Thursday 30 July 2009


We always knew that there was a lot of crap around organic certification and the supposed benefits that went with " organic" food. Now areputable study clearly shows that the only benefit in eating organic is that you will get poorer quicker.

Good - bring on the GM we say. And lets get over the PC organic vege bullshit.

However, we reckon our home grown veges are best. But that has more to do with "freshness" that organics.


We know we have done a few posts on bras, but after 2300 km of driving in Australia - much over rutted dirt roads, in a V6 Commodore with low profile tyres - we have given our bras a serious work out. And our latest black lacy 18dd is now stuffed.

We are pretty sure that the underwire is made from recycled skodas. These days our underwire bras last about 4 months then either it busts (sorry about the pun) or gets really bent out of shape. One wire recently gave up the good fight in a meeting and the sound of the snap was loud enough to be heard by the others in the room . It was a long moment. We coughed loudly and scraped our chair but one other big breasted chick in the room - gave me a knowing wink. I fessed up and everyone was deeply sympathetic.

Anyway, I reckon that this is one for the consumer champions, Target to investigate. - Put some underwire bras under some stress tests and see which brands come up trumps.

We and our two best assets would be eternally grateful and considering the price of a good bra, if we had to replace them less often we would save enough money to stock up on champers for Cactus's next visit.

Wednesday 29 July 2009


Dave over at Big News has been doing some cyber sleuthing and come up with some interesting stuff. And it aint lookin flash for Little Ms Benefit at the centre of the training allowance issue.

Well done....


We always have a giggle about NBR's rich list - we are amazed at the number of people we know whom it doesn't capture. However it is an interesting read. But it is completely overshadowed by this Ukrainian Rich List in the KYIV Post. It is very irreverent.....

Take this one for instance. ( Yip Cactus - he is cute - go find him!)
Net Worth: $753 million Age: 38 Marital status: Married, three sons and one daughter Industry: Metallurgy Last year: $2.4 billion

In December, Oleg Mkrtchian struck an important deal. The co-owner of the Industrial Union of Donbas (IUD) bought a 75 percent stake in the Kuban soccer club from Krasnodar, Russia. The team handsomely rewarded its new Ukrainian owner by winning the Russian First Division, and so from next season will compete in the Russian Premier League. The club’s annual budget is $18 million – quite impressive for a club anchored near the bottom of the table. For Mkrtchian, Russian football is an important social duty. Thee millionaire has a number of projects in the Krasnodar Territory, one of which is the construction of a metal factory in Armavir. IUD has but put a halt to its construction because of the crisis – one reason being the slack season in the metallurgical sector – but investment in football is a different matter. “For all football in Kuban, such a deal is good news,” writes the North Caucasus newspaper. “The territory’s budget will no longer be spent on the upkeep of a hopeless team.”

This will send you to bed with as smile.


Its nearly fifty years since this was written and boy has a heap changed. Its is some old bastarrd whinging about the percieved downsides of employing women as trade commissioners.

We particularly like his belief that women trade commissioners would be okay if there was trade in "clothing and accessories."

We especially like the assumption that single women "spinsters" turn into "battleaxes" while men mellow with age.

DFAT 1960s


It appears MP David Garrett has hoof in gob syndrome. We feel bloody sorry for Rodney. This is the sort of distraction he could do without.

Threatening what are essentially public servants from airing their concerns and fears in the correct forum is just plain silly.

Now we are pro private prisons but any MP who puts the fear of god into workers for having a say is just being a bully.

He needs to be tied to a post and Rodney should chuck kinas at him.


We still get a lot of hits on the website for Stephen Jennings - the Taranaki boy who is one of the country's most successful expat entrepreneurs.
Anyway it seems he has an interest in backing rugby in Taranaki and emerging business opportunities in Kenya.

Now that's a diverse portfolio if we ever saw one. We hope the boy from the 'Naki gets to buy a bit of Rugby Action. Maybe some of those beanpole Kenyans would shape up nicely as sevens players.

Tuesday 28 July 2009


We blogged on the silliness of the three year observer programme for Hectors dolphins that has landed two southern fishing boats in hot water.
Its a safety issue and the two skippers in question have made a stand. No dolphins were caught the first season. The word is that if there are no dolphins caught this year then the third year of the programme could be scrapped.

What a bloody good idea that would be.


And rightly so. As Whale points out - she was covered by the Privacy Act

So well done Paula - the fortune the beneficiaries in question had dragged out of the system was outrageous.

Go Paula - sock it to em. When the money is tight, you have to work hard to make it go further.


The battery on our blackberry is flat today and it relates to the Sealords story. The general consensus in the New Zealand Seafood Industry is that Sealords have made a dumb decision to sell down the whanaunui pounamu - the aquaculture rights to marine farms in Marlborough to Sanfords. One very well placed industry source put it this way.

The golden rules are: -

1) If Eric Barratt or Peter Talley want something - you shouldn't be selling.

2) If Eric buys it - you sold too cheap.

Spot on.


We were pretty angry after we saw a Tv3 60 minutes segment last night on Weatherston where the journalist inferred that she had interviewed Weatherston post his conviction... It was crap journalism - a thinly veiled statement that left viewers with a clear impression that the interview had taken place post his conviction.

You see, we now have it on good authority that the reporter in question visited Weatherston with his parents sometime in March -April this year. Now Journalists require the permission of the family , the inmate and the CE of Corrections. Our snouts tell us that Corrections are not the bad guys here. Apparently no permission was sought so none was granted. So effectively it would appear T3 have broken the rules.

So we apologise to Barry Matthews and his team for casting aspersions on their judgement.

We also think that they will not let this issue rest. TV3 has done their credibility no favours. It was simply bad journalism - They could have told the truth - instead of implying they had permission.

But no - they deceived the public and we expect better.


We are more than happy to pay for good stuff, good shoes, good make up , and good wine, lunches and dinners for good info. So we have no hesitation paying for NBR's online subscription. It makes good sense as long as NBR continues to deliver the very high quality articles that have dripped from the pens of the likes of Rob Hosking, Chris Keall, David Cohen Matthew Hooton and David Farrar in the past few months. If, after six months we dont get value for money - we will kick it for touch.

It has worked for the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Review. You pay for the premium content. It will be driven by demand and we think there is a demand. The continued popularity of Transtasman already attests to the popularity of "insider" premium analysis, news and dare we point to the elephant in the room - gossip....

So Barry , yet again you have shown that you happily put your well earned money where your mouth is.

We will sign up. Its simply the smart thing to do. Newspapers may die, ( makes you wonder what we will wrap our fish in chips in and cover the bottom of the budgie cage with) but online news is where its at and where it will end up.

And for all the believers that news will be forever free- yip the crap stuff maybe but the reality is the overshiny stuff wont last. In the end the demand will be for the best, the fastest and the most accurate and incisive and undoubtedly the most interesting - News and info that gives individuals and companies a turbo boost down the information highway will be a must have. And we will gladly pay for it.

Monday 27 July 2009


Yip it true. We have just been watching the Weatherston piece on TV3 60 Minutes. It was okay till they got to the bit where the reporter revealed she had been given permission to visit Weatherston in Jail.
Admittedly she talked about how keen he was to give his achievements. It did not paint a pleasant picture but the picture should never have been painted.

Weatherston should not have had that opportunity. Corrections has done the country a disservice for allowing the interview to go ahead.

Someone should be held accountable for that decision. Obviously Corrections thinks more of the rights of the inmate than the family of the victim. We hope that Sophie's family complain. We would help them write it.


The announcement that Sealords has sold some marine farms to Sanfords shows that Sanfords is more cunning than a cunning thing and that there are few visionaries left in the brain depleted ranks of Maori Fisheries interests.

It is extremely shortsighted. It is akin to Maori selling land and land in the marine market is a finite resource that will only grow in value.

We had always hoped that one day Maori would own Sanfords. It was the vision of many. This latest decision signposts the future and signals that Maori can look forward to serfdom again in our lifetime.
It also appears that Sealords may be a little cash strapped.It is time for Iwi to ask some hard questions of the performance of Sealords and Aotearoa Fisheries.


We got a call from Bluff last week from some good old boys who were at a funeral for a bloke we had grown up with - he wasn't much past fifty - so our mortal coil tightened up a bit at the news. RIP Manuel.

Anyway the boys who were at the wake started talking about the fact that one of the captains of the fleet was in a bit of bother, as reported in the ODT

Fishermen have been ordered to carry observers on board their boats to check to see if they are catching Hector's Dolphins in their nets. A couple refused to comply and now they are facing court action.

We reckon our old mate and CE of the Federation of Commercial fishermen, Pete Dawson sums the issue up succinctly ( Pete is the king of succinctness)

Federation of Commercial Fishermen chief executive Peter Dawson said the ministry's move to prosecute was "bloody minded" given the letters instructing fishermen to take observers failed to explain fishermen's rights or address safety concerns.

"As a consequence [these fishermen] stuck to their guns and face getting a criminal conviction."

Observers spent 963 days at sea and did not see a Hector's dolphin death, yet the ministry was going ahead with prosecutions, he said.

All it did was raise the levels of antagonism between the ministry and fishermen and put fishermen already facing hard times in an even tougher position.

"Education is far better than putting the boot in."

We agree, now the Bluff vessel in question is neither big nor flash - its about 50 feet and while observers on big mid size trawlers need to take a cut lunch and a compass to get to the aft end of a boat - on the seized vessel in question, the net drums are within spitting distance of the focs'le. ( the little house bit where the skipper spends his day. )

So this is going to be an argument about safety.

Now we love Hectors - they look a lot like Tuna so its a fair guess they taste pretty good but we have in our relentless battle to protect all Charismatic Mega Fauna, given these cute wee guys more protection than we give kids from sexual predators.

That's just daft. And for boats like the one MAF has seized, having someone on board, purely so they can have a "look see" when you are in heavy southern seas would be a bloody nightmare.

We reckon that these fishermen, if paid a smallish bounty for every Hectors dolphin they see and photograph or video ( remember they can plot their exact location), would give us a far better idea of their population and their habits.

Costs are high enough for these particular fishermen and we agree with Pete - education would be far better than this silliness.

MAF has far bigger fish to fry - like rooting out the organised crime that is pillaging our coast of paua but hell it is easy to pick off a couple of small time trawlermen than gang members isn't it? And the environmental and economic damage of paua poaching is quantifiable while there is no hard evidence that these trawlers are having a disastrous effect on the southern Hector dolphin population.

These two boats have dared to do what the rest of the fleet wanted to but were too scared to because of the financial consequences. It is time for some intervention and a new way of thinking. That way we might just take some sensible steps to protect these tasty wee marine flyers instead of making a small human segment of the seafood industry an endangered species.

Thursday 23 July 2009


Its good to see young men do well and there are two businesses down south that are worthy of some promotion.

They are Rakiura Helicopters operated by Zane Smith ( he's a cuz) (left)
and Stewart Island Helicopters
operated by Jason Wright.(above right

and of course BB's son works as an instructor at Helipro
out of Paraparamu. (above left)

Proud of our Southern Ngai Tahu Rakiura chopper boys we are.. real proud...


John Bennett is a bit of legend in the world of deep sea trawling. He helped pioneer the very sustainable Antarctic Toothfish industry. And he is currently down south on another fishing mission. He is the Cap'n who bought home the colossal squid.

He has a blog - called Captains Blog... (its a squid, john but not as we know it) ) its worth a watch.

For the record he is a bloody good bloke, a real life good bastard, consummate professional and cute. ( and sorry girls happily married!)


Bastable has a good take on the Weatherston issue. And backs up what we said. We werent surprised to see that the inmates did the chanting, taunting thing, thats not all that uncommon.

And the superlatively sensible and wise MacDoctor has a good summary on the tattered mind that is housed in the head of Weatherston


If you are looking for a wildly romantic and really out of the way place to stay in Australia that is very luxurious then check this out

It was superb. For $880 dollars we got - two nights accommodation, 30 min flight for two over Wilpena Pound, Two course dinner for two, Breakfast provisions both days for two, a bottle of Dusty Dog cab sav, cheese (mainland made in Aussie) and bikkies. You could lay in the king bed turn on a switch and the inner ceiling retracted and you could see the stars if you really wanted to spend the time looking at the stars....

We love wotif.

Wednesday 22 July 2009


Some people reckon that Weatherston will get his come uppance in jail. Sad - but its very unlikely.

He will not be knifed in the kidneys or even beaten up. - someone might spit in his luncheon and pickle sandwich but he will be put straight into protection with all the other slimy, watery eyed weak, panty sniffers and child molesters , famed for their ability to whine endlessly .

He will probably get a job in the library and or become a trusted inmate in short order. He will further his education in the poky and probably want to write a book on his experiences or do a course with a view to ensuring that others benefit from his "superior wisdom".

He will not regret what he has done other than regret the impact it has had on his life.

We have worked with some loathsome fucked up individuals and some with narcissistic tendencies in the past. they are chilling individuals.
Weatherston should not be allowed out. He has the capacity to kill again.

Personally, for criminals of his ilk - we favour the death penalty.

Tuesday 21 July 2009


We are home with the snuffles after a 12 day break in Oz( party up with about 30 under fives and you are bound to get a bug!) so we were all ears and snuffles as we listened to the Treasury boss John Whitehead on RNZ this morning give the Public service a prod about productivity.

He is right and now Bill English
has followed up saying the govt has given the public servants a year to get their shit together and deliver some efficiencies and productivity.

Anyway, we have been talking to others in the civil service and we are all of the same opinion. The boys at the top have been making some interesting decisions but its apparent some of them have lost touch with their departments and Ministries and its time they got out of their offices , walked the floor and had a bit of a chat with some of the staff who would be able to give them some pointers of how to improve things.

Most of the staff in the public service are well aware how well lubed the machinery of state has become and it is time that they be given the chance to add their two cents worth as to how savings and efficiencies can be made. Have a little faith guys and listen to people who work for you. They will give you answers you are looking for.

Monday 20 July 2009


We have been in Aussie for a few days - on the fringes of the outbacks - up Wilpena way. It was a fantastic trip - 2300kms of driving and two trips in light aircraft. It was the holiday we needed and gave us a better understanding of the vastness of the great land. Wilpena Pound is worth a visit and we thank the communist firefighter for the tip on that one. Clare is a beautiful valley bursting with 24km of Riesling grapes. We visited the extraordinary Seven Hill Monastery and vineyard and saw the heart of old Catholicism and the mark it made on the small hamlets and towns that pepper the area. We visited ruins of the old stations that stood at attention along the old Ghan railway. We drank and we ate. There were DOG days ( Days off the Grog) and CAT days - Consume Alcohol Today, days. Coopers pale ale, Padthaways finest bollocksy reds. and some emerging sauvignons like Mojo, all peaches and gooseberries.

We visited Aborigine sites and tread the same path as the old people.

We saw a land at its greenest and probably finest - soaking in the rainfall that has ended 10 soul destroying years. We joined with Aussies and mourned the loss of fellow countrymen at the hands of terrorists in Jakarta - united in disgust and sorrow. Days later we revelled in the competition on Edens lush field where the All Blacks played with some grit and made us proud.

We spent days without a computer or blackberry and felt better for it.

We celebrated a birthday of a baby born at 26 weeks with 150 farming aussies and marvelled at the sameness of our lives.

And today we have spent 49 years on this earth and are comforted by a life that that has been richly lived and made better for walking in the shoes of others.

Saturday 4 July 2009


There have been some very interesting permutations of the bizfeminist movement over the years and Fran O'Sullivans column today looks at a new breed who are being championed by the acidic Mai Chen.

She also chastises National for not doing more to level up the playing field for women who want power and influence.

Its an interesting and insightful look into the changed psyche of the bizfem pack.

This pack is loaded with no nonense women who seem to use testosterone as a perfume. We have a couple of mates who attend these functions and for them they see it as a fast ticket to the boardrooms of the nation.

They interestingly, appear over feminised - they spend way more on their appearance than your average Sally sheila. They are actually fluffy -all false nails, botox, silk and Jimmy Choos. It's as, though this uberfemininity is their badge of honour. But they seem to think they gain their strength from the collective. Sad that in this day and age we still have to, as women, think we have to hunt in a pack to get anywhere.


We said that we wont blog on Maori or Health stuff but we will link to blogs who we think illuminate interesting issues on these topics. Alf Grumble has a considered take on the parlous state of the Crown Forest Rental Trust Finances.

Worth a gander.


This morning the Herald harks with the voice of an avenging angel as it reports on the curious case of Bill Liu ,the man with one face but many names.

We have covered this story often
after it first saw the light of day in Investigate Magazine.

We are interested that Jones, who is central to this story because he signed off Lius passport as this extract from an earlier story in the Herald indicates, is not mentioned until the tail end paragraphs of today's Herald story. What does that mean?

Mr Cunliffe would not discuss the case when approached by the Herald before the election but later, under the Official Information Act, the Department of Labour released to the Herald the following passage from Mr Cunliffe's decision: "I have decided that the most appropriate route for this case at this time is for it to continue to be assessed by BSG [Border Security Group - includes fraud and compliance units] as a potential prosecution file. I do not discount the possibility of reconsidering it in the future."

A source close to Mr Cunliffe told the Herald that the minister had erred on the side of natural justice for Mr Liu but was "somewhat surprised" when Mr Jones (delegating for the Internal Affairs minister of the time, Rick Barker), granted Mr Liu citizenship without first discussing it with Mr Cunliffe.

So maybe there are some legal threats floating around. Anyway we reckon that this story still has quite a bit to play out yet.

All very fishy really.......

Wednesday 1 July 2009


At last we have some direction over the the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Today we have a Parliament that sees Maori walk the corridors of power with National and now we have a report which clearly shows the dissatisfaction with this odious piece of legislation. It is a report that lays out the issues clearly and calls for the Act to be biffed.

We are in a prime position for the development of a solution that should unify this country and heal some deep deep wounds.

Well done guys - well done.