Saturday, 28 February 2009




We received this from a young Ngai Tahu beneficiary today. We know this young man , he is not related and he comes from a well respected Ngai Tahu family. His thoughts echo those of many of the young ones who have contacted us.

As a proud young Ngai Tahu person, I am appalled by some of the Kaiwhakahaere's actions in recent years, culminating in the ruthless ousting of Wally Stone.

In my view, the common denominator in almost all 'controversial dealings' within TRONT for the last few years has been the unprincipled and unashamed note of self-interest in the decision making process between the Kaiwhakahaere and diverse others. These people have been entrusted with the responsibility of acting in the best interest of nearly forty-thousand people, they have however concentrated on their own agenda for the most part. Whether their motives lay in political power or fiscal gain, these aspects should never be allowed to interfere with the safeguarding of Ngai Tahu assets and Taonga, nor the wellbeing of the Ngai Tahu whanui.

I was disgusted when I read the Herald today and found out about the Kaiwhakahaere/ Deputy. Kaiwhakahaere's pay raise of 35% per annum, when they are actively seeking to cut costs in their services to the beneficiaries.

As one of many Ngai Tahu people being adversely affected by the recession, I find it insulting that our governors elect are lining there own pockets while leaving the rest of us 'out in the rain', so to speak.


Here is an interesting idea from Aussie. They are spending $13.8 million to deploy videoconferencing at 20 government sites. The motivation has come from the Aussie Govt's staggering $280mil air travel bill ( domestic only) Considering that it will be at discount rates its a big bill.

We think that the best gains out of this idea are in productivity. You waste about an hour give or take to get to and from the airport ( much more in Auckland ) and the same onthe way home and its about an hour to fly to most destinations - Conservatively thats three hours of lost time. In the case of Aucklanders way more.

So is this an idea that needs to be considered alonside the expansion of broadband ?

We have been involved in video conferencing and for many meetings its great. There are still times when you need face to face meetings but it does have a place.

So all you geeks and techies and economists - how does it rate as an idea and what are the up and down sides?

THE federal Government will deploy Cisco videoconferencing systems across 20 government sites in an effort to drastically reduce its $280 million domestic airfare bill.

The contract, which will run for four years at a cost of $13.8 million, will be managed by Telstra and will run on its Next IP network.

Mr Tanner said the deployment will help the Government reduce the cost of travel, improve productivity and lower the impact of carbon emissions.

It is unclear how much the Government will save with the Cisco TelePresence system but Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner has in the past indicated that he wants to slash at least $15 million from the bill.

“From a finance minister point of view the most important issue is saving money. We currently spend about $280 million a year on domestic airfares across government,” Mr Tanner said.

“The savings we make on airfares alone will pay for this system.”

Mr Tanner is also hoping the roll-out will help retain staff.

“I’m conscience that a lot of people tend to move away from very senior positions both in the public and private sector because of the burden of travel. This will enable us to get better value from people and achieve a better work life balance.”

Mr Tanner said there were robust security measures to make sure sensitive government meetings would not be breached.

“We have a secure phone system that we currently use and TelePresence is at least as secure as that,” he said.


This story in the Herald about Ngai Tahu here is absolutely appalling - for three reasons.

The first reason is that Ngai Tahu chief Mark Solomon pulls in about $200 thousand dollars a year - his deputy Donald Crouch gets a fair wack as well- combined about $390 thousand between them. While all around them New Zealanders are standing up and showing leadership and financial prudence in the face of an economic tsunami, they voted them selves another slice of the Ngai Tahu financial pie. Pure greed.

The second reason is that they are basing their financial future and security on more settlements from the crown.

They have had 10 years to lay the foundation for a secure future for Ngai Tahu. It appears our tribe led by Mark Solomon is still in grievance mode. This, more than his involvement in the ousting of Wally Stone, or his temerity at giving himself a pay increase when the people he serves are asked to tighten their belts, is the reason he should go.

The third reason is Mark is also presiding over an organisation that can find less that 1% savings while government departments are being asked to prune at least 10% percent from their budgets.

If Ngai Tahu beneficiaries want a sound future for their mokopuna then the woolly thinking, lack of financial acumen and the selfish actions of those led by Mark will not deliver it.

What Ngai Tahu does need is a leader who has vision and forsight, who leads by example.

We remember when over ten years ago the tribe was dumbfounded and disgusted when the media revealed the amount that Sir Tipene was paid. He was angry but the tribe was angrier and it is time once more for beneficiaries to show their displeasure and ask for the resignation of Mark Solomon and those who do his bidding.

Ngai Tahu bosses take pay rises amid cost-cutting

By Yvonne Tahana

Leaders of one of the country's richest iwi have taken a huge pay increase while asking the tribe to cut costs.

Mark Solomon, kaiwhakahaere (chairman) of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, his deputy Donald Couch and their assistant are in line to receive $386,885 between them this financial year, 35 per cent more than last year.

The Weekend Herald understands the runanga - the South Island tribe's governing body - asked its office in December to assess how much money it could save this financial year. The office reported it could cut $262,000 from its $24 million budget.

Robin Wybrow, a Ngai Tahu leader from Wairewa runanga, is angry he has had to find out about the increase through the media. He said it was "appalling" that the smaller runanga who made up Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu were never consulted.

"I'm staggered. It's hard to justify at any time but it's harder to justify in the present financial environment. Many Ngai Tahu are going to be facing job losses, not pay increases. It shows a lack of sensitivity to iwi members who are going to be suffering."

While other large iwi such as Tainui state in their annual reports how much their leaders receive, Ngai Tahu, which is worth $600 million, does not. Pay structure - and who is getting what proportion of the total sum - is also not mentioned.

Another Ngai Tahu leader said the pay increase was sickening. "Are they embarrassed to have their salaries public? Of course they are - it's obscene."

Last night, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu would not comment.

The spending review does not take into account the tribe's $52 million investment in its cultural centre, The House of Tahu.

Ousted Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation chairman Wally Stone believes the centre is an investment that is not in the tribe's best interests, given the economic outlook.

The tribe's executive leadership is banking on "significant" sums from further Treaty settlements to guarantee a strong financial future for Ngai Tahu.

Friday, 27 February 2009


Gravitas is one of our favourite wines. It is a winery that has a interesting story here. They are on the search for the fifth piece of heaven. It is a wonderful concept . - only the best - we like that. We think the fifth piece of heaven will be Southern Glory Oysters

Anyway we had a great lunch with some good mates at Arbitrageur today. The Gravitas Pinot Nior from Marborough was a definite hit. We also had some Nanny Goat Pinot Noir from Central
It too was a good drop but didn't have the complexity of the Gravitas.


We have been involved , one way or another in enough talk fests to sink a Cook Strait Ferry.

So despite staying positive we did harbour a few niggling doubts about the Job summit.
However we think some really good stuff has come out of it-
Bollard and English made it clear how bad things are. The problem is 390 time the size of the NZ economy.

And there was some very cool off the wall stuff. Weirdly we like the bike track idea. Creating a Bike track from one end of the country to the other But then with ma and pa resting up in Alexandra, we have first hand knowledge of the micro economy that surround the Rail Trail bike way.

We reckon little communities along the way can replicate the Central Otago Rail Trail. And we wonder if it can be linked to any projects increasing the reach of broadband.

So we quite like that idea - despite the fact that bike seats are swallowed whole by BB's ample derriere and are never seen again, biking is a good thing.

And we have already blogged extensively on four day working weeks. So the nine day fortnight gets a tick.

But the best part of the summit is that the economic crisis is a bit of a slow moving Tsunami and we have a bit of time ( not a lot but a wee bit ,) so the Summit has been a good starting point to get our economic shit together.
Everyone needs to play their part and the public service is no exception.
We think that the best thing the bureaucray can do is unravel all the regs and rules that stifle business and everyday life and quick smart. However we had heard that work is well underway on such stuff. We will report when we know more.

And for the round up.

  • We have heard that four Labour backbenchers would have bailed from Parliament but the tight job market is holding them back.
  • Should the poultry and seafood industries be grumpy that only beef sammies were served at the Job Summit?
  • Will Dockside get a full house for the annual Bluff Oyster Lunch next week?
  • What is the exciting new fishery the Seafood industry is exploring that will have foodies in ecstacy?
  • Is there really a big problem with the Marlborough Blue Cod fishery?
  • And Twits and Tweeters (Forest and Bird) is is sealing their reputation by carrying out a weird protest next week. We hear they will get a chilly reception.


Chris Finlayson
Bill English
and Pita Sharples will all be in attendance at Ngai Tahu's skite fest at Parliament of March 3rd .


We have had a steady stream of emails and phone calls re the conflicts within Ngai Tahu.

This is a email from one eloquent Ngai Tahu Beneficiary

How many more times is there going to be conflict at Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu where all the blame for everything is placed on 'the few' when the one common denominator is the Kaiwhakahaere?

There was conflict with the previous CEO, conflict with Dr Te Maire Tau, dissatisfaction with his performance by a number of the elected representatives over several years. The one constant: Mark Solomon.

He speaks often about being a servant of the people but he is enjoying a lifestyle beyond the imagination of most of the iwi.

He is one of 18 charged with the prudent management of our Post Settlement Assets, yet he has had Wally Stone peremptorily dismissed after Wally stepped up to the plate to revitalise Ngāi Tahu Holding Corp post Dr Pratt's departure. Mr Solomon played a role in that debacle too.

Much has been achieved under Mr Stone's humble yet steadying influence, not only in the financial affairs but also in the way NTHC interact with the owners, the iwi.

Perhaps Mr Stone's biggest sin is how well regarded he is by the people. Possibly Mr Solomon perceives him as a threat. If so, perhaps Kaikoura should consider which of their 'sons' is better equipped to represent them at the table of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

I know who would get my vote.

Te Ao Hikuraki


This article was published by David Ware the Managing Director of Teamtalk - a listed Telco that also owns CityLink and Araneo. It sets out the possibilities of Broadband and the pitfalls of some of the options and gives a glimpse of the future.

Sick of hearing about the government’s broadband strategy yet? Well you had better brace yourself because there is a lot more to come. Given that there is one and a half billion dollars of our money up for grabs and the possibility that the Telecommunications industry is going to be stood on its head we shouldn’t be surprised that every lobbyist, every so-called industry expert and every economist worth their salt is coming up with an opinion. It’s a feeding frenzy out there with the telecommunications companies throwing money at these bottom feeders like drunken sailors on shore leave.

The problem is that this stuff really matters. If the government gets its right it will do far more for our economy than all the investments in roads and other infrastructure put together. If they screw up, well they might as well have flushed the $1.5 billion down the toilet.

The broadband zealots will have us believe that putting broadband everywhere will transform our economy, we’ll fly back up the OECD league table and we will all live happily ever after. They tell us we’ll be working in a weightless economy producing software and ‘content’ (to you and me that means making movies, video games and the like). And we will all be video conferencing al the time They quite correctly point to countries like Korea where this transformation has happened.

In the opposing corner you’ll hear luddites shouting that the only thing that this investment will do is make it easier for folks to download pornography.

If the government gets it right then the reality will be somewhere in between. If we screw up the luddites will have the last laugh and will be saying “I told you so”.

So lets take a look at some of the benefits that we can reasonably expect from this investment..

Peter Jackson spent a small fortune getting super high speed Broadband out to his Miramar campus. Its how he links Miramar with Hollywood and it makes it that much easier for him to make his make movies here. Now just imagine if everyone involved in the video production businesses could have access to similar services? The dream that our ad agencies have of producing television commercials for Singapore for example would become a reality. There’s no question that this industry, and web design etc would get a massive boost. The benefits will extend to all sorts of business that use the internet – and unless your are involved you’d be amazed at how much business is dependent on the internet these days.

But what’s in it for the rest of us other than faster access to Trade me?

In the US President Obama wants to make US healthcare more efficient by computerising all health records – we can’t even begin to think about getting these benefits until we’ve got this broadband stuff sorted.

Properly implemented this broadband investment will drive down all telecommunications costs. It’s not just your internet charges that will go down. Cell phone networks for example are built on top of broadband so lower cost broadband will lead to lower cost mobile calls.

The impact on how we educate our kids could be massive. Get it wrong and we could be consigning our economy to a rural backwater.

So this is a big challenge for our government and one they’ve got to get right. Unfortunately its not just a question of deciding where to invest the money. There is a whole bunch of regulatory stuff that needs to sorted at the same time.

The first decision the government will be making is should they invest with the incumbent telecommunications companies or do they look elsewhere. An investment in Telecom for example is the fastest way to get broadband out there but it would do little for price and nothing for innovation. Its simply locking in the status quo and would probably harm us all in the long term.

But if you’re not going with the major operators where do you turn? This stuff isn’t simple, its not like running a bit of water pipe or power cable? Can the small broadband operators be trusted with such a big investment?

The previous government was keen for local government to take a big role in all of this. But not all councils are renowned for their commercial acumen and their ability to innovate and move fast; traits that are essential in broadband operators.

Getting the regulatory scene correct is absolutely vital. Everyone agrees that just tossing in $1.5 billion isn’t enough to make this happen by itself, so the government also needs to clean up the regulatory environment. For example its simply to expensive to dig up every street in the country so accommodations may need to be made with the existing utilities so that operators can run their cables through the pipes that are already in the ground. To date the incumbent telco’s have done a pretty good job of ensuring that the myriad of little regulations that make the telecommunications industry tick are firmly weighted in their favour. Making changes in this area isn’t going to be easy.

So how is the government going so far? Well the good new is that they haven’t tried to shoot from the hip and rush this one. They’ve given the role to Steven Joyce - one of the most commercially savvy ministers we’ve got - and Bill English who is as pragmatic as you can get, and they’ve been doing a lot of listening and little talking. So far so good.

At $1.5 billion, you’ll have to agree its one hell of a role of the dice. And given the importance of this stuff it really is something that everyone needs to get to grips with. This stuff is way to important to be left to the geeks and the spin doctors.

Thursday, 26 February 2009


Mark Solomon the annointed leader of Ngai Tahu has sent out this very threatening missive to the people he serves.

It misses the point. What we are concerned about is his integrity. The fundemental issues is: Did he lie about the existence of the paper designed to orchestrate the dismissal of Wally Stone? click here for the background

If he did then the Whanui can no longer trust him and he must go. In many ways his fate rests with his noble runanga, Kaikoura. We think that like the Whales they protect, the people of Kaikoura are strong. They will not buckle in the face of threats and they will seek the truth.

Here is what Mark has sent to us. We think it is not becoming of a leader as it is threatening, contradictory and not coherent but we will not bow in the face of threats. We say to you Mark - Your people want to know the truth. Face the people , tell them the truth. You are their servant. Our comments are in red.

I am writing to all Representatives, Alternates and Papatipu Rūnanga on a matter of some importance. As you are all no doubt aware, following the decision of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu at the weekend to remove Wally Stone as Chair and director of NTHC a small number of Rūnanga chairs have chosen to take the internal business of Te Rūnanga to the media.

Sorry Mark you are wrong - some of those who have always supported you now harbour doubt

In my view, these are matters for the marae not the media. However, while I strongly disagree with their whakaaro and the forum they have chosen, they do have a right to voice their own views on this matter.

Yes we do Mark and when we feel that our voices cannot be heard at the table what other avenues do we have?

That said, the leaking to the media of the confidential internal memorandum written by Tony Gray is in another category. The public release of contents of the memorandum have the potential to irreparably damage the reputation of not only Wally Stone and the NTHC Board members, but also senior staff of NTHC. I am aware that the release of this internal memorandum has caused deep personal distress to some of the individuals concerned and to their families.

All we want to know is, who ordered the creation of the paper that was to outline the dismissal process for Wally Stone. Remember you are ultimately responsible for the action of Te Runanga O Ngai Tahu

On behalf of Te Rūnanga I wish to make it clear that the release of this memorandum, firstly to Te Rūnanga Representatives and then to the media cannot be condoned at any level. These are the actions of a few thoughtless and irresponsible individuals who are seeking to cause harm to the reputation of both Te Rūnanga and NTHC for personal and political reasons.

Many people are grieving, their actions are considered. They simply cannot let this rest without some measure of justice.

Those individuals should not remain anonymous. They should have the courage to come forward and to apologise for the distress and any reputational damage they have caused. It goes without saying that these actions are totally inconsistent with the fundamental duty of each Representative to act in the best interests of Ngāi Tahu Whānui. Therefore, if any existing Te Rūnanga Representatives have been involved in any way with the leaking of this memorandum to the media they should resign immediately.

This is your view as the servant of your people. The people who have given light to this issue do so because they believe that the only way for it to be settled is to take it from the Table and let the people they represent know what has happened.

I repeat the offer which was made in a previous e-mail - if any rūnanga wishes to discuss this or any other matter kanohi ki te kanohi then I am more than happy to do so. As we know, information in the media can be presented in a manner that stretches or distorts the truth. One example of this is that the vote taken was 11 in support of the removal of Wally and 7 against. In fact the vote was 11 for, 2 abstentions, 2 against and 3 absent. Te Rūnanga is confident that it has taken the right decision for the right reasons and that the Te Rūnanga Group is well placed to meet the challenges which lay ahead of us all.

If that was the case then the paper outlining the dismissal of Wally Stone should never have been written.

In the meantime, for those individuals who do feel obliged to continue to engage with the media either in person or behind the scenes, I urge you to carefully consider the consequences for Ngāi Tahu Whānui, your Papatipu Rūnanga and the reputation of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

Do not threaten us. We will not cower in the shadows. We will continue to see this issue debated in the light of day. That way we know we are safe.


We keep a close eye on who is watching us and today we were fascinated to find  that we are being tracked by Media Monitors. Whale Oil has blogged on the fact he is being monitored by Chongs. We are now being recognised as  a legitimate part of the media landscape. Coooool...


Whale Oil often has us laughing out loud - he adds spice to some fairly meaty issues and this morning is no exception. Today his target is Kordia - the old Broadcasting Communications Ltd.
Now we have been doing a bit of delving into the performance of the SOE's, the government owned companies that often have some interesting monopolies. Some are ready for a bit of pruning.
Kordia is no exception. So its looks like some of the bloggers are going to put the heat on underperforming SOE's.
Kordias NPAT was $838k - a wee bit less that their expected $12mil and a lot less than the previous years $14mil.

Whale has made an excellent start.

Expect more to come.

Read here for the sad tale of a company delivering up a dead bird

UPDATE: NBR has just posted a story on the fact that Joyce wont be making an announcement on the broadband funding today as tipped by the Herald.
It mentions that Kordia is looking for a handout though - We suppose its expected when they are a bit short of the readies.


We were delighted with the Million Dollar catch programme last night. BB's son used to crew on the X-S. and BB has been on boats in most of the places that were screened last night. Vaughn Fisher is my cousin and a tough but good bastard. Johnny Hawkeless used to crew for my father. And Rewi Bull is part of one of the biggest muttonbirding families of the south and his crew Storm is the son of another one of my cousins and a hellava cool kid.

So we thought that last night New Zealand got a glimpse of just what sort of crap these men work in. Its the toughest place to fish in New Zealand apart from perhaps the Chathams.

We liked that there is actually a story emerging and there are 10 episodes to go. While Vaughn and Johnny own their quota, Rewi does not. He has a tough row to hoe to make a buck. So the programme has featured a good spread of the types of fishermen the Southern Rock Lobster Fleet is made up of.

Ayway you can watch the programme here


We were listening as we always do, to the dulcet tones of Sean Plunket on Morning report when he previewed a story on clothing manufacturer Davey Hughes of Swazi this morning. BB's son wears a bit of Swazi. Helicopter pilots, hunters, weekend warriors fishermen and farmers and muttonbirders swear by its sturdiness and fit. Hughes is one person we would like to meet one day. He has long long blond locks and a Grizzly Adams beard. He often appears incongruous as he dines with his wife Maggie in some of Wellington's better restaurants or as he pours over papers in the Koru Lounge. He is the thinking women's crumpet.

We digress......

Anyway his firm is a New Zealand success story and he has just lost nearly $2million in contracts he has had with Defence. That's about 15 - 20% percent of his business so its fair to assume that there will be layoffs.

There are trade issues and third party supply agreements here at play.

Anyway Hughes admits that the issue is not a simple one. But he is rocked by the irony that on the eve of the Job Summit the government delivers on one hand while on the other hand it taketh away.

Anyway this case, because it is an iconic company in this part of the world, will undoubtedly be a talking point at the Summit tomorrow.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009


Its on tonite - TV3 7.30 ... Life on the high seas in the deep south.


I am an advocate of good debate and good debate requires the airing of both sides of any argument.

Now there is a blog that is running a counter line to Roarprawn, about just what is wrong with Ngai Tahu.

It is called Ngai Tahu Shareholders and its penned by Richard Parata. Click Here for the link

I don't agree with much of what Richard says but I believe that for Ngai Tahu to make the right decisions that they need to see all facts and opinions.

Our people need to examine all the information they can get and frankly I have never been a fan of the way TRONT, the governing board has kept most of the information at the table. It is not healthy and has bred the mistrust we see in play now.

I remain disgusted at what has transpired and it is because of the extremely high regard that Wally is held in Wellingtons business and political circles. The same cannot be said for Mark.

Great leaders know that when they do not have the trust and respect of the people then their time has passed.

I think that time has come for Mark. Richard Parata has a different view.

Richard does however point to a high level of dysfunctionality at the top level. He is right and the only way that is going to be put right is for the leader to step aside. Solomon cannot look back on the last few years with any measure of pride. There are many many good people who work tirelessly for Ngai Tahu and they simply deserve a better leader.


Kia Ora te Whanui o Ngai Tahu

This is an entry on the Hillary Institute website -

Can anyone spot the bovine tutae?


NZ Board:

Anake Goodall

Anake Goodall is of Ngāi Tahu (indigenous Māori) descent and is currently the COO of Te Runanga O Ngai Tahu, the organisation that services the tribe’s statutory rights and ensures that the benefits of the Settlement grow for future generations. He has diverse management experience from careers as a labour union delegate, a plant nurseryman, the manager of the Ngāi Tahu’s historical settlement process, and as an independent consultant to a range of clients including the New Zealand government and a number of Māori tribes.

He is particularly interested in the areas of change management and capacity building, strategic planning and organisational development, complex negotiations, sustainable natural resource utilisation, environmental protection and enhancement, and international development issues.

Anake has an MBA, and a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard’s John F Kennedy School of Government. He is also a New Zealand Harkness Fellow.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009


We watched Mark Solomon on Maori Television tonight, he looked arrogant, beaten and angry. Not the qualities needed in a leader - in contrast accolades were piled at the feet of Wally Stone.

The Solomons are one of the great and good families of Ngai Tahu but blood often thins with successive generations.

We will continue to report on events as they unfold.


Maori Television Tonight 7.30, looks at the dismissal of Wally Stone from Ngai Tahu.


So the Greens are looking for a new leader - now the one with the glasses is Metiria Turei but who is the young blonde chick on the left? Where is Sue Bradford?
Are we missing something?


Wow the Nats are on a bloody roll. Gerry is already banging together the heads of the power industry players.
And it looks like he is going to give the Electricity Commission the flick as well. Yay. Word around the traps is that the Commerce Commission report will show there is some shonky stuff happening in kilowatt land.

Good stuff Gerry. Big boy , big ideas and big balls - just what we and my mate need.


A mate of mine has been stricken by the Big C. She has breast cancer and is undergoing radiotherapy. Now that is a serious bummer . The good news is that is a form that responds well to treatement. Anyway the best thing is that she has a new man in her life and has wonderful kids. She is a super mum. she holds down a fairly weighty job in a high powered male centric industry. Anyway her partner and her wisely decided to put their money in the bank and rent for a while. So they have rented a fairly nice home in a very good street in Karori. They moved in a couple of weeks ago. Now she had a particularly awful dose of radiotherapy the other day and it was all she could do to get home without chucking up. She gets to her new home - and tries to open the electric gate. It wont work. So she has to walk round the block to get in the back way. She gets into her house to find the power is off.

She rings Genesis - they visited they said and it looked like no-one was living there - She wondered if they tripped over the guinea pig and the bikes on the way in or if they noticed her very nice furniture in her spacious lounge. Well the call centre person said she wasn't sure. Anyway, my mate says she is has had no correspondence from the power company apart from a bill that was not overdue. She asks them if they can put the power back on - Sure they say but someone will have to be there to let the power people in. Well thats a bit hard says my mate - the electric gate wont open......

so weirdly they sent a bill
but there was no written notice of disconnection
and their only excuse was disconnections didnt talk to connections.

Anyway she is wondering just what procedures Genesis goes through before they cut off the power. As she says she isnt dying ( we wont let her,) but it was all a bit much.
She wonders if she was on life support just how things would have panned out?


Ngai Tahu is showcasing its leadership to the new government at a special function at parliament on the 3rd of March. We have two questions.
  • What leadership?
  • Has Sir Tipene been invited?


We have just perused the list of invitees. Its interesting. The really interesting thing is that both Mark Solomon and Wally Stone are attending. We know who will have all the intelligent ideas - and its not Mark.


Word around the traps is that Wally is being head hunted as we speak for various boards and positions. Sad but the reality is that Ngai Tahu's loss will be the rest of New Zealands gain.
We would expect that National makes good use of him.


It is time for the titular head of Ngai Tahu to show the wisdom of his namesake and resign. Mark Solomon has fallen well short fo the conduct that we as a tribe expect from our leader. He has shown he is small minded, argueably vindictive and lacking in the financial nous needed to keep the assets of our people safe. His integrity also faces scrutiny. The Christchurch Press today reveals the paper that was written detailing the reasons and the process for Stones removal.

What the Press does not reveal is that Stone at the meeting asked if a paper had been written that outlined his dismissal. Solomon denied its existence. Stone asked again, and again Solomon denied any paper existed. Then to the shock and dismay of the runanga members Stone produced the paper that damned him. The meeting ended in disarray and while Solomon set about trying to convince Stone to resign - he wouldn't, so Solomon was forced to oust him that afternoon and dress it up as a " change of direction".

Some runanga are fearful that the way the ousting was carried out will also open up the tribe to a lengthy court battle. We think their fears are well grounded.

Last night the calls kept coming. Stone is hugely regarded in Wellington business and government circles. Such is his mana that his tenure on some boards is seen as pivotal to their success.

Solomon has presided over the most controversial time in Ngai Tahu's history since it received its settlement in the late 1990s. He was anointed by Sir Tipene O'Regan. It was felt that his good looks and his whakapapa and quiet manner would make him the ideal face for the iwi. His ego has grown over the years but the intellect remains static. He does not display the skills of chairmanship that are needed to give fire and strength and trust to the team around him.
When his own runanga is angry and dismayed at his decision then it is time for him to be removed. We hope that this latest debacle unites the iwi to putting pressure on Solomon to oust him and replace him with a real leader who will build a strong committed and united team that will take Ngai Tahu through the tough economic times ahead and on into a better future.

Monday, 23 February 2009


We are back to cheerleading for National - the silly copyright law is being delayed . Well done Minister Finlayson! Well done us.....


Today we fear for our people. Ngai Tahu is in turmoil. Our phone has been ringing hot from people within the tribe and from those who have worked alongside Wally Stone who heads the tribes commercial arm known as Ngai Tahu Holdings.

Wally was ousted over the weekend by Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu board the tribes governing body. The vote was 11- 7 by the runanga ( regional councils) representatives to the Board. The tribe has been been split for sometime over issues of financial prudence and governance. Essentially, some at the "Table," as the Board is known, want a greater say in the running of the Ngai Tahu Holdings - the tribes commercial holding tank.

The 11 members of the board who voted to oust Wally Stone, nationally regarded as one of our finest entrepreneurs who also commanded wide respect for his financial management, have also voted in principal to spend $52 million on the House of Tahu - a glorified concrete monument to the extreme egos that dominate the " Table."

In the days coming we will reveal the way that the ousting was carried out - it was neither honourable or just. Integrity and honesty were the first victims. The Kaikoura runanga chairman is reported as being gobsmacked. Their representative at the table is chair Mark Solomon. So the actions of the tribal board members is at odds with their own people.

It is a travesty that Ngai Tahu, a tribe that has won national and international acclaim for its growth of assets and stewardship of social programmes, that have made a real difference to so many rank and file iwi members, is now riven by the soul consuming desire by some to create a concrete legacy in the commercial jungle of Christchurch. At issue is the need to borrow millions to complete the House of Tahu. At a time when leadership is required and caution should prevail, Ngai Tahu's anointed ones have been found wanting.

Last year the tribe came extraordinarily close to ripping itself apart over similar issues of financial prudence and governance. In the next few days, we think that this issue will be a touch paper for the tribe. What is needed is all Ngai Tahu to stand up and say no. They have the power to do that via their runanga.

The current so called "leaders" of the tribe should hang their heads in shame that a good man and a brave man has been cast a side in a sad, sad egoistic show of might. What those "leaders" have proved is that the tribe is in sore need of men and women who make decisions that are in the best interests, not of themselves but of the people they serve.

It is a day of great mateatea for our people. ( embarrassment and disgrace) but it must not go unchallenged.

Sunday, 22 February 2009


Today we join the blackout. sorry folks but the silly silly law means that you are guilty on being accused of breaching copyright. We like Home paddock are known to be cheerleaders for the Nats but this one has got us stumped. And she has a few words to say to the country's leaders. We have not seen any coherent response from them on this issue either. Its the only wrong step we have seen them make. That makes us grumpy. So today we will post nothing. See u Tuesday.

Go here New Zealand's new Copyright Law presumes 'Guilt Upon Accusation' and will Cut Off Internet Connections without a trial. is against this unjust law - help us

to find out more.


It looks like we are moving to a free trade deal with India. Thats excellent news - many New Zealanders are un aware of the size and scope of this huge market. Federated Farmers is also ecstatic about the news.

Saturday, 21 February 2009


Today we posted our 1000th post. that's a thousand vignettes, essays, commentary, breaking news, insights, satire, piss taking, pictures, humour , outrage and a few facts for good measure.

We have had 85,585 visitors since September 7 2008. We also had 4500 logged on another counter prior to that and the first two weeks we had no counter so we are heading close to the 100,000 visitors but the Sitemeter of 85,585 is our official count.

Most popular posts have been Stephen Jennings, Anything on Winston, brothels, rugby, million Dollar catch, Fonterra, Shane Jones and Bill Liu, and scampi. And spies, we have quite a few people who are keen to hear about spies.

We started on the 11 of August. with this
Well this is all a bit new

- I've been posting for a while but its time to unleash my limited wit and wisdom on the world. Blogging offers such a great intellectual bonfire on which to burn our vanities

I was a journalist - not a bad one I suppose and I know i still think like one. and thats an interesting point cos so many of todays journos dont think like journalists but many bloggers do so that why I think I am comfortable opining in this ether.

I'm in PR - although I hate that term. We do communications - good, bad, simple or sophisticated that is all it really is.

I love politics and I am def right of centre but the National party does piss me off sometime.

I am foodie and a very committed militant carnivore.

Im not all that well connected but I do know the odd person who is .

Anyway what is piqueing my interest is the winston dramas. He is the spot that needs outed.

So with this blog I do pledge info on food - especially how to cook raw prawns,

info on wellington gossip, and well a well placed comment on anything that rocks my dinghy.

So thats how it started. Its been fun. We helped get rid of Winston, got addicted to blogging, met some amazing new people with common interests. And we plan to continue on. Maybe get a little bigger and we will never lose our sense of humour, the journalists need to know and the love of new information and the weird and insatiable desire to tell someone else what we know and think. And thanks to all those who have helped on the way, Whetu Chini, The Rugby prawn, the dining prawn, the hairy oyster, spaz, big oil, the irish lass,
the Tazzy devil, bob from the Bluff, steamy boy and many many others.
Oh and VRWC - the best show in town.


Bruce Sheppard has done a very good piece analysing whats up at Fonterra.

It's Here and its well worth a read

So what is the real picture of Fonterras finances , and just what does it mean for New Zealand?


Fonterra has been facing an issue over posssible melamine contamination in NZ milk. Food Safety has given them the all clear. Phew.

Friday, 20 February 2009


the New York Post has taken a hammering over this cartoon which was widly felt to imply that Obama was a monkey and that it was racist. They have apologised.

So whats the NZ take ?


We have been getting such a torrent of concern about Mark Weldon chairing the Job summit that we think there will be even more stomping and cussing when people see that Fisher and Paykel's boss is chairing one of the sessions.


Sala Sala is an exceptional japanese restaurant in Christchurch. We went there with the Wanaka Fishermen. Lovely sashimi and all went well with a nice bottle of Church Road Pinot Gris. We had the most succulent lamb for main. We highly recommend it.

One of the new sensations in the foody scene is Southern Glory Oysters. grown in the beautiful waters of Paterson Inlet on Stewart Island. They are huge. While not yet in huge quantities the owners expect to be producing a million a year in three years time. They are pricey $5 an oyster but we think that they will become legend. We have it on good authority that Simon Gault of Euro and Nourish Group Fame is also impressed with the same company's fabulous mussels.

We were interested to see the public face of TVNZ as it scambled to cover its arse over the fact that it informed staff that the razor gang was in the green room. We led with the story with NBR second out of the gate and the Herald following soon after. Interestingly TVNZ'a own website has the story that closely resembles the info given to us by a staffer.

In a message to staff, CEO Rick Ellis says its budget reduction may involve job cuts but this will not be decided until after the executive team works with 50 senior staff to identify all options.

This will take place over the next few weeks.

Which contrasts to what NBR dragged out of them

"Over the next couple of weeks, 50 senior managers will be working with Rick and going over all the options. Leaving the staffing levels alone is a priority but we have to acknowledge that they may not be unavoidable."
And for those who hate / love the gossip...

Is Parekura sick of politics ? Is that why he is dusting off his CV?

Which SOE could be in for some carving up and selling off?

Have we heard the full story on ACC yet?

Is it true that Maryann Street and her gal pal Kathryn Street are known as the intersection?


Barry Matthews reckons he's done an ok job and he wants to stay on and see Corrections through the changes it needs to make. He reckons that a lack of resources were the cause of the problems. That maybe true. If the mistakes that led to parole cock ups were that bad he had a moral duty to stand up and tell the country that a lack of resources was putting the community at risk. He didn't. He sucked up to the last administration and now he is sucking up to this one. ...

What a silly weak old duffer. Time to go.


Courtesy of the Govt, we stayed at the Copthorne Central last night. It was crap - You need to take out a mortgage to use the broadband. The bath hadn't been cleaned properly, It was hot and it was generally shabby the soap shelf was hanging off the wall. Now if it was $99 a night I wouldn't complain but it was $140 a night and $30 for a cooked breakfast which was frankly appalling. The bacon was wet, the eggs hard and the hash browns as limp as an 80 year old. To add to the misery we forgot our shampoo and conditioner and had to use that vile paint stripper they give you in in a bottle called conditioning shampoo. So now we are sitting in the ChCh Koru lounge with Phyllis Diller hair.

Oh and I pay for my Koruclub membership from my own pocket.

It's time that the government stopped using this chain and looked for better value accommodation.
Or negotiated a better price. We are a fan of motorlodges and motels. We think that the government should become a fan of them as well.


Staff at TVNZ are reeling this morning after being informed that the budget axe is about to fall and its expected $25million will be cut . Staff have been told that jobs will go.

NBR now has the full story here


Mattthew Hooton's company Exceltium has some seriously big clients and one of the smartest teams in PR/Government Relations sector. So it is no surprise that he has published a paper in his company newsletter which examines New Zealands woeful record on extinguising property rights via a raft of decisions made under Labour.

The solution, the authors say is to insert property rights into a Bill of Rights.
Here's an excerpt from Exceltiums client newsletter.

This edition highlights a paper being published today by Professor Lewis Evans and Professor Neil Quigley of the Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation at Victoria University of Wellington, along with NERA Economic Consulting, entitled “Protection of Private Property Rights and Just Compensation: An Economic Analysis of the Most Fundamental Human Right Not Provided in New Zealand”.

The paper compares New Zealand’s record on human rights with the rest of the OECD; finds our record to be among the worst in the developed world; details the economic harm being done to all New Zealanders as a result; and proposes a legislative solution involving an amendment to the Bill of Rights Act to ensure a canary in the mine exists to alert the public if and when future parliaments seek to confiscate property rights without compensation.

Case studies of the harm done by the current lack of protection of property rights are outlined, including:

· the confiscation of the value of crown pastoral leases

· the destruction of Maori land value by Crown pre-emption rights

· the nationalisation of petroleum

· the confiscation of the foreshore and seabed

· the destruction of value of pre-1990 forests under the Emissions Trading Scheme

· the attack on the value of shares in Auckland International Airport Ltd

The paper and newsletter are being published in advance of next week’s Jobs Summit. Simply put, they demonstrate that if the new Government moves to protect property rights, there will be more jobs in our economy than otherwise. We expect the paper to attract significant interest from the new Government, including the Maori Party; the Human Rights Commission; and business groups including Business New Zealand, Federated Farmers and the Wellington Chamber of Commerce.

The full paper can be found at and it was also previewed on page six of today’s National Business Review.

We think it should provide some gravitas to the Job summit. We had feared that it would be a once over lightly, but with this sort of thinking going into the mix, some inspirational ideas from Maori, a proposal to use some of the dead millions sitting the Maori Trustee, it could well come up with some innovative solutions.

We were also bemused to think that Labour was under the impression that they should be invited - considering the fact that all they have proved is they can turn a good money into no money - its a bit rich..