November 2012 The magazine for MAS Members
At the top of her game PLUS Life: Building your dream house
Technology: UFB and the cloud
Travel: San Francisco
From the CEO
Member story: At the top of her game
19-21 Broderick Rd
6 Your space 8
Building your dream house
9 Business: Communication tips to save hours & dollars
Technology UFB and the Cloud
mailing address On MAS
PO Box 13042 Johnsonville
15 Life: Building your dream house
18 Technology: UFB and the Cloud
24 Travel: San Francisco 28 Music: I started a joke …
30 MAS news 32 Student news 34 Wine 36 Great reads
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managing editor Lindsay Huthnance The information
contained in On MAS
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detailed advice or as a basis for formulating business decisions. The opinions of
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© 2012. All rights
Fine dining aficionados We want your stories Are you a MAS Member who is a real ‘foodie’ – an aficionado of gourmet food and drink, or just a lover of fine dining? You might be known to your family and friends as a gourmet chef, have an extensive collection of rare and valuable wines, or maybe you’ve been to more Michelin starred restaurants than you can count.
29 Motoring reviews
12 Personal finance: Growth investing in Fonterra
21 Family: The birds and the bees?
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If so, and you’d be interested in being profiled in an upcoming issue of On MAS, we’d love to hear from you. Please let us know by emailing email@example.com or writing to On MAS at Freepost 884, MAS, PO Box 13042, Johnsonville, Wellington 6440.
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From the CEO
There’s no place like home
There’s a lot of talk out there right now about the invaluable business trait of being ‘100% New Zealand owned and operated’. It’s a term that all at once evokes nostalgia, one-of-a-kindness, and of course the good old ‘DIY spirit’. DIY (do-it-yourself) is a term that became common in the 1950s to describe home improvement projects that people choose to do themselves. Of course that meaning still stands, but in recent years DIY has taken on a broader meaning. It has come to cover such a wide range of skills – auto maintenance, music and film production, websites and open source software, to name a few – that Wikipedia (itself a DIY online encyclopaedia) says, “DIY…offers an alternative to the modern consumer culture’s emphasis on relying on others to satisfy needs.” The ‘100% Kiwi’ label seems to have undergone a similar transformation in New Zealand over the last few decades. In the context of the today’s domestic economic environment, it has become a frequently touted tagline for independence – independence from the influence of international ownership and the effects of globalisation. MAS is certainly a genuine example of a company that is proud of our nearly century-old New Zealand ownership, and that we’ve always been guided by our Members’ best interests. In fact, we were founded by a few like-minded professionals who did it themselves, so to speak, by pooling their resources to garner something different and better than what was available in the wider market. And of course today we remain a mutual organisation comprised of professionals and their families.
For instance, we know that the Christchurch rebuild is only possible with the backing of global reinsurers, and we have worked proactively with ours to ensure future cover for our Members. We also think it’s wise to embrace the benefits of international partnership where in the best interests of our Members. A good example of this is our commitment to continuing our offer of special home loan packages from The National Bank through its transition to ANZ. This issue of On MAS is full of examples of uniquely New Zealand success stories. In our Member story we meet one of the unsung heroes and a veteran of the Olympics, as well as a couple of the athletes who donned the silver fern in London. In MAS updates we outline the options you have for investing in KiwiSaver, and we highlight the success of one of our young Members in the arena of global business in Your space. In Personal Finance we look at the opening of Fonterra, another iconic New Zealand company, to trading on the share market. We hope you enjoy your summer and look forward to some welldeserved holiday time.
Martin Stokes Chief Executive Officer
But at MAS we know that to flourish as a New Zealand business in the global economy, we have to operate nimbly in the modern consumer culture. This means we have to rely on others where it makes sense to do so. More and more we have come to understand that the increasing global economic interdependence we are experiencing now is the future.
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At the top of her game
Lynne Coleman (third from right) with fellow members of the New Zealand Olympic medical team. By Nick Helm
On MAS talks to Lynne Coleman, leader of the New Zealand Olympic medical team, about London, the athletes and working at the pinnacle of New Zealand sports medicine. The 2012 London Olympics treated us to some memorable moments in New Zealand sport, moments of true Kiwi grit and bloodymindedness that will endure for many years to come. Images of Mahé Drysdale’s redemption after his gutbusting slog at Beijing, Lisa Carrington’s beaming smile as she charged home for gold, and Valerie’s anguished disbelief and ensuing absolution are now etched into the nation’s sporting psyche. Yet behind these moments is an Olympic team that we hear little about – the medical professionals who commit their time and expertise to support the athletes and make the winning possible. They don’t bring home gold medals, get their names in the paper or greet crowds at the airport, but their contribution to New Zealand sport is vitally important.
Leading in London Leading this team at the 2012 London Olympic Games was Auckland GP, obstetrician and sports doctor, Lynne Coleman. “One thing is certain – we got it absolutely right in London,” says Lynne. “Everybody on my team made an outstanding contribution and worked incredibly well for the five weeks we were there.” She says that the facilities in London were superb, but the medical team sometimes had to cope with challenging conditions. “We worked very long hours in very close quarters. We provided services to the athletes from seven o’clock in the morning, or earlier, to about 11 o’clock in the evening – and there was always a doctor on call through the night in case somebody needed attention,” she says.
For Lynne, working long hours away from her family means being away from all her usual support systems. “You get this new family, this new group of people around you who are highly charged. Some are so enthusiastic they’re almost manic with excitement and others are very stressed out and really, really on edge,” she says. “A big part of my job in London was to understand that pressure and how athletes deal with it. You have to be able to pick up on little cues and know who needs a hand on their shoulder, a sit down and a chat, or to go off and have a coffee, chew the fat and talk about anything other than their sport. You have to be in tune with those sorts of issue. It’s a very intense and electric environment.”
Born into medicine Lynne says she was attracted to medicine from a young age. “As a child I was fascinated by how the body worked and what kept us well or what made us sick,” she says. “As I got older I looked further into medicine and I decided it was something I really wanted to pursue, so I applied to and was accepted at Auckland Medical School.”
After talking to several specialist obstetrics colleagues, she hit on a solution. “We started a team care approach to obstetrics, where we each took a day of the week and shared weekends. That way, we could continue to practise obstetrics but still have time with our families, which worked remarkably well.”
A sporting pedigree Lynne continued in obstetrics for several years, but finally decided to move on. “I knew I wanted to progress my medical career and I’d had an interest in sports and sports medicine for some time,” she says. “I was brought up in a family of sports nuts. My parents represented Poverty Bay in several sports and my siblings and I were always encouraged to follow our own sporting interests. It was a huge part of our lives growing up and I think that left me with an ingrained passion for sport.” She says she was particularly enthralled by high-quality sport and was glued to the television when events like the Olympic and Commonwealth Games were on.
With her undergraduate studies complete, she spent her clinical years at Waikato Hospital and stayed there while she finished a Postgraduate Diploma in Obstetrics.
“I managed to keep playing netball and tennis through medical school, although, at the time, it never occurred to me that I could combine the two and make a career out of sports medicine,” she says.
“I was pregnant with my first child at the time, which was a bit of a laugh,” she says. “When I sat my exams I was about a month off being due, and my professor said that if I went into labour and delivered myself I’d pass with honours. I just glared at him!”
“By the time my own children were playing rugby and other sports, I was already involved with local sports groups, like providing the Marist North Harbour Rugby Club with a backup medical service.”
Lynne returned to Auckland to have a baby in 1987 and decided she wanted to go into general practice, but still use what she had learned from her diploma. “I began working at the Albany Family Medical Centre in 1988 doing a couple of half days each week. I ramped that up in time and spent several years in general practice with a large obstetrics workload,” she says.
Lynne saw the Postgraduate Diploma in Sport and Exercise Medicine at the University of Otago as a way to take her interest further. “Even though I was an Auckland graduate, I preferred the Otago diploma because,
at that time, it was the only one that was multidisciplinary – physiotherapists, podiatrists and sports scientists all did similar papers, and I liked the idea of working with a multidisciplinary team, like I had done in obstetrics,” she says. “The course was great and I began to realise that sports medicine was also something that I really wanted to pursue. But it really didn’t fit with my general practice in Albany.” So Lynne approached a colleague – then All Blacks doctor John Mayhew – who was setting up a practice at the newly formed Millennium Institute of Sport and Health. He asked if she would be interested in continuing her general practice and sports medicine from there. She eagerly accepted and moved there to help set up HealthZone with him in 2001. “As soon as I graduated with my diploma and moved to the Millennium Institute, the Academy of Sport approached me to ask if I was prepared to be a doctor for elite athletes. They had a lack of female sports doctors, particularly those with a strong background in gynaecological and female issues,” says Lynne. “I thought it was a fantastic opportunity, so I accepted. And of course, at that stage the Millennium Institute was the home training venue for a lot of our elite swimmers and athletes, so I was already ideally placed to provide the service.” With that, the floodgates opened on a new career in elite sports medicine.
On her way to the top “My first pinnacle event was the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, which I attended as a team doctor, although I was the only female doctor and GP from New Zealand there,” she says. “I was then appointed Joint Health Team Leader at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, and overall Health Team Leader, or Chief Medical Officer to use the
“I thoroughly enjoyed it, but obstetrics is a very big commitment. It’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week and if you go away on holiday you feel like you’re abandoning your patients. I very much wanted to be there for them, but I wanted to spend time with my family and have a life too, and I found that a real challenge.”
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International Olympic Committee’s term, at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and, most recently, the 2012 Olympic Games in London.” Lynne says she’s attracted to high-level sports medicine for the same reasons she was taken by obstetrics. “People in sports medicine and obstetrics are healthy 99% of the time. They’re all attempting to reach incredible heights in human endurance and see how far they can push their bodies, and their wellness is critical to their ability to perform,” she says. For Wanganui runner Lucy Van Dalen, the chance to compete in the 1,500 metres and her first Olympics was a dream come true. “I loved being at the London Olympics. The whole thing was an amazing experience and it was awesome to be able to represent New Zealand. I had such a great support team and that always makes things easier and more enjoyable,” she says. “Whenever I was competing or simply working out, there was someone from the medical team there to support me. I didn’t have any big problems, but being able to get a massage, recovery drinks or even a nice bath after a race was fantastic. It couldn’t have been better.” Lucy spent the month leading up the Games at a training camp in Cardiff preparing for her event. “That was really cool because I got to know most of the medical team before the Olympics began, like the massage therapists and physiotherapists who were going to be in the Olympic Village with us,” she says. “I felt so lucky because we could see them whenever we wanted. It wasn’t like we had to make an appointment or travel anywhere – they were right downstairs and we could drop in any time we felt like it.” Lucy says that all going well, she’d love to compete in Rio in 2016. “Everyone aims for the Olympics; there’s the World Championships and Commonwealth Games to think about before then, but I’m definitely looking forward to representing New Zealand again in four years,” she says. “And now I have experience at the highest level, I know I can get to the final and be competitive.”
“All you’re trying to do is keep them healthy and give them good advice and education about how to get through these periods in their lives. That gives me enthusiasm and makes me feel very positive about my contribution.”
Keep it in perspective Lynne’s GP and obstetrics background and experience managing psychological discomfort and stressful situations were also a great training ground for working with elite athletes. “It’s really surprising to watch people at pinnacle events like the Olympic and Commonwealth Games. Some handle it astoundingly well, but others start to crack a little, often over the smallest things. And that’s not just the athletes – it might be the coach, trainer or team physio,” she says.
“I need to maintain a feel for the overall mood of the whole group. My role is to look after everyone, but acknowledge that every individual is on their own unique journey. I’m there to provide support and add value; I’m not there to create distractions or try to change the world. It’s very much a less-ismore approach,” she says. It’s something she finds difficult to explain to medical professionals who are new to elite events. “When we were selecting people for the medical team, I felt it was critically important to find people with previous Games experience at some level. The Olympics is not a time or place to start practising.”
London calling Overall, New Zealand sent 31 health professionals to the London Olympics, including psychologists, nutritionists, massage therapists, physiotherapists and doctors allocated to certain athletes and sports. Within that, Lynne maintained a core team of nine in a centralised pool to provide services across the full range of New Zealand sports and athletes. But as Health Team Leader, Lynne’s role began almost two years earlier.
For instance, she says that most people think nothing of a blister on their toe, but for a 1,500-metre runner about to start a race at the Olympics, a blister is a catastrophe. “You have to approach it as a valid situation for them and deal with it in a respectful, yet decisive and positive way. You have to empower them to overcome and get through the situation rather than give in to panic. Providing that kind of support is a big part of my role,” says Lynne. “You have to remember than an Olympic Games is the pinnacle for many people. Some athletes trained for more than 10 years to get to London, so it’s very intense and people are fired up and focused on their particular event.” She adds that the real challenge is the numbers involved – there were more than 300 athletes, officials and medical staff in the New Zealand team at London.
“I met with the New Zealand Olympic Committee and team management every few months to go over the preliminary planning, preparation and logistics,” she says. “We don’t necessarily know exactly how many athletes will attend at that stage, but we have a pretty fair idea of which sports will be there, what the venues and accommodation will be like, and what special requirements the host country has in terms of importing drugs and medical supplies and registering medical staff to practise legally.”
Then, about 12 months ahead of the Games, the intensity starts to ramp up. “By then, I start to meet with various sports organisations to discuss their athletes’ health and medical requirements and help them decide if they need a Health Team member assigned to their sport or if they want to draw on the centralised pool of medical staff,” she says. “That gives me a much better idea of the number of health professionals I can expect from each sport and how many I need in my core team to provide general support. “The beauty of it is that now that I’ve been through a few Games, I’ve established great processes and protocols and have great national and international contacts, which helps me move the process along,” she says. “And of course I’m also very well supported at home, on everything from immunisation and travel medicine protocols, through to setting up overseas holding camps.” Lynne says it’s the leading and building teams that drives her, the chance to share knowledge and empower people to be the best they can, and then watch them develop and grow within an environment that she has had a part in setting up. “I thrive on the management side of the role too. Whether that’s because I’m a mother of five and I’ve had to be organised or because I was the eldest sibling growing up, I don’t know,” she says. “Whatever it is, I believe in a very relaxed leadership structure, but one with a great deal of trust and respect. I hope that my team feels that they’ve been able to express themselves and be part of the journey, rather than see me as someone who simply dishes out orders.”
Fair, square and natural Lynne is acutely aware of the issues surrounding performance-enhancing substances at sport’s most elite levels.
that you’re aware of the issues and are absolutely certain what is legal for you to prescribe and for them to take. The athlete will follow your directions to the letter, and with that comes a huge professional responsibility to ensure that what you give them is safe.” Lynne monitors her team closely to make sure they only bring permitted medicines to an event, simply because it eliminates the likelihood of an incorrect drug being prescribed. “I make sure my team at the Olympics is very well trained and thoroughly versed in these procedures. These are competent sports doctors who have worked with our elite athletes for years. They know what they’re doing. New Zealand has a reputation as one of the cleanest sporting nations and it’s important that we keep it that way” she says.
London was the third Olympic experience for Black Sticks Women co-captain, Emily Naylor, but one that was almost overshadowed by misfortune.
“We do keep a special store of emergency medicine that we can call on in life-or-death situations, but it is not openly available and cannot be used accidentally.”
From sports field to boardroom Now that the London Olympics have come to a close, life for Lynne has returned to a more normal pace. “I’ve always looked at my career as a portfolio of interests, and I think I need that to keep me stimulated and interested. Outside sports medicine I’m also Chair of the group of companies at the Apollo Health and Wellness Centre, where I’m still in general practice, and I’m on the board of the after-hours Shore Care Medical Services,” she says. “I find that work really stimulating, and if I feel vital and energised I like to think that transfers into the care that I provide to my patients and the community.” She says she is always fascinated by the next step in her medical career.
“I sit on the Sports Tribunal of New Zealand and, among other things, we hear all the drugrelated cases from major events, so I’ve been immersed in this field at the highest level for such a long time that I’m very aware of the issues going on around the world,” she says.
“I could use my training and knowledge to contribute in many ways and I often wonder what a doctor could add to some company boards,” she says. “Part of me wouldn’t mind being on the board of High Performance Sport New Zealand or another elite sporting organisation.
“When an athlete comes to you seeking medical advice, it’s incredibly important
“Maybe I could be the next Chair of the New Zealand Rugby Union? You never know!”
“I suffered a bad injury during training in London with one of the discs in my back,” says Emily. “I needed quite a bit of help from the New Zealand Health Team. There was a large medical zone in London, and I had to go there for an MRI and CT scan, and an epidural, so I had quite a big involvement with the medical guys.” The Black Sticks had their own physiotherapist in London, but relied on the New Zealand Olympic Health Team for additional medical support, including a doctor to attend and assist them at events. “The Health Team has several doctors, massage therapists and physiotherapists who helped me. The doctor who supported the team, who came to all our training and games, was very good and helped me out a great deal with my back,” she says. “My injury happened halfway through the tournament, but because of the quality and ease of the treatment, I only missed one game and I was able to start playing again shortly after. It was a great effort and I was really impressed.” Despite her injury and the Black Sticks Women’s final placing, Emily says it was a fantastic Olympics. “We were pretty gutted to come fourth when we came so close [to gold], but overall it was great fun and has given a huge boost to hockey in New Zealand.” Despite the lack of silverware, the Black Sticks Women played superbly and left London as the third-highest-ranked team in the world, three places higher than when they arrived.
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SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE US TO KNOW?
This is Your space – a forum for you to talk with other Members. So if you’re fundraising, promoting an event, looking for a long-lost friend or simply want to congratulate someone, this is the space for you. On MAS goes to almost 23,000 Members, so it’s a great way to get your message out there. We also welcome your feedback and suggestions, so please keep them coming. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All material is edited and published at the editor’s discretion.
Vet is Young Achiever of the Year MAS Member and Palmerston North equine veterinarian Lucy Cahill is the latest recipient of the Waikato Stud ‘Young Achiever of the Year’ award. Lucy graduated from Massey University in 2008 and works for Totally Vets Ltd, where her caseload includes thoroughbred stud and racing stable work, as well as working with sport and pleasure horses. The Young Achiever of the Year Award was established by the New Zealand Equine Research Foundation (NZERF) and Waikato Stud to financially assist an individual under the age of 35 to undertake an equine industry scholarship. Applicants may be postgraduate, masters or honours students undertaking study or research in an area of equine science – or individuals committed to embarking on careers in, or already contributing to, the equine industry. Lucy has taken up a six-month scholarship as an equine emergency and critical care intern at the Clovelly
Intensive Care Unit of the Scone Equine Hospital in New South Wales, which sees more than 1,000 medical caseloads per year ranging from neonatal and adult medical to post-surgical cases. “Lucy is an outstanding young professional and we are sure she will put her experience at Clovelly to good use when she returns to New Zealand,” said NZERF Chair Margaret Evans. “We are also indebted to Waikato Stud for their financial support of this award.”
Lucy Cahill at work with a mare and a foal.
Highest honour for service to Life Education Trust Rob Wilton, MAS Member and Milton dentist, was awarded a life membership of the Life Education Trust New Zealand during a celebration luncheon in Waihola with members of the Life Education Trust Heartland Otago/Southland in August.
Rob, who had always said he would never volunteer to be the chairman of any organisation for more than two years, enjoyed chairing the organisation so much that he stayed in the position for 10 years and was a trustee for another three years. The award was presented by the Trust’s founder and director Trevor Grice, who described Rob as an inspirational leader who had quietly carved a successful path for the Trust. Each year, the non-profit organisation teaches 225,000 primary and intermediate schoolchildren about the wonders of life, themselves and others, aiming to show them how to reach their full potential.
From left, Rob Wilton, Sir Robin Grey, Patron of the Heartland Otago/Southland Life Education Trust and Trevor Grice, Founder of New Zealand Life Education.
Rob says he was incredibly humbled by the life membership award. “When things got tough, I just remembered the good that our work does for the children, and that helped keep me going,” he says. “I certainly didn’t expect any reward for it. It’s blown me away.”
Standing ovation for the New Zealand Doctors Orchestra Doctors and medical students from all over New Zealand played to a sell-out audience and standing ovations during the hugely successful inaugural New Zealand Doctors Orchestra (NZDO) concert in Nelson. The NZDO is coordinated by Christchurchbased MAS Members Professor Tim Wilkinson, a double-bassist, and his wife Dr Lynette Murdoch, a violinist – the pair’s son Tom Wilkinson, a fourth-year medical student at the University of Otago Wellington, played trumpet. The 65-member orchestra performed Lilburn’s Aotearoa overture, Schumann’s piano concerto, Puccini arias and Tchaikovsky’s
Symphony No 5 under the baton of conductor Mark Hodgkinson. Among the evening’s highlights were two soloists, Nelson surgeon Adrian Secker and Christchurch physiotherapist and soprano Tara Martin, also MAS Members. The NZDO is modelled on similar orchestras in Australia and Europe, with all ticket sales donated to the Nelson Hospice. The event will run again from 21 to 23 June 2013 in Nelson and medical musicians are encouraged to sign up – more information is available at http://nzdo.org.nz/NZDO/ Information_for_players.html
Ernst & Young announces Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Dr Sam Hazledine, MAS Member and founder of Australasia’s fastestgrowing medical recruitment agency MedRecruit, was announced the winner of the prestigious Ernst & Young ‘2012 Young Entrepreneur Of The Year’ award in October. The award is New Zealand’s most prominent global business award, aimed at recognising successful entrepreneurs and highlighting their contributions to the New Zealand economy. Sam started MedRecruit in 2006, a company that specialises in placing doctors in locum and permanent positions so they can have it all – careers and lifestyles. “I’m absolutely thrilled to have been announced the winner of Ernst & Young’s award. It acknowledges the belief that doctors have in us to provide what they need right now – namely the ability to go further with both a life and a career,” says Sam. Chief judge Greg Cross of Icehouse said the finalists were the most articulate group the panel had ever judged. “It’s always hard to compare one year with the next, but across the board, the level of presentation and the standard of the businesses were the best we’ve seen,” he said.
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KiwiSaver investment options Money Week 2012 (2-8 September) was a first-time initiative of the Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income to raise awareness of how to better manage money, offering free seminars on budgeting, debt management and other topics in locations throughout New Zealand. For those who may have missed the events, MAS Investment Products Manager Daniel Callaghan offers some KiwiSaver investment basics. On the basis that most New Zealanders will join KiwiSaver (two million already have), the first home withdrawal option will be widely used. First-time buyers are often advised to consider a ‘defensive-based portfolio’ – but what does defensive mean? What are the options, how do you assess them, and how do they relate to returns? Nearly everyone invested in KiwiSaver is invested in a ‘multi-sector fund/portfolio’ that typically invests portions of your money in cash, fixed interest, shares and property. The reason for this is to ensure that you don’t lose the lot if one of these sectors drastically underperforms – this is known as diversification.
the challenge is to find reliable entities in which to invest. If fund managers can’t find bonds to buy, they may end up holding cash that pays a much lower interest rate, and this brings down the overall percentage return for investors. Balanced funds are the most popular type of fund, typically investing around 50%
in fixed interest and cash, and the rest in shares and property. Shares are literally
what the name implies: each unit is a share
in the ownership in a company. As such you share in the profit, or loss, that a company makes. For example, Z Energy is owned by Infratil, which also part owns Wellington
Most funds follow similar naming conventions: Defensive, Conservative, Balanced, Growth and Aggressive. The level of risk will generally reflect the relative size of the portions invested in each sector. Defensive and conservative funds typically invest around 70% to 90% in fixed interest and cash. As such they are reasonably stable in returns; however they can and will still fluctuate in the short term. Fixed interest does not imply term deposits at the bank, but rather fixed term loans (called bonds) made to companies or governments. For example, Z Energy (the petrol company) recently issued $150 million in bonds at a rate of 6.5% p.a. to mature in 2019. Following this example, if your KiwiSaver fund is $100m in size and it bought $2m of Z Energy bonds, 2% of your money would earn 6.5% per year for the next seven years, less your fees. Defensive and conservative fund returns tend to be stable, as long as the entities in which you are invested keep making money and paying the interest they owe you as an investor. However, because the return is capped (here at 6.5% p.a.), this is a more slow and steady approach to investing. Of course because contributions are being made to KiwiSaver funds all the time,
Airport and NZ Bus. So if your KiwiSaver
fund is $100m in size and it bought $2m of
Infratil shares, 2% of your money would rely on Infratil performing well as a company.
If more tourists fly in to Wellington, catch buses into the city and then buy pies for
lunch at Z stations, Infratil will make more money – and its company value, reflected through its share price, will rise.
There are many assumptions that can be made about how well a company might perform, and as such share prices go up
and down depending on daily assessments of whether their future prospects are
better or worse than they were yesterday. The key drivers of balanced fund returns
tend to be how well the overall economy
is doing (the more people spend, the more profit, and the higher the worth of the
company) and how well the manager has
done at buying you shares that are doing well when others are doing badly. Growth and aggressive funds typically invest around 70% to 90% in shares and property, while the rest is invested in cash and fixed interest. Because a company might cost $100m to set up and then make a profit of $20m, $30m or even $100m, the returns on shares can be very high. However, companies still have to pay their employees and rent, so if no one is buying the company’s goods or services, they can also make losses of $20m, $30m or even the lot. This is why there is the potential to make a lot of money or lose a lot of money in shares. To try to make sure that you don’t lose the lot, KiwiSaver funds will hold shares in many different companies. That way, if one company is doing badly, then any loss made on that investment will be limited and could also be offset by another company doing well. As we all commonly need to buy goods – food, building materials – produced by listed companies, investing in the share market will generally result in good returns over the long term. We would therefore expect growth funds to do better than defensive funds in a long period of time. However, share returns will relate more to the overall economy, and you could lose money in the short term as the world goes through multi-year ups and downs. So which option to go for? Most KiwiSaver providers offer a risk profile questionnaire to help you decide. Generally, if you have a long time until retirement (i.e. seven years or more) and are comfortable if your fund value goes down in this time, growth funds might be for you. However, if you are retiring next year and want certainty in how much your fund will be worth, a defensive fund may be the answer. If you have questions about KiwiSaver, call 0800 800 627 or email email@example.com to talk to one of our advisers today.
to save hours & dollars A small change in the way you or your team communicates can result in significant beneficial changes to your time management and profitability. A seemingly small change might be to learn a software trick or a better way to use an everyday business tool – either of which can then be adapted to suit your needs. Learning a few high-level communication tricks could also make you a more effective leader, as well as improve the performance of your business.
By Debbie Mayo-Smith
dentists and optometrists routinely called or wrote to their patients with appointment reminders. Smaller practices only contacted patients as requested, or as needed for known chronic no-shows or tardy patients.
SMS messaging a ‘must’ in 2012
Very few practices knew about or were using an easy, money-saving feature built into their practice management software: the ability to send merged personalised SMS messages (or email) with the push of a button.
During a series of speaking engagements to allied health professionals throughout Australia, a question that I encountered frequently from practitioners was what strategies work for marketing and communication with patients.
Let’s look at the potential cost savings for a sample practice, assuming 21 appointments per day, 45 working weeks per year – that’s 4,275 telephone calls, letters or (SMS) text messages per year. The SMS cost at 20 cents per text would be $855.
The pattern that emerged was strikingly clear: large practices with high equipment costs like
However, if you consider the cost of staff telephoning and typing letters, the savings
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It’s all about
YOU “Cloak your entire conversation in ‘you’ rather than the ‘I, me, we’ that most people use.”
that texting can achieve become evident immediately. For example, assuming staff time of 30 minutes per day at $30 per hour, five days per week, and 45 working weeks per year is $3,375, plus an estimated $600 per year for calling mobile phones, the savings to the practice would be $3,120.
4. What do they want to know from you?
Both Medtech and Vensa software offer a customised SMS option – or you can buy inexpensive bulk text messages online at www.bulksms.com.
5. Use stories to make points
Be more persuasive Interviewing a GP in Gisborne, I asked, “What are your top three business problems?”. He mentioned that like any other GP who is part of a primary health organisation, he has government health targets to meet – for example, getting 90% of enrolled patients to protect their health with immunisations, testing and screening. Unsurprisingly, a percentage of his enrolled patients would not respond. Figuring out how to convince a reluctant person to do something is a common problem – and it’s not isolated to health. It’s the same for the sales person trying to turn a prospect into a client, or a potential employer trying to recruit a candidate, or even a parent trying to convince a teen to clean their room. Here are five tips to help you to be more persuasive:
1. It’s all about them Cloak your entire conversation in ‘you’ rather than the ‘I, me, we’ that most people use. Here’s an example: a. No: We’re a great place to work. Yes: You’ll enjoy working here. b. No: The advice we give isn’t just about managing health. Yes: The advice you receive is about managing your health.
2. Who are you talking to? If you’re talking to busy or high-level individuals, they usually don’t want details. Start with the conclusion, then go into the details.
3. Counter objections up front You probably get these common objections from patients: it’s too expensive, they don’t have time, it’s not important, it’s going to hurt. Rebut expected questions at the start of a discussion with something like, “I know you might be thinking about the cost of this treatment, but it is important for your health because …”.
Aim to make an intellectual connection with a patient by using logic, and order and presenting concise points: “Here are the three reasons you should have this operation … These are the three possible side effects …”.
Using stories and allowing people to derive the relevance enables you to make an emotional connection. They’ll remember the stories far better than your points, and it won’t seem like they’re being told what to do. A GP I met told a story about Sherrie, a young, reluctant mother of three preschool children who took two years to come in for a screening – she wouldn’t respond to letters and phone calls from the practice. When she finally came in for another matter, they were able to administer the test – and she was found to be one step away from cancer. The reluctant patient could relate to someone like her whose life was saved by screening.
Improve your Outlook and free up two or three working weeks per year. The Microsoft Outlook email program is one of the main ways in which employees and management consume work time. Outside the medical field, it’s probably the main point of business communication. Working in Outlook probably gobbles up quite a bit of time and is a major pain point, especially since the change to the ribbon format in MS 2007 and 2010 changed much that was familiar in previous versions. Here are four tips that can help you to better utilise Outlook:
1. Forget typing details: drag and drop What: Used creatively, drag and drop can replace cut and paste and typing from scratch. Take an email from your inbox and drag and then drop into Contacts, Calendar, or your task folder to transform that email into a new item. An email can be turned into an appointment, or a task. An email dropped into your Contacts creates a new contact for the sender. Take their signature, drag and drop the information into the respective contact fields. Even better, you can highlight text within an email and drag and drop that text instead of the entire email. Where: Anywhere within MS Outlook.
2. Your personal inbox secretary: Rules What: One of the best computer tips full stop. It’s a function that, if used cleverly by a person who receives a lot of email, can save at least 15 minutes a day – two weeks a year. Rules can automatically read your incoming or outgoing emails, then perform the tasks you set, for example, emails from the government into one folder, and emails from the district health boards into another. Use Rules to bundle cc and bcc email and put emails in a folder and forward, answer or delete. You can then make routine responses. If you receive 100 emails a day, this volume will not decrease – however, with clever rules you’ll have them all sorted and you can focus on the important ones first. Where: MS Outlook 2003-2007: Tools>Rules; MS 2010: Home Ribbon > Move> Rules.
3. Don’t retype, use Quick Parts During the course of the year, do you have certain phrases, paragraphs and/or responses that you type over and over again in emails? The same or similar questions you answer time and time again? You might save bits in drafts, or search through your sent emails. If you were clever, in previous versions of Outlook you could have made different signatures and inserted them. What: If you haven’t discovered Quick Parts yet, you are going to love this tip. It can help you to respond faster, initiate new emails in a second or two and also improve your relationship management by helping you to send courteous or ‘nice meeting you’ emails when you normally wouldn’t have the time. A few Quick Parts thoughts: ■■
Thank you (for your enquiry, response, interest, request for more information)
Responding to a meeting request
Responding to applicants
Forms normally sent to staff
Pieces of quotes, proposals
About our company
Set an archiving policy for each folder.
Where: Tools > Archive for both Outlook and Lotus Notes.
Emails to other departments requesting information
6. Search folders
Requesting further information.
What: Virtual folders. Using a keyword or preformatted folders (size, unread) you can view all emails in the search folder regardless of their actual physical folder locations.
Quick Parts saves formatted text (if your email server allows you to send it – some large companies are plain text only). Where: In an email, on the Insert tab, in the Text Pane group, click Quick Parts.
4. CRM Tool: People Pane New to MS 2010. Microsoft has replicated the information you would normally find in a Contact’s Activity tab (2003-2007) and placed it in a new pane at the bottom of an email when viewed in the Reading Pane. You see all the activity you have had with that person, including emails, tasks, calendar items and attachments. Where: On the Outlook View tab, in the People Pane group, click People Pane and then click Bottom (you must have your Reading Pane turned on).
5. Archive – speed up and slim down What: Archives store your older emails instead of deleting or keeping them in your inbox. It creates a separate and identical folder structure (to your inbox), which you can have open and view within your inbox. In other words, it’s like taking some of your emails and moving them to a different filing cabinet drawer.
Never go over your mailbox limit again. Simply by looking through the size folder, you can immediately see where the gigantic (+5MB) files are for quick deletion. If you’re using a lot of rules, quickly see what’s new by viewing new emails via the unread email folder (I have added it to favourites and look at my emails in mail view). Where: Under the Outlook Sent folder. Lotus Notes – use search.
7. Reorder your folders What: Did you know you can change the alphabetical order of your inbox folders? Then you can kiss scrolling up and down goodbye. If you put a letter, number or symbol in front of your folder name, you’ll save yourself an enormous amount of dragging and dropping down. For example, a folder named ‘1website’ would reorder an inbox folder named ‘website’ from down in the Ws up to the very first folder. Where: Outlook>folders.
How to use: Archiving is automatic in both Outlook and Lotus. You can set the parameters (unless you’re in a large corporation – the corporate policy overrides yours). You can also: ■■
Set when you want your folders to be archived (every six months, every two weeks) Set which period to archive (six months old, one year old)
Debbie Mayo-Smith has written numerous books, contributed to major newspapers and is an international speaker on saving time and improving business communications.
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Growth investing in Fonterra
“New Zealand accounts for roughly one-third of total global cross-border trade, making it the largest single country participant in the global market.”
In July this year Parliament voted in favour of a bill amending the rules governing the dairy industry, providing the legislative framework for ‘Trading Among Farmers’, an initiative that will enable Fonterra to pursue investment opportunities and give investors the means to access what has historically been a closed market. The Fonterra board of directors has targeted its launch for this month – it is undoubtedly a highly complex proposal, but what does it mean for the average investor?
High demand for dairy
In the 10 years to 2011, global milk production increased by 2.1% per year. While the rate of growth may slow in the next decade, annual consumption is still expected to grow owing to the increasing range of dairy products available, the westernisation of diets, and income growth in developing countries resulting in more protein consumption. The global production of whole milk powder, butter and fresh dairy products is expected to
increase by 26% and cheese by 19% by 2020, from 2010 levels. However, the majority of global production (93%) is consumed in the country of origin, leaving just 7% of total production available for cross-border trade. New Zealand milk production accounts for 2% of the global total. This may seem like a small share, but with more than 90% of our production exported, New Zealand accounts for roughly one-third of total global crossborder trade, making it the largest single country participant in the global market. We export to more than 100 countries, with
China, the biggest market, taking about 10% of the total.
natural A monopoly
Prior to the introduction of the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA) in 2001, the New Zealand Dairy Board was the ‘single sales desk’ for New Zealand dairy exports, coordinating the production of a number of cooperative producers across the country, and marketing to customers across the world. DIRA facilitated the merger of the two largest cooperatives (New Zealand Dairy Group and Kiwi Cooperative Dairies Ltd) to create Fonterra. With an initial market share of 95% (now about 90%), the newly formed Fonterra was a natural monopoly, the formation of which was accepted by the Commerce Commission on the basis of pro-competitive measures imposed by DIRA. A set of rules under DIRA called the ‘Share Standard’ requires dairy farmers (milk suppliers) to own shares in Fonterra in proportion to the amount of milk they produce. Fonterra shares are only allowed to be owned by suppliers, meaning there are about 10,500 current shareholders. These suppliers are also allowed to buy additional ‘dry’ shares (not backed by milk production) up to 20% over the number they are required to own by virtue of their milk production.
carries multiple changes to Fonterra’s capital structure. These include the proposed establishment of the Fonterra Shareholders’ Market (FSM) and the Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund (FSF), in addition to a change to the requirements of the Share Standard. Under TAF, Fonterra will no longer be required to redeem and issue shares with changes in milk supply volumes, eliminating its redemption risk. The creation of the FSM and the FSF will instead give farmer suppliers two options for buying and selling Fonterra shares. Access to the FSM will be limited to shareholders, Fonterra itself and Registered Volume Providers (RVPs) – financial institutions that will buy and sell shares in a similar way that banks buy and sell foreign exchange, with Fonterra setting their charges. Shareholders will be able to buy and sell shares in the FSM for cash, subject to certain restraints on total share ownership. The FSM will be a registered market, operated by the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX). The FSF, on the other hand, will essentially be a listed unit trust. The term ‘listed’ refers to the fact that units in the FSF will be tradable on the NZX. Accordingly, while the FSM will be a private market with restricted access, the FSF will be accessible to any investor through brokers authorised to trade on the NZX – and the open market trading in FSF units will influence the value of Fonterra shares.
At any time during the season (which runs from June to May) Fonterra is required to issue shares to or redeem shares from individual suppliers based on its indicative supply data. The price at which these shares are sold or bought is the price for the current season. This creates ‘redemption risk’ for Fonterra – the requirement to reserve capacity in its balance sheet to meet suppliers’ redemption calls. Accounting for redemption risk essentially amounts to funds that could otherwise be used to develop its business and drive greater returns for shareholders. While Fonterra has stated that the Trading Among Farmers (TAF) proposal is not about raising capital, it will have the effect of freeing up capital for development.
Freeing up capital
On 25 June 2012, Fonterra shareholders voted for the implementation of TAF, which
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Dairy production at a glance Total global milk 730 billion litres* production 2011 (Increase of 2.1% per annum in 10 years to 2011) Expected global annual 830 billion litres* milk consumption 2020 (Annual demand of +100 billion litres) Expected global production 2020 Whole milk powder, butter, fresh dairy products
Skim milk powder
New Zealand annual milk production 2011
17.5 billion litres** (1/3 of crossborder trade)
Fonterra projected annual milk production 25 billion litres** with TAF *Source: OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2011-2020 **Source: www.fonterra.com/global/en/Hub+Sites/ News+and+Media/Fact+Sheets+and+Papers
Maintaining supplier control
Farmers selling their shares into the FSF will receive either a cash payment or vouchers. An FSF unit is designed to replicate an investment in the underlying share as closely as possible, subject to the core tenet that control of Fonterra will remain with the farmer suppliers. Accordingly, the purchase of a unit will entitle the buyer to the associated dividends and potential change in capital value, but not the voting rights attached to the underlying shares. Whether a farmer receives vouchers or cash when selling shares into the FSF will be determined by ownership constraints: vouchers will carry the voting rights associated with the shares sold, so the number of vouchers in which a farmer can have a ‘relevant interest’ will be subject to the dry share limits mentioned above. Under TAF, the 20% limit on dry share ownership will rise to 100%, subject to a limit of 5% interest in the total number of shares on issue. Liquidity (the ability to be sold without causing a significant movement in the price and with a minimum loss of value) in the FSM will be provided by the RVPs mentioned
above, which will sit between the FSM and the FSF. These RVPs will be able to trade both in the FSM and on the open market in FSF units. FSF units will be ‘fungible’ for certain owners (RVPs and supplier shareholders only), meaning that units bought on the NZX will effectively be exchangeable for Fonterra shares and sold in the FSM. This ability to move between the two entities will ensure that the relative pricing of units and shares remains reasonable and avoid pricing disadvantages or advantages appearing between the two markets. Fonterra currently has share trade of up to NZ$1.1 billion a year, with trading of between NZ$2 million and NZ$5 million per day. By virtue of its dominant position in the New Zealand dairy market and New Zealand’s strong presence in global cross-border dairy trade, Fonterra is a major player in the global dairy trade and is well positioned to play a role in the continued growth in global demand for dairy products. With the launch of TAF, the average investor should have a new growth investment opportunity in the Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund. This article is intended as a summary only and not an offer of securities nor a recommendation to buy or sell. Anyone wanting further information should refer to the registered prospectus and investment statement.
If you’re planning to build a new home or looking to do a major renovation, there are a lot of things to consider, namely location, design and materials. With the experience of the Christchurch earthquakes and the impacts on the building industry now taking hold nationwide, your choices will affect not only the appearance and functionality of your home, but also its resistance to future damage. On MAS asks building industry professionals for their advice on the process and what they’ve learned from the earthquakes.
Designed for life The first and probably most important decision to make if you’re building a new home is the location. Nick Rogers has 16 years’ experience as an independent builder, and he advises clients to think carefully about what will best suit their individual circumstances. “It depends on your lifestyle, for example if you’re young or retired. Building on flat land is more often than not the best choice,” he says. “My daughter didn’t learn to ride a bike until she was seven because we lived [on a hill] in Queenstown.” Building on flat
land will also mean easier access to the property for elderly family members – and for you when you’re older, if you plan to live in the house after you retire.
By Lindsay Huthnance
“The first and probably most important decision to make if you’re building a new home is the location.”
Architect John McGrail of Dalman Architecture recommends doing some research to determine if a section fits your requirements. “Spend some time thinking through what you want from the space,” he says. “What do you like about your current section/home?” There are lifestyle considerations: for example, if you prefer a lot of morning sun. And there
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“From the earthquakes I’ve learned that the flexibility of a timber frame is going to outperform masonry, heavy roofs and unreinforced concrete floor slabs.” – John McGrail
Outside the rebuild in progress of an historic 1920s’ home in Merivale featuring a recreated timber frame with brick veneer (Rodg & Co Ltd).
are practical things to think about, like if you need a mud room for rugby boots or you want a sheltered corner in the yard at certain time of day for reading or napping.
“Often clients will bring scrapbooks with ideas of what they want. The images can help me to find ideas and themes. The skill of an architect is to process the information and walk through it with the client, but it is difficult when they say they want exactly what’s in a photo. If you want a reproduced home, you should see a draughtsperson.”
Regardless of your design preferences, you should involve professional help at the outset, and your choice of design professional is important. “Depending on your project, this could be a draughtsperson, architectural “My advice is to be flexible, and beware of designer or an architect. Look at their track starting with an overly fixed aesthetic,” he record to see if their theme meets yours. You says. “Find the features that you like and should feel comfortable with the relationship,” allow for contemporary interpretations. With John says. an architect, you need to be prepared to come along for the journey.” “A good early briefing process will give the designer a good understanding of your requirements and aspirations,” he says. Daryl Hewitt of D.J. Hewitt Builders reminds “A key design skill is listening – listening to clients to be precise about budgeting for a what a client’s drivers are and incorporating project. “Figure out a budget that matches your these in the design. resources, for example the size of the home and the materials to be used,” he says. “If you aren’t realistic and on target with this from the start, you’re always going to be over budget.”
Built on trust
Working to budget means involving someone who knows what the reasonable costs are for the materials and the work – and who you can trust. “You need to be able to trust the people you’re dealing with,” he says. “If something doesn’t seem right or true along the way, don’t hesitate to get independent advice. “My advice is to stay local and do your homework on contractors to make sure they have proficiency in their specialist areas,” he says. “For example, has the builder featured in any awards? Are the awards in categories that are relevant for your project?
On the construction site of two new homes being built where historic Elizabeth House (now demolished) once sat in Merivale (D.J. Hewitt Builders).
“Does the builder have a reputation for working with a team approach? More teamwork means less stress for everyone involved, especially the client,” he says. Nick Rogers echoes the importance of professional reputation in the building industry. “When looking for contractors on my jobs, I find the best ones are recommendations. In our world, you’re only as good as your last job,” he says. “Make sure your builder is a Licensed Building Practitioner that is licensed for structural and weathertight work,” he says. “I’m a strong believer in one job, one licence – not one licence over multiple jobs.” Since 1 March 2012, as part of changes to the Building Act 2004, most residential building or renovation work must be done by Licensed Building Practitioners. More information about licensing is available at www.dbh.govt. nz/occupational-licensing.
Architect John McGrail walks us through the steps in a building process: ■■
Less is more The building materials you choose are also worthy of careful thought. Whereas many people think of brick and other heavy building materials as strong and therefore safe, given New Zealand’s propensity for seismic activity in general and particularly in the wake of the Christchurch earthquakes, masonry is considered much less favourably than in the past. “I’m biased by my preference for timber flooring and timber in general,” says Nick. “But if Christchurch has taught me anything, it’s to make your house a lightweight construction because this will make it more flexible.” John McGrail agrees. “From the earthquakes I’ve learned that the flexibility of a timber frame is going to outperform masonry, heavy roofs and unreinforced concrete floor slabs,” he says. “Timber structures that have lost masonry veneers may look dramatic from outside, but most remain level and safe, whereas many more rigid structures may be irreparable if damaged. Daryl Hewitt says the earthquakes, though devastating, have produced some good innovation in the building industry. “We’re now using plywood exterior cladding to make the structures light and flexible.” “We’ve also found that leaving a crawlspace under a timber floor will make it much easier to re-level if damaged,” he says.
Briefing: This process will lead to a loose and fluid concept design to encourage further discussion. Depending on the project, this can take anywhere from three or four weeks to three or four months. There’s not a lot to be gained in rushing this process. If the design phase is good, it speeds up the documentation phase and makes construction smoother.
a major renovation or repair of an existing site. This means that the contingency (money allocated in the contract but only spent if needed) is lower for a new build than for a renovation, where there are nearly always unforeseen issues to resolve along the way with renovations. ■■
Finalise concept: Once complete, the project cost estimate is completed by a builder or a quantity surveyor. PIM: A Project Information Memo is a report that provides information known to the council that is relevant to your building proposal, and is the first step in obtaining a building consent. Typical inclusions are service connections and resource consents if the proposal does not comply with the District Plan. These may have time implications for your project. Developed design: In this stage you will work through the design detail and engage consultants, such as a structural engineer, and any specialists, for example to install a heating system or swimming pool.
Detailed design: All of the final project documentation is compiled in this phase, including the two-dimensional plans, specifications, fittings and finishes for your project. Procurement: There are different ways of approaching this stage. In a negotiation process, you will typically interview two or three builders and decide to negotiate one-on-one with the selected builder. This allows you to use an ‘open book’ approach involving a quantity surveyor to check the figures and question the pricing. In a negotiation, you’re not going to market for the lowest price, you’re going for a fair price for the work.
In a tender process, you will seek out several builders with whom you would be comfortable and ask each for a price to complete the work. There is more risk for the contractor, so expect the prices to allow for this. They could be higher than in a negotiation, or there could be significant variations during the construction.
Recommendation: After reviewing the pricing, if the architect recommends that the project can go forward, the responsibilities of the client and the builder are captured in the contract documentation. The architect represents an interlocutor in this process. Contracts available for use include New Zealand Standards or New Zealand Institute of Architects – there is a suite of documents available for purchase at www.nzia. co.nz/e-shop.aspx. Observation: The architect observes the builder’s work to see that the project is completed on time to the expected standard of quality. Administration: The architect reviews the builder’s monthly invoices and signs the certificate of completion when the project is finished. The contract may also include a retention sum, which is a portion of each invoice that is withheld from the builder until the works are completed, to keep the process timely and ensure the expected quality. After this is done, a practical completion certificate will be issued. This is followed by a defects liability period, usually three months, during which you will be living in your new/renovated home. Final advice: Make sure the building professionals involved have rules to work to and a sound contract to refer back to. Depending on the scale of the project, you may have many tradespeople involved, for example carpenters, roofers and bricklayers – it is important that these are all licensed practitioners. Don’t forget to get contract works insurance before work begins. For new builds, contract works cover will commonly be held by the contractor until the house is handed over, but for renovations to existing structures, it will be the property owner’s responsibility to obtain cover.
Keep in mind that the work to build new on a clean site is much more measurable than
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UFB and the Cloud
How will they affect your business? By Alan Chew
Many New Zealanders will be aware that the Governmentâ€™s Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) project has been advancing rapidly, and according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 90% of businesses will be connected by 2015. It is expected that the rollout of UFB will enable NewÂ Zealand businesses to reach markets, create products and services, and achieve productivity gains that have been unachievable until now.
What is UFB? The vast majority of Internet connections in
New Zealand today run on copper cable, with transmission speeds averaging five Megabits per second (Mbps). UFB by comparison
transmits at higher speeds, up to 100Mbps,
or even 1,000Mbps in some cases. UFB is also
more consistent in speed and has less latency. The Government has chosen optical fibre
technology to deliver UFB in New Zealand.
Fibre services allow the transmission of data
over long distances and at high bandwidths. Fibre can also carry many signals concurrently, is immune to electromagnetic interference and does not corrode like copper cabling. It is also less likely to be dug up, melted and sold as scrap metal!
How can my business benefit from UFB? The high speeds of UFB mean that you will be much better able to harness technologies like high-definition teleconferencing, digital
telephony, improved connectivity across branches, and Cloud computing. By adopting fibre, you’ll be ready to take advantage of all the tools the Internet throws up – the sorts of tool your competitors are thinking about. For example, it will allow you to make free video calls (on services like Skype) that are no different from expensive paid calling services. Transmitting large files will take seconds where they currently take several minutes, and with fibre you are less likely to get the types of lethargy, dropouts and noise-related faults that can occur with obsolete copper wiring. In the health sector, I envisage that many innovations that were previously inaccessible owing to technical or cost impediments will soon be widely available. These include common electronic prescription processes, tele-health technologies and high-definition videoconferencing. Perhaps the most significant avenue that UFB opens for business is the ability to reap the advantages of Cloud computing.
What is the relationship between UFB and Cloud computing? Cloud computing generally means accessing servers and applications over the Internet (which are ‘in the Cloud’). Almost all businesses already access Cloud applications, for example Internet banking, online accounting software, online legal libraries, Office 365 and Gmail. However, most of these businesses still run local servers for in-house applications such as word processing, spreadsheeting, computer-aided design, patient management and enterprise resource planning packages. Very few firms have moved their entire IT packages to the Cloud. One of the main reasons for the hesitation is the lack of fast, reliable and cost-effective broadband.
Additionally, the robustness of the copper network outside your premises is dubious because copper networks are not designed for Internet transmission at the same speeds that fibre can provide. Unfortunately, private fibre networks are prohibitively expensive to roll out and maintain. UFB was constructed to address the issues of speed, reliability and affordability.
With UFB in place, should I move my business to the Cloud? The factors you should consider are: Security: We often read of successful hacking attempts on large public Cloud operators like Amazon, Apple and Sony PlayStation that wreak havoc on a lot of businesses and private subscribers. It seems that the larger and more public the Cloud operator, the more magnetic it is to hacking. The question therefore arises: is your confidential business data safe in the Cloud? Cloud operators may well protect servers better than you do, but can they protect your information better than you can?
“In the health sector, I envisage that many innovations that were previously inaccessible due to technical or cost impediments will soon be widely available.”
My advice is to find an operator with which you can establish a real business relationship, rather than any large public Cloud operator that you can only contact through an 0800 number. That way, you can get personal assurances that it will look after your data. Performance: The speed of your network once you have moved to the Cloud is very likely to be slower. Whether the slower speed is tolerable will depend on whether you are expecting the same high speed that you are
Consider this – if your servers are situated in-house, your workstations are connected to the servers through your cabling or wireless network at speeds of up to 1,000Mbps per user. If you move your servers to the Cloud and you connect to them through traditional broadband, all your workers share that one broadband connection at an average speed of 4Mbps. If you have 10 workers in the building, each person will have an average download speed of only 0.4Mbps. This is between 250 and 2,500 times slower than your present local area network (LAN) speed!
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enjoying from your local area network with its in-house high-bandwidth cabling. It will also hinge on the external bandwidth that you are able to obtain and afford. The type of data you are transmitting between the two will also have a major influence. An average text email requires little or no bandwidth, but a high-quality video will probably jam up your connection unless it is very broad. If most of your work involves files like videos or computer-aided design drawings, you are unlikely to find the Cloud advantageous. Availability: What is the likelihood of downtime on your network? Downtime can be caused by Internet connection or hardware failure at the bunker, or by power cuts, hacking and denial-of-service attacks. It is ironic that the bigger the operator, the more money it will have to spend to prevent downtime – but also the more likely that it will attract hackers that can shut its facility down. Previously if your Internet connection failed, while your business was unable to do things like transmit email and access the web, you could continue to access locally stored applications such as your patient management or enterprise resource planning program and Word and Excel files. Once you are in the Cloud, any Internet disconnection would mean total system paralysis (which can quickly grind your business to a standstill). A very prudent strategy would be to implement redundant Internet connections, such as retaining a copper or wireless DSL connection or installing a third-generation mobile failover system. Costs: Would you save money in the Cloud?
In theory, it should be cheaper to rent space in a Cloud server than to own one on your own premises, owing to the economies of scale that Cloud operators generally enjoy. However, this can be offset by additional connectivity costs. Data that may be circulated only within your building because you have an in-house server (such as internal emails between workers) will incur a traffic cost if you move to the Cloud, because this data now leaves the building and comes back again. Also, at least for now, fibre connectivity is at least twice the price of copper connections.
“The Cloud is a double-edged sword when it comes to flexibility.” Control: What kind of Cloud solution should you opt for? You can have a private Cloud solution that gives you ultimate control, a public Cloud solution that allows you little control, or the new Tailored Cloud, which gives you the best of both worlds. A Tailored Cloud solution gives you most of the benefits of a public Cloud (economies of scale, enterprise-level services, flexibility, scalability and infrastructure security) but the operator also maintains a strong business partnership with you to ensure that your data is protected and your IT package continues to give your business a strategic advantage. For instance, with a Tailored Cloud you get dedicated account managers and engineers to look after your portion of the infrastructure. The Cloud operator is also likely to have some expert knowledge of your business or
industry. If you are a medical practice, for example, the operator may have Medtechcertified engineers on staff. It costs more than the public Cloud, but you get better service and peace of mind. If moving to the Cloud, businesses should not overlook the importance of having strategic business relationships with the providers. When used properly, your Cloud solution can give your business a massive strategic and competitive advantage. However, the realisation of this advantage usually requires a fairly intimate relationship with the provider who can advise, implement and support the business in what is usually a very technical field. Such relationships can be difficult to obtain with public Cloud operators because of their impersonal business models. Flexibility: The Cloud is a double-edged sword when it comes to flexibility. On the one hand, it allows businesses to scale their IT infrastructure up and down very easily. On the other hand, especially with the large public Cloud operators, the residency rules can be very stringent, so as to protect the integrity of the system for its hundreds or thousands of other clients who share the infrastructure. Most businesspeople to whom I speak are nervous about the implications of the Cloud and what the rollout of UFB would mean for them. They are not sure if the Cloud is mere hype or a great opportunity that, if missed, would enable their competitors to steal a march on them. Only a year ago I was advising most of my clients to hold back from migrating to the Cloud because of the immaturity of the industry. I am now telling most of them to approach the subject cautiously – Cloud operators still need to mature, but at least one of the major non-starters of Cloud computing in New Zealand is starting to disappear with the rollout of UFB.
Alan Chew, a MAS Member, is a chartered accountant and founder of Houston Technology Group, a 25-yearold IT company that employs 27 people in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region.
The birds and the bees?
Do you dread having ‘the big talk’ with your children? Talking openly about sex needn’t be a scary or awkward experience for you or your kids. “Start young, talk a little and talk often.” That’s the advice for parents who want to educate their children about sex and sexuality, says Frances Bird, Director of Health Promotion at Family Planning. Frances says parents should start by thinking about how they wish sex education had been for them when they were children. Most people had somewhat uncomfortable experiences as adolescents – what they didn’t learn from their parents in brief and awkward conversations, they picked up from schoolyard gossip or fumbling trial and error. If parents want better for their kids and a less embarrassing experience for themselves, Frances says there are a few key factors they should keep in mind.
By Nick Helm
Long-haul parenting She says that it’s important for parents to realise that they are their children’s first and most important sex and sexuality educators. “If we start talking to children when they are very small, it begins to normalise things like bodies and relationships,” she says. “There is no single right time or way to do this, but parents should not wait until puberty to start having those conversations.”
“Parents should not wait until puberty to start having those conversations.”
Many parents tell her that they worry they are going to say too much too soon, but she says children only absorb what they are ready for – the rest just sails over their heads. “If the building blocks are there from a very early age, from the time that children start to
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learn about language and body parts like noses and ears, and body parts to do with sex and reproduction such as genitalia are included, they will develop an understanding that sexual parts of their body are normal and natural.” This builds the children’s confidence and removes any strangeness that may surround sex, sexuality and relationships later in life. “It’s a lifelong attitude that parents build on over time. As parents, we are constantly role-modelling behaviours for our children to observe and absorb. Intimate relationships are no different,” she says. “Because sex and sexuality are so much more than sexual intercourse – it’s about emotion, empathy and friendship, and a range of other skills – kids see that in their parents and absorb it as they grow and develop.”
What’s this for then? Children are naturally curious and will start to ask questions and behave in new ways as they approach certain milestones in their development. “Young children and even babies are very sensory little beings, and they will explore their bodies from an early age. It’s very important that this does not frighten parents. It’s not a sexual thing, it’s a purely sensory thing,” says Frances. “It’s not until the hormones kick in at puberty that any of that sort of behaviour should be considered in an adult sexual framework – any younger than that and they simply don’t have the mechanism for it.” This kind of exploration is completely normal, but it is important to have conversations when children are quite young about what
is public and private, because it establishes a link between public and private parts of the body, public and private behaviours, and public and private locations. “Children need to learn that touching yourself in a private place on your body is something that you do in a private space, like a bedroom or a bathroom, not a public space like a shopping mall or a supermarket,” she says. “And then, of course, that leads to safety messages as well, where children learn that it is their body and it is inappropriate for older children or adults to touch them in the private parts of their body, unless it is a doctor or a nurse, or mum or dad, or a caregiver helping with a bath, and so on.” Much of this learning lays the groundwork for a package of sex, sexuality and health education that forms part of a child’s ongoing learning, some of which is part of the school curriculum.
Sex at school State schools in New Zealand are required to provide sex and sexuality education from Year 1 until the end of Year 10 as part of the current health curriculum. It involves understanding bodies, health and hygiene, good relationship skills, how to be a good friend, and a range of other important life skills. “That is what we talk about as sexuality education – it is not just the birds and the bees – it is much bigger than that and involves a large component of emotional development as well. Coping with friendships and bust-ups and things like that, which will eventually be useful for romantic relationships as well,” says Frances. “However, schools have to consult their communities about the contents of their sexuality education programmes every two years, so parents should ask their schools how they can be involved in the process.” Although the programmes are not compulsory and the law allows parents to opt their children out, Family Planning strongly advises not to do so without a compelling reason. By late primary or early intermediate school age, around puberty, the health curriculum introduces the mechanics of sex and the link between sexual intercourse and reproduction. “It’s really important that parents are open and honest and continue to talk about sex and
sexuality with their children as they progress through the school programme,” she says.
Performance anxiety “Nevertheless, many parents feel nervous or self-conscious talking to their children about these things, while others tell me they are never sure what they want to say. Well, there are a number of things that they can do,” says Frances. “If it is a two-parent household or the parent has a partner, practise talking to each other. If they’re on their own, practise with a friend or in front of a mirror. Use the same words and go through how you plan to broach each topic you want to talk about.” Frances also talks about a Family Planning technique she calls grabbing the moment. “Make use of the opportunities you have around you. If the parent has a pregnant friend or there are people snogging on television, take those opportunities to bring up the topics that you want to discuss. When you can, try to weave them into ordinary conversation, rather than having a big sit down event where everyone is utterly terrified,” she says. “If the child is having sexuality education classes at school, that’s a great opportunity. Ask them what they learned today, what they think about it and how it makes them feel. Encourage them to ask you questions in return.” She adds that this is a great time to reinforce family values, particularly if the child comes from a faith background or a certain belief system. “Values are taught not caught – that’s another of our catchphrases,” says Frances. “Kids are not necessarily going to be able to pick up on parents’ values if they are not carefully explained to them. But then parents also need to be able to accept that as children get older, they may choose different values, which can be very difficult for parents.”
Don’t panic! Parents often worry about the effects that exposure to overly sexualised content in the media can have on their children. Frances says they’re right to be concerned, but it is important not to overreact. “I think it is enough for parents to be aware of it and discuss it with their children,” she says. “For instance, if a parent finds their child watching sexualised music videos or their
adolescent looking at pornography, a good tactic for parents is to unpack it with their kids. Stay calm, but ask questions and find out how they feel about what they have seen. Do they think it’s real? Do they know anyone like that? Does it depict real people – usually women – in a real way? Are relationships really like that?” This is a good way to help children and adolescents understand the differences between fact and fiction in the media, but the most effective and long-lasting strategy is to have the right conversations at home and the right education at school from a young age.
“Kids are not necessarily going to be able to pick up on parents’ values if they are not carefully explained to them.”
“Some parents also believe that kids, particularly younger kids, lose their innocence too early. They can appear so sophisticated, but don’t necessarily have the relationship or the negotiation skills to go with it,” says Frances. “Remember though, that children only grasp what they are capable of grasping and if we normalise sexuality and relationships, then it doesn’t make it such a weird, scary or devilishly attractive activity. It just makes it a normal part of life, no matter what age they are.” It is also critical to reinforce the link between the act of sex and the emotional and intimate connection that should go with it.
For information and advice for kids and parents, check out the resources on the Family Planning website at www.familyplanning.org.nz.
“Apart from an experimental phase that a lot of people go through, people’s sex lives are ultimately bound up in their emotions and relationships,” says Frances. “That means it’s about having realistic, quality relationships – that’s what we all want for ourselves and what we hope for when it comes to our children.”
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I left my he♥rt and my wai in San Francisco By Sharon Stephenson
It was Mark Twain who famously said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” It turns out he wasn’t kidding. I arrive in June, a refugee from a brutal Wellington winter, with a suitcase full of shorts and t-shirts. I spend two weeks in this otherwise glorious city and only twice does it get anywhere close to t-shirt weather. But I am oddly thankful, because sweatshirts and jackets help to hide the extra kilos I’m piling on. Because say what you like about the weather in San Fran (tip: you won’t endear yourself to the locals if you call it that; use the word ‘Frisco’ and you’ll be met with an even icier stare), one area in which it truly excels is
food. San Francisco is a city that understands, and loves, good food. Wander around any neighbourhood, and it’s as though a Cuisine magazine has exploded all over the street. It’s estimated that around 6,000 eateries jostle for space in this hilly city, many run by immigrants from Mexico, Cambodia, Vietnam and El Salvador. More recent arrivals from Peru and India have swelled the ranks and they, in turn, have been joined by former start-up geeks who’ve parlayed their pots of gold into businesses such as gourmet ice-
cream/delivered meals/cupcakes, trendy food trucks and any number of hip bars and cafes. Having previously spent time in this city, I’m not unfamiliar with places where I can add to my ever-expanding belly. But if you’re not a local, how do you sniff out those tiny, holein-the-wall eateries, often with no signage, where the best food often lurks? Enter the food walking tour, where punters get the chance to eat like locals and hear the stories behind the food and those responsible for it.
I’m reliably informed by a Kiwi expat that North Beach, a tangle of Italian delis, cafes and Tony Soprano lookalikes, features some of the city’s best food. It’s one of those rare t-shirt days when I meet Tom Medlin, whose Local Tastes of the City Tours company runs a three-hour culinary ramble through Little Italy. We know we’re off for a belt-loosening good time at our first stop, Caffe Roma, where the owner Tony proudly shows us the New Zealand wine he stocks. As any Antipodean who’s ever visited the United States will tell you, the Americans haven’t quite surfed the decent coffee wave the way we have. However, Tony seems to be onto it, roasting his own beans and producing possibly the best caffeine hit I’ve ever had on US shores. I gate-crash calorific heaven at our next stop, XOX Truffles, where French import JeanMarc Gorce coaxes thick, dark and incredibly fattening ganache into the 35 flavoured truffles he sells from his tiny store. I cram cognac, amaretto and Earl Grey truffles into my mouth as though in the shadow of a famine, and leave with an overflowing goody bag. The next few hours pass in a somewhat calorific blur as we sample Californian olive oil and cheese from the nearby Napa Valley, followed by fattening delights at the Victorian Pastry Company, which has been a feature of North Beach since 1914. What better way to chase carbs than with more carbs? At the 130-year-old Italian French Bakery, we watch the staff baking hundreds of loaves of sourdough and find spots in our stomachs for hunks of the thick, crusty bread.
But it’s not all about stuffing our faces (pleasant though that may be) – Tom also provides a lively historical commentary and we visit places such as Saints Peter and Paul Church, a towering neo-Gothic cathedral where Marilyn Monroe and Joe Di Maggio once worshipped, and the Purple Onion, a suitably down-at-heel comedy club where I stand on the very spot where comedians such as Robin Williams, Bill Cosby and Ben Stiller got their starts. Two days and several antacid tablets later, we’re ready to eat and drink our way through another of San Francisco’s eclectic ‘hoods’, this time the city’s oldest and possibly most interesting, the Mission District. Settled by Spanish missionaries in the late 18th century, the Mission’s faded charm is like catnip for dotcom millionaires, panhandlers, tattooed hipsters and migrants. They also come for the food: thanks to waves of Irish, German, Mexican and Latin American settlers, the Mission is a United Nations of immigrants cooking up a taste of home. It’s not quite t-shirt weather, but at least the God of Sun is smiling on the 11 of us who’ve signed up for the Edible Excursions Taste the Mission tour. We’ve been warned to bring an empty stomach, which turns out to be good advice at our first stop, Mission Minis,
Celebrating 75 years of the Golden Gate Bridge We flew into America’s 13th-largest city 75 years to the day after the Golden Gate Bridge was opened to the public. Thankfully, the city’s infamous fog stayed away and the whole city celebrated the birthday of the bridge that attracts 10 million tourists a year. Connecting San Francisco with Marin County, the distinctive hunk of orange steel is the second-most-recognised structure in the world (after the Eiffel Tower) and festivities to celebrate the bridge run all year, including guided tours which, surprisingly, are only a recent introduction, given that bridge officials have always viewed the structure as a means of transportation rather than a tourist attraction. But whether you choose to walk the 2.74-kilometre span, hire a bike to ride over it and down into pretty-as-a-postcard Sausalito, jog it or take a guided tour, there’s very little to rival the experience of visiting one of the world’s greatest manmade attractions. www.localtastesofthecitytours.com www.edibleexcusions.net www.goldengatebridge75.org
Photos courtesy of Martin Haughey
where small versions of gourmet cupcakes cost a dollar each and come in flavours such as Meyer lemon crème, peanut butter kiss and vegan banana maple. In a tribute to the neighbourhood, I choose a cinnamon horcharta, a Mexican rice milk cake slathered in cream cheese frosting and freshly ground cinnamon that literally melts in my mouth. The Mission is perhaps best known for its burrito – which doesn’t (as I’d mistakenly assumed) hail from Mexico, but was invented in California. Our culinary stroll down 24th Street takes us to El Farolito, where the Mission burrito was born. This taqueria isn’t the classiest eatery I’ve ever been in but when the tacos, quesadillas and burritos taste this good, who cares? Somehow we find room in our bellies for the enormous soft wheat
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tortilla that comes heaped with rice, pinto beans, fiery pico de gallo (tomato salsa) and its green equivalent, tomatillo. Our next stop is Mr. Pollo, a literal hole-inthe-wall that specialises in Colombian food. Opened by Venezuelan chef Manny Torres Gimenez three years ago, the 12-seater restaurant offers a four-course tasting menu for US$20, which could explain why it’s so hard to get in here. It’s a well known fact that there are few things in life that aren’t improved by deep frying, and that’s proven by the arepa, a mashup of a taco and a pupusa, a traditional Salvadoran dish made of a thick corn tortilla filled with cheeses and cooked meat. These corn discs filled with meat or cheese are golden and crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside, and are so moreish it’s hard to stop at one.
At La Palma Mexicatessen, a corner deli that’s been around for 60 years, we watch staff work their magic on some of the 10,000 kilos of masa (corn dough) that’s transformed weekly into tortillas, tamales and gorditas. And we scoff delicious huraches, masa stuffed with black beans, cabbage, salsa and queso fresco, a saltier, drier version of feta. Perhaps to cleanse the palate, but equally to celebrate the sunshine, we detour to boutique ice-creamery Humphry Slocombe (named after the 1970s’ British TV series, Are You Being Served?) where I hold up the queue because I’m bamboozled by too many choices. But you would be too, given such intoxicating flavours as Boccalone prosciutto, bourbon and cornflake and salt and pepper. I can’t say I’m convinced by the last one, but I’m instantly smitten by the oddly named but delicious Jesus Juice, which is pretty much the love child of red wine and Coke. You can’t visit the Mission and not check out its murals, which illustrate this neighbourhood’s stories. Our guide Jorge Morell leads us through Balmy Alley, whose colourful murals depict everything from the golden age of Mexican cinema to the El Salvadoran civil war, AIDS and Hurricane Katrina. Jorge says even the city’s rival gangs, who regularly tag the walls, respect the neighbourhood’s 500 or so murals, which first started to appear in the 1970s. It’s easy to find our final destination, La Victoria Mexican Bakery, by following the sweet smell of baking that wafts in the air. The owner Jamie downs tools to share pan dulce, concha and elote (Latin breads) as well as offerings that, to my Kiwi tastebuds, lie on the exotic end of the carbohydrate spectrum, such as apple and custard empanadas and prickly pear beignets (deep-fried choux pastry). But, as my mother likes to say, we travel to experience the different – and I end up eating my bodyweight in all manner of yeast-based products that a few hours ago I’d never even heard of!
MAS Member? You can get up to $2,000 cash on us, as well as a discounted home loan package.
Take out an ANZ Home Loan and you could get $1,000 cash to spend on your place, plus up to $1,000 towards legal fees. Conditions apply. And as a MAS Member you’ll also enjoy great discounts on our standard home loan rates - 0.30% p.a. off fixed, 0.74% p.a. off floating and 0.85% p.a. off the flexible rate.
To qualify for the cash offers you’ll need to take out new lending of at least $100,000, have your main transaction account with us and an ANZ credit card. As a MAS Member you can enjoy special benefits on both of these products. Cash offers end 31 January 2013. To find out more call one of the dedicated MAS team on 0800 11 22 12, or talk to your MAS adviser.
anz.co.nz Interest rate discounts and MAS benefits are subject to change. ANZ lending criteria, terms, conditions and fees apply. Customers eligible for the offer upon unconditional approval by 31 January 2013. $1,000 cash will be deposited into the customer’s ANZ transaction account upon draw down of home lending. Maximum of $1,000 contribution towards legal fees upon confirmation of legal costs. The offer does not apply where customers are switching between ANZ and The National Bank. A copy of terms, conditions, fees and our Reserve Bank Disclosure Statement are available by calling 0800 11 22 12 or at any ANZ Branch. ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited. 10/12 13854
In 1990 I was taking a road trip up north and a cousin, who at the time resided in a provincial city and ran a retail business, asked me if I could help her out by giving a speech about retail marketing to her business group on my way through. Yeah, why not. If I remember correctly, payment was two bottles of Chardonnay and a night at a B&B. When you front up for a family member, the pressure is on to make them look really good. It can be quite stressful and you end up putting more preparation into this little gig than you would a much larger, corporate – and more lucrative – speaking engagement. I had a reasonable quiver of techniques in my presentation armoury, but for this relatively ‘straight’ presentation, I needed a really good joke to drop in at the midway mark. After some research with the best raconteur I have ever known (a chap called Len Potts from Hawke’s Bay) I uncovered the spectacular Picton Ferry yarn from the 1960s. Honestly I flooded the floor with tears when I first heard this. It was the funniest thing I had ever heard by a nautical mile. Two weeks later, 7pm at a Cossie Club up north, I’m unlocking the mysteries of retail promotion to a thoroughly under-whelmed
crowd of about 30 seated on squeaky plastic foldaway chairs. It’s time to inject some levity. The Picton Ferry joke is unique in that it gets funny well before the ultimate punch line. And I’m at that point when an elderly chap in the front row figures out where this joke is going. He is already starting to laugh and others will follow soon; in my mind I’m working the crowd beautifully. Then the laugh from the front row turns to a sort of groan –
“Oh dear, oops, this was now a reasonably awkward situation.” this is going swimmingly, he is losing it just like I did when I first heard it. Brilliant. Others start to chuckle now too. But then my front row guy slides off his chair, onto the floor. Bang, I finally realise that he was not suffering an attack of laughter, this, I’m afraid, was a massive heart attack. Oh dear, oops, this was now a reasonably awkward situation. I had to stop and announce that it would be “imprudent to continue”. People quickly gathered around, someone in the know moved him to a recovery position and someone else started CPR.
I guess if you have to go, you can do a lot worse than exit while laughing. I’m told the eulogies at this chap’s final farewell were among the funniest ever heard at a funeral – someone even told the Picton Ferry gag. The local rag did a tempered but nicely humorous obituary and the entire event, over time, became legitimate folklore for this town. I kid you not, if you wander through the local cemetery you will find a headstone that reads ‘Died Laughing’. What a wonderful way for him to be remembered. That’s the thing – humour can be found in the most unexpected places. Life. Death. Even music, which is mostly ‘boy meets girl, loses girl, oh how it hurts and I can’t live if living is without you … blah blah blah’. This month’s music mix is a collection of songs that are built on a sense of humour. Novelty stuff. Nothing deep and serious. To download the MAS music with humour mix, go to http://tinyurl.com/onmasnovelty. You will need a New Zealand iTunes account to view and purchase this collection. Written and compiled by David Collinge, creative director and erstwhile musician, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Motoring Reviews By Andrew Kerr
Lexus RX450h Limited Fast facts: 3.5L petrol-electric hybrid; 183kW/317Nm (V6); CVT auto; AWD; 6.4L/100km; length 4.77m; $134,900. Those who require a large five-seater but dislike the big SUV image might be swayed by the economy of this freshly face-lifted hybrid. It’s loaded with every conceivable luxury, and subsequently weighs over two tonnes, yet promises great economy in the hands of a thinking driver. The RX450h might be a 4WD but it’s best
Hyundai i30 hatchback Fast facts: 1.8L petrol; 110kW/178Nm; 6-spd manual/auto; FWD; 6.5L/100km; length 4.3m; $34,490. The i30 is the critical volume seller in Hyundai’s range. This second-generation car is a solid improvement, offering better performance and economy, more space and more characterful styling. The i30 certainly has a handsome shape, and the designers have injected expressive detailing into the taut body. It now looks sleeker in profile thanks to a longer body
Tyre safety Road accidents and the insurance claims that result often involve the condition of vehicle tyres. The NZ Transport Agency provides guidelines and recommendations for ensuring that your tyres are the best for your vehicle and your safety:
Choice and fit ■■
Choose tyres with an approved standards mark. Replace tyres in sets of four (or at least in pairs on the same axle) to maintain consistent handling. Car manufacturers recommend that replacement tyres be the same type as those originally fitted, to maintain allround driving performance.
Andrew Kerr has literally spent the past 15 years on the road – writing about new and classic cars for media in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand and attending all of the major international motor shows.
suited to road use, showing a surprising turn of speed when the electric drive unit and generator combine with the smooth V6. Some will find the handling remains on the wallowy side, but chassis tweaks have firmed up openroad responses. Keener drivers might prefer the lighter and still well equipped RX350, as it offers an appealing blend of performance and sporty styling – but there is a hefty price to pay at the fuel pump for this lesser model.
diesels, and it’s the RX450h that flaunts a big point of difference in the big SUV market.
Verdict: Superb luxury and refinement with
For the time being, Lexus remains adamant that hybrid technology can trump turbo-
technology to keep the thirst in check. 4/5
and a slightly lower roofline, and front-seat passengers enjoy more head and leg room. A frugal 1.6-litre diesel (now with 94kW/260Nm) has been carried over but the entry-level engine is a willing 1.8-litre petrol mated to either a standard manual or automatic gearbox. Economy is in the 6.5-7.0L/100km bracket and all models receive seven airbags and stability control as standard. An interesting new feature is the Flex Steer button that allows a driver to adjust the weighting for the electronic power steering.
standard 16-inch alloys seem pleasingly refined.
Another $4,000 buys plenty of ‘Elite’ trim niceties but, frankly, none seems all that necessary.
Much effort has gone into reducing noise, vibration and harshness and the cars that ride on
Verdict: Well honed, user-friendly hatchback
tyres affects vehicle handling and increases tyre wear. Avoid these problems by checking your tyre pressure – including the spare – regularly. This will ensure their optimum performance, load-bearing and wear. Do this while tyres are cold.
The life and performance of your tyres depend largely on how you treat them. Safe driving, regular inspections and rotating tyres (for even wear) are essential components of good tyre care. Correctly balanced wheels will ensure smooth and vibration-free running and improve tread life, as well as extend the life of your car’s suspension and steering components.
Maintaining correct tyre pressure ensures balanced braking, maximum grip and long tyre life. Legally, you need to maintain your tyres at the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Driving on poorly inflated tyres uses more fuel. Driving on significantly over-inflated
offers more space and style. 4/5
Tyre tread is essential for road grip, affecting brake performance, especially in wet weather. Legally, treads must be at least 1.5 millimetres deep across three-quarters of the tread pattern around the entire tyre. However, if you have tread depth indicators in the principal grooves, you must have at least 1.5mm tread depth in these areas. More information is available on the NZ Transport Agency website at www.nzta.govt. nz/vehicle/choosing/basics.html#tyres.
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MAS news Young Professionals Mad Men Ball – 11 August 2012 – The Front Room, Wellington The Wellington Young Lawyers’ Committee hosted a Mad Men-themed annual ball that was well attended and enjoyed by young professionals from a wide range of occupations. In the spirit of the evening, the whiskey lounge was a popular haunt and period furniture was later available for purchase.
Watch for these MAS events coming in November/December: November Sports day
Anaesthetists’ training day
Scroll signing day
Junior vs senior doctors’ soccer match
Insurance industry golf day
Senior doctors’ dinner
Rotorua Case Race
Meet your Director – Dr Richard Tyler Dr Richard Tyler specialises in general practice and the governance of primary health (PHO) and primary healthcare management organisations. He is the Chairman of Compass Health, the recently merged Compass Primary Healthcare Network PHO, Wairarapa community PHO and the Wellington Health Trust. Serving as Chairman of the MAS Board for the past 16 years, Richard believes that to achieve success for Members, MAS needs to be able to offer a better deal – or where this is not possible, broker a better deal with another entity. MAS’s partnership with ANZ to provide a competitive home mortgage package is an example of these efforts to secure special offers that are exclusive to the MAS membership. Richard is also Director of Compass Health Ltd in the Mid Central region and Best Practice Advocacy Centre New Zealand, and an Executive member of General Practice New Zealand as well as a medical adviser on underwriting for Medical Life Assurance Society Ltd. He is married to Julia and has three daughters living in Auckland who are MAS Members, and a son exploiting the opportunities in Melbourne. He enjoys golf, cycling and skiing.
East Coast postgraduate doctors’ function
Palmerston North branch
NZMA Meet the Doctors evening
Palmerston North branch
Grand Round lecture series
Foster Golf Cup
December Law Society BBQ events
NZDA golf day
Exclusive invitation for MAS Members Join us for an adventure to Middleearth and follow the epic quest of Bilbo Baggins to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug … MAS invites you and your family to attend one of 10 private screenings throughout New Zealand for the opening night of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Date: Wednesday 12 December Time: 6.00pm for a 6.30pm movie start* Cost: $12 per adult or child – includes ticket and snack food Locations: North Shore, Auckland, Hamilton, Mount Maunganui*, Napier, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson*, Christchurch, Dunedin RSVP: Register online at www.mas.co.nz or call 0800 800 627 Seats are limited; book early to secure your tickets. *Please check movie start time when booking, some locations may differ from advertised time.
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Student news Christchurch Medical School Annual Ball – 10 August 2012 – Newbery Lodge The annual Christchurch medical students’ ball was held at the intimate Newbery Lodge Function Centre in Opawa. Attendees dressed up for a Titanic-themed evening to remember in a setting evoking the classic film.
2012 Vet students’ Skull Cup – 21 September 2012 – Hokowhitu Lagoon, Palmerston North The annual full-day event featured the usual multiple sport competitions, including the much-anticipated juniors v seniors rugby match and a new homemade raft race, followed by a happy hour with a BBQ manned by MAS Palmerston North branch staff.
VET CHAT from Massey University Veterinary Students’ Association President Allyson Colgan With a month left of classes the vet students are
This year we also had a vet raft race, an exciting new
was an exciting month for MUVSA with the best event
rafts around a lagoon. Style, originality, inventiveness
opening ceremony event featuring a race of homemade
winding down just like a spring calving herd. September of the year, our annual Skull Cup, featuring touch rugby,
soccer, volleyball and netball – finished off with a juniors v seniors rugby match, fifth-year ladies’ dance and an
epic happy hour. It was a ‘circle of life’ with a variety of
and of course speed were all counted and the third
years took the crown. We are excited to add this raft
race to our infamous list of traditions. The vet students would like to say thank you to MAS for all the support
themes including superheroes, honey badgers, The Life
you give us. The MAS Palmerston North team is
Aquatic, The Hunger Games, Africa and 101 Dalmatians.
amazing! Email: email@example.com
Medical notes from New Zealand Medical Students’ Association President Michael Chen-Xu With the year coming to a close, medical students across the country are busy preparing for exams. In the meantime, NZMSA is preparing for an eventful 2013. Preparations for NZMSA Conference 2013 are well underway, with a committed team of students hard at work organising speakers and venues for the Wellington event.
trainee intern next year, was voted NZMSA President-
At the NZMSA AGM in July, Phillip Chao, a BMedSci(Hons) student from Auckland who will be a
engagement with Ma¯ori medical students.
elect for 2013 – congratulations to Phillip, who will assume the Presidency in November. A series of
constitutional changes was also passed to facilitate the introduction of a Te Oranga (Ma¯ori Medical Students’ Association) representative on the NZMSA Executive. We hope that this representative will improve our Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dental talk from New Zealand Dental Students’ Association President Abdulla Salman academics. It has been a great year serving you as President of the NZDSA and I am sure that positive changes will continue. I wish the new Executive Committee the best of luck in undertaking their responsibilities. I would also like to thank our lecturers and tutors who believed in us and helped us to achieve more than we thought possible. I wish everyone else the best for your exams; you are one step closer to becoming oral health professionals. Email: email@example.com
The academic year 2012 is now coming to an end, and luckily the world has not ended! I want to start off by congratulating my fellow fifth years on the completion of your Bachelors of Dental Surgery. It’s been a speedy ride and I hope you have all enjoyed your years at university as much as I have! Several changes have taken place this year – we have had plenty of successes in social events, sports and
Student & Graduate Advisers
Neville Saunders firstname.lastname@example.org
LEIGH WOTHERSPOON email@example.com
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not bitten, but smitten by the Alsatians
A recent wine trip to France took me to one of my favourite wine-producing regions – Alsace. The political history of the Alsace wine region has been a literal tug-of-war between Europe’s major powers for centuries. In 1870 France owned it. Then Germany. Then France. Then, return service – back to Germany. And finally … back to France. They could have saved themselves all the bother, really. This cool northern European region produces white wines with intense fruit flavours and aromas – here in New Zealand we have embraced them and labelled them as ‘aromatics’. The main grape varieties grown in Alsace are Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Sylvaner, Muscat and a small amount of Pinot Noir. Depending on which locals you talk to, they may say “bonjour” or “guten tag” – such is the blending of the Gallic and the Germanic. Similarly they might say “oui” or “ya”. (Kind of confusing to my night school French and German tourist language skills.) The local food is hearty to say the least. The region is very picturesque, with ancient villages dotted around the lush green
landscape, and neat rows of vineyards climbing the south-facing hillsides. We hired a car from our base in Colmar and navigated with a combination of Google Maps, directions from friendly locals, getting hopelessly lost, and sheer good luck. (They had no GPS available at Avis.)
Here’s a line-up of aromatics for your edification. Do remember that aromatics can be sweet, off-dry or bone dry. It is a gamble unless you look carefully at the label, read On MAS wine columns obsessively – or do research.
Anyway, I was lucky enough to sample some wines at two local producers, Gisselbrecht and Louis Sipp. Claude Gisselbrecht is a third-generation winemaker in the winery located about 40 minutes from Colmar on the ‘Route du Vin’, which stretches all the way north to Strasbourg. Claude is passionate about his family’s wines and showed us through the winery, where huge old wooden casks sit alongside state-of-the-art stainless steel equipment. Then we travelled back nearer Colmar to the quaint village of Ribeauvillé, to visit Louis Sipp winery, hosted by fourth-generation winemaker Étienne Sipp. Étienne was kind enough to show us through the wine cellar and then take us in his 4WD to see the steep organic vineyards with their stony soils containing marl and granite.
By Phil Parker MAS Member, wine writer and operator of Auckland Fine Wine and Food Tours www.finewinetours.co.nz. Catch up on all the latest wines and more at Phil’s wine blog www.nzwineblogger.blogspot.com.
Okay – in the north corner, representing Alsace…
Louis Sipp Pinot Gris 2008 $39.00 Gold appearance. Aromas of honey and beeswax, with an unctuous mouth feel and medium to sweet flavours of honey, citrus and peach.
Gisselbrecht Riesling 2010 $27.50 Pale green-gold colour. Mineral and citrus on the nose. Almost bone-dry crisp and restrained, but opens up with elegant prince melon, ripe apple and pineapple flavours. A good one to cellar for two or three years.
Pierre Brecht Gewürztraminer 2010 $32.00 Straw gold. Medium to off-dry style. Subtle aromas of rosewater. Then the lush oily palate opens up with peach, mandarin and spice. Intriguingly it has a mineral to dry finish.
And now, in the south corner, representing New Zealand…
Spy Valley Pinot Gris 2011 $25.00 Full bodied, fruity and lush with stone fruit characters and a hint of minerality. Pear and apple flavours with a crisp finish.
Eskdale Gewürztraminer 2009 $24.00 Unusual for a New Zealand wine, this bottle has a traditional cork closure. Slightly funky aromas, but oily and full palate of spice, grapefruit, straw and pineapple. This is a Gewürz for Chardonnay drinkers – big, bold and complex with a dry finish.
Pegasus Bay Aria Late Picked Riesling 2009 $37.00 Has subtle aromas of citrus blossom. Sweet palate of ripe grapefruit, honey, lime and lemonade, nicely balanced with mouth-watering crisp acidity.
The magazine for MAS Members
By acclaimed New Zealand author Kate De Goldi
Ancient Light By John Banville Viking, London $37 A recurring figure in the Banville fictional universe
returns here in a meditation on the past, the mystery of self, and the abiding presence of loss. Actor Alex Cleave – carefully named, because he is haunted
by personal fracture and propelled by the need for intimacy and healing – is once again marooned
in a room considering his life. He is revisiting the
Cleave’s troubled daughter Cassandra’s death are related. As ever, Banville’s portrait of a bruised roué is humane and beautifully textured. Cleave – the declamatory thespian – is a perfect voice for Banville’s rich and ornamented prose. The distant love affair is rendered most sensually; the young Cleave’s adolescent lust combined with childish need is almost painful. Less convincing are the present-day events that return Cleave to the scene of
from retirement by the offer of a tasty film role – that
actress. But, whatever the cavils, a Banville novel is
friend’s mother. At the same time he is being lured
Cass’s death, accompanied by a daughter-substitute
of the fraudulent literary figure Alex Vander.
always worth the time.
Neville, a war artist who served with Toby and whose
Hamish Hamilton, London $37 Pat Barker, too, returns to old subject matter – the
Great War – and to the cast of characters peopling her 2008 novel Life Class. Not so much a sequel
badly damaged face is currently undergoing multiple operations at the hands of the (real-life) pioneering New Zealand plastic surgeon, Harold Gillies.
As in her celebrated Regeneration Trilogy, Barker skilfully weaves fact and fiction to create an
as a narrative bookending the earlier novel, this
unflinching picture of the civilian and military victims
the eponymous Toby, whose death on the Western
the reader with the ruined bodies and visages of
a painter who shares a troubled history with Toby,
effects on the culture. At the same time she serves up
Tarrant, to investigate. He visits their friend Kit
and conscience in times of trauma and upheaval.
instalment (of what feels like a triptych) centres on
of war. With almost forensic writing she confronts
Front is hung about with mystery. His sister, Elinor,
young men, their damaged souls and the long-term
persuades her former lover and fellow artist, Paul
a convincing argument for the role of art as witness
In the space of just 192 pages this debut novel
By Alison Moore
lonely, awkward life of one of life’s ordinary losers.
(short-listed for the Booker) tenderly explores the
Canongate, Edinburgh $25
Emotionally arrested by the loss of his mother,
Futh, an Anglo-German industrial chemist
women. He carries with him always her little
specialising in the production of synthetic smells, is on a walking holiday in the Rhineland, following his marriage break-up. He has a week to walk a circular track, returning finally to the hotel at which he began. Thirty years earlier he and his father holidayed in the same area, after their abandonment by Futh’s mother. As he walks Futh’s thoughts return again and again to the events before and after his mother’s departure.
larger part in Shroud, in which the events around
formative love affair he had aged 15 with his best
By Pat Barker
Banville aficionados will recognise that character’s
Futh has spent a lifetime looking for her in other perfume container – shaped like a lighthouse – and
is helplessly drawn to women who smell of oranges or violets. In a parallel story, we follow Ester, owner – with her brutal, controlling husband – of the
hotel where Futh will begin and end his journey. Ester’s sexual neglect and minor kleptomania
set in motion the events and emotions that will
greet Futh on his return to the hotel. Wonderful, disturbing, unforgettable.
By doctor, poet and MAS Member Rae Varcoe
Gold By Chris Cleave Sceptre $39.99
competitive cycling, eight-year-old Sophie’s voice is the author’s most remarkable achievement. It is her stoic endurance that is stunningly evoked and her insights and responses that I will remember.
There are five main characters in this novel: Kate,
The story is unashamedly sentimental in parts but
Zoe and Jack are Olympic cycling competitors and
always engaging and is a high-velocity read. At the
Tom is their aging and arthritic coach, Sophie is Zoe’s
end we are left to mull over what defines success
and Jack’s daughter and she has relapsed leukaemia.
and what drives us to succeed. Cleave observes that
It sounds an almost trite summary – but this book
“caring for sick children is the Olympics of parenting”,
certainly isn’t trite. It is about competitiveness
an observation founded on his experiences as an
and its origins, love and courage and the diverse
observer in the Haematology Unit at Great Ormond
forms that heroism takes. Although there is a lot
Street Hospital for Children. He is obviously a
of necessary and interesting detail about top-level
sensitive and astute observer.
transcendence – but it is not a formulaic work.
By Toni Morrison
After a long time of bewilderment, wandering and
Chatto and Windus $35
misery Frank is finally forced to muster his scarce
Toni Morrison, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, is 81 and still writing powerful tales. Home follows the path of the penniless veteran Frank Money, after his experiences in the Korean War have left him desperate, destitute and in severe mental pain. He suffers the loss of his money, his girlfriend and intermittently
resources when his younger sister needs rescuing from her doctor landlord who is conducting illicit medical experiments on her. Thus he recovers his courage and thereby his identity, so that both he and his sister are able to define home and return to it. Although it is a redemption tale, the story is poetically expressed and contains dramatic twists.
his sanity, as well as any sense of belonging. As
It is not Morrison’s best work, but its atmosphere,
in Morrison’s previous novels (this is more of a
complexly realised protagonist and poetry make it
novella), the themes are racism, bigotry, courage and
group. Barnes’s scope is wide, but his observations on
By Julian Barnes Vintage $27.99 It is rare for a short story collection to contain only compelling, interesting and varied work, without a single dull or unskilful tale. Pulse is such a rarity. Each story is captivating, whether it is set in contemporary or historical times, has a male or female narrator or involves only two individuals or a
the complexities and undercurrents of social settings such as the dinner party are particularly adept and memorable, as are his portrayals of illness and frailty. The cover blurb states that “all the stories have the absolute completeness and density of the very best short fiction”. I agree with that assertion and rate this as one of the most resonant, intelligent and engaging collections of short stories I have yet read. It is way up there, alongside Alice Munro’s and as good as, maybe even better than, Barnes’s highly competent novels.
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