Colin Meads and IHC

I have just listened to Country Life on Radio New Zealand National – an eclectic radio show about all things rural.

On today’s edition Susan Murray met with Colin Meads (All Black legend) at Pinetree Farm in Te Kuiti. Colin told of how he donated all his money from speaking engagements, generating enough income for IHC to purchase the Pinetree Farm.

He’s been involved with IHC for many years. This is not news. What is news is that he was responsible for some of IHC’s most successful fundraising activities – activities that are more successful in generating income than the annual appeal.

The most prominent of these is the IHC Calf Scheme. Colin was responsible for getting PGG Wrightson on board in promoting this concept.

It’s simple: a farmer agrees to donate and raise a number of calves on his or her property, and then these calves are sold by PGG Wrightson on behalf of the IHC. Around 4000 calves are sold every year, generating upwards of $1 million dollars in revenue.

This is an idea that could have only come out of the country. It wasn’t dreamed up by a flashy city advertising agency. It was dreamed up by Colin Meads (and his team).

I’m impressed.

Internet blackout

Internet blackoutJust watched on my ‘copy’ of the TV3 6 o’clock news the protest that took place in the grounds of Parliament today lunchtime.

Protesters were concerned about Section 92a of the Copyright Act. This section says if a user is accused of downloading material (such as video’s and music) that they don’t hold the rights to (in other words illegal downloads) then their ISP can cut off their internet connection.

Now, there is something to be said about ‘innocent until proven guilty’ – and in this case it seems that your privileges can be removed before you have been tried and found guilty.

But, I would say to the protesters, if you don’t want your connection cut then don’t illegally download music and videos that aren’t yours to download. Haven’t you seen the ads? Illegal downloading is stealing. Simple as that.

On the other hand, being punished before being found guilty doesn’t seem fair either.

In saying all of that – copyright laws in New Zealand need some serious work. As an ex-photographer the fact that a commissioner of a photographer owned the copyright before the image had even been taken riled me. As far as I know this section of the act has not been repealed, and we continue to lag behind the rest of the world in protecting the rights of those that make the work.

So, perhaps Section 92a is trying to right some of those wrongs. As Arthur Baysting from APRA pointed out on the TV3 item, incomes of performers and artists has reduced drastically from illegal downloading. But is Section 92a the best way to fix the problem?

Skinny’s latest artwork

Here’s the latest piece off the easel. It’s an acrylic on canvas of the Tinui fire-station in the Wairarapa.

It measures 800 x 600mm unframed. I’ll consider selling it beforehand, but this is headed for the Affordable Art Auction in Wellington later this year.

Tinui Fire-station

Antonie Dixon – dead

Antonie Dixon is dead.

I know there will be many people who will be saying good riddance to bad rubbish – but any death is shocking, especially the death of someone who we all recognise from his court appearances on the nightly news.

The care of the mentally ill in NZ prisons is obviously lacking – how can an inmate kill himself by banging his head against the bars of a cell? Barry Hart is right in this case …the Corrections Department “stuffed up”

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