2010-12-15

A case of Kaipara Moles and evil historians

The background
It started off with an article in the Dargaville and Districts News last month with Dargaville resident Noel Hilliam being quoted as claiming that the maori did not come to New Zealand first. Instead we were supposed to believe that 5000 years ago Ancient Greeks have come to the Shaky Isles and made it their home. Just one slight wee issue with that. 5000 years ago in the timeline of things the Greeks as a civilisation then did not exist. A little concerned over this I sent the clipping I had cut out of the Dargaville paper to a friend of mine who in turn passed it on to Dr Scott Hamilton. Scott's criticisms of Mr Hilliams claims were strongly voiced on his Reading the Maps blog. Concerned people wrote to the Dargaville & Dsitrict News over the veracity of this claim being made by the Dargaville idenity. In the process the staff journalist who reported the future launch of Mr Hilliams yet to be published book responded in a comment as follows on the Reading the Maps blog post

Rose Stirling said... First of all - I never called him a marine biologist - oops.
I do not know who monitors these pages but I do not believe name calling is very intellectual.
I am Maori of Ngati Porou and Ngati Paoa descent. I am proud of my Maori ancestory. To say that I am racist because I interviewed someone who believes that Maori were not the first to settle NZ is like saying I must be a chef because I interviewed Gordon Ramsey per say.
I'm proud to be Maori but i'm also proud to be a Maori with an open mind.
I intend to report on Mr Hilliams findings in the very near future and a second opinion will be sought and reported on.
This first news item was to break the news.

Just for the heck of it and for a little fun because seriously it was too amusing for words I cartooned the article and sent it on to Scott and a few other friends.

Scott further on responded to Rose Sterling in a seperate blogpost with the cartoon I had created featured at the top with Scott's written response below it.

The Present

On November 19 a scathing editorial about the historians picking on Dargavilles best known son. It inferred that those against Mr Hilliam had an 'embedded mole or moles' basically sitting there waiting for any mention of the gentleman then instantly reporting it back to the so-called haters. Just one slight problem to that conspiracy theory - there isn't one or many. They do not exist except in the mind of the writer of that editorial. Considering it was written on a website that is supposed to promote Dargaville and the wider Kaipara region such opinions should be kept on a more appropriate forum rather than a promotional site for potential tourists to read. The writer further claimed that in no way had the so called haters written to the Dargaville and District News voicing their concerns. In fact yes they had and in turn the Dargaville and District News failed to publish any correspondence from what were and are qualified archeologists. Fail on all counts there.

A mole in the context the editorial referred to is :
3. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) Informal a spy who has infiltrated an organization and, often over a long period, become a trusted member of it

Here is an example of the inferences of conspiracy theories and the accusations of so called embedded 'moles'

The author of the D&D article was local reporter Rose Stirling. Her article reports comments made by Noel Hilliam to her during her interview with him.

Unfortunately for Rose, she, like the editor of newsletters before her, has fallen foul of a seemingly small group of people who have a passionate hatred of Noel.

They have a local “mole or moles” implanted here who immediately notifies the group of any publicity for Noel Hilliam. Then the intrigue starts.


They use the cover of a blog called Reading the Maps: http://readingthemaps.blogspot.com/2010/11/dargavilles-media-should-honour-towns.html

and as a general rule seem to hide behind pseudonyms and anonymous postings.


Other than the observation that Dargaville & District News journalist Rose Sterling had reported Noel Hilliam's comments the rest speaks for itself in the context of perceived non-existent Conspiracy Theories and assumptions made without any concrete evidence to support the revelations published on the internet by Dargaville On Line. The claim of the posters not using their names is again incorrect. If the writer had cared to click onto the profiles the names are clearly revealed my own included. No-one was hiding 'as a general rule'.

The cartoon above is my take on the conspiring evil historians, embedded Kaipara moles and the sinister archeologist hiding in the back ground. I rest my case. I'll let Scott have the final word on this

I find all these claims very strange indeed. I wrote my criticism of Rose Stirling's article as an open letter, placed my name at the bottom of it, and e mailed it to Dargaville News. I reproduced the letter and my subsequent reply to Rose on this site, but Reading the Maps is hardly an anonymous, shady locale: the name of its author is easy to find, and it was, the last time I checked, one of the twenty most popular non-commercial blogs in New Zealand. Most of the people who made substantial criticisms of Rose Stirling and the Dargaville News in the comment boxes of this blog used their own names, and at least one of them, the Dargavillean archaeologist Edward Ashby, also e mailed his comments directly to the News. It seems to me that the Dargaville News lapses into paranoia when it presents its critics as anonymous, devious types.




2010-12-14

Fonterra forecast helps…if you’re producing


Fonterra Cooperative Group lifting its milk price forecast to $6.90 per kilogram of milksolids (kg/MS), is welcome news to dairy farmers. That said, production from key dairy farming areas is likely to be sharply down due to the spring drought.



“This is very good news but must be seen in the current reality of the drought-like conditions we’re in,” says Lachlan McKenzie, Federated Farmers Dairy chairperson.



“I think you’ll find this season’s production will be down sharply in the upper North Island. It also has to be remembered that the North Island is home to 77 percent of the nation’s dairy herds.



“I don’t wish to take anything away from Fonterra’s announcement. But for farmers, this good news is tempered by the reality that if your production is down, then you’re going to make less this season than last.



“We are also aware of farmers having to dry off stock now due to lack of pasture growth. Once dried off a cow won’t produce until after they calve. So even if we had substantial rain starting today, it wouldn’t materially benefit pasture growth for upwards of four weeks



“That said, the lift in the forecast milk price will give farmers confidence to buy in supplementary feed.



“The point about Fonterra’s excellent numbers I’m making is that our peak producing season has now past. The weather we’ve had has made it far from stellar.



“We can only hope summer rain enables us to keep production going well into autumn.



“While New Zealand’s production is taking a knock due to spring’s drought-like conditions, Europe has seen an acute end to autumn and a severe start to winter. I suspect this could put upwards pressure on the price of dairy commodities.



“The revised forecast also comes off an improved commodities and ingredients picture. On the downside, the effect of the strong Kiwi dollar is pushing down the forecast Distributable Profit to its lower range.



“The dollar is something Government can control directly by way of its spending choices



“I’m also happy at the solidity in the Fair Value Share price currently set at $4.52. The discounted mid-point has moved up to $4.45 from $4.27 auguring well for the future.



“Given Federated Farmers successfully convinced Fonterra to build equity by way of profit retentions, the cooperative now has a strong balance sheet. All we now need for our farm balance sheets is some rain,” Mr McKenzie concluded.