A life's lesson from a Stoat and a dead rat

Yes you read the title correctly. A stoat and a dead rat, taught me something one summer morning back in 2005. I was having one of those 'down days' we all get from time to time whenever things don't quite go our way ( or Mr Murphy and his laws have decided to exact their powers upon us poor mortals). The kind of day, when, we just want to sit around with chocolate ice cream and basically do the old 'woe is me' routine, along with the sullen expression that goes with it. Heck - I probably forgot the curlers, and the dressing gown, plus the fluffy slippers as well. The reason for this melancholic drama? A really lame one to be honest. So lame, you'd have to get the gun out and shoot me on the spot. My truck broke down. That's the reason - I was trying to figure out how to pay for the damned thing! Felt like chucking in the towel there and then. So, I'm sitting there trying to feel depressed, and look it too. Yeah right - I was about as convincing as a Nile Crocodile, after having a huge feed on some poor unsuspecting wildebeast crossing the Zambesi River! Fat chance I had of looking depressed. Not, when something very very odd happened - right in front of my now curious-looking mug.

Something so odd, that it had me standing up in utter surprise. Moving on its back - was a rat. A huge one. One of the types you'd find waiting for you in a dark alley somewhere in one of those horror movies. Well okay, so not quite, but water rats are not exactly small. This one was big and fat..and dead. Very dead...so dead that it was flopping as it moved. A moving dead rat??? I had to be seeing things right? No I wasn't. It was moving upside down, with all the four little paws up in the air, tail dragging in a straight line across the gravel of my driveway. Invisible forces were at work - I was sure that had to be...a small skinny little stoat. So much for believing in aliens then. Or the CIA being up to one of those wierd 1960's type experiments, everyone claims they like to do. That theory got tossed out, along with the sandwich I chucked out the chickens later on.

So there it was. A skinny, stinky little stoat, sharp teeth sunk into the throat of Herr Rat - straining for its might to drag off something bigger than it was. As in - twice the size. It let go briefly sitting there contemplating the possible loss of a meal if it gave up then - it seized Herr Rat once more by the throat and started to drag it away. So..I followed it. I watched Mr Stoat struggle with the burden of Herr Rat with all the grim determination of one hell bent on keeping hold of that hard one dinner. Across an entire paddock Mr Stoat dragged Herr Rat with a dumb human following behind in their wake. Every so often, Mr Stoat would drop Herr Rat to take a breather, now a hill was in the way. Yet still - it continued on with the dead weight until they reached the hole where Mr Stoat lived - where both vanished into the depths. Herr Rat became dinner and Mr Stoat had his meal.

The lesson out of all that? If you want something bad enough, you'll hold onto it with grim determination and not give up even when the greatest of obstacles tries to get in the way. Hold on to what is good in life, and forget the bad. It won't go away, but a positive view always wins the day.

As for me - it snapped me out of my funk. I went back down picked up the phone and rang the mechanic. Turned out I had the money after all. It only cost me a couple of hundred to fix my truck. Two days late,r it was back on the road and running. Mr Stoat thanks for the lesson.


Farmers to start Christchurch clean up on Saturday at 6:30am

Farmers to start Christchurch clean up on Saturday at 630am

While Federated Farmers was asked by Fulton Hogan for an inventory of specialised equipment and operators, Christchurch City Council is now advising that the areas of focus in the coming days are not yet able to handle heavier vehicles.

The immediate call is for skilled labour to start the clean up by hand so there is need to also bring shovels and wheel barrows. While specialised equipment is not needed yet, there is the space to park these at the A+P Showgrounds.

Key information for Saturday 26 February 2011

Registrations: 6.30 – 8.00am

Location: A+P Showgrounds, Curletts Road, Christchurch

Equipment needed: Wheel barrows and shovels

Larger passenger vehicles including 4WD


Suitable clothing and personal protection equipment (eg gumboots essential with sunscreen, gloves, face masks etc))

Packed lunch and bottled water

Accommodation: Camping facilities are available on site (including showers and water),

People will have to be self sufficient for obvious reasons so tents, sleeping bags, toiletries, first aid kits are a must.

Federated Farmers wishes to publicly acknowledge Silver Fern Farms and Tegel Foods for donating food, NZ Safety for the donation of safety vests and Rabobank for its assistance. CRT is further supplying five 4x6 Tents to assist with accommodation.

Canterbury Earthquake - Thursday update Federated Farmers Bulletin

Canterbury earthquake Thursday update

The focus of Canterbury’s farmers is to keep the Christchurch family together by offering food, shelter and water. As with other 0800 numbers, 0800 FARMING has been overloaded at times. Please be patient by either calling back or using email by clicking here.

Rural Banks Peninsula

With a failure of town water supplies in Banks Peninsula, farmers (members and non-members) requiring stock water are advised to call 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646) for assistance.

Farmers assisting Christchurch

With fresh water

Fonterra Cooperative Group has so far delivered over 400,000 litres of potable water into the city. With Fonterra and now independent contractors, there is a water capacity of 335,000 litres with City Care Services on top of that.

Bleeker Contracting has introduced two tankers with 55,000 litres capacity and a third tanker adding another 20,000 litres tonight. Another contractor, Raymond Hart, is bringing 60,000 litres of capacity into the city as well. The immediate priority has been to restock medical facilities.

Stephen Bleeker is the coordinating independent tanker operations with Silver Fern Farms, who have made their Islington reservoir available. This holds up to 300,000 litres and is ground fed, providing a reliable source of water close to Christchurch. This facility is being opened up to Fonterra and to City Care services as well. Silver Fern Farms is also investigating water solutions from other operations.

Silver Fern Farms has the ability to chlorinate this water, but residents have been reminded to boil water as a precaution. Federated Farmers wishes to thank Caltex for supporting these independent tanker operations.

Dairy Holdings has further made available farm water supply from properties in North Canterbury, approximately 30 minutes from central Christchurch. This is accessible via Kieran Stone, Federated Farmers North Canterbury Dairy chairperson (027 558 8917).

Individual members are also making roadworthy portable tanks of 900 litres capacity; such capacity could help meet the minimum daily needs of several hundred people. If you are able to offer portable water tankers please advise 0800 FARMNG (0800 327 646) or email by clicking here.

With shelter and accommodation

As stated yesterday, the three Canterbury provinces of Federated Farmers are most keen to accommodate fellow Cantabrians in Canterbury.

Federated Farmers, working with the rural communities, now has the facilities and rooms available for nearly 1,000 beds, complete with power, clean running water and sanitation – plus cooking facilities. This is being added to continuously and is less than 30 minutes from Christchurch.

Federated Farmers has have been passed 200 beds at the Living Springs conference centre in Governors Bay. The building has been cleared and is ideally situated for rescue teams coming into Christchurch or Lyttelton.

While the Federation’s accommodation list is being exchanged with the Red Cross and Civil Defence, we still await official update with organised transportation and allied support services to support evacuees.

If members can accommodate evacuees, then please feed this through to 0800 FARMNG (0800 327 646) or email by clicking here.

By removing debris from Christchurch – an open call for help

Federated Farmers is working with Fulton Hogan to muster volunteers and farmers to assist in clearing Christchurch of debris. We’ve all seen inspiring images of the University students working at the residential level so this is a chance for farmers to contribute with heavy machinery.

At this stage, Fulton Hogan wishes to assess what work needs to be done, so it will be at least 24 hours before the picture becomes clear over what level of assistance is required and when. Federated Farmers believes it will require a Herculaneum effort but that farmers are anxious to make a major contribution to the overall effort.

Federated Farmers is currently compiling an inventory over what we can bring to the table but we have specifically identified a need for:

§ Loader tractors

§ Front end loaders

§ Tip trucks

§ Small to medium sized excavators

Above all else the skilled staff to operate them. While we are not needed yet, it is vital we have the people to hand once the call goes out. If you can join in this cleanup effort by donating heavy lifting or earth moving equipment with skilled personnel, please contact 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646) or email by clicking here.

Fundraising for victims of the 2011 earthquake

Federated Farmers is currently developing a vehicle that will enable all members of the Federation to make a tangible contribution to the various earthquake appeals. We anticipate details on this shortly.

Fuel update

Federated Farmers requests the help of the media and the wider community to get a very important message across. There is no need for people to resort to panic buying which would only lead to stations running out of fuel before fresh deliveries arrive.

Petrol retailers Caltex, BP, Shell and Mobil all say there are plenty of tankers bringing regular petrol and diesel deliveries into the region and people should not worry about them running out. Yesterday, many service-stations in Christchurch and surrounding areas were reopened after safety checks and had fresh supplies of fuel which would ordinarily last at least a day. Instead, a rush for petrol and diesel caused some stations to run out in as little as four hours which would have left those at the back of the queue empty handed. It is important to nip any sense of panic in the bud.

Lyttelton Port will start handling fuel and essential supplies from Saturday and in the meantime Timaru is taking deliveries (backed by Nelson and Dunedin), with supplies being trucked into the city. For a list of stations and truck stops, please click here.

Rural supply merchants and Insurance


Hornby has suffered little damage and is still fully operational with some minor damage but it is largely business as usual. All fertiliser products available and all non-fertiliser products are also available via Ravensdown’s Christchurch warehouse (eg drenches, chemicals etc). Full manufacturing capacity was expected to be restored by end of today and any delays will be due to personnel as operating with reduced workforce at present – please be patient.

Ballance Agri-Nutrients:

The Ballance network was unaffected by the latest earthquake with all staff uninjured.

PGG Wrightson:

Has thankfully incurred no loss of human life, nor obvious infrastructural damage to any of its operations located in the Christchurch region. The company is receiving engineering advice as to the safety of its administrative offices, Seeds distribution and coating centres and Rural Supplies and Fruitfed stores. All operations are open for business with the exception of the Rangiora and Blenheim stores, which remain closed today (Thursday).


The Christchurch FarmCentre store will remain closed until Monday and all staff have been accounted for. All other CRT FarmCentre stores are open and trading as normal. Federated Farmers wishes to thank CRT for its assistance to date.


Has been relatively unaffected by the earthquake and all staff have been accounted for.


Due to earthquake related damage, FMG has set up a temporary office/centre of operations in the city. Clients can also call 0800 366 466.


Many supermarkets and food stores around Christchurch and outlying areas are restocked and reopen after Tuesday’s catastrophic earthquake. Both Foodstuffs and Progressive Enterprises say there is plenty of food available and there is no need to “panic-buy”. Newstalk ZB has provided an up to date list that can be accessed by clicking here.

Electricity (as of 4pm today)

Orion is now working under Civil Defence priorities for the restoration of power to Christchurch. Apart from consumers, these include telecommunications sites, water and waste water services. By the end of today it aimed to have restored power to 75 percent of customers.

Our overall strategy is to restore power moving west to east across the city. It anticipates it could take at least some weeks to restore power to the remaining 25 percent (estimated at 50,000 of customers in the city). This particularly affects Sumner, Brighton and Dallington and surrounding areas, where power is off to three of its 51 zone substations, and where we also have substantial damage to some of its high (66kV) and medium (11kV) voltage cables.

Forward work plan

§ CBD:

o It is awaiting direction from Police and Civil Defence regarding when its staff can enter the area to assess damage and determine which parts of the CBD it can safely restore power to

§ New Brighton and surrounds:

o Both 66kV cables supplying Brighton zone substation have failed as a result of significant land movement in the area

o Brighton zone substation and related equipment in the local area eg transformers are damaged

o To secure a stable power supply to this area, it is looking at running a new overhead line from the Bromley grid exit point to the Brighton zone substation

o The status of other cables in this area is still being investigated

§ Dallington and surrounds:

o Both 66kV cables supplying Dallington zone substation have failed

o Dallington and Brighton substations are interconnected, so the solutions for securing power supply to Brighton will also apply to Dallington

o It expects many other lower voltage cables (mainly 11kV) to be damaged in the Dallington area and have started to identify, locate and fix these faults

o Mt Pleasant to Sumner (all areas east of Ferrymead bridge):

o The Barnett Park zone substation is undamaged, but there is serious seismic damage to many properties and buildings in this area, and a number of our smaller substations have been hit by rock falls, wall failures etc

o These factors mean the process of restoring power to this area will take some time.

Please see the attached map for a graphical representation:

Postal services

All New Zealand Post and Express Couriers operations in Christchurch will remain suspended until Monday 28 February 2011, when they will be further reviewed. The suspension includes:

§ Christchurch Mail Centre processing operations

§ Postal and courier deliveries

§ PostShop stores and box lobbies

NZ Post’s Christchurch Call Centre is currently unavailable and all calls are being diverted to Wellington. If you experience delays, please be patient.

Postal Deliveries and PostShops/ box lobbies:

New Zealand Post will hold all mail and will update our customers on its website as deliveries resume. PostShop stores owned by New Zealand Post will remain closed until each has undergone a structural audit and cleared to open. Service resumption at franchised stores will be decided by the franchisee.

§ Find out which PostShops/box lobbies are currently open by clicking here

§ Find out which Kiwibank banking services and ATM’s are currently working by clicking here

§ Find out what Courier Post delivery services are available by clicking here


The Christchurch network remains affected by physical disruption and ongoing power issues, particularly in the eastern parts of the city. Telecom has now deployed around 60 generators to provide backup power to network sites still without mains power.

Telecom Retail customers can get their Telecom landline number diverted to another Telecom landline number for free. To enable this, residential customers can call Telecom on 120 and business customers can call Telecom on 125.

To enable other network providers to offer the same call diversion assistance free of charge to their end-customers, Telecom Wholesale is waiving mobile termination charges to other fixed line network operators in the circumstances and for the time period as outlined above.

A request from Chorus:

Chorus has asked Canterbury residents experiencing disruption to their landline or broadband services, to contact the company that provides their internet and phone services to log a fault. This will help Chorus to ascertain the true extent of network damage, enabling them to restore service as quickly as possible.

Sensible telecommunications advice:

§ Please change your voicemail message to let callers know the time, date and their location and, if possible, alternate contact details to provide some reassurance should mobile phone batteries go flat given ongoing difficulties with power supply.

§ To minimise the use of mobile phones use text messages instead of calls when possible to free up the network for emergency response workers and to minimise the drain on backup batteries and generators.

§ People are reminded that corded analogue phones plug straight into a jack-point and don’t require mains power.

§ 260 payphones in and around Christchurch are enabled with free calling for local, national and mobile calls.

§ Free WiFi spots are also available at Telecom Riccarton Mall, CafĂ© Zero (Cashmere Rd), and the Westpac Centre (Addington).

§ Customers with friends or family with a prepaid Telecom mobile can call 0800 32 32 32 and top up their prepaid credit on their behalf.

Government earthquake helpline

The Government’s helpline is 0800 779 997. The Earthquake Commission can be contacted on 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243).

Red Cross helpline including missing persons

If you are concerned about the wellbeing of friends and relatives in Christchurch, you should call 0800 REDCROSS (0800 733 276).

Road closures

Environment Canterbury is trying to update its list of closed roads in Christchurch twice daily on its Christchurch Earthquake website. It should be noted this is not a comprehensive list and roads are liable to change status without prior notice. Emergency officials ask that people restrict their movements around the city to essential travel only and stay clear of the city centre and other badly damaged areas.


All schools and education facilities remain closed in the quake affected zone unless you have been notified otherwise.

Health advice

Healthline is a free 24/7 telephone health information service provided by the Ministry of Health and includes mental health. The service is staffed by registered nurses who are able assess health needs before giving information or advice to help you decide on the best level of care. Telephone 0800 611 116 (24/7).

Be careful with grain and fertiliser silos

Federated Farmers Grain & Seed can provide advice:

§ Murray Rowlands – 03 317 9401

§ David Clark – 03 303 6132

Water and sanitation

Members in the quake affected zone are reminded to boil all water and to restrict use of toilets if on town supply water and to check septic systems if not.

Federated Farmers Christchurch office is closed until further notice

Federated Farmers Christchurch office is closed due to damage until further notice. Any meetings scheduled for the office have had to be cancelled.

For general information, please contact:

0800 FARMING (0800 327 646)

Federated Farmers earthquake spokesperson:

John Hartnell

Phone: 03 349 5590
021 578 754

For contacts in North Canterbury:

Neil Stott

Federated Farmers North Canterbury provincial president
Phone: 03 318 8577
Mobile: 027 355 4636

Pam Richardson

Federated Farmers Banks Peninsula branch chairperson
Phone: 03 304 6825
Mobile: 027 447 8551

Murray Rowlands

Federated Farmers North Canterbury Grain & Seeds chairperson

Phone: 03 317 9401

Mobile (text please): 027 242 9542

Kieran Stone

Federated Farmers North Canterbury Dairy chairperson

Mobile: 027 558 8917

Dugald McLean

Federated Farmers North Canterbury Meat & Fibre chairperson

Phone: 03 313 5442

Graeme Albon

Federated Farmers Bees committee member

Phone: 021 025 20328


Urgent request for portable toilets and petrol to support elderly and disabled Cantabrians

In the wake of the earthquake of 22 February 2011, there is an urgent need for portable toilets at the Christchurch offices of homecare company Access Homehealth Ltd, so that it can begin operating again.

The company supports elderly and disabled clients in Christchurch and the wider Canterbury area with daily care needs.

The offices of the two other Christchurch home healthcare companies (Nurse Maud and Healthcare New Zealand) are out of action. Access has offered to share its premises with to these two companies so that urgent services can be co-ordinated for all their vulnerable clients, including the urgent distribution of water.

If anyone can help with this request, the toilets should be delivered to Access’ offices at 100 Carlisle Street, Christchurch. This is outside the restricted zone. At least six toilets are required.

Another urgent request is for offers of petrol, as supplies at the pumps become exhausted. Rural Women New Zealand would appreciate information about gas stations that still have supplies. We will pass this information on to Access Homehealth Ltd, which is wholly owned by Rural Women New Zealand.

Rural Women New Zealand is also asking farmers and contracting companies with private supplies to contact its national office with any offers of petrol for homecare workers so that they can reach their clients, many of whom live in rural areas.

For offers of petrol or information on petrol supplies, please contact Noeline Holt, Executive Officer, Rural Women New Zealand on (04) 473 5524 or 021 868 608 or Jackie Edkins, Communications Officer, Rural Women New Zealand on 027 271 5717.


Farmers needing assistance Christchurch Earthquake contact information Federated Farmers

New Canterbury earthquake

If farmers have been affected by the current Canterbury earthquake Federated Farmers wishes to offer our support. This applies to members and non-members alike.


0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING) mail@fedfarm.org.nz given emails seem to be getting through.

Immediate damage assessment

We understand the earthquake has struck very close to Lyttelton and Diamond Harbour but Federated Farmers lacks hard information at this juncture and are trying to make contact with members. We also have initial concern for grain silos based on the last earthquake.

We need to get an initial assessment of damage and this is being coordinated through our Hamilton office. The first priority is the preservation of life. Emergency services should be called in the first instance. Federated Farmers wishes to ascertain infrastructure damage so we can best work with service providers (power, telecommunications, water as well as road transport).

Getting in touch with Federated Farmers

Federated Farmers has issued a tweet, has sent a text message to all North Canterbury members and is issuing this Member Advisory as some emails are getting through. If members are able to report damage, or need non-life threatening support, please dial:

§ 0800 327 646 (this will manned 24 hours) or

§ mail@fedfarm.org.nz

Please check your neighbours

It is important to check on your neighbours to see if they are alright.

Federated Farmers Christchurch office is closed until further notice

Federated Farmers Christchurch office is closed due to damage until further notice, but there have been no physical injuries to staff.


The mobile phone companies have informed us that some network sites have been badly damaged and are not working and others are operating on battery back up power. To minimise the stress on the network and to conserve back-up power we ask people to only use their phones for emergency calls. Alternatively please use text in preference to voice.

For general information, please contact:

0800 FARMING (0800 327 646)

For immediate contacts in North Canterbury:

Neil Stott

Federated Farmers North Canterbury provincial president
Phone: 03 318 8577
Mobile: 027 355 4636

Allan Baird

Rural Emergency Coordinator (Regional Rural Recovery Group)

03 347 2728

Doug Archbold

Rural Support Trust North Canterbury

Mobile: 027 340 0878

Murray Rowlands

Federated Farmers North Canterbury Grain & Seeds chairperson

Mobile: 027 242 9542

Kieran Stone

Federated Farmers North Canterbury Dairy chairperson

Mobile: 027 558 8917

Dugald McLean

Federated Farmers North Canterbury Meat & Fibre chairperson

Phone: 03 313 5442

Graeme Albon

Federated Farmers Bees committee member

Phone: 021 025 20328

An Iconic City in Ruins - Hearts go out to the People of Christchurch

I watched the footage on Sky News, saw the tears in many eyes, watched the frantic efforts by ordinary people to try to do something to help. The aftershocks continue. Rescue teams from the UK and Australia are coming in to help.

The people of Christchurch did not deserve nature's fury to strike them again.
The above is what I posted on Facebook this morning.
At 12.51 pm yesterday New Zealand Time a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the iconic South Island city of Christchurch.
It was lunchtime, people were out on the street going about their daily business, buses and cars heading down along the streets, and office workers were within buildings. In split seconds the world came apart, buildings fell down onto the street - there were people within them. The rubble fell onto buses crushing them to nothing. The count of confirmed dead at the time of writing this blog post stands at 38 identified and there are more to come.

The iconic Christchurch Cathedral spire has been destroyed falling into the interior and the Pyne Gould Building has been completely destroyed. There were people inside at the time. 80% of the city has no water. Power is out and sewerage lines have been severely damaged.

Queen Elizabeth sent this message to Prime Minister John Key
"I have been utterly shocked by the news of another earthquake in Christchurch. Please convey my deep sympathy to the family and friends of those who have been killed; my thoughts are with all those who have been affected by this dreadful event. My thoughts are also with the emergency services and every...one who is assisting in the rescue efforts."

The opening paragraph from the article The Day the Earth Roared by The Press on the Stuff.co.nz website said it all

With no warning the earth roared and shook us ferociously. Like my colleagues in the features department of Christchurch newspaper The Press, I dived under my desk.

I'm a music critic and as we shook and my mind's eye flashed images of my four children I was pelted with CDs including, ironically, an Underworld album.

.... We walk en masse down the middle of the glass-strewn street, strangers united by fear accompanied by dust swirling, sirens wailing and military helicopters circling. I felt like I was on a movie set and that Bruce Willis would surely appear around the next corner.

...With each aftershock strangers clung to each other, some prayed. Others, like me, blasphemed and swore at the ground.

- The Day the Earth Roared on Stuff.co.nz
People of Christchurch - we're thinking of you stay strong


Chris Trotter on Bowally Road 'Christchurch's Agony'

If we learn nothing else from today's disaster, let us learn that we are frail and wholly contingent beings, whose only solace in a vast and unheeding universe – is each other. - Chris Trotter

Lisa Truttman on Timespanner 'My thoughts are on Christchurch'

Today, there are reported deaths. The 6.3 earthquake struck at the worst of times, lunchtime on a summer's day. Buses and cars have been crushed.

Beyond that, right now, I have no words. Read Chris Trotter's post at least, for eloquence. The city, and its residents, do not deserve all of this.

Ian Musgrove on Astroblog 'Our Hearts go out to New Zealand'

We wish everyone one there all our best wishes, and hope their loved-ones are found safe.


Google have launched a Person Finder application HERE

Facebook Support Page 'Supporting Christchurch Earthquake 22.02.2011' HERE

Twitter Tell your friends and family you're ok Tweet ok#quake www.twitter.com

Christchurch Earthquake Information

Local Emergency Phone Number:111 or 0800 779 997



Posted on Facebook

People with personal offers of accommodation call 0800 AIRPORT from wherever they are in the country and offer accommodation to their airport staff, apparently there are a lot of Cantabrians clogging chch airport wanting to get out and go anywhere.

DONATIONS for the victims of the earthquake
Salvation Army:
Westpac - 02 0207 0617331 00

Red Cross: Website Here
ASB - 12 3193 0006848 01
Posted on Facebook

Phone 0900 33 200 - automatic $20 donation
- TXT 'QUAKE' to 555 to donate $5 or TXT 'QUAKE' to 333 to donate $3 from any Vodafone mobile
- Donate @ redcross.org.nz
- Donate at NZ Post, Kiwibank, ANZ, National Bank, ASB, TSB and BNZ across New Zealand.

Charity Auctions for the Christchurch Victims on Facebook HERE Wanting to donate items for this contact email christchurchcharityauctions@live.com


EXCLUSIVE: The Black List Of Taib’s Secret Foreign Assets

This is a Media Release from The Bruno Manser Fund

EXCLUSIVE: The Black List Of Taib’s Secret Foreign Assets

The following companies are, or have been, closely linked to the
family of Abdul Taib Mahmud ("Taib"), who has been Chief Minister of Sarawak, Malaysia, since

Taib's ill-gotten foreign and domestic assets are estimated to be worth hundreds of millions, if not billions, of US dollars.

KUCHING, MALAYSIA, February 17, 2011, --/WORLD-WIRE/--

The Bruno Manser Fund and thousands of supporters around the globe are urging
the authorities of the below-mentioned countries to investigate the
financial transactions of the black-listed companies under their
respective anti-corruption and anti-money-laundering legislations and
to freeze all Taib family assets for later restitution to the people
of Sarawak.

Australia: Australian Universities International Alumni Convention
Pty Ltd (ACN: 081942903); Donmastry Pty Ltd (ACN: 093 907 843);
Geneid Holdings Pty Ltd (ACN: 087759751); Golborne Pty Ltd. (ACN:
061844148); Golden Sovereign Development Ltd (ACN 103 925 613);
Kesuma Holdings Pty Ltd. (ACN 105540636); Newtop Holdings Pty Ltd
(ACN: 066588225); Ostgro Australia Pty Ltd (ACN: 094721070); Sitehost
Pty Ltd (ACN: 062312743); Valentine on George Pty Ltd (ACN: 105541562)

British Virgin Islands: Astar Properties Ltd. (201522); CMS Global
(BVI) Ltd.; Tess Investments Ltd (203511)

Canada: Adelaide Ottawa Corporation (2028546); City Gate
International Corporation (446027-8); Glowell Development Corporation
(1545868); Preston Building Holding Corporation (2108122), Sakto
Development Corporation Pte. Ltd. (155207-4), Sakto Corporation
(340439-1), Sakto Management Services Corporation (655948-4), Tower
One Holding Corporation (2028542), Tower Two Holding Corporation

Hong Kong: Grand Shine Trading Ltd (0127665); Grand Will Ltd
(0133932); Herolite Investment Ltd (129119); Natalite Investment Ltd
(129502); Regent Star Company Ltd (0130318); Richfold Investment Ltd
(0130308); Whittaker Company Ltd (0161304)

Jersey: Sogo Holdings Ltd (43148)

Malaysia: Achi Jaya Holdings Sdn Bhd; Borsarmulu Resort Sdn Bhd
(213014-M); Cahya Mata Sarawak Sdn Bhd (21076-T); K&N Kenanga
Holdings Bhd; Kumpulan Parabena Sdn Bhd; Mesti Bersatu Sdn Bhd
(758849-V); Naim Holdings Berhad (585467-M); Sanyan Group; Sarawak
Aluminium Company (783974-K); Sarawak Energy Bhd.; Ta Ann Group;
Titanium Management Sdn Bhd; UBG Berhad (240931-X)

United Kingdom: Ridgeford Consulting Ltd (5572163); Ridgeford
Properties Ltd (3268801) USA: Sakti International Corporation Inc.;
Wallysons Inc (the owner of the FBI building in Seattle!); W.A.
Boylston Inc; W.A.Everett Inc.

This list has been established on 21 February 2011 and will be
regularly updated.

For more information, please consult our campaign site

Dairy on the up - Speech notes Lachlan McKenzie

Dairy on the up

Speech by Lachlan McKenzie, Federated Farmers Dairy chairperson, Hotel Ashburton 17 February 2011

Welcome to our council meeting. What a great opportunity we have in these three days to look at dairy farming issues in Canterbury and New Zealand. To consider what we are going to deal with over the coming months and seasons.

Water quality issues have been around for a long time. The old Ministry of Works built many schemes in the 1960’s as the government of the day recognised the benefits of storing water.

These schemes essentially used border dykes or irrigation built into a slanting paddock. The majority have now upgraded by farmers to spray irrigation with a corresponding improvement in water use efficiency and a reduction in nutrient losses. This is a very good story.

But people outside of agriculture who don’t understand this, now see big shiny alloy structures spraying water with concern. Before, they would never have noticed water running off the border and down the drain along with the nutrients we are working hard to minimise.

There is still huge potential for dairy growth in many parts of New Zealand.

The issue we all now face is the growing requirement for nutrient management. I acknowledge that intensive food production can have more nutrient losses than broad acre or extensive farming. But we also have to acknowledge the world demand for food is increasing. Government articulates the importance of dairy to our economic and social wellbeing.

We have several challenges as representative of our dairy sector.

§ How do we show we understand the community’s views?

§ How do we articulate our goals and aspirations to our communities?

We have to show we have similar aspirations and goals. We know in the minds of some that irrigation and dairying creates irrational fear and anxiety. We also know some lobby groups play on this fear for their own political and financial benefit.

Part of our role as farmers is to understand these fears and concerns to better explain the true picture. We need to use sound science, facts and an absence of emotion to show how we are focused on solutions and progress.

It frustrates me that in our modern and highly educated society that some so-called scientists and regulators exhibit a narrow mindedness. They fail to comprehend the complexity of the issues involved in the land and water interface. Some are of our industry’s making but most environmental impacts are not.

Yet their only solution is to literally shut down dairying.

All too often and before such solutions are proposed, the real issues have not been clearly articulated, documented or not even discussed with farmers who are the resource manager and the most affected party.

As a nation we have just started to address the issues of eutrophication, or excess nutrients that stimulate aquatic plant growth.

Yet when it comes the catchment scale there has been an absence of forward thinking because what we are talking about is truly intergenerational. As for sound analysis, we face too many assumptions over our industry’s impact pushed by some politicians for personal aggrandisement. I refer specifically the Green Party. We want to talk science and reason and they prefer the sucker punch.

Getting soundness around this is a role for Federated Farmers. We need to work within and outside of the industry to turn this thinking from assumed links to factual evidence.

I have personally done the numbers in some catchments and converting just 1.5 percent of the farm area into intensive wetland plants such as water cress and then harvested could half the nitrogen and phosphate loss to water bodies.

Where is the old kiwi “can do attitude” in solving these issues?

Animal welfare:

Unfortunately many of you will have had experience of external agencies coming onto farms to enforce their beliefs on what is correct animal welfare. I acknowledge there is the odd case of complete incompetence within farming and these people should not be in charge of animals, but that is not the case for the vast majority of farmers.

I am hopeful with a new Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry that Federated Farmers can assist in educating their enforcement officers to understand the complexities of farming. To help them distinguish between the effect of a snow storm and what is willful neglect of farm animals. To help them identify what farm systems will work or if farm systems are likely to fail. To ensure their behavior is appropriate as an officer of the Crown. All too often prosecution is seen as the solution but really it is just punishment for what? A snow storm?

As leaders you will all have to get involved in this space, DairyNZ and Federated Farmers will have to work closely together for the sake of all our reputations.

We do have a great pasture based system that is relatively low cost but it is not simple. We all run very complex biological systems. The modern dairy cow is a lot different in its demands and ability to milk than the cows I first starting milking.

In conclusion, as leaders within our industry we all have to play a part in educating regulators, enforcement officers and communities of the complexities involved in the farm system.

Our strength is in working together and talking within our organisations.

We all have to continue to lobby for sensible solutions that will deliver our shared aspirations of economic prosperity, social justice and resource management to ensure we all have an environment that enables future generations to prosper.


Dumbo - Australia's First African Elephant

Dumbo Australia's First African Elephant at Taronga Park Zoo 12 January 1947
- Image Sydney Morning Herald 13 January 1947

DUMBO 1940 - 1947


The first African elephant ever to be shown in Australia was on view at Taronga Park Zoological Gardens yesterday. It is a six-year-old, and is not yet five feet high. The elephant arrived last week. Most of the animals and birds which arrived in the same ship arc still in quarantine.

-Sydney Morning Herald 13 January 1947

In 1946, several members of the Taronga Park Trust, from Sydney, Australia, spent several months travelling around the African Continent in search of new animals to stock their growing collection.

Four Sydney men, the secretary of the Taronga Park Zoo, Mr. H. B. Brown, Mr. Hargreaves, Mr. E. J. Hallstrom, and Mr. W. Turner, collected this record "bag" on an eight months' trek. They went through Swaziland, Portuguese East Africa, Tanganyika, Kenya, and Uganda, buying from the hunters and trappers, who brought their jungle catches into large bases.

- Sydney Morning Herald 18 December 1946

During a visit to the Belgian Congo in 1946 (now The Democratic Republic of Congo) the men came across the only elephant training school in Africa. They purchased a 6 year old as yet unnamed African Bush elephant (Loxodonta africana) from the school -

Image from The Australian Woman's Weekly 8 February 1947
Article title 'Zoo Baby from Africa's only Elephant School'

The elephant was bought from a special elephant training farm in the Belgian Congo. Run by the Belgian Government, it is the only one of its kind in Africa. Each February officials, with about 60 native boys, go out to catch young elephants.

They take with them a number of trained monitor or mother elephants, who are turned loose among the young ones and head them off for catching.

Taken back to the farm, the babies undergo a rigorous six months' course of education.

They lead a strictly regimented day-morning bath in the river, lessons, a period out at pasture, and another bath at night.

During this time they learn to lie down and rise at word of command and to know the human voice.

The monitors stay with them throughout training, assist backward babies who either won't lie down or get up by applying their trunks and tusks.

The motherly monitors think nothing of bringing a troublesome kindergartener to heel with a good firm slap from their trunks, Mr Brown says.

Each night the tethered elephant lines are visited by an old hippopotamus who comes up from the river, inspects the babies, and everything to his satisfaction, goes back as silently as he came.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on the 18 December 1947 that the ship carrying some 1,000 birds and some 75 animals had left Mombasa on the previous Sunday as was headed for Australia with special attendant E. Hargreaves on board. By 28th December the Swedish ship Mangarella had berthed at Freemantle, Perth ( Sydney Morning Herald 28 December 1946) later arriving at Mebourne bound for Sydney


MELBOURNE, Mon. - The Swedish vessel Mangarella which arrived in Melbourne today assumed the character of a modern Noah's Ark after calling at Mombassa, East Africa, on the voyage from Gothenburg. The vessel called at the African port to load a valuable cargo of animals, birds and reptiles for the Taronga Park zoo, Sydney.

The collection of wild life ranged from finches to a seven-year-old African elephant, the first of its kind to be brought to Australia.

- The Mercury 7 January 1947

With the arrival of so many species all at the once the zoo found itself short of cages and space and thus had resorted to cutting the enclosures down in size to accomodate the new arrivals. And with it the Sydney Morning Herald was pleased to announce

The young elephant that has just arrived is the first one the Zoo has had from Africa - but it will be no time before you will be able to ride him. He is only seven years old, and an elephant takes 15 years to grow up

- Sydney Morning Herald 22nd January 1947


Taronga Park is the ideal place to spend the Holiday Attractions Include new arrivals Just received from Africa-Whale headed Stork, Secretary Birds, Baby Ostriches, African Elephant, Rhinoceros, Cheetahs, Bat eared Foxes, and many others. All picnic requirements available lunch and afternoon tea served In attractive Tea Rooms Travel by Ferry

- Advertisement Sydney Morning Herald 27 January 1947
'Dumbo' The much loved character from the Walt Disney of the same name
Image by the kind courtesy of Walt Disney Clipart

Named for the cartoon Walt Disney movie character, 'Dumbo' as he was now named spent a very short life being one of the main attractions at the Taronga Park Zoo. However by late June/early July of 1947 the young elephant was showing signs of illness. On 14 July 1947 Dumbo the African Bush Elephant died he was around 7 years old at the time

SYDNEY, Sunday.

A Belgian Congo ' baby elephant, which was at Taronga Park, died today after an illness lasting some weeks. It is one of the most difficult animals to rear in captivity and, had it lived, it would have been the first animal of its kind to have lived in captivity anywhere in the world.

- Canberra Times 14 July 1947

A post mortem would later show the elephant had died of an undisclosed congenital illness.

Dead elephant could not have lived long


Dumbo, the Taronga Park Zoo elephant, worth £1,000, which died on Sunday, was internally deformed, which meant that he could not have lived long. This was discovered at a post-mortem examination today.

It was explained that Dumbo had not been insured because the rate of loss among animals was low.

-The Argus 16 July 1947