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National’s pest eradication “Apollo mission” a big con job

We said it first – for the plan to work, it also needs to target all the other pests.  Dave Hansford has the courage to say it out loud

Suddenly it becomes clear just why fully half of all our endemic vertebrate species have disappeared forever.

It’s good news then, if long overdue, that the government means to set up a $28 million joint venture, Predator Free New Zealand Limited. This is capitalist conservation, a public/private enterprise, in which the government will put up a dollar for every two raised by local government and private sector investors to tackle large-scale pest eradication projects.

It’s a declaration of war on the unholy trinity of pestilence – rats, possums and stoats, but it avoids some sensitive semantics.

There’s a whole other pillaging cohort out there doing demonstrable damage – cats, hedgehogs, wasps, wallabies, wild pigs, goats, deer, thar, chamois, and while we’re committing blasphemy, trout and salmon. There: I said it.

Few others are prepared to, because they know that if they want public buy-in, it’s best to leave their beloved pets and dinner of choice out of this.

The concern is that DOC’s dream of killing off everything exotic in this country will be enabled by this plan, if only by making “creative mistakes” causing “unintended” by-kill  Read more »

Paula Bennett’s “you’re under investigation” details out


Remember when press secretary Lucy Bennett took a bullet for releasing a story in an attempt to take the heat off her boss Paula?   The details of the story came out earlier today.

A senior Auckland police officer who is under investigation was stood down after he tried to end an under-age love affair, according to reports.

Inspector Hurimoana Dennis, the chairman of Te Puea Marae in Mangere, was the subject of controversy last month after a ministerial leak revealed he was under investigation.

The marae rose to prominence when it threw open its doors to the homeless, which led to a visit from Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett.

One of Ms Bennett’s staff members told a reporter Mr Dennis had privately told the minister he was under investigation, but no details were revealed at the time. Read more »

Obama’s legacy… is there one?


Michael Grunwald at Politico puts his finger on it

It’s true that Obama failed to create the post-partisan political change he originally promised during his yes-we-can pursuit of the White House. Washington remains as hyperpartisan and broken as ever. But he also promised dramatic policy change, vowing to reinvent America’s approach to issues like health care, education, energy, climate and finance, and that promise he has kept.

When you add up all the legislation from his frenetic first two years, when Democrats controlled Congress, and all the methodical executive actions from the past five years, after Republicans blocked his legislative path, this has been a BFD [Big ____ Disaster] of a presidency, a profound course correction engineered by relentless government activism. Read more »

The day I got goat


“You have Goat” … said the doctor
I looked at her confused …. Goat?
Yes…”You have Goat”

I could have understood it if she had said Mad Cow Disease, as I lived in the UK in the Early 90’s. This disqualifies me from giving blood when in NZ. And just the other day I had read a headline …Deadly Mutated Rabbit virus sweeps Europe. But Goat had me confused.

So we sat and looked at each other. Eventually she tapped into her computer, no doubt checking Google translate to ensure she had the correct English word.

“Goot” ..she ventured
“Yes you have Goat”.

Now unless you live inside a Charles Dickens novel you don’t expect to get afflicted with Gout. It was Saturday morning. I had woken at 3am with a painful foot & by 7am could barely walk. The pain had gone off the scale.

Afterwards I Googled around & found that Gout is a sudden inflammation of a joint (usually toe). It is directly caused by high acid levels in the blood due to bad diet. Too much red meat, seafood & beer. Not enough healthy boring stuff. The high acidic levels cause crystal type things to form in the joint. A bit like kidney stones. However the doctor was not 100% sure it was Goat as my toes were fine. A blood test would be needed. But today was Saturday & the lab was not open until Monday.  Read more »

Headline of the week

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Mental Health Break

Fundraising ideas for Labour, let’s help a comrade out


Let’s face it, when it comes to fundraising the Labour party lack entrepreneurship  almost as badly as they lack funds. In an insincere gesture of cross-party cooperation I thought we could put our collective heads together to help our Labour Party comrades out.

I have a few product suggestions which I hope you will all add to in the comments.

Read more »