have gone to the wrong translator”

It’s a blessing for Massey science teachers and students that an auspicious’ moon was shining over construction site

We are delighted to report the great news reflected in a heading on a news item from Massey University.

It says Auspicious’ moon shines over construction start and appears on an item illustrated by Auckland campus staff, students and construction workers who have gathered for the blessing of the site of a new building.

The moon happened to be moving into a full phase at the time of the ceremony.  According the kaumatua who officiated, this is a good omen for the project.

So what is being built?  A Maori studies centre, where indigenous myths and spiritual beliefs can be taught and questioned?

Nope.  A science centre is the beneficiary of the moon’s serendipitous position in the sky.

This is the site of Massey’s new Innovation Centre at the Auckland campus. Continue reading “It’s a blessing for Massey science teachers and students that an auspicious’ moon was shining over construction site”

Jones and Bollard get into the creation business to decide how best to spend $41 billion

It looks suspiciously like the government has a Biblical adviser to help with the names it gives to new agencies and programmes.

Earlier this week we turned to Google for a translation of “Hokai Rangi”, the name the Corrections Department has given to its widely publicised strategy for reducing (a) prison inmate numbers and (b) the high percentage of Maori in the prison population.

According to Google, the Government wants its brave new touchy-feely Corrections system to become Heaven.

And now we have an announcement from Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones that our new Infrastructure Commission should be known as …

… drum roll, please….

 … the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga.
Continue reading “Jones and Bollard get into the creation business to decide how best to spend $41 billion”

Andrew Little’s priggish rebuke suggests “Fascist” might be an acceptable word when his “hate law” is enacted

Justice Minister Andrew Little sounded distinctly priggish, when he chided National’s Nick Smith in Parliament yesterday.

Smith had asked if Little stood by all his statements, policies, and actions on electoral law and referenda?

The answer was yes, he did.

But Little couldn’t resist the temptation to go further and say:

” … I should point out that the accepted plural of ‘referendum’ these days is ‘referendums’.” 

This was a disquieting reminder that the “accepted” way of saying things could well be incorporated in a new “hate” law which Little seems keen to have enacted to curb our freedom to express ourselves.   Continue reading “Andrew Little’s priggish rebuke suggests “Fascist” might be an acceptable word when his “hate law” is enacted”