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Thursday, 22 February

01:30

Rural round-up "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Ban kids from riding quad bikes RCH surgeon urges Warwick Teague:

IN MY work as a surgeon and trauma prevention advocate, I see few better places to start saving lives than a ban on children getting on quad bikes.

This is a hard line, too hard for some, but I would challenge anyone farmer, doctor, lawyer, voter, seller, buyer, parent or child to answer the question: How many more children do you think need to be injured on quad bikes before we say Enough is enough?

Since 2001, 42 Aussie kids aged under 16 have died from quad bike trauma. . .

Using technology to give farmers an eye in the sky:

Is there anything technology cant do? It seems everyday something new pops up that makes our lives easier and now one Taranaki dairy farmer has taken this to new heights, using a drone to get his cows in.

Hayden Fowles says its not just about getting the herd to the shed quicker, the drone also helps him keep his cows healthy.

It gives me another pair of eyes. I can check for lameness and anything that might appear a bit odd sooner than I would if I was on foot or bike.

Not only is the drone helping to keep his cows healthy, its also helping to improve his on-farm health and safety.

It means a lot less time on and off the bike and I dont need to go on to the steeper land. . . 

NFU elects new officeholder team:

Minette Batters has been elected as the new President of the National Farmers Union.

Ms Batters, a beef farmer fr...

00:00

Thursdays quiz "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

The questions are yours for the asking.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual case of peaches.

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Wednesday, 21 February

23:29

The Politician's Syllogism, or, How politics solves problems "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"


Read this:

His Royal Majesty was forced to swallow alimony a toxic metal. He vomited and was given a series of enemas. His hair was shave f, and he had blistering agents applied to the scalp, to drive any bad humours downward.
....Plasters of chemical irritants, including pigeon droppings, were applied to the soles of the royal feet, to attract the falling humours. Another ten ounces of blood was drawn.
....The king was given white sugar candy, to cheer him up, then prodded with a red-hot poker. He was then given forty drops of ooze from "the skull of a man that was never buried" who, it was promised, had died a. most violent death. Finally, crushed stones from the intestines of a goat from East India were forced down the royal throat
If you guessed that the next sentence reads something like, "not surprisingly, the king died soon after," then you wouldn't be too surprised.

The quote comes from new book The Elephant in the Brain by Robin Hanson. It describes perfectly how politics "solves" problems.

Why did what was then the world's most celebrated physicians undertake such injudicious treatment on their single-most important patient? Because all the nations eyes were upon them.
The king died on February 6. But notice all the conspicuous effort in this story. If Charles's physicians had simply prescribed soup and bed rest, everyone might have questioned whether "enough" had been done. Instead, the king's treatments were elaborate and esoteric, By sparing no expense or effort -- by procuring fluids form a torture victim and stones from goat bellies -- the physicians were safe from accusations of malpractice.
The physicians were safe. The patient was not.

This is a prime example of what Sir Humphrey Appleby famously summarised as the Politician's Syllogism, "Something must be done. This is something. Therefore we must do it." And be seen to do it.

In following the Syllogism the politicians themselves are almost always safe.

It's you and I who are not.


[Hat tip Michael Strong and David Weiner]
.

23:05

Watch: Fluoride can impair intelligence says professor but former Health Minister says water fluoridation is safe, beneficial "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Anti-fluoride activist Professor Paul Connett has shared his views during an interview with TVNZ 1s Breakfast programme this morning, with a counter argument given by former Health Minister Jonathan Coleman.

[Watch it here]

Both gave firm arguments this morning on Breakfast around the controversial practice of fluoridating drinking water supplies.

Professor Connett, who has a PhD in chemistry, made numerous points, but one of the main ones was that he believes research suggests fluoride can impair intelligence.

For counter balance, Breakfast invited former government Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman on the show, who said he still believes fluoridation of drinking water is completely safe and beneficial.

Water supplies in many New Zealand regions has been fluoridated for more than 60 years due to its beneficial effects on oral health, according to the Ministry of Health.

Fluoridation in New Zealand typically adjusts the amount of fluoride present in water to between 0.7 and 1 parts per million.

A 2007 Ministry for the Environment report showed that 95 per cent of the 279 groundwater sites it tested had naturally occurring fluoride concentrations of 0.56 parts per million, or less.

*Original online at https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/watch-fluoride-can-impair-intelligence-says-professor-but-former-health-minister-water-fluoridation-safe-beneficial

Note: The TV interview was live at 7:20 am, on Feb 22, in NZ   or 1:20 pm in New York on February 21.

22:13

Will Marks be rolled? "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

There were no surprises when Winston Peters was re-elected leader of New Zealand First unopposed.

The man and the party are almost one and the same thing and there would be no question of dissension

But this mornings Politik newsletter Richard Harman, who is usually well informed, suggests that Peters might be about to depose Ron Mark as deputy in favour of Fletcher Tabuteau.

The waka jumping legislation hasnt been passed yet.

If Mark was sufficiently unhappy with show of no confidence in him he could leave the party and still stay in parliament.

That would mean hed no longer be a minister though and he could well find that too high a price to pay no matter how upset he was.

 

 

21:57

Poem of the Week: Vincent "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Remembering the master in different ways By Roger Childs We watched Loving Vincent at Shoreline yesterday and emerged to a sight we had never seen before. Beyond the theatre entrance a tropical downpour was drenching Waikanae through incredibly bright sunlight. It needed Van Gogh to paint it. The film breaks new ground in the history []

21:22

Ex-Cyclone Gita turns New Zealand's Terrible Gully into river of rock "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

A river of shingle rock flowing down Terrible Gully has left eight farms cut off from town in Rakaia, near Canterbury's Mt Hutt. Incredible video of the "rocky river" was captured by Donna Field of Cleardale Station as she surveyed the damage from former Cyclone Gita on Wednesday. The flow of careering shingles closed Double Hill Run Rd which services the farms in the South Island region. It's an event that has become a regular occurrence for the farmers in the area. "But it's never been this bad before," Field said. "For a long time it was quite stable, but the last 2.5 - 3 years it has become a lot more active."

21:00

Whos paying for unprepared government? "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Suspicions that Labour wasnt prepared for government were right:

. . . But Labour which she admitted was not prepared to be in Government . . 

The she in the above sentence is the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

This is yet another indictment on her party which spent almost nine years in-fighting, festering and frittering away the time it should have been developing policy and preparing to govern.

Because it wasnt expecting to be in government it made some rash and uncosted promises in the hope of clawing back enough voter support to provide a foundation on which to build for the following election never thinking it would be in a position to deliver.

But a change of leader, MMP, and Winston Peters whim, put the party into government.

The price of this unprepared government is being paid in time wasted filibustering its own bills because it doesnt have enough legislation ready for parliament.

Its also being paid in promises broken which included one to patients suffering from rare diseases:

The New Zealand Organisation for Rare Disorders (NZORD) is stunned that the Government is not honouring its election promise to establish a separate fund which would allow rare disease patients to access vital, life-saving medicines.

Dr Collette Bromhead, NZORD Chief Executive said that the decision to take the promised fund off the table is devastating to the 377,000 New Zealand patients and their families who live with a rare and life-threatening disease.

We have been told that the pledged $20m fund, to be spent over 4 years, will now not go ahead.

And in a double blow, we have now been notified that the Government is also reviewing the contract which enables NZORD to provide the essential services and support for patients and families impacted by rare diseases.

The decision to cancel the fund for medicines is a complete u-turn by the Government and has been done without any consultation with the rare disease community. It leaves these vulnerable patients with no way to access the essential medicines that could extend their life and provide them with a better quality of living, she said.

During the 2017 election, the Labour Party announced that it would set up a separate fund to enabl...

20:01

National leadership poll (sort of interesting but out of date) "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

A public poll on the National leadership is of limited value, because the leader is chosen by Nationals 56 MPs only, and the poll was conducted before the leadership contest began. But it is a bit interesting, especially National supporter results. The Spinoff Exclusive: Poll gives Judith Collins slim lead as preferred National leader A []

19:45

Accusations of Labour shielding Ministers from scrutiny in Parliament "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Claims have been made that Labour is protecting some of its Ministers from scrutiny in Question Time in Parliament. Clare Curran again secreted away from the House to ensure she doesn't have to face scrutiny. This is beyond a joke now @nzlabour and is insulting to taxpayers. We deserve basic accountability!#nzpol #nzqt Gwynn Compton []

19:40

Quote of the Day: Rand v Rawls "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"


"[In] Rands view: The more rational you each are, the more you have to gain from each other and the less your interests conflict.
...."For Rawls, it is the opposite: Another mans rationality is a threat to you. The more rational we all are, the more our society is dog-eat-dog. The more rational your neighbour is, the bigger threat he is to you, and we need government to protect us from the rational actions of others... This presumption of a fundamental, inescapable, metaphysical conflict of interest among rational human beings underlies everything in Rawls-the original position, the veil of ignorance, the two principles, the difference principle, the basic structure, the criteria of stability, justice as fairness, . . . everything...
...."For Rand, the more rational your neighbour is, the less of a threat he is to you, and we need government to protect us from the irrational actions of others.
...."For Rawls, we need to protect ourselves from people who would act rationally. For Rand, we need to protect ourselves from people who would act irrationally....
...."[Furthermore] if Ayn Rand is right that there is no conflict of interests among rational men-however strange that may sound-then all of Rawls edifice collapses. "

~ John McCaskey, from his post 'A Dog-Eat-Dog World: Rand vs. Rawls'
NB: If you don't know, John Rawls is widely considered the most influential political philosopher of the late twentieth century, with the effects you can see all around you.
.

19:19

Dotcom deportation decision on hold "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

An Immigration NZ report on possible deportation of Kim Dotcom is on hold until after his extradition has been fully dealt with. NZH Exclusive: Inquiry into deporting Kim Dotcom is complete but Immigration NZ is keeping its findings secret even from its minister Immigration NZ has completed an investigation into whether Kim Dotcom can []

19:05

GOP senators versus Trumps TPP and trade tirades "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Yesterday in New Zealand the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was released. Next month it is likely to be signed by the eleven countries who renegotiated some parts of the agreement after Donald Trump pulled the United States out soon after becoming president. Trump had strongly criticised the TPP during the presidential campaign. Its []

19:00

Quote of the day "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

 Doing a good turn may seem a trivial thing to us grown-ups, but a good turn done as a child will grow into service for the community when she grows up.    Olave Baden-Powell who was born on this day in 1889.

18:38

Fairfax dumping 28 community and rural newspapers "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Last year when the Commerce Commission denied a bid by Fairfax and NZME to merge it was suggested that regional newspapers may be dumped. Yesterday Fairfax announced that they would sell or close 28 regional and rural newspapers. May 2017: Fairfax may cut newspapers after merger with NZME denied Cuts to regional papers are likely in the []

18:00

Lobbyists and Labour advisers in Government "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Bryce Edwards has interesting coverage of the revolving door from lobbyist to Government to lobbyist again in Political Roundup: The Governments revolving door for lobbyists In many democracies, they call it the revolving door of influence whereby political insiders shift easily between government jobs or positions and lobbying work in the private sector. Its []

17:20

Media watch Thursday "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

22 February 2018 Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media. A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy. A general []

17:15

General chat "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Is there any way we could have a thread for the more lightweight stuff like music and general chat? Do it here. Please no personal attacks or bickering. Anything abusive, provocative or inflammatory may be deleted.

17:10

Open Forum Thursday "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

22 February 2018 This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isnt spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is for you to raise topics that interest you.  If providing opinions on or summaries of other information also provide a link to that information. Bloggers []

16:09

New Zealand blasted by heavy dump of summer SNOW as ex-cyclone Gita wreaks havoc and turns weather patterns on their head (VIDEO, PHOTOS) "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

New Zealand's weather has taken a bizarre turn as Cyclone Gita unleashes damaging winds and rainfall on the country, with a heavy dump of snow hitting the ski fields of the South Island. Coronet Peak has had about 10-15cm of snow at the base of its ski fields, and snow drifts of more than one metre have blanketed the Remarkables. Ski manager Ross Lawrence told Stuff across the area there was 50cm of snow on average, but he didn't expect it to last long. 'Remember it is only February so the sun will come out again soon,' he said.

14:14

The Empire Strikes Back-The Deep State Is Planning Massive Terror Attacks "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

 

cbn attack

Five years ago, I reported that Ex-federal officials belonging to virtually every alphabet soup agency are continuing to early retire and bug out from their present location. They know what is coming. I am getting reports that these defections and bug-outs are increasing exponentially, Man in FEMA and DHS fear that the United States will soon be exposed to a series of chemical, biological and nuclear attacks. Trump is still president and the number of people awakening is frightening.

Deep State propaganda is failing. CNN isnt even used as a night-light anymore. The Deep State must do something.

Trump Led Populism Must Be Stopped At All Costs

The ground swell of Trump-led populism will not be tolerated by the criminal elite. Before they forfeit their free trade agreements and the benefits enjoyed by their multi-national corporations, due to illegal immigration, they will fight back against the rising tide of global defiance from the people. Their Trump card (pun intended) is to unleash mass genocide against the people in the form of a chemical/biological/nuclear (CBN).  Then the perpetrators will blame ISIS, or more likely North Korea and World War III will be started.

Even many Silicon Valley is bugging out (New Zealand).The reports I am getting oabout the prominent and the Alphabet Soup people leaving are dramatically increasing.

Ex-FEMA Relocations

north carolinaOver 5 years ago, I reported that recently retired officials from FEMA/DHS are relocating to the rolling hill areas, in the Southeast. Their enclave contains resources consisting of air, water, food and guns. These enclaves also include underground structures which are sensibly self-contained and can serve to isolate the inhabitants from the outside. I have two sources on this information which includes a family member and a retired FEMA official who has chosen not to participate in this relocation. The nonparticipant ex-official from FEMA did not seek sanctuary with these g...

12:05

World watch Thursday "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Wednesday GMT For posting on events, news, opinions and anything of interest from around the world.

12:01

February 22 in history "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

1495 King Charles VIII of France entered Naples to claim the citys throne.

1632 Galileos Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems was published.

1732 George Washington, First President of the United States, was born  (d. 1799).

1744 War of the Austrian Succession: The Battle of Toulon started.

1797 The Last Invasion of Britain started near Fishguard, Wales.

1819 James Russell Lowell, American poet and essayist, was born  (d. 1891).

1819 By the Adams-Ons Treaty, Spain sold Florida to the United States for $US5m.

1847 Mexican-American War: The Battle of Buena Vista  5,000 American troops drove off 15,000 Mexicans.

1855 Pennsylvania State University was founded as the Farmers High School of Pennsylvania.

1856 The Republican Party opened its first national meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1857 Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, English founder of the Scout movement, was born (d. 1941).

1862 Jefferson Davis was officially inaugurated for a six-year term as the President of the Confederate States of America in Richmond, Virginia.

1879 Frank Woolworth opened the first of many of 5 and 10-centWoolworth stores.

1882 The Serbian...

11:06

China Plays Nuclear Football with US Delegation! "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

While China has a reputation for playing psychological intimidation games with visiting political delegations, this incident, which occurred last November, went further than usual: US, Chinese officials scuffled over nuclear football during Trumps visit to Beijing By: Nicole Bauke A physical altercation erupted Nov. 9 when a Chinese security official attempted to bar a U.S. []

The post China Plays Nuclear Football with US Delegation! appeared first on Uncensored Publications.

11:04

Prepping: Billionaires Brace For The Apocalypse And New World Order "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

This article was written by Mac Slavo and originally published at SHTFplan.com

In the event that the entire economy collapses and food and become scarce, billionaires are looking for high-end places to hold out and await the new world order.  Many billionaires are now preparing for the apocalypse, and their survival plans dont include anyone outside the global elites.

Peter Thiel, the billionaire behind PayPal, is among those tech giants who see New Zealand as a good place to go in the event of an apocalypse. New Zealand is seen as a particularly safe place for billionaires in the event of an apocalypse. In fact, Thiel has bought a $13.5 million 193-hectare section on the shores of Lake Wanaka, although the only building there at the moment is a barn (that can be seen).

According to the Mirror, plans show he is fitting a panic room in another property he owns in the country and he has been granted New Zealand citizenship in a streamlined process not available to normal (non-global elitists) members of the public. A rough and ready description of the attraction of New Zealand came last year in The New Yorker magazine, with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman suggesting the country had become shorthand for apocalypse insurance in Silicon Valley.

In 2011, Thiel declared hed found no other country that aligns more with my view of the future than New Zealand. The country is more relaxed in terms of government than many places, has ample drinking water, and some of the worlds cleanest air.

Saying youre buying a house in New Zealand is kind of a wink, wink, say no more, Hoffman said. Once youve done the Masonic handshake, theyll be, like: Oh,...

10:00

365 days of gratitude "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

The heating had turned itself off some time before we got home last night.

It takes a while to cool down so the house was still reasonably warm in spite of two days with no sun.

However, by this morning the temperature had dropped again and it was still raining.

My farmer went to investigate with more hope than certainty and came back in with a grin to say the heating was working again.

Just as it cools slowly it also reheats slowly but by mid morning I could feel the difference and this evening were back to a comfortable temperature.

After another day of rain Im very grateful for that.

04:30

Word of the day "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Finnimbrun  a knick-knack, trifle or trinket.

02:43

Sea Wall Progress "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

SH1 Paekakariki to Pukerua Bay repair work progressing well.  NZ Transport Agency is advising commuters that State Highway 1 between Paekakariki to Pukerua Bay remains down to one lane as ongoing emergency repairs continue to the sea protection. Senior Journey Manager Neil Walker says the damage inflicted by ex-cyclone Gita washed away the cycle-lane, footpath []

02:18

28 papers stuffed "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Stuff has announced its ditching 28 of its papers:

The full list of titles being closed is:

AvenuesWaikato FarmerAdmire MarlboroughNZ Dairy FarmerDiscover MagazineSelwyn and Ashburton OutlookAdmire NelsonHastings MailChristchurch MailNapier MailThe TribuneKaikoura StarInvercargill EyeAuto XtraSouth Canterbury HeraldClutha LeaderWaiheke MarketplaceNewsLinkWairarapa NewsQueenstown MirrorNZ FarmerWaitaki HeraldCanterbury FarmerNorth Waikato NewsCentral District FarmerRotorua ReviewOtago Southland FarmerRuapehu Press.

This is very tough for the people whose jobs are at risk.

There might be opportunities for someone to take over some of the titles but print media is not a growing business and rural media is a very crowded space.

We knew farming was in resurgence when the letterbox started filling up with give-aways.

We now get several free rural papers a week, sometimes three or more in a day.

If we dont have time to read them when they come they often go out barely read or unread because at least another has come before we get back to them.

02:13

Emergency Sea-Wall Repairs "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Damage to SH1 sea protection causing delays The NZ Transport Agency is making emergency repairs to the sea protection on State Highway 1 between Paekakariki to Pukerua Bay following damage sustained during ex-cyclone Gita.http://kapitiindependentnews.net.nz/emergency-sea-wall-repairs-2/ NZ Transport Agency Senior Journey Manager Neil Walker says one lane of the road is currently open to traffic in both []

01:43

QotD: Sound Money "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"


"It is impossible to grasp the meaning of the idea of sound money if one does not realise that it was devised as an instrument for the protection of civil liberties against the despotic inroads on the part of governments. Ideologically it belongs in the same class with political constitutions and bills of rights."
~ Ludwig Von Mises, on The Principle of Sound Money
.

01:34

On being there "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

I flick a switch and zoom in to my childhood home, which I sold recently after my parents were taken ill. I look into our former backyard and see my father there. I try to get closer but I am repelled by the absolute limits of the zoom function. Dads face is duly blurred but he is walking purposefully. There is no sign of the broken hip that made him reliant on a walking frame, no sign of the

01:14

East Sepik governor dispatches police to arrest rogue miners "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Radio New Zealand | 21 February 2018

The Governor of Papua New Guineas East Sepik province has dispatched police to detain a company looking to mine without landowner approval.

Allan Bird, who was elected six months ago, said he was trying to improve the governance around resource extractive projects in his province.

He said his administration was ready to support landowners in any action they would like to take in protecting their traditional tribal land.

Two days ago we had a ship go up the Sepik river with all kinds of equipment to go and mine a gold mine somewhere up in Angoram, in a place called Keram LLG (Local Level Government area). The landowners came and complained.

Today I dispatched 15 police officers to actually go there and arrest these people and bring them to Wewak and we can figure out whats what.

Mr Bird said he checked with PNGs Mining Minister about the Keram mining concern who didnt know anything about it.

00:00

Rural round-up "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Farmers face hefty riparian planting bills Robin Martin:

Taranaki farmers could face hefty bills as the regional council toughens enforcement of its riparian planting programme to clean up waterways.

The council has begun auditing more than 1700 dairy farms and now says their plans for planting along riverbanks and streams must be completed by 2020.

Taranakis riparian planting programme the largest in the country has received international recognition and is has been credited with improving water quality. . . 

NAIT problems stymie M. bovis response Nigel Malthus:

Federated Farmers president Katie Milne says farmers problems in complying with NAIT (National Animal Identification and Tracing) have slowed the response to Mycoplasma bovis.

NAIT could be a lot easier to use, she says.

While it works well for recording animals arriving at a processing works, there are apparent breakdowns in compliance when farmers are transferring stock among themselves. . .

Robotics opportunities in forestry being explored

Forest safety, improving productivity and getting workers off the felling site has been a major push for forestry managers, forest owners, logging contractors and equipment suppliers to modify their wood harvesting operations over the last few years. Another major driver to increased mechanisation has been the skilled machine operator shortages that many forestry companies are now currently facing. The ultimate goal of the industry is to have no worker on the slope, or no hand on the chainsaw.

Technology development and the pace of change over the last couple of years, in keeping with other industries, has been rapid and exciting for the forestry industry. Recent research is suggesting that by 2019, 35% of leading organizations will be exploring the use of robots to automate operations. Forestry isnt any different. In fact, the switch is already underway. . .

Tuesday, 20 February

23:48

The KIN Mid-Week Quiz 110 "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

The eighth quiz of 2018.   Remember that no correspondence, computers or cell phones may be entered into!   Answers on Sunday.   What is a billabong?   Which 20th century US president had the middle name Milhous?   Bob Jones recently wrote: as there are no full-blooded Moris in existence it indisputably follows that []

22:26

Who do members want "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

It amuses me to read  commentators stating that National Party members favour this candidate or that one for the leadership.

They write as if the membership is a single being with a single view.

I doubt that is true for any party and it certainly isnt for National.

Its a broad church party, the only one in New Zealand still able to measure its membership in 10s of thousands, and one which values individual rights, including the right to different points of view.

The members of that broad church have a range of views on just about everything, most dont go to regular meetings nor do most press their views on MPs, even on such an important internal matter as the leadership.

They might agree with David Farrar on the factors which are important in the partys leader.

But if there is any consensus on the issue it will not be on which candidate is best.

It might be gratitude that caucus is sufficiently gifted to have five strong contenders.

Members might also agree that whoever the next leader is s/he must have what it takes, including a wise head and warm heart, to lead the party back into government sooner rather than later.

And I think all will agree that once the leader is decided, caucus must unite behind her/him and address itself to both holding the government to account and ensuring it is much better prepared for government than the current one was.

22:08

NZ's new aristocracy of pull "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"






New Zealand's revolving door of political lobbyists -- political insiders shuttling back and forth between well-paid jobs in government and even-better paid jobs with private lobbyists -- has finally got the attention of political watchers. Turns out it's endemic, bighlighted by the various former, current and intermittent chiefs of staff peddling their contacts with influence:
This week a perfect example of the "revolving door" of government officials and lobbying has occurred. The Prime Minister's Chief of Staff has shifted from the Beehive to a lobbying firm. Lobbyist Gordon Jon Thompson, has been a political manager or "spin doctor" and lobbyist for a long time, and shifts between government and private sector jobs with apparent ease... Another interesting but less contentious "revolving door" story [is] another former chief of staff, National's Wayne Eagleson see: Former National Party chief of staff joins firm of Labour's top advisers...
    Thompson, who has been a lobbyist and PR professional for many years, worked with Jacinda Ardern last year, helping prepare her for the TV leaders debates. And then when she formed the new government she invited Thompson to be Labour's Chief of Staff, despite the fact that he would remain a lobbyist and director of his Thompson Lewis firm.
    Walters' article states, "Thompson finished a four-month stint as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's acting chief of staff, while chief of staff Mike Munro was recovering from illness." This means Thompson was made Chief of Staff by the Prime Minister, with the full knowledge that he would then return to his lobbying business, where he would be involved with clients with an interest on influencing the new government. Indeed, he finished work last Friday in his job as the number one adviser to Jacinda Ardern, and resumed his lobbying job yesterday.
The issue immediately raises issues about potential conflicts of interest....
Sure does. And it's only the tip of the iceberg, with former MPs and...

20:54

SHI Closed by Storm "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Safer Communities Together   SH1 closed between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki overnight Wellington Police were warning motorists that State Highway One was closed between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki after it sustained weather damage overnight. The road was closed around 12:30am as the high tide was washing across both lanes. As seen in the photo, there was damage to []

20:30

And still it rains "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Our rain gauge holds only 25mms.

My farmer had emptied it before we left home on Monday and it was overflowing when he checked it this morning.

One of our staff has recorded nearly 100mms since it started raining on Monday.

Its still raining steadily but, thankfully, we have escaped the serious damage that Cyclone Gita brought to other areas.

Christchurch, Buller, Grey District, Selwyn, Westland, Tasman and Taranaki have each declared a state of emergency as ex-tropical Cyclone Gita shows her heavy hand.

Authorities and people in the affected districts are all on high alert as a state of emergency has been declared in those provinces.

The downpour has also led to record rainfalls particularly in Kaikoura, where 194.4mm had fallen by about 7.40pm four times more than the monthly normal, according to Niwa.

A total of 53.6mm of rain fell in the area between 4 and 5pm the wettest hour on record and over a months worth of rain in only an hour. . . 

 

19:55

Trans-Pacific Partnership text to be released today "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Scoop: Govt to release CPTPP national interest analysis on Wed The government will release the national interest analysis for the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership on Wednesday, and the full text too if the other nations agree, says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The Labour-led administration signed up to the regional trade and investment pact after []

19:48

Major education reform plan to be announced today "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

The Government is announcing  a complete overhaul of the education system from early childhood right through to post-secondary schooling today. It is commonly thought that Labour works closely with and for teacher unions, so they will presumably be largely behind the proposals. Stuff: Convincing parents its time for substantial education reform wont prove easy The []

19:38

Complaint to Auditor General over Partnership Schools "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

The Opposition is keeping up the pressure on the Government, in particular on Minister of Education Chris Hipkins, over proposed legislation to scrap Partnership Schools. Nationals Education spokesperson Nikki Kaye has sent a complaint to the Auditor General outlining potential issues to be investigated regarding the Governments handling of the impending potential closure of partnership []

19:27

From New Zealand to Hawaii - Where billionaires are building their post-apocalyptic escape home "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Picture the scene: the world runs out of food, there is no clean water and the banking system collapses - what do you do? Well, if you are a billionaire you jump on your private plane or helicopter, or climb into your armoured car, and head to your bolthole to prepare for a new world order. And one place in particular, thousands of miles away from North Korea, ISIS and all the social tensions in Europe and the United States, is seen by some as the ideal 'safe' place for billionaires: New Zealand. Peter Thiel, the billionaire behind PayPal, is among those tech giants who see New Zealand as a good place to go in the event of an apocalypse. He has bought a $13.5m 193-hectare section on the shores of Lake Wanaka - although the only building there at the moment is a barn.

19:23

Local councils failing to meet OIA obligations "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

The chief ombudsman has said that local councils are failing to meet their obligations under the Official Information Act. RNZ:  Local councils slammed for failing to supply information Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier said councils are not meeting their responsibilities under the Local Government Official Information and Meeting Act and that some councils seem to resent []

19:06

Back Judith Collins website and the Taxpayers Union "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

The Taxpayers Union denies being involved in a pro-Judith Collins website that appeared briefly before being taken down. Whether they were or werent behind the site it is a curious story. Stuff reported on Monday: Anonymous Back Judith website has fake phone number, registered to Collins office address An anonymous website backing Judith Collins for []

19:06

Long Blockchain Struggling: Nasdaq Issues Delisting Notice "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Long Blockchain, the company formerly known as Long Island Iced Tea, has announced a new CEO and plans to spin off its original iced tea business. But theres a problem: According to companys balance sheets, it has no income or assets related to blockchain or cryptocurrency.

Long Blockchain has been attempting to rebrand itself last year the company announced it was diversifying, shifting focus from beverages to blockchain technology but investors arent buying. The company has been issued a second delisting notice from Nasdaq (the first notice being in October of last year before the company changed names) for failing to keep its market cap above $35 million. Shares were down 5% Tuesday at just over three dollars a share, giving the company a current market cap of $27.98 million.

Today, February 20th, the company announced a change in leadership. Shamyl Malik, who previously ran the firms blockchain efforts, has taken over as CEO, replacing Phillip Thomas:

Shamyl has shown great initiative and leadership since joining the team, and his appointment as CEO and our planned spin-off will allow the Company to execute on a clear, focused Blockchain strategy, Thomas said in a statement.

Obstacles:

In December the company announced its name change and diversification which spurred a near tripling of its share price overnight. The problem is Long Blockchains financial documents dont back this new direction up: According to its most recently filed balance sheet (from November) Long Blockchain currently owns no blockchain assets.

That said, the company has recently announced plans to merge with a New Zealand firm called Stater Blockchain Limited, a technology company focused on developing and deploying globally scalable blockchain technology solutions in the financial market, according to its website. If the buyout goes through, Stater Blockchain would become a subsidiary of Long Blockchain meaning the company would actually gain tangible blockchain assets, which would include Staters in-house currency futures brokerage.

Long Blockchains pivot hasnt been smooth. The company announced in January that it would spend $4.2 million to buy 1,000 cryptocurrency mining machines. It seemed to be a strange move: Mining high-risk and relatively unexciting compared to doing something like developing a cryptocurrency service or other blockchain-based venture. Less than a week after its announcem...

18:17

Effects of Cyclone Gita "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

There has been widespread wind damage and flooding as Cyclone Gita passed over New Zealand, with the lower North Island and top half of the South Island worst affected. Some roads have been closed due to storm surge damage. MetService meteorologist Karl Loots said former cyclone Gita passed over the South Island in the early []

17:20

Media watch Wednesday "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

21 February 2018 Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media. A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy. A general []

17:15

General chat "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Is there any way we could have a thread for the more lightweight stuff like music and general chat? Do it here. Please no personal attacks or bickering. Anything abusive, provocative or inflammatory may be deleted.

17:10

Open Forum Wednesday "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

21 February 2018 This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isnt spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is for you to raise topics that interest you.  If providing opinions on or summaries of other information also provide a link to that information. Bloggers []

15:59

The Safest Countries To Visit In 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

The Safest Countries To Visit In 2018 | mitre-peak-new-zealand | News And Opinions

Nothing quite beats the excitement of jetting off on holiday, but already in 2018 weve seen a host of tragic events unfolding across the globe. Being on holiday is primarily about feeling relaxed and liberated while exploring the world, however this can be much more difficult when you find yourself in constant fear that your life is in danger. Luckily, across the world, there are several countries that have been considered the safest to visit, so you can complete your EHIC card renewal and head off to these amazing destinations for a fully relaxed break!

Iceland

Particularly over the past decade, Iceland has certainly climbed the tourism ladder, with visitor levels skyrocketing from 422,000 in 2006, to 1.7 million in 2016! While this is undoubtedly associated with the stunning scenery available in Iceland with the likes of the enchanting Blue Lagoon and magical glacier domes on offer, a large part of this is due to the fact that Iceland is the safest country to visit according to the Global Peace Index. The crime rates in Iceland are staggeringly low, and currently there are no alerts or threats issued by the Department of State, so you can marvel at the natural wonders in peace.

New Zealand

New Zealand is the perfect destination for tourists with a strong desire for adventure. Did you know that the exhilarating bungee jump was invented in New Zealand, and that it poses as an excellent destination for activities such as paragliding and sky diving? Truly, visiting New Zealand is guaranteed to peak your adrenaline levels, but in a positive way. Split into both North and South islands, both have been granted as exceedingly safe, and New Zealand takes its spot just below Iceland on the safest countries list by the Global Peace Index. So, if your...

12:14

NZ - Letter "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Fluoride again

Fluoride (Chronicle; February 15) raises its controversial head again.
Dentists have always been in favour of fluoride, and there has for decades been a strong backlash against it.

I became aware of strong feelings of local people against fluoride about 40 years ago, when a (then) Wanganui City Council voted to fluoridate our water. That innocent, well-intended decision raised such a stink in Wanganui the council was forced into a public referendum. The democratic vote of citizens rejected fluoridation.

There are those on both sides of the debate who gather "cohort" evidence to support their case (cohort research is recognised as scientifically valid and is used when "case/control" research is inappropriate).

Therefore, I must leave the chemical dangers/safeties of fluoride to those who, presumably, know what they are talking about, although it is scary to realise highly intelligent people on both sides can come to such diametrically opposed views.

My primary concern is: Where has democracy gone? A few years ago some towns in New Zealand had to fight their councils, just as we did long ago, to prevent their water supply from being fluoridated by local-body political decree.

Central government politicians subsequently decreed that fluoride is not a medication, hence no need to ask citizens whether they wanted to be forced to drink it. Such weaselly political underhandedness was compounded by making District Health Boards the sole arbiter of whether a town was to get fluoridation. It could only be politicians who put health boards in charge of alleged non-medications. One wonders why. Stupid!

I have no problem with fluoridation, but I do have a big problem with enforced "doping" of drinking water, when history clearly demonstrates majority votes do reject it.
...

12:05

World watch Wednesday "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Tuesday GMT For posting on events, news, opinions and anything of interest from around the world.

12:01

Quote of the day "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.   W.H. Auden who was born on this day in 1907.

12:01

February 21 in history "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

362  Athanasius returned to Alexandria.

1245 Thomas, the first known Bishop of Finland, resigned after confessing to torture and forgery.

1440 The Prussian Confederation was formed.

1543 Battle of Wayna Daga  A combined army of Ethiopian and Portuguese troops defeats a Muslim army led by Ahmed Gragn.

1613 Mikhail I was elected unanimously as Tsar, beginning the Romanov dynasty of Imperial Russia.

1743 The premiere of George Frideric Handels oratorio Samson took place in London.

1804  The first self-propelling steam locomotive made its outing at thePen-y-Darren Ironworks in Wales.

1842 John Greenough was granted the first U.S.A. patent for the sewing machine.

1848 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published the Communist Manifesto.

1875 Jeanne Calment, French supercentenarian and longest-lived human on record, was born (d. 1997).

1879 An explosion in a Kaitangata coal mine killed 34 men.

Kaitangata mining disaster Kaitangata mining disaster

1885 The newly completed...

10:06

365 days of gratitude "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

When we flew north yesterday we knew our return flight today could be delayed or cancelled.

It was delayed and we warned it would be turbulent.

It was a bit bumpy at times but not nearly as bad as Id feared.

Rain was bucketing down when we landed in Christchurch and it continued to pour all the way south.

Tonight Im grateful to be safely home again.

09:09

Former cyclone Gita hits New Zealand; state of emergency declared in Christchurch "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Christchurch and two other districts on New Zealand's South Island have declared a state of emergency as former cyclone Gita hit the country. Dozens of schools have been shut and roads closed on the South Island as the storm made landfall on Tuesday. New Zealand's national airline has cancelled all flights in and out of the capital, Wellington, on North Island. Residents were told to expect floods and winds of up to 150km/h (90mph). The Grey District and Buller Districts on South Island have now also declared a state of emergency. "The full impact of the storm will be felt overnight and tomorrow morning," said Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel. She urged residents in low-lying areas to evacuate, saying: "We are expecting homes to be flooded."

08:41

Renovation completed "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

It seems a life time ago (yet only a year) when I asked readers whether I should keep the fireplace in our recently purchased renovation property:



We didn't.

Here is how the room looks today with brand new bay window featuring original leadlights, additional ceiling batons ...


...and en suite:


08:30

Academic Investigating Chinese Influence Peddling in New Zealand Had Break-Ins at Home and Work "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Via: New Zealand Herald: A New Zealand academic who made international waves researching Chinas international influence campaigns has linked a number of recent break-ins to her work. University of Canterbury professor Anne-Marie Brady, speaking today from Christchurch to the Australian Parliaments Intelligence and Security Committee in Canberra, outlined three recent events which caused her concern. []

08:11

UK Government & Catholic Church Claim Children Can Consent To Sexual Abuse "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

We need to start treating everyone as equal and extend more compassion to others; only then will we be able to not only improve our judiciary system, but hopefully prevent these crimes from occurring in the first place. Kalee Brown February 16, 2018 Catholic churches all around the world have been accused of sex scandals, []

The post UK Government & Catholic Church Claim Children Can Consent To Sexual Abuse appeared first on Uncensored Publications.

07:34

Armageddon Is At Hand!! 900 KFC Stores Shut Due To Chook Shortage! "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Sights of fast food addicted youngsters weeping against locked doors, angry protests and folk wondering how they shall survive as KFC experiences the ultimate goof: We have no Chickenwant your fries upsized? KFC maybe Kentucky fried, but its enjoyed by chicken lovers all all over the world. Unfortunately, for those chicken heads (no, not that []

The post Armageddon Is At Hand!! 900 KFC Stores Shut Due To Chook Shortage! appeared first on Uncensored Publications.

07:10

Donald Trump Is A Puppet And Just An Actor: David Icke "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Another Interesting and controversial talk from Mr. Icke! London Real Published on Jan 11, 2018

The post Donald Trump Is A Puppet And Just An Actor: David Icke appeared first on Uncensored Publications.

06:49

Help Coming For Waikanae Citizens "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

The Waikanae Support Hub will offer a front door to anyone in the community seeking information or assistance as well as arranging specific purpose appointments. Iride McCloy Meeting a local need The Support Hub officially opens its doors at 10.30am on Wednesday 21 February. Iride is a former Kapiti mayor and more recently has been []

06:12

Peters reconfirmed leader, NZ First deputy going to a vote "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Winston Peters has been reconfirmed as NZ First leader no one should be surprised by that but the partys MPs will vote for a deputy next week. Ron Mark is currently the deputy. NZH:  NZ First leader Winston Peters re-elected, deputy vote next week NZ First has joined the fray of leadership elections, []

06:01

National deputy going to a vote "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

As well as voting for a new leader next week the National caucus will also vote for a deputy. Paula Bennett is currently the deputy leader. Newsroom: National deputy leadership will also go to vote National MPs will vote on February 27 for the new leader, with party whip Jamie Lee Ross announcing there would []

04:30

Word of the day "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Pluvial  rainy; relating to of characterised by rainfall; a period marked by increased rainfall; marked or formed by an abundance orf rain; geologic change resulting from the action of rain.

04:17

Cyclone "Gita" to bring damaging winds and heavy rain to central New Zealand "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Cyclone Gita, currently located over the Tasman Sea, is forecast to track southeastwards and cross central New Zealand late Tuesday and early Wednesday, February 21, 2018 (local time). The passage of Gita is expected to bring a period of high-impact severe weather...... Read more

04:05

Newsflash on Gurunathan "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Kapiti Mayor files defence in defamation case Kapitis Mayor, K Gurunathan (Guru) has filed his defence in the High Court against a defamation case being brought by the owners of Waikanaes well-known macrocarpa hedge. He is being represented by Sarah Macky, a partner at Heaney and Partners out of Auckland. The Mayor  is facing the []

00:26

The War Against Indigenous Schools In the Philippines: Lumad Educators Solidarity Tour 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Dear Friends,

From March 19 until April 5th, Auckland Philippines Solidarity (APS), Philippines Solidarity Network of Aotearoa (PSNA), Migrante Aotearoa will be hosting a speaking tour of Lumad (Indigenous peoples) educators from Mindanao, Southern Philippines.

The tour is titled The War Against Indigenous (Lumad) Schools in the Philippines. In June last year, immediately following his State of the Nation Address and when confronted by thousands of indigenous activists, Philippine President Duterte threatened to have the military bomb the independent indigenous schools that had been established in the ancestral domains of the Lumad tribes. https://www. theguardian.com/world/2017/ jul/26/philippines-duterte- threatens-to-bomb-indigenous- schools

His threats are not hollow; Mindanao is currently under martial law and under the guise of counter insurgency and in the interests of big mining corporations, hundreds of military and para-military attacks against the schools have occurred. The attacks include military encampments within the schools, indiscriminate firing against schools, threats, harassment and intimidation of students and teachers, the destruction and divestment of school property, imprisonment of school leaders and even the killing of students and teachers. Thousands of students have been affected and several schools have been forced to close.

In response the Lumad communities launched the Save Our Schools (SOS) campaign and gained national attention after a notorious para-military group publicly executed a Lumad school director Emerito Samarca and two Lumad community leaders in September 2015. In support of the SOS campaign we are touring two Manobo Lumad Educators; Fritzi Junance Magbanua and Anthony Pele Navarro.

Fritzi Junance Magbunua is a Moro (Indigenous Muslim tribes) and Teduray (Lumad) educator. She coordinates the programmes and training of staff and faculty for 32 schools in Moro and Lumad communities for the Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc (MISFI) (https://misfi-phil.org). She previously served as a volunteer teacher for several years in Salupongan Ta Tanu Igkanugon Community (in Defense of Ancestral Land) Centers in the Taliangod Manobo Ancestral Domain.

Anthony Pele Navarro is the Executive Director of Salupongan International (http://salupongan.org/) an organisation dedicated to the empowerment of rural Lumad and Moro Communities in Southern Philippines. He is the international representative of the SOS campaign and a part-time teacher at the Community Technical College of Southern Mindanao.

...

00:00

Rural round-up "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Niche markets open up for farmers with good animal welfare and environmental records Pat Deavoll:

Merino farmers front-footing environmental and animal welfare standards are finding better paying niche markets opening up for them.

A property in the Ashburton Lakes area has secured a contract to sell wool direct to a major American retailer, said Rakaia Gorge runholder Willy Ensor.

I cant name the property yet, but one of the reasons they pulled it all together was because they had a very traceable animal welfare system and an audited farm environment plan. . .

Milton woolhandler claims Southern Shears title :

Milton woolhandler Cheri Peterson has become the latest addition to the ranks of Open-class winners by claiming the Southern Shears title in Gore.

Uniquely, all three in Fridays final were gunning for their first Open win in New Zealand, with the South Otago rookie winning by just over 15pts from runner-up South Island-based Foonie Waihape, from Gisborne, and third placegetter Candy Hiri, of Gore, who were separated by just 0.53pts.

While Waihape had the quicker time and both Waihape and Hiri had better board points, Peterson had the better fleece and oddments points, to make extended a unique record at Gore.. . 

Nutritional formula plant will put Gore on the map Sally Rae:

From bare farmland to a bustling construction site, the rural landscape of McNab, near Gore, has transformed remarkably over the past 18 months.

The population has been temporarily boosted through the day by about 350 people on-site duri...

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