News Heroes and Villains: Revenge of the Worm Farmer

All the news heroes and villains of a tumultuous week.
All the news heroes and villains of a tumultuous week.

Our news heroes and villains on a week when some battle-hardened veterans of the great pukeko war got trigger happy and a lone worm farmer took on the might of the New Zealand Government.

Deez Nuts may be the only thing that can stop Donald Trump.

Brady Olson, a 15-year-old farmboy from Iowa, registered Nuts as a Presidential candidate in North Carolina on July 26. His fledgling campaign is recording the best poll numbers for an independent candidate since Ross Perot in 1996. About nine per cent of voters in North Carolina say they’d support a Nuts Presidency.

Deez Nuts has already come out in support of a balanced budget and the Iran deal. But is America ready to come out and support Deez Nuts? We’ll see. One thing’s for sure: a Nuts campaign would take more votes off Trump than Clinton.

If Nuts is carrying out a single act of heroism, Robbie Dick, Worm Farmer, carries out an act of heroism every day. The Government has revealed that worm farming is more dangerous than laying explosives. Dick doesn’t give a damn. He just gets on with the job.

By 3News Political Editor Patrick Gower

Robbie Dick is just an ordinary worm farmer. A worm farmer who stood up and was counted when it was needed. A worm farmer who spoke truth to power.

Robbie is the worm farmer who made the Government’s health and safety reforms look like an absolute joke this week.

For some bizarre reason, the Government decided to pick on worm farmers like Robbie, by saying worm farming was a “high risk” industry like mining.

Well, Robbie quickly set the politicians straight on the so-called risks, simply saying: “I don't have to wear hard hats or shinpads or anything like that”.

And in case Health and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse didn’t get the message, Robbie doubled down: “They're not going to bite you or kick you. I can't see any danger from the worms”.

Robbie has spent 16 years working with worms at his Central Otago “Wormworx” with wife Rosanna, selling worms to garden centres and even exporting them to Tahiti.

Robbie has got millions of worms on his piece of land at Cemetery Road in Cromwell (Yes, the worm farm is on Cemetery Road). He works with worms by the tonne and knows that those worms never hurt nobody and that worm farming ain’t no risky business.

Just before my story ran last night I got a call from Robbie. It was a call like none other I have received in 15 years in journalism.

Robbie wanted to quote me some Charles Darwin. I politely wrote it down knowing I wouldn’t be able to use it in my piece. Thankfully now have a chance:

”It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world as these lowly organised creatures.”- CHARLES DARWIN ON EARTHWORMS, 1881

Well Robbie himself played an important part this week in showing that Michael Woodhouse’s reforms are completely ridiculous.

Worm farming made the news for all the wrong reasons thanks to the Government but with a few simple words Robbie Dick made sure Kiwis knew all about worm farming for the right reasons.

Robbie is just another Kiwi farmer trying to make a living off the land – through worms.

Robbie is the worm farmer who refused to put up with nonsense coming out of the Beehive.

And for that reason, Robbie Dick is the News Hero of the week.

Takahe Killers, I get it. These greenies hassling you for not taking enough care - they don’t know what war is. I’d like to see them in a pitched battle with a raging pukeko. See if they’re still screaming ‘save the birds’ when a blood-red beak is pointed straight at their snow-white shins.

The truth is, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. There’s no time for an ethics debate when a Puke is charging. This is the Deerstalkers Association, not Ornithology Club. You see blue, red and green; you take the shot.

But here’s the thing. Someone’s gotta take the fall . Four good birds are dead. Very few are left.  And the pukeko legion still roams Motutapu unfettered. Maybe, just maybe, you should have taken more care before spraying bullets into the established home of a critically endangered native bird.

At least you’re not the Ashley Madison Hackers, a bunch of weasels so weasley they make weasels ashamed. Wowee, I dislike them. They call themselves the Impact Team, which would be a good name if they were a Christian body-building gang. Instead, it seems they are a coagulation of loneliness and entitlement trying to pass itself off as the Grand High Pope of Internet morality.

Impact Team probably wants money. Or they just thought it would be cool to do a big hack. Or they actually believe their moral police stuff. In any case, they’re vastly under-qualified to deal with all the moral conundrums that come with revealing the private information of 38 million people.

At least the Takahe Killers didn’t do it on purpose.

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