Meatworkers’ election money is belatedly declared

April 30, 2009

So look at what the Labour Party has been up to now, in the electoral shenanigans department.

Secretary and financial agent Mike Smith says that he has presented the annual return of donations for the Labour Party to the Electoral Commission due today, and advised the Commission that an aggregated donation of $25,500 from three branches of the NZ Meatworkers Union made at separate times should have been declared within ten days of receipt of the final donation in November 2008.

This omission was an oversight but is in breach of Section 210C of the Electoral Act as recently amended which requires that a return of party donations from the same donor amounting to more than $20,000 within any twelve-month period be made within ten working days of the limit being reached.

Smith acknowledged that he is personally responsible for the “oversight” and said he regrets the error.

Alas, whatever embarrassment he suffers by making this public confession is likely to be the only penalty imposed on him.

Police should be looking for a right tit

April 30, 2009

Some thefts are explained by an obvious economic incentive. Copper, for example.

But breast pumps? What ever happened to the milk of human kindness when thieves start stealing breast-pumps?

The Manawatu was plagued, a few months back, by a group of thieves who stripped down three rural houses of copper in one string of attacks.
Read the rest of this entry »

How to stage a political announcement

April 30, 2009

ACT New Zealand knows how to lift your prospects of pulling the press to your press conference – you do it by making your announcements in the boozer.

Mind you, whether you can drag the buggers along to a boozer on a Saturday afternoon might be a different matter.

Anyway, ACT has advised all media that

a special press conference will be held at The Kingslander Bar & Tavern, 470 New North Road, Kingsland, Auckland to announce the ACT Party candidate for the upcoming Mt Albert by-election.

At 1:00pm this Saturday, May 2 2009, ACT Leader Rodney Hide will be joined by ACT President Michael Crozier to announce the Party’s candidate and to launch the Mt Albert campaign.

Just in case the hacks didn’t get the message, it was reiterated:

Mt Albert Candidate Announcement and Campaign Launch; Kingslander Bar & Tavern, 470 New North Road, Kingsland, Auckland; 1:00pm, Saturday, May 2 2009.

So who’s shout is it?

Cullen bows out with flair

April 30, 2009

Most Labour MPs are drones, apt to quickly put Alf to sleep in the House.

Michael Cullen was an exception (as was Richard Prebble, both in his Labour days and as ACT’s leader).

The nuggets from his valedictory speech have already been given an airing on radio and on other blogs. But they are worth repeating:
Read the rest of this entry »

No fornication without sterilisation

April 29, 2009

Plant & Food Research spin doctors know how to grab attention.

Their latest media release is headed “Sex used as weapon against moths”.

Wow. Sounds like much more fun than firing rockets, dropping bombs, or whatever.

Alf accordingly was strongly tempted to do his bit for Queen and country and go down to enlist. But before going to Google to find the location of the local recruiting centre, he was tartly reminded by Mrs Grumble that he might not be considered able-bodied on the grounds his sexual prowess nowadays is reliant on heavy doses of Viagra.

As it turned out, he (and other readers of the statement) have been conned.

The headline was simply intended to lure him – like a moth to a flame – to news that:

Insect experts from around the world will meet in New Zealand this week to discuss novel insecticide-free ways of controlling moth pests.

Plant & Food Research is hosting global leaders in the field of moth control using the sterile insect technique at the first meeting of the United Nations Joint Food and Agriculture / International Atomic Energy Agency project in Christchurch.

The sterile insect technique involves irradiating insects to render them infertile before releasing them into the environment. Wild insects waste time and energy mating with these numerous sterile insects, but produce no offspring, eventually leading to a reduction in the overall insect population.

The week-long meeting will include presentations by leading scientists in the field, with attendees from 14 countries.

Salinger’s sacking not a ministerial matter

April 29, 2009

Jeanette Fitzsimons is on the wrong tack, trying to embroil Wayne Mapp in the fuss over Jim Salinger’s sacking.

In Parliament yesterday she asked Mapp, our Minister of Research, Science and Technology, if he stood by his statement in the Dominion Post last Saturday that the dismissal of internationally renowned scientist Dr Jim Salinger from his position at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research is “an employment dispute, which must be handled by the chief executive and the board”?

Mapp stuck to his guns: “Yes, I do.”
Read the rest of this entry »

Adam and – Bertha?

April 29, 2009

Alf uncovered this nugget of nonsense while delving into Nobel Prize winners.

As the first woman ever, Bertha von Suttner was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905

There goes Eve’s claim to the title.

Baroness Bertha Sophie Felicita von Suttner – for what it’s worth – was born Countess Kinsky von Chinic und Tettau in Austria (and deserves to be added to Whale Oil’s list of silly names).

She lived from 1843-1914

She was an author, and Honorary President of the Permanent International Peace Bureau (Bureau International Permanent de la Paix), Bern.

Giving Jim his Nobel dues

April 29, 2009

The Green Party’s persistence in describing climate scientist Jim Salinger as a Nobel Prize winner needs exploring.

Alf – uncharacteristically – might have been a tad dismissive two days ago.

At the time of the award, The NZ Herald recognised the work of Salinger (who composts his food scraps and uses energy-efficient light bulbs) and Dr David Wratt (who uses public transport and plants trees):

But the personal contributions of the Niwa climate scientists in tackling the issue of global warming go way beyond commitments to reduce their carbon footprints.

For years the pair have devoted huge amounts of time to the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which was this month awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.

The organisation shares the prize with former United States Vice-President Al Gore for his film An Inconvenient Truth, in recognition of their efforts to raise awareness and impetus around the threat of climate change.

Read the rest of this entry »

Get out there and give the Green buggers L

April 28, 2009

It looks like first-time political aspirant Jackson James Wood has much to learn.

He has admitted to “a dramatic setback in his campaign” (to win the Mt Albert by-election) with the firing of several key staff members.

Wood’s entire press team have been given notice following the disgraceful misspelling of the name of fellow candidate Russel Norman in a press release dated 24th April.
Read the rest of this entry »

Lady copper earns rebuke

April 28, 2009

Gotta strike a blow for elderly people tonight and shout enthusiastic support for the Age Concern national president Liz Baxendine. Way to go, Liz.

Her hackles were raised by a Rolleston policewoman’s criticism of older drivers and doctors after an older woman’s “minor” car accident. She described the lady copper’s remarks as “inappropriate”.

Maybe the accident was not too minor. The elderly motorist did plough through six suburban fences.

But hey. Give her a break. It could have been Alf’s mum.
Read the rest of this entry »