Tuesday, 10 September 2019

10 September 2019


Sure enough, the do-gooders are going to start lecturing on what free school lunches should contain.  I think lunches in schools programmes should involve the kids, have them prepare simple, low-cost food such as peanut butter or egg sandwiches, bake some muffins, add a piece of fruit and a glass of milk – something from all the main food groups – and thereby ensure it’s something they’ll want to eat. They can then take those ideas and skills home and into adulthood. 

But wait, I spoke too soon. Almost as soon as I typed that I came across this news piece deeming muffins to be unhealthy.


 Good to see Canterbury District Health Board pushing back on the idea of removing meat and dairy from hospital meals. Protein and energy-rich food sources are not only what hungry children need, but also those recovering in hospital, especially aged and frail.


I’m sick of farmers of meat and dairy being painted as bad guys.  We already have very sustainable agricultural practices in New Zealand, and attitudes to stock effluent getting into waterways have completely turned around in the last few decades.  We grow grass like topsy, we don’t use feedlots or intensive methods that are detrimental to the environment. 

I’m involved in programmes that support farmers and landowners to fence and plant their riparian margins and by far the majority of farmers I have come across are passionate conservationists. 

More on this topic to come. I’m watching farmers’ concerns mount especially over productive land being turned into forestry. A website to follow is 50 Shades of Green.


I’ve said before we hear a lot of emotive terms about such as “Climate Change Emergency”, “Nuclear Free Moment” and others from the left, but here we are faced with a real and present danger, a measles outbreak, and the anti-vaxxers are very quiet.  It’s not just anti-vaxxers, but a casual attitude towards vaccination from a generation who have never witnessed high infant mortality rates as a result of now preventable diseases, as well as those who believe in pseudoscience, and I’m guessing the majority of the latter come from the left as well.

What’s not helping is red tape around some of the common sense solutions to preventing the spread of the disease, increasing the rate of vaccination, and speeding up this programme to restore herd immunity to our communities.  First it’s the bureaucrats telling principals they can’t tell students to stay home even if they know they have measles; second it’s pharmacists being unable to get reimbursement for vaccinations carried out their pharmacies.

There are 864 pharmacists around the country who are allowed to provide vaccinations for the flu, shingles, whooping cough and meningitis, but current rules mean they don't get funded to provide the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine.

And then, there are the lack of incentives in place for parents to get their children vaccinated.  Surely your right to free choice over vaccinations does not give you the right to put other people in harm’s way.  With that right comes responsibility, and that’s to keep your children away from school.  And it doesn’t give you the right to receive government benefits including Working for Families without obligation. “No jab, no pay” may be controversial, but a very strong message needs to be sent to those who are dragging their feet over vaccinations or just need a wake-up call. When David said this the media barely covered it, but it turned out he was in very good company when Dr Lance O’Sullivan said almost exactly the same thing a day later.


Are you kidding?  I’m one-quarter Irish, my mother half Irish, and we like nothing more than a good Irish joke and a knees up. We had a barney a few years back for a family reunion, shared plenty of Irish jokes and everyone dressed up as leprechauns, Irish dancers and the like. Wait – was that cultural appropriation?

Our new Race Relations Commissioner says it’s not okay to tell Irish jokes anymore.

The biggest jokes are all these commissioners. That’s why ACT proposes to abolish them.

Have a great week, stay safe, and stay healthy!

Beth Houlbrooke

Deputy Leader / Vice President