COMMENT: Whitebait are endangered and need a bit of a management plan if you're going to keep having your fritters. Keen whitebaiter and Southland Fish & Game councillor Ken Cochrane doesn't like what's being suggested. He says it's the work of "a whole bunch of chick scientists" who think when people "go whitebaiting they should do it in jandals only".
That's just silly. Everyone knows you can't catch fish in your jandals, although they will occasionally get into your gumboots.
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But could there be something behind the phrase "chick scientist"? I Looked into it. It was a week in which I sat down with a chick lawyer to talk about a work project and answered some questions from the chick accountant who does my GST.
I sent some work to a chick magazine editor and got an email from her chick deputy with some queries for the chick art director. I made an appointment with the chick who has been my doctor for more than 40 years and listened to some American chicks talking on a podcast while being driven in a bus by a chick to visit an elderly relative – a chick, as it turned out.
I listened to a chick on the radio talking about Mr Cochrane. I made a platelet donation where I was seen to exclusively by chicks. I thought of asking the chick who owns and runs the bar up the road about the whole sorry business but ran out of time.
And I looked to see who reacted to Mr Cochrane's vivid social commentary. The conservation minister, who said his comments were "derogatory" and "discriminatory"? You guessed it. Eugenie Sage is a chick all the way.
Science communicator, fish expert and author Stella McQueen, who complained that the fuss about the chick comment was diverting attention from the more urgent whitebait-saving mission? One hundred per cent chick.
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I asked my chick wife, chick daughters, chick daughter-in-law and chick granddaughters what they thought about the whole thing and they confirmed Mr Cochrane's suspicion: there are chicks everywhere. He and others who have a problem with that might just have to get used to it.
We need to deal with the problem of Hannah Tamaki, although not with the callous expediency shown by MediaWorks. The network confirmed the political aspirant would not be appearing on Dancing with the Stars before it had confirmed she would be appearing on it in the first place. In roughly 48 hours we enjoyed more real-life drama than we are likely to get in the whole series when it eventually gets to air.
This was a bad call on MediaWorks' part. Not only did it deprive us of the chance to enjoy Tamaki's unique aesthetic expressing itself across a range of bespoke costuming, it also means the show will struggle to provide a convincing villain.
And it must have been personally disappointing for her. There was no spelling or punctuation required, so she was in with a pretty good chance. And somehow the love-to-hate character always makes it through at least half the series. As for what's been lost to the art of dance? Sadly, we'll never know.
Tamaki was pre-fired because of her well-known obnoxious beliefs concerning minorities. We don't of course know what the other contestants' beliefs are. They could be worse. We do know we're in deep trouble when we need a celebrity dance show to keep us on the moral straight and narrow.
Ihave a new candidate for this year's best headline: "Hippos from drug lord's personal collection are causing havoc in a Colombian town". It must make a nice change from cocaine-fuelled road rage.