I founded Happy Cow Milk to make a difference in dairying. I failed.

I founded Happy Cow Milk to make a difference. But last week I had to admit to myself that I failed.
I made the decision to shut down the business and I faced the hard truth that I haven’t really made any difference at all. So what went wrong?
In a country awash with milk – with so much invested – you’d think a few small changes would be easy. And you’d be wrong.

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Half a million hectares - sold

"It's a completely ridiculous process," he says about tenure review.

"First of all, the land should be retained as public land, but if there's going to be huge profits made it should come back to the state, the people who own this land.

"This has happened behind closed doors, as far as I can see. They're not looking at the interests of the public or the wider country at large."

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Hello darkness: Peter Wells on finding himself in the cancer ward

It’s Douglas’s birthday. I have a small present to give him then some other presents on the following day when, for practical reasons we decide to hold a small birthday. Again for practical reasons – I can no longer really manage a cooked meal – we will have Indian takeaways and some Moet. This is not how we expected it to be. But this is how it has turned out.

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Peter Posa: The best and loneliest guitar player there ever was

Talking about his apparent mastery of the guitar, he said, "Nothing ever pleased me. I had such high expectations it was ridiculous. I just couldn't reach them. It had a bad affect on my health. Physically, mentally, emotionally. I had stomach ulcers, hernias... A perfectionist who is also a soft, sensitive person, a person like that is looking for trouble."

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The New Zealand Project offers a bold, urgent, idealistic vision. I found it deeply depressing

Most of these conversations are issues on which the progressive left has convinced itself, but no one else. What Harris is really calling for here is for academics and left-wing intellectuals to transform politics by talking about things that they’ve already been talking about, for years and sometimes decades, with little effect, and for everyone else to just embrace all of those values and agree with them about everything. It’s an argument against the broken status quo that perfectly replicates it.

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Mike King and the importance of being imperfect

I must admit, the guy said some stuff that made me wince; gender stereotypes in experiences of depression, dismissal of colonisation, inequality and racism as reasons for suicidal thoughts – it was like a virtue-signalling bloodbath in my head. But according to Mike, 155 young people killed themselves last year. Nothing I've done with my ‘correct’ opinions and appropriately reasoned arguments has contributed to shifting that – but I know Mike has.

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Operation Ark: Inside NZ's $50m designer drug ring

This is a story about science experiments and a cast of colourful characters playing a risky game of cat-and-mouse with New Zealand's drug laws.
A story of "protection" money, clandestine meetings and bugged Skype conversations.
Of boxes of cash stacked in the lounge of a pensioner's home in the North Shore, later laundered through companies in Hong Kong and Thailand.
Money made from "designer drug" pills. Millions and millions of pills.

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A baby is a miracle

And this little gurgling helpless bundle, the book says, will one day crawl and talk, but really how will that ever happen? And then she is warbling and burbling and it's the prettiest trilling and gargling of random syllables and then she is crawling and she is walking and she is talking and you move through it all like a car through fog, forgetting how different things were just days and weeks before, and it is happening at jet speed but it is also like tunneling to Australia with a teaspoon, and you think this particularly as you stand behind her in a swing, pushing, again and again and again. 

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Shortland Street: The short life and tragic death of Neville Goodwin

Neville doesn't have a name yet. He barely exists. He's just a difficult patient who'll have his morphine nicked by Deb, then die at her hands. (As Fleming says, "Everyone loves a killer nurse.")
What if, says medical adviser Caroline Restall, "the patient's so irascible that he scratches Mo, and Deb fixes Mo up?" (This is cunning, as it simultaneously serves the Deb-Mo storyline.)
Fleming: "Yeah, that's sweet."
Trainee storyliner Lily Daubney: "Can he have Alzheimers as well?"
Fleming: "I don't think we need that."

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NZ needs to plant more trees to combat climate change – but what kind and where?

The deluge of logging waste at Loudon farm points to a massive weakness in the country’s plantation forestry system. The so-called “window of vulnerability” is a period of about six years after a radiata crop has been clear-felled, during which the land lies raw, unprotected and at the mercy of rainstorms and cyclones.

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Finding Mrs Moreland

After a few moments, the jets started shooting out from the craft again. It tilted at an angle and then shot up into the sky at great speed. As it retreated behind the clouds it made a soft, high-pitched whine.
Then she was alone. Standing in a waft of hot peppery air. She was relieved that the attracting power of the green lights had gone, but didn’t know what to do next. Eventually, she finished milking the cows.

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A Dunedin Study discovery saved an American killer from the death penalty

Waldroup’s lawyers argued that the sluggish version of the gene had combined with his history of suffering child abuse to explosive effect. The gene wasn’t the only factor the jury considered, but it clearly persuaded some of them he wasn’t equipped to weigh up a premeditated murder.
As one juror later said to National Public Radio: “Something in [Waldroup] doesn’t tick right … A bad gene is a bad gene.”

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Money markets and global leaders (except Trump) front up to climate change

When it came to climate change and the potential global supply of fossil fuels, “nobody had done the maths”, Campanale tells the Listener. But the new research on the total carbon budget made it possible to run the calculations. With financial backing from philanthropists, Carbon Tracker was able to hire the analytical brainpower needed to go through the published reserves of the world’s biggest publicly listed oil, coal and gas companies and figure out how much of those reserves could be burnt while remaining within the global carbon budget.

The conclusion was stunning: the world’s fossil-fuel companies owned reserves which, if burnt, would dump 2795 gigatonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, but the carbon budget showed there was room for only a further 565 gigatonnes.

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What really goes on in Auckland's clubs

Charisma, spunk, being willing to say what you think: these are the qualities Barton identifies as the common traits of Auckland's leading party people and they are qualities he embodied that night. But then again, sometime either a bit before or a bit after the booth-dancing and the bottle-swigging, through sad eyes that were increasingly squinty, he looked at me seriously and said, "This is my job."

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The fire inside: eating at Auckland’s most remarkable restaurant

 From day to day and week to week things change: the quality of the flour, the weather, and sometimes it doesn’t rise, or doesn’t rise to Ed’s satisfaction. “A bad bread day is the worst ever. When I pull out pancakes from the oven, those are the days I hate my life.”

Laura said, “If we’re not entirely happy we say, ‘Here, just have it.’ The customers say, ‘Oh no, we don’t mind paying, we can’t tell the difference!’ But we can.”

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