I am firmly in the camp that understands the number of scroats in the dairy industry is relatively few but one would always be too many.
I travel rural roads regularly and occasionally a farming practice gives offence, usually minor and rarely repetitive.
One however has emerged over time as a shocker.
Wintering cows has its problems when the weather conspires to thwart good practice and after farming for over 40 years there were times when being left knowing I could have done better, did happen, often only with that wonderful resource known as hindsight
Seeing pregnant cows struggling through deep mud to access fixed water troughs can be alleviated with portable ones.
Seeing cows being break fed will sometimes look extremely unpleasant to the uninitiated.
A heard with no drained areas to rest on has animal welfare problems writ large.
The list above can and do happen but the farm that has prompted this scribble has much deeper issues that have so far been papered over preventing any serious scrutiny.
The owners who live in the city some 100 kms away, have trespassed three adjoining neighbors and warned newly appointed staff to avoid at least two other neighbors accused of being trouble makers.
After settled management in earlier years there has been a disturbing repetitive series of dismissing managers when the bonus comes due, when the calving , mating, and next years winter feed is organised or completed and the routine of growing grass and milking the cows becomes the norm, allowing the owners to manage from the city with remaining staff.
This has been recurring practice for the last decade and the owners are in an arbitration hearing as I type this.
I have been made aware of other incidents, some serious that continue what has been a growing list of negative image creation.
Agreeing to purchase bulls then failing to complete when a better offer emerges with out notice to the agent or vendor.
Assuming a "right" to cross the land of one of the trespassed with Irrigation mains and becoming a failed litigationist when thwarted
Agreeing verbally to take Baleage at a negotiated price then failing to uplift or pay when conditions improved to the point the additional feed was not required.
Killing newborns using the methods that were central to the widely condemned events in Chile then dumping the bodies in a pit with allegations all were not actually dead.
Fouling roadways and declining to employ mats or any washdown procedures.
Totally baseless allegations of stock theft.
Harassment, and threats of police involvement and other legal threats to unrelated parties.
My allegations are not a complete list and each may be rather minor when considered separately, but as a package become compelling as a whole.
These people have little understanding of social norms and respect for others that are certainly disappearing from the rural scene yet are still regarded by many as best practice.
This bitch and her useful idiot husband as owners and sometime farm managers should exit the industry and monitoring by animal welfare and Fonterra needs to be seriously intensified to deal with one of the seriously rotten apples in the barrel.
Yes this has been a rather ott missive in this run up to the Festive Season and I am at a loss how to do more without making for a serious potential cockup in neighborhood relationships. Wherever this ends it will be drawn out and the players will be forced to coexist in the meantime.
Except for the next employee treated as a disposable chattel with seemingly very poor ways to protect themselves from exploitation, they will be disappeared without so much as a ripple to most.
That they are often minority foreign nationals with language, social and cultural disadvantages is only further impediment to any redress and the bastard owners are fully cognisant of those simple facts.
That there seems to be a problem in raising and resolving such issues, is of concern, but having written this post I have assuaged my feelings of helplessness to a small measure.
A couple of share milkers were robbed of $40k by numpties because they dared to ride their chosen vehicles without bending their knee to an idiot bureaucratic regulation, and wearing an approved hat.
Do you think they will be as officious in pursuing a heavily tattooed male Maori in sand dunes during the holidays, I don't think so.
You see it is so much easier to target a couple of hard working taxpayers who are tied to an address by their chosen work and have easily accessed money even if it just increases their overdraft.
Will it prevent the next little baby from heading off to Starship with unimaginable head and body injuries, nope, but that is different.
Not all of the deaths from ATV incidents are actually head injuries , and not all are "farmers" but just as with the current nonsense around alcohol, bars and licencees the most convenient target is a couple of rebellious share milkers.
Many die from crush injuries, exsanguination and organ trauma everyday in cars yet no-one is yet suggesting all occupants of motor vehicles wear helmets, that is assuredly "YET".
From the statistics on ATV deaths, remove those involved in recreation, those under the influence of substances that impinge ability, the inexperienced, misuse, overloading, the gormless and the inherently stupid and the absurdity of placing a bit of plastic on a scone soon becomes apparent.
Force a pedestrian to wear a bit of plastic when on a walk might reduce damage when smashed by a vehicle while crossing the street but it will matter little when the poor bastard bleeds out from a ruptured spleen that brain damage was reduced.
Making a section of the citizenry wear a bit of plastic will, with an arguable benefit in some accidents be seen as of great benefit by idiots with precious little understanding, while such arrant nonsense will have a totally ignored unintended consequence of creating a greater sense of mythical protection leading to greater risk taking.
What next, force the aged on mobility scooters to wear body armour as worn by bull riders at the Rodeo and full face crash helmets to protect them in a roll over, or am I talking nonsense as a dead pensioner is one less cost to the health services.
Then there are Police fire and ambulance personal wearing totally inappropriate protection while travelling at raised speeds to an incident, sort of the faster you go the bigger the mess if you like.
Heard one ignoramus on the wireless the other day bemoaning the cost to the taxpayers when another arrogant farmer ends up in hospital, the total tosspot clearly has no concept those sharemilkers are paying seriously higher ACC Levies that fund their care, rehabilitation and loss of income while muppet white noise on the wireless will go skiing and the bloody taxpaying sharemilkers will pick up the tab for his broken leg, medivac and income protection that he in all likely-hood contributed bugger all, if anything, towards.
I see the 'nice' Mr Goff has apologised unreservedly for his leaking of the Report by Inspector General of Intelligence & Security Report into his memory lapse back in 2011 to selected journos in defiance of the embargo time-line.
So, what is the equally nice Mr Little going to do given that Goff gaffed him by assuring him (Little) that he didn't leak the Report .... "He's given me those assurances, I'm satisfied with that" (Little, on Firstline 26 November) and, more importantly, why are we waiting?
Or is that the reason why Goff is touting himself as the 'great new hope for Auckland' ... just wondering.
Up until now I have been a regular subscriber to Colin James' column. Going to have to rethink that after he named Winston Peters as his politician of the year .... Peters is not a shadow of his former self and now it appears the James has caught the same disease.
Peters started the year as a grumpy old man and finished it as a grumpy older man. It is generally agreed his performance in the 'House' this year was sub-standard, contributing not much and achieving nowt. Indeed, if Labour's vote hadn't collapsed so spectacularly then it is a moot point whether Winston First would have made it back into the House. That they did is more a commentary on the bizarre nature of the election rather than anything to do with the man.
But what has really got me going is the assertion by James that he (Peters) has been "responsible in office and on national security issues". Bullshit Colin. In the recently concluded debate on the counter-terrorism legislation Winston decided to make common cause with the Greens and oppose the Bill. One understands and accepts the Green's position. Their response to the terrorist attack in Sydney would be to call a family group conference interspersed with the singing of kumbaya.
But rather than work constructively and responsibly as Labour did (at, I suspect, some cost to themselves) to gain concessions he chose to stand aside and confine himself to over the top rhetoric laced with references to Nazism in damning the Bill. It was Labour who showed themselves to be responsible and due credit to them. Peters stands condemned as a irresponsible populist. Indeed, the words of Oliver Cromwell come readily to mind ... "you have sat too long for any good you have done lately". True then and true now.
Just how James came to his conclusion sure beats me and he is going to have to work hard in order to regain a modicum of credibility in my eyes at least.
Now, don't get me wrong, this is not a hack at the various City Missions of all shapes and denominations who do great work in meeting genuine need. But from now through to Xmas you can expect to be inundated with a range of media stories focusing on the numbers of food parcels being handed out and culminating on Christmas Day with the special luncheon served to the many hundreds that turn up at various venues as the lead TV news item.
Yes, there is genuine need out there and people go to the Christmas luncheon for all sorts of reasons but the reality is that as soon as you introduce 'free' you are laying yourself open to abuse by the unscrupulous. You will recall that last year there was the case of a tour operator selling tickets to a 'free' Christmas luncheon. One can only imagine that these kind of abuses will continue to escalate as the ugly side of human nature exerts itself.
Already this week the Herald has run an article highlighting the demand for food parcels in the central city and the fact their availability is now being advertised on the social media with people travelling from as far a Hamilton to collect them. You see the same herd instinct as when 'Santa' throws sweets into a crowd of children and the 'big' boy pushes away the little girl to grab more than his share and the little girl misses out.
I am aware that one major player in the field holds very firm to the rule that those assessing their services should pay a nominal amount. They take the view that this helps the person maintain their self respect. More power to their elbow.
It was Sir Apirana Ngata who had it about right when he said 'social welfare will destroy my people' .... not in the absolute sense, there must always be a safety net for those in genuine need. But when you give away something for nothing, no matter how good the underlying motive, that's when you can expect the system to be abused.
Well apparently in Oregon State of the US, not the land owner whose land it falls on.
Gary Harrington 64, owns 170 acres and has constructed three ponds that accumulate and store around three million liters of snow melt and rain runoff. One of the ponds has been stocked with large mouth bass and the whole resource is available for fire fighting.
My understanding is Harrington did not dam waterways in his water conservation scheme.
Poor old Gary is or has recently spent 30 days in the clink for continuing his storage of water falling on his acreage.
What Gary Harrington in Oregon State has done, is common across NZ farmland where stock water is a restraint on production. There are countless Dams across NZ pastoral lands and the most efficient and longer lasting are built to collect rainfall from very small catchments and not from damming waterways.
When we built our house here in Paradise the roof was designed for collection of 'gods gift' and we have enjoyed it for 11 years only filtering that which we drink from the tap and make ice from.
House design and planting precludes rats possums or other animals from defecating on the collection zone but birds happily shit wherever they so desire.
A mate who was involved in supplying Akaroa with its highly contaminated chlorine solution where the diluted chlorine has stream water added to expand supplies, was horrified that we were exposing ourselves to such risk but agreed my scotch tasted so much better than his did when water was added.
I have owned five different rural properties and one of the first criteria on each purchase was running water but that is never sufficient without some storage and or reticulation augmentation.
Storing water for irrigation is normally of very doubtful economic sustainability unless the costs can be shared for advantages of scale but in the current climate any form of subsidy is nearly always going to be denied due to large doses of ignorance.
Lake Opuha, Lake Chrichton and Lake Hood are three storage ponds in Canterbury, providing recreation opportunities from such storage and the nearly $100 million scheme under the sponsorship of Gary Rooney at Arundel harvesting excess river flows from the adjacent Rangatata will have significant social benefits when fully operational.
A trained mind announced recently that the Waitaki would reach the limit of that rivers ability to support further irrigation in the near future.
I say total bollocks to that, they have only scratched the surface of what that system could deliver by way of improved management and further storage. Lakes Tekapo, Pukaki and Ohau all control tributaries in the upper Waitaki and then Benmore, Avimore and the Waitaki Dams all generate power and control the flow on its journey to the sea as captured in the song by The Plainsmen.
There are an array of measures to improve that scheme to enhance the irrigation outcomes.
Many cumecs of water flow west to the Tasman where there are many more days of excess than insufficiency in the West Coast river systems.
Across the Canterbury Plains, starting towards the end of the 1930s depression, water was taken from the Rangatata and gravity fed by races (Rangitata Diversion Race) to the Rakaia where unused water generated electricity at Highbank at the end of the RDR. A further generation capacity came in the 1980s with the commissioning of the Montalto plant as the scheme neared its completion.
Far too many see irrigation as benefiting a few "greedy farmers", when the truth is they are forced to make substantial additional investment to access the benefits of that water and there is enormous community benefit alongside such storage schemes.
Many are now oblivious to the fight over the flooding of the Cromwell Gorge and the alluvial river flats of Lowburn, all today's citizens see is a wonderful recreational asset in the form of Lake Dunstan.
Canturbury Regional Council has a carrot and stick approach to converting the ultra cheap but very inefficient water use from borderdykes that over water the start of the dyke and barely water the extremity so popular in early irrigation schemes and continued into the early 1980s with schemes including the Amuri plains, to Pivots and other spray systems that accurately deliver as near to optimum water application as possible using current technology. Their conversion plan promotes conversion by imposing stormwater runoff financial costs on the dykes in times of higher rainfall that can be ignored by degradation of the dykes and investment in spray models ie pivots, travelers, K-lines etc. The Mainrace systems still deliver water for pumping.
The biggest advantages for converting come in more "water days" and greatly increased efficient use of less water over larger areas.
Water is the new "oil" and those who can collect and control it whether private or public will see enormous benefits, environmental, social and economic.
Unless the treehugging numpties and their intellectually challenged supporters gain the legislature seats that control the law and then Oregon State's treatment of Gary will seem quaintly rustic.
In 2007 in Cardiff, Graeme "Ted" Henry coached the All Blacks to their worst ever world cup result in the years since an inaugural victory in 1987 with a quarter final disaster when France prevailed by two points.
Now normally such a result would have seen the coach quietly executed with little public scrutiny.
Canterbury favorite Robbie Deans seemed to be the heir apparent, but the script was torn up and Ted was given a second chance with the ABs and Deans became a Wallaby.
Four years later in a home final his team scraped to a victory over the 2007 nemesis, France, at Eden Park and the rewritten script ended with a win when whitebaiter 'Beaver' Stephen Donald kicked a penalty.
NZ 8 France 7.
September 20th 2014.
NZ National 60 NZLP 32
Last September Matt McCarten coached a very dysfunctional NZLP to their worst election result in nearly a century and following a whitewash preliminary inquiry Littles has reappointed McCarten to continue as his Chief of Staff and all the support staff including the very tarnished Greg Presland aka Micky Savage at the attack blog. 'The Standard', have likewise been retained.
As Audrey Young reports at the Herald.
Now does that indicate there is nobody else or is it, as suspected by many watchers, a significant departure from precedent.
So far only two casualties have been culled after what was a very winnable election for Cunliffe ended in electoral disaster, Mr c himself jumped before he was pushed and the belated departure of Moira Coatsworth as Party President was announced a few days ago.
Now maybe I am missing something but McCarten has a very troubled history in politics of the socialist left. He was a prime mover in the Alliance when The Troughmaster General took his ball and left the NZLP and that was hardly a spectacular manifestation of winners are grinners.
After flirting with the Melons Mr c made Matts the supremo for the war room and we are yet to discover if Matt was involved in the Hagar saga but on the surface the illfated "Vote Positive" seemed just a little too snug a fit with the way Hagar, Rawshark and whaledump all unfolded in the runup to Cunliffe's ride in the Tumbril on September 21 2014.
Maybe the shallow Puddle in the Carpark that serves Frazer House has dried up and the flounders are all sadly gone.
But the Union embrace of the NZLP has certainly been tightened and Helen Kelly is still waiting in the wings, on the left naturally.
Is it cynical to think this is a long game for a resurgence of union domination of the NZLP.
I'm unsable to comment at Whaleoil so I'll do so here.
Whaleoil is runing a story about and Australian school teacher who was subjected to allegations of chinld abuse over thity years ago. The now reetired teacher teacher haas been discovered living in Bulls and has been named and has had his picture published.
What seems to have been overlooked in all the fuss is the fact this guy has taught in NZ schools for over FORTY years and there has been not one complaint about his behaviour.
If I was the teacher, I'd be asking Whaleoil and Fairfax for a please explain and an apology.
John Key gives three years notice, fights a general election on it and then legislates for it to happen.
A partial sell down of shares to leave the state with 51% of the generating companies and Air New Zealand, the Socialists and rent-a-mob produced a constant stream of "sky will fall" garbage economic protest in the parliament, on the streets and with a totally compliant media that omits much of the facts except the entirely false premise that the rapacious National government were "selling the family silver".
Lianne Dalziel, realising her parliamentary career was stalled left early, creating a bi-election to replace her electorate sinecure to embark on what she saw as a higher profile position of Mayor of a city on its knees,
Along with a coterie of fellow socialists who knowing the toxic brand of Labour, ran for local council election on the "Peoples Choice" ticket and a plank in their policy promise was to never sell any of the city's "family silver".
That includes a retirement army of largely unemployable who operate under a favored contract to deliver (?) services including roading, footpaths, water, sewerage, rubbish and other core services, called 'City Care'.
A monopoly Port Company,
An equally monopolistic Airport company,
Orion electricity company that grew out of the old Municipal Electricity Department,
An events and venue management company.
Now any thinking voter was under no illusions that Dalziel and her minions were anything other than NZLP in a cloak of obfuscation so what is happening now is no surprise, however the peasants who thought they knew what they were doing at the ballot box will need another brand next election because the "Peoples Choice" have just done the unthinkable and commenced to sell the family Silver.
Facing a budget hole that was first admitted at around $750 000 000, has a few months on, blown out to $1 250 000 000.
I know a million here, a million there, soon you are talking real money and as a ratepayer I appreciate the king size jandal,( somehow flipflop doesn't seem adequate) to hold rates down, however I would have thought honorable people doing a 180 degree, no make that several 360 degree wheelies, might have seen fit to consult the peasants who gleefully voted for the charlatan party secure in the knowledge that they would retain all the employment castles in the air untouched by the rapacious bastards, Key's mates, waiting to swoop.
For me I would sell the whole dam lot and concentrate on the knitting.
Now I was available to join the march last weekend as things were quiet in the fishing dept but imagine my absolute feeling of loss and disillusionment when the socialists adopting the hated and much maligned avaricious policy of Key and his rich prick mates and no march, no protest, not a bloody wimper.
Then I remembered, I had totally failed to consider it is OK when socialists do it, sheesh losing my grip on reality eh.
Lianne Dalziel lies again who wudda thunk that.
Of course Princess Duplicitous, if you had a smidgen of business acumen you would understand selling 49 percent precludes you maximising the potential value for the city in finally acting to sell the assets the city should never have owned in the first place.
Why is it that every cause celebre taken on by Leftists turn out to be a fraudulent hoax?
They cite the American health system as 'terrible,' invoking all sorts of horrors for those unfortunates who have no health insurance. One is given the strong impression thee people are left to die in the streets. Is that true? I don't think so. I uunderstand that if an american citizen suffers a life threatening condition then treatment is immediate, with the state picking up the tab - as in NZand Australia.
Global Warming aka Climate Change is the largest fraudulent hoax ever perpetrated by mankind. Not one skerrick of empirical evidence points to emissions of CO2 being a contributor to any long term or medium term increase in the earth's temperature. The whole theory is based on flawed computer models using doctored data supplied by venal pseudo-scientists.
The Stolen Generation myth propagated by the Left in Australia is one of the most shameful hoaxes. It is the notion that last century state governments instituted a policy of removing aboriginal children from their parents in order to eventually wipe out the Aboriginals by way of cross breeding. Only trouble with this story is that it ain't true. There is not one piece of ducumentary evidence produced to justify the claim for a 'stolen generation.' In fact all the evidence shows the opposite. Children were removed when there was an obvious threat to their safety from their own families. That's it. That's all. Funny thing is, nothing has changed. In the last ten years, of all the children removed from their parents in Australia, over 30% were Aboriginal. The Aboriginal population might just scrape over 1% if you're lucky.
Child Poverty in NZ has to be the silliest hoax of all. Visit Rio or Bangkok if you want to see child poverty in slums. Little kids scavenging for food on huge garbage dumps.NZ has the most generous social welfare system in the world and if any child is living in genuine poverty then it should be removed from its parents.
Is a phrase that springs to mind when watching ex-CIA directors and conservatives of various kinds declaring that torturing people was justified because it delivered useful information, not that anyone was actually tortured or anything, OK?
The cognitive dissonance (or lying weaselry, take your pick) is most effectively highlighted in this interview with George Tenet, the CIA director who implemented the torture programme on behalf of President George W. Bush (watch from 8:45 onwards). Tenet intersperses "We don't torture people" with declarations of how America was under threat and what he did prevented further attacks, ie special pleading that torturing people was OK when he did it. When the interviewer points out he's saying there was no torture while offering special pleading for how effective torturing people was in getting results, he just disavows the ability to recognise the meaning of his own statements.
The fact that the CIA did torture people is now beyond question, and if you're up for it there's some descriptions of the stuff we actually know about in this article (which is restricted to the CIA's own activities and doesn't include the torture they outsourced to third-party providers). That it provided results is also beyond question.
That's the weird thing here - the utterly unprincipled approach to this by conservatives. Yes, of course torture gets results - that's a "Well, duh" and explains why the powerful have employed it liberally throughout history. That it gets results isn't the point. When western democracies banned the use of torture, they didn't do it because torture is an ineffectual means of getting people to talk. They banned it firstly because brutalising people is in and of itself immoral, and secondly because torture victims tell their torturers what they think the torturer wants to hear.
Tenet and others know the torture programme was worthwhile because the victims totally confirmed all the torturers' worst suspicions. Yes, just as every torture victim throughout history confirmed all the suspicions that the torturers wanted confirmed, so too did the CIA's victims. Tenet regards this as a success - those of us not suffering the banality of evil can only bang our heads on the desk at such idiocy.
So we have a Kiwi banged up in Bali arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle 1.7 kg of methamphetamine into the country. By any measure that's a huge amount of 'P'. Not sure of how 'pure' the P is but note that back in 2010 when Australian Michael Sacatides was arrested with a similar amount of the drug in his possession it was assessed to have an estimated value of Rp 3.4 billion (1 NZD = 9,435 IDR).
The Indonesian justice system will take its course and while Mr Key may well make it clear to his Indonesian counterpart our opposition to the death penalty I suspect that will count for naught. Indeed, it's almost impossible to argue that Antony de Malmanche should be treated differently from any other Indonesian national? I can't and I won't.
If found guilty de Malmanche will probably face the firing squad. Good riddance. One has to wonder what effect it would have on the drug scene here if the purveyors of death and misery were to face the ultimate sanction.
p.s. someone will correct me if I am wrong but I have it in the back of my mind that Indonesian law has it that the reverse onus of proof applies in cases involving drug trafficking with the defendant having to prove his/her innocence ... challenging task!!!!
As blogged previously and I am adopting a wait and see before rushing into judgement on the 'nice' (or not so nice) Mr Little.
I thought he exercised a degree of judgement in putting together his Shadow Cabinet, acknowledging the very meagre gene pool available to him, although I have to say he was somewhat 'brave' in banishing arse kicker Clayton Cosgrove to the nether regions. CC was a leading light in the ABC brigade. He harbors grudges. If Little stumbles CC will be in there doing what he does best.
But just when I thought Little was going Ok (sort of) he puts his foot in it by decrying a possible move to commit troops to the war against ISIS and ISIL as 'putting our troops in harms way'.
FFS Noddy, that goes with the territory when you take the 'King's Shilling' (or whatever the modern day equivalent). That's akin to arguing against the police being allowed to confront violent offenders in case they might get hurt or banning firemen from attending fires because of the inherent dangers faced.
Debate the pros and cons if you will but putting our troops in harms way is not one of them. If you take that view then you might as well disband the armed forces ... your problem solved. And one further thing. There is a deal of difference between committing troops to a combat role as opposed to a training role. Sure, all soldiers are trained to defend themselves should the need arise and as happened with the Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan. But there is a deal of difference in sending soldiers to serve in a training and mentoring role (as is being considered) compared with committing troops to combat per se ..... although I guess those opposed to any deployment will also reject the nuance as inconvenient detail.
I do however take exception to the suggestion that the Special Air Service might be deployed in a force protection role. That's not what the SAS is trained to do and it would be a total misuse of a very valuable resource.
But above all and if a decision is made to commit troops and should you disagree with that decision, vent your spleen against the Government and never, ever, against those who serve. We saw that happen in the Vietnam war and we've seen that happen again in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's the cowards way to protest.