Summer service: open mike 07/01/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 7th, 2012 - 54 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

As usual, it’s reduced service over the summer break, unless anything big happens. We hope you’ll get a good break with those dear to you, and that we’ll have some decent weather to enjoy. And if you still need your politics fix… Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. Step right up to the mike…

54 comments on “Summer service: open mike 07/01/2012”

  1. Salsy 1

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/12/what-americans-keep-ignoring-about-finlands-school-success/250564/#

    The Scandinavian country is an education superpower because it values equality more than excellence.

    … Americans are consistently obsessed with certain questions: How can you keep track of students’ performance if you don’t test them constantly? How can you improve teaching if you have no accountability for bad teachers or merit pay for good teachers? How do you foster competition and engage the private sector? How do you provide school choice?

    …The answers Finland provides seem to run counter to just about everything America’s school reformers are trying to do. For starters, Finland has no standardized tests. The only exception is what’s called the National Matriculation Exam, which everyone takes at the end of a voluntary upper-secondary school, roughly the equivalent of American high school.

    ..in Finland all teachers and administrators are given prestige, decent pay, and a lot of responsibility. A master’s degree is required to enter the profession, and teacher training programs are among the most selective professional schools in the country. If a teacher is bad, it is the principal’s responsibility to notice and deal with it.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      A good read Salsy. The proof is in the results; Finland has been getting results by focussing on co-operation rather than competition, and equity rather than choice.

      And I rather loved the para in the article:

      As for accountability of teachers and administrators, Sahlberg shrugs. “There’s no word for accountability in Finnish,” he later told an audience at the Teachers College of Columbia University. “Accountability is something that is left when responsibility has been subtracted.”

      Makes a total monkeys of National’s obdurately idiotic ‘reforms’.

    • happynz 1.2

      How can you keep track of students’ performance if you don’t test them constantly? How can you improve teaching if you have no accountability for bad teachers or merit pay for good teachers?

      All this constant testing and reliance on merit pay for student results may well lead to corruption. I know of cases in countries where positive test scores result in higher teacher salaries. So, what happens is that the students are fed the answers directly. The school reports the amazingly high exam marks to the ministry, the ministry puts out a press release showing how their policies have increased student outcomes, the principal is given a highly paid secure position in the ministry, and the teachers are all given hikes in salary as well as a bonus. The students, for the most part, aren’t really equipped to do the things in which they were allegedly trained.

      • dv 1.2.1

        The school reports the amazingly high exam marks to the ministry,

        Remember Cambridge HS who had too good a result

        This is from English’s web site in 2004 about the NCEA, but is applicable to NStd too

        http://www.billenglish.co.nz/archives/40-NCEA-Five-proposals-for-change.html

        The NCEA has too much assessment and not enough learning.

        Internal assessment should be moderated properly. Moderation is about comparing assessments across different classes and schools and scaling results to ensure consistency and fairness for students.

        NCEA is here to stay, so the government and education leaders need to put aside their ideological baggage, acknowledge the problems and get on with fixing them.

        • ianmac 1.2.1.1

          One of the reasons for the “success” at Auckland Grammar is the focus on testing. They say that each lad sits trial tests/exams many many times before the actual one. This suits the International type exams but not the NCEA. Wonder why Grammar focuses on the International exams? Yeah right!

    • ianmac 1.3

      Well said Salsy. And the constant refrain from the supporters of National Standards has been about teacher obedience, and teacher accountability, and the so called long tail caused by teacher failure, and the dreaded teacher union, but never about the wisdom of constant testing, ranking, or league tabling. Or about tackling the needs of underachievement often caused by poverty and poor nurturing.

    • Lanthanide 1.4

      I believe a large part of their success is that only the best people can become teachers. Here in NZ becoming a teacher is often what people do when they’re not particularly good at anything else.

      • mac1 1.4.1

        OK, I’ll bite. Lanth, got a reference for that or have you just made a rather large and sweeping generalisation? I do note your qualifiers “often” and “particularly” but your “Here in New Zealand” is not the NZ I know as a (now former) teacher and as a parent.

        People love to dump on teachers. The National Party used to, grumpy young and old men often do, and because they went to school people in general think they are experts in education, including teacher motivation, temperament and expertise.

        Funny, I don’t think that we offer the same criticism of the expertise etc of doctors, surgeons, nurses, dentists, architects, accountants, lawyers. “Oh he’s just a lawyer because he’s not particularly good at anything….”

        Lanth, also I think that you have a view of people that I don’t share….”what people do when they’re not particularly good at anything.” A lot of people are good at a lot of things.

        A teacher can be good at- pedagogy, management, human relations, conflict resolution, learning, first aid, listening, they are able to multi task and individualise, handle stress and people, cope with human tragedy, social conflict, and disasters.

        So, they’re really not good at anything? After at least three years teacher training, or a three year degree and a year’s specialist teacher training?

        I was discussing the Finnish experience over a pint last night, actually, totally unconnected to this thread. One of my fellow bibulists, a scientist, said in his view that the top ten per cent of scholars should be made to be teachers. That would support what you and the Finns say- that only the best should be teachers. I have no problem with that as a general proposition.

        I have a problem though with your generalisation- “Here in NZ becoming a teacher is often what people do when they’re not particularly good at anything else.” I would love to hear some reference to research, but better than some anecdotal “a teacher I once knew” stuff, or quoting GB Shaw, being now a grumpy old ex-teacher. 🙂

        • seeker 1.4.1.1

          @Mac1

          “One of my fellow bibulists, a scientist, said in his view that the top ten per cent of scholars should be made to be teachers. I have no problem with that as a general proposition.”

          I do . Being good academically or in a particular subject does not necessarily a “good” teacher make. Good teachers are born, not made. I think that teaching is a vocation and that the “top ten percent of scholars should be made to be teachers” would be a fools errand.

          • seeker 1.4.1.1.1

            And to Lanthanide……-1……an unusual but apt response to comment 1.4, for your comments are usually of a higher standard.

          • Hanswurst 1.4.1.1.2

            Top scholars should perhaps not be made to be day-to-day teachers in the classroom, but I think that a decent argument could be made for their being exposed to pedagogical theory and made to do some teaching during their studies, and for their being brought into schools to take or assist with somoe courses during their professional life. For one thing, it’s good for them to experience continually how laypeople respond to information concerning their chosen field; communication of expertise or research to the wider public is difficult for anyone – be they a scientist, an artist, an historian or whatever, and I think that a lack of effective presentation contributes to unnecessary levels of ignorance on the part of many individuals in fields not directly related to their chosen professional field. While at school, I also found it enriching on the (unfortunately rare) occasions that my classes did involve meeting professionals who actually applied expertise in the subject concerned with a high degree of success. I also know that I was not the only one amongst my classmates who felt that way.

            So leave the day-to-day teaching to those who are qualified and have a passion for it, but try to involve top practitioners in as many areas as possible and wherever it could be useful.

          • mac1 1.4.1.1.3

            @ seeker. You changed what I said and attributed my words “I have no problem with that as a general proposition” to my statement “in his view that the top ten per cent of scholars should be made to be teachers.”

            My general agreement was with the intervening sentence “That would support what you and the Finns say- that only the best should be teachers.”

            I do agree with you in what you describe as a fool’s errand. The best teachers may be academically brilliant but they need all that other stuff, and more, that I mentioned, as it is as you rightly say a vocation and requires more than academic quality.

            • seeker 1.4.1.1.3.1

              Thanks mac1.Sorry about the misattrib. but importantly we both agree about many of the talents displayed by a good teacher and know that these include a big pinch of vocational essence and a passionate yearning to do almost anything it takes to see that our students ‘go to the ball’.
              By the way congrats . on your new teaching ‘retiree’ status and on a job I know to have been well done from your wise comments. I also know, as a near retiree teach.myself, that you will have made a real difference to so many. Cheers.

              • mac1

                Thanks for that, seeker. I had a good send off and made a shortish speech after 40 year connection with the College in which I postulated the theory that Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” was written by a teacher who was approaching retirement.

                If you revisit the song with that interpretation, (rather than the boring one of a man who is about to be executed), your life as a near retiree will be changed forever……

                “Is this a real life? or just fantasy?
                Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality….”

      • ianmac 1.4.2

        A bit tough Lanth?

      • Colonial Viper 1.4.3

        Lanth, you seem to be embodying the attitude that people join the public service when they are so useless that they can’t find ‘productive’ employment making money for capitalists or business owners.

        Personally I wish you wouldn’t carry on this meme. Where did you pick this belief up from. Teaching our younger generations is both a necessary and noble calling for a sound community.

        • Jackal 1.4.3.1

          Not only that, many teachers specifically choose that profession when they could find more lucrative undertakings. We have a shortfall of teachers in New Zealand because it’s low waged in comparison to the workload… if Lanthanide was correct and any Tom, Dick or Harry could meet the requirements, there would not be any shortfall.

          • Vicky32 1.4.3.1.1

            Not only that, many teachers specifically choose that profession when they could find more lucrative undertakings

            I started ESOL teaching (which is not quite the same, but it will serve) because I could not get anything else – lucrative be hanged, I just wanted work! However, I discovered that I love it, and that I am good at it, and now I have no desire to find anything else. The only problem I have is that language schools are all hanging by a thread, and the competition for the few jobs available is vicious! The ESOL industry suffers from Lanth’s assumption, that anyone can be an ESOL teacher, after all, we all speak English, and it’s a job someone can do if they are no good at anything else! Some school ‘principals’ share that view – they want to hire the (sometimes very) young for $13.00/hr to undercut qualified people like me, who can command 3 times that. That’s one reason why I get very hacked off hearing about the problems of ‘yoof’ who are unemployed – they have a much better chance of being employed than we people who are over 50… especially if they are female and zaftig! 🙁 Stupidity is a positive assets for yoof as well… the “dumb” among us are unlikely to challenge unfair treatment by employers.

  2. RedLogix 2

    I was wondering if it was just me, or whether the string of bizzare, stupid and inexplicable deaths we’ve seen in this country lately was starting to get a little out of the ordinary.

    Then just down the road, 11 die in a ballooning accident. Now I really feel awful.

    • Olwyn 2.1

      A terrible shock. My heart goes out to all the people on board the balloon, and their loved ones.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      RL, I know you don’t like it when people go down this road, but IMO what’s his name in Parliament is a frakin hex on this country.

      • felix 2.2.1

        Yep. How many more have to die before we chase his accursed shadow from our home?

      • RedLogix 2.2.2

        I guess it’s my fault for starting this theme on a political blog.

        If there is a political element to this, it’s a lot deeper than a ‘hex’ or ‘jinx’. It’s not one man…. it’s something to do with all of us.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.2.1

          It’s not one man…. it’s something to do with all of us.

          This mate is a much more concerning possibility.

        • felix 2.2.2.2

          Indeed. A representative, after all. A man for our times.

  3. http://ooooby.ning.com/profiles/blogs/food-bill-time-for-action

    There are some useful comments on this blog that people may be interested in – from the point of view of those who will be directly affected by the NZ Food Bill

    “Ooooby (Out of our own back yards) connects communities through local food.

    If you like to grow food (on a farm, in your backyard, in a community garden or where ever) or if you just like to eat locally grown food then Ooooby is for you.

    Ooooby exists in two ways.

    1. as a social network.

    Ooooby is like facebook but for people into homegrown and local food. At Ooooby you can connect with food growers and ‘locavores’ (people who like to eat local food) from all over the world.

    Most members are in New Zealand, but we do have members from distant lands. There are currently over 3,900 members and they talk to each other about all sorts of things like gardening tips, seasonal recipes, keeping chooks and bees, preserving surplus food and more. It’s kind of like going to a food growers festival online… so much to see and do.

    The other thing members are doing is finding out who else in their neighbourhood is into growing and eating local food. There are now local groups who organise food bartering days and local meet ups.

    2. as a local food home delivery service.

    We buy food from local farmers and backyard growers and deliver weekly Boxes to Auckland doorsteps every week.

    How can I get involved?

    Join as a member by signing up in the top right hand corner of this website.

    Buy local food from the Ooooby Box here.

    Ooooby members are part of the food revolution that is building massive momentum every day. Millions are returning to their own backyards and embracing the once declining skill of food growing.

    Ooooby is a lifestyle choice with the goal of eating the bulk of our basic foods fresh from our own local area.

    We are not talking about giving up chocolate or coffee because they’re not produced locally. We are simply suggesting that it is possible for our basic staple to be provided from local sources if we work together with local farmers and backyard food growers.

    At Ooooby like minded people gather to share up to date information about local food, growing tips, inspirational stories and more. Lots of people are also using Ooooby as a way to facilitate back yard food swaps and sales.

    The engagement of Ooooby in your local area can create a kind of contingent food economy for your community in the event of a global economic shift.

    For ideas on how to use this site click here.

    You can also participate on Facebook and Twitter.”
    __________________________________________________________

    Cheers!
    Penny Bright
    [email deleted]

    • McFlock 3.1

      About time – that’s an actual link with actual issues raised with specific sections of the bill.
        
      Not that it brings forward anything I’m particularly irked about.
       
       

      • Penny Bright 3.1.1

        Not ‘irked’ ‘McFlock’ about the NZ Food Bill – purportedly concerned about ‘food safety’ and ‘public health’ being dealt with by the Primary Production Select Committee rather than the Health Select Committee?

        Not ‘irked’ with the apparent lack of a ‘food safety’ crisis to warrant a nearly 400 page NZ Food Bill?

        Not ‘irked’ that there may be another agenda behind the NZ Food Safety Bill that is NOT ‘transparent’ and may have more to do with a WTO agenda that is more about looking after the financal interests of the Agri-business / BIG PHARMA 1% – rather than the public health interests of the 99%?

        Penny Bright
        [email deleted]

        • McFlock 3.1.1.1

           

          Not ‘irked’ ‘McFlock’ about the NZ Food Bill – purportedly concerned about ‘food safety’ and ‘public health’ being dealt with by the Primary Production Select Committee rather than the Health Select Committee?

          Unless you’re arguing that mps on committee A are corrupt, but mps on committee B are not, nope.

          Not ‘irked’ with the apparent lack of a ‘food safety’ crisis to warrant a nearly 400 page NZ Food Bill?

          Nope. In fact I’d be pissed if they waited for a crisis before acting (although several thousand cases annually should surely be regarded as a Bad Thing, if not “crisis”).

          Not ‘irked’ that there may be another agenda behind the NZ Food Safety Bill that is NOT ‘transparent’ and may have more to do with a WTO agenda that is more about looking after the financal interests of the Agri-business / BIG PHARMA 1% – rather than the public health interests of the 99%?

          There might be “another agenda”, but you haven’t yet demonstrated how this bill would facilitate such a conspiracy any more efficiently than the status quo. It could just be the duck it claims to walk and quack like.
           
           

  4. This is an EXTREMELY valid comment, in my opinion, which helps to ‘fill in the dots’ on the NZ Food Bill!

    Thank you ‘Kevin’ !
    http://blog.greens.org.nz/2011/12/21/mojo-and-steffan-lead-green-response-to-food-bill

    “Why is this bill put before the “Primary Production Select Committee”?

    Most primary production foodstuffs for export (meat and milk anyway) aren’t even covered by the the Food Act, they have their own legislation called the “Animal Products Act”.

    What do the bankers and dairy farmers that sit on the PPSC know about public health – nothing!

    It should have been put before the “Health Select Committee” of course, but they might have come up with the “wrong conclusions” ie. ones that were actually about public health outcomes rather than WTO / Codex compliance that the primary sector craves to facilitate penetration into overseas markets.”
    __________________________________________________________________________

    Penny Bright
    [email deleted]

  5. Jackal 5

    Wilkinson’s waffle

    There’s been a lot of concern about National’s proposed Food Bill, with over 30,000 people signing an online petition against the law change…

  6. FOUND IT!

    THE ‘SMOKING GUN’ DIRECT LINK BETWEEN CODEX ALIMENTARIUS / NZ FOOD SAFETY

    http://www.foodsafety.govt.nz/policy-law/codex/overview.htm

    Overview
    http://www.foodsafety.govt.nz

    International food safety standards are coordinated through the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
    New Zealand is an active participant.
    If you’re new to Codex, start here.
    ____________________________________________________________________________

    http://www.foodsafety.govt.nz/policy-law/reform-nz-food-regulations/
    Reform of New Zealand Food regulations
    http://www.foodsafety.govt.nz
    Through the Domestic Food Review and a proposed Food Bill, MAF aims to provide an efficient, effective and risk-based food regulatory regime.
    ____________________________________________________________________________

    Penny Bright
    [email deleted]

    • McFlock 6.1

      OMG!
      THE UNITED NATIONS CREATED A FOOD STANDARDS COMMISSION!!!!
      NZ PARTICIPATES IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF INTERNATIONAL SAFETY PROTOCOLS!!!
        
      In further shocking news, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians has been exposed as practically writing the rules and procedures for New Zealand doctors!!!

      • Penny Bright 6.1.1

        Who are you ‘McFlock’?

        [Deleted]

        🙂

        Just asking!

        Penny Bright

        [This site maintains a strict privacy policy. We do not tolerate any attempt to ‘out’ any blogger’s real identity, whether directly.. or indirectly as you are doing here. This is a warning. RL]

        • McFlock 6.1.1.1

          This isn’t about personalities. It’s about people going off half cocked, thus giving everyone who has problem with Key and his sociopath mates the “nutbar conspiracy theorist” tag.
              
          On the one hand, given the nact attitude to mining I wouldn’t put even your worst case scenario past the current government. The trouble is that you haven’t given a shred of actual evidence that this is the case, just links to other panicked folk who also come up short in the “actual evidence” department. And leading on “Codex Alimentarius Commission” it’s a front for the illuminati simply supports the impression of more panic than reason.
             
          And I’m just a chap who needs to limit blowback for his employer (who might not like to be associated with F-bombs, outright abuse, and public contempt for nutbars, and probably wouldn’t agree with most of my opinions – well, maybe the extent rather than the direction. Except for hippies. The boss certainly wouldn’t agree with my attitudes there).

          • Jackal 6.1.1.1.1

            At first I thought the same thing as you McFlock, that people were overreacting. Then I read the badly drafted food bill… and now I think people’s fears are entirely justified. In fact I think many still don’t comprehend the brevity of the situation.

            You might think that it’s not important if your tax money is going to fund CAC so that multinational companies can ultimately gain more market share into New Zealand’s food industry… but there are a lot of people who do.

            Belittling somebody for their concern is pretty reprehensible! Surely you can come up with a better argument that is based on what the food bill actually means instead of personalizing the debate McFlock?

            The evidence Penny has provided shows the direct link between the tax-payer funded mechanism that has led to the proposed food bill and the international regime specifically designed to promote multinational companies in their bid for globalisation. The food bill effectively legislates the corporate takeover of our food production in New Zealand, and places overreaching powers in the hands of the private sector.

            Such moves can only be detrimental to democracy.

            • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Belittling somebody for their concern is pretty reprehensible! Surely you can come up with a better argument that is based on what the food bill actually means instead of personalizing the debate McFlock?

              I’m not the one who tried to personalise it. Have I not given people enough opportunity to identify the specific clauses in the food bill that cause concern? I’d love to debate those, but nobody’s actually identified the clause that would make farmers’ markets sell only monsanto terminator seeds. Certainly no dramatic change from the status quo.

              The evidence Penny has provided shows the direct link between the tax-payer funded mechanism that has led to the proposed food bill and the international regime specifically designed to promote multinational companies in their bid for globalisation.

              No, it shows a direct link between a NZ govt organisation and a UN organisation that I have never heard of before. In theory, I quite like the idea of consistent international food standards, because in theory it means that any imported foods are produced safely at source, not just tested at the border. But then they wouldn’t be the first group to cloak their true objectives in shrouds of niceness.
               

              The food bill effectively legislates the corporate takeover of our food production in New Zealand, and places overreaching powers in the hands of the private sector.

              Which clauses? How is it so much worse than the current regime?
              I’ve asked those questions repeatedly and received no answer. But asking those questions seems to piss people off for some reason. God forbid I should expect someone raising serious concerns to know what they’re talking about.
               
               
               
               
               
               

              • Colonial Viper

                Which clauses? How is it so much worse than the current regime?

                I’d approach it from a different stand point: why was it decided that the current statute could not be made to work with better enforcement and changes to regulations.

                Also, why were ordinary crop seeds included in this legislation and who mandated it. You can’t claim that this legislation is supposed to stop parrots from getting food poisoning from seeds, right?

                Now this Herald editorial makes a very good point. The Government could quickly and easily move to clarify issues raised about the Food Bill. Why haven’t they even bothered to respond to the concerns raised.

                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10776922

              • Colonial Viper

                And McFlock, read this as well

                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10777340

                The bill also has an extraordinary clause regarding how the food-safety officer will decide whether that jar of lemon cheese on your person is for sale or for your own use. “The food is presumed to be in the person’s possession for the purpose of sale for human consumption until the contrary is proved.”

                In other words, your lemon cheese maker, unlike someone standing over a dead body with a bloody knife in his hand or a chap wearing a mask and running out of a bank clutching a sack with a dollar sign on the side, does not have the benefit of being presumed innocent until proved guilty.

                I mean, this really is just shit, especially to think that the Food Bill was deliberately drafted with these draconian assumptions in mind.

                • McFlock

                  Part 5—Offences

                  232 Presumption as to possession for sale

                  (1) This section applies when food is found at a place a person uses for— (a) the sale of food; or (b) the holding of food for sale; or (c) the storage of food for sale; or (d) the display, merchandising, or transporting of food for sale.
                  (2) The food is presumed to be in the person’s possession for the purpose of sale for human consumption until the contrary is proved.

                  Bit circular, but largely okay to me. Not brilliant, but it covers the owner saying “the cheeses at the bottom of the rack and covered in raw chicken juice aren’t for sale”.
                   
                  Some of the specific objections seem to be along the proposed entry powers of food safety officers – which don’t really seem to have changed from the current food act. Which seems to be a bit paranoid.
                   
                  Although yeah, wilkinson could have been less of a dick.

                   

                  • Colonial Viper

                    (2) The food is presumed to be in the person’s possession for the purpose of sale for human consumption until the contrary is proved.

                    You are deemed to have been in the process of committing a criminal offence until the contrary is proved.

                    Now what is this about, why was this inserted, and does it need to change. I would say that it does.

                    • McFlock

                      Not necessarily. If the food is not at a place used for the sale of food or the storage of food for sale, then it’s not presumed to be for sale.
                       
                      It should be demonstrable that the festering health hazard in the back of the store is NOT going to be sold to an unsuspecting customer. I actually think that’s fair enough.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It should be demonstrable that the festering health hazard in the back of the store is NOT going to be sold to an unsuspecting customer. I actually think that’s fair enough.

                      Yet you are not permitted to store “off” or spoilt food on premesis currently. Which goes back to the basic question – why are these new laws necessary, why was it decided that improved enforcement and changes in regulation were not sufficient.

                      From a legal standpoint – anything which presumes guilt of criminal activity before criminal activity has been committed is very dubious ground.

                      Not necessarily. If the food is not at a place used for the sale of food or the storage of food for sale, then it’s not presumed to be for sale.

                      Presumed by whom. And is there a mechanism in the Bill for challenging that presumption.

                    • McFlock

                      It’s not even necessarily “criminal”, it’s just presumed that when the food safety officer finds food in a place that sells food, then that food is for sale. It’s hardly the logical leap of the century.

                      And it’s presumed by the courts – if you try and prove the food was not for sale and fail, then the mechanism for appeal is a higher court.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So what level of evidence might sufficiently prove that the pavlova in the kitchen fridge was actually for dinner at your friends that night, and was not going to be sold or served to customers. See how silly it rapidly becomes.

                      And is this the type of appeal that we want to bother our busy higher courts with.

                      I wonder why did the proponents of this legislation decide that better enforcement of the current law and improving regulations associated with the current law would not yield just as good food safety results.

                    • McFlock

                       

                      So what level of evidence might sufficiently prove that the pavlova in the kitchen fridge was actually for dinner at your friends that night, and was not going to be sold or served to customers. See how silly it rapidly becomes.

                       
                      That would be determined by the courts pretty quickly into case law. Probably on a “reasonable doubt” basis, unless you have any ideas to the contrary. 
                       
                      So, assuming that you store for sale or sell food in your kitchen, is the food you sell pavlovas? Have you advertised selling pavlovas, or is it demonstrable that you only intended to sell the 3doz jars of homemade plum jam in your top cupboard? Is your regular stall at the farmers’ market in the jam section?  
                       
                      And, assuming the pav is perfectly fine and not likely to poison your guests, what is your problem with it being assumed the pav is for sale?

                    • I haven’t been following this issue anywhere near closely enough, but here’s an actual circumstance I came across recently that suggests some clarity may be needed.

                      A couple of evenings ago we had dinner at some friends’ place (in town). The woman said that she planned to put out a small stall at the end of her drive to put, for sale, some excess herbs. She thought it would earn some pocket money but also be a neighbourly/community act that might get people dropping by, chatting, etc.. She thought it might even encourage more neighbourhood provision of all sorts of things.

                      Now, technically, there’s the question of just where a ‘place for sale’ is in this context. Is it just the little makeshift stall out front? Does it include the garden (and not just the ‘excess’ herbs)? Does it include the entire residence and, thus, include the family’s house and kitchen?

                      I suppose you could say that, if she wants to make money, then she should be liable for the health risks. In that case, if she decided the regime was too risky and just ended up giving away her excess the health risk (what there is) would remain.

                      As a general principle, health and safety is one of those things it’s hard to object to.

                      But, because of economics of scale, there is the argument (often, but not always, given by those on the right who want to warn against regulation of any kind) that large corporations quite like advanced H&S rules as it works against smaller competitors.

                      That doesn’t mean H&S rules are a bad thing, but it does suggest that they can have those infamous ‘unintended’ consequences.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Sarcasm is the lowest form of humour I know, but I wonder how many people have received food poisoning from makeshift road side herb stores before. This new legislation is poised to do all of us a world of public health good.

                      Again, why can’t simple better enforcement and modifications of regulation provide the answers to better food safety, rather than a brand new act of parliament.

                    • McFlock

                       
                       

                      Now, technically, there’s the question of just where a ‘place for sale’ is in this context. Is it just the little makeshift stall out front? Does it include the garden (and not just the ‘excess’ herbs)? Does it include the entire residence and, thus, include the family’s house and kitchen?

                       
                      Current Food Act vs Food Bill:
                       
                       
                       
                      Covered as business?
                       
                      Act: yes Bill:yes
                       
                        
                       
                      Powers of inspectors to enter?
                       
                      Act:No (which I figure would be a bit of a shortcoming, enforcement-wise)
                       
                      Bill: yes, restricted to reasonable times and only those areas of the house or marae used for the business.
                       
                       
                      All food in place presumed for sale?
                       
                      Act:No.
                       
                      Bill: Yes.
                       
                       
                      CV: The regulatory power is restricted by the current act, as it seems at first reading that inspectors can’t currently examine “cottage industries” run out of a home. And I remind you that e. coli is a small threat right up until you get it.
                       
                       
                       
                       

            • seeker 6.1.1.1.1.2

              ” the direct link between the tax-payer funded mechanism that has led to the proposed food bill and the international regime specifically designed to promote multinational companies in their bid for globalisation. The food bill effectively legislates the corporate takeover of our food production in New Zealand, and places overreaching powers in the hands of the private sector.”

              Thank you Jackal. It was this link that I read about somewhere before Christmas (October I think).I realised that it could mean the corporate ‘takeover’ of our food production, just as the Bolivian water supply had been cunningly taken over at one time.

              I was concerned because I knew this National government could say one thing and do another until………..

              Eventually I would not be able to share seeds with my next door neighbour. I would only ever be able to buy the seeds provided and/or specified by a corporation just as the Bolivians had not been allowed to use rain water anymore and had only been able to buy water provided by the ‘new, better, from overseas, benificent water company/corporation. And, surprise,surprise, they found they could not afford it!
              I think Mc Flock will find that people keeping an eye on this “food bill” will be just what the doctors should have ordered

              Finally, reading the Herald on Sunday editorial today it looks like Kiwis may also naively be sleep walking to a frozen end rather than a thirsty end like the Bolivians (who I believe woke just in time.). Please God we do too, and stop ‘John Key’s careless gambling with our lives’ via the electricity companies, in its tracks,

              http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10777339

        • Penny Bright 6.1.1.2

          I am unclear where I have breached your above-mentioned ‘strict privacy policy’, by asking a blogger to identify themselves?

          “[This site maintains a strict privacy policy. We do not tolerate any attempt to ‘out’ any blogger’s real identity, whether directly.. or indirectly as you are doing here. This is a warning. RL]”

          If a blogger chooses not to identify themselves – that’s cool – there can be a variety of reasons for so doing.

          If I had known that there was stated policy on ‘The Standard’ prohibiting my asking someone to identify themselves – then I would not have done so.

          However – I haven’t yet found that ‘policy’ – so – with all due respect – I think a ‘warning’ is a little ‘over the top’?

          If I’ve missed your policy which might be stated elsewhere – I do apologise.

          However – this is all that I have found on this matter.

          “Privacy

          We do not disclose any information to third parties. This includes what you add to your profile that is not public on the blog. In particular your real name and e-mail. Similarly if you are not logged in and enter a comment, we do not disclose the e-mail you enter on your message.

          E-mail addresses are only used by the sysop or moderators if they need to contact you. This will usually be because of your behavior or other peoples behavior to you on the blog. Sometimes it will be used if we’re really interested in something you wrote.

          IP’s are only used when looking at moderation and banning. We will often look to see other pseudonyms have been used by the same person on this site. Very useful when dealing with repeat offenders.

          What you write in comments, your name/pseudonym and website is public and will be visible to anyone who reads the site. That is far more than the number of people who comment. Don’t write something that you’d be ashamed of in 20 years because it will probably still be visible.

          Better yet, don’t use your real name – use a pseudonym. ”
          ___________________________________________________________________

          In drawing this to your attention, I would still like to thank you for the opportunity to raise issues on The Standard that are often not covered by mainstream media.

          [Penny. Lprent and I both take a very dim view of anyone breaching this particular site policy. For a first direct offence we delete and warn; after that a banning is inevitable. For obviously malicious ‘outings’ we just delete and permanently ban immediately.

          I also consider challenging another blogger to reveal their real name a form of indirect breach of the the policy, because in the heat of the moment it may well pressure someone to reveal their own real name, when in hindsight they may well regret doing so.

          We have absolutely no time for the kind of thinking that says “I’m using my real name therefore my opinion/argument is better than yours because you are anonymous”… or any variation on that. It’s the quality of your information or argument that counts here; not who you are.

          I was aware that you were probably not being malicious or provocative on this occasion and for this reason I’m happy to just delete the sentence of concern and let you know why.

          Otherwise everything else is fine; personally I’m quite happy with your otherwise valuable contributions to The Standard. Please feel free to keep doing so. … RL]

          [lprent: Yep. Too much work especially when we see claims that are blatantly incorrect or just pure speculation and we have to watch the droning discussion whilst constrained by the privacy constraints. It is a hell of a lot simpler for both the moderators and the rest of the readers to ban anyone with extreme prejudice who even tries to use this tactic directly or indirectly. If you’re lucky we might treat a first offence as a probable mistake and warn rather than banning on mere suspicion.

          It isn’t in the policy but it does constrain debate. But the policy is merely a guideline on things that we think would constrain debate and what we’re likely to do about it. It is not a body of legal precedent. I deliberately wrote it that way because I love to see people lawyering and then finding they are abruptly cut off in mid-argument – it tickles my sense of humour. It is also effective in the basic rule of moderators – don’t do too much work.

          Mostly what the policy says is we limit some forms of behaviour, the moderators decide what those are, to listen when the moderators warn you, and try not to attract the moderators attention. We’d prefer the latter because we’re lazy and only act when a sense of responsibility to the site rouses us. You will definitely prefer it because we tend to think that the punishment should be disproportionate – otherwise you might try to attract our attention again. 😈 ]

          Penny Bright
          [email deleted]

  7. Years ago when I was a very active Union delegate, I spent a lot of my time defending workers from ‘consequences’ for which they had not received fair or proper warnings.

    [It was intended as a ‘fair warning’… no more.]

    That’s why I defended myself on this point.

    (In my view – it’s a ‘natural justice’ thing…..)

    ‘Take no sh*t’ is also my 101 ‘Rule’ in life (as it were).

    [And from you I’d expect no less.]

    OK – I’ve made my point – and you’ve explained yours.

    What I would respectfully suggest is that you might perhaps consider amending your ‘policy’ in order for it not ‘attract the attention’ of another blogger who does indeed feel that ‘the punishment’ is (somewhat) ‘disproportionate’?

    [As lprent explained above, he deliberately wrote the policies to give the moderators room to interpret them on a case by case basis. Moderation is not a perfect, or even fully consistent thing; different moderators react differently, and somethings get missed altogether.]

    I’ll leave it there.

    [I’m happy to as well… I do accept the original problem was unintended on your part….RL]

    Cheers!

    Penny Bright
    [email deleted]

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