Carter’s emphasis on welfare unlikely to silence Sue

March 31, 2009

Green Party grouch Sue Kedgley – having asked at Question Time how New Zealand will benefit from any resumption of live sheep exports for slaughter in Saudi Arabia – was told the live animal export trade last year was worth a billion dollars to the Australian economy.

David Carter, our Minister of Agriculture, said it’s clear that in these challenging times this trade is a potential—he repeated the word “potential”—economic opportunity for our farmers.

But regardless of the cash that might flow our way, Kedgley is bothered that the exporting will be done by folk from the Middle East. Arabs.
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Bit of a bomb for the Manawatu

March 31, 2009

Looks like the Manawatu – on the other side of the northern Tararuas – will miss out on the economic fillip that would have come from having the country’s only Air Force base.

Civilian air operators will be disappointed, too. There will not be any scheduled civil air services at Whenuapai.

The Cabinet has confirmed the retention of Whenuapai as an active Air Force base, reversing the Clark Gang’s intention to consolidate the Air Force’s operations at Ohakea in the Manawatu.
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Smith bumps off another unionist

March 31, 2009

Another trade unionist has bitten the dust in the ACC boardroom.

ACC Minister (and Lord High Everything Else) Nick Smith today announced what he calls a “reconfigured” ACC board, including the appointment of four new board members in addition to the new chair, John Judge.

Wayne Butson, National Secretary of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union, is among those purged.
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A taxing question about living standards

March 31, 2009

Dunno why tax expert Jo Doolan should have wanted to contrast Ponsonby with Eketahuna. Or Eketahuna with Ponsonby.

It’s a bit like trying to decide if pears are better than apples, or crayfish superior to champagne.

But perhaps that was her point.
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Public asked to discuss broadband plans

March 31, 2009

Here’s your chance to have your say on broadband development.

The government is proposing to establish a Crown-owned investment company (“Crown Fibre Investment Co” or CFIC) to drive the government’s investment in ultra-fast broadband.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce is inviting feedback on the government’s plan.
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Steering clear of Armageddon

March 31, 2009

Good to hear a bunch of economists giving the same advice as Alf was dispensing earlier this year: New Zealand is at risk of talking itself into a “much deeper and longer downturn than is warranted”.

The warning, from the independent forecaster BERL, is recorded on Stuff today.

BERL says the gloom could be turned around with decisive leadership on infrastructure projects, and not cavalier spending cuts by government.
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From left and right, he’s a Dick

March 31, 2009

Any sympathy for Dick Worth on the blogosphere – or anywhere, for that matter – after The Boss reprimanded him over that conflict of interest stuff raised by his trip to India?

None that was found during a somewhat hasty check this morning.

But Alf has an inkling of sympathy. He observes that Dick (according to a brief biography on the Beehive website) has “strong connections” with the Korean, Indian and Chinese communities and is president of the Hong Kong New Zealand Business Association, and chairman of both the India Trade Group Inc and the Korea/New Zealand Business Council. Or was.

Moreover, he enjoys Bollywood films, Korean classical music and the early works of Sun Tzu.
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