Benje Patterson on 10 reasons why you shouldn’t get your knickers in a twist over the sour outlook for the dairy sector

Benje Patterson on 10 reasons why you shouldn’t get your knickers in a twist over the sour outlook for the dairy sector

Today's guest Top 10 is by Benje Patterson, a senior economist at Infometrics.

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See all previous Top 10s here.

With dairy prices at GlobalDairyTrade auctions continuing to plunge and Fonterra having downgraded its payout forecast to a mere $3.85/kgms, fears are emerging that parts of regional New Zealand are staring down the barrel of recession. Although these fears are real in many places, it is important not to paint all our regions with the same brush as there are some parts of the country where the outlook is still bright. This Top 10 takes a look at some serious and some more light-hearted reasons not to panic just yet. 

1. Dairy isn’t even NZ’s biggest export earner, tourism is number one.

Ok, so I am getting a little ahead of myself, dairy is still number one for the time being. However, some quick maths I ran on annual export earnings using balance of payments and merchandise trade data from Statistics New Zealand suggests that tourism will take the top spot by the September quarter. What’s more the way things are going for dairy prices at present, at a time when visitor arrivals are booming, suggests tourism could maintain its grip at the top for a while yet.

“Total annual visitor arrivals peaked just short of 3 million. Growth from Australia, China and the United States is strong.

Arrivals from Australia were up 10 percent on a year ago, boosted by early ski season snow conditions and expanded trans-Tasman air capacity. The rise in the Australian dollar has also helped.

Arrivals from China were up 28 percent on a year ago. Infometrics says the medium-term picture remains healthy, but "recent wobbles in Chinese share markets could affect short-run confidence to travel."

2. Graeme Wheeler isn’t too worried so why should we fret?

Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler said in a speech a couple of weeks ago that the economy is continuing to grow at around 2.5% pa. He said that even though dairy is down in the dumps, there are several factors supporting economic growth and that some bank economists’ calls for a 2.00% official cash rate are premature as there is little chance of recession. But are we really sure we can believe a Governor who didn’t even live in New Zealand last time there was a recession?

“…some local commentators have predicted large declines in interest rates over coming months that could only be consistent with the economy moving into recession. “We will review our growth forecasts in the September Monetary Policy Statement but, at this point, we believe that several factors are supporting economic growth. These include the easing in monetary conditions, continued high levels of migration and labour force participation, ongoing growth in construction, and continued strength in the services sector.”

3. Dairy’s woes are actually a good thing for Hawke’s Bay. 

At Infometrics, we are getting pretty excited about Hawke's Bay's economic outlook. Ironically these reasons mainly stem from the fact that Hawke's Bay has virtually no dairying to speak of so is unaffected by lower dairy prices. In fact, lower dairy prices are, in a roundabout way, a good thing for the Bay as they are helping pull down the value of the New Zealand dollar and keeping downward pressure on interest rates.

"The outlook for Hawke's Bay's economy is looking good, with the lower New Zealand dollar set to boost returns for meat and fruit exports, as well as boost the purchasing power of international visitors to the region.

"The lower interest rate outlook will also free up money in households' and businesses' budgets."

4. Why not milk goats instead?

Sticking with the Hawke’s Bay. I was recently alerted to an initiative by Business Hawke’s Bay to investigate the merits of farming goats for processing into dairy goat infant formula in the Bay. Dairy goat products are already surprisingly big business for New Zealand, with the Dairy Goat Co-Operative alone boasting $150m of turnover in 2014. Hawke’s Bay’s initiative has received enthusiastic support thus far, with one processor announcing that it will invest in a $30m processing facility in the area within the next two years.

“Hawke's Bay Regional Council economic development manager Tom Skerman presented economic impact research projecting $1.5 billion in revenue and 178 jobs for Hawke's Bay over 10 years, based on 18 farms, construction of the processing plant and packaging facility.

Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment adviser Andrew McCallum outlined the market niche for goat milk formula, saying the Chinese market for baby food/infant nutrition was growing more than 50 per cent more than the rest of the world combined.”

5. Who needs dairy factories when there are education factories?

My colleague Shaun Twaddle recently wrote an article looking at which regions are doing well out of international education. The upshot of the article is that international student numbers are rising rapidly and making a significant contribution to the New Zealand economy, with some regions doing better than others out of this situation.

“Between 2013 and 2014 the Tasman, Gisborne, Nelson and Taranaki regions did fairly well in attracting international students, although growth is coming off a low base in these regions. Canterbury also did well relative to previous years, indicating a pick-up in attracting international students after a drop following the 2011 earthquakes. On the other side of the coin, Otago and the West Coast lost international students, while Wellington and Manawatu-Wanganui, which have relatively large numbers of tertiary students, had only modest growth.

The main takeout, however, is the growth in the number of international students in Auckland.”

6. ICT exports are still growing rapidly. 

It’s not only tourism and education that have contributed to the rapid increase in service exports over recent times, a report by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment shows that the ICT sector is also a big money earner for New Zealand. According to the report, ICT exports have grown by an average of 14%pa over the past six years to sit at close to $1bn in 2014. Some highlights include:

“Employment in the sector is on the rise with the number of people employed in IT services and software firms up 2,800 in the year to June 2014 to 26,700.

More ICT businesses are expanding internationally, with the report showing that exports of IT services and software have doubled since 2008.

Computer services account for 25 per cent of all business expenditure on research and development in New Zealand.

IT stocks now make up approximately 10 per cent of the value of all listings on the NZX main board, compared with 1 per cent five years ago.”

7. Fruit exports are at a record high.

Earnings from fruit exports pushed through the $2bn per annum mark in June for the first time on record according to merchandise trade data from Statistics New Zealand. Fruit exporters are benefiting from a lower New Zealand dollar, as well as relatively good pricing in world markets and a sharp lift in volumes. As already mentioned, Hawke’s Bay is doing well out of this situation, while horticulture earnings are also soaring in Bay of Plenty – the Kiwifruit growing powerhouse of New Zealand.

“Major Bay of Plenty horticultural mainstay kiwifruit accounted for 59 per cent of the total value of fruit exports, followed by apples at 28 per cent, and avocados - another strong Bay export - at 5.7 per cent.

"Kiwifruit volumes are going strongly as the industry recovers from Psa," said Lain Jager, chief executive of kiwifruit export marketing company Zespri.

"Most of the volume growth is in our premium Zespri SunGold [G3] variety, which boosts our industry's earnings as growers benefit from a more profitable product mix."

8. Tatua suppliers are still making a profit.

Believe it or not, there are still some dairy farmers with reason to smile this season. Tatua, the small Waikato dairy co-operative that specialises in manufacturing high value-add consumer and food service products, has recently come out with a $6.00/kgms payout forecast. By focusing on high value add products, Tatua is less exposed to underlying weakness in commodity prices.

“The forecast for the 2015-2016 financial year is projected to be around $6/kg MS.

Chief executive Paul McGilvary said the forecasts were well above the $5.20/kg MS that farmers needed to break even financially. …

The co-op, which has 114 suppliers, produces dairy products such as aerosol cream and whey protein powder.

Returns for Tatua's products were currently better than those for milk powder, butter and cheese produced by Fonterra and other dairy companies, he said.”

9. At least our dairy farmers aren’t on the street rampaging.

Farmers across Europe have protested low prices by blocking streets, burning tyres, intimidating foreign truck drivers, and even dumping truckloads of manure in front of government offices. In New Zealand, we bag that stuff up and sell it for $2 a bag at the gate! In France, incredibly this sort of behaviour is garnering so much public support that some pollsters claim it is even affecting faith in President Hollande’s government:

“The farmer protests have generated strong support from the general French public. A BVA poll showed 88% are in favour of the movement and 89% have a positive view of farmers. In addition, eight out of 10 French people said they were prepared to make a financial effort to pay more for French milk and meat to help the country’s farmers. But, reflecting a general lack of confidence in the French government, 78% did not trust Hollande’s administration to improve the farmers’ situation.”

10. Relax, John is sorting us out a new flag.

Even if the s##t hits the fan, we still have a new flag to look forward to. It may not be quite as good as getting a huge payout and then splashing out on a new Hilux, but can’t you imagine how good that flag is going to look fluttering in the Brazilian breeze as we dominate the Rio Olympics? In order to choose a flag that suits us best, we need to think about what we stand for as a nation. Jono Aidney articulately framed things:

“We stand for winning at sports, and being clean and green, and for pretty much any restaurant Al Brown opens. He could literally open an instant coffee café and that Moccona would be sublime. But the question we probably need to ask is 'why does New Zealand exist?' Is our purpose unfettered economic progress? Is it to be an ethical voice on the world stage? A place where every child gets a fair start? Guardians of nature? Nature's pimps? If we can work out what our collective ‘purpose' is, we'll have a chance of turning that idea into a flag.”

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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Is this opinion piece for real?
Go ask a farmer if what's happening is a big deal.
In fact go fly a plane over New Zealand and tell me what you see? You'll mainly see lots of farms - because farming was and is still the backbone of the NZ export economy. Don't try and kid everyone that it's not a big deal when our farming community is really hurting. It is a big deal.

All this "lets be positive" spin by the media reminds me of a friend I had many years ago. He came from a very wealthy family but made bad investments and was losing everything and everyone's money who was foolish enough to lend to him. At the time he constantly said to me, "everything will be ok as long as I stay positive". Recently someone mentioned his name and I asked where is he now living. They replied, "in a bus on a friends farm."

It's good to take 'positive action' but to deliberately ignore or downplay the reality of what is happening is unwise as it inhibits necessary change. And relying on a "she'll be right" attitude is a recipe for going broke.

The nonsense is reflected in this chart

The commentary goes like this:

Given the labor element, it might instead propose that GDP itself was overstated, if also in combination with the undercount of “inflation.” The asset bubbles themselves propose no less, as asset inflation in raw economic terms is highly, highly inefficient. When accomplished through vast expansion of debt, the rise of productivity is at best an illusion of that debt (which is, again, one form of inflation). Borrowing funds from home equity (the inflation) to pay for goods imported from China is not high productivity except for China (if artificial). Read more

The failing ideological dogma emanates from central banks no less.

There is a well-established research literature empirically demonstrating that higher housing wealth boosts household consumption. For example, work done by my colleagues at the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has estimated that a rise in wealth of $100 leads to a rise in non-housing spending of between $2 and $4 per year.[11]

There are two commonly accepted channels that explain this relationship.

The first is a pure wealth channel. To the extent that higher dwelling prices are perceived to increase wealth, households should spend a little of that extra wealth each year over their lifetime.

The second is the collateral channel, as higher land prices increase the value of collateral that can be posted by potential borrowers. The increased collateral makes it easier for credit-constrained households to borrow to increase their spending. Similarly, businesses can find it easier to finance projects that previously might have struggled to get finance.[12]

.Over recent years, there has, however, been some reinterpretation of the role of the pure wealth channel. Read more

It is the backbone for the NZ.

But what happens when you get trouble in your spine, suddenly a lot of simple stuff becomes hard, and it's time to get help or fix the problem.

With a cost of $5 - $5.50 dropping from >$7 to <$4 is really going to throw out that back.
Of course it will no longer be the big earner - in anthromorphic terms we've gone from primary labouring (eg physical hard labour) which was a bit more than minimum wage (commodity), and we have to find a way to work smarter, rebuild our health, learn to eat a healthier leaner diet.
And that must go to the smarts/thinking - they need to stop consuming big IN GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC SECTOR.

Farming also puts money and jobs into rural NZ, does tourism achieve that to the same degree?

Really ?

Case 201510028 - New Zealand Free Range Limited
Create – Jobs - Greater efficiency or productivity - Additional investment for development purposes

An overseas investment in sensitive land, being the Applicant's acquisition of a freehold interest in approximately 18 hectares of land at Admiral Road, Gladstone.

New Zealand Free Range Limited
Tin Yee Tinny Ho, Hong Kong (SAR) (50.0%)
Kien Han John Chua, Hong Kong (SAR) (50.0%)

The Applicant intends to convert the land to a free-range pig farm.
The overseas investment transaction has satisfied the criteria in section 16 of the Overseas Investment Act 2005. The 'substantial and identifiable benefit to New Zealand' criteria were satisfied by particular reference to the following factors:

Overseas Investment Act 2005
17(2)(a)(i) – Jobs
17(2)(a)(iv) – Greater efficiency or productivity
17(2)(a)(v) – Additional investment for development purposes

Ralph Richard Fauvel,
Vivienne Joy Fauvel
Gawith Trustees 2011 Limited as trustees for
Farm Boy Trust New Zealand (100%)

See more at:

exactly the OIO have lost the plot.

(i) "jobs" has been clearly defined in the past as not being enough of a contributory factors, as "jobs" can be created anywhere so without specialist skills or development do NOT count for OI purposes.

(v) again far too vague. The OIO mandate clearly called for specific strategic advantage. This was to ensure that any "investment" had net benefit for NZ as a whole. full stop. Not benefit for some NZers. Not vague benefit "for all NZers". But so a direct marketable advantage was created in NZ that could not exist in any other NZ sourced manner. WHAT process was being developed, WHAT technologies were being implimented that we couldn't do ourselves?

(iv) again too vague. The efficiency or productivity, was about it being an advantage to all of NZ - eg like introducing EFTPOS, that created change in all NZ businesses. NOT, I repeat, NOT! that this business was more efficient than others, or that it would create a downwards pressure for others to meet the lower performance of this business (a BAD thing for NZ).

What we see with the invocation of (i)(iv)(v) is a _bureaucratic workaround.
What should not be allowed because they have been set to stop exactly these things,
is for _some_unknown_reason_ become acceptable policy.

the section (i) "jobs" is specially there for the creation of new industry into New Zealand.
A free-range pig farm is certainly not a new industry, nor does it create opportunities or specialist skills which are growth possibilities in NZ.

So who is supposed to regulate such foolishness in the OIO? And why aren't they doing _their_ job?

I am not sure what you are saying here. So from my perspective, who will be employed to run it? where will they buy food from? tools? fuel? Will the profits go off shore? yes but my assumption was as most farms are NZ owned the profits stay in NZ.

Based on what I saw in Angola some highly skilled Chinese convicts will be brought in to run it and they will be daily given a noodle bag in reward for their endeavours. Farms will natrurally run at a loss as these noodle bags are quite expensive. JK will run his highly scientific eyes over the effluent issue that pigs are known to enjoy and start waffling on about some flag issue.

Point being made is what will the "net increase" in jobs be as a result of this investment? - it's as if the locals can't run a pig farm - really? - all it is doing is intensifying the use of the land - and where will the additional employees come from? - and pig farms are not exactly eco-friendly - cowboy gets it

If it's a 'land use change' will they get the resource consents to develop a free range piggery? Did OIO check on this? Oh, never mind - couldn't get a resource consent so we will just turn it in to housing.

Case 201510011 - Kawakawa Station Limited

Eric Chun Yu Wong, United Kingdom (58.5%)
Yu Keung Mok, Singapore (41.5%)

The Applicant is acquiring Kawakawa Station, a sheep and beef farm near Featherston.

The Applicant will invest in additional fertiliser, weed control and fencing on the land, and will increase expenditure on animal health which will result in increased productivity from the farm.

The overseas investment transaction has satisfied the criteria in section 16 of the Overseas Investment Act 2005. The 'substantial and identifiable benefit to New Zealand' criteria were satisfied by particular reference to the following factors:

See more at:

And completely fails _any_ and _every_ uniqueness test thrown at it.

The only reason a NZer can't do that business is because our economy is so bad no-one can afford it or see it working at a profit.

OIO fails Again

thanks for posting


we need foreign owners to teach us how to add fertiliser and control weeds

How did that ever get past OIO

On the other hand we/farming could be in for a large el nino (drought?) effect,

"The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center said Thursday that all computer models are now predicting a strong El Niño to peak in the late fall or early winter. A host of observations have led scientists to conclude that “collectively, these atmospheric and oceanic features reflect a significant and strengthening El Niño.”

“This definitely has the potential of being the Godzilla El Niño,” said Bill Patzert, a climatologist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge."

California on the other hand....

Maybe we're in for another 1 in 400 year rainstorm in late summer, like in 2003, 2004, 2015.

Well lets watch california, see if they get washed away. Not sure if that will be good or bad, ie the religious nut jobs will say their prayers for rain were finally answered!

one boss used to say to me - best part of any drought is that it always has plenty of rain at the end.

If I was in california I'd be worried about my top soil, and that once the rain comes, that no sun or dry wind springs up to blow dry the tender growth.

I see NZ retail sales just missed by a mile. Must be more good news then.

As soon as I saw 'Infometrics' I moved on. Cheerleaders for National, who are pleading for the economy not to pull their beloved government down.


Some piss taking here. With Hosking, Larry Williams and now Banjo desperately saying things are good all we need is some spin by JK to complete the picture. The image yesterday of BE trying to get past the Solid Energy issue without too much political damage tells me this bunch are in poor shape.
Has anyone noticed JK is being really quiet these days? Apart from calming us all after returning from Hawaii and finding Smitty had let things run away, JK has been very quiet apart from filling us in with the young rascals social media goings on.
Thank god the ABs are playing, expect some more awkward handshakes and then of course we have the flag (#10) debate. How many elderly Chinese immigrants coming in on the Balance of Family visa could have their hips replaced with the money spent on the flag debate?


#10 is a diversion. A tactic deliberately employed by JK to keep us away from what really matters.
Surely everybody can see that, these days?

Completely disagree. When would be a good time to discuss changing the flag? Apart from most NZers who might recognise it if they concentrate hard on some detail, our current effort is unrecognisable from many other 'empire' flags. We need to make a change and get it behind us. I don't believe Kiwi solders fought for 'england', they fought for a free, tolerant and independent NZ.

I think almost all the 40 designs are much better than the existing one. The sooner we choose an alternate, the better. The same impulse to whine about house zoning change is active in whining about a flag change. We just have to face up to the fact that some people are inherently frightened of change. These folk shouldn't be allowed to set agendas or else nothing will ever change. Change needs some courage, someone to push.

I only wish you could summon up as much enthusiasm for action for the rather more important topic which involves change (CLIMATE CHANGE).


Or the problems with TPP.

Agree. it seems a total farce to me we are debating which tune to play on the violin while Rome burns....

I know we can change the flag(if we want)..the climate im not so sure..


I cannot understand why some people believe that a flag is importand.

The days of carrying the flat alongside the drummer boy as you march into battle are long gone. It is "Star Wars" now.

What is the attraction of a flag?

What happens when people look at the flag. Do they burst into tears, shout and cheer or just quietly have an orgasm. Its got me beat.

The real reason we are having a referendum on a flag is because our corrupt government leaders are quietly sneeking in a constitution.

Look you agreed to the voting system
Look you agreed to a flag
And so on
But the important isues we get no say.

We cant even see whats in the TPP. How about we have a say on that?

Re DC - When is interest going to allow us to unlike a comment?

What is so hard in typing "you suck"?

I don't believe Kiwi solders fought for 'england', they fought for a free, tolerant and independent NZ.

Britain, an influential player in the international coalition, wants Key to send 100 troops to Iraq. The Government has signalled it will offer training to Iraqi forces. Read more

Your disagreement is noted, and incorrect.

There is no good time to change our flag. ARE WE NOT STILL PART OF THE COMMONWEALTH?

Oh ho ho.... perhaps in there lies the the _real_ reason.
As long as the Union Jack is part of our flag we will remain a part of the commonwealth.

As long as we're a part of the commonwealth, and historically part of an offshot of NSW, then we don't get to write our own constitution.

As long as we're a part of the commonwealth, there will be a Governor-General with veto powers over politicians and their backroom deals. That means no president for life, no way for corporates or foreign governments to use their influence to shape law in NZ via influencing the political people (see OIO failures).

The best time to discuss changing the flag? When you're in the pub and had far too much to drink. and won't cost the taxpayer $26,000,000 (the equivalent of the _total_ tax paid by more than 144,444 working New Zealanders on a $18 living wage given a 40hr labouring week)

Given that the New Zealand Anthem was sung strong and loud at every Freemason lodge; Lodges which were booming in growth during and immediately following the Great and World Wars.
At which the First Toast is _always_ "To [King/]Queen and Country".
And "Pacific's Star" is the allegorical for New Zealand AND the four stars on our flag.
I can say with certainty that Kiwi soldiers fought for _our_ country, under _our_ flag, as they were the ones that put those practices in place.

The real reason for the change, is to get rid of the Union Jack. No matter the outcome of any vote, whichever "choice" is presented you can guarantee the alternative will have that missing.

And they can't change the Constitution status (eg write one) without doing so, and they can't bring in a vote (by law) without some significant change, such as a change of national flag, to prompt the issue "as a response to important change in circumstance"

And without that, then shoving US or China laws down our throats will always be harder and they will always be answerable to the Crown/Crown oversight.

So yes, the flag change is an expensive distraction - from what it means in legal terms for NZ, for changes they have lined up if they can get away with the change, and for the hand that's up the puppets...back.


When would be a good time to discuss changing the flag?

1. When we have settled all historic treaty claims.
2. When we have agreed on a single constitutional document.
3. When we improve our democratic checks and balances and establish a second House of Parliament.
4. When we become a republic and see off the last Governor General.
5. When we have a real unique identity and sense of new nationhood.

This idea of change when nothing has changed makes an absolute mockery of our nationhood and identity. Let's just wipe out our history without creating a new one. It's a joke, David.

disagree with becoming a republic .. that will be Key's next thought bubble - that tends to go hand in hand with changing flags - it becomes easier and easier as the original peoples are watered down and bred out of existence .. as you would be aware as your Norte Americanos breed your original people into insignificance .. where there are now more undocumented's than there are North American Indians .. and there are now so many non-originals those non-originals don't even care .. soon they will be wanting a rainbow flag

Well I totally agree about North American history, but to me the fact that they never embraced their indigenous heritage is all the more reason we should have the constitutional change first - let's see if we can actually live up to he iwi kotahi tatou.

I'm not a Maori. Nor am I answerable to my tribal elders.
As is the case for many New Zealanders, embrace your own culture, don't steal theirs.

So what's your "culture", cowboy?

Kiwi as.

What culture is that - rugby, racing and beer? Gumboots and jandals? Jaffas and mallowpuffs?

A culture is a way of life of a group of people--the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next.

That you identify with no particular culture is not surprising - true of many descendents of various European migrants. My parents generation did somewhat identify with their Irish background, but mainly in 'name' as opposed to behaviours, beliefs and values. Hence, the reason (for me) that adopting the only culture that is unique to this place I now call home works for me. It's the first time I've actually lived amongst a true culture.

Kate doesn't recognise her own culture and denies cowboy the right to assert his own. Tragic.

Oh, I recognise my own culture all right. The little there is to recommend of it, that is. I am forever indebted to my mother for having taken me to Tahiti as a uni graduation present - which is where I met a kiwi. And the rest is history, as they say.

Kate's tragedy is well outlined above. In her own words. "The little there is to recommend of it, that is" Unfortunately she has to inflict her personal stance on onto others and fails to recognise great Kiwi culture.

You might have misunderstood. My culture (largely being the society I was raised in) was midwest, suburban USA. I had traveled overseas a lot as a kid - so was exposed to other places and other cultures, but until you actually lived outside the US (in those days anyway) you didn't realise how insular your worldview was.

I'd visited here before moving here - and again, I thought the place was really pretty - loved the closeness of everywhere to the sea, but (aside from my husband) I didn't know any NZers. And the positive cultural shift in my life happened on coming to know NZers. So I absolutely love this great Kiwi culture, but it is grounded in the history of a very young nation. And it has evolved considerably since I arrived - and not necessarily in ways I see as 'good'. What used to unite us - a strong social welfare system and relative egalitarianism - now threatens to divide us.

You can't blame people for the role commercialism plays in our culture. In an earlier time our culture involved a lot more home industry: making clothes, bottling fruit, gardening, performances for friends etc

Some seven hundred years ago, approximately 1280 CE an unknown number of families arrived, by canoe, on the shores of an Island, which we now call New Zealand. Aotearoa to others.

To avoid distraction we shall put aside the history of the Moriori

These first families came from Eastern Polynesia, and are considered to be the first settlers on the Islands of New Zealand (Aotearoa).

As these Polynesia families arrived they found themselves an area, of uninhabited land, and settled there.

Security of food and clothing was extremely important, as ones life depended upon it. As such the most valuable asset, to these families, was an area of land that provided a good source of food and materials for clothing and shelter.
While the forest provided a good supply of birds, wild herbs, roots, puha, and watercress, close proximity to the sea and rivers also enhanced land value.

New Zealand (Aotearoa) would have been like the “Garden of Eden” an absolute South Pacific pristine paradise, in those early years, and families would have thrived.
So why did they wage war on each other? Why did they cannibalise, rape murder, pillage and enslave each other? Why would you do that when you live in the “Garden of Eden”

To me there can be but one explanation

As with all populations, they grow in size and put pressure on the local environment. As a families area became depleted of Moa, wood pigeon, and other supplies, they would be forced to move to new areas. And this was the source of their wars. Deplete their own area then try to steel someone else’s area. What other reason could there be? Europeans did the same thing and it is called possession by conquest.

Going back to 1280 CE we see the first canoe's arrive bringing the first families. Then, over a period of time more families came. All of these early settlers were of Polynesia decent, and today are considered to be the indigenous people of New Zealand. But of course to claim to be “Indigenous” when you are an immigrant, a settler, you have to be “Orwellian” and bastardise the dictionary, and that is what they have done.

What would have happened, if those first settlers, had been White Europeans? Would they have been allowed to be “Orwellian” and bastardise the word “Indigenous”?

Today the word “Indigenous” really means “Greed”. By bastardising the word means you are now entitled to millions of dollars of taxpayer money, special seats in government and Councils, just about anything you ask for is yours. To refuse is to be a “Racist”

Furthermore, we have peoples of Polynesia arriving in New Zealand (Aotearoa), finding a piece of land, and settling there. These first people had no footwear so can you imagine how difficult it would have been walking through the forest and climbing mountains in bare feet. New Zealand (Aotearoa) is a big place to walk through and climb mountains. All in bare feet. Yet when the European settlers came all of New Zealand was owned by about 150,000 bare footed people.

To sum up
If you are a descendant of the early settlers with brown skin you can
a) Claim to be Indigenous
b) Acquire land by conquest
If you are a descendant of of the early Chinese or European settlers
a) Not allowed to be Indigenous
b) Not allowed land by conquest

Who is the “Racist”?

After reading this little gem definitely you.
Why don't you read up on what really happened.....
Ask That Mountain - would be a good start, or Ngapuhi Speaks.

Indeed. Mind you, for many of a certain age - NZ history was never taught in primary/secondary school.

Kate, do you know something that i dont know? such as

Are you saying Maori never migrated to NZ and they have been here for millions of years?

Are you saying Maori never fought with each other?

Are you saying Maori walked through the bush and climbed mountains with a good pair of boots on or rode around on none existant horses?

What is it you are trying to say but too afraid to say it?

I think what you're trying to say is that Maori are not the indigenous people of New Zealand becuase they too migrated here.

It's a straw man argument. What you really want to do is deny that the folks here before the arrival of Europeans had any type of rights at all over the land they occupied.

Oh dear, how do i respond to that?

Kate, in case you didnt know. Indigenous and property rights are two different subjects. Dont get them confused.

The word "Indigenous" has been bastardised to now mean "First People". Then Maori can say "Oh we were the first here so that makes us Indigenous".

If Indigenous is dependant upon date of arrival then todays NZ population are "More Indigenouse than those that follow". Which is a load of nonesence.

I arived before those new Auckland imigrants so that makes me Indigenous.

Right, so I think I understand your argument: Maori found and settled this place before Europeans and having occupied, farmed, hunted, built communities and fought over these lands prior to Europeans, they (Maori) had a priori property/ownership over said lands and other taonga of this place - but to use the word indigenous, in an endemic (epidemiological) context is wrong - therefore, "first settlers" would be more appropriate.

That works.

Agree - he iwi kotahi tatou

The longer it is left undone (a constitution) - the harder it will become

I think you'll find you're quite wrong about First Nations not embracing their indigenous heritage...In fact some in Canada are now leading the fight against corporations trying to get at the tar sands....
But I'm fully behind you respecting and giving more breathing space to our Maori tikanga

I meant that it's a shame that the American settlers in the US never embraced the heritage of the indigenous people in the lands they migrated to - quite the opposite, they sought to displace them (well, worse actually, the word exterminate might be more appropriate). Same as happened everywhere (the displacement part, that is), but I live in hope that we 'Westerners' have become more enlightened over time.

ah, right
Yes, I read that incorrectly.
Sorry about that.

Where does the line get drawn better keeping their own culture (invaders, Mayflower settlers) or selling off the indigenous population culture ( Egyptian artifacts, shrunken heads, moko on foreigners, "shamans", want to buy a Dreamcatcher or have a sweat lodge?) - I find this with the occult studies, as much of the occult stuff comes to modern day practitioners in the form of religious or spirtitual material. Can I use Hindoo (or Yoga) stuff if I don't have a cultural tribe in the area where "what the "Indians do" (aka "Hindu") tribes are? Can I really spiritually grasp Christian systems and meaning since I have never been a Christian? What right to I have to call on ancient Greek city deities that even the Greeks haven't called on for over 2000 years? Should I do English based re-enactment if none of my ancestors are English?
I understand and honour the principle about putting Maori designs on doorways and doorposts - it is a process of sanctifying the building and invoking the protection of the ancestors and their Gods, and as such I would never do so without excellent purpose. But Te Reo is the cultural heritage of two of my children but only marginally mine - I have no right to tribal affiliation, unless that tribe claims me (not the other way around), and that would mean affiliation to their tribal elders, and to the family who is the statespeople family of the tribe. I am not prepared to embrace that (their rule).

Nor do I have any affiliation with the English rulers of our country.
Nor can I claim the culture of my ancestors, the Scots, the French, the US, the German, the Gypsy. (as a Scots friend of mine has said, if you didn't grow up drinking Iru Bru as a kid, you didn't grow up with a Scots culture and heritage.)

And I am certainly not one of your "we 'Westerners'" our value systems are _quite_ different.
Mine tie far more to the shamanistic principles and to the Japanese Dojo culture in which I was raised than your Western "money and power grab" culture.

Shamanism and Japanese Dojo culture - well if that's "Kiwi as", I'm Winston Churchill.

There is a 'Kiwi' culture and it's strong and derives from many sources. I'm proud to be a Kiwi and live that culture.
One of the great things is respect for the rights of the individual and a true generosity. Kiwis are true democrats and believe in a fair go. Most of that came on the sailing ships.
Pity Kate can't even recognise it. Seems to be a rootless person.

We actually own a 100+ year old model of the sailing ship that my husband's great-great grandfather (a sea captain) we believe piloted around NZs coast after its arrival. The ship was (from what I gather from research) a very early settler ship to arrive in NZ, and one of the first to make port at Dunedin Harbour.

The Captain went on to become one of the first Harbour masters of AKL harbour in his later career. The other side of the husband's family purchased a ship in Newfoundland and sailed here with one other family and a few other passengers. My husband's mother was named after that ship. It also brought along a mill and the family started one of the first commercial kauri mills in the Far North. My NZ family is steeped in both settler and Maori history. Very, very proud of all that.

#4 is their target... but changing to a republic would lose the vote in NZ, and be highly controversial. If they change the flag it will have one less rallying point for those loyal to NZ to bring up.

actually we _had_ 5, now we're copying the US and becoming a banana republic. I think it's identified by indigenous populations as "the white people disease". ie they think they lack culture so go around trying to fill the gap by stealing other peoples'. Wake Up - consumerism IS your culture. those of us who are real Kiwi's don't want to catch it any more than other indigenous people.

3. makes no difference now so I fail to see why we need a 2nd house with yet more useless stiffs getting paid to attend.

true that. One of the best things NZ did was vote to remove our House of Lords.

now we just need to get the commons back into the house of commons.

A second house based on whakapapa - constitutionally similar to the House Of Lords, only able to exercise a type of veto by sending a law back to the House of Representatives (in our case). Point being, we have had a lot of laws recently passed that fail to uphold the rule of law and/or breach our own NZ Bill of Rights Act - see here for explanation from the NZ Law Society;

And then this Government decided to ignore/bury the content of this report in their report-back to the UN;

Disappointingly, the Law Society’s concerns were not addressed in the final report. For example, no reference was made to the enactment of Bill of Rights-inconsistent legislation, to the issues with the reporting mechanism, nor to any of the Law Society’s rule of law concerns.

The Key government's abuses of their executive power are so intentional and blatant - with no powers of impeachment, we REALLY need a second house.


nope we need more government and two nations like another hole in the head.

Such power is probably best recommended to the Crown Representative, under advisement by appropriately trained representatives (and not just of iwi based spokepeople with their vested interests).
That individual already has veto rights, so that person would be able to weigh benefit and that proper observations had already taken place via advice. too often the Lords are just a waste of time and self-interest, if they bother to show up at all.

Interesting that the link you included refers several times to New Zealands "constitution" and "constitutional ". Which we don't have (in written form). Why they bother sending it to the UN...shrug. What will a report written by the UN do to change anything....

Certainly good to hear that they are protesting. Although to the Crown directly would probably be more appropriate, as much of the rushed and partisan legislation (that ignores Human Rights concerns) should not have made it past the Crown Representative, whose job (not unlike the OIO...?) is to make sure the proper processes are correctly followed.

If by Crown Representative, you mean our Governor General - you've more or less proven my point - we have no effective democratic checks and balances. This exposes us as a free people to the will/whims of the executive branch of government.

What I'm saying is hiring more people to not do the job will be just as ineffective as having one person not doing the job, but much more expensive.

How ridiculous - what you are basically saying is that simple dictatorship is the most effective form of governance as it is the least costly.

I don't know about simple but I like the "benevolent dictatorship" as practiced in Singapore. With our system of 3 year re-election no one has an interest in rocking the boat too much. For example Key has been around for donks but apart fom his grin what will he be remembered for?

The USA has three branches. Exec, Legislative and Judicial. Theoretically that provides the goodness of checks and balances. Probably worked for a couple of centuries, but not now it seems.

Theoretically we have the same here. But what to do when HAL goes rogue and decides it's job is much easier just to oppress or kill off the crew/voters.

In terms of the tripartite model of government, what is extremely uncharacteristic about our executive branch is the concentration of power that it has. The change to MMP and the establishment of Select Committees and the establishment of the three Offices of Parliament have all gone some way to address this - but even our three Officers of Parliament have recently expressed dismay at the executive's actions in respect of abusing those executive powers. In other words, we need more checks and balances - specifically, a means of legislative veto, in my opinion would be good.

and the house of lords would fix it? No, more likely it would be a 2nd bartering house for advantage and yet more lobbyists and wining and dining, I'll pass. Who would get to sit in such a house? washed out ex-politicians? VIPs? "landed gentry?" who decides these? oh the current crop of pollies or other "elders" um no. We have a 3yr term the common voter then can vote a Govn out.

No, such a house initiates no lawmaking whatsoever - all it can do is send laws back to the House of Representatives (effectively a transference of some of the powers of the Gov Gen at the moment - although they have not often exercised this constitutional function).

Who would get to sit in such a house? Well, for me, because I appreciate and respect Maori tikanga and whakapapa - I would see it as a House of Iwi, as opposed to a House of Lords (as per the British system of governance). It would be to individual Iwi to determine who was to represent them.

"Well, for me, because I appreciate and respect Maori tikanga and whakapapa"

I do not, and neither do many of my "monkey" friends.
They know just how much say _they_ get in the running of things....

What's a "monkey" friend? You've lost me.

It's a Maori term for unaffiliated Maoris.

That's offensive and disrespectful. You need to find friends better than that.

LOL. I think you read backwards what Cowboy is saying Kate. Go back and see who is calling Cowboys friends "monkeys" It ain't Cowboy and it ain't his friends.
He expresses no respect for the name callers.

Then he shouldn't be using the term himself.

#1 I was looking at Gareth Morgan's site: Jim Consedine says that the idea that Maori will never be satisfied represents the basis of racism (negative beliefs about the other). On the other hand I heard it discussed on Sunday's with Wallace Chapman and I heard that some Maori don't want to play because they don't want a white man representing the views of Maori. One of those is Tariana Turie. TT has stated that her tribe has only gotten 1.5% of what was taken so future generations can't expect them to not come back for more. TT's father was a US serviceman so she is half (or less) Maori by birth. Therein lies the problem the Treaty is as big or small an issue as the players want it to be and given that at one time the geographical entity Known as new Zealand was once the property of Maori collectives the stakes could be pretty high.

#5 the goal of the social engineers is to facilitate migration from multiple sources so we have no unique identity.

The idea that Maori do not see treaty settlements as full and final redress, and will keep fighting to right the theft, is a point I have made here many times. It is simply reflecting the thought of Maori and whether it is right or wrong doesn't change that it is reality. Be good to have a few well informed Maori on here to debate economics as theft of their land, and the subsequent transfer to private land title from a collective, now underpins the whole banking system.

" represents the basis of racism (negative beliefs about the other"

Consedine is just being neo-PC and doing the same thing we say with politicians trying to wave away anything they don't like by invoking some kind of race-based Godwin's Law.

Consedine, people believe that about the Maori elders not because of racial-bs (that's your board in your own eye) but because .... they aren't going to be satisfied. Why aren't they satisfied, dear Jim??

It is said (by minority and PC folk) that one of the most racist things a "white person" can do is ignore the race issue - because "being able" to ignore the race thing IS a "white privilege" . Who says this? racists! (because THEY just dumped on the "other").

The reason they'll never be "satisfied" is because they don't see "New Zealand" as a homogeneous place - to those who are unsatisifed there will always be something they feel should belong to *them* because some long dead *ancestor* was involved with it and that is _their_ culture that _they_ created, and they created around that racial division, which is why they can't _ignore_ it, and they get racist about people who do.

Ps that "othering" thing. too generic and fails normal English rules. You cannot be non-discriminatory (ie treat everyone as individual), have collective action, and not have "other"; and advantaging any part or individual who has a profile identity (eg human, male, purple, ancestors from.., tall, short, trans) automatically puts all _others_ as a lesser position - yet treating them all the same ignores their individual differences

..changing your flag is like changing your mother or father. It is the flag..simple as ant a fashion is what it is. And the whole thing is driven by the sports mad who think they have a monopoly over the them all it is something to wave at the damn rugby or olympics...the noisy minority. So will we change it again in another 20 yrs when it no longer reflects our 'identity'?

It is a symbol, or icon, of the country itself.

That's why you don't put a flag on the floor or burn it. That's why in ceremonies it is handled with gloves and great honour. It represents the values of the country and its people, and it's not for the likes of the Nationalsales or Labrador party to go changing.

I think you are being somewhat hasty and perhaps do not understand the significance of our current flag.....A written constitution should come before a flag change and not the other way around......

Combining the crosses of the patron saints of England, Wales, and Scotland, the Union Jack as it is sometimes called is one of the oldest flags in the world having been around since 1801.....are there benefits to keeping the Union Jack?? And why in that list of 40 is there only one flag showing a union jack??

I agree there are some good designs but looks aren't everything and can be deceptive!! We all know that the women who is looking at you and smiling can be the most dangerous of people......

Just because every kiwi relates to the Silver Fern on the All Black's flag and uses it all over the world doesn't dictate that our current NZ flag is no longer fit for purpose!!

The current flag is a great flag because it represents ourselves as KIwis and our culture.
The biggest influence on what we are is the European culture. The Union Jack represents that European dominant culture. On our flag the jack is superimposed on the islands and vast blue expanse of the Pacific.

Wen would be a good time to change the flag?
Maybe when we change our relationship with the UK, like Canada did?
That could be a good reason.
There is no possible good reason to change our flag now, and we simply have not got the cash to throw at change for change's sake.
We just have to face up to the fact that John Key has been lying to us for a good many years, and needs to keep our attention diverted for just that bit longer - until the TPPA is signed.
People like him shouldn't be allowed to set agendas, or else nothing will ever be done for the good of NZ.
We need somebody with some courage, to push him out.

Yes, A change of flag should speed up a "change our relationship with the UK, like Canada did".  Couldn't agree more. We too need to distance ourselves from them asap and claim some cultural and legal independence. We have waited far, far too long.

I think what irks many here with these symbols of growing up (finally) is that John Key is leading it. I suspect most would be for it if Key was against it. That  makes you sound like classic whiners.  I say, we haven't had the opportunity before. Lets grab it while we can. Let's not be like those pathetic Scots who muffed a chance of the millenium.

This is a country for us, not a British outpost.

If we had people in power that had leadership qualities. that made us proud of our economy and business and intellectual prowess. If we didn't have TPPA, and secrecy around the TPPA/TISA. If every Treaty claim was completely finally sorted. If none of us had massive concerns about property/assets being sold off to foreign corporations.

WHEN the majority of the people can show they're grown up and informed about what goes on around them.

THEN you can change your flag.

"running away from home" because you don't like Mummy, and you think your mates will look after you...that doesn't make you "grown up". It makes those that do such things "idiots" and usually victims of the less well principled.

Name two things which are non-beneficial about staying with the Commonwealth?

While I agree it would be a good thing for NZ to be independent, this change should not be LEAD by a change in flag.
The flag should be the last thing to change.
I think there's a bit more to changing the flag than just changing the design, if you get my drift.
We need a constitution first, and even before that, we need to have a discussion about the whole independent thing, as a society, first. before we do anything at all!
NZ as a (white, settled) country is still extremely young.
I don't think the resistance about the change of flag, is because it is being lead by John Key.
Various other politicians have stuck a wet finger up, and found the public sentiment not quite ready yet.
It's also quite unbecoming, that a few more deserving causes are being starved of funding, while this pet project (because this is how it comes across), is being showered with money.
Maybe the Scots missed an opportunity wen they voted Nay, but I wouldn't call them pathetic.
They voted in the SNP, and that took a lot of courage. Or maybe it just took enough anger.
Wouldn't mind seeing some of that, over here.

We now have legal (judicial branch) independence, David.

If by "growing up" - you mean the process of an unlimited entry flag design contest - you really must be joking. John Key has turned us into a sort of nationhood reality TV show.

In theory but the judical branch are shut out of anything important and in Court (but not tribunals) the judges all say "we can only work and apply what the Law tells us to do. We're here to judge how you actions appear in light of what the law says and we are not permitted to judge or question the law or it's appropriateness"

tribunals can do near anything that falls in their jurisdiction and is only limited by the extent of the power given to them (eg maximum fine, maximum sentence). tribunals can actually do things that the law says isn't correct.


#10. The death ray kiwi is a better flag option than any of the 40 rubbish options that are costing $26m!

The John Key vanity project that has stolen money from the mouths of hungry children and the wards of our hospitals should be shown for what it is - an absolute sham. And to do it during the 100th Anniversary of Gallipoli shows the respect that this man has for our country - absolutely none. But then we must remember he has no connection with NZ's past and clearly he does not care about it.

By the time of the principle flag vote (mid-March 2016) it seems highly likely the NZ economy will either be in recession or flirting with it. The negative groundswell of public opinion on the flag 'debate' felt thus far will be as nothing to what it will be by March next year, as it will be set against the background of an economy in serious trouble. The $26 million wasted will have by then assumed epic proportions in the public's mind as unemployment rises and businesses fail. A huge miscalculation by Key which will come back to skewer him in the most wonderful manner.

During Roman triumphs to celebrate victories the successful General was always accompanied by a slave who's job was to whisper in his ears 'Memento homo' (remember you are (only) a man), so the celebrated commander would not lose his sense of proportion.

John Key's slave did a runner some time ago it seems....

But I thought recovery was 'just around the corner'!

That seems to be the message repeatedly broadcast for the last 7 years. What gives?!

Dont forget

We are living in "The Rock Star Economy"

still waiting for my share of white powder and groupies....


After ignoring every referendum that had total support from the population, and successive unanimous votes, now the idiots in charge want to listen to a referendum that nobody wants, or even cares about. This is the kind of thing our government wants our opinion on, not important shit like asset sales, which totally ripped off the public, instead we are allowed to vote on a project for John Key to secure his legacy in the form of a fag.

JK is realising PDQ at the moment that the steady as she goes legacy he thought he had is looking a bit pear shaped so he is now pinning his colors to the flag desperately hoping he can be remembered for something other than selling us out to the Chinese.
Will he run in the next term??

SKUDIV .which referendums were you referring too?.
also what makes you think JK is gay?.

2013 Asset Sales.

And I think you'll find an "L" missing...

Don't forget the anti-smacking bill which 87% of voters opposed, and was passed by 87% of politicians.

People opposed the Bill, because those who sought to overturn the Bill misrepresented it in both the initial petitions and in the referendum. I know many conservative Christians who believed it would infringed their "right" to assault their children. Which sadly it never did. It just removed the defense of "reasonable" force in cases where a parent's discipline of a child is of such severity they had been arrested and were required to appear before the court on violent assault charges.

Btw, my parents are conservative Christians and my brother and I regularly smack by our parents and though I love them both still, I will never forgive them for that.

Ask his former school mates, who we mysteriously never hear from, for the answer to that.


Seems to me you only change your flag to coincide with some significant event in your nation's history and in particular, when a constitutional change happens.

This guy, on election, immediately turns the colonial clock back by reinstating titular titles and then a few years later decides we need to shake off the British branding?

He's a joke. I think the day of the first referendum vote we should put together a Guinness World record attempt on the lawns of Parliament - most gumboots thrown at the same time at a single venue. Let's make real history.

The titles thing is good. Sad to see so much ritual and ceremony lost in NZ.

The reason for him doing so? He had to get the support of those who wanted titles. Now it is clear he [the Key] won't be getting one, neither will any of the Nat crony party, its republic time for the republicians.

Kate perhaps the significant event is the selling out of NZ to China? In which case I think they should choose the flag, not us.

If Key has his way - it's more likely to be a sell out to corporate US via the TPP and a strengthening of military cooperation.

I'm not surprised China has stopped buying our milk.

Chris J wont find many current nz flags on the headstones at Gallipoli.(there are plenty of silver ferns however).
if you put$26m extra into social welfare the would be no change in the number of "starving kids"..maybe the cops would have a bit more work to do on a Thursday night though..

they didn't want nz flags as a modern thing. many people didn't like what the modern government were doing, and there was a huge (classic NZ government fk'up) over "whether or not the foreign headstones were _allowed_ the NZ flag) - resulting in a "up yours" from the survivors and organisers.

The Australian's have the rising sun on their WW1 memorials (Australian Imperial Force insignia), it doesn't mean it should be their flag.

Dairy goats are big business, but diary cows isn't a big deal since it has crashed down to second place as an export earner. Talk about sticking your head in the sand.

Of course this just proves how unrealistic our GDP figures have become, the loss in value from dairy represents about 3% of total GDP, how you can say that a loss of that magnitude has no effect on GDP belies Logic. Though the wishfull thinking on display, shows that logic is not even welcome here.


Dont worry about dairy we have Tourism
Dont worry about Tourism we have Farms to sell to overseas people
Dont worry we have houses to sell
Dont worry we have.................... Whoops, nothing left


Hoskings bullcrap in the herald yesterday showed how conceited he has become. There is little thought beyond how he presents himself as a 'jolly' chap. Disappointing. Did Benje not read some of the hundreds of herald readers comments. I guess not. They were 95% or more slaughtering Hosking. A quick count of all my close family members 8/8 dependent on dairy farmers for a good part of their income. Only 1 is a dairy farmer. If these idiots think its something minor, they need to get out from their jaffa office and take a tiki tour to provincial nzed.

Hey, infometrics is in Wellington. But don't let that get in the way of your future use of slurs against Aucklanders.

These guys don't care about people Belle, they're too immersed in the world of "facts" and figures, they don't actually consider the human consequences of their prescriptions and analysis.

you forget the "create jobs" mantra... the more taxpaying... oops ... I mean employed slaves... I mean ... happily working citizens then the better our public services can be.

This is such a good comment (above), it deserves repeating. The co-leader of the Maori Party said the same thing during the third reading of the Bill yesterday. Changing the flag, without addressing all the issues that really need to be addressed to return our Nation to one we can be proud of, is a cheap shot and it shows our leadership for the hollow men they are.

Snip from Kate above

"When would be a good time to discuss changing the flag?

1. When we have settled all historic treaty claims.
2. When we have agreed on a single constitutional document.
3. When we improve our democratic checks and balances and establish a second House of Parliament.
4. When we become a republic and see off the last Governor General.
5. When we have a real unique identity and sense of new nationhood.

This idea of change when nothing has changed makes an absolute mockery of our nationhood and identity. Let's just wipe out our history without creating a new one. It's a joke, David.

Expecting change to be in some neat order is just silly. We should do the bits of the puzzle when we can. Actually, I agree with most of Kates list. It is just completely unrealistic to expect all that stuff to get done in some neat order.

Besides, I expect the conservatives know that. By promoting "do this before that" they know they can undermine change. Change is what they are afraid of. A bit like how NIMBYs argue on housing changes.

neat order isn't the problem - changing while the country is under great pressure to change laws in ways we don't want - while the government is utterly unable to protect NZ interests either home or abroad - is epitome of foolishness.

Why do we need it? what advantage is there? who does this help?

It does _nothing_ for 99.9999% of New Zealanders.
Yet it does give an excuse for the current government to create a constitution to their and their backers liking. A perfect opportunity to remove any legislation which might be impeding _their_ desires.

And so many voters are on the fence - not liking much of what National has done, but unwilling to vote positively (vs protest vote) for Labour, as they're seen as the flipside of the same dodgy coin.
NOT people many of us trust to write a new constitution that will value what _we_ want or what serves NZ - after all did we not just see the perfect example of OIO selling out a NZ farm because a foreigner _promised_ to remove weeds and operate a farm??? We can be assured that any "constitution" cooked up by National or Labour or Greens or even NZ First, would also face such desperate failure.

I agree with most of Kates list. It is just completely unrealistic to expect all that stuff to get done in some neat order.

Indeed we've been successfully chipping away at this change toward independence and nationhood for quite some time. Labour governments tend to have the majority of the independence/constitutional reformers;

New Zealand Int’l Court of Justice proceedings against French nuclear testing 1972
Two NZ Navy frigates are sent in protest to Mururoa Atoll 1973
New Zealand Day Act 1973
Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975
Dominique Prieur and Alain Mafart plead guilty to manslaughter 1985
NZ and France agree to a UN settlement on the above 1986
Constitution Act 1986
Electoral Reform Act 1993
Changes to the NZ Order of Merit 2000 (removal of titular titles, since reversed)
Supreme Court Act 2003

Point is - we're getting there in an appropriate order/manner. And the other point is - if the notion of "no change to notions of nationhood" can be leveled at any particular political persuasion, it is certainly not one to be leveled on the left of NZ politics.

In my reading of history - they are the reformers.

I agree. Labour has always been the party of reform. They have made most of the important gains, including those for independence. National has been fiddlers, pretending sometimes, but hardly ever showing any guts to lead. The history is clear.

That is what is so dissapointing about 2015 Labour. No vision, not insight, no program. Not even any big (and usually divisive) personalities, the types of drivers who get stuff done. They are lost.

Into this vaccuum comes a new type of National leader, unlike the dunces of the past. Given the space left, he has an easy run. He can choose the reforms he wants, and he does. He as some steel. In any other time he would have been easy prey for a strong Labour leader.

This is what frustrates the left, including the Greens (far left). Rings are being run around them. Very annoying indeed. They need to pick a leader; that is someone who can articulate a vision of something better, something worth making sacrifices for. And the Greens need to ditch the white-ant leftists and stand for green stuff.

John Key is only 'special' because of who he is currently opposed by. And the press gallery are hopeless. I often say in our office; if they really want to bring him down (and they do) they should support him. That would turn voters against him.

They need to pick a leader

Therein lie the problem. Great statesmen/leaders just sometimes are absent among present ranks - you can't "pick" them - they "rise" over time, I suspect.

NZ has plenty of brilliant young minds - they're just crowded out by baby boomers at the moment. And where the young ones in National and Labour are concerned, generally they are "picked" by the boomers in power for a reason - they won't touch the boomer "entitlements".

PS David Seymour is an interesting young Parliamentarian. If he starts showing more independence from the status quo, he could actually draw a following.

That seems a very confused rant DC!

So you want the flag changed but don't like John Key??

Or you want the flag changed and you are a Key sycophant?

Or you want the flag changed and you want Labour, who you support to support it?

I'll be clear where I stand, John Key needs to go. The flag needs to stay. I am a natural National party supporter but the current bunch of buffoons who claim nothing is a problem and it's certainly not their fault need cleaned out.

well if you don't vote him out he will claim he has a peoples' mandate to change the flag.

Which is probably the push they're doing to get Labour in to shake the asset tree so the asset-apples ripen.

It has been said by people more in the know than myself that every time the government want something social reformed they put it on the list, then after a few years they take a step back and let the government (Labour) get in to appease the people and do the stuff on the list. Then when that is done and the crowd is fuming and the costs skyrocketing the government take a step back, and let the government (National) in. who then sell everything off, set up stink bigs (would be a union paradise under a labour government)). rinse. repeat.

as for 85/86 that was a claytons. "imprisoned" in a island motel with full free room service, until they were bored with it, then they left and everyone telling NZ "not to create a fuss"

Not the reformers. the patsys.

the only couple of things was GMO-moritorium (now being lifted). and the Nuclear Ships stance.
Which just happened to fall within their "refusal of outside powers" mandate.

as for 85/86 that was a claytons. "imprisoned" in a island motel with full free room service, until they were bored with it, then they left and everyone telling NZ "not to create a fuss" Not the reformers. the patsys.

That was the settlement brokered by the UN. Sure, we didn't need to agree to allow the UN to mediate the diplomatic and trade dispute that arose from our imprisonment of the pair in NZ in the first place. But having agreed to such mediation, and given the world was watching, I guess our side wasn't able to broker anything better. We could of course have walked away from the table (and perhaps we should have) but perhaps that (walking away) might also have increased sanctions from other UN member countries.

Increased sanctions... for imprisoning a pair of terrorists doing a deliberate bombing, using government assets (intelligence agents) vs a non-sovereign entity? An act, which is a huge felony in any country (unlicensed bombing of someone elses property, with a city boundary? ... that I remind you resulted in the homicidal death of a person.

Caught with overwhelming evidence.

Are you aware of what the US penalty is for such actions? (felony crime , across national/state boundaries resulting in death of innocent civilian)

France had already put economic sanctions on NZ and was, I assume, seeking support from other UN/WTO member states - hence the reason the UN was proposed as a mediator. Right or wrong, that was the geopolitics of the time.

Settling of the treaty claims will never be completed. Mostly because the Maori Elite don't want that to happen.

The cutoff off for the lodgement of historic claims (i.e., those breaches committed before the ToW Act 1975) has passed - and so, such claims are finite. National has a policy deadline for the settlement of all of those prior to 2017, I believe.

You are right that the Crown must still uphold the legislation (the ToW Act) just as it must uphold all other laws passed by Parliament. And new claims (breaches that might occur post-1975) might arise and need to be heard/dealt with. The Act, like most other acts of Parliament, can be amended and/or repealed under standard Parliamentary process.


Dairy farming has fundamentally changed provincial nzed. We are a nation of servicing this sector. Most rural towns have an Rd1 or Farmlands or Wrighties that is chocker with dairying bits n bobs. Then there is the milking machine outfits, the pump guys, the effluent guys the irrigation guys the electricians, the mega size vet busnesses, the helicopter guys with their trucks n helis the fert spreader guys the fert guys the semen guys and the ab techs the herd testing guys the dairy grazing guys the refridgeration guys the welding guys the fencer guys the track maintenance guys the cropping and silage guys the seed guys the feed guys the tractor and machinery guys the motorbike guys the tyre guys the mechanic guys and apologies to all the other guys I have missed out. These are all the forgotten guys who will also be doing it very hard right now as the dairy farmer guys try to stop haemorraging dollars.

Yes, I realised just what NZ had collapsed to when I realised all the provincial towns had shrunk to this like some anorexic being.

When I go walk about, I look for the other services which haven't been living on the dairying-drip.

Teaching, policing. (both government taxpayer funded).
Supermarkets (shrinking, prices rising).
Eateries (restaurants - struggling, cafe's - many badly hit by the Earthquake...regulations) although driving about the other day at 6pm, many were empty or had less than 4 customers.

In a few places the Exclusive Brethern/Plymouthers, have managed to build businesses.
Also the red-meat industry and poultry farms are providing paid employment - just.

Gone are the textile/clothing places. that was a biggy.
the vineyards and orchards are big, but provide little local income (commodity again).
A lot of the fabrication factories have gone (locally, allflex, carter holt, sunbeam) so did all their support work.

Judging by my junkmail pile which I don't read - they're doing well despite the internet...and probably because I'm too lazy to get a no junk mail sign.

dentists and doctors of all sorts still doing well. healthy incomes, because the poor get subsidised by the taxpayer.

accountants not so good. they seem to be dying back to cities or at least larger towns. I suspect thats their family partners and demand for non-provincial educational facilities pushing that one (same as dentists and doctors).

bike and sports shops are now things for cities not towns.
As are Newspapers - and wow are they getting thin or what.

Service stations holding well. Low cash means replacing the dinosaur burner with something electric/hydrid is getting futher away.

Far less fabric shops. Less clothing stores - generally only one or two womans' fashions.
And far less shoe shops, which used to hold a brisk trade.

No TAB. Pubs under pressure with falling clientele and less consumption.
Less motorbike and car dealers.

Less garden and garden nurseries.
Less bakeries.
Less real estate places (but honestly that's a good thing, because they've taken some right clowns and crooks off the beat).

So what's increased?
A couple of extra foreign food places - many of which are struggling.

I do these walkabouts looking for what changes to create uplift in an area, to create more traffic or custom. What businesses exist to show the growth of an area. Which industries are growing and why they're prospering and what casual factor is in play. What creates money, and what gives wealth to the people.

NZ, and much of the world, is in deep deep sh..

totally agree with that cowboy, talking to people from different industries, no ones very happy in spite of the media spin we get fed.

When public money is used to sponsor some event such as a visit by an American soccer team or to sponsor some NZ sailing team filled with millionaires already we are always fobbed off with the term "multiplier effect" that never seems to live up to some bean counters theories.
Apparently, according to the govt this "multiplier effect" does'nt also apply to dairy when in fact it is probably the best example of it in practice in NZ.

I get the same comment regarding some social medicine programs, or teaching.

I say to these people - OK, if your multiplier effect is true, then we'll measure it with KPI's and put the funding into a separate account., pro rata.

The initial funding will be in the form of a loan - since government and council development is done via upfront borrowing anyway and has very low rates that shouldn't change anything.

then as the benefits role in, we'll put the payment into the account - and you can direct the excess whereever you like...... but you personally with your family and any trusts and companies you hold (to limit of value of shares) _underwrite_ that loan. If you're confident in that multiplier effect, you can't lose, and everyone wins..... but if you're wrong you'll be gambling your money, not your victims.

Not one taker yet. despite the promised "beneficial profits"

Yep......I shake my head every time I hear this rubbish. When challenged these become "intangibles" or "the benefits to other areas outweigh the direct costs involved"....utter crap IMHO.

Exactly, Plus many of these are skilled workers working and spending over most of rural NZ the entire year, tourism provides mostly min wage jobs in some pretty parts of nz for some months of the year in comparison. Oh and then there are the support stuff, that all of the above spend in retail, food, telecoms, out there in rural land. 3 or 4 years of this plus what's looking like a record el nino causing a drought and maybe even hydro issues, yes bound to be a good 2~4 years.

Pity the voter isnt asking huge and hard Qs of all our Pollies, but then no one wants to do the hard yakka.

#5 shows a very blinkered understanding of economic activity.

Yes we have education factories - what does a factory do?
(a) produce a bunch of Stuff for profit?
(b) create something consumers want to and are enabled to purchase?

One look at the current tertiary funding system shows our government is set on (a).

the market insists we look at (b).

Why is my tertiary IT course trying to teach me English Academic historic artifacts such as memos and APA. Do they think these things are valuable in (b)?? No. they're insisting in the fallacy of the "expert-cult" that permeates the uselessness of academic circles (and gives rise to that old joke about "Administratium"

If education's client growth is in international students, who gives a toss what it makes? It makes money for the country

And provides plenty of willing workers at petrol stations throughout AKL.
Positions that I might need myself soon.

No, a graduate has to get a job in the area of their degree (within 12 months?) , so an accountancy degree doesnt get them a petrol station job.

And, while they are getting their degree they get petrol station jobs, and there is a constant turnover, resulting in all petrol station jobs being performed by international students, in perpetuity

In that case possibly - but remember unlike all the other countries in the developed world - NZ allows international students to get local jobs and stay on indefinitely ... AND import their extended family.

Other countries you come for the education...and you go home. You want more you reapply like everyone else.

NZ foreign education is often being seen as a workaround for permanent visas - like the Green-card marriages in the UStates.

Incomplete - what isn't taken into account

Tertiary education could be considered a resource (like mining, it has a cost of digging it up) that can be applied to (either) educating the local population, or, can be used to earn foreign income by educating foreign international students. But the question is, if they are bringing in foreign exchange, why are they working in petrol stations?

To complete your assertion that it "makes money for the country" you need to complete the "profit and loss" statement by including the cost to the community of not educating the local population in long term dependency on welfare and a low socio-conomic life

It would be interesting to know if the true balance is a net-profit or a net-loss

tertiary is a renewable, unlike mining. And it self-dates/expires, so you can repackage and sell the same stuff to people over and over - which you can't do with a commodity.

It makes money for the country because they don't get [significant] local income, yet purchase at premium prices (2500-3000 per paper, vsd 700-900 for locals since education gets big subsidies unlike farming - fair enough, it needs stimulus to make it grow)

Should we give a toss?

Like Fonterra earns export dollars - at what cost to the nation - Fonterra can keep on exporting volume at lower prices while the suppliers go broke - but heck Fonterra is making money for the country - at a loss

It is my understanding that our flag is a statement that we are a constitutional monarchy accepting it as "DUE AUTHORITY." and that if the flag is changed, such due authority is negated, that all previous laws and treaties are moot, and that JK is then free to sign the TPP without any recourse to that signing by anyone. And that ;once signed, the due aurthority of the TPP would supersede the power of any NZ laws already in place, such as the 1981 Bill of Rights and the Treaty of Waitangi. That is truly a coup by stealth. Can someone with a legal backround confirm if parts or all of this is true?

They would need to put a ratified Constitution in place first, but yes, they could that and other things like make the Justice Society an advisory only body, with no real voice in law; as well as implementing any kind of internal monitoring and departments as they felt necessary to ensure NZ remained obedient to the laws and constitution, without any oversight.

And all previous laws would be inferior to the new Constitution, and laws based on that Constitution, and it would guarantee work for politicians and political lawmakers for many decades while they updated all the old laws into the new system. Many existing dinosaurs could be paid phat salaries for their "advisory services" and "consultancies" in draughting new laws.

Yes, I have read this, too, but am equally unsure whether or not this is correct.
If it is, though, it is a very sinister game being played out....

this website comment section is degrading towards

It's not quite guns, gold and tinned food yet.

Excellent maybe a straw poll on ppls fav ammo for preppers? who sells the thickest tin foil? which chem trails not to stand under?

Not really, its one point of view and a pretty heavily challenged one. ZeroH does however often get good data and analysis its just their one track opinions/conclusions that are rubbish IMHO.

China builds 100,000-cow dairy farm

CHINA is building the biggest dairy farm in the world with 100,000 cows to supply Russia.

bound to end well, effluent dumped straight into the river.

probably recycle it for the methane fuel.

wait until the disease vector hits it though.... want to take a bet against it having a bunch of Tech etc lifted from the fonterra plants ? :)

Not quite sure what you mean here, you are saying that the reason the herd is so big is to make the biofuel plant viable? with "borrowed" tech?

Well lets say now can I understand why 100,000 animals in close proximity might make sense. It costs energy to move the "waste" so the less energy needed on the input side means the better the EROEI. Except of course for our modern industrial society we need 8 to 1 and the best biofuel doesnt get past 1.5 to 1, so a 4 to 5 fold increase is needed.

No I wouldnt take that bet, half my in-laws are mainland chinese and some of the rest have done business with china for 30+ years, they know how it works....

Disease vector, indeed, they may well find that like algae keeping the stock "clean" and producing is a job too hard.

Too much water in the effluent for biogas. If they dispensed with washing down and went to shoveling it then yes.

Not a causative reason, no. That's just the bureaucratic way. "Economy" of scale.
At under 5000 cows, there just isn't enough fresh "agar" to keep the plant running continuously at a scale that is useful for more than toys.

The point with the effluent is that it's already there, so no need to deliver oil/petrol/diesil that can be used for anything else, no need for electrical lines or PV as the energy is all there.

Because they'll need a bit of space around for the animals - yet they'll need power. Which they can get from standing generators, or pumps by direct drive from engines.
Another common technique is to mix the scrubbed methane into diesil and use that for generators.

Yes they do have to remove the excess water, but that is possible.
And with the 100,000 animals any small idea will possibly be feasible when dealing with that scale because the small things not worth while at 1000 units will be more recoverable at 100 times that volume.
And that's why the disease vector - the probability of any one animals contracting something akin to a genetical-adapted superbug is very very small - but 100,000 population (bigger than palmerston north, but don't use toilets, and aren't domocile-separated) reaches a small level of significance. That many of the stock will have similar genetic background, any infection that does achieve threshold is going to go through like wildfire.

What, if any, effect is the DIRA provisions being triggered as a result of Fonterra competitors now taking more than 20% (22%) of the milk in the South Island, going to have?

Just FYI the article about goats, has an image of a sheep. Is this relevant or just indicative?

the thing standing on top of the cattle animal is a goat

#3 with the kid, apple, sheep - don't try that at home kids. Sheep _love_ bunting things, and their skulls and hind quarters are designed well for it. put your face too close and your could get your skull cracked open.

Tourism may be big but it is low income. Sir Paul Callaghan had a presentation where each Fonterra worker generated $500,000 whereas tourism $40,000.
Also tourism is a price sensitive service and becomes dominated by the ethnicity which speaks the right language. It is also a back hander industry. Dirty also when you consider C02. Why can't the worlds places be nice so people stay at home?