Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Pride of the Hutt Valley - and the Melbourne Storm...

The Pride of the Hutt Valley - and the Melbourne Storm NRL club...

By Peter Petterson

First published at Qondio:

The photographs attached are of my 15 year old grandson, Pride Petterson - Robati, from the Hutt Valley in Wellington, New Zealand. who has been signed up for a six year contract with the Melbourne Storm NRL professional rugby league club in Melbourne, part of the Australian National Rugby League competition.

The talented rugby league player has had a great season locally. His Upper Hutt Tigers club Under 15 side won their competition. His Wellington Orcas U15 rep side finished second in the national competition. He was top try scorer and points scorer. Once this competition was completed, he was called into his Upper Hutt College school team for the play-offs of the Wellington Secondary Schools competition. They won the final for the third successive year.

Last year Pride competed in school athletic events, being placed in the Wellington representative shot put and javelin finals. He was awarded the Top Sportsmen of the Year award at Upper Hutt College, and was a member of the champion rugby league team as well, at the age of 14 years. He was discovered by the Melbourne Storm at a bootcamp trial in Lower Hutt late in 2009.
He has competed at the provincial level in rugby league for many years. He was also nominated in the NZ Merit Team this year. This is a non-playing side to recognise those players not eligible for The New Zealand Junior Kiwis rugby league team.

Pride is a very modest young man who is a dedicated player and trainer. His fitness is unparalled by other players of his age grade. His manager described him as the best player of his age in New Zealand. Obviously the Melbourne Storm thinks so very highly of him to contract him for so many years - an investment for the future. He is a tall, powerfully built, extremely fit young footballer of huge potential.

Playing football is only half of the deal; young players also have to prepare for life after football. The Melbourne Storm will finance Pride through one of the top schools in Melbourne during 2011, to do an accountancy course. He actually did well at school back in New Zealand during 2010.
He will live with a local family, will be paid living expences and an allowance in future dependant on his age and playing grade. He will be flown back to his family regularly. He is at present on holiday leave with the club - returning to Melbourne on Jan 10 2011.

Barring injuries and unexpected circumstances, this young man should be ready for the top level in about five years. We all wish him luck. The Pride of his family, his friends his football club and his country. He is and will for ever remain our little Pride. Good luck!

Contributor's NoteWe are extremely proud of this young man with such huge potential.
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Friday, December 10, 2010

RSA under fire for its poppy deal - Anzac Day will never be the same...

New Zealand RSA under fire for its foreign poppy deal - Anzac Day will never be the same...

RSA Under Fire For Foreign Poppy Deal
 The RSA is facing a backlash over its decision to import poppies rather than have them made in Christchurch, with many people threatening to boycott the poppies.
RSA New Zealand announced yesterday the Australian company Cash's had out-bid the Christchurch RSA to win the 2012 contract, and as a result the poppies would be made in Australia from parts manufactured in China, saving about $150,000.
Christchurch RSA has held the contract since 1931 and employed between 20-30 intellectually handicapped people from Kilmarnock Enterprises to assemble the poppies.

RSA chief executive Stephen Clarke said the $150,000 saving meant more money for its veterans and welfare work.

"That will be a cost saving to every local RSA because they're actually the ones purchasing direct from the wholesaler."

The poppy appeal raised $2 million nationally this year but many people commenting on the story online said they would not be buying the new poppies.

Christine Kay wrote it was "shameful" to take the work from intellectually handicapped people.
"I won't be buying one next year," she wrote.

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) weighed in on the debate, saying the loss of the poppy contract was similar to having six new electric locomotives imported, rather than made here in either Lower Hutt or Dunedin.

RMTU general secretary Wayne Butson said that the loss of a contract for Anzac Poppies to Australia and China was sad news for Christchurch.

"Manufacturing is still a significant part of the economy, and is the third largest employing industry in New Zealand. But on price alone New Zealand cannot compete with low-wage economies overseas, and we need a serious plan to support domestic manufacturing and local jobs," he said.

Mr Butson questioned how the country could retain any form of manufacturing base when even government purchasing did not support local manufacturing.

Christchurch RSA president Russ Barron told the Press the national body's decision was disgusting.
"The New Zealand poppy is an icon, manufactured in New Zealand for New Zealanders."

Acknowledgements: NZPA


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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

National will end lifetime state housing in NZ...

Lifetime state housing tenancies to end under National...

The Government is ending life-time tenancy agreements for Housing New Zealand tenants, and from July all new tenants will have reviewable tenancies.
The decision is part of the Government's response to recommendations to address the country's housing shortage about to be released by the Minister of Housing, Phil Heatley.
The Housing Shareholders Advisory Group made 19 recommendations to the Government in August to help cut the 10,000 people on Housing New Zealand's waiting list and address the 70,000 house shortage the country faces.
Mr Heatley said all new tenancy agreements with Housing New Zealand will be reviewable from July, and the 69,000 existing tenants will have their tenancies assessed, but that work is unlikely to start before the next election.
He assured tenants who have health issues or are older that they had nothing to worry about, but said those who have significantly improved their circumstances will have to make way for the more needy.
Mr Heatley says the Government is looking at providing land, capital or houses to community organisations to boost the participation of third parties in social housing.
He says the Government is also going to stop Housing New Zealand and the Department of Building and Housing duplicating each other's work, and cannot rule out job losses.
Labour's housing spokesperson, Moana Mackey, says forcing tenants from their state homes will not the housing shortage and more must be built.
Ms Mackey says state houses overwhelmingly go to the most needy people, and Housing New Zealand already move on tenants who no longer need their state homes.
KR says:
Because the National government during the 1990's sold 14,000 housing units there is a real need for state houses now - there is a waiting list. Where would existing state tenants go if the present National Government forces them out? The National government needs to expand its housing stock to make up for the shortfall, including those few houses being sold now. The State in NZ could never get out of housing - the private sector could never manage housing for lower income New Zealanders.
The Government needs to make it easier for young families to get their own houses - lower deposits and repayments are necessary. That has prevented earlier generations from buying their own homes.
The next Labour Government will be bound to reverse this policy in its own Housing policies. More houses must be built to house lower income New Zealanders - end of story!
Acknowledgements:© 2010, Radio New Zealand

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Row over Gag machine running costs at Pike River mine...

GREYMOUTH, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 30: A drilli...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Row brews over Pike River costs

The GAG machine used to extinguish the Pike River mine fire is costing thousands a day and who will pay is becoming an issue

A row is erupting over who should pay to run the GAG machine being used to extinguish the fire in the Pike River mine.

Flames can no longer be seen coming from the vent shaft but police say that doesn't mean the fire inside the mine is out.

Reporter Robyn Janes understands the GAG machine which is being used to pump carbon dioxide into the mine to starve the flames of oxygen, is costing $10,000 an hour to run and it is unclear whether the bill is being paid for by Pike River Coal or the police. Pike River CEO Peter Whittall has said he hasn't had that discussion yet, while some of the local politicians on the West Coast believe the police shouldn't be footing the bill.

The total cost is estimated to be at around the one million dollar mark so far however, Ms Janes says similar operations overseas have cost millions more. 

The company surely?
Acknowledgements: © 2010 NZCity, NewsTalkZB
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Friday, December 3, 2010

Gag unit continues to smother fire at Pike River mine.

GREYMOUTH, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 30: Mine res...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

A converted jet engine being used to smother the fire in the Pike River coal mine, continues to operate.
The 'gag' unit has been running since Wednesday night, pumping carbon dioxide into the mine to cool it and neutralise the gases inside.
It has only been shut down from time to time for essential maintenance.
A mine scientist David Cliff from the University of Queensland, says it will take a great deal more of the cooling gas to put out the fire.
Dr Cliff says it will likely be weeks before a recovery team can enter the mine.

Acknowledgements: Radio NZ

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