Congratulations to the Labour Party – they have just eased the way for we Nats to win a fourth term

November 18, 2014

So what’s the magnitude of the challenge for we Nats when we set about winning a fourth successive term in government?

A little one, it turns out.

According to the NZ Herald in this report:

Labour has chosen Andrew Little as its new leader.

Mr Little, who emerged the winner after a tight battle that went into a third round of voting, said it was an “immense privilege” to have been chosen.

“Labour is the party that has always been at the forefront of real and meaningful change that benefits all New Zealanders and that is the tradition I will honour as leader.”

The change at which it has been to the forefront in recent times, of course, is its propensity for changing leaders.

And now that Andrew is in charge we can expect a change in policies, because he wasn’t too chuffed about the ones Labour took into the last election.

Alf was going to look much harder at Little’s elevation to the leadership for the edification of his constituents, few (if any) of whom care much for Little, or Labour or its policies.

But he has been beaten to the draw by the splendid Ele at Homepaddock.

She looks at an analysis of the vote and concludes it isn’t a ringing endorsement.

Which it isn’t.

Does Alf much care?

Not really.

And Ele’s post means he can wander down to the club and nestle down with a few mates for a natter about life, the universe and all that.


If a teddy bear arouses you, the wordsmiths have a word (unpronounceable) for your kinky condition

October 12, 2014

If Siouxsie doesn’t like this post – well, maybe she should get her lawyer to sioux

February 4, 2013

So what's wrong with Suzie?

So what’s wrong with being named Suzie?

Ele, at Homepaddock, is taking things much too seriously.

Without a hint of “where the fuck did she get that name?”, Ele (here) has highlighted some research that reveals what is killing us.

Drinking whisky, it is gratifying to learn, is not on the list.

Let there be no misunderstandings: serious stuff is being talked about.

It started at Sciblogs a few weeks ago (here) with a post headed

What do Kiwis die of?

Read the rest of this entry »


We should be encouraging women to come to Te Papa – so let’s keep out the taonga instead

October 13, 2010

Alf admires a politician who is prepared to stick his neck out and – in the case of Te Papa – seem to be over-ruling a bit of superstitious nonsense emanating from the mandarins who run the joint.

Hats off, therefore, to Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson.

Today he is quoted as saying the controversial warning to pregnant or menstruating women to stay away from Maori artefacts at Te Papa is simply an advisory.

Women can decide to ignore it.

If you want to find out what this fuss is all about – as viewed by the country’s bloggers, anyway – you should check out the post on the matter at Homepaddock.

It includes a reference to a post by the admirable Cactus Kate, headed: “Cook Your Own F**ing Eggs I’m Menstruating”.

Read the rest of this entry »


When it comes to rockin’, rollin’ and quakin’, Jerry Lee does it better than the Beach Boys

September 4, 2010

Alf has yet to grips with the extent of the damage done and harm caused by the Christchurch earthquake. But he has been listening to Radio NZ’s National station, which earlier this morning was doing a great job of reporting on the event.

For now, he will refer his constituents to a Homepaddock post, where Ele tells us how the the earth moved for her.

Read the rest of this entry »


So what does the pugnacious Winston Peters have in common with the skipper of the Graf Spee?

December 13, 2009

The Graf Spee...it was sunk not by the enemy but by its captain.

Finding no news of worth in the Sunday papers today, Alf picked up a copy of a speech by Winston Peters to browse through while breakfasting.

It was optimistically titled The Road Back and was delivered to the NZ First Tauranga Electorate.

The road back to where, exactly, was not stated.

And nope. Peters did not deliver the speech in a telephone booth. He hired the St Johns Church Hall, but Alf does not know how many members of the party faithful turned up for the occasion.

Read the rest of this entry »


Dairy prices rise – but so does the bloody dollar

August 5, 2009

Alf’s dairy farming readers will be cheered by news that prices have risen in Fonterra’s latest online global milk powder auction.

Values have been slipping since May but Tuesday night’s auction posted an increase of 24.98%.

The current price of $US2301 per tonne compares with $US1841 month.

It is however still less than half the value of $US4750 achieved at auction in March last year.

Ele at Homepaddock, as usual, was quickly on to this news and has a bit more to say on the matter with a post headed Phew – milk auction price up 25.8% (which is slightly at odds with the Radio NZ number).

She has a graph, too, for those who like to see how this thing is tracking.

For good measure (but a bit more sobering) she gives a pointer to Bernard Hickey’s observation that the rise in the value of the dollar will cancel out some of the gains from the better auction price.


Rural patients given a shot for travel

March 30, 2009

More good news from Health Minister Tony Ryall on the rural health front: he has announced an increase in the mileage allowance that patients can claim under the National Travel Assistance (NTA) policy. It’s the first increase in 20 years.

He’s on the job, too, looking into rural doctors’ and nurses’ concerns about rural ambulance services.

Dr Carol Horgan, chief executive of Dunstan Hospital near Clyde in Central Otago, was among those who raised the matter at the Rural General Practitioners Network conference in Wellington over the weekend.
Read the rest of this entry »


Money is still being poured into milk

March 28, 2009

Ele at Homepaddock strikes a positive note of the sort Alf hoped to hear, the morning after the Stats Department reported a 0.9% contraction in the economy in the December 2008 quarter.

It was the fourth consecutive decline in economic activity, as measured by Gross Domestic Product.
Read the rest of this entry »


A great day for the monarchists

March 27, 2009

Alf is an unabashed monarchist and admirer of much – but not all – that is British. He doesn’t admire football hooligans, for example, or warm beer, or Gordon Ramsay’s vocabulary.

But he greatly admires Her Majesty, the Queen, who has made his day by completing the formalities needed to reinstate titles in the New Zealand honours system. He sang God Save The Queen down at the club to mark the occasion.
Read the rest of this entry »