Shane Jones in 'open defiance' of PM after Fonterra comments, say National

National MP Paul Goldsmith has called Shane Jones' critical comments of Fonterra "embarrassing" for the Prime Minister and said her response had been weak. 

Mr Jones yesterday said dairy giant Fonterra had become disconnected from the farming community.

"I thoroughly believe this, and I've said it elsewhere, as the CEO leaves Fonterra the chairman in quick order should catch the next cab out of town," he said. 

"I think Shane Jones is in open defiance of the Prime Minister," Mr Goldsmith said. "She made it very clear last time he got on his high horse and started attacking business leaders that it was a step too far and he shouldn’t do it, and he's out doing it again."

In March, Mr Jones criticised Air New Zealand, saying they had "turned their back" on provincial small towns. 

"Of course it's embarrassing, and it must be very frustrating for her, but her response has been weak, because she’s made it quite clear it was a step too far last time, he's done it again," Mr Goldsmith said. 

Mr Jones said he believed Fonterra had become disconnected from the farming community. Source: 1 NEWS

The Prime Minister today said today Mr Jones made the comments in a personal capacity.

"He did not make them as a Minister, and it's not Government policy, end of story," Ms Ardern said. 

However Mr Goldsmith said it was not the end of the story. 

"When you're a Cabinet Minister responsible for regional economic development and you're talking about the company that is the largest company in the regions of New Zealand, you're not entitled to a personal opinion."

Mr Jones stood by his comments, telling media he does not "shy away from owning" his views. 

The Regional Economic Development Minister said he made the comments in a closed meeting. Source: 1 NEWS

"I think that from time-to-time in a MMP coalition Government, a robust NZ First politician such as myself, should be entitled to serve notice on these corporate aristocrats."

MP Paul Goldsmith said Mr Jones’ comments were “embarrassing” for the Prime Minister. Source: 1 NEWS



Police searching for elderly woman with Alzheimers missing on Waiheke Island

Police and family are concerned for an elderly woman who has gone missing on Waiheke Island.

Sylvia Henley suffers from Alzheimers disease and may be confused.

Ms Henley has not been seen since this morning.

She may be wearing a light blue dressing gown and slippers.

Anyone who may have seen Ms Henley has been advised to call 111.

Source: NZ Police

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Canterbury University threatened with legal action by one of its students over car parking fees - 'you are going into debt over this'

Canterbury University is being threatened with legal action by one of its law students over car parking.

Canterbury University student Kelly Phillips has accused the university of cashing in on staff and students' parking fees.

Students are currently paying $400 a year for parking, while staff are paying double the amount.

"It just means you've paid for a spot, but you're not guaranteed you're going to get it," Ms Phillips said.

While the parking is fluid, the fees are set - and rising - by 15 per cent a year.

Canterbury University is unique from most universities in that it has the space on its 80-hectare Ilam campus to provide parking, but it comes at a cost.

"If you have to borrow an additional $500 a year to pay for parking, you are going into debt over this," Ms Phillips said.

She claims the university has collected more than $1.3 million in parking fees from students and staff last year alone.

"Where is the money going? What is it being used for or is it just revenue gathering?"

But Canterbury University Vice-Chancellor Rod Carr claims the university "is not seeking to make money out of car parking".

"It is seeking simply to cover the full whole of life cost of providing carparking on campus," Mr Carr explained.

He says the parking fees are going towards tar sealing, drainage, potholes, lighting and security at the university.

However, Ms Phillips says it "doesn't add up".

She claims that when she asked under the Official Information Act for a breakdown of parking-related expenditure, it could not be provided.

"The Local Government Act basically says that where an entity has the ability to charge a fee for service, it cannot exceed the cost of actually providing that service," she said.

Mr Carr responded, "If you've got the opportunity as a law student to get a learning experience at the taxpayer's expense, you should probably seek that out".

Ms Phillips has since engaged a barrister to help find out where staff and students' parking fees are going.

A uni student is claiming the university’s has collected over $1 million in parking fees. Source: 1 NEWS

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Weekend's most read: Noisy street racers disrupting terminally ill Timaru hospice patients' final days

This story was first published on Saturday September 16.

Timaru’s Hospice is pleading for quiet and some respect after noisy night time drivers have been disturbing their terminally ill patients.

Timaru’s Hospice is pleading for quiet and respect for their patients. Source: 1 NEWS

After a long battle with throat cancer Charles Roebuck’s been given just days to live, but he says his final nights are being disrupted by street racers speeding down the road around the Hospice.

“Here I am quietly getting some rest and next thing this is a race-strip,” Hospice patient Charles Roebuck told 1 NEWS.

He’s not the first patient to complain about the disruption.

“We thank him very much for raising this issue of the traffic around Hospice, because we work here and we’re not as conscious often as the patients are,” says Hospice South Canterbury general manager Peter O’Neill.

Hospice staff are asking driver for a little consideration for their patients.

"To think that is might be one of their relatives one day or one of their friends and just that due respect for common decency I suppose," says Mr O’Neill.

Mr Roebuck has even written a letter to the Timaru District Council with his concerns.

“This place is soundproofed, I mean it's got double glazing, but with those cars zapping backwards and forwards."

The council says they’ve only just become aware of the issue and are now looking at options for putting up signs to encourage people to slow down.


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NZ energy use unsustainable in switch to renewables

A four year study on energy usage in New Zealand households warns current trends will not be sustainable when the country makes the complete switch to renewable energy.

The NZ Green Grid project investigated the energy usage of 45 North Island properties, and isolated the energy use down to what appliances were using the electricity.

The study found increased heatpump use over winter and the increase use of electric vehicles could use more energy than what is presently possible from renewable sources.

It also found the average house had between two and three appliances for refrigeration.

Energy Research Centre co-director Michael Jack said the infrastructure and market structures needed to change.

"Wind is variable. It's only generating when the wind blows.

"Solar is generating during the middle of the day, when there's less demand for it.

"What you need to do is either shift your demand to those time when the renewables are being produced or somehow store those renewables for use at later times," he said.

Dr Jack said one possible option was using heatpumps that were set on a thermostat, where temperatures could be lowered during certain hours of the day.

He said if changes were not made, the switch to completely renewable energy would be a costly.

rnz.co.nz

A four year study on energy usage in New Zealand households warns current trends will not be sustainable when the country makes the complete switch to renewable energy. Source: rnz.co.nz