Wednesday, 18 May 2016 14:24

Seriousness of Purpose is Club's Priority - President

This past year again saw the National Press Club adhering to the times and more specifically to an era in which the mainstream media pre-occupation adheres to contemporary culture rather than with the club’s mainstay of politics and hard news.

Even so our event earlier this year in handing back the green parrot artefact to the Green Parrot restaurant displayed a certain whimsicality on our behalf, admitted National Press Club president Peter Isaac in his annual report tabled at the annual general meeting in May.

The restoration event commemorated the era in which people from diverse occupations and callings were able to take up the role of newspapermen.

"Thanks to the wisdom of successive committees the club has refused to be panicked by the blend so evident today of the accelerating confluence of technical and sociological currents."

Instead the policy had been to conserve the club’s resources in order that they be deployed with an underpinning seriousness of purpose, he emphasised.

The club retains and develops numerous affiliations with other national press clubs and these "permit us to be engaged in the major ethical events of the era with www.nationalpressclub.org. routinely remaining at the very top ranking of these national sites."

One of the reasons for this was the club's new operational affiliations with the Napier-based news service MSCNewswire and the Washington-based EINPresswire service.

MSCNewswire he noted now has claims to being the pre-eminent dedicated internet news service in New Zealand and with its emphasis on commercial news is the one with the major international pick-up.

Touching upon membership issues Isaac noted that it was with deep regret that he had to report that Lifetime Achievement Award holder Connie Lawn remains severely stricken with Parkinson’s Disease. Two veterans of World War 2 also battled the effects of the passing years - Life Member Denis Adam and long time stalwart Mick Bienowski.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016 08:53

 

 Green Parrot Jug returned to South Seas Longest-Operating Restaurant by VP Peter Bush, Australasia’s longest-practising journalist

MSCNewsWire-EIN-National Press Club Service, Napier, 30 March 2016 - Australasia’s longest-practising journalist Peter Bush returned to Australasia’s longest continuously-operating restaurant which is Wellington’s Green Parrot its signature and founding artefact, a green parrot ceramic jug made in Japan.

Mr Bush’s career as a photojournalist and war correspondent began in 1946, 20 years after the founding of the Green Parrot restaurant which also on this occasion celebrated its 90th birthday.

Mr Bush is vice president of the National Press Club which staged the ceremony. In fact the green parrot jug had lain unrecognised in the memorabilia of the club for many years. It had originally come into the club’s possession via an early stalwart, Tony Poynton.

He had intervened at a tense moment during the club’s post war years when it served as a de facto or curb exchange, most notably among scrap metal dealers such as Mr Poynton then was. A commanding presence, Mr Poynton’s intervention earned him the gratitude of the proprietor who stood to lose their trading licence if found to have conducted an unruly house.

The then proprietor gave the late Mr Poynton the signature jug which Mr Poynton, by now a newspaperman himself, had donated to the club to adorn any future premises.

The restoration event was emceed by National Press Club treasurer Bryan Weyburne, pictured above with Peter Bush at centre and Green Parrot proprietor Chris Sakoufakis.

Speakers noted that the occasion would in future years be viewed as recording also the transition turning point from the colourful heyday of print journalism to the present technology-pressured one.

It was noted that someone such as Mr Poynton could in those earlier days switch from metals trading to newspapers and in the process bring with them a variety of new approaches and ideas along with real-world experience.

The timing of the ceremony, it was said, also saw the era approaching of the 40 year envelope from the advent of a technology on the consumer market, in this case the internet and associated technologies, to the point at which it became pervasive and thus fully transformational.
Electricity and automobiles were quoted as two earlier examples of this 40 year take up phenomenon.

The Green Parrot restaurant was begun in 1926 by a United States merchant seaman paid off in Wellington who had acquired the jug at Yokohama and who then named his new restaurant after the fashionable ceramic ornamental piece of kitchenware.

Event seen as Line in the Sand between Old & New Eras

Kay Poynton, Tony’s sister with Yvonne Weyburne

Richard Laurenson, Hamish Hancock, Gordon Stewart, Stephen Underwood

Carol Armstrong and Luba Perry

George Westermayer and Mark Dunajtschik

Ian and Adrienne Stewart

Anne Stewart and Barry Durrant

 

Monday, 14 March 2016 13:57

Connie Lawn is First to Talk to
NZ Washington Ambassador Tim Groser

 

Greatest farm surplus ever is the
prime problem for the career trade negotiator

MSCNewsWire-EIN-National Press Club Service, NAPIER, 14 March 2016After a lifetime massaging trade deals as an official and then as a Minister of the Crown, Tim Groser finds himself negotiating his trickiest mercantilist tightrope to date. As his country’s freshly installed ambassador to Washington the urbane yet wily bureaucrat must bed down his country’s role in the TPPA which he last year described as “New Zealand’s biggest ever free trade deal.”

His problem? How to get value from the Trans Pacific arrangement for an agrarian nation at a time when parties to the arrangement, along with the rest of the developed world, enter the era of hyper farm surplus?

Nothing unusual in this, even though the surplus is of greater magnitude than anything that has gone before.

In the past, trans Pacific parties such as the United States, Australia, and New Zealand have shared a simple solution. This was to ship the surplus to the always hungry Soviet Union, or Russia as we would describe it now.

This is no longer possible due to the US invoked and vigorously policed embargo on sending anything to this old disposal market.

Neither does the vast North American market offer much hope. Nobody is more conscious than Mr Groser of the surgical delicacy required in persuading Canada to sign up to the TPPA in the face of the opposition from its French-speaking dairy farmers, the most protected anywhere on the globe.

Should Mr Groser turn his attention to Europe he can only contemplate still greater surpluses as more farm categories come off the restricted production quota list. Next off the rank, the EU sugar beet production limits.

And yet...and yet....markets are never static. Mr Groser would never utter it, and may even have disciplined himself never to think it. But daily the odds are increasing in favour of Britain’s exit from the EU.

From his Washington command-post, it is hard to imagine that Mr Groser does not see just one more trade deal, on top of all the other ones to which he has been a party?

As he suavely goes about his official rounds, might not Mr Groser be forgiven if his thoughts are pulled away from a Pacific contemplation to considering now the nearby Atlantic Ocean?

As someone as close to the epicentre of world trade as it is possible for anyone to reach, might he not just be contemplating from time to time, oooh, something like a new Commonwealth Preference regime?

One in which Euro-soured Britons return to the supplier that rescued them until quite recent times from what Mr Groser and his diplomatic colleagues would delicately describe as “food insecurity.”

When the dean of the White House Press Corps and holder of the National Press Club, Lifetime Achievement Award Connie Lawn (pictured with Mr Groser) was first through the embassy doors to discuss events with the the new ambassador, these and other elements of realpolitik became the background tapestry to the official politesse.

The lesson of very recent years, and to which the Russian embargo bears witness, is that not only is the United States run from Washington. But in large measure, so is Europe.

Photo: Dr Charles Sneiderman

Monday, 11 July 2016 09:23

Dr Liam Fox MP: Shire party members will decide next British Prime Minister

 

GP MP has had two runs at becoming leader of the Conservatives.

Napier, MSCNewsWire, Monday 11 July  2016 -  British Conservative Member of Parliament and Brexiteer Dr Liam Fox was matter of fact when several years ago he reminded a Wellington audience that leaders of the Conservative Party were chosen by “135,000 party members, most of them resident in the shires.”

Dr Fox (pictured) who put himself again this year in the running for Conservative Party leader, and thus this time also Prime Minister, has found himself dealt out of the pack prior to this decisive demonstration of grass roots party power.

The party members will now decide the result in the final run-off between contestants and joint finalists Theresa May MP and Andrea Leadsom MP.

Dr Fox, an engaging speaker responded in connection with party leadership contests in New Zealand involving National (caucus) and Labour (caucus and union). He was talking to a National Press Club meeting.

Dr Fox was then in New Zealand as shadow foreign secretary as well as Conservative Party chairman a post from which he sought initially and unsuccessfully in that era to launch himself into the full Tory leadership.

General practitioner Dr Fox has been dogged by British Parliamentary expenses revelations which were a factor in 2011 for his standing down as secretary of state for defence.

Meanwhile the party’s membership now said to be 150,000 can vote for Theresa May MP or Andrea Leadsom MP– with the result announced by 9 September. The result will be announced then in time for the Conservative party conference on 2 October, the date David Cameron gave for his successor to be in place when he resigned after the vote to leave the EU.

 

 

 

 

Thursday, 18 February 2016 19:37

EU Will End This Year

Declares German Head of Oceania Think Tank

Bungling of immigrant emergency

punctures German mystique

and leaves EU rudderless

 

MSCNewsWire-EIN-National Press Club Service, NAPIER, 18 February 2016 -  The European Union during 2016 will cease to exist “as we know it” predicts Oliver Hartwich, the head of the New Zealand Initiative policy group.

The immigrant crisis was one too many emergencies for the EU which he portrays as staggering from one crisis to the next. Among these were member countries with covenant-breaking debt to GDP ratios, the Brexit, and the rise of radical politics in the form of populism and nationalism.

Germany meanwhile was reeling from its handling of the immigrant crisis, which now saw the once EU powerhouse “isolated.”

In addition, the officially-driven cover-up of the Cologne refugee assimilation consequences episode had even raised questions internationally about the nature of German society’s commitment to open government and a free press.

Dr Hartwich speaking at a seminar at the headquarters in Wellington of the New Zealand Initiative sheeted the pending demise of the EU “project” to the decision by its leadership after the fall of the Berlin Wall to embark upon an expansionist phase.

This took two perilous forms, he noted, the currency union and the quest for new members. History proved that instead there should have followed a period of “consolidation.”

The revolving door subsequent crises Dr Hartwich identified as “weakening the structure,” of the EU to the point at which it could only focus on its “own survival.”

The New Zealand Initiative sprang from a number of independent enterprise policy groups, notably the Business Roundtable.

Dr Hartwich,a German-trained lawyer and economist was appointed executive director at its inception, following a tour with Sydney’s Centre for Independent Studies, and as chief economist at London’s Policy Exchange.

He noted that the focus by the EU on member financial bail-outs, was obscuring the rise of radical politics in members such as Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary.

The realpolitik exposition on the EU and its future conducted by Dr Hartwich was consistent with the enterprise group’s focus on cutting through doctrines and ideologies in order to outline events at home and abroad.

The event was attended by a number of National Press Club representatives including Life Member Sir Christopher Harris, pictured (at right) with Dr Hartwich.

In response to a question from a National Press Club representative about the involvement and culpability of the United States in the current series pf EU alarms, Dr Hartwich commented that the US simply saw the EU from its start as a bulwark against Russia, and its policies were centred exclusively around this view.

 

 

 

Sunday, 28 February 2016 14:14

Empire Loyalist Winston Peters MP
is Echoed in Fleet Street

 

New Zealand First Leader Calls for
Resumption of London-Led Trading Bloc.

MSCNewsWire-EIN-National Press Club Service, NAPIER, 28 February 2016 - London’s Daily Express has given full coverage to the call by Winston Peters MP (pictured) to restore the once dominant Commonwealth trading bloc.

Reported the newspaper: “Winston Peters, who leads a group of MPs in the New Zealand parliament, has urged the UK to view the possibility of exiting the EU later this year as a chance to strengthen ties with those 53 countries that were previously part of the British Empire.”

The Daily Express along with the other middle class British mass-circulation newspaper the Daily Mail is implacably against Britain’s continuing membership of the EU. Both the newspapers have long campaigned for the British exit.

Under its signature proprietor Lord Beaverbrook, the Daily Express maintained a crusade against Britain abandoning the Empire in favour of a European trading bloc alliance.

Reported the Daily Express: “New Zealand’s ex-deputy prime minister told British politicians to use ‘Brexit’ as a way of making amends for ditching Commonwealth countries in favour of joining the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973.

The newspaper quoted Mr Peters as saying that Brexit " is an opportunity for not just New Zealand businesses, products and people.

“It is an excellent opportunity to heal a rift dating back to 1973."

Tuesday, 09 February 2016 12:54

New York State Power to Allocate

US Dollar Licences

Was Unseen, Unspoken Dominant Presence at TPPA Signing.
Dollar Control of Trade Underpins Pacific Pact

MSCNewsWire-EIN-National Press Club Service, NAPIER, 9 February 2016 - Like a skillful ringmaster the United States kept its whip carefully hidden under the robes and other theatrical panoply of the Auckland TPPA signing. Nobody was talking, or for the most part even knew of the real hard power behind the agreement.

This is the 80 percent of world trade conducted in the USD, and the United States’ ability to decree who can and who cannot trade in it.

Dollar allocation rights stem not so much from Washington, which is why United States Presidents can claim that the USD licenses are out of their hands. They are centred in the State of New York.

This was the elephant in the room during the TPPA signing, writes the Chartered Accountants Journal long time banking columnist Peter Isaac who was on hand in Auckland.

While activists hollered in the streets outside about loss of sovereignty and those inside proclaimed their devotion to trade liberalisation only a very few understood what had brought them there.

It was the whip in the form of the United States control of the currency conduit of world trade, and the allocation of the rights to use it.

A contemplation of the plight of France, in the view of most of the French, a world power, tends to dispel any doubts about this reality of global business.

The USD9 billion fine levied on BNP Paribas for doing business with several countries which were then the subject of a United States trade embargo was one such factor.

Another was the threat on the French bank of a ban from processing US dollar payments through New York.

If there were still any more remaining reservations, well, look at France now. Awash in unsold milk and other farm products, France must slavishly adhere to the US-imposed embargo preventing the sale of the surplus to the one country that wants it – Russia.

The Atlantic lesson, if not the mechanics of it, served as the unseen writing on the Auckland wall for the Pacific pact delegations, even if was obscured in the mists of time.

The American founding fathers in seeking at one and the same time a federalist and localised balance in America’s banking structure had allocated the power to grant or revoke USD dollar licences to officials in New York State. Where it remains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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