Archive for the ‘Dear John’ Category

Dear Poneke

February 22, 2009

Tried to post a fullish comment on your site but it was rejected because it did not like my work e-mail address.

I thanked you for missing me.

I have simply been busy.  Last week saw multiple meetings including a select committee and the regional transport committee meeting which tried to prioritise billions of land transport expenditure and approve a $3 billion rail plan.  I take these things very seriously.  I also had three important board meetings.

Lack of posts nothing to do with Cr Foster.  Indeed our Board meeting on Thursday was unanimous in endorsing the City Council’s preferred site.

I have simply been busy.  I start most days around 0600 (sometimes earler) and am tied up to late .  I have family responsibilities and I want to stay sane so try and fit in a bit of golf.  I would have loved to have had time to read blogs let alone write posts on Danny Lee, the FTA with India (well done Groser), Lamy’s visit to New Zealand, US Climate Change policy, ARC and the Galaxy fiasco, Mark Weldon and our breakfast on Friday, our Export Breakfast on Tuesday, disagree with Fran O’Sullivan on tax cuts plus much more, but I have been too busy.

The week ahead is even worse, literally not one gap in my diary until Saturday, and even on Saturday I have several appointments (including the ballet which I am looking forward to very much).

Given your obvious withdrawal symptoms I will see if I can squeeze a post or two in.  Will also try and do better on our media statements etc.  But you can always keep up by reading if you are desperate.

Good night David, and thanks to those who alerted me to Poneke’s post.

Dear John

February 16, 2009

Dear John  has been a bit of an experiment for us here at the Chamber.  It has achieved good readership numbers and there have at times been vigorous debate.  This is encouraging.

We are in the process of a major re-jig of our communications with members and wider community and use of blog format has been part of the mix. 

We will make some decisions over the next month.

In the meantime we will be restricting content on Dear John to formal press releases and the editorial from our monthly magazine.  Continuing interaction with our readership is encouraged.

For those interested in the indoor community sports centre we had another session with the Mayor on Friday and have Garry Poole WCC CEO coming to talk to our Board meeting this week.  We continue to be  actively engaged on the issue.

Off To Winter

January 4, 2009

I shall be travelling ffor the next 36 hours and am not sure when next I will be able to post.  The temperature in Geneva today is predicted to be a high of minus 1.  This will be a bit of a contrast to what we have been enjoying here over the past few weeks.

Blog Stats For December

January 4, 2009

Dear John  had 5,128 unique visitors in December.

In terms of the Tumeke Blog Ranking service our key stats were:

  • Average daily unique visitors  165
  • Technorati Authorities (Still not recognised by Technorati)
  • Average weekly posts 15.31
  • Average comments 2

This would equate to a Tumeke score of  182.31

Dear John’s 3 month Alexa ranking is 978,725

Dear John’s NZ rank is 623

Blog Statistics And Rankings

December 26, 2008

I  am greateful to Tumeke and Half Done for their attempts at rating NZ Blogs.  Dear John features for the first time in both league tables for November.  We took the trouble to post our full statistics to help Tim Selwyn but he doesn’t seem to have taken them into account in his rankings.  We make our score using his formula to be 144 which would rank us #45.  Instead we are ranked at #110 with a score of 53.  Half Done had us ranked a bit higher at 92.  Half Done does a mid-month ranking also.  By mid-December we had been ranked #53.

Merry Christmas

December 25, 2008

We are paying the price for two near 30 degree days in a row down here with a much cooler overcast day today.  I actually prefer cooler Christmas days.  There is nothing worse than spending the day in the kitchen when it is hot and sunny outside. 

I see that 50 people have visited Dear John today which is more than I had expected.  Can I wish all readers a very happy Christmas.  I hope the New Year is as prosperous as possible.

As we can’t sell any wine today I may have some time to post on concerns I have about threats to free trade.  I might also share some thoughts on the science underpinning the Kyoto Protocol and our ETS.  This is not about the science of climate change and whether we humans are causing the climate to change.  Rather it is about the science used to underpin the rules.

Quite a few people have read the post yesterday about Fiji.  Whaleoil has posted a long comment which suggests that my proposed policy response won’t work.  This may well be the case but I have yet to see anyone come up with a suggestion which might work – aside from direct intervention.  And, if Whaleoil is right and the good Commodore enjoys majority support for what he is doing, then intervention won’t work either.

On “Holiday”

December 21, 2008

I will be away from the office until 2 February, supposedly on holiday.  Today is Sunday, and it is not yet 1200 but so far I have fielded three questions from journalists and had two phone calls from a Cabinet Minister.  Such are my days off.  This is not a complaint – keep those calls coming.  So long as I am not on an airplane or the golf course, the phone will remain on.  Likewise thanks to my Blackberry, I can pretty much guarantee receiving e-mails anywhere in the world apart from Japan (and for some reason Washington DC was problematic earlier in the year).

I am writing from the office of the vineyard (Kawarau Estate) that my wife and I have owned since 1992.  I shall be mowing lawns, selling wine (hopefully), doing some vineyard chores and playing a few rounds of golf in Central Otago until 2 January when we all fly up to Geneva.  As many of you know my wife works for MFAT and is presently assigned as Deputy Head of Mission to our UN Mission in Geneva (while New York has the HQ far more UN agencies are based in Geneva).  This professional separation is far from ideal but we have survived the first year OK (some suggested that giving Wendy this posting was a cunning plot by the previous Government to get me to leave the country also.  I am not sure that they were that cunning….)

The point of this post is not to lay my private life bare, but to explain why my postings will not be as regular as they might be.  Here at the vineyard we are reliant on a satellite internet connection which is much slower than the service we enjoy in Wellington (office and home) but is is a whole lot faster than the dial up we used to try and survive on.

I may not be able to make any posts while travelling to and from Europe.

And while in Europe there will be days when I will likewise be unable to find the time to post or an internet cafe to make a post from.

Those who have yet to decide on the perfect Christmas present might like to visit the Kawarau Estate website.  We make excellent Pinot Noir (two styles), Chardonnay (very Burgundian), Pinot Gris (dry with a grapefruit character) and Sauvignon Blanc.  The SB is very different from the Marlborough style.  Lovely tropical flavours and less pronounced gooseberry.  We sell most of it to the Sydney restaurant trade with a bit going to the US, Canada and the UK.  All our wines have full organic certification and in a non-frosty year (we run wind machines to fight frosts) we are virtually carbon neutral (without having to buy credits to make us look good).  Our vines, trees and our soil are just sucking that carbon up (unfortunately we get no credit for this as like the rest of horticulture we were excluded from the previous government’s ETS).

Blog Stats

December 1, 2008

We have been going just over a week.  After a slow start readership is growing strongly.  For the week just ended we have had 895 unique visitors.  The last two days have been 250 plus.  For the purposes of Tumeke’s NZ Blog ranking service here is how we score:

127 average daily visits

14 posts per week

average highest comments is 3

probable score 144

We have an Alexa 3-month average ranking of 3,820,796, a one week average of 416,731, and a NZ rank of 2,192

0 Technorati authorities (but we are aware of 6 links).


November 29, 2008

I think that I have linked to all those that have linked to Dear John.  Should I have missed you or should you add a link to us please comment below.  Thanks to those that have linked to Dear John.


November 19, 2008

We are told that every good business should have a blog.  We seek to set an example as a good business, so here goes.

The Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce has been around for 152 years.  Over that time it has sought the best possible policy and regulatory environment for its members.

This blog is all about helping create such an environment.

We hope it will be read daily by the Prime Minister and his team of Ministers, by senior officials and by the media.  Journalists should feel free to quote from this blog.  It only has one author, Charles Finny, so feel free to attribute any comments.

Comments on posts are very welcome but please – no personal abuse, and please try to keep the comments as relevant as possible to the topic of the post.

This blog will not replace the regular media releases from The Chamber but these will be repeated on Dear John so that readers have a chance to react to these policy positions.

We hope you all find Dear John a useful resource and that you read it regularly.