Bias in favour of breasts is understandable, but not when it discriminates against the bottle

August 29, 2012

“Make mine a double.”

Dunno why a mum named Claire Sword should be grizzling to news media about being hard done by.

It seems to Alf she has been done a big favour. She has been given the opportunity to spurn hospital tucker.

But the media have gone for the discrimination angle.

The story (here) is about her being denied a free meal in hospital while she sat beside her infant son’s hospital bed.

Other mothers were given a free feed. But Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) rules denied her the same thing because they breast-fed their babies.

She bottle-fed her son.

How come the board’s bias against the bottle in favour of the breast?

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Now that Mfat is getting an organisational tummy tuck, what will we finish up with?

February 24, 2012

So our foreign service will be reduced to this.


There’s lots of angst and apprehension on Wellington’s Lambton Quay after the unveiling of plans to close embassies, lay off hundreds of staff and outsource consular hotlines for distressed New Zealanders overseas.

The Herald describes this overhaul today as part of a proposed radical overhaul of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Mfat).

And a further round of job cuts is looming, on top of yesterday’s confirmation that the axe is hovering over 305 jobs, including diplomatic and policy positions.

Mfat chief executive John Allen announced proposed changes that would see 169 ministry staff culled in New Zealand and overseas, as well as 136 locally-engaged staff.

That means the loss of 21 per cent of the ministry’s 1421 staff, in one of several changes that Mr Allen said would transform the ministry into a flexible organisation with improved expertise.

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The hunt is on for a Kiwi icon to sell infant formula without being culturally offensive

June 1, 2011

But is this a good way to sell canned baby formula?

In a follow-up to an item posted here the other day, Alf observes that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has done things differently from Tariana Turia.

It has investigated a Maori-branded infant formula being exported to China (and Tariana is bound to appreicate that this has been done).

The contents of the cans of baby tucker were given first priority and – we are told – they meet all food safety and export regulations.

MAF now will look at marketing and labelling considerations.

Tariana Turia, our Associate Minister of Health, did things the other way around and made the branding (with Maori imagery) her first concern.

She can chalk this up as a triumph because the company that is peddling this stuff is now looking for a new brand.

Kiaora’s experience will be instructive for other companies that come to this country (as they are bound to do, because of the asset fire sale that is now under way to help us settle our debts).

Nobody gets too excited about foreigners slapping an English word on a product.

But if they use a Maori word, they had better be ready for a fight with our special people, who can be very possessive about Maori words.

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