Key Points:

Hard week, this one, with Fonterra navigating a minefield in China and having to remove $3 billion from the New Zealand economy. This at a time when so many small and medium business are dead men walking anyway.

And of course, there was the fallout from the grotesque incident 10 days ago on the Northwestern Motorway in which we had the usual P-wrecked scumbag all fired up, raving, raging, waving a gun, 10 feet tall and bullet-proof, snatching a bag and stealing a car before roaring with police in pursuit down the crowded holiday weekend Friday afternoon highway, at the end of which police killed the wrong man.

I watched the television reports that night, some 10 minutes of it, and could not understand a word of it. However, the police were cagey, which told us all we needed to know.

The story remained incomprehensible for days, actually.

For reporters, the challenge of a story like this is to make it nice and easy for people to understand.

I used to say to radio and television colleagues that we had to tell a story clearly and logically because the listeners and viewers cannot go back and read your first paragraph again, which they can when reading a newspaper.

Mind you, these days if a newspaper is opaque and jumbled and unclear, I don't even bother with going back to the first paragraph. Reading reportage I cannot understand drives me nuts. There is no excuse for it.

But I do wonder why so many police had to get into that chase. I do wonder how a bag snatch can end with such Hollywood.

I do wonder why the police helicopter could not have followed the brain-fried loon until his journey ended, which might well have been at some low-life refuge full of wired up, fried, 10 foot high and bullet-proof other vermin and may have led to even more arrests in which several bad people could have been persuaded to help police with their inquiries.

There is plenty of beastly low-life still around. This week a baby was flown from Wellington to Starship Hospital with terrible injuries. A man has been arrested.

Indeed, it turns out the new Social Welfare Minister, Paula Bennett, had a violent gang member living with her daughter and her grandchild at her house, a member of an enlightened outfit called Thugs of Canal who, since the election, has been put away for grievous bodily harm.

This newspaper made a great fuss of it last weekend. Personally, I regard it as the Minister's business alone while at the same time I understand that it is a valid matter of public interest. I concede that a violent thug facing jail living in the home of an MP, now Minister of the Crown, is not a good look.

But the whole matter enhances Paula Bennett in my eyes. I know what she was doing. She probably had no choice.

She wanted to keep contact with her daughter and keep her granddaughter close. In doing so, she may have had no choice but to bite the bullet and accommodate a thug.

She is very much a Social Development Minister living right on the fault line. I like what I see of Paula Bennett. She is a woman who has come from nowhere to run one of the toughest portfolios in government.

Would such a woman want those home circumstances? Of course not. Would such a woman, having made such a career for herself and brought such honour to her family, want her daughter having a child with a no-hoper? Ask yourself.

But she did what she felt she had to do and, to be fair, I do not know the boy and I remain determined to believe people can come right.

Sometimes, to maintain a relationship with a child, a parent might consider it necessary to have a few unsavoury types in the house. Sometimes it gets that tough. I do not think it works in the end though.

Gangs are all contemptible and their members should be thrown into the street, is my advice to the Minister.

But these things are not easy and they tear the heart.

* * *

So let us speak of normal people and the recession we face. Suddenly, one day this week, 70,000 jobs disappeared around the world. Back home, the dairy farmers and the economy found themselves $3 billion dollars lighter.

And while we heard things first as a distant rumble, we are beginning to hear sounds from our own people a little like those horrific smacks on the pavements that people under the burning World Trade Centre heard - bodies hitting the deck from 90 floors up. This time it is not people, it is whole organisations.

I went to buy some goods this week from a retailer I like to deal with and whom I respect. He is well-trained in his craft, innovative, classy, 10 years in business, excellent at customer relations and at maintaining relationships, believing as he does, and as I do, that any business is ultimately about managing relationships.

He told me things have become very slow. I said I thought that as long as he has a good relationship with his banks and remains determined to do what it takes to survive, he will, and that the long years spent building relationships will pay off now more than ever before. What's more, we must always put a brave face on things because all business is show business.

Not that I would profess to be a business guru but it is quite simple, surely. When all is said and done, business is only money in and money out. Without a sale there is no business.

While we have been through a long period of the crystal dollar, now the survivor is the one who can maintain realistic pricings, even if the margins are slim. The survivor will be he who continues to turn things over, no matter how tight it all gets. It is a financial 9/11 to be sure, but there is still the possibility that the towers may not collapse.

* * *

Fonterra remains badly in the wars. Not only has the dairy payout been slashed, but three of its flash partners in China, including the cunning old grandmother herself, Madame Tian, are going away for life and two are to be shot.

It is an unbelievable development for New Zealand's largest company, our river of life, to find its five major business partners in China receiving the most severe sentences a justice system can give.

Fonterra can be very flat-footed in a crisis, but when Madame Tian claimed that the Fonterra representatives in China told her she could carry on putting a little melamine, but not too much, in the infant formula, Andrew Ferrier had to speak out.

He went straight on Newstalk ZB, climbed in and repudiated her allegation.

I like Ferrier. I spent an hour with him once. He is much warmer in private than his public projection would have you think. I believe he is straight. He is Canadian, for heaven's sake, and, I assumed, Scottish Presbyterian. I checked that with him. I was wrong. He is a Scottish Catholic. I think that is still all right.

Ferrier might well have decided this week that in life there is a time to die and a time to live; a time to listen to the timid advice of an ageing public relations company and die, and a time to stand up and put your own face and words on the story and live.

Which is what he did this week. However, you would have to say, that if you were a Fonterra official, you might be reluctant at this time to step foot in China.

Speaking of doing business in the hard times, I must tell you of the excellent service I have had this summer from the computer department at the Hastings branch of Harvey Norman. A brilliant young computer man there, Brent, navigated himself with speed through my most baffling software difficulties, found solutions and could not do enough to help. Yes. To survive this hostile environment we must approach our jobs with alacrity. We must be prompt in our response and cheerful in our readiness.