Friday, November 30, 2012

AMAZING THE RECOVERY HAS GONE AS WELL AS IT HAS.

I have blogged previously on our saga of misinformation, obfuscation, lying, avoidance and procrastination by The Akaroa Fletchers Hub since they received our building reinstatement claim on January the 9th 2012.

To recap, our only claim for structural damage to our dwelling was lodged with EQC soon after the September 4th Quake in 2010 that started the travails that Cantabrians have been enduring for over two years.
Following yet another visit  for some idea of when we can expect some real progress on our claim, this time by swmbo, the nice lady who is being paid a salary to treat all contractors and clients as idiots, after being convincingly shown to be being very economical with the truth, has contacted us with news that a "scoping visit" will happen next Tuesday week.

Today a document has come to my inbox that goes someway to explain some of the rubbish that is clogging the "Fletcher/ EQC" shambles.



From Dorothea Herron.
Administrator Lyttleton Hub / Earthquake recovery.
Subject: Shit that was close.

Fletcher-Weekly near hit reporting by contractors or Shit that was close........

As discussed at recent contractors meetings at the Hub, contractors are required to provide details of all "near hits" weekly.

We would expect at least one from each contractor each week.

Attatched is the form for supplying this information - please send it to your Hub superviser.

Examples would be
  .Slipping on the wallpaper on the plastic covering the carpet.
  .Nearly cutting finger with the Stanly knife.
  .Tripping, slipping, falling without creating an injury.
  . Knocking head on ladder.
  .Nearly hitting someone with a nail from the nail gun.
  .Doors blowing shut on head.
  .Moving furniture.
  . Nearly dropping something on someone.
  .Almost walking into something.
  .Unreported dog running loose on property.
  .Subbies not mentioned on the Hazard Board.
( bold mine)

Dorothea Herron
administrator Lyttelton Hub / Earthquake recovery.

What a complete load of "BOLLOCKS" the luverly Dotty omitted slipping on an avocado skin, almost removing a toe nail at morning tea running to the karsi in your sox , and forgetting to stir the mug of tea leaving sugar undesolved.

Failing to fill out the statistically obligated form for what might have happened is clearly impeding the rebuild, and Dorothea gets paid every week to perform this ridiculous charade, Gawd elp us.

This email is further evidence of the cluster f#*k that is the Fletcher involvement under the illequipped EQC many of the staff of which appears to be retired policemen, people who have a tenuous connection to the insurance and building industries but are precluded from holding a real job and are therefor available to man the shipwreak.

One of  our problems could be that we have a nominated master builder to co-ordinate our repairs. I have anecdotal evidence of some of the sh*t that the Fletcher led teams are employing to maximise the companies hold on the available work.

TRANS-TASMAN POLITICS

It's been a pretty tough two weeks for those who inhabit the 'dark' side of politics on both sides of the Tasman.   To recap .....

#1  In Oz, Prime Minister Gillard's credibility was well and truly blown out of the water following publication of details of her exit (termination?) interview from the activist law firm, Slater and Gordon, where her role in  helping her boyfriend establish an illegal slush fund to enrich him and his union mates was revealed in sad detail.

#2  In NZL the Labour Party 'ABC' team stared down and rolled the Cunliffe faction and exposed the divide that separates the moderates (Team Shearer) from the Progressives (Team Cunliffe).    The vitriol directed at each camp from the other shows a Labour house at war with itself. 

#3  In NZL the Labour Party finance spokesman managed to destroy his own credibilty in one foul swoop by claiming that 24x7x52x10=613,200.   

#4  In Oz NSW Labor Party Power Broker and ex Minister (and Gillard supporter) Eddie Obied is fighting to avoid prison as the investigation by the ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption) rolls on and more questionable doings that enriched the Obied family empire by many millions of dollars at the expense of the NSW taxpayer are revealed.

#5 In NZL the economic sabotage by left leaning academic Mike Joy in his comments to the NY Herald Tribune dishing the country (that pays his wages) as the 17th worst poluter in the world was too much even for Russell Norman of the Greens who reminded us all that '100% pure' was a marketing slogan, nothing more, nothing less, and an aspirational goal.

#6 In NZL the Maori Council continues to embarrass itself in the High Court by claiming that Maori own the rain.

Clearly 'good' people on both sides of the Tasman have much to be thankful for.

       
  



WHALE SUMS UP BEAUTIFFULLY AGAIN.

At the close of a post on yet another inane "envy tax" by the socialists with a suggestion to create a tax on revenue, Whale Oil writes:

David Clark should have stayed with being a Presbyterian minister  his grasp of tax law is as good as David Parker's grasp of arithmetic.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mr Trotman talking complete crap..............again

Winston Mr Trotman has issued a typical press release:
New Zealand First says news that foreign nationals are buying real estate to fast-track their visa applications makes it imperative for measures to be introduced to stop the practice and make housing more affordable for New Zealanders.
Mr Jan Trotman, bigot of St Marys Bay.
Yes, Asians are buying real estate in Auckland, but pretty much nowhere else.  We have the OIA to regulate them buying sensitive land.  But I'd love to see a policy that stops them buying standard real estate.  It would be a doozy, that's for sure.  At the end of the day, Winston Mr Trotman makes the same mistake Labour and the Greens do: He wants to make something cheaper, but hasn't a clue on how to address the real issue - making us wealthier.  It's a pathetic, defeatist, state of mind.  It's like the England rugby team complaining to the IRB that they can't compete with the All Blacks so the IRB should regulate the ABs to make the playing field level.  We need policies that make us like Asians - that is, wealthy and smart. Instead Winston's Mr Trotman's 6% that he panders to with his bigotry are stupid and ignorant. 
Emerging evidence also shows that the Auckland property boom, which is forcing Kiwis out of the market, is being fed by Hong Kong and Chinese investors, and Australian retirement funds buying investment properties.
What evidence?  Produce it Winston Mr Trotman?  You are the first to ask for it when the shoe is on the other foot.  The Auckland property "boom" has many factors.  The most relevant are lack of supply and cheap money.  There is a vast amount of land and housing around, and a few Asians buying what is on the market can only affect it so far.  But it also has a positive impact: If Asians buy the property next door to me for $100k more than it's worth, then the value of my property automatically goes up - valuers look at recent sales.  That's a good thing for me and for other Kiwis, especially those who own businesses as they can leverage off the increased value to keep their businesses going.  It allows homeowners to tack another $10k onto the mortgage and buy a car (keeping the car industry going); or take a holiday (allowing the travel industry to prosper).  All in all, it's not such a bad thing, Mr Trotman.
Rt Hon Winston Peters says new policy is being developed to place restrictions on non-residents/non-citizens entering the New Zealand domestic housing market to fast track their visa applications.

“A lack of Government action has created a situation whereby rich people from big foreign economies are pumping up New Zealand property prices, making them too expensive from many Kiwis to afford.
They could afford them if Winston Mr Trotman promoted policies that created wealth rather than promoting making the rich poor by making the poor rich.
“This must be stopped so first home buyers can enter a housing market which represents the domestic economy, not that of countries such as China, Hong Kong, and Australia.”
Ha ha ha.  The housing market in China is more overheated than ours; as is Hong Kong.  And Australia is pretty much as unaffordable as here. 

We would be wealthier, and could afford housing, if deceased mother's estates weren't being pilfered by family members who hang around at the TAB looking for the next Pick 6. 
Mr Peters says the Government doesn’t even hold a register of domestic property owned by non-residents/non-citizens.

“That extent of the problem can’t be exactly quantified but it is likely to be huge.
I'm sorry, what was the problem again?

“It isn’t helped by the Government’s failure to have a published long-term immigration strategy.

“This failure is acknowledged in correspondence from Immigration Minister Nathan Guy who also admits that immigration flows are likely to ‘bring challenges of social cohesion’.
Aaahhh.  Back to "immigration flows".  It only took a few paragraphs to get there.  
“A prime example of a lack of social cohesion is Auckland’s property market which is being inflated by foreign nationals as part of their visa application process,” says Mr Peters.
It's bloody painful reading that.  If the influx of migrants is creating housing demand, then there is one very simple solution: councils should release more land; and developers should be encouraged to build and build and build.  You can't stop people coming to Auckland internally, or to an extent, externally.  But you can, as a politician, work hard towards plentiful land supply.

But Winston is too lazy to go there; and there's limited votes in it really.  It's more lucrative for him and his party to be bigots.

Summer Cordial

Here's a great refreshing and soothing summer drink.  Not for wowsers but quite OK for children.

39 degrees here today.

Take the largest tumbler you can find.

Fill it with large chunkes of ice.

Pour in cold water, leaving two inches of freeboard.

Top up to within half an inck of the gunwale with red wine.  Chateaux Plastique will do

GORGEOUS

Hore Suspension - An Opportunity Missed

It seems to me that the Judiciary got the term of the suspension pretty close to right. Although I am not sure why you would give time off for him phoning Brendan Davies to check on his health and recovery progress. It was a piece of blatant thuggery and I don't think the All Blacks would have complained had he been given the full 8 weeks in terms of guidlines.

So five weeks it is and only one of those 5 impacts on Hores rugby playing in anyway. That is this weeks test against England where Hore could have been expected to either start or be on te bench if Kevin Mealamu is fit and cleared to play. The rest of the suspension covers the pre Super XV friendlies and the first two rounds of Super XV proper. Well whoop de doo - All Blacks like Hore are only just returning to training with the squads from then and probably would not expect to take the field until about rounds 4 or 5 so this is meaningless.

A pro active judiciary would perhaps have structured the penalties in one of the following ways:

1.    Miss England text this week - no argument here.
2.    Either  i)   Miss 4 rounds of Super XV rugby commencing from first week in May. This will have the effect of making Hore miss Super Rugby games at the middle/business end of Super Rugby. Tough on the Highlanders and is a penalty with impact - byes would not count as part of the suspension..
       or     ii)   Miss 4 weeks of 2013 International season,, extending into Tri Nations (or whatever it is now called) if necessary. This may mean the end of Hore's nternational career - tough but, it was an act of thuggery.and again is a penalty with impact.

I favour ii) as it impacts more directly on Hore but it does have the effect of extending the penalt out about 9 or 10 months before being finalised.

A Most Amusing Movie

The other day, Adolf happened to spot on the TV guide a midday movie entitled "My Fellow Americans."

Generally not enamoured to recent American productions I was about to move on when I noticed the cast included Lauren Bacall, JAck Lemon and James Garner.  Oh well, might as well have a look and see.

It was side splittingly funny.  A slapstick, not at all serious, outrageous 'thriller' about American presidential politics with a steady stream of magnificent one liners all the way through and Jack Lemon made to look and sound like George Bush senior..  If you can get it from a video store, do so.  You will be well rewarded.


WILL WUSSEL CALL FOR YET ANOTHER INQUIRY.

Recently the 'Charities Registration Board' withdrew Greenpeace from the list of New Zealand Charities, thus denying them their Taxfree status  including the right for those demented souls who support them,  deductibility for donations, when they ruled Greenpeace was involved in political activity and therefor  was not a "charity".

There is a skirmish at present in The Beltway, following an appeal by Greenpeace and we all wait to see whether the Registration Board has the cajones to stand by what seemed a sound fact based position.

For me, Greenpeace should pay tax and 39% seems  a very fair rate.

I guess if the Board stand firm, Wed Wussel will need to make that entirely predictable call.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

WHY WE NEED FREE TRADE.

Stuff reports that 5400 horticultural producers are losing around 23 million dollars from tarrifs being imposed as a precondition to foriegn markets.
Now anyone with a skerrik of understanding of the difficulties, dealing with weather,crop health, insects, exchange rates, shipping costs, packaging, marketing and regulatory compliance added to market forces knows how fraught making it all happen in a way that allows survival let alone making a profit without trade barriers in the form of tariffs taking what might have made the diference.

That is the reason why free trade is so important to our wealth creating economy.

DAVID PARKER - MATHMATICIAN

This from yesterday's Hansard .....

Hon David Parker: I would ask whether the Minister checked his arithmetic coming to the House, because, by my reckoning, if there was going to be one house built every hour for every hour of the day, 7 days a week for 10 years, there would be a build of 613,000 houses, not the 100,000 houses that Labour says we are going to build.

Errrrrrrrrrrr ... 24 (one per hour) x 7 (days in a week) x 52 (weeks in a year)x 10 (years) = 87,360 (still a tad short .... needs to be 1.1447 houses per hr).

Seems Parker thinks there are 365 weeks in a year rather than 52.

And Labour's Finance Spokesman to boot.    It's a worry.

WHAT THEY MEAN REALLY IS???

Opponents of the current government are wont to bleat on about "the gummint must create jobs".

When Sir Peter Jackson was being threatened by union thugs from across the Tasman over the making of  The Hobbit film in NZ, P M Key and minister Joyce led a charge on behalf of NZ Inc to retain the filming here.
The socialists and their union puppeteers made a great play with the connivance of the MSM that somehow that very same Gummint was doing a significant wrong.
In actual fact the concessions to Warner Bros and the production team provided thousands of jobs that with the ongoing success of the film getting the "Red Carpet" treatment this week, will continue for years to come.

So you bunch of whining numptys which is it to be, the government investing by way of forgone tax income in jobs or allow the filming to occur in Scotland, Poland or where ever.

The Dental Nurse was spinning like a top on 'Hosking' this morning trying to justify her support (while ignoring the hypocrisy of going to the premiere) for Helen Kelly's failed attempt with the assistance of the Aus equity union to commit economic sabotage on the NZ fledgling film industry. Even to a highpoint of economic illiteracy in drawing a parallel with the Hillside closure. She reached a massive over-spin of some hundreds of words a minute as the babble became unintelligible, lucky for her Joyce entered with a smackdown that allowed D Nurse King to draw breath.

The Gummint is to create and retain jobs or not, then again it might just have been about making a union that nearly all the workers didn't actually want or need relevant.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

PROPERTY RIGHTS FURTHER ERODED.

The new editor of "Truth", Cam Slater,aka Whaleoil, yesterday gave us a heads up on another central issue of "affordable housing" confronting first home buyers.

Evidently the pointy heads at the town planning office of the Hamilton City Hall have come up with a real doosy. In a move right up there with the tide defying antics of King canute, planners have decreed that houses must be built with regard to the official view of aspect ignoring the wishes of an owner.

Evidently having the temerity to place the dwelling with regard to the sun, the prevailing wind or any such stupid personal wish of an occupier has been ruled irresponsible as it may assist the nefarious moves of a burglar so a planning rule is now demanding a driveway to the rear of a dwelling.

This results in  a direct rise in the basic cost in the order of $15k plus additional driveway costs, longer driveways (more opportunities to redesign the shape of a toddler) and with the very small section sizes a very good chance that the Garage will enjoy the sunny corner with a view.

Town planners have evolved a collective mindset from a seemingly incestuous view of the world backed by a we know best attitude that ignores the ideas of Joe and Josephine as to what they may deem the best practise for their situation.

Recall if you will the villas of 100 years ago that were built to the street whether it ran north/south, east/west or any other alignment that then had the 'parlour' to the street and the kitchen and laundry facing the 'back yard'.

Now the elite clever clogs in town planning are back to the future.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Not even staunch Labour members voting Labour

So says LPrent over at The Standard

And reading the comments we found where the taxpaying grab from the Greens Reds with the asset sales referendum has ended up:
Lynn, if you come on board as a member we can show you our shiny vote-targeting efforts :) We have sophisticated models which worked rather well for us a year ago…

There are still deficiencies in our planning and effort, but we’re working on those. The asset-sales referendum is important in its own right, but it’s certainly an excellent mobilisation tool and chance to build a few other things.
 Corrupt, stealing, thieving, communists.

Martin Crowe........

.....should write more letters!

At last, a semblance of what it takes to play test cricket.

hattip Keeping Stock



Meanwhile a determined South African pair is keeping Australia at bay with an eighty one run partnership from sixty-three overs.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY



Family feuds over estates are always going to be messy and, when they involve an MP, you can expect the media to monitor the situation closely.

And so it is with NZ First MP Bredon Horan.   You can read the story here

But what really amused me was the statement by his leader Winston First who said "I was interested as the leader of a political party when one of my MPs is subject of allegations.   But I deal in facts, that's all I am interested in and I haven't seen any."

Winston Peters interested in facts!    That's a new twist.     What about repaying the $156k he rorted from the taxpayer to fund the NZF election campaign ... that's a fact.




Thursday, November 22, 2012

MISPLACED PRIORITIES



 
It appears the latest fashion among the great unwashed (read Greens/Labour of all colours and hues) is to criticise the ten year olde 'NZ 100% pure slogan' (as if it were anything more than a marketing tool).
 
Methinks they would be far better employed in criticising antics like these
 
But perhaps in their lexicon such action is off-limits.   Sad.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Submerged in the Chaos.

Last weekend the oldest Party in the NZ political landscape held a conference.

The dominating facet was the gunfight at the not very OK Corral  ending  with the carcass of the defeated Silent T being dragged to the edge of the remnants of the party to rot.
Well thats what some are hoping for but,,,,
"E aint dead ees jus restin".

The founders of the NZLP will be a little restless in the ground as the party so admirably described by the MP for Westland has become an Amateur Hour with factions, opinionated self promoting members and a philosophy that is unrecognisable.

Buried in the chaos was yet another massive bribe being offered to the NZ electorate to be funded, as is normal,  with other peoples money and so vague in its target demographic  that it is being rightly promoted as "the $100 k lottery" with free tickets. Sheesh even Cactus  thinks she can qualify.

Among the dross of a weekend paper, an advert for an affordable home, well two choices actually.
G. J. Gardner offering a 4 Br  @ $235 k and a 3 Br @ 216k, including Soil report, building consents, drainage, floor coverings, kitchen apps and service connections. The missing component? the land to build it on.

Successive OPM addicts on local authorities, who have been mining what they saw as an eldorado of epic opportunities to fund their social engineering wet dreams have made those houses in Auckland and other areas end up at a total cost over $500k.

There, is the major reason for the meme of "unaffordable Housing".
Tightly controlled land rezoning and extortionate rorting of section development costs all in a nutshell, ....Nuts really says it all.

Seriously, you couldn't make this shit up


On Stuff this morning:

New Zealand's most notorious stalker has appealed his latest prison sentence saying he got confused about who he was stalking and lavished undue attention on the wrong woman.

Entirely understandable - this kind of thing can befall a chap with a busy stalking schedule.

Mr Stalker, through his long-suffering and presumably highly embarrassed lawyer, claims:

...the judge had erred by giving him the same sentence for both his victims, when he had actually stalked one of the women much worse than the other.

Well, yes, it seems clear there's been a terrible miscarriage of justice in giving him the same sentence for both.  However, an alternative to his suggestion of giving him a lighter sense for one of them immediately presents itself...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's astonishing - why didn't he phone Private Roy?

Cunliffe is purportedly intelligent.  He has degrees from Harvard.  He has been around politics for a while.  He speaks articulately.  He espouses Labour policy easily.  Physically, he is quite a dominating figure.  He presents well.  He holds an Auckland seat for Labour (not easy considering how blue Auckland is these days).

But how bloody hamfisted has his "coup" been?  Shockingly, is the answer.  That alone must end his political career. Not because of his disloyalty (per Heather Roy, ACT ~ 2009-2010) but simply because no one in his party could ever trust him again, and further, because it was the worst coup ever.  Except for one - Heather Roy's silly attempt at the ACT leadership of a few years ago.

All Cunliffe had to do was pick up the phone and call Heather and ask her if publicly criticising the leader and secretly undermining him within the party and within the caucus was a good idea.

She would have said "look where I am now".

That would have cost him a few dollars.  Failing to make that call has cost him his career.  A text to her would have been even cheaper.  Then again, when did Labour MPs ever understand the concept of price on a market.

The tragic thing from afar is that all that both these MPs (Roy & Cunliffe) had to do was knuckle down, work hard, advance their portfolios and they both had ministerial careers ahead of them for years, and years.

It's astonishing how politics, power and personal ambition can affect purported intelligence.

LABOUR'S LEADERSHEEP

I see Labour's media Guru, Dr Brian Edwards has penned an open letter to David Shearer'

You can read it here     Clearly Mr Cunliffe has friends in high places.

Ouch and double ouch.

INCOMPREHENSIBLE!!!!

When the media first broke the sketchy details of the offending by James Parker I was mystified as to how 49 charges could have accumulated over years, without any appearance of any doubt from what must have been hundreds of potential witnesses, most of whom should have noticed "something".

Now with another 23 charges filed, and the saints alone know how many other "events" occurred, it is alleged some people certainly "KNEW" but apparently none who actually cared about the potential damage this pathetic excuse for a human could and did wreak.

Parker rose to the position of deputy principal of a Northland rural school!!!

It is now alleged that a former "girlfriend" reported the disturbing fact that Parker would leave "their bed" to "sleep" with boys staying over. This resulted in an investigation "that included what seems to have involved a union person and colleagues
The "girlfriend" and Parker were both employed at a school.
The stench must have been palpable or did every one of those who should have done the right thing see nothing wrong with his actions that I for one see as "Serious Sexual OFFENDING".

I am a very firm believer in the theory of 'innocent before conviction' but with the clear proclivity of adults who offend against children, as Parker is alleged to have done, to become very adept at covering their tracks, that belief becomes somewhat stretched.

I once found myself going to bat for a rural principal in what seemed a setup with one accuser whose traits suggested a high possibility of doubt only to have the mongrel plead guilty at the 11th hour and who has since had further judicial problems. Yes I was wrong but 49 plus 23, sheesh maybe explains my passion here.

I seriously consider there are others who should be charged over this clusterf**k, even if only for failing to protect the vulnerable in their care.

GENIUS v INSANITY.

One of the numerous "Davids" in the NZLP has either had a meltdown or is playing the game of his life.
Forget about noon plus 4 hrs today, in February 2013 it will all be revealed.

The only Quade in the Wallabies has made a similarly precipitate move and for him he already has holes in both feet.

Cunliffe can come back or find another life, in Coopers case, not so simple, anyone you thinks he can make it in League or boxing really needs help.
One thing for sure Quade Cooper makes his egotistical predecessor Mat Giteau appear almost saint-like.

Just as there is a tissue thin seperation  between life and death it often presents similarly in the line between genius and insanity.

Then sometimes that tissue gets wet.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Those dirty, stinking Arabs, huh?

The other day DPF posted about Pallywood, the home-made propaganda clips Palestinians release to the media whenever the Israeli govt decides to use them for target practice.  Right-wingers keep a close eye on propaganda released by these uppity wogs who object to being killed in their homes, so the amateur efforts are usually easily spotted.

In the comments, Luc Hansen pointed readers to a different video, and for me this video highlighted one of the reasons Palestinians make fake propaganda videos for the western media (the other reasons being things like not have a govt, military and compliant media to do a professional propaganda job).  That video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ytoMxhYNkxA&noredirect=1.  I suggest that if a roasted toddler struggling through its last breaths isn't the kind of thing you feel up to viewing, don't view it.

The point is, this is what the real video looks like.  If you get regular military forces to attack a densely populated urban area with heavy weapons, roasted toddlers struggling through their last breaths is the entirely foreseeable outcome.  The thing is, western media won't put those videos on the news.  What they will show is suitably dramatic footage of an unharmed-looking person being carried away "wounded," so that's what the locals give them - providing them with footage of horribly injured children would be pointless.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

LABOUR'S LEADERSHEEP

David Cunliffe will look back on Labour's Conference with a deal of satisfaction.     He has successfully managed to destabilise and neuter David Shearer's leadership to the point where the current leaders longevity can be measured in weeks if not days (or even hours).

I am reminded of the similarities in the situation faced by Jack Marshall and
David Shearer.   They were/are inherently decent men whose time was not right.   They were/are faced by nakedly ambitious and impatient challengers for whom winning was/is everything and bugger the consequences   

Both Muldoon and Cunliffe are smart.   Both could/can talk in sound bites.   Muldoon had few friends in the National Party caucus which he ruled with a rod of iron, brooking no dissent and raising personality politics to a new level (until matched by Helen Clark) ... in the end his legacy cupboard was bare (except perhaps for one Winston Raymond Peters).

Cunliffe has apparently already managed to knock off the 'no friends in caucus bit' before becoming leader.    It will be fascinating to see how he manages the challenge that poses.

But one does have to feel sorry for David Shearer.   He might have been the best Prime Minister that Labour never had ... given half the chance.


Diamond Blacks are doing well.

For the sports mad among us……
You’ll be pleased to know that the New Zealand Diamond Blacks beat the Philippines, 10-6, last night,in the World Baseball Classic qualifier tournament being held in Taipei . This after they beat Thailand, 12-2 the previous night.
This means they now face Chinese Taipei for a place in the World Baseball Classic next March.
This is the first outing for our newest rep team, so congratulations to the players and to the management who’ve managed to pull a great team together in such a short time.
The game against Chinese Taipei will probably be shown live on Sky Sport channel 33 and may be an interesting spectacle for those who haven’t seen top level baseball before.

I reckon baseball has a great future in this country and it won't be too long before it is the premier diamond sport. This is not to say that softball will disappear but rather, after the softball world champs held here in Auckland next year, (go the Black Sox), it will become more the main diamond sport for women, and more of  a  business house and social game as it is in the US and Canada.

Go the D Blacks.
G

(photo borrowed from Baseball NZ website. Thanks Ryan, hope you don't mind)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Truth 15th Nov

This weeks copy in store tomorrow morning.
Bin Man looks great this week, less boobs in the front of the paper. Top effort by Trotter and free speech under attack by Labour.
Get in.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A SUPERCILIOUS PRAT

You style yourself as Judge Holden, pfft

The whining differential assumes much that is so wide of the truth.

I am no coward.

My identity is not very hard to discover if one has brains and a little logic.

Measured against current all blacks I would be regarded as too small for any position other than halfback but there are still many of my stature who play  in the amateur game.

My written expression is certainly not going to win literature prizes and frankly I couldn't care less.
As I have stated before, I just enjoy what I do here and in life.

I am of advanced years, healthy (touch wood), self reliant, community minded, and continue to enjoy a retirement in which I find happiness and contentment

Your assumptions had one correct and one possibly partial, so Mr Perfection ,we will make that around 30%, sums you up I guess.
You on the other hand are a pedantic moron who for reasons you will never reveal,  refuse to engage in any meaningful way with my posts other than to tiresomely attack my written language.
However from the profile you adopt elsewhere, I would assume you detest my message, my politics and my personal values.
The continual attacks on my written word satisfies your need to attack the messenger without debating the message.

Normally I check comments on an edit page and just delete yours along with  other fuckwits without reading them, today I actually read the further evidence of your very strange personna only to find yet another inane, shallow, ad hominem comment that my colleague The Veteran ( who would definitely not be any where near the Coward Class) had posted a response to. To give his comment relevance I have left yours as a mark of your giant stature as a linguist, albet badly tarnished by your reluctance to place any identity other than your self proclaimed status as a man of advanced education standards and literary abilities, even if only in your own oh so humble opinion.

Pot meet kettle, you are a worthless POS and when you look in the mirror, as I am sure a narcissistic prick such as yourself will have many placed throughout your many mansions, you will see a real coward staring back at you. Your stature is of no consequence as it is not size that matters it is all about courage and I am certain  your crusade from anonimity dictates you have a major deficit in that trait.

I will in the interests of my time management return to my practice of giving you the arse from the edit page so do everyone a favour and fuck off.

Monday, November 12, 2012

ONE SWALLOW DONT A SUMMER MAKE.

The recent moves by the government to abandon the next imposition of the Kyoto rort is sanity revealed.

With the US, China, India and so many developing economies staying out of the insane ponzi scheme, it was the best next move short of admitting the truth.

Many  of our competitors attempting to gain market advantage over us by making nonsensical claims using dodgy pseudo science based rubbish such as "air miles" suggesting we are single handedly destroying the planet in pursuit of economic progress when in fact we are merely playing into the hands of those who see one world government and another means of extracting funds for their vision of utopia from productive citizens, as their mission.
Charlatans such as an Indian train driver, a failed US Presidential candidate who has burnt extraordinary amounts of carbon jetting around the globe in his private jet, University drones who see a way to gain funding for their chosen working lifestyle and Politicians who manipulate the uneducated masses to see them elected to a place in government where they can enjoy a lifestyle unattainable any other way have all used the climate change theory that was previously known as global warming, and other imminent world ending scare tactics such as "peak oil" to achieve their ends.

Mainland China INCREASES its carbon emissions each and every day by an amount equivalent to New Zealand's ANNUAL figure.

We aren't even pissing into a Nor Wester, our emissions are more like a severely dehydrated person just trying to pass water.

Oh and just a reminder that in the later decades of the 19th century among other far out theories being promulgated by those whose glass is always half empty, was the dire prediction that with the world increasingly embracing coal fired steam energy, coal would run out, sheesh.

Another small aside we have just endured a very cold spring that has resulted in a garden around 3 weeks later than expected and before the demented start, I do understand the difference between Climate and weather. Our micro climate that has all citrus and tamarillos thriving and potatoes that are never frosted enduring some suspiciously "white dews" on the lawn last week, one third of the way through November and only just over 5 weeks to mid summer on the calendar.

THAT IS A DIFFERENT TAKE.

Finally some balance to the inane portrayal of the large seriously rich reincarnation of the late John Banner's Sgt Schultz as the harried "Mr Nice Guy"

For months the MSM have led the brainless who think news as revealed daily actually represents what happens in the world, have made almost every move of the lump of lard out to be those of a maligned saint.

Yes the cluster fuck that was the raid on the Coatsville Head Quarters of Mega Upload has been revealed as a seriously mismanaged effort by our police and security services that leaves the legality of the action compromised  but this guy who thinks he is able to ignore due process in most jurisdiction, is actually not the lovable "teddy bear" we have had portrayed till the very mention of his assumed sobriquet threatens the safety of my TV.

Finally an alternative presentation of some of the background to the saga and thanks to the new editor of "Truth", Cam Slater,aka Whaleoil, for the heads up to "Sunday's" effort tonight.

Briefly, it was refreshing "current affairs".

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Truth 1st issue for new editor

I have been lucky enough to have a read of Cams first issue.
Typical WhaleOil, drips a little bit out. Enough to enrage a response and then he hits you with the rest to catch you in a lie.
I have heard the rest of the story and I felt sick. This is going to cause a massive uproar.
If the back story and full details come out we may see a Leveson style inquiry in NZ.
Buy it.
If your local dairy does not stock it send the truth an email to let them know and they will make sure you get a copy and your store has them for next week.

Wish upon a star

It really does not matter that you might really really really want something.
I have looked on with bemusement over the last couple of years at posts here about Obama.
I have cringed with embarrassment at the Black Ass Jackass posts and comments.

Obama won.
He was always going to win.
And with the demographic in the USA getting browner by the day he will not be the last non anglo POTUS in my lifetime.
The USA is a  failed state. It was on that course prior to Obama and he has done nothing to arrest its slide.
We could argue until even that complete twat Judge Holden gets tired of baiting authors about why it became a failed state but it will not alter the ultimate conclusion which is the end of the Anglo-Saxon epoch worldwide.

Romney is no less a douche bag than Obama but they are both less evil than the Bush family who in turn were less evil than the Clintons who in turn are less evil than those fucking Kennedy thieves.

So we might actually be moving towards presidents that are better than those that came before them but it is too late.
Adolf, please find something else to be angry about.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

WAS PERSONAL RESPONSIBILTY ADDRESSED?.

I have not read the RC report on 29 deaths at Pike River following the explosions two years ago.

Did Pankhurst allude to any short comings and thereby contributory responsibility for the disaster at the coalface?

Neville Rockhouse who was "Training and Safety Manager" said this morning,  "he was out of the loop of management re health and safety at the mine".

That is not as significant as some would say it could be.

If Mr Rockhouse was compromised as to his safety functions then he had two remedies:-

Firstly, make official requests for the information he needed from management using his knowledge of underground mining in potentially explosive minerals.

Secondly, talk to the miners who included his two sons, one, Daniel, who had a remarkable escape from the access tunnel and Ben, who died with the other 28, about what was actually going down in the mine.   I cannot accept that if it was as bad as the Commission found, the miners were not  talking about the situation at and away from work.

I read  earlier reports that men had unauthorised paraphernalia on their person when going into the mine, including matches; the control board was not always correct in displaying who was actually underground;
and allegations that gas detectors were covered to avoid the outcomes that they were supposed to monitor.

What other matters did the miners see as not required to be complied with?
These were all matters that a half competent training and safety manager should have had a complete understanding of and for an information stream outside that of "management" he needed look no further than his two sons.

If Mr Rockhouse was being excluded from management knowledge he should have removed himself from the position he was unable to deliver from. Admitting now that he was prevented from accessing information is a crock.

Once a week I train for emergency response  as a volunteer and any shortcut or compromising attitude to safe practice is jumped on any time and by anyone, officers and peers alike, disregarding whether the failure endangers the perp, a mate or any one else

The other grave question for me relates to the fact that one part of Government approved the coal extraction while another arm of that organisation is being ignored as to any possibly contributory failures of health and safety by constraining what the mining company could do to enhance safety and good practice. ie why have an access tunnel that rises when most mines go down to the coal; why have only oneway in and out; and there seemed to be constrained venting when the work areas were so far from the mine entrance.

Were any failures of personal responsibility addressed or was it all about nasty rapacious bosses and an incompetent uncaring regulatory regime.

Well done Kate Wilkinson, Mallard your silence resounds.

Big Isn't Best - Updated

Every morning, Adolf tosses four or five slices of stale bread (cut in half) out on the back lawn for the birds.  As soon as my back is turned, the sparrows are in like little robber's dogs, followed by starlings, crested bronze-wings, black birds and willy wagtails.  (For those who don't know, a willy wagtail is not a poofter.  It is the Australian version of New Zealand's fantail, only slightly bigger.)  A little later, a pair of bloody great black crows swoops in.  I've seen a crow pick up a piece of bread, drop in on another piece and then fly off with both bits in its beak.  Bloody clever birds, them crows.

Today, I got quite a surprise.

In swooped one of the crows.  He stood there, eying up his choice of bread when into him tore one of those little willy wagtails.  The attack was fearsome and the poor bloody crow cowered like a Labour Party activist on the morning after election night.  Within less than a minute the crow beat a hasty retreat and was not seen again.


Update:

Can any experienced bird watcher/ornithologist tell me whether new Zealand's fantail displays the same level of aggression evinced by it's Aussie relative?


Monday, November 5, 2012

Hell, I Didn't Know There Were That Many.....


...retired generals and admirals in the whole damned world!

RomneyMACad--500final4NOV2012

TIMES, THEY ARE ACHANGING

As a child in the 1950s, the Amuri Basin on the northern border of Canterbury  was often almost a desert due to low rainfall, NW winds and soaring summer temperatures, as was the case for much of the east coast of both islands.

The "Red Post", just north of Culverden Village (which incidentally often rates a mention as a summer hot spot on evening infotainment shows), was in an area of pastoral grazing country that struggled to sustain one sheep to an acre.
Today it stands in a sea of green grass and productive farming that makes my memory seem improbable.

The difference is Water from the Waiau River that in the later quarter of the 20 century, delivered  via canals and races to border dykes to turn matagouri and danthonia into fodder that now  creates "white gold". That rather inefficient water use is being transformed to a more efficient system with Pivots and other targeted delivery systems.

A few Kms south of Culverden along almost all of the North Bank of the Hurunui River as it flows across the southern boundary of "The Amuri" is the Balmoral Forest.
Planted in the late 1920s on arid alluvial flats as "work relief", yep they had poverty then but not much opportunity as a lifestyle.
The planting was much to the amusement of locals one of whom, the late Paddy Draper is reputed to have said, "might make walking sticks in 25 years if the hares and the dry don't kill them".
In November 1955 roughly 1/3 of the forest was destroyed by a fire that started in a mill at the NW end of the elongated planting, a disaster still seared on my psyche

In the 2nd or was it the 3rd Ngai Tahu settlement, crown lands planted in exotic forests were transferred to tribal ownership while the breakup of the NZFS resulted in cutting rights being sold to timber companies.
Ngai Tahu inc have ceased any replanting at Balmoral, their medium term plans are to convert the 10 000 Ha to dairy production.
Now that will require a fairly large water component.
Eyrewell Forest on the north bank of the Waimak is being treated similarly.

The first water supply solution, essential to this plan, that the tribe supported was the control on Lake Sumner to maintain a lake level at flood hight and supplement the flow of the Hurunui North Branch. Another augmentation scheme was to Dam the Hurunui South Branch to capture the "thaw" for summer release. When the inevitable strangulation device was applied by comfortably off people who did not require a productive base to sustain their chosen lifestyle, the tribe withdrew support.

The second solution again supported by Ngai Tahu was to put a storage structure on the Waitohi a tributary of the Hurunui, more foothill based than the earlier scheme and to many old heads very doubtful as a solution at all.
Again pressure to stop that scheme caused the tribe to withdraw.

A further option was proposed to take more water from the Waiau as winter harvest, through canals to a storage on the Achray hills and canal that water south to the 25 thousand acres of  forest land.

The latest idea apparently being investigated by Ngai Tahu is to winter harvest the Hurunui into storage structures on the western land of the old forest.

In the 1970s I farmed land in the heart of the Waipara Wine region and departed when a water harvesting system was planned to include the lower areas of our holding. The economics were eye-watering,  the capital charges proposed were around 3 times those that were sending farmers to the wall in central Canterbury who enjoyed far more favourable scale of operation. The Waipara scheme involved building a 10 acre/ft dam on 10 acres of productive land to water around 50 acres of crops on each property. Horticultural activity was the only option to make it viable economically, hence the subsequent move to viticulture.

Now I know the economics have changed, delivery  systems are more efficient and growing grass where trees once struggled is the paradigm of 21st century farming but with each of the proposals and subsequent abandonment, the constant is the basic cost of water keeps rising.
Yes the Hurunui River will alter with developement, but the changes may even benefit those who wish to indulge their passion for recreation along its waters as patent summer flows can be an integral part of such change.
The increased wealth created, enhanced infrastructure and accessability will benefit more people.

Changing times yes, opportunities yes, a better future yes

DOESN'T "ANY" MSM REPEATER AGREE?

The PM is being taken to task by many, most who dislike him anyway, for allegedly suggesting that a football player who happened to marry a chick  who made a successful career,  as a modern star of the music scene was slightly deficient in the brain dept.

David Beckham has been a very talented kicker of an inflated round ball.
He indicates a seriously above average foot / eye co-ordination.
He married a more than useful shielagh.
He will have a cotiere of advisers who will be always planning to maximise his earning potential.
He has leant his name to a few good causes.
Nothing he has done outside of the list above indicates any significant intellectual ability.

Many of those that the MSM raise to godlike status because of an outstanding ability at an entertainment activity, invariably eventually display by a subsequent pursuit to gain further rewards, actions that clearly indicate a lack of what passes among the peasant classes as thinking ability.

O.J.Simpson, George Best, Wayne Rooney, Craig Gower, Jesse Rider, Lance Armstrong, Ben Johnstone, Ostapchuk,and many many more.

Had the PM talked, as  he is alleged to, about anyone other than Mr Victoria Adams would anybody  have cared,  seriously.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE




Lifted this from the Labour Party blog 'The Standard' where they rate Labour's front bench team against the team that took power in 1999 .... priceless and no comment needed.

Leader
David Shearer (2012) vs Helen Clark (1999)
No contest. Whatsoever. None. Clark looked like the next Prime Minister. Shearer’s minders wouldn’t even let him front on Q+A this morning for fear he would be shown up by Norman.

Deputy Leader
Grant Robertson (2012) vs Michael Cullen (1999)
Grant is better than his leader. Without a doubt. But he just doesn’t shape up compared to Cullen. While Cullen gave excellent support to Clark, oversaw a brilliant house strategy, and kept on top of every portfolio he was ever given (finance, tertiary education, attorney-general, acc etc.) Robertson has failed to fire. His strategic genius has put Labour in the shit they’re in now, and Labour are virtually invisible in the Tertiary Education and Environment space.

Finance
David Parker (2012) vs Michael Cullen (1999)
Parker has been one of the better performers, but has a way to go before ranking with Cullen. Tough competition though. Not ruling out that he may equal Cullen as he continues to develop. Sharp as a knife, he is the party’s thinker and, while he comes across nerdy, his careful work is helping to build Labour’s economic credibility and undermine National’s. Very well liked and promising, and could do wonders if he learns the killer instinct.

Social Welfare
Jacinda Ardern (2012) vs Steve Maharey (1999)
Maharey was a brilliant advocate and really held the government to account. Remember Christine Rankin hiring a plane for WINZ executives to visit an exclusive Taupo resort? Maharey uncovered it. Ardern on the other hand has been invisible, even after being gifted the MSD privacy uncovered by Keith Ng the Greens outshone Labour. She does not deserve the portfolio nor being put at number 4. New Zealand’s most vulnerable deserve better.

Economic Development
David Cunliffe (2012) vs Pete Hodgson (1999)
This is a tough contest. Like Parker, Cunliffe is one of the front benches’ performers. Articulate and makes a lot of headlines. Clearly hates what the Tories are doing to the country, and it shows in his work. His ability to bring economics into human terms and speak with vision and passion nicely compliments Parker to form a strong economic team when it’s given the chance. While Pete was also an incredibly effective opposition MP and knew his stuff, Cunliffe edges Pete out in the public performance stakes. Cunliffe clearly still has leadership potential.

SOEs (Commerce)
Clayton Cosgrove (2012) vs Paul Swain (1999)
I liked Paul Swain. He was a well spoken and hearty politician. But Clayton is at least his equal and has the potential to be better. He’s done an excellent job as SOEs spokesperson and keeping Labour in the middle of the campaign. Been a bit quiet lately, but bound to turn up again soon. Clayton along with Parker and Cunliffe make up the only performers our front bench has.

Foreign Affairs
Phil Goff (2012) vs Phil Goff (1999)
I’d have to go with 1999 Phil. He’s got his whole career in front of him.

Health
Maryan Street (2012) vs Annette King (1999)
While now past her use-by date, 1999 Annette was a brilliant opposition politician. While no one even knows who Maryan Street is, in 1999 Annette was ripping Wyatt Creech to shreds. Barely a day went by without health making the news and Annette always stood strong against good healthcare for only the rich. Street on the other hand is awful. She must go.

EducationNanaia Mahuta (2012) vs Trevor Mallard (1999)
Trevor used to be good. Bloody good. This really is no contest. Nanaia hasn’t performed. Putting out a press release after getting hints she might be dumped doesn’t cut it. She ought to be slaying Parata. To be fair she’d probably beat 2012 Mallard. But how hard is that? Yesterday, Mallard thought it would be a good idea for a senior Labour MP, him, to publicly attack the head of Treasury after he made comments widely welcomed as open-minded and turning away from dry neoliberalism. At least Nanaia keeps her mouth shut rather than putting her foot in it.

Never trust a hippie



The Sustainability Council has a propaganda piece in the SST today about much-maligned Daisy the cloned cow.  The Council, which is described by the SST as a "research and advocacy group" but could more accurately be described as an "environmentalist lobby group," has some complaints about Agresearch carrying out the kind of research that results in cloned animals.  As far as I can tell from the propaganda in the SST (there's nothing about it on the SCNZ web site), SCNZ's problem with this research is that public money has been spent on it, but so far there are no commercial applications for it.

Seriously:  What? The? Fuck?

I'm aware that NZ is a very anti-intellectual country and has no shortage of thickos who think scientific research can only be justified by commercial applications that result directly from it, but you'd think people peddling themselves as a science "research and advocacy group" could come up with something a little better than that.

The real problem, which for obvious reasons the Sustainability Council doesn't state publicly, is that middle class hippies find genetic modification unnatural and just plain icky, and therefore consider Agresearch's cloning programme a gross affront to Mother Nature.  Their objection is essentially a religious one, so they have to find rational-sounding objections if they want to avoid being subjected to ridicule.  Unfortunately, rational objections like "yet to deliver a single commercial product" are crap when it comes to pure science research.

Naturally, the piece wouldn't be complete without something from the hippies' parliamentary representatives, in this case Steffan Browning, who says:

"Trying to use low-allergen milk to win the public over is quite mischievous. It is typical. I went to their [bio-tech industry] conference in Rotorua and they were doing workshops around how you get trust into communities that are resistant to genetic engineering. I found that quite disturbing."

Well, yes - no doubt it is disturbing that after all the time and trouble Green Party members have taken to spread scaremongering propaganda about "unnatural" genetic engineering, the scientists working in the field go and start thinking up ways of countering the propaganda.  It's so unfair!

KAITAIA

 I see Kaitaia is in the news again for all the wrong reasons.

First James Parker, longtime Deputy Principal of the Pamapuria School about 10k south of the town, admitting 49 charges including indecent assault and unlawful sexual connection (with more serious charges to follow) and last week two further cases, the first with the Pastor of the local Apostolic Church, Eric Reid admitting to 25 charges of making intimate visual recordings involving a teenage girl and a woman and a further 24 charges of possessing intimate visual recordings followed by the arrest and appearance of Daniel Taylor, prominent local businessman and Mormon leader, charged with 17 counts of abusing young boys.    Taylor entered no plea and will reappear later this month.

I know this will have rocked the Kaitaia community.   Sure the town has its problems exacerbated by the fact that up in the Far North you can live a certain lifestyle on the unemployment benefit supplemented by some wacky baccy growing for the Auckland market and fishing aplenty stoked along by Hone Harawira who has his followers locked into permanent grievance mentality and a belief that 'mana' will drop from the sky in lotto type numbers once their claim for the wind and the rain (and anything else Hone can think of) bears fruit.

The flip side is that there are many many good people, Maori and Pakeha alike that go to make up the Kaitaia community.  People that devote much time and effort into community projects without thought of recompense.   They are the unsung heroes and they are the people I feel most sorry for.

Parker, Reid and Taylor (assuming he is found guilty) can rot in hell for all I care.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

THAT IS VERY SAD NEWS

The late Greg King appeared to do the impossible.

He defended or assisted with the defense of many high profile defendants that many laypeople struggled with, "as why would you do it".

Throughout his all too short career he retained the respect and plaudits of ally and foe alike and seemed to successfully avoid any stain on his profile from his work with some very unappealing clients

Mr King believed in the Law and it was apparent, therefore every  accused deserved the best defense he could muster.

His very tragic and extremely untimely passing is a very sad day in our legal history.

RIP Greg King, condolences to your family.

SUPPORTING VETERANS

There hasn't been too much media comment on the recently announced package by Government to assist our war veterans ..... I guess for many New Zealanders we fall into the category of 'happy to acknowledge on ANZAC Day and happy to forget for the other 364'.

The package includes $60m of new monies (over the next five years) which, combined with the ever shrinking veteran demographic, means that the veteran community will be substantially better off.

The announcement represents the Government's response to the Report by the Law Commission into the War Pensions Act 1954.   The report contained 170 recommendations.  The package adopts, in full or in part, 132 of those recommendations.

The main changes include:
  • New and updated legislation replacing the existing War Pensions Act.
  • The introduction of two coverage schemes with the creation of ACC on 1 April 1974 being the point of division between the two schemes.
  • Increasing the War Disablement Pension and Surviving Spouse Pension rates by 5% beginning on 1 April 2013 (on top of the forecast CPI increase of 1.8%).
  • The War Disablement Pension to continue for four weeks after the recipient's death (currently ceases on date of death).
  • Veterans diagnosed with a terminal service-related injury or illness to be able to elect to receive one years worth of the maximum rate of the War Disablement Pension (worth $19,466 at the new rate) paid as a lump sum following the terminal diagnosis.
  • Increasing eligibility for support services such as home help and lawn mowing will benefit an estimated 3,000 additional veterans and 1,100 surviving spouses or partners.
  • A new 'Veterans Weekly Income Compensation' for veterans under the age of retirement and unable to work to be paid at 80% of the average wage (significantly higher than the currently available Veteran's Pension rate).
  • A veteran's advisory board ands specialist medical advisory board will be established to provide the Minister with independent advice.
Among the recommendations the Government did not agree with was the proposal to establish an Independent Tribunal (replacing the current War Pensions Appeal Board) to consider appeals against pension decisions.   The advice from the Justice Department was that New Zealand needed another Tribunal like a hole in the head.    Additionally the Government disagreed with the recommendation that veterans over age 80 should receive free comprehensive medical care.   The Government took the view that all care should be service injury related rather than age based.

It is intended that the legislative package giving effect to these changes will be introduced to the House early next year (the 5% pension increase does not require legislative approval and will happen automatically).    I am aware that the Veteran's Affairs Minister (Nathan Guy) is keen for as many veterans as possible to have their say during the Select Committee Phase and will be encouraging the Select Committee considering the legislation to travel to at least the four main centres provided always that the numbers and geographic spread of submission justifies this.

In the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to visit a number of RSAs around New Zealand.    The reaction I am getting to the announcement is a positive one.  Veterans are generally a pragmatic lot.  They acknowledge the economic constraints faced by Government.   To get this package through cabinet is a major and welcome achievement.