Thursday, 31 December 2009
Kiwiblog's, fine author Farrar came a calling over Xmas and supped and ate for the day with friends and family. He has exposed some interesting myths on BustedBlonde here
And he appeared to enjoy the action at the Rangitumau Lilliputian aerodrome.
However is is much more of a crackberry head than BB as this picture shows!
However, he got one thing wrong.. The lamb he ate had been killed a couple of days prior. The one that was slaughtered while he was with us, ( and he didn't look) was destined for the son and heir.
Son learned from his grandfather how to kill and dress the carcass which was hung high in the tree overnight to harden up.
Farrar was good company and we did a bit of plotting and planning for 2010. So watch this space.
We were delighted that our occasional lunch mate and wise counsel Ian Templeton has been made a Companion. We think that Ian is a very fine companion and that it is a very well deserved honour.
Templeton has seen out a few decades in the Press Gallery and he is still considered to be one of the finest journalists ever to have plied his craft in the hallowed halls of power. His knowledge and ability to gain the trust of politicians has made him a powerful figure on The Hill.
He is a gentleman to a fault and delightfully, mischief still sparkles bright in the eyes of the most senior of press gallery journalists as he and our monthly lunch mates consider the politics of the day and yesteryear.
Tuesday, 29 December 2009
We have stolen this from Bastable... It has huge resonance as we gnaw our way through a lamb killed two days before Xmas and some venison from the inlaws and some crayfish as well..
This has been the Xmas of good food. We have made a Xmas cake , xmas mince pies, strawberry and mixed berry conserve and the garden has delivered zucchini, spring onions, rhubarb, broccoli, and numerous herbs.. and we will be doing a spot of eeling in the next couple of days in amongst bailing some hay...
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
Zeus has been busy.. He's been doing a bit of the canine Wheres Wally... Here is his latest pic as he gives John Key a bit of a hand with some key messages.
However, we have to say that Zeus does not believe in Climate Change. He eats people who do and then he farts.. In fact Zeus is a dog of few barks but many farts and he dribbles like a cougar in an All Black Changing room.
Zeus will pop up all over the place in the next few weeks.
We reckoned that Trevor Mallard showed an unatural interest in Cactus Kate and we pondered on the possibilities of the Labours wild boy with the Right Wing Hong Kong Hellion.
Then Cactus goes and falls at the feet of Labour, claiming Red Alert to the best in the NZ political blogosphere..
So it appears the Cactus Kate - Trevor Mallard mutual appreciation society is alive and well.
Monday, 21 December 2009
For our blogging mates
For Cactus - a stunning looking rich as bloke who doesn't have a wife at home.
Nah - what we want for Cactus is a newspaper to realise the talent and hook her in as a columnist .
For Whale - someone to deliver a bad ass tank to his front door.
Nah - what we want is for him to have a fantastic day with his family
For the boys at No Minister - lots of sex and booze
Nah - recognition that they are the best team bloggers around.
For Motella - A full house over Xmas
Nah - a contract to write for the AA magazine.
For KiwiBlog - A super rich cute political loving geek chick that roots like a rabbit.
Nah - actually super rich cute political loving geek chicks who root like rabbits in every town in NZ.
For Red Alert. - A poll that shows they are closing the gap on National
Nah - a poll that shows Shane Jones is more popular than Phil Goff.
For Alf Grumble - a fine paddock or two of hay.
Nah - A posting to be our man in the Ukraine. We think he would do wonders for our trade relations in Eastern Europe..
And what do we want for Xmas? Well we have got all we wanted.
Family around us, good food wine and the expected company of good friends to our little piece of kiwi paradise.Our partner – the Aussie Rock has been toiling away building a house that will be our retirement abode and a place for our friends to parkl up and shoot the breeze.
The Rock bought me an ice making fridge,/freezer - something that I have always wanted above all other material possessions for no good reason. It shines like a diamond in the yet to be completed kitchen. We love him all the more.
Our son is seeing the fruits of hard graft and has a career he loves flying helicopters.
Our job is interesting and has some importance so we are feeling a measure of satisfaction.
Ma and Pa are looking pretty good for 70 plus coveys.
Lambcut has given up the cancer sticks and her eyes and skin have shed years in a matter of weeks. It almost made us cry to see her smoke free.
In the New Year we vow to support the agencies who work tirelessly to stop our children from ever taking a puff.So for 2010 we just want the same again thanks
We wont blog too much over Xmas - we have things to eat and drink , people to talk to, places to explore, gardens and flocks to tend to and families and friends to love.
Merry Xmas and all that....
Friday, 18 December 2009
Well done Maurice. He has shown the wisdom of the biblical Job .The Whanganui debate is settled and everyone is happy. That is an extraordinarily difficult thing to do with such a highly charged political issue.
2009 has been a mixed bag.
We have new mates and we lost some good mates
We stopped blogging for a while then we started back up again .
We have a new job.
The son and heir is passing his helicopter exams and Ma and Pa have been hitched for 50 years.
So who is the best of the best for 2009.
Okay we think that the speaker deserved the best slot for his transformation of the running of the House. No argument there.
Best Minister? Probably Gerry Brownlie. He has made some ballsy calls on the energy front. His decisions have the potential to change the economic face of NZ. We are not sure that ordinary NZers have yet grasped the potential.
Judith Collins has to come a close second. She has police in her steely grip and we are the better for it.
Best Journalist? We reckon there are a few who for different reasons have done a bloody good job this year. Fran O'Sullivan, Ian Templeton, Rob Hosking are all up there .
Then who is the best columnists? Well its Hooton for starters. His columns are must reads and incite the mandarins and spinners alike. And he just gets it right.
Best blogger? Cactus on business is hard to beat. Bernard Hickey is pretty good and Kiwiblog on policy and oogling.. No- one does online girly oogling like D P Farrar.
Whale has to be noted for his fearlessness. He has a touch of the crazies but he is the Rottweiler of the right wing blogs and Gotcha is starting to do some good work ...
We have to pay tribute to Brent Wheeler who had made us think so hard about some economic issues that it makes our brain hurt.
Best paper? NZ Herald is our first read of the day. NBR is next and we dip into it quite a lot and Stuff is good but it seems to have lost the race against the Herald. And we always read TransTasman.
Best Labour politician? Well that's gotta be - we actually no one has really stood out. Grant Robertson is probably the exception. Most of the female Labour politicians are old school, social manipulators not empowerers.
Best Maori politician? Tariana Turia. First and last. However we think that Ururoa Flavell is starting to get some cred.
ACT- Well the jury is out on that for us.
To more urbane issues.
The Best coffee in Wellington is served at Mixed business on the Terrace.
The best wine bar is still Beaujolais and it still serves some of the finest lunch food around.
Best Restaurant is Zicos, followed by Arbitrageur who are happy to accommodate our rolling lunches with a continuously changing cast.
Best venue is Dockside but the food aint what it used to be.
Best new place - Ortegas fish shack and bar.
Best urban bar - D4.
Best wine list - Wine Loft.
Best Beer - Montieths Pilsener.
Thursday, 17 December 2009
Is Matterhorn up for sale and what will this mean for Wellington diners?
Did Shane Jones have a hand in Goff's Nationhood speech?
Will Maori TV change the way rugby is broadcast?
Is Gerry Brownlie going to add more value to our country than any previous Minister?
Is Xmas here yet?
Out of the burning fires of dissent in Copenhagen comes a phoenix of commonsense and pragmatism.Tim Groser has against a backdrop of one of the most highly charged international events in some time, managed to secure a deal that unites nations large and small under one scientific collective.
Fourteen per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions are from agriculture, but for New Zealand and parts of the developing world, that figure is much higher.
"There is an urgent need to develop technologies and practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration in agriculture while enhancing food security," Mr Groser said.
The Global Research Alliance will look at ways to mitigate emissions from Agriculture. We think it will do much more. It will also provide some common sense science that may help us better understand Agricultures part in green house gas production.
Tim has pulled off a significant coup and overtime New Zealand will understand that this one initiative could be of significant benefit to our country's economy.
We listened to Charles Chauval on Radio NZ this morning saying that the alliance may see us lose valuable intellectual property. That shows two things - that he doesn't understand the long term implications of this deal and that he is small minded as well as small statured. This is public good science and we should feel proud to have led this initiative.
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Oh lordy we remember this - its a favourite pastime of southern women. The titty flash. Its the girly equivalent of the moon.
Apparently a women was standing in the middle of the road doing the bare the breast thing when she literally got run over. silly bint. everyone knows you stand on the side of the road....
We remember a night when ours caused a car crash...... True.
It was fun, gentlemanly and bloody funny and a dam fine way to end the year.
We had called in to our favourite restaurant to have a quick bit to eat with some old scribes earlier today. Then we attended the annual Parliamentary Christmas Press Gallery knees up tonight. Arrived at seven with our host , one of the great political journalists of all time. We were privileged.
It was great to catch up with some old mates and people we admire from across the political spectrum. It was a good do. It will descend into delightful mayhem as the evening wears on. But tonight was our night to be sensible. Ma and Pa arrive in the morning in Bugsys Burrow off the Cook Strait Ferry. That signals the start of Xmas for us and family and friends. We will be surrounded by heaps of them over Xmas and we can't wait. It has been a long year and we are looking forward to seeing it out with the people who mean most to us.
We were at an auspicious "do" tonight. Tim Gibson , CE of NZ Trade and Enterprise had his farewell. It was a fairly heavyweight Wellington crowd. There were Ministers to the left and Ministers to the right and all had nothing but praise for the man who has helped shape the portal to international trade for many New Zealand companies.
It was a fine tribute to an extremely well respected NZ'er who has done much to increase exports around the world.
What we like about Tim is that he is a genuine nice guy and normally they don't survive the hurly burly of this particular sector. But he has and he has stamped his mark and overseen many milestones including the organisation winning international accolades for its excellence amongst its peers.
NZ has been well served by this quiet unassuming man and we will watch with interest where he pops up next.
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
We can never work out how some symbols can cause such angst.
Take the growing issue around the Maori flag. It is interesting that Shane Jones is so angry about it. Then Shane is not noted for his ability to unite people so this is a perfect platform for him to hand down his thunderous protestations in an effort to cause cracks in the Maori Party's bedrock.
The right and the left are condemning it for different reasons. While Maori say that it is not representative of all Maori, others say that we are one nation and only need one flag.
We can see from Australia's history that their indigenous flag had an uncomfortable birth but it is now well recognised and accepted. Who will ever forget Cathy Freeman as she wrapped herself in the flag of her people on the international sports stage?
Its simple fluttering on civic buildings has not cause the racial disharmony that was first predicted.
So what was the flags genesis? Take this comment from one of the flags designers Linda Munn.
Giving Maori a voice was the flag's purpose and it annoys her that in two decades it has been usurped by some groups who remain angry with the world, Ms Munn said.
"We used it on passive hikoi. Tino rangatiratanga is about empowerment, not walking around with a big chip on your shoulder.
"I've seen it used in situations where the underlying theme is of wanting to go and bash Pakeha. We never wanted anything to do with violence."
Still, she's proud that the flag will get a new lease of life - it's always given her the "warm fuzzies", she said. "Especially when you're overseas, it's good to feel you belong to a place.
"The tino rangatiratanga flag is a symbol for another generation. It's funny how symbols bring people together and I hope that people will see it in a positive light."
It is understood 80 per cent of Maori who attended hui throughout the country backed the flag. As well as the harbour bridge, it could also fly from more government buildings and Premier House, the Prime Minister's Wellington residence.So what is this new flag to us? It is a symbol of empowerment, the reflection of the ability to have some control and say over ones life. In a way it represents of one of the core tenants of Whanau Ora which is giving Maori the ability to make decisions for themselves rather than leave the state to make decisions for them.
Some say it is the Maori Party flag. We dont see it that way - rather its a flag that the party identifies as reflective of the empowerment they seek for their constituents. And to them that flag must also represent the political journey they have taken from no say to a big say from to a place in the second row of the political machine to sitting on the political paepae where decisions are made.
Our existing flag has never united us as a nation. Our colonial relationship with England is an uneasy one and our nations flag is more representative of England than us. The fact that every few years we try and replace it says much about its lack of universal appeal.
We say good on the Maori Party for getting the flag recognised and good on John Key for supporting it. Recognising that this was a big thing for his coalition partners shows his ability to unite and shape our nation.
Monday, 14 December 2009
We are expecting the Minister of Transport Steven Joyce to make an announcement tomorrow (Tuesday) that the Transmission Gully roading project is going to get the go ahead. Apparently Joyce let it be known that was what he was supporting at a Rotary meeting.
And try as we might we cant access Transit NZ site about the project - they must be updating the site.
We think its a great news for Wellington, jobs and better infrastructure.
Here is our favourite Xmas image so far - Zeus the Dogue de Bordeaux - aka French Mastiff - who is a dork.
He is good at keeping pesky Halloween trick or treaters at bay and he hates Helen Clark. He chews her to bits on a regular basis.
And he has his own facebook page.
We refuse to be all that serious in the lead up to Xmas. So this story tickled our fancy - so to speak.
Years ago in another life we taught a bit a sex education to inmates and one of the exercises to warm the class up was to get them to fess up with all the names they knew for genitals amle and female.
Today Stuff has a great article on just that topic..
Heres a few :
then there's foofa, box, pink, one car garage, sperm dumpster, hoo-ha, axe wound, lady bits, china, vulva, blossomful of nectar, muffin, toolbox, velvety love folds, pastrami meat flaps, pin cushion, catcher's mitt, cuckoo's nest, the wound that never heals, bearded clam, beef curtains, tunatown, vertical taco, bajango, catpipe, nozzle trap, bushburger, front wedgie, fanunu, pecker wetter, dirty south.
Anyway we can add a few more from our memory banks, growler, hairy oyster, whistle trap, penis pouch, gunga, hidey hole, tooki on toast, poon.
So who has some more?
Sunday, 13 December 2009
This will make us think twice about buying " Fair Trade coffee" again - seems its designed to keep poor people poor. Eye2theLongrun often has some interesting blogs on economics..
Inquiring Mind who does some great fisks - fisks Fran O'Sullivan.. excellent it is.
Alf Grumble does a great piss take of Winnie the Poo.
And Gonzo has a funny cartoon about House Tv series..
and we only have 5 days of work left before we are on Holiday! And only 3 days before the olds cross the ditch in Bugsy's Burrow
Kiss and Tell is the big game in town these days.. Rich men are at the mercy of a gossip hungry media and a feminised court system . Women who have no soul and dont even know how to spell integrity are happy to jump on the first media couch to tell all about being mistresses to famous and rich men for money. While their relationships with their paramours may not see them described easily as prostitutes , selling the story of sex surely must be.
It is the one thing in the past decade that has demeaned women more than any other social phenomenon - the kiss and tell kitten.
Now Tiger deserves a kicking for betraying his wife but no matter how many women he has poked - he is not in anyway on the same level as the bints who are telling the world all they know or telling the world all they think they want to know.
And todays Sunday Star Times carried a sad sordid wee tale of a similar ilk. Cactus did a considered piece on it sometime back
Take todays story about the poor wee princess who got dumped by her man and expects to be kept like a princess despite the fact the bloke decided to call time. No kids - and a marriage of three years - not long enough for the pint size pratski to have made any contribution to his already substantive fortune.
Now admittedly he was a bit of a sniveller when it come to manning up and telling his former bed mate that it was over . And we can understand why she wants to stay in his house - we have been there and its pretty flash - has its own beach and a bit of foreshore by all accounts.
However the snivelly wee thing reckons she is only taking him to the cleaners because of the way he ended the relationship.
Ending relationships is never tidy - its always messy , nearly always dramatic and inevitably painful.
So the Judge has decreed that while she sorts herself out she will get exclusive use of the foreshore mansion and $10k a month and for some ungodly reason her dental bills will be paid for. And she gets this payment for at least 6 months!
Wow - I bet all the widows out there would love if the state paid out a deal like that when their husbands unexpectedly dropped dead.
But lets turn things upside down here.
What if she had ended the relationship - would the court have ordered her to supply the one thing he probably still wanted that came with the relationship - SEX and a bit of eye candy on his arm?
Imagine in a non sexist world, a fair judge handing down this judgement-
Mrs Pretty but Dumb, you may well have decided to walk away from you husband but until he finds himself another squeeze he can demand a decent lay three times a week, two sleep overs and a blow job each following morning.
And he expects you to accompany him to dinner twice a week and be gracious to his guests. You are to wear the red Trelisse dress he bought you for your birthday to dinner and the Victoria Secret black negligee to bed on the night he chooses for sexual relations.
This order is binding until he finds himself a suitable substitute.
Nah -thats not going to happen so why does the judge think that this women deserves to be kept in the style she had suddenly become accustomed too? Cactus rightly argues that in this day and age - spousal maintenance is a crock. We couldn't agree more.
Its sexual discrimination at its worst.
Cactus, and the Dining Prawn will be ecstatic after a new study shows that a couple of glasses of champagne have the same blood bolstering effect as a couple of glasses of red wine.
And it is not just limited to the expensive french stuff . Cheap fizz is good too. So raise your glasses to good health!
Friday, 11 December 2009
We refuse to get into the rights and wrongs of Tiger Woods peccadillos.
We love his golf. Consistent drives down the middle means he ends up the hole with the least strokes to everyones satisfaction and admiration. Ya gotta admire that in a bloke.
Well not really. Hosted by the BOIL actually. Yeah it's an in joke.
Today was the stuff of legends. The great long lunch. Started at 1pm - we left at five. Our mates are still going strong and its 6pm. Fuck the recession.
We were at Ortega Fish Shack and Bar.
Great people, great wine and great food.
What more can we say? It was fantastic. We were waited on by Davey who is the son in law of the legendary Mark Limacher of Roxborough Bistro fame. Food at its finest.
The starters were pacific oysters fresh and battered. We normally wouldn't touch them ( for us its Bluff first and last) but they were plump fresh and tasty.
Then it was to entrees - we had a lovely squid and chorizo sausage dish , a hint of chilli and a sweet potato salad. Everything sparkled up everything else. The dish had texture, taste and eye appeal.We also had a taste of the pate. It had an old world feel but there was something fresh about it that we cant remember in the elegant spreads of old.
We had a Hawkes Bay fizz to start - Doldel 2006 then we moved onto a lovely Murdoch James Pinot Gris
We then had a stunning steak and fries with a big salad. Dessert was a lovely posset - sort of a custardy mousse with sherbet overtone topped with fat strawberries Now we didn't take much notice of what the cheese platter was but it was a Camembert and a blue that oozed sexily over the plate. Dam fine they were - dam fine.
We were there with a group of friends who often gather together on a Friday. media, politics, PR and generally good people. Today BOIL's bro was there - the visitor from Papua New Guinea.
So we recommend Ortegas. We will be back. Its good, its kinda out of the way - which is great if you want to be loud and have fun without the Lambton Quay spies lurking. The decor is great the service and the food are up there with the best Wellington offers.
It was a day layered with memories -all good.
Thursday, 10 December 2009
We reckon the Labour Lycra loving bovver boy Trev Mallard is developing a bit of a thing for Cactus Kate - the prickly puss of Hong Kong. We know when the Red Alert guys start lurking around the blogs..
They leave a trail of red breadcrumbs along the cyber highways and byways of blogdom. And we can tell you they have been lurking. Well some of them anyway.
Now we like Trevor's blogs - they are the only thing worth reading over at Red Alert and he is quite good lunch company as well - despite being a socialist arsewipe.
Today in the House during Question Time in an exchange between Cunliffe and Joyce., in a total random outburst Mallard was heard to shout out this reference to the spiny spinster: " What did Cactus Kate say about it!"
It was noticed, it drew gasps of shock. Others were stunned.
We think that Trev has all the sex appeal of a dead possum.
We think it is strange... like - whats that about? - strange.... But that small phrase has the beltway a buzz and was mentioned in hushed tones at functions all over town tonight.
Is Trevor in lust ? Is he harbouring a virtual obsession for Kate?
What does he do in the privacy of his own office while reading the pithy wit of the Hong Kong Harridan?
Does he have her picture as a screen saver?
Does he skype her?
We think the idea of Cactus shagging Trev is preposterous and the only way she would jump his bones is in the name of research - perhaps to find the answer that vexing question - Are Labour politicians better lovers that capitalists?
We wonder does he have any trips planned to Hong Kong?
What ever does this mean?
We are lunching tomorrow at a fish place. Its pretty new and the chef has a hell of a reputation so it should be fun. Will report back .
Who is the press secretary who can do four lunches in two Fridays? We are in awe.
We reckon that St Johns serves the best steak in town.
Does anyone else feel pissed off that their ACC levies are subsidising bloody bikers?
Who would have though that HomePaddock would know more about sex than Cactus and Bustedblonde?
Isn't this the funniest blog you have ever seen?
We subscribe to NBR because it is fearless fun and Jock Anderson writes some good yarns and today that nice young man Chris Keall decided to follow up on our quest to get our Cracker back..
AirNZ has answered the call of Mr Keall, apparently it was all a mistake. We have yet to hear from the airpoints fairy
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Now it seems that Cactus came from a dairy farm so you would think she knows a bit about the milk biz and indeed she shows a reasonable understanding of what goes on and even a fine grasp of economics as she backs Economist Brent Wheelers views on the mega dairy hotel planned for the McKenzie Basin.
And she so eloquently describes Dairy farms - green underfoot they maybe but we are kidding ourselves as a nation if we believe it is Milk au naturelle...
She also misses on one critical point and stunningly its about sex and cows or sex with cows and bulls.
There is no one time coupling with a rampant bull - nope.The closest a cow gets to the bovine hanky panky is a brief encounter with a sterile straw of semen. The poor cows don't even get to have a bit of natural nooky.
We agree with Cactus and Brent. The market needs options - and the McKenzie mega cow hotel will give the international market options. And at least this way our bloody streams wont get overrun with cowshit.
Today on our way back from Auckland on flight 415 tonight we got out favourite " Koru Hour " treat. A couple of chunks of Kapiti cheddar and Camembert, three grapes and three plain water crackers.
Now we have always have a bit of trouble putting the cheese on the crackers - the slices of cheese are big - we estimate 6 crackers worth. So three is not tidy. Its a battle. First a big bite of cheese and then a nibble on the cracker - done delicately so it doesn't disintegrate. It is mildly entertaining to see if you can get thru the lilliputan feast with out getting crumbs everywhere.
So imagine our dismay and the dismay of some close by passengers, when we discovered the three cracker pack had suddenly been hit by the recession and was now a two cracker pack.
"What was the story?" - we asked the gooooorgeous purser Steve.... ( Actually we were delighted we had a reason to talk to him.. bootiful he is and funny. He's our favourite mile high trolly meister)
Well he said the two crackers pack came as a bit of a surprise to him as well.
We can understand if the airline skimped a bit on the cheese - after all its the expensive bit of the uppish market munchies but to deprive us of the third cracker is - so to speak - nuts.
We are going to ask the Airpoints Fairy to look into this mile high canape calamity as well..
We want our cracker back!
Thanks to all the wonderful comments about ma and pa's 50th wedding anniversary.They are making their way up the South Island to cross over on the 17th. Today they are parked up around Benmore somewhere - hoping to catch a salmon. Dad has caugth a two and a half pound trout - he let it go.. Mum says after the party last night - she is full , dad is full, and as the Xmas baking is in the freezer it is full. So the trout went back...
Dont blame them , sashimi-ed trout is crap.
Its a great spot.
So here is a simple lesson why we have been hoodwinked.
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Labour are a bunch of soft cock mealy mouth hypocrites. And one could contend they have become all they once despised. Racist even.
It appears that despite Goffs mirror Orewa speech sending shivers down the lefty backbone of the party, MP's are suddenly having a Goff love in.
He is stuffed. This is not a show of unity but a show of desperation.
It is the sort of thing that normally happens just before a coup.
Be afraid Phil.. We can hear the knives being sharpened from here.
Monday, 7 December 2009
Fifty years ago on December 8 our parents got married. Joy - was the eldest daughter of six and she fell in love with a skinny bloke with piercing blue eyes and a wicked grin.
Robin, was the farm hand. Mum was the farmers daughter. Dad came from a family of six whom, from a very young age, were brought up by a widowed mother.
He was born on Stewart Island and a piece of his heart is still there. I reckon down a muttonbird burrow on Ernest Island.
He came from fishing stock on both sides of his family and his Maori blood came from Pura, a Kaipoi woman sent south to get away from marauding Ngati Toa chief Te Rauparaha . She married a Portuguese whaler. Dad is a Campbell, and comes from the Goomes and Hanning Clans as well.
Mum has fine Scottish stock in her history, Stewarts and McLauchlans. Her family too are fifth generation Southlanders .They have left their proud mark on many aspects of Southland history.
Mum's dad was none to happy about the union. I was talking to mum about the fact I can never remember the wedding anniversary date and I apologised for not remembering.
She texted me and said that she couldn't forget it as she was suffering from morning sickness on the day of her wedding and it was my fault but she didn't mind.
Getting pregnant was one way of getting round the family displeasure of the relationship with the blue eyed farm hand with the touch of the tar brush, I suppose.
Funny thing is - Dad turned out to be my grandfathers favourite son in law. In fact he was probably closer to my grandfather than his own sons.
He kept my grandparents in fish , helped on the farm and in their old age he was the one who sorted stuff.
Dad is a character. A good bastard. A curmudgeon and a staunch and loyal friend to many, many people. His adventures have enriched the lives of scores of people who would have had dull existances if it wasn't for the fact he and mum welcomed others into their wonderful world.
Mum is the best of mums and dads best mate. Well dad is mums best mate as well I suppose.
They have had an extraordinary love that has spanned five decades. There has only been one love for the both of them - each other. I have watched as friends parents and indeed my own marriage withered from the acid of betrayal - Never mum and dad. It is to my everlasting sorrow that I could not repeat their steadfast union.
They have had their share of battles but they fought them together and always came out stronger on the other side.
Mum has an enormous sense of justice and fairplay. She is and always will be my best mate and as she lives in the South and as we live in the north, a day doesn't go past when I dont feel a dull ache of separation. We have always been a clannish family. Big family gatherings were the norm and I miss them as does my son.
In a way Mum and dad dont really need anyone else. For years now they have toured around the country in their beloved motorhome Bugsy's Burrow, meeting new people , making new friends, catching up with old ones.
So tomorrow night in Alexandra ma and pa will be having a bit of a knees up with some of their mates. Crayfish and muttonbird and moonshine will be the order of the evening. Then at the end of this week , they will get in their motorhome and head north to spend the Christmas season with me, my sister and our families and friends.
Dad will bring with him his new spuds. He will kill and dress a sheep for Xmas, smoke a few eels, cook a few barbeques and mum will make us all groan under the weight of her great baking.
And sometime over Xmas, probably on the old mans birthday, we will invite some mates to share in the joy of our parents long and happy marriage.
Ma and Pa - happy Fiftieth. And here's to many many more happy years. We love you. All of us.
There was a bit of a taint to Fonterras moolah marketing campaign that TV3 followed up on tonight. Now its easy to see that they followed the letter of the law when it came down to the promotion but the spirit - the intent of the campaign wasn't. It is pretty easy to see that the competition was badly designed and manipulated. So the downside for Fonterra is that they will have left a bad taste with the budding milk consumers. The downside for the consumers is that Fonterra pretty much dominates the market so its not like a brand switch will do much damage.
The sad fact of this this saga is that Fonterra needs to position itself as the heart of New Zealands primary sector. Its the company we all want to be proud of. It needs to win the support of kiwi kids for the future.
This campaign failed the company and the country dismally on that count.
Sunday, 6 December 2009
We are not - nor will be unquestioning believers in Global warming. We have seen the world wake up to the obvious manipulation of some of the core science of climate change in recent weeks. Now this.
Coming to light in recent days has been one of the most extraordinary scientific detective stories of our time, bizarrely centred on a single tree in Siberia dubbed "the most influential tree in the world". On this astonishing tale, it is no exaggeration to say, could hang in considerable part the future shape of our civilisation. Right at the heart of the sound and fury of "Climategate" – the emails leaked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in East Anglia – is one story of scientific chicanery, overlooked by the media, whose implications dwarf all the rest. If all those thousands of emails and other documents were leaked by an angry whistle-blower, as now seems likely, it was this story more than any other that he or she wanted the world to see.
Now we not skilled in any area of science however we can read and this article in the Daily Telegraph makes for very compelling reading...
Seems the whole debate could rest in the rings of a tree...
The Sunday Star Times is carrying a free advert today for one of the best financed animal extremist groups in the country - SAFE. Their mouthpiece Mike King, has become all self righteous over what he believes is "animal cruelty" - the sow crate, used to protect sows while they are farrowing ( pregnant) Pigs are notorious for rolling on their young and getting pretty vicious with each other when they are pregnant.
We have always wondered why the media give so much time to King who has convinced the public of New Zealand that he knew nothing about the conditions that pigs are kept in. Strange that his change of stance and sudden insights came on the back of the fact that his contract with the Pork Board came to an end.
Anyway back to the crap that the SST has belched out today.. As we said it is a free advert for an activist group that is well funded. So why didn't the paper give the same column inches space to the Pork Board? Like -where is the balance, the fairness, the accuracy? More importantly, where is the journalism? It is nothing more than a puffy advert for SAFE. no doubt the journo was all starry eyed drooling over the " celebs" they interviewed for the story.
And lets get back to thhe basis of this argument. Sows being kept in a small pen so they can't harm themselves or their piglets.
Picture this, a woman confined to bed for the last few weeks of her pregnancy for say high blood pressure - she is not allowed to move apart from going to the toilet... It is done to give her the best chance. Same in the pork industry. Same reason, same treatment.
And we wonder if Mike King had turned up unannounced in the middle of the night at the maternity ward what the reaction would have been from pregnant mums?
They most likely would have become deeply upset, screamed, cried and probably injured themselves.
So whats the bloody problem? The problem is bad journalism, an easy story and celebrity who is could be argued had a snitch on with his former employer and now has got a serious case of selective piousness. Venal he is.
We will buy a bloody big ham this Christmas. We hope we can find a good New Zealand one.
We support New Zealand primary industries, Its not easy out there and we believe that they do a fantastic job of producing good food in a good way.
Get out there and do the same.
Saturday, 5 December 2009
Tutehounuku ("Nuk") Korako, representing Tuahiwi is the latest new face at Te Runanga O Ngai Tahu.
He's a good bugger..
So - the tide is ever so slowly turning - we got our voting papers for Waihopai the other day.. The papers are to vote for the panel who will make the selection for the candidate. We expect there will be a bit of a tussle for the reps job there as well.
We are still feeling the heat of Ngai Tahus sordid deal over the ETS. The tribe is now seen as elitist, self serving, in the hands of a few power hungry individuals and they don't play nicely with others.
Our inbox is still being filled daily with stuff we cannot publish. However keep it coming. As soon as we have some information verfied we will, make no mistake about it, we will publish.
And we wonder if Mark Solomon will, take his tax paid junket to stand around looking pretty at the Hot Air Fest in Copenhagen..
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Well we have all heard about how well Fonterra has been doing but hows this for big corporate bully bastards .
A mum we know well has written a letter to Andrew Ferrier after she got a shit response from the company.
Good evening Andrew -
It was a pleasure to meet you at the.....................................................last week
After meeting you briefly, you struck me as an approachable man with a commonsense head.
I have an issue arising at a personal, consumer level that I wonder if you could help me with. Please note this email is unrelated to work and my approach to you is as a private individual.
You may be aware of the Anchor Milk Moolah promotion currently running at retail. With two weeks left to run, the promotion has suddenly and without warning shut out thousands of NZ kids from access to its redemption (earned rather than auction) prizes. This move has caused distress to kiwi children, who have been encouraged to engage with the brand since September, saving up milk carton labels towards some great child-targeted prizes.
I spent a harrowing one and a half hours last night, comforting my 12 year old son, who is devastated. He discovered the news via the competition website - not declared openly at the outset, but buried in the deep-click details of each individual redemption prize, a particularly cowardly attempt to avoid attention.
I am at loss as to what to say to him. I had spent the last several weeks encouraging him to engage with the brand, I'd dutifully changed my buying habits to help him, I thought the promotion would be fun for him, engaging and a good lesson about working for and earning rewards over time (delayed gratification).
Instead, he's been smacked in the face with the reality that grown ups don't play fair, they don't honour their commitments to little kids, but they'll keep trying to get them to buy more milk (the promotional offer is still on pack and the withdrawal of redemption prizes was not explained on the website). It's an appalling lesson to learn at 12. I suspect my son is not alone and that others will be learning the same harsh lesson at even earlier ages. It's irresponsible, callous and unconscionable.
I contacted your call centre and received a scripted "tough luck" response. As a professional courtesy I also rang your PR service to let them know how negatively the promotion had impacted on my son and to see if there was an opportunity to make it right for him (by allowing him to redeem the points he had saved so hard for over so many weeks for the laptop he had dreamed of earning). The alternative was (and still is) to draw public and media attention to the brand's cavalier treatment of kids. I'm keen on my children learning from this experience not to be victims but to stand up for themselves. They are currently thinking about staging a public protest and picket at the supermarket.
The response I received from your PR team today was entirely unsatisfactory and arrogant - that's the way it's worked out and tough luck if you missed out. I was advised that there was an auction element and a bonus prize draw - but you know what? My 12 year old didn't want to win $50,000, or enter an auction for a car - he's 12, he doesn't even know what $50,000 looks like - he wanted to EARN a laptop of his very own.
I was told there had been huge interest in the promotion, as if that mitigated the company's behaviour, with 40,000 entrants (I was not surprised, it's a big brand, bought daily over 12 weeks, promoted with a large budget). I heard that some adults gamed the system, buying bulk milk supplies at once and donating the milk to shelters, since they were only interested in bidding for the cars. Fair enough, they were adult prizes. Those entrants weren't interested in engaging with the brand.
The second part of the prize pool was targeted at children, with child-aspirational prizes and a school element. In talking to your staff, I was advised that they were aware of some entrants (older than 12, I assume, my boy's smart, but not that sophisticated) writing computer programs to alert them the second new redemption prize stocks came on line, so they could swoop down and grab them up before the kids had a chance.
So, not only was the promotion woefully underprepared for the demand level, but you posted the last prize pool after kids went to bed. It's almost as if you didn't care about kids at all.
The kid-oriented redemption section of the prize pool got hijacked but some IT-sophisticated adults and Anchor's response to all of the children all around New Zealand who were, like my son, just a few labels away from their goal and thinking the promotion had two more weeks to go ( the deadline is still marked on our family calendar), was "tough luck, we said there was limited stock (but not how woefully inadequate)" and "never mind, there's always the prize draw".
Kids weren't in this for the cash, they wanted to earn prizes. They were almost at the finish line and your team took the game away with no regard at all for the impact it would have on them.
And by the way, your PR advisors have interpreted or "spun" my giving them a chance to make it right for my son as attempted "extortion". I don't think that's plausible and it is insensitive in the extreme.
My issues are these:
This is an appallingly put together sales promotion. Any well designed reward redemption promotion factors in the cost of prizes in relation to the sales required to earn it - that way, selling more milk should just mean buying more redemption stock, but no increase in cost. Marketers have been taught this basic rule for the last 20 years.
Stopping the redemption pool two weeks before the end of the promotion is just cruel and insensitive to kids. They don't understand if clever adults hijacked it, they just know the rules they thought they were working were just dismissed and they were shut out.
This is an appalling way for any brand to interact with children. Interacting with children involves an entirely different foundation of trust and expectation of responsibility than interacting with adults. What were you thinking?
I think you owe the children of New Zealand an apology. You certainly owe my son one.
I'd like to discuss this in more detail and am requesting a meeting so you can explain to Zachary why the rules of natural justice don't apply to little kids.
As I said at the beginning, you strike me as a fair man. I'd appreciate a direct response.
We think Fonterra needs to seriously rethink this one - its a very very bad look.