Monday 31 January 2011


Love being home... Thats all..


To all the loyal readers of Roarprawn. BustedBlonde is back but not here - well not much. She has been tweeting quite a bit for an old twat and she is now engaging in something a tad more serious. She has started reviewing wine for Grape Hunter - which of course means she will also gab on about good food as well. So if you want your wine reviewed then drop her a line at But remember she is not a pro, just a committed amateur imbiber. And she is brutally honest.

However the Brunette will continue to expound on all manner of things that get up her proboscis
here at Roarprawn

love all - the Brunette...


We have been doing a bit of grumbling about the unfortunate state of affairs that means that we miss out on two holidays this year - Waitangi Day and Anzac Day.

Now as much as we like to go on holiday this is not something that can just be changed willy nilly.

We were going to proffer a whole set of arguments about why the status quo should remain.

Grant Robertson is one of the few Labour politicians we respect but this holiday thing smacks of political opportunism in Election year.. Grant is way better than that. He is capable of serious policy development of the sort that can change lives for the better. A private members bill will get Grant some headlines but the subject demeans him.

Sunday 30 January 2011


Today we discovered a new fruit we had not sampled before.

Its a Pluot.
It has a smooth apricot coloured skin with a freckled blush. Bite into it and there is none of the dryness one often associates with apricots, this is one bright juicy fruit. It is tart even on ripeness and we think excels the two fruits from which it was cleaved.

Especially if you like fruit with a kick.

And tonight we dine like kings - steamed lobster, dads new potatoes and a simple iceberg salad - and of course it was accompanied by a bottle of Wooing Trees blanc de noir - the fabulous - Blondie.

And the secret ingredient which is now very de rigeur - Highlander mayonnaise, as made popular by the chef who arguably best captures the heart of NZ cuisine - Al Brown. Athough we think mums version is better.

It was a short trip south but we have packed some of Central Otago's sunshine in our bag to remind us of our happy weekend. Sadly, tomorrow we are off back home to Wellington - albeit with about 20kgs of stone fruit which includes 15kgs of nectarines that Dad swapped for 3 muttonbirds and a big cray tail and some very good memories of food, wine and family.

Saturday 29 January 2011


We had at lovely day today touring around Cromwell, Bannockburn and Earnscleugh with mum
while dad was off playing golf, very good golf actually - he had a net 67. Not bad for a creaky 75 year old.

We decided to call in to the Wooing Tree vineyard on the boundary of the Cromwell township.

We won a bottle of its extremely fine Pinot Noir in an online Air New Zealand Wine awards competition recently, so we wanted to see what else they had.

We now have a new best wine friend - Blondie - its the liquid version of BustedBlonde. A blanc de Noir. It's zippy, luscious, a little bit fruity and surprising good and the more you get to know her the better you will like her.

Way better than Sauvignon Blanc, in our uneducated opinion.

For that reason it has to be a superb wine match with crustaceans and we think almost perfect with New Zealand Rock Lobster.

Funny how things just happen though - a mate of a mate of mine rang out of the blue yesterday. He lives in Wanaka and he was heading over to Fiordland with some blokes and had heard of a method to cook crayfish using kelp that he thought we might know about. As we were in the car with the our father, the answer was almost immediate.

"Yup" dad said.

"Cut two bits of kelp and hollow them both out like a bag. One has to be able to fit inside the other so you end up with two bags. Then put the whole crayfish inside one and then opened end first - put it in the the other kelp bag - then fold the ends in like an envelope. Then put them on hot coals and when the first bag has burned off the crayfish is ready to eat."

The minerals and salts of the kelp will flavour the steamed crayfish.

Muttonbirders, like Bustedblonde, used to use kelp bags to store muttonbirds, so you can get an idea of how it works from the great old photo above.

We seem to remember using the kelp purse method of cooking fish on a beach many moons ago.

We also remember being with some bloke and doing a bit of sandy snogging - but can't remember just who that bloke was so he cant have been much good - but we do remember the crayfish and it was very memorable.

So how good is it that today we found the wine that we think would be a perfect match with that ancient recipe!

Wooing Trees " Blondie" is a complex and extremely interesting wine - unlike anything we have had for quite some time.

Its slight champagne blush comes from a smidgen of contact with the pinot noir skins. Its really is a stunner. It lingers on the tongue and has lovely peachy notes.

Sadly we have some crayfish but not the kelp to cook it in this weekend. But for the those who like adventure with elegance and if you are heading to a kelp strewn coast to catch crayfish, then make sure you get a bottle of "Blondie" as a perfect accompaniment with your kelp parcelled crayfish.

You will be delighted by how much she will enhance your lobster eating experience. Of course if you want a sublime experience take BustedBlonde with you as well

Friday 28 January 2011


So Hone is up against it. He talks up the fact that he has all this support in the far north. So how many turn up for the meeting to show that Hone is "their" man?

About 100 of Mr Harawira's backers attended and the outcome was rejection of the complaint, a demand that constitutional law expert Mai Chen be sacked from her role as an advisor to the party and that Mr Harawira should travel around the country to find out how much support there was for his concerns.

The trouble is the media didnt get it. They think that Hone has heaps of support. He has support alright. A whole heap of people who love him and respect him so much they couldnt be arsed going to a meeting . The National Council of the Maori Party will now know that the far north may be a noisy whingey lot but the reality is the same apathy that sees them locked into go nowhere blame everybody else lives is the same lot that cant be arsed making an effort to give Hone a decent show of support.

If Hone really did have support - attendance at that meeting should have been measured in the thousands.

And we all know how good Shane Jones is at wanking on and here he is at it again - He reckons that Hone will be Sharples in any political showdown.. Crap. Maori party followers are not that stupid.

Hone is toast.

Wednesday 26 January 2011


For those oldies who, after being skinned out by finance companies, are looking for somewhere safe to tuck their savings other than under the kapok, the Government partial asset sales offer a good investment.

THe media initially tried to run the story as a wholesale sell down but its not. It offers ordinary New Zealanders a chance to make a pretty safe investment in the future of New Zealand while the government maintains control.

Thats a "win - win " as they used to say. "Mixed ownership" says John Key and that sums it up nicely.

While the flag ship power and energy companies are in the mix - we would have liked to have seen the net cast wider.

The other upside is that while the SOE's currently have one reasonably demanding shareholder - they can look to a future of more shareholders and with that comes the risks and rewards.

And lets face it the voting punters are going to be turned on by this more than Phil the Dill dying his hair.

So while Goff offers up enhanced individual elegance via the dye pot, offers up an elegant solution that's good for the country and good for Mr and Mrs Zealander.

Round 1 of the 2011 election bout:
Phil the Dill vs Pretty Boy Key



Despite all the rain, we had a great weekend made extra special by the biennial Wings over Wairarapa Airshow. Now its no secret that we have a few flyboys in the family. Even Busted Blonde  took to the air in her younger day and has never lost the love all all things winged.

So how good was the airshow? We attended the Warbirds over Wanaka show a way back when it was in its infancy so that's all we have to compare it to.

This is the second time we have been to the Masterton show and we will undoubtedly be back again in two years time. Its fantastic.  Liz Pollock seems to be the event sheila extraordinaire in the Big Valley as no sooner does she put down the running sheet for the Wings over Wairarapa Show than she picks up the pour on the March Harvest Festival in Gladstone.

We think that the Wings over Wairarapa is pretty well run. We bought Gold passes, which for  $160 dollars got you a park that meant you didn't have to take a cut lunch and a compass to get to the grounds, entry  to a covered tent and a grandstand as close to the action as you could want. You got morning tea, a scone, cake and coffee and  lunch which we thought this year was not that flash. It was a choice of a venison burger or a chicken burger and for dessert there was some cake and fudge. Afternoon tea was also served with some fruit loaf. The venison burger was tasty enough but it just didn't seem to hit the mark. Our resident chicken connoisseur declared his burger  so so.

There was a cash bar and the prices were really reasonable. $30 for a good bottle of local Pinot Noir like Johners Moonlight is not to be sniffed at.And you got a Wings cap and a programme. The programme was really well put together. However, as a couple of Maori fellas with us suggested, the caterers needed to go to a marae to see how serving up food to  a big crowd was done properly and with greater efficiency.The layout of the food stations was not great. And maybe the tent was a bit crowded.

There is nothing that the organisers could have done about the monsoonal weather bomb that washed out the show on Sunday. Even on Saturday the patchy weather put paid to a few events. And the only other criticism is how the cancellation was handled. It would have been horrendously difficult but a better use of social media would have made it a bit more immediate. Twitter could have been used to much greater effect.

There were people from around the world who travel the airshow circuit and there was a fair crowd of overseas visitors in the tent. Some were very very old. But the light in their eyes shone bright every time a planes old and new took to the air.

Our favourites are the vintage planes and the blokes who fly the yaks. They are from all across the aviation spectrum and they are a crowd pleaser. They are obviously a pretty close knit bunch. There is a touch of the daring do about them. Classy cowboys of the sky.

The commentators were also a great bunch. Star billing went to Jim Hickey for his irreverence and his humour. But the others were in the same league.

With every plane that took to the air there was a story - a gloriously, fascinating, human story.  Sadly the media treatment of this event is scant and once over lightly. A fully documentary of the show and the people who have got it to this stage is well worth considering. There are obviously many many characters in amongst the flyboys and the chaps who look after the vintage military machines.

Masterton has a wonderful asset in this show and the dozens of old planes who sleep in the hangers at Hood.

So a big thumbs up to the organisers and all the volunteers for a great event.

And to the person who decided that the closing of the show was a chance to pay homage to all those who had taken to the skies to fight for freedom - well done. As we watched the finally rally we cast around the people in the crowd in the tent. Some fought back the tears while others openly sobbed. It was as moving as any Anzac parade we have ever attended. It was good to pause and reflect that aircraft have played such a vital role in shaping our world, but one that was not without considerable cost.
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Flyer's Prayer
When this life I'm in is done,
And at the gates I stand,
My hope is that I answer all
His questions on command.
I doubt He'll ask me of my fame,
Or all the things I knew, Instead,
He'll ask of rainbows sent
On rainy days I flew.
The hours logged, the status reached,
The ratings will not matter.
He'll ask me if I saw the rays
And how He made them scatter.
Or what about the droplets clear,
I spread across your screen?
And did you see the twinkling eyes.
If student pilots keen?
The way your heart jumped in your chest,
That special solo day-
Did you take time to thank the one
Who fell along the way?
Remember how the runway lights
Looked one night long ago
When you were lost and found your way,
And how-you still dont know?
How fast, how far, how much, how high?
He'll ask me not these things
But did I take the time to watch
The Moonbeams wash my wings?
And did you see the patchwork fields
And moutains I did mould;

Of these did I behold?
The wind he flung along my wings,
On final almost stalled.
And did I know I it was His name,
That I so fearfully called?
And when the goals are reached at last,
When all the flyings done,
I'll answer Him with no regret-
Indeed, I had some fun.
So when these things are asked of me,
And I can reach no higher,
My prayer this day - His hand extends
To welcome home a Flyer.

Sunday 23 January 2011

Friday 21 January 2011


Adolf over at No Minister has a very good, almost scholarly dissertation on the differences between National and Labour. Something for journalists to file away for reference in the coming months.

However, we think that this governments steely leadership is worthy of note as well.
Ministers like Judith Collins have managed to face down public service Humpreys who are well past their use by date. Its a tough thing to do - as our dad would say - they are cunninger than a shithouse rat.

Collins has shown clearly that while she knows front line police on the street do a great job, the strategic direction of the police force was lacking. The culture was shit. It was a boys club. She has appointed a tough bugger in Peter Marshall to set things right , he knows what she expects police to achieve and he can be sure in the knowledge that she will unfailingly back him to the hilt and give him all the support he needs when the chips are down.

Crusher Collins has shown she is not a Minister to be trifled with. It is apparent that she gave Broad and Pope a wee push out the door. She gave them enough time to gather their wits and exclaim it was all their idea when plainly it wasnt. The fact that her desire to see them gone was leaked, shows clearly the shake up of the police ivory tower was very popular with the rank and file.

We can never understand New Zealanders medias subtle condemnation of changes to the leadership of the public service with the advent of a new government. Firstly its the government perrogative to choose the CE's they want to work with. They need to know that the people they are working will support the policies they are trying to implement.

The public service is a slow acting dull beast, made fat and lazy from years of over indulgence. The smart and the passionate get mired in process designed to keep account of outputs not outcomes.

For New Zealand to get ahead of the game - that must change. Crusher , is thankfully leading the charge.

Thursday 20 January 2011


For all the followers of the Hone debacle - read this and the Maori party could save squillions if they read it as well.

Cactus has done for free what Mai Chen will do for squillions. And it begs a question why wont the Maori party use Maori constitutional lawyers?


Last night we saw a tweet from TV3's Rachel Smalley @RachSmalley who is fast becoming a twitter princess.

Anyway she was interested in doing a piece on voluntary celibacy. It made us think of a not very well known social club that operated back in the late 80's early 90's on Stewart Island. It was called the Cobweb club. Numbers fluctuated but there were about a dozen hard core members. Membership was only gained if you had gone a whole year without a shag. What was even funnier is that these women were all good looking sheilas. Funnier because at the time there were over 60 single men on the island.

They were a motley lot.

Anyway we missed out on entry by about 10 days. However, because we were fervent believers in the southern sheilas maxim, that no roots are better than bad roots, we became an associate member.

Anyway to Cactus's coat. Cactus will never be a member of the Cobweb club but she could be an associate member cos her mates have got her to understand now that no roots are better than dud roots.

So our high flying financial diva, Cactus is soon to be off jetting around the world again and she has dragged out one of the great man magnet clothing items - the fur coat. It doesnt have to be real - just fluffy - its a tactile thing. Men like stroking fluff.

And so what does a modern girl wear under a fur coat ? Easy - nothing.

Wednesday 19 January 2011


No surprises here, Pim Bird is the head honcho of the Maori party and he has has acted swiftly on a complaint about Hone Harawira. We blogged on Harawira's disloyal column and all round general uselessness the other day and suggested that the party had little option but give the shit the flick.

And it seems the party are making sure that they have all their ducks in a row - employing the constitutional grunt of Mai chen.

We talked to a few people today who reckon that Hone does have a problem if he goes rogue or gets the boot. He has a constituency that as one Maori leader suggested was "a bunch of feral riff raff. "

Thing is feral riff raff arent big on voting.

However, Hone is popular in his home patch. So the next few weeks will be interesting and put a whole new flavour in the up coming election.

Monday 17 January 2011


Well here is an excellent first. The sort of police action that sets the benchmark. A mongrel mob member has had his patch destroyed by the police.

It is akin to defrocking a priest. It strikes at the heart of all they believe in - all they believe they are.

This should happen everytime a gang member breaks the law. And they should be forced to watch it being destroyed. Gangs breed hate and the patch is nothing but a symbol of that hatred.

It will have the same effect as the gang patch ban of Wanganui. It will serve as a reminder that gangs are not normal and that their criminalty that manfests itself in i community intimidation and fear is not going to be accepted.

Police Minister Judith Collins must be delighted and proud of the Hawkes Bay constabulary.

Its that sort of thinking and hardline policing that will erode gang legitimacy everywhere.

Its also time for every Marae in the country to ban gang patches as well.

Gang tikanga is not Maori tikanga.


We are over Hone. He is a back stabbing moaning, whining, whinging dork. If he wasn't brown you would think he was a pom.

His latest column where he bags his own party, is a clear cut case of massive disloyalty. He is shaping up to move on out but we think that he will take his time, as like all well known troughers he will use the taxpayer funded resources that he is entitled to as a Maori party member to campaign on his own issues and dis his colleagues on the way through.

Sharples and Turia need to boot his sorry arse out now.

What really bugs us about Hone is that he has an enormous sense of entitlement and he thinks that its everyone else's fault that the Maori underclass are stagnating in a pool of despondency.

Its not - its their fault. Poor performing Maori are fast running out of excuses as the Maori middle class grows larger every day.

What Hone needs to do is starting being the leader he has the capacity to be. He is right when he says the Maori party could do better at connecting with its constituents. But for the wrong reasons.

He needs to connect alright but not to stoke their anger at everyone else. No, what he needs to do is get on the paepae and tell them that the only way that they will get out of the poverty trap is to haul their own sorry brown arses up out of the pit all by themselves.

Maori have an obligation to their children to show that while they maybe a generation of lost causes and losers that they must ensure that their children do not follow their self indulgent path.

Maori have forgotten that New Zealand offers the same opportunity to everyone to make a good life. And nothing exemplifies that more than the growing Maori middle class. They are the beacon of hope. They prove that what Hone says to his constituents is a lie aimed at keeping them despondent, keeping their minds full of hate and blame. His is not the politics of aspiration. It is the politics of envy and blame.

And for all the white fellas who are out there who are thinking that this means that they the brown middle class are just white folks of a different hue - think again. These Maori hold dear to their cultural beliefs and practices. They are still active members of kapa haka, active in tribal politics and take every opportunity to use Te Reo. They also do all that they can to inspire others to follow them.
They are the hope of the nation that desperately wants to be an egalitarian society.

Funny thing is Hone is a high earning member of that Maori middle class.

So his responsibility is to that small group of Maori who just arent cutting it. The Maori underclass , while overrepresented in every negative social status indicator, are not a large group in numbers.
It's Hone's responsibility to tell the gangs to f**k off and leave the kids alone. To get up in the hills and burn down the dope crops. Get down to the boozer and haul the men out and send them home, Walk into the pokie parlours and tell the women to get home to their kids. And prowl the streets in the morning and send the truant kids back to school. And tell them that whining about their lot wont fix shit. And tell them that its time they started to take responsibility for ensuring that Maori dont create another lost generation.

But the sad thing is that Hone wont do any of the above. No he will wander around the country talking down the whiteys and telling Maori that their salvation lies in the sands of beaches everywhere - that if they can convince the nation to give them " ownership" of the beaches then all will be well in the world and Maori will ride the wave of prosperity and feel good about themselves.

Wrong. They will still be down at the pub, picking their dope crops, pressing the button on the machines of neon dreams, wagging school and hiding out in McDonalds.

Hone will not be the saviour to his people - he is just the devil in disguise.

Cactus has also given him another broadside.


There is an article in the NZ Herald here about this bit part barbie dolly grizzling that NZ men are a bit uncouth.

They are - thats why we like them. Our guys don't do pedicures, or exfoliants and while their attempts to show their appreciation for a good looking chick lack a bit of finesse, they are still confident enough to pay you a compliment.

Now we had cause to walk past a building site the other day in a new flouncy dress.

It stoked memories of our youthful past some thirty five years ago when a saunter by a construction zone would see men fall to their knees and let out all manner of primal screams..

Sadly those days are gone - or so we thought.

As we wandered by, we looked up and there on the scaffolding was a youngish bloke who was definitely trying to get our attention. He didnt say a thing but he clutched his hands to to heart , which for a moment had us wondering if he wasnt suffering a heart attack , then he held out his hands in that age old "my heart is yours" gesture.

We looked around, there were no other girls around and no good looking blokes either. Yip it was for us. So we blew him back a kiss and he fell to his knees and blew one back.

We tossed our locks and grinned all the way down the street.

It was all done without a word, a woop or a holler...

Frankly, at our age we would have been just as happy with a wolf whistle or even a "Ohh yeahhh !!!"

Couth or uncouth - its doesnt really matter, what matters is that we can still command a bit of attention from blokes. It makes us feel good.

And unlike Anna Faris we dont have to do a titty flash to command attention.

Sunday 16 January 2011


We have the utmost respect for the well argued debate that is lit by Rosemary McLeod in her columns. Her skill as a journalist forms the bedrock of everything she writes.

But today we think that what she writes is a crock of crap. She thinks that blanket man represents our collective shame and failure as a society . What liberal crap.

We wrote about Blanket man just the other day after he was blatantly breaking the law in broad daylight. And the authorities did nothing. They left him there with his alcohol to drink in a public place - something that is illegal. Something that a brash 18 year old could find leaves him with record.

Rosemary thinks that society has failed Blanket Man - wrong he is failing to live up to his responsibilities in society by abiding by the law. He exists because we dont treat him like a normal citizen.

He is treated like the law does not apply to him so by inference the council and the police are saying that he is okay to do what he likes. He has a status not accorded to any other citizen.

He is not , as McLeod asserts, some modern day image of the old blanket wearing Maori.
He is a lazy shit who now has an uncommon status because we dont treat him like we treat everyone else. He is now deemed to be someone special.

And Ms McLeod needs to see the disgust drip from the faces of the Maori I know who find Blanket man an appalling embarrassment.

Maori need to start taking control of their own destiny - too many are doing well, are law abiding, taxpaying, culture enhancing citizens. So the ones that aren't don't have any excuses any more. And the signal for change must come from Maori leaders themselves. They must say that the behaviour of Maori is unacceptable. That it must change. No more dope for breakfast, no more 5 day alcoholic benders. We need to see the focus of Maori leaders shift from grizzling about the foreshore and seabed and looking at what they can do to support their own people and give them direction.
So to Ms McLeod we say that Blanket man can be a part of society but when he breaks the law as he currently does then its time for him to accept responsibility for his actions and its time for Maori to take responsibility for his actions as well.

Friday 14 January 2011


We have an idea of what Queenslanders will be facing in the aftermath of the flood. Months of stench. Its the pits.

As a young reporter and mum we lived through the 1984 Southland Flood and the ensuing stench still lingers as the most dominant  unpleasant memory of that tough time. It was bloody awful and the area was a stinking mess for weeks. I rang an old Southland  mate who now lives near Brisbane to check he was okay as the Brisbane flood started to gather speed. .He said the event had reminded him a lot of the flood of '84 in Southland.

Here is how the 84 flood unfolded in Southland 

  • This weather flow was then met by a southerly front and resulted in a heavy deluge on the lower-lying parts of Southland.
  • By 9:00 pm that night the amount of rain which had fallen had caused some surface flooding in the streets of Invercargill, and the nearby towns of Riverton and Bluff.
  • The water was too much to be held by streams and rivers, and their banks were soon overflowing. Attempts were made to contain the water with sandbags and pumping, but with little success.
  • The level of the floodwaters grew higher until houses began to be flooded. Emergency services prepared to take action.
  • By 4:00 am on Friday morning the flooding was so severe that a state of emergency was declared by the Mayor of Invercargill.
  • In the morning light it could be seen that houses, streets, factories and shops were under water. Invercargill was a city cut in two by the flooded Otepuni Stream.
  • The rain kept falling and now the flooded rivers were unable to drain out into the Invercargill estuary, particularly at full tide. The water level grew higher and higher.
  • People were evacuated from houses all over Invercargill, but not only the city was affected. Throughout Southland the water levels rose, and the state of emergency was extended to cover all of the province.
  • By noon on the Friday the rain stopped and the sun began to shine, but the floodwaters kept on spreading.
  • Army and Air Force personnel were sent south to help the local Civil Defence workers.
  • Roads and railways lines were under water in places, cutting the province off from the rest of New Zealand. Invercargill airport was flooded with the water up to 3 metres deep, and with 10 light aircraft partly submerged.
  • Over 5000 people were forced to leave their homes and go to the evacuation centres that had been set up to help the refugees and keep records of where people were.
  • Helicopters were used to rescue people who had taken refuge from the flooding on the roofs of their houses. Some cattle were also moved to a safer place by helicopter, but thousands of sheep and cattle drowned.
  • 143 mm of rain fell in Invercargill during this time, almost twice as much as the average rainfall for January. On 26 January alone the rainfall was a record 84.8 mm.
  • No human lives were lost, but there were huge losses in livestock and in damage to buildings and services.

and here are some of the pertinent stats

  • A relief fund was started with a government grant of $1 million.
  • Some people had to wait for more than a week while the floodwaters receded before going back to their homes. 1,200 homes were now unliveable.
  • More than 5000 tonnes of personal belongings which were damaged beyond any form of repair were dumped.
  • More than 12,000 sheep, 100 cattle, 334 pigs and 75 deer were lost, as well as 170 kilometres of fences and 52 farm bridges.
  • About $55 million was paid out in insurance claims.

It was a tough time and for almost a year the stink hung heavy in the air. We shifted cattle and sheep over about 12 hours during the flood through  filthy  rising water. It was a slow creep kinda flood. We nursed boils on our legs for days.

So one can imagine that with the extra heat it can only be worse in Queensland.


Today  the focus of the Queensland floods shifts to Goondiwindi. They are worried that the levees there wont hold back the flood.

 Goondiwindi Moon  is  the name of a much loved  song by Aussie Country singer Lee Kernaghan

The Spirit of the Bush song  is probably a good round up of the depth of character of the people of Australia.

Our thoughts are with them and all the QLD people whose lives have been shattered by the flood.

and of course the song of the Goondiwindi Grey..

Wednesday 12 January 2011


Take a look at this wanker. Filthy Shit Aka Blanket Man the "urban legend" who is a common sight on the streets of downtown Wellington.

Now we think that the authorities lax attitude to him is just plain wrong. Every successful Maori we know cringes at the sight of him. Every unsuccessful one waves, feeds him or greets him with a "Chur Bro."

Says it all really.

But today we saw Blanket man blatantly break the law - a breach that would see anyone else fined. At the very least the liquor should be confiscated. And after a six pack of RTD bourbon, as was the case today - Blanket man would be intoxicated. We have seen him when he is pissed and he can become quite aggressive so he could also be arrested for being intoxicated.
Say an 18 year old wanders down Courtenay Place sees Blanket man getting pissed in full public view on a public street on a Friday night , then one of his mates gets chucked in the slammer for being intoxicated later that night that 18 year old would have less respect for the law and the law inforcers.

A lack of action by the authorities in this case sends all the wrong messages.

Blanket man not an icon. He is not loved by all. He needs to be treated as any other citizen. Inaction on the part of the authorities is an abrogation of their responsibility to uphold the law and apply it equally to everyone.

And I am more than happy for the police to "seize" my photographic evidence of this prick breaking the law.


We note that Ngai Tahu is wanting a piece of the Milky Way action. Thats great. Diversification is good. And the goal to own and operate a profitable environmentally friendly business is laudable and wise.

However, Ngai Tahu objected strongly to the proposal to build a mega dairy farm in the McKenzie basin. It could be seen that they use the the Resource management act to hobble other entrepreneurs so that they can get a running start on their own businesses.

Only a year ago they werent too fussed about dairying - and were all talk about " cultural values and sacred water"
Ngai Tahu supports water being made available to provide security of supply for landowners but is concerned at the possible conversion to dairying. Almost without exception, the conversion over recent years of dry land farms to dairying has brought with it a host of adverse environmental effects and has resulted in the significant degradation in the quality of our rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands. This has impacted seriously on the cultural health of waterways and has resulted in the further loss of access by tangata whenua to mahinga kai sites and resources. Needless to say, Ngai Tahu is strongly opposed to any repetition of this situation in the upper Waitaki/Te Manahuna/Mackenzie Basin Before Ngai Tahu will be prepared to depart from this position, it will need to be convinced that suitable measures can be implemented at both the on-farm and catchment level that will be capable of avoiding and/or mitigating the site-specific and cumulative adverse effects that will arise as a result of conversion to dairying.

How times have changed.

Ngai Tahu needs to be very careful. Yes it is a significant player in the South Island economy- mainly because of the smart white fellas they employed like Tony Sewell.

We wish them well with the Dairying venture. They have 35,000 ha forestry land that is probably not returning much in the way of value. So dairying is definitely a smart move. But what it is highlighting is that Ngai Tahu is in danger of looking hypocritical, chastising others about their methods then a few months later signalling that they are seriously looking at the same large scale operations.

We are also interested to know why they have not entered dairying with a joint venture partner. Its a complex business and it would seem to make sense to tap into the expertise NZ operators have built up rather than go it alone.

No doubt we will find out the answers to that in due course.

Tuesday 11 January 2011


Damn, this is not good. DOC have trapped 12 rats on the pristine stunning Ulva Island in Paterson Inlet on Stewart Island. This is a tragedy in the making. If they have caught 12 in a fortnight then there is a strong possiblity that there are hundreds already established on the sanctuary. Ulva is a window on what Stewart Island once was -alive with the haunting melody of a myriad of nativel birds and lush rich flora.

This is such a serious issue that there should be an inquiry into how it has happened. This sudden increase in the rat population makes one think that DOC has taken its eye off the ball. Its raison d'etre is to manage places like Ulva- to keep them predator free.

Accountability is required here. I hope the Minister Kate Wilkinson asks some hard questions.

The only good rat is a very dead rat.

Sunday 9 January 2011


Our best wine discovery of our Adelaide Holiday was undoubtedly our introduction to the Bishop. This is not a rough red - instead it lives up to its elegant moniker. Its a mouthful and in a good way -its  like sipping  liquid velvet. This shiraz  has quite a bit going on, leather and chocolate dominated our inexperienced  snozzer and on the tongue we took to dreaming of black doris plums.

Bloody delicious it was.

We also dined a the superb Jacobs Creek Wine Centre in the Barossa. Their top end wines, especially their racy rieslings are well worth a try but its the restaurant that provided the best memories. Aussies are not afraid to eat their national icon and Kangaroo was a popular dish. We opted to start with prawns with an avocado mousse and then for the main event  -  a huge piece of Angus steak and we were not  disappointed.

Normally we don't opt for this type of  tourist restaurant  but the food was some of the best we have had for a while.  We highly recommend a visit.

The saddest thing we saw, was in a cheap but cheerful and very good brunch joint on the beach. It served Secret Stone. Its the mass produced  sweet, boring as batshit-  no class wine- sold as  NZ sauvignon blanc. Sauvignon plonk more like. Why in the hell are NZ wine makers not learning from the terrible mistakes that the Aussies made by selling cheap rough reds to the UK?

Coincidently Jancis Robinson was interviewed on ABC about just this topic while we were in Adelaide - how Aussies were going to re-establish their wine as a premium brand in the UK after a decade of marketing it on price point.

Some of the Aussies  who were with us asked us about Secret Stone. They didnt think it was up to much and were wondering where it had  come from. Everywhere - we told them. They agreed it was purely a glugable wine - not one to savour.

So to all the wine makers out there  - we know its tough but you are producing some of the finest Sauvignon Blanc in the world. Keep the quality up and the prices up. We don't want to see cheap tart NZ  wine  sold as the elegant lady that we know the NZ Sauvignon wine to be.

Think Bishops  - not tarts.

Friday 7 January 2011


We have sampled a few wines in the Xmas New Year. But today we are sitting savouring what has to be the best wine we have had in the last few weeks and its the best Rose we have had in quite a while. Rose's can often be light fluffy quaffers, little depth and bugger all style. More often than not they can be best described as the "barbie doll" of wines. A tad superficial.

Todays bottle changed our view of what a Rose can be.

It is lovingly crafted by Karl Johner under the Paulownia Estate label - a 2009 Rose . The vineyard is owned by Christine and Vaughan Paul.

We have been a fan of the complex and deeply satisfying wines created by Karl Johner for some time . This Rose is no exception. Its golden pink hue sees it glow in the bottle. Its has the longest finish of any rose I have ever had. It simply dances on the tongue and thoughts of strawberry and caramel linger long.

And if all that is not good enough - its also at a price point that is likely to win many fans. $14.50 from the Greytown Wine Centre.

Thursday 6 January 2011


Well a few people have wondered what has happened to the glorious pheasant FARK.

Hes deaded, as my son used to say when he was 2.

Fark went nuts in a perfectly normal but unacceptable way. He started to attack anyone and would stalk us around the house and he made gardening impossible. If I was head down bum up he would sneak up and attack feet first. He put a hole in my leg. The only thing that would desuade him was a serious high pressure hose. He would wander off after a drenching but would be back the next day and if you werent near a hose then he would attack. He also had a go at the neighbours.

So three days before we left on Holiday - it was off with his head. So sorry to all my vego mates but it was quick.

Im not one to waste a thing - I went on line and found a cool video about how to field dress a pheasant. Worked a treat. You just put the bird on its back ( after its dead of course) Put your feet on both wings and then grab the feet and pull and you are left with the breasts attached to the wing. the guts comes out quick as.

Now Fark will be turned into terrine at some stage. But here's the kicker, as we sat eating a BBQ with a mate -after Xmas -along the middle paddock fence was - yup you guessed it - another male ring necked pheasant.

Son of Fark?
The hose is at the ready and the tomahawk is shiny sharp.
Come to Mama.

Tuesday 4 January 2011


The night weavers of Adelaide

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Sunday 2 January 2011


A few NY resolutions we would like to to hear

Mark Solomon - " It is now time to move on and let someone else take over. "

Michael Laws "I will stop thinking about kinky sex and get a girlfriend who only likes the missionary position and of course me"

Maori leaders " We resolve to start setting some standards. No gang patches on the Marae, and at any tangi. Our mantra will be ' gang tikanga is not Maori tikanga',"

John Key "I promise to be big and ballsy and make the hard calls to grow the economy"

Bill English " The public service will feel the pain of a thousand cuts."

Judith Collins " I will do what I did last year."

Winston Peters " I will stand in Helensville for the good of the nation."

Phil Goff " I will attend every BBQ that 17 members of my caucus are planning to hold over the summer for the sake of party unity."

Cunliffe " I will roll Phil Goff because I know that I have the superior intellect and I am better at being a shifty bastard than he is."

Trevor Mallard " I will work harder at being the most obnoxious Labour blogger because its so much fucking fun."

Clare Curran " I resolve to give the world peace and love and text Helen clark every night to tell her what a wonderful job I am doing and how popular I am especially with my own caucus."

Paul Henry " I will be a bigger star than I was - take that all you dick shits"

The Brunette " We will continue to take the piss and be obnoxious, talk about sex and country living and generally make lots of noise and swear a lot.

Cactus Kate " Shag more, Drink more, and write good shit, and make squillions while travelling the world in style. "