Canterbury

Dairy gives Canterbury the shits?

Dairy is being blamed for an outbreak of the screaming ab-dabs.

An outbreak of “rumbly-gut” among communities in Canterbury has Waikato veterinarian and agri-ecology consultant Alison Dewes concerned. She thinks the outbreak is the result of dairy intensification and irrigation contaminating public drinking water.

Thirty per cent of the region’s shallow wells have already experienced an increase in nitrogen and pathogen levels after 10-15 years of irrigation on shallow lighter soils, she says.

“We have the highest rates of ecoli diseases in the world, and the highest rate of campylobacter, cryptosporidia and giardia in communities in the Hinds region.”

“We have the highest rates of zoonoses (disease spread from animals to humans) in the world in some of the irrigated/dairy catchments like Selwyn and Hinds and the government is promoting a further 40,000ha of irrigation in an already allocated and at risk catchment.”   Read more »

Why can’t we get this right?

You’d think that we’d want nice clean pristine rivers, but it seems the rivers are getting worse not better.

More Canterbury rivers are becoming unsafe to swim in each year, despite a major target to make rivers more swimmable.

This summer, 64 per cent of river sites monitored by Environment Canterbury (ECan) have been deemed safe for swimming, down from 74 per cent five years ago.

When the Government replaced the elected council with commissioners in 2010 – supposedly because it was failing to meet water targets – the commissioners aimed to have 80 per cent of rivers swimmable by 2015.   Read more »

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Cops give fraudsters a free pass in Canterbury

The Police already pretty much give fraudsters a free pass, often telling complainants that the issue is a “civil matter”.

They have almost zero interest in fraud unless it is massive, and even then are woefully under-skilled to even deal with it.

But to remove the fraud squad entirely is bizarre.

Police plan to scrap the specialist squad that investigates fraud in Christchurch, despite an increase in white-collar crime post-quake.

The Police Association says the proposed move is a major blow to the public who will shy away from reporting dodgy dealings because “there will be no one to report it to”.

Canterbury district crime manager Detective Inspector Tom Fitzgerald said the changes being considered would “ensure we are delivering the best service to victims of fraud”.

Police planned to merge the fraud squad, a detective sergeant and five staff, with the metro crime squad, which has 50 investigators.

“This proposed change would see fraud prioritised and investigated alongside other crime types,” Fitzgerald said.   Read more »

Turns out there is affordable housing, it’s just not in Auckland

There is considerable moaning from the left about the lack of affordable housing.

As I have noted many times house are affordable even in Auckland. In fact there are so many that people are forced to sell them, and if they were truly unaffordable then none would sell, but sell they do.

But there are many affordable housing options, and is just that they aren’t in Auckland.

At  20, Stacey Knuth of Whanganui has achieved what few young Kiwis her age can still do – buy a house.

She bought a state house in Gonville, a suburb which according to September quarter housing figures has the third-cheapest housing in the country.

A far cry from Parnell or Ponsonby, a house in Gonville had a median sales price of $110,000.

And it’s in close proximity to the country’s cheapest suburb, Castlecliff, where houses this quarter went for a median $88,000.

But Gonville has another distinction. It tied with Wellington’s Brooklyn for the quarter’s highest jump in house sales, up 145 per cent on the same period last year, due in part to a clutch of state houses on the market.

Whanganui has become a bit of a poster child for declining provincial towns, but to Knuth, who is locally born and bred, Gonville is a great place to live.

“I’ve been living here for about two months now and it’s really nice, it’s a good little four-bedroom home . . . It’s a good little neighbourhood, I’ve had no trouble.

“There’s no houses in front of me and no houses out back so on a clear day you can see the mountain straight out the front and then out back you can see the sea.”

Read more »

More good news – jobs

Labour can run the mantra of misery all they like but the good news just keeps on rolling in.

Businesses are hiring and jobs are on the increase.

The number of jobs advertised online is growing across most industry groups and occupations, government figures show.

The latest Jobs Online report from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) said skilled vacancies rose by 2.5 per cent in June, while all vacancies increased by 1.7 per cent compared with the month before.

Over the past year, skilled vacancies advertised online increased by 16.5 per cent, while all vacancies increased by 17.2 per cent, MBIE said.

The biggest increases in skilled vacancies in June were in the construction and engineering industries, up 7.4 per cent, and the hospitality and tourism sector, up 1.4 per cent.  Read more »

Face of the day

How refreshing, a person who accepts the consequences of their actions.

Adam Holtslag ran naked across the pitch in Dunedin and got tackled. A number of people got all hot under the collar and complained that the tackle was too rough.

The incident has divided opinion over whether Holtslag deserved the tackle or security guard Brad Hemopo, himself a Canterbury rugby player, went too far

Streaker

Streaker

Fortunately Adam does not appear to have a victim mentality and took full responsibility for his actions.

Read more »

Labour politiciking over earthquake rebuild

Last week David Cunliffe was dancing on the graves of the dead Pike River miners to score political points, now Labour is doing the same over the Christchurch rebuild.

Labour has questioned whether the Government is keeping money from Canterbury’s earthquake recovery to improve this week’s budget.

The Government has already confirmed just under $1 billion of new spending will be included in Thursday’s budget, as well as a small surplus.

However, Labour leader David Cunliffe told Radio New Zealand he understood the surplus would be achieved only with “smoke and mirrors”.

He queried whether funds meant for Canterbury’s earthquake recovery had been held back to make the Government’s books look better than they were.  Read more »

Labour seeks advice from Human Rights abusers and non-democratic countries over ECan

Labour has run off to the United Nations crying a river of tears because the government sacked a bunch of useless muppets at Environment Canterbury.

The Labour Party has complained to the United Nations over the continuing denial of democratic elections for Environment Canterbury (ECan) councillors.

“The National government took away the right of Canterbury people to elect councillors on ECan and in doing so denied them their democratic rights contrary to international agreements we are party to,” Labour MP for Port Hills Ruth Dyson says.

Two important UN treaties, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, confirm that it is a human right that citizens have a say on the running of their country and take part in the conduct of public affairs.  Read more »

More good news

Another crisis that Labour has been campaigning on has had a shot in the arm, simply from Labour declaring that there was a crisis in the first place.

Residential building consents continued to rise in March, which was the best month for house approvals in more than six years.

Some 1999 new dwellings were consented, 186 apartments which were largely rest-home units, and 1813 houses – the highest number since November 2007, Statistics New Zealand said today.

Business indications manager Neil Kelly said the trend for new dwellings had almost doubled since March 2011, but was still 28 per cent below the peak in January 2004.   Read more »

More good news

Another Labour crisis – that isn’t.

The Herald reports on the latest migration figures.

New Zealand migration rose to an 11-year high in March, the second-highest gain on record, as fewer kiwis left for Australia.

The country gained a seasonally adjusted 3,800 net new migrants in March, the most since February 2003, said Statistics New Zealand. A net 400 people left for Australia in March, down from 600 in February, according to seasonally adjusted figures.

In the year through March, New Zealand gained a net 31,900 migrants, a 10-year high, as 98,000 people arrived while 66,100 departed. That’s more than 12 times the 2,500 annual net migration gain in the year through March 2013 and compares with an average net gain of 11,700 migrants over the past 20 years.   Read more »