Saturday, November 30, 2013


Was on the road last week with hearings in Christchurch and Balclutha.    The ChCh hearing was scheduled to last four days but finished in three so, instead of flying to Dunedin, we had a 'leisurely' drive down.

Stopped off at Burnham which I hadn't seen since 1973.   All of my career post Burnham was either o'seas or at Waiouru.   The camp has certainly changed in the intervening period (as I would expect) but what was really noticeable to me was the lack of soldiers - perhaps they were all on leave.   Had hoped to pay my respects to the Camp Commandant, Bill Blair, who will be retiring shortly.   Bill would have to be one of the last (if not the last) Vietnam veteran still serving.   Regretfully he was otherwise engaged but, if you get to read this Bill, all the best for your retirement.  

Spent a couple of hours in the Museum which was the brainchild of the sometime Commanding Officer of 2 Canterbury, Nelson-Marlbourgh and West Coast Regiment, Ted Latter. later MP for Marlborough 1975-78.    A great little museum housed in the Detention Centre, part of the Industrial School (Reformatory) that existed in Burham from 1873-1918.   Its most (in)famous resident was the politician John A Lee, DCM, who became the Under-Secretary for Housing in the first Labour Government until he was expelled from the Labour Party.   You can view his room in the Detention Centre but be warned, it's probably easier to get into Fort Knox than it is to Burnham Camp.

From there we motored down through Geraldine, Timaru, Oamaru and Dunedin and then on to Balclutha.   As we passed Dunedin Airport the temperature hit 28 degrees and stayed like that a fair way into the evening.   The massive irrigators on the Canterbury Plains are a sight to behold as are the plains themselves, a green shade of green and nothing parched about them.

Talking to a farmer mate of mine and I was fascinated to learn that Canterbury cow numbers had increased by 107% since 2005 to reach 769,417 with the median herd now 710.   I also had the opportunity to read the ECAN Canterbury Region Dairy Report for the 2011-12 season.    It puts a lie to the Green's alarmist mouthing on the damage to the environment caused by the proliferation of dairy cattle.    The disposal of dairy shed effluent to land is monitored closely.   The Report has it that 70% of farms were assessed as fully compliant (up from 64.9% the previous year) while the proportion of farms with significant or major non-compliance issues fell to 8.6% (compared with 9.6% the previous season).

Clearly the industry is steeping up to the mark and those statistics throw into sharp relief the utter stupidity of the Greens in arguing the only way forward is to shoot half the cows ... and these clowns want to be in Government!!!!  

Equally stupid is the Green/Labour (less Shane Jones) opposition to oil drilling.   Sadly it has passed these opportunity cretins by that Taranaki has just recorded the highest growth rate of any region in the country.   That region has comes to terms with the fact that farming, tourism, and oil/gas exploration/harvesting can co-exist side by side.   No luddite attitudes there and neither in Norway which has one of the highest standards of living in Europe financed by oil revenues (and with a socialist government to boot).  

The Greens/Labour are caught in a web of their own rhetoric and can't back down.   Their vision for the future is bound up in New Zealand as a peasant economy.

And to cap all that Business Confidence is now at its highest in fifteen years.    All that is clearly at risk should the Opposition ever get their grubby paws on the levers of power.  

p.s.    It appears that the self proclaimed highly democratic Greens are somewhat intolerant of members challenging the status quo or is it perhaps that their 'nice' Mr Norman has done the soundings and determined the result might not be to his liking?

p.p.s.   'Southern' people are different.   I was waiting outside the travelodge in Balclutha to be picked up to go to Court to have two people stop and offer me a lift.   



Judge Holden said...

Go swimming in Lake Elsemere just to prove how pristine the waterways are, Vet. On with those water-wings and in you pop! Unless you're all talk that is...

30% non-compliance with pretty slack regulations is a disgrace. Why do you think that's worth squawking over?

Tinman said...

Veteran, being a fisherman I am certainly no "greenie" - I practice resource management, I don't preach it - but I must in this case agree with Holden.

I live on the bank (well, the flood plain) of the Waimakariri and dairying has damned near destroyed this waterway.

A dry year will be catastrophic.

As an aside why the hell did you go from Burnham to Dunedin via Geraldine?

The Veteran said...

Holden ... your anti farmer bias shows thru. Just remember that they fund your dole payments and give thanks. As for the stats .. look at the trend line.

Perhaps you agree with the solution espoused by the Greens?

Tinman ... great food in those small country towns. Bang for buck and they beat those city eateries hands down ... and with service to match.

Judge Holden said...

Hey, I just think they should be paying fair value for the resources they're using and destroying, rather than me and you. Fair enough if you want to wear the costs, but why do you have to lie about the damage as well? As I say, get out your lilo and head to Lake Elsemere for a dip if it's so great. Why don't you?

Anonymous said...

But you aren't holden. You are a leech on society, consuming far more resources than you contribute.

The Veteran said...

Holden ... congratulations. Your use of the word 'lie' has won you a seven day 'holiday' from my blog.

.... and, even back in the 1970s and with very few cattle around, I wouldn't have swum in Lake Elesmere.

Judge Holden said...

"You are a leech on society, consuming far more resources than you contribute."

Whatever, Atlas (you're a real estate agent aren't you?).

OK, sorry Vet. Perhaps "spin" is more appropriate.

The Veteran said...

Holden ... in the spirit of Xmas and as a supporter of the SPCA I'll let you off then.

Judge Holden said...

Thanks chief.

Watcher said...

Judge said "spin is more appropriate"

Rumpelstiltskin beaten again.